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It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Greatest IT Mistakes->

Submitted by martyb
martyb (196687) writes "I'm a long-time member of /. and an even-longer-time reader of The Risks Digest (Forum On Risks To The Public In Computers And Related Systems). Their archives go back to 1985! If you missed out on Bone-Headed IT Mistakes, here's your chance: Andrew Brandt is Seeking tales of IT gone wrong. I can think of no better source than right here on /. and am in hopes that you can help him out (and entertain us here) with your tales of woe. In part, he writes:

I'm a freelance reporter, currently on assignment to write a story for *Infoworld*. The gist of the story is "Greatest IT Mistakes," where I hope to relate true anecdotes of people who — perhaps in an ill-advised, well-intentioned state of mind — set off a cascade of errors that resulted in serious computer downtime, lost data, or other notable information technology failures or problems. ... Please send me true stories, preferably where you have direct, personal knowledge of the details and parties involved.

The goal of the story is not to humiliate a person, or call attention to a company with poor IT policies. This isn't a name-and-shame piece. I'd like the story to serve as a cautionary tale to others, with a humorous angle, if that's possible. And I think it is. To that end, I'm willing to anonymize what anyone cares to share with me to whatever extent is necessary to avoid such humiliation. Of course, if the person or people responsible for, by way of entirely hypothetical example, deleting a company's entire e-mail archive in the process of performing a backup are willing to have their identities disclosed, I'd be more than happy to oblige. (emphasis added)

What is YOUR best (worst?) story? Does it make the grade of "Greatest IT Mistakes"?"
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Christmas Cheer

+ - Christmas Lights - 2007->

Submitted by martyb
martyb (196687) writes "It's that time of year when people go all out trying to put up the most spectacular Christmas light displays. Those that use computerized controllers to synchronize music to the light display can be very impressive, indeed! Slashdot has posted several stories in the past but I could find nothing for this year. What's the best display you've found for 2007? Here's a chance to submit links to your OWN display, too!"
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The Courts

+ - Cop's RADAR vs Driver's GPS - which is right?-> 5

Submitted by martyb
martyb (196687) writes "ars technica has a story up about a driver who claims his speeding ticket should be thrown out because his GPS proves the police officer's radar was wrong. (AP version of the story here.) The accused 17-year-old, Shaun Malone, has an ace up his sleeve: his step-dad is retired deputy Roger Rude. Rude encouraged Shaun to fight the ticket after the log he downloaded using software provided by the GPS unit's Colorado-based supplier showed Shaun was going the speed limit within 100 feet of where a Petaluma officer clocked him speeding.

"Radar is a pretty good tool, but it's not an infallible tool," said Rude, who spent 31 years in law enforcement. "With the GPS tracker, there is no doubt about it. There is no human interference."
Petaluma police Lt. John Edwards said he could not discuss Shaun's case but disputed Rude's contention that GPS is more accurate than a speed gun.

"GPS works on satellite signals, so you have a delay of some type," Edwards said. "Is it a couple-second delay? A 30-second delay? Because in that time people can speed up, slow down."
Which would YOU believe? Any suggestions on what Shaun could do to help defend himself?"

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If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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