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8/11/2005
02:35 PM
Patricia Keefe
Patricia Keefe
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Blogging About Work? Play Nice

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Blogging About Work? Play Nice
2. Today's Top Story
    - Windows Vista Beta 1: A Guided Tour
    Related Story:
    - Microsoft Initially Released Corrupted IE Patch
3. Breaking News
    - Spammers Scare To Sell
    - Hackers Break Into Two Universities, 100,000 Identities At Risk
    - In-Flight Cell-Phone Use Closer To Technical Feasibility
    - IBM Puts Podcasting To Work
    - RFID Stakeholders Propose Patent-Licensing Consortium
    - Service Targets Web Ads To Specific Geographic Areas
    - HP, Gateway Tussle Over Intellectual Property
    - 'Grand Theft Auto' Maker Patches Against Unsanctioned Sex
    - This Mouse Is A Beach, Boat Buddy
    - AOL To Give Away Spammer Loot
    - Donald Trump Launches Blog As Latest Media Venture
4. In Depth: Linux Trends
    - IBM Exec Mills Scans The Open-Source Horizon
    - OSDL Creates Repository Of Open-Source Patents
    - Companies Snub Linux Desktops
    - LinuxWorld Showcases Open-Source Growth, Expansion
    - Virtualization Big At LinuxWorld
5. Voice Of Authority: Shut Off Options At Your Own Risk
6. White Papers: What Is Rich-Media Communications?
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quotes of the day: Manners

"Politeness and consideration for others is like investing pennies and getting dollars back." -- Thomas Sowell

"One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone is to beat him at politeness." -- Josh Billings

"Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength." -- Eric Hoffer


1. Editor's Note: Blogging About Work? Play Nice

There's a tsunami building, fed by a combustible mix of incredibly stupid (and apparently mean-spirited) workers, public blogs, and nervous companies.

I'm referring to the growing numbers of folks fired or reprimanded in the workplace for either exposing company plans or posting negative comments about co-workers in public blogs.

The latest example comes from the Southern California branch of AAA, which last week fired 27 workers over their postings on the MySpace social-networking Web site, according to an Associated Press report. The postings came to light after one of the targets--a co-worker of the bloggers--complained. The posts were a mixture of insulting observations, and, according to an auto club spokeswoman, discussion about how the bloggers planned to slow down roadside assistance at work.

(Yikes. Can't you just picture a road sign urging: "Caution--stupid employees up ahead!")

As noted by my colleague Rick Whiting, this issue is a prime example of technology outpacing human-resources programs. Simply put, corporate HR and legal departments have been caught napping on this one. Even among companies that actively encourage employees to blog, most of them, as recently as six months ago, lacked blogging guidelines for their employees.

There are several issues here, first and foremost being freedom of speech. But nowadays free speech is not so free, hemmed in as it is on one side by slander and libel laws, and by harassment policies on the other. My blog entry examines the other issues likely to surface in the debate over firing bloggers and addresses some fundamentals of the apparently dying art of workplace etiquette.

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


2. Today's Top Story

Windows Vista Beta 1: A Guided Tour
Scot Finnie takes a long, detailed, and expert look at the features, foibles, and functionality of Microsoft's upcoming operating system.

Related Story:
Microsoft Initially Released Corrupted IE Patch

The patch for Internet Explorer that Microsoft on Tuesday urged users to install as soon as possible was initially flawed, the company said Wednesday.


3. Breaking News

Spammers Scare To Sell
Spammers have tired of their traditional hard-sell sales tactics and are switching to scare tactics instead, a messaging security firm said Wednesday.

Hackers Break Into Two Universities, 100,000 Identities At Risk
Hackers broke into the computer networks of two universities and may have accessed 100,000 identities, including Social Security numbers, school officials in California and Texas said this week.

