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10/26/2006
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Fair Play...Or Not

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Jonny Can Play Fair; Readers' Best Photos
2. Today's Top Story
    - Oracle Gives A Peek At E-Business Suite 12
3. Breaking News
    - Microsoft Preps XP-To-Vista App Migration Tool
    - Hacker Unlocks Apple Music Download Protection
    - Sony Details Notebook Battery Recall Program
    - Microsoft Offers Free Office 2007 Upgrades, Defers $1.5 Billion In Sales
    - Upbeat Investors Seek Microsoft Assurances
    - AMD Planning Combined Processor-Graphics Chip
    - Verizon First U.S. Carrier To Offer Flash Apps
    - Yahoo Overhauls Social Bookmarking Service
    - Florida Man Charged With Launching 2004 Botnet DoS Attack
4. Grab Bag: PDA Advance; Modernizing Mainframe Apps
    - HP And Cingular Announce The iPaq 6920 Series (Geek.com)
    - HP, Intel, And Oracle To Offer Application Modernization Initiative (TMCnet)
5. In Depth: Browsers
    - Internet Explorer Vs. Firefox: The Battle Heats Up
    - Internet Explorer 7 Suffers From Second Bug
    - Is The Metasploit Hacking Tool Too Good?
    - Businesses Embracing Firefox As The Other Browser
    - Opera Says It Can Still Compete In Browser Battle
6. Voice Of Authority: Oracle 11g
    - Oracle, An Expanding Universe
7. White Papers: Understanding Endpoint Security Risks
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one's own person is its ultimate reward." -- Patricia Sampson


1. Editor's Note: Jonny Can Play Fair; Readers' Best Photos

DVD Jon has struck again. The notorious hacker who's been helping people copy stuff that big companies don't want them to has found a way to unlock the code that blocks iPod users from playing songs from music download stores other than iTunes. Among other critics, blogger Cory Doctorow recently railed against Apple and the level of control inherent in its FairPlay technology. He wasn't just criticizing Apple, but other digital-rights management approaches, too.

A little more than a year ago, I blasted DVD Jon for his sleazy activities and said, since he's such a talented programmer, he should get a real job. This time, I think the issues are a little more ambiguous, and his work has at least some potential to release consumers from Apple's stranglehold. I'm just not ready to say this is the right way to go about doing so. While Apple's mum about it right now, I'm confident its lawyers will be weighing in soon enough. But I'd like your input. Is DVD Jon's latest "project" good for consumers? Should we be supporting him or blasting this latest initiative?

+++

A few weeks back, I invited readers to submit photos of places and activities they've experienced that are squarely outside the realm of their IT careers.

The submissions were impressive, spanning a wide range of interests and experiences. Some wrote with passion about work or family trips they'd taken, breathtaking scenery they'd taken in, or unique places they'd had opportunities to visit. I'm presenting what I (subjectively) view as the 16 best--"best" being defined as those that I think will have appeal to the largest number of readers while also displaying strong or unusual photographic qualities. Now we'd like you to vote on your favorite. Please complete the poll at the top of the page and let us know which you like best. I'm going to go first and enter my 2 cents for "The Sentry." Excellent though the photo is, it was a tough call because I liked so many of them. In the coming weeks, I'll let you know which was selected as our readers' favorite photo. It's nice to see these readers enjoying their time outside of work, too.

+++

Finally, we're investigating, based on one example we've come across, whether H-1B visa holders are being bound by unfair employment contracts. Let us know by commenting at the blog entry if you can confirm or contradict our findings thus far.

Tom Smith
tsmith@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story: Oracle Databases

Oracle Gives A Peek At E-Business Suite 12
But the new apps won't be available for up to a year; development of upgrades for acquired applications such as Siebel and JD Edwards remains on track, the company says.


3. Breaking News

Microsoft Preps XP-To-Vista App Migration Tool
The Windows Easy Transfer Companion will let users migrate files, settings, and apps to Vista.

Hacker Unlocks Apple Music Download Protection
Jon Lech Johansen wants to allow iPod users to download songs from music stores other than Apple's. The copyright-protection workaround would also allow users to load iTunes songs on rival music players.

Sony Details Notebook Battery Recall Program
Sony laid out plans for recalling 9.6 million units from Dell, Apple, and Lenovo.

Microsoft Offers Free Office 2007 Upgrades, Defers $1.5 Billion In Sales
Users who buy a PC between today and March 15 with Office 2003 preinstalled will get a free upgrade; likewise for users who buy the full retail version of Office 2003 between today and Feb. 28.

Upbeat Investors Seek Microsoft Assurances
The bottom line is that Microsoft must ship Vista as now scheduled or risk drops in its stock price, now trading near a two-year high.

AMD Planning Combined Processor-Graphics Chip
The combined processors are aimed at laptops, desktops, workstations, servers, and consumer electronics devices geared for emerging markets.

Verizon First U.S. Carrier To Offer Flash Apps
Flash applications run on Verizon phones sold through the company's "Get It Now" distribution network. Customers can purchase applications and automatically Flash-enable their phones.

Yahoo Overhauls Social Bookmarking Service
Yahoo Bookmarks got a new interface and integration with the Yahoo's browser toolbar.

Florida Man Charged With Launching 2004 Botnet DoS Attack
Authorities charged a Florida man with using a botnet to launch a denial-of-service assault that took offline several major Web sites, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo.

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4. Grab Bag: PDA Advance; Modernizing Mainframe Apps

HP And Cingular Announce The iPaq 6920 Series (Geek.com)
In the good old days of the PDA, HP was one of the leading sources of awesome devices with cool innovations and cutting-edge technology.

HP, Intel, And Oracle To Offer Application Modernization Initiative (TMCnet)
The companies have joined forces to launch an "Application Modernization Initiative" that will help customers upgrade their legacy application portfolios running on legacy mainframes.


5. In Depth: Browsers

Internet Explorer Vs. Firefox: The Battle Heats Up
As Mozilla and Microsoft toss major new releases of their browsers out to the public, we help you keep track of their ups and downs through our features, reviews, and blogs.

Internet Explorer 7 Suffers From Second Bug
The flaw leaves IE7 open to a spoofing attack, where attackers can forge the URL of a Web address, making a fraudulent site appear to be legitimate.

Is The Metasploit Hacking Tool Too Good?
The open source project already offers penetration testing tools and exploit code. Now it's going further, offering eVade-o-Matic, a tool to make it harder to detect exploit code aimed at Web browsers. Has the group gone too far?

Businesses Embracing Firefox As The Other Browser
JupiterResearch has recorded a large jump in the number of businesses allowing Firefox and is predicting that the latest IE7 release might drive even more acceptance.

Opera Says It Can Still Compete In Browser Battle
The company's CTO says Opera actually pioneered the tabbed-browser features later included in Firefox and Internet Explorer.


6. Voice Of Authority: Oracle 11g

Oracle, An Expanding Universe
Oracle has added 482 features to the beta 11g version of its database. It's a reflection of that enduring Oracle philosophy that its database is the center of the universe and everything revolves around it.


7. White Papers: Endpoint Security Risks

Guide To Understanding Endpoint Security Risks
Endpoint devices—desktops, notebooks, and tablet computers—pose significant risks. This white paper provides guidance on how to effectively and efficiently balance security and productivity for all users, regardless of whether they are connecting to the Internet or the corporate network via a desktop, notebook, or tablet PC.


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