The electric rail that HP touched

If you walk along the BART tracks (Bay Area Rapid Transit, San Francisco’s version of mass transit electric-driven trains) you’ll see a big fence, covered with barbed wire, along with lots of signs that make it clear that if you cross the fence you’ll die. Why?

The electric rail.

It’s not lost on me that when I worked at Microsoft there were a few issues that people would tell me not to touch cause they’d cause trouble for me. How did that get communicated to me? “That’s an electric rail.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about that electric rail metaphor today and why I am giving HP such harsh treatment. Privacy is an electric rail.

Let me explain. Big companies rely on our private data to make money. Verizon knows where and when I use my cell phone so it can charge me. At Microsoft if you attended the PDC you had to put your name and address and credit card number into the system so we could charge you and get you your ticket. At health care organizations they know even more detailed private information. And so on and so forth. Big companies have a lot of our data locked up in their data centers.

So, why did I care that HP’s board of directors pushed the boundary of where private information could be used? Because private data must be held sacrosanct. Private data is an electric rail. Use it properly and it will power your business. Use it improperly and you should get fired. There’s no other way to put it. It should be that clear. It IS an electric rail.

This is why I’m giving HP’s board of directors such a hard time (and will continue to do so). They touched the electric rail. You just can’t do that without severe consequences.

Note: the electric rail doesn’t care if you have a reason to touch it. You touch it, you pay severe consequences. Why does that need to be true? So no other company thinks of touching it in the future. 

Comments

  1. HP didn’t give away customer data, it used questionable tactics to collect data about its employees; namely, members of the board of directors.

    There’s no condoning what occurred at HP, but making Microsoft (which had, for example, left a backdoor to ALL of its customers hotmail accounts open to anybody capable of entering a URL for months after the issue was known) out to be a bastion of consumer privacy defense at the expense of HP is logically ludicrous and simultaneously, coming from an ex-softie like yourself, especially vile.

  2. HP didn’t give away customer data, it used questionable tactics to collect data about its employees; namely, members of the board of directors.

    There’s no condoning what occurred at HP, but making Microsoft (which had, for example, left a backdoor to ALL of its customers hotmail accounts open to anybody capable of entering a URL for months after the issue was known) out to be a bastion of consumer privacy defense at the expense of HP is logically ludicrous and simultaneously, coming from an ex-softie like yourself, especially vile.

  3. anon: it wasn’t just its employees. It was reporters and their families too.

    And, personally, a company should put a firewall around ALL private data.

    Where did you read above that I was making Microsoft out to be a bastion of consumer privacy defense? Please tell me. I don’t see it.

  4. anon: it wasn’t just its employees. It was reporters and their families too.

    And, personally, a company should put a firewall around ALL private data.

    Where did you read above that I was making Microsoft out to be a bastion of consumer privacy defense? Please tell me. I don’t see it.

  5. Robert, do we even know if “HP”, say nothing of the board or Dunn, actually violated anyone’s privacy? It could be an invasion perpetrated solely by the last firm in the line of contracting. That’s bad contracting and possibly bad supervision but not a “direct” invasion of privacy.

  6. Robert, do we even know if “HP”, say nothing of the board or Dunn, actually violated anyone’s privacy? It could be an invasion perpetrated solely by the last firm in the line of contracting. That’s bad contracting and possibly bad supervision but not a “direct” invasion of privacy.

  7. Two interesting thoughts:

    1) We don’t know all the facts. We know SOME of the facts. But not all of them

    2) Do you really want the board of any company to have firing people be it’s immediate reaction to scandal until all the facts are really known?

    It’s interesting that your first reaction was start getting strident and picking heros, and to loudly jump into the queen of hearts role, WITHOUT knowing all the facts, WHICH YOU STILL DON’T KNOW.

    That, by the way, says a *lot* about the kind of boss you are, and it’s not really all that good, from a leadership POV.

