ISSUE 474: The high-tech office- Nov
Wanderings reveal Web page contests, reunion data,
computer virus updates and the little island that could
This week, it's tidbit time -- a collection of
byte-sized chunks of information from my Web wanderings.
* You too can be a winner. Or at least your Web site
can be. And in two different contests!
MecklerMedia is holding the third annual
Internet World Canada Impact Awards, with seven categories for best
consumer and business Web sites. Entries have a deadline of December 4,
with the winners to be announced February 3 at Toronto's Internet
World Canada event. Nominations are available at events.internet.com/
canada99/nominate.html (yes, you can nominate your own site).
And while you're nominating your Web page for that
contest, don't forget the International Web Page Awards. Entries here
tend to be submitted by ad agencies showing off their efforts on behalf
of their clients, though Web page designers, businesses or individuals
can also enter. With entrants from around the world, there are 30
categories including advertising, arts, entertainment, corporate,
finance, education, health, news, personal Web pages, religion,
philosophy, science, sports and travel. You'd better hurry, though.
Closing date is November 30, with a US$85 entry fee. Check out the
competition at www.webpageawards.
com/entry-list/list.html or contact Colin MacDonald of
Vancouver's pro.Net Com-munications: firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Here's a shameless plug for a colleague. I've
enjoyed reading Tod Maffin's monthly analysis of
Vancouver-based Web sites. He's also producing a monthly trends digest,
full of "news tips from the future" on biotech, e-commerce and more of
what we have to look forward to. The current issue, along with
instructions on how to receive it regularly at the right price (free),
is available on his Web site at www.maffin.net/trends, where
you'll also find a Webcam looking into Tod's condo living room -- just
in case you're interested in the secret life of a BIV
* I recently missed my high school graduating class's
30-year reunion. If you're nostalgic for those days you may want to
check out classmates.com (no, not a misprint -- no "www" in
that address). They're helping track alumni of more than 30,000 U.S.
and Canadian high schools. Free registration is required to see if they
have tabs on any of your long-lost classmates, with message boards for
virtual class reunions.
* My personal favourite in the "making the most from
the little you have" category goes to the world's smallest country, the
South Pacific nation of Tuvalu. Just as Canadian Internet addresses can
make use of the na- tional domain-code "ca" (rather than U.S.-based
generic domains such as "com" or "net"), Tuvalu was assigned the "tv"
You can just see the lightbulb lighting up above
someone's head at this point -- Tuvalu spent three years looking for
a marketing partner, before
settling on Toronto-based .TV Corp. (www.Internet.TV).
Their goal is to sell Internet addresses ending with .TV, hoping these
will "become home to a community of quality television content
providers from around the world." The majority of revenues from selling
these addresses will go to the nation of Tuvalu.
* Give yourselves a pat on the back. According to the International
Computer Security Association, fully 98 per cent of businesses
surveyed claimed to be using antivirus software on their desktop
computers. In last year's poll, only 73 per cent of businesses were
protecting themselves this way. As a result, while the survey reported
48 per cent more virus incidents this year, network server downtime due
to these virus incidents actually decreased.
The survey looked at 300 businesses and government
institutions representing 750,000 computers, and reported an average of
86.5 virus incidents per thousand machines, up from last year's 62.5
Most of the rise involves macro viruses, typically
spread by attaching Microsoft Word documents to e-mail messages
(the way I send this column to my editor, for example). Opening an
infected document in the word processor infects any future documents
you read or create. Most new antivirus software (though not the
popular, free Mac Disinfectant!) can identify and remove Word-macro
The survey results are posted at www.icsa.net.
* Up until now, there have been far fewer virus
reports on Macintosh computers than on PCs. With Apple's
comeback, that seems to be changing. Not only can Mac users catch the
same Word macro viruses as PC users, there's also an upswing in new
Mac-only virus strains.
Case in point: MacAddict is a monthly magazine
that includes a CD-ROM disc each issue. The disc enclosed with the
December issue is infected with the AutoStart 9805 Worm. (They claim to
not be one of the two per cent not using antivirus software in the ICSA
survey, but rather that the virus variant was too new to be identified
by their software.) The magazine optimistically sug-gests that it's a
harmless variety that will self-destruct on Christmas Eve, but suggests
purchasers of the magazine can prevent infection by turning off the
QuickTime Control Panel's Autostart feature. More at www.macaddict.com.