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Daily News Archive

Please note that The Daily News is publishing (hopefully) twice a week for the foreseeable future due to time constraints.

Tuesday, June 6th

 "Carelessness is worse than theft.” -- Anonymous


The Picks of the Day

GNU Radio Opens an Unseen World

“Building a general radio that can receive and transmit, and attaching it to a software system that can fill in the gaps of what we normally think of as radio, is kind of like the Enterprise's deflector dish: Give engineering 20 minutes and it can do anything the captain needs to move the plot along. One of Ettus' USRPs, with the right daughterboards and radio software, can capture FM, read GPS, decode HDTV, transmit over emergency bands and open garage doors.”,70933-0.html?

[Very, very cool.  Also note what one user is doing with passive signal analysis.]

Ettus is selling the USRP boards on his website at:


Governance: It's a Regional Thing

“Different economic traditions and varying stages of corporate-governance development often lead institutional investors to different conclusions, says a new study.”


IT Process Improvement

GTAG 5: Managing and Auditing Privacy Risks

This guide “…is intended to provide the chief audit executive (CAE), internal auditors, and management with insight into privacy risks that the organization should address when it collects, uses, retains, or discloses personal information. This guide provides an overview of key privacy frameworks which help to understand the basic concepts and aid in finding the right sources for more guidance regarding expectations and what works well in a variety of environments. It also covers the details on how internal auditors complete privacy assessments.”


Legal and Regulatory Compliance

SOX It to Them

“I've come up with a solution for solving world poverty: Every time a representative of an IT vendor uses Sarbanes-Oxley or SOX in relation to their product you make a $1 donation to Oxfam. Better yet, you could set up a SOX-free compliance unit in your office and then fine the vendors when they make irrelevant breaches.”


[This is a great article.  The Internet and business world are awash in a sea of ridiculous SOX claims that, for anyone who actually has read SOX and AS2 knows, are total rubbish.]


The guilty men of Enron

“While the efficacy of the so-called Sarbanes-Oxley Act (to be referred as ‘SOX’, if you wish to show your familiarity with US business practices) in improving corporate governance, is still being debated, it has certainly deterred many foreign companies from listing on American exchanges. The cost of compliance is so high that an increasing number of foreign companies (particularly Chinese) are preferring, say, London or Hong Kong to American listings. A few have even de-listed.”


Security and Risk Management

Communication failures hurt rescue efforts in London bombings

“’London's emergency plans have been tested, practised and refined, but on 7 July it was clear that they ignored the needs of many individuals caught up in attacks,’ said Richard Barnes, who chaired the inquiry.


After terrorism, biggest threat is espionage

“A recently released FBI report about the compromising ties between a Chinese-American Mata Hari and her FBI-agent lover is a stark reminder that after terrorism, the greatest threat to our national security at home is espionage.  According to the U.S. government, spies from more than 140 (of 191) nations are working overtime in our exceedingly open society to pinch U.S. defense and commercial secrets at a clip not seen since the Cold War ended.”


IDs of active military personnel on stolen laptop

“Personal data on up to 50,000 active Navy and National Guard personnel were among those stolen from a Veterans Affairs employee last month, the government said Saturday in a disclosure that goes beyond what VA initially reported.”


Human Error / Safety

Nations not meeting bird flu commitments

“Only a small number of the countries that pledged nearly $2 billion in January to fight bird flu have paid out their full commitments, a     World Bank draft report says.  About $286 million of the $1.9 billion in pledges has been disbursed, according to a draft of the report written for a meeting Wednesday in Vienna and obtained Sunday by The Associated Press.


Testing takeoff for European Aviation Safety Agency

“Four years after its foundation, the European Aviation Safety Agency is still waiting for the aviation industry, which clamored for its creation, to help set its priorities and direction.”


Outsourcing / Globalization / International

China's environment woes getting worse

China's environmental woes are steadily growing and costing the economy around 200 billion dollars each year, the government has said.”


