informa
/
12 min read
article

CIA Monitors YouTube For Intelligence

U.S. spies are looking increasingly online for intelligence and they've become major consumers of social media.

CMP Information Week
InformationWeek Daily - Thursday, Feb 7, 2008


Editor's Note

Why Vista Is Not The Best Argument For Linux

I've seen a number of people argue that Windows Vista, in all of its bloat and cost and lateness to market, is the best argument for switching to Linux. It's tempting, and there's a lot of truth to it, but at the same time I don't think it's a good idea to define yourself by what you're not.

First, some personal perspective. I ditched Vista on my notebook some time ago and now use Ubuntu exclusively there. The whole thing went remarkably smoothly, and so far the single biggest issue I've had has been getting Flash to work in Firefox (it's not as straightforward as it looks, sadly). I haven't been able to do the same on my desktop yet, and probably won't be able to for some time, but I'm not as worried about that.

Most people who go from one OS to the other make a habit of comparing the two. It's inevitable. If you have a choice of what to run, you want to have some idea of what you're gaining and losing. It's only normal to compare Linux to Windows or the Macintosh and make it clear what you're gaining and losing by switching from one to the other. Linus Torvalds himself said this in the recent, oft-quoted interview he had with the Linux Foundation: "If you act differently from Windows, even if you act in some ways better, it doesn't matter; better is worse if it's different."

That's a big part of why Vista probably won't drive the masses into the arms of Linux. Flawed as Vista might be, it's still Windows in some form, and that in itself has a lot of retention power. Give up Windows and you also give up the support structure that goes with it -- the gurus you go to when things break, for instance.

I get the impression there are two classes of people who trade Windows for Linux fairly readily: 1) experts, who can educate themselves without too much difficulty about what they're gaining and losing, and 2) total newcomers to computing in general, who don't have a lot of experience built up with computing to be traded up in the first place. Most of us probably fall somewhere between these two goalposts. That crowd is typically a hard sell, and needs something more compelling than "it isn't Windows" as an argument to switch.

I've said in the past that I felt, by and large, that Linux was a success on its own merits and didn't need to compulsively compete with Windows. Now, I'm realizing that competition is inevitable -- but the way that competition is phrased also is important. If you define Linux's benefits entirely in the context of Windows' drawbacks, that may be a way to get initial attention -- but you have to have more than that in the long run.

Read the rest of my blog post and let me know what you think by posting a comment.

Serdar Yegulalp
[email protected]
www.informationweek.com

Quote of The Day

"Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life." - Dr. David M. Burns

Top Stories

CIA Monitors YouTube For Intelligence
U.S. spies are looking increasingly online for intelligence and they've become major consumers of social media.


Related Stories:

Flaws Found In ActiveX Controls Used By Facebook, MySpace

CIA Admits Cyberattacks Blacked Out Cities

White Paper

LG Phone Highlights Tactile User Interface

The company's upcoming KF510 mobile phone is 10.9 mm thick and made out of metal and tempered glass.

Time To Kill ActiveX?

Microsoft defends its ActiveX technology, but security researchers say it poses too many risks.

Yahoo China, Baidu, Sohu Accused Of Music Piracy

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry claims that more than 99% of music files distributed in China are pirated.

Cisco, iSkoot To Link VoIP To Wireline Networks

iSkoot's software has been successfully tested with the Cisco AS5000 Series Universal Gateway and the Cisco PGW 2200 Softswitch.

SaaS Start-Up Workday Acquires Cape Clear

Cape Clear Software was the last remaining independent provider of an enterprise service bus, which is middleware technology for integrating applications using Web services.

CIA Monitors YouTube For Intelligence

U.S. spies are looking increasingly online for intelligence and they've become major consumers of social media.

CBS Mobile Offers Location-Based Mobile Ads

The technology, in partnership with Loopt, taps into GPS and other location technology to target consumers.

Intel, STMicroelectronics Ship Memory Prototypes For Evaluation

The phase-change memory device, which stores 128 Mbytes on a 90-nanometer chip, is being tested as a faster alternative to conventional flash memory.

