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Showing posts from October, 2010

Cloud Creates SIEM Blind Spot

Current SIEM and log management approaches for network and security devices are 'moot' in the cloud

Oct 27, 2010 | 06:00 PM
By Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer DarkReading

After spending buckets of money and years of intense human resources on the deployment of comprehensive security information and event monitoring (SIEM) tools and techniques, many organizations are seeing these precious investments lose much of their value in the rush to reach for the cloud.

Public cloud initiatives and, to some degree, even virtualization deployments are adding security black holes to the enterprise security monitoring framework. No "light" of visibility goes in or out of these blind spots.

To maintain security standards within increasingly distributed, virtualized, and outsourced IT infrastructure, enterprises will have to adjust if they want to understand the events that affect their infrastructure and the flow of users and data across the traditional enterprise network pe…

India's IT aims to soften image as Obama visits Wed, Oct 27 2010

By Tony Munroe and Peter Henderson

MUMBAI/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -
U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to India puts the spotlight on its $60 billion IT sector, which argues it is a creator of jobs in the United States and should not be blamed for high unemployment.

An increase in U.S. visa fees, a ban on offshoring by the state of Ohio and the industry's portrayal in campaign ads as a drain of U.S. jobs has set a frosty tone ahead of Obama's visit to India in early November.

Obama is expected to visit Mumbai, India's financial hub and the centre of the 2008 militant attacks. U.S. officials say much of the trip's focus will be boosting trade that is expected to double in five years from the current level of $50 billion.

But it is a sign of the times that Obama is not expected to visit Bangalore, the country's technology hub. Nor is he expected to visit Hyderabad, another Indian IT hotbed, where his predecessor, George W. Bush, stopped in a 2006 vis…

Internet accounts for 7.2% of British economy: study Oct 28 05:28 AM US/Eastern

The Internet contributed 100 billion pounds (155 billion dollars, 115 billion euros) to the British economy last year, about 7.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), a report showed Thursday.

The sector is bigger than the construction, transport or utilities industries in Britain, according to the study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which was commissioned by the British arm of Internet giant Google.

The research also predicted that by 2015, the British 'Internet economy' is likely to grow to 10 percent of GDP, eclipsing the financial sector.

"The Internet is pervasive in the UK economy today, more so than in most advanced countries," said Paul Zwillenberg, a partner with BCG in London.

"Whether they are driving international expansion, improving their interactions with customers or the efficiency of their supply chains, UK companies are increasingly embracing the Internet's potential."

Much of the growth is driven by consumption, the majorit…

Texas Sends Amazon a $269 Million Sales Tax Bill

By SARAH WEINMAN Posted 9:25 AM 10/25/10 Company News, Media, Amazon.com, Taxes, Retail, Books

As states grapple with increasingly squeezed budgets, one simmering battle -- trying to collect sales taxes from retailing behemoth Amazon (AMZN) -- has heated up considerably over the past year. The jury's still out on how much money states like Rhode Island and North Carolina (which is thick in litigation with Amazon over this very issue) will get from online sales-tax initiatives. But Texas has issued its own bill to Amazon -- to the tune of $269 million.

Although the state evidently said its bill, for uncollected sales taxes from December 2005 to December 2009 with extra interest and penalties, was sent to Amazon in August, The Dallas Morning News reported that the matter wasn't made public until Amazon released its latest quarterly report on Friday. The hefty tax bill was tucked away while the company trumpeted much better news of $7.56 billion in revenue and a 16% jump in earni…

Google admits that its Street View cars DID take emails and passwords from computers

By Vanessa Allen

Last updated at 11:58 PM on 24th October 2010

Google was accused of spying on households yesterday after it admitted secretly copying passwords and private emails from home computers. The internet search giant was forced to confess it had downloaded personal data during its controversial Street View project, when it photographed virtually every street in Britain.

In an astonishing invasion of privacy, it admitted entire emails, web pages and even passwords were 'mistakenly collected' by antennae on its high-tech Street View cars.Privacy campaigners accused the company of spying and branded its behaviour
'absolutely scandalous'. The Information Commissioner's Office said it would launch a new investigation. Scotland Yard is already considering whether the company has
broken the law.

