In This Issue: 1. Editor's Note: Dubious Distinctions; A More Personal Web 2. Today's Top Story - Symantec Shooting For Fall Release Of Consumer Security Service Related story: - Utility Disables Microsoft's 'Phone Home' Anti-Piracy App 3. Breaking News - Digg To Allow Users To Vote For Many Types Of News - Dell Investigates Report Of Laptop Explosion - Google Confirms Testing New Ad-Pricing Model - Eclipse Upgrades Open-Source Tools - Claria Halts Pop-Ups, Urges Users To Uninstall Its Adware - 'Teardown' Analysis Of HD DVD Player Shows Toshiba Taking Big Loss - Mobile WiMax Roams The Outback - High-Tech Sidekick Saga Features Old-School Shaming - New York City Taps Mapping Software To Fight Domestic Violence - Advertisers Grapple With Consumer Online Revolution 4. Grab Bag: Google And Porn; Toshiba And Blu-Ray - NY Lawmaker Drops Suit Claiming Google Profits From Child Porn (San Jose Mercury-News) - Toshiba's Battle With Blu-Ray (BusinessWeek) 5. In Depth: Mobile And Wireless - Mobile Phone Users Warned Of Lightning Strike Risk - Wireless Freeloader Charged Because He Never Bought Coffee - Locking The Wireless Network - Nokia, Siemens To Merge Phone Equipment Units 6. Voice Of Authority - FTC Loses Laptop, Maybe IDs Of Spyware Spreaders 7. White Papers - The Future Of Managed Communications Services: Combining The Right Solutions With Strong Go-To-Market Support 8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek 9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote Of The Day: "A really great man is known by three signs...generosity in the design, humanity in the execution, moderation in success." — Otto von Bismarck (1815 - 1898)
1. Editor's Note: Dubious Distinctions; A More Personal Web
Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison is AWOL with his promised $115 million pledge to Harvard University. In a public relations nightmare for both sides, the University has gone public in an apparent attempt to embarrass Ellison and force him to pony up. Ellison's not returning the calls. Anyone got his cell phone number?
While his company's financial performance is strong, Ellison has a well-documented personal budgeting issue. A billionaire having a cash-flow problem is amusing, but it must be cold comfort to the three individuals who lost their jobs because Ellison's donation to Harvard hasn't come through.
In other dubious performances from last week, the Veterans Administration's plan to offer free credit monitoring to veterans and active-duty military personnel after their personal data became vulnerable is another case of closing the barn door after the horses have run free. As is AIG's disclosure of computers stolen earlier this year, only disclosed now because it wanted to avoid notifying the burglar of valuable data on a stolen server. And the government bungling continues with the Federal Trade Commission's loss of laptops containing personal data acquired in law enforcement investigations. In this sad saga, there was one convincing response to data breaches last week: Ohio University's president made a no-nonsense statement indicating he won't tolerate such failures from here on out and suspended a couple of IT managers.
A week ago in this space, I said there are credible arguments from the likes of Bill Gates and Scott McNealy in favor of raising H-1B limits to help satisfy high-tech companies' employment needs. More recently, it came to light in this report as well as this one that some companies are indeed taking advantage of the program to hire foreign workers on the cheap, as so many critics have long maintained. The findings will only fuel the arguments of H-1B opponents, and rightfully so.
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Symantec Shooting For Fall Release Of Consumer Security Service Symantec hopes Norton 360, which will include anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, and anti-keylogger protection, will be available in the fall, but if problems crop up in the summer beta, the rollout could be as late as next year. The service will compete with Microsoft Windows Live OneCare.
Eclipse Upgrades Open-Source Tools Ten upgrades are planned, including those for business intelligence and reporting tools, a modeling framework, a Web tools platform, test and performance tools, and integrated development environments.
Advertisers Grapple With Consumer Online Revolution The Internet has turned the traditional world of advertising on its head, with spending increasingly shifting from print and TV to online. The Web is also giving millions of consumers an outlet for their views on products and brands, bypassing traditional media.
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FTC Loses Laptop, Maybe IDs Of Spyware Spreaders Some days the ironies pile so high you need an extension ladder to see the topmost. The Federal Trade Commission, the government agency whose duty it is to protect consumers from hucksters and scammers, admitted it had lost a pair of laptops—and thus the identities buried in the data on the machines' hard drives.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 7, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program!