CIO watercooler: October highlights

Here's a roundup of the latest CIO comings and goings -- and headlines you might have missed.

October is behind us – and, in many ways, that's a good thing. A White House indictment was handed down, another hurricane arrived, and "Saw II" hit theaters just in time for Halloween. If all that had you too busy to read the latest headlines, then SearchCIO has scoured the globe, and the Web for anything CIOs might be gabbing about around the water cooler, or while traveling business class to the next conference destinations.

Ending the geek streak: I've written before about the myriad titles of IT heads, from CIO to vice president of technology and plenty more titles in the (The CIO Name Game). IT people already have more titles than the Library of Congress, and here's yet another one that cropped up last month: "Operations Director." Yes, the OD (not to be confused with "The OC," Thursdays on Fox). According to IT management expert and author David Taylor, the CIO could become the OD, because geeky CIO baggage is bad for business, or at least careers. Vnunet.com reported that Taylor, speaking at the launch of a new management guide from BMC, said that IT people eventually will learn to speak business English because no one outside IT wants to hear geeks speaking in tongues. "We have all had enough of language that doesn't make any sense in the boardroom," he said. Taylor explained that the OD will be in charge of what the technology does rather than what it is. Isn't that what today's good CIOs do anyway?

Blogs, splogs and clogs: Big shocker here – the bloggers in your midst might be reading, ranting, raving and posting on company time. Trade paper AdAge.com reported that in 2005, U.S. workers will waste 551,000 years during 2005 reading blogs. For some perspective, that's 3,857,000 dog years. While some cubicle jockeys might be reading blogs related to their jobs, others might be inviting blog spam, or "splog." According to CNET News.Com, Sploggers hit Google's free Blogger tool and BlogSpot hosting service hard in October, resulting in clogged Really Simple Syndication (RSS) readers and flooded inboxes. The splogging frenzy might have even affected Google's search engine rankings. And it won't save you any money on car insurance.

Fallen Fiorina: eBay's CEO, Meg Whitman is so money. Fortune magazine named her the most powerful woman in business for the second year in a row. More powerful than Oprah. And a LOT more powerful than former champ Carly Fiorina. The ex-head of HP dropped out of the Top 50 faster than the Astros fell out of the World Series.

No "Snoogle"? I had hoped Sun and Google's joint venture would be called "Snoogle," but no such luck. According to eWEEK, sources close to the deal say rumors about hosted desktop productivity products and common operating systems are just that – rumors and that Silicon Valley's sultan of search and master of the Unixverse will probably find ways to promote both OpenOffice.org and the Google Toolbar rather than crank out a hosted offering. Regardless, Sun and Google's romance has already just about outlasted Paris Hilton's most recent engagement.

Oh my thumbs! Blackberry use isn't exactly a contact sport – but maybe it should be. Ergonomic and hand experts are warning about so-called "Blackberry Thumb," an affliction brought on by too much thumping on handheld keyboards. It's recommended you use a pencil to type long messages. Remember to be kind to your digits – what my dog would do for a pair of healthy opposable thumbs!

CIOs on the go:

Al Tarasiuk Jr. was named CIO of the CIA replacing Alan Wade. The USDA named Dave Combs permanent CIO. He spent three months as acting CIO. The Department of Homeland Security named Charlie Armstrongdeputy CIO. He replaced acting CIO Rear Adm. Ronald T. Hewitt, who returned to his old job as Coast Guard CIO. Karen Alber was named VP and CIO of Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Company. Tech leadership posts at PepsiCo and Quaker Oats are also on her resume Verizon Wireless promoted John Hinshawto VP and CIO. He replaces Roger Gurnani who has been promoted to president of the company's West Area business operations. Hinshaw will oversee a department with 2,100 people. Advanced Auto Parts in Roanoke, Va., named Ricardo S. Coro Senior Vice President, Information Technology and CIO. Coro has also worked in IT at Office Depot, Eckerd and J.C. Penney. Here's a CFO turned CIO! Daniel Mayleben joins Minneapolis-based glass firm Apogee as CIO. His resume includes CFO stints at HighJump Software, Adaytum and Honeywell International.

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