In This Issue: 1. Editor's Note: Is Your PC EC? 2. Today's Top Story - Microsoft Patch 'Erases' Outlook Express Addresses; Users Irked Related Stories: - Feds Issue Security Alert On Firefox, Thunderbird - Oracle Bug Exploit Loose - HP Recalls 15,700 Notebook Computer Batteries For Burn And Fire Hazard 3. Breaking News - MySQL To Outline Plug-In Plans, Database Upgrade - Online Hiring Up All Over, Monster Says - Apple Plans New Campus In California - Opera 9.0 Enters Beta - Special Report: Are Computers Destroying The Earth? - Apple Decision Deals Chipmaker A Serious Blow - Report: Uptick In Hiring Could Be Stymied By Lack Of Skilled Workers - New Service Offers Online Video Syndication - Oregon Man Fined $84K In Spyware Case - Microsoft Pushes SQL Server Toward Continuous Hot Availability 4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web - Google In China: The Big Disconnect (The New York Times - reg. required) - Webaroo Unplugged (Techtree.com) - Samsung Debuts 2 Gbyte Flash Memory For Cell Phones (TG Daily) 5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech - Google Calendar Beta: A Hot Date - Review: D-Link DSM-520 - Hot Apps: AMUST 1-Login 1.0 - Will Easy Wikis Mean Busy Cliques? - More Americans Using The Web For Life's Critical Decisions 6. Voice Of Authority - IT Workforce Rise Occurs Despite Fewer Software Developers 7. White Papers - Epicor Manufacturer Globalization Survey 2005 8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek 9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day: "The environmental movement has taught us that one intervenes in the product of eons and eons of evolution at one's peril." -- Leon Kass
1. Editor's Note: Is Your PC EC?
Is your PC environmentally correct? At first glance, the answer is a resounding no. Computers, cell phones, iPods, and other high-tech toys are basically cocktails of hazardous substances, including lead, mercury, cadmium, beryllium, hexavalent chromium, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, and brominated flame retardants. Once they've entered our air, water, and soil via landfills and incineration, these toxins can cause cancer and damage our lungs, kidneys, bones, brains, reproductive systems, and more.
We blithely throw away our two-year-old cell phones and laptops, never thinking about where they'll end up or who they'll poison. The California Resource Recovery Association estimates that U.S. landfills receive 300,000 tons of this E-waste annually, and much more than that is shipped overseas for poorer countries like China, India, and Pakistan to disassemble and dispose of, according to the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition.
It seems, then, that computers and technology have been conclusively harmful to the earth. But take a step back and think for a minute. Technology is what makes it possible for us to study the environment and discover what helps and hurts our ecosystems. Computers and telecommunications help us analyze and spread that knowledge. The ability to telecommute keeps us from burning fossil fuels. In many ways, computers are helping us save the planet.
The arguments on both sides of the issue are compelling--and worth learning more about. Tomorrow is Earth Day, and in honor of the event we set two reporters to grapple over the question of whether computers and technology do more to help or harm the environment. Read their arguments, then head on over to our rea der poll and vote on who's got it right.
Our special report also includes a page of tips on how you can embrace technology and be friendly to the environment at the same time. If you've got your own tips to share or would like to weigh in on the debate, please submit a comment to my blog entry.
Oracle Bug Exploit Loose The exploit, which targets one of the Oracle Database 10g bugs, escalates privileges of existing users to give them total access to the database. Installing the available patch is critical, security experts say.
MySQL To Outline Plug-In Plans, Database Upgrade At next week's MySQL users conference, the company will discuss its own storage engine, currently in development and code-named Falcon, as well as new deals it has recently inked to allow others to play nicely.
Opera 9.0 Enters Beta Among Opera's new features are "widgets," small Web-based applications similar in function to the same-named applets in Mac OS X and to Yahoo's Widget Engine.
Special Report: Are Computers Destroying The Earth? With Earth Day just around the corner, two reporters cross swords over the question of whether computers and technology are helping or hurting the environment. See what they have to say, then vote on who's got it right.
Analyzing Networking Vendors--FREE Report Download Looking for customer references? InformationWeek Research's "Analyzing the Networking Vendors" provides customer evaluations from more than 600 network equipment users. Download this FREE report to evaluate Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, 3Com, and Nortel and to benchmark your organization's networking plans for 2006.
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New Web Site--TECHSEARCH.COM Search more than 60 CMP technology sites, read blogs, and find the best tech content from across the World Wide Web--all in one place.
Webaroo Unplugged (Techtree.com) Webaroo has announced that its eponymous software will allow users to "search the Web, offline." Techtree.com met up with the startup's co-founders to delve into what that really means.
Will Easy Wikis Mean Busy Cliques? Wetpaint wants people to use its wiki tools to build online communities of animal lovers, political junkies, gamers, and more. Once the sites are up, will advertisers follow?
Epicor Manufacturer Globalization Survey 2005 As Epicor tallied the results of its 2005 survey of 174 U.S. manufacturers, it became clear that no company is immune to the effects of globalization. Many respondents experienced shrinking profit margins due to global competition, necessitating tough business decisions such as offshoring and downsizing.
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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.