Lots going on in the technology world this week. Here are three items that deserve a quick mention…
1. The latest virus outbreak required us to patch several glaring security holes in the Windows XP operating system. Therefore, as Microsoft rolled out Vista for the business community this week, I couldn’t help but wonder how many holes it has that might be wide open. I don’t think I’ll be jumping on the Vista bandwagon anytime soon. With nearly 2500 computers to maintain, I can’t imagine trying to upgrade them right away. It was a monumental task just getting everything up to XP.
2. Hitachi is ceasing production of CRT televisions. That means a loss of 180 jobs at the Hitachi plant here in Greenville. CRTs are going the way of vinyl record albums and film cameras as consumers favor LCD and Plasma TVs.
The demand for CRTs just isn’t there, so this isn’t really a surprise. For example, we have a new school under construction, and are getting ready start two new schools shortly thereafter. Our current plans are for there to be no TVs in the classroom, only LCD projectors. That’s about 200 CRT televisions that won’t be purchased from our district. The consumer demand (or lack thereof) has an even greater effect.
3. New rules go into effect regarding the amount of time e-mail must be retained. We’ve know for some time now that e-mail is discoverable in criminal and civil cases. Now there is greater pressure to maintain e-mail records in the event of a court case. One of the most chilling aspects of these new rules is summed up from the Yahoo News article…
Under the new rules, an information technology employee who routinely copies over a backup computer tape could be committing "virtual shredding" once a lawsuit has been filed, said Alvin F. Lindsay, a partner at Hogan & Hartson LLP and expert on technology and litigation.
There was a furious exchange of e-mails between my counterparts from around the state as we discuss how this would affect us. Of course, there are the problems of finding space to store all these files, as well as trying to determine how long they must be maintained. Since this discussion took place via e-mail, I guess we were just adding to our problem.