Queer eye for the straight geek

SAN FRANCISCO (10/24/2003) - The truth is out: 55 percent of geeks would gladly get a makeover from a quintet of gay men. Or so says a survey of IT pros conducted by executive search firm Christian & Timbers. I asked Pammy if I should ask the Fab Five to "do" me. She just sighed and rearranged the milk crates in my living room.

Mac Daddy

My item about Apple Computer Inc.'s late shipment of high-end G5s brought a storm of protest, along with a tsunami of new company slogans. Among the best were "Once you go Mac, you'll never go back" and "These things are so fast, we can't catch one to send you." My favorite? "Apple: Byte me."

Once Exabitten, Twice Shy

When one Cringester shipped a broken tape-backup drive to Exabyte Corp., he expected them to fix it within 10 days, per his service agreement. So far it's been 10 weeks and the drive is nowhere in sight. But that didn't prevent the company from taking an Exabyte out of his wallet -- charging him a $795 repair fee the day they received the unit. Marketing vice president Bill Hake admits the company recently outsourced repair operations and had some "startup issues," but things are running more smoothly now.

Trouble in Dellville?

Even Dell Inc. may finally be feeling the pinch. According to my spies, the profit-rich PC king has slashed medical benefits, which may cost some Dellizens up to US$3,200 more in 2004. Spokesperson Michele Glaze says Dell's new "Build Your Own Medical Plan" is simply a reaction to rising health care costs, and that employees can choose whether to participate. In other words, they can pay more for health care or ... get it somewhere else. Not unlike your choice of operating systems when ordering a new Dell.

Trick Flick

Some Cringesters thought Christmas had come early when they received a pirate copy of Kill Bill in their inboxes. But instead of Tarantino's samurai-on-steroids opus, the file contained spyware that steals passwords. Personally, I'd rather have a virus on my PC than sit through that movie again, but "Kill Bill" would make an excellent Apple slogan.

Send your hot tips or chic lifestyle advice to cringe@infoworld.com. I'll pay $50 for the best.

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