Friday, February 09, 2007

Cisco buys social networking vendor ... Vodafone launches YouTube mobile

News: Cisco buys social networking vendor
News: Vodafone launches YouTube mobile
News: Alcatel-Lucent fourth-quarter results disappoint
News: Big set of Microsoft security patches coming Tuesday
Product Review: A first look at Windows Mobile 6
Opinion: Technological (non)predictions for 2007
Podcast: Today's IT news audio update


Cisco buys social networking vendor
Cisco Systems Inc., the biggest vendor in IP (Internet Protocol) networking, has agreed to acquire Five Across Inc., a social-networking software company in San Francisco. Terms of the acquisition, which was announced late Thursday in California, were not disclosed.

Vodafone launches YouTube mobile
In the third content deal in as many days, Vodafone Group PLC announced a service that will allow its mobile customers to view and upload videos to YouTube Inc.

Alcatel-Lucent fourth-quarter results disappoint
Alcatel-Lucent SA's revenue fell for the fourth quarter, and the company plunged into loss. The performance was disappointing, but the long-term prospects of the merger of Alcatel SA and Lucent Technologies Inc. remain positive, the company said.

Big set of Microsoft security patches coming Tuesday
Microsoft Corp. plans to release 12 sets of security patches next Tuesday fixing critical vulnerabilities in a number of its products, including the company's new security software.

Premium Vista PCs fare well in first week
Microsoft Corp.'s wish that consumers purchase the premium versions of Windows Vista rather than the most basic version of the OS may be coming true, according to the findings of a research report released Thursday.

Survey: SMBs to boost spending less this year
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in North America expect to increase their IT spending by an average of only 2 percent this year after going on a 8 percent spending spree in 2006, according to a Forrester Research Inc. survey.

Emergency responders ask lawmakers for more spectrum
Police and fire organizations called on the U.S. Congress to give them more radio spectrum for communications interoperability than the 24MHz they're due to get in early 2009.

Wall Street Beat: Vendor creativity rewarded
Market indices have declined as traders brace for a slowdown after corporate share prices rose steadily over the past seven months. But IT investors are still jumping on the bandwagon for companies that are seen making wise investments and restructuring decisions.

New pretexting bill introduced in Congress
Representatives Jay Inslee and Marsha Blackburn have introduced a law that would give the Federal Trade Commission the authority to investigate and prosecute imposters who gain access to other people's private telephone records.


A first look at Windows Mobile 6
By Sumner Lemon

Microsoft Corp.'s recently announced Windows Mobile 6 software for smart phones is a step forward for the company, offering some important improvements over previous versions of the software. But just how good is the new software? On Thursday, Microsoft offered me the chance to play with Windows Mobile 6 ahead of the 3GSM show in Barcelona, Spain, next week.


Technological (non)predictions for 2007
By Sean McGrath

The early part of any new year sees its fair share of prediction
lists. You know the sort of thing : 'In 2007, X will go mainstream'
or 'Y will finally grind technological opponent Z into the dust'.

For grins, I have taken a different tack. Here is a list of things
that I predict will not happen in 2007.


Daily IT News Audio Update
Mike Volpi, head of Cisco's routing business, resigns ... Microsoft to announce Windows Mobile 6 ... Microsoft set to issue more patches next week

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Pop-up blocker problem found in Firefox browser ... Samsung unveils touchpanel cell phone

News: Pop-up blocker problem found in Firefox browser
News: Samsung next with touchpanel cell phone
News: HP appoints new general counsel
News: Capgemini acquires Software Architects
Unix Tip: Tracking down disk usage
Podcast: Today's IT news audio update
ITwhirled: Ultraviolet light: the Barry White of the spider world


Pop-up blocker problem found in Firefox browser
A flaw in the pop-up blocker of the open-source browser Firefox could allow an attacker to access local files, according to security analysts.

Samsung next with touchpanel cell phone
Telephones with touchscreen displays that occupy most of their front face are starting to looking like the next big thing in the cell phone market. On Thursday Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. became the third company in almost as many weeks to show a handset with such a design.

HP appoints new general counsel
Hewlett-Packard Co. appointed as its new general counsel the lawyer it hired last year to conduct an independent investigation into the spying scandal at the company.

Capgemini acquires Software Architects
Capgemini SA has agreed to acquire the software services company Software Architects Inc. to expand its presence in key U.S. cities, the French IT services provider said Thursday.

