Software firms in the US have begun their first legal action against copyright pirates in the United Arab Emirates, according to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which estimates that piracy in the UAE cost software suppliers about $39 million last year. The BSA also plans to move into Saudi Arabia, where it believes losses run to about $100 million a year, but not into other Gulf countries. Why are the rest let off, Channel Talk wondered? 'Because, er, the response there from local authorities would not be so good,' said a BSA representative. Oh, right. Now you know how to escape software upgrade payments - carry a gun and live under a junta.
Channel Talk never believed the rumour that staff at Sun Microsystems don't know their arrays from their elbows but they offered proof last week. Workgroup product marketing manager Mike Avis phoned the PC Delia office and asked to speak to a reporter on a rival magazine. Playing along in case Mike said anything interesting, Channel Talk posed as the rival hack and listened. After five minutes, Channel Talk stopped him and told him exactly who he had phoned. 'You, er, won't give us a bad product write-up because of this, will you?' he asked. 'No. Your product write-up won't even mention it,' replied Channel Talk, truthfully.
When will people with despised hobbies learn? Channel Talk has berated the computer boffin stereotype before and proclaimed that trainspotters are the only group that is as thoroughly detested. Imagine, then, the horror of a person hooked on computers as well as trains. Of course, there is someone with this least socially acceptable combination of interests. Under the headline 'Computer buffers', the national press told the country that 33-year-old Paul Pritchard has written a program including 2,000 British locos to help 'rail fans' (trainspotters) record engine numbers. Fortunately, the paper stopped short of calling him a computer nerd as well as a rail fan, but that doesn't mean he would be an ideal dinner party guest.
Data General says its servers are simple to upgrade. According to European VP Stephen Baxter, Channel Talk's mother could replace a DG server component. Channel Talk understood the point, but has often shouted 'my Mum could do better than you' at various members of England's football and cricket teams, just to prove how multitalented she is. Their simplicity, Baxter continued, helps the company win very remote server installation deals, such as one to put a server into a site in Papua New Guinea, where the rainy season brings 25 feet of precipitation in a month. Last rainy season, 39 feet of rain fell and no aeroplanes carrying anyone with half a technical brain could land near the site, so the server had to be maintained by local site staff. 'It worked right through the season,' Baxter said. Channel Talk thinks DG was merely lucky that the machine didn't get put to better use; servers don't usually make good rafts.
Neil Sawyer claims he has 'never seen so many conversations about a new method of investing in workplace technology'
Infrastructure provider says international sales now make up 51 per cent of its revenue
Suzanne Chappell of TMS plans sailing venture after selling Oxfordshire-based TMS to acquisitive Chess
Withdrawal of credit insurance by some providers a 'reflection' of current challenge facing IT sector, according to MD Steve Soper