In This Issue: 1. Editor's Note: The Case For More H-1Bs 2. Today's Top Story - Apple Under Fire Related Story: - Apple Looks Into iPod 'Sweatshop' Charges 3. Breaking News - Switching To The Mac: A Guide For Windows Users - Build A Dual-Core PC Without Busting Your Budget - Mega Microsoft Patches Fix Mac Office Bug - Adobe Still Undecided About Suing Microsoft Over PDF - New Music Player Downloads Via Wi-Fi - eBay Is Sold On Wikis - Disney Launches Parent-Controlled Mobile Phone Service - Microsoft Gives Top 10 Reasons To Upgrade To Longhorn - Brief: Microsoft Updates Malware Sniffer - Empirix Rolls Out Call-Center Testing Tool - Analysis: Microsoft Forefront Must Overcome Security Stigma Before Businesses Bite 4. Grab Bag: eBay Gets Wiki; iPod And Mac Sales - eBay Gets Wiki With It (Forbes) - iPod Sales Will Be Down, But Offset By Better Mac Numbers (The Mac Observer) 5. In Depth: Blade Servers - HP Overhauls Server Blade Platform - Sun Jumps Back Into Blade Business - IBM's BladeCenter Attracts $100 Million Venture Fund, 10 Gbps Switch, New Partners - Blog: Blade Servers Are Hip, But Do They Meet Customer Needs? 6. Voice Of Authority - H-1B Debate About More Than Numbers 7. White Papers - The Case For Secure File Transfer 8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek 9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day: "Most of these guys don't end up in jail. They don't end up on entitlements. They tend to pay taxes. They keep their yards nice and clean. They drive Priuses. They recycle." -- Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems chairman, arguing in favor of more H-1B visas.
1. Editor's Note: The Case For More H-1Bs Few issues generate more passion than H1-B visas. Many U.S.-born IT pros and those threatened or displaced claim that the program is costing countless Americans their IT jobs.
The arguments on both sides will reach a crescendo as Congress considers the possibility of raising the H-1B cap from 65,000 workers to 115,000. Big-name CEOs say their businesses—and the competitiveness of the American technology industry—depend on a deep pool of talent, including those from other countries, as outlined in this Wall Street Journal article (subscription required).
If you don't subscribe, the article is pretty well summed up by this quote from Bill Gates (he, Sun's Scott McNealy, and Intel's Craig Barrett are among those pushing for higher H-1Bs) describing Microsoft product planning in the context of H-1Bs: "We have product meetings where someone will say: 'This is when it will get done with immigration changes, and this is when it will get done without.'" Microsoft is so convinced of the need for having the biggest pool of workers to pick from that it employs 17 lawyers who work on green cards and visas for permanent residency.
Similarly, InformationWeek's Chris Murphy, responding to this week's major feature on the H-1B issue, also argues that "we need to err on the side of plenty" of immigrant and guest workers for a vibrant tech economy.
In other career-related news, there's sound advice in this piece from our sister site, TechCareers, urging you to understand and market your "value proposition" in your job search. That is, be able to articulate how you will grow revenue or increase efficiency for your prospective employer, and make it clear why it is you want to work for that employer, not just find your next career stopover.
I can't remember looking forward to a new Web site as much as I am the one that's forthcoming from "maverick" Mark Cuban, a columnist for CMP (parent of InformationWeek) before he made billions and bought his own NBA franchise. Cuban's next online property will investigate stock fraud and corporate wrongdoings. He plans to personally profit from what the site uncovers. Cuban has a track record of breaking the rules and building breakout successes, and this site may be no different. Here's his own description of what the site will be about, and how the media needs to change. He promises the site will be rewarding, entertaining, and delivering content in multimedia fashion. I can't wait.
Today's final can't-miss story: Alex Wolfe's step-by-step guide to building a dual-core PC. Have you wondered about whether dual-core PCs can satisfy your burgeoning computing power requirements? Wolfe walks you through the process of building two PCs at the $1,000 and $1,400 price points. Let Alex know what you think.
Creative Says ITC Probe Under Way Against Apple Creative filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission alleging Apple sold iPod devices that infringe on Creative's "Zen" patent, which covers the user interface on its Nomad and Zen portable digital media players.
New Music Player Downloads Via Wi-Fi The $299.99 Gremlin player connects via Wi-Fi to the MusicGremlin subscription service, which offers "unlimited" access to "on-demand" music for $14.99 per month, as well as radio-like programming.
eBay Is Sold On Wikis eBay is partnering with JotSpot to offer a wiki where buyers and sellers can exchange best practices. The auctioneer is also joining with Kaboodle to offer a site for collectibles fans.
Brief: Microsoft Updates Malware Sniffer The seek-and-destroy utility, which runs on more than 270 million PCs monthly, now has added detection and deletion skills for two more pieces of malware, the worms dubbed "Cissi" and "Fizzer."
Empirix Rolls Out Call-Center Testing Tool Empirix has released a new version of its Hammer CallMaster contact-center and computer-telephony integration testing and monitoring application designed to validate voice and data integrity to an agent's desktop.
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4. Grab Bag
eBay Gets Wiki With It (Forbes) Just days after announcing it would spread auction listings into every nook and cranny of the Web via its new advertising vehicle, AdContext, eBay announced late Tuesday that it would drive traffic back to its own site with user-generated content in the form of a wiki.
iPod Sales Will Be Down, But Offset By Better Mac Numbers (The Mac Observer) Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster on Tuesday issued a research report in which he said his recent checks with 15 Apple specialist resellers show lower-than-expected iPod sales that will be offset by stronger Mac revenue when Apple releases its current-quarter financial numbers next month. The better Mac sales will be the result of a full quarter of MacBook Pro availability, as well as the recent launch of the MacBook.
5. In Depth: Blade Servers
HP Overhauls Server Blade Platform The new c-Class platform will replace the p-Class family, enabling users to cut acquisition costs, energy consumption, and cooling requirements. It will offer higher densities, enhanced management capabilities, and the ability to mix and match server and storage blades within the same chassis.
Sun Jumps Back Into Blade Business Sun has already briefed many of its channel partners on a plan to offer blades and an eight-way server based on AMD's x64 Opteron chips.
The Case For Secure File Transfer Organizations worldwide are challenged with protecting and guaranteeing delivery of confidential business and customer data, while increasing efficiency and automation of data management processes. Additionally, regulatory mandates and sound business practices require transaction confidentiality and integrity both during transport and storage.
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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.