Google executive Alan Eustace issued a grovelling apology and said the company was 'mortified', adding: 'We're acutely aware that we failed badly.' C…

Mozilla Championing Open Web Apps Could Threaten Firefox

Mozilla Labs is working towards building a web app system that would let developers deploy apps across browsers and platforms.

By Jim Rapoza, InformationWeek
Oct. 20, 2010

Many people have said that we are now moving from a web of sites to a web of apps. And recent announcements by two major web players seem to be pushing the move to an application centric web.

Mozilla announced on Tuesday a new labs initiative called Open Web Apps. This follows closely on the heels of Google's announcement of a Chrome Store for apps.

Of the two, the announcement that I find most intriguing is Mozilla's Open Web Apps, and yes, it is because of that overused term "open." And that's because, to a large degree, Mozilla seems to really mean it.

One of the biggest aspects of the Mozilla Open Web App ecosystem is their plan to make sure that the apps created this way will run across web browsers and platforms. So that means you could build an app on this platform and have it run on Fir…

Health Coverage Tax Credits Strain IRS Capacity

Washington, D.C.
(October 19, 2010)

By WebCPA Staff

The Internal Revenue Service's ability to process the growing number of Health Coverage Tax Credit claims under the 2009 stimulus bill is doubtful,leading to questions about the agency's ability to handle its new responsibilities under the new health care reform law.

A new report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration concluded that the IRS successfully and promptly expanded the Health Coverage Tax Credit as required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, but predicted the IRS will have difficulty in handling significant increases in the number of monthly enrolled participants.

The HCTC is a refundable tax credit created in 2002 to assist certain workers who lost their jobs due to foreign trade, and retirees who receive payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The TIGTA report found that the IRS successfully increased the federal government's subsidy for the HCTC from 65 to…

Microsoft Partners: Ozzie's Shoes Will Be Tough To Fill

By Kevin McLaughlin, CRN 9:38 PM EST Mon. Oct. 18, 2010

Ray Ozzie is Microsoft's top visionary, an executive who at one time was seen as a possible successor to Bill Gates. So it's not surprising that his decision to step down as chief software architect would have a disquieting effect on channel partners, particularly since Microsoft doesn't plan on replacing him.

Ozzie, the architect of Microsoft's Windows Azure platform-as-a-service, and other cloud initiatives such as Live Mesh, has played a behind-the-scenes role at microsoft that hasn't included much interaction with channel partners. Nonetheless, partners are well aware of the guiding role Ozzie has played in Microsoft's SaaS and cloud computing business and they're curious about who will handle that leadership role in the future.

"When Bill Gates left, Ray Ozzie was a logical choice to fill his shoes," said Ken Winell, CEO of ExpertCollab, a Microsoft solution provider in Florham Park, N.…

Jobs blasts rivals as iPad sales disappoint

By Gabriel Madway

SAN FRANCISCO | Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:39am EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs went on the offensive on Monday after a rare disappointment in sales by the iPad maker sent its shares tumbling, but even his biting words failed to reverse market sentiment.

Jobs, who has not addressed investors on an earnings call for two years, lashed out at competitors Google Inc and Research in Motion and dismissed the smaller tablets made by rivals such including Samsung and Dell.

"The current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA, dead on arrival," Jobs told analysts on the conference call. "Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small."

Shares of Apple -- the second-largest corporation on the Standard & Poor's 500 index, after Exxon Mobil -- slid 6 percent in after-hours trading, which would be their biggest single-day loss since 2008.

Supply and production bottlenecks kept iPads, which have a 9.…

Exposed: 3 more bogus myths about the private cloud

David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog:

Earlier this week, I described three bogus myths about the private cloud perpetuated by private-cloud vendors. But public-cloud vendors are doing their best to create FUD about their competitors, spreading bogus myths about private clouds -- which is causing confusion for IT.

So that you don't get fooled and waste countless dollars and hours pursuing a silly public cloud strategy rather than a sensible private-cloud strategy, here are the top three myths about the private cloud promulgated by the public cloud vendors. (For the record, both public clouds and private clouds are necessary. I'm favor of using each where it makes sense.)

