1. “Norton Gets A Bit Less Secure,” BusinessWeek, 12/1. Being market leader can be a tough position to hang on to. Hackers are going after dominant player Symantec’s Norton antivirus security software in a big way causing a major headache for the already troubled company as it rushes to issue patches after vulnerabilities are revealed. Symantec is still struggling to assimilate its US$10 billion year-old purchase of Veritas, a move many analysts dubbed an awkward fit.
2. “Sun To Offer Core Software Products For Free As Open-Source,” Computerworld, 11/30. Sun is making its middleware, management and Java development tools free to use as a way to interest software developers in its software. Corporate users of the Sun products will still have to pay for service and support for the software so the company thinks the no-charge aspect won’t have corporate appeal, but could entice some in-house developers to try out its offerings.
3. “HP’s Software Chief Resigns,” San Jose Mercury News, 12/1. More proof of Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd’s new broom approach to the company’s top management as another executive close to the previous HP head resigns. Nora Denzel who led HP’s software business resigned this week. Hurd has been vocal about the need for the company’s software business to shape up and improve its results. Denzel’s successor has yet to be named.
4. “BlackBerry Patent Case Is Nearer Showdown,” New York Times, 12/1. A judge’s ruling in the longrunning patent case between Research In Motion and NTP took RIM, the maker of the BlackBerry wireless e-mail device, another step closer to either renegotiating a settlement with NTP or having to shut down its service in the U.S. The judge rejected RIM’s request to reinstate an earlier out-of-court settlement reached with NTP which later dissolved. Since RIM derived an estimated 70 percent of its revenue from the U.S., analysts believe a shutdown is unlikely..
5. “Security Expert: More Sophisticated Net Attacks Likely,” PC World, 11/29. If recent cyberattacks have gotten you worried, be prepared to be seriously concerned about the potential for organized onslaughts by team of hackers backed by terrorist groups and criminal organizations. Such future coordinated attacks on a country’s electrical grid, financial, telecommunications or Internet industries could have a huge impact on a nation’s economy causing many billions of dollars in damages, according to the head of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit.
6. “Congress To Explore National E-Waste Standard,” Network World, 12/1. The U.S. Congress is investigating how to legislate to create a national standard for the disposal of electronic waste, taking advice from all parties involved from the manufacturers to consumers. One plan being considered is adding an advance recycling user fee to the price of electronic devices to cover their eventual disposal. Another alternative is encouraging consumers to return old products to the manufacturer. Meantime, Congress is working out how best to dispose of its own electronics waste.
7. “FSF Kicks Off Process To Overhaul GPL,” InfoWorld, 11/30. The Free Software Foundation had laid out the likely road map for revising the GPL (general public license) and finalizing its third version. Close to 75 percent of all free and open-source software is distributed under the GPL which was last revised in 1991. Several key areas require revision including internationalizing the GPL and reflecting changes in technology, particularly Web services. The FSF plans to release the first discussion draft of GPL 3 for comment next month.
8. “Another Blow To E-Voting Company,” Wired, 11/29. More bad news for Diebold. A judge this week declined to protect the electronic voting machine company from criminal prosecution should Diebold fail to disclose its software code as required by state law in North Carolina. The firm could be charged with a felony if it doesn’t make all of its code available for examination by election officials. Diebold may decide not to sell any new equipment in the U.S. state as a way to avoid any further legal hot water.
9. “Coming Soon: A Printer For Your TV,” InfoWorld, 12/1. You probably don’t have your printer in your living room at the moment, but Japanese vendors are betting that’s going to change as they talk up printers that can connect to digital television sets. In future, you could use the devices to print out coupons related to TV commercials or program-related information such as recipes, travel destinations and puzzles.
10. “Microsoft Tool ’Snarfs’ Up Unwanted E-mail,” InfoWorld, 12/1. Getting deluged with tons of e-mail every day, it’s hard to sort out which messages are important and which should go straight into the trash bin. The research arm of Gates Inc. released a free tool, the Social Relationship and Network Finder (SNARF), this week to ease that situation somewhat. The software uses the same database as a user’s e-mail client to count the number of times users send and receive e-mails from their contacts, thereby helping to prioritize messages.