Homeland Security Seeks Funding To Support E-Verify System Expansion

The U.S. government expects the number of employers using the verification system for job applicants to more than double this year to 100,000 and to climb to 300,000 by 2009.

HP Launches Family Of Entry-Level Disk Arrays

The HP MSA2000's storage capacity can be increased through any combination of SAS or SATA hard disk drives.

Alternative Offered To Analog Alarm Owners

LaserShield Systems' product promises to keep older security systems operating after the Feb. 18 analog cellular sunset.

E-Notification Coming Soon For H-1B Visa Employers

The e-notification system should be online by April, when the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services begins accepting H-1B visa petitions for fiscal 2009.

All Our Latest News

On The Go

See InformationWeek's daily breaking news on your mobile device, visit wap.informationweek.com and sign up for daily SMS notifications.

In This Issue


Community

Which Presidential Candidate Has The Best IT Strategy?
The President of the United States has the power to make sweeping changes to America's information technology infrastructure. The president taking office next year will grapple with issues such as Net Neutrality, electronic privacy, electronic disclosure of government information, and more. Which candidate has the best IT strategy? And do you think that candidate is also the best overall for president? Join the discussion.

Follow InformationWeek On Twitter
Twitter is a great way of keeping up with your friends and events around the world. Now you can use it to keep up with InformationWeek headlines, too. Follow informationweek for all our headlines as they happen, or IWpicks for only the best of our articles, blogs, and other content.

The latest research, polls, and tools

Virtualization At The Desktop?
Examine how more than 250 companies plan to adopt server virtualization technology in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Server Virtualization.

The BI Explosion
Examine the business intelligence strategies of 500 companies, including deployment drivers and challenges, spending plans, and vendor selection, in this recent InformationWeek Research report.

Latest InformationWeek Blog Posts

Racy Text Messages Turn Detroit Into LOLing Stock :(
My oh my, what a mess in Detroit. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick faces a financial audit, an investigation into potential perjury, maybe an investigation into criminal fraud. The evidence? Smoking text messages.

Study: Quality of Mobile Phone Calls Stinks
Snap, crackle, pop. You remember those words from Rice Crispies commercials, right? Well turns out they apply to calls made from cell phones as well. A new study said that nearly 40% of calls fall below industry minimum standards for voice quality. Is anyone surprised? I hear pins dropping...

With HTC Shift, Intel's UMPC Is Finally Real
I was going to call this post "Intel Finally Pushes Past The PC Processor," in recognition of the fact that this is the first time I can remember when a blue sky concept for a new-fangled computing device has moved beyond the bloviating stage and into the real world. But that's sure the case with Intel's Ultramobile PC. Hot little items like the HTC Shift are making their way to market, and lots more are on the way. Hey, I want one!

Vista SP1 Fixes Slow File Copies--Here's Why
One of the first things I noticed when setting up Vista for the first time was that file copies seemed to be slower. Plenty of other people noticed it too. This week, Mark Russinovich put together a blog entry with details about how this Vista "improvement" went awry.

National Intelligence Director: Cyber Risks Rising
The news provided by the director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, to a Senate panel yesterday wasn't all good. While Al-Qaida is weakening in Iraq, it's spreading its tentacles elsewhere. That includes the critical IT infrastructure. Part of his testimony included warnings that the threat of cyberattacks are increasing from terror groups, homegrown militants, and nations.

What Happens When You 'Google' Google?
Just for the heck of it, I performed a Google search for Google. The search generated 1.83 billion results. The top result was a current news item about the brewing war between Google and Microsoft. To me, the most surprising thing was the lack of sponsored ads next to the search results. The only one was from Google itself, suggesting you make Google your home page.

Clickability Clicks On All Cylinders
Are these guys the Salesforce.com of Web content management? To help you decide, I caught up with Clickability's CEO John Girard and Robert Carroll, its newly appointed head of marketing, to hear how it plans to reshape the Web content management landscape.

