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9/6/2005
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Four Years After 9/11, TSA Still Wrestling With Jurassic Technology

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Four Years After 9/11, TSA Still Wrestling With Jurassic Technology
2. Today's Top Story: Katrina Aftermath
    - Louisiana Governor Blasts Faulty Wireless Networks
    - Police Struggle With Communications In Katrina's Wake
    Related Stories
    - Web Publishers Post High-Res Satellite Images Of Katrina Devastation
    - In Central New Orleans, Web Company Keeps Spinning
    - Opinion: Katrina Sharpens Focus On Emerging Business-Continuity Technologies
    - InformationWeek's Complete Coverage Of The IT Response To Hurricane Katrina
3. Breaking News
    - Symantec Enterprise AV Open To Multiple Attacks
    - Windows Firewall Flaw No Vulnerability, Says Microsoft
    - 64-Bit Computing Comes Into Focus
    - VoIP Marks Latest Microsoft-Google Battleground
    - Top 10 Mobile-Device Privacy Policies
    - Microsoft Blasts Massachusetts' New XML Policy
    - Services Firms Create More IT Jobs In August
    - Odd Byte: Top 10 Words Used In Spam
    - Large WiMax Network Launched In U.K.
    - Deutsche Telekom To Offer Fast 3G, Converged Service
4. In Depth: Back To School!
    - More Teachers Use Tech For Administration Than Teaching
    - Students, And Security Threats, Head To Stanford
    - Thousands Expected To Attend In-Person Graduation Ceremony For Online Degrees
    - Indiana Seeks Linux On Every High School Desktop
    - Merger To Create Major E-Learning Player
5. Voice Of Authority
    - Blog: E-Health Records Off-Limits To Parents Of Teens
    - Quick Poll: Should parents have complete access to their teens' electronic medical records?
6. White Papers
    - Ensuring Data Protection For Growing Businesses
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quotes of the day: Education

"We all learn by experience, but some of us have to go to summer school." -- Peter De Vries

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." -- Mark Twain

"Grammar school never taught me anything about grammar." -- Isaac Goldberg

"Education would be so much more effective if its purpose were to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they don't know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it." -- Sir William Haley

"The school of hard knocks is an accelerated curriculum." -- Menander (342 B.C. - 292 B.C.)


1. Editor's Note: Four Years After 9/11, TSA Still Wrestling With Jurassic Technology

Nearly four years after 9/11, the Homeland Security Department is still coming to grips with the massive mission it's been handed. While the department this week has contributed resources to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina, it must also be ever-vigilant in focusing on its primary goal of preventing terrorist attacks in the United States. One of Homeland Security's most challenged agencies has been the Transportation Security Administration, which early on was saddled with outdated technology and questioned at every turn about how it will collect, use, and secure information about air-travel passengers. A former top-level TSA executive spoke with me about what the agency is facing and some new technologies that should be deployed to help prevent the next terrorist attack.

As assistant secretary of homeland security for the TSA, David Stone spent 18 months overseeing a $5.6 billion budget and 54,000 personnel whose mission is to secure our country's mass transit, rail, highway, maritime, and aviation travel. He left the agency in June to focus on the development and implementation of private-sector security technology designed to prevent terrorist attacks on our transportation infrastructure.

To that end, Stone earlier this week officially joined the advisory board of Vidient Systems Inc., a maker of video-surveillance software. Stone, who spent part of his career as federal security director at Los Angeles International Airport, recently received a demonstration of Vidient's SmartCatch video behavior-recognition software at San Francisco International Airport. What Stone likes about SmartCatch is its emphasis on prevention rather than on static monitoring and response. "SmartCatch looks for anomalies captured on video and sends flags to security personnel," Stone says. "The system works in real time, which is where we should be heading."

While Stone is impressed with Vidient's technology, he also knows firsthand that TSA is struggling to update older equipment on a budget that forces the agency to prioritize its technology implementations. One of TSA's priorities for this year and next is to install explosives-detection trace portals at airports. In the trace portal pilot program under way in at least 30 airports, passengers walk through portals similar to the walk-through metal detectors. Puffs of air are blown at passengers, and samples are then collected and analyzed for explosives. TSA is committed to spending about $100 million on the technology through the end of fiscal 2006. You can read more about where TSA is headed and how that money will be spent in my blog entry.

Larry Greenemeier
lgreenemeier@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story: Katrina Aftermath

Louisiana Governor Blasts Faulty Wireless Networks
As of Thursday, wireless networks throughout the state remained down, and state officials were unable to use handheld communications devices like BlackBerrys.