  8. Two interesting thoughts:

    1) We don’t know all the facts. We know SOME of the facts. But not all of them

    2) Do you really want the board of any company to have firing people be it’s immediate reaction to scandal until all the facts are really known?

    It’s interesting that your first reaction was start getting strident and picking heros, and to loudly jump into the queen of hearts role, WITHOUT knowing all the facts, WHICH YOU STILL DON’T KNOW.

    That, by the way, says a *lot* about the kind of boss you are, and it’s not really all that good, from a leadership POV.

  9. Dunn survived the breast cancer and melanoma battle. She can survive Robert’s Scumbaglizer machine for sure ….
    What about the board member who leaked secret information? It is privacy violation too. Why no scumbaglizer him?

  10. Dunn survived the breast cancer and melanoma battle. She can survive Robert’s Scumbaglizer machine for sure ….
    What about the board member who leaked secret information? It is privacy violation too. Why no scumbaglizer him?

  11. Kevin: if it were only me, I’d be inclined to agree with you. But there are tons of people who are asking for her head, including editorialists at a bunch of “big name” publications. So, I don’t think she’ll survive this one.

    >>That’s bad contracting and possibly bad supervision but not a “direct” invasion of privacy.

    Um, PX, two things. If I am speeding, get pulled over, can I use as a defense “sorry, officer, I thought the speed limit here was 65?” Of course not. Not understanding the law is NOT a defense. It might lessen penalties, but probably not. 2) If someone rips off your house and steals your jewelry and I buy it off of eBay, can I use as a defense “I didn’t know it was stolen?” No, again. I can still go to jail and, at minimum, I’ll lose the jewelry and any money I spent to get it.

    But, do you play me for a chump? Patricia got the phone records which showed who the leaker was. Any 12-year-old knows you can’t just get those without breaking some rules or, at minimum, bending rules.

    Someone who is in charge of a multi-billion-dollar corporation should be beyond reproach. She, upon seeing that evidence, should have known it came from a tainted tree and should have refused to use it.

    Just like in a court of law evidence gets thrown out if it was gotten improperly. It’s really pretty simple and those laws are there for a reason. Why? Cause we’re back to the electric (or third, if you prefer) rail. Touch it and you cause problems.

  12. Kevin: if it were only me, I’d be inclined to agree with you. But there are tons of people who are asking for her head, including editorialists at a bunch of “big name” publications. So, I don’t think she’ll survive this one.

    >>That’s bad contracting and possibly bad supervision but not a “direct” invasion of privacy.

    Um, PX, two things. If I am speeding, get pulled over, can I use as a defense “sorry, officer, I thought the speed limit here was 65?” Of course not. Not understanding the law is NOT a defense. It might lessen penalties, but probably not. 2) If someone rips off your house and steals your jewelry and I buy it off of eBay, can I use as a defense “I didn’t know it was stolen?” No, again. I can still go to jail and, at minimum, I’ll lose the jewelry and any money I spent to get it.

    But, do you play me for a chump? Patricia got the phone records which showed who the leaker was. Any 12-year-old knows you can’t just get those without breaking some rules or, at minimum, bending rules.

    Someone who is in charge of a multi-billion-dollar corporation should be beyond reproach. She, upon seeing that evidence, should have known it came from a tainted tree and should have refused to use it.

    Just like in a court of law evidence gets thrown out if it was gotten improperly. It’s really pretty simple and those laws are there for a reason. Why? Cause we’re back to the electric (or third, if you prefer) rail. Touch it and you cause problems.

  13. I’m listening to what everybody has to say about HP and privacy, but am very interested in how people sort of accept the NSA and others violating privacy and don’t say a peep.

    Is it because people think nobody innocent will get caught up in a NSA dragnet?

    The sounds of silence on this are deafening.

  14. I’m listening to what everybody has to say about HP and privacy, but am very interested in how people sort of accept the NSA and others violating privacy and don’t say a peep.

