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Daily News Archive

Tuesday, January 23rd

"Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information” – Peter Drucker


The Picks of the Day

The Fear of Wandering E-Mails

“Many corporate technology specialists express the fear that Google and its rivals may actually own the intellectual property in the e-mail that resides on their systems. Gmail's terms of service state that e-mail belongs to the user, not to Google. Its automated software does scan messages in Gmail, looking for keywords that might generate related text advertisements on the page.”

[Thank you for sending this Paul!]


Internal Control Seminars

Several of my colleagues have been presenting compliance-related seminars across the country for the past five years:  Sarbanes-Oxley, Corporate Governance, Internal Controls, Fraud Prevention and Detection, and Information Security.  The next seminars are in February in Arlington, VA:  SOX Compliance and Compliance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-123, where they will discuss internal controls over financial reporting.  The seminars are as entertaining as they are informative.


Bernanke: Budget strains may hurt economy

“Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Thursday that the economy could be gravely hurt if the nation’s fiscal house is not put in order and Social Security and Medicare aren’t revamped.”


JAMIA Study: EHR Adoption Requires Multi-Pronged Strategy

““Health IT has been proven to improve efficiency, reduce medical errors and raise quality of care. So why is it, that even in a progressive state like Massachusetts, most small office practices still have not adopted electronic health records (EHRs)?””


IT Process Improvement / Quality Management

Metrics that Matter

“Perhaps the best way to start any improvement process is to measure your organization’s practices against those of high performing organizations that get the results you want to achieve. Unlike most IT organizations, high performers have figured out which IT processes and controls really help them achieve their effectiveness and efficiency objectives, and have integrated them into how they manage almost every aspect of work.”


An Outage Outrage

“Online holiday sales were up, but you can’t say the same of all the leading retail sites over the period from Black Friday to Christmas Eve.  Only two of the 29 leading retail sites tracked by Keynote Competitive Research, a division of mobile and Internet test and measurement company Keynote Systems, can claim they made it through the holiday season without a single hour of outage.”


ITIL Version 3 to Stress Alignment Integration

“One of the ways ITIL version 3 will help organizations achieve that seamless integration is by promoting a lifecycle approach to IT service management across books, from an overall perspective of service strategy to service design, service transition, service operations, and continual service improvement.”


Legal and Regulatory Compliance

AS5: Clarification or Confusion?

“One of the PCAOB's goals, says chairman Mark Olson, is cheaper auditing bills. But AS2 critics aren't so sure that will happen. They worry that the new standard — An Audit of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting That Is Integrated With an Audit of Financial Statements — still could confuse auditors and prompt continued wary and overly conservative behavior. And they're far from certain that the new standard will address what was widely perceived as misguided audits of corporate IT systems.”


Reaching Compliance Through Foundational IT Controls

“While many companies have been lost in the maze of IT frameworks, best practices, and suggested controls, a recent IT Process Institute (ITPI) study revealed there is a small number of key controls that, when implemented properly, will fuel an organization's compliance, security, and IT service quality simultaneously. ITPI's IT Controls Performance Study examined 96 IT groups from various industries to determine whether the Pareto principle, often referred to as ‘the 80-20 rule,’ applies to IT controls.”


Security and Risk Management

New Phishing Toolkit Poses Danger To Consumers

“The new kit, which RSA has dubbed "Universal Man-in-the-Middle Phishing Kit," sells for about $1,000 on various hacker sites, says RSA executive Marc Gaffan. That price is high relative to other fraudster kits -- software tools that automate part or all of a phishing attack setup and execution -- but the payoff to criminals is huge.”

[Thank you for sending this Paul]


Hacker cracks Blu-ray as well

“HD DVD went down first. Then Sony's AACS content protection caved in on late Sunday night.   An anonymous hacker, known as Muslix64, will go down in history as the guy that broke protection of both next-generation optical media standards, and both fell witin a month.”

[Illustrates once again how technology in isolation can be broken.]


Xerox workers discover months-old data theft

“A union representing Xerox Corp. workers in Wilsonville said today that the technology company failed for months to alert them to a records breach that affected about 300 current and former employees.”


T.J. Maxx credit data theft vexes customers

“Officials at parent company TJX yesterday [1/18/07] refused to say how many T.J. Maxx and Marshall's customers had their information stolen or accessed by a computer hacker. But a credit card industry source who asked not to be identified said the number of customers affected was in the millions.”


Healthcare / Bio-Informatics / Care Delivery Organizations (CDOs)

Newt Gingrich on (Nearly) Everything

“Given Gingrich's unique perspective, it will be interesting to see how accurate his near-term prognostications are. We are entering a fascinating three-to-four-year period, said Gingrich: ‘Election results of '06 and [the] upcoming '08 [elections mean] you're going to hear a lot more talk, some partisan, but a fair amount is going to turn out to be non-partisan. Many of the nation's governors are moving in the same direction. Health information technology is a big part of where we are going.’"


Medical Banking Project to focus on personal health records

“The Medical Banking Project will announce a pilot program in March at the fifth annual National Medical Banking Institute that proposes to deliver consumers’ personal healthcare information over the Internet through banks’ Web portals.”


New coalition to unveil free Web-based e-prescribing project

“Web-based e-prescribing for every physician in the country will be made possible by a new coalition of technology companies, medical groups and payers. The project includes big name technology companies, such as Google, Cisco, Microsoft and many others.”


Critics worry about identity theft, bias

“While some describe electronic medical records as a superhighway to better care and increased efficiency in the medical system, others worry that it could be a dangerous dark alley.”


Human Error / Safety / Environment

Alaska to get British-style temperatures – study

“Parts of the world could heat up by over 10 degrees Celsius (18 Fahrenheit) this century with big areas becoming uninhabitable, according to a climate prediction experiment.”


Global warming: the final verdict

“Global warming is destined to have a far more destructive and earlier impact than previously estimated, the most authoritative report yet produced on climate change will warn next week.”,,1995471,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=18


Bird flu surges in 2006: WHO chief

“Global health chief Margaret Chan warned the world not to drop its guard against a possible flu pandemic, highlighting the fact that 2006 was a record year for human bird flu deaths.”


Outsourcing / Globalization / International

Rioting in Bangalore leaves outsourcers unaffected

“Rioting in parts of Bangalore, India, over the weekend did not affect work at the local operations of outsourcing companies and other IT companies in the city.”


China's Economy Probably Slowed on Investment Curbs

China's economic expansion probably slowed for a second quarter as the government reined in an export-driven investment boom.  Gross domestic product grew 10.2 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 18 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.”


UCO professor delves into China’s military

China’s rapid emergence in the global economy and military modernization is best understood in the context of its cultural transitions, said Xiaobing Li, professor of history and director of the Western Pacific Institute at the University of Central Oklahoma.”


Key facts: India rising

“With more than one billion people, India is the world's second most populous country and its largest democracy.   The majority of people live in rural areas and millions face extreme poverty. But urbanisation is gathering pace and the economy is growing rapidly.”


Economics / Business / Misc.

HP's Chip Research Extends Moore's Law, Fuels Industry Growth

HP's new chip architecture may breathe life into Moore's Law, as well as help sustain rapid-fire growth in the tech industry, according to analysts.


Intel Builds 80-Core Chip That Uses Less Power Than A Quad-Core

Intel says the research prototype chip, which will take five to eight years to bring to market, uses less than 100 watts of power and has teraflop performance.

[Thank you for the above two articles Sharon!]



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