This was quite a week for big IT news, what with Google announcing it plans to release the Chrome operating system and the attack on U.S. government, South Korean and other Web sites from a botnet whose origin remained unknown as of this writing. And those were just the stories that scored the biggest headlines.
1. Google Chrome OS coverage, FAQ: The Google Chrome OS riddle, Google Chrome OS shows limitations of Android and PC makers downplay Google Chrome OS interest: We couldn’t pick just a couple of the Chrome OS stories that appeared on IDG news sites this week (and that we’ve continued to report and write), so we offer three landing pages that include Chrome OS news coverage, opinion pieces and analyses, as well as a detailed FAQ.
2. Online attack hits U.S. government Web sites, Security Blanket blog posts and Was North Korea behind the DDOS attack?: Cyberattacks took down U.S. government Web sites and South Korean sites, among others, this week. While fingers pointed at North Korea as the likely source of the malevolent code, that was purely a guess and by week’s end the origin of the attacks remained unknown.
3. Study: Social Security numbers are predictable: Social Security numbers are assigned based on mailing addresses, birth dates, and such, so that algorithms can be used to predict them, which means that the wealth of personal data that is easily available at, for instance, social-networking sites could make a whole lot of people vulnerable to identity theft.
4. Microsoft admits it knew of critical IE bug in early ’08: Microsoft knew about an Internet Explorer bug that has been widely exploited for more than a year, the company admitted, but went on to defend its security process amid the din of critics.
5. Google scrubs Apps clean of beta labels: At last! Google decided it would take the “beta” tag off of Gmail, Calendar, Docs and Talk to appease IT managers and CIOs who are vexed by that label.
6. EMC wins scrap over Data Domain: Another at last! EMC won the bidding war with NetApp to buy de-duplication vendor Data Domain for US$2.1 billion.
7. Twitter blocks users affected by Koobface: Twitter suspended user accounts that are infected with the Koobface virus, which spread by checking to see who is logged into a social network and then posts fake messages to try to get friends to click on the links, which go to malicious Web sites.
8. Chinese Web addicts get boot camp, therapy: Here’s the creepy story of the week — some Chinese parents send their teenagers to a boot-camp rehabilitation center to cure them of their Internet addiction. Although Internet addiction has not been officially labeled a clinical pathology, we have no doubt it is a problem for many Web users. However, we have to wonder about a program that judges success based on whether the parents are satisfied, given general levels of satisfaction that parents tend to have with teenagers.
9. Semantic Web technology to get update: Our nuts-and-bolts news of the week is word from the World Wide Web Consortium that SPARQL, the query technology for the Semantic Web, is going to be updated with improvements for application development.
10. Report: DOJ reviewing U.S. telecom deals with handset makers: The U.S. Department of Justice has started looking into the exclusive deals some services providers such as AT&T and Verizon have to offer mobile handsets, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.