    Is it because people think nobody innocent will get caught up in a NSA dragnet?

    The sounds of silence on this are deafening.

  15. Wow… it’s as if you are saying there is a line… as if life contained right and wrong… I thought this was a world of gray… maybe I don’t have a “right” to touch the rail?

  16. Wow… it’s as if you are saying there is a line… as if life contained right and wrong… I thought this was a world of gray… maybe I don’t have a “right” to touch the rail?

  17. The California Attorney General said crimes were committed, it’s just a question of who ordered them. Sounds like he’s real clear about what happened and that it’s not fuzzy at all.

    DealBreaker sums it up well, great headline too.

    Hewlett-Packard’s spying is like totally prosecutable
    http://www.dealbreaker.com/2006/09/hewlettpackards_spying_is_like.php#more

    Scoble – another electric rail issue you might consider blogging about is the ever-growing (100 companies being investigated so far) backdated stock options scandal.

  18. The California Attorney General said crimes were committed, it’s just a question of who ordered them. Sounds like he’s real clear about what happened and that it’s not fuzzy at all.

    DealBreaker sums it up well, great headline too.

    Hewlett-Packard’s spying is like totally prosecutable
    http://www.dealbreaker.com/2006/09/hewlettpackards_spying_is_like.php#more

    Scoble – another electric rail issue you might consider blogging about is the ever-growing (100 companies being investigated so far) backdated stock options scandal.

  19. Aaron: you can touch the electric rail. You might not get shocked (er, caught) for nine times, but that 10th time will be quite a doozy!

    Bob: I’m watching that one. I don’t know enough about it, and it also doesn’t hit technology the way the HP one does. At least in my point of view. So, it’s less interesting of a story. My privacy? Big deal. Investors getting ripped off? Also a big deal, but not to me personally.

  20. Aaron: you can touch the electric rail. You might not get shocked (er, caught) for nine times, but that 10th time will be quite a doozy!

    Bob: I’m watching that one. I don’t know enough about it, and it also doesn’t hit technology the way the HP one does. At least in my point of view. So, it’s less interesting of a story. My privacy? Big deal. Investors getting ripped off? Also a big deal, but not to me personally.

  21. Investors getting ripped off does affect you since it impacts on the value of any pension investments you, your employers or government agencies (that you fund via your taxes) have.

  22. HP’s Bill and Dave roll in their graves

    Step aside for IT Blogwatch, in which the HP board spying scandal rumbles on. Not to mention the pop-up potpourri for September…

  23. Investors getting ripped off does affect you since it impacts on the value of any pension investments you, your employers or government agencies (that you fund via your taxes) have.

  24. Funny how you only started vocally complaining about privacy and rights in an information/computing-driven age once you left a megacorporation that constantly pushes fascist DRM software and perpetuates a software development model that invites spyware, software that phones home, and other privacy violations.

    If you cared about privacy, rights, and freedom, you never would have worked for Microsoft, Robert.

  25. Funny how you only started vocally complaining about privacy and rights in an information/computing-driven age once you left a megacorporation that constantly pushes fascist DRM software and perpetuates a software development model that invites spyware, software that phones home, and other privacy violations.

    If you cared about privacy, rights, and freedom, you never would have worked for Microsoft, Robert.

  26. Warren: that’s horseshit. I don’t remember any pretexting going on at Microsoft or any law breaking (at least of this nature when I was there, I don’t remember an attorney general saying the board was doing “stupid” things). And, the fact that you call DRM technology “fascist” explains perfectly just how wacky your opinions here are. Amazing. Please do explain how I’m being fascist if I want my medical chart, or my private email conversations, to be protected via DRM technologies?

    Please stay on track here. And I’ve talked about privacy and rights before. Remember China?

