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Eaten By The E-Mail Monster

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Eaten By The E-Mail Monster
2. Today's Top Story
    - IBM Bolsters Services Automation With $1.3 Billion Buyout Of Internet Security Systems
    Related Stories:
    - Analysis: IBM Deal With ISS Means Trouble For Check Point, McAfee
    - BEA Acquires Flashline, Expands SOA Capabilities
3. Breaking News
    - Brief: Apple Fires Five For Downloading Leopard OS
    - Feds Clear Some Apple MacBook Pro Batteries Of Safety Defects
    - Sophos Delivers Free Rootkit Sniffer For Windows
    - Review: Is Google Still The Ajax King?
    - Big Boost In Zombie PCs Seen From Latest Windows Exploit
    - FTC Task Force To Tackle Net Neutrality
    - Bush Executive Order Unlikely To Pump Much Life Into Health IT
    - Intel Conroe Processors Move To Servers
    - Yahoo Adds Anti-Phishing Sign-In Seal
    - eMachines Founder Wants It Back, Offers $450 Million
    - Brief: EarthLink Adds Anonymous E-Mailing For Subscribers
    - IEEE-USA Seeks Crackdown On H-1B Abuses
    - MySpace Pioneer Seeks More Success In China
    - Google Gives Open Access To Japan Version Of Gmail
4. Grab Bag
    - Researchers Yearn To Use AOL Logs, But They Hesitate (The New York Times)
    - 10 Tips For New Ubuntu Users (Linux.com)
    - How To Talk Like An Iraqi (Technology Review)
5. In Depth
    - Microsoft Nixes IE Repatch, Chides Researcher
    - Microsoft Warns Against Adding More Servers To Outgoing Windows Update App
    - Microsoft Exec: Unified Communications Tools On Tap
    - Microsoft Lands Ad Deal With Facebook
    - Brief: Microsoft Will Meet Korean Windows XP Deadline
6. Voice Of Authority
    - Quick Tip For Firefox Users: Deleting Incorrect Auto-Complete Entries
7. White Papers
    - More And More Companies Are Reaping The Rewards Of IT And Software Asset Management
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"1. Never tell everything at once." -- Ken Venturi


1. Editor's Note: Eaten By The E-Mail Monster

E-mail has gotten to be downright impossible. It causes so many problems—lost productivity, infrastructure costs, legal liability—that we should just get rid of it. It's a waste of time and resources, and it's just likely to get us all sued.

And yet, we can't afford to get rid of it. It's what we use to stay in touch. If we didn't have e-mail, we'd be isolated from business communications.

Like the old barroom saying goes: Can't live with it. Can't live without it.

Paul McDougall and Elena Malykhina lay out the problem in one of our feature stories this week.

The most visible problem is the time spent by individual workers reading and managing e-mail. A typical office worker gets 100 to 300 or more messages every day.

But that's just the beginning of the problem; Paul and Elena describe how AIM Healthcare, Penske Truck Leasing, and other companies are struggling with the burden of supporting thousands of e-mail users.

Paul and Elena also describe some well-known e-mail fiascoes: "There's the embarrassing case of Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher, axed last year after e-mails revealed an affair with a female executive at the company. Or Frank Quattrone, the former Credit Suisse banker who was barred in 2004 from the securities industry after e-mail revealed he tried to cover up his dubious investment practices. Morgan Stanley, fined millions of dollars for its inability to manage e-mail in compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission orders, is now tied up in a $10 million lawsuit filed by a former Morgan Stanley IT exec who claims he was fired for, among other things, discovering unethical e-mails from other execs in the company's bloated archive."

E-mail requires huge infrastructure costs: bandwidth, servers, and staff to support it. E-mail needs to be screened for spam and viruses, and, even with that screening, e-mail is still a sewer of security problems: Spanish prisoner rackets, pump-and-dump stock come-ons, bank fraud, and other scams that used to be practiced in saloons now take place online. TechWeb writer Gregg Keizer has some tips on e-mail security.

And e-mail needs to be archived. Regulations require it. E-mail messages have become a routine part of the legal discovery process; 21% of companies received subpoenas for e-mail and instant message records, according to a study conducted two years ago by the American Management Association and ePolicy Institute.

Microsoft and IBM plan updates to their respective Exchange and Lotus e-mail platforms to help organizations keep their e-mail under control. That should help IT managers, but it won't do much to help regain worker productivity lost to e-mail.

How do you keep up with e-mail, individually? And how does your organization manage the overwhelming e-mail problem? To respond, leave a comment on the InformationWeek Weblog, where you can read some more of my thoughts about the e-mail monster—including the tale of how I dug out from 1,800 unread e-mail messages and almost lived to talk about it.

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


2. Today's Top Story

IBM Bolsters Services Automation With $1.3 Billion Buyout Of Internet Security Systems
The operations of ISS, which is IBM's fifth-largest acquisition ever, will be folded into its Global Technology Services outsourcing arm to expand offerings in the fast-growing security services market.

Related Stories:

Analysis: IBM Deal With ISS Means Trouble For Check Point, McAfee
While the purchase doesn't give IBM much in the way of new technology, it does add customers, market share, and revenue.

BEA Acquires Flashline, Expands SOA Capabilities
The software vendor also broadens it Tata Consultancy relationship to assemble and deliver SOA systems based on BEA technology.


3. Breaking News

Brief: Apple Fires Five For Downloading Leopard OS
Five workers at Apple Computer's retail stores have been fired for downloading preview copies of Mac OS X 10.5, according to an enthusiast's Web site that closely tracks the secretive company.

