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9/1/2005
10:16 AM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
Commentary
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Internet Aids In Katrina Relief

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Internet Aids In Katrina Relief
2. Today's Top Story
    - Katrina Overwhelms Telecom Giants' Contingency Plans
    - IT Sales Could Slow In Aftermath Of Katrina
    - New Orleans Paper Shifts To Web Only
    - Hurricane Katrina Claims HP's Technology Forum
3. Breaking News
    - EXCLUSIVE BULLETIN: ABN Amro Set To Unveil Largest IT Offshore-Outsourcing Deal
    - States Expanding Push For Internet Taxes
    - IT Workers Were In A Foul Mood About Jobs Last Month, Report Says
    - First Firefox 1.5 Beta Due Next Week
    - Study Rejects Link Between Mobile Phones And Cancer
    - Private Phone Records Sold Online, Privacy Group Complains
    - Creative Claims Apple IPod Uses Its Newly Patented Technology
    - Writer Groups Not Backing Down In Fight With Google
    - Google Losing Ground In China
    - Yahoo Improves Web Mail Search
    - Google Extends Site Mapping Service To Mobile Web Sites
4. In Depth: Microsoft Windows
5. Voice Of Authority: Security
6. White Papers: Business Execution
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved." -- Confucius


1. Editor's Note: Internet Aids In Katrina Relief

While information technology is impotent to protect or even soften the blow of a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina, IT is doing a lot to help in the recovery effort.

As we saw with the Asian tsunami, the Internet helps private individuals form into groups and get out information to help, using resources including blogs, photo-sharing, and online forums.

The bohemian blog Boing Boing has been doing an exemplary job of pulling together lesser-known but worthwhile news reports, Internet resources, and firsthand accounts from readers. We have our own roundup of Boing Boing coverage on our blog. Boing Boing provides a list of Katrina resources.

Two moving accounts posted to BB: "Many of our evacuees here aren't just looking for shelter--they're asking for jobs. Those mostly lived paycheck-to-paycheck, and with N.O. gone, there's no more paychecks. These people may never go back, no matter what's done to rebuild."

Also, from an E-mail attributed to a New Orleans rescue worker: "One of the teams came in today after having been out for hours at a time. One particular rescuer went straight to a corner and collapsed into tears. I went directly to him and just held his hand. What else could I do? I said nothing. He said it all. They lowered him 26 times and he pulled 26 people to safety. He wants to be back out there but there are mandatory rest periods. His tears are tears of frustration."

My colleague Eric Chabrow writes about the moving messages left on forums for the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper. "My mother and father are trapped in a house," reads one message. "They are both in their 80s. My mother has a heart condition, and my father has emphysema. They are terribly frightened, and fear that they won't make it through the night. Please somebody help. ..."

Flickr has a striking Katrina photo group of the disaster's damage and aftermath taken by members.

During the Asian tsunami, we saw a powerful network of bloggers and other digerati coming together to fill in where relief efforts collapsed. The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami blog mobilized rapidly to serve as a clearinghouse for disaster information. Sri Lankan Sanjay Senanayake traveled the country after the tsunami, reporting on a blog about the disaster and recovery using cell-phone text messaging to communicate information.

Internet users organizing themselves can provide a powerful resource for disaster recovery, complementing official organizations and government agencies. Should the government do more to foster and regulate those groups? Or is benign neglect the best policy? Head on over to the InformationWeek blog, log into the comments section, and let us know.

Mitch Wagner
mwagner@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Katrina Overwhelms Telecom Giants' Contingency Plans
Telcos scramble to restore service to customers while keeping employees safe.

Related Stories:
IT Sales Could Slow In Aftermath Of Katrina

Cascading impact of rising oil prices caused by Gulf Coast devastation could curb corporate revenue, causing a slowdown in IT spending.

New Orleans Paper Shifts To Web Only
For the second day, the Times-Picayune, New Orleans' daily paper, published a Web-only edition, as, like other businesses and the city's residents, it has had to abandon the city and deal with dislocation.

