In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Anonymity Should Be Protected, And Unnecessary
2. Today's Top Stories
- Firefox 1.5 Beta 1 Released, First Bug Surfaces
- First Look: Firefox 1.5 Beta 1
- New Windows Vista Beta And Visual Studio Preview Coming Soon
- Microsoft Opens Security Service Beta To All
3. Breaking News
- Microsoft Looks To Developers To Catch Up To Google, Yahoo
- CIOs Have Strongest IT Hiring Plans For Fourth Quarter Since
2002, Poll Finds
- Interview: Cerf Discusses His Jump To Google
- Lew Platt, Former HP CEO, Dies At 64
- Japanese Company To Acquire PalmSource
- Microsoft Hawks Its IPTV Platform
- Microsoft Goes Retail
- One Critical Windows Patch Planned
- FBI Progress On Enterprise Architecture Management Not Good
Enough For Congressional Auditors
4. In Depth: Katrina
5. Voice Of Authority: Ballmer Vs. Salesforce.com's Benioff
6. White Papers: Business Intelligence
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends
most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against
scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression
must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." -- H.L. Mencken
1. Editor's Note: Anonymity Should Be Protected, And Unnecessary
"... a pocket USB storage device that's commercially
available, highly affordable, and undoubtedly one of the biggest
pains in the rear end ever to hit cybercrime-fighting. Pre-loaded
with a Mozilla Firefox browser and an assortment of clever little
applications, including one called the Anonymizer that uses SSL
encryption to hide all IP activity, the Stealth Surfer allows a
PC to be used for browsing, E-mail, and God-knows-what-other
online activities with nary a shred of evidence left behind.
That's because all the caching, history, cookies, keystrokes, and
data is stored on the device. Even the applications run entirely
on the device, making them invisible to network administrators.
(As you can see, this would also be an extremely handy device for
anyone wanting to job hunt on company time.)
"A few cops, images of evidence walking away dancing in their
heads as they listened, let out sighs and whews and sheeshes and
any other low-key indicator of shock and dismay they could
I'm sufficiently mistrustful of authority that I'm glad that
gadgets like the Stealth Surfer exist.
By definition, anonymity is used to hide behavior that the user
doesn't want other people to know about. In a free society, those
activities are usually immoral and sometimes illegal. They can
include criminal activities such as child pornography, terrorism,
and drug trafficking. They also include activities that are legal
but that many people would like to eliminate, such as viewing
porn involving adults.
So it's easy to see why some people would view anonymity as a
But even in a free society, anonymity is often used to protect
beneficial activities. People go online to learn about
addictions, sexual problems, diseases they fear they might have.
We might prefer that they learn about these things through more
open channels--we might prefer that the teenager who feels
unwholesome sexual longings go to a parent, guardian, clergyman,
or teacher to discuss the issues--but sometimes people are
afraid. And anonymity can help a person feel less afraid, less
alone, and get the courage to step forward and face a problem
So far, I've been talking about anonymity in free societies.
Totalitarianism brings another layer of complication into the
discussion. Anonymity is essential to dissent and planning
political change in totalitarian regimes. Here in America, we
take for granted the right to go on the Internet, denounce
powerful people as thieves, liars, and cowards, and proceed on
with our day without fear of any recrimination at all (except for
nastygrams from people who like the leadership, of
course). But in other countries, you can get thrown into prison for engaging in political speech
the government doesn't like. In those nations, anonymity is
an essential tool for political change.
Moreover, the ability to be anonymous, if we so choose, is what
helps keep free societies like America free.
So I for one am glad to know that there are tools out there like
Stealth Surfer. Like the earthquake survival kit in the garage, I
have no plans to ever use the thing, but it's comforting to know
it's there if I ever need it.
Interview: Cerf Discusses His Jump To Google
Vinton Cerf, often called the "father of the Internet," sees a
growing need for innovation in software that can find creative
uses for the sea of data flowing into the Internet each day.
Microsoft Hawks Its IPTV Platform
Microsoft came to last week's International Broadcasting
Convention with its media-processing chip and a host of set-top
Microsoft Goes Retail
When Microsoft looks at the road ahead, it sees Apple. According
to a report in the New York Post, Microsoft is considering One
Times Square as a possible location for a flagship retail store.
Drop In IT Confidence
As IT confidence dips in the third quarter of 2005,
business-technology managers are feeling uncertain about the U.S.
economy and industry prospects. Learn how this will impact
business and technology initiatives for the remainder of the year
in InformationWeek Research's Evolving IT Priorities 3Q research.
For all the latest government news, opinions, and trends, check
out our newly redesigned and expanded Government Enterprisesite.
IT's Response To Katrina InformationWeek's complete hurricane impact and recovery coverage
from a high-tech perspective.
A trade group explains the gloomy forecast: Rising gas prices
could mean the loss of significant discretionary income, in turn
cutting down on chip-related purchases like consumer electronics.
Katrina Fallout Might Affect Chip Supplies
The storm shut down a plant that produces hydrogen used in the
manufacturing of silicon wafers, a development that one research
firm says could have significant long-term consequences.
FEMA Will Fix Assistance Web Site
The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it's working on
upgrading the Web site, which previously had been blocked to Mac
users, Linux users, Firefox users, and anybody else not using
WiMax To Help With Katrina Relief
A group of vendors is working to install hot-spots in shelters
and remote areas to help storm victims reconnect with loved ones
and find other types of help.
Tony Kontzer says: For once, Microsoft may be picking the wrong
battle, but brother, would I pay to see Steve Ballmer and Marc
Benioff in the ring. A long line of opponents lay in the wake of
Redmond--Netscape, Sun, the U.S. Department of Justice--but when
Ballmer said Thursday that Microsoft would give Benioff's
software-as-a-service juggernaut, Salesforce.com, "a run for its
money," he may have invited more than he bargained for.
Learn why companies need a single integrated platform for all
five styles of business intelligence: enterprise reporting; cube
analysis; ad hoc query and analysis; statistics and data mining;
and report delivery and alerting. A single platform provides a
unified interface and other benefits.
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