YEAR IN REVIEW: September 2010

This month saw former HP CEO Mark Hurd find a new Oracle, RIM open a new PlayBook and Videotron take to the airwaves.

Russian police were reportedly investigating a criminal gang that installed malicious “ransomware” programs on thousands of PCs and then forced victims to send SMS messages in order to unlock their PCs.  

Canada’s information and privacy commissioners became advocates for open government, issuing a joint resolution to support the ideal and urging all levels of government across the country to follow their lead.  

After more than nine years at the helm of Mitel Networks Inc., Don Smith said he will leave as chief executive officer of the Ottawa-based unified communications applications developer to sit on the board directors.   

From the frying pan into the fire? After being forced to leave Hewlett-Packard, Mark Hurd joins Oracle Corp. as co-president.  Later in the month Hewlett-Packard surprised a lot of observers by picking former SAP CEO Leo Apotheker to fill the hole Hurd left. 

The heads of the American Registry for Internet Numbers and the Canadian Internet Registry Authority urged organizations to pick up the pace of shifting from IPv4 to IPv6 or face the consequences. 

For years Quebec cable operator Videotron Ltee has been selling wireless service using spectrum leased from Rogers Communicaions Inc. But after buying $555 million worth of spectrum in 2008, Videotron finally became a wireless carrier in its own right with the launch of its new HSPA+ network.

Cambridge. Ont. was declared the nation’s first ‘smarter city’ for deploying a new knowledge-based technology system for asset management, which allows the city to track more than 250,000 infrastructure assets worth $1.2 billion. The new system makes use of sensors and analytics to manage municipal infrastructure, facilities and equipment in real time.  

When is a cloud not a cloud? According to a executive when it’s offered by a competitor. At a Toronto stop, the exec referred to Oracle as “a company in California,”  that sells a “false cloud” that is not efficient, nor democratic.  

2010 saw tablets on the lips of computer buyers around the world. So it came as no surprise that  it didn’t take long for Apple’s iPad to find its way into the offices of businessmen, lawyers and doctors once the tablet got the approval of IT managers. Meanwhile, Google Inc. was being coy about whether its Android operating system or its Chrome browser would be the power behind tablets the company supports.  

On this side of the border, IDC Canada found that only nine per cent of Canadian businesses and IT executives expect to purchase tablets for their organization in the next 12 months. Interest among staff is high, but management doesn’t see the value. 

Speaking of tablets, Research In Motion wanted to make sure you did by announcing its upcoming PlayBook, which the company said will be released early in 2011. 

Are you anti-social about social media? Better not be, three experts warned an audience of CIOs in Toronto. “For any company to survive in Canada, if not world-wide, it has got to have an element of social strategy in its DNA fabric,” one said. Read why.
Don’t spy on spooks, Network World U.S. reporter Ellen Messmer found out this month. After being invited to a National Security Agency conference on trusted computingshe tried to squeeze into a private session. They didn’t trust her. 
Five months after taking control of unified communications equipment maker Polycom Inc., CEO and president Andy Miller overhauled the company’s executive. Persuading a Cisco exec to cross the aisle was one of his coups.  
Over the last four years, IBM spent more than $12 billion to acquire 23 analytics related companies. The latest was  data warehouse appliance vendor Netezza for approximately US$1.7 billion in cash.
Readers met Jories Timmers, new president of the CIO Association of Canada’s Vancouver chapter. The IT director for energy firm PowerEx, says a career in information technology has allowed him to study and work across Europe.
Microsoft Corp. warned users that a critical bug in ASP.Net could be exploited by attackers to hijack encrypted Web sessions and pilfer usernames and passwords from Web sites.  Ultimately it had to issue an emergency patch.  

The fourth generation wireless technology called LTE came to North America, but it wasn’t on a Canadian wireless operator’s network. Instead, MetroPCS became the first carrier to adopt the fastest data technology while Canadian carriers study it.  

Canada’s privacy commissioner ended an investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices by saying the social-networking site has resolved issues raised in a May 2008 complaint by making “extensive” changes.  

A Symantec Corp. expert told us that the Stuxnet worm first discovered on PCs in Iran signals the start of a never-before-seen breed of cyber attack intentionally designed to inflict massive harm in the physical world.  

Not content to have bought Nortel Networks’ wireless division, Ericsson also grabbed the multiservice switch division for US$65 million in an auction, more than doubling the price that a holding company offered in August. 

IT and broadcasting came together at Corus Entertainment’s new offices on Toronto’s lakefront, where an 8,000 sq. foot data centre manages several radio stations and specialty channels over a converged and fully digital infrastructure. We got a tour. 

How important is IPv6 to the world? Big enough that U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra  issued a directive requiring all federal government agencies to upgrade their public-facing Web sites and services by Sept. 30, 2012 to support the communications protocol.


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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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