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2/17/2006
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The Spin On Google

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: The Spin On Google
2. Today's Top Story: Browser Security
    - Firefox Users Quarrel Over Memory 'Leak'
    - Reports: IE 7 Crashes While Accessing Windows Updates
3. Breaking News
    - Windows Media Player Worm Set To Strike
    - Trusted Computing Standard Coming To The SAN--And The Sneakernet
    - First Mac OS X Malware Infects Via iChat
    - Office 2007 To Feature New Workflow, Collaboration Tools
    - Sun To Support Next-Gen Cryptography Standard
    - Apple Embeds Poem For Thieves In OS X
    - Study: AOL Search Leads In Converting Shoppers To Buyers
    - Sun Mustang Beta Gallops Out
    - Study: More Pushing Outsourcing Than Saving Costs
    - U.S. Lawmakers Lecture Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft On China Censorship
    - Security Not Top Of Mind For CEOs; That's Where Cisco Comes In
4. Grab Bag: Google Before Congress, PS3s
5. In Depth: Personal Tech And Reviews
6. Voice Of Authority: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and China
7. White Papers: Virtualization
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"U.S. technology companies today are engaged in a sickening cooperation decapitating the movements of Chinese dissidents." -- Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J.


1. Editor's Note: The Spin On Google

It's been a fairly typical week in techdom, with much of the news focusing on Google, including several strategic initiatives that, if successful, will expand the footprint of the company's search technology. Of course, Google and several competitors came under congressional fire for their responses to Internet censorship by the government in China.

Among this week's key developments:
The news: Consulting firm BearingPoint is forming a group dedicated to integration of search technology into specific vertical industries. As such, Bearing Point is elevating search to the stature of ERP and CRM.

My spin: The best news of the week involving Google. Search (and not the Google-specific variety) will ultimately be more important and more valuable than these software behemoths because it's a step in the direction of order and greater intelligence about business, while being a step away from the chaos these other systems so often create. Getting search tuned to the specific information needs of your industry could be a huge advance.

The news: Google bought the blog measurement tool vendor Measure Map.

My spin: It's apparently a small deal since the value wasn't disclosed, yet we shouldn't dismiss the potentially wider significance. Google clearly recognizes, even before some mainstream Web sites, that blogs are now a primary means of expression -- and reporting -- for the Internet audience. The lines between blogs and other forms of content are blurring, and by making an aggressive move in this direction -- aimed at helping publishers get more value out of their blogs -- Google only accelerates that trend. You can't be a legitimate Web publisher without a real blog strategy.

The news: Google allied with Vodafone Group to offer search capabilities on the latter's Vodafone live! 3G mobile service.

My spin: Mobile phones increasingly serve as the interface to data services, while mobile computers are ever more central to user information and Web access. Google could bring some order if its search technology becomes the de facto interface to content through mobile devices (and it already has a similar deal with Vodafone rival T-Mobile that increases the chance it dominates in the medium). I would be first in line for a phone that, when in data mode, is preset to the Google search interface.

The news: Google, Cisco, and major Google competitors Yahoo and Microsoft came under fire in a congressional hearing for complying with Chinese government requests that have been widely deemed objectionable. In Google's case, the company blocked politically sensitive terms on its new Chinese site.

My spin: Pity the Google executives that need to reconcile what's going on in China with the company's informal "Don't be evil" motto. But I'd also ask whether, by doing business in China, Google is turning a blind eye to the situation there to any greater extent than the countless other U.S. and non-Chinese companies that are profiting in the Chinese market. What do you think? Should Google and its competitors be held to different standards as it relates to competing in China than other U.S. companies? Weigh in at my blog entry or complete our poll. You can access all of InformationWeek's Google commentary under this directory at our blog.

Finally, responding to my question from last week of whether the security controls in Google Desktop's enterprise version gave your fellow readers the confidence they needed to deploy it, most said no. More specifically, 46% said no, 26% said yes, and 28% were unsure. There were 436 responses.

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


2. Today's Top Story: Browser Security

Firefox Users Quarrel Over Memory 'Leak'
Firefox's memory appetite has some users up in arms, but according to one of the browser's developers, that's part of the plan.

Related Story:

Reports: IE 7 Crashes While Accessing Windows Updates
Some users of Internet Explorer 7's beta are reporting problems accessing crucial update sites, but Microsoft denies any systemwide glitch.


3. Breaking News

Windows Media Player Worm Set To Strike
An exploit against the Windows Media Player vulnerability disclosed by Microsoft two days ago may be only hours away from hitting unpatched users, a security company said Thursday.

