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The Urge To Converge--And Embed

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: The Urge To Converge--And Embed
2. Today's Top Story
    - IRS Plan To Outsource Tax Collection Raises Security Concerns
3. Breaking News
    - Yahoo Loses Lawsuit Over Nazi Memorabilia Sale
    - Businesses Are Switching To Blade Servers
    - Internet Standards Group Picks Cisco Wireless Technology
    - BlackBerry Devices To Sync With Macs
    - Bug Bounty Hunters Spot Flaw In Linux AV
    - AmeriVault Expands Online Storage Business With Acquisition
    - Wiki Offers Tips For Blogging Anonymously
    - Wine Advisory Software Launches
    - Pixel King Officially Millionaire As Site Suffers Outage
    - U.K. Government To Sell Legendary Spy Shop That Inspired James Bond's Q
4. Grab Bag: News You Need From The Web
    - Web Site Of Agency Is Called Insecure
    - Uniform ID Stirs Up States
    - USDA Using Satellite Images To Track Farmers
    - Doubts Cloud Plan for Cell-Phone Service In Subway
5. In Depth: On Call
    - Verizon Wireless Launches Global E-Mail Service
    - Wi-Fi Security: Which Protocol Is Best For You?
    - Your Old Cell Phone Could Lead To Charitable Causes
    - 3 Out Of 4 Block Telemarketing Calls
    - Creative Labs Touts Internet Phone That Doesn't Require A PC
    - Yahoo Launches Content Service For Phones
6. Voice Of Authority: Five Things You Didn't Know About Windows Vista
7. White Papers: The Case for Code Quality Management
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory." -- Paul Fix


1. Editor's Note: The Urge To Converge--And Embed

Everywhere you look, convergence is the air. I'm not just talking about the much-celebrated intersection of consumer and business technology, or the newly emerged jockeying for position, as IT vendors seek to cozy up to consumer companies and their lucrative customers. It's way more than that.

We seem to be on the threshold of the much-talked-about--and in some quarters, longed-for--ubiquitous technology. That's technology everywhere--embedded in your cars, your phones, your appliances, utilities, your clothes, and yes, even your physical self.

The recent Consumer Electronics Show was certainly a showcase for much of what's going on and what's coming down the pike. But the news in general has been rife with stories about merging technologies, converging markets, and happy embedders.

Everywhere you look, search is merging into video and music downloads, automobiles are bristling with communication devices, and merchandise of all kinds are packing tracking chips. Phones record images and video, download programs, tie into text mail, function as calendars, and soon will replace your wallet. Already embedded in backpacks, various technologies are moving into our clothing and, in some experimental cases, our bodies.

Merging, or cross-referencing databases of various kinds, means the ability to offer new services and aid, at the cost of less and less privacy, even as the processes for protecting that data seem lodged in the stone age. Our appliances, machines, and cars talk to us, while in some cases independently monitoring and repairing themselves. The repairman of old is fast fading away--you need a thorough grounding in electronics these days to repair just about anything produced in the last 10 years.

Such ubiquity has all kinds of societal implications--some of it already apparent in the younger generations. Over time, the impact on culture alone will probably be staggering. As it is, people IM each other today instead of picking up the phone or walking over to the next desk. We shun brick and mortar and shop online. We reject paper and pay our bills online. We escape the commute and work out of our homes. We read and study in front of a wall of noise and images. In fact, whenever possible, more today than ever, we multitask to the max, even beyond the point of safety.

It's not hard to imagine the changes that this intertwining of our lives, tools, and even flesh with technology will wrought. I explore these changes, and the issues they will create, for better and worse, in my blog entry, and I invite you to share your thoughts on how you think convergence is now affecting, and will in the future affect, every aspect of society.

Patricia Keefe
pkeefe@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

IRS Plan To Outsource Tax Collection Raises Security Concerns
The agency plans to hire three contractors to track down deadbeat taxpayers. But the Government Accountability Office and the National Treasury Employees Union have questioned the IRS's ability to properly manage contracted employees.


3. Breaking News

Yahoo Loses Lawsuit Over Nazi Memorabilia Sale
A divided U.S. court decided Yahoo is liable for a fine levied in France for its failure to keep Nazi memorabilia off its Web pages. Despite the ruling against it, Yahoo hailed the decision as a victory for free speech.

Businesses Are Switching To Blade Servers
Nearly a third of IT executives already have deployed blade servers and another 12% plan deployments this year, according to a survey by InformationWeek Research and Microcast Communications.

Internet Standards Group Picks Cisco Wireless Technology
The Internet Engineering Task Force chose Cisco's Lightweight Access Point protocol to help ensure WLAN interoperability.

