News Threads

Sun Microsystems Inc. recently announced that after more than 15 years of service to the company, Edward Zander, 55, president and chief operating officer, has decided to retire from his full-time duties with Sun. Zander will remain in his position through the end of Sun’s fiscal year.

Effective July 1, 2002, Zander will hand over his full-time duties to chairman and CEO Scott McNealy. He will then assist McNealy with the transition and begin a teaching and mentoring role at Sun for the balance of the calendar year. The company does not intend to name a replacement for Zander. McNealy will reassume the title of president effective July 1.

Industry Canada and CANARIE to partner

The Honourable Maurizio Bevilacqua, Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development), on behalf of industry minister Allan Rock, and CANARIE Inc. president and CEO, Andrew Bjerring, recently announced a $110 million funding agreement to design, develop and operate Canada’s National Research and Innovation Network, CA*net 4.

This network will benefit the society, culture and quality of life of Canadians while enhancing Canada’s opportunities in the global knowledge-based economy, according to Industry Canada. CA*net 4 will be built in partnership with the private sector and with participating provincial research networks. The construction of CA*net 4 is starting immediately. Its launch is scheduled for early fall 2002.

Brits dump books for Web

Britons are leaving their books to gather dust on the shelves in favour of surfing the Internet. Researchers have found that Web surfing is having a devastating effect on the hours Brits normally spend reading books and newspapers.

Although Britons without PCs spent more hours per week reading than their European counterparts, this figure dropped by a third after they bought a computer – the biggest fall seen in any European country. U.K. subjects said they used to spend an average of 10.1 hours per week reading before they had a computer. However this figure plummeted to an average of just 6.9 hours after they bought a PC.

CERT: Sun Solaris hole requires patch

Hackers can potentially exploit a format string vulnerability in remote wall requests in order to execute arbitrary code in Solaris, Sun Microsystems Inc.’s version of the Unix operating system, security experts have warned.

Sun Solaris Versions 2.5.1, 2.6, 7, and 8 require a security patch to the utility rwall daemon or rpc.rwalld, the U.S.-government funded Computer Emergency Response Team/Coordination Center (CERT/CC) at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh said in an advisory recently. Sun Microsystems, headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., has confirmed that there is a problem with rpc.rwalld and is currently working on a patch to fix the hole, according to CERT.

Gartner: Attacks exploit user security indifference

The vast majority of successful attacks on computer systems exploit security weaknesses which are well known and for which patches exist, according to research company Gartner Inc. Many recent cyberattacks could have been avoided if enterprises were more focused on their security efforts, but users seem not to learn from their mistakes, according to Richard Mogull, research director for Gartner.

Patches were available to protect systems against the Code Red virus, but had generally not been deployed, Mogull said. Worse, the Nimda virus exploited exactly the same weakness a few months later and was still able to cause havoc around the world. Combined losses from the two incidents are estimated at running into billions of dollars, largely due to user indifference, according to Mogull.

Vote tally official for HP/Compaq

Hewlett-Packard Co. announced the official shareholder vote totals recently for its acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp., reaching one of the final milestones in the troubled deal and clearing the way for the merged company to officially launch soon.

While a preliminary vote count already showed that HP had secured its bid to buy Compaq, an independent vote tabulation company has now released the final numbers, showing that 838 million votes were cast in favour of the deal compared to 793 million against the acquisition, according to a statement.