by Carlo Longino

March Madness Must Be Near, Since The Stupid Warnings To Companies Are Here

from the the-sky-is-falling dept

Ah, March -- the break of spring and all that jazz, and stupid warnings about the impact of the NCAA basketball tournament on America's employers. Two years ago, we got treated to warnings about lost productivity because the games would be streamed online, which got repeated last March as well. With the tournament starting in about ten days, this year's warnings are now rolling in, repeating the same tired comments about the supposed financial losses from "lost productivity", with an added benefit: security concerns. Apparently all these employees watching streams provided by the NCAA and CBS and keeping up with scores on various websites offer attackers a yellow-brick road to follow into corporate networks, so companies have to make sure that they've got the right security in place on their networks -- so says a company that -- you'll never believe this -- sells network security equipment. Of course, March Madness has some competition in the imagined-threat sweepstakes this month, so let's make sure we get through this Y2K-like daylight savings change problem before worrying about the tournament.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, Mar 2nd, 2007 @ 8:49pm

    I think you meant...

    I think you meant to say "March Madness (R) (TM) (C) (Patent Pending)"...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, Mar 2nd, 2007 @ 9:09pm

    I would have imagined that they would go to official NCAA sites, rathre than some malware-infested site with no official position whatsoever.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Ayal Rosenthal, Mar 2nd, 2007 @ 11:00pm

    The increased productivity of tournament streams

    Employees watching NCAA games on streaming video and getting updates online is a significant improvement from what used to happen five years ago... many guys would take an early lunch and watch the games at a bar. I miss the old days.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    slacker, Mar 3rd, 2007 @ 8:24am

    Like the world cup in the rest of the world

    I know I skipped work a number times to watch world cup matches. I don't think I care enough about basketball to do that... at least not until the good games. (All streaming media is blocked in my office)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2007 @ 9:27am

    Basketball is teh suk

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    bobbi, Mar 3rd, 2007 @ 4:01pm


    like the world should end just because a few dumbasses don't understand the difference between enjoying really good basketball and keeping their job.... ncaa basketball is some of the best sport out there

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    August West, Mar 4th, 2007 @ 2:34am

    The company saying that the NCAA torunament is a security threat is not an ethical company. A security equipment company that lies in order to sell product will not be in business long. This from an article linked to this one, voicing another concern totally unrelated to the NCAA tournament: "Can you imagine if someone who works at a bank goes to a malicious site and accidentally downloads a key logger, and they start losing all of this financial data?" This has nothing to do with the tournament, it can happen any day of the year. Besides, if the admin for a bank allows users to install things at random, and has workstations unpatched, then its only a matter of time before a)the bank gets hacked, and then sued, and b) He is fired and possibly held financially responsible. This company is generating a scare out of nothing in order to sell product. Stay away from them. If they lie to sell you things, then they will lie about what their product is capable of.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    haywood, Mar 4th, 2007 @ 5:15am

    If they were my employees.....

    The choice would be all theirs, watch sports during working hours or have a job next week, your choice, makes no difference to me, I want my people happy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    ggk, Mar 4th, 2007 @ 8:07am

    Re: If they were my employees.....

    If you want your "people" happy than set up a big screen, order in lunch, and let them watch the games. Do you really think that threatning them makes them productive, happy employees?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    haywood, Mar 4th, 2007 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: If they were my employees.....

    That would assume I thought that watching sports was sane to begin with.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    PopeRatzo, Mar 4th, 2007 @ 1:31pm

    let them complain

    The reason you became a techie geek in the first place was so that you could get a job where you wouldn't have to hassle with a-holes.

    Now's the time to get up from that desk and walk out. If you're half-way decent at what you do there are other jobs waiting for you. Life is too short to spend almost all of your waking hours in the employ of unpleasant people.

    I'm absolutely serious. Don't waste another day working anywhere you hate. Your life will be over and you'll wish you'd just walked out that day when you still had some life left ahead of you.

    There's nothing more important than being happy in your job. And if you're worried about getting fired for watching a game or can't take sick days or vacation, you're not happy, no matter what you tell yourself. When you lay down at night, you know in your deepest places whether or not you're happy. And if not, you owe it to yourself to give notice tomorrow morning.

