Stories by Michael Osterman

Why the Open Relay Data Base lost its relevance

The Open Relay Data Base (ORDB) was started in 2001 as a means of combating spam. The database did what its name implies - it listed open relays on the Internet that could be used by spammers to send their stuff. However, the ORDB became increasingly less relevant over time as spammers migrated to using other techniques, most notably botnets, and as work on maintaining the ORDB waned. The ORDB was taken offline in December 2006.

Why did Google acquire Postini?

The acquisition last month of Postini by Google for US$625 million (AU$765.77 million) was not a major surprise given that the companies have had a working relationship for the past several months for the former to provide the latter with security services.

Wikis can improve the utility of e-mail

E-mail is a fantastically useful tool for many applications, but project management using e-mail as the primary communications vehicle could use improvement.

Preventing data leakage becomes a prime issue

E-mail, instant messaging and other communication tools are extremely easy to use and they allow communication with at least a couple of billion people around the world. However, that ease of use and ubiquity represents a significant Achilles Heel for organizations of all sizes: data can easily be sent to the wrong party, employees can accidentally send all sorts of confidential data to competitors and others; and users can be tricked into sending information to people they shouldn't.

Lessons from financial services? Use IM

There were two significant developments in the use of instant messaging by financial services firms last week, and they demonstrate how instant messaging can be used to complement traditional business functions rather than provide new paradigms for communicating or working with others.