In This Issue: 1. Editor's Note: How To Succeed In Business 2. Today's Top Story - Skype Sick With Bad Bug, Must Be Patched Related Stories: - Microsoft Word Zero-Day Hack Under Way - U.S. Consumers Taking Steps To Stymie ID Theft 3. Breaking News - Dell Vows More Price Cuts To Regain Momentum - Rockers Rally For Internet Neutrality - State Department To Limit Use Of Chinese Computers - Video Games Also Attractive To The Young At Heart: Report - AOL Buys Video Ad Company Lightningcast - Cellular Industry Calls For National Regulations - Cellular Music Services Doomed By High Prices - NASCAR Revs Up Data Center On Wheels - Microsoft Judge OKs Antitrust Extension - Microsoft To Buy Virtualization Vendor: Sources - Microsoft Releases Windows Media Player 11 - Microsoft To Launch Subscription Windows Service 4. Grab Bag - Meet The Hackers (BusinessWeek) - Reclusive Linux Founder Opens Up (CNN) - Sunnyvale, You Have A Problem (Wall Street Journal) 5. In Depth: Wiretapping - BellSouth Demands USA Today Retract NSA Claims - Blog: AT&T: We Won't Talk About Wiretapping - Online Groups Reveal Details, Legalities Of NSA Surveillance - Telecoms Take Heat For NSA Programs - Phone Companies Fight Back Against NSA Accusations - Feds Want AT&T Class-Action Spy Suit Dismissed - Group Seeks To Begin AT&T Depositions On U.S. Spying 6. Voice Of Authority - Hey Dell, What Took You So Long To Offer AMD? 7. White Papers - How SMEs Can Prepare For Phishing Attacks 8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek 9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day: "There are three kinds of death in this world. There's heart death, there's brain death, and there's being off the network." -- Guy Almes
Because by mid-2004, pundits were already predicting the death of what was being called just a passing fad. But social networking couldn't have been quite moribund because people, with great fanfare, pronounced it dead again almost a year later (in 2005).
The latest twist: Social networking is now ready for business. Stories full of snappy anecdotes (you know the kind—"Joe Smith was looking for a job with no luck, until one day...") supposedly demonstrate how online networking is finally benefiting professionals.
The premise of social networking is that the friend of my friend is also my friend. Those who say yea that it's finally working argue that these Web sites take a business person's best asset—his or her rolodex—and leverage the heck out of it online. They insist that they're especially good at finding contacts at companies you might otherwise never get access to, and that without being connected you'll be outmatched by mega-linked-in competitors and colleagues.
Those who say nay (or at least "not yet") ask, "Who really wants to be continually bothered by strangers?" Also, they point out, search is still a much more effective tool for finding information on the Internet (although industry observers say we're about to see a convergence of search and social networking). Finally, they ask, "Who has the time?" Teenagers can spend hours chatting about music online, but for busy professionals that's another matter.
Everyone is careful to say these networks rely on trust. But as the saying goes, trust has to be earned. It can't be uploaded via an Outlook address book. What makes my rolodex valuable is its exclusiveness: I don't let just anyone peek into it. And it's not only reporters who have to be careful with their sources. Credibility swings both ways. Getting pinged too many times by that friend of a friend of a friend can be downright annoying when you're trying to get your real work done.
No one doubts technology is a valuable tool for helping us connect with each other. The question is, what form should technology take to support the natural ways we already do business?
This is obviously a much bigger topic than there's room to deal with here, but let me know what you think by responding to my blog.
Dell Vows More Price Cuts To Regain Momentum Dell's top executives said they were caught off guard by the pricing competitiveness offered by rivals. Their goal now is to come out shooting, on both the customer service and pricing fronts, to regain any lost market share.
Rockers Rally For Internet Neutrality Musicians including Moby, Nine Inch Nails, and the Indigo Girls are supporting a law that would ensure Internet traffic flow remains equal for small and large corporations and media. Telecommunications companies have been pushing for tiered access, which would allow providers to charge premium rates for premium access.
Video Games Also Attractive To The Young At Heart: Report Video and computer games are as attractive to adults as to teens, according to the 2005 report released this week by the Entertainment Software Association, which says 44% of gamers are between ages 18 and 49, and 31% are under 18 years old.
Microsoft To Buy Virtualization Vendor: Sources In addition to its purchase of Softricity, Microsoft is expected to announce plans next week to accelerate the delivery of its homegrown virtualization hypervisor code-named "Viridian." It will also formally debut plans for a virtualization management platform code-named "Carmine."
----- The latest research, polls, and tools ----- 2006 National IT Salary Survey The 9th annual InformationWeek National IT Salary survey results are now available! This InformationWeek Research report provides an unparalleled view into trends in IT salaries and compensation plans.
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4. Grab Bag
Meet The Hackers (BusinessWeek) With help from friends in the U.S. Postal Service and various law enforcement agencies, BusinessWeek has put together descriptions of some of the most wanted cybercriminals in the world.
For more great jobs, career-related news, features and services, please visit CMP Media's TechCareers. -----------------------------------------
5. In Depth: Domestic Wiretapping
BellSouth Demands USA Today Retract NSA Claims A BellSouth spokesman denies the company had a contract with the National Security Agency and says his firm didn't, as the newspaper reported, give access or provide call records to the spy agency as part of an effort to thwart terrorist plots.
Blog: AT&T: We Won't Talk About Wiretapping AT&T has news for the court hearing the case against it regarding illegal wiretapping and Net snooping: The big telco won't talk. If ordered to reveal documents about the case, AT&T would be "unable to furnish the requested information," its lawyers say. That's legalese for take a hike.
Online Groups Reveal Details, Legalities Of NSA Surveillance One AT&T employee was required to connect fiber optic circuits carrying AT&T customers' private Internet-based data to a device that diverted that same data to a room controlled by the government, his lawyer wrote in papers filed in federal court last week.
Telecoms Take Heat For NSA Programs A Federal Communications commissioner calls for an investigation into their possible roles in secret federal surveillance and data mining programs.
Feds Want AT&T Class-Action Spy Suit Dismissed The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a class-action lawsuit in California in January, accusing AT&T of cooperating with a government surveillance program. The U.S. Department of Justice responded with a notice stating it plans to intervene to protect military and state secrets privilege, as well as request the lawsuit's dismissal.
Group Seeks To Begin AT&T Depositions On U.S. Spying The Electronic Freedom Foundation wants to start questioning AT&T executives about the company's role in a government program to intercept telephone and E-mail communications between the U.S. and people linked to al-Qaida and affiliated organizations.
6. Voice Of Authority
Hey Dell, What Took You So Long To Offer AMD? It was almost anticlimactic when the announcement came in under the radar Thursday that Dell would break with its long-standing policy of selling Intel-only computers. The confirmation came tacked on to another disappointing Dell quarterly financial report, which perhaps speaks volumes on why the move to AMD was finally made.
7. White Papers
How SMEs Can Prepare For Phishing Attacks Traditionally phishers only targeted large financial services. But now that small and midsized enterprises habitually maintain confidential personal information for their customers, they have to be vigilant in deploying counterphishing measures to preserve their reputation and stay competitive.
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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.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.