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A Tale Of Two IT Fiascos

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: A Tale Of Two IT Fiascos
2. Today's Top Stories
    - Sun's Pledge To Make Java Open Source Leaves Key Questions Unanswered
    - Rival Teams Sun, Microsoft Form Alliance For Java And .Net
    Related Story:
    - Open-Source Software: Who Gives And Who Takes?
3. Breaking News
    - Supreme Court Ruling Could Change Balance Of Power In Patent Infringement
    - Microsoft To Provide Common SQL Underpinnings: Gates
    - AMD Touts Energy-Efficient PC Processors
    - Apple Dumps iBook, Unveils 13-Inch MacBook
    - IBM Researchers Cram 8 Terabytes On A Tape Cartridge
    - ISS Puts Network Defense Online
    - Adobe Offers Ajax Toolset For Designers
    - Software AG, AmberPoint Integrate SOA Software
    - Lotus Notes To Include Office Features
    - Snap.com Blurs Paid, Unpaid Search Results
    - Nortel CEO: No 'Fad Diet' In Turnaround Plan
    - Cognos Partners To Improve Enterprise Search
4. Grab Bag
    - Big Blue's Design Guru Moves Up (BusinessWeek)
    - The Good, The Bad, And The Funny At E3 (CNN.com)
    - Software Makers Crack Down On Net Piracy (AP)
5. In Depth
    - Microsoft, FTC Kick Off 'Get Net Safe'
    - Sprint First To Offer Treo
    - Sony Introduces Pocket-Sized Windows XP Device
    - Vendor To Sell 3G Router Despite Cellco Cutoff
    - Most Who Surf Porn At Work Say It Was Accidental: Poll
    - MTV To Launch Online Music
6. Voice Of Authority
    - Battling Patent Trolls: Four Old White Guys Get It
7. White Papers
    - How To Implement Trusted Computing
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"I don't know who I am anymore." -- Glum announcement by my seven-year-old nephew as he reluctantly modeled a new suit for an upcoming formal event.


1. Editor's Note: A Tale Of Two IT Fiascos

As an addendum to my last Editor's Note, "Hacking: A Cautionary Tale," I direct your attention to this article from the Friday, May 12, edition of The Plain Dealer, "3rd Computer Breach At OU Within 3 Weeks."

Wow. Those three breaches at Ohio University put at risk the data of a minimum of 360,000 individuals. Exposing financial and personal identification information can be traumatic enough, but the computer server that got hacked into in this latest episode contained the health records of about 60,000 people--including their names, birth dates, university identification numbers, Social Security numbers, and medical information. Also exposed through these data breaches were at least 137,000 Social Security numbers, donor information, E-mail, and patent and intellectual property files.

This latest breach was discovered by the university's computer security team while investigating a virus. Another breach was brought to its attention by no less than the FBI.

The university seems to be under attack from a serial hacker or a team of hackers. Whichever the case, the results should be eye-opening. The faculty, students, workforce, alumni, and donors to the university will be relieved to know that the university is now reviewing all its computer systems. According to the Plain Dealer, the university has put a team of 20 employees and three security consultants on the job working seven days a week.

The university seems to have taken the right steps once it discovered these breaches, and so far it has received few reports of anyone being impacted. But three breaches in three weeks screams system weaknesses. This saga is a shining example of the value of trying to break your own systems before someone else does it for you.

Another story, this one from the May 14 Charlotte Observer, reminded me of another tactic that IT shops and project managers need to practice, but don't--and often to ruinous consequences. You can go to my blog entry here to read more about this particular IT fiasco and how planning for failure could have saved the day--or at least mitigated the impact of an IT project gone oh so very badly.

Patricia Keefe
pkeefe@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Stories

Sun's Pledge To Make Java Open Source Leaves Key Questions Unanswered
Sun hasn't said who will manage the code or when it will become open source.

Rival Teams Sun, Microsoft Form Alliance For Java And .Net
The companies say they'll cooperate in offering security, messaging, and quality of service in building enterprise services.

Related Story:
Open-Source Software: Who Gives And Who Takes?
Businesses depend on open-source software, but they leave the work of writing the code to others.


3. Breaking News

Supreme Court Ruling Could Change Balance Of Power In Patent Infringement Cases
In eBay v. MercExchange, the Court created a high barrier by requiring a four-factor test for a permanent injunction. The decision could have had a big impact on the RIM case had it come earlier.

Microsoft To Provide Common SQL Underpinnings: Gates
At a press event to tout the company's SharePoint collaboration software, Bill Gates said getting the SharePoint metadirectory and Exchange Server "to be pure native SQL is a hot topic right now." Common workflow engines are a different matter, though.

AMD Touts Energy-Efficient PC Processors
The company says more energy-efficient PCs will enable smaller form factors, improve power consumption, and also reduce the level of heat and noise generated by some PCs in homes and offices.

