Week in Review: Computer go SMASH

Forget the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show it was the smashing up of old computers which really seemed to catch the imagination of the tech crowd this week.

A consumer report has given people the impression that destroying their hard drives with a hammer to prevent ID theft is a good thing to do.

The experts that IT PRO have talked to have said that disk-wiping technology is the best way for businesses to keep data safe, and if you are going to destroy the technology, at least do it in a safe and considered way. One expert even claimed that data can be saved from even the most smashed up device so think before you wade in with a lethal weapon.

Of course, being early January, the CES show is taking place in Las Vegas, and in the absence of any worthwhile Apple announcement to take the attention at Macworld, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer hogged the headlines with the Windows 7 beta.

We're currently test driving the beta of Microsoft's eagerly awaited new operating system, and reveal our first impressions of what has probably killed Vista's chance of taking a foothold.

It also means that those who downloaded the pirate version of Windows 7 in the last week may be feeling a bit stupid right about now

In home news, a broadband speed report from Ofcom has finally confirmed what all of us already knew that the real speed of broadband that home users and businesses get is lower than what the ISPs are advertising.

This is interesting news to businesses because this is where speed and reliability is really important, as it is a matter of money being earned and lost.

In these difficult times, the Government has started to realise the benefits to the economy that good, superfast broadband connections can bring. Gordon Brown has outlined an ambitious plan which harks back to the 30's regeneration of the US and which he hopes can create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

It's probably a comfort to know that the Financial Services Authority has already made plans in case a bank fails with a compensation scheme. However, the banks first need to get their act together with fixing up their IT systems, and this could cost a almost a billion pounds.

And finally, many readers will be interested to know that an 18-year old kid managed to get into the Twitter systems, thanks to simply guessing a password.

The social network has some work to do on security before it becomes the next break-out social network, as no less than Stephen Fry will attest.