Intellectual property, outsourcing, and Microsoft Office keep TechRepublic members busy

Before plunging headlong into this week's sea of admin tasks, catch up on the noteworthy news and discussions that might have gotten by you. This roundup includes info and opinions on everything from the risks of IT job-hopping to a Sendmail DNS flaw.

Between the constant firefighting you probably go through on a weekly basis and the sheer speed at which the IT industry changes, it's easy to let potentially important or interesting news and information slip through the cracks. So, to kick off this week, here's a recap of some of the things you may have missed last week.

Surprise, Surprise reported on a study done by Giga Research comparing the costs of running Windows vs. running Linux. Microsoft paid for the study. Guess who won?

TechRepublic discussions aren't ALL off-topic
Our Discussion Center contains member-driven dialogue about technology, with most discussions started by TechRepublic members. But TechRepublic itself recently opened debate forums dedicated to Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Office. Several off-topic discussions also continued last week, with threads that touched on the California elections, the French, and even imported beer.

Get to the point
DKlippert continues to maintain a commanding lead in TechPoints on TechRepublic, currently possessing in excess of 480,000 points. Last week, 9,999 TechPoints were up for grabs for the person who could help a TechRepublic member break Exchange replication between servers in an organization without having to reinstall Exchange from scratch. If you have any ideas on how to do so, you might be able to get closer to the top. In case you don't know how TechPoints work, here's a quick guide.

Paper! Get your paper here!
White papers have become a popular way for IT professionals to gain information about technology. Larry Lange discussed what it takes to create an effective white paper, giving suggestions about what to include and what to leave out.

The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers
Shakespeare may have been on to something in his King Henry plays. last week reported many times how the legal system and technology crossed paths, often with less than positive results. From the RIAA suing file traders—including little girls—to Microsoft's ongoing legal problems to SCO's choice of SGI as the next target in its UNIX litigation, it seems as though lawyers are almost as busy as IT professionals. Meanwhile, TechRepublic members got on the litigation bandwagon, defending their own intellectual property.

Dodging the bullet
It seems that outsourcing is becoming more the norm in the IT field. Tim Landgrave discussed outsourcing and what a CIO can do to minimize the impact of the outsourcing movement on an organization. The outsourcing trend is also reflected in a discussion that TechRepublic members have been having for months.

Are you feeling lucky, punk?
As career paths become more twisted, it's tempting to jump from one job to another to get a quick promotion. Molly Joss pointed out that if you want to choose that path, you're taking a big risk.

Taking SCO's lead
SCO isn't the only one with intellectual property to protect. IT consultants also go to the job with their own intellectual property that may, if they're not careful, fall into the hands of their clients. Mike Gunderloy showed how an IT consultant should craft contracts that deal with intellectual property rights.

Remember the days when DOS was an operating system?
Microsoft was spared in John McCormick's Locksmith column last week. Instead, McCormick pointed out a potential flaw in Sendmail DNS that could lead to DoS attacks. That's denial of service, not the venerable operating system of the same name—although I do remember days when I wanted to attack DOS-based machines myself.

Freedom of speech
As if TechRepublic members didn't have enough to say in the Discussion Center, now they're being heard in other ways. Mary Bartash took the opportunity to give her opinion of the IT Professional's Guide to Policies and Procedures, Second Edition. You're probably thinking we published her review only because she scored the book all 10s. Guess again. At the same time, ScOrpmade his views known about Windows Server 2003.

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