Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

NZ's leading source of Net-Industry news and commentary since 1995
Headlines | XML feed | Contact | New Sites | Archives | Job Centre | MARKETPLACE | For Sale
Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
Lighten Up 18 October 2002 Edition
Previous Edition | Archives

Please support the sponsor
Sponsor's Message
Time for more crazy, cretinous and barely credible crud from the Net.

I don't know if they still do this, but when I was a kid at school, our science teacher showed us how reactive metals such as sodium, lithium and potassium are by dropping a small speck of such metals into a dish of water. The results were impressive with lots of noise, steam and flames.

Now read about the guy who bought 1.5Kgs of sodium on eBay and dumped it into a lake.

Check Out The Aardvark PC-Based Digital
Entertainment Centre Project

Designing and implementing a game that is simple enough to be downloaded in seconds as part of a webpage, and which is challenging enough to be fun to play is not easy. Here's one that I think is pretty good -- it's apparent simplicity belies its addictiveness (Flash plugin required).

In the name of public safety our society often places bans or restrictive conditions on the ownership of items that are dangerous. Guns, cars, explosives -- there's a long list of things that fall into this category. Sometimes however, even the most seemingly innocent things can pose a huge threat. Why not join the movement lobbying to ban screwdrivers.

Readers Say
(updated irregularly)
From Yesterday...
  • Rating websites... - Peter
  • xtramsn... - Mike
  • Have Your Say
    Weekly Miscellany
    It's the end of another week and my desk is littered with a million loose ends.

    The somewhat belated review of the Dynalink Rural modem is almost done -- and I'm sure there are plenty of readers who will be interested in the results. I've actually been waiting for my phone lines to "noisy-up" a bit and the rain we had a couple of days ago seems to have done the trick nicely.

    For those of you who have always wondered what Aardvark's castle looks like, you're in luck.

    In order to fund the completion of my X-Jet engine I've decided to realise the capital I've got tied up in my house. As a result, I'm putting it on the market at a give-away price -- but there's a catch -- you've got to let me stay on for another two years while I finish that work (and the two books I'm writing).

    If you're interested -- or just want to have a nosy around, check out the "house for sale" pages.

    Now some advance info on the Tivo-like PC project...

    I've come to the conclusion that there's a lot of really bad software on the market and that companies which make hardware are least competent when it comes to writing the software needed to properly use it.

    I'm amazed at how truly awful of the Windows-based commercial PVR (personal video recording) software I've looked at really is. There's a huge market there for someone to come up with an application that actually works as advertised and can be used without constant head-scratching.

    Of course the hardware vendors don't help much by producing flaky drivers, but surely someone can do better than most of the stuff I've been looking at.

    However, fear not, there are some little gems out there that make it all worth-while. First impressions of the Hauppauge hardware is quite favourable and I should have had time to get right into the guts of it over the weekend.

    The Linux PVR options are (unfortunately) pretty few and far between. What's more, they're not the sort of thing your grandmother is going to be able to install and run without having a seizure.

    I'm still confident however, that the outcome of this project will be a system that will free you from the burden of advertising and cruddy videotapes forever. Already CDRW disks have replaced VHS tapes around here and I'm discovering that the practical maximum number of reliable rewrites (30-40) is actually quite a bit less than the figures advertised.

    More next week...

    If you want to have your say on the contents of today's column then please do so. Only comments marked "For Publication" will (if I have time) be published in the readers' comments section.

    Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
    Got a moment? Want a little extra fresh content for your own website or page?

    Just add a couple of lines of JavaScript to your pages and you can get a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated each and every week-day.

    Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using the RSS format. More details can be found here.

    Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and have any problems.

    Linking Policy
    Want to link to this site? Check out Aardvark's Linking Policy.

    Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it now!

