This week brought a mix of IT news. Oracle was forced to issue an emergency patch for buggy software after details of the flaw became public. Yahoo continued to shed excess business units and sold its HotJobs division. Nexus One users finally have some multitouch functions after Google issued an update for the smartphone. Also, check out an interview with Eugene Kaspersky of security company Kaspersky Lab, and a package on business intelligence if your company is looking to delve deeper into data analysis.
1. With bug public, Oracle rushes out WebLogic fix: Oracle was forced to issue a patch for its WebLogic application server after Russian security company Intevydis released details on the exploit before notifying Oracle. The vulnerability affects servers running Windows, Linux and Unix, and could potentially lead to a full compromise of the system, Oracle said. In a blog posting, Oracle strongly recommended that customers apply the patch as soon as possible. Intevydis does not alert companies about flawed software prior to publicly disclosing the issue since that method "allows vendors to exploit security [researchers] to do QA work for free," according to the company's CEO.
2. Obama budget halts IT growth, cuts data centers: U.S. President Barack Obama looks to incorporate traits from the private sector's use of technology into the federal government IT system without spending additional money, according to the 2011 budget he released. In the budget, which increases federal IT spending by only 1.2 percent to US$79.4 billion, Obama criticized the government's IT department for not delivering the results seen in private industries that adopt the same technology. The budget also calls for reducing IT spending by reducing data centers and consolidating IT services by using cloud computing and virtualization.
3. Nexus One update fixes 3G problem, adds multitouch: Google will issue an update for its Nexus One smartphone after users complained that 3G connectivity issues troubled the device. The update will also add multitouch support for some phone functions. The phone's browser, photo and map applications will now have the pinch-to-zoom functionality, the lack of which irked phone users.
4. NJ judge issues mixed order on use of e-voting machines: E-voting supporters and critics both claimed wins after a New Jersey judge issued an opinion on a lawsuit that seeks to end the use of e-voting machines from Sequoia Voting Systems. The judge found the e-voting machines reliable and safe, but also ordered a panel of computer experts to re-evaluate the state's 11,000 e-voting machines and determine if the devices should continue to be used. In a statement, Sequoia said the ruling backs the company's claims about producing safe voting devices, while plaintiffs praised the judge's order for a re-evaluation.
5. Reported Google-NSA alliance sets off privacy alarms: Google sent Internet privacy advocates into a conniption after the Washington Post reported that the company allegedly recruited the U.S. National Security Agency to help investigate the recent cyberattacks that China supposedly launched. The proposed deal will allow Google to work with the NSA to bolster its defenses, but the government will not have access to any user search information or e-mail accounts. Google and the NSA would not comment on the reported alliance, but privacy groups reacted with alarm to the possibility of a spy agency and major data holder pairing up.
6. Yahoo sells HotJobs to Monster for $225 million: Yahoo will sell its HotJobs Web site to Monster Worldwide, which offers job-hunting services as well as job listings, for $225 million. The sale reflects a strategy by Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz to focus on growing Yahoo, which has been losing share to Google and Microsoft in Internet search, and exit peripheral businesses. The realignment also includes a deal that outsources Yahoo's Web search functions to Microsoft while Yahoo handles premium search advertising sales for the companies.
7. DOJ: Thumbs down again to Google book search settlement: Google's efforts to create a digital library face another challenge after the U.S. Department of Justice issued a filing against the revised settlement in a copyright lawsuit between Google and authors and publishers. The DOJ said the revised agreement didn't address any of the government's concerns from the original settlement. The revised agreement grants rights that violate fundamental copyright principle and may give Google "anticompetitive advantages," the DOJ said. While a U.S. District Court judge will ultimately rule on the revised settlement, the DOJ's filing could mean that the government will challenge the settlement's legality if the court approves the measure.
8. Kaspersky: Google hack takes spotlight from Russia: Russia is perceived as a cybercrime hotspot, but Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder and CEO of Moscow-based antivirus software company Kaspersky Lab, notes that "malware doesn't have a passport." Internet crime originates from China, Latin America and the U.S. as well as Moscow. Kaspersky discussed this topic as well as the challenges of starting a technology company in Russia in an interview with IDG News Service.
9. Asustek plans Eee Book e-reader and tablet PC to rival iPad: The iPad may have a rival from the company that championed the netbook. Asustek Computer looks to release an e-reader and tablet PC in the second half of 2010. While the company didn't offer details about its new hardware, company CEO Jerry Shen said Asustek will seek content partners once its tablet PC goes to market.
Data warehousing vendors squabble over best way forward with flash memory, BI's Dirty Secret: Better Tools Are No Match for Bad Strategy and The Gap: BI better in enterprisewide deployment: The importance of using data analysis in business decisions will foster even greater demand for BI (business intelligence) use in the coming years, according to CIOs and industry analysts. A package developed by IDG reporters explores this topic with pieces on the growth of BI cloud computing applications, why clothing retailer The Gap opted for a companywide BI deployment, the use of flash memory as companies look to quickly access data and how CIOs can handle the increased need for BI tools and software.