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Why We Need IT Workers

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Why We Need IT Workers
2. Today's Top Story
    - Microsoft: Unauthorized Windows XP SP3 'Preview' Bad News
    Related Stories
    - Microsoft Befriends Some Competitors
    - Review: Contenders Challenge The Microsoft Office Monopoly
3. Breaking News
    - Indian President Worries About Terrorist Activity Around Google Earth
    - Tracking Mobile Phones For Real-Time Traffic Data
    - HP Renews Pledge To Evolve, Not Change
    - New Deal Adds Flexibility To BlackBerry And Treo Deployments
    - Trojan Poses As Skype Client
    - Phishing Attacks Slip For Second Straight Month
    - Siebel Pushes New Products, But Stays Quiet On Oracle Integration
    - SAP 'Safe Passage' Program Targets Siebel's Base
    - Analyst: Intel To Hit 3Q Forecast Despite IC Shortages
    - In-Flight Phone Demo Rings True
    - Motorola Unveils First Of Rugged Handhelds
    - Online Consumers More Guarded In U.S. Than In Europe
4. In Depth: Video Vantage
    - Future Bright For Online Video
    - Microsoft Updates Media Center PC 2005
    - Opinion: Apple Rides Online Video Boom
    - Next-Generation Cinema Steals iGrid Spotlight
    - Blinkx TV Gets Personal
    - Yahoo Stokes Search-Engine Rivalry By Propelling Video Search
5. Voice Of Authority: The Observer: Treating Customer Data Like The Gold Mine It Is
6. White Papers: Making Storage Simple
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quotes of the day: Questioning

"Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers." -- Voltaire

"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers." -- James Thurber

"Look at all the sentences which seem true and question them." -- David Reisman

"I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education." -- Wilson Mizner


1. Editor's Note: Why We Need IT Workers

I received lots of sharp, thoughtful, and sometimes funny feedback to my last blog entry, Seeding IT's Future. Some readers applauded, some snorted, and some wanted to know what I was smoking and whether they could have some, too. In between, some interesting questions were raised, and points posited, that I'd like to address, along with what I think are some erroneous assumptions about where my blog was coming from.

First, my commentary wasn't driven by or about unemployed or disaffected workers. It was fundamentally a direct response to the kvetching that's starting to ratchet up from businesses that fear an IT worker shortage. Sorry, kids, but you'd have to be blind not to see some irony here. The same people who ship jobs offshore, however rightly or wrongly, who hire permatemps to duck having to pay benefits for full-time work, and who post job openings that specify what one writer summed up as asking for "21-year-old graduates with 10 years of .Net experience who will work for journeyman wages," are wondering aloud why no one wants to go into, or stay in, IT? Why not ask what they're smoking? If they want American workers--and the interviews, stories, and Webcasts I've seen indicate that they do--then yes, businesses have to provide some incentive, some evidence that there is life left in this field. Otherwise, they should stop complaining, start lobbying for even higher H-1B visa caps, and focus even more of their recruiting overseas.

Second, IT does too matter. For those who will immediately whip out the "Why do we have to protect this job category, or industry, when we didn't protect other job categories or industries?" argument, I understand what you're saying, but I think IT is a little different. Reader Tom Recane ticked off a host of industries that were shipped overseas with barely a whimper of protest from anyone but the impacted workers, citing steel, textiles, shoes, and consumer electronics. He also said that "we have to explain why our industry should not be packed up and shipped to Bangalore." Of course, Tom is right. It's true that employment needs change, technologies move on, and fundamentally, no one is entitled to a job--unless you subscribe to communist theory, are a lifetime appointee, or a political hack, I guess. But to answer his question about what differentiates IT, I think it is this: At the end of the day, ownership of none of those industries he cited was critical to the country's future.

You can read more about why I think IT is a big part of our future even as a colleague cautions me that lots of people (erroneously) thought steel was the end all be all in its heyday, too, by reading my blog entry.

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


2. Today's Top Story

Microsoft: Unauthorized Windows XP SP3 'Preview' Bad News
The so-called service pack is a collection of updates that Microsoft has released since the debut of SP2 more than a year ago, and it's available on a third-party site even as Microsoft is warning customers to stay away.

Related Stories:
Microsoft Befriends Some Competitors

Even Microsoft can't go it alone against the iPod and AOL IM. That's why Microsoft partnered with RealNetworks and Yahoo.

Review: Contenders Challenge The Microsoft Office Monopoly
CRN's Test Center reviews EIOffice 2004, Sun StarOffice 8, and Corel WordPerfect Office 12.


