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9/10/2006
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Digg Dogged By Allegations Of Manipulation

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Decisions, Decisions
2. Today's Top Story
    - Digg Dogged By Allegations Of Manipulation
    Related Story:
    - Facebook Subscribers Protest Site's News Feeds
3. Breaking News
    - HP Extends Integrity Line With Dual-Core Itaniums
    - Just 3 Microsoft Security Updates On Tap Next Week
    - Microsoft Hints At Delay Of Vista In Europe
    - Brief: Court Dismisses Class-Action Lawsuit Against Adware Maker
    - New BlackBerry 'Pearl' Comes With Expandable Memory
    - Google Takes AdWords Mobile In U.S., U.K.
    - Blue Laser Glitch Forces Another Delay On Sony PS3
    - Microsoft Posts Free Office 2007 'Save As PDF' Add-On
    - Cognos To Cut 210 Jobs, Sees Higher Profit
    - AMD Taps Into Sun Utility Grid
    - Intel Announces vPro Business PC Platform Availability
    - No Joke: Microsoft Seeks To Patent Verbs
4. Grab Bag
    - IBM To Build Supercomputer Powered By Video Game Chips (NY Times - reg. required)
    - Rumor Mill: iTunes Going To The Movies (CNN)
    - The Wiki That Edited Me (Wired News)
5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech
    - Review: Windows Vista RC1 Is Almost Ready For Prime Time
    - Dual-Core CPU Buyer's Guide
    - AMD Upgrades Athlon X2 Desktop Dual-Core Lineup
    - Apple Shoves Core 2 Duo Into iMacs, Cuts Prices
    - Battery Maker Claims Safer Power Source For Laptops
    - Used Cell Phones, PDAs Are Treasure Trove Of Confidential Data
6. Voice Of Authority
    - Bungling Bureaucrats And IT Debacles
7. White Papers
    - Deploying Identity-Related Compliance: Best Practices
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach." -- Tony Robbins


1. Editor's Note: Decisions, Decisions

I don't know about you, but whenever I go to Dell's, HP's, or any other major PC manufacturer's Web site to look at new computers, I get a little overwhelmed with all the decisions I have to make. Do I want a home office or a small business computer? Media center capabilities or a machine that's all business? And those are the easy questions—after that come the big decisions: CPU and memory.

What's the difference between AMD's Athlon 64 X2 4200+ and its Athlon 64 X2 5000+? How much faster is Intel's Pentium D 960 than its Pentium D 920? Why is Core 2 Duo better than Core Duo? Of course, these questions are compounded if you're building your own system from scratch—then you can choose any processor you want, not just the options the PC makers spoon-feed you.

That's where our "Dual-Core CPU Buyer's Guide" comes in. We provide detailed information about the technological advances made by AMD and Intel in the past year and how those advances translate to their current processor lineups. We hail today's top chip, but also point you to more affordable options that still provide outstanding speed and efficiency.

There's also the question of cost. If I choose the Athlon 64 X2 5000+ over the 4200+ for an HP Pavilion m7660e, the manufacturer's online store adds $140 to my price. Is that fair? Is HP just passing along the cost of the higher-end processor, or is the company padding the cost a bit? Our buyer's guide can help here as well. A glance at the quick-reference charts shows that individuals can expect to find the 5000+ for around $325 and the 4200+ for around $199, a difference of $126. Although HP pays significantly lower prices because it buys in bulk, the price difference between the two chips is more or less comparable. (Keep in mind, too, that chip prices fluctuate frequently.) So perhaps HP is padding a little, but not a huge amount.

Our guide also provides pointers to some bargains you might otherwise overlook, such as the dual-core Pentium D 800 series and the low-end single-core Celeron and Sempron series. It also steers you away from overpriced chips such as the single-core Pentium 4s.

Now what about memory? Is more always better? Well, yes and no. In "Analysis: How Much System Memory Is Really Enough?" our tester found that adding more memory usually helps, but using memory modules in dual-channel mode is the real key to improving performance. If given the option, always choose the dual-channel configuration.

So there you have it: help for two of the biggest headache-inducing PC-buying decisions. Two down, a million to go.

What decisions stump you when buying a new computer? Graphics card, additional software, extended service plan? Share your advice on these and other PC-buying decisions at my blog entry.

Valerie Potter
vpotter@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Digg Dogged By Allegations Of Manipulation
The great Digg experiment appears to have hit a snag, with allegations of small groups of people taking over the home page.

Related Stories:

Facebook Subscribers Protest Site's News Feeds
A new feature on the social network seemed like a good idea, but some subscribers say it invades their privacy.


3. Breaking News

HP Extends Integrity Line With Dual-Core Itaniums
Sales of Integrity servers are doubling every quarter, and more than half of the largest 100 businesses in the world now use them, the company says.