    I'm really serious.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    daniel, Mar 4th, 2007 @ 4:35pm

    As the IT guy for our company, I will have my window on one of monitors showing the basketball game of my choice. Productivity is overrated anyways.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    flash, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 1:51am

    march comes every year and goes, but I need to find a way to follow the cricket world cup and I wouldn't mind missing little productivy I guess since it comes around every 4 years unlike all sporting events in US. :), but I do agree ncaa is much better to watch than money driven commercial leagues like nba.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Enrico Suarve, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 3:18am

    Bandwidth is the only issue here

    The only thing I see as a real problem is bandwidth

    Lots of employees all streaming at the same time can kill a network (yeah you could buy more bandwidth but you're in business to do business not to stream content inside office hours)

    If you don't like it just do the usual - block ports, install client firewalls etc etc

    The chances of getting malware from the pro sites is minimal to non-existant, sure there may be "win a ticket" malware sites out there but the same is true of anything

    My personal advice to employers - be flexible, chances are that if Joe and his mates want to watch the Knicks they are going to either way. Give them a big screen and a room if possible - let them work it out on flexi-time

    Beats having all of them them streaming, killing your network and stopping others from working - also good for morale and reduces the chances of them botching something whilst only half paying attention to the job in hand

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    JJ, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 9:47am

    If you cant beat them, join them

    Companies are going to lose productivity whenever national events happen. If you make it more difficult for people to get the information they want, they are going to become even less productive. They will leave their desks and ask coworkers if they know what is going on. They will then proceed to talk to their coworkers instead of working. They will look for ways to find the information they want to get.

    Instead of blocking them from this information, companies should make it very easy to obtain. The companies that do this, will lose less productivity than companies who try to block this information altogether.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    YouKnowNothing, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 10:01am

    Slightly OT: the appeal of college sports

    Can someone please explain to me the appeal of college sports? I'm being serious here; I'm not trying to troll and stir up a hornets nest.

    I just don't get it. College sports are amateur sports. If you're going to watch sports, shouldn't you want to watch the best players in the world competing at the highest level? And please save the "they play for the love of the game/school, not money" argument. That's complete bullshit. They get paid. At the minimum, college athletes have their tuition paid for. If suddenly there were no more college sports, and football and basketball had AAA leagues like baseball where those players learn the game before they go pro, would "March Madness" and Bowl games have any appeal at all?

    Is it about the lack of professional sports teams in certain areas of the country? I've noticed that places like Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Florida have big-time college sports programs, but no real pro sports teams with storied and/or winning histories.

    Or is it all about gambling?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 2:44am

    Maybe part of the appeal of college sports is the fact that they can support hier Alama Mater without getting called a dick for comming from somewhere which is academically crap.
    IRT 12: if I were your lusers, I would be happier to se you watching the match than trying to spell my name to find out from the FPS server who I am after I catch you wallhacking (a nasty habit of an admin I know of).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Michael, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 9:58am

    Question of productivity

    I think that the threat of firing people if they do watch it will get them to stop watching the game but destroy morale and productivity. I worked for a company that had 3 huge plasmas on games all day so the employees could go check on the scores or take their breaks watching the games. I can honestly say morale was very high and I got lots of work done even though I am a basketball fanatic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Chris, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Slightly OT: the appeal of college sports

    I'll try not to respond in hornets nest fashion - First of all, your theory about regions with no pro tradition clinging to college sports like Michigan, Ohio, FL. etc. Umm, have you ever heard of the Detroit Redwings, Cleveland Browns (the OLD Cleveland Browns), Miami Dolphins? All of them are (or were) regular contenders for their respective championships. I don't think that's the reason.

    I think school ties ARE a big reason. People tend to feel a much deeper connection to a team if they are an alumni. That makes the games that much more compelling. And whether some or many of these kids are making money somewhere of the side or not, it's mostly speculation and whether they do or don't it doesn't effect their level of play. How many times have you seen a pro guy flame out after a few seasons because he was fat and happy and just didn't care as much anymore?

    The "love of the game" bullshit (as you described it)? I think that the love of the game DOES have something to do with it. Or the passion with which they play at the very least. If you think about it, a lot of these kids will never play pro, and they know the time they have to play organized ball is limited. So yeah, I do think they're playing with more energy and passion and desire than the pro guys (whether their tuition is being paid for or not). The NCAA tournament is their one chance to make an impact on a huge stage. A lot of pro guys are just playing not to get hurt, and trying to save all of their energy for the playoffs. College kids have to leave it all on the floor just to GET to the playoffs.

    Part of the allure of the NCAA tournament is the idea that any team can win on any night. No other sport gives you that. None. You put the Dallas Mavericks up against the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets on a neutral court, and the Hornets might win .0000001 percent of the time. There are rarely any surprises. In the NCAA, at least in the early rounds, at least one #12 seed has beaten a #5 in the first round every year but one since 1988. Over the last five tournaments, #5 seeds are only 11-9 vs. #12 seeds. You don't get that kind of upset potential in the NBA. It just doesn't happen. Predictability is boring.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    shitface, Mar 23rd, 2007 @ 8:07am


    shit shit shit

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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