Open Source

Security, Linux, and consulting tips lead the week in TechRepublic

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 Linux, how to deal with consulting customers, and security issues.

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 those things you may have missed last week:

Microsoft loses, but does Linux win? reported that Lindows, the Windows-compatible, Linux vendor is cashing in on Microsoft's recent settlement of a class-action lawsuit in California by processing the vouchers that people can use to buy new hardware and software. At the same time, the SCO saga continued last week, with SCO turning its legal guns on RedHat in an attempt to force dismissal of RedHat's lawsuit against SCO. Tim Landgrave took a look at RedHat and quickly drew the ire of some TechRepublic members while receiving compliments from others.

Lawyers, guns, and money
In last week's article, we discussed how lawyers have been infiltrating IT issues ranging from SCO to the RIAA. Lawyers don't just have impact on other people. TechRepublic Senior Editor Toni Bowers pointed out how you can quickly face a lawsuit when you terminate an employee.

Look before you leap
Molly Joss wrote about how to mine for information on the IT manager you are replacing, an article that is perfect for California gubernatorial and Democratic Presidential candidates as well as new IT managers. In it, she gave advice about how to find out about the person you're replacing when you apply for a new job. However, she does fail to mention polling and focus groups.

Because I said so, that's why
"Because I said so…" may work when dealing with small children, but it doesn't always work when you're developing a Web site and want to justify dropping support for an old Web browser. Shawn Morton discussed how you can use metrics to figure out which browsers to support and how to gently let people know that you're not going to be supporting their favorite browser.

Let's be reasonable
Recently, I've pointed out some Technical Q&A questions for which the poster was willing to give thousands of TechPoints in exchange for an answer. Most Technical Q&A's aren't that expensive. Most questions cost a few hundred points, not several thousand, as indicated by these Windows 2000 questions.

Everybody has a price
In the Discussion Center last week, ethics was a point of contention as a TechRepublic member asked for opinions of a "bribe" that a CEO tried to give him while he was working on an in-house project. When ethics becomes an issue, you can download an ethics policy dealing with employee/vendor relations from the Download Center.

Don't just sit there, do something
Also in the Discussion Center, a TechRepublic member asked for advice about how to become motivated to become certified. Several members gave him some help while Emmett Dulaney gave six tips on passing Microsoft Exam 70-291.

I didn't do it! reported that the teen arrested a few weeks ago for creating a version of the Blaster worm pleaded not guilty while TechRepublic members discussed how the MSBlast worm affected them. Meanwhile in TechProGuild, subscribers found out how to deal with the more common threats that organizations encounter – security breaches from within.

Make them an offer they can't refuse
One of the most difficult parts of running your own consulting business is keeping the billing straight and getting customers to pay. Abbi Perets provided five tips to get customers to pay.

Whew… just made it!
When you're a successful editor for a major IT information Web site, you learn the importance of meeting deadlines. The same holds true when you're in a consulting business. Not only is billing important, but so is meeting deadlines. So, if you want your customers to pay their bills as Abbi described above, you must follow her recommendations about meeting deadlines.

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