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2/16/2006
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Mind The (Internet) Gap

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Mind The (Internet) Gap
2. Today's Top Story
    - IT Hiring Heats Up
    Related Stories
    - Does Open Source Matter? It Does To IT, Nicholas Carr Says
    - Profile: Government Short-Sighted On IT, Says Senate Hopeful Miller
3. Breaking News
    - Homeland Security Spells Out Coming Online Threats
    - Intel Readies Dual-Core Xeon For Embedded Apps
    - Microsoft Resolves Security Patch Install Glitch
    - BlackBerry Use Up, Despite Legal Trouble
    - Identity-Theft Victim Launches Services To Help Others
    - Apple Fixes iMac Video Problem Via Tiger Update
    - Google Buys Blog Analytics Service
    - Microsoft, EC Battle Over Large Daily Fine
    - State Department Launches Internet Freedom Task Force
    - Microsoft Hones IE 7's Drive-By-Download Defenses
    - Warning: Don't Touch That Mouse
4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web
    - The Guys Behind MySpace.com
    - Patent Lawsuits Hit Tech Titans
    - U.S. Web Companies Defend China Policies
5. In Depth: RSA Show Highlights
    - 'Trusted Network Connect' Puts Hardware Security Agent In Every PC
    - Security Isn't 'One Size Fits All'
    - Survey: Value Of Online Business Outweighs Security Concerns
    - Linux, Unix Players Beef Up Security
    - Chambers: More Tech Partnerships, Acquisitions On Cisco's Horizon
    - Podcast: Interview With Eugene Kaspersky
6. Voice Of Authority
    - Will Big Brother Snoop Through Your Medical Records?
7. White Papers
    - IT Asset Management: Saving Money, Reducing Risk
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"All great truths begin as blasphemies." -- George Bernard Shaw


1. Editor's Note: Mind The (Internet) Gap

Looks like the digital divide is not only not going to get any smaller, it's likely to expand in scope.

Regardless of how it shakes out, I fear the latest great American Internet debate will result in a widening of the gap between the digital haves and have-nots--those who can afford basic digital access and tools and those who cannot. Depending on from which end we end up eating higher network costs, we could also be faced with an emerging subcategory among the former, wherein those who have the most money get the best service and the best access.

If you're thinking, well, that's the American way--hold on. Creating classes of Internet users is a very bad idea. Why? Because the Internet is essentially a next-generation public utility, and like any utility, access to that service should be equally available to anyone who can afford to purchase it. And that purchase price should neither be prohibitive nor create favored classes. Now that's "Internet neutrality"!

The debate heating up in Washington is about whether cable providers and telephone companies can charge Internet businesses for their heavier use of high-speed networks. All these businesses are jumping into each other's game, or trying to, and looking for any advantage they can get.

The problem for the network providers is that as Google, Yahoo, and other Internet service providers expand their offerings, they're sucking up more bandwidth. Google and friends think everyone--meaning companies--should have the same access to the network, regardless of how much they're using or burdening it. Hence the new buzz phrase being bandied about in this debate, and which I mentioned earlier, "Internet neutrality."

Customers will end up paying the bill, no matter who wins, according to Internet doyenne and now Google employee Vinton Cerf. He, of course, thinks the cable and phone companies should go after business and consumer customers for the network access cost he does not think multigazillion-dollar companies like Google should pay or have to pass onto their subscribers.

I can see those companies paying more because they use more, but Cerf is right--we're the ones who will end up paying the tab. What concerns me is that if some effort is not made to keep the tab down, then ever more people might find the cost of getting online simply too expensive. And that's a bad idea, especially coming as it does at a time when Internet access is becoming essential to running our everyday lives.

Think about it: More and more of our lives are being conducted online, and I mean solely online. And you have no choice about it. Kids without computers and Internet access will be at an ever-worsening disadvantage. But adults will, too. The spillover effect is substantial. Travel tickets, job applications, health records, banking, bill paying, purchasing, support for various products and services--what isn't already solely online is going there, soon.

In the same way that most of us can afford to flip a switch to get the same access to the same dose of electricity, we have to make sure that the same holds true for the Internet. Tell us what you think, by going to my blog entry and leaving a comment.

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


2. Today's Top Story

IT Hiring Heats Up
Dramatic shifts in the candidate market could soon have organizations competing fiercely to attract and retain top talent.

Related Stories:

Does Open Source Matter? It Does To IT, Nicholas Carr Says
"Does IT Matter?" author predicts that open-source operating systems and middleware will predominate in IT shops of the future.

Profile: Government Short-Sighted On IT, Says Senate Hopeful Miller
The candidate for U.S. Senate encourages industry to inspire change.


3. Breaking News

Homeland Security Spells Out Coming Online Threats
Brace for more IM and cell-phone attacks, the Department of Homeland Security cautioned Wednesday.

