Jobless estate agents
Estate agents and other sales professionals with no IT industry experience are becoming increasingly hot property in the channel as the skills shortage intensifies.
That's according to specialist IT sales recruiter Robertson Sumner, which says 60 per cent of all offers accepted by sales professionals it has placed at VARs in the last six months have come from outside the industry, up from about 30 per cent last year.
"If they have the communication, rapport-building and negotiating skills already in place, and are proven in a different sector, it's very easy to transfer," MD Marc Sumner said.
If you ever encounter a reseller sales executive who insists on describing a desktop as a "spacious" device, that's "perfect for a first-time buyer" with "no onward chain", you'll know why.
The cybersecurity industry found itself in the spotlight when US presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton found time in their first presidential debate to argue over whether it was Russia or someone else who hacked into Democrat files.
In true Trump fashion, the hotel entrepreneur suggested it could just as easily have been "someone sitting on their bed, who weighs 400 pounds".
Although he went on to suggest that Isis is making better use of the internet than the western world is, it can only be a good thing that the cybersecurity threat is now considered important enough for the two presidential hopefuls to fall out over.
Technology vs disease
Microsoft threw down the gauntlet to cancer by declaring a mission to "solve the problem" of the disease in the next 10 years. Microsoft claims that by treating the disease in a similar way to a computer virus, it could reprogram unhealthy cells into healthy cells.
Perhaps we can forgive the software giant for its ropey Windows 10 rollout now (see Bad Times below). In other tech/philanthropy news, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg pledged to donate $3bn to medical research to "cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century" and IBM partnered with MIT to develop artificial intelligence that could aid the care of elderly and disabled people.
Alternative Networks became the latest in a string of IT firms to blame Brexit for a downturn in financial results. Alternative said in a trading update that the referendum was a key factor in the comms VAR recording "somewhat lower than expected" figures for its full year which concluded in September.
It also blamed its difficulties on network carriers reducing their roaming charges, but presumably not many people share its disappointment.
Microsoft was slammed by consumer group Which? for its handling of Windows 10 upgrades. After surveying 5,500 members Which? found that 12 per cent ended up rolling back to a previous version of the operating system, with some claiming it installed itself despite their declining it.
The update reportedly caused issues with printers, WiFi and speakers - and even led to the loss of files for some users. Microsoft said the update is a "choice to help people move to the most secure and productive version of Windows". Security and productivity are probably not too significant if you can't turn the thing on.
Justin Bieber fans
Justin Bieber may have had a string of number ones, but the hit maker had to make do with coming in second in a list of famous faces that put your computer most at risk of malicious infection.
According to research by Intel Security, some 15 per cent of websites promising Justin-related content pose a risk to a machine's safety.
This puts the angel-faced Canadian in second place behind US comedian Amy Schumer, who apparently boasts a 16.11 per cent infection rate, and makes Bieber's online presence almost as infectious as his 2015 chart-topping trio What do you Mean?, Sorry and Love Yourself.
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