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Lighten Up 16 February 2001 Edition
Previous Edition

Once again, presented for your delight and amusement -- a small collection of the dumbest, funniest or just plain weirdest stuff on the Web.

Startrek On Ice
Boldly going where no man has gone before? Another one of those sites that had me rolling on the floor in hysterics. A quarter-megabyte Flash animation but well worth the small wait.

When you've got a curly problem then Microsoft's knowledge database can be a real lifesaver -- but of course we should always read the manual first. Just in case you don't know how to do that, this site has a useful little Microsoft-style knowledgebase page.

Seating Made Simple
Leaked government cabinet papers have alerted me to this site and the product it promotes. According to the papers, the government is contemplating the installation of slightly modified versions of this device in all public areas and government department waiting areas. It has been proposed that licenses be issued annually for a fee around the same as that charged for vehicle registrations.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)

IndraNet Technologies is ok in my books... - Michael

Previously Submitted

ird... - Bede

How many people use Netscape?... - The Hobbit

Domainz... - Tom

freenet 10 free hours please pay in advance... - next2normal

The Question That Wasn't Asked... - Michael

Have Your Say

What Is IndraNet Doing?
Less than three years after touting its apparently earth-shattering intelligent network technology and raising a fairly sizeable chunk of cash by way of a public offering, Christchurch technology company IndraNet is going back to the market cap-in-hand for a $5m top-up.

While touting for the first round of funding, IndraNet extolled the potential of its exciting new network design -- but after securing those millions it appeared to take a side-road with talk of developing alternative power sources for motor vehicles.

I always get a bit worried when risky hi-tech start-ups seem to take detours and perhaps start to lose a little focus -- particularly if there's an "alternative power source" or "new engine" element in there.

As I've pointed out in this column before -- Kiwi Rick Maine raised huge sums of money, supposedly to develop his split-cycle engine into the internal-combustion engine of the future. Just like IndraNet however, he seemed to take on several extra technology projects before completing what was supposed to be the focus of his developments -- and just look at how successful the split-cycle engine has become -- NOT!

From where I'm sitting, I can see very little common-ground between the development of a "low cost zero emission compressed air motive and energy storage" system and the development of new intelligent wireless networking technologies.

Of course IndraNet may turn out to be a highly profitable enterprise and successfully exploit all the technologies it is developing -- but if you really want to invest in technology development in NZ then maybe you ought to look at the work I'm doing with acoustic-wave thrust-reaction engines at the moment :-)

Hell -- I've already recovered nearly all my R&D costs to date and expect to turn a very healthy profit within the next 3 months with strong export sales to the USA. But then again -- my R&D efforts are concentrated on just one project at a time and I"m not seeking millions of dollars of the public's money.

The Weekly Is Downloadable
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As always, your feedback is welcomed.

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There are 2 New Press Releases today

Security Alerts
Group Warns Against E-Mail Wiretap (AP - 6/02/2001)

Multiple Vulnerabilities in BIND (CERT - 29/01/2001)

Windows Media Player 7 opens system for hackers (IDG - 18/01/2001t)

Net worm hobbles Linux servers ZDNet - 18/01/2001)

Interbase Server Contains Compiled-in Back Door Account (CERT - 10/01/2001)

AIM Flaw Could Open Users' Computers to Attack (InternetNews)

Virus Alerts
Kournikova virus smashes Net (ZDNet - 13/02/2001)

Melissa-X disguised as Mac doc (ZDNet - 22/01/2001)

Kriz virus makes return appearance (ZDNet)

Tool to beat killer Xmas virus promised (IDG)

Virus: Snow White not so innocent ZDNet

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

4  IndraNet seeks another $5m
Two-and-a-half years after first looking for people willing to bet on its technology, secretive Christchurch networking company IndraNet is calling for a second round of public investment totalling $5 million...

4  PC manufacturer shuts down outlets
Computer assembler Macrocom closed the doors of its outlets in Auckland and Christchurch yesterday...
NZ Herald


4  Court Halts Domain Name Registration Scam
The government said Thursday that it has shut down a scam that duped at least 27,000 website owners into needlessly registering variations of their online addresses...

4  You, Too, Can Write an Anna Worm
Writing an e-mail worm like Anna Kournikova was easy, because it was programmed using one of many easy-to-use virus-writing kits available on the Internet...

4  Microsoft Debuts Its First Security Product
ISA Server offers what is typically found in firewalls while speeding Web performance with caching...

4  Studios Release Movies for Internet
The Internet is putting a whole new twist on box office receipts as Hollywood gears up to beam movies directly to ``boxes'' in people's homes...

4  XP Just Another Apple Clone?
The devil's in the details, and Mac fans are saying the new Windows XP borrows more than just a letter from the Mac OS X. "They even stole the duck!" cries one angry Mac man...


4  SOLD to Yahoo! for $19m
JOHN Fairfax has offloaded its online auctions site to Yahoo! Australia & NZ in a $19 million deal...
Australian IT

4  DJs says its online sales are 'pleasing'
David Jones reported a "pleasing" few months trading for its fledgling online business, giving it sufficient encouragement to claim the venture has a long-term future and won't join the heap of recent high profile dot-com collapses...

4  Ecorp Loss Reaches New Depths
Kerry Packer's online division ecorp has reinforced a gloomy outlook for media companies as they attempt to make online work. Publishing and Broadcasting (PBL: news) announced yesterday that the division had reported a $20 million half year loss...


4  Injunction Overturned in Amazon Case
A federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling that barred bookseller Barnes and Noble's Internet store from using Amazon.com's single-click checkout technology, pending a trial...

4  MS brewing a 'HailStorm' for AOL
Microsoft is pushing an upcoming set of Web services building blocks code-named 'Hailstorm' that could be used as part of a new offensive against AOL and its dominance in instant messaging...

4  German Deputies Approve Electronic Signature Law
The German lower house of parliament passed a measure on Thursday authorizing electronic signatures in Internet transactions in line with a European Union directive...

4  Amazon gets 'sell' rating
Prudential Securities analyst Mark Rowen said Thursday he lowered his rating for No. 1 online retailer Amazon.com Inc. to "sell" from "buy" and cut his 12-month price target to $9 from $20 a share...

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Copyright © 2001, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request

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