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Microsoft Extends Ancient PCs' Lives

In This Issue:

1. Editor's Note: Spawn Of Wikipedia
2. Today's Top Story
     - D.C. Law Firm Claims IBM Worker Hacked Its Computers
Related Stories:
     - Phishers Beat Bank's Two-Factor Authentication
     - U.K. Companies Must Protect Customer Data Even If Outsourced Overseas
3. Breaking News
     - Microsoft Extends Ancient PCs' Lives
     - Vendors Hoping The .Mobi Domain Will Help The Mobile Web Not Stink
     - Judge Dismisses Antitrust Complaint Against Google
     - 34 States Sue DRAM Companies For Price Fixing
     - Intel CEO To Staff: Upper Management Layoffs Address 'Slow And Inefficient Decision Making'
     - Yahoo, Microsoft Test IM Interoperability
     - Cell Phone Could Prevent DWI (That's Dialing While Intoxicated)
     - Social Networking Sites For Businesses Set To Take Off
     - IBM Releases Security Tool To Fight Denial Of Service Attacks, Worms
     - Review: Intel's Conroe Vs. AMD's Dual-Core Athlon
4. Grab Bag
     - Stuck Pig (Wired)
     - Dr. Google Sends Pain Relief (Marketing Pilgrim)
     - How To Hack A Hybrid (Business 2.0)
     - A Visionary Seeking To Connect The World, Wirelessly (NY Times - reg. required)
5. In Depth: The OpenDocument Format
     - Google Joins OpenDocument Format Alliance, Backs Office Standardization
     - Microsoft To Cooperate In Building Office OpenDocument Support
     - Delay Sought In Mass. Office Software Implementation
     - IBM Bets Big On Open Source In Next Release Of Lotus Notes
     - ISO Approves OpenDocument Format
6. Voice Of Authority
     - Doing H-1B Math, In Dollars And Sense
7. White Papers
     - How To Keep The Web Safe And Productive For Your Business
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote Of The Day:
"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." — Albert Einstein


1. Editor's Note: Spawn Of Wikipedia

So can commoners—as the British like to refer to those not of aristocratic birth—be trusted? That's the question that two of the founders of Wikipedia appear to have asked themselves recently. And they seem to have come up with radically different answers.

Jimmy (Jimbo) Wales last week announced a new wiki dedicated to election information. Called Campaigns Wikia, the site—like Wikipedia—invites any and all to participate in an egalitarian online community. In this case, the wiki is intended to foster grass-roots discussion of all things political.

On the other hand, Larry Sanger in late May unveiled the beta version of Digital Universe, which is, in effect, a portfolio of portals leading to expert-approved content—in particular, specialized encyclopedias compiled by acknowledged authorities in various fields. Expert is the key word here. Sanger has apparently turned his back on the wide-open philosophy of Wikipedia.

Indeed, Sanger made his opinion of the weaknesses of Wikipedia known more than a year ago in a widely disseminated article titled "Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism." In it, Sanger pointed to two serious problems plaguing his former pet project: the public perception of Wikipedia as a flawed reference guide, and the presence of "difficult people, trolls, and their enablers."

Wikipedia is, of course, either glorious or notorious—depending on your perspective—as the Web encyclopedia that's editorially open to anyone with an Internet connection. That includes experts possessing relevant facts about a topic, but also unqualified contributors who post erroneous information, or—worse—are attempting to advance an agenda.

Events that have called the accuracy and trustworthiness of Wikipedia into question include a hoax entry reporting that John Seigenthaler, a respected journalist and former aide to Robert Kennedy, had a role in the assassinations of Robert and John Kennedy; and anonymous deletions of references to the accomplishments of pioneers in the podcasting arena by fellow podcasting innovator Adam Curry. (After being outed, Curry apologized profusely.)

There are even a number of watchdog Web sites—most notably, Wikitruth and Wikipedia Review—that are dedicated to scrutinizing Wikipedia and reporting on its flaws.

To be fair, Wikipedia has tightened rules for postings on controversial topics. And it has established an Arbitration Committee that has the power to oust the more dubious members of the community.

But this didn't prevent this month's enormous brouhaha over an...evolving...Wikipedia entry about Ken Lay's death. Among other things, Wikipedia contributors first reported Lay's death as a suicide, then began wildly hypothesizing about the cause of death. The mainstream press gleefully picked this up, pointing to it as an example of the central flaw of the Wikipedia concept.

So what's the right approach? The populist or the elitist? Granted, a political forum is quite different from a knowledge-based portal. The former is actually soliciting passionate differing opinions, while the latter seeks to establish authority and credibility (albeit while still maintaining a collaborative culture).

Still, the different paths that the Wikipedia founders have taken provide a fascinating snapshot of divergent philosophies of Web 2.0.

Those in favor of the Wikipedia approach say that despite unavoidable glitches in the process, the community ultimately rights all wrongs. Supporting their argument, there was a study by Nature last December that found that for every four errors in Wikipedia, there were three in the Encyclopedia Britannica.

But even ardent Wikipedia supporters admit that although it's good as a preliminary research tool, people seeking verified facts should probably get a second opinion on any given query when consulting a truly open forum.

That's where I stand. I find Wikipedia infinitely valuable for giving me basic background information and providing links to other sites. But trust it when composing an article? Not on your life. I want evidence of reputable gatekeepers. I'm therefore looking forward to the evolution of Digital Universe.

What do you think? How far can a truly populist approach to compiling information take us? What are the relative strengths and limitations of a more elitist approach? Let me know by responding to my blog.

Alice LaPlante
alice.laplante@gmail.com


2. Today's Top Story

D.C. Law Firm Claims IBM Worker Hacked Its Computers
The firm says its servers were hit by the assailant's code more than 40,000 times throughout 2005.