The CEQ on China’s export conundrum

China’s exports will approach $1,000bn this year, twice what they were as recently as 2003. The extraordinary growth of the export economy, from what is now the third-largest base in the world, is not in dispute.  But the question of what is happening in qualitative terms in the export sector is much harder to answer.”


Big four firms plan boost to China staff

“The big four accountancy firms are planning to boost their staff numbers in China by more than 20 per cent this year as they grapple with staff shortages that threaten attempts to boost investor confidence in the domestic stock market.”


RP, China now economic partners

“The Philippines and the People’s Republic of China yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) establishing a bilateral economic partnership that calls for a loan financing package of billion to fund various projects in the Philippines.”


Economics / Business / Misc.

Caffeine 'increases' compliance

“Drinking caffeinated drinks is more likely to make a person say yes, new research has suggested.  Australian researchers at the University of Queensland found that by consuming caffeine, people are more likely to agree with persuasive arguments.”$441767.htm

[I will now take caffeinated beverages to all my meetings.]


Cooling economy creates new conundrum for Federal Reserve

“Clear signs of a cooling trend in the US economy have created a new conundrum for the     Federal Reserve, which faces a tough decision in the coming weeks on how far it needs to hike interest rates.  The latest data showed the US economy added a modest 75,000 new jobs in May, well below market expectations and lower than what experts say is needed to absorb new labor market entrants.”


Thursday, June 8th

"You're going to make mistakes in life. It's what you do after the mistakes that counts." -- Brandi Chastain


The Picks of the Day

Demographic Time Bomb Ticks On

“At a private dinner shortly before he left office, then-Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan was so struck by projections of global population change that he said major investors who understood the U.S. numbers would rethink their long-bond bets.  His point: Once investors digest the extent of the population shift that is turning Medicare and Social Security into fiscal time bombs -- and its negative implications for the broader U.S. economy -- they will demand higher returns for their money and be far less willing to accept the current low rates on 20-year and 30-year U.S. Treasurys.”

[A very fascinating and also concerning article.]


Spreadsheet mistakes - news stories

This is an interesting web page to say the least.  It is maintained by the European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group (EuSpRIG).

On that topic – here’s a great paper on spreadsheet errors from Raymond Panko of the University of Hawaii:  “What We Know About Spreadsheet Errors” at


IT Process Improvement

Guide 2: Change and Patch Management Controls: Critical for Organizational Success

“The objective of this guide is to convey how effective and efficient IT change and patch management contribute to organizational success. The target audience is CAEs, their peers, and their staff. Because audit’s role requires it to assess risks and provide assurance to the organization, auditors cannot ignore the potential impact that changes to information systems and other IT assets can have on business operations. More importantly, this guide will give readers the necessary knowledge to help them counsel their boards about change-management risks and controls and to help their organizations comply with constantly changing regulatory requirements.”


Businesses Struggling With IT Changes

“Some 70 per cent of IT directors questioned in a new survey admit it is a major challenge keeping track of both the frequency and volume of changes that are made to their IT infrastructures, including users modifying their own PCs.”


Legal and Regulatory Compliance

Strategic IT planning for compliance and beyond

“Technology planning in the ever changing landscape brought about by compliance requirements tends to be reactionary rather than a continuous, proactive process driven by the overall IT needs of the business. As a result, planning efforts are seriously lacking in continuity and conformity.”,289483,sid14_gci1192433,00.html


I.T. Governance: Overcoming the Triple Threat

“In addition to Sarbanes-Oxley—the law attacking corporate fraud that Congress passed in 2002—organizations are grappling with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) security requirements for credit card data; the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements for private and secure health-care data; requirements from the Food and Drug Administration to keep terrorists from tampering with supply chains for food and pharmaceuticals; and numerous other federal, state and international regulations, many passed after the Sept. 11 attacks. “,1540,1972564,00.asp


US watchdog to discuss Sarbox measures

“Audits of internal control over financial reporting as set out under Sarbanes-Oxley, as well as other standards-setting topics, will be discussed by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s Standing Advisory Group in a meeting to be held next week in Washington.”


