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It Takes A Village To Solve IT's Problems

www.informationweek.com
Friday, Nov. 18, 2005

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: It Takes A Village To Solve IT's Problems
2. Today's Top Story
    - World Conference Still Source Of Grumbling Over Internet Control
    - Congressmen Unhappy With Internet Compromise
3. Breaking News
    - Microsoft Warns Of New Windows 2000 Exploit
    - U.K.'s 'Weaselboy' Scammer, Spammer Gets Six Years
    - Massachusetts Governor's Message: Globalize Or Die
    - Alta Communications Acquires Yankee Group
    - IBM Claims Better LED
    - Consumers Fear Holiday Theft Of Credit Data: Survey
    - BMC, Invoq Integrate Products To Resolve Outages Faster
    - Sony, NEC To Merge Optical-Disk-Drive Businesses
    - IBM Acquires Change-Management Firm
    - Supercomputing Lab Reaches Out To Artists, Others
    - Show Coverage: Going IP, A La Google
    - Risky Employee E-Mail Habits Threaten Business
    - New N.C. Monitoring System Can Help Early Detection Of Avian Flu
4. In Depth: Personal Tech & Reviews
    - Review: Office 12 Beta 1
    - Review: PC-cillin Internet Security 2006
    - Personal Tech Guide
    - Review: GO 2.4-GHz Cordless Optical Air Mouse
    - Sourcing PC Components On eBay
    - Fixing Your Network's Five Worst Bottlenecks
5. Voice Of Authority
    - Sales-Force Automation
6. White Papers
    - The Forrester Wave: Hosted Sales-Force Automation, Q1 2005
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone." -- G.B. Stern


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1. Editor's Note: It Takes A Village To Solve IT's Problems

In the last couple of weeks, I've noticed an interesting trend, one I hope will not only continue, but pick up some momentum.

I'm talking about a growth in collaboration to solve technology-related problems--all kinds of problems, from addressing bad behavior to fending off lawsuits to figuring out a solution that can meet most of the needs of the players involved.

That's because in order for collaborative problem solving to work, the parties need to be willing to do a number of things. These include:

  • Putting "me"--be it the company agenda or personal goals--second to achieving a solution.
  • Being willing not only to listen to other points of view but to consider how those viewpoints--or a version of the same--might mesh with a version of one's own viewpoint.
  • Embracing compromise.
  • Seeking out the competition--be it in sales, standards, or opinion--and invite them to party.
  • We have to be willing to do this because none of the problems we face are easy or likely to break down into black and white. But most of these problems are urgent.

    Among the examples I examine in my note are the way in which the technology community--from consumers to vendors--joined together to condemn Sony's software-protection program, and in particular the success of mass blogging in forcing the company to agree to withdraw the roundly decried program. There's the small group of heavyweight vendors who have joined together in an effort that, while obviously serving their own agendas, might be successful in heading off the feared patent WMD some foresee in the Linux community. Finally, there's the recent compromise between the United States and the rest of the world at the U.N. Summit this week--not a final solution by any means.

    You can read more about these specific examples in my blog entry.

    Patricia Keefe
    pkeefe@cmp.com
    www.informationweek.com


    2. Today's Top Story

    World Conference Still Source Of Grumbling Over Internet Control
    Not everyone is happy with the compromise that was reached. But most delegates and officials involved in the talks said the new forum would give nations a stronger say in how the Internet works, including perhaps spurring the availability of domain suffixes in Chinese and other languages.

    Congressmen Unhappy With Internet Compromise
    Congress on Wednesday passed a resolution that calls for the United States to make plain its intention to permanently control the Internet's day-to-day operations.


    3. Breaking News

    Microsoft Warns Of New Windows 2000 Exploit
    The security advisory gave few details of the vulnerability, saying that it was a flaw in the RPC component and could result in a denial-of-service attack that would crash affected computers. No patch is available.

    U.K.'s 'Weaselboy' Scammer, Spammer Gets Six Years
    Businesses that complained about his actions were flooded with millions of spam messages in retaliation, and even police were threatened by the man, who worked out of his father's house.

    Massachusetts Governor's Message: Globalize Or Die
    Gov. Mitt Romney, a former Bain Capital venture capitalist who's mulling a presidential run in 2008, tell CIOs and technology executives to stop worrying about lost jobs and concentrate on innovating globally to create jobs here and abroad.