Mobile ads: The next Internet gold rush?
As mobile phone executives converge on the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, which runs from Monday to Thursday, many plan to meet and discuss how they can benefit from the rush toward ad-funded mobile services.

EMC to spin off part of VMware in IPO
Three years after being bought by EMC Corp., VMware is going public. EMC announced plans Wednesday to offer 10 percent of its virtualization software subsidiary in an initial public offering.

Microsoft tweaks IE 7 for performance
Microsoft Corp. has quietly released a patch aimed at improving the performance of Internet Explorer 7's phishing filter ahead of the company's regular patching schedule, which occurs on the Tuesday of every month.

Low-cost CDMA handsets hit $30, group says
Handset makers continue to drive down the cost of CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) handsets, making them more affordable to customers in developing markets, such as India and China.

Lenovo pushes SMB notebook sales with Best Buy
In a move to sell more notebook PCs to small business buyers, Lenovo Group Ltd. said Thursday it would expand its arrangement to sell computers through Best Buy Co. Inc. stores.

ACLU slams final San Francisco Wi-Fi contract
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has turned up the political heat on EarthLink and Google's plan for Wi-Fi in San Francisco, telling the city's Board of Supervisors that the proposed contract doesn't have enough privacy or free speech protections.


Tracking down disk usage
By Sandra Henry-Stocker

Whenever you run across a root file system that's 100% full, the first thing you are likely to do is ascertain which of many directories are actually stored, rather than simply mounted, within /. Variations of the df and du command are likely to come in handy. However, the process of detailing how disk space is being used and identifying files or subdirectories that can be removed often takes a lot longer than most of us would like.

In this week's column, we'll look at a simple script that can help you
determine which directories in / are abnormally large.


Daily IT News Audio Update
EMC to take VMWare public ... Windows Mobile 6 to get mobile Office applications ... Video games could improve your vision


Ultraviolet light: the Barry White of the spider world
Turns out that jumping spiders also need the right lighting to get in the mood -- but their mood lighting is invisible to the human eye.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tivo, Amazon unveil download deal ... Samsung to pay states $90 million in DRAM case

News: Tivo, Amazon unveil download deal
News: Samsung to pay states $90 million in DRAM case
News: Lenovo resumes trading after IBM share sale
News: Texas, Minnesota eye move to ODF
Unix Tip: Last workday of the month
Podcast: Today's IT news audio update
ITwhirled: Finn to publish all text-message novel


Tivo, Amazon unveil download deal
Owners of Tivo Inc.'s popular digital video recorders (DVR) will soon be able to download films and television shows for rental and purchase from Inc., the two companies announced Wednesday.

Samsung to pay states $90 million in DRAM case
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., the world's largest DRAM (dynamic RAM) maker, agreed to pay $90 million in a DRAM price fixing suit raised by a group of state governments, the first company named in the suit to reach such an accord.

Lenovo resumes trading after IBM share sale
Shares in Lenovo Group Ltd. resumed trading on Wednesday, after being temporarily suspended due to the sale of 300 million shares by IBM Corp., the PC company's second-largest shareholder.

Texas, Minnesota eye move to ODF
Texas and Minnesota may become the second and third U.S. states to adopt Open Document Format for XML (ODF) as the standard file format for government documents instead of the file format that Microsoft Corp. uses in its Office 2007 software suite.

Apple's response not good enough for Norwegian group
Just because three major online music retailers bind their music stores to specific portable players doesn't make it acceptable, a Norwegian consumer group leading the charge against Apple Inc.'s DRM (digital rights management) policy said.

Video games can improve your vision, study finds
Researchers from the University of Rochester in New York found that people who play video games for a few hours a day over the course of a month can improve certain aspects of their vision by about 20 percent.

Hackers slow Internet root servers with attack
Online attackers have briefly disrupted service on at least two of the 13 "root" servers that are used to direct traffic on the Internet. The attack, which began Tuesday at about 5:30 a.m. Eastern time, was the most significant attack against the root servers since an October 2002 DDOS attack.

EMC to acquire Indian security software company
EMC Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Valyd Software Pvt. Ltd., a Hyderabad, India, vendor of software for securing enterprise data. EMC did not disclose the sum it will pay for Valyd, a privately held company.

RIM stays atop PDA market despite slow sales
Research in Motion Ltd. held onto its spot as the world's largest PDA (personal digital assistant) vendor, thanks to swelling demand for wireless e-mail, according to a market report released Tuesday.

