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10/27/2005
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Tech Overload

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Tech Overload
2. Today's Top Story: Browsers
    - Mozilla Delays Firefox 1.5 RC1 To Stamp Out Late Bugs
    - Microsoft Beefs Up IE 7 Security
3. Breaking News
    - Intel Shuffles Chip Road Map, Jettisons Front-Side Bus
    - Google Backs Colleges' Open-Source Efforts
    - DOJ Probing Oracle Again, This Time Over Siebel
    - VoIP Vendor Skype Divulges Flaws In All Clients
    - Slow IT Growth Creates Software Consolidation, Report Says
    - SureWest Delivers First HDTV Service Over IP
    - Review: MindManager Pro 6
    - OZ Takes E-Mail Client To Cell Phones
    - Two Mass. Politicos Pick Microsoft In Format Battle
    - Pace Of Government IT Spending Predicted To Slow
    - 'Virtual' Change Management Pitched For Network Admins
    - IBM Adds Patents To Open-Source Pool
    - ICANN Settles With VeriSign
4. In Depth: Technology In Our Lives
5. Voice Of Authority: Google Print
6. White Papers: IT Services Management
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Men have become the tools of their tools." -- Henry David Thoreau


1. Editor's Note: Tech Overload

I value the contributions information technology has made to our lives probably more than most people. I make my living on the Internet and spend the bulk of my time managing Web content and technology projects, and really enjoy working in this fast-evolving medium. IT--in the form of a wirelessly enabled laptop computer and the omnipresent cell phone--has permanently changed the lifestyle of my family, particularly as the computer's value as an educational tool increases almost daily.

But personally, I'm not at all close to the leading edge. I just got my first BlackBerry--only to support a narrowly defined, though critical, business application. Watching the masses use their BlackBerrys and Treos has merely been a curiosity for me, and I've never really felt the urge to join the trend, even less so now that BlackBerry Thumb has come to light. In fact, I'm starting to get a little uneasy about technology permeating everyday life and wondering where it will all end. It seems a day never goes by that I don't have to tell my kids to shut off the computer, a testament to the addictive power of the Internet.

My concerns about technology's influence on our nonwork lives grew stronger yesterday, in response to this report on how Major League Baseball games will be coming to cellular phones and other mobile devices early next year through streaming video. For me, this story didn't elicit excitement or anticipation, but rather bewilderment at why someone would choose to watch a game on a tiny little screen--at a cost, no less--when there are so many better options: live in the ballpark, at home in front of your TV, at a party, or in a bar with a group of friends. By the way, I'm not that keen on watching TV shows on an iPod, either.

It gets better--or worse, depending on your perspective. Among other new developments, kids also will have the ability to send text messages from within a baseball stadium and see their edited messages on the Jumbotron. I can only imagine the education/entertainment value the 40,000 people in attendance will derive from that wondrous application of text messaging.

What's the impact of all this dependence on technology? I fear it's teaching kids they can't enjoy simple things like a baseball game unless they have their PDA or cell phone in use the whole time. I think we run the risk of making it impossible for kids to ever learn how to focus on one thing--like a baseball game--because they can never leave their gadgets at home.

It's certainly a smart move for Major League Baseball to integrate its on-the-field product with mobile communications, text messaging, and other technologies that have become such a central part of our lives. I just wonder whether this is another indicator that technology is taking over. Do you think technology is becoming too ingrained in kids? Let me know what you think by responding at my blog entry.

Tom Smith
tsmith@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story: Browsers

Mozilla Delays Firefox 1.5 RC1 To Stamp Out Late Bugs
The delay, expected to be for only a few days, is needed to deal with some newly discovered security issues, and "a couple" of unfixed bugs, the company says.

Related Story:
Microsoft Beefs Up IE 7 Security

A new protocol--Transport Layer Security--will be used instead of SSL, among other changes.


3. Breaking News

Intel Shuffles Chip Road Map, Jettisons Front-Side Bus
The company is scrapping the Reidland platform and Whitefield processor, replacing it with a higher-performing Caneland platform with a Tigerton processor.

