by CIO Staff

Top 10 IT News Stories of the Week: IBM, RIM, Microsoft

Feb 24, 20065 mins
MobileOpen SourceSmall and Medium Business

1. “IBM Issues Subpoenas For Tech Giants’ SCO Dealings,”

CNET, 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

depositions. 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