GBU

Good

After IT upgrades a scheduling system, it looks fine until the test job hits March. “Then everything started running on the wrong days of the week,” IT says. Turns out the software isn’t recognising the extra day in a leap year. But vendor support tech seems hazy on the problem. “I’ll have to bump this one up higher,” tech tells IT. “Can you tell me how long this leap-year thing has been going on?”

IT doing tech support for the US Army in Kuwait says the biggest culprit for computer problems there — besides users — is sand. “All the computer stores sold out of canned air long ago,” he says. “So being an old soldier myself, I told the soldiers to use the air hoses on their trucks to keep their systems cleaned out. As long as they keep the pressure low, it works like a champ.”

Bad

Antivirus vendors and security experts were this week quick to offer their opinions against the University of Calgary’s Department of Computer Sciences decision to offer a virus and malware course. The course teaches students how to develop malicious software such as computer viruses, worms and Trojan horses. The university said the subject is intended to help students preparing for a career in computer security. The university also said it has the goal of potentially providing the software industry with more secure software products as a result of the course teachings. Antivirus vendor Sophos’ CEO Jan Hruska said in a statement that those who have engaged in writing viruses need not apply to the company for a job. Jim Hurley, vice president of security and privacy at Aberdeen Group said it will be very difficult to determine if teaching students how to write malicious code would lead to “good hackers or bad hackers” after completing such a class.

For more information about the course, visit the university online at www.ucalgary.ca.

Ugly

Here’s the daftest false positive seen in a while to combat spam. The Canberra Times newspaper won’t allow e-mails with the word ‘spam’ in the subject line. That should do the trick (not!).

HR at its best! A British company The Accident Group, which specialises in personal injury claims, sacked 2500 employees by sending text messages to their mobile phones. Staff didn’t take too kindly to the SMS and took computers, desks and even water coolers from the firm’s offices.

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