The News Month of January in Review

February 4, 2005
The news month of January was highlighted by evolving technology, security issues, and a couple of controversial business moves but the month started off with a generous donation of web hosting. Web host, Lunar Pages began the month by offering free web hosting to K-12 public schools. Level 3 got the business news rolling by expanding services into the Czech Republic, despite $5 billion in debt and layoffs for hundreds of employees.

China stepped forward in advancing ecommerce in their country by setting up the China B2B Hub. The executive vice president for E2open, Lorenzo Martinelli, said: "China B2B Hub is designed to be a Chinese government-endorsed standard, for use by China-based SMBs to effectively integrate with multinational companies." Several multinationals like Motorola have already signed up to use the hub.

Back in America, services provider GoDaddy sparked controversy by spending $2.3 million for a Super Bowl ad which some analysts felt would damage the company financially without giving a return. GoDaddy then promptly followed suite by purchasing a second Super Bowl ad with CEO Bob Parsons defending the move in his blog, "Remember, one of the main differences between and all those .coms that advertised in the 1999 Super Bowl? and then went up in smoke -- is that Go Daddy actually makes money."

Sun raised eye brows when COO Sam Palmisano blasted IBM in a blog for refusing to support new Sun OS Solaris 10. Sun further pulled out the stops trying to create interest in the OS by releasing 1,600 patents to the general public. Whether this will generate an open source community of developers or not is debatable.

In a bit of political news this month, Texas based web host The Planet pulled the plug on the Iranian Student News web site they were hosting without giving a reason which raised speculation that there was political pressure from the government involved. Iranians called for the Middle East to develop their own satellites in order to avoid being dependent on the West while other Iranian websites moved to backup their websites or move them to non-US web hosts fearing a similar shut down.

January had several interesting security related stories. had their domain hijacked when hackers using stolen credit cards for ID convinced Melbourne IT to make a switch. Melbourne IT admitted later that they forgot to check with Panix to authorize the transfer.

Microsoft, in an attempt to curtail software piracy is offering to give away software to users whose software is fully under license however they will allow users who have pirated versions of their OSes to download critical security patches in order to avoid an abundance of viral computers polluting the net. Meanwhile, a Russian firm found 2 security flaws in XP SP2. Microsoft however, denies that the security breaches are actually a threat to security.

On the good side in security news, AOL reported a decline in spam for the first time. AOL has reported a 75% decline in spam over the past year as reported by users. The decline is likely due to improved technical anti-spam countermeasures by AOL's AntiSpam Operations and Postmaster teams, as well as stepped-up enforcement actions undertaken by government authorities and by AOL under tougher Federal and state anti-spam laws - such as the new Federal CAN-SPAM law, which went into effect in January 2004.

On the new technology front Microsoft dropped Yahoo and released their new MSN Search. "We're committed to continuous improvement in the speed, precision and ease of use of our search service," said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of the MSN Information Services & Merchant Platform division at Microsoft. "This built-from-the-ground-up version of MSN Search provides an infrastructure that enables us to rapidly innovate and give consumers precisely the information they're looking for, no matter where it's located."

GlobusWORLD is set to host a conference on Grid technology to help set the framework for the fledgling technologies advancement. Grid computing allows users to distribute computing and share files on a many to many basis among other benefits.

The W3C published recommendations to efficiently package and transmit binary data included or referenced in a SOAP 1.2 message.

Also in the news, Bell Labs and FCI recently demonstrated a new backplane capable of transferring data at 25 Gbs/s although the groups hope to eventually increase the speed to 100 gigabytes per second.

And to round out the news, web host speak easy has modified the upstart Mozilla Firefox browser and begun to distribute it for free. The modification will allegedly speed broadband communication via Speakeasy.

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