IT story picture banners

In a redesign last month, the site I news edit for started including a nice big pic on its front page for the lead news story.

I change the lead on average once or twice a day just so it doesn’t get stale and so visitors that may look at it in the morning and then come back in the afternoon aren’t faced with the same main image. But, of course, this led to a slight problem: where the hell do you get pics from to illustrate the story.

There was quite a bit of resistance to spending money on it, especially since the pic needs to have specific dimension (297 pixels wide – don’t ask me why – and roughly 140 px high so it doesn’t swamp the page and obscure the other news items). Fortunately for Techworld and for me, I love playing about with images. So I have been knocking up images – trying to make as many of them reusable as possible.

I really like some of them so I thought I would stick my favourites up here. Although I have to say one of my reporters, Matthew Broersma, is also a professional artist so when we commissioned him to do Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as a monkey (go here is you need to know why), it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that he blew me out the water. I’ll add his pic at the bottom.

Windows hole
There is *always* a new massive hole in Windows that will bring it to its knees. And then not much happens. Usually Internet Explorer is to blame, but often it is Word or sometimes .Net. Anyway I knocked this up earlier on, and later had to change it to the one below because it was too high.

Trojan worms and viruses
Likewise the other great security threats – Trojans and viruses. I like this one – with the looming Trojan horse.

Siemens fraud
This is a story that will run for a bit – Siemens staff caught bribing their way into contracts. What was remarkable was the discovery of secret bank accounts and what may yet be shown to be endemic corruption in the company. The bloke pictured is Michael Kutschenreuter, the CFO of Siemens Real Estate is at the heart of the problem.

Patent madness
The absolute madness of the US patent system continues to be a topic worthy of news as IT companies continue to sue one another for the most ridiculous “infringements”. And the mad judgements then made in companies’ favour. I don’t think the image says MADNESS strongly enough, but I like it anyway. I may have to do another to get across the idiocy. I still can’t believe that the EC is trying to bring in US-style patent reform.

Patch Tuesday
This is the name given the Tuesday every month when Microsoft unveils its latest series of patches and sysadmins across the world salp their foreheads and groan as they have to update their companies’ systems all over again.

Just a general pic for any legislation or court rulings.

HP spying scandal
Another story that will run and run. Perhaps it’s appropriate that the pic is an American-style approach. Pictured is ex-chairman Patricia Dunn who is at the heart of it, and the board member that effectively blew the whistle on the whole spying debacle by quitting the Board, Tom Perkins.

Google Belgium battle
I think this is perhaps the worst one I have done. Went completely over the top. Belgium publishers are suing Google for taking their content and sticking it up on Google News – they say Google is making money from their content – which, of course, it is. But things aren’t that simply with the new Net technologies. Anyway, here you see a newspaper horse with knight (wearing a press hat) charging Google with its Belgium-flag lance in some rural setting. A disgrace really.

Firefox security hole
A banner for when the open-source Firefox browser has security problems. This is my most recent and I really like it. Make me chuckle. No idea why.

Apple bugs
More security bugs stories – this time with Apple. This was a good idea done not brilliantly. I may have another go at it at a later date.

Not sure about this one. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it. It’s for phishing stories – where fake websites are set up to extract people’s personal details. The most commonly phished site are, for some reason, ebay and Barclays.

Ballmer and Linux
Again, nearly got this one right. Steve Ballmer crushing a little Linux, while a huge Linux penguin looms over him. Maybe it’s too busy with the logos.

Matt’s Ballmer pic
And here is Matt’s Ballmer-as-monkey illustration, which I really like for its gentle cheekiness.

And that’s your lot.