Yahoo, Sony Shake It Up; Facebook Makes Nice
We probably have not heard the last word on the management shakeups and reorganizations from Yahoo and Sony, who both made changes this week. And it's a safe bet we haven't heard the last about Facebook's policies and how it goes about implementing them. Ditto for Microsoft's decision to sue TomTom, setting off something of a firestorm in the open-source and Linux communities.
1. Yahoo launches management restructure and Stringer shakes up Sony management, takes president position: As expected, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz restructured her management team and made changes in the company's organization. Meanwhile, Sony Chairman Howard Stringer is reorganizing his company in a plan that includes him also taking on the job of president with direct control of the electronics business.
2. Dawn of a Facebook democracy? Users invited to shape site's policies and Facebook to improve how members discover applications: After users reacted harshly to Facebook's planned site policy changes, the company decided to take a different tack and get users involved in the process of crafting policies. Separately, Facebook said this week that it is working on simplifying ways for users to find applications, given that two years after opening up to external developers, some 52,000 apps have been created for the site.
3. TomTom suit shows Microsoft's split personality: Some of the loudest IT news buzz this week was around Microsoft's patent-infringement lawsuit against TomTom, which prompted the Linux community, and others, to wonder if Microsoft really means it when it says it wants to work with the open-source community.
4. Adobe flaw used in attacks since early January and Adobe to patch Flash vulnerabilities for three platforms: The plot thickened in ongoing coverage of a dangerous, though not yet widespread, flaw in Abobe Systems' PDF reader, which was reported publicly last week. Turns out that evidence of its existence can be found dating to Jan. 9. Adobe has not released a patch for that exploit, which is expected to be more widely taken advantage of, but did patch five vulnerabilities in Flash, affecting Windows, OS X and Linux systems.
5. Just weeks after Heartland breach, another payment processor said to be hit: An as-yet-unnamed payment processing company has been hit by what sounds like yet another major breach, coming on the heels of the massive Heartland data theft. This breach apparently occurred between February of last year and January of this year. We're looking for our new payment cards to arrive any day to replace the latest ones to be compromised.
6. New Google dashboard provides downtime information: Two days after the latest outage of its Gmail service, Google followed through on a promise to make it easier for users to track which services are down and which are running, introducing the Google Apps Status Dashboard.
7. Oracle prepping broad-based social-networking suite: Oracle is working on an enterprise social-networking suite that uses technologies it developed for internal use. The company is not talking about Oracle Social Suite, but an internal case study from September did -- the study has been pulled from Oracle's site. Such a suite could be appealing to Oracle shops, and otherwise we are curious about where this will lead, given the girth of social networking and its continued seepage into the enterprise (whether enterprises like it or not).
8. Apple execs reassure shareholders at annual meeting and What if Jobs doesn't return to Apple?: Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who is on medical leave until June, was not at the company's annual shareholder meeting this week, which set off a flurry of news stories. When the floor was opened for questions, the first was whether the board has been less than forthcoming about Jobs' health with shareholders and, by the way, what is the succession plan? The board responded that a succession plan has been talked about and that information about Jobs' health has been provided, when it has been appropriate to do so. While some Apple watchers are certain Jobs will return as planned, PC World got readers talking (158 comments and counting by week's end) with a "what happens if" column.
9. Cebit sees sharp decline in vendors: We could have written this one in advance to roll out when Deutsche Messe made it official -- the number of vendors at Cebit next week will be down 26 percent from last year. Europe's premier IT event will still be mammoth -- 4,300 companies from 69 countries will be exhibiting, which is an almost-manageable number.
10. Obama's e-health plan: Three heavyweight health IT leaders weigh in: Computerworld interviewed three health IT leaders to get their views on President Barack Obama's plan to move the records of everyone in the U.S. to electronic form in the next five years, and also got their opinions on the stimulus bill's other plans involving EHRs.