PAYL (pay as you lose)
Lovers of acronyms take note. It looks like there's a new kind of performance incentive in town and we suggest it should be named the Bloomin' great Loss Incentive Scheme (BLIS), if IBM boss Lou Gerstner's situation is anything to go by. Perhaps owing to the fact that Big Blue lost almost a billion dollars from its PC business last year, Gerstner has just been awarded a paltry $7.5 million bonus to top up his measly $1.8 million salary. Gerstner's total cash 'compensation' of nearly $9.4 million was an increase of more than $3 million over the $6 million paid to him last year. Compensation for what, came the muted screams of PC marketing executives the world over. Their own cash top-ups must have been as conspicuous by their absence as the IBM PCs that were sold last year. PC Squealer wonders how much Lou's pay-off will be when he finally pulls IBM out of the PC market altogether.
Ever since the introduction of the Criminal Justice Act effectively killed off the rave scene, youth culture has been searching for something else to get its rebellious teeth into and it seems that, once again, technology has been the impetus. Lan parties are now the thing to be seen at for young in-the-know hipsters. Insomnia 99, held at an Army base in Oxfordshire, was the UK's largest ever Lan party with more than 300 network hippies battling it out for 55 hours over Quake, Half-life and Carmageddon. The size of the gathering was unprecedented in the UK and the power required by the corporate-sized network, including 30 servers, managed to blow the local electricity sub-station. Described as the 'raves of the late 90s', only quieter, Lan parties are expected to become massive, with a world record attempt of more than 1,000 gamers coming soon. The events have even developed their own clans. Instead of the Streatham Massive and the Brixton Posse, we now have the Happy Campers and Qaos. Of course, fans of the old-style rave, may find the whole thing a little difficult to swallow. It's hard to imagine a huge open-air summer Lan party where 20,000 people turn up to sit by a computer somewhere in a field in Hampshire.
As is the prospect of an illegal warehouse Lan party, where you pay a fortune for Quake II and only end up with a poor quality pirated version of Wolfenstein 3D.
If the government has got it right, the chances are that you're reading this because your computer system crashed on 1 April and, as a result, there is presently nothing else to do apart from stare at some approved consultant attempting to repair your entire system at great expense. And if you're reading this because it's what you always do at this time of the week, the chances are that Margaret Beckett, the minister in charge of the millennium bug problem, has got it completely wrong. She stated recently that 1 April would be the first day the dreaded bug would hit as the business world entered the new financial year. So if it's the former, then you've only got yourself to blame - it's not as though there wasn't much of a warning. And if it's the latter, then please write to the government and ask it to concentrate on sorting its own systems out, rather then bothering thousands of businesses with an issue that's only likely to become a problem to them when they come in contact with the public sector.
Fans of a little after-work relief on the Net may be disturbed to find that the results of a recent survey undertaken show that surfing the Net for sex can damage your health. The survey, carried out by US media group NBC's Website elicited 13,529 responses and drew some rather predictable conclusions. Unsurprisingly, eight per cent of respondents who spent 11 hours or more a week viewing sexually explicit sites are prone to sexual compulsivity, far greater than the national average. It also found that - surprise, surprise - far more men surf for 'sexy' material than women (86 per cent compared with just 14 per cent), and those women who did were far more likely to visit sex 'chat' sites than look for visual stimulus. But interestingly, although 87 per cent of respondents claimed they did not feel guilty about going for a bit of electronic nookie, three out of four said they either lied or kept quiet about visiting such sites.
If not guilt, then perhaps embarrassment? So the lesson seems to be that if you are going to indulge, make sure you have a watertight alibi.
A bug's life
So much is happening at Olympus' digital camera division that it has now taken to composing press releases from dealer complaints, which is an untraditional way of doing business when you think about it. Anyway, the company's press office seems to have been so bored recently, that when it heard that a camera had been returned due a tiny bug being trapped inside the viewfinder, the eager team leapt into action and rushed out a release with an accompanying picture of the offending insect. Although PC Squealer has managed to ascertain that his loving dealer fondly named the 1mm hero Henry, we are at the present time unable to confirm whether the bug made a full recovery from his ordeal. In this respect, we will endeavour to seek the truth. Watch this space.
The UK network training industry appears to have acquired something of the Dunkirk spirit to tackle the skills crisis, following the completion of introductory networking courses by a schoolgirl and a grandmother. Carly Dicken from Stockport was just 12 years old when she completed Tech-Connect's Networking foundation course earlier this year. Although she admitted that she initially found it hard as there were a lot of 'complicated words', she stuck it out as she wanted to be like her IT consultant brother. 'He is only 24 and he's on #35 per hour,' she said. Meanwhile, 68-year-old grandmother Hilda Kitchener said she enrolled on the course to keep up with her 15 'computer-mad' grandchildren. She enjoyed the training but admitted she was nervous of doing something wrong. 'I was worried that I would press the wrong button and erase everything on it,' she said. It brings a tear to the eye to know the lengths that some people will go to help their country in its hour of need.
Award for least tasteful press release mourning the death of popular TV puppeteer this week goes to Access Accounting, after it proclaimed it had been responsible for relaunching Rod Hull's career. The company said Hull, who appeared with his puppet sidekick Emu to promote Access Accounting's EMU white paper, kindly claimed: 'Access relaunched my career.' Access says as a mark of respect it has dropped all advertising campaigns featuring our Rod and all graphics of the star in its roadshows and demonstrations. We should hope so too.
Businesses also admit to holding data without permission of subjects
Zedsphere says end-point security vendor's offerings will be a 'key' feature of its wider portfolio
New acquisition will bring UK cloud service provider's global headcount to over 700
Law firm claims that Oracle lied to investors over what is driving its cloud revenue growth and boosted sales through 'threats and extortive tactics'