In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: What Are The IT Giants Afraid Of?
2. Today's Top Story
- Linux Vulnerabilities Spur Enterprise Warning
- CERT Stats Under Fire
- Linux Kernel Developer Says No To GPL 3
3. Breaking News
- 'Extremely Critical' Exploit Hits Winamp
- Cisco Warns Of Vulnerability In VPN Device
- Buyers Scour eBay For Data-Rich Hard Drives
- AMD Considers Steps To Improve Motherboard Support
- Q&A: Microsoft's Allchin Discusses Vista
- Microsoft Plans Staggered Release Of Windows Vista Beta 2
- Google Plans Monday Beta For Toolbar Upgrade
- Microsoft Targets Red Tape At Government Leaders Forum
- HP Takes On Rising Cost Of Data-Center Heat
- U.K. Channel Airs Geek TV Show First On The Web
- German Company To Demo Technology For PCs To Sense Users' Moods
4. Grab Bag: News You Can Use From Around The Web
- 'Electronic Discovery' Industry Blooming
- German Patent Court Rules In RIM's Favor
- High-Tech Heavyweights Forecast More Free Wares Via Internet
5. In Depth: Privacy and Data Security
- Security Vendors Aim For Standard Spyware Testing
- Sprint Files Second Customer-Data-Privacy Lawsuit
- ChoicePoint's Far From Alone In Data-Security Dungeon
- BIOS Could Hide Rootkits
- Judge Sets Hearing Date In Google, DOJ Case
6. Voice Of Authority: Don't Ignore India And Hope It Will Go Away
7. White Papers
- How An Integrated Mail Server Solution Makes Scheduling Meetings In Outlook Easier
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"We may not imagine how our lives could be more frustrating and
complex--but Congress can." -- Cullen Hightower
1. Editor's Note: What Are The IT Giants Afraid Of?
Congressional subcommittees and caucuses are often annoying and
self-important, and probably no one attends at least half of
their hearings save for the panel members themselves, their
staff, and the people called before them to testify about whatever.
Nonetheless, in an atmosphere infused with constant references to
exporting freedom, democracy, and other rights, a
report that several Internet heavyweights--among them
Microsoft and Google--are either refusing or so far ignoring a
request from the Congressional Human Rights Caucus to discuss
their already publicly acknowledged censorship activities in
China doesn't sit well. At the very least, it seems ill-timed.
While American soldiers struggle to bring democracy to
Afghanistan and Iraq, we have several high-profile companies with
an international presence, and more important, influence
handicapping their offerings, blocking certain information,
and/or providing individual subscriber data to the Chinese
government, in order to gain a foothold in what is one of the
largest, fastest-growing, and still very underdeveloped economies
in the world.
You can make the argument that China is essentially a
dictatorship, and if you want to do business there, you can't
play the stereotypical Ugly American. You have to play by their
rules or it's game over.
You can also make the argument, as Google most recently has, that
it's better to bring some level of Internet access to an
oppressed public then to be shut out of bringing any at all. In
the latter case, you could certainly make the point that it's the
would-be subscribers who will really suffer if the Net is
Both of these arguments have, in fact, been unapologetically
posited. So, it begs the question: If the companies are
comfortable with these positions, then why would they be
uncomfortable expanding upon them before this caucus? And yet, so
far, Microsoft and Cisco Systems have refused to attend the Feb.
1 briefing, while Google and Yahoo have yet to accept. Click here to read why this might not be the
smartest strategy and why these companies could be cutting off
their noses to spite their face.
Linux Vulnerabilities Spur Enterprise Warning
Although most business customers don't officially use "raw" Linux
products and so aren't in imminent danger, security experts say
the situation makes it worth double-checking your software
version levels and making sure the techies aren't bringing
unpatched Linux products onto the network.
CERT Stats Under Fire
The Linux camp objects to the method used by the U.S. Computer
Emergency Readiness Team to count Linux vulnerabilities.
Linux Kernel Developer Says No To GPL 3
Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, is not supporting the new
version of the General Public License. He objects to a new
proposal that would require people to make previously private
keys available, calling the idea "insane."
Q&A: Microsoft's Allchin Discusses Vista
At this point, Vista has all the features Microsoft is planning
for the first release, client-software chief Jim Allchin says,
"and people will see that in the next beta that comes out this
quarter." Microsoft continues to debug the operating system and
work on security issues.
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4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web
'Electronic Discovery' Industry Blooming (AP)
Even just a few years ago, lawyers in corporate lawsuits
sometimes agreed to confine themselves to paper memos and other
documents on file as they pursued evidence. Now, however, with so
much work done via E-mail, instant messaging, and other online
platforms, "nothing's in the file cabinets anymore," said Michele
Lange, staff attorney for legal technologies at Kroll Ontrack.
BIOS Could Hide Rootkits
Attackers could use the PC's Advanced Configuration and Power
Interface, a collection of power-management controls, to code or
deploy snippets of a rootkit into the BIOS flash memory, a
Judge Sets Hearing Date In Google, DOJ Case
U.S. District Judge James Ware in San Jose, Calif., set the
hearing for Feb. 27. He also gave Google until Feb. 6 to file its
reasons for refusing to comply with the Department of Justice subpoena.
6. Voice Of Authority
Opinion: Don't Ignore India And Hope It Will Go Away
Maybe India and other developing countries will become the
centers for future tech innovation. Maybe India's contribution
will be limited to low-cost, low-end jobs. But India's tech
industry is not going away, and American IT managers shouldn't
underestimate it, or ignore it, Rob Preston says.
7. White Papers
How An Integrated Mail Server Solution Makes Scheduling Meetings
In Outlook Easier
The Rockliffe MailSite mail server provides rich support for
Outlook's group scheduling capabilities and allows organizations
to take advantage of its integrated calendaring and E-mail
functions. The result saves valuable time and improves worker
productivity, particularly in small organizations, where
personnel resources may be limited.
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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.