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Condemning Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Is Cheap And Easy

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Condemning Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Is Cheap And Easy
2. Today's Top Story
    - Google Rolls Out New Search Infrastructure
    - Newspapers Fight Back Against Search Engines
3. Breaking News
    - General Motors Awards $15 Billion In IT Services
    - Mozilla Releases Firefox Update--On Purpose This Time
    - Apple Hit With iPod Hearing-Loss Lawsuit
    - SAP Offers On-Demand CRM
    - AMD's 4Q Growth Rate Bests Intel's--For Now
    - About.com Expands Online Video Offerings
    - AT&T Allegedly Provided Customer Data To Feds
    - 1Q Federal Contracts Total $28 Billion: Study
    - Sun, Imation Expand Storage Partnership
    - IPv6 Targeted By Tony Investment Group
    - CA Makes New Name Official
    - Review: The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet's Lost Potential
4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web
    - Adobe Intel Support: October At The Earliest
    - Internet Brings U.S. Telegram Era To A STOP
    - New Exam Aims To Measure Tech 'Literacy'
5. In Depth: Security
    - Countdown On For Kama Sutra
    - FAQ: How Bad Is Kama Sutra?
    - Brief: Worm Spoofs Security Firm's E-Mail Address
    - Feds Charge 19 In Piracy Ring
6. Voice Of Authority
    - Podcast: Keep Your Google Searches Private
7. White Papers
    - IDC Focuses On Symantec's E-Mail Security And Availability Solution
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. 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: Condemning Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Is Cheap And Easy

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have been acting like grownups recently in their decisions to cooperate with the Chinese government in censoring Internet comment. You may not agree with their course of action--you may even condemn what they're doing--but you have to admit that they've taken responsibility for their actions and decisions, and not tried to claim that the whole thing is beyond their control.

I wish I could say the three companies' critics are also being grownups. It's easy to be outraged by companies that cooperate with oppressive regimes, easy to post angry blog entries and issue impassioned press releases. But it's harder to work for change.

In the latest developments, as reported in our story by Tom Claburn, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo tried to enlist the U.S. government to work to stop censorship in other countries, such as China. "As a U.S.-based company that deals primarily in information, we have urged the United States government to treat censorship as a barrier to trade," said Andrew McLaughlin, Google's senior policy counsel, in a statement prepared for a meeting held Wednesday by the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.

Google was condemned after it launched a Chinese Web presence that censors content deemed unfit by the Chinese government. Last month, Microsoft blocked access to the site of a Chinese blogger, Michael Anti. And Yahoo came under fire in September, following revelations that it supplied information to the Chinese authorities that led to a 10-year prison sentence for Chinese journalist Shi Tao.

This week, Google and Microsoft took steps to take responsibility for their actions and discuss the issue with Internet users.

Microsoft outlined its procedure for taking down blogs. Microsoft will cooperate with censorship only if faced with a legitimate order from a foreign government. That may not sound like much--but still, it's progress.

Likewise, Google explained, in frank and plain language, why it took the action it did and what it proposes to do to improve the human-rights situation in China.

Since the Google story broke recently, I've found myself reaching for the keyboard, ready to write a blistering diatribe denouncing Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo as a bunch of evil greedheads, ready to throw aside principle in the name of profit. It'd be an easy editorial to write and a popular opinion to have.

To read the rest of this editor's note, and add your $0.02 of comment, visit the InformationWeek Weblog.

Mitch Wagner
mwagner@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Google Rolls Out New Search Infrastructure
The changes are taking place behind the scenes, in Google's data centers, to solve a couple of problems. One has to do with Google's search engine determining the correct domain name of any given site after a user types in just a portion of the name.

Related Story:

Newspapers Fight Back Against Search Engines
An international group of publishers is exploring options, including collective action at either a national or international level, for enforcing copyright and preventing search engines from taking their content for free.


3. Breaking News

General Motors Awards $15 Billion In IT Services
EDS will lose more than $500 million a year in GM business, while Hewlett-Packard and Capgemini will gain business.

Mozilla Releases Firefox Update--On Purpose This Time
The release of version 1.5.0.1, with minor security and stability enhancements, is official after inadvertent upgrades confused users last week.

