Readers Talk Back On HP Pretexting Scandal, Spamhaus, And Printer Ink 'Black Gold'

The Hewlett-Packard "pretexting" scandal continued to be a hot topic in our blog comments area this past week, with readers also generating interesting comments on the Spamhaus lawsuit and the expensive cost of printer ink.

Mitch Wagner, California Bureau Chief, Light Reading

October 18, 2006

5 Min Read

The Hewlett-Packard "pretexting" scandal continued to be a hot topic in our blog comments area this past week, with readers also generating interesting comments on the Spamhaus lawsuit and the expensive cost of printer ink.

InformationWeek's editor-at-large did a blog post commenting on his big, in-depth feature on expensive IT blunders. He compared IT organizations to the Mets, saying they should be more like the champion 2006 team, not the hapless 1962 organization.

Reader Christopher quoted Samuel Johnson: "Nothing will be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome."

He added, "Good IT is finding the balance between 'Analysis paralysis' and recklessly charging ahead. Usually, the key differentiator is understanding what needs to be done, what does not need to be done, yet, and knowing how to cover as many risks as possible."Reader magar said, "This sounds so negative. Of course, everyone who has been in the industry experiences disappointments, but this makes it sound like success stories are rare or non-existent.... Overall, IT systems have overwhelmingly had a positive impact on the world...."

InformationWeek Senior Managing Editor Patricia Keefe posted a blog entry Tuesday that belittled Hewlett-Packard executives' claims that they didn't know the actions in their investigation were wrong.

"What a bunch of whiny wet diapers," said reader Mike. "Once the board leaked information, the damage is done. Maybe they should have just thrown the whole board out if the loose-lipped perp wasn't grown up enough to confess. Considering all the garbage bandied about when Fiorina wanted to merge with Compaq, it's probably still not a bad idea to start afresh."

Reader Randy Volters said the problem was caused by courts, schools, businesses, and special interest groups forcing religion and the absolute moral compass from public life. He said, "A society where everyone is taught to create their own morality, in the end, will collapse because each of us must depend on the other, but the outcome of this teaching is that we find after all, we cannot depend on each other. We have no common sense of what is right and what is wrong."

Someone signing himself as "A reader with a conscience" said he has had legitimate reason to "pretext," or give false identification to get information. He used it to help a VP gain access to a cell phone account, with permission, "and even then it was awkward, and made me uncomfortable," he said. "Unethical behavior has become acceptable for 'the greater good' in our society. Look at the popular TV show 24. Here is a man who constantly defies ethical behavior, usually breaking every law on the book, to pursue the greater good of our country. But, because he is the hero, it's ok."

Contributing writer Eric Hall did a blog post that looked at a quandary faced by spam fighters over a lawsuit filed by David Linhardt, who is--depending on who you believe--a legitimate e-mail marketer unfairly victimized by spam-fighting organization Spamhaus, or a big-time, crooked spammer. Spamhaus publishes a blacklist of people it believes to be spammers, and Linhardt sued in a U.S. court seeking to be removed from that blacklist. Spamhaus is a U.K. company and says the U.S. has no jurisdiction, and it refused to mount a defense. The judge found in favor of Linhardt, and when Spamhaus ignored the judge's ruling, the judge (according to Hall) posted a proposed decision that would require ICANN to delist Spamhaus' domain, which, according to spam fighters, would flood the Internet with spam.

Reader W Milner said, "I think the judge needs a bit of technical education. Spamhaus does nothing more than publish a list. They do no blocking themselves whatsoever. Technical considerations aside, the arrogance of some public servants never ceases to amaze me, to presume that the civil law of one country can constrain an entity that does no business there while they operate in another country."

And DB said, "I agree with much of Mr. Hall's points but he is in over his head when he gets into details concerning the legal system. Judges issue real orders, not proposed orders. The 'order' telling ICANN to suspend the registration is a proposal filed by Linhardt's attorneys. The judge has not acted on it, at least as of yesterday. If you check other cases where judges ordered domain suspensions, you'll find that none of them were served on ICANN. They all went to folks who handle registrations directly. There's a reason for that."

TechWeb Reviews Editor Barbara Krasnoff complained in a blog post about the high cost of printer ink, which she called "black gold." Her blog post commented on an article on why the costs are so high and what users can do to save money.

Bruce Barr said, "One ink cartridge for my Epson inkjet costs $35+. It's not 'black gold.' It's a rip off. People complain about paying $15 for a CD that will last forever, but they are perfectly content paying $30-$40 for an ink cartridge that lasts six months if you're lucky.... That's why I don't print photos at home, I save them to my hard drive. If I want to send photos to someone, I e-mail the copy on my [hard drive]. If I want a hard copy, I have them printed out at the drugstore. Besides, the photos that I had printed out from home degrade after a few months anyway. If I print a hard copy, I stick with my laser-printer and try to stay away from my inkjet."

Several other people in that discussion recommended their favorite sources for third-party printer ink supplies.

About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

California Bureau Chief, Light Reading

Mitch Wagner is California bureau chief for Light Reading.

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