AMD introduces Opteron chips that use less power
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) Wednesday announced three dual-core additions to its Opteron processor lineup that use less power than standard versions of the chip. At the same time, the company added more dual-core Opteron chips to the high end of the line.

Sun sets 10 percent operating margin goal for FY 09
Sun Microsystems Inc., buoyed by its first profitable quarter in more than a year and a half, said Tuesday it has a goal of generating an operating margin of 10 percent by its 2009 fiscal year.


Last workday of the month
By Sandra Henry-Stocker

In a column published last year, we looked at various ways to
write scripts that would only run on the last day of the month.
Determining whether an arbitrary day is the last day of the month can
be done in a number of ways, using the cal and/or the date command.
For example, if tomorrow is the first, then today must be the last day
of the month. This gets us around the complexity of months with 28,
30 or 31 days.

When a reader recently asked how to write a script that would only run
on the last workday of the month, a new twist was added to the old
problem. A day is the last workday of a month only if it's a weekday
and the following weekday falls in the next calender month. So, I
came up with two approaches to solving the new challenge.


Daily IT News Audio Update
Samsung settles DRAM suit for $90 million ... YouTube founders meet with Japanese copyright holders ... Attackers hit DNS root servers, but don't disrupt Internet


Finn to publish all text-message novel
"The Last Messages," a modern day epistolary novel consisting entirely of text messages sent by an IT exec as he travels through Europe and India, is about to hit shelves from Helsinki to Espoo. But then, what do you expect from a country whose prime minister recently dumped his girlfriend via text?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

YouTube offers concession to Japanese copyright group ... IBM sells part of its stake in Lenovo

News: YouTube offers concession to Japanese copyright group
News: Lenovo signs end-user services deal with IBM
News: IBM sells part of its stake in Lenovo
News: ITU, GSMA collaborate on developing markets
Storage Tip: Who's responsible for electronically stored information
Podcast: Today's IT news audio update
ITwhirled: Best and worst of the Internet ... from 1994


YouTube offers concession to Japanese copyright group
YouTube Inc. will start displaying a notice in Japanese on its Web site warning users against uploading copyright content, its two founders told representatives of a broad group of Japanese copyright holders on Tuesday in their first face-to-face meeting.

Lenovo signs end-user services deal with IBM
Lenovo Group Ltd. has signed a five-year deal with IBM Corp. to provide services and support to its customers. The deal, outlined in a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange Tuesday, could be worth up to US$245 million for IBM over the term of the contract.

IBM sells part of its stake in Lenovo
IBM Corp. sold off a chunk of its stake in Lenovo Group Ltd., leading the world's third-largest PC vendor to temporarily suspend trading of its shares in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

ITU, GSMA collaborate on developing markets
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an arm of the United Nations responsible for telecommunications issues, and the GSM Association (GSMA), which represents the interests of GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) operators, have agreed to collaborate in boosting mobile phone access in developing countries.

Analyst: March update should help Red Hat
The release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 in March should strengthen Red Hat Inc.'s lead in the open source software market and fend off challenges from Oracle Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc., an industry analyst said.

Cisco focuses on security products integration
Over the next few months, Cisco plans a major new release to the software that runs its Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) product. Also in the works are updates to the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), Cisco Security Agent (CSA), Cisco Security Manager (CSM), and Mitigation Analysis and Response System (MARS).

Hitachi Data to buy storage vendor Archivas
Storage systems vendor Hitachi Data Systems Corp. (HDS) will acquire storage management company Archivas Inc. Archivas sells an online storage management product, Archivas Cluster (ArC), which lets customers store, protect, and manage fixed-content data, such as document, e-mail, database, image, and audio files.

Mobile companies line up video deals
Three deals announced Monday brought prominent Hollywood figures and a major media company deeper into the business of mobile video. They will bring comedy, news and other shows to small screens later this year.

FaceTime to offer Skype management
Next month, FaceTime Communications Inc. plans to release new software that will make Skype a little easier to manage.

Bugs in Blogger prompt user complaints
Google Inc.'s Blogger service has been generating a steady stream of complaints from users this year, including hours-long outages, feature malfunctions and data loss.


Who's responsible for electronically stored information?
By David Hill, Mesabi Group

Who has responsibility for electronically stored information (ESI)? When data protection focuses on its traditional role of business continuity, the majority of responsibility was on IT and not the business functions. However, with the rise of compliance demands and new demands for governance such as mandated by changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), the question of who has responsibility becomes less clear. Your problem is avoiding getting caught in the middle.


