In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Homeland Insecurity
2. Today's Top Story
- New Windows Vista Preview Could Attract 500,000 Testers
- 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.
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
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.