Archive for December, 2011

The Outlook for Enterprise-Software Stocks

December 30th, 2011

A federal judge says Marin County doesn’t have enough evidence to proceed with most of its lawsuit over a faulty $30 million computer system.

San Francisco U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston dismissed the county’s racketeering allegations against software vendor SAP on Tuesday.

Marin officials claim SAP, Deloitte Consulting LLP and former assistant county auditor Ernest Culver conspired to get the county to buy flawed accounting software, then covered up its failings

The Marin Independent Journal reports Illston is allowing the county’s bribery case against Culver to continue. The county claims SAP bribed Culver with a job offer.

Marin supervisors this month set aside $1 million for the case on top of $2.6 million already spent.


Software fiasco in Anne Arundel

December 30th, 2011

When are we going to learn that government can’t procure custom-designed software the same way it procures plumbing supplies or paving stones?

Reading of the suspension of Anne Arundel County’s multimillion-dollar emergency dispatch system due to “software problems,” I couldn’t help but shake my head (“Anne Arundel suspends use of new emergency dispatch system,” Dec. 23″).

This was yet another example of a government bureaucracy that stubbornly insists that it can procure custom-designed software the same way it procures plumbing supplies or concrete for paving.

Just charter a committee of “contracting officials” with insufficient knowledge or experience of either software development or the real-world requirements of the software.

Have them draw up reams of convoluted documents and throw them over the wall to a distant, possibly offshore software team with no connection or communication with the men and women who will be putting their lives (and the lives of the public) on the line when the software is used.

Then expect that somehow a system that meets everyone’s needs will miraculously appear.

We have been making this mistake for 40 years. When are we going to learn that software is different from bricks and mortar?

Developing a workable system requires less paperwork and fewer middle-man contractors, and more direct, constant communication and feedback between the software team and the people who rely on it to perform the way it’s supposed to.


Find and remove malicious software with Mcafee Stinger

December 30th, 2011

Mcafee Stinger is an antivirus scanner intended to be used if you think a computer has been infected.

It doesn’t provide any active protection like a full anti-virus program but is a useful tool to copy onto a USB memory key or CD so that you can scan a computer that is acting strangely.

There is no installation required for Stinger: simply run the downloaded file.

There are some preferences that can be set although the defaults are quite acceptable. Stinger can be set to scan for suspicious processes, registry entries, boot sectors and rootkits. It can merely report on viruses although it is set to repair them by default.

Without making any changes Stinger will scan the entire hard disk of the computer but it is possible to add specific folders to the scan.

The List Viruses button shows a list of all the viruses that Stinger can detect and remove.

All that remains to make the scan is to click on the green Scan Now button. The folders and files that are being scanned are shown with a report of anything it finds.

Mcafee Stinger comes with all the virus-definition files included so there is no need to connect to the internet to get the latest updates.

For this reason it is best to download Stinger when it is needed so that you always have the latest version.

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