In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: The Saga Of AOL
2. Today's Top Story: Microsoft Security
- Mozilla Strategizes With Microsoft On Security
3. Breaking News
- FTC Reaches Settlement With Internet Pretexter
- Review: 19-Inch Flat-Panel Displays: The Sweet Spot For Businesses
- Hitachi Recalls Its Sony-Made Laptop Batteries
- Kaspersky Defends Microsoft Over Windows Vista Security
- Chinese Hackers Hit Commerce Department
- Microsoft Gives MVP Honors To Adware Spreader
- Oracle To Bring Siebel CRM To Linux
- T-Mobile To Upgrade 3G Services
- India Weighs Tougher Cybersecurity Laws After TV Expose
- Brief: Need Cash? Texting Service Locates ATMs
4. Grab Bag: IMs Live On
- Instant Messages, Lingering Paper Trail (Washington Post)
- Youths No Longer Predominant At MySpace (ABC News)
- Internet Abuse At Interior Department (CBS News)
5. In Depth: Microsoft News Roundup
- Microsoft To Unveil 11 Patches Next Week
- Microsoft Unveils Vista RC2; Next Step, Shipping
- Sept. Bug In IIS Impacts All IE Users, Too
- Microsoft Trims Bonuses For Gates And Ballmer
- Vista On Schedule, Says Wall Street
- Microsoft To Impose Windows Vista Activation On Businesses
6. Voice Of Authority: Laptop Concerns
- Longer Battery Life, Not Explosions, Top Laptop Concern
7. White Papers: Optimizing Storage Assets
- Role Of Analytics In Infrastructure Management
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you." -- Thomas Jefferson
1. Editor's Note: The Saga Of America Online
Everybody has an AOL story. Mine took place several years ago, when my parents were still on a dial-up connection and used AOL as their main conduit to e-mail and the Web. My father realized he needed to make an important call and signed off. However, AOL, as was its habit, took that opportunity to do a major upgrade (without, of course, asking whether it was convenient to do so). After waiting for several minutes, and with no idea how long the upgrade was going to take, my father finally broke the connection.
It took about a week to get his computer working again.
AOL (formerly known as America Online) has the kind of love-hate relationship with computer enthusiasts that's only rivaled by the Microsoft/Apple/Linux slugfest. I know tech analysts who have argued for hours with their clients, trying in vain to get them to give up their dependence on the AOL security blanket.
In her new article "The Rise And Fall (And Rise?) Of AOL," Jennifer Bosavage offers a rundown of AOL's checkered history as the savior and the bane of thousands of Internet denizens. While AOL began as a revolutionary new service, not long after it acquired its Windows-friendly interface, it became a joke among those who knew the difference between a browser and a word processor. There were jokes about the floppy disks that seemed to be included with every magazine, at every supermarket cash register, and in every mailbox (although I have to admit, all those extra 3.5-inch floppies came in handy). There were jokes about the way each install reset all your file associations and dug its heels into your Registry. And there were jokes about the users of AOL, who were assumed (not without some basis) to be totally unlearned in the culture and etiquette of online communications.
AOL shrugged at the ridicule (or at least, it seemed to). It wasn't until this year that the company finally realized that most usersespecially those who had grown up with the Internetno longer needed to pay for training wheels. AOL announced it was no longer charging for anything except its broadband connection. It was free at last.
The latest strategy seems to be to remake itself into a family-friendly social networking service via sites such as AIM Pages and the KOL Channel for kids. And it just introduced a brand new interface for its users called OpenRide. While I haven't had a chance to try it out for more than an hour or two, it does look interesting.
AOL has rested on its laurels for way too long. The company's new strategy of actually trying to be creative and innovative is probably too little too late. But it will be fun to see what happens next.
Do you have your own AOL story? Do you think AOL is a dinosaur slowly sinking into its last mudhole, or a phoenix rising from the ashes? (Or are my animal metaphors as irritating as AOL's old interface?) Let us know at my blog post.
FTC Reaches Settlement With Internet Pretexter
Integrity Security & Investigation Services must pay $2,700 and is barred from obtaining or selling consumers' phone records or personal information unless authorized by law or court order.
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Microsoft To Unveil 11 Patches Next Week
Microsoft will release six updates for Windows, four for Office, and one for the .Net Framework. At least one each of the Windows and Office updates will be labeled "critical," Microsoft's highest warning rank.
Vista On Schedule, Says Wall Street
Windows Vista looks like it's on track for release to businesses next month, an influential Wall Street analyst with a long history of closely tracking Microsoft said Thursday.
Longer Battery Life, Not Explosions, Top Laptop Concern
We've seen and heard about laptop computers exploding or catching fire in airports and conference halls. One such explosion is believed to have burned a truck. Another is blamed for torching a home. But if there's been a significant public outcry to make immediate changes that would eliminate the potential for future problems, I must have been taking that day off.
7. White Papers: Optimizing Storage Assets
Role Of Analytics In Infrastructure Management
Since the inception of the storage resource management market, organizations have sought to identify opportunities to maximize their storage assets. What's been lacking is an efficient means to know how to optimize storage assets. Recently, the industry has focused on dealing with this shortcoming due to the critical nature of data storage.
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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 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.