By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-11-19 Print this article Print

"Edward Haskins contacted me and my company to create some courseware for his Web site," Burleson told "[He] indicated he had temporary cash-flow issues. … The bill started coming back past due. He strung us along a number of months, promising to pay, and eventually we were forced to file a collection action against him for over $30,000. We obtained court order for collection, which he has steadfastly refused to pay." Click here to read about Oracles switch to a quarterly patch cycle. OraKnowledges business went south, not so much because of the dot-com crash, Haskins said, but because the technology training industry as a whole went into a downward spiral. "Unfortunately for myself, being a small, undercapitalized company, I got to a point where I was in a complete jam," said Haskins, in Lakewood, N.J.
At this point, Haskins isnt filing for bankruptcy and claims that he plans to pay back his debts.
"At this point, I should just file bankruptcy and absolve my debts," Haskins said. "I mean, I know I havent paid Mr. Burleson back any money, but I do plan on paying that debt. I would rather work my butt off to continue to pay off that debt and other business-related debt." Haskins said he is now working as a personal consultant, helping individuals set up home computers. "Recently, I had made a decision to get out of the Oracle training business," he said. "Its more hassle than its worth. Business has dried up, and its impossible to make money at it." That doesnt mean he isnt trying, however. As is depicted on Burlesons site, Oracle community members were treated to spam e-mail in October that looked to be a reincarnation of OraKnowledge. The e-mail was from a supposed Oracle security consultant by the name of Robert Allen, with a company called OraSecure Inc. Burlesons use of whois uncovered the fact that Ed Haskins was behind the site. Haskins admitted to that Robert Allen and his photo were phony, and that Allens biography was unverifiable. The e-mail states, "Many of you have been calling my office to ask when the next course [on Hack-Proofing the Oracle Database] will be offered," but Allen is booked for "security consulting assignments" straight through March. But act now, the e-mail urges: Allen has 100 copies of digital video CD-ROMs that cover the entire course. Haskins admitted that Allen, represented as having "over nine years of trial-and-error from painstaking research" and now acknowledged as "a promising top expert in the field of Oracle database security," is in fact a figment of his imagination. "There is no Robert Allen," he said. "Its a marketing figure. Is it ethical? No. Is it used in business often? Absolutely. Plenty of people utilize fictitious people in marketing their circumstances." Next Page: Doing business under an assumed name.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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