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12/9/2005
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Help Us Help Ourselves

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Help Us Help Ourselves
2. Today's Top Story: In-Security
    - Microsoft To Beef Up Internet Explorer 7 Security
    - Sites Installing Spyware Via Zero-Day IE Bug
    Related Stories
    - Small Data Breaches Pose Big Identity Theft Risks
    - Study: Unchecked Software Piracy Could Cost Nations Billions
    - FBI: Terrorists Lack Ability To Mount Serious Cyberattacks
3. Breaking News
    - Webcasts Deliver Holiday Cheer To Troops
    - Analysis: Is Firefox 1.5 Not Ready For Prime Time?
    - Q&A: IBM Exec Looks Ahead To Emerging Technologies
    - NEC Develops Paper-Thin Mobile Battery
    - Yahoo Launches VoIP Service Linked To E-Mail
    - Firefox 1.5 Intro Sparks Slight Market-Share Gain
    - Inmarsat's Global Broadband Lifts Off
    - Electronic Check-Clearing To Become More Widespread
    - Millions Of Domain Names Registered With False Contact Data,
      GAO Says
    - Sprint Creates Subsidiary For Enterprise Mobility
    - Group Pushes Alternate Route For UWB Standard
    - Handheld Device Melds Data Collection, Voice
4. In Depth: Personal Tech And Reviews
    - The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide
    - The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide Photo Gallery
    - Review: Pro Tech NoiseBuster Headphones
    - Want To Review That E-Mail? Take It With You On Your iPod
    - New Sony CD Security Issue Needs Patching
    - Man Sues Microsoft Over Flawed Xbox 360
    - Beware Of IM Greeting Cards
5. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web
    - XBOX 360 Games: The Good, Bad, And The Ugly (AP)
    - Google: Once-Brotherly Image Turns Big Brotherly (USA Today)
    - Fears Over Identity Theft Overblown: U.S. Study (Reuters)
6. Voice Of Authority
    - Podcast: The Number Of Women Seeking Careers In IT Is Declining
7. White Papers
    - Beyond BI: Building Intelligence Into Your Operational Decisions
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quotes of The Day: Just the facts, Jack
"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as
you please."
-- Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

"God give me strength to face a fact though it slay me."
-- Thomas H. Huxley (1825 - 1895)


1. Editor's Note: Help Us Help Ourselves

More proof that life extends indefinitely on the Internet is a letter I received out of the blue from a student the other day in reference to a column I had written in 2002. 2002? Lord, what had I written? (Apparently, it was assigned reading for some class.) Well, it was a lament about the dying throes of customer service and the need for "Trustworthy IT." Today I'd wager that many people, when asked about customer service, wouldn't hesitate to say, "It's dead -- stick a fork in it already!" Certainly the student writing me felt that way.

"I believe the marketplace has become more abusive of consumer confidence and less trustworthy, especially when given privacy breaches, information theft, and general inattention to safe computing practices... [It's] a rather shameful state of affairs today as management has failed to proactively, and effectively, deliver necessary product protections. Published software viability is suspect, and places everyone at risk."

That's one window into what ails the consumer-retail relationship, and we've certainly written pages about it. But it's not all security issues. Increasingly, more and more of the work of running a business is being shifted onto customers -- support, help desk, data, ordering, checkout, and the hunting down of manuals or the retrieval of basic information. It's all available online or via kiosk or self-checkout or the worsening hell of automated phone systems.

Self-service can be a good thing -- it's certainly one reason a lot of us shop online. Many people will be shopping their fingers off this holiday season, doing their bit to help move retailing into the next technological evolution. But it's not a good thing when the system works against the customer, is unfathomable, or heightens the pain level of the transaction. You can read more about kind of thinking I believe should go into the building of online and automated systems by reading my blog.

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


2. Today's Top Story: In-Security

Microsoft To Beef Up Internet Explorer 7 Security
In a change that will mean better security mostly for home users, Microsoft is revamping the way that Internet Explorer 7 handles its four security categories.