Security and Risk Management

Microsoft shakes up security fray

“A number of companies, including perhaps unexpected ones such as AOL, are readying security and maintenance packages for home computers, following Microsoft's launch last week of Windows Live OneCare.  It's hard to pick an outright winner, but one thing is clear: Health care for your Windows-based PC is getting easier, cheaper and more comprehensive.”


Flaw may lead to air chaos

“Hackers armed with little more than a laptop could conjure up phantom planes on the screens of Australia's air traffic controllers using new radar technology, warns Dick Smith.”,7204,19375464%5e15306%5e%5enbv%5e15306,00.html?from=rss


House passes $32 bln domestic security bill

“The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved $32 billion for domestic security programs next year as some lawmakers seethed over their inability to stop funding cuts this year for big cities seen as high-risk targets for terrorist attacks.”


Report: Lack of Security Expertise Drives I.T. Spending

“Overburdened employees in many corporate and government I.T. departments have trouble keeping up with cybersecurity, according to a study by IDC.

That lack of expertise, coupled with an increase in viruses, worms and other malicious code, will account for a 49% increase over the next four years in worldwide spending on support services for security software, according to the IDC study which was released in March.“,1540,1950565,00.asp


Human Error / Safety

Report: Human error caused Marcus Oil blast

“John Vorderbrueggen, the CSB's lead investigator into the incident, pointed to a lack of awareness at Marcus Oil about the dangerous nature of its own operations, a problem he said is not uncommon among smaller companies.”


B.C. ferry workers to respond to crash report

“In a letter sent to BC Ferries, the board said some crewmembers on the Queen of the North may not have received the proper training on the ship's new steering and navigational equipment.”


Officials warn of scarce bird flu vaccine

“States will get to decide how to ration scarce vaccine if bird flu triggers a worldwide epidemic, the nation's health secretary said Tuesday — a decision that means where people live could determine their protection.”


Outsourcing / Globalization / International

India: Tale of Two Strategies

“IBM announces major new investment; Apple scraps plans for a call center.”


Bleak outlook for IT outsourcing

“Most government organisation's IT outsourcing (ITO) projects are "doomed before they begin", according to new research.  Government organisations and suppliers are not aligned when it comes to interpreting and agreeing IT outsourcing objectives, says PA Consulting Group's 2005/06 Understanding Misunderstanding survey, released today.”


India to lead BPO for 30 years

“The Indian BPO story continues unplugged despite the emergence of new competitors like China, Philippines and Indonesia.  According to a latest study on global outsourcing market, India will maintain its low-cost IT skills leverage in the offshore outsourcing market for another 30 years.”


Africa dares to be the latest outsourcing hotspot … As India is put on hold …Ghana, Egypt, Botswana and Kenya setting the pace

Africa will see the fastest growth in the number of call centre workers of any region between now and the end of the decade, according to the market analysis firm Datamonitor. It expects rapid growth in Western investment in the region after a determined effort by governments and private sector companies to make Africa an outsourcing hotspot.”


India, china lead in IT services growth

“In a statement released Tuesday, the research analyst noted that the region's IT services market, excluding Japan, will grow at five-year compound annual growth rate of 10 percent to US$48.4 billion in 2010, up from US$29.6 billion in 2005.”


Economics / Business / Misc.

Web 2.0 has corporate America spinning

“But behind the peculiarities, Web 2.0 portends a real sea change on the Internet. If there's one thing they have in common, it's what they're not. Web 2.0 sites are not online places to visit so much as services to get something done — usually with other people.”


Google Spreadsheets: The Soccer Mom's Excel

“Google is emerging as the poor man's Microsoft.  The latest evidence of this surfaced June 5, when Google began testing a free, online spreadsheet feature.”,1895,1972740,00.asp

[This may be true but to start at the bottom, build brand reputation and expand into higher margin business until dominating the market is a time proven method.]



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