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The craziest stories of the tech sector

Network World staff | Oct. 4, 2016
If your memory is fuzzy, that was the time of the last big propeller beanie craze, most notably in Baltimore, where the multicolored hats morphed from being geek chic to a must-have item for the city's youths.

High tech helps solve mystery of ancient calculator

Results of a high-tech research project to be released next week promise to finally unravel much of the remaining mystery of a 2,000-year-old astronomical calculator (update).

Since its discovery in 1902, the Antikythera Mechanism -- with its intricate and baffling system of about 30 geared wheels -- has been an enigma. Our knowledge of its functions has increased as computer-based imaging, analysis and X-ray technologies have evolved. During the last 50 years, researchers have identified various astronomical and calendar functions, including gears that mimic the movement of the sun and moon.


What users hate about IT pros

Really, would it kill you to spend an extra 30 seconds with a user to make sure the fix you just applied actually works?

That's what Jeff, portfolio manager with a financial services firm in the Washington, D.C., area, wants to know.

"[It irks me] when an IT manager 'fixes' something on my computer and then says 'It should work now' and walks away," says Jeff, who, like other users interviewed, didn't want his last name or company named for fear the IT pros in his organization read this publication.

CCIE: Talk about a stress test

Anthony Sequeira knows a little about stress. The 35-year-old network instructor from Tampa, Fla., once purposely stalled a single-engine plane and sent it into a tailspin five times in a row as part of his efforts to earn his pilot's license. He's also a world-class poker player. But nothing in his thrill-seeking exploits prepared him for the pressure of taking the Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE) lab exam. The CCIE exam is "absolutely more stressful than doing loop-de-loops in a plane," Sequeira says.

"With piloting, you conquer fear by eliminating the unknowns. The fear of the unknown is what you consistently face in the CCIE. They could throw a topic at you that you have no experience with. They did it to me all five times that I took the exam." Sequeira passed the lab exam in January, joining the ranks of 12,967 network engineers who have aced the grueling hands-on test.

Rating apologies: Deep regrets, from TJX to ChoicePoint, about data leaks

Exposing sensitive personal information means always having to say you’re sorry. Some people do it better than others, however.

Here are 10 examples of data breaches and the resulting apologies issued by companies, universities, and one government agency. After each apology, the team from the Web site Perfect Apology weighs in with a detailed evaluation and ranking on a scale of 1 to 10. Read through the list to find out who scored a -3 on the Perfect Apology scale.


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