Public cloud myth 1: Private clouds are not clouds at all

I get it: Private clouds are not consumed from an outside provider using massive amounts of IT resources that you don't own. Thus, it's difficult to say that private clouds provide the same elasticity and value as public clouds. Right? Wr…

Will WP7 force Google to get its act together over Android?

By Adrian Kingsley-Hughes | October 12, 2010, 9:51am PDT

If analyst predictions are to be believed, Android is set to have a good 12 months. But the OS is far from being a perfect mobile platform, especially where the average consumer is concerned. Will Microsoft's new Windows Phone
7 platform help Google focus on making Android better?

So, what's the problem with Android? Well, Brian X. Chen says it all really:

By contrast, Google doesn't subject manufacturers to similar testing criteria. And we're seeing the consequences: Some touchscreens work better than others, some apps don't work on one version of Android while they do on another, and some manufacturers are even cramming bloatware onto Android devices.

Most importantly, a consistent user experience will help customers understand what they're getting when they're shopping for a Windows phone.

The OS is going to be the same with identical features on every handset, so as a consumer, your de…

IRS Defers Requirement for Reporting Health Coverage Costs

Washington, D.C.
(October 12, 2010)

By WebCPA Staff

The Internal Revenue Service has released a draft Form W-2 for 2011, which employers use to report wages and employee tax withholding.

Like what you see? Click here to sign up for WebCPA's daily newsletter to get the latest news and behind the scenes commentary you won't find anywhere else.

The IRS also announced Tuesday that it will defer the new requirement for employers to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan, making that reporting by employers optional in 2011.

The draft Form W-2 includes the codes that employers may use to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan. The Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that this relief is necessary to provide employers the time they need to make changes to their payroll systems or procedures in preparation for compliance with the new reporting requirement. The IRS will be publishing guidance on the new re…

Google Fires Back at Oracle over Android Lawsuit

By: Clint Boulton 2010-10-06

Google denied Oracle's claims of patent and copyright infringement related to its use of Java in Android and countered that the company is singling out its operating system after years of supporting open-source software.

Oracle, whose patents it controls through its Sun Microsystems acquisition early this year, in August sued Google over its use of Java in the open source Android operating system.

Android, activated on more than 200,000 devices per day, includes Java applications running on a Java-based application framework and core libraries running on a Dalvik virtual machine. Oracle filed seven counts of patent infringement and one copyright claim.

Google filed its counterclaim in California district court Oct. 4, asking the judge to dismiss Oracle's suit and render the patents Oracle holds invalid.

To demonstrate inconsistency on the part of its accuser, Google said Oracle complained when Sun refused to release all of Java to open source, reta…

Android Share Gains on Apple iOS, comScore Says

By: Clint Boulton
2010-10-07

comScore said Google Android ran on 19.6 percent of all smartphones through August. Apple garnered a 24.2 percent share, putting Android within 5 percentage points.

Google's Android operating system ran on 19.6 percent of the 55.7 million smartphones through August, putting the platform's market share within 5 percentage points of rival Apple iOS, comScore said.

From July to August, Android ascended 2.6. percent from its 17 percent share of the 53.4 million smartphones the researcher counted.

No. 2 smartphone provider Apple also gained for the month, inching up to
24.2 percent in August from 23.8 percent in July. Android and iOS'
smartphone share gains appear to be coming at the expense of Research in Motion and Microsoft.

RIM led the U.S. smartphone OS market with 37.6 percent of handsets, down
2.3 percent from its July count of 39.3 percent. Microsoft's share was 10.8 percent, down one full percentage point from July when it held 11.8 per…

Eric Schmidt: Google gets close to 'the creepy line'

By Shane Richmond Media Last updated: October 5th, 2010

Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, has described his company's policy: "Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it."

Schmidt was talking to The Atlantic about the possibility of a Google implant - a chip under your skin that would track you and provide easy web access. That, Schmidt said, was probably over 'the creepy line'.

However, he followed that by saying: "With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches. We don't need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about."

Some might argue that that is over the line too but Google will only read your mind "with your permission", so that's a relief.