Daily IT News Audio Update
Protests may cause disruptions in Bangalore ... FTC orders Rambus to license DRAM chips ... HP to acquire Bristol Technology


Best and worst of the Internet ... from 1994
As we end the season for year-end retrospectives, it's instructive to look at this one from the dawn of the Web. The best entertainment offerings involved games played via e-mail and gopher; there was a "worst spam" category (because there were actually few enough that we could keep track); and Cecil Adams was already building his Web presence. And this complaint from the days before not just Google, but any real search engine: "I love the Web, but finding something specific on it is a nightmare."

Monday, February 05, 2007

FTC forces Rambus to license memory chips ... Super Bowl infection much more widespread

News: FTC forces Rambus to license memory chips
News: Verizon Business makes firewall more flexible
News: Super Bowl infection much more widespread
News: Business Objects product targets midmarket
News: Microsoft: Excel vulnerable to new attack
Tip: Put Skype's security risks into perspective
Podcast: Today's IT news audio update
ITwhirled: Top 10 Internet scandals of all time


FTC forces Rambus to license memory chips
U.S. government regulators will require Rambus to license its DRAM chips to other vendors, and will cap the royalty fees Rambus can charge to both current and future DRAM manufacturers, according to an announcement Monday by the Federal Trade Commission.

Verizon Business makes firewall more flexible
Enterprises using the network-based firewall offered by Verizon Business will now be able to control it much as they would a firewall on their own networks. The global business services unit of Verizon Communications Inc. will let customers go outside the standard templates it has offered so far and tune firewall features to meet their specific needs.

Super Bowl infection much more widespread
Security experts are finding an increasing number of Web sites hosting malicious JavaScript code first detected on Super Bowl-related sites last week.

Business Objects product targets midmarket
French software maker Business Objects SA released the first of three new versions of its business intelligence software tailored for small to medium-size companies, a market area poised for growth, the company said Monday.

Microsoft: Excel vulnerable to new attack
With its February security patches now two weeks away, Microsoft Corp. is warning of another critical flaw in its Office software. This time Excel is the target.

Wait on Vista upgrade, Apple says
Apple Inc. has released a small repair tool that solves one compatibility issue between its jukebox software iTunes and Microsoft Corp.'s new operating system Windows Vista, but says PC users are better off waiting for the next version of iTunes before upgrading to Vista.

IBM eyes expanded water cooling for data centers
IBM Corp. researchers are counting on a 40 year-old technology to keep modern, state-of-the-art data centers running cool and allow companies to squeeze more computing power from the electricity they consume. Water cooling, which uses small pipes filled with distilled or deionized water to dissipate heat, was first used by IBM to cool mainframe computers during the 1960s.

Oracle extends reach of its enterprise search software
Oracle has shipped the first major upgrade to the stand-alone enterprise search software it debuted last year, emphasizing new links to third-party data sources and identity management systems.

Virtualization vendors target smaller businesses
As large enterprises embrace the concept of virtualization to more efficiently manage their information technology systems, vendors are now targeting the small to medium-sized market.

Users, analysts: No rush to adopt Exchange 2007
Windows Vista isn't the only recently released Microsoft Corp. software that will give users headaches when they upgrade their systems. Corporate users, partners and analysts said upgrading to Exchange Server 2007 from previous versions also may be a lengthy and painful process for companies, which may want to take a wait-and-see approach to the new software.

Transmeta turns to technology licensing model
Transmeta Corp. will stop offering engineering services in order to focus entirely on developing and licensing intellectual property, the Santa Clara developer of chip technologies said on Monday.


Put Skype's security risks into perspective
By Brent Huston, MicroSolved

Skype tends to bring out the extremes in the security community. They tend to hate Skype or love it. Few stand in the middle. While Skype use can create quite a bit of traffic on the network, and allow unmanaged inside to outside communications, it is hardly a high-risk application. Why the fear?


Daily IT News Audio Update
Shareholders file lawsuit against Dell ... Paris to give students open source software on USB memory sticks ... PlayStation 2 outsells PlayStation 3 in Japan


She's a 10
Top 10 Internet scandals of all time ... Top 10 most annoying movie kids ... Top 10 great American towns ... Top 10 most anticipated games of 2007 ... Top 10 strangest/coolest NES mods