In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Disintermediation 2.0
2. Today's Top Story: Skype
- Skype Version 2.0 Debuts
- Skype Partners With Logitech, Creative For Webcam Sales
3. Breaking News
- Microsoft May Patch IE Earlier Than Planned
- Sober Attack Biggest Virus Outbreak Ever
- Mozilla's Firefox Garners Quick 2 Million+ Downloads
- IM Threats Skyrocket In November
- Intel Faces More Chipset Shortages
- Blinkx Enters Search Toolbar Distribution Deal
- Almost 300 Million Cameraphones Sold In 2005: Gartner
- New Mobile Games Help Fight Against AIDS
- IBM Weighs In On Office
- Format Battle In Massachusetts
- AOL Services Go Mobile
- Microsoft Readies Online Classifieds Service
- Scientists Take Small Leap Toward Quantum Computing
4. Grab Bag: Dell On Costco Shelves
5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech
6. Voice Of Authority: VoIP
7. White Papers: Code Review Basics
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of
advertising." -- Mark Twain
1. Editor's Note: Disintermediation 2.0
In the dot-com bubble, a term that cropped up frequently was
disintermediation, the notion of leveraging the power of the
Internet to eliminate middlemen that added little value and
decreased the efficiency of a business. If you were on the
receiving end of it, your business was toast. The concept is
worth revisiting today in the context of the classified
advertising business of daily newspapers and recent moves by tech
companies. The big question: Are the dailies being
disintermediated in one of their bread-and-butter businesses?
Putting aside the well-documented decline in some key aspects of
the daily newspaper business -- most notably paid circulation --
it must be daunting for newspaper execs to consider Microsoft and
Google encroaching on their classified-ad business.
In Microsoft's case, the company is testing an
online classifieds service that would let people sell personal
items over its instant messaging, social networking, or local
search services. The software vendor plans to let users offer
goods or services to contacts on MSN Messenger or to groups
within its blogging service. At the same time, prospective
purchasers would be able to set up RSS feeds and get updates on
new items being listed.
Microsoft's disclosure follows an apparent -- or widely
interpreted -- move by Google that could result in a big classified ad push. Combine that with competition
from the likes of classifieds on
Yahoo, and the dominance of eBay.
Making things even more scary for the dailies:
The technological savvy and speed at which these companies can
pump out new products and features, making dailies -- not known
as a group for their speed or innovation -- look ossified by
The increasing comfort level Americans have selling
personal goods online in a self-service fashion that's easier,
cheaper, and gives more exposure than an ad in a single
Last year alone, help-wanted ads worth some $60 million were lost from newspapers in the San
Francisco Bay area to the Web, one consulting firm estimates.
For anyone who still enjoys reading their print daily newspaper,
as I do, we can only hope the big dailies adapt and find a way to
compete, leveraging their loyal subscriber bases and their
hometown connection with readers to branch out with new services.
There are some encouraging signs, including the success of paid
online sites such as the recently launched TimesSelect from the New York Times.
But it remains to be seen whether the dailies can adapt quickly
enough to stem the migration of classified-advertising dollars to
the Web. You can read a more complete analysis in my blog entry, and I encourage you to write
in to let fellow readers know whether you would still sell
personal items through newspaper classifieds, or instead go right
to the Internet?
Sober Attack Biggest Virus Outbreak Ever
E-mail security provider Postini said that it has quarantined more than 218 million Sober-infected messages in the last seven days, more than four times the 50 million-message average that it blocks in most months.
Scientists Take Small Leap Toward Quantum Computing
By getting atoms to spin simultaneously in opposite directions, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology make advancements toward creating applications that could help computers solve problems much faster.
With the surge of blogs, E-mail, and other unstructured company content, many companies are evaluating enterprise content-management strategies in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Enterprise Content Management.
The BI Challenge
Training, compatibility, and data quality problems are curbing the effectiveness of BI tools. Find out what 300 companies are doing to overcome these issues in InformationWeek Research Business Intelligence 2005 report.
Message To FCC: Stop Hurting VoIP
When the FCC mandated enhanced 911 capabilities for VoIP providers, it opened a potentially anti-innovative can of worms. VoIP E911 is a complex problem with no simple answers, but if the FCC wants to keep the burgeoning industry growing quickly, it should stimulate discussion and aid compliance instead of fixing itself into a scolding pattern.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.