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2/14/2006
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IT Analysts Turn The Table And Analyze Us

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: IT Analysts Turn The Table And Analyze Us
2. Today's Top Story: Don't Bug Me
    - Critical Bugs Sting Lotus Notes
    Related Stories:
    - Microsoft Plans To Patch 7 Flaws Next Week
    - Security Specialists At Demo Paint Bleak Picture
3. Breaking News
    - IT Execs Taking Cautious Approach To RIM Workaround Plan
    - Microsoft Tells Device Makers: We'll Foot Your Legal Bills
    - Google Grabs Half Of Booming Web-Search Market
    - This Week In Google: From Desktop To Demo
    - Fresh U.S. Outrage Ahead Of China Internet Hearings
    - Study: 51% Of Hires Culled From Internet Sources
    - Yahoo Adds Features To Firefox Toolbar
    - Skype Adds Presence Feature To VoIP
    - Firms Turn Cybersleuths With Cell-Phone Technology
    - Report: Global IT Spending To Reach $1.3 Trillion By 2009
    - Firm Touts 'Dick Tracy' Video Wristband
    - Security 'Geek' Advised New Harrison Ford Movie
4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web
    - Craigslist Accused Of Ad Discriminating
    - Everyday Gadgets Go 'Smarting' Off
    - 'Throttling' Angers Netflix Heavy Renters
    - Google: Searching For Respect On The Hill
5. In Depth: Taking Care Of Business
    - Oracle Cuts 2,000 Jobs As Part Of Siebel Deal
    - Gateway CEO Inouye Resigns; Stock Falls
    - Gates Sells 9 Million Shares, Pockets $245 Million
    - Apple To (Big) Apple And Boston
    - Symantec Makes Data-Center Bid With Relicore Buy
    - ACS To Cut 1,700 Jobs, Former CEO Gets $4 Million Payout
6. Voice Of Authority
    - Langa Letter: Deep-Geek File And Disk Tools
7. White Papers
    - Application Delivery And Web Application Firewalls Are Ready To Converge
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks." -- Indian proverb


1. Editor's Note: IT Analysts Turn The Table And Analyze Us

How dare we?! That was typical of the angry responses that came flying back after InformationWeek published our assessment of the sometimes-murky relationships that exist between IT research firms and the technology companies they cover in the Feb. 6 cover story, "Credibility Of Analysts."

How dare InformationWeek suggest that business dealings might influence analyst reports? How dare we put Gartner CEO Gene Hall's photo on the cover with such a provocative ("Can You Trust This Man?") headline? How dare InformationWeek point fingers when a major source of our own revenue comes from the tech industry? Oh, and by the way, the story, by editors-at-large Larry Greenemeier and Paul McDougall (and edited by me), didn't turn up anything new anyway.

When tech media meets tech research, analysis is a two-way street, and now it's time to hear what the subjects of our story thought about InformationWeek's report on them. We've received phone calls, letters, E-mail, and blog responses from PR people, analysts, tech companies, and IT professionals--some praising us for our moxie, others hammering us for our execution.

"Very even-handed," wrote one analyst with a major firm, who shoots to the top of my list of the most objective and knowledgeable analysts out there.

Others were less impressed. Analyst Mike Rothman refers to our story as being mostly irrelevant on his blog. But Rothman also had this to say: "If you are going to go on a witch hunt, you better find some witches. They are out there..."

Nancy Erskine of Gartner's office of the ombudsman offers a measured response in a blog posting titled, "Credibility Of Analysts: Gartner Put To The Test." Erskine tried to set the record straight in a number of areas where she felt InformationWeek gave readers the wrong impression.

Gartner does not, she writes, create reports that are funded by tech vendors. (InformationWeek didn't say that Gartner did engage in that practice, but we did say it's not unusual for research firms in general to do so. She's right to make the clarification.) Erskine also points out that Gartner no longer has a stake in the SI Venture Fund II hedge fund, which invests in technology companies. That was our mistake. But it doesn't change the fact that Gartner did once have an investment in SI Ventures at the same time that SI Ventures had an investment in tech company Authentor and that, during that same period, Gartner was quoted in press releases issued by Authentor.

Surprisingly, Erskine says nothing about the headline that appeared on the cover alongside Gartner CEO Hall's picture: "Can You Trust This Man?" It's tough language, to be sure, but a legitimate rhetorical question to be asked of the top executive of the largest IT research firm. Thousands of Gartner customers might give a resounding "yes" to that question, but there may be others who aren't so sure.

You can read more of the feedback we got, and my take on it, by going to my blog entry. What do you think about the credibility of IT analysts or the way we covered the subject? Leave a comment and let us know.

John Foley
jpfoley@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story: Don't Bug Me

Critical Bugs Sting Lotus Notes
Some of the six holes can allow attackers to hijack corporate systems even if users only view incoming E-mail.

Related Stories:

Microsoft Plans To Patch 7 Flaws Next Week
At least two of the seven will be rated "critical," which by the company's definition means that the vulnerability can be remotely exploited.

