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Dubious Distinctions; A More Personal Web

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.

+++

If you're like most people, the proliferation of Web sites, blogs, product review sources, discussion forums, and so on is becoming incredibly difficult to manage. We're striving to help you get to the information you need faster with the introduction of MyInformationWeek. This is a site that lets you personalize your home page according to your topic preferences; it also learns your preferences as they evolve and serves content according to those preferences. Just a quick sign-up, and you're ready to roll. Please give me your feedback on this beta service and how we can make it better.

Tom Smith
tsmith@cmp.com


2. Today's Top Story

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.

Related story:

Utility Disables Microsoft's 'Phone Home' Anti-Piracy App
Firewall Leak Tester, which specializes in firewall stress tests, released RemoveWGA, a program that deletes the Windows Genuine Advantage Notification Tool.


3. Breaking News

Digg To Allow Users To Vote For Many Types Of News
The popular site is expanding beyond technology to allow readers to recommend general news stories.

Dell Investigates Report Of Laptop Explosion
The explosion happened at a trade conference in Japan, and Dell is looking into it, a spokesman said.

Google Confirms Testing New Ad-Pricing Model
Advertisers will pony up when consumers buy a product, qualify as a sales lead, or sign onto a mailing list.

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.

Claria Halts Pop-Ups, Urges Users To Uninstall Its Adware
Claria is pulling out of the adware business, which earned it $100 million annually as of mid-last year, and says it will stop support of its GAIN line.

'Teardown' Analysis Of HD DVD Player Shows Toshiba Taking Big Loss
ISuppli ripped apart one of the devices and found that components cost $674, far exceeding the $499 retail price. Add in manufacturing, cables, remote control, and packaging, and the cost could easily exceed $700.

Mobile WiMax Roams The Outback
Those who wonder about the feasibility of roaming between WiMax networks can look to Australia, where some 50,000 subscribers can do just that.

High-Tech Sidekick Saga Features Old-School Shaming
How far would you go to get your cell phone back? One man combined old and new techniques and won the day.

New York City Taps Mapping Software To Fight Domestic Violence
The city combines health care and law enforcement data with city maps to determine where the city's resources should be allocated.

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

4. Grab Bag: Google And Porn; Toshiba And Blu-Ray

NY Lawmaker Drops Suit Claiming Google Profits From Child Porn (San Jose Mercury-News)
A suburban politician has dropped a federal lawsuit claiming that the search engine company Google profits from child pornography.

Toshiba's Battle With Blu-Ray (BusinessWeek)
Toshiba is gunning for an early lead in the high-stakes battle for share in the market for the newest high-definition DVD players.


5. In Depth: Mobile And Wireless

Mobile Phone Users Warned Of Lightning Strike Risk
If you must be outside during a storm, don't bring your cell phone. There have been fatal cases of lightning striking people using their phones, doctors say.

Wireless Freeloader Charged Because He Never Bought Coffee
Brewed Awakenings employees dialed 911 after Alexander Eric Smith of Battle Ground, Wash., piggybacked off the shop's wireless Internet service for more than three months. He's being charged with theft of service.

Locking The Wireless Network
Is your home or small business wireless network secure? Probably not. But not to worry, there are several methods and products available to help mend the holes.

Nokia, Siemens To Merge Phone Equipment Units
The $31.5 billion joint venture will help keep costs in check in a business that has suffered from price competition, analysts say.


6. Voice Of Authority

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.


7. White Papers

The Future Of Managed Communications Services: Combining The Right Solutions With Strong Go-To-Market Support
This paper looks into the MCS market opportunity for service providers and enterprises. It also covers the MCS framework, how managed communications services make a difference, and how combining the right solutions with strong go-to-market support is key to market success.


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