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8/17/2005
03:24 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
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Why Kids Aren't Getting Into IT

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Why Kids Aren't Getting Into IT
2. Today's Top Story
    - IE 7 Beta May Be At Hand
    - Microsoft Dubs Longhorn 'Windows Vista'
    - Microsoft Beefing Up Windows Anti-Piracy Program
    - Microsoft Provides Peek At Office 12, Touts Distributed Forms Capability
    - Windows 2000 Rollup Makes PCs Suffer
    - Microsoft Stock Drops After Earnings Gain
    - Microsoft's Rosy Earnings Have A Couple Of Dark Clouds
3. Breaking News
    - After Announcing Huge Layoffs, HP Seeks 1,302 New Hires
    - Brazilian Police Bust Dope Ring Built Around Google's Orkut
    - Marketers Eye The Mobile Phone: Is Spam Far Behind?
    - Experiment Supports Controversial 'Fusion-In-A-Jar' Claims
    - GAO: Homeland Security Isn't Protecting Internet
    - Federal Web Site To Provide Info About Sex Offenders
    - Unauthorized Data Access At CardSystems Began In April 2004, Bank Says
    - New Phishing Attacks Fool Users
    - HSBC And SAS Building Advanced Card-Fraud-Detection System
    - Daylight-Saving Time Extension Vexes Airlines
4. In Depth: Google
5. Voice Of Authority: Supreme Court Nominee
6. White Papers: Network Optimization
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"I used to work in a fire-hydrant factory. You couldn't park anywhere near the place." -- Steven Wright


1. Editor's Note: Why Kids Aren't Getting Into IT

Bill Gates is one of the towering figures of the past 150 years or so, ranking--in my view--with Franklin Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, and the Wright Brothers. But occasionally, he utters things that show his perspective is a bit, well, skewed.

Gates wonders why more kids these days don't go into computer science. He said last week that even if young people don't know that salaries and job openings in computer science are on the rise, they're hooked on so much technology--cell phones, digital music players, instant messaging, Internet browsing--that it's puzzling why more don't want to grow up to be programmers.

This is spoken like a man who was born well off, attended Harvard, and became the wealthiest man in the world. By contrast, kids these days are worried about survival and money in a way that we haven't seen since before the baby boom. The kids who will enter college in a few weeks are kids who turned 14 when the planes hit the World Trade Center. They spent most of their adolescence, the time when kids get ready to enter the world of adulthood, learning about terrorism, war, the economic downturn, outsourcing, layoffs, increasing deficits, the health-care crisis--am I leaving anything out here? They resemble, in outlook, the generation that grew up in the Depression and fought in World War II. They have grown up knowing the world is a scary place.

Even today, the headlines about IT careers fall far short of exuberance. The headlines are mixed and cautiously optimistic, like we all have cancer and we've heard from the doctor that we might be in remission. IT staffing is finally back to its summer 2001 levels. Foote Research reports that pay for key skills like application development and database knowledge are gaining fast and returning to their pre-crash levels. On the other hand: Fewer employers are offering IT students summer internships and part-time jobs this year. Hewlett-Packard cut 14,500 jobs (while also hiring 1,302 people). And hanging over it all is the miasma of fear that businesses will give our jobs to workers in India or China, fear that's never dispelled by reassurances that outsourcing isn't such a big problem or is even good for us.

Why aren't more kids entering IT? It's because they, quite reasonably, don't know if there will be any jobs for them when they graduate. You can read more of my thinking on this topic--and weigh in with your views on this critical issue--at my blog entry.

Mitch Wagner
mwagner@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

IE 7 Beta May Be At Hand
A Windows hobbyist Web site says Internet Explorer 7 may arrive as early as next week. Microsoft is mum.

Related Stories:
Microsoft Dubs Longhorn 'Windows Vista'

Microsoft has a new name for its next major operating system, and the software giant has set aside its long practice of using release years or acronyms to describe its flagship product.

Microsoft Beefing Up Windows Anti-Piracy Program
Windows users will have to prove they have a legitimate version of Windows starting Tuesday if they want to download any software from Microsoft's site.

Microsoft Provides Peek At Office 12, Touts Distributed Forms Capability
Distributed forms would enable customers to easily fill in and submit XML forms via a browser, without having to run Microsoft InfoPath on their PCs.

