• United States

Mistakes and annoyances; DSL techs and favorite tools

Jan 17, 20063 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Backspin: Mistakes and annoyances * Gearhead: DSL techs and favorite tools * The past 7 days on Gibbsblog

Backspin: Mistakes and annoyances

Last week I screwed up when I cited problems Bill Gates had with an onstage demo at the International Consumer Electronics Show. Turns out that happened in 2005, not at the recent CES. As I now understand it, Gates’ latest demo went off without a hitch. My apologies. I’ll beat myself with a wet copy of Network World as soon as I stop typing.

To read this week’s Backspin in full, please go to:

Gearhead: DSL techs and favorite tools

If you have followed our travails with our DSL connection, we have an update for you: We asked for a technician to come and check out the DSL line, and last week an SBC DSL engineer, Todd 370, showed up.

To read this week’s Gearhead in full, please go to:

The past 7 days on Gibbsblog:

DSL woes

You’d think in 2006, diagnosing and fixing DSL problems would be easy. You’d think wrong, as I write this week in Backspin. So what have your experiences been?

Core principles of personal data security

From the “Something must be done about this” Department: The problem of companies being sloppy with your personal data was a big issue in 2005 and this year will become even more visible.

The last big du’oh in this area came to light on December 27th when Marriott International Inc.’s time-share division admitted that it had no idea where backup tapes containing credit card account information and Social Security numbers of about 206,000 time-share owners, customers, and company employees had gone.

And when I say Marriott had no idea, I mean they didn’t know whether the tapes, which went AWOL sometime in mid-November, were stolen or lost!

Since then it seems Marriott have got a little nearer to the truth — according to a TechTarget article it now appears that it was an internal loss or internal theft.

Of course Marriott isn’t the only company goofing in this way …

The myth of the digital lifestyle

This week in Backspin, I explain why Bill Gates’s “digital lifestyle” keynote at CES had me yawning. Read why, then come back and discuss.

A new use for patent infringement lawsuits

An interesting article on Tech Dirt discusses how the holder of a lapsed patent for Bluetooth enabled sunglasses has filed a suit against Oakley and Motorola for violating the patent he no longer owns. The story is actually quite complex and the conclusion is …


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

More from this author