This week's GBU mug goes to this IT pro with the "friendliest" helpdesk in town. Helpdesk gets a call from an employee who says the number listed in the phone book for his government department is a porno hotline. "I immediately called the number," says IT, "and was greeted by a voice that said, 'Hi, stud!' I called the telephone company and they said they knew about the problem and it would be corrected in next year's directory." And when the new book arrives? "The porno number was gone," sighs IT. "It was replaced by the helpdesk number."
IT brings in his own wireless mouse to use at work, which makes his life easier. But as he's fixing a problem for a user one day, using keyboard shortcuts and not touching the mouse, user comments, "Your mouse is broken." Why do you say that? asks IT. User: "The tail is missing."
The times they are a'changing. After 145 years, Western Union has quietly stopped sending telegrams. On the company's Web site, if you click on "Telegrams" in the left-side navigation bar, you're taken to a page that ends a technological era with about as little fanfare as possible: "Effective January 27, 2006, Western Union will discontinue all telegram and commercial messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage." The decline of the telegram began with cheap long-distance phone calls in the 1980s; faxes didn't help either but e-mail had to be the final nail in the coffin.
Honeywell International says a former employee has disclosed sensitive information relating to 19,000 of the company's US employees. Honeywell discovered the information being published on the Web on January 20 and immediately had the Web site pulled down. The company accused former employee Howard Nugent of accessing and transmitting the information about Honeywell staff including payroll data, social security numbers and other personal information. The precise method used to have gained access to the information and why it was disclosed is not made clear. A company spokesman said Honeywell computers were not hacked but Nugent "intentionally exceeded authorized access", court filings said.