The miracle of IT

When cyberspace puzzles even those at the very hub of it all, it's a miracle the email ever gets through. But puzzlement was the reaction of a PR person for Melbourne IT last week, when an email reminder of a "forthcoming" press briefing arrived several days after the event.

When cyberspace puzzles even those at the very hub of it all, it’s a miracle the email ever gets through. But puzzlement was the reaction of a PR person for Melbourne IT last week, when an email reminder of a “forthcoming” press briefing arrived several days after the event. Melbourne IT is the company that has just bought Domainz, New Zealand’s biggest purveyor of .nz domain names. “One of the great mysteries of cyberspace” was the best explanation the PR company could offer for the glitch.

A game of two registrars

Speaking of Melbourne IT’s press briefing, it was an unfortunate choice of words when the company’s CEO burst forth with “why does it always come down to people” when pressed on the question of whether Domainz jobs would be secure. And he, a former sports reporter. We know those Aussies take their sport seriously, but you might have thought he’d have noted in passing that there were sometimes people involved. As it happened, he wasn’t threatening carnage among the Domainz ranks, promising to “aggressively” expand the company. Carnage for its competitors, maybe.

Trail of evidence

An American thief made a very bad choice of what to steal when he took off with a GPS tracking device. The Wisconsin man allegedly stole the GPS tracker from outside the home of a woman under home detention. When it was picked up it turned itself on and informed the authorities of its whereabouts, leading them to Mr Dumb. The stolen piece of equipment was a base station for wearable tags home detention servers put on their bodies. You can run but you can't hide.

Mother of invention

We're keen to hear about crazy patents. The latest we saw was one reported by the Mindanao Times in the Phillippines. It says a patent has been approved for a tuna hotdog. Says Alex Lindayag, chief operating officer of A-Meat Company Foods Company: "Anybody that will come up with a tuna hotdog will have to pay us a royalty fee. There might be multinational companies coming up with the same idea." The firm has a problem, though: demand for the product is growing and yet the maximum capacity of their processing plant only reaches about 70 metric tons each month. "But we can only produce up to 30 tons a month because our equipment is already dilapidated," he says.

StealingMe.com

A downside of the digital revolution is that identity theft is huge in the US: affecting 3.3 million Americans and businesses to the tune of $US32.9 billion and consumers by $US3.8 billion, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Moreover, Forrester found that nearly a third of online shoppers were doubtful of internet security, the highest it has recorded since it started tracking attitudes in 1998. So the IT Association of America is doing something about it. It is helping create the Coalition on Online Identity Theft, a group of internet retailers, IT companies and security companies. The group includes Amazon.com, eBay, Microsoft, Verisign, Visa and Zone Labs. The announcement comes eight weeks after the Merchant Risk Council, which was formed to combat online credit card fraud. According to the ITAA, the group has four aims:

> Expand public education campaigns against online identity theft to protect consumers;

> Help promote technology and self-help approaches for preventing and dealing with online identity theft;

> Document and share non-personal information about emerging online fraudulent activity to stay ahead of criminals and new forms of online fraud;

> Work with government to cultivate an environment that protects consumers and businesses, and ensures effective enforcement and criminal penalties against cyber thieves.

Meaningful conversations

Q. How many copy editors does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A. I can't tell whether you mean "change a light bulb" or "have sex in a light bulb." Can we remove the ambiguity?

Q. How many art directors does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A. Does it HAVE to be a light bulb?

Q. How many managing editors does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A. You were supposed to have changed that light bulb last week.

Q. How many editors does it take to change a light bulb?

A. I'm really sorry I haven't gotten back to you, the question is pretty dense and it's taking me a little longer to get through than I thought. I'll finish reading it over the weekend and call you on Monday.

Q. How many copy editors does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A. The last time this question was asked it involved managing editors. Is the difference intentional? Should one or the other instance be changed? It seems inconsistent.

Q. How many proofreaders does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A. Proofreaders aren't supposed to change light bulbs. They should just query them.

Q. How many writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A. But why do we have to CHANGE it?

Q. How many production editors does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A. Only one, but that's going to cost us an extra production day.

Q. How many freelancers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A. No one's sure; the ones who can screw them in we can't afford and the ones we can afford can't screw in a lightbulb.

Q: How many paid-by-the-word freelance writers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: The story of the modern changable light bulb really begins in the middle of the nineteenth century. The common incandescent light bulb, which is in widespread use today in homes and offices all around the world, was invented by famed serial inventor and successful entrepreneur Thomas Alva Edison, who, despite his nearly complete deafness in a tragic train-riding accident in his youth, set his heart's goal on finding a replacement for smoky, flickery, smelly, and fire-causing candles and oil lamps. Edison, whose renowned "invention factory" was based in Menlo Park, New Jersey ....

Q. How many PR flacks does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A. Three: One to screw in the light bulb, one to send out a press release about the event, and one to make a follow-up phone call asking "Did you get our press release about our exciting new light bulb?"

Edited by Mark Broatch.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags E-tales

More about Amazon.comAmazon Web ServiceseBayFederal Trade CommissioninventorITAAMelbourne ITMicrosoftVisaZone Labs

Show Comments

Market Place

[]