Feds Clear Some Apple MacBook Pro Batteries Of Safety Defects
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has given a thumbs up to using substandard batteries for Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro notebooks. Apple has launched an exchange program to replace those batteries.

Sophos Delivers Free Rootkit Sniffer For Windows
Microsoft estimates that 14% of computers owned by users of its Malicious Software Removal Tool harbor a rootkit. Sophos warns that rootkits are being used by hackers to hide a variety of criminal activities.

Review: Is Google Still The Ajax King?
Google has taken a decisive lead in creative Ajax-based applications, but challengers abound. We review 20 other online apps to see how they stack up against Google's offerings.

Big Boost In Zombie PCs Seen From Latest Windows Exploit
What's most unusual in this case is how the machines are being infected, through port 445, which security experts had believed was no longer used by most companies.

FTC Task Force To Tackle Net Neutrality
The head of the Federal Trade Commission said this week that her agency is studying the issue more in depth and that industrywide regulatory schemes shouldn't be imposed without a cost-benefit analysis and consideration of whether another less-broad approach could be a better way to address potential harm.

Bush Executive Order Unlikely To Pump Much Life Into Health IT
Though it pushes federal agencies to use standards-based IT, it won't drive many reluctant doctors to adopt such software.

Intel Conroe Processors Move To Servers
The CPU will effectively replace current Pentium D processors, which some system makers—including Dell and IBM—have been using to power entry-level servers for small businesses.

Yahoo Adds Anti-Phishing Sign-In Seal
The seal is associated with the person's computer instead of an ID and password. That's because Yahoo believes it's better to show subscribers they're visiting a legitimate page before entering any personal information.

eMachines Founder Wants It Back, Offers $450 Million
Founder Lap Shun (John) Hui has a case of seller's remorse, and he's making an aggressive bid to regain control of his former company.

Brief: EarthLink Adds Anonymous E-Mailing For Subscribers
The software offers another avenue for avoiding spam.

IEEE-USA Seeks Crackdown On H-1B Abuses
The group wants the government to give the Labor Department the authority to investigate complaints and to enact an auditing program to make sure foreign workers aren't exploited.

MySpace Pioneer Seeks More Success In China
Seeking to replicate his U.S. success in China, Brad Greenspan has lined up partnerships with Chinese companies and is hoping to purchase more players.

Google Gives Open Access To Japan Version Of Gmail
In other markets, sign-ups are limited to those who receive e-mail invitations from existing users or access it via mobile phones.

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat With 'Learning Curve'
Sony buys video Web site Grouper.com, YouTube launches a new ad strategy, FTC studies net neutrality, and more.

Stephanie Stahl With 'Travel Light'
Tips to make traveling easier in this era of stricter airport security.


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4. Grab Bag

Researchers Yearn To Use AOL Logs, But They Hesitate (The New York Times)
AOL researchers released three months' worth of users' query logs to a publicly accessible Web site late last month. But now researchers are torn, loath to conduct research with it as they balance a chronic thirst for useful data against concerns over individual privacy.

10 Tips For New Ubuntu Users (Linux.com)
Ubuntu has become the most popular Linux distribution for new Linux users. It's easy to install, easy to use, and usually "just works." But moving to a different operating system can be confusing, no matter how well-designed it is. Here's a list of tips that might save you some time while you're getting used to Ubuntu.

How To Talk Like An Iraqi (Technology Review)
Laptop software that can translate English-Arabic conversations on the fly is being tested in Iraq.


5. In Depth

Microsoft Nixes IE Repatch, Chides Researcher
The company has decided to hold off on issuing a revised MS06-042 patch because of some technical issues, but it's blasting a security researcher for what it calls "irresponsible" disclosure of the severity of the bug. That researcher, in turn, is accusing Microsoft of "lying" to IT shops and pointing the way to the exploit.

Microsoft Warns Against Adding More Servers To Outgoing Windows Update App
Even though Software Update Services 1.0 is being phased out, Microsoft said some customers have been adding the component to more servers, which means they could be left out in the cold in December.

Microsoft Exec: Unified Communications Tools On Tap
Microsoft plans to roll out next year a slew of unified communications products, including unified messaging, IP call management, soft phones and IP phones, audio and videoconferencing, immersive meetings, and a unified communications platform, a company executive said at a conference this week.

Microsoft Lands Ad Deal With Facebook
Microsoft's relatively new AdCenter will get some face time with Facebook, the up-and-coming social-networking site.

Brief: Microsoft Will Meet Korean Windows XP Deadline
The company will roll out two versions each of Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional next week in order to comply with that country's antitrust ruling.


6. Voice Of Authority

Quick Tip For Firefox Users: Deleting Incorrect Auto-Complete Entries
Eric Hall says: One of the nicest things about modern browsers is that they can "remember" the text strings you type into certain kinds of Web-based forms. On the downside, they also remember your mistakes and typos, and sometimes this results in incorrect values being reused. My mission over the weekend: Find a way to get rid of the old values, without nuking the whole cache.


7. White Papers

More And More Companies Are Reaping The Rewards Of IT And Software Asset Management: What Do They Know That You Don't?
In today's volatile and competitive business climate, maximizing hardware and software investments is being viewed as a necessity, not an option. A comprehensive IT/SAM approach, long overdue for many companies, is benefiting all who choose to adopt it. Read on to discover why your organization should be one of them.


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