  27. Warren: that’s horseshit. I don’t remember any pretexting going on at Microsoft or any law breaking (at least of this nature when I was there, I don’t remember an attorney general saying the board was doing “stupid” things). And, the fact that you call DRM technology “fascist” explains perfectly just how wacky your opinions here are. Amazing. Please do explain how I’m being fascist if I want my medical chart, or my private email conversations, to be protected via DRM technologies?

    Please stay on track here. And I’ve talked about privacy and rights before. Remember China?

  28. I think a lot of people are missing the point the NSA and other TLA tap phones etc is irrelevant to the argument as is the people who think that Robert is being to nasty the her well grow up kiddies it’s the big bad world out there.

    I bet the other people in HP taken down by this fiasco – and have their careers ruined even if they did not know anything about the problem would be a lot stronger and use a lot of Engineering Language (the words ending with …ing)

    Also I not sure if people realised the point the he made about the 3rd rail areas – and I’me fairly sure he’s talking about ATT and the phone companies – if there anything like BT they will have some very strong views on data security I bet a few employees face some fairly interesting interviews.

    The other point I thought about what if the companies that where hacked blacklisted HP if I was CTO at ATT or Verison (the other company that was hacked) that’s what id do.

    If She gets off – presumablely Kevin Mintik will be suing the government for false imprisonment

  29. I think a lot of people are missing the point the NSA and other TLA tap phones etc is irrelevant to the argument as is the people who think that Robert is being to nasty the her well grow up kiddies it’s the big bad world out there.

    I bet the other people in HP taken down by this fiasco – and have their careers ruined even if they did not know anything about the problem would be a lot stronger and use a lot of Engineering Language (the words ending with …ing)

    Also I not sure if people realised the point the he made about the 3rd rail areas – and I’me fairly sure he’s talking about ATT and the phone companies – if there anything like BT they will have some very strong views on data security I bet a few employees face some fairly interesting interviews.

    The other point I thought about what if the companies that where hacked blacklisted HP if I was CTO at ATT or Verison (the other company that was hacked) that’s what id do.

    If She gets off – presumablely Kevin Mintik will be suing the government for false imprisonment

  30. John: we know enough of them. So, how long, exactly, should we wait? Five days? 10? 20? 60?

    When you’re talking about complex legal and other issues that affect people’s lives? As long as it takes. I know you LOVE your little lynch mobs Robert, but out of all the ones you’ve participated in or led, how many times has your “Lynch now, ask questions later” blown up in your face?

    Yet, like a bad movie, you never seem to learn from it. Maybe it will actually have to happen to you before you finally get it through your head. You don’t know *squat* about all the facts yet. But the second you found out, you were tying the knot, and scouting out a tree. Full story be damned, Robbie’s got some postin’ to do!.

    Kevin: if it were only me, I’d be inclined to agree with you. But there are tons of people who are asking for her head, including editorialists at a bunch of “big name” publications. So, I don’t think she’ll survive this one.

    “See! See! I’m not the only one! Other people are doing it too! THEY’RE not waiting for the facts before they demand her head, why should I?”

    Good one Robert. 12 year old logic as a defense.

    Dude, if the facts bear out that she was fully aware of what happened and approved, that’s one thing. But if they don’t, and it turns out that she didn’t in fact know order, approve, or know about the pretexting until it was done, what then? Do you then apologize publicly for all the shit you said about her?

    Based on past experience, you probably won’t, you’ll just apologize for, once again, rushing to judgement, not that you’ll mean it, or learn from it. “I’m Sorry” only means something if you EVENTUALLY stop doing the thing you’re sorry for.

    Even if you do apologize, will you do it enough to make up for the amount of text and linkages you created? Probably not, that’s effectively impossible.

    So her culpability no longer matters. At this point, on the Intarweb, she’s swinging from a tree, and has been since day one.

    Curious, how no one has questioned Perkins’ involvement in the search for the leaker, since there’s some evidence that he was all in favor of it until it bit him too. Hero? Hardly. In fact, from what *I’ve* read, he was pissed about her announcing names in public as much as anything else.

