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Do The Tech Watchdog Groups Need Watching?

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Your Digital Life
2. Today's Top Story
    - Do The Tech Watchdog Groups Need Watching?
3. Breaking News
    - Why The iPhone Won't Make Apple A Player In Business IT
    - Product Interoperability Is At Center Of Apple-Cisco Legal Battle
    - Apple Unlikely To Go To Court In iPhone Trademark Dispute, Experts Say
    - Analyst: Apple To Face Tough Challenge In Internet TV
    - Pricing War Blamed For AMD's 4Q Slump
    - Artificial Intelligence Used To Grade Medical School Tests
    - American Airlines Stops Selling First-Class, Business-Class, And International Tickets On Expedia
    - AOL Says Napster Will Be Its Exclusive Provider Of Music Downloads
    - AT&T To Phase Out Cingular Name, Reclaim Its Wireless Brand
    - CompUSA Will Evaluate Old PCs For Potential Vista Users
    - ACS To Pay Delta Air Lines More Than $7.5 Million To Settle Contract Dispute
    - Open Source Developers Build On Amazon Web Services
4. In Depth
    - First Guilty Plea Entered In HP Pretexting Case
    - Feds Charge One, Mention Co-Conspirators In HP Media Leak Probe
    - New Phisher Tactic: Pay Me Or I'll Kill You
    - New Windows VML Exploit Commandeers PCs
    - Oracle To Patch 55 Database, App Server Bugs Next Week
    - 'Uncrackable' Secure Gigabit Quantum-Encryption Scheme Created
5. Voice Of Authority
    - IT Confidential: Apple-Microsoft War Turns Real
    - Down To Business: Is Executive Pay Excessive?
6. White Papers
    - Virtualization: A Utility Approach To The Data Center
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Winning is not everything, but wanting to win is." -- Vince Lombardi


1. Editor's Note: Your Digital Life

Starting this week, we're launching a new area of reporting, focusing on how information technology changes people's lives and how it changes society. This'll include a hodgepodge of subjects: Internet law, politics, censorship, digital-rights management, online gaming, blogging, a bit of Web 2.0, online communities, local search, and more.

Who's the reporter tackling this subject? Me. Starting this week, I'm transitioning to a new role at InformationWeek. For me, it's also an old role: I'll be going back to reporting. I'm excited about it—I haven't done reporting day in, day out in almost exactly five years, and it was always my first love.

We're looking to incorporate blogs into the reporting process on this beat—the general idea is that I'll be developing and discussing stories on the InformationWeek Blog and then delivering the stories on InformationWeek proper. And I'll also be using podcasts to deliver news.

In the spirit of how journalism works nowadays, I want to come right out and disclose my biases: I'm both liberal and libertarian. (I actually don't consider myself a liberal—but if you hate liberals and think they're evil, you probably hate me, too.) I think big business, left unchecked, will naturally collude with government to stifle competition, innovation, and free speech. As such, I'm skeptical of any attempt to regulate business or speech on the Internet. And when a politician passes a law "to protect our children," I generally figure that politician just found out his approval rating is slumping and is making a cynical attempt to boost the numbers.

However, I believe my higher responsibility is to tell the readers what's going on. Too much of Internet coverage of Internet politics is too one-sided nowadays. The mainstream media favors more regulation, especially when it comes to Protecting the Children, and only quotes platitudes and slogans from the other side. With the bloggers, it's the other way around—they lean toward the libertarian, and only quote conservative groups as an afterthought.

One of my first priorities as a reporter will be to reach out to conservatives and find out what they have to say. Because I'm not doing anyone any good if I use InformationWeek as an echo chamber for my buddies and me to sound off.

Our feature this week, "Advocacy Inc.," falls dead center in my new beat (even though I didn't write it). It looks inside groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and the American Civil Liberties Union, and describes how they work, where they get their funding, and how they can sometimes be antagonistic to business.

By the way: Isn't it odd that I describe myself as a liberal here and then explain that the reason I'm a liberal is because I'm against government regulation and in favor of competition? That's the crazy political world we live in nowadays—up is down and left is right.

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


2. Today's Top Story

Do The Tech Watchdog Groups Need Watching?
Self-appointed advocacy groups have grabbed a share of the tech decision-making process.


3. Breaking News

Why The iPhone Won't Make Apple A Player In Business IT
It will likely pressure smartphone rivals and corporate IT to provide better mobile computing. But it's unlikely to change the company's status as a runner-up in businesses.

Product Interoperability Is At Center Of Apple-Cisco Legal Battle
The squabble involves fundamental differences between proprietary and open approaches to technology products.

