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Comment Re:budget stuffs (Score 1) 290

For the average, locked-down business user, Vista is virtually the same as XP. The only real difference is the start menu, and if that posses such a problem - it can be reverted through Group Policy.

Besides, I thought you open source fanboys only cared about licensing costs and not TCO (at least according to Slashdot, no training is required to move to Open Office or Ubuntu.)

Comment Been there...done that... (Score 2, Insightful) 958

Your first step is to dig through all of the documentation you have to find any and all software purchases. This included going through the previous guy's email (hopefully it's still available) and digging out the license cards from those boxes stashed in the corner. If you are lucky, someone in accounting can start pulling invoices from you. Also, go to the resellers your company has been using to see if they can pull a purchase history or license report (CDW is great for this). Don't forget to try sites like Microsoft's eOpen ( or Adobe's license site (

The next step is to audit your workstations and servers to see exactly what commercial software they are running. Try to match that up with what documentation you found to start with. My rule of thumb is that if I don't have a PO/invoice, license key or box, then I don't own the software. Then go and get quotes from your favorite reseller to see what the costs are to "true-up".

Take all of this to your manager (or the owner) and show them the situation. Be sure to explain the consequences of not licensing the software you are using, and leave the decision up to him whether to true-up, stop using the software, or use it unlicensed. I would personally document this meeting just to cover your own ass, especially if the last option is chosen.

In order to prevent this situation in the future, make sure all software purchases come through your department. Then keep all license documentation in a single physical or electronic location. Be prepared to dig your heels in when someone tries to bypass IT to install illegal/unlicense software.


Outage Knocks Gmail Offline For Many Users 209

Many readers noted an outage affecting Google's gmail service last night. Firmafest points to a statement from Google, according to which only a small subset of users were affected. According to reader CaptHarlock, mail itself remained accessible through IMAP clients, and the chat feature via external applications. jw3 asks "Of course, gmail is just one of the many providers of web-based e-mails. When I look around, almost everyone seems to be using them nowadays. So — what do you do? Do you trust that the site of your web-based e-mail provider will never go down? Do you make backups of all your e-mails?" (Some readers still seem to be unable to reach the site, too.)

China Aims To Move Up the Food Chain 257

krou notes reporting in the Christian Science Monitor that the current economic crisis is helping China's push into higher-end manufacturing by shaking out low-profit companies. The hope is that, instead of just assembling iPods, Chinese companies will be able to invent the next big thing instead. In this move China is following the well-worn path taken by Japan and the Asian tigers before it. "Last month, the National Development and Reform Commission announced revised plans to transform Guangdong and neighboring Hong Kong and Macau into a 'significant innovation center' by 2020. One hundred R&D labs will be set up over the next three years. By 2012, per-capita output in the region should jump 50 percent from 2007, to 80,000 yuan ($11,700). And by 2020, the study predicts, 30 percent of all industrial output should come from high-tech manufacturing."

Comment Re:My antivirus research for my IT department (Score 1) 170

We when through the same process as the parent post (replacing Trendmicro Officescan as it has gone to crap). I ended up deciding on NOD32 over Kaspersky, but they were two we liked best. NOD32 has had a few minor problems, and the initial configuration can be time consuming, but overall it is a huge improvement over Trend at a considerably better price.

With Trend, it frequently missed malware and viruses but NOD32 has been great (our infection rate is probably 10% of what it used to be).

Comment Re:DO-NOT "Remember Passwords" (Score 1) 370

That's a really good point. How do I know that the latest update to Forecastfox isn't now ready my browsing history or passwords and uploading that information to a third party. Many addons do not need access to the web page being rendered, so I wonder why there isn't some additional layer of security there.


Anathem Screenshot-sm 356

Max Tardiveau writes "I just finished reading Neal Stephenson's latest novel, Anathem. I was awaiting it with some anticipation because I absolutely loved Stephenson's best-known novels: Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, and Cryptonomicon. One of Stephenson's non-fiction pieces, called In the beginning was the command line, simply wowed me when I read it. The man can write. A few years ago, I got really excited when I heard that he was writing a whole cycle of novels (the Baroque cycle). But I read the first book of the cycle — Quicksilver — and I was somewhat disappointed, so I skipped the rest of the cycle. I realize that many people enjoyed these novels, but I was hoping that Stephenson would get back his old style and inspiration. So, when Anathem was announced, I was full of anticipation — was this going to be the one? Would he find his mark again?" Keep reading for Max's impressions of Anathem

Researchers Discover How To Make the Perfect Phone Call Screenshot-sm 85

Having made amazing discoveries such as how to make the perfect cheese sandwich, linking heavy caffeine use to sleeplessness, and figuring out where all the teaspoons have gone, science has made the greatest breakthrough yet. They have uncovered the secrets of making the perfect phone call. The perfect phone call clocks in at a mere 9 minutes and 36 seconds, easily 11 minutes shorter than any conversation I've ever had with my mom. Unlike a call to mom, the perfect phone call is almost devoid of any gossip about her divorced neighbor and her heavily tattooed daughter. Instead three minutes should be spent catching up with news about family and friends, one minute on personal problems, a minute on work/school, 42 seconds on current affairs, 24 seconds on the weather, and 24 seconds talking about the opposite sex. What's left of your 9 mins 36 secs is a free for all.

US House Adopts New Third-Party Web Site Rules 49

GovIT Geek writes to tell us that third-party websites will no longer be off limits for members of the US House, provided that they use it for "official purposes" and not personal, commercial, or campaign purposes. "The rules are seen by House Administration Chairman Robert Brady as a compromise between several proposals under consideration in recent months and are closely aligned with those circulated by the Senate Rules Committee last week. [...] 'These new guidelines are a step in the right direction for a Congress that has been behind the technological curve for too long,' Boehner said. 'By encouraging the use of emerging and established new media tools, Congress is sending the message that we want to speak to citizens, and receive feedback, in the most open and accessible manner possible.'"

Slashdot's Disagree Mail Screenshot-sm 251

There is no shortage of comments about us selling out or running advertisements as stories. As you might expect there is no shortage of mail with the same theme. What I enjoy most about them is all the different corporate entities and sometimes political parties, that we are supposedly working for. If even half of them were true, I would have a stack of W-2s as long as my arm every year for the tax man. The truth of the matter is, nobody here sits in their Microsoft smart chair, talking on their minion iPhone, while playing in the Google money pool. (If someone knows how to get into the Google money pool, please send me a mail.) Conspiracy theories have been around as long as man, so I guess it should come as no surprise that Slashdot has a few of it's own. Read below to find out who is pulling our strings.

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