Just 3 Microsoft Security Updates On Tap Next Week
The next round of Microsoft security updates is considerably smaller than the last.

Microsoft Hints At Delay Of Vista In Europe
The company says the rollout will depend on antitrust rules, but the European Commission responded that it's not holding up anything.

Brief: Court Dismisses Class-Action Lawsuit Against Adware Maker
Embattled adware maker Zango crows, says it proves the case was without merit, and touts its growing sales.

New BlackBerry 'Pearl' Comes With Expandable Memory
Research In Motion says it's determined to develop one of the smallest and lightest smart phones in the world, with all the capabilities of a traditional BlackBerry.

Google Takes AdWords Mobile In U.S., U.K.
The text ads appear when a user searches on a mobile device using Google's search engine, and they can contain up to two lines of text.

Blue Laser Glitch Forces Another Delay On Sony PS3
Sony will delay the PlayStation 3's debut in Europe until next March. Initial volume shipments to the U.S. and Japan, slated to begin in November, have been scaled back.

Microsoft Posts Free Office 2007 'Save As PDF' Add-On
The add-ons, available in three versions from Microsoft's download site, are a follow-up response to the company's spat with Adobe over similar functionality.

Cognos To Cut 210 Jobs, Sees Higher Profit
The company is cutting "management layers" even as it adds up to 25 sales representatives by the end of the fiscal year.

AMD Taps Into Sun Utility Grid
Sun will also let software vendors list their applications, then create connection points to allow potential customers to access the Sun grid compute resources to run the specific applications.

Intel Announces vPro Business PC Platform Availability
PCs built on vPro will offer a 50% increase in performance on base-level office applications and as much as twice the performance for processor-intensive applications compared to the existing Intel 2005 Professional Business Platform.

No Joke: Microsoft Seeks To Patent Verbs
The software giant's system aims to help students learn to conjugate verbs in a foreign language. But mum's the word on how it plans to use the technology.

All Our Latest News


----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

Securing Customer Records
Learn how your peers are protecting customer data and managing privacy issues in the InformationWeek/Accenture Global Information Security Survey of more than 2,000 technology and security professionals.

Do You Access Our Content From A BlackBerry Or Treo?
Many of our readers do, and we want to ensure that you get the best experience in using our content. So we've created a PDA-friendly version of our news content, with similarly streamlined content pages, that should make the PDA experience a good one. Check out our latest enhancement.

-----------------------------------------


4. Grab Bag

IBM To Build Supercomputer Powered By Video Game Chips (NY Times - reg. required)
The Department of Energy awarded IBM a contract to build a supercomputer using chips designed for the coming PlayStation 3.

Rumor Mill: iTunes Going To The Movies (CNN)
Rumors of Apple's plans to launch a movie download service gained momentum Tuesday after the company sent invitations to the media saying "It's Showtime" next week.

The Wiki That Edited Me (Wired News)
For over a week, volunteer editors picked at the prose, tested the facts, and directed journalist Ryan Singel to new avenues of reporting. But did this experiment in collaborative journalism produce a compelling story?


5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech

Review: Windows Vista RC1 Is Almost Ready For Prime Time
The new release candidate of Microsoft's next operating system shows a lot of promise and only a few remaining glitches. Could Microsoft get this one right?

Dual-Core CPU Buyer's Guide
With Intel and AMD embroiled in a performance and price war, choosing a desktop processor can be tough. We'll make the decision easier with a guide to chip choices and specs, as well as pointers to some bargains.

AMD Upgrades Athlon X2 Desktop Dual-Core Lineup
AMD's chip introduction comes as the company is locked in an intense dual-core technology battle with Intel. HP will be among the first to take the CPU to market.

Apple Shoves Core 2 Duo Into iMacs, Cuts Prices
Prices for the 17- and 20-inch configurations have been cut by as much as $300.

Battery Maker Claims Safer Power Source For Laptops
Lithium-ion batteries from Valence Technology use a phosphate-based cathode that makes them less likely than traditional batteries to ignite, the company says.

Used Cell Phones, PDAs Are Treasure Trove Of Confidential Data
Most used cell phones and PDAs contain personal or business information that their former owners never got around to deleting.


6. Voice Of Authority

Bungling Bureaucrats And IT Debacles
Just when you think the business and IT incompetence of bureaucrats can't get any more profound, they come roaring back to exceed our expectations.


7. White Papers

Deploying Identity-Related Compliance: Best Practices
Now that organizations have painstakingly gone through their first round of compliance activities, they're searching for ways to improve the timeliness and cost-effectiveness of their audit and compliance processes. Learn about best practices that can remove the hindrances to identity-related compliance benefits.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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