TalkbackBeing a blogger at IT News Digest does have its perks. One of them obviously is the privilege of being able to share the latest technological news and other fun stuff with readers at TechRepublic.

Another benefit (to me at least) would be the access I have to this little tab nested in the administration back-end called “Polls.” And as the number of votes cast on some of the more interesting topics mount, so does my itch to present them.

Obviously, poll results won’t exactly be something I would base a Gartner report on, but hey, the combined opinion of TechRepublic’s IT professionals must mean something, right? So, I have dug out what I feel are the top three most popular and/or interesting polls for the month of June.

IT consultants: A waste of money?

It is clear that the decision is unanimous that IT consultants can and do add value to a business. If there are any concerns, it would be how they are managed — or mismanaged.

Still, it is not all a smooth ride, and negative experiences abound from both sides of the fence. For the consultants, one of the key complaints would be that while they are often contracted on a per-project basis, they are sometimes treated like a ‘full-time’ staff and expected to just ‘settle everything.’ On the other end, unqualified consultants giving dubious advice also exist.

Do check out the on-going discussion on the value of IT consultants if you have not already done so (there are more than 100 comments so far!).

Symantec offers compensation for update fiasco

In this story, Symantec botched the live updates of up to 50,000 Chinese PCs, rendering them inoperable. The general opinion is that their offering of a free 12-month Norton license extension as well as a free copy of Norton Save & Restore, is not adequate.

In fact, one poster went as far as to comment: “Oops, we added antifreeze instead of oil… BUT! We will give you free oil changes in the future.”

Check out the comments on Symantec.

Backdoor found in Quicken

It was almost certainly a publicity stunt by Elcomsoft, who detected the backdoor and published their findings. Nevertheless, the fact remains that Quicken did build a backdoor into their product that will allow their staff to assist (for a fee) forgetful users to recover the data in their encrypted Quicken data files.

More than half of you responded that you will never tolerate such behavior in any vendor. A third indicated that your decision on this matter would ultimately depend on the reputation of the vendor in particular.

Hmm, now what if the vendor was Microsoft, and the backdoor in question involves their Encrypted File System (EFS)? Anyway, check out the comments on Quicken.

Do you have any other fresh insights or opinions for our June polls roundup?