Privacy Protection: Progress, Of Sorts
Reasonable minds can argue over the specifics in these bills, and they should. But whatever passes, and I do hope that happens soon, at least those bills form some sort of basis for nailing thieves and for holding accountable the companies that are the repositories of our most sensitive data. It also speaks to a beginning of a public policy of sorts.
Next Version of Google Talk Leaked
Screenshots and installation software for a major upgrade version of Google's instant messaging application, Google Talk, have apparently been leaked online. The new Google Talk appears to have "themes," color schemes and so on for how conversations look, and the equivalent of what rival AOL Instant Messenger calles "Buddy Icons." Here's a look at the screenshots.
Ethics Aren't Just For The Classroom
My colleague Paul McDougall has been taking quite a beating in the comments section of the InformationWeek Weblog for suggesting that it's a bad idea for executives to take massive gifts from vendors bidding on company business. Paul is making the crazy, wild-eyed assertion that bribery is, perhaps, ethically speaking, the nonoptimal solution. You might even say it's wrong.
The Nerdy Way To Better Health
As junk food, alcohol, cigarettes, prescription drugs and inactivity increasingly take their toll on our health, people are looking for ways to get healthy. Of course, there's no getting around the need to consume fewer toxic substances and excercise more. The good news is that you can employ gadgets and computers to help you out -- and make getting healthy easier and more fun.
IBM, 3Com Team On IP Telephony Suite
The idea is to allow IT groups in midsized firms to reduce cost and complexity by deploying a single server housing all their core applications: ERP, CRM, DB2, and now IP telephony.
Globalization, Or Sailed Ships And Election-Year Politics
The car's left the driveway on the globalization of IT, but the United States apparently still thinks it has the keys. International deals of all sizes have been coming under increasing scrutiny over supposed security questions, and the atmosphere doesn't seem to be getting better anytime soon. Well, at least until after November.
It Takes An Indian Village To Buy An Intel Laptop
Intel Corp. has dropped the other shoe in its defense of its laptop processor business against whatever threat Nicholas Negroponte's One-Laptop-Per-Child project poses.
In December Intel Chairman Craig Barrett bad-mouthed the $100 laptop Negroponte, founder of MIT's Media Lab, plans to distribute in Third World countries, and earlier this month Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, the other half of the "Wintel" combine, did the same thing.
Even though he dismissed Negroponte's design as "the $100 g
Big IT Takes Step To Influence Tech Policy In U.S.
Influencing public policy in Washington and throughout the country requires more than hiring K Street lobbyists to push a legislative agenda. Look at the success of the modern conservative movement in shaping public policy. Its roots date back to 1973 with the founding of the think tank, The Heritage Foundation. Big IT vendors are tearing a page out of the right-wing playbook by establishing their own think tank.
Skype Founders Sued For Racketeering
The suit claims that peer-to-peer client maker Kazaa, also founded by Skype founders, violated StreamCast's exclusive rights to the technology behind Kazaa by selling it to a shell company.
One-Gigabyte SD Card Costs Just $20
It's amazing how quickly the price of removable mobile storage drops. The price of Secure Digital (SD) cards is now so low you can buy one for $19.95 -- and shipping is free.
It Takes One To Know One, Stephen Toulouse
I am sorely tempted to heap ridicule on Stephen Toulouse, the program manager for the Microsoft Security Response Center who had the unmitigated gall to lecture Apple on how to do security alerts. But I won't. It's too easy. Mr. Toulouse doesn't need me piling on. He's self-satirizing. But I hope he and other Microsoft employees do learn a little lesson from this. Nobody from Microsoft has the right to tell anybody anything about secur
Dell and Alienware: A Mismatch Made In Heaven?
I've been trying to think of apt similes for "Dell Buys Alienware." It's like "Kia Buys Ferrari," or "J. Howard Marshall II Marries Anna Nicole Smith" -- something that at first glance seems sort of ridiculous, and the longer you think about it, the less sense it makes. Dell's been going through a bad patch and could use a shot of good PR, but is being laughed at the kind of PR it really wanted?
'V For Vendetta' Phone Coming To U.S.?