    Security Alerts
    Microsoft squashes three security bugs
    (CNet - 17/10/2002)

    Security hole in Symantec firewalls (ITWorld - 17/10/2002)

    Microsoft posts four new security alerts (CNet - 3/10/2002)

    Flaw in Word can allow file theft (TheAge - 13/09/2002)

    File-name flaw threatens PGP users (ZDNet - 06/09/2002)

    Virus Alerts
    Virus pursues your credit card details (ZDNet - 02/10/2002)

    Linux server worm exploits known flaw
    (VNuNet - 13/09/2002)

    Worm spreads through KaZaA network, again (TheReg - 22/08/2002)

    Bookmark This Page Now!


    NZL Sites
    NZ Netguide
    NZ Herald Tech
    PC World NZ
    NZOOM Technology WordWorx

    AUS Sites
    Fairfax IT
    Australian IT
    AUS Netguide
    NineMSN Tech
    APC Magazine

    USA Sites
    CNNfn Tech
    Yahoo Tech
    ZDNet Tech
    USA Today Tech
    7am.com SciTech

    UK Sites
    The Register
    BBC SciTech


    My Jet Engines
    Check Out Me And My Jet Engines

    The Day's Top News
    Open in New Window = open in new window
    New Zealand

    Open in New Window Black box breaks TV adverts' grip
    A simple black box, similar to a VCR, sits in Greg Nikoloff's suburban Auckland home, next to his television set. The only thing that makes this box...
    NZ Herald

    Open in New Window New computer lab will help trace child porn
    A new computer laboratory was opened today to help the unit that tracks down illegal pornography on the internet. Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins...
    NZ Herald


    Open in New Window Microsoft squashes three security bugs
    The software giant issues a trio of alerts for flaws in the SQL Server database, Windows XP operating system, and Word and Excel applications...

    Open in New Window Microsoft Beta Software Site Hacked
    Microsoft's password-protected beta site, where software can be tested before it hits the market, has been hacked, forcing Microsoft to issue new passwords to more than 20,000 members of its developer network...

    Open in New Window Fears raised over e-voting
    An expert on electronic voting is in the UK to warn the government about the dangers of computer polls, saying they cannot be trusted...

    Open in New Window XML spec moves ahead despite gripes
    The Web's leading standards body this week advanced its seminal XML specification amid complaints that it was breaking XML's backwards-compatibility in order to benefit IBM...

    Open in New Window ACLU Acts Against Patriot Act
    The American Civil Liberties Union has had enough of some aspects of the Bush administration's Patriot Act, and it's launching a visible, nationwide campaign against it...


    Open in New Window MasterCard bites back on Aust credit card hacking
    A rise in credit card transactions via the Internet, phone and mail-order is prompting card heavyweights to push tougher data security standards for merchants, MasterCard said today...

    Open in New Window Telstra scales back website
    IN late October Telstra will introduce a new, slimmed down telstra.com website - a move that will signal the final nail in Australia's dotcom coffin...
    Australian IT


    Open in New Window Security hole discovered in Symantec firewalls
    A flaw discovered in a common component of Symantec Corp.'s firewall technology leaves a number of that company's products vulnerable to denial of service (DoS) attacks, according to a bulletin released by the company...
    IT World

    Open in New Window MS eases up on 'gimme all Your Stuff' community license
    Microsoft Corp has re-worked a controversial license for a .NET developers' hosted community, after concern the company granted itself wide-ranging rights over developers' code...
    The Register

    Open in New Window Tools Vendor Readies Passport for Linux
    A small software development company this week disclosed that it will soon offer prebuilt versions of Microsoft's Passport Internet-based authentication technology for the Unix and Linux operating systems...

    Open in New Window When Hard Drive Warranties And Expectations Collide
    Three of the largest hard drive manufacturers have announced their "unpopular news" that, effective October 1st, 2002, their normal warranties for most ATA hard drives will be reduced to one year...
    Tom's Hardware

    Open in New Window Pioneer blazing trail for DVD burning
    Pioneer announced on Thursday a new combination DVD-CD recordable/rewritable drive for PCs that cuts the time it takes to record a full-length DVD or CD in half...

    Looking For More News or Information?

    Search WWW Search Aardvark

    Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2002, Bruce Simpson, republication rights available on request

    jet engine page