In-Flight Cell-Phone Use Closer To Technical Feasibility
Qualcomm and Connexion, the Boeing unit that sells a system for in-flight Internet connectivity, have successfully tested cell-phone standards on a Boeing 737, and others are working on similar initiatives.

IBM Puts Podcasting To Work
The vendor has kicked off a series of podcasts designed to share its technology visions for the future with investors and customers.

RFID Stakeholders Propose Patent-Licensing Consortium
Ten leading radio-frequency identification vendors are teaming up to form a consortium to simplify the process of licensing patents essential to the manufacture and operation of RFID chips, tags, and readers.

Service Targets Web Ads To Specific Geographic Areas
Affinity Internet on Tuesday launched a marketing service that gets the ads of small businesses on local search engines provided by Google, Yahoo, and others.

HP, Gateway Tussle Over Intellectual Property
Hewlett-Packard and Gateway exchanged shots this week in the latest round of an ongoing battle over PC-related intellectual property.

'Grand Theft Auto' Maker Patches Against Unsanctioned Sex
What some users have called the world's "least-downloaded patch ever" was released Tuesday by Rockstar Games, maker of the under-fire "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" video game.

This Mouse Is A Beach, Boat Buddy
If you must bring work on vacation, this story is for you. For those whose offices extend to where the surf meets the sand--or to other places where dampness meets sensitive electronic devices--comes a mouse that can stand up to splashing, spraying, and flat-out wetness.

AOL To Give Away Spammer Loot
America Online on Wednesday said it has collected a Hummer and nearly $100,000 worth of gold bars and cash as part of a settlement in a multimillion-dollar spam lawsuit.

Donald Trump Launches Blog As Latest Media Venture
Add online blogger to the list of media ventures on the resume of real-estate mogul and reality-TV star Donald Trump.

All our latest news

Watch More News
The News Show's John Soat has his usual offbeat take on the latest IT headlines. Watch The News Show.

John Soat Explains Hackers Don't Vacation

Alex Wolfe On Linux Everywhere

Eric Chabrow On Access Encouraged


----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

Intelligence Fine Tuning
Training, compatibility, and data-quality problems are curbing the effectiveness of business-intelligence tools. Find out what 300 companies are doing to overcome these issues in InformationWeek Research's Business Intelligence 2005 report.

InformationWeek's New And Improved Search--Give It A Try!
Our upgraded search function now helps you find a wider array of useful articles, stories, and related content from the entire TechWeb network, with easy-to-use, categorized search results. Improved search also gives you eight new ways to find articles and content.

-----------------------------------------


4. In Depth: Linux Trends

IBM Exec Mills Scans The Open-Source Horizon
Is that Linux on the desktop ahead--or a mirage? IBM's top software exec talks about the many ways the company is embracing open source, and why.

OSDL Creates Repository Of Open-Source Patents
In a move to create a war chest of patents for the open-source software community, the Open Source Development Labs is creating a central repository of patents to benefit the Linux universe.

Companies Snub Linux Desktops
Linux desktops, which seemed to hold some promise a few years ago, have failed to capture the hearts or pocketbooks of corporations, a market-research firm said Wednesday.

LinuxWorld Showcases Open-Source Growth, Expansion
Many of the scheduled events revolve around celebrating the penetration of Linux into the enterprise and speculating on where the technology can go.

Virtualization Big At LinuxWorld
Virtualization is being heard all over the LinuxWorld Expo this week, with several established and startup vendors touting new ways to make the data center more virtual.


5. Voice Of Authority

Secret CIO: Shut Off Options At Your Own Risk
Pre-empting decisions can cut off valuable discussion at the top, says columnist Herbert W. Lovelace.


6. White Papers

What Is Rich-Media Communications?
Analysts predict that only a technology that incorporates audio, video, and application sharing in a single platform can address the requirements of the global enterprise. Arel Spotlight combines the critical aspects of verbal and visual communications with rich content, collaboration, discussion groups, application sharing, and live interaction.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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