Sites Installing Spyware Via Zero-Day IE Bug
A security vendor says in an alert about the Internet Explorer vulnerability that it has detected thousands of sites connecting to a malicious URL that's "actively exploiting this vulnerability to execute malicious code."

Related Stories:
Small Data Breaches Pose Big Identity-Theft Risks
That's because of the limited number of identities a criminal can actually put to use in a set amount of time, a new study says.

Study: Unchecked Software Piracy Could Cost Nations Hundreds Of Billions Of Dollars
Cutting piracy by 10% over four years would generate 2.4 million new IT jobs, a new IDC study says.

FBI: Terrorists Lack Ability To Mount Serious Cyberattacks
Investigators keep a close watch on terror groups' use of computers but haven't detected any plans to launch cyberattacks against major public institutions in the United States, FBI assistant director Louis M. Reigel said this week.


3. Breaking News

Webcasts Deliver Holiday Cheer To Troops
Operation Best Wishes connects troops overseas with family members in the United States on a high-speed Webcast channel. Family members receive 10 minutes of free recording time to wish their loved ones well.

Analysis: Is Firefox 1.5 Not Ready For Prime Time?
Mozilla's latest version of Firefox is drawing widespread acclaim. But Scot Finnie has found problems that haven't been -- and should be -- fixed.

Q&A: IBM Exec Looks Ahead To Emerging Technologies
Bruce Harreld, senior VP of strategy at IBM and about to become head of marketing, talks about what he sees as the key tech drivers ahead.

NEC Develops Paper-Thin Mobile Battery
The new type of battery is flexible, environmentally friendly, and fully recharges in under a minute, according to NEC.

Yahoo Launches VoIP Service Linked To E-Mail
The Yahoo offering, to be available in 180 countries, will link with existing Yahoo E-mail and instant messaging features, and that appears to be what will distinguish the service from many of its competitors.

Firefox 1.5 Intro Sparks Slight Market-Share Gain
The browser's average share in November went to 8.8%, up from 8.6% in October, a Web measurement firm said, showing it has the potential to hit the 'magic' critical-mass figure of 10%.

Inmarsat's Global Broadband Lifts Off
Six years in the making, the service offers simultaneous voice and data and, for now, covers Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.


Electronic Check-Clearing To Become More Widespread
Viewpointe Archive Services, which archives more than 60% of all checks written in the U.S. each year, has established a connection with two other aggregators that will allow thousands of banks to exchange check data and images electronically.

Millions Of Domain Names Registered With False Contact Data, GAO Says
Those seeking to register Web-site names likely provide inaccurate information to hide their identities or to prevent members of the public from contacting them, a Congressional auditor suspects.

Sprint Creates Subsidiary For Enterprise Mobility
The subsidiary will offer consulting services to help enterprises determine which applications to mobilize and will help them design and create those systems, among other services.

Group Pushes Alternate Route For UWB Standard
The WiMedia Alliance has received ECMA approval for its standard and wants to halt all related IEEE efforts because of long-standing problems and delays in that organization, it says.

Handheld Device Melds Data Collection, Voice
A partnership between Avaya and Symbol has resulted in a way for mobile workers to capture data for enterprise applications such as CRM and ERP.

All our latest news
http://www.informationweek.com/news

Watch More News
http://www.thenewsshow.tv

In today's episode:
John Soat with "Consider Yourself Lucky" in the current episode of
The News Show.
http://www.thenewsshow.tv/?episode=20051208&thisFrame=31&autoplay=true

Alex Wolfe with "Dream Mergers/Merger Dreams"
http://www.thenewsshow.tv/?episode=20051208&thisFrame=121&autoplay=true

Paul Kapustka with "Think & Drink Club, Redux"
http://www.thenewsshow.tv/?episode=20051208&thisFrame=217&autoplay=true


