Review: Google Spreadsheet Beta Doesn't Quite Add Up
In This Issue: 1. Editor's Note: Credibility On Trial 2. Today's Top Story - Review: Google Spreadsheet Beta Doesn't Quite Add Up Related Story: - Google To Sell New Dell Servers As Search Appliance 3. Breaking News - Dell Adds Servers, Storage To Revitalize Product Lines - Seagate Disk Drive Rollout Includes 750 Gbyte Capacity - Microsoft Pulls PC-To-PC Sync From Vista - Winner Of In-Flight Broadband Spectrum Wants Cell Phones On Planes - Symantec Ports Storage Apps To IBM's Linux Servers - Review: Adesso's Rubber Keyboards Offer Flexibility, Portability - AOL To Release Security Recommendation Software - Analysis: Open-Source Projects Offer Free Grid Computing For Microsoft .Net - EMC Acquires NLayers For Application Discovery, Mapping - CA To Private-Label Arkivio File Management Software - Motorola Invests $60 Million In Singapore For Supply Chain Management 4. Grab Bag: Google And iPods - Google Guy Stumbles In D.C. (MarketWatch) - Apple Introduces The New U2 iPod (Apple Insider) 5. In Depth: Security Threats And Solutions - IE, Firefox Sport New Zero-Day Flaw - Caution, Developers: SOA And Ajax Open To Attack - Microsoft Tackles Enterprise Messaging Security - Everdream Launches Security Management Portal 6. Voice Of Authority - How 6 Billion IBM Dollars Helped Chase Apple Out Of India 7. White Papers - Event-Driven Services Fuel The Agile Supply Chain 8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek 9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure." -- Helen Keller
1. Editor's Note: Credibility On Trial There are two high-profile trials going on this week, both testing the credibility of IT security.
In one case—being covered exclusively by Sharon Gaudin of TechWeb and InformationWeek—a systems administrator is accused of planting a logic bomb that caused millions in losses at his former employer, financial giant UBS PaineWebber.
The trial puts at least one point of IT credibility under the microscope: the strength of UBS's security infrastructure. That is, was UBS the victim of a malicious attacker from the inside, or, as the defense contends, was its security so porous that any two-bit security attack could take down its trading network? UBS has already failed one credibility test: Its request to have the trial closed to the press and public to avoid "serious" embarrassment and injury was rejected by the judge.
In the other "trial," the very credibility of many organizations that handle sensitive customer data is being severely tested, and they're failing. As we've seen in countless cases over the last 18 months, the "defendants" are guilty of ineptitude, negligence, and misleading or delayed responses in handling the data that in many ways defines an individual's identity. Ernst & Young recently admitted—in a stunningly slow, weakly rationalized way—that it lost Hotels.com's customer data.
In what is easily the most troubling disclosure yet, the Veterans Administration is fessing up that its massive data breach is far worse than previously disclosed. The VA not only lost data on tens of millions of veterans, but at least 2 million active-duty military personnel now have the security of their identities in question as well.
In addition to the obvious security blunders behind the loss, it's another major instance of the government inflicting its bureaucratic incompetence on the military personnel who deserve it least: It was recently reported that soldiers were being forced to repay enlistment bonuses after their injuries prevented them from completing their required time of service. The Government Accountability Office also says the Department of Defense has aggressively pursued repayment of debts incurred by soldiers due to factors including war injuries and its own "broken" (GAO's term) military pay system.
Of course, the VA made the obligatory statement that there have been no reports of identity theft. Given the series of IT missteps that resulted in this data being lost in the first place, and the slow, piecemeal, reactive disclosure of information that ensued, does this statement carry any credibility? You be the judge.
Microsoft Pulls PC-To-PC Sync From Vista Microsoft is eliminating yet another feature from Windows Vista, this time peer-to-peer technology that would synchronize data on multiple PCs. Microsoft says the quality isn't good enough.
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4. Grab Bag: Google And iPods
Google Guy Stumbles In D.C. (MarketWatch) Sergey Brin came to Washington this week dressed like an amateur. Some lawmakers treated him like one, too. Wearing blue jeans, silver mesh sneakers, and a black T-shirt and jacket, according to the Washington Post, the co-founder of Google found out that while he may be a multibillionaire, he's nobody to some on Capitol Hill. Four senators passed on meeting with him to discuss Net Neutrality, the newspaper reported.
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5. In Depth: Security Threats And Solutions
Microsoft Tackles Enterprise Messaging Security Microsoft launches a line of enterprise e-mail security products for its Exchange server software as the company's first venture into corporate security since it bought Sybari Software 16 months ago.
Everdream Launches Security Management Portal Services range from asset management and software distribution to patch management, virus protection, and online backup. The goal is to give IT administrators an easy way to try before they buy and deploy services.
6. Voice Of Authority
How 6 Billion IBM Dollars Helped Chase Apple Out Of India In just the past two days, Apple Computer said it's cutting and running from a fledgling tech services operation in India, while IBM announced plans to invest a further $6 billion in the country over the next three years. These can't both be smart business decisions, can they?
7. White Papers
Event-Driven Services Fuel The Agile Supply Chain Enterprise services are the new technology wave, poised to dramatically transform supply chain and manufacturing execution systems in the next decade. The SAP NetWeaver platform has shown that open systems based on enterprise services are here to stay.
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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.