Global CIO's Friday Update: Hair On A Wooden Leg - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
9/10/2009
09:55 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Global CIO's Friday Update: Hair On A Wooden Leg

In this week's Hair On A Wooden Leg: firewalls go Hollywood, broadband bumbling, striking tweeties, up from Lehman, Microsoft culture shift, and CIO town-hall-a-palooza.

Welcome to Global CIO's new Friday-morning roundup of quirky, off-beat, mildly related, and always-interesting news from around the worlds of business and technology. Got a tip for Hair On A Wooden Leg? Send your HOWLer to [email protected] Now on with the show.

Movie Promoter Goes Hollywood On Firewalls, Deep-Packet Inspection While the show-biz business can take itself way too seriously sometimes, it does produce big-ticket products that generally require lavish promotion and marketing to recoup tens of millions in costs. So a Hollywood-based entertainment marketing company has turned to SonicWall's Network Security Appliance to prevent prying peepers from pilfering pre-release products.

The company, called Cimarron Group, produces movie trailers, TV ads, and movie posters, and needs to be sure none of that or related info turns into coming attractions. Says Cimarron CIO Mark Miranda: "Using the multiple interfaces, we just zoned the networks off with individual security privileges, while keeping one central point of admistration. It certainly makes my job easier." For more info, see the SonicWall press release.

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Colorado Broadband-Map Project Lost In The Woods? If this one confuses you, don't be surprised—seems like the intentions are good but the approach is, well, unique. Colorado state CIO Michael Locatis wants to create a map showing where high-speed internet service is available in the state—so far, so good. The state is working with a "nonprofit" to help encourage citizens to populate a state-run website with that broadband-service hinformation, but the "nonprofit features players from some of telecom’s biggest companies, lobbying groups and industry associations on its board of directors, and it has raised money from the nonprofit arms of AT&T and power utilities, says a story in the Denver Business Journal. "That has led to questions about the nonprofit’s mapping assistance because it’s collecting data about broadband access that telecom providers already should know." Clear as a bell? Or do you need a map to follow the story?

But have no fear because, as the story points out, the federal government is here to help: "The federal government’s $7.2 billion broadband stimulus program set aside $350 million to help states pay for broadband mapping projects. It’s not clear whether Colorado intends to seek any of that money."

Striking Professors Go To Head Of Twittering Class When 600 professors from Oakland University in Michigan went on strike, their union and school adminstrators went through the usual closed-door negotiations. But in the meantime, social-media networks were booming with discussions about the impasse: "The whole phenomenon is really fascinating, said Theresa Rowe, the chief information officer at Oakland, who also teaches a course on social media and the Internet. She said she plans to use the strike as a case study once classes resume. Strikes involving teachers often trigger a gag reflex, but it will be interesting to see if the insertion of social media into their disputes eventually triggers a gag order as well. For more, check out this article from InsideHigherEd.com.

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