  31. John: we know enough of them. So, how long, exactly, should we wait? Five days? 10? 20? 60?

    When you’re talking about complex legal and other issues that affect people’s lives? As long as it takes. I know you LOVE your little lynch mobs Robert, but out of all the ones you’ve participated in or led, how many times has your “Lynch now, ask questions later” blown up in your face?

    Yet, like a bad movie, you never seem to learn from it. Maybe it will actually have to happen to you before you finally get it through your head. You don’t know *squat* about all the facts yet. But the second you found out, you were tying the knot, and scouting out a tree. Full story be damned, Robbie’s got some postin’ to do!.

    Kevin: if it were only me, I’d be inclined to agree with you. But there are tons of people who are asking for her head, including editorialists at a bunch of “big name” publications. So, I don’t think she’ll survive this one.

    “See! See! I’m not the only one! Other people are doing it too! THEY’RE not waiting for the facts before they demand her head, why should I?”

    Good one Robert. 12 year old logic as a defense.

    Dude, if the facts bear out that she was fully aware of what happened and approved, that’s one thing. But if they don’t, and it turns out that she didn’t in fact know order, approve, or know about the pretexting until it was done, what then? Do you then apologize publicly for all the shit you said about her?

    Based on past experience, you probably won’t, you’ll just apologize for, once again, rushing to judgement, not that you’ll mean it, or learn from it. “I’m Sorry” only means something if you EVENTUALLY stop doing the thing you’re sorry for.

    Even if you do apologize, will you do it enough to make up for the amount of text and linkages you created? Probably not, that’s effectively impossible.

    So her culpability no longer matters. At this point, on the Intarweb, she’s swinging from a tree, and has been since day one.

    Curious, how no one has questioned Perkins’ involvement in the search for the leaker, since there’s some evidence that he was all in favor of it until it bit him too. Hero? Hardly. In fact, from what *I’ve* read, he was pissed about her announcing names in public as much as anything else.

  32. You completely sidestepped the fact that DRM is designed to restrict the fair use rights people have. A much more common scenario than dealing with medical records (does Microsoft have plans to writ software for that, too? dear God) is buying music online and not being able to exercise fair use over it. That’s precisely what Microsoft allegedly plans to do with its iPod knockoff. Taking away freedom is what fascists do, hence my use of the term “fascist” to describe DRM. If you were serious about privacy you’d embrace free software instead of working for people who call it “communism.” It’s completely intellectually dishonest to know that I was talking about fair use and then to arbitrarily construct some arbitrary scenario that rarely occurs in day to day life, only discussing that instead of what I really meant when I said I disliked DRM.

    You always have acerbic, pissy replies for people who disagree with you, yet you don’t even have good taste in technology. I have no respect for you as a professional or a person, especially because you can’t write code and therefore have no right to call yourself a geek. You’re not a hacker, a nerd, or a geek so stop styling yourself as such.

  33. You completely sidestepped the fact that DRM is designed to restrict the fair use rights people have. A much more common scenario than dealing with medical records (does Microsoft have plans to writ software for that, too? dear God) is buying music online and not being able to exercise fair use over it. That’s precisely what Microsoft allegedly plans to do with its iPod knockoff. Taking away freedom is what fascists do, hence my use of the term “fascist” to describe DRM. If you were serious about privacy you’d embrace free software instead of working for people who call it “communism.” It’s completely intellectually dishonest to know that I was talking about fair use and then to arbitrarily construct some arbitrary scenario that rarely occurs in day to day life, only discussing that instead of what I really meant when I said I disliked DRM.

    You always have acerbic, pissy replies for people who disagree with you, yet you don’t even have good taste in technology. I have no respect for you as a professional or a person, especially because you can’t write code and therefore have no right to call yourself a geek. You’re not a hacker, a nerd, or a geek so stop styling yourself as such.