Windows 2000 Rollup Makes PCs Suffer
Microsoft has acknowledged that last month's rollup breaks some applications.

Microsoft Stock Drops After Earnings Gain
One analyst surmised that a slight drop in operating income might have concerned some investors.

Microsoft's Rosy Earnings Have A Couple Of Dark Clouds
SQL Server, Visual Studio, and the new Xbox will drive growth, but Windows client licensing and the business service division pose problems.


3. Breaking News

After Announcing Huge Layoffs, HP Seeks 1,302 New Hires
After revealing 14,500 layoffs, HP is also looking for people in engineering, software development, and customer support.

Brazilian Police Bust Dope Ring Built Around Google's Orkut
The suspects supposedly formed a members-only group to trade messages and buy and sell their goods.

Marketers Eye The Mobile Phone: Is Spam Far Behind?
Companies are building databases of millions of mobile-phone numbers to use in sending advertisements. With such a tsunami expected, how will consumers be protected from spam and other abuses?

Experiment Supports Controversial 'Fusion-In-A-Jar' Claims
A widely criticized effort three years ago to create low-cost tabletop nuclear fusion could gain new support following an experiment at Purdue University.

GAO: Homeland Security Isn't Protecting Internet
Some experts urge the government to plan better for recovering from a widespread attack on the nation's computers.

Federal Web Site To Provide Info About Sex Offenders
The site, sponsored by the Justice Department and going live this week, allows for easier tracking when offenders move across state lines--but only 21 states are participating.

Unauthorized Data Access At CardSystems Began In April 2004, Bank Says
Congressional testimony details how unknown party gained access to payment-card data, exposing 40 million accounts and stealing 263,000 records.

New Phishing Attacks Fool Users
The E-mails appear to come from eBay and ask for information to help protect the customer from Internet attacks.

HSBC And SAS Building Advanced Card-Fraud-Detection System
Bank losses from credit-card fraud dropped to $788 million last year from $882 million in 2003.

Daylight-Saving Time Extension Vexes Airlines
A proposed law changes the beginning of daylight-saving time to the first Sunday in March--winter rather than spring--and shifts the end to the last Sunday in November. Currently, it starts in April and ends in October, except in Arizona and parts of Indiana, which don't participate.


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

Open-Source Commitment
Is your organization committed to open-source software? Learn about deployment plans and strategies in InformationWeek Research's Linux Outlook report.

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


4. In Depth: Google

Second-Tier Search Engines Catching Up With Google, Yahoo, MSN
The number of searches on AOL and Ask Jeeves rose by 15% and 16%, respectively, from the first quarter, while Google and Yahoo grew much more slowly, and searches on MSN actually declined.

Ex-Microsoft Exec Sued Over Google Job
Microsoft says that former executive Kai-Fu Lee went to work for Google to head a new research lab in China, in direct violation of a noncompete clause Lee signed with Microsoft.

Google Profits, Revenue Soar On More Ad Sales
Revenue nearly doubled and profits were up more than fourfold as online advertising grew.

Brazilian Police Bust Dope Ring Built Around Google's Orkut
The suspects supposedly formed a members-only group to trade messages and buy and sell their goods.

Google Visits The Moon, Finds Cheese
Users today can zoom in and move around on the lunar surface, thanks to NASA, but perhaps someday there will be something on the planet for which to use Google's search engine, too.

Google Sees Record Search Queries In Second Quarter
A Web-tracking firm says that Google attracted a record amount of traffic in the second quarter and that rivals Yahoo and Microsoft's MSN also saw more Internet visitors in the same period.


5. Voice Of Authority: Supreme Court Nominee

John Roberts: A Supreme Choice For Business?
Odds are that John Roberts could become one of the most pro-business associate justices on the Supreme Court; he has all the right conservative and business-law credentials. But Eric Chabrow says that if he were a gambler, he'd be very careful how much to wager on that happening.


6. White Papers: Network Performance

Optimizing Your Networks And Applications
Optimizing Your Networks And Applications Learn what features and capabilities to keep in mind when evaluating performance-management technologies.


------- Webcasts -----------------------

The News Show's John Soat has his usual offbeat take on the latest IT headlines. Watch The News Show

Also in today's episode:

John Soat Gives A Technology Smackdown

Bruce Boardman Is Dreaming Of Networks

Sacha Lecca Professes Robot Love

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


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