by CIO Staff

The Week’s Top 10 IT News Stories: Internet Governance, Microsoft’s Supercomputing Vision and More

Nov 18, 20055 mins
IT Governance

1. Gates Outlines Supercomputing Vision, Computerworld, 11/15

Microsoft is dipping its toes into an area of technology it hasn’t played in much before—supercomputing, long the realm of Unix and Linux systems and academia and governments. According to Bill Gates, Microsoft is reaching out to the supercomputing world to find out how the company can play a role in that area, particularly since the problems faced by ultra high-end computing and the kind of mass computing Microsoft is most familiar with are pretty similar.

2. Google Base Debuts for Hosting All Content, PC World, 11/16

The search company has begun public beta tests of Google Base, an extension to its existing content collection efforts to encompass all types of content both online and offline. A company official described the new service as another step toward Google’s vision of creating an online database of easily searchable and structured data, not a specific online classified-ads service as was rumored late last month.

3. Microsoft and Cisco: Ready to Rumble? BusinessWeek, 11/15While Microsoft versus Google is the fight to watch right now, another combatant is limbering up on the sidelines, networking equipment behemoth Cisco. The two do partner fairly closely, but more and more they look likely to get into turf battles in a variety of areas including security software and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service. While Microsoft continues to position the PC as the center of intelligence for computing systems, Cisco is putting more and more smarts into the network instead.4. U.S., E.U. Remain at Odds over Net Governance, Computerworld, 11/16

Tunis, Tunisia was the venue this week for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and the battleground for the United States and the European Union to debate the thorny topic of Internet governance. The pair did reach an agreement, but both sides came away with very different interpretations of what that agreement meant. For the United States, the view was that things would essentially stay the same with the United States continuing its control of the Internet, while the EU read the agreement as opening the door for debate on Internet governance by countries around the world.

5. Sony Pulls Copy-Protected CDs from Shelves, InfoWorld, 11/16

Sony finally bowed to pressure that had built up over the past two weeks in response to its controversial decision to copy-protect some of its CDs through the use of rootkit software which installs on a user’s hard disk. The company said it would remove all such CDs from stores after malicious software begun to surface that exploited the software leaving a user’s computer open to attack.

6. Computer Associates Rebrands as CEO Speaks of ‘New CA’, InfoWorld, 11/14

Acronyms maketh a company new, at least that’s what CA is hoping. The software giant is dumping the longer version of its name, Computer Associates, in favor of its abbreviated form CA, in the hopes of also turning its back on a very troubled past. An accounting scandal at the company led to the purging of many of its top managers, leaving new CEO John Swainson the task of rebuilding confidence in CA with both customers and partners. Not surprisingly, the company’s new tagline is “Believe Again.”

7. Sun Paints Niagara Green for Launch, InfoWorld, 11/14

Suggesting customers could cut back on global warming and save a lot of walnut trees might not be the typical way to sell a new processor, but that’s what Sun did in launching its UltraSparc T1 chip. Formerly known as Niagara, Sun is hoping the multithreaded, multi-core chip may sway non-Sparc users to move over to its architecture due to the processor’s much vaunted low power consumption. However, all Sun had to show was the chip, the servers it will power are not due to appear until early December.

8. Silicon Valley’s Call: Smarten Up, America! BusinessWeek, 11/17

When a bunch of leading technology luminaries get together, it’s usually to announce some vendor partnership, but this time around the high-tech executives were calling for measures to stimulate innovation in the United States. The likes of Cisco’s John Chambers, Yahoo’s Jerry Yang and venture capitalist John Doerr spoke up against the country’s neglected education system and patchy access to broadband technology among other issues as endangering the U.S.’s future capacity to innovate.>/p>

9. Net Will Enable Interactivity with Common Objects, InfoWorld, 11/17

The days of your clothes telling your washing machine what setting to wash them on aren’t as far off as you might think. Ubiquitous network connectivity is fast approaching thanks to rapid advances in four key technologies—RFID (radio frequency identification) tags, sensors, embedded intelligence and nanotechnology, according to a report titled “The Internet of Things” released this week.

10. High-Tech Photos Give New Meaning to ‘Talking Pictures’, CNET, 11/17

Ever forgotten the people or places in your photos? Italian startup Zanetti Studios is working on a new photo printer, Speekysmart, that could solve that problem. The printer imprints a magnetic strip of recordable tape to the side of a photo which can capture four to five seconds of conversation or music recorded at the moment the image was taken.