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Covering Your Google Tracks

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Covering Your Google Tracks
2. Today's Top Story
    - Five Ways To Keep Your Google Searches Private
    Related Stories
    - Google Confirms Using Ubuntu Linux, Won't Say Why
    - Google's Sales Up 93% In 2005
3. Breaking News
    - Microsoft Outlines Blog Policy
    - Microsoft Can't Charge Fees For Source Code: EU
    - Dell Soon To Announce AMD-Based Lineup: Report
    - Apple Cuts Old iMac Price
    - Mac IE Dead And Gone
    - Symantec Girds For Microsoft's Security Entry
    - Techies Got Winter Blues About Jobs And Finances In January
    - Visto Has Eyes For RIM BlackBerry Users
    - Oracle Seals Siebel Deal
    - SAP Preps Software Services Announcement
    - U.N. Tech Summit Promotes Middle East
    - Nanotech Takes Tiny Steps Toward Progress
4. Grab Bag: News You Can Use From Around The Web
    - The "Oh, S#&%!" Moment
    - Group Sues AT&T Over Alleged Surveillance
    - Honeywell Investigates Security Breach
5. In Depth: Government And IT
    - SIA Applauds State Of The Union Address
    - DHS To Deploy Holographics At Super Bowl
    - Lockheed Gets $2 Billion U.S. Satellite Deal
    - U.S. Ports Tackle Security With Technology
    - Audit Chides Department Of Homeland Security's WAN
6. Voice Of Authority: Sun Scores First 'Defensive' Open-Source Success
7. White Papers: Fax Servers: Top Messaging Challenges And Ways To Solve Them
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quotes of the day: Simplicity

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." -- Albert Einstein

"Seek simplicity, and distrust it." -- Alfred North Whitehead


1. Editor's Note: Covering Your Google Tracks

Who says no one cares about privacy? Our top story today, Five Ways To Keep Your Google Searches Private, garnered well over 100,000 hits in its first three hours on the site. Of course, everyone uses Google, and Google stories generally do very well, but not like this. I'm guessing it's the privacy angle that pushed it over the top.

That may be because it's one thing to agree to swap details about yourself in exchange for some thing or some access that you want. It's another thing to find out your data is being collected behind the scenes without your permission. And it's something else entirely to be strongly encouraged, or outright ordered, to hand over data--something an uncomfortable industry has experienced a rash of lately and is trying to figure out how to deal with.

And figure it out they must, because playing in data traffic is no longer going to happen without incurring substantial risks. The fines, lawsuits, and bad publicity are starting to mount.

For its part, Google is attempting to resist a Justice Department demand that it turn over a week's worth of search results. Even though no identifying user information would be provided, Google has refused, saying the request goes too far. The fear here, for many, is that this time the request may not require user data, but what about next time? Plus, I'm sure Google doesn't want to open up a side business of responding to every police, DA, or government request for search data. This is a door they definitely do not want to open.

And judging from the humongous interest in Alexander Wolfe's tips on ensuring search privacy, our readers don't want that door opened either. (Check out his blog for a follow-up commentary to be posted some time this week.)

It's not a matter of having anything to hide, though certainly individuals should have the right to censor what becomes known about most of their legal activities. Wolfe quotes Cox News Service columnist Todd Powell, who nails it when he says, "There's a public version of me and a private one."

Exactly. There are parts of ourselves we prefer to keep to ourselves, and parts we make public, and where we draw and redraw that line is situational, depending on how we feel and whether we're alone, with family, with friends, at work, or out on the town. But we draw the line. What books we order, videos we rent, and data we look up should be no one's business but our own (unless, of course, we killed someone and there's good reason to believe we looked up how to do it online or used the Internet to conduct some other nefarious activity).

"Political debates aside, the question of browser privacy is at its heart, a technical issue," Alex observes. And right he is. So if the idea of public access to your search records makes you uncomfortable, take heart. Because the issue is not only a technical one, but as it turns out, addressing it is simple, easy, and cheap to do.

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


2. Today's Top Story

Five Ways To 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 are five simple steps to keep outsiders from uncovering private information about your Web browsing habits.

Related Stories:

Google Confirms Using Ubuntu Linux, Won't Say Why
Reports are circulating that Google is readying a desktop competitor to Microsoft, but a Google spokeswoman says the Linux is for "internal" use only.

Google's Sales Up 93% In 2005
Quarterly financial results were similar to the year-end blowouts, Google reported.