Schmidt has a history of attention-grabbing and quotable statements about Google's increasing, er…

Hacker infiltration ends D.C. online voting trial

By Mike DeBonis | October 4, 2010; 2:14 PM ET

Last week, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics opened a new Internet-based voting system for a weeklong test period, inviting computer experts from all corners to prod its vulnerabilities in the spirit of "give it your best shot." Well, the hackers gave it their best shot -- and midday Friday, the trial period was suspended, with the board citing "usability issues brought to our attention."

Here's one of those issues: After casting a vote, according to test observers, the Web site played "Hail to the Victors" -- the University of Michigan fight song.

"The integrity of the system had been violated," said Paul Stenbjorn, the board's chief technology officer.

Stenbjorn said a Michigan professor whom the board has been working with on the project had "unleashed his students" during the test period, and one succeeded in infiltrating the system.

The fight song is a symptom of deepe…

Microsoft Joins Apple, Oracle in Suing to Impede Android

By: Clint Boulton
2010-10-03

Microsoft's patent infringement lawsuit versus Motorola over Google Android smartphones is the latest bid to slow Android's roll in the market. Apple sued HTC and Oracle sued Google, both over Android, earlier this year.

Microsoft Joins Apple, Oracle in Suing to Impede Android

When Microsoft filed its patent infringement suit versus Motorola Oct. 1, it joined Apple and Oracle in their attack against Google's Android operating system, which has come on strong in the latter half of 2010.

Microsoft claimed Motorola's Android smartphones violated nine software patents related to synchronizing e-mail, calendars and contacts; scheduling meetings; and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.

Motorola makes the popular Motorola Droid, Droid X and Droid 2 Android handsets, which leverage Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync for messaging synchronization, among other popular technologies that stretch back several years.

New computers will 'boot up in seconds'

Wave goodbye to BIOS, say hello to UEFI, a new technology that will drastically reduce start-up times.

By Claudine Beaumont, Technology Editor
Published: 10:01AM BST 04 Oct 2010

The next generation of home computers will be able to boot up in just a few seconds, as 25-year-old BIOS technology makes way for new start-up software known as UEFI.

BIOS technology, which has been used to boot up computers since 1979, was never designed to last as long as it has, and is one of the reasons modern computers take so long to get up and running.

By contrast, UEFI - which stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface - has been built to meet modern computing needs, and will soon be the pre-eminent technology in many new computers, enabling them to go from 'off'
to 'on' in seconds.

"At the moment, it can be 25- to 30 seconds of boot time before you see the first bit of OS sign-on," Mark Doran, head of the UEFI Forum, told the BBC.
"With UEFI, we're getting it d…

Aiming at Android, Microsoft sues Motorola

October 1, 2010 11:46 AM PDT
by Ina Fried

Microsoft today sued Motorola, alleging several of the cell phone maker's Android devices infringe on Redmond's patents.

Microsoft both sued Motorola in U.S. District Court in Washington and brought a complaint before the International Trade Commission. Microsoft alleges Motorola infringes on nine Microsoft patents related to key smartphone experiences such as syncing e-mail, calendar, and contacts, and notifying applications about changes in signal strength and battery power, Microsoft said. The complaint cites Motorola's Droid 2 phone as an example.

"We have a responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to safeguard the billions of dollars we invest each year in bringing innovative software products and services to market," Microsoft deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez said in a statement.

The suit comes as Microsoft is trying to line up phone makers to use its Windows Phone 7 operating system. Alth…

Postal regulators deny request for rate hike

By Ed O'Keefe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 30, 2010; 10:52 PM

Postal regulators Thursday denied requests by the U.S. Postal Service to raise postage rates in January beyond the rate of inflation, ruling that the mail agency's recent financial woes were caused by a flawed business model and not the recent recession.

The decision means a rise in stamp prices and other postage rates will not take effect in January as the Postal Service had hoped - at least not yet.

In July, it requested the right to raise postage rates on first-class mail, periodicals and other services beyond the rate of inflation. A 2006 law allows the service to file an exigent, or urgently necessary, case to raise prices that much if it can prove that "exceptional or extraordinary circumstances" warranted the increase.

Alhough the recession and recent declines in the volume of mail are "exceptional or extraordinary circumstances" that could justify a price increase, the…