    Alta Communications Acquires Yankee Group
    The IT consultancy is now part of a Boston-based private-equity firm.

    IBM Claims Better LED
    IBM unveiled what it said is the world's first electroluminescent nanotube transistor and said it glows a thousand times brighter than a light-emitting diode.

    Consumers Fear Holiday Theft Of Credit Data: Survey
    Half of the 1,000 respondents said they would feel more secure with biometrics, according to the survey, commissioned by IBM and done by Opinion Research.

    BMC, Invoq Integrate Products To Resolve Outages Faster
    AlarmPoint forwards messages to IT staff, wherever they are, so personnel can quickly deal with critical issues that could have a potentially severe impact on the business.

    Sony, NEC To Merge Optical-Disk-Drive Businesses
    The joint venture, still unnamed, will combine Sony's present optical-disk business, worth about $1.26 billion, with NEC's DVD disk-drive business, worth about $589 million.

    IBM Acquires Change-Management Firm
    Collation, a privately held company, sells software that allows administrators to figure out the impact of potential changes before they occur.

    Supercomputing Lab Reaches Out To Artists, Others
    The National Center for Supercomputing Applications is helping sociologists and other nontraditional users by exploring new ways to use its ability to compute 41 trillion calculations per second.

    Show Coverage: Going IP, A La Google
    Is your IT department ready to roll out flexible services built on top of an open, IP-based architecture? It better be, say tech leaders at this week's IP.4.IT show, pointing to Google as the perfect working model.

    Risky Employee E-Mail Habits Threaten Business
    A new survey shows at-work E-mail usage may be exposing businesses to legal problems, with employees not realizing they're doing anything risky.

    New N.C. Monitoring System Can Help Early Detection Of Avian Flu
    It's the first statewide monitoring system that collects data from all hospitals that have 24-hour emergency room departments.

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    In the current episode:
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        - KC Jones with "Google Murder"
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    ----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

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    InformationWeek's U.S. Information Security 2005 research report documents the responses of 2,540 U.S. business-technology and security professionals and explores threat perceptions, security practices, and investment plans. The report also examines attack successes and their impact on business-technology operations.
    http://www.informationweek.com/reports/showReport.jhtml?articleID=170100861

    Help Choose The Best Independent Tech Blog Of 2005
    The nominations for the second annual Blog-X Awards came fast and furious. We've winnowed down the list to 10 blogs. Cast your vote for the top independent tech blog! The winner will be revealed around Dec. 16 and will receive a $500 Starbucks coffee card.
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    4. In Depth: Personal Tech And Reviews

    Review: Office 12 Beta 1
    Microsoft's radical redesign of its applications suite has some neat new features, but it could have users up in arms.

    Review: PC-cillin Internet Security 2006
    Trend Micro's new anti-malware suite offers solid protection without scaring uneasy users.

    Personal Tech Guide
    This week's new gadgets: Sony Ericsson Four-In-One cell phone, live TV on a PC, the new Vaio, and TiVoToGo.

    Review: GO 2.4-GHz Cordless Optical Air Mouse
    Gyration's radio-controlled pointing device is a master of disguise--it can be a mouse, a presentation pointer, a remote control, and more.

    Sourcing PC Components On eBay
    Looking for cheap PC parts? Here's how to use eBay to buy chips, disks, and more for a whole lot less.

    Fixing Your Network's Five Worst Bottlenecks
    Poorly tuned servers, too many appliances, improper segmentation, misbehaving applications, and security problems can slow down your network. Here's what to do about it.


    5. Voice Of Authority

    Today's Reminder: The Greatest Threats To Your Data May Be On Your Payroll
    The steady stream of customer-data breaches that have plagued financial-services firms, consumer data clearinghouses, and universities this year have put IT departments on alert to the vulnerability of sensitive information. Yet the bulk of reactions have centered on fortification against hackers and other unwelcome intruders. According to Tony Kontzer, too many companies have ignored what is perhaps the greatest threat to data security: employees.


    6. White Papers

    The Forrester Wave: Hosted Sales-Force Automation, Q1 2005
    Hosted applications are changing the way companies think about software, providing a lower-risk, lower-up-front-cost alternative to on-premise apps. This paper discusses how sales-force automation is one of the areas taking off most quickly, as sales executives demand easy-to-use, flexible solutions that don't require IT support.



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