CNN’s top technology story Monday highlighted a little-known fact about Senator John McCain — he doesn’t use the Internet (he does have several Facebook pages, though. Funny how that works…) This may or may not come as a surprise to you. Honestly, I never really thought about whether or not McCain was Internet savvy, but maybe that’s the result of my generation being consistently plugged in. A friend once told me, “You aren’t real friends until you’re Facebook friends.” Yes, I immediately Facebooked her from my BlackBerry, but do you have to be online to be on top of things?
According to the article, “Unlike McCain, many seniors surf the Web,” 35% of Americans over the age of 65 are online for things like emailing, driving directions and finding out useful information. Moreover, the project director, Susannah Fox, says “about three-quarters of white, college-educated men age over 65 use the Internet.” McCain falls right into this demographic, so why the lack in tech skills?
I can’t answer that for you. But I can tell you he’s not completely in the dark. At the Personal Democracy Forum in New York back in June, one of Senator McCain’s aides, Mark Soohoo, told the panel that, in fact, “John McCain is aware of the Internet.” Umm … I should hope so, Mark. How many people do you know who aren’t aware of the Internet?
He may not be able to use the Internet, but don’t worry, he’s aware of it existing. Phew. Just in time for the al-Qaida newscasts on the Web.
Some people suffer the insufferable for piece of mind and for the good of all of us who want to live safe, comfortable lives.
The mysterious uncle_benji is one of those people.
Ben, as I’ll call him here, has endured some sort of special hell to wrestle a $200 refund from Hewlett-Packard after deciding he would downgrade Windows Vista to XP on his new laptop (purchased at Best Buy).
The customer service nightmare is detailed here, and I strongly suggest you read it in its entirety. Ben actually lived this. Feel his pain.
My favorite part of this is when an HP senior case manager writes Ben that “Microsoft has stopped issuing licenses for HP as they are going to stay with Vista.”
Wait? “Stay with Vista?” So, what, Microsoft almost gave up? Cat’s out of the bag, folks.
With polar bears balancing on ice cubes in the Arctic Circle and gas prices skyrocketing, we are all looking to be a bit more ‘green’ in our everyday lifestyle choices. Right? Well, we’re trying.
Technology solutions provider Hewlett-Packard (HP) has an environment link from its homepage that takes eco-conscious customers to its “HP Eco Solutions” page. Loaded with tips and solutions for consumers, it also advertises the company’s commitment to recycling, CO2 emission reductions and a timeline showcasing its environment history since 1987. You go, HP!
This morning, while scanning technology news across the globe (I take my blog very seriously), I came across something a bit disturbing. UK-based site The Register posted a story about (just my luck!) HP. The headline read “HP shatters excessive packaging world record,” and the pictures showed incredible amounts of packaging (including a huge shipping box, 16 smaller boxes and sheets of foam). What requires so much protection when being shipped? No, not a brand-new computer. Not even a mouse or keyboard. HP had copious amounts of packaging for … drumroll please … 32 pieces of paper.
OK, so maybe Kermit had it right and it’s not easy being green. Apparently, it’s not easy being a green Apple, either. Apple received the lowest score in last year’s Climate Counts survey, examining companies based on how environmentally friendly they were. What may look good on 100% recycled paper is not always easily executed. But come on! Don’t even bother with the recycling timeline (did I mention it dates back to 1987?) if you aren’t going to start small. Cut down on a few sheets of your foam packaging material in every shipment. Hey, go crazy and take out an extra box or two.
I am not doubting HP’s decision to be a more eco-friendly corporation, and I’m sure the environment is very important to some people at HP. I mean, they’re serious enough to create a timeline of recycling. But could it be possible a lot of these decisions to ‘go green’ are less about saving the environment and more about riding the eco-friendly bandwagon to the bank? Green is the color of money, after all. And during a time when it seems so many people are focused on saving money and the polar bears, are consumers more apt to make a purchase if it is deemed ‘green?’ Even if that means your reduced-emissions, hybrid, organic, made-of-100%-recycled-material, all-proceeds-benefit [insert eco fund of your choice here], signed-off-by-Al Gore anything is sent to you in 16 cardboard boxes and enough plastic packaging to make yourself a tent in the backyard (well, you can’t live in your central air apartment after all that — you are trying to be good and green).
With the country in an economic downturn, are people spending their hard-earned dollars on products advertised as ‘green?’
