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+ - Salesforce Uses Chatter to Spy on Employees->

Submitted by storagedude
storagedude (1517243) writes "At the launch of Chatter Mobile today, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff said he has been using the Facebook-like business service to monitor employee communications and identify a 'secret network' of employees who were influential in driving the business. Asked if employees felt like they were being spied on by Big Brother, Benioff replied, 'There are certain things appropriate in a business environment. We're not talking about a tea party, we're talking about how to get things fixed.' With 20,000 companies already using the three-month-old service, it is no doubt being put to similar use elsewhere."
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Forgent Settles JPEG Patent Cases 167

Posted by Zonk
from the why-can't-i-think-of-scams-like-this dept.
eldavojohn writes "As many of you know, the JPEG image compression is actually proprietary. This has resulted in many lawsuits between its owner, Forgent Networks, and other companies that have used it. Yesterday Microsoft and about 60 other defendants settled with Forgent to the tune of $8 million. For a company with annual revenues of $15 million, that's nothing to sneeze at. You haven't heard the last of Forgent yet, as the article states, 'It is currently pursuing claims against cable companies over a patent that it says covers technology inside digital video recorders.' Sounds like that one could be worth a little bit of cash, wouldn't you think?"
Graphics

+ - 3D PDF - used to show how-to make a potato cannon

Submitted by
ptorrone
ptorrone writes "Adobe's new 3D PDF technology is pretty neat, you can embed 3D objects in PDFs and anyone with reader version 7+ can interact with them. I didn't see many interesting examples, so we decided to make a 3D PDF with all the components and steps needed to make your own spud gun (potato cannon) — enjoy. For those without a PDF viewer, here's a screencast of what a 3D PDF is."
Software

+ - Predicting hard drive failure

Submitted by
pontcysyllte
pontcysyllte writes "Some years ago I was local tech support for cc:Mail. This product had the uncanny ability to predict a hard drive head crash or similar failure. I had direct experience of this capability at two different customer sites. That is, when I was contacted to explain error messages being sent to the email administrator, I could look them up in the manual(*) and advise customers to: (1) back up your email database immediately; and (2) swap the hard drive out and replace with a new unit as a matter of urgency (the old drive could be used in a non-critical area). In both cases the old hard drive failed a few weeks later. Does anyone know how this was achieved? I can make guesses of course, but it would be interesting to know the facts. cc:Mail was highly dependent on its mail database, which was a single file containing all users' messages at that post office (excluding attachments), so it was crucial. I have a vague memory of a white paper... (*) Perhaps some readers remember the days when decent software produced meaningful error codes and came with technical manuals which in many cases not only listed each code but explained which program module(s) might flag the error, what conditions might cause them to do so and what this might mean to the user."

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