In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: There Is A Season
2. Today's Top Story
- New Cybersecurity Center To Warn Law Enforcement Of
Critical Infrastructure Attacks
- Microsoft: Windows XP PCs Could Be Vulnerable To
3. Breaking News
- Intel Seeks To Create Standard For Business PCs
- Travelers Can Soon Book Trips From Microsoft Outlook
- Boston Stock Exchange Launches E-Trading Venture
- How To Protect Yourself Against Domain Name Hijackers
- NYC Transit Plans $212 Million Security System
- IBM Ships Workplace Designer, Preps Notes/Domino 7
- Intel's Mobile Centrino To Go Dual-Core In First Quarter
- Japanese House-Sitter Robot Hits Stores
- Worm Targets Online Gamers To Steal Virtual Stuff
- Observers Debate Microsoft's Latest Visual Studio Delay
- Broadband Boom Opening Doors For Portals
- Fuel-Cell Developer Claims Methanol Advance
4. In Depth: Digital Rights Management
- Microsoft Buffeted By Criticism Over Vista DRM
- Sun Launches DRM Initiative
- Apple Revs iTunes With Support For Podcasting
- OMA Reiterates Concerns In Wireless DRM Licensing War
- Digital-Rights Management A Key Theme At RSA Conference
5. Voice Of Authority
- SmartAdvice: Planning Ahead For Disaster Recovery
6. White Papers
- Putting Grids To Work
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to
learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for
their apparent disinclination to do so." -- Douglas Adams
1. Editor's Note: There Is A Season
Time, as my father used to say, heals all wounds and wounds all
Dad may have been an optimist, but I think he was right, at least
as applied to the technology industry. Given enough time,
questionable or even criminal vendor policies are caught and
stopped, old and "boring" jobs are once again seen as vital, and
the wheel comes 'round in other aspects.
For your consideration:
Customer disservice: While not admitting any wrongdoing,
naturally, America Online has agreed to pay $1.25
million to New York and will change some customer-service
policies. Seems AOL rewarded employees who essentially ignored or
overruled customers who wanted to stop AOL service, and a bunch
of consumers complained as a result. AOL will stop paying bonuses
to employees based on the so-called "save" rate. This reminds me
of a mainframe software company that, after years of complaints
from customers about its software-licensing policies, finally
changed its stripes. Both examples show that, eventually, the
customer is always right.
Who's afraid of the big, bad wolf? It wasn't too long ago
that Microsoft was the industry heavyweight that everyone else
was measured against. Today it's Google, or at least it is in
some areas. And it took Google only around half the time it took
Microsoft to achieve that pinnacle--five years versus a decade or
so. Recently, both Microsoft and VoIP leader Skype have made
announcements meant to beat Google, the former in instant messaging and the latter in voice over IP.
Are mainframes hot again? OK, it took 20 years, but
there's some renewed energy around the notion of mainframe
computing. This is being created by a confluence of different
forces, not least of which is that Big Iron continues to chug
away at the core of the computing infrastructure of most large
companies, the related notions of server and data-center
consolidation, and that Corporate America rarely, if ever, throws
away anything that expensive. Most recently, IBM and its primary
mainframe user group, Share, have joined up to help lure young folks into filling the
20,000-person gap expected as today's mainframers begin to
retire. There's clearly university interest in training the next
generation; more than 650 schools have signed on to offer
curricula. But it will be interesting to see if IBM and friends
can sell the notion to a generation used to jobs that change
often, offer a clearly defined career ladder upward and onward,
and demand new skills learned fairly frequently. These are not
typically traits associated with mainframe computing, so we shall
see. Convincing the youngsters that Big Iron is for them will be
as much a PR job as it is anything.
Several businesses and organizations are testing a new process
for anonymously sharing cyberthreat and attack data with their
peers and government agencies without being subject to
The 2006 Professional Business Platform for desktops will be
built around a dual-core Pentium processor manufactured with
65-nanometer technology and will include Intel's virtualization
and active-management technology.
NYC Transit Plans $212 Million Security System
The setup will include video cameras and motion sensors in subway
and train stations, as well as software to help analyze what's
going on and link the new system to back-end police computers.
Japanese House-Sitter Robot Hits Stores
Stores across Japan started taking orders for the Roborior, a
watermelon-sized eyeball on wheels that glows purple, blue, and
orange. It's a house-sitter robot that can sense break-ins using
infrared sensors, notify homeowners by calling their cellular phones,
and send the owner's cell phone videos from its digital camera.
Worm Targets Online Gamers To Steal Virtual Stuff
The keylogger-equipped worm steals user names and passwords from
the massive role-playing game "Priston Tale." Crooks use the
access to steal virtual assets like armor, money, and weapons to
trade for hard cash in the real world.
Observers Debate Microsoft's Latest Visual Studio Delay
There are different takes on Monday's announcement that the Team
Foundation Server piece of Visual Studio will be pushed back
until early next year. Some believe it's just delays as usual;
others wonder if there's inherently more risk in this piece of
A Week's Worth Of Dailies--All In One Place
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Most companies bring consultants in to provide some sort of
knowledge transfer to their employees. Compare your company's
consulting initiatives and achievements to the practices and
successes of 360 of its peers in Consultant Conundrum, an
Optimize magazine executive research report.
Apple Revs iTunes With Support For Podcasting
Apple says its new Podcast Directory in iTunes lists some 3,000
free audio programs, including ABC News, BBC, Disney, ESPN,
Newsweek, and NPR member stations such as KCRW in Los Angeles and
WGBH in Boston.
OMA Reiterates Concerns In Wireless DRM Licensing War
For the second time in just a few weeks, and responding to what
it says are ongoing industry concerns about licensing terms
proposed by MPEG LA for the Open Mobile Alliance Digital Rights
Management, the alliance has reiterated that it wants to distance
itself from MPEG LA and its licensing terms for OMA DRM.
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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.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.