Time for a spam sandwich as security eats itself

The wacky world of IT

Time for a spam sandwich as security eats itself

Spam filters adopt stern measures to keep the e-mail inboxes flowing, so Downtime was strangely heartened to hear last week from one reader, Bryan Holland, that one of Symantec's products is sceptical about even the most apparently trustworthy source.

"Having used Symantec's helpful live text assistance to resolve an installation issue with Norton IS 2006, imagine my surprise when its follow-up e-mail was identified by its very own software as spam," said Bryan.

Downtime is all for a bit of constructive self-criticism, but this may be taking things a little too far.

The taxman always rings twice for IT tycoons

Irish businessman Dylan Creaven, who founded computer chip business Silicon Technologies while in his twenties and amassed a multimillion-pound fortune, will be feeling a little less flush this week.

The UK's Assets Recovery Agency and its Irish counterpart the Criminal Assets Bureau have just presented evidence of VAT fraud to Creaven after he was acquitted on the same charge, in a criminal case which was heard last year.

This time around, though, faced with the ARA's evidence, Creaven has agreed to pay £18m and hand over his luxurious Spanish villa and four racehorses, which will be sold and the money split between the Home Office and the ARA. Downtime is taking no bets on the ARA putting it all on the favourite for the 3.15pm at Doncaster.

Light-fingered - andeven lighter-brained

Avid eBay users may notice a dip in the volume of goods from high street pharmacist Boots.

Naturally, Boots hates seeing its branded products sell on eBay for less than it charges in its stores. Of course, it can't stop people reselling goods obtained through over-generous promotions, but managers' suspicions were aroused when new products started appearing on eBay even before they were available in stores.

The thieving employees would have got away with it, but for one simple mistake. They used their names as their handles on eBay.

Sometimes, 100% simply isn't good enough

Microsoft's launch last month of the Vista beta all too quickly revealed that Bill's boys and girls have some way to go if the experience of one of our readers is anything to go by.

Even downloading the beta was a bridge too far for Steve Linter's PC. After several hours, his dialog box confidently announced that 228% of the download was now in the bag, leaving just another three-and-a-quarter hours to go to reach the magic number of... er, hold on.

Memo to Bill: time to drop the do-gooding and crack the whip.

Crawling along the PC's trail of tears

Broadband may be everywhere, but it's reassuring to get confirmation that there are still more than enough grindingly slow computers out there to bring British business to its knees.

A survey has just landed in Downtime's inbox which confirms that even in a world largely populated by slow-witted keyboard-phobics, plenty of machines still can't keep up.

Website BizHelp24's research reveals that more than a quarter of small business owners, managers and employees reckon that slow or unreliable IT equipment is the bane of modern office life.

Nearly twice as many were more irritated by creaking computers than by spam e-mails or unwanted phone calls, both of which have a special place in Downtime's heart.

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