The lighter side of IT
  • IT What If? Profession or Union?

    Posted February 21, 2009 - 12:23 am

    Over the length of my career, the question of whether IT should become a profession (by the true and complete definition) or unionize has popped up a couple of times. I don't think unionization has really come up too often since the mid-late 80's when an entire army of students with strong work-ethic came onto the scene - willing to geek-out 24/7 for no extra pay. Turning IT into a true licensed profession never really seems to get traction, either. In the face of off-shoring, up-and-down economies, etc, we have still avoided moving down either path. The interesting question is, "What if" we had done one or the other 10 years ago. Where would we be right now?
  • Cell phones reduce classiness of British royalty

    Posted February 20, 2009 - 10:23 am

    Most Americans probably assume that any romantic scandal within the British royal family would involve a dropped handkerchief or a secret rendezvous arranged by servants. Nope. They just get caught texting other girls.
  • Can Tech Be Gross? You Bet

    Posted February 18, 2009 - 3:37 pm

    Sometime around the end of the 1990s, gross-out humor reared its head once again in American culture. You remember--in movies like Something about Mary (1998) and American Pie (1999). Well, as it turns out, the laff riot continues, the kids love it, and gross-out culture has made its way into various aspects of technology. We identify some the juiciest examples we could find here.
  • Maryland turns to YouTube in desperate attempt to get people to pay their taxes

    Posted February 18, 2009 - 10:00 am

    Having heard that the kids today get all their information from the Internets and the Facebooks and the hey hey, Maryland comptroller Peter Franchot put up a series of YouTube videos urging people to file their taxes over the Internet.
  • Cartoon caption contest

    Posted February 17, 2009 - 5:54 pm

    Enter your caption for this week's IT Underworld cartoon!
  • Nevada tips casinos to iPhone card-counting app

    Posted February 17, 2009 - 5:21 pm

    Nevada gaming authorities have warned casinos to watch for blackjack players using an iPhone application to count cards.
  • European politicians locked in embarrassing Wikipedia gaffes

    Posted February 17, 2009 - 4:12 pm

    Because the world economy is cruising along quite nicely and there are no other major political problems to deal with, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and opposition leader David Cameron decided to get into a public spat about the birthdate of renaissance artist Titian.
  • Bootstrapping tomorrow, today

    Posted February 16, 2009 - 10:53 am

    As a species, we generate some unconscionable amount of new digital data every day. The number is so big that no member of our species, that I know of, really has a good feel for the number. To try to wrap our heads around it we resort to desperate analogies e.g.
  • Google it for them

    Posted February 15, 2009 - 6:21 pm

    A tip to get even with lazy co-workers
  • He said what? (an oddly informative news quiz)

    Posted February 13, 2009 - 2:45 pm

    Does free software uniquely suit Cuba's politics? Is Silverlight the very picture of health? Who Twittered a secret trip to Iraq? Who won't be hacking OS X for prize money this year? Think you know? Test your knowledge in this week's quiz.
  • A hazmat situation

    Posted February 13, 2009 - 11:13 am

    George suits up to take on the lastest Vista virus.
  • Timewasters: Wild webcams, bailout game, weird gadgets

    Posted February 13, 2009 - 11:02 am

    Sure, you could be refinancing your mortgage at shockingly low rates, polishing up your resume, or doing actual work. But no. You're going to spend it here poking a panda.
  • Supertexting baby born in California

    Posted February 12, 2009 - 10:12 am

    This 12-fingered baby will be doubtless be a typing and text-messaging whiz, rendering the rest of 10-fingered humanity obsolete.
  • Cell phone cleared of wrongdoing in Chinese man's death

    Posted February 11, 2009 - 10:09 am

    Huang Heping lay bleeding to death on the floor of a computer salesroom in Guangzhou, the shattered remains of his cell phone in his shirt pocket; investigators originally believed that his phone's battery had exploded, sending a deadly shard into his neck. Not so!
  • Television now one of life's necessities, according to Brazilian judge

    Posted February 10, 2009 - 10:02 am

    A Brazilian man was awarded compensatory damages from a store that sold him a faulty TV. The judge in the case, deemed the television an "essential good." "Without it, how can the owner watch the beautiful women on 'Big Brother,' the national news broadcast, or a football game?" the judge asked.
  • Revenge of the nerds: Trekkie uses Klingon sword in 7-Eleven heists

    Posted February 9, 2009 - 4:57 pm

    There isn't much call in Colorado Springs for weilding a bat'leth in battle, so one man did the next best thing.
  • You call it avoidance, I call it customer service

    Posted February 6, 2009 - 12:38 pm

    In which George learns that there's no escaping the "honey do" list.
  • Quiz: He said what? (an oddly informative news quiz)

    Posted February 6, 2009 - 11:39 am

    Whose Facebook posting outed her as a Wikipedia-dependent fraud? What made the Google-using hordes wring their hands and then turn to Yahoo and Microsoft? Who made us all feel like the underachievers we are? What event didn't draw rock star attendees (Bono excepted)? Who thinks managing the government's nuclear stockpile is more or less like garaging a car for 20 years? These questions and more in this week's news quiz.
  • Get ready to party like it's 1234567890

    Posted February 5, 2009 - 10:21 am

    On Friday, February 13, the official Unix calendar will pass a very geeky milestone. No doomsday scenario here. Just geek cool.
  • Silicon Valley looking for a poet laureate

    Posted February 4, 2009 - 10:00 am

    Santa Clara County, the heart of California's Silicon Valley, has a reputation as a cultural wasteland where the closest thing you can get to high culture is a showing of Monty Python And The Holy Grail. But that's all about to change.
  • Things to find on Craigslist: Apartments, used futons ... human organs?

    Posted February 3, 2009 - 10:00 am

    Daniel Flood was only born with one kidney, and it was failing. So his Internet-savvy daughters decided to post a Craigslist ad looking for a prospective donor.
  • Hacked highway signs warn of zombie attack

    Posted February 2, 2009 - 1:00 pm

    Commuters in Austin, Texas, might be forgiven for doing a double-take at a highway sign reading "ZOMBIES IN AREA! RUN!"
  • Multi-tasking the project plan

    Posted February 2, 2009 - 10:54 am

    I had one of those weird moments recently where I made an analogy between two things that I have never before analogized. Namely, multi-tasking operating systems and project planning. I will get back to that in a moment but first, I have a possible reason why weird analogies are popping in my head that I would like to spend a minute on.
  • 7 Stupid Tech Videos

    Posted January 30, 2009 - 4:19 pm

    It's been a lousy week. Read the news and you can't help but want to just bury your head in the sand. What better time for a bunch of goofy videos for gamers, nerds, and gamer nerds.
  • Would a server by any other name be as functional?

    Posted January 30, 2009 - 11:19 am

    If you name your main file server after a depressive alcoholic playwright can you really expect it to be anything other than problematic?
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