In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Firefox Q&A, Browsers, Ethics, And Sun
2. Today's Top Story
- Firefox Co-Creator On The Browser's Future, And More
- Mozilla Rolls Out Firefox 2.0 RC3, Nears Final
- Microsoft's Vista Changes Could Backfire On Disgruntled Rivals
- New Hacker Toolkit Cloaks Browser Exploits
3. Breaking News
- Sony To Recall Own Batteries, Reviews Financial Outlook
- Microsoft Opens Virtual Drives For Free
- EMC To Cut 1,250 Jobs, Stock Down 6%
- Microsoft Expects To Spend $7.5B On R&D In 2007
- HP Tries To Corral Those Pesky Servers
- Microsoft Aims 'Crossbow' Windows Mobile OS For 4Q Release
- Google Urged To Fix YouTube's Copyright Troubles
- Survey: CIOs Think Less Of HP, But Won't Alter Business Plans
- McAfee Unwraps Risk-Management Game Plan
- Google-Like Ad Search Supports Electronics Site
- Google Goes Solar
- Review: Sony's All-In-One PC Tries To Catch Your Eye
- Strong Sales Of Apple Macs Seen Offsetting Slowing iPods
4. Grab Bag
- Cell Phones Leaving Their Mark On Fashion (CNN)
- Web Numbers: What's Real? (BusinessWeek)
- Needed: A National Cybersecurity Law (BusinessWeek)
- The Power Of iPod (MSNBC)
5. In Depth: Spotlight On Sun
- Sun Builds Data Centers Inside Shipping Containers
- Sun Microsystems Unveils 'Portable' Data Center
- Sun Expands Virtualization Products, Services
- Sun's Fowler Maps The Future Of Computer Systems And Virtualization
6. Voice Of Authority
- The U.S. And EU Avoid A Midair Collision--Or Did They Just Postpone It?
7. White Papers
- Next-Generation E-Commerce For Retail: How To Optimize Cross-Channel Marketing, Sales, And Service
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets." -- Edward Abbey
1. Editor's Note: Ethics 101
I received a one-line letter from a reader today, and I couldn't agree with him more:
"Do you realize that if anyone has to ask about ethics, they shouldn't be doing the job to begin with?"
I had a similar reaction when listening to the recent congressional grilling of HP CEO Mark Hurd and ex-chairwoman Patricia Dunn about the company's tactics when investigating a media leak within its board.
To recap for anyone who has been off the planet for the last month, HP found itself in hot water after it was revealed that outside investigators used questionable tacticsat least some of which appear to have been approved by HP executivesto investigate several board members, journalists, and even their families. In addition to misusing employees' Social Security numbers, going through trash, surveilling people, and considering planting spies in two news rooms, the investigators impersonated board members and journalists in order to obtain their phone records.
Back to the hearings. As I listened, I thought, are we supposed to believe it never occurred to either one of these executives that anything they were doing (or signing off on, as the case may be) might be unethical?
It never crossed their minds that handing out Social Security numbers, impersonation, and lying just might be wrong? Illegal even? Mark Hurd actually said something along the lines that he didn't think pretexting was illegal because no one told him it was.
Ca'maaaan. But is legality really the issue here?
Just because most states haven't gotten around to outlawing "pretexting" doesn't mean it shouldn't be obvious that it's an odious thing to do. (The feds have managed to make it illegal in three different statutesthat ought to be a clue.) And as one poster to a recent blog entry on HP pointed out, what's with calling it pretexting anyhow? What does that mean? Why not call it what it isfraud!
And then there's that responsibility thing.
It's been interesting watching first Dunn, then Hurd, do the duck dance. E-mails between Dunn and the investigators certainly give her the appearance of orchestrating the investigationswhich were named after the location of her vacation home. Yet she claims the idea she led the investigation is a "myth."
Hurd was equally fascinating. The buck stopped with him, he declared. He even apologized on behalf of the company, but... Yep, there were "buts" aplenty in there. You can read more about it by going to my blog entry here. Do you agree with our reader? Or do you think the whole Hewlett-Packard spying scandal was much ado about nothing?
Microsoft's Vista Changes Could Backfire On Disgruntled Rivals
IE7 will explicitly ask users which search engine they want to set as the default. The first time the browser is launched, it will display a list of search engines that will include Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, and othersmaking it perhaps too easy to switch around, one analyst says.
Google-Like Ad Search Supports Electronics Site
Supplyframe, a Web site offering on-demand price quotes and purchasing information for millions of parts, from semiconductors to capacitors, has tapped into the search advertising model typically found on consumer Web sites.
Google Goes Solar
With enough power for 1,000 average homes, Google's will be the largest solar electricity installation of any company in the country.
Sun Expands Virtualization Products, Services
Sun is introducing enhanced virtualization technology for its UltraSparc T1 CoolThreads servers that will let customers run up to 32 applications simultaneously on a single processor.
The U.S. And EU Avoid A Midair CollisionOr Did They Just Postpone It?
The European Union has approved a new agreement to share airline passenger data with U.S. law enforcement authorities. The deal settles, for now, a legal dispute that could have halted, or at least seriously disrupted, trans-Atlantic flights between Europe and the United States.
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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.