BlackBerry Devices To Sync With Macs
Research In Motion will give away software to sync BlackBerrys with Mac applications.

Bug Bounty Hunters Spot Flaw In Linux AV
The flaw affects the open-source ClamAV. 3Com's TippingPoint unit pays for digging up zero-day security holes.

AmeriVault Expands Online Storage Business With Acquisition
Buying Capitalbackup brings an additional 200 online backup customers, reaping an active customer base of about 700 companies.

Wiki Offers Tips For Blogging Anonymously
A new collaborative Web site targets bloggers who live in countries that restrict free speech.

Wine Advisory Software Launches
The kiosk-based package offers help for different types of wine drinkers--from the completely clueless to the connoisseur.

Pixel King Officially Millionaire As Site Suffers Outage
An eBay auction selling off the last 1,000 pixels on a money-making Web page brought in more than $30,000, taking a 4-month-old brainstorm over the $1 million mark for its 21-year-old creator.

U.K. Government To Sell Legendary Spy Shop That Inspired James Bond's Q
High-tech R&D firm is credited with inventing or co-inventing the jet engine, radar, and the liquid crystal display.

All our latest news

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat with "The IT Jungle"

Elena Malykhina with "Blackberry On Steroids"

John Soat with "Is Google Better Than Microsoft?"


4. Grab Bag: News You Need From The Web

Web Site of Agency Is Called Insecure (New York Times--reg. required)
The General Services Administration has shut down a Web site for government contractors after a computer-industry consultant exposed a security flaw.

Uniform ID Stirs Up States (AP)
National standard for all drivers' licenses is too demanding.

USDA Using Satellite Images To Track Farmers (Washington Post--reg. required)
Satellite images are increasingly turning up in courtrooms across the nation as the Agriculture Department cracks down on farmers involved in crop insurance fraud.

Doubts Cloud Plan for Cell-Phone Service In Subway Stations (New York Times--reg. required)
A plan that would enable cell-phone service in New York City's subways is mired in disagreements about cost, feasibility, and worthiness.


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

Customer View
Learn how more than 600 network-equipment customers rated four vendors in InformationWeek Research's Analyzing The Networking Vendors report. Vendor profiles include Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, 3Com, and Nortel. Use this report to evaluate current and future network-equipment providers and to benchmark your organization's networking plans for 2006.

New From InformationWeek: Get Your News In A Flash--Literally
InformationWeek.com's latest service is automated E-mail news flashes. You pick the topic and the frequency (real time, daily, or weekly) and we'll do the rest. Sign up by following the link below and be one of the first to take advantage of this latest service.

We Have Our First Winner For The TechWeb Scavenger Hunt: Dan Moskaly
We still have three iPod nanos left and a 32-inch LCD TV to award. Here's how it works: Every week this month we post five tech questions. Answer at least two correctly, and we'll put you in the prize drawing. It's that simple--so take the quiz now. Don't miss out on the fun and the weekly iPod prizes.

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


5. In Depth: On Call

Verizon Wireless Launches Global E-Mail Service
The service uses a dual-mode CDMA-GSM phone to give business travelers access to their E-mail in more than 50 countries.

Wi-Fi Security: Which Protocol Is Best For You?
Extensible Authentication Protocol is at the heart of any enterprise WLAN security strategy. But which type of EAP is best for your shop?

Your Old Cell Phone Could Lead To Charitable Causes
Best Buy this week launched a mail-in recycling program that lets people donate used or unwanted cell phones. Many wireless carriers have similar programs, with proceeds from resales going to charities.

3 Out Of 4 Block Telemarketing Calls
Most participants in the Federal Trade Commission's Do-Not-Call program say they have seen a drastic decline in telemarketing calls, although they're still getting some.

Creative Labs Touts Internet Phone That Doesn't Require A PC
Skype users will soon be able to make VoIP calls without the necessity of a PC, by connecting directly to a router.

Yahoo Launches Content Service For Phones
Anyone with a Yahoo account can have the customized data they now get through the Web portal load itself into whichever device they carry.


6. Voice Of Authority

Five Things You Didn't Know About Windows Vista
Alexander Wolfe takes a look at some of the more offbeat angles surrounding Microsoft's upcoming operating system, such as guessing its launch date, finding where to go to get a Vista-related job, and seeing who's got the name registered as a trademark.


7. White Papers

The Case For Code Quality Management
For development managers who are overseeing Java development teams, maintaining consistent coding standards and practices is a monumental challenge. The result of poor code quality can be catastrophic. Something as simple as a misplaced semicolon embedded in a million lines of code can result in a bug that takes weeks or months of work to discover.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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