E-tales: Homeward bound?

Steve Heidt, an executive at EDS, could yet follow a trend. After speaking at opening of EDS's new support and development centre in Takapuna the speak-and-dash Heidt left his plane tickets on the podium. Not keen to leave?

Steve Heidt, an executive at EDS, could yet follow a trend. After speaking at opening of EDS's new support and development centre (controversial due to $1.5m conditions-attached grant from government) in Takapuna (see EDS opens new centre on North Shore), the speak-and-dash Heidt left his plane tickets on the podium. Not keen to leave? EDS NZ chief Rick Ellis said last time one of the company's top bods was here on a fleeting visit he was so taken with our fair isles he swiftly bought a hideaway on Waiheke Island. Plenty more real estate, suggested Ellis. Only nine applications declined, says the OIC.

Taking the call

Whispers that when Helen Clark visited the EDS contact centre before the official opening (just being her PA would be a busy enough job) she answered a call to an American requiring IT assistance to general amusement from the caller -- or perhaps disbelief. Word is that less-travelled American callers sometimes put Kiwi contact centre staff on speakerphone just to marvel at their accent.

Share and share

Oh, and those of you wondering how TelstraClear can share a building -- and a cafeteria -- with EDS, a major service provider to Telecom and now AAPT ... it reportedly took some negotiating. But now everybody's happy, and with their sheltered, north-facing outside patio, why wouldn't they be?

Naughtiness at NA

A former Network Associates executive has pleaded guilty to charges of securities fraud relating to cooking the company's books and insider trading. Terry Davis admitted encouraging distributors to stockpile unsold Network Associates products for which the company had recognised revenue. He and others also arranged to buy back unsold goods from distributors via a Network Associates subsidiary. Davis also admitted making false entries in the company's general ledger and making false statements to its auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers. On top of all that, he also admitted to trading $US1.4 million worth of Network Associates shares based on inside information. Bad Terry.

Tim Tam time

The many Brits in the local IT industry, and those of a more generally easy-going persuasion, should find this site a pleasant break. It's done by Stewart Payne, a web site developer from Cambridge in the UK, who reportedly says manufacturers even from New Zealand have begun to send him samples of biscuits to try. We particularly admired the taxonomy of biscuits, and the underpant toast.

Porn spam virus shock!

Time to really worry about that unfirewalled DSL connection. UK computer security firm MessageLabs has established that a virus sent to up to a million computer users earlier this month was sent by a spammer trying to gain access to machines to email ads for websites carrying nasty porn.

The spammer put spoof email addresses in the "from" line, using domains owned by a Hong Kong-based web company, Outblaze, which claims 30 million customers worldwide and owns domains such as email.com, reports the Guardian Online.

"Always on" broadband internet connections can be made into open proxy servers that spammers can use to forward their junk, but this is one of the first confirmed uses of spammers using viruses to force open proxies.

Wading through it

If you've had just about enough of leveraging the real-time enterprise paradigm, help's at hand. And it's from the hand that rocks the consulting, er, cradle.

Deloitte Consulting has developed a free application, Bullfighter, that identifies jargon in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint documents. Deloitte held a contest to build a dictionary of consultantisms, or "bullwords", getting over 10,000 submissions, including "touching base", "bleeding edge" and "envisioneering". Unsurprisingly, IT companies are some of the worst bull producers. It's at www.dc.com/Insights/bullfighter -- love that "Insights".

But getting rid of it may be more difficult than we might think. Linguists, says The New York Times, reckon consultants use these terms as shortcuts to highly specific and complex concepts, developing their own vocabulary to save time and space. (Not to mention verbising -- "incentivising", "architecting" -- furiously.) A BearingPoint exec says, however, that such use would probably come from younger staff.

"It would be kind of surprising to find that kind of gobbledygook and consultingese coming out of an experienced consultant."

Plank stares

We're sure (read: hopeful) this is provocatively pun-ny. The Waiariki Institute of Technology's sawmill at Waipa, Rotorua, is to become a demonstration sawmill that will become an international showcase of cutting-edge technology and operational processes. Boom boom.

"To be known as the Waiariki Sawmill, it's expected that daily production will exceed 50cu metres daily of timber to achieve break even, without competing with other mills."

Enough. But speaking of jargon, it adds, "A new operational strategy is needed to limit our exposure to market risks, achieve break-even, update key technologies and position the sawmill for upturn. Its primary role will be to demonstrate best practice in sawmill management and processes, not compete."

Time for the bullfighter ...

Reverse engineering

And while Women in Technology here wasn't yet ready (see E-tales: Man trouble) to consider Russell Hewitt as head of its networking group, it's different in the US.

Daniel, the son of Carolyn Leighton, the chairwoman of Women in Technology International, has been vice president for technology at WITI for two years. And soon her other son, David, will be named president.

"Not naming David because he's a guy is reverse prejudice, the kind of thing men have done to women for years," she told The New York Times.

David, who had been running an executive search firm that his mother also started, said he sees his gender as a plus. "There are probably still some gray-haired men in boardrooms who will be more willing to listen to me than to a woman," he says.

Edited by Mark Broatch.

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