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3/20/2006
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Focus, Focus, Focus

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Focus, Focus, Focus
2. Today's Top Story: Latest Court Rulings
    - Judge Dismisses Google Copyright Case (Reuters)
    - Oracle Fights Off Clustering Software Patent Suit
3. Breaking News
    - Make Mine Mobile: When Your Laptop Is Your Main PC
    - New Zero-Day Bug Crashes IE
    - Apple Patches Patch
    - Trade Group Attacks RFID Virus Claims
    - Lockheed Martin Leads The Way For FBI Sentinel Project
    - RFID World Still Reacting Strongly To Virus Research
    - As Child Porn Industry Grows, Coalition Launches Counterattack
    - Analysis: How Real Are Microsoft's Live Video, Voice?
    - Genesys Offers Emergency Conferencing Service
    - Microsoft Releases Team Foundation Server To Manufacturing
    - Print Publisher Buys U.K. Price-Comparison Site
4. Grab Bag
    - Hacking Made Easy (Washington Post)
    - The Net's New Age (BusinessWeek)
    - Student Recites 8,784 Digits Of Pi Wed (The Roanoke Times)
5. In Depth: International
    - SoftBank Pays $15 Billion For Vodafone's Japanese Unit
    - Chinese Bank Hosts Phishing Site
    - European Project To Unify Mobile Wireless Access
    - Lenovo To Lay Off 1,000 In Restructuring
    - Cuban On Hunger Strike For Internet Access
    - Stockholm Taps Tech To Reduce Traffic Congestion
    - European Embedded Program To Spend $3 Billion
6. Voice Of Authority
    - Cisco Enters The Ring On Net Neutrality
7. White Papers
    - Protect Your Perimeter Security
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Monday, Monday
Can't trust that day
Monday, Monday
It just turns out that way"
-- Mammas and The Papas


1. Editor's Note: Focus, Focus, Focus

Location, location, location. That's the golden rule in real estate. In high tech, it ought to be focus, focus, focus. Too often vendors get caught up in personality clashes, obsessions with beating or matching competitors, and technological zealotry. All can blind even the best companies to the real issues that need attention. Over and over we see vendors lose their positioning and products miss their mark because executives focused on the wrong thing.

I was reminded of this by several news reports this week, which once again drove home the need to keep your eye on the ball--not your competition or your critics--and steady your focus on working out the kinks.

For example, the world's richest man might want to spend less time knocking the highly commendable $100 laptop project and more time revising his ultracompact Ultra-Mobile PC. While Microsoft CEO Bill Gates was losing the battle with his competitive streak earlier last week, the Gartner Group was busy dissecting "Origami."

Gartner characterized Origami as "more promise than real" and said the device was too big to be a personal digital assistant, yet too small to be a useful notebook. Moreover, Gartner pointed out that some of the technology Microsoft needs to fulfill its vision for the Ultra-Mobile PC isn't available today and could be as much as two years off. In short, Gartner concluded that "the low battery life, high price and non-Vista operating system will likely hurt the UMPC's market acceptance in this first go-round, and the negative backlash could damage its future chances." Mainstream acceptance, meanwhile, is another three years away, the researchers predicted. Microsoft had better get busy.

RFID supporters and new converts like the Israeli army, DHL, and Visa might want to hit pause--at least in the short term--until they figure out how much there is to several recent reports in the mainstream and high-tech press pointing to security issues with RFID chips.

And India, too, had better keep a close watch over its shoulder. China, apparently, is breathing down its neck. You can read more about the threats bearing down on these markets by going to my blog here. Taken together, these are just a few examples of why it never pays in high tech to get too comfortable with your successes, or too obsessed with your critics.

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


2. Today's Top Story: Latest Court Rulings

Judge Dismisses Google Copyright Case (Reuters)
Judge Surrick's ruling found that Google enjoys projection under an exemption to the Communications Decency Act for online service providers acting as an automatic redistributor of published material.

Oracle Fights Off Clustering Software Patent Suit
MangoSoft brought the suit in 2002 seeking $500 million in damages.


3. Breaking News

Make Mine Mobile: When Your Laptop Is Your Main PC
A laptop isn't just a desktop PC with a handle on it--it's got its own advantages and disadvantages. If your main computer is (or will be) a notebook, here's how to get the most out of your all-laptop life.

New Zero-Day Bug Crashes IE
Security firms are warning about another zero-day bug. Apparently, Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser crashes when attacked through a new unpatched vulnerability.

