Nightly software update fails at this data cente, and it creates a major mess the next morning. But somehow no one notifies the CIO, who first hears about it in a meeting with users. He's furious and announces that heads will roll -- and from now on, he must be the first to know should anything like this happen. "Two weeks later, same thing occurs," says IT. "CIO gets the call at 1am, and the call tree happens in reverse. This caught my eye in the CIO's report to the director's office: 'Due to loss of personnel because of cutbacks, I have begun to receive calls in the middle of the night from operations." IT sits next to police department's IT helpdesk and overhears a call: "Helpdesk, may I help you? . . . Can you open that program? . . . Are you getting an error? . . . Could you e-mail me a screenshot of the error? . . . No, you don't need your gun."


User's laptop won't power up, so she unplugs everything from the back, lets it sit for a day and then reconnects everything. Now it works fine except that she can't print. IT spots the problem right away: "She somehow managed to plug the USB cable from the printer into the network port on the laptop," he sighs. "I wouldn't have thought it would fit. But sure enough -- it fits snugly, but it fits."

Sales guy wants IT manager to remove a word from his spell-check dictionary. What word? Lie. "When I realized he was serious, I asked what was wrong with that word," IT says. "He said he meant to type the word like, but he inadvertently dropped the 'k' and the spell checker didn't warn him. So if we took lie out of the dictionary, this wouldn't happen again!"


Former employees of a call centre in India were arrested last week on charges of defrauding four account holders in Citibank to the tune of $US300,000. The three former employees of Mphasis BPO, the business process outsourcing (BPO) operation of Bangalore software and services company Mphasis BFL Group, are charged with collecting and misusing account information from customers they dealt with as part of their work. They also obtained the personal identification numbers from these account holders.

Five large technology companies have banded together to support the European Commission in its attempt to stop Microsoft using its PC operating systems monopoly to dominate the markets for workgroup server and media player software. IBM, Nokia, Oracle, RealNetworks and Red Hat have applied as a group to intervene against Microsoft as the company appeals the Commission's antitrust ruling "because they are very concerned about Microsoft's anticompetitive conduct", according to their representative, Thomas Vinje, a partner with legal firm Clifford Chance.

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