3. Breaking News

Microsoft Outlines Blog Policy
Under the new rules, Microsoft will remove access to blog content only when it receives a government-issued, legally binding notice indicating that the material violates local laws. This framework comes after Microsoft was criticized for removing the blog content of an outspoken Chinese journalist.

Microsoft Can't Charge Fees For Source Code: EU
To comply with the European Union's antitrust rules, Microsoft says it will allow access to some source code--for a fee. But the EU now says the company can't charge for the look-see unless the code is "innovative."

Dell Soon To Announce AMD-Based Lineup: Report
One analyst says AMD-based Dell wares will start with notebooks revealed within the next few months, then spread to servers and desktops.

Apple Cuts Old iMac Price
The 20-inch iMac G5's new price is $1,499, $200 less than before and only $200 more than the 17-inch PowerPC model.

Mac IE Dead And Gone
Microsoft posted a notice on its Mactopia Web site that Internet Explorer for Mac is no longer available for downloading. The company recommended that Mac owners still using IE should "migrate to more recent Web browsing technologies such as Apple's Safari."

Symantec Girds For Microsoft's Security Entry
Symantec's CEO says the company will increase its consumer marketing and channel investment to stay a step ahead as Microsoft enters the security game.

Techies Got Winter Blues About Jobs And Finances In January
Tech pros were slightly less optimistic about their personal finances and more were unhappy with their jobs in January, according to a report by professional staffing and outsourcing firm Hudson.

Visto Has Eyes For RIM BlackBerry Users
Meanwhile, legal maneuvering in RIM-NTP patent case goes on, with final legal briefs due yesterday.

Oracle Seals Siebel Deal
The acquisition becomes official as major competitor SAP prepares a software-as-services announcement due this week.

SAP Preps Software Services Announcement
If the company does reveal what observers are expecting this week, SAP will go head-to-head with Salesforce.com, a leader in the CRM software-as-a-service market.

U.N. Tech Summit Promotes Middle East
The world's leaders in business, science, and research will meet in Oman to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, scientific research, and investment in the Middle East.

Nanotech Takes Tiny Steps Toward Progress
A new research center opening this week at Arizona State University to study the societal impacts and potential benefits of nanotechnology shows progress, yet some voice concerns about whether nanotechnology is worth the cost--or the risk.

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

The "Oh, S#&%!" Moment (CNNMoney.com)
In every career, stuff happens. But if you keep your cool, you can turn a workplace disaster into an image-building triumph.

Group Sues AT&T Over Alleged Surveillance (AP)
A civil liberties group sued AT&T on Tuesday for its alleged role in helping the National Security Agency spy on the phone calls and other communications of U.S. citizens without warrants.

Honeywell Investigates Security Breach (AP)
Honeywell International is offering credit-monitoring and identity-theft insurance to approximately 19,000 current and former employees whose personal information--including Social Security numbers and bank account information--was posted on an Internet Web site.


5. In Depth: Government And IT

SIA Applauds State Of The Union Address
The Semiconductor Industry Association voiced strong support for President Bush's proposals to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. high-tech industries, as outlined in Tuesday's State of The Union address.

DHS To Deploy Holographics At Super Bowl
Holographic-based security systems are being used even though the products won't be available publicly for some months.

Lockheed Gets $2 Billion U.S. Satellite Deal (Reuters)
Lockheed Martin has won a $2 billion, 10-year contract to build the backbone of a space-based U.S. Air Force network that would boost greatly communications links to forces worldwide.

U.S. Ports Tackle Security With Technology
Technologies being used include radio-frequency technology to monitor truck traffic through terminals, biometric identification cards to authenticate employee access, and radiation portals to scan for hazardous materials in trucks and shipping containers.

Audit Chides Department Of Homeland Security's WAN
Among other problems, DHS has not clearly outlined baseline security controls or rules of use on the interconnected systems to prevent unauthorized transactions on the WAN, auditors said.


6. Voice Of Authority

Sun Scores First 'Defensive' Open-Source Success
By making Solaris open-source code, Sun Microsystems has staged the first successful defensive open-source maneuver. Charles Babcock calls it the scorched-earth approach to open source. Like a smokejumper in front of a forest fire, Sun set a backfire to consume the fuel before the conflagration could reach it.


7. White Papers

Fax Servers: Top Messaging Challenges And Ways To Solve Them
This guide identifies several common fax problems encountered in the workforce daily, including efforts to reduce dependence on paper, retiring the department fax machine, effectively unifying fax with E-mail, integrating with other popular applications, and distributing information quickly and easily.


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