In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: How Far Should We Trust Online Reviews?
2. Today's Top Story
- Google Maps Gains Transit Info
- Related Story:
- Google And Salesforce.com Announce Alliance, Co-Developed Product
3. Breaking News
- Bugs Reported In Both IE And Firefox
- Senate Amendment Gives Employers More Clout Over H-1B Visas
- HTC Touch Phone Beats iPhone To Market With Touch-Screen Navigation
- Who's To Blame For Insecure Software? Maybe You
- Intel Unveils Multimedia Chipset
- Continental To Deploy Up To 10,000 Windows Vista Copies
- Apple Refreshes MacBook Pro
- Kids Are Using Electronic Devices At An Earlier Age
- Intel, Asustek Announce Plans For Low-Cost Laptop
- Public In The Dark About 95% Of Software Bugs, IBM Says
- Despite Deluge Of Data Losses, 40% Don't Monitor Databases
4. The Latest Mobile Blog Posts
- Did Verizon Wireless Force Amp'd Mobile To Declare Bankruptcy?
- Microsoft And HTC Develop New Touch Screen Technology To Fend Off The iPhone
- Is AT&T Enhancing Its Edge Network For The iPhone?
- AT&T CEO Stephenson Says Wireless Is The Company's Core. And The iPhone Is Big, Too.
- Will Terrorists Use Google Earth?
5. Job Listings From TechCareers
6. White Papers
- Master Data Management: Solutions To Your Master Data Issues
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"Trust, but look for the exits." -- Mason Cooley
1. Editor's Note: How Far Should We Trust Online Reviews?
What do you want first, the good or the bad news?
With the goal of ending this editor's note in an upbeat way, let's start with the, er, less reassuring results of a recent undercover investigation by Daily Tech about whether Internet sites that routinely evaluated hardware were accepting payola in exchange for reviews.
Daily Tech found that 20% -- or one in five -- did. That's a disturbingly hefty percentage. And given that more and more people are basing important purchasing decisions on online research -- one study found that 90% of shoppers "always" or "sometimes" buy the exact brand that their online research came up with -- the stakes are high.
On the good news side, 66% of publications did not accept payola for reviews. That's reassuring. But as the article notes, with no standards -- legal or ethical -- governing this kind of practice online, consumers as well as businesses are more vulnerable than they