Periodically I find myself at a military base and am therefore subjected to their, sometimes amusing, special rules. I guess I don’t mind that they search my motorcycle for concealed bombs, and I’m OK with having my name run through one or more database of “bad” guys, and heck, I’ll even live with the silly reflective vest they make me wear on base. But something I saw the other day just made me chuckle.
Thanks to Pvt. Bradley Manning of WikiLeaks fame, the military is now cracking down on Thumbdrives – All Thumbdrives! Even on public computers connected to the outside world and not sensitive military networks. As an example, thanks to Pvt. Manning, I can’t even plug in my camera’s SD card to share photos!
But this sign at a military (but public) Cyber Cafe won top honors for chuckle-bility:
“Users are prohibited from visiting unauthorized sites such as sexual oriented.”
Aside from the two grammar errors, I wonder what other sites are unauthorized.
“Users are prohibited from downloading items onto hard drives.”
And aside from the fact that “items” aren’t defined, and maybe I’m a bit geeky, but the mere act of surfing downloads text, images, scripts, applications, plug-ins and much more.
OK, I’m being hard on the guy who made the sign – A guy that was clearly trying to comply with the post-Manning fallout, but you have to admit his sign is entertaining.
Email signatures are quite entertaining. Among my favorites are the ones from lawyers and legal firms who place a disclaimer at the bottom of the email suggesting that if this email isn’t for you, you should not have read it.
Other favorites are that nothing in this email constitues tax advise. Or that this email doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship. And so on.
But back to the first example, does placing that disclaimer at the bottom of an email somehow absolve the sender from any responsibility that may occur from the email falling into unauthorized hands? I doubt it. Besides, most fifth grade civics students know that contracts can not be unilaterally imposed. What am I missing here?
So I laugh a bit when I see these signatures come in. But, today something completely unexpected arrived in my inbox. A 43-line signature!
Yes, 43 lines! Including standard name, title and company name, but also including three addresses, four phone numbers and even two alternative email addresses – I guess this guy wants to make sure he can always be reached! Always!
But there’s another side to long signatures. I would imagine most people are like me and print out emails if I need some small piece of the content. Hit the PRINT button and expect one page to print quickly. With this guy, you’re almost guaranteed to be delayed while the second page is printed … which when you scan it will be immediately thrown away.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not a paragon of environmental activism, but this one may have reached my limit. What to do?