e-Talk Radio: Daughtrey, Taz, 31 October 2000


don't call them hi-fi anymore, but…One of the things that I remember doing is showing people, here is the physics behind this. Why get somebody that's going to give you a speaker that promises this wonderful response up to 100,000 Hertz, when only your dog can hear that? You know, people were saying things that didn't have a technical foundation for it, because it sounded plausible. And the same thing's happening. I'm sure people are selling computers or making promises, or getting people sort of fooled into the stories with their hardware or their software. It seems plausible, and yet because people are not well enough informed, they're going to make some wrong decisions. Maybe it's no worse than buying something they didn't need, or spending more than they need to be…But people will mislead them if they don't have either somebody they can trust, or their own knowledge.

Carol: And we will be back with Taz Daughtrey of the Software Quality Professional after these important messages.

And if you're just joining us, I'm Carol Dekkers, I'm the president of Quality Plus Technologies, a management consulting firm specializing in software measurement, function point analysis, quality initiatives, and process improvement, primarily for the software industry. You can find out more about our services, and you can join us live by clicking on the Web site www.qualityplustech.com. This week I have as my guest Taz Daughtrey, who is the founding editor-in-chief of Software Quality Professional, which is a peer-reviewed journal put out by the American Society for Quality on a quarterly basis. And we've been talking about ghosts, goblins, and glitches of software projects. And we went into break talking a little bit about…I'm fascinated by the urban legends. And maybe you could just share a couple more with us, Taz, and then we'll move into a little bit of discussion on, should everybody be able to use the Internet? Should everybody be able to program in the Internet? So, if you can just give us a couple more urban legends that you've heard, I think they're interesting. And if anyone wants to phone in, our phone-in line is 866-277-5369. If you've got any comments that you'd like to share with Taz Daughtrey. So Taz, without further ado, what are a couple more urban legends that you've uncovered?

Taz: Thank you, Carol. Really, there's a whole class of them dealing with things that your computer can or cannot do. And some of them are almost humorous, and there's a pretty famous humorous one out there. Because of all the false alarms, the different types of viruses, there's one out there that basically is sort of a credulity virus, which means that if you believe this, then all these awful horrible things will happen if you get infected with this virus, including demagnetizing all the stripes on all your credit cards and defrosting your refrigerator, and things like that. But there actually are enough of these legends, urban legends as I call them, about things that might happen with viruses, and a lot of them being false alarms. There are some Web sites that do nothing but hunt down these stories and basically validate them or reveal the inaccuracies in them. And a number of these sites for urban legends in general also are out there. The folklore societies, and various places have them. And there's some of them in the editorial, the forthcoming issue, the December issue of the journal Software Quality Professional. But it just is interesting that people in some senses are pretty gullible about the sort of things

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