Hurricane Katrina Claims HP's Technology Forum
The company plans to reschedule its inaugural Technology Forum for later in the fall.


3. Breaking News

EXCLUSIVE BULLETIN: ABN Amro Set To Unveil Largest IT Offshore-Outsourcing Deal
Value of contract involving Tata Consultancy Services and other vendors could exceed $2 billion.

States Expanding Push For Internet Taxes
Thirteen states plan to start encouraging online businesses to collect sales taxes. Right now, it's the customer's responsibility to pay.

IT Workers Were In A Foul Mood About Jobs Last Month, Report Says
Worries about personal finances and layoffs amid industry consolidations caused a drop in IT-worker confidence levels.

First Firefox 1.5 Beta Due Next Week
A second beta of the version once known as "Deer Park" is due in early October, with a release candidate promised by Oct. 28.

Study Rejects Link Between Mobile Phones And Cancer
One of the largest and most rigorous studies ever into the alleged links between cancer and the use of mobile phones has failed to find any connection between the two--at least for the first 10 years of use.

Private Phone Records Sold Online, Privacy Group Complains
The Electronic Privacy Information Center wants telecommunications carriers to do more to prevent customer information from being sold online.

Creative Claims Apple IPod Uses Its Newly Patented Technology
Creative Technology says it's been awarded a U.S. patent for user-interface technology in its portable media players and its competitors', including the iPod.

Writer Groups Not Backing Down In Fight With Google
At this point it's looking likely that at least one author's organization will go to court to try to stop Google's book-copying project.

Google Losing Ground In China
Google is losing market share to its biggest Chinese rival, Baidu.com, according to a Chinese Internet research group.

Yahoo Improves Web Mail Search
Now included: the ability to check content in E-mail attachments, among other features.

Google Extends Site-Mapping Service To Mobile Web Sites
Google says Webmasters building pages for mobile phones can now use its tools for helping the search engine company find content on the Internet.

The News Show
John Soat drives "The News Train" in Wednesday's episode of "The News Show."


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

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.

IT Job Security
Do IT professionals feel secure in their jobs? Find out how other IT professionals feel with InformationWeek Research's National IT Salary Study. The report examines salaries, compensation, benefits, and job-satisfaction issues among both staff and managers. Use this report to evaluate your current pay package and to make plans for your review.

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


4. In Depth: Windows

Microsoft Ships Release Candidate Of Windows Server 2003 R2
Built atop the recently released Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, the new release includes support for all x64 processors and built-in Unix interoperability, among many other features.

Another Windows Bug Open To Zotob-Like Attacks
Another Windows vulnerability disclosed earlier in August is ripe for exploit, security firm Symantec says.

Linux And Windows Square Off In Another Round Of TCO Testing
Two research reports sponsored by IBM argue that Linux is less expensive to buy and operate than Windows or Unix.

Microsoft Acquires VoIP Startup
Teleo's software is still in development and includes the ability to click on a phone number to immediately reach someone who has a regular landline.

Analysis: Microsoft Moves Deeper Into VoIP
Observers expect to see more MSN-integrated consumer applications that include new the Teleo software Microsoft acquired this week.


5. Voice Of Authority: Security

Bad News: Cyber Crimefighters Are Losing The Battle
Tony Kontzer writes: "While sitting in the Knuckles Sports Bar at the Hyatt Regency Resort in Monterey, Calif., watching a jovial group of high-tech crime-fighting experts exchange work-related yarns and engage in the ageless Yankees versus Red Sox debate, a confident feeling came over me. No way were the cyber bad guys gonna get to me here. Naturally, my sense of security was completely false, since the roomful of law enforcement and IT security talent in front of me wouldn't be able to do squat if, at that very moment, a hacker in Marrakech was siphoning the balance of my 401(k) into a Swiss bank account." Read the rest on the InformationWeek Weblog.


6. White Papers: Business Execution

Best Practices In Enterprise Planning: Seven Steps To Superior Business Execution
Traditionally, companies manage performance by intently scrutinizing and analyzing past results. But that's simply not enough. This paper outlines seven enterprise planning 'best practices' which will help your organization achieve superior business execution.


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