Everybody’s working for the weekend and The Web Week in Review signals that the weekend is upon us.
So without further ado, here are the stories that I found interesting this past week.
While some continue to proclaim that the worst of the global credit crisis is behind us, The Royal Bank of Scotland thinks that things are going to get worse. Much worse.
RBS credit strategist Bob Janjuah has stated that “a very nasty period is soon to be upon us“, and a report issued by the bank predicts that a market crash may be upon the markets within the next several months.
As noted by The Telegraph, Janjuah accurately predicted how dire the credit crisis would become last year and thus his warning deserves to be taken seriously.
The Telegraph also notes that the RBS prediction of a 300 point drop in the S&P 500 by September…
…”would amount to one of the worst bear markets over the last century.“
Interestingly, over the past two weeks, four Hindenburg Omen signals occurred, with three occurring this week.
Food for thought.
While some argue that there’s no place quite like California (and Silicon Valley) when it comes to technology and innovation, perhaps a bit of modesty is in order.
According to the Milken Institute, Massachusetts – not California – “is in the best position of any state to achieve high-quality economic growth thanks to its vast array of technology and science.“
As noted by the Associated Press, Massachusetts has earned the top spot on the institute’s State Technology and Science Index since it was started in 2002.
But 2008 marks the first time that California’s ranking has dropped. Ranked number two in 2007, it has fallen to fourth place behind Maryland and Colorado.
While the Milken Institute’s State Technology and Science Index represents just one party’s analysis, if California is going to promote the virtues of its technological prowess, it should be able to convince everybody else of it too.
Jerry Yang and the Yahoo board of directors may see a bright future for their company in the company crystal ball but an increasing number of key Yahoo employees don’t.
In an exodus figuratively similar to that seen as passengers abandoned the Titanic, Yahoo is now hemorrhaging talent. For a company that has already been thrown into chaos following Microsoft’s failed acquisition bid, this is not a good sign.
As News.com’s Dan Farber notes:
“The deep bench of talent is getting thinner by the day, and it’s becoming more difficult to recruit outstanding talent under the current circumstances.“
Unfortunately, talent will be one of the most important factors in its attempt to recover from what has arguably been the most tumultuous period in the company’s history.
As I recently stated, now that Yahoo has capitulated to Google, Yahoo as we knew it is dead.
Microsoft is still hoping to come out ahead, however.
Although it has, for the time being, dropped its bid for Yahoo, the San Jose Mercury News reports that it has stepped up its Silicon Valley recruiting efforts, noting that a Microsoft spokesman has reminded prospective employees that:
“One of the things that attracts you to Microsoft is that it’s a stable enough environment to allow you to do great things.“
How much money is there in spam?
Infamous Scott Richter’s willingness to cut a $6m check to MySpace is yet another indication that the answer is quite simply “a lot.“
Richter, well-known as a “spam king,” has already paid out millions in settlements to others who have sued him and his companies for spam.
And he was more than happy to pay up, stating that he does not plan to appeal an arbiter’s ruling that he pay $4.8m in damages and $1.2m in legal fees.
All in all, given his eagerness to be done with the mess, it’s probably safe to say that he made out quite well on the deal.
According to Cyber-Ark, a security company, one in three IT staff abuses his or her powers to access confidential data about other employees.
Noting that “privileged passwords get changed far less frequently than user passwords,” employees should be aware that the creepy, anti-social IT guy who always gives that strange look may have access to confidential information long after he’s been fired for browsing inappropriate websites.
All humour and stereotypes aside, Cyber-Ark’s survey highlights the fact that most companies are still woefully behind when it comes to protecting confidential information and that humans are the weakest link in the chain when it comes to security.
While Cyber-Ark’s study was based on the responses of only 300 “senior IT professionals,” the analysis is not surprising and highlights the fact that, just as individuals should not take for granted that the information they post to social networking services will be kept private, they cannot count on their confidential work data being kept private either.