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SanDisk has rejected an unsolicited takeover bid from hardware maker Samsung Electronics, saying that it undervalues the maker of flash storage cards. The two companies had been in takeover talks for about four months, but Samsung went public with its offer Tuesday, apparently after discussions had broken down. SanDisk Chairman and CEO Eli Harari responded quickly, saying in a statement his company is willing to discuss a takeover, but that the US$26 per share offer “is opportunistically timed at the trough of an industry-wide downturn” and undervalues the flash card maker.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been ineffective in coordinating government cybersecurity efforts and should be stripped of its authority in the area, members of a private cybersecurity task force told members of the U.S. Congress. The authority for coordinating government cybersecurity efforts and enforcing mandates should be moved to the White House, members of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ cybersecurity commission told lawmakers Tuesday. DHS doesn’t have the authority to force other government agencies to strengthen their cybersecurity efforts, said James Lewis, director of the Technology and Public Policy Program.

VMware’s CEO made his pitch on Tuesday for a new type of operating system for the data center, and in the process assigned the “traditional OS” to the dustbin of history. Speaking at the start of the VMworld conference in Las Vegas, CEO and President Paul Maritz described VMware’s plans to offer a “virtual data center OS” for managing server applications more flexibly and efficiently. The VDC OS is an attempt to extend the use of virtualization beyond the server, where it is widely used today, and apply the same principles to all the other hardware in a data center, including network switches and storage.

Cisco is targeting video, virtualization and collaboration as key areas of growth while pursuing 21 other initiatives at the same time, Chairman and CEO John Chambers told financial analysts on Tuesday. In a presentation at Cisco’s annual financial analyst conference that doubled as a sales pitch on the company’s growth potential and its products, Chambers said video is changing work and life while also driving sales of Cisco’s infrastructure. Virtualization, a newer theme for the company, also represents a big opportunity because the network is the element that touches every computing and storage resource in an enterprise, he said.

…And those are the top stories from the IDG Global IT News Update, brought to you by the IDG News Service. I’m Sumner Lemon in Singapore. Join us again later for more news from the world of technology.

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