EDUPAGE> Edupage, January 27, 2003

  • From: Gleason Sackmann <gleason@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: K12Newsletters <k12newsletters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2003 08:06:09 -0600

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Sent: Mon, 27 Jan 2003 16:34:05 -0700
Subject: Edupage, January 27, 2003
Edupage is a service of EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association
whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting
the intelligent use of information technology.

 Latest Worm Uses Network Connections, Not E-Mail
 New Online Music Venture
 Supreme Court Rules for NextWave
 Early Snags for AT&T Spam Filter
 Report Predicts Increase in IT Outsourcing
 IBM Pushes Grid Computing

The latest wide-scale Internet attack exploited a weakness in
Microsoft's SQL Server 2000 and used network connections rather than
e-mail to propagate itself. The "Slammer" or "Sapphire" worm hit over
the weekend, slowing down Internet traffic significantly, to the point
of causing some automatic teller machines not to function. South Korea,
which is regarded as having relatively weak computer security, was one
of the areas most affected by the worm. The worm can be defeated simply
by turning off an infected machine, but other measures must be taken to
prevent the machine from being reinfected. Security experts said this
latest attack highlights the reactionary approach of many network
administrators because, like the Code Red and Nimda attacks, this one
exploits a known weakness for which fixes are available but not
universally implemented.
Associated Press, 27 January 2003 (registration req'd)

Six music retailers have formed a consortium to sell music over the
Internet. Echo Inc. includes Best Buy, Hastings Entertainment, Tower
Records, Trans World Entertainment Corp., Virgin Entertainment Group,
and Wherehouse Music and was formed in a direct response to dropping
sales of CDs, largely attributed to online piracy and sharing of music
files. Echo Chief Executive Dan Hart said the consortium will work to
establish licensing deals with various record labels. Observers noted
that the creation of Echo suggests that the six retailers hope that by
working as a group, they can arrange better licensing deals than if
they worked independently. Other such consortia have not fared well in
the marketplace, including Echo's predecessor, Echo Networks. Still,
the retailers feel they must do something to fight falling profits.
Wherehouse last week filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and
Best Buy will close more than 100 of its Musicland stores.
Wall Street Journal, 27 January 2003 (sub. req'd),,SB1043622261155551944,00.html

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In 1996, NextWave Telecom won 200 wireless licenses at an auction for
$4.7 billion. When NextWave filed for bankruptcy protection, the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seized the licenses, which had
not been paid for. NextWave took the FCC to court to have the licenses
returned, and Monday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8 to 1 in favor of
NextWave. The majority opinion dismissed the FCC's claim of regulatory
justification for confiscating the licenses, which NextWave can now
either use or try to sell. The company said it has equipment in place
to begin offering service in 95 of the markets it has licenses in,
though analysts are skeptical about that possibility. Rudy Baca from
the Precursor Group said, "This would mean NextWave would be the sixth,
seventh, or eighth competitor in a market where no one is making any money."
Washington Post, 27 January 2003

Within 24 hours, AT&T WorldNet implemented, and then removed, a
controversial spam-filtering rule. It was discovered that the new
filter kept subscribers from receiving legitimate e-mail and that
neither the senders nor receivers were notified of missed messages.
AT&T WorldNet employed a "reverse DNS lookup" rule, a spam-filtering
technique already used by some smaller Internet service providers
(ISPs). The technique works by attempting to validate incoming mail by
matching each message's IP address with a known, valid domain or Web
address by searching a DNS database. An e-mail isn?t delivered if it
can?t be mapped. Ray Everett-Church, chief privacy officer for
consultancy EPrivacy Group, noted that legitimate e-mail is often
blocked because "few networks are properly configured to provide
correct reverse domain name service." AT&T WorldNet already
successfully uses spam-filtering products from Brightmail but plans to
work out the kinks and reinstall the reverse DNS lookup filter by
Friday to provide superior protection against spam to its subscribers.
CNET, 24 January 2003

By 2005, more than a third of the in-house North American IT workforce
will be outsourced, according to a study of nearly 2,000 private and
government employers conducted by Foote Partners LLC. The outsourcing
of IT labor, which is 20 to 50 percent cheaper in areas like India and
Eastern Europe, is part of a greater trend toward offshore operations
to lower costs. David Foote, "Computerworld" columnist and president
and chief research officer at Foote Partners, said that U.S. companies
"can't afford to do application development in the U.S. anymore."
While Jeremy Grigg of Gartner Inc. and other analysts agree with the
study?s predictions, others find the timeframe too aggressive. Many IT
managers, however, view their companies as bucking the trend, having
found that it is more cost-effective to keep IT resources in-house.
Analysts recommend that to retain employment, IT workers should train
in the areas of application development, Web design, project
management, IT security, and wireless networking.
ComputerWorld, 24 January 2003

IBM will introduce 10 new products and services to support grid
computing in business environments. IBM sees grid computing as one of
the steps toward having computing power on demand, like a utility,
referring to grid computing as "e-business on demand." IBM will
introduce grid hardware, software, and services geared toward specific
industries, such as financial services, life sciences, automotive and
aerospace, and governments. So far, most grid-computing efforts have
focused on academic and research communities, which typically use the
technology to devote sizable resources to solving distinct problems.
Using grid technology in a business setting to address small, but
ongoing, problems is a new approach, one that is largely unproven.
New York Times, 26 January 2003 (registration req'd)


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