Open Source

Members fuel debate on hacker fate, metric system, and raises

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 those things you may have missed last week.

Between the constant firefighting you face each week and the sheer speed at which the IT industry moves, not to mention the short Labor Day week here in the U.S., it's easy to let important or interesting news and information slip through the cracks. So, to kick off the week, here's a recap of some of those things you may have missed last week:

Another virus author got blasted
In addition to the 18-year old kid from Seattle who was arrested in the U.S. for distributing a variant of the MSBlaster worm, reported that a 24-year-old in Romania was arrested for distributing yet another variant of the worm. Meanwhile, TechRepublic members debated what the fate should be for virus authors.

Brother, can you spare a dime?
Even though the economy is supposed to be coming back, many organizations still aren't hiring and even fewer are giving raises. Judy Mottl conducted an e-mail survey with TechRepublic members to see what non-cash incentives organizations are using to reward workers. Readers discussed even more alternatives and the plausibility of the methods Judy discovered.

Give 'em an inch, and they'll take a kilometer
Among the non-IT related discussions cropping up in TechRepublic's Discussion Center was a spirited debate about the metric system. As usual, members strongly argued their positions, although they occasionally wandered off topic to discuss things like the 55 MPH speed limit and encroaching world government.

Bills, bills, bills
In an ongoing attempt to turn its Intellectual Property Rights into cash, SCO has decided to start sending invoices to Linux users. SCO will ask Linux users to pay $699 for a single-CPU license of Linux, no matter what the Linux distribution being used. For now, only commercial users of Linux are targeted.

Don't count Novell out yet
If you've ever seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you've probably seen the "Bring Out Your Dead" skit. Unfortunately in recent years, NetWare, and Novell in general, has been painted with the image of the old man in that sketch, tossed out onto the pile wailing, "But I'm not dead yet!" Tim Landgrave pointed out that with the purchase of Ximian and its recent emphasis on Linux, Novell just might be around a lot longer than some people think.

Letting the young lions roar
As car insurance rates will attest, younger people behind the wheel of a car are more likely to suffer accidents. Likewise, let a young or inexperienced support professional loose with a screwdriver and software manual, and you could have lots of accidents in your organization to clean up. Robert Bogue showed how to mentor young support professionals and how you can help them use their enthusiasm to become better support techs overall.

Support on short notice
Support professionals spend a lot of time putting out fires. Molly Joss interviewed industry experts to discover the best ways to support users in emergency situations and what you can do to try to prevent some so called 'emergencies' in the first place.

Microsoft continues to play the Little Dutch Boy
As new holes appear in its products, Microsoft quickly acts to plug them. John McCormick's Locksmith column discussed some new patches that Microsoft released to fix problems with Internet Explorer and Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC).

Raking in the TechPoints
With 11,000 TechPoints as a carrot, a TechRepublic member brought a Microsoft Exchange 2000 problem to TechRepublic's Tech Q&A area. Clients began displaying "Requesting data from Microsoft Exchange Server" errors in Outlook, and they eventually timed out or froze up. Other members offered solutions that you can use without cashing in your own valuable TechPoints. Meanwhile, members discussed ways to put additional value on TechPoints, including the desire for a TechRepublic store and wagering TechPoints.

TechRepublic's 12-Step program
No, it has nothing to do with addiction, but if you're having problems with TCP/IP, downloading TechRepublic's TCP/IP Troubleshooting Checklist is a better alternative than reaching for a stiff drink. Michele Hamilton discussed the checklist and how to get it for free, and introduced TechRepublic's Administrator's Guide to TCP/IP, Second Edition.

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