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When Tech Hurts

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: When Tech Hurts
2. Today's Top Story: Security
    - Mac OS X Suffers From 'Critical' Flaw
    - Microsoft Slams Security Firm's Bounty For Windows Flaws
    - Three Out Of Four Say Business Security Has Improved
3. Breaking News
    - Vista Versions May Number 8
    - AMD, Intel Cut Dual-Core Prices
    - More Than Half Receive At Least One Phish Daily
    - AT&T, Yahoo Link Web To Cingular Mobile Phones
    - Chicago Plans To Join Wi-Fi Party With Citywide Network
    - Low-Cost Mobile Phones Planned For 1 Billion Users
    - Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 R2 Enters Beta
    - AOL Teams With WebEx For Enterprise IM
    - Will The U.S. Embrace Cell-Phone-As-Wallet?
    - Microsoft May Look To 'Smart Shoring'
    - Google Denies Acting Unlawfully In China
4. Grab Bag: Mac Security, Google Desktop
5. In Depth: Internet News And Analysis
6. Voice Of Authority: Browser Podcast
7. White Papers: IP Telephony
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories." -- John Wilmot

1. Editor's Note: When Tech Hurts

The ways in which technology has enhanced all of our lives are too numerous to count. But on Tuesday, I was struck by two stories that I interpret as signs that technology may be driving too deep, and becoming too pervasive, in our lives.

First, I'll raise the issue of teens and their propensity to reveal personal information in blogs. I'm a big proponent of kids getting ready access to the Internet, using the Web to enhance their educational experience and even using E-mail to communicate with friends and distant family members. But it's likely that most early teens lack the sensibility and the life experiences to avoid trouble that could easily find them online. As the aforementioned study points out, among teens studied, 70% disclosed at least their first name, 67% revealed their age, and 61% provided their contact information either in the form of E-mail (44%), instant messenger name (44%) or a link to a personal home page (30%). Any or all of those bits of personal data should be enough for a predator to target such teens. What's the answer? I'd like to say that Internet service providers' parental controls are the answer here, but reliance on technology created this problem in the first place, so I'm not sure that's the best solution. Those controls can't be effective unless there's strong parental involvement and strong parental controls--such as strict limits on computer and Internet usage. (What do you think is the key to keeping kids safe online? Take our poll.)

Second, there's a new indicator of the physical downsides to text messaging. A study from the United Kingdom finds that 38% more people suffer from sore wrists and thumbs caused by "texting" than five years ago, and 3.8 million people now complain of text-related injuries every year. This, of course, follows the recent revelations of people suffering from "BlackBerry thumb." If my own concerns about appearing pretentious didn't cure me of my own blossoming text-messaging-in-public-places habit, these developments will surely do the trick. But for those of you that are heavily into text messaging, you might ask yourself: What's wrong with messages that don't get instantaneous response, or with being out of direct communication with someone for two or three minutes, or even an hour?

If you take this discussion to a purely enterprise level, I wonder whether the ability to stay in touch at all times, from all places, doesn't do more to burn people out than empower them to do work on a timely basis. For my money, I'll gladly take an employee who has the ability (and desire) to completely disconnect from work when it's appropriate over the workaholic who can't or won't unplug. How about you? You can share your opinions at my blog entry.

Tom Smith
[email protected]

2. Today's Top Story: Security

Mac OS X Suffers From 'Critical' Flaw
Several security companies found a critical vulnerability in Apple Computer's OS X that could let attackers cripple a Mac simply by duping users into visiting a malicious Web site.

Related Stories:

Microsoft Slams Security Firm's Bounty For Windows Flaws
Microsoft blasts a security company's recent offer of $10,000 to anyone who discovers a Windows flaw that leads to a critical fix.

Three Out Of Four Say Business Security Has Improved
But people issues and organizational changes resulting from mergers, acquisitions, and outsourcing still pose challenges.

3. Breaking News

Vista Versions May Number 8
Microsoft drops additional clues that the next-generation operating system will come in even more flavors than the current Windows XP.

AMD, Intel Cut Dual-Core Prices
Advanced Micro Devices cut prices on some server processors, while Intel offered instant rebates on select dual-core desktop CPUs.

