The start of the year is always interesting. I get to meet a bunch of people I generally try to ignore throughout the rest of the year and we talk about business and a lot of other stuff. Mainly other stuff.
The benefit is that I get a pretty good idea where the various companies are going, or want to go and what can be expected of them in the year. And I get to learn a whole lot more - such as how to put bribes to senior IT workers in Government through the books so they are tax deductible. One particular 'director' of IT in a particular department advised a vendor to go talk to the well-known CEO of an even better known company to learn how to do this.
I am sure the CEO would be happy to know the reverence these leeches have for him. Actually, he probably would since we are not talking about buying two licences for WordPerfect here. There is serious money involved.
And of course, there is the other story about a Government department that decided it would rebuild over 200 servers because it wanted to. The rebuilding was totally voluntary and had nothing to do with databases that were definitely not stolen (they worked hard in 2007 so they were awarded an extended holiday with some nice people in Russia) and it was certainly not because they were hacked because they have no active security protecting their servers. In fact, I can categorically state that they were not hacked at any time by any person or persons unknown and even if they were nobody in the department has the skills to figure that out. So they were not.
Learning real web design
This year I also happened to learn how to discover if your website is worth anything. It has got nothing to do with technology or how clever your designers are. In fact, the designers focusing on cute, funky, everything-must-move websites are guaranteeing you will only have confused teenagers paying you visits.
No, the way to find out what a good website looks like is to do what this chap did. He spent a full day boring himself surfing business sites looking for gems. Then he spent the next day learning how a website should be run visiting all the porn sites he could find - purely for research purposes, of course. Apparently, he learned quite a lot.
Porn sites are designed to attract people to the site, take their money and make them come back again - no bull or unnecessary bells and whistles. Just plain efficiency. Business should take note.
The most interesting thing about his 'travels' was that a day surfing porn delivered no malware (as in zero) to his machine. He expected the porn sites to be full of it. The day spent on traditional business sites (most of them South African resellers' sites) left him with 17 bits of malware on his machine.
So, the question is, if local resellers are not picking up malware from all the porn they download, where are they getting it from?