1. “IBM Issues Subpoenas For Tech Giants’ SCO Dealings,”
CNET News.com, 2/22. The latest development in the long-running legal battle
between IBM and SCO over alleged intellectual property violation took an
interesting turn this week. Big Blue issued subpoenas to IT firms Microsoft,
Hewlett-Packard and Sun as well as to investment company BayStar Capital.
All four firms are required to hand over details of their respective
involvements with SCO and to appear in court in mid-March to give
2. “IT Exec Sentenced To Eight Years For Data Theft,”
InfoWorld, 2/23. The former principal owner of e-mail marketing firm
Snipermail, Scott Levine, was sentenced to eight years in prison this week
after being found guilty of stealing more than one billion data records.
Levine and others at Snipermail stole the records in 2003 from customer and
information management service provider Axciom.
3. “N.H. State Server Eyed In Possible Credit Card Data Breach,”
Computerworld, 2/22. The FBI, the Department of Justice and New Hampshire
officials are all looking into a potential security breach after the
discovery of the Cain & Abel computer worm on a state Department of Motor
Vehicles server. It’s uncertain how the worm ended up on the server since
it’s not been detected on other servers in the state network.
4. “As Court Case Looms, RIM and NTP Fight War Of Words,”
Computerworld, 2/23. The already bitter war of words between Research In
Motion and NTP intensified late this week. Each side in the four-year-old
patent infringement lawsuit tried to get a last jab in before their case was
due to go to oral argument before a federal judge on Friday. NTP claimed
that RIM, the Ontario-based provider of the wireless BlackBerry service,
along with a Canadian ministry had endeavored to subvert the U.S.
intellectual property system. For its part, RIM has been gleefully pointing
to reviews from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over NTP patent claims
that have tended to be favorable to RIM.
Read BlackBerry on the Edge for CIO’s continuing coverage of the BlackBerry debacle.
5. “Brilliant’s Wish: Disease Alerts,”
Wired, 2/23. In keeping with its vow of doing no evil, Google appointed an executive director for its new philanthropic organization. Physician and technologist Larry Brilliant is looking to use his new role as a way to rally support for the creation of a worldwide early warning IT system to help combat
infectious diseases as soon as the first cases of the infections are
detected. The system would be multilingual and trawl 20 million Web sites
for any data pointing to an early outbreak of a disease such as avian flu or
6. “Study Plays Down Export Of Computer Jobs,”
The New York Times, 2/23. The fear of vast numbers of U.S. IT jobs being outsourced abroad vastly outweighs the current reality. That’s the finding of a new study by professional body the Association for Computing Machinery. Only
between two to three percent of IT jobs in the U.S. are likely to be
offshored to countries like China and India per year over the next decade,
according to the study.
7. “Microsoft ‘Snaps” Office Into Dynamic Applications,”
InfoWorld, 2/21. Gates Inc. debuted the first four in a promised set of
tools to connect its Office software suite with its back-end Dynamics
enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications. Office users will now be
able to interact with Dynamics without leaving the desktop suite.
8. “Microsoft Posts Response Online To EU Charges,”
InfoWorld, 2/23. In a surprise move, Microsoft chose to publish its formal
response to the European Commission on the software giant’s Web site. Both
sides appear intractable over the issue of whether or not Microsoft has
fully complied with a 2004 antitrust ruling. Fed up with the closed-door
process, Gates Inc. decided to go public with its confidential filing which
reiterates its argument that the company has fully complied with the ruling.
9. “Microsoft Hit With Fresh Complaint Over Office,”
PC World, 2/22.
Gates Inc. rivals added another potential bone of contention for the
European Commission and Microsoft to wrangle over. Vendors including IBM,
Oracle, Nokia and Red Hat have formally complained to the Commission. The
firms allege that Microsoft’s business practices around Office suite and
future desktop offerings, notably its upcoming Vista operating system, are
shutting out competitors. One key issue is the software giant’s continued
refusal to disclose interoperability information for Office meaning
competing software including OpenOffice and StarOffice can’t be fully
compatible with Office.
10. “Privacy Group: US Laws Needed To Rein In Surveillance,”
Computerworld, 2/22. A privacy and civil liberties advocacy group has issued
a report suggesting that U.S. privacy legislation is lagging behind the
government’s ability to use technology to spy on people. The Center for
Democracy and Technology highlighted three technologies being used by law
enforcement agencies – keystroke logging software; location technologies
including global positioning systems and mobile phones; and the massive
digital storage services including e-mail inboxes maintained by companies
such as Google and Yahoo.
-China Martens, IDG News Service