Downtime: Lucky Pinder lands plum security job

The lighter side of IT life

Lucky Pinder lands plum security job

Former government e-envoy Andrew Pinder was modest about his career achievements when discussing his appointment to the board of US-based IT security and authentication supplier Entrust. He put it down to luck.

Pinder's CV includes heading IT for the Inland Revenue and a major chunk of financial institution Citibank. As e-envoy he led the government drive to deliver electronic services and negotiated deals several suppliers including one with Microsoft for the Government Gateway.

After the high-profile stresses and strains of e-government, a stint in the private sector IT industry should be a walk in the park for the modest Pinder.

Microsoft staff in trustworthy dispute

Four former Microsoft employees have been charged with the alleged theft and resale of $32m-worth (£17.2m) of Microsoft software.

The enterprising employees apparently took advantage of Microsoft's long-running staff incentive where employees get free software. While this is meant for personal use, it did not stop the Microsoft four from trying to make a fast buck, it is alleged.

According to the complaint, the four are accused of requesting thousands of software products through the internal programme and then selling them for personal gain.

Their haul included copies of Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Windows Advanced Server 2000, Exchange Server Enterprise 2000, SQL Server 2000 and Sharepoint Portal Server 2001.

Critics of biometric ID cards should re-Kant

Home secretary David Blunkett has blamed scepticism over the government's plans for a national ID card on the German philosopher, Immanuel Kant.

"It was writers like Kant who first took the view that there is something suspicious about government activity, and that if a government is up to something, it must be about removing freedoms," the minister told a conference at the Institute for Public Policy Research.

What next? Perhaps he will blame Sigmund Freud for the computer failures at the Child Support Agency.

Give yourself a hand with the writing

IT directors need to address a serious shortcoming - their appalling handwriting.

A study by printer maker Lexmark of UK professionals found that IT managers have the worst handwriting. And having super tech skills will not help IT managers in the future. Handwriting skills are predicted to play an increasingly crucial role in the workplace over the next 50 years according to the study.

Despite the age-old joke about doctors' handwriting, medics were found to have the neatest handwriting along with accountants.

Switching on a piece of history

A switch used by the London Internet Exchange is to become an exhibit at the Science Museum in South Kensington.

Downtime predicts that the sexy box is likely to be huge hit with visitors, and security at the museum will need to be tightened. Surely an 802.11a wireless network should be the next tech exhibit donated to the Science Museum or the Tate Modern art gallery.

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