NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Tightening belts

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Tightening belts

As I contemplated how far my commitment to the juicer and the marathon would really get me, Amber showed up with enough bags of overpriced clothes to re-outfit half of Silicon Valley. She casually tossed my MasterCard on the table and smiled. “I needed to get some new things for an important dinner this week, Cringe.”

Sun Microsystems recently sponsored a major seminar at George Washington University in the Washington area and the federal government’s IT people attended. One source said that the present administration had so strangled the budgets of government agencies, especially research and education, that they’re now considering dumping Microsoft’s licensing schemes and transitioning to open-source Linux.

Identity crisis

One of my spies logged in to his .Net Passport account with the intent to sign up for a Microsoft event, only to find that the personal info displayed was not his, but belonged to someone else. Luckily for the other guy, he had entered only the bare minimum of personal data. But this raised worries in my spy’s mind about whether or not his data was accessible by strangers. The spy hit the Microsoft site and found a place to email Microsoft about the problem, with their promise that he should hear back within four hours. In typical fashion, Microsoft skirted all explanation as to how the problem occurred. Microsoft only responded with a fix to the problem, directing him to go to any .Net login screen and click on the “forgot password” link and click the “change password by email” link, which prompts for the secret question. He did just that and got an email confirming his password change request, with a key code and link. He clicked on the link, entered the key code and got a new personal info screen. So he filled it out and all seemed fine. The odd thing is that when my spy went back to the event login screen that started all this and clicked to register for the event, he arrived once again at the other person’s information showing in the name and address fields. Not good.

Too rich for their blood

It seems that Verizon employees have not been eating the same dog food they shovel to customers. I got my hands on an internal poll and found that less than 20 per cent of Verizon staffers have DSL, with another 20 percent saying it is too expensive. Meanwhile, more than half say it is not available in their area or their line does not qualify. This little survey was conducted earlier this month, by the by. Speaking of lines, I’ll have to check my line of credit now that Amber has had her way with my wallet. I guess old Apache and I better run a bit more to tighten our belts.

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