In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: How Not To Stop Online-Bank Fraud
2. Today's Top Story
- CIO Hiring Increases
- IT Midlife Crisis
3. Breaking News
- Greenspan Loves Tech. Here's What His Likely Successor Thinks.
- Fast Desktop-Search Platform Comes Gunning For Google
- Congress Wants U.S. To Retain Grip On Internet
- Gadgetry's New Glue
- MySQL 5.0 Ready To Download
- No Quick Cure For Health-Care System
- U.S. Investment Firms To Accelerate Tech Spending
- Startup Seeks To Rev Market For Lower-Power Chips
- Lexmark Pitches Sub-$500 Color Printer
- Feds Order Banks To Strengthen Online Authentication
4. In Depth: IPod & Mobile Computing
5. Voice Of Authority: BlackBerry Thumb
6. White Papers: E-Learning
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"A second flood, a simple famine,
Plagues of locusts everywhere,
Or a cataclysmic earthquake,
I'd accept with some despair.
But no, You sent us Congress!
Good God, Sir, was that fair?"
-- John Adams' prayer, from the movie "1776"
1. Editor's Note: How Not To Stop Online-Bank Fraud
In the name of protecting against phishing, identity theft, and
other forms of fraud, federal regulators handed banks and
consumers an enormous job recently. The work required will make
online transactions a great deal more expensive for banks, which
will no doubt pass the expense on to customers. The requirement
will make online transactions far less convenient for consumers.
And it'll be, at best, partially effective.
As reported in a story by my colleague Steven Marlin, the Federal
Financial Institutions Examination Council is giving banks until the end of next year to implement
two-factor authentication for online transactions. Right now,
banks only use one-factor authentication: You go to the bank's
Web site, enter in a logon and password, and you're in your
With two-factor authentication, you'll need something else in
addition to your password to get in. Generally speaking, that
something else is a hardware token, such as a smart card or a
gadget the size of a key fob that generates one-time passwords.
(For a photo of one of those gadgets, follow the link in the
previous story.) Some banks distribute a list of one-time
passwords on a scratch-off card.
Implementing support for two-factor authentication is going to be
a huge expense for banks.
Moreover, for consumers, it's one more thing to worry about,
remember, and eventually lose and have to go to the trouble of
But it'll be worth it if it wipes out online bank fraud, right?
One problem: It won't.
Steve's article points out that crooks will simply trick
consumers into giving up their one-time passwords; this has
already happened at a Scandinavian bank that implemented
For more on the pitfalls of the two-factor authentication
requirement, and to leave your 2 cents, see my blog entry on this subject.
Also: Check out my first videocast: a two-minute discussion of
the troubling future of Firefox. It's my
first effort at video blogging, so the production values are
crude. You can hear what I'm saying perfectly clearly, and follow
the necessary graphics, but I look like a doofus. So watch the
video, and, while I'm onscreen, point at me and laugh. I don't
Congress Wants U.S. To Retain Grip On Internet
A trio of lawmakers in the House of Representatives has joined a
Senate colleague in calling for the United States to retain
oversight control of the Internet, as a coming showdown looms
with countries wanting more say in how the Web is run.
Gadgetry's New Glue
Businesses want to communicate without the barriers of
proprietary technology and fragmented networks. The industry is
starting to listen.
MySQL 5.0 Ready To Download
The free download contains new stored procedures, views that will
protect sensitive information from unauthorized users, and an
information schema to give companies access to database metadata.
Startup Seeks To Rev Market For Lower-Power Chips
At a trade show this week, P.A. Semi will announce a
high-performance chip it claims will consume up to 10 times less
power than today's comparable products. The catch: The chip won't
be available until 2007.
People, Policy, And Primacy In The Offshoring Era: A Conversation
With IEEE's Ron Hira
Listen to the free, live Software Development NetSeminar on
Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 1 p.m. Pacific, 4 p.m. Eastern. The
one-hour Webcast discusses the latest data on salaries and
joblessness for IT workers, growth trends of offshore outsourcing
firms, and current U.S. policy and research on outsourcing.
Viewers can ask questions.
Hira is professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of
Technology and a participant in the Council on Foreign Relations'
Research Roundtable on Technology, Innovation and America's Primacy.
Nominations For Blog-X Awards Begin!
You determine the nominees and you choose the winner in TechWeb's
second annual Blog-X Awards. Nominate your favorite tech blog
now, and be sure to return when it's time to vote for the winner!
A Week's Worth Of Dailies--All In One Place
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Personal Tech Guide
Your guide to what's new, useful, and just plain fun. This week
we look at the Kinetic Perpetual dress watch, the WiFlyer+V, the
Firefly and Enfora mobile phones, Salton's Beyond Microwave, the
StealthSurfer II, CEO's IQ rCard, and the Magellan Roadmate 800.
This paper about E-learning will explore the goals behind
one-to-one initiatives, the fundamental issues to consider before
rolling out a program, and analysis of successful one-to-one programs
that have transformed classrooms--and communities--using technology.
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