InformationWeek Daily Archives
Google's Magic Pixie Dust
In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Google's Magic Pixie Dust
2. Today's Top Story
- Intel Reports Banner Fourth Quarter
- Report: PC Sales Boom
3. Breaking News
- Extensions Are Key To Firefox Success
- Search-Crazy Swedes Name Baby 'Google'
- False Alarm: No Worm Against Windows Bug Yet
- Microsoft's Latest Critical Fixes Include Buggy Windows Patch
- State CIO Group Names New President
- Macromedia's 'Flash Lite' To Support Wireless Apps
- Monster Buys South Korean Job Site
- IBM Acquires SOA Vendor
- Oracle-Siebel Customers Have More Hopes Than Details On Post-Merger Plans
- Feds Order Banks To Strengthen Online Authentication
- EBay Yanks Auction Of Avian-Flu Vaccine
- Silicon Advances Could Propel China's Nascent 3G Market
- Cisco To Strengthen Its Security Framework
4. In Depth: Hewlett-Packard
5. Voice Of Authority: Google
6. White Papers: Mobile Enterprise
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true." -- Robert Wilensky
I definitely want some of the magic pixie dust that Google uses. Google gets away with stuff that other companies--particularly Microsoft--get hammered for. But Google gets a free pass. Because it's Google. And everybody loves Google.
Microsoft faces constant scrutiny for the data it collects--or might collect--on its customers. Four years ago, when the company introduced "product activation" to stem piracy, privacy advocates cried foul. Likewise, Microsoft proposed technology code-named HailStorm as a way of consolidating login information for multiple sites; privacy concerns eventually scuttled that proposal.
And yet there's no outcry against Google; nobody complains except for a few privacy advocates (and, unfortunately, the phrase "privacy advocate" these days is simply a polysyllabic way of saying "kook").
By tracking clicks and storing E-mail, Google is keeping a detailed dossier on each of its users Internet-usage habits. And that means it knows a lot about our real lives, too, because, here in the 21st century, our online habits are reflections of our real lives. We shop online, do finances online, and use the Internet to research our medical conditions, hobbies, and leisure activities.
Google is a great company. All of us use Google many times every day. I have a Google account and remain logged into it all day, so that I can enjoy the benefits of the personalized home page and Google Reader (which, by the way, is terrific). But I don't use Gmail, because I don't want to entrust Google with all my E-mail. (I mean, heck, forget about privacy; what about if their server crashes and it turns out the guy who was supposed to make backups was instead spending his days drinking Four Roses bourbon and watching The Guiding Light?)
Google's motto is, "You can make money without doing evil." But the company isn't staffed by angels; they are as capable of doing evil as any of the rest of us, and we're all very capable of doing evil when you put big buckets of money in front of us.
Microprocessor sales for the third quarter set a record high, though there was downward pricing pressure resulting in flat selling prices.
Report: PC Sales Boom
Shipments rose more than 17% in the third quarter, and Dell and Hewlett-Packard did very well indeed.
Mozilla's developers built Firefox from the ground up to give third-party extension developers room to run. The results have been more successful, and more vital to the open-source browser's long-term prospects, than any of them could have imagined.
Search-Crazy Swedes Name Baby 'Google'
Walid Elias Kai, who works for a Swedish search-optimization company, and his wife, Carol Kai, have named their boy "Oliver Google Kai."
False Alarm: No Worm Against Windows Bug Yet
A security firm mistakenly identified a new Trojan as the first to exploit one of last week's vulnerabilities in Windows, but it has corrected itself.
The company described in more understandable terms what it does with user data, but remains mum on how long it hangs onto the information.
Microsoft's Latest Critical Fixes Include Buggy Windows Patch
Microsoft says customers reported a wide variety of strange behaviors after installing one of three patches released last week. It's the second time in three months Microsoft has released a buggy patch for problems it deemed "critical."
State CIO Group Names New President
Matt Miszewski, CIO of Wisconsin, will lead NASCIO in 2006; at this week's conference he says he wants to get to know other state IT leaders to see where their "pressure points" are.
Macromedia's 'Flash Lite' To Support Wireless Apps
A new version of Macromedia Flash will support an application-development environment called Brew, used for creating mobile services including E-mail.
Monster Buys South Korean Job Site
The $94 million deal helps Monster expand into up-and-coming markets.
IBM Acquires SOA Vendor
DataPower, a maker of appliances used to simplify and speed up Web-services applications, will become part of IBM's software group.
Oracle-Siebel Customers Have More Hopes Than Details On
Customers with heavy investments in both Oracle and Siebel say they have high hopes for the merger--as well as fear of the unknown.
Feds Order Banks To Strengthen Online Authentication
Regulators say the use of single-factor authentication is inadequate for safeguarding against account fraud and identity theft.
EBay Yanks Auction Of Avian-Flu Vaccine
The auction was stopped because it violated the company's rules; sales of prescription drugs are forbidden on the site, according to an eBay spokesman.
Silicon Advances Could Propel China's Nascent 3G Market
A new chipset, dubbed Mars, comes with added firepower for handling multimedia and Web-based applications and will soon be available in China.
Cisco To Strengthen Its Security Framework
The company is adding support for more types of network devices and is making available client software to ensure that antivirus and other protection is up to date.
The Singularity Is Near: Part Two Of Our Five-Part Podcast Series
Listen to InformationWeek's five-part interview this week with entrepreneur and visionary Ray Kurzweil, by editor-at-large Eric Chabrow. Kurzweil's book describes how IT and other technological and scientific advances will unrecognizably transform what it means to be human. In the current entry, Kurzweil describes how thinking machines with emotions might be developed as early as 2038. But Jeff Hawkins, inventor of the Palm Pilot and an artificial-intelligence researcher, sees those machines as centuries away.
In the rest of the series:
The News Show
Also in Tuesday's episode:
Chief Of The Year
Who's the CIO that inspires you most? What IT leader has led a revolution at his or her company? Who deserves InformationWeek's 2005 Chief of the Year Award? Vote now by sending an E-mail to email@example.com.
Nominations For Blog-X Awards Begin!
You determine the nominees and you choose the winner in TechWeb's second annual Blog-X Awards. Nominate your favorite tech blog now, and be sure to return when it's time to vote for the winner!
A Week's Worth Of Dailies--All In One Place
Have you missed an issue or two of the InformationWeek Daily? Or want to check out some recent quotes of the day? Check out our Daily newsletter archive page and get caught up quickly.
RFID is positioned to revolutionize retail and supply chains. But early adopters are encountering their share of difficulties. These problems are documented along with deployment drivers and adoption plans in InformationWeek Research's RFID--Wisdom Of Pilots report.
HP is one of the few companies that will invest heavily on the research side of R&D, which will lead to new technologies in the years ahead, the CEO said.
HP CEO: Company To 'Double Down' On Core Products
Hurd pledges the vendor will continue to concentrate on servers, PCs, printers, and management software; don't look for a printer spin-off anytime soon.
HP Renews Pledge To Evolve, Not Change
"Here is the big announcement: There isn't going to be one," said Ann Livermore, executive VP of HP's Technology Solutions Group. "We're not going to make any fundamental shift in HP."
Thomas Claburn says Google is adding about 10 new employees every day and notes that financial advisers say the rapid pace of hiring could moderate the company's earnings. If you're thinking about working for Google, and the stock options and glamour aren't enough for you, how about free pizza?
The intense growth that we've seen in the mobile Internet since 2000 shows every indication of continuing. This rate of growth is happening at a quicker pace than the ownership of cell phones, PCs, and fixed phones, as measured from the date of their invention. This trend is clearly going to continue in the marketplace.
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