Intel Readies Dual-Core Xeon For Embedded Apps
Full details are still to come, but an Intel exec says the new chip will run at 2 GHz and will offer "double the performance than single-core versions of the Xeon."

Microsoft Resolves Security Patch Install Glitch
Shortly after rolling out seven security bulletins Tuesday, Microsoft reported that one of the patches would not install, forcing users to download the fix manually. By Wednesday, the problem had been solved.

BlackBerry Use Up, Despite Legal Trouble
The E-mail device accounted for 21% of the record 15 million PDAs shipped last year, Gartner said.

Identity-Theft Victim Launches Services To Help Others
The KnightsBridge Castle founder became an identity-theft victim three years ago while recovering from a serious illness in a hospital. That experience led to the products and services now being piloted.

Apple Fixes iMac Video Problem Via Tiger Update
Apple has fixed a well-publicized video glitch that affected its popular new Intel-based iMacs.

Google Buys Blog Analytics Service
Google has bought Measure Map, an online analytics tool for blogs. The amount was not disclosed.

Microsoft, EC Battle Over Large Daily Fine (Reuters)
The accusations are flying, as Microsoft charges that the European Commission ignored "critical" evidence, and the EC responds that Microsoft's documents came in after the deadline had passed.

State Department Launches Internet Freedom Task Force
After Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo asked for help, the U.S. State Department established a task force to investigate the problems posed to the Internet by repressive regimes.

Microsoft Hones IE 7's Drive-By-Download Defenses
Developers working on Internet Explorer 7 are fortifying the browser against stealth downloads carrying malicious software.

Warning: Don't Touch That Mouse
Internet cafe computer mice are the second-most bacteria-carrying item found in public facilities, a Korean study showed this week.

All our latest news

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Aaron Ricadela with "Simpler Security"

Lori MacVittie with "Oracle's Open-Source Moves"

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4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web

The Guys Behind MySpace.com (USA Today)
The founders of MySpace wish they had a little more space of their own. Talk about instant entrepreneurial success. A little more than two years ago, MySpace didn't even exist. Today, it's one of the Web's hottest sites--beating eBay, Google, and Amazon.com in the number of page views in December, says ComScore Media Metrix.

Patent Lawsuits Hit Tech Titans (USA Today)
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion's legal fight with tiny patent-holding firm NTP is far from unique. Many of tech's biggest players--from eBay to Microsoft--are being sued by little companies seeking patent settlements.

U.S. Web Companies Defend China Policies (AP)
Yahoo, Google, and other U.S. Internet companies under fire for assisting in China's censorship efforts are insisting they must obey Beijing or risk limiting access to their most promising market.


5. In Depth: RSA Show Highlights

'Trusted Network Connect' Puts Hardware Security Agent In Every PC
The technology provides hardware-based tools to allow network managers to ensure that PCs comply with security policies.

Security Isn't 'One Size Fits All'
McNealy and Gates lament lax security practices, demonstrate new security technologies at RSA Conference 2006.

Survey: Value Of Online Business Outweighs Security Concerns
Business users feel more secure online than consumers, an RSA survey says, and both groups are willing to assume some risk to conduct business online.

Linux, Unix Players Beef Up Security
As expected, archrivals Sun, Red Hat, and Novell unveiled major security improvements for their respective Unix and Linux platforms this week.

Chambers: More Tech Partnerships, Acquisitions On Cisco's Horizon
In addition, a rising number of security features now offered as point products will over time move into the network and become more transparent, Cisco CEO John Chambers said at this week's RSA Conference.

Podcast: Interview With Eugene Kaspersky
On the eve of the 2006 RSA Conference, noted computer virus researcher Eugene Kaspersky stopped by InformationWeek's San Francisco office to chat about security issues. With him were Stephen Orenberg, president of Kaspersky Lab Inc. in the United States, and Olga Kobzareva, head of communications for the Kaspersky Lab in Moscow. He had some very interesting things to say.


6. Voice Of Authority

Will Big Brother Snoop Through Your Medical Records?
Awhile ago, Marianne Kolbasuk McGee received an anonymous E-mail arguing that the real reason the Bush administration is pushing so hard for a national E-health information highway is that it wants to quickly track down would-be bio- and chemical terrorists who might end up in an ER somewhere. The E-mailer also asserted that the feds want computerize medical data to also help keep an electronic eye on anyone it deems suspicious or dangerous.


7. White Papers

IT Asset Management: Saving Money, Reducing Risk
With today's budget restrictions, hiring freezes, and increased cost-cutting pressure, monitoring IT assets is a classic case of being forced to do more with less. This white paper explores how companies can control and manage IT assets, eliminate waste and redundancy, and comply with ever-tightening government regulations.


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