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Origami, Or Microsoft Bob 2006

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Origami, Or Microsoft Bob 2006
2. Today's Top Story
    - IBM, Nissan Outsourcing Deal Spans The Globe
3. Breaking News
    - PIN Scandal 'Worst Hack Ever'; Citibank Only The Start
    - Google Picks Ariz. University For Engineering, IT Support Shop
    - Clever Phishers Dodge Spoofed Site Shutdowns
    - Free Search Engine Identifies Unknown Windows Files
    - Brief: Israeli Army Deploys RFID
    - U.S. Services Firm Acquires China's Suzsoft
    - Lighthouse Unveils Open-Source Message Archiving Software
    - Firms Fight For Slice Of Booming Navigation Market
    - Fujitsu Shows Palm Vein Authentication Sensor
    - Technicolor Opens Digital Cinema Test Lab To Squash Bugs
    - Details Emerge On Western U.S. Nanotech Effort
    - Gartner Projects Slowdown For PC Shipments
    - Information Builders Merges Search And Business Intelligence Capabilities
    - Verizon Wireless Sells Pay-As-You-Go Service At Wal-Mart
    - SAP Launches Latest Supply Chain Management Suite
4. Grab Bag
    - Invasion Of The Computer Snatchers (The Washington Post)
    - Can Microsoft Save The Net? (Wired)
    - eBooks--What's Holding You Back? (Slashdot)
5. In Depth
    - EU Rejects Collusion Charges
    - Movielink Connects With Microsoft's Ultra-Mobile PC
    - Microsoft Plans Two Patches This Week
    - Gates Still World's Richest Person
6. Voice Of Authority
    - VIDEO: Get Your Hands On Your Information
7. White Papers
    - Electronic Discovery Overview
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." -- Steven Wright


1. Editor's Note: Origami, Or Microsoft Bob 2006

The most interesting thing about Origami is how Microsoft manipulated bloggers and journalists into hyping it. Far from the Transformer gadget hinted at (Eight toys in one! Changes from iPod to camcorder to computer and back!), the device is just a small Tablet PC. And Microsoft's only actual new product is a software suite intended to further dumb down Windows XP's user interface.

Unveiled at CeBIT, the week-long festival of consumer tech and all-day drinking that has more booths than most shows have attendees, Origami is a category of devices officially called the "Ultra-Mobile PC." Like other Tablets, these are full PCs that have hard drives and run Windows XP, so they can run the same applications as any desktop or laptop. The only difference is that they're a bit smaller, with those at CeBIT measuring only 7 inches across.

Intel let attendees at its Developer Forum try out prototypes of even smaller UMPCs earlier this week. They drew a large crowd, but most of us (myself included) didn't realize that the gadgets we were playing with had anything to do with Origami. The closest they came to transforming or folding was a slide-out keypad on some models, so small it felt more like typing on a BlackBerry than a real keyboard.

That's hardly revolutionary. Most people don't find keyboardless PCs practical, so companies like Toshiba and Lenovo have been selling convertible laptops almost since Microsoft first started promoting the Tablet PC (back in 2001). PC makers have always been able to make them smaller, but few have, thanks to problems with usability and battery life. (Some reports say the devices at CeBIT can only go 15 minutes between charges.)

So what's Microsoft actually launching? In a post on the official Origami blog this morning, the project's "#1 cat herder" admits: "In truth, this category has existed for some time." Microsoft's only original contribution is a piece of software called the Microsoft Touch Pack, intended to simplify Windows for people operating the touch screen with their fingers and thumbs rather than a stylus.

This is obviously aimed at kids (adults' fingers are too big for some of the Intel prototypes), though they'll need to have rich parents. The first devices cost 1,000, which is only within Microsoft's stated $500 to $1,000 price range if we use dot-com-era exchange rates.

In Microsoft's defense, some of the UMPCs do have features relatively new to the PC world, such as built-in cameras and GPS receivers. But cell phones have had those for years, and they don't cost upwards of a thousand dollars, run out of power after less than an hour, or take minutes to switch on.

What do you think? Will Origami be useful? Visit the InformationWeek Weblog and let us know.

Andy Dornan
adornan@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

IBM, Nissan Outsourcing Deal Spans The Globe
IBM will manage desktop systems, network services, help desks, dealer systems, and other key infrastructure elements for Nissan North America.


3. Breaking News

PIN Scandal 'Worst Hack Ever'; Citibank Only The Start
The scam has hit national banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Washington Mutual, as well as smaller banks, all of which have reissued debit cards in recent weeks, says a Gartner research vice president.

Google Picks Ariz. University For Engineering, IT Support Shop
The search giant will open up a branch on the campus of Arizona State University, in Tempe, due to the school's engineering and other strengths. Tempe being in the vanguard of citywide Wi-Fi deployments was considered a factor in the choice, too, Google said.

Clever Phishers Dodge Spoofed Site Shutdowns
In an escalation in the battle between fraudsters and security firms that track them, some phishers have started using a tactic called smart site redirection to stay a step ahead.

Free Search Engine Identifies Unknown Windows Files
To help ease their minds about what exactly is on all those corporate PCs, administrators can download a utility at Bit9's Web site to tap into the firm's 4-terabyte database.

