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Narrowing The Digital Divide
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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Narrowing The Digital Divide
2. Today's Top Story
- Sony Suspends CD Copy Protection
- Trojan Exploits Sony CD Copy Protection
- Keystroke-Logging App Supplier Challenges Anti-Spyware Vendor
3. Breaking News
- U.S. Awards Contracts Totaling $18.6 Million For E-Health Projects
- Customers To Get View Of New CA At Conference
- RealNetworks Patches Pair Of Critical Bugs In Player
- Research Board Co-Founder Named To Oracle Board Of Directors
- Dell's Rollins Eyes Growth Despite Earnings Dip
- FTC Pulls Plug On $100 Million Adware Business
- Apple Bundles Cover To Stymie iPod Nano Scratching
- Microsoft Readies Office 12 Beta
- Mozilla Rolls Out Final Firefox 1.5 Release Candidate
- Coalition Reports Wide Adoption Of E-Mail Authentication
4. In Depth: Mobile Security
- Good Technology Moves To Lock Down Smart Phones
- Homeland Security Funds Advanced Cybersecurity Projects
- Protect Yourself Against Rogue Wireless-Access Points
- Mobile Application Security: Options For Keeping Your Data Safe
- Telecom On The Go
5. Voice Of Authority
- New Linux Venture: Open-Source Hero Or Patent Troll?
6. White Papers
- Backup: Adding User-Centric Data Protection
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"If all the rich men in the world divided up their money amongst themselves, there wouldn't be enough to go around." -- Christina Stead
There's no shortage of data about the "digital divide"--the chasm that exists between the haves and have-nots in the computer realm. In at least one regard it seems to be getting a bit smaller, but by most other important measures it's still a large, gaping hole.
First the good news: There has been an increase in the number of older bloggers (age 65-plus). It's true that digital media is still primarily a younger person's game, but it's great to see this gap narrowing even if by just a little bit.
Unfortunately, though, we're a long way from universal access to the Internet. Many of us in the tech field, and particularly in the United States, sometimes forget there are large numbers of people both here and around the world who don't have ready access to computers or the Internet. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, some 43% of people with household incomes of less than $30,000 per year use the Internet, but 84% of households making more than $75,000 are online. A significantly higher percentage of whites and Hispanics are online compared with African-Americans.
These types of gaps don't exist only in the United States, of course. A new survey of the 25-nation European bloc reports a digital divide there, too, with age, income, and education determining whether the continent's citizens use the Internet. And the chasm gets even wider in developing countries.
There are Internet-access projects going on both here and around the world, and a new program specifically targets Native Americans.
Despite some of these success stories, it's been painfully slow progress to get everyone wired up. Private companies don't have a financial incentive to put wireless hubs in economically disadvantaged areas, and the volunteer force (and I truly do applaud their efforts) is just too spotty.
So what to do? Those of us who "have" may need to help those who "have not." One suggestion: Every time anyone buys a PC, there's a $20 Net-access fee. Similarly, if anyone signs up for a cell phone or with any cable, telecom, or VoIP company, there's another $20 fee. (That includes yearly contract extensions.) What's more, the PC vendors and cable/telecom providers match the fees, dollar-for-dollar. All the money is put into a pot managed by a nonprofit, with board members from the community-activist, telecom/cable, and local/state government arenas. (That should make for some interesting discussion.) The money goes toward paying for broadband and PCs, akin to what San Francisco is doing in its citywide access project, with bids awarded to the lowest-cost providers.
This won't solve the entire problem, of course, but it would take us further than we are right now.
What do you think? Weigh in at my blog entry, where you can also read more about this issue.
Sony said it will, "as a precautionary measure," suspend manufacturing CDs using controversial XCP technology and re-examine its content-protection initiative.
Trojan Exploits Sony CD Copy Protection
Three infections have so far been identified by antivirus companies. The software triggers the cloaking feature of Sony's anti-piracy technology to remain undetected.
Keystroke-Logging App Supplier Challenges Anti-Spyware Vendor
It's reflective of a growing animosity between anti-spyware vendors and companies that believe their applications are being unfairly listed as spyware.
Four groups of companies will develop an architecture and prototype network for the secure sharing of patient information among hospitals, labs, pharmacies, and physicians in the selected participating regional markets.
Customers To Get View Of New CA At Conference
CA has reorganized around security, storage, enterprise systems management, and business-service optimization, all of which have been bolstered by acquisitions valued at $1.2 billion.
RealNetworks Patches Pair Of Critical Bugs In Player
Attackers could exploit the flaws to execute remote code on target computers.
Research Board Co-Founder Named To Oracle Board Of Directors
Seligman also serves on the boards at Sun Microsystems, Akamai Technologies, and Dun & Bradstreet.
Dell's Rollins Eyes Growth Despite Earnings Dip
Earnings declined in part because of the cost of replacing defective PCs, but the company sees plenty of opportunity for growth in storage, printers, and software and peripherals.
FTC Pulls Plug On $100 Million Adware Business
A U.S. federal court has shuttered one of the world's top five adware and spyware suppliers at the request of the Federal Trade Commission.
Apple Bundles Cover To Stymie iPod Nano Scratching
The nano now includes a white fabric-and-plastic slipcover that resembles the one shipping with the new video iPod, according to posts on several iPod fan sites.
Microsoft Readies Office 12 Beta
Microsoft expects to get it out in two to three weeks, according to an E-mail sent by Microsoft to potential beta testers.
Mozilla Rolls Out Final Firefox 1.5 Release Candidate
Unlike the previous release candidate, users report this update went smoothly.
Coalition Reports Wide Adoption Of E-Mail Authentication
More than 70% of Fortune 100 companies reportedly use authentication protocols.
John Soat with "Crime Stories" in the current episode of "The News Show." Buyer Beware! Here's some of the latest news on data-information breaches and online-fraud schemes.
Also in Friday's episode:
John Soat With "P&G's Shared Services"
A discussion with Procter & Gamble's CIO about the integration of the company's global services with its IT organization.
Alex Wolfe With "Viva Las Vegas"
Alex introduces us to some of his favorite Web sites, including AOL's new online guide to Las Vegas.
Nominations For Blog-X Awards!
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!
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The company's Mobile Defense software lets IT staff remotely manage security on handheld devices; it works with the Windows Mobile Pocket PC, Smartphone, Palm OS, and Symbian platforms.
Homeland Security Funds Advanced Cybersecurity Projects
With a shrinking budget, the Advanced Research Projects Agency's cybersecurity arm has to leverage internal expertise with that of academia and industry to get research done and have products commercialized.
Protect Yourself Against Rogue Wireless Access Points
As wireless networks proliferate, so do rogue access points, set up by employees or by hackers intent on stealing data and customers. Here's how you can protect yourself against them.
Mobile Application Security: Options For Keeping Your Data Safe
Mobile data security is possible with a little planning during the development stage.
Telecom On The Go
Aruba upgrades its wireless-access points to improve mobility and security for workers in remote locations.
IBM, Novell, Philips, Red Hat, and Sony last week launched the Open Invention Network, a company that plans to buy up patents to any technologies its members don't already own and that would benefit the Linux movement. Larry Greenemeier wonders about some of the potential downsides of this arrangement.
Learn how to supercharge your existing backup/disaster-recovery system: extend disaster recovery to desktops/laptops, protect information created by mobile users, recover information stored on lost/stolen laptops, and more.
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