Apple Patches Patch
Days after rolling out a Mac OS X fix, Apple is polishing that patch with another fix. Dubbed a "correction," it targets owners of PowerPC-equipped Macs.

Trade Group Attacks RFID Virus Claims
Researchers claimed to have discovered a way to infect an RFID chip with a virus, but in fact they just built a poorly designed system, said an RFID trade association.

Lockheed Martin Leads The Way For FBI Sentinel Project
An inspector general's report says FBI planning provides "reasonable assurance" that the new program can avoid the problems that plagued its botched Virtual Case File project.

RFID World Still Reacting Strongly To Virus Research
A researcher who suggested that computer viruses could be spread by RFID technology sets off a firestorm of debate. Industry sources weigh in.

As Child Porn Industry Grows, Coalition Launches Counterattack
To fight smut peddlers, a coalition of law enforcement agencies, financial services companies, and child protection groups has launched a campaign to stem the flow of cash to the criminals behind the problem.

Analysis: How Real Are Microsoft's Live Video, Voice?
A Microsoft executive this week gave the first public demonstration of a PC running the Live Mail client, during which he initiated a video call by clicking on an icon in the software's contact list. Although he was clear that the tools are still in beta, the demo was limited all around.

Genesys Offers Emergency Conferencing Service
Emergency Meeting Center is a streaming conferencing service that can handle thousands of participants at the same time, according to the provider. It's designed to serve as a central command center during times of crisis to ensure business continuity.

Microsoft Releases Team Foundation Server To Manufacturing
The server software adds an assortment of collaboration and project-management functions to Microsoft's set of developer tools.

Print Publisher Buys U.K. Price-Comparison Site
The purchase is the second online business Scripps has bought in less than a year and reflects a trend of mainstream media companies buying Web-based firms.

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4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web

Hacking Made Easy (Washington Post)
Automated tools gather victims' keystrokes, and upload passwords to an illicit database in what security experts are calling one of the more brazen and sophisticated Internet fraud rings ever uncovered.

The Net's New Age (BusinessWeek)
Technology that aims to revolutionize how surfers use the Web is fueling a new wave of Internet investment and challenging established media

Student Recites 8,784 Digits Of Pi Wed (The Roanoke Times)
A high school student Tuesday recited 8,784 digits of Pi--the nonrepeating and nonterminating decimal--likely placing him among the top Pi-reciters in the world.


5. In Depth: International

SoftBank Pays $15 Billion For Vodafone's Japanese Unit
SoftBank, Japan's largest broadband Internet provider, has been setting its sights on Japan's $78 billion mobile market for a while as it moves to offer a combination of broadband, mobile, and Internet services and content.

Chinese Bank Hosts Phishing Site
A Chinese bank's server is hosting spoofed sites that phishers are using to dupe customers of American banks, an Internet monitoring company said Sunday.

European Project To Unify Mobile Wireless Access
GOLLUM backers hope to reduce the development time and cost of mobile multimedia platforms, as well as improve their functionality and interoperability.

Lenovo To Lay Off 1,000 In Restructuring
Over the next 12 months, corporate operations will be moved from Purchase, N.Y., to Raleigh, N.C., and desktop operations will go to China.

Cuban On Hunger Strike For Internet Access
Guillermo Farinas, a 41-year-old psychologist, went on a hunger strike on January 31st to press Cuba's communist authorities to respect his right to freedom of information and allow him Internet access.

Stockholm Taps Tech To Reduce Traffic Congestion
During the system's first month of operation, it prompted 25% of drivers, or 100,000 vehicles, off the roads during peak business hours, increasing mass transit users by 40,000 daily.

European Embedded Program To Spend $3 Billion
Artemis, a major research program part funded by the European Union and which includes Europe's leading chip and systems companies, aims to spend 2.7 billion euro (about $3.25 billion) in research between 2007 and 2010.


6. Voice Of Authority

Cisco Enters The Ring On Net Neutrality
Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers has joined the carrier echo on network neutrality. Blocking and impairing is bad, freedom to manage crowded networks and create quality-of-service agreements with content providers is good (and different from the first). Don't legislate against hypotheticals. J. Nicholas Hoover reports.


7. White Papers

Protect Your Perimeter Security
This complimentary report explains that remote control of workstations and servers is becoming increasingly attractive to users, but personal remote control could dismantle a company's perimeter security. Use Gartner's two-part decision framework to determine what type of remote control is best for you.


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