A week of IT


The unfolding of the Digital Strategy has seen Rick Barker, the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, bundled together with IT Minister David Cunliffe, along with Jim Anderton, representing Industry, and Marian Hobbs, representing Cultural Interests. The resulting quartet has been christened the Digital Ministers.

We wonder if this means the rest of Cabinet is irredeemably analogue? Whatever, we certainly hope a slightly bigger table is found for the next meeting of the four digital evangelists. The one that was dug up for the Beehive presentation of the Digital Strategy saw them looking distinctly cramped and uncomfortable.

Careless computing

When it comes to naming products, it's hard to beat Microsoft for uncanny candour and brutal honesty. Take its latest product, Windows OneCare, which follows on from its more subtly-named sister security products, SUS and WUS. We look forward to the product demonstration.

BSOD — the lethal generation

Toyota reports that software glitches with its new Prius hybrid car may result in the engine stalling while driving at high speeds. Although nobody has been injured the problem did lead us to consider other potential computer-related problems that may affect cars of the future: "Airbag is to be deployed? Yes/No?". All we can say is: bring on the flying cars.

Girls show their hand

It used be that women hardly dared show their hand in the testosterone-driven world of professional poker. But, according to a Guardian newspaper story, the internet has changed this and 30–40% of online players in the UK are now women — as compared to just 5% of players in face-to-face games. The reason? The hostility of casino poker playing, with its intimidation and death-staring tactics, doesn't translate to online gaming. Gives new meaning to the phrase "poker faced" when you can't actually see your opponent. And the equalising effect goes further. Some of the new breed of female players are women at home with children and play in their PJs with babe on knee.

Not quite the same image as James Bond in dicky bow tie cruising the casino tables but, apparently, poker can top up the family budget quite nicely.

Viral dance

We were interested to note this little footer in a recent email message: "This message was checked by MailScan, powered by Symantec Corporate Anti-Vitus."

What has Symantec got against ancient Catholic saints?

Keep the red, er, blue, light burning

We here at E-tales love Google. We love its simplicity, its overwhelming ability to find our news stories for us, er, to assist in our research and we love that it's never wrong.

Whoops. Apparently, either Google knows something we don't or it needs its syntax tweaking because according to The Scotsman the UK version of Google's new mapping service lists a Kent police station as a brothel.

We understand how, at certain times, this could conceivably be the case. When the cells are full with ladies of the night after a particularly busy night, say. But, we are assured, the entry is actually wrong. A large number of restaurants are also included under the brothel heading and the Kent adult education centre. E-tales can confirm, however, it's an easy mistake to make. (Don't ask.)

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

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