Trusted Computing Standard Coming To The SAN--And The Sneakernet
Seagate has the first encrypted storage drive based on a new standard designed to make data breaches from stolen laptops less common.

First Mac OS X Malware Infects Via iChat
The first piece of malicious code targeting Apple Computer's Mac OS X was identified by several security firms Thursday.

Office 2007 To Feature New Workflow, Collaboration Tools
The software, due to ship later this year, will come in seven suites. The "workhorse" version for enterprises will include the ability to perform complex routing of files around teams of workers, Microsoft said.

Sun To Support Next-Gen Cryptography Standard
Elliptic Curve Cryptography will be embedded in the next version of Java System Web Server. ECC, to be used to protect classified government documents, uses shorter keys than traditional methods.

Apple Embeds Poem For Thieves In OS X
The verse warns would-be pirates about their 'karma,' among other things.

Study: AOL Search Leads In Converting Shoppers To Buyers
When it comes to businesses buying products and services online, AOL is ahead of Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google, a Web analytics firm says.

Sun Mustang Beta Gallops Out
The next version of Sun's Java Platform Standard Edition will include support for more specifications, along with a new framework for scripting languages like PHP and JavaScript.

Study: More Pushing Outsourcing Than Saving Costs
Contrary to popular belief, it's intellectual capital and university collaboration, not just lower costs, driving companies to locate R&D activities outside their home country, according to a study sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

U.S. Lawmakers Lecture Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft on China Censorship
'Sickening cooperation,' one lawmaker calls it. But the search engines say they want government help fighting censorship.

Security Not Top Of Mind For CEOs; That's Where Cisco Comes In
In RSA Conference keynote, CEO Chambers says Cisco will leverage its central role in corporate networks to become a primary provider of security management technology.

All our latest news

Watch More News

In the current episode:

John Soat with "Some Internet News" in the current episode of The News Show.

Bruce Boardman with "Cisco Manages Management"

Lori MacVittie with "Clean Your Machine"


4. Grab Bag: News You Need From The Web

Congress Accuses Google Of Collusion (The Guardian -- U.K.)
The giants of the Internet were hauled before Congress yesterday, accused of colluding with China's secret police and censors to wield a "cyber sledgehammer of repression."

Sony Exec Insists PS3 Date Unknown (Joystiq)
Ostensibly in response to yesterday's report that the PlayStation 3 would launch in both Japan and the U.S. in September, Tetsuhiko Yasuda, managing director of Sony Computer Entertainment Asia, said, "We want to be completely prepared when we bring PlayStation 3 to the marketplace."

Web Surfers Just Want To Have Fun (MarketWatch)
A new research report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that "surfing for fun" is now one of the most popular activities online.


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

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5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech

Review: Opera 9.0 Technology Preview 2
The upcoming version of this alternative browser includes some small tweaks, like thumbnail tab previews and improved content block, and two special additions: BitTorrrent transfers and widgets.

Review: BEA Systems AquaLogic Service Bus 2.1
In this first of a new Network Computing series called Rolling Reviews, editors take apart Enterprise Service Bus products, starting with that of BEA Systems. Their take: Despite limited built-in support for integration with external data sources, BEA's service bus provides excellent Web-services support and solid performance at a fair price.

Review: Matrox DualHead2Go Can Morph Your Laptop Display Onto Multiple Screens
This palm-sized box can turn your laptop display into multiple clones for easier presentation viewing, let you use multiple screens for applications, or give you panoramas as large as 2560 x 1024.

Review: Four Low-Cost Laser Printers
Why pay for color you don't need? These four lasers compete with inkjets on initial price and save you money on per-page cost.

On The Internet, 99% Approval May Not Be Enough
Seller ratings summed up by pithy comments from customers on online marketplaces don't mean much without more information from different sources, experts say. In addition, manufacturers are complaining, and suing, over fakes sold on eBay. What are retailers doing to help buyers?

Review: Allegro Multimedia Piano Wizard
This self-teaching piano system is designed to be fun and easy. But several important limitations prevent it from being the learning tool it could be.


6. Voice Of Authority: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and China

Condemning Google, Yahoo, And Microsoft Is Cheap And Easy
Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have been acting like grownups recently in their decision to cooperate with the Chinese government in censoring Internet comment. You may not agree with their course of action -- you may even condemn what they're doing -- but you have to admit that they've taken responsibility for their actions and decisions, and not tried to claim that the whole thing is beyond their control.


7. White Papers: Virtualization

Virtualize Your Data Center
Virtualize your data center. Transform the way you provision and manage your systems and applications. Virtualization helps you reduce IT costs and improve business agility by enabling you to consolidate, maintain, scale, and adapt your computing solutions more quickly and with less disruption.


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