by CIO Staff

Top 10 IT News Stories of the Week: HP’s Hurd Knew of Planned Deception

Sep 22, 20066 mins

Fraud / deception / social engineering  >  A wolf in sheep's clothing in a binary environment.
Credit: Joss Dim / Aleksei Derin / Getty Images

1. “Report: HP CEO Hurd Knew Of Planned Deception,”, 9/21. As more details emerge about Hewlett-Packard’s investigations into board-level leaks of confidential information, the more fantastic the whole response by both the company and third-party investigators becomes. E-mails leaked to newspapers are revealing a bizarre plot apparently sanctioned by HP Chairman Patricia Dunn to create a fake company insider who would approach a journalist to discover who at HP was the source of the leaks from the board to the media. At issue in all the developments is who knew what when and the latest revelations appear to imply that HP Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd was in the know along with Dunn.

2. “Symantec Up In Arms Over Vista Security Features,”, 9/21. As Microsoft has moved into Symantec’s home turf of security software, relations have become further strained between the two companies. Symantec executives are now predicting that customers may find it harder to get their security software to work properly with the next release of Microsoft’s client operating system, Windows Vista. Two features being introduced with Vista — an improved Windows Security Center and a new PatchGuard feature in the 64-bit version of Vista — could make it harder for users to deploy third-party software, according to Symantec.

3. “Security Measures Seen Doing More Harm Than Good,”, 9/18. Many of the security measures governments put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the U.S. aren’t achieving their purported purpose of protecting citizens. Some measures, according to security consultants, are even putting populations at greater risk, citing the radio-frequency identification (RFID) passport system proposed by the U.S. which could be abused by terrorists to construct bombs. Other measures have led the an erosion of democratic freedoms, the consultants said, pointing to legislation like the U.S. Patriot Act which are poorly understood by citizens in terms of both the Act’s provisions and its implications.

4. “Microsoft Tests YouTube Competitor,”, 9/19. The software giant is beta testing Soapbox, its own rival offering to established online video-sharing services like YouTube and Google Video. Like its competitors, Soapbox will enable users to both upload videos to the Web in practically any digital video form as well as tagging and categorizing the videos so other people can easily find them. Unlike YouTube, Microsoft’s Soapbox service will allow users to watch videos and browse for other clips at the same time on the same screen. Initially, Microsoft won’t look to generate revenue through online ads on Soapbox, but hopes to feature advertising through the service in the future.

5. “Toshiba Offers To Exchange 340K Sony-Made Batteries,”, 9/19. Another week, another laptop battery recall and yes, the lithium ion batteries at fault also come from Sony, the supplier involved in both the Dell and Apple recalls. However, this time around, notebook vendor Toshiba insists the batteries don’t pose a fire hazard, instead the defective components can unexpectedly cut power to the computers meaning that users can lose their unsaved work. Due to corrosion caused by an ingredient in batteries’ insulating paper, the affected components may fail to charge correctly resulting in a sudden cut off of power if the laptop isn’t connected to a mains outlet.

6. “Motorola To Buy Symbol Technologies For $3.9B,”, 9/19. Acquiring wireless mobile device developer Symbol should help Motorola better meet the needs of enterprise handheld device users, with the deal set to close later this year or early in 2007. While Symbol specializes in networks and devices that can be used inside buildings such as bar code scanners used in warehouses, Motorola has focused on developing equipment for external networks. Motorola plans to add cellular and WiMax capabilities to Symbol devices so they can function over wide area network outside of buildings.

7. “Google Forms Political Pressure Group,”IT World, 9/19. The latest development from the search company is the establishment of Google NetPAC, a political action committee to encourage the U.S. Congress to embrace legislation that benefits the vendor. One of the key issues the new group will focus on is pushing forward legislation on network neutrality to force broadband providers to be even-handed in their treatment of all network traffic, not preferentially favoring their own traffic. Other issues on Google NetPAC’s agenda are likely to include Internet privacy, stock-option accounting, law-enforcement access to search engine records and copyright protection. Microsoft, Yahoo, and eBay are some of the IT companies that already have their own political action committees.

8. “Novell Faces Nasdaq Delisting,”

CIO,com, 9/21. Not the best of weeks for either Novell or Dell. Both companies received letters from the Nasdaq stock market warning their delayed quarterly filings place them in danger of having their shares delisted from the exchange. In each case, the IT vendors have appealed the decision, a move which automatically stays the delistings until a Nasdaq listing qualifications panel reviews the appeals.

9. “A Needy Napster Searches For Takers,”BusinessWeek, 9/19. The subscription online music download service is looking for a white knight to either act as a strategic partner or acquire it completely. Napster is suffering from the success of Apple’s iTunes and RealNetworks’ Rhapsody rival dominant services and the threat of Microsoft’s entry into the market later this year with its Zune media players and download service.

10. “’Intel, UCSB: Silicon Laser Could Replace Copper Wiring In PCs,”, 9/18. At the moment, PCs rely on copper wire interconnects to move data around, but researchers from Intel and the University of California at Santa Barbara have come up with an alternative. The researchers have found a way to build low-cost so-called “laser chips” able to move data much faster than today’s interconnects opening the door to more high-performance computing applications which could take advantage of that infrastructure. The chips are a combination of indium phosphide and silicon, while the indium phosphide constantly emits light, the silicon can amplify and direction that light.

-China Martens, IDG News Service (Boston Bureau)

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