Pretexting and the death of the HP way

Well the HP way has been near death for a long while, but surely the current crisis at HP spells its demise. In 2002 The Palo Alto weekly was forecasting its end. This quote from that article particularly highlights the difference between the initial culture fostered by Hewlett and Packard and the current debacle: "When former employees reminisce about the HP Way, they toss around words like "integrity," "trust," and "team." Hmm, there doesn’t seem to have been an abundance of trust and integrity in this case.

The OU has just received a grant from the Hewlett Foundation (not related to HP, set up by William and Flora Hewlett separately) to make our content open, as did MIT with the open courseware project. One can’t imagine such philanthropy from those currently at the helm in HP, they’d be more likely to spend their money increasing the legal restrictions on content than making it freely available.

The crisis also highlights the dangers of euphemisms. The practice of obtaining phone records from employees without their knowledge is known as ‘pretexting’. Now, if it was called ‘spying’ then it would seem unsavoury, but pretexting sounds scientific, techy and modern. One can imagine the conversation:

Investigator – ‘Well I could get all their phone records and then we’d know who the leak was.’

HP person – ‘Isn’t that spying?’

Investigator – ‘No, no, no, that would be illegal. It’s pretexting.’

HP – ‘Oh, in that case, go ahead.’

One Comment

  • cheap computers

    all round i would say the HP Compaq Armada is a good laptop. it is very fast and user friendly and easy to upgrade. however it seems to over heat at prolonged periods of use once in awile and only one usb port also the track point mouse is a pain but i just connect a external mouse to it so not a biggy. i only payed $160 for mine havent had many problems using it the internet is super fast the cd rom is so easy to pull out and switch devices im currently still running windows pro and would …

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