What’s not in a name?

A Week of IT

What’s not in a name?

“I can’t remember his name, so I probably liked him” — CIO recounting a conversation with a vendor who asked if he could be introduced to his new manager.

Boo to you, too

“Get lots of people to ring the same guy and shout ‘Boo!’” — advice from an email correspondent last week concerning some IP phones which must be coming down with a fever or something, as they really don’t like loud noises. So much so that such noises cause them to reboot. They have been the subject of a Cisco warning, which says: FN - 62121 - CP-7940G and CP-7960G may reboot if volume is set to maximum.

It may be an ass, but...

From the recently published checklist for government agency compliance with website guidelines: “The content of the website [must be] trustworthy — free from error and clear about how errors have been corrected. Make an exception for law that is replicated on your website; errors in legislation cannot be corrected, as it is Law.”

What can we advise but to refer to the above headline?

Well, I’ll be *@cked

Many strange domains lurk on the internet and some sport names that make little sense until you perceive the verbal gymnastics involved. Or maybe, judging by the unfriendly response we got from one such domain last week, some serve even deeper purposes.

For instance, we were intrigued to come across a Usenet newsgroup correspondent with the email address: [Harry Potter character]getswh@cked.net.

We are referring, of course, to the character who dies in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. But, just in case one of our readers is presently reading the book, we don’t want to reveal the name and spoil the fun.

Anyway, just out curiosity, our E-taler checked with the internet registries and found that yes, “cked.net” is a genuine domain. Still curious, our intrepid E-taler then checked to see if there was an actual website. Perhaps there’s some firm called “CKED Inc” out there?

The response to typing in the URL: “www.cked.net” took us aback. The result was not just an ordinary old “403 forbidden” notice, but one featuring large red type, an exclamation mark, and it added: “The server understood the request, but is refusing to fulfil it. Authorisation will not help and the request SHOULD NOT be repeated” (their capitals).

Ouch! We’ll be wh@cked, sm@cked, etcetera, etcetera. Apart from a bit of harmless Potter-spoiling, what is going on here?

Your call is important to us

Here at E-tales, we were really looking forward to the big Telstra announcement on its reshaping, restructuring, refocusing, re-animating … etcetera. But it was not to be. True, we were invited to the briefing, but our travel budget doesn’t extend to trips across the ditch for Sydney events.

That’s alright, we thought. There’ll be a teleconference, which means we can still ask important questions and over the very network Telstra holds dear. But this was not to be either.

There will be no teleconference, we were told. You can watch the webcast live on Telstra’s website, but you can forget about asking any questions, except, of course: what’s the point?

Just when you thought it was safe...

Former E-taler Kirstin Mills had an interesting experience with Sky TV’s email alert service.

After signing up, so she could be notified when the swimming was on, she was somewhat alarmed to receive an email alert referring to CSI: Miami’s next episode, entitled Spring Break.

“Two college students on holiday are found dead. One at the bottom of a motel swimming pool, the other on the beach with her neck broken and human bite marks on her legs,” it said.

Mills says there’s no truth to the rumour that she now watches the swimming from behind the couch.

Taking Stock

When the Tokyo Stock Exchange crashed on November 1, the directors got a pay cut to remind them that stock exchanges are mission-critical operations. The director got a 50% pay cut for six months and the IT head had to take a 30% hit.

It seems a bit harsh when you consider it was the exchange’s supplier, Fujitsu, which was responsible. But, in the best Japanese tradition, Fujitsu is also considering a pay cut as punishment. We’re not suggesting New Zealand adopt the same approach. We’re sure the glitches plaguing our own exchange, the NZX, are properly dealt with as per the exchange’s agreements with its suppliers. But, just theoretically, if NZX head Mark Weldon was to suffer the same indignity as his Tokyo counterpart his earnings would drop from $750,000 to $375,000.

But, then again, if Susan Wood’s TVNZ case is anything to go by, the exchange might then find itself the subject of an Employment Relations Authority determination.

Boxing up Baby

It seems times have moved on. Once upon a time, babies were confined to handbags. Remember Ernest who was found bagged-up at a London terminus in that old school play staple, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of being Earnest? Surely a lot more stylish than the box pictured above, which looks like one of those plastic monstrosities from the Warehouse?

E-taler Su Yin found the unfortunate sign on Darren Barefoot’s Hall of Technical Weirdness website. Website contributor “Bob” suggests that “when boxing up your baby, ensure the lid is on securely.” For more weird and wonderful signs, check out:


E-tales is edited by Jo Bennett. Send your tales of wit and woe to etales@computerworld.co.nz

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