Apple Unlikely To Go To Court In iPhone Trademark Dispute, Experts Say
By going to court, Apple would have to spend a lot of money defending what appears to be a weak position, lawyers argue.

Analyst: Apple To Face Tough Challenge In Internet TV
While most of the attention from Apple last week focused on the iPhone, Steve Jobs in his keynote also made good on his 2006 promise to release an Internet TV Adapter and rolled out Apple TV.

Pricing War Blamed For AMD's 4Q Slump
AMD issued a release warning that its fourth-quarter results would come in below expectations. Analysts say too much chip inventory and its price war with Intel are to blame.

Artificial Intelligence Used To Grade Medical School Tests
Vantage Learning claims that IntelliMetric can score open-ended responses with greater accuracy and reliability than people and provide faster results.

American Airlines Stops Selling First-Class, Business-Class, And International Tickets On Expedia
The company gave no reason for the change but will still sell U.S. coach tickets though the online travel agency.

AOL Says Napster Will Be Its Exclusive Provider Of Music Downloads
The companies said that AOL Music Now customers can use the new service for the same $9.95-a-month price they have been paying.

AT&T To Phase Out Cingular Name, Reclaim Its Wireless Brand
AT&T, which took full control of No. 1 U.S. mobile carrier Cingular with its $86 billion purchase of BellSouth last month, is launching a campaign to begin replacing the Cingular name with the AT&T brand.

CompUSA Will Evaluate Old PCs For Potential Vista Users
Consumers thinking about installing Windows Vista can get a free hardware evaluation at 229 CompUSA stores.

ACS To Pay Delta Air Lines More Than $7.5 Million To Settle Contract Dispute
A document filed in bankruptcy court states that ACS has agreed to make two cash payments to Delta in the amounts of $6,570,000 and $1,103,211.

Open Source Developers Build On Amazon Web Services
Programmers are using the Lucene search engine library, a Web search crawler called Nutch, and Hadoop, an implementation of Google's MapReduce algorithm.

All Our Latest News


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

Outlook For 2007
What's in store for you and your organization in 2007? Learn what your peers have planned in InformationWeek Research's Outlook For 2007 research. This report provides an early indication of what the coming year holds from the perspective of business-technology executives by tracking changes to corporate IT budgets and key technology and business initiatives. Use this report to examine your company's IT strategies and purchasing plans for the year.

Can You Hear Me?
As VoIP moves to broader deployment, business technology professionals are trying to balance lowering operations costs with increased spending on VoIP technologies. Learn how 300 companies are implementing VoIP in this report by InformationWeek Research. Use this report to understand the challenges you may face in your deployment and how security concerns can affect your installation, network, and security. Read more about this research.

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


4. In Depth

First Guilty Plea Entered In HP Pretexting Case
Bryan Wagner, a Littleton, Colo., investigator who worked for HP, is scheduled for sentencing in June.

Feds Charge One, Mention Co-Conspirators In HP Media Leak Probe
The charges state that Bryan Wagner and known and unknown co-conspirators obtained and exchanged personal information to get personal phone records for people targeted in HP's probe.

New Phisher Tactic: Pay Me Or I'll Kill You
The message claims to come from a professional hit man who supposedly has orders to murder the recipient, but will drop the contract if he is paid $80,000.

New Windows VML Exploit Commandeers PCs
Immunity Inc. said it had published a working exploit for the Vector Markup Language vulnerability within three hours of Microsoft announcing the bug and issuing a patch.

Oracle To Patch 55 Database, App Server Bugs This Week
The 55 patches include 24 for bugs that can be exploited remotely by attackers, which generally are considered critical threats by security researchers and vendors.

'Uncrackable' Secure Gigabit Quantum-Encryption Scheme Created
A quantum cryptography developer has teamed with an Australian cryptography company to create what the partners claim is the world's first 1- to 10-Gbps secure network that combines uncrackable quantum keys with classical encryption.


5. Voice Of Authority

IT Confidential: Apple-Microsoft War Turns Real
What if Apple devotees and the Windows fanatics finally confronted each other? It's a nightmare scenario too horrible to think about.

Down To Business: Is Executive Pay Excessive?
When evaluating compensation, better that we focus on job performance and the scarcity of premier job candidates than on absolute numbers.


6. White Papers

Virtualization: A Utility Approach To The Data Center
PolyServe's virtualization utilities provide full native performance and comprehensive high availability required by business-critical databases and file servers. PolyServe extends the benefits of virtualization across the data center into storage and software, reducing IT costs far beyond just server reduction.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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