Related Stories:

Phishers Beat Bank's Two-Factor Authentication
Attackers are targeting Citibank in a "man-in-the-middle" attack that circumvents the company's hardware tokens, which generate one-time-use passwords for customers.

U.K. Companies Must Protect Customer Data Even If Outsourced Overseas
The British Information Commissioner's Office said companies can be punished for data breaches no matter where they occur, meaning British companies need to be sure their overseas contractors are handling data safely.


3. Breaking News

Microsoft Extends Ancient PCs' Lives
Microsoft introduced Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs. Formerly code-named Eiger, the software turns old PCs into thin clients for accessing software running on a server.

Vendors Hoping The .Mobi Domain Will Help The Mobile Web Not Stink
The .mobi domain will be restricted for use by sites that are optimized for viewing on cell phones and other mobile devices.

Judge Dismisses Antitrust Complaint Against Google
Disgruntled ad customer Kinderstart had accused Google of monopolistic business practices, but a federal judge ruled that Kinderstart "failed to allege any conduct on the part of Google that significantly threatens or harms competition."

34 States Sue DRAM Companies For Price Fixing
The lawsuits charge that DRAM manufacturers maintained a secret agreement to raise prices from about 1998 to 2002. The suits, which seek unspecified damages and restitution, target Hynix, Infineon, Samsung, and others.

Intel CEO To Staff: Upper Management Layoffs Address 'Slow And Inefficient Decision Making'
The company has to lay off 1,000 managers because it has too many management layers, leading to slow and inefficient decision making, according to a memo from company president and CEO Paul Otellini to employees.

Yahoo, Microsoft Test IM Interoperability
Users of Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger will be able to IM each other in a limited test phase, designed to ensure that the networks can handle the combined accounts of approximately 350 million users worldwide.

Cell Phone Could Prevent DWI (That's Dialing While Intoxicated)
A feature-rich LG Electronics cell phone includes a breathalyzer, which may help users determine if they're sober enough to use the phone.

Social Networking Sites For Businesses Set To Take Off
As MySpace.com shows, people love to talk about themselves. Offering this opportunity to customers will give businesses a competitive edge.

IBM Releases Security Tool To Fight Denial-Of-Service Attacks, Worms
IBM Tivoli's Security Operations Manager automates security data collection and analysis, presenting incident warnings in a real-time dashboard and allowing organizations to respond immediately to threats.

Review: Intel's Conroe Vs. AMD's Dual-Core Athlon
In a head-to-head comparison, the CRN Test Center pits Intel's soon-to-be-released Conroe, the Core 2 Extreme processor, against AMD's top-of-the-line Athlon FX62 dual-core processor. See which one comes out on top.

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat With 'Eye On IT'
SAP warns earnings may miss expectations, Intel lays off 10,000 managers, Dell simplifies its pricing structure, and more.

Stephanie Stahl With 'Advice For IT Managers'
Denis O'Leary—former CIO of JPMorgan Chase—has three tips for IT managers.

----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

Can you Hear Me Now?
Learn how security issues are impacting companies installing VoIP in this recent report by InformationWeek Research. Use this report to understand the challenges you may face in your deployment and how security concerns can affect your installation, network, and security.

Protecting Customer Data
Identity theft is on the rise across the globe. How do your security strategies for protecting customer data stack up? Learn how your peers are protecting customer data and managing privacy issues in the InformationWeek/Accenture Global Information Security Survey of more than 2,000 technology and security professionals.

-----------------------------------------

4. Grab Bag

Stuck Pig (Wired)
Successful suspended animation tests have been completed—on pigs. Although cryogenic suspension theory has for decades been the fodder of science fiction, clinical trials on humans may happen as soon as two years from now.

Dr. Google Sends Pain Relief (Marketing Pilgrim)
When a blogger penned an entry titled "Dear Google, You're Giving Me A Headache" about his trouble keeping up with all the recent changes to Adwords, someone at the search giant sent him a packet of aspirin.

How To Hack A Hybrid (Business 2.0)
A California engineer successfully hacked his Prius by swapping in a lithium-ion batter and plugging a system into the car's 110-volt socket.

A Visionary Seeking To Connect The World, Wirelessly (NY Times - reg. required)
The Times presents a profile of Marshall Brown, the self-described geek responsible for providing New Yorkers with free Wi-Fi access at 10 city parks.


5. In Depth: The OpenDocument Format

Google Joins OpenDocument Format Alliance, Backs Office Standardization
Google has quietly joined the OpenDocument Format Alliance in recent days, indicating that the search engine colossus will support the alliance's efforts to standardize document formats.

Microsoft To Cooperate In Building Office OpenDocument Support
Translation tools between OpenDocument Format and Microsoft's Open XML will be posted on SourceForge and freely available, the company says.

Delay Sought In Mass. Office Software Implementation
The office software battle is far from over in Massachusetts, as a state senator moves to delay the scheduled implementation of ODF.

IBM Bets Big On Open Source In Next Release Of Lotus Notes
Notes will support the XML-based OpenDocument Format and the Eclipse open-source framework.

ISO Approves OpenDocument Format
The International Standards Organization's nod to ODF gives the anti-Microsoft forces more fodder.


6. Voice Of Authority

Doing H-1B Math, In Dollars And Sense
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee blogs on the fact that foreign tech workers who enter the country with H-1B visas are typically paid about $25,000 a year less than American workers with the same skills.


7. White Papers

How To Keep The Web Safe And Productive For Your Business
With limited security budgets, IT executives face the challenge of successfully implementing a robust and effective Web security infrastructure without diverting IT staff and resources from other essential projects. Find out why utilizing a managed service for Web security could make sense for your organization's bottom line.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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