GBU

Good

IT sends this report to several accountants every month in two parts — he has to break it up because it’s bigger than the 1500KB size limit on attachments. But one user says that’s unnecessary. “Quit sending me kilobyte files,” she says. “Send megabytes. The file will only be 1.5MB, much smaller than the 1500 system limit.”

“Everything on my laptop is turning blue,” user complains. Support IT hustles to the scene and finds user has attached the laptop to a video projector. The wall you’re using as a projection screen is painted light blue, IT patiently points out. “I know that!” user snaps. “I’m not stupid. Just fix the @#$*& thing so it projects white!”

Bad

Surely it is not only GBU that struggles with “consultant speak”? At a luncheon last week a Deloitte consultant gave a presentation on risk management saying: “Risk management is a validation process for investing in risk mitigation and opportunity realisation.” Pinch me but I think I’m in the Twilight Zone because I really do not know what this guy is talking about. Asked what the top risk management issues are facing the enterprise, his reply was: “clarity of vision and strategy and communication of vision and strategy.” Goddam pinch me again!

Ugly

Italian police have seized at least two Psion PDAs from members of the Red Brigade’s terrorist organisation but the major investigative breakthrough they were hoping for as a result of the information contained on the devices has failed to materialise — thwarted by encryption software used by the left-wing revolutionaries. Failure to crack the code, despite the reported assistance of US Federal Bureau of Investigation computer experts, puts a spotlight on the controversy over the wide availability of powerful encryption tools. PGP CEO Phil Zimmermann, who developed the encryption software in the early 1990s. He remains convinced that the advantages of PGP, which was originally developed as a human rights project to protect individuals against oppressive governments, outweigh the disadvantages. “I’m sorry that cryptology is such a problematic technology, but there is nothing we can do that will give this technology to everyone without also giving it to the criminals,” he said. “PGP is used by every human rights organisation in the world. It’s something that’s used for good.” Despite its ugly use, Zimmerman quite rightly points out that the march of surveillance technology is giving ever increasing power to governments.

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