Brief: Israeli Army Deploys RFID
The army said it will use the technology to better manage its supplies, and to make sure fuel and other necessities aren't "disappearing."

U.S. Services Firm Acquires China's Suzsoft
Darwin Partners' new Chinese operation has expertise in .Net, J2EE, and product life-cycle management, and offers an alternative to Indian outsourcers, officials said.

Lighthouse Unveils Open-Source Message Archiving Software
The new E-Trail Digital Archive software captures E-mail, instant messages, faxes, and other unstructured data in real-time and batch modes.

Firms Fight For Slice Of Booming Navigation Market
If vendors at Hanover Fair have their way, you'll never again need to stop and ask directions because the ability to figure out how to get somewhere will always be with you.

Fujitsu Shows Palm Vein Authentication Sensor
Demonstrated on Thursday at the CeBIT trade show in Germany, the infrared device matches a user's palm against a database to verify the user's hand veins.

Technicolor Opens Digital Cinema Test Lab To Squash Bugs
For seven years, Technicolor Digital Cinema has tried to make the digital cinema model work, spending the last year developing the business and finance plans.

Details Emerge On Western U.S. Nanotech Effort
The multischool program will focus on spintronics, the technology of using the charge and spin of an electron to carry information. It may have use in embedded memories and nonvolatile memory devices.

Gartner Projects Slowdown For PC Shipments
Shipments in 2006 are expected to increase by almost 11% over last year, versus the 15% growth rate for the year before that.

Information Builders Merges Search And Business Intelligence Capabilities
WebFocus Intelligent Search leverages the Google Search Appliance to seek out and analyze structured and unstructured data.

Verizon Wireless Sells Pay-As-You-Go Service At Wal-Mart
The prepaid INpulse service costs $1 dollar a day, plus an additional 10 cents a minute for daytime calling to people who aren't Verizon customers.

SAP Launches Latest Supply Chain Management Suite
The tool, two years in the making, can manage short-planning cycles, with special consideration taken to maintain high service levels, a typical consideration in the service-parts business.

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat With 'News2Me'
I forget my PIN--wait, that hacker probably knows it; Cisco sips; and BlackBerry networks ...

Paul Kapustka With 'VoIP Line'
Cisco pledges support for the SIP standard and announces tighter relationship with Microsoft.

Elena Malykhina With 'Cisco & RIM'
Research In Motion made an announcement at the VoiceCon show, saying its BlackBerry 7270 devices, which work on company wireless LANs instead of cellular networks, now support Cisco's Unified CallManager 5.0.

Jack Soat With 'Port Security'
Hear Jack sing "Bye Bye Nice Try Dubai."


----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

Take A Video Look Behind The Scenes At InformationWeek:

Stephanie Stahl And Rob Preston Discuss The Old CA And The New CA

Larry Greenemeier On Networking Security

John Foley Tells You What's Ahead At InformationWeek

NEW WEB SITE! -- TECHSEARCH.COM
Search more than 60 CMP technology sites, read blogs, and find the best tech content from across the World Wide Web--all in one place.

-----------------------------------------


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

Invasion Of The Computer Snatchers (The Washington Post)
An in-depth look at the spyware industry, including an interview with a hacker who plants spyware on other people's computers, the companies who pay him to do the deed, and the cops--both government and private sector--working to stamp out the blight.

Can Microsoft Save The Net? (Wired)
Microsoft's new security protocol could give surfers more control over their information without relinquishing any privacy. Commentary by Lawrence Lessig.

eBooks--What's Holding You Back? (Slashdot)
blueZ3 asks: "It seems that the readers of Slashdot are the most likely early adopters of electronic books, but from posts I've seen here, it doesn't appear that many on Slashdot are e-book fans. In the hopes of sparking a discussion, I'd like to ask what keeps you personally from reading e-books?"


5. In Depth

EU Rejects Collusion Charges
To back up its position, the European Commission released several documents outlining the job of its trustee, Neil Barrett, who's in charge of overseeing Microsoft's compliance with a 2004 antitrust ruling.

Movielink Connects With Microsoft's Ultra-Mobile PC
Buyers of Microsoft's UMPC will be able to download Movielink content directly to the device instead of having to access the site through a Web browser first.

Microsoft Plans Two Patches This Week
A critical fix for Microsoft Office is on the calendar, as is a separate patch for Windows.

Gates Still World's Richest Person
According to Forbes magazine, Microsoft's Bill Gates holds $8 billion more than his bridge-playing buddy Warren Buffet, who took the second spot.


6. Voice Of Authority

VIDEO: Get Your Hands On Your Information
Mitch Wagner says: If you've ever been frustrated by the limitations of your monitor-keyboard-mouse windowing display, you'll love this demo of a tabletop computer display that lets you manipulate data with your hands, drawing, resizing, and moving objects on a touch screen with one finger, more than one finger, or your whole hand, as well as creating an infinite amount of space on the desktop to work. Watch a 2-minute, 45-second video to see it in action.


7. White Papers

Electronic Discovery Overview
Electronic discovery is preserving, acquiring, culling, processing, reviewing, and producing electronically stored information at issue in legal and administrative actions. The intent of this white paper is to provide a high-level overview of electronic discovery.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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