  34. DRM isn’t facism, it’s stupidity. There’s a difference. Apple’s stupidity is relatively simple, and easy to deal with, but still stupid. Microsoft’s stupidity takes pages and pages of docs, and is confusing as hell to deal with, or even to figure out which kind of stupid you’ve caught.

    Kind of like the companies themselves.

  35. DRM isn’t facism, it’s stupidity. There’s a difference. Apple’s stupidity is relatively simple, and easy to deal with, but still stupid. Microsoft’s stupidity takes pages and pages of docs, and is confusing as hell to deal with, or even to figure out which kind of stupid you’ve caught.

    Kind of like the companies themselves.

  36. Third Rail? Right now it’s only clear that invading the executive and board members’ privacy has reprocussions. That HP does not sincerely value privacy as a value has not yet led to any problems with their business, market value, etc. Privacy just doesnt matter enough to consumers and this case probably won’t be the one to tip things over.

  37. Third Rail? Right now it’s only clear that invading the executive and board members’ privacy has reprocussions. That HP does not sincerely value privacy as a value has not yet led to any problems with their business, market value, etc. Privacy just doesnt matter enough to consumers and this case probably won’t be the one to tip things over.

  38. hey robert

    if your so concerned about privacy issues why are you not crucifying your beloved second life….

    smells of hypocracy to me…. of course HP are not in your tiny web 2 wank bubble

  39. hey robert

    if your so concerned about privacy issues why are you not crucifying your beloved second life….

    smells of hypocracy to me…. of course HP are not in your tiny web 2 wank bubble

  40. second life: has anyone at second life broken any laws? Please explain why you think I should be up in arms about my privacy on Second Life.

    nmb: A friend said that the stock price is going up because investors are already getting excited about getting a new board in place.

  41. second life: has anyone at second life broken any laws? Please explain why you think I should be up in arms about my privacy on Second Life.

    nmb: A friend said that the stock price is going up because investors are already getting excited about getting a new board in place.

  42. @22: If you don’t like it, don’t use it.
    What is free software? Does someone work free to make it? Will you be willing to leave your job and start writing free code?

  43. @22: If you don’t like it, don’t use it.
    What is free software? Does someone work free to make it? Will you be willing to leave your job and start writing free code?

  44. [...] I just finished reading Robert Scoble’s electric rail analogy when it comes to the line that was recently crossed (in terms of privacy violation) and started to think about how, HP board chairwoman Patricia Dunn is trying to draw her own line between the investigation she ordered and the methods that were used to get the results she was asking for. Apparently, in her book, she deserves to keep her job because ordering such an investigation is OK and it’s the investigators’ heads that should role for using the highly dubious technique of pre-texting to complete their investigation. "Oh, the shock. The horror. The investigators I hired to uncover information that’s not readily available did what?" Scoble has been screaming for Dunn’s head on a silver platter.  During the Dan & David show last week, my colleague Dan Farber rightfully said it doesn’t matter whether she knew or not.  She’s accountable.  [...]

  45. Speaking of “third rails”, MSNBC reached a new nadir recently. I was scrolling a page with the mousewheel, and it brought a frickin’ Flash ad under the cursor. The ad decided that gave it permission to start playing sound (loudly) about “ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION”. Can you picture your computer doing that in a crowded room? When web pages start bleating ads at me that I haven’t clicked on, that’s when I stop going to that web site.

  46. Speaking of “third rails”, MSNBC reached a new nadir recently. I was scrolling a page with the mousewheel, and it brought a frickin’ Flash ad under the cursor. The ad decided that gave it permission to start playing sound (loudly) about “ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION”. Can you picture your computer doing that in a crowded room? When web pages start bleating ads at me that I haven’t clicked on, that’s when I stop going to that web site.

  47. Yeah!!! I completely agree. The end does NOT justify the means and Patrica Dunn and anyone in HPs legal department who participated in this need to be fired. It should be a third rail. And IMHO it will prove to be.

