IT staffer starts lunching at his desk to save money. But each day for the first week, users call with problems just as he sits down to his soup or noodles. Then he notices a coincidence: "Turns out network connectivity is sporadic in the minutes before the problems appear - precisely when my food is cooking in my office microwave," IT says. "We moved it to a different circuit to the network switch."

User complains to IT that her floppy drive is "eating diskettes". Show me, he says. "She put a diskette in the slot, and you could hear it hit the motherboard," IT says. "Someone had taken the floppy drive and left the drive cover in place. I found four diskettes on the motherboard." City folk are bigger whingers than their bush counterparts when it comes to complaining about telephone services. Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman John Pinnock said fewer than one person in every 1000 living in remote areas made complaints about phone and Internet services compared to three in every 1000 in Australian cities. Pinnock claims this is because city people are better educated about consumer rights.


NSW Premier Bob Carr was left red faced last week when new eye-scanning technology to be used in the state's jails failed to identify him. The iris identification technology is part of a $90,000 trial at Silverwater maximum security prison for 12 months and is designed to make identification "foolproof". "We are sorry, you are not identified," a computerised female voice advised after several failed attempts. But the system, which worked perfectly for Corrective Services Minister Richard Amery and several prison warders, was affected by the bright lighting used by television crews. It is foolproof, except around bright lights, iris identification technology experts said.


Vodka, prostitutes and US military secrets are a dangerous mix, Pravda newspaper reports. Prostitutes stole a portable computer with secret software from some US Army soldiers on military exercises in Poland. The computer disappeared when three programmers of the US Army invited prostitutes to dinner and to drink. The men fell asleep rather quickly and, on waking, discovered their computer had disappeared as well as a digital camera and a pair of speakers.

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