Security Specialists At Demo Paint Bleak Picture
Panelists at the technology showcase agreed security problems will be around for a while and suggested different ways for reducing the risk.


3. Breaking News

IT Execs Taking Cautious Approach To RIM Workaround Plan
While applauding efforts to avoid a service shutdown, IT managers say they want to test Research In Motion's workaround software for corporate BlackBerry users before they implement it.

Microsoft Tells Device Makers: We'll Foot Your Legal Bills
Says it will lift all caps on legal fees it will pay against intellectual property lawsuits.

Google Grabs Half Of Booming Web-Search Market
U.S. Web surfers conducted 5.1 billion searches in the last month of 2005, compared with 3.3 billion during the same period a year ago, Nielsen/NetRatings said.

This Week In Google: From Desktop To Demo
The search-engine behemoth continues to dominate the news, from speculation that it's building its own Internet to talk that it's poised to launch a PayPal competitor.

Fresh U.S. Outrage Ahead Of China Internet Hearings (Reuters)
Lawmakers are lining up to condemn Chinese censorship and any role Yahoo, Google, and other American vendors may play in it. House subcommittee hearings on the issue start this week.

Study: 51% Of Hires Culled From Internet Sources
Newspaper classified ads, traditionally a major source of employment hiring, were the source of just 5% of new hires, the study found.

Yahoo Adds Features To Firefox Toolbar
With the right mouse button, toolbar users will be able to access Yahoo Search, Web mail, instant messaging, and Yahoo's social networking site, 360 Degrees.

Skype Adds Presence Feature To VoIP
Called SkypeWeb, the feature allows users to see who among their contacts is available for phone calls or E-mail.

Firms Turn Cybersleuths With Cell-Phone Technology (Reuters)
Although employees must give permission to have their cell phones tracked, not everyone is happy about the practice.

Report: Global IT Spending To Reach $1.3 Trillion By 2009
Health care, government, utilities, and communications and media are expected to lead the pack.

Firm Touts 'Dick Tracy' Video Wristband
The 3-inch, wristwatch-sized LCD screen attached to the wrist enables ground troops and pilots to view real-time video images taken by helicopters and drones.

Security 'Geek' Advised New Harrison Ford Movie
The founder of a managed security services firm was on-set for three weeks, acting as technical adviser for Ford's new movie, "Firewall," which involves a high-tech bank heist.

All our latest news

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

Craigslist Accused Of Ad Discriminating (AP)
A federal lawsuit accuses the online site Craigslist of violating fair housing laws by publishing discriminatory classified ads, reviving the question of what legal boundaries, if any, should exist for postings on the Internet.

Everyday Gadgets Go 'Smarting' Off (USA TODAY)
Regular old dumb stuff is getting smart and connected. A lot of technology companies focus on making computers more powerful and Internet connections faster. But a major trend is pushing in another direction--toward getting cheap computer chips and limited networking capabilities into products that never used to have such technology.

'Throttling' Angers Netflix Heavy Renters (AP)
The little-known practice, called "throttling" by critics, means Netflix customers who pay the same price for the same service are often treated differently, depending on their rental patterns.

Google: Searching For Respect On The Hill (BusinessWeek)
Google has a Washington problem. Since it started hiring for its public-policy team last year, the Web giant hasn't snagged a single high-profile Republican. Indeed, Washington's GOP ruling elite isn't giving Google the time of day.


5. In Depth: Taking Care Of Business

Oracle Cuts 2,000 Jobs As Part Of Siebel Deal (Reuters)
Cost-cutting aside, applications and database revenue are expected to rise during the rest of this year.

Gateway CEO Inouye Resigns; Stock Falls (Reuters)
Wayne Inouye has left to "pursue other interests," and chairman Rick Snyder will assume his post on an interim basis.

Gates Sells 9 Million Shares, Pockets $245 Million
Even after the sales, Gates still owns more than 988 million shares of Microsoft, which were worth $26.3 billion at Friday's midmorning price.

Apple To (Big) Apple And Boston
The New York megastore will be open this year. Apple has been expanding its chain of retail stores as its iPod family takes off.

Symantec Makes Data-Center Bid With Relicore Buy
Relicore's Clarity package locates all applications running on managed servers, tracks key configurations, maps the dependencies of those servers and applications, and keeps that data current in real time.

ACS To Cut 1,700 Jobs, Former CEO Gets $4 Million Payout
Affiliated Computer Services cutbacks will focus on the service company's operations in Mexico, according to an SEC filing.


6. Voice Of Authority

Langa Letter: Deep-Geek File And Disk Tools
A major brain-fade forces Fred Langa to search for the most powerful recovery tools he could find.


7. White Papers

Application Delivery And Web Application Firewalls Are Ready To Converge
This complimentary report explains that the Web application security and application delivery markets have developed separately but are ripe for consolidation. Integrating products from these two markets will bring benefits in performance, management, and cost savings.


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