1. Gartner: CIOs Should Prepare for Second Internet, Computerworld Australia, 12/9.
Chief information officers need to pay close attention to the new generation of Web technologies such as blogging and podcasting in order to ready innovation in those areas to challenge their competitors, according to analysts at market research company Gartner. That close watch on the latest Internet tools topped the firm’s suggested New Year’s resolutions for CIOs with other recommendations for kick starting a major software as a service pilot within their organization and revisiting existing relationships with both their CEOs and CFOs.
2. Now Microsoft Wagers on India, BusinessWeek, 12/8.
Taking a page out of the playbooks of Cisco and Intel, Microsoft became the latest IT titan to commit to a huge investment in India, to the tune of US$1.7 billion over the coming four years. Like its peers, Microsoft has had operations in India for years, but this new investment will see the company double its current 3,000-strong Indian work force.
3. Microsoft Fined US$32M By South Korea, Network World, 12/7.
Not such a happy story for Microsoft elsewhere in the world this week with South Korea’s antitrust regulator fining the software giant US$32 million for violations of fair trade regulations. The copmany plans to appeal and is confident that it will ultimately prevail. In the meantime, the regulator has ordered Microsoft to offer two versions of its Windows operating system in South Korea, one unbundling the company’s Media Player and instant messaging software from the OS.
4. Sun Goes Open Route to Broaden Appeal of New Chip, InfoWorld, 12/6.
Another week, another major piece of Sun’s technology to become available for free. This time, instead of software, the company announced plans to publish the specifications for its new chip, the UltraSparc T1, formerly codenamed Niagara. Sun’s hope is that third parties will improve on the processor’s design and produce their own chips. The dream scenario would be for Sun to then buy up those companies and their R&D, according to CEO Scott McNealy.
5. RIM and NTP Trying to Mediate Their Dispute, Computerworld, 12/8.
Research In Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry wireless e-mail device, is again talking to NTP, the company that sued RIM over alleged patent infringements. The pair are looking to resolve their ongoing legal dispute through discussions with a court-appointed mediator in order to head off a potential injunction which could halt the BlackBerry service in the United States.
6. For AOL, It’s Decision Time, BusinessWeek, 12/7.
After months of rumors and speculation, Time Warner’s troubled America Online Internet business is readying itself to announce its joint venture partner. The big question, as yet unanswered, is the identity of that white knight—will it be Microsoft or Google? Analysts are betting Redmond will emerge the winning suitor for AOL’s hand.
7. Phony E-Mail Tricks EBay, PCWorld, 12/6.
Phishing attacks are becoming much more sophisticated with one such attack even fooling the online auction house’s own fraud investigation team, which initially endorsed it as a legitimate eBay e-mail. In fact, the e-mail message was bogus, directing the recipient to a fake eBay Web site where it requested the individual’s eBay user account details. The e-mail bore an extremely close resemblance to the legitimate messages eBay typically sends out and shutting down the bogus web site proved extremely difficult given its complex hosting set-up.
8. Coming Soon: Indium Antimonide Valley? Computerworld, 12/7.
Chip giant Intel is working on developing a new type of transistor that doesn’t rely on the traditional silicon, but two other elements instead—indium and antimony. The transistors would form the basis for a future generation of chips with improved performance. When indium and antimony are combined to make a transistor, the transistor can run about 50 percent faster and use around 10 times less power than today’s silicon transistors, according to Intel researchers.
9. Growing Pains for Wikipedia, CNET News.com, 12/5.
Being a pioneer in a field has its upside and its downside. Recently, the highly successful anyone-can-edit free online encyclopedia Wikipedia has been hit with major criticism over some of the contributions on its site, particularly in relation to one of its listings that suggested a former assistant to Robert Kennedy may have been involved in the assassinations of both RFK and his brother John F. Kennedy. In response, Wikipedia said it plans to change the process involved in publishing information on its site so the data can be better vetted by its own fact checkers.
10. Could Chips in Chickens Track Avian Flu? PCWorld, 12/6.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags might be able to act as an early warning system for avian flu, according to Digital Angel, a company that specializes in implantable microchips for animals. Biothermal RFID chips could indicate temperature spikes in a sample of chickens, one key indicator of a possible outbreak of the disease which to date can only be identified by visual means. A variant of the technology designed for humans and used in combination with a GPS scanner may end up replacing dog tags for soldiers so that officers could track both the location and health of all their soldiers.