, enacted two years ago without hearings or debates by the then-Republican controlled Congress as part of an emergency military spending package, requires state governments to issue driver's licenses that adhere to the Department of Homeland Security's new standards. Eventually, Americans without the IDs will not be able to enter federal buildings, open bank accounts, or fly on commercial airlines. Opposition to the Real ID act has mounted on both sides of the political spectrum, from reasons ranging from privacy concerns to the cost of the initiative--$23.1 billion over the next decade. Seven states have already brought forth legislation opposing the act.
CNET News.com readers were divided on the issue. "What really bothers me is the feds basically taking over the state ID and license programs," one reader said. "There is a clear separation between state and federal in our constitution. Let's keep it that way." Others seemed to think that Real ID could improve an identification system that's often outdated and inefficient. "There needs to be a new identification system," a reader related. "I was once mistaken for a person with the same name by the police and ended up waiting in the back of a police car for about a half hour while they figured out what was going on. I happened to be on my way to work."In the boardroom
Meanwhile, at the same time that political junkies were wondering whether Congress would snub Real ID, the corporate world was watching the ongoing story of whether billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who owns nearly 3 percent of Motorola and has expressed that he believes the company is being mismanaged,on the mobile handset manufacturer's board of directors. On Tuesday, it appeared that this battle had ended, at least for now, with to earn a spot on the board. Motorola, which had urged shareholders not to vote for Icahn, saw its stock dip a bit, but some analysts say it likely won't impact the company in the long run. Motorola has bigger issues than its management, they say.
"The principal issue for the company in the near term," said Scott Swanson, a senior analyst at Crowell Weedon & Co., "is getting new innovative products into the market that people are willing to pay a lot of money to buy."
The ban was later revoked, but it was a high-profile corporate spat that could easily have made MySpace seem like a bully, or Photobucket seem like a surreptitious marketer--depending on whose side you take.
Now that it's looking as if Photobucket will become a MySpace property, CNET News.com readers were somewhat cynical about the rumored buy. "Typical of 900-pound gorillas," one observed. Another said, "I'll bet this means all other types of photo-submission services will suddenly cease to work with MySpace."
Later this week, Apple CEO Steve Jobsof stock options backdating and less-than-top-notch environmental policies at the company's annual meeting of shareholders. Several proposals were brought up with the intention of reforming the company's option-dating policies and executive compensation, but all were shot down in a vote.
While Jobs receives a salary of just $1 per year, he also has about 5.5 million Apple shares (now valued at $108 each), making him the
On the lighter side of tech news, plenty of product unveilings happened this week. Intel showed off the latest, which had been code-named Santa Rosa. They come in two versions--Centrino Duo for home users and Centrino Pro for businesses--and have extra support for flash memory and faster Wi-Fi connections. The Centrino Pro chips come with new technology that makes it easier for IT technicians to remotely diagnose and fix system problems, even if the computer in question can't be rebooted. At the same time, Intel also plans to ramp up the graphics capabilities of its processors, in the wake of competition from rival Advanced Micro Devices.
Some consumer electronic products also were rolled out this week: Pioneer unveiled new high-end, and Samsung its new Q1 Ultra ultramobile PC, attempting to iron out the kinks from the poorly received first-generation Q1.
Finally, Electronic Arts has announced it will be releasing a video game this fall based on the longtime-hit cartoon show and upcoming movie, The Simpsons. It'll be available on just about every video game console out there (Sony's PlayStation 2, 3, and PSP; Nintendo's Wii and DS; and Microsoft's Xbox 360), so the chances are good that a whole lot of gamers are about to get used to saying "D'oh!"--assuming they aren't already.Also of note
In Washington, politicians...Microsoft puts its Viridian virtualization software in order to get it out of the gate more quickly...IBM and Amazon.com over a bitter patent dispute that had both sides suing each other...Quarterly earnings announcements across the tech landscape.