MIS New Zealand’s trawl through yet more extraordinary stories and rumours.

Nailing Oracle

Nail bars have been sprouting all over the place, and no wonder. Manicures and pedicures help body, soul—and business. Just ask Oracle. The software giant has advertised for a “very special, highly professional manicurist” to work on-site at its Redwood Shores, California, complex.

The advertisement calls for candidates to “prescribe appropriate nail products and services, educate clients in home-care nail maintenance, and must be familiar with common nail disorders”. In addition to “excellent sanitation habits, the ability to produce a precise, lasting polish application, and the ability to communicate effectively”, aspiring Oracle nail gurus must have “proficient skills in hand and foot treatments [such as] nail enhancements including acrylics, gel, fibreglass and silk”. Is this proof working at Oracle is nail-bitingly stressful?

Crisis communications

Some great tips on how to deal with the media, intended for IT people, came our way recently from Media Training WW. Among the ‘presentation tips’ for public relations professional events, under ‘Speaking/Presentation Tips’ was this little gem:

“Clichés work great with the media but make you sound unintelligent when delivering a speech.” Ah! Now we understand the rampant proliferation of “going forward” and “value added” when IT suppliers talk to our journalists. They actually believe clichés work great with us

Who says booze is bad for you?

Now you can drink with a conscience. Booze, the constant companion of many, has been vindicated – as saviour of the cell phone. Researchers from Saint Louis University have discovered a way of powering batteries with alcohol, in a version of the biofuel cell.

While a standard fuel cell works by continuously changing the chemical energy of a fuel and an oxidant to create electrical energy, a biofuel cell uses biological molecules, or enzymes, to catalyse this reaction.

“You can use any alcohol. You will be able to pour it straight out of the bottle and into your battery,” graduate student Nick Akers, one of the research team members, told Wired News. “We have run it on various types. It didn’t like carbonated beer and doesn’t seem fond of wine, but any other works fine.” The new battery can generate two milliwatts of power per effective square centimetre. The average cell phone requires 500 milliwatts to operate. The finished product is expected to be available a year later.

Away with the fairies

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer told the company’s clients it took anti-competitive actions because it failed to realise how dominant it was in the market. Ballmer claims in an email sent to customers: “Even five years ago, we still tended to think of ourselves as the small start-up.” What?

Spam of the month

“Lie detector is 82 per cent accurate!!! Never be lied to again,” reads the enticing spam offer. Hmm, this could be useful for those irrepressible IT vendors – but how do we know about the other 18 per cent of the time … ?,

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