This is typically one of the slowest weeks of the year for IT news, but the approach of Hurricane Gustav has Gulf Coast IT departments in full-out preparedness mode and the rest of the country anxiously watching with sharp memories of Hurricane Katrina, which hit that coast and devastated New Orleans on Aug. 29 three years ago. Also in the news were woes with an Oracle forum upgrade and Google offering credit to paying customers of its online Apps suite, to compensate for three Gmail outages earlier this month.
1. New Orleans IT departments brace for Gustav and Cellular operators say they're ready for Gustav: IT departments that learned valuable lessons for coping with disaster in the wake of Hurricane Katrina are preparing for the possibility that Hurricane Gustav will hit the U.S. Gulf Coast. Cellular operators say that they are prepared for the storm as well.
2. Oracle technical forum upgrade plagued with problems: Oracle "upgraded" its technical forums last weekend, but the changes have left some users unable to access the forums, prompted error messages and caused a general slowdown in performance. By week's end, Oracle apologized for the downtime users were experiencing and said it was working to restore performance levels.
3. Google extends Apps Premier credit for Gmail outages: Google is giving Apps Premier customers of its hosted Apps suite extensions of annual subscriptions for 15 days at no charge to compensate them for three Gmail outages earlier this month. “We’re committed to making Google Apps Premier Edition a service on which your organization can depend. During the first half of August, we didn’t do this as well as we should have,” reads an apologetic letter Google sent to those customers.
4. Atom demand still stymied by testing bottleneck: A testing bottleneck continues to keep Intel from meeting the strong demand for its Atom processor, designed for small laptops called netbooks. Intel underestimated end-user demand for the chips, and its testing process gives priority to more expensive chips that have a higher average selling price than does Atom. Thus, the ongoing bottleneck.
5. Performance improvement integral to Windows 7, IE8: Fixing performance issues with past versions of the Windows client OS and Internet Explorer are key goals of the development teams at Microsoft, according to company blogs. "We've re-dedicated ourselves to work in this area (performance) in Windows 7 (and IE 8)," according to an Engineering Windows 7 blog post. "This is a major initiative across each of our feature teams as well as the primary mission of one of our feature teams."