Business Software

The Top 10 Stories in IT This Week

The Stuxnet worm, and its possible target, captured headlines this week and left us feeling queasy about the future of cyberwar. Fortunately, Oracle OpenWorld was also this week, providing the anticipated stream of stories to our IT news diet.

1. Was Stuxnet built to attack Iran's nuclear program? and How to plan an industrial cyber-sabotage operation: A look at Stuxnet: Emerging details about the sophisticated Stuxnet worm, which targets industrial systems, continue to lend credence to the growing consensus that a new era of cyberwar is unfolding like the plot of a spy novel.

2. Oracle gets cloud religion and HP's botched OpenWorld keynotes: What went wrong: While Oracle made its splash into cloud computing -- after CEO Larry Ellison mocked cloud jargon a year ago -- during its OpenWorld conference, the company also got a first-hand look at how Twitter is used these days by audience members who decide a keynote speech is dull.

3. Netezza buy further defines IBM's analytics bent: IBM showed again how serious it is about creating a "business analytics" market, by buying data warehouse vendor Netezza for US$1.7 billion.

4. Oracle, HP settle Hurd litigation, affirm partnership: Oracle and HP settled a lawsuit filed after Mark Hurd, who was ousted at HP, was named Oracle's co-president. The companies also sought to "reaffirm" a long-running partnership they have -- Ellison had suggested that HP's lawsuit against Oracle could strain that relationship.

5. FBI investigating 'here you have' worm: The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the "Here you have" worm, which disrupted corporate e-mail a couple of weeks ago, and may be the work of a Libyan hacker who is part of a cyber-Jihad group that aims to break into U.S. Army systems.

6. Gartner: Global 'IT debt' hits $500 billion, on the way to $1 trillion: Gartner says that global IT debt -- or the amount of maintenance that companies need to undertake to update all applications -- has hit US$500 billion and could be at $1 trillion by 2015.

7. FCC opens up 'white spaces' spectrum to mobile devices: After an eight-year debate over opening up unused spectrum in the television band to wireless devices, the U.S. Federal Communication Commission gave its unanimous approval to the move, which the FCC says will give residents access to "super Wi-Fi."

8. China's 'big hole' marks scale of supercomputing race: The current race among nations to build supercomputing centers is reminiscent of other scientific races of historic note.

9. Panasonic's robot gives a 16-finger, automated hair washing: Panasonic showed off the latest robots in its move into that market, with focus on robotics that would be used in assisted living and health-care facilities. One robot uses 16 electronically controlled fingers to wash and rinse hair.

10. EMC to help digitize Baseball Hall of Fame collections: Some digital news for those of us who relate to the great second-baseman Roger Hornsby's sentiments about the end of baseball season: "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."

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