  48. Yeah!!! I completely agree. The end does NOT justify the means and Patrica Dunn and anyone in HPs legal department who participated in this need to be fired. It should be a third rail. And IMHO it will prove to be.

  49. [...] I read Robert Scoble’s blog regularly. I enjoy hearing about new technology, but I almost never blog about it. Today there was a post on why he has been so critical of HP spying on its board of directors. So, why did I care that HP’s board of directors pushed the boundary of where private information could be used? Because private data must be held sacrosanct. Private data is an electric rail. Use it properly and it will power your business. Use it improperly and you should get fired. There’s no other way to put it. It should be that clear. It IS an electric rail. [...]

  50. I think that Dunn needs to go — now! Today’s message of her keeping control of the HP board thru January but then Mark Hurd taking over shows that the bucks stops …….. well, okay, not sure where *that* buck stops. Shuffle the chairs, switch the titles and it’s business as usual. They’re of the opinion of it’s a “no harm, no foul”. Although clearly they’re wrong times two.

    But just how easy is it to “pre-text” a phone company? No outrage there? I can’t change my address for my wireless phone without providing a DNA sample, a letter from my mother and a personal appearance from my priest — after I’m told they can’t change the address online or on the phone; in store only. But somehow a person with limited knowledge of me can easily get my records? Hmmmmm?

  51. I think that Dunn needs to go — now! Today’s message of her keeping control of the HP board thru January but then Mark Hurd taking over shows that the bucks stops …….. well, okay, not sure where *that* buck stops. Shuffle the chairs, switch the titles and it’s business as usual. They’re of the opinion of it’s a “no harm, no foul”. Although clearly they’re wrong times two.

    But just how easy is it to “pre-text” a phone company? No outrage there? I can’t change my address for my wireless phone without providing a DNA sample, a letter from my mother and a personal appearance from my priest — after I’m told they can’t change the address online or on the phone; in store only. But somehow a person with limited knowledge of me can easily get my records? Hmmmmm?

  52. Shades of ex-president Nixon – “who, me? I didn’t know they were going to something illegal to get info!” Look where it got him! Fruit from a tainted tree is always poisonous, whether or not the consumer of the fruit knows where it came from.

  53. Shades of ex-president Nixon – “who, me? I didn’t know they were going to something illegal to get info!” Look where it got him! Fruit from a tainted tree is always poisonous, whether or not the consumer of the fruit knows where it came from.

  54. Companies must safeguard sensitive information of employees, customers, suppliers, etc. In this digital age, there must be swift and severe punishment for offending parties, make an example for others to fear.

    We know that IT integrity and enterprise security is cursory, it’s a low priority at most companies. Good example is the tolerance of dangerous, dubious, and dumb user behavior, from some misguided sense of fostering good “morale”.

    Companies allow sloppiness, especially in areas where the CEO and top executives are clueless. Nothing less than a corporate revolution can correct this and other problems.

    Now the vision is the decision.

  55. Companies must safeguard sensitive information of employees, customers, suppliers, etc. In this digital age, there must be swift and severe punishment for offending parties, make an example for others to fear.

    We know that IT integrity and enterprise security is cursory, it’s a low priority at most companies. Good example is the tolerance of dangerous, dubious, and dumb user behavior, from some misguided sense of fostering good “morale”.

    Companies allow sloppiness, especially in areas where the CEO and top executives are clueless. Nothing less than a corporate revolution can correct this and other problems.

    Now the vision is the decision.

  56. [...] Not just blogs, but the entire “Web 2.0″ phenomenon–MySpace, YouTube–the whole rotten bunch. Would Patricia Dunn have stepped down as chair of HP were it not for the constant pounding brought on by the likes of Scoble? Maybe, maybe not. In some sectors, blogs are becoming as well-regarded, if not more, than traditional publishing. Maybe this is limited to the computer industry. Maybe I just read too many blogs. [...]