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Hotels, software and 9/11

I’M BACK Went to a Lincoln car show this past weekend in Chicago. Stayed at a Westin. We got a “good deal” on the rate because over 100 people attended. $129 a day. REAL good deal, because the rack rate is $209. Now, I’d guess you’d get a load of amenities for that price, right? Not exactly. Let’s look. Free Internet access? Not exactly, $10 per day extra. How about a complimentary bottle of water? Sure, but it’ll cost you $4.95. What about TV? You get cable, but it’s pretty limited. Of course there are lots of pay-per-view options. Free breakfast? Right. You can get all this stuff free at a Super 8. The difference is that the Westin is a “business” hotel and caters to middle managers of large companies and sales people on expenses. So, it’s not their money, it’s the company’s. Sky’s the limit, who cares? Tony and I own a company and have owned a few over the years. I can’t imagine wasting money like this, when there’s a decent choice (like a Hampton Inn) that provides amenities free. Companies that allow the mindless wasting of resources are setting themselves up for a fall when times turn tough. My friend Joe Sherlock, whose blog “The View Through the Windshield” is as informative as it is funny, makes this point a lot, the bigger a company, (generally) the farther removed from the customer satisfaction cycle and corporate responsibility is the average employee. NOW FOR SOME SECURITY… I wonder if small companies that offer software ever have a software security analysis done on the product before sale. We’ve run into some recent examples that indicate the inverse. Tony will pick this up, but there’s a real security issue here when a new application is installed and creates big vulnerabilities. ETC. On another note, it’s the sixth anniversary of 9/11. There have been more soldiers killed in Iraq (approx. 3,800) than people killed on 9/11 (approx. 3,000). No point here, just food for thought. God knows that this is the seminal event that made our industry, even after the post Y2K slump. It will be quite a while before anyone takes security for granted.

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