Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2018 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Welcome to 2018

8 January 2018

A new year brings new challenges and new opportunities.

What's going to be hot this year?

Well judging by the weather around here over the festive season, it won't be the air temperature.

What crap weather we've been having. Wind, rain, cold -- it's been more like late autumn than mid summer, at least in Tokoroa.

Is this proof of climate change?

Nah... weather is always weather. It has always been variable and this isn't the first festive break where I've resorted to breaking out the heater of an evening.

However, given that summers are short enough here in NZ, it's certainly disappointing that we're now into the second month of the season and I'm still waiting for the joy of endless balmy days of blue skies, light breezes and roasting temps.

The problem with a late summer is that you miss out on the best bits of daylight savings.

Right now, the days are so long that (around here) you can still be engaged in outdoor activities as late as 9pm. This can't be said of late February and March, when the sun is already setting closer to 8pm.

Being outside enjoying the cooler evening breezes and having fun is a whole lot different to being stuck inside once it gets dark and you are left to sweat in an Indian summer.

But enough griping, about weather any way.

What am I expecting in the coming year?

Well pretty much more of the same I suspect.

I'm not expecting to see sustained nuclear fusion in the lab this year, nor am I placing a deposit on a flying car.

However, speaking of cars, I have a feeling that Tesla's current "golden boy" status in the EV market may see a little tarnish forming. Other vehicle manufacturers are now pretty much aware that EVs are the way forward and I expect to see some rather interesting announcements from existing players; announcements that could place Tesla under even more pressure to get their production rolling in a timely fashion.

Computer hacking may be bigger than ever this year, with black-hats spurred on by the flaws that have been disclosed in most processors over the past week or two. Much of this will be state-sponsored by players such as N.Korea and perhaps Russia; almost certainly the USA will be doing it.

This will also be the year that streaming video services really start to take control of the entertainment marketplace. The future for FTA broadcast TV is looking pretty dire right now and SkyTV... well you know my thoughts on that.

Since YouTube is a place I am very active, I've been looking very carefully at what's going in in the YT ecosystem and I expect we're going to see a number of channels become ghost-channels.

What's a ghost-channel?

It's one that was once very active and popular but which is all but forgotten by its creator.

Google has so stuffed around with YT that already a number of my favourite channels have announced that they're effectively quitting the game -- no longer able to justify the amount of time they've been spending, now that their revenues are so pitiful and uncertain.

I discovered for myself just how ridiculous YT's automated censorship systems have become when my Santa rides a drone video was demonetized because Google's AI determined that it was not "suitable for all advertisers". With this kind of uncertainty and stupidity, people can no longer afford to risk the farm by living off of YouTube revenues.

Of course it got even more outrageous when someone found that a video consisting of nothing more than many minutes of white noise was flagged by YouTube as subject to no less than five copyright claims when uploaded. Seriously? Google's automated content-matching system is so broken that deemed white noise to be a copyright breach?

Broken, broken, broken!

I plan to stick with YouTube but do not be surprised if, by year's end, you find that my videos are ad-free, by choice. My goal is to create other revenue streams associated with my videos so that I can eventually turn off monetisation. Instead of contributing to Google's revenues, I'll become a burden on them -- as they stream my videos, without ads and thus without revenues.

Quite a few other popular channels are aiming for the same result. The moral of the story here is that if you (Google) dick people around for too long, it costs you their loyalty and the revenues you used to get from them.

Tomorrow I'm going to talk about the risks of relying on technology (as someone in NZ discovered to their cost last week) and also how Bitcoin may be of significant value to a group who have probably never even thought about it.

Stay tuned... 2018 will be very interesting.

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column

Rank This Aardvark Page


Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines



Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam


Recent Columns

That card costs how much?
Hands up everyone who remembers when the only choices available for PC graphics were CGA and the Hercules card? ...

Youtube, AI and monetization (the nightmare)
YouTube... you've got to love them... and hate them...

Risk analysis? What's that?
Elf and Safety... it's a hot topic these days and has become a real career path for clip-board carriers, lawyers and bureaucrats alike...

On the verge of a fusion breakthrough?
Great news, sustainable over-unity nuclear fusion reactors could be just 10 years away...

Tesla, sunshine and EV range
Regular readers will recall that quite some time ago, not long after Tesla announced their intentions to build a giga-factor to make batteries, I warned of the risks...

How about a 3-strikes law for government?
The contentious "three strikes" legislation has been apparently very successful overseas in places like New York...

Technology fail day
Yesterday was an "interesting" day...

Tesla about to be gazumped?
Given that Elon Musk is as clever and crazy as Nikola Tesla, it's no wonder he named his electric car company after the infamous inventor...

Music war looms
Music, everyone loves it and those who trade in it stand to make a huge amount of money from it...

Are kids today just users?
As a child, I always wanted to know what was inside stuff and how it worked...

Synergy saves the day against germs?
For quite some time now, the mainstream media has been publishing stories which predict the rise of antibiotic-resistant organisms to such an extent that we will find ourselves defenseless...