A satirical spin on computer viruses and footy courtesy of the ABC’s Chaser Non-stop News Network (CNNNN) seems to have taken on a life of its own.Antivirus vendors are being inundated with calls about the virulent “Eddie McGuire” virus. In a satire of how mainstream media outlets leapt onto this month’s plague of worms (and a tribute to the ubiquity of Eddie McGuire), CNNNN mocked transmission failures and corruption of news tickers by the McGuire virus, with faces of the Collingwood stalwart rapidly plastering themselves over TV screens until static appeared. Channel Nine is understood to have been angered by the gag, with one insider saying that “all hell could break loose” if the keyword Eddie McGuire was entered into antiviral engines or heuristic filters. Asked what “hell” entailed, the insider said: “You haven’t met Eddie have you? Look, there’s no value in this yarn, it’s just stupid and irresponsible. They’re just wankers.”
Once again, IT staff at the major banks are being retrenched, redeployed and re@#?%! Despite profits of more than $2 billion in 2002/03, the Commonwealth Bank is set to axe nearly 4000 jobs, while Westpac is cutting 150 staff in the IT department alone. Westpac sources claim it is a 10 per cent cut across the board and was announced in a recent briefing session to staff. While Westpac has managed to keep its staff-shedding exercise low-key, the CBA has been forced to put the spin on its job cuts, which it claims is a customer service “transformation”. The CBA has laid off nearly 6000 staff in the last four years. The Finance Sector Union claims 20,000 jobs have been lost in the sector in the past five years.
The world is looking a tad dark and gloomy for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who may be in need of a holiday. Speaking at a Silicon Valley lunch, he said there was a need for the highest levels of security because “frankly, the world is full of thieves, con-artists, terrorists and hackers”. Microsoft would not surrender but fight,he said, comparing the threat of hackers and virus writers to bank robbers in the Old West. “In the Old West, the banks did not shut down because of the bank robbers. They improved the banks, they improved law enforcement and went after them,” said Ballmer.
Computer software and medicine are the main counterfeit industries in Russia. About 90 per cent of all computer software sold in Russia is pirated, according to Alexei Orlov, head of the Economic Crimes Unit.
E-mails to Sandra_Rossi@idg.com.au