In the film "V For Vendetta," all the movie's office yuppies carried identical cell phones -- a sweet black and very thin rectangular gadget that (like all technology in the movie, including old-school Dell PCs) seemed oddly primitive for the year 2020, but that would nevertheless be a very cool phone to have now. And soon you may be able to buy one.
Disney To AT&T: Here, Hold My Wallet
How much more are you willing to pay for Internet service? If you're Robert Iger, the CEO of Walt Disney, apparently you're willing to pay billions. Iger appeared at TelecomNext yesterday in Las Vegas and said he didn't see a need for any net-neutrality legislation that would keep the big telecoms and cable companies from charging his company whatever they want to to deliver Disney's content to customers.
Disney's Iger: No Net Neutrality Laws Needed
The Disney CEO also said his company supports a national franchising plan to make it easier for telcos to get into the video delivery business, while "also supporting a level playing field for cable companies."
Analysis: How Real Are Microsoft's Live Video, Voice?
A Microsoft executive this week gave the first public demonstration of a PC running the Live Mail client, during which he initiated a video call by clicking on an icon in the software's contact list. Although he was clear that the tools are still in beta, the demo was limited all around.
Gates Slings Mud at $100 PC, Winds Up Muddy
Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, stopped off in Washington yesterday to push his company's Origami project at his company's Government Leaders Forum. Although generally a pretty classy guy, Gates followed Intel Chairman Craig Barrett down the low road to take some cheap shots at Nicholas Negroponte's One-Laptop-Per-Child $100 laptop project as a way of building up Origami. Sorry, Bill, but when you got a dog that won't hunt
Can't We All Just Get Along (Online And In The Air)?
Manners, or rather, the lack of them, have been all over our news pages the last two weeks. The topics covered won't surprise anyone, although the proposed remedies might. And yet when all is said and done, what's really needed isn't some time-consuming legal maneuver or more reams of survey data, but rather a dose of good old common sense served up with a dollop of common courtesy.
Metro Wi-Fi Networks Expected To Grow 8,400% by 2010
The growth of municipal Wi-Fi is being driven by several trends, including public safety, increased efficiency, competitive advantage, and the need to provide broadband access to underserved areas, according to a new report from ABI Research.
Tech History Made Yesterday
Most of the Big Events in technology history appear big only in retrospect. For example, for technology historians the day Google.com first came online (September 15, 1997) is obviously a historic milestone. But at the time the number of people who were even aware of it was insufficient to form a basketball team. The date became important only because of what happened later. So remember the date March 14, 2006.
Keeping Kids Safe Online
These days, we're all somewhat wiser about the risks of online chat rooms. My girls are now helping their friends understand what they've learned about how to be more responsible young adults. However sad I am that they needed to have learned this particular lesson, I'm very glad they did.
Mini Displays Coming to Laptops
Most cool new clamshell cell phones these days have a big display inside, and a small one outside. The outside display shows the time, or Caller ID info. It's a great idea that people seem to like. Don't look now, but the same idea is coming to Windows-based notebook PCs!
Suppliers Of In-Flight Cell Phones Stress Safety
Two vendors of phones used on airplanes noted that a recent Carnegie Mellon study, which questioned the safety of cell phones on flights, covered a time period some three years ago. Since then, additional steps have been taken to ensure that passengers can't interfere with aircraft navigation systems, the vendors said.
Intermec Talks New RFID Products For 2006
From small portable printers to huge forklifts, Intermec Corp. will RFID-enable more mobile devices this year, says Mike Wills, Intermec's vice president of global services, radio frequency identification, and intellectual property.
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The Six Gotchas Of Skype For Business
Skype updated its business offering this week, making the service more suitable than ever for small businesses. But Skype for Business still comes up short in six areas.
Analysis: Avaya's Peer-To-Peer Toothache
Avaya's new peer-to-peer SIP solution, dubbed one-X Quick Edition, certainly grabbed headlines this week, but users could end up drilling their own teeth if they're not careful.
The Tech-Savvy Presidential Candidate
Mark Warner is mostly known within political circles these days as the anti-Hillary, but the ex-Democratic governor of Virginia has strong IT credentials that would make him the first former high-tech executive to call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home. Of course, he faces numerous obstacles in his still-unannounced quest for the White House, most notably grabbing the Democratic Party nomination from front-runner Hillary Clinton, let alone ousting the GOP hold on the federal government.