• United States

Our third annual Golden Turkey Awards

Nov 21, 20055 mins
Network Security

Thank you ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. [Riotous applause.] No, you’re too kind, too kind. Oh stop it. [Applause slowly dies.]

Welcome to the Gibbs Institute’s Third Annual Thanksgiving Golden Turkey Awards. It seems like no time at all since our last awards, but there you go. Time flies when you’re having fun! [Uproarious laughter.]

Seriously though folks, 2005 has been a great year for Golden Gobblers, which is to say, those individuals, companies or entities that don’t, won’t or can’t come to grips with reality, maturity, ethical behavior or social responsibility because of their blindness, self-imposed ignorance, thinly veiled political agenda, rapaciousness and greed, or blatant desire to return us to the Dark Ages.

Our contenders last year were a varied lot of miscreants, buffoons and stooges, and after you pondered long and hard, you voted The Santa Cruz Operation and Microsoft as Top Turkeys.

Much to our surprise neither Darl McBride nor Steve Balmer got in touch to claim their rewards. [Appreciative chuckle.]

So who are we going to put on the rack this year?

Click on each contender for more background

Contender No. 1: SBC. I wrote about switching from a static to a dynamic IP connection, and then adding Vonage. My service quality took a nose dive and my blood pressure went dangerously high after dealing with tech support. From letters you sent in it seems I’m not alone.

Contender No. 2: VoIP for consumers (see why). At first blush consumer-grade VoIP appears to be a great idea, but the reality is without broadband providers (such as SBC) ensuring QoS, the call quality will often be poor and problem resolution a nightmare. Until someone figures out how to make consumer-grade VoIP as reliable as plain old telephone service lines, only the geeks will be interested.

Contender No. 3: The Social Security Administration, which killed off my mother-in-law. She’s still waiting to see if she’s really dead.

Contender No. 4: Apple. A few months ago I got my first new Mac in more than 10 years – a really cool twin-processor G5 with 1.5G bytes of RAM, and I was a believer that Apple knew how to do computers right. I discovered I was wrong. OS X is great but Apple’s flagship productivity suite, iLife, is about as robust as a hammer made of jello. I can now crash iPhoto in at least three repeatable ways. Sad.


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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