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Firefox Q&A, Browsers, Ethics, And Sun

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
    Related Stories:
    - 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?"

Amen, brother.

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 tactics—at least some of which appear to have been approved by HP executives—to 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?

C'mon.

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 statutes—that 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 is—fraud!

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 investigations—which 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?

Patricia Keefe
pkeefe@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Firefox Co-Creator On The Browser's Future, And More
Blake Ross explores the challenges ahead for browser users, like the need to better manage the multiple sites they access at once.

Related Stories:

Mozilla Rolls Out Firefox 2.0 RC3, Nears Final
Users of earlier editions of Firefox 2.0 automatically began receiving updates to RC3 on Monday.

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 others—making it perhaps too easy to switch around, one analyst says.

New Hacker Toolkit Cloaks Browser Exploits
"VoMM," when applied to any browser exploit code, hides the exploit from static signature-based detection systems.


3. Breaking News

Sony To Recall Own Batteries, Reviews Financial Outlook
The company will likely need to change its earnings forecast because of the 8 million-strong battery recall, which now includes 90,000 of its own Vaio brand notebooks in Japan and China.

Microsoft Opens Virtual Drives For Free
The Microsoft virtualization software permits easy use of several operating systems on one machine.

EMC To Cut 1,250 Jobs, Stock Down 6%
Shares of EMC fell as much as 6%, as some investors had hoped its profit outlook would exceed Wall Street expectations.

Microsoft Expects To Spend $7.5B On R&D In 2007
The figure is a significant increase on the $6.2 billion investment CEO Steve Ballmer announced in May.

HP Tries To Corral Those Pesky Servers
HP is testing RFID technology for tracking computers and disc drives inside data centers at Midwest retail and grocery store chain Meijer.

Microsoft Aims 'Crossbow' Windows Mobile OS For 4Q Release
Although most of the enhancements are under the hood, Microsoft made big improvements to the Windows Mobile user interface and to the usability of e-mail and calendaring.

Google Urged To Fix YouTube's Copyright Troubles
Gartner says Google won't realize the advertising potential of recently acquired YouTube unless the search engine giant cleans up the copyright violations on the online video site.

Survey: CIOs Think Less Of HP, But Won't Alter Business Plans
Instead, Forrester researchers say, CIOs should look for HP to use the boardroom cleanup as an opportunity to improve relationships.

McAfee Unwraps Risk-Management Game Plan
The idea is to meld security and compliance products into one family, through both acquisitions and homegrown technology.

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.

Review: Sony's All-In-One PC Tries To Catch Your Eye
The new Vaio VGC-LS1 offers a lot of style and function in a single package, but it has too many limitations to appeal to serious users.

Strong Sales Of Apple Macs Seen Offsetting Slowing iPods
The company's financial results will be announced on Wednesday, but analysts are expecting Macintosh shipments to be up around 20% over last year and up 11% from last quarter.

All Our Latest News


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4. Grab Bag

Cell Phones Leaving Their Mark On Fashion (CNN)
For some people, choosing a cell phone has nothing to do with ring tones, instant messages, or megapixels. It's all about how good it looks.

Web Numbers: What's Real? (BusinessWeek)
Competing methods of measuring traffic online leave advertisers, investors, and even Net companies almost flying blind.

Needed: A National Cybersecurity Law (BusinessWeek)
Paul Kurtz, head of the Cyber Security Industry Alliance, says it's time for Congress to pass a law aimed at preventing security breaches.

The Power Of iPod (MSNBC)
Apple's music player weighed six ounces. But it had tons of influence on culture, commerce, and coolness.


5. In Depth: Spotlight On Sun

Sun Builds Data Centers Inside Shipping Containers
An instant "data center in a box" can be packed with storage, networking gear, and as many as 250 servers.

Sun Microsystems Unveils 'Portable' Data Center
Currently still in the prototype phase, Project Blackbox will roll out in a standard shipping container for military and other uses where portability is key, Sun says.

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.

Sun's Fowler Maps The Future Of Computer Systems And Virtualization
Sun on Tuesday is announcing a new suite of virtualization products it believes will enhance its newest server systems.


6. Voice Of Authority

The U.S. And EU Avoid A Midair Collision—Or 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.


7. White Papers

Next-Generation E-Commerce For Retail: How To Optimize Cross-Channel Marketing, Sales, And Service
Perhaps the most efficient way to attract and retain your most valuable customers is by first optimizing your e-commerce channel. In this paper, learn how to leverage IBM's retail industry expertise to transform your e-commerce presence and deliver a highly relevant shopping experience for your customers.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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