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State Department Releases Details Of Computer System Attacks

In This Issue:

1. Editor's Note: Windows Reactionaries, Unite!
2. Today's Top Story
     - State Department Releases Details Of Computer System Attacks
     - State Department Hack Escalates Federal Data Insecurity
     - High-Level Homeland Security Cybersecurity Post Still Vacant After One Year
     - Brief: Commerce Dept. Names Cresanti Privacy Chief
3. Breaking News
     - Microsoft Pledges To Appeal $357 Million EU Fine
     - New Zero-Day PowerPoint Attack Under Way
     - Cisco Details New VoIP, Router Vulnerabilities
     - Dell Simplifies Pricing, Rolls Back Rebates
     - Firefox 2.0 Beta 1 Debuts
     - Apple Stops Selling $899 iMac To Students, Teachers
     - U.S., U.K. Tag RFID For Scrutiny, Regulation
     - Brief: Apple, Nike Give iPod A Workout
     - World Cup Broadcast Rights Hamper Internet Video Feeds
     - AnchorFree's Growth Strategy: Make Wi-Fi Free, Secure
     - Wikipedians Take On Elections
4. Grab Bag
     - The Art Of News Feeds (Wired News)
     - Marvin Minsky On Common Sense And Computers That Emote (Technology Review)
     - Open Source Takes On Telecom (BusinessWeek)
5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech
     - Review: Can Xandros Linux Desktop Replace Windows Media Center Edition?
     - Review: Archos 104 Digital Audio Player
     - Review: Scott eVest Performance T-Shirt
     - Review: Samsung Q1 Ultra Mobile PC
     - Hot Apps: JAJAH For Phone-To-Phone VoIP
     - Best Bits: Vista And The Hardware Monster, Part 2
6. Voice Of Authority
     - Dual-Core Price War Looms As Conroe Approaches
7. White Papers
     - From Bar Codes To Smart Labels
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote Of The Day:
"All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward." — Ellen Glasgow


1. Editor's Note: Windows Reactionaries, Unite!

Whenever Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, there's always a backlash from people using previous versions. "It's all just a bunch of hype," they say. "Why should I spend a lot of money to upgrade when Windows Me works just fine?"

I can make fun of these people because I'm one of them. My home computer is still running Windows 98 because, well, it still works fine and I'm a cheapskate. (Now that extended support for Win 98 has ended, however, it really is time for an upgrade.)

I may have taken this non-upgrading thing to an extreme, but if you're using Windows XP, there really isn't much need to run out and get Vista as soon as it's released. In fact, there are some good reasons not to—chiefly cost. Not only will you save money on the new operating system, but you'll save money on all the high-grade hardware you'd need to run it. Then there are all the headaches you'll save by not having to deal with the bugs and incompatibilities that inevitably come with a brand-new operating system.

If you're the kind of no-nonsense person that these arguments appeal to, we've got just the story for you. "Hate The Vista Hype? How To Stay Happy With Windows XP," by Windows expert Preston Gralla, aims to help you get the most out of XP for a long, long time. You'll find the answers to these questions: Just how much money can I save by not switching to Vista? How long can I expect to get support for XP from Microsoft? Will new software that's released in the next few years still run on XP? Will I be able to get XP drivers for any new hardware I buy?

What's more, Gralla reveals ways you can get some of Vista's much-hyped new security and interface features in Windows XP right now—for free. That's right, you can get a two-way firewall, transparent windows, handy-dandy widgets, and more on XP without spending a penny.

So really, why would you want to spend a lot of money upgrading to Vista when XP works just fine? Add your comments to my blog entry.

Valerie Potter
vpotter@cmp.com


2. Today's Top Story

State Department Releases Details Of Computer System Attacks
The attacks started with systems located within U.S. embassies in the East Asia-Pacific region.

State Department Hack Escalates Federal Data Insecurity
The reported break-in of the State Department's network raises national security concerns.

High-Level Homeland Security Cybersecurity Post Still Vacant After One Year
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff took a preliminary step on Thursday, elevating the position to an assistant secretaryship within the department. But the position remains unfilled.

Brief: Commerce Dept. Names Cresanti Privacy Chief
As the Under Secretary for Technology, Robert C. Cresanti will be the highest-ranking official to serve as privacy chief.


3. Breaking News

Microsoft Pledges To Appeal $357 Million EU Fine
The company's general counsel insists the issue is clarity, not compliance, as claimed by the European Union. Microsoft's appeal will be based on a claim that it was never clearly told what to do.

New Zero-Day PowerPoint Attack Under Way
There's more bad news for Office users. An unpatched bug in Microsoft's PowerPoint presentation maker is being exploited.

Cisco Details New VoIP, Router Vulnerabilities
Free software will be made available to address the flaws found in Cisco's Unified CallManager 5.0 software, as well as a flaw in the Web-based interface used to configure Cisco routers.