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

Protecting The Corporate Network
Examine the security practices of more than 2,500 U.S. companies in InformationWeek Research's 2005 Global Information Security Survey report. In addition to spotlighting security best practices and near-term investment plans, the study also documents recent security incidents. Use the report to help fine tune your company's security procedures.
http://www.informationweek.com/reports/showReport.jhtml?articleID=170100861

IT Insight
Take a five-minute break and try one of the 18 research tools available from InformationWeek. They're informative, confidential, and free and are just a click away.
http://www.informationweek.com/benchmark/

A Week's Worth Of Dailies--All In One Place
Have you missed an issue or two of the InformationWeek Daily? Or want to check out some recent quotes of the day? Check out our all-new Daily newsletter archive page and get caught up quickly.
http://www.informationweek.com/newsletters/daily/archives.jhtml

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


5. In Depth: Personal Tech And Reviews

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.

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide Photo Gallery

Review: Pro Tech NoiseBuster Headphones
Getting great sound in an airplane at 35,000 feet doesn't require shelling out $300 for a high-end Bose noise-cancellation headset. Just $69 will buy you high-quality sound with the NoiseBuster. Doesn't that sound better?

Want To Review That E-Mail? Take It With You On Your iPod
MagneticTime software allows you to convert E-mails and Word documents into audio files.

New Sony CD Security Issue Needs Patching
MediaMax Version 5, which Sony uses to restrict how many times a CD can be copied, installs a file folder in the computer that could allow a guest user to gain unauthorized access. A patch is available online.

Man Sues Microsoft Over Flawed Xbox 360
Robert Byers of Chicago filed the suit in federal court on Friday, and seeks unspecified damages and court expenses, as well as the replacement or recall of the Xbox 360.

Beware Of IM Greeting Cards
A new memory-resident worm is making the rounds disguised as a holiday card. It propagates through an IM network by sending itself to other users listed on the infected user's buddy list.


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

XBOX 360 Games: The Good, Bad, And The Ugly (AP)
We've worn our fingers to the bone the past few weeks (just for you) playing through the 18 titles available when the system launched. While the offering is diverse, many of the games are merely visually tweaked versions from the older consoles. Worse, Xbox 360 games can cost a whopping $60 -- roughly $10 more than games for older systems. Here's our take, from best to worst.

Google: Once-Brotherly Image Turns Big Brotherly (USA Today)
Opponents long ago painted Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and a handful of other behemoths into a rogue's gallery of too-powerful corporations needing government restraint. Now, a brash upstart with a "don't be evil" mantra may soon join them: online search giant Google.

Fears Over Identity Theft Overblown: U.S. Study (Reuters)
A new study suggests consumers whose credit cards are lost or stolen or whose personal information is accidentally compromised face little risk of becoming victims of identity theft.


6. Voice Of Authority

Podcast: The Declining Number Of Women Seeking Careers In IT Is An Alarming Trend
Women comprise about 29% of the IT workforce, says Laurie Sullivan. But there's concern among technology companies the number is shrinking, according to Lucy Sanders, CEO at the National Center for Women and Information Technology. So non-profit organizations, universities, and businesses, such as Wal-Mart, Cisco, and IBM, are working to reverse that trend. Listen to this Q&A with Sanders.


7. White Papers

Beyond BI: Building Intelligence Into Your Operational Decisions
Organizations that are looking to extend the success they've enjoyed with business intelligence are the best candidates to go to the next level, and embed more intelligence into high-volume operational decisions. Enterprise Decision Management is focused on execution of decisions and actions rather than reporting.


------- Webcasts -----------------------

A Network Computing Editorial Perspectives TechWebCast -
Unleashing the Power and Opportunities of Grid Computing

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005
Time: 1:00 PM PT / 3:00 PM CT / 4:00 PM EST
A panel of experts will identify trends in grid computing, and will provide actual examples of customer experiences using grid computing.
https://www.cmpnetseminars.com/btg/IBM/?K=PWNWSL&Q=376

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


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