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12/20/2005
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Government Security

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Homeland Insecurity
2. Today's Top Story
    - New Windows Vista Preview Could Attract 500,000 Testers
    Related Stories
    - Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 Beta Testers Report Problems After Patching
    - Microsoft To Mac Users: Ditch Internet Explorer Now
3. Breaking News
    - Gates Couple, Bono Get Time Award
    - 2006: Apple Juggernaut Shows No Sign Of Waning
    - Japanese Government Looks To Develop Own Search Engine
    - Group Sues Music Swappers At Three Universities
    - Eh? iPod Earbuds Can Cause Hearing Loss
    - MIT Entrepreneur Survives Execution-Style Shooting
    - House OKs DTV Transition Date
    - Broadband-Over-Powerline Service Rides Into Texas
    - Hollywood Takes A Big Step In Digital Distribution
4. Grab Bag
    - Web Sites Let Users Send E-Mail To Future (AP)
    - CyberSpeak: Say Goodbye To Software Residing On Your Computer (USA Today)
5. In Depth: Only 5 More Shopping Days ...
    - The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide
    - A Guide To Gift PCs
    - Record Number Of Online Stations Stream Holiday Tunes
    - Xbox Reloaded (Electronics Supply & Manufacturing)
    - Tech-Oriented Gift Givers Go High-End (USA Today)
    - Internet Shopping Nips At But Doesn't Bite Malls (Reuters)
6. Voice Of Authority
    - Business Technology: Google Becomes An Irresistible Force
7. White Papers
    - Shipping Company Processes 5 Terabytes Of Data With SQL Server 2005
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day: Safety first!
"Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word 'safe' that I wasn't previously aware of." -- Douglas Adams (Arthur Dent in "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy")


1. Editor's Note: Homeland Insecurity

It's interesting that our government is so concerned about homeland security that it doesn't mind bypassing secret courts to even more secretly eavesdrop on citizens, and yet it cannot seem to find the time, energy, or dollars to successfully bring its own agencies up to snuff security-wise.

While The New York Times was polishing its report on secret, presidential-approved eavesdropping on U.S. citizens, another report was making the headlines last week on the beltway and in the tech press. The Cyber Security Industry Alliance, which includes big-name security companies such as Symantec, McAfee, and RSA blasted the government's progress in keeping the United States safe from cyberattacks.

Here we go again.

This is just nuts. In the past year, I've watched report after report record negative grades and mete out severe tongue-lashings to government agency after government department, posted in story upon story. When does this end?

Over the last several years we've watched the Homeland Security czar post become a revolving door as proponents struggle to give the position some visibility, meaning, and authority.

Meanwhile, GAO report card after report card slaps around our various government agencies--including Homeland Security--for earning low scores on security readiness.

Since this is the same government that has urged reluctant companies to report security breaches and the mostly privately owned national infrastructure to adhere to a standard level of security measures, it's a classic case of "do as I say, not as I do." You can read more about the issues at hand here, and the threat that looms if some action isn't taken, by going to my blog entry.

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


2. Today's Top Story

New Windows Vista Preview Could Attract 500,000 Testers
Latest version includes anti-spyware utility, disk-encryption technology, and user-interface improvements.

Related Stories:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 Beta Testers Report Problems After Patching
Users experienced browser hangs, blank pages, and multiple windows that opened for no reason.

Microsoft To Mac Users: Ditch Internet Explorer Now
Microsoft told users to switch to another browser, as support for IE on the Mac will end this month.


3. Breaking News

Gates Couple, Bono Get Time Award
"For being shrewd about doing good, ... for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow, Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono are Time's Persons of the Year," the magazine said.

Apple Juggernaut Shows No Sign Of Waning
As Apple's rebirth as a consumer-electronics force continues, there's much speculation about what next year will bring. Among the guesses for new iPod-related goodies: wireless Internet connections, phone features, and a bigger display.

Japanese Government Looks To Develop Own Search Engine
This week, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry will kick off a study group consisting of about 20 Japanese electronics companies and universities on Internet search engines.

Group Sues Music Swappers At Three Universities
The "John Doe" suits, filed Thursday by the Recording Industry Association of America, cite 751 individuals for swapping copyrighted music via unauthorized file-sharing networks, such as LimeWire and Kazaa.

Eh? iPod Earbuds Can Cause Hearing Loss
Earbud headphones, the type that rest inside the ear, can lead to permanent damage after just an hour of high-volume music in the 110- to 120-decibel range, equivalent to the noise level of a concert.

MIT Entrepreneur Survives Execution-Style Shooting
Serial high-tech entrepreneur and former MIT professor John J. Donovan Sr. is recovering at his home after being hit by three gunshots Friday.

House OKs DTV Transition Date
On Feb. 18, 2009, analog broadcasting will end in the United States and all-digital TV service will begin, according to a bill passed by the House over the weekend.

Broadband-Over-Powerline Service Rides Into Texas
The service, called Smart Grid, will be offered next year to some 2 million homes and businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area and some other communities.

Hollywood Takes A Big Step In Digital Distribution
"The Chronicles Of Narnia" was delivered on two hard drives and in a RAID file; "Casanova" also will be distributed digitally.

All our latest news

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John Soat with "News You Can Use"

Larry Greenemeier with "Security By Default"

Lori MacVittie with "D&D At B&N"

Doug Henschen with "Putting Help On Hold"


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

Web Sites Let Users Send E-Mail To Future (AP)
FutureMe.org is one of a handful of sites that let people send E-mails to themselves and others years in the future. They are technology's answer to time capsules, trading on people's sense of curiosity, accountability, and nostalgia.

CyberSpeak: Say Goodbye To Software Residing On Your Computer (USA Today)
More and more applications are moving to the Web and off of individual hard drives. The Internet, instead of simply moving data, is becoming a way to work with it directly.


5. In Depth: Only 5 More Shopping Days ...

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide
Want to make sure your gift list includes the latest and greatest? We've come up with the hottest, highest-tech gadgets to give (and get) this year.

A Guide To Gift PCs
'Tis the season to be shopping for a PC. Here's how to match up what you want with what you want to spend.

Record Number Of Online Stations Stream Holiday Tunes
More than 100 Internet-only radio stations are streaming Christmas music, up from 61 last year, according to BRS Media's Web-Radio.

Xbox Reloaded (Electronics Supply & Manufacturing)
To beat competitors to market, Microsoft reorganized its design and supply chains for the Xbox 360. Now the market gets to give its verdict. What will it be?

Tech-Oriented Gift Givers Go High-End (USA Today)
Many high-tech holiday shoppers are bypassing bargain bins in favor of high-end electronics. Revenue from holiday sales of personal electronics is expected to rise 9% over last year, and the interest in some high-end goods is driven by dropping prices.

Internet Shopping Nips At But Doesn't Bite Malls (Reuters)
The 2005 Christmas season is a cheerful place for online shopping sites such as Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy. There's relatively less glee in the shopping centers. But retail real estate experts don't see online sales as a significant threat to large shopping centers and malls, at least not yet.


6. Voice Of Authority

Business Technology: Google Becomes An Irresistible Force
Hot companies come and go--it's Google's leadership in helping others imagine what could be that will measure its lasting impact, Bob Evans says.


7. White Papers

Mediterranean Shipping Company Processes 5 Terabytes Of Data With SQL Server 2005
MSC, with a fleet of 270 ships calling on 250 ports, is the second-largest container-ship line in the world. It needed a highly scalable, enterprise-class database to help it accommodate its annual growth rate of 30%. Its solution was to upgrade its database to Microsoft SQL Server 2005 from SQL Server 2000.


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