Google Backs Colleges' Open-Source Efforts
Anything that puts competitive pressure on rival Microsoft is a good thing, Google says.

DOJ Probing Oracle Again, This Time Over Siebel
Unlike PeopleSoft, this Justice Department investigation is unlikely to cause a long delay

VoIP Vendor Skype Divulges Flaws In All Clients
Although the security problems have been patched, one analyst wonders how well.

Slow IT Growth Creates Software Consolidation, Report Says
Many of the market's largest vendors will diversify into other software sectors to make up for falling revenue, ultimately leading to increased consolidation as some fail and some succeed, the report says.

SureWest Delivers First HDTV Service Over IP
The company has linked more than 80,000 Northern California homes to a fiber-optic network and plans to deliver 260 video and music channels as well as voice and broadband Internet access.

Review: MindManager Pro 6
The latest version of this easy-to-use business tool can improve both project planning and collaboration.

OZ Takes E-Mail Client To Cell Phones
The big advantage with OZ's system: Users can screen messages and decide whether the mail is worth the cost of downloading.

Two Mass. Politicos Pick Microsoft In Format Battle
The fight pits two prominent Democrats, who now oppose the OpenDocument approach favored by state IT staffers, against the Republican governor. Hearings will be scheduled.

Pace Of Government IT Spending Predicted To Slow
Reduced growth is caused by consolidation, deficit reduction, the mounting costs of the war in Iraq, and hurricane relief efforts, a new study says.

'Virtual' Change Management Pitched For Network Admins
With SkyboxAssure, which the vendor is calling virtual staging software, IT managers can compare the potential impact of configuration changes against the existing network configuration.

IBM Adds Patents To Open-Source Pool
The company is providing royalty-free access to its patent portfolio for some health-care and education software specifications built around Web services, electronic forms, and open document formats.

ICANN Settles With VeriSign
The deal could pave the way for the revival of a controversial search service VeriSign created in late 2003 for guiding Internet users who mistype Web addresses.

All our latest news

Watch More News

John Soat with "30 Seconds Over IT Land" in the current episode of "The News Show."

Also in Tuesday's episode:

Chris Murphy with "A Keen Understanding Of Technology"

Alex Wolfe with "Hurricane Help"

Paul Kaputska with "Friends In High Places"


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

Nominations For Blog-X Awards Begin!
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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4. In Depth: Technology In Our Lives

Streaming Video On Deck For Baseball
Fans looking for live action might not have to search any further than their cellular phones or mobile devices next season.

Disney Plans New Direction For Movies.com
Instead of offering movies on demand, as was its original plan, Disney will focus on providing original content to lure movie fans and advertisers.

Disney Scrambles For More Video iPod Content
The company didn't provide specifics, but said that mobile content will be key to future growth for Disney ABC Television Group.

RFID Monitors Beer
Sun Microsystems is working with an undisclosed beer distributor to install an application based on radio-frequency identification technology on cases and kegs. The RFID tags, which will help track the age and temperature of the beer, are a sign of product tracking to come.

Another Wi-Fi City Rollout, Another Headache For Telcos
Madison, Wis.'s Wi-Fi rollout will serve wireless users in city government, consumer, and commercial sectors.

MovieTickets.com Launches Podcasting Feature
The service will deliver movie synopses and alerts when new summaries are available.


5. Voice Of Authority: Google Print

Alexander Wolfe: Was I Wrong About Google Print? Apparently Not
Last week, Alexander Wolfe blogged that Google was being less than forthright about its claim that it was only opening up snippets of books to searches. Under challenge from readers, Wolfe dug deeper and found that he could indeed still find more than Google claimed. Perhaps he's an unusually industrious searcher. You be the judge.


6. White Papers: IT Services Management

Using IT-Services-Management Software To Streamline Service Provider Operation
IT-services-management software, delivered on demand, has emerged specifically to deal with the key challenges facing IT consulting and service providers. This white paper describes how IT-services-management software can help automate and streamline the key business functions critical to most IT providers.


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