YEAR IN REVIEW: March 2010
Social networks sprang into action after Chile was devastated by an earthquake that killed hundreds and destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure.
 
Canada’s Treasury Board confirmed that Benoit Long would become the board’s chief technology officer, a position vacant since the previous October.
A union in the U.S. trying to win bargaining rights for employees of IBM Corp. blamed outsourcing for an unannounced round of layoffs at Big Blue, based on information gathered from former employees. IBM refused to comment, except for the stock “response to changing customer needs.”
 
The Province of Ontario hired 20-year consulting veteran Greg Reed to head up eHealth Ontario, the organization charged with delivering an electronic health care system in the province. The organization was blasted by the Auditor General’s office the previous fall for wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on, among other things, untendered contracts to consultants.
James Gosling, creator of the Java development environment, defended new owner Oracle Corp.’s commitment to the platform.
 
In the U.S., FTC commissioner Pamela Jones Harbor called out Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. over privacy policies, telling them to “step up” or face tougher penalties.
 
Palm Inc.’s CEO, Jon Rubinstein, told investors if the company’s WebOS-based smart phones had been launched before Motorola Inc.’s Droid, they’d be looking at a very different balance sheet than the dismal one he was presenting. He was predicting less that $150 million in sales for the quarter and essentially waving a white flag in the smart phone wars.
 
In a move that surprised many in the industry, Hewlett-Packard Co. replaced longtime Canadian leader Paul Tsaparis with little-known American Peter Galanis at the head of the Canadian subsidiary. Tsaparis headed south to join the parent company’s management team.
 
Microsoft Corp. announced it would make a free, Web-based version of its Office productivity suite available by summer. Office Web Apps was to feature online versions of Microsoft’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs, a direct counterattack to stem the inroads Google Inc.’s Google Apps was making into Microsoft’s precious office suite business.
 
Albert Gonzales, mastermind of a cybercrime ring that stole tens of millions of credit and debit card numbers, was sentenced to 20 years in jail for the breach of Heartland Payment Systems Inc., payment processor for Visa, 7-Eleven and others. The 28-year-old was on pretrial release after being charged with hacking into the systems of TJX Companies Inc., parent of retailers Winners and HomeSense.
 
Anne Mulcahy, long-time Xerox Corp. exec and CEO of the company from 2001 to 2009, stepped down from her positions as chairman of the board and board member.
Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment announced its Ontario Electronic Stewardship program would extend the net of devices it accepted for recycling, double the number of drop-off locations to 500 and even allow curbside pickup of recyclable electronics in Toronto.
 
And a year after if first hit the Net, the Conficker virus still infected 6.5 million computers, which AV company Symantec Corp. called “a loaded gun waiting to be fired.”


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