Apple Hit With iPod Hearing-Loss Lawsuit
The suit asks for unspecified damages and demands that Apple Computer update the iPod software so its portable music players can't blast tunes at more than 100 decibels.

SAP Offers On-Demand CRM
SAP takes a different approach than its on-demand competitors by running applications on servers dedicated to individual customers.

AMD's 4Q Growth Rate Bests Intel's--For Now
Thanks to strong sales of dual-core PCs, AMD saw quarterly revenue jump 45% to $1.8 billion. Intel posted $10.2 billion in quarterly revenue, with much more modest growth of 6%.

About.com Expands Online Video Offerings
Shows about tech gadgets, health, and home and garden are already running or will be soon.

AT&T Allegedly Provided Customer Data To Feds
The Electronic Freedom Foundation is suing AT&T, charging the telecom company with giving the National Security Agency direct access to a database of private information about AT&T customers.

1Q Federal Contracts Total $28 Billion: Study
There's more going on now than there was at the same time last year, Input says. Key players include the Air Force, Army, and Department of the Treasury.

Sun, Imation Expand Storage Partnership
Due from the two: an extension of the Sun StorageTek T9840 tape-drive platform and projects in advanced storage, including tape and archival technologies.

IPv6 Targeted By Tony Investment Group
An industry powerhouse headed by a former IRS commissioner is investing in firms aiming at the government and corporate IPv6 market.

CA Makes New Name Official
It's just "CA Inc." now, part of a larger overhaul aimed at remaking its image in the wake of accounting scandals.

Review: The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet's Lost Potential
What the tablet does--Web browsing and a number of Internet applications--it does very well. But Nokia blew it by failing to include basic PDA functionality. The device also falls down on battery life.

All our latest news

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat With 'News--Or Not'
RFID reaches China, AMD inside Dell, GM outsources IT, and more.

Doug Henschen With 'Don't Be Big Brother'
An interview with Jim Dempsey, of the center of democracy and technology, about online privacy and surveillance controversies.

Elena Malykhina With 'Super Bowl On Your Cell Phone'
Watch press conferences, the half-time show, and more from the Super Bowl on your Sprint phone or handheld device.


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4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web

Adobe Intel Support: October At The Earliest (The Mac Observer)
Adobe has detailed its road map for Intel-based Mac native support, and it won't be releasing Universal Binary updates for its current applications.

Internet Brings U.S. Telegram Era To A STOP (Yahoo News)
The Internet STOP just brought the age of the American telegram STOP to a stop STOP. In a final irony, Western Union, which flashed good and bad news to Americans in distinctive yellow envelopes for a century and a half, quietly announced its decision to end the service on its Web site.

New Exam Aims To Measure Tech 'Literacy' (Yahoo News)
The ICT Literacy Assessment touches on traditional skills, such as analytical reading and math, but with a technological twist. Test-takers, for instance, may be asked to query a database, compose an E-mail based on their research, or seek information on the Internet and decide how reliable it is.


5. In Depth: Security

Countdown On For Kama Sutra
Starting today, the worm will begin corrupting 11 different file formats by overwriting those documents and files with a mindless string of text.

FAQ: How Bad Is Kama Sutra?
Sometime today, computers already infected with the Kama Sutra worm will suffer potentially catastrophic damage. Here's what you need to know.

Brief: Worm Spoofs Security Firm's E-Mail Address
The E-mails were crafted so that they appeared to be from a nonexistent employee of F-Secure, a security-software vendor.

Feds Charge 19 In Piracy Ring
Authorities say the group, known as RISCISO, collected more than 19 terabytes of pirated data, including software, games, and movies.


6. Voice Of Authority

Podcast: Keep Your Google Searches Private
Word that the government has been seeking search data from Google has struck fear into the hearts of Internet Explorer and Firefox users. Here's a podcast outlining five simple steps you can take to keep outsiders from uncovering private information about your Web-browsing habits.


7. White Papers

IDC Focuses On Symantec's E-Mail Security And Availability Solution
This document identifies the current drivers for E-mail security and availability, describes an "information integrity" strategy for building a resilient E-mail infrastructure, and evaluates the role of Symantec in this market.


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