Downtime 20 March

The wacky world of IT

Suddenly it's tee time for those golf-mad IT pros

Downtime loves surveys, and we can think of some really important questions that are worth asking 300 senior IT professionals.

"What do you do in your leisure time?" was not quite top of our list, but that is what IT infrastructure and operations management supplier Avocent decided to ask. It is now proudly able to reveal that:

● 25% of respondents play golf to relieve the stress of work

● 13% unwisely remain glued to their PC when they get time off

● 15% enjoy creative pursuits such as photography and music.

This is cracking stuff, we are sure you'll agree. And, armed with this knowledge, Avocent has hit upon a brilliantly simple plan to woo the IT professionals it serves. It is planning to hold a pan-European golf tournament for senior IT decision makers later this year.

Suddenly it all makes sense. And now we have gone and publicised it for them. Sheer marketing genius. Downtime stands humbled.


Does it come with its own matter transporter?

Downtime was recently confused to stumble on some highly competitive eBay bidding for mobile phones, with some winners paying more than £100,000 for their whizzy new phones.

At that price, Downtime would expect teleportation features to come as standard.

If you don't believe us, try typing in the following and marvel: www. itemZ1900 86104392QQihZ009QQ categoryZ3312QQrdZ1 QQcmdZ ViewItem.

Downtime can hazard a few guesses at what may be going on here, but would not like to say.


It's back to reality for Second Life devotees

Several banks and other businesses have recently jumped on the virtual bandwagon and set themselves up to do business in the virtual world of Second Life, causing Downtime for one to look on with furrowed brow and wonder what it all means.

But now security specialist Sophos is muscling in to stop the cyber-party - at least during working hours. Sophos Anti-Virus has been extended to enable firms to block workers from playing Second Life via company networks.

With more than four million registered Second Life users worldwide, many of whom regularly visit it on their business PCs, Sophos says that productivity is suffering and the security risks are too great to allow this virtual experiment to continue unabated on corporate networks.

And IT departments agree. In a poll of more than 450 system administrators, more than 90% said they wanted the ability to block the use of games at work.

"Second Life is a hot topic on the internet, with people becoming hooked on their new virtual life. IT departments are concerned that workers may log on to Second Life and other virtual worlds and there will be a productivity hit," said Carole Theriault of Sophos.

"If users cannot act responsibly on corporate computers, system administrators will need to enforce policies through technology. For firms operating in the real world, users playing online games can seriously impact on performance, drain network resources and put corporate data at risk."

So if you are a Second Lifer, consider yourself warned.


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