Police Struggle With Communications In Katrina's Wake
Satellite phones offer one option after the storm destroys most of the region's telecommunications infrastructure.

Related Stories:
Web Publishers Post High-Res Satellite Images Of Katrina Devastation

The Associated Press, the New York Times, and Google posted images of the disaster scene, available to the public.

In Central New Orleans, Web Company Keeps Spinning
Intercosmos employees are committed to keeping the company's data center, and the 800,000 Web sites that depend on its existence, up and running, no matter what.

Opinion: Katrina Sharpens Focus On Emerging Business-Continuity Technologies
Technology such as voice over IP, storage virtualization, and distributed data centers can keep businesses running in the face of natural, or man-made, catastrophes.

InformationWeek's Complete Coverage Of The IT Response To Hurricane Katrina


3. Breaking News

Symantec Enterprise AV Open To Multiple Attacks
Security researchers have posted information about the second report this week of bugs in Symantec's enterprise antivirus software.

Windows Firewall Flaw No Vulnerability, Says Microsoft
Although Microsoft doesn't consider the bug a security vulnerability, it has posted a fix for users to download.

64-Bit Computing Comes Into Focus
Windows x64, dual-core chips, and apps optimized for 64-bit platforms are taking advanced processing into the mainstream.

VoIP Marks Latest Microsoft-Google Battleground
The battle over consumer VoIP is just the latest in a dizzying string of competitive product rollouts between Microsoft and Google.

Top 10 Mobile-Device Privacy Policies
People are storing more types of confidential information on mobile computing devices, and an expert in the field tells you how to keep it all under wraps.

Microsoft Blasts Massachusetts' New XML Policy
Even as millions of dollars worth of Office business hangs in the balance, Microsoft says it will not support the OpenDocument format likely to be adopted by the state of Massachusetts this month as its standard XML format.

Services Firms Create More IT Jobs In August
Increasing head count at services firms is part of overall hiring growth for IT jobs, which neared their 2001 record in August.

Odd Byte: Top 10 Words Used In Spam
Analysis of 54,202 spam E-mails yields this list of frequently used words, only some of which can actually be pronounced.

Large WiMax Network Launched In U.K.
Skylink is the first in the United Kingdom to offer combined data and voice over a WiMax-class network.

Deutsche Telekom To Offer Fast 3G, Converged Service
Initial speeds will be as high as 1.8 Mbps and will increase over time to 7.2 Mbps.

All our latest news

And in video: John Soat has his 'Eye On IT' in Friday's episode of "The News Show."

In Friday's Episode:

Eric Chabrow On the "Economic Outlook" After Hurricane Katrina

Curtis Franklin With A "Study In Security"

Sacha Lecca With "Robot Opera"


----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

Job Security
Do IT professionals feel secure in their jobs? Find out how other IT professionals feel with InformationWeek Research's National IT Salary Study.

IT Tools: Security Comparison
Security attacks are constantly evolving, making it difficult to stay ahead of potential threats. So we invite you to benchmark your approach against 2,540 of your U.S. peers with this fast, informative, and confidential security tool from InformationWeek and Accenture, a management-consulting and technology-services company.

-----------------------------------------


4. In Depth: Back To School!

More Teachers Use Tech For Administration Than Teaching
Closing the gap between administrative and instructional use in grades K-12 appears to be more a question of where computers are located in the school, as opposed to the number of computers available, a new study says.

Students, And Security Threats, Head To Stanford
Stanford University's School of Education deploys new security modules from Juniper Networks to tighten security and boost network performance.

Thousands Expected To Attend In-Person Graduation Ceremony For Online Degrees
But it's just a fraction of the 155,000 students currently attending online classes through the University of Phoenix Online.

Indiana Seeks Linux On Every High School Desktop
Linspire and PC maker Wintergreen have teamed up and already shipped thousands of systems to dozens of schools across the Hoosier state.

Merger To Create Major E-Learning Player
SumTotal Systems says its acquisition of Pathlore Software will create the largest independent vendor in what is expected to be a $21 billion market by 2008.


5. Voice Of Authority

Blog: E-Health Records Off-Limits To Parents Of Teens
Parents don't have automatic access to their teenagers' electronic medical records, and, suggests Eric Chabrow, himself the father of two teens, perhaps they shouldn't. What do you think? You can join the discussion on his blog and or take our poll below.

Quick Poll: Should parents have complete access to their teens' electronic medical records?


6. White Papers

Ensuring Data Protection For Growing Businesses
In this paper, we look at how SMBs often progress through the IT-adoption cycle, and some of the operational and security challenges they face in aligning their IT strategy as their businesses grow.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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