Fretting and sweating

Verizon has told its managers to start clocking 72-hour work weeks, in anticipation of a strike by the Communications Workers of America. My source says Verizon hasn't said boo about additional compensation, and morale is at an all-time low.

Bad news on the consulting front: The CIO at my latest assignment keeps threatening to outsource the entire IT department to India. So I’m up to my elbows in work, trying to prove my worth. It’s not pretty.

I’m not the only geek working his keister off. Verizon has told its managers to start clocking 72-hour work weeks, in anticipation of a strike by the Communications Workers of America. My source says Verizon hasn’t said boo about additional compensation, and morale is at an all-time low. Hello, I’m your IT department and I’m screaming in pain -- can you hear me now?

Spiralling out of Orbitz

The megatravel site, which suffered its first serious outage earlier this month, was quick to finger Oracle’s RAC (real application clusters) database as the culprit. What Orbitz hasn’t said is that it was running a beta version of Oracle9i/RAC, or so the rumour goes.

(I got a big "no comment" from Orbitz.) The outage lasted less than a day -- or slightly longer than the guy who installed the beta software in the first place, I’ll bet.

From outage to outrage

Getbettermail.com, a sweepstakes site sponsored by Microsoft, looked like a way to help the environment by reducing junk mail. Prior to August 1 you just had to complete a survey about the software your company uses; if you "won", Microsoft awarded $US10,000 to your favourite charity. But it was really just a sneaky way to harvest IT information so Microsoft could cold-call non-Windows shops. As of early June, it had made more than 250,000 calls. And how did the Redmond giant promote the site? By sending junk mail, of course.

Getting hot in here

Things got a little sticky earlier this month at Computer Associates’ annual convention in Las Vegas. CA decided to throw an outdoor party, apparently unaware the average high temperature for the Nevada desert is 105 degrees. Then CA handed out free rain sticks to the 10,000 attendees -- so, naturally, it poured for half an hour. Notes one spy: "Given the sultry weather, it would have been better if they’d given out deodorant sticks."

The friend who got me this gig assures me my job is safe. Still, I’m brushing up on my Hindi, just in case.

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