Apple Dumps iBook, Unveils 13-Inch MacBook
Apple introduces three MacBooks replacing the aged PowerPC-based iBook and completes the transition to Intel processors for its portables.

IBM Researchers Cram 8 Terabytes On A Tape Cartridge
The technology is likely to appear commercially in about five years.

ISS Puts Network Defense Online
The service is designed to track and control security operations across both ISS devices and systems from other security and networking vendors.

Adobe Offers Ajax Toolset For Designers
While there are many tools that allow developers to work in Ajax, the Spry toolkit allows Web designers to join in.

Software AG, AmberPoint Integrate SOA Software
The goal is to reduce the complexity of SOA governance by providing tools from initial design through run-time management, the companies said.

Lotus Notes To Include Office Features
The next version will include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation capabilities.

Snap.com Blurs Paid, Unpaid Search Results
The only distinction includes the words "sponsored results" at the end of the listing. All the major search engines separate results in a more obvious way, causing some to wonder how customers will react to this model.

Nortel CEO: No 'Fad Diet' In Turnaround Plan
Nortel Networks CEO Mike Zafirovski on Tuesday outlined plans to turn around the struggling networking and telecommunications company. At the same time, Nortel said it expects a wider loss for its first quarter.

Cognos Partners To Improve Enterprise Search
Cognos already has some 23,000 customers--most in business intelligence--and it envisions using the FAST search engine to help enterprises generate more and better data.

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat With 'Don't Blame Me!'
CA's CFO resigns, the EFF sues AT&T over the NSA phone record scandal, and keylogging is on the rise.

Eric Chabrow With 'Patent Medicine'
How will the Supreme Court's decision in a recent eBay case effect patent law?

Elena Malykhina With 'Do-It-All Device'
Palm rolls out the latest Treo, which has new features such as a streaming media app and the ability to use the phone as a modem.


----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----
2006 National IT Salary Survey
The ninth annual InformationWeek National IT Salary survey results are now available! This InformationWeek Research report provides an unparalleled view into trends in IT salaries and compensation plans. With more than 10,000 respondents, the research explores IT compensation and benefits trends across 20 IT job functions and management positions.

Linux Plans
Is Linux really a low-cost alternative to other operating systems? Learn how more than 300 business technology professionals are planning to use Linux in their IT infrastructure in this recent InformationWeek Research report, "Linux: The Impact of Service and Support." Use this report to benchmark your company's initiatives for Linux.

Are You Keeping Up?
Are you paid commensurate with your experience? Learn how your pay compares to that of your peers with our free and confidential online tool. Featuring more than 20 job functions and tracking IT compensation across 20 metropolitan areas, InformationWeek Research's 2006 IT Salary Adviser makes it easy to compare your salary and compensation.
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4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web

Big Blue's Design Guru Moves Up (BusinessWeek)
IBM VP Lee Green talks about how the world-class tech company is learning to put design first.

The Good, The Bad, And The Funny At E3 (CNN.com)
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Naturally, I'm referring to the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3--the world's largest video gaming convention held each May in Los Angeles that's equally as exhilarating as it is exhausting.

Software Makers Crack Down On Net Piracy (AP)
Computer software makers launched a crackdown on illegal Internet sales of their products Tuesday by suing suspected pirates who have set up shop on the popular online auction site eBay.


5. In Depth: Personal Computing

Microsoft, FTC Kick Off 'Get Net Safe' Tour
The campaign will tour a dozen U.S. cities to show consumers how to steer clear of spyware, phishing attacks, and other Web threats.

Sprint First To Offer Treo 700p
The Palm OS-based smart phone, priced at $399, will be in Sprint stores and channels by the end of the month.

Sony Introduces Pocket-Sized Windows XP Device
The one-pound PC sports an integrated keyboard, a still camera, and a video camera and supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Vendor To Sell 3G Router Despite Cellco Cutoffs
D-Link launches a router for 3G services in Europe. U.S. cellular carriers have threatened to cut off subscribers who use such devices, which distribute 3G services throughout a home.

Most Who Surf Porn At Work Say It Was Accidental: Poll
Only 6% of at-work surfers who wind up at adult sites say it was intentional, a new Harris Interactive survey says.

MTV To Launch Online Music Site
Unlimited monthly downloads start at $9.95 and allow consumers to transfer songs to more than 100 different types of portable music players.


6. Voice Of Authority

Battling Patent Trolls: Four Old White Guys Get It
For at least four Supreme Court justices, understanding 21st century business dynamics helped sway their decision to join the rest of the high court in striking down a century-old precedent that all but required an injunction against those deemed to have violated a patent.


7. White Papers

How To Implement Trusted Computing: A Guide To Tighter Enterprise Security
IT managers should view security in terms of a computing ecosystem, a complete environment, additive in security and performance as Trusted Computing Group (TCG) solutions are implemented. The TCG array of products allows IT departments to buy a solid security platform now, and yet be able to institute future security technologies as they become available.


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