How much will a country throw at the year 2000 computer glitch? While some western economies are still struggling to come to terms with the scale of the problem, the New Zealand IT channel appears to have it made.
In a report that typifies the uncomplicated New Zealand way, its Treasury department has revealed the cost of the Y2K problem. It's $NZ100 per head (GST free).
However, included in the report, which was put together by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, is the disclaimer: "This is a highly speculative and imprecise exercise."
But the report does say that some companies will be at risk from year 2000-related failures.
Treasury doesn't think this will have a major impact on the economy as a whole though, and expects no more than 0.3 per cent to be sheared off New Zealand's gross domestic product, a mere $NZ350 million.
One of the biggest problems facing New Zealand businesses, from Treasury's point of view, is the apparent lack of professionals to fix the problem. New Zealand's size and relative isolation could also pose a problem, the report said.
It is understood that New Zealand Treasury officials are currently working on the mechanism to collect the $100 from each man, woman and child.
Joe Black, meet Andy Hurt
Since the Keanu Reeves lookalike appeared in Tabloid last week, stunt-double spotters have inundated the Tabloid office with claims of spotting Sydney's own match for Brad Pitt. Shying away from any similarity to the movie megastar, 3Com marketing man Andy Hurt denied he has been the target of obsessed Pitt fans. Tabloid secured this photo of Hurt in an effort to dispel the persistent claims by crazed IT star watchers that he is moonlighting as Pitt's double.
It's all in a name
ARN Tabloid knows all too well that names are important. "Tabloid" itself was not called so without some serious consideration, for example.
Tabloid knows names are important, but it was amusing, however, when Nortel Networks' PR machine announced last week that the company is now officially called "Nortel Networks Corporation".
It seems the company wants to make sure there is no further reference to the old Northern Telecom shareholders at the annual general meeting have "officially" voted to change the name.
According to Nortel CEO John Roth: "This new name better identifies us as the leader in providing customers with a broad range of integrated network solutions and services."
Yeah right. The rest of us thought it combined the first three letters of each word in its old name.
And Tabloid understands that the company had already announced the name change shortly after it acquired Bay Networks.
"Hallelujah! At least ARN Tabloid moves with the times," was the response from one of Nortel Network's PR boffins when this puzzled reporter sought an explanation.
She went on to explain that Tabloid's US-based sources insist on a formal OK before they will accept a company name change and use it in print.
Never let it be said that ARN Tabloid is not the first to move with the times.
Now, about that new name for International Business Machines . . . by Leo YethongaWeb site duffingOne of Tabloid's sources has reported a new trend in creative Web site development.
Sydney-based component distributor Pioneer Computers told Tabloid it has seen "copycats" of the information posted on its Web site (www.pioneercomputers.com.au) appearing on other "would-be distributors'" sites.
Imitation, they say, is the sincerest from of flattery, but this is not imitation, it's misrepresentation and theft.
According to our Tabloid reporter, one of the suspects has even gone to the trouble of "copying and pasting" the entire Pioneer Company Profile and vendor links.
It seems the only missing component is a link back to Pioneer's site.
This is not surprising as the copycat claims to distribute exactly the same product portfolio as Pioneer does.
Certainly an interesting way to develop a Web site, if not a distribution business.
Welcome to Toronto, have a nice day
Some of the IT and related media gathered in a Sydney hotel last week for a briefing on some of the latest and greatest from Canon Australia.
In true Japanese style, the vendor took the opportunity to allow its new local boss to address the assembly, and most gracious he was.
Canon Australia managing director Fumitaka Yamada, who took up the post about six months ago after an eight-year stint in Canada, said, in a rather thick Japanese accent and with a glint in his eye, "So welcome to Toronto . . ."