3. Breaking News

Indian President Worries About Terrorist Activity Around Google Earth
India's president said that Google's high-resolution images give would-be terrorists too good a look at potential targets.

Tracking Mobile Phones For Real-Time Traffic Data
Missouri and other states are planning projects to monitor thousands of mobile phones to map traffic conditions, as privacy advocates raise red flags.

HP Renews Pledge To Evolve, Not Change
"Here is the big announcement: There isn't going to be one," said Ann Livermore, executive VP of HP's Technology Solutions Group. "We're not going to make any fundamental shift in HP."

New Deal Adds Flexibility To BlackBerry And Treo Deployments
The deal will allow the Palm OS-based Treo 650 smart phone to connect to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which supports Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes.

Trojan Poses As Skype Client
The IRCbot variant is spammed via E-mail, with the attached file disguised as the newest release of Skype, version 1.4.

Phishing Attacks Slip For Second Straight Month
August's numbers were down by around 3% from July, an industry group says.

Siebel Pushes New Products, But Stays Quiet On Oracle Integration
Siebel execs talked of big ideas like "customer-adaptive solutions" at the company's user conference. But many customers just want to know what Oracle's plans are for the CRM vendor.

SAP 'Safe Passage' Program Targets Siebel's Base
The program offers Siebel customers training, services, a road map to integration with other enterprise applications, and up to 75% credit on previous Siebel purchases to put toward SAP licenses and software.

Analyst: Intel To Hit 3Q Forecast Despite IC Shortages
Intel is expected to stay on track to report sales of $9.9 billion in the third quarter, one analyst firm says, despite shortages in some notebook chips.

In-Flight Phone Demo Rings True
A weeklong test allowed airline passengers to sample high-speed, real-time Internet service, including four channels of live TV and the ability to make and receive calls on mobile phones.

Motorola Unveils First Of Rugged Handhelds
The device is built to military specifications, but it's for everyday use, the company claims.

Online Consumers More Guarded In U.S. Than In Europe
Market confidence was higher in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom than in the United States during September, a survey says. Spending appears to be influenced by fears of online fraud.

All our latest news

Watch More News

In Monday's episode:

John Soat with "News You Can Use"

Eric Chabrow with "Serving Any Customer, Anywhere"

Paul Kapustka with "Google For TV"

Tony Kontzer with "The IT Chef"


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

Chief Of The Year
Who's the CIO that inspires you most? What IT leader has led a revolution at his or her company? Who deserves InformationWeek's 2005 Chief of the Year Award? Vote now by sending an E-mail to kfoley@cmp.com.

Podcasts
Listen to InformationWeek's five-part interview this week with entrepreneur and visionary Ray Kurzweil, by editor-at-large Eric Chabrow. In part one, Kurzweil explains the meaning of his new book, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Look for updates throughout the week.

Nominations For Blog-X Awards Begin!
You determine the nominees and you choose the winner in TechWeb's second annual Blog-X Awards. Nominate your favorite tech blog now, and be sure to return when it's time to vote for the winner!

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


4. In Depth: Video Vantage

Future Bright For Online Video
Online video is expected to evolve into a major distribution channel for entertainment and advertising.

Microsoft Updates Media Center PC 2005
The refresh is considered a relatively minor upgrade. Its most compelling feature is a link to the upcoming Xbox 360 video-game console.

Opinion: Apple Rides Online Video Boom
The new video iPod comes as consumer interest in downloadable video is taking off. But it'll need better content to succeed.

Next-Generation Cinema Steals iGrid Spotlight
Emerging digital-cinema networks promise worldwide delivery of live, full-motion video at four times the resolution of high-definition television.

Blinkx TV Gets Personal
My.blinkx.tv weds the startup's well-regarded video search engine with user personalization and participation features. It's just one example of the growth of IPTV, which is drawing the attention of companies like Google, Verizon, and Microsoft.

Yahoo Stokes Search-Engine Rivalry By Propelling Video Search
Yahoo's engine searches both the Web and the content of its media partners and those companies that distribute video via Media Really Simple Syndication, a self-publishing specification that enables publishers to distribute audio and video to Web-content aggregators.


5. Voice Of Authority

The Observer: Treating Customer Data Like The Gold Mine It Is
Compliance rules may force companies to deal with "gap management" and handle customer date the way it should have been treated all along, Lou Bertin says.


6. White Papers

Making Storage Simple
This high-level white paper surveys the needs of today's midsize companies and small to medium businesses and concludes that storage practices are a major IT priority. Drawing from research data, IDC analysts provide a clear picture of the evolving information-management needs of these key businesses.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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