Facebook loses its members' email settings

It's on an O'Reilly blog, so it must be true: Facebook has lost some users' email settings » 11/25/08 4:50pm 11/25/08 4:50pm. The company had to send them an apology, and a request to reset things. Let me explain in sysadmin jargon: Not because Facebook's engineers failed at Backups 101, but because by now the Marketing department has figured out…

Want to fix the economy? Fire your sysadmin

Sooner or later we need to slam shut the door on technical have-nots. Pew Research found that nearly half of adults surveyed » 11/20/08 2:40pm 11/20/08 2:40pm need help setting up computers and cell phones. Ars Technica : Kids are always fixing their parents' PCs. But they don't take these insights to the logical conclusion: It's time to fire the IT…

Microsoft does a victory dance on Sun's head

Redmond's biz-dev gorillas have strong-armed Sun Microsystems into bundling the MSN toolbar » 11/11/08 6:20pm 11/11/08 6:20pm as an optional add-on to Sun's Java downloads in the US. What does the -powered toolbar have to do with Java? Nothing! That's the genius of it.A dozen years ago, Microsoft broke Sun's run-anywhere Java technology, which was…

Traffic engineers pull a "Die Hard 4" on Los Angeles

Who pays attention to unions anymore? A bunch of carpenters picket your office because of a grievance with a contractor who works for the facilities department of the company on the floor below you. They might as well stencil WE ARE POWERLESS on their placards. But a couple of Los Angeles traffic engineers who work… » 11/06/08 4:00pm 11/06/08 4:00pm

Dell wants employees to practice being laid off

Call it Company (Red). Michael Dell is asking employees at his computer maker to take five unpaid days » 11/05/08 11:40am 11/05/08 11:40am off and thus help the company trim costs instead of slashing jobs. Extorting your people by suggesting they take a small hit now as opposed to a larger hit later on isn't particularly original. “We’ve seen a…

I remember working around the corner from these guys at 100 View in Mountain View and feeling jealous at how well they were doing, at least on the surface. Now that things have turned out this way and I left the startup I was working at that point I don't feel as jealous. » 10/30/08 6:10pm 10/30/08 6:10pm

Microsoft saves my job for the weekend

Hooray — another zero-day patch! » 10/24/08 8:00pm 10/24/08 8:00pm The financial sky is falling! The only good news is I'm used to hedge fund managers throwing themselves out the windows. If you're as familiar with zero-day patches as collateralized debt obligations, let me explain the difference to an IT guy. A CDO means I'm fired. A zero-day patch…

Is Sarah Palin's email worth $15 million?

There are ways to kill projects you don't want to work on » 10/20/08 8:00pm 10/20/08 8:00pm without saying no. You can give the project "death by price tag," as did Alaska's state IT guys when ordered to produce evidence that could only hurt their home state's image. Examining one state employee's inbox for emails sent to Sarah Palin's husband, Todd,…

NASA's shame: Hubble Space Telescope runs on a 486 chip

Two weeks ago, NASA spokespeople acknowledged that the $6 billion Hubble Space Telescope had stopped transmitting data » 10/16/08 5:20pm 10/16/08 5:20pm back to Earth. Today, the optimistic news is that ground control technicians have remote-booted the telescope's . The Hubble's No. 2 system is built around a pre-Pentium Intel 80486 microchip. Five…

Why you should find a headhunter you hate

If your own company's future is as uncertain as Wachovia's, it's probably time to hook up with a few professional recruiters and go looking for work while you're still a hot (read: employed) property. The first thing you should know about tech headhunters is they're not tech people » 9/29/08 6:00pm 9/29/08 6:00pm. The second thing you should know…