Twitter, Apple, AT&T irk customers

User frustration ran high in IT news this week. People cursed Apple and AT&T after both companies' Web sites crashed from the crush of iPhone 4 pre-orders.

User frustration ran high in IT news this week. People cursed Apple and AT&T after both companies' Web sites crashed from the crush of iPhone 4 pre-orders. Twitter users were miffed at the social media site's ongoing service outages, which the company has been grappling with since the start of the month. Broadband providers were also angry this week, but their ire was directed at the U.S. federal government for taking the first step to implementing network neutrality. Finally, if the amount of radiation your cell phone emits is a concern, San Francisco could be the city for you.

1. FCC takes first step toward broadband regulation: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission took the first steps to regulating broadband by voting to launch a notice of inquiry to explore the change. The FCC would apply limited regulations to broadband, which would be reclassified as a common-carrier regulated service. This move is considered critical if the U.S. government hopes to introduce network neutrality rules and redirect telephone funds to rural broadband rollout.

2. Twitter again apologizes for outages, bugs: Twitter had a rough week in the customer service department. Outages have plagued the social media site for the past two weekends and stretched into the first half of this week. Twitter apologized this week for the service failure and attributed its problems to increased use because of the World Cup and bugs discovered during system upgrades. With Twitter looking to generate revenue with a new advertising program, uptime is crucial if the service hopes to make a profit.

3. Security, compliance come before collaboration, Execs told to 'get out of the way' of Enterprise 2.0 tools and Experts warn of the dark side of enterprise 2.0: Social collaboration tools are finally making their way to the business world as companies balance communication needs with security concerns, according to presenters at the Enterprise 2.0 conference this week. Employers have no option but to embrace new technology as younger workers bring their smartphones to the office, said one CIO. However, one speaker cautioned that while blogs and wikis can lead to improved communication, social media can also create information overload.

4. Lawmakers question US cybersecurity readiness: With cyberattacks on U.S. government agencies increasing 400 percent between 2006 and 2009, U.S. lawmakers questioned if the federal government possesses the power and staff levels to protect the country's cyberborders. A congressional committee discussed whether the U.S. Department of Homeland Security needs the authority to pressure other agencies to bolster their cybersecurity defenses. One former Homeland Security staffer bluntly stated that the U.S. is "not prepared to address a major cyberattack today."

5. Apple apologizes for iPhone 4 ordering fiasco: After three years of selling iPhones, one might imagine that Apple and AT&T would know how to handle the flood of orders generated by a new version of the smartphone. This assumption proved false on Tuesday when orders for the iPhone 4 crashed the Web sites of Apple and AT&T. Apple apologized for the fiasco and said it sold 600,000 phones, while AT&T and consumer electronics retailer Best Buy suspended iPhone 4 sales.

6. Microsoft Kinect hands on: We're missing the point, E3 2010: Lag, skepticism mar Cirque du Soleil/Project Natal event and E3 2010: Nintendo 3DS impressions: 3D gaming and innovative game controllers emerged as the top news from this week's E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles. Game publishers announced that several titles will be offered in 3D and Nintendo unveiled a handheld 3D gaming unit. Kinect, Microsoft's full-body motion controller previously called Project Natal, debuted to much fanfare while Sony showed wand controllers that go on sale in September.

7. San Francisco close to passing cell phone radiation law: Is anyone really surprised that San Francisco's activist city government this week supported a measure that requires cell-phone retailers to disclose the amount of radiation emitted by the handsets they sell? The law would make retailers prominently display the "specific absorption rate" of each phone they sell. A mobile operator trade group decried the legislation, but San Francisco's mayor said the law would motivate phone manufacturers to design models that give off less radiation.

8. Can you really replace Microsoft Exchange with Google Apps Premier?: An administrator decided to replace the Microsoft Exchange collaboration platform with Google's App Premier to see if the hosted service really offers easier and cheaper enterprise computing compared to traditional software options. So is life really better in the cloud? The test produced mixed results, according to Infoworld's experience.

9. Beware the WordPress white screen of death: Screens of death aren't limited to Microsoft products apparently. Some blogs built using the open-source WordPress blogging software are displaying blank pages that were formerly occupied by content. WordPress developers attribute the problem to the interaction between the different pieces of technology that the application uses. An upcoming version of the software will include resources on debugging the problem.

10. Cheap smartphones will help Android overtake the iPhone: The advent of cheaper smartphones running Android could close the usage gap between the mobile OS and Apple's iPhone. Analysts predicted that the volume of people purchasing Android-based phones, especially with more affordable models coming to market, could make the OS the second-most-popular platform after Symbian, knocking Apple to third. New phones from Samsung Electronics and Sony Ericsson support this trend, with each model running Android and having more affordable prices than other models.

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Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
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