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8/17/2005
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Discernment Takes Time

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Discernment Takes Time
2. Today's Top Story
    - Hackers Demonstrate Their Skills In Vegas
    Related Stories:
    - When Networking Wirelessly, Beware The Microwave
    - Cybercrooks Target ATM And Debit Cards, Steal Billions
    - Spyware Costs Weigh Heavily On IT
3. Breaking News
    - Second Unsanctioned 'Service Pack' For Windows 98 SE Debuts...
    - ...As Nonprofits Join Dispute Over Microsoft's Windows Vista
    - Flexible Financing Options Help IBM Customers Fund Complex Projects
    - Lucas Plans Animated 'Star Wars' TV Show
    - Startup To Offer Software That Combines Predictive Analytics And RFID
    - Technology Both Benefit And Trial To Judicial System
    - Experts: Preventing SSN Abuse Could Prove Tricky
    - Judge Dismisses Lawsuit In Passenger-Data Case
    - Soldier Punished For Allegedly Posting Classified Information On Blog
    - Researchers: Costs Of Electronic Health Records Could Hit $200 Billion
    - Java Dives Into Real-Time Role
    - Motorola Invests In Wireless LAN Vendor
4. In Depth: Printer Particulars
    - Fujitsu Shows 'Electronic Paper' Display
    - HP Debuts Faster Inkjet Printers
    - Pain-Free Printing
5. Voice Of Authority
    - Printer Prices Tumble, But At A Cost
6. White Papers
    - Taming The Growth Of E-Mail: An ROI Analysis
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once." -- Graffito


1. Editor's Note: Discernment Takes Time

Technology decisions, at their core, are about tradeoffs. Often these decisions have many layers of complexity that require more than a few minutes to contemplate.

Unfortunately, time is something not in abundant supply in many IT shops. A few recent examples of what can happen when rushing to judgment:

- The Senate is considering how to tighten access to Social Security numbers, but some worry that the restrictions could actually worsen the problem of identity theft. One suggestion has been to continue to sell or issue the last four digits of any given number, but it turns out that the last four digits are the only ones that are totally random. If a thief knows something about when and where the ID number was originally issued, he could actually guess the first five digits--but not the last four. It's going to take a lot more than political pandering to fix this one.

- Even given all the mighty hacking talent at the recent Defcon show in Las Vegas, it turns out that interference and not programming acumen was the biggest threat to the show network, according to at least one participant. Could your wireless network be brought down by the microwave in the company cafeteria?

- Technology is both a blessing and a beast to the judicial system, it seems. Although computers have certainly helped the trial process, it's also tricky to do things like figure out E-voting and keep private the kind of data that comes up as part of most legal proceedings.

Given the rushed nature of business today, it's no wonder so many software-development projects--50% or more, by different estimates--are total failures. Some things you just can't hurry without peril.

The mantra in most organizations these days is "doing more with less"--and that means less of everything, including time needed to think something through. It's too bad that a typical IT staffer's life is made up pretty much entirely of fighting fires large and small--and fixing problems doesn't leave a lot of time for discernment. The essential conundrum here is this: The more complex our world becomes, the more time we need to sort it out.

To read more about this issue, check out my blog entry. I invite you to take some time to consider the questions at the end and (hopefully) share your answers.

Johanna Ambrosio
jambrosio@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Hackers Demonstrate Their Skills In Vegas
Even allegedly foolproof biometrics aren't totally safe at Defcon, the conference where crackers, hackers, and feds come to share tips and tricks.

Related Stories:
When Networking Wirelessly, Beware The Microwave

It turns out that interference, and not hacking, was the biggest threat to the network at the Defcon show, one participant says.

Cybercrooks Target ATM And Debit Cards, Steal Billions
Crooks find lax security makes ATMs easy pickings, after using the Internet to acquire account numbers and PINs.

Spyware Costs Weigh Heavily On IT
Rampant occurrences of unsanctioned apps in the enterprise are nibbling away at IT resources, to the tune of an average of $130K a month, a survey of IT managers reveals.


3. Breaking News

Second Unsanctioned 'Service Pack' For Windows 98 SE Debuts...
The unsanctioned-by-Microsoft software rolls up Microsoft-issued patches and updates, including a fix that kept the fourth and fifth button on advanced mice from working.

...As Nonprofits Join Dispute Over Microsoft's Windows Vista
The chairman of the VistA Software Alliance, which oversees software used by the Veterans Administration, said Microsoft's choice of a name is "an affront to the people who take care of our nation's veterans."

Flexible Financing Options Help IBM Customers Fund Complex Projects
Bekins moving company taps financing program to fund $4.2 million IT project.

Lucas Plans Animated 'Star Wars' TV Show
Sci-fi's most famous film director plans to adapt the "Star Wars" movie series into a 3-D animated TV show.

Startup To Offer Software That Combines Predictive Analytics And RFID
TrueDemand was founded by leading names in the supply-chain business and plans to start shipping its software in September.

Technology Both Benefit And Trial To Judicial System
Challenges include dealing with electronic voting and figuring out how to secure the personal information that's part of every legal procedure.

Experts: Preventing SSN Abuse Could Prove Tricky
As Congress considers new laws to tighten access to Social Security numbers, some worry that new restrictions could make the problem of identity theft even worse.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit In Passenger-Data Case
JetBlue did violate customer privacy by turning over passenger lists--including addresses and phone numbers--to the government, a federal judge said, but the people involved aren't entitled to damages.

Soldier Punished For Allegedly Posting Classified Information On Blog
Leonard Clark, on active duty in Iraq, was demoted and fined for breaking the rules, which prevent posting information about Army operations or movements.

Researchers: Costs Of Electronic Health Records Could Hit $200 Billion
The administration disputes the estimates, but the question remains over who will pay to create President Bush's proposed national E-health network.

Java Dives Into Real-Time Role
Thanks to tweaks and modifications, Java is finding a home in critical applications ranging from the military to telecommunications.

Motorola Invests In Wireless LAN Vendor
Trapeze networks makes technology that allows users to securely roam across networks.

-More News-

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

In Tuesday's episode:

John Soat On Rating Open Source

Alex Wolf On Dual-Core Duel

Ivan Schneider On Patent Hang-Up

Bob Evans On Baseball And Computer Security


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

RFID Hardships
Examine the challenges companies face when using radio-frequency identification technology in InformationWeek Research's RFID--Wisdom Of Pilots report.

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


4. In Depth: Printer Particulars

Fujitsu Shows 'Electronic Paper' Display
The film-based, flexible color display is different from flat screens and could replace paper in a number of applications, from information boards and posters to point-of-purchase tags.

HP Debuts Faster Inkjet Printers
Hewlett-Packard unveils faster inkjet printer technology designed to deliver high-performance printing for high-volume users, and it rolled out the first printers using the new print head and inks.

Pain-Free Printing
A properly configured cross-platform printing environment can save you time and money on hardware and maintenance. We'll show you how to set it up.


5. Voice Of Authority

Printer Prices Tumble, But At A Cost
Printer prices are tumbling this summer, but weep not for the vendors. They have other ways of squeezing money from their customers. Buying a cheap printer now can cost more later.


6. White Papers

Taming The Growth Of E-Mail: An ROI Analysis
E-mail storage requirements are growing out of control because of simultaneous expansion on several fronts. Companies are looking for solutions.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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