Why Vista Is Not 'The Best Argument For Linux'
I've seen a number of people argue that Windows Vista, in all of its bloat and cost and lateness to market, is the best argument for switching to Linux.  It's tempting, and there's a lot of truth to it, but at the same time I don't think it's a good idea to define yourself by what you're not.

Study: Cell Phones Don't Cause Brain Cancer
A new study coming from Japan says that holding a cell phone to your head and gabbing all day long will not increase your risk of brain cancer. It may, however, increase your risk of becoming a social outcast, getting into car accidents, and walking into a light post.

Virtual Machines, Real Dollars
VMware's stock price might have tumbled, but that isn't stopping VC investment in the virtualization space. Two startups raked in millions this week.

VKernel Gets a Little VC Love, Too
We've written about VKernel before; the young New Hampshire startup produces virtual appliances for VMware. It looks like the Nashua-based folks have something to be happy about after the Pats loss on Sunday -- they've picked up $4.6M in VC funding.

Electronic Voting Systems Go Unattended
It's been nearly eight years since the 2000 election fiasco, and it seems with every election, the complaints of failing voting systems only seem to mount.

White Paper

Real-World SOA: Definition, Implementation and Use of SOA with CentraSite
Web services are having a dramatic impact on improving enterprise architecture and application development practices. This paper highlights three sample case studies illustrating how Fujitsu's CentraSite delivers SOA solutions.

Forrester Consulting: Unified Communications Delivers Global Benefits
This Forrester Consulting study shows how Unified Communications (UC) makes it simpler to contact others over any device in any location, enhancing business agility, cutting costs, and boosting employee productivity. Forrester finds that UC is already delivering major savings for organizations around the world in retail banking, manufacturing and education. Download the full report for free.

Software as a Service Research Report
No longer a niche software delivery model, software as a service (SaaS) can help small and midsize companies get access to enteprise-class software functionality without having to commit enterprise-level capital resources. Download the full report for free.

The Internet & the Developing World
The evolution of the Internet has been full of surprises – surprises that have sometimes resulted in radical changes in the commercial landscape, such as the arrival of Amazon, eBay, Google, YouTube, and Skype. Could one of the next big surprises turn out to be linked to developing countries? Read the full report for free from InternetEvolution.com

Job Listings

Featured Jobs:

Mentor Graphics seeking Technical Marketing Engineer - DFM in San Jose, CA

Verizon seeking Fiber Network Technician in Freehold, NJ

Miami-Dade County seeking PeopleSoft Systems Administrator in Miami, FL

Allen Partners seeking Program Manager in Seattle, WA

Fulcrum Microsystems seeking Networking Software Engineer in Calabasas, CA

For more great jobs, career-related news, features and services, please visit our "Career Center.

Get More Out Of InformationWeek

Try InformationWeek's RSS Feed

Discover all InformationWeek's sites and newsletters

Recommend This Newsletter To A Friend
Do you have friends or colleagues who might enjoy this newsletter? Please forward it to them and point out the subscription page.

Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

More than 20,000 IT terms, more than 20,000 definitions:
All at your fingertips, all in TechEncyclopedia

Saw a TechWeb feature you want to see again?

You are subscribed as #emailaddr#. To unsubscribe from, subscribe to, or change your E-mail address for this newsletter, please visit the InformationWeek Subscription Center.

Update your subscriber profile.

TechWeb Marketplace

Note: To change your E-mail address, please subscribe your new address and unsubscribe your old one.

Keep Getting This Newsletter
Don't let future editions of InformationWeek Daily go missing. Take a moment to add the newsletter's address to your anti-spam white list: [email protected]

If you're not sure how to do that, ask your administrator or ISP. Or check your anti-spam utility's documentation. Thanks. We take your privacy very seriously. Please review our Privacy Policy.

InformationWeek Daily Newsletter
A free service of InformationWeek and the TechWeb Network.
Copyright (c) 2008 CMP Media LLC