In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Katrina Makes Life Difficult In The Big Easy
2. Today's Top Story
- Web Readies For Hurricane Katrina
- Storm Hampers Long-Distance, Cell Services
- IT Helps States Brace For Storms
3. Breaking News
- Microsoft Begins To Test Delayed Windows File System
- Cool Chips Are Hot
- Finding Profits In Podcasting
- FBI Reveals 16 More Suspects In Zotob Worm
- Suspected Zotob Hacker Also Wrote Mytob Worms, Security
- Judge Orders Apple To Pay Up For Bad iPod Batteries
- Messing With Biometrics, On Purpose
- Cisco Upgrades Switch Operating System
- New Wisconsin Lab Is Dedicated To RFID
- Alleged Spyware Creator, Buyers Are Indicted
- New Apps Keep Google Pushing Beyond Search
- Wikis Make Collaboration Easier
- When To Wiki: How To Decide If It Makes Sense For You
- Primer: Making A Mesh Of Your Wireless LAN
4. In Depth: China
5. Voice Of Authority: Scary Security
6. White Papers: Smart Sales
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"Money is the opposite of the weather. Nobody talks about it, but
everybody does something about it." -- Rebecca Johnson
1. Editor's Note: Katrina Makes Life Difficult In The Big Easy
Perhaps there isn't a meaningful business-technology parallel to
the hellacious scenario that unfolded Monday in New Orleans,
although I did once attend a Common AS/400 user conference at the
newly convertible Superdome. As Hurricane Katrina unleashed her
fury along the city's cobblestone streets and left several
residents stranded on their rooftops, people were more concerned
with escaping with their lives than making sure their data was
backed up. Of course, with last year's hurricane season being one
for the record books, businesses and government agencies in the
Southeast have certainly been through this, or something close to
Last Friday, I wrote a blog entry to alert people to a story
I'd written weeks ago about how businesses and government
agencies in the Southeast were using technology to prepare for
this year's hurricane season. We knew the story would run just as
hurricane season hit its full stride, but we had no idea how
timely it would be.
I focused on areas hardest hit during the 2004 hurricane
season--Florida and Texas. For the most part, people were happy
to talk to me about the work they'd done applying technology to
keep the lights on and ensure the safety of people in the storms'
paths. My story highlights new processes Florida's
Department of Management Services put in place to keep its
citizens safe, a new pilot program in Florida's Miami-Dade County
that will ultimately push emergency information out to citizens'
cell phones, and the Texas Governor's Division of Emergency
Management's use of modeling software to better understand the
impact of hurricanes on the state's 634 miles of coast, which
include 10 seaports.
Just how far does one have to go to escape the eye of the storm,
and how much are managers willing to spend on technology and
contingency plans they hope they'll never use? Over the past
several years--thanks to 9/11, the 2003 blackout, and the 2004
hurricane season--as far away and as much money as it takes.
Society has become too reliant on technology to take Mother
For additional information and perspective on Katrina, check out
Boing Boing's roundup of New Orleans
blogs, Webcams, and other Web resources. You'll also find
information about how you can help the storm's victims.
For more of my perspective on Katrina and disaster preparedness,
read the rest of this note as a blog entry.
InformationWeek fervently hopes that all our readers--and
everyone--in Katrina's path stays safe and dry.
As Hurricane Katrina lashed New Orleans and the central Gulf
Coast with winds that blew off parts of the giant Superdome's
roof, charities geared up for relief efforts by posting appeals
on their Web sites.
Related Stories: Storm Hampers Long-Distance, Cell Services
Cell-phone service was spotty and long-distance callers got busy
signals as Hurricane Katrina knocked out key telecommunications
hubs along the Gulf Coast.
IT Helps States Brace For Storms
What have federal and local government agencies done since last
year's fierce hurricane season to improve the technology they use
to better prepare for storm emergencies? One example: The FAA's
Emergency Operations Center is using a combination of technology
and management strategy called "mind mapping" to make better use
of information it collects and better organize its staff and
prepare for emergencies.
Microsoft released an early test version of WinFS, a Windows file
system designed to make it easier for applications to share data.
Cool Chips Are Hot
Intel promises chips that consume less power and are easier to
manage. The measure of its success will be whether they help
companies cut costs.
Finding Profits In Podcasting
Its origin is in Web radio and audio blogs, but companies like
IBM, Oracle, and Purina view podcasting as a new medium for
hawking their wares.
FBI Reveals 16 More Suspects In Zotob Worm
The FBI delivered the update during a speech to more than 650
cybersleuths gathered in Monterey, Calif., to share the latest
tools and techniques for fighting high-tech crime.
Most companies bring consultants in to provide some sort of
knowledge transfer to their employees. Compare your company's
consulting initiatives and achievements to the practices and
successes of 360 of its peers in Consultant Conundrum, an
Optimize magazine executive research report.
Yahoo Combines Chinese Operations With Auctioneer Alibaba.com
Yahoo said it would pay $1 billion for a 40% share of Chinese
company Alibaba.com and would fold its China operations into the
online auctioneer, forming a joint Internet company that would
challenge leading marketplace eBay and No. 1 search engine
Baidu.com in the growing market
Microsoft Adds To Investments In China
A new venture with a Chinese company could help Microsoft learn
more about the market. But CEO Steve Ballmer warned recently that
software piracy is holding back Microsoft's revenue in China.
China Confirms Plan To Create $6 Billion Electronics Venture
The country will merge China Electronics Corp. and the China
Great Wall Computer Group Co., which make integrated circuits,
hard drives, monitors, power supplies, cell phones, and radar
systems. CEC also owns chip foundry Shanghai Huahong-NEC Corp.
The combined assets will total $6 billion.
Security nightmares are swirling all around us--more
sophisticated, more malicious, more damaging--and perhaps the
next theater in the battle will be industrial networks: energy
generation, power transmission, utilities, transportation,
telecom, etc. Feel overwhelmed? A great place to start looking
for ideas, Bob Evans says, could be InfraGard.
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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 7, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program!