Not all of this week's news involved global financial turmoil. While IT budgets are being cut and AMD is breaking itself up, a security tool was released for Firefox that prevents "clickjacking" and Microsoft said that Windows 7 will fix issues in Vista's user account control feature.
1. Economic malaise hits IT industry: Disappointing earnings from some IT companies, fewer initial public offerings, lowered earnings forecasts -- all are part of the grim global economic outlook. On the bright side, though, IBM reported this week that its net income rose 20 percent in its third quarter and maintained its profits will be strong for the full fiscal year.
2. AMD to spin off chip fabs to raise funds: Advanced Micro Devices is splitting into two companies, with one designing chips and the other making them. The company also said that two investment funds owned by the Abu Dhabi government will provide capital to AMD and help it compete better with Intel. The news was hailed by analysts, investors, customers, and employees as a way to strengthen AMD, particularly in the harsh economic climate.
[ Related: Rival Intel has launched an investigation into AMD's spinoff plans | Intel may be worried because analysts think the split could help AMD make up market share quickly ]
3. Firefox extension blocks dangerous Web attack: An update of a free security tool for Firefox blocks "clickjacking," one of the most dangerous and vexing problems on the Internet. Clickjacking happens when a Web user clicks on an invisible, malicious link without knowing it. The tool, called NoScript, now includes ClearClick, which can tell if a Web page contains a hidden, embedded element. Users of NoScript who click on such links will be asked if they really want to do that.
4. Microsoft to improve Vista's problematic UAC in Windows 7: Microsoft is tweaking the user account control feature in its Windows client OS and admits that what was meant to be a security feature in Vista has been a hassle for users. The idea behind UAC in Vista is to give primary PC users more control of applications and settings, but it hasn't quite worked out that way. "What we've learned is that we only got part of the way there in Vista and some folks think we accomplished the opposite," said a blog post attributed to Ben Fathi, Microsoft corporate vice president of development in the Windows Core Operating System Division.