Notes from the field: Dell wants to lend, IANA goes round the bend

Notes from the field: Dell wants to lend, IANA goes round the bend

Although it was just Turkey Day [Thanksgiving] here in the US, I've been feasting on the baloney coming out of Sony BMG. After stonewalling for two weeks, the music giant finally recalled its XCP copy-protected CDs and set up a disc exchange program. (Contrary to what I said in a recent column, however, Sony's "fix" doesn't remove the rootkit, only the cloaking.) Meanwhile, it seems XCP may itself break copyright law by violating an open source code licence. Sounds like Sony is suffering from irony poisoning.

Beware of Loan Sharks: Tech consultant, Jennifer M, recently bought Dell servers for two clients and paid for the machines via credit card. Days later she got a call from a Dell sales rep, who claimed he was trying to verify the email address but then tried to persuade her to finance the purchase. He offered no interest for 60 days, followed by a vig of 20 per cent. She said no thanks. Then her client got a call from another Dell rep, who said the company's credit card processing system was down, and wouldn't she really rather finance the deal, anyway? A company spokesperson said Dell wasn't trying to intentionally mislead customers, but technical sales reps would often call tovalidate complex orders.

"The reps can also present different financing choices or offers during the call," she said. Right. And if you don't pay up on time, a technical sales rep will visit your office and reconfigure your thumbs.

Port Authority? Reader, Bob R, submitted a UDP port request to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority in July 2004. Two weeks ago he received a reply - giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "working on Internet time". Oh, about that domain you wanted? We'll get back to you sometime in 2009.

Mama Always Said If You Did That, You'd Go Blind: Irish software company, PixAlert, said it has developed anti-porn technology that lets employees visit adult sites but blurs out the naughty bits in each image. That's like eating a ham sandwich without the ham. Network administrators, however, can still view the unpixelated images. And people say nobody looks out for the IT folks.

Got hot tips or cold T-Day leftovers? Send them to and you may get a bag suitable for stuffing.

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