Dell Simplifies Pricing, Rolls Back Rebates
Over a 12- to 18-month period, the company will move to offer fewer special deals and cut back on the use of mail-in rebates on products targeted at consumers and small businesses.

Firefox 2.0 Beta 1 Debuts
Among the features new to Firefox 2.0 are an in-line spell-checker, anti-phishing alerts, and restore-after-crash capability. But Mozilla says the beta is for developers, not end users.

Apple Stops Selling $899 iMac To Students, Teachers
Some Apple-enthusiast Web sites theorized that the $899 iMac had been cannibalizing sales of higher-priced Macs.

U.S., U.K. Tag RFID For Scrutiny, Regulation
In the U.S., an RFID caucus of government and industry representatives was launched today, while on the other side of the Atlantic, 31 global organizations have formed an RFID consortium and secured more than $7.5 million in funding from an EU agency.

Brief: Apple, Nike Give iPod A Workout
The Nike + iPod Sport Kit lets running shoes communicate with the user's iPod Nano and track speed, distance, and calories burned.

World Cup Broadcast Rights Hamper Internet Video Feeds
Soccer fans streamed millions of video highlights from FIFAworldcup.com, but play-by-play live coverage online was very hard to find.

AnchorFree's Growth Strategy: Make Wi-Fi Free, Secure
The company plans to charge for a secure VPN connection, but offer the Wi-Fi service free.

Wikipedians Take On Elections
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is behind a new wiki designed to provide election information.

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat With 'It's Only News'
Hackers break into State Department computers, government IT security spending is set to increase by more than a billion dollars, new telephone phishing scams abound, and more.

Eric Chabrow With 'Perfect Memory'
Freescale's new MRAM chips are expensive, but they're also revolutionary.

Peter Gorenstein With 'Garage Tech, Redux'
BMW unveils a new robotic parking system—the car parks itself with the press of a button.

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

Protecting Customer Data
Identity theft is on the rise across the globe. How do your security strategies for protecting customer data stack up? Learn how your peers are protecting customer data and managing privacy issues in the InformationWeek/Accenture Global Information Security Survey of more than 2,000 technology and security professionals.

Can You Hear Me Now?
Learn how security issues are impacting companies installing VoIP in this recent report by InformationWeek Research. Use this report to understand the challenges you may face in your deployment and how security concerns can affect your installation, network, and security.

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.

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

4. Grab Bag

The Art Of News Feeds (Wired News)
Newsreaders and RSS aggregators aren't known for being particularly flashy. But some mash-ups transform headlines, photos, and other ephemeral nuggets into expressive exhibitions. The result? Bohemian RSS.

Marvin Minsky On Common Sense And Computers That Emote (Technology Review)
As artificial intelligence research celebrates its 50th birthday, the MIT icon asks what makes the minds of three-year-olds tick.

Open Source Takes On Telecom (BusinessWeek)
Digium CEO Mark Spencer explains how he's woven freely available software into a low-priced phone system for businesses.


5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech

Review: Can Xandros Linux Desktop Replace Windows Media Center Edition?
With its Linux desktop product, Xandros is focusing on a shortlist of features to push Microsoft off the desktop. Does it have what it takes?

Review: Archos 104 Digital Audio Player
Despite a low price, the Archos 104 has a crisp, 1.5-inch color display and Windows-like navigation. Also exemplary is the sound quality, which is crisp, balanced, and clear, and the volume is strong. It's no iPod-killer, however, and it won't be the best choice for most buyers.

Review: Scott eVest Performance T-Shirt
Scott eVest's newest bit of wired clothing is one of its best efforts yet. Cool, light, and really sharp-looking, this is nothing like your father's "pocket T."

Review: Samsung Q1 Ultra Mobile PC
This all-in-one Ultra Mobile PC gadget is cool, but not quite ready for prime time.

Hot Apps: JAJAH For Phone-To-Phone VoIP
With charges that range from zero to 2.5 cents per minute and features like integration with your address book, this phone-to-phone VoIP service rocks.

Best Bits: Vista And The Hardware Monster, Part 2
The path to running Windows Vista on a computer made from a bucket of parts comes to a semi-happy ending.


6. Voice Of Authority

Dual-Core Price War Looms As Conroe Approaches
Alexander Wolfe says: A new upgrade cycle and accompanying PC sales boom could be in the offing, with consumers and enterprises beginning to move to dual-core in a major way, thanks to lower prices from AMD and Intel.


7. White Papers

From Bar Codes To Smart Labels
Smart labels may be the easiest, least disruptive, and least costly way to implement RFID in your U.S.-based facility. Find out how smart labels combine RFID with bar-coding for case/pallet pilot applications and how printer/encoders are the engine for getting started.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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