More Than Half Receive At Least One Phish Daily
More than half of business PC users receive at least one phishing E-mail every day, according to a U.K.-based security company.

AT&T, Yahoo Link Web To Cingular Mobile Phones
With the deal, subscribers will have access to photos, E-mail, address books, instant messaging, and more.

Chicago Plans To Join Wi-Fi Party With Citywide Network
The Windy City is preparing to become the Wi-Fi City: Chicago plans to solicit bids from technology companies this spring to create a giant 228-square-mile hot-spot that would cover the entire city.

Low-Cost Mobile Phones Planned For 1 Billion Users
It's not just the handsets themselves, but also low-cost services that suppliers are scrambling to deliver.

Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 R2 Enters Beta
The new version of SMS, due to be shipped in May, automates the updating of third-party applications.

AOL Teams With WebEx For Enterprise IM
It's WebEx's second try at partnering with a big consumer IM vendor to get into the enterprise IM market. In 2003, WebEx partnered with Yahoo, only to have Yahoo close its enterprise business unit a few months later.

Will The U.S. Embrace Cell-Phone-As-Wallet?
Consumers can already pay for merchandise using their cell phones in South Korea and Japan, and they'll be able to do it in the United States in 18 months. But will Americans be willing?

Microsoft May Look To 'Smart Shoring'
The software giant is considering an "onshore-only" support option for new products, including its upcoming Office 2007, sources said, perhaps for an additional fee.

Google Denies Acting Unlawfully In China
The search firm is denying a Chinese newspaper's reports that it lacks the correct government license to do business in the country. A Chinese government spokesman says an official statement on the matter will be coming shortly.

All our latest news

Watch More News

In the current episode:

John Soat With 'News You Can Use'
Google Desktop search tips, bounty for Windows security flaw, RIM's BlackBerry case keeps going and going...

Eric Chabrow With 'The Problem With Patents'
Does patent enforcement harm or help business?

4. Grab Bag: News You Need From The Web

Fears Over New Mac OS X Trojan Unfounded (Ars Technica)
Compared with their Windows-using brethren, Macintosh owners have enjoyed a largely malware-free existence during the life of the Internet. Sure, there has been the occasional worm, such as 1998's AutoStart 9805 Worm, a variant of which turned up on the CD-ROMs included with the December 1998 issue of MacAddict. But virus, Trojan, and worm writers have been content to focus on the dominant operating system in order to maximize their reach.

Google Desktop Has Security Problems, Says Google (The Inquirer)
Google has admitted that its latest Google Desktop Beta has a few security risks for enterprises. Google Desktop 3 allows users to search across multiple computers for files by automatically stores copies of files, for up to a month, on Google servers.

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5. In Depth: Internet News And Analysis

Yahoo's Challenge
Yahoo faces many challenges as it tries to turn vast sums of data it has on visitors into revenue. Another challenge: that little company called Google.

E-Commerce Sales Rise In Fourth Quarter
Sales rose 23% over year-ago levels, but this was a slower pace than the third quarter's 26% year-over-year growth rate.

Amazon In Talks With Music Companies On Digital Service
Amazon is considering a subscription music service that would include a discounted portable music player bearing the Amazon brand, sources said.

Google Grabs Half Of Booming Web-Search Market
U.S. Web surfers conducted 5.1 billion searches in the last month of 2005, compared with 3.3 billion during the same period a year ago, Nielsen/NetRatings said.

6. Voice Of Authority: Browser Podcast

Podcast: The Year Of The Web Browser
Although the so-called "Browser Wars" ended around 1998, 2006 is shaping up to be an intriguing sequel. To get fully up to speed on all the many browser comings and goings, check out Scot Finnie's Targeting Technology podcast on the changing face of Web browsers and also our recent "browser wars" blockbuster review--Microsoft IE7, Firefox, And Other Browsers In Four-Way Shootout.

7. White Papers: IP Telephony

Providing Reliable Network Infrastructure For IP Telephony
IP telephony applications rely heavily on IP network infrastructure services to operate. An Infoblox-hardened appliance running multiple services in a highly reliable, centrally managed, and scalable platform provides the ideal way for a company to ensure highly reliable, secure, and manageable IP-based voice applications.

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