In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Microsoft, Google Stir The RSS Pot
2. Today's Top Story: Worms And Security
- "Business" Worms Wreak Havoc From Inside
- Three Different Hackers Behind Week's Attacks
- Blame Game: Patch Complacency Behind Zotob Success
3. Breaking News
- Search Engines Find Stolen Identities
- Geico, Google Declare Victory In Court Ruling
- Software Will Play Podcasts On Cell Phones
- Cisco Still Tops, But Juniper Advances In Router Market
- Customs Computers Out For 5 Hours
- iPod upsets NAND flash Applecart
- Philadelphia Chooses Wireless Finalists
- New Web Site Offers Job Seekers Sign-on Bonuses
- Ex-Red Hat Execs To Launch rPath
4. In Depth: PC And Chip Directions
5. Voice Of Authority: Zotob: An Avoidable Worm And The
6. White Papers: Disk-Based Backup
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are
any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken
1. Editor's Note: Microsoft, Google Stir The RSS Pot
Microsoft and Google have sparked considerable industry debate by
using "different" names for their RSS feeds -- "web feeds"
and "feeds," respectively.
For the uninitiated, RSS is Really Simple Syndication, a name for
content feeds to which Internet uses can subscribe through
various content "readers" and track updates at a wide range of
Some in the industry are complaining that Microsoft and Google
should exert their considerable influence elsewhere and leave
this technology alone. The hue and cry, to some degree, is
understandable, given concerns about the ever-expanding influence
of these two companies.
Yet, the complaints are short-sighted, given the positive impact
these moves can have.
Proponents can talk all they want about the benefits and value of
RSS, yet the technology to many, many Web users remains
mysterious and dense (and that's why I felt the need to define it
above); subscription pages have to spell out in excruciating
detail what RSS is, how it works, how to subscribe, and so on.
One of the reasons RSS isn't used more widely -- an assertion
based on our internal knowledge of the clicks we get from RSS
feeds -- is that it's currently too difficult to figure out and
too difficult to use.
Indeed, market researcher Nielsen/NetRatings found in a survey of
blog readers released this week that 66% either didn't understand
RSS or had never heard of it. An additional 23% understood the
technology, but didn't use it.
To the nonfaithful, it's all but impossible to look at icons or
links that say "RSS" or "XML" and have any clue what a given Web
site is offering them. I suspect strongly that if
InformationWeek, for example, were to buck the common
industry practice of posting icons that say "RSS" or "XML" and
instead used "Our content feeds" or "Subscribe to our content,"
our readers would be much more likely to at least check out our
page that explains our feeds. As Web publishers, we should use
concrete, simple terms to explain our services to readers. Then,
in turn, readers would be less intimidated by an RSS sign-up page
and more likely to try out our feeds.
The more simple RSS is -- right down to giving it a label that
means something to all manner of Web users -- the more its value
can be unlocked for a broader audience. In the end, the RSS
die-hards may not like seeing this technology morph into
something with a different name, but even they should recognize
it would lead to more widespread acceptance.
I'd definitely like your feedback on this important issue, and
any input you have on the current stable of "our content feeds"
(RSS purposely omitted). Feel free to reply at my blog entry or take our poll on
One of last week's dozen or so bots can be called the first
"business" worm, agree some security experts.
Related Stories: Three Different Hackers Behind Week's Attacks
Three authors, or three groups of hackers, launched three
separate attacks last week on vulnerable Windows 2000 machines,
analysis released Friday by Panda Software showed.
The prevalance of identity theft, and the fact that search
engines provide links to pages containing personal data, is
fueling a debate over whether search-engine companies should be
working harder to address privacy issues and whether they should
be held accountable for privacy violations.
Cisco Still Tops, But Juniper Advances In Router Market
Cisco Systems maintains its strong grip on the enterprise router
market, but Juniper Networks has come virtually out of nowhere to
capture the second-place position, according to a poll of users
released Friday by Infonetics Research.
Customs Computers Out For 5 Hours
U.S. Customs computers were down Thursday for about five hours,
the agency confirmed Friday, leaving international travelers
standing in long lines as agents resorted to primitive processing
iPod upsets NAND flash Applecart
With demand for its popular iPod music player booming, Apple
Computer plans to buy as much as 40% of the NAND flash output of
Samsung Electronics in the second half of this year, according to
market research firm iSuppi Corp.
Philadelphia Chooses Wireless Finalists
Philadelphia has narrowed down to two the number of groups that
have been competing to deploy its proposed citywide network and
hopes to see the deployment start in October, a city official
A Week's Worth of Dailies -- All In One Place
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Daily? Or want to check out some recent quotes of the day? Check
out our all-new daily newsletter archive page and get caught up quickly.
The cost of RDIF deployment is often underestimated as hidden
costs such as ERP and database upgrades aren't accounted for.
Examine this and other problems facing radio-frequency
identification adopters in InformationWeek Research's report,
RFID--Wisdom of Pilots.
For the first time ever, distributors sold more notebook
computers than desktops in a month.
AMD Hires IBM Veteran To Lead Silicon Design
Advanced Micro Devices has appointed Jeff VerHeul, formerly
leader of IBM's Engineering and Technology Services business, as
its corporate VP of silicon design, a move that emphasizes the
close ties between the two companies.
Intel Plans Major Shift In Microprocessor Technology
The company plans to replace its Netburst architecture with a new
line that is based in part on the Pentium M, and which is
expected to feature multiple computing engines on a single chip,
security features, and manageability functions.
Dell Dips In Customer Satisfaction
U.S. consumers put Apple on a pedestal of customer satisfaction,
according to a survey released Tuesday. Dell, however, was kicked
off its prior perch to put it in a tie with the rest of the PC market.
Disk-based backup is becoming the solution of choice: Gartner
projects that by 2008, the majority of data restores will occur
from disk, not from tape. You need to identify the best solution
for your server data backup and recovery needs. Establish your
own evaluation checklist, decide what matters most and save time
as you assess solutions.
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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.