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Protecting Children Online: What Should MySpace Do?

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Protecting Children Online: How Much Can--And Should--MySpace Do?
2. Today's Top Story
    - Can Microsoft Beat The Set-Top Box?
    Related Story
    - Bill Gates Sees End Of 'Device Categories' As PCs, Phones Merge
3. Breaking News
    - Who Gets H-1B Visas? Check Out This List
    - Sun's Diffie: Second Life To Become Prime Source of Intelligence
    - Contractor Pleads Guilty To Stealing Classified Data From Los Alamos Labs
    - Interop Preview: 10 Things To Do And See At The Conference
    - Interop Preview: Chief Security Officer Boot Camp
    - Interop Preview: Microsoft Vs. Linux, Security To Share Vegas Spotlight
    - Telecom Leads In Race To The Bottom Of Customer Service
    - IBM Offers App Dev Tool For The Technically Challenged
    - Symantec Warns Of Bug In Norton Internet Security
    - T.J. Maxx Breach Costs Hit $17 Million
    - IBM Top Outsourcer, But Indian Rivals Gaining
    - CEO Of Open-Source Software Vendor SugarCRM Speaks Out
4. The Latest Personal Tech Blog Posts
    - Voice In Second Life Gets Two Thumbs Up. Or Claws. Or Tentacles. Or Whatever Appendage Is Appropriate For Your Avatar
    - Internet Age Verification: Why Are We Kidding Ourselves?
    - Jaiku: Like Twitter, But With More Features
    - Poll: Majority Would Buy Google Or Yahoo-Branded Mobile Device
5. Job Listings From TechCareers
6. White Papers
    - Replicate Sales Success: Using CRM Strategies To Incorporate Sales Best Practices
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"The optimist sees opportunity in every danger; the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity." -- Winston Churchill


1. Editor's Note: Protecting Children Online: How Much Can--And Should--MySpace Do?

Just yesterday, the superintendent of our school district sent an e-mail to all parents detailing how two men attempted to entice a 12-year-old girl, who was one block from her school, into their van. In our extraordinarily safe community where parents hover over their children like chickens over new-laid eggs, this was huge news. No one can stop talking about it. An artist rendering of the two men already has been plastered throughout town. Yet very few of the parents I've talked to are aware of the current debate going on about whether MySpace should release the names of registered sex offenders it has found on its popular social networking site.

A quick recap: In December 2006, MySpace agreed to identify and purge accounts of registered sex offenders. Not enough, said eight attorneys general this week, who demanded that MySpace turn over those names so they could investigate exactly who those individuals had been communicating with, and whether any crimes had been committed. Thus far, MySpace has refused, stating that state and federal laws protect the privacy of its members.

As it happens, I've spent the last few weeks researching a feature (yet to be published) about online sexual offenders, and have been immersed in a frightening and creepy universe where either 1 in 5 or 1 in 7 children -- depending on which stats you believe -- under the age of 18 have been sexually solicited online. And those are just the reported incidents. As experts in this field point out, sexual exploitation of children is one of the most under-reported crimes due to the victims' shame and fear of being punished.

There's the big question of exactly how much MySpace, or any other social networking site, can actually do. There's nothing to prevent a purged sex offender from simply signing up under another name. Not to mention that the MySpace policy only targets those slimeballs who have actually been convicted -- what about all the other creeps who have never been caught, or for whom the Internet has lowered the barrier to entry for acting on what were previously only fantasies?

What do you think? Should MySpace release the names? Would it do any good if it did? Or -- as many believe -- is the only effective safeguard against online threats the education of parents and children alike? Let us know by responding to the InformationWeek blog.

Alice LaPlante
Alice.laplante@gmail.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Can Microsoft Beat The Set-Top Box?
Microsoft is setting the groundwork to challenge cable companies with Home Server, Vista, and the Xbox video game console, which can play Internet content and high-definition DVDs on a TV.

Related Story:

Bill Gates Sees End Of 'Device Categories' As PCs, Phones Merge
Microsoft's chairman predicts phones will lead the way toward a common platform on which users will talk, text, work, and play games.


