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Leopard Users Hit With 'Green Screen Of Death'

CMP Information Week
InformationWeek Daily - Monday, Dec 10, 2007


Editor's Note

Never Apologize, Never Explain

When it comes to a privacy breach, what's the best policy -- contrite or circumspect? Two incidents showcase different approaches.

First, there's Mark Zuckerberg's act of contrition over the mess he made with a new collaboration/advertising feature in his social networking site, Facebook. The feature, called Beacon, shared online activity data among Facebook friends -- more data than users were prepared to accept, apparently, because howls of protest were heard not long after Beacon was introduced. Zuckerberg and crew were forced to retool the feature's opt-out capability. "We simply did a bad job with this release, and I apologize for it," Zuckerberg said in a long blog post on the site that explained the genesis of the Beacon project and what went wrong. "I'm not proud of the way we've handled this situation and I know we can do better," he said.

I couldn't help but compare that with another privacy-related news story this week about TJX, the discount retailer that suffered a massive customer data breach that lasted more than a couple of years and which came to light earlier this year. TJX, which owns TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and other stores, has been fairly circumspect in what it has said about the security problem.

In its first press release on the breach, dated Jan. 17, Ben Cammarata, chairman and acting chief executive officer of TJX Companies, said this: "We are deeply concerned about this event and the difficulties it may cause our customers."

There was a follow-up statement from the company, in the form of a press release on Feb. 21. In it, newly appointed president and CEO Carol Meyrowitz commented, "Let me begin by telling our customers personally how much I regret any problems or inconvenience they may have experienced as a result of the unauthorized intrusion into our computer system."

In a press release on Sept. 21 announcing its settlement offer related to the numerous customer class-action lawsuits against the company, Meyrowitz said, "We deeply regret any inconvenience our customers may have experienced as a result of the criminal attack on our computer system." Then she added this: "Importantly, we truly appreciate our customers' continued patronage."

Amen to that, brother. TJX's financial performance hasn't suffered, despite the bad publicity the company has received over the last 11 months. In fact, quite the opposite: net sales for its fiscal third quarter, ended Oct. 31, increased 6% to $4.7 billion, according to the company.

This week TJX announced a settlement proposal with Visa USA to compensate the banks that issued the credit cards that were compromised in the data hack. In a news story by my colleague Tim Wilson, one security expert points out that TJX hasn't done the one thing that interested parties and the consumer public at large would benefit most from -- explain exactly what happened.

To read what that security expert had to say, and let us know what you think, visit the InformationWeek Blog.

John Soat
jsoat@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com

Quote of The Day

"It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

Top Stories

Apple Leopard Users Hit With 'Green Screen Of Death'
The glitch may be caused by graphics card drivers not optimized for Mac OS X 10.5.

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Leopard Puts Windows And Linux Together On A Mac

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Of particular interest to Oracle is Moniforce's UXinsight module, which can uncover errors in logic in custom and packaged applications on non-Oracle and Oracle infrastructures.

Opera 9 Browser To Power Archos Media Players

Users can download and create personalized Widgets, such as weather forecasts, news, currency and unit converters, and calculators.

Microsoft Releases HD Photo Plug-In For Photoshop

The software is intended for use with Photoshop CS2 or CS3 running on Windows XP or Windows Vista.

Verizon Sued Over GPL Code In Its FiOS Router

The Software Freedom Law Center is taking issue with the Actiontec MI424WR wireless router, which may include open license infringing-BusyBox software.

Macrovision To Buy Gemstar-TV Guide In $2.8 Billion DRM Play

The company sees consumers with a personalized TV listing guide, accessing movie reviews before downloading a film or tap into their MP3 collection from any device.

DOE Lab Hacked

No classified information was lost but the personal information of visitors may have been stolen from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Western Digital Blocks Media File Sharing From Storage Device

Some consumers are up in arms, but Western Digital said it chose to stay clear of any capabilities that could be seen as challenging the rights of copyright holders.

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A review of 50 community-generated articles judged them more accurate, thorough, up-to-date and easy to read.

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The debate stems from a bill that would make it easier to require Internet merchants, mail-order houses and other "remote sellers" to collect across state lines.

Motorola's Holiday Buzz, Er, Ring Fest

As visions of ring tones dance in their heads, the lineup offers Moto Q smartphones with built-in HSDPA technology and worldwide capabilities, along with a slider phone that can stream live TV and Razr's that adjust volume in noisy rooms.

CompUSA To Shed Additional Stores, Carlos Slim, Report Suggests

The electronics chain's online auction effort and its strategy of targeting small and medium businesses haven't been enough to staunch the financial bleeding.

YouTube Announces Film Contest Winners

The winner, from a pool of 20 finalists, received a $5,000 debit card and a meeting with Fox Searchlight Pictures production executives.

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