CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

HolidayBuyer's Guide
Tech Industry

Year in review: A different perspective

As the computer industry struggled with the weak economy, technologists turned to the op-ed pages of CNET News.com to hash out the issues of a turbulent 2002.

 







A different perspective

Experts tackle a range of technology issues.


As the computer industry struggled with the weak economy, technologists turned to the op-ed pages of CNET News.com to hash out the debates that would define business during a turbulent 2002.

With new realities forcing change in every segment of the technology industry, there was precious little agreement on how best to proceed--and that made for all the more spirited debate.

The year, which began with the realization that dot-communism was not about to enjoy a second coming, ended with the creation of a massive Department of Homeland Security. In between, computer executives tried to make sense of the transformations affecting their companies and customers. This ran the gamut from security, identity theft and the potential of Web services to the proper place of corporate governance and what to do about the global digital divide.

And as the IT world struggled with the interlocking issues of Internet privacy, filtering and civil liberties, the industry suddenly found itself trying to figure out how to handle Washington's increasingly prominent role in computer and network security.

Napster may be dead and buried, but the legal, ethical and business questions revolving around the digital downloading remain live-wire issues. In a piece that triggered a flood of responses to CNET News.com, Hollywood congressman Howard Berman took on the digital downloading community, arguing that P2P piracy robbed songwriters on a massive scale. That elicited a sharp rejoinder from Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro and songwriter Janis Ian, who warned that Hollywood's latest anti-Internet piracy campaign to enforce copyright interests will only result in trumping consumer rights.

In the buzzword category, XML and Web services became standard parts of an IT shop director's lexicon. Beyond the acronyms, however, something important was transforming the way companies' computer networks communicated internally and with suppliers and customers. But while there was near-universal agreement that this was a turning point, there was much disagreement about how the computer industry should move forward. No less a personage than IBM's director of Web services, Bob Sutor, stuck out his neck to pen an essay explaining why the computer industry must dispose of the many misconceptions, half-truths and outright fantasies attending this Next Big Thing.

And as computer technology continued to filter throughout the globe, there were recurring calls for something to be done to address what critics said was a yawning digital divide in the United States and beyond. Indeed, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan used these pages to issue a clarion call to Silicon Valley to take up the challenge before the situation is beyond repair. How well they will respond could become a hot op-ed issue to consider in 2003.

--Charles Cooper


Bill Joy: Microsoft's blind spot
Bill Gates caused a stir when he issued a directive elevating security to a higher priority than simply shipping the next software release out the door. Sun Microsystems' chief scientist puts forward a technical analysis to suggest Microsoft will need a long time to turn things around.

February 7, 2002

AOL: The end of an error
What if a company lost $54 billion and nobody noticed? That's what happened with AOL Time Warner when it reported the largest quarterly loss in corporate history. But author and industry pundit Kevin Werbach uses the occasion to offer a few thoughts on the end of a remarkable era in the annals of business.

April 30, 2002

Just deserts for scofflaws
Hollywood congressman Howard Berman takes on digital downloaders, arguing that P2P piracy robs songwriters on a massive scale.

July 9, 2002

Why free downloads help, not hurt
Recording artist Janis Ian writes that a campaign waged by the music studios obscures the fact that most hard evidence suggests free digital downloads actually helps the industry and its musicians.

July 17, 2002

Can the Internet survive filtering?
Harvard Law's Jonathan Zittrain issues a wakeup call to technologists and policy makers, warning that the filtering of Internet content is on the upswing, a trend that--left unchecked--might undo one of the basic underpinnings of the global cyber network.

July 23, 2002

The myth of cybersecurity
You might have assumed it was safe and secure to log on. But no less a personage than Groove Networks' CEO Ray Ozzie called it the industry's dirty little secret. His opinion: If you use the company network or the Internet, some snoop is likely monitoring your daily online communications.

August 14, 2002

Identity theft: Fact and fiction
Cyber-identity theft is proliferating but is it a lost cause? Justice Department special counsel Jonathan J. Rusch demurs, but warns that both the government and public will need to gird for a long and sometimes messy battle.

September 18, 2002

The new "copyspeak"
Taking Howard Berman head on, Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro says Hollywood's latest anti-Internet piracy campaign to enforce copyright interests will only result in trumping consumer rights.

September 26, 2002

XML's ticking time bomb
Sure, XML is becoming a "lingua franca" in IT shops around the world but does that mean it's going down smoothly? Not at all, write entrepreneurs Jack Serfass and David Wroe who say the users are paying a price in needless complexity and inefficiency.

October 8, 2002

Kofi Annan's IT challenge to Silicon Valley
Throwing down the gauntlet, the Secretary-General of the United Nations asks the American technology industry to assume more responsibility for helping to close a global digital divide that's getting wider all the time.

November 5, 2002

A last hurrah for Comdex?
It used to be the equivalent of Mardi Gras and the 4th of July combined. But on the eve of the computer industry's annual product fest, CNET News.com's Charles Cooper explains why this former must-attend show was slowly dying out.

November 15, 2002

Say hello to Big Brother
Like it or not, writes CNET News.com's Washington Watcher Declan McCullagh, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security firmly establishes Washington's central role in computer and network security. Things may never be the same.

November 18, 2002

The five biggest myths about Web Services
Web Services was the big buzzword of 2002, but before we arrive in computing Nirvana, IBM's Bob Sutor says the computer industry must dispose of the many misconceptions, half-truths and outright fantasies attending this Next Big Thing.

November 26, 2002

 


• Home isn't where security is
• The politics of high-tech pork
• A Divine e-commerce 'cashectomy'
• Straight talk on Web services
• The patent threat to the Web
• Dell's last stand?
 
• Who needs editors anyway?
• Time to bury IT misconceptions
• Who says paranoia doesn't pay off?
• Instant messaging's dead end
• How to keep corporate noses clean