By the way, I’m Kristen. I’m new to the blog.
Man, that was a hot and humid one out here. The best thing about Monday is TechTarget foots the air conditioning bill. Here’s what’s been going on, though:
The New York Times reported that quarterly earnings from Google and Microsoft “disappoint.”
Intel, on the other hand, knows how to keep stock traders happy.
Every wronged IT worker’s new hero – Terry Childs – pleaded not guilty to charges that he locked the city of San Francisco out of its own network. As far as I can tell, the city still hasn’t gained back administrative privileges.
All of the papers went to E3 in Los Angeles and gushed over Guitar Hero and Rock Band, two games that are broadening the appeal of video games outside the young male demographic. The big news this week? A massive list of tunes licensed for the next Guitar Hero and Rock Band releases. Honestly, if I can pretend to be Paul Westerberg while jamming on “Alex Chilton,” I might even buy this thing. The sweet video is below:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/0M12S1FUBJI" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
What we did this week:
Tried to remember when it was that we gave Johnny an Excel license. Oh wait, we didn’t.
Shook our heads at the unfolding mess that is the San Francisco city IT department.
And this weekend?
Going to see The Dark Knight, of course. But let’s review it now: Bale’s no Keaton and hasn’t cracked a smile since Newsies. Ledger is outstanding without necessarily being better or worse than Nicholson. Violent, violent, violent. Hey, where’s the Prince soundtrack?
What the hell is going on in San Francisco? It’s like a freaking detective novel out there all of a sudden.
One of the city’s top IT guys has been accused of locking other administrators out of the city’s new fiber wide area network (WAN).
Now he won’t give up the new password. He’s been arrested and in court. He is being held on a whopping $5 million bail and his lawyer says the accused – one Terry Childs – “loves kittens.”
The site analyzed its listing database from November 2007 up through July 7 to determine which jobs remained consistently in demand, even as gas prices doubled and rice left the “affordable staple” food list.
Six of the top 20 jobs – software design and development, networking and system administration, software implementation, testing and quality assurance, database administration and technology executive – are IT jobs.
Technology executive, which we take to mean not being a CIO but running a tech company, landed at 16 on the list with a note that there are “especially good prospects for those with cutting-edge mobile technology and Web 2.0 skills.”
No. 1 on the list is sales representative.
Big news in all the papers this week. Apparently Apple has released a new version of the phone that plays MP3s and has a full browser. Still going on behind the curtain:
The Washington Post today reports on Abacus Technology, an IT services company that just landed a major NASA contract. The company’s revenue will jump from $60 million to about $100 million. No wonder the company president is smiling in that photo.
More technophobia from the mainstream media. Turns out downloading illegal MP3s at work is responsible for data breaches. But The Washington Post, in its rush to condemn file sharing as irresponsible, forgets to provide a tip box on how to stop employees from exposing sensitive data.
Politicians and government folk have a nasty habit of deleting email, the Associated Press reports. If this were you, someone would sue.
What we did this week:
Bought security management tools out of the box. Because honestly, who wants to work in the summertime?
Jazzed up our video resumes with guest appearances from various members of the Wu-Tang Clan. Because nothing gets you hired like an endorsement from a guy named Ghostface Killah.
What we’re doing this weekend:
Catching John Mayer live. Go ahead, say it. Say what you need to say.
Every year we endeavor to round up a bunch of salary information and get a grip on how much cash CIOs are taking home.
Basically, we figure out how much all of you are making and then tell you about it. We look not only at salary, but also at how it relates to different-sized businesses in different industries. We look at the economy and how it affects you. We look at how happy you are with your job.
To do this, we need you to fill out a short survey so we can have as much data as possible to work with. Once that’s all done, we look for interesting trends and report as such. This is what came out of last year’s survey. And this is what we put in CIO Decisions magazine.
I could be hokey about it and ask you to fill the survey out because the end result is more information for you about how your peers are faring with their paychecks.
But let’s be honest. If you fill this thing out, we might give you $250. It’s an American Express gift certificate, mind you, but that’s as good as cash. Well, you can’t buy drugs with it.
But you could buy this grill. And really, who wouldn’t want that?
The catch, of course, is you need to be a CIO or have an equivalent title.
In case you missed the above link to the survey, here it is.
And apparently that grill has been discontinued, which is a crime against nature. Still: $250.