Week in Review: Data zombies

Week in Review

This week began with a look a puzzled confusion across the brows of many people. The reason? Wolfram Alpha had launched, and to the people expecting a Google killer, it was virtually incomprehensible.

Wolfram Alpha's slogan is, "Making the world's knowledge computable", but it possibly should have been, "You don't have to be Spock to use this, but it helps". The computational search engine did create a lot of buzz, and if you delve into it, it is fascinating, but unless you're willing to invest the time, Google is still very much your best friend.We also discovered that when it comes to deleting data from the cloud, some services are better than others. Data remanence it's called, which amazingly turns out to be a real word.

It turns out that many sites don't actually leave delete data straight away, but rather leave it to do as a batch later on sort of like the Recycle Bin. This could have consequences for many, whether it's that image of you drunk that you really shouldn't have uploaded or sensitive business data that you don't want competitors to see. So be careful what you upload, people.

And would you know it, Microsoft came top of the pile, with Windows Live Space coming in for praise from the security experts for its speedy data removable.

It wasn't all good news for Microsoft though, as there was the small matter of a $200 million dollar fine for nicking a patent from Canadian software firm i4i for use in Word and Vista. The thing is, $200 million is a small matter for Microsoft just the cost of doing business.

It wasn't a good week for very old computers either. It turns out that the government clearly isn't sentimental about wartime computing, as it heartlessly refused to stump up any cash to save the long-term future of Bletchley Park , the site of the World War II code breaking team, as depicted in the film, Enigma'.

This week was also EMC World, and we sent our intrepid reporter Jennifer (why are reporters always intrepid?) off to the US to give us the low down on all the storage news you could possibly want. And maybe a little bit more. Here a photo round-up of all the goings on.

Finally, we have Apple, that's been proved to be a bit naughty in leaving a critical flaw in Mac OS X unfixed for six months, despite having just released a major OS patch.

The advice is to turn off Java, until Apple gets round to sorting it out - which is hardly what Mac users are going to want to hear. As Apple's market share is increasing, are standards slipping or is this sort of thing inevitable as it becomes a larger target?

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.