GBU

Good

For a thin-client deployment that’s not going well, this IT shop brings in some highly paid consultants. One of them appears to be taking notes on everything that’s said or done, using his handheld computer, says admin on the project. How do you like that handheld? admin asks during a break. “It’s got some great games on it,” consultant says, showing him. Grumbles admin, “He’d been playing games the whole day — not a single note about our problems!”

Bad

A failed ADSL hardware upgrade in NSW last week put thousands of customers off the Internet for more than 24 hours. The outage affected all ISPs who use Telstra’s exchange equipment, not just Bigpond. After a GBU reader received a message from his ISP laying the blame at Telstra’s door the reader contacted Telstra’s ADSL billing department for a surprising response. First the Telstra person denied any knowledge of the problem and then refused to put the reader through to technical support. When the reader said the ISP clearly blamed Telstra for the problem he got this reply: “If (ISP) wants to blame us that’s unprofessional but our name is dirt anyway so we don’t care what they say or who they tell...” Ouch!

A national study of 1000 senior managers has confirmed what most people know — e-mail is a major contributor to workplace stress. Sixty-nine per cent of people find having to deal with a daily avalanche of electronic mail stressful with two in every 100 experiencing ‘high levels of stress’. Survey author, Dr Amanda Gordon said there are people consulting psychologists about their hefty inboxes.

Ugly

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged three former Gateway senior executives with fraud last week for allegedly cooking the company’s books to meet Wall Street expectations. Charges were filed against former CEO Jeffrey Weitzen, former VP and CFO John Todd and former Controller Robert Manza. In a statement, SEC said the charges are the result of an investigation that began in December 2000 and accuses the three men of being so preoccupied with meeting analysts’ earnings expectations that they “fraudulently reverse-engineered” Gateway’s financial results. The scheme to “close the gap” and meet earnings estimates included offering financing to customers whose credit applications were previously denied. Gateway replaced its top management in early 2001 and has restated its results for the applicable periods.

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