3. Breaking News

Who Gets H-1B Visas? Check Out This List
Five of the top 10 were Indian outsourcers, but Microsoft is number three, IBM number eight, and Oracle USA number nine. The New York City Public School system ranks 22nd on the list.

Sun's Diffie: Second Life To Become Prime Source Of Intelligence
Businesses, governments, and reporters will use virtual communities to gather information.

Contractor Pleads Guilty To Stealing Classified Data From Los Alamos Labs
The woman admitted to printing out classified documents, downloading others onto a thumb drive, and taking the information home.

Interop Preview: 10 Things To Do And See At The Conference
With so much going on at the Interop conference in Las Vegas, we've pulled out 10 cool things you should check out while you're there.

Interop Preview: Chief Security Officer Boot Camp
Taking a few pages from the CSO Boot Camp at Interop, here are five things you should know or be able to do to become a CSO in today's market.

Interop Preview: Microsoft Vs. Linux, Security To Share Vegas Spotlight
Microsoft senior VP Bob Muglia will be among the keynote speakers at Interop in Las Vegas from May 20-25.

Telecom Leads In Race To The Bottom Of Customer Service
A new ACSI survey finds overall satisfaction rates across multiple industries have slowed.

IBM Offers App Dev Tool For The Technically Challenged
The tool is designed to let non-technical business people develop their own corporate Web applications with little or no programming knowledge.

Symantec Warns Of Bug In Norton Internet Security
The security company has issued a product update to fix a buffer overflow vulnerability in an ActiveX control.

T.J. Maxx Breach Costs Hit $17 Million
The retailer's quarterly earnings statement showed the massive security breach is expected to cost up to 3 cents per share, on top of the current expenses.

IBM Top Outsourcer, But Indian Rivals Gaining
Modest revenue growth and market share slippage shown by Western outsourcers stand in marked contrast to Indian firms.

CEO Of Open-Source Software Vendor SugarCRM Speaks Out
In just over two years, SugarCRM says it has more than 100 employees and 1,200 paying customers spanning 30 countries, and one million downloads.

All Our Latest News

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4. The Latest Personal Tech Blog Posts
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/personaltech/

Voice In Second Life Gets Two Thumbs Up. Or Claws. Or Tentacles. Or Whatever Appendage Is Appropriate For Your Avatar
I had a chance to test-drive voice in Second Life this afternoon and found it to be an outstanding experience, after a few bumps and problems getting started. Read the first-impression review of voice in Second Life. Voice is going to fundamentally change the Second Life experience, in which communication has now consisted exclusively of text chat, with the sometime addition of out-of-band phone calls and Skyping.

Internet Age Verification: Why Are We Kidding Ourselves?
I've singled out Linden Lab for criticism for its scheme to require users of Second Life to offer proof of age before accessing adult content. But Linden Lab is only following standard practice on the Internet, where operators of porn sites and the government agree to pretend that we can verify the ages of people who access adult content online by requiring them to submit electronic documents.

Jaiku: Like Twitter, But With More Features
Jaiku offers an alternative to Twitter that might be more attractive for many users. Jaiku includes built-in tools to integrate external sources of information -- weather, headline news, blogs -- into the stream. It also allows you to set up groups of users, for your friends, family, customers, and partners, or anyone who shares a common interest, something that Twitter will likely get but doesn't now have.

Poll: Majority Would Buy Google Or Yahoo-Branded Mobile Device
A recent study by The Equs Group shows that 55.5% of U.S. consumers would purchase a mobile device made by Google or Yahoo if such hardware existed. That's a lot of trust in brands that have no history in actually designing, engineering, and manufacturing mobile devices.


5. Job Listings From TechCareers

American Home Mortgage seeking Build Manager in Melville, NY

Agilent seeking IT Consultant in Roseville, CA

Toyota seeking Central Operations Specialist in Georgetown, KY

Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island seeking Systems Analyst in Providence, RI

American Home Mortgage seeking Systems Developer Associate in Melville, NY

For more great jobs, career-related news, features and services, please visit CMP Media's TechCareers.


6. White Papers

Replicate Sales Success: Using CRM Strategies To Incorporate Sales Best Practices
If you could clone your top sales rep, would you? Here are tools and best practices that help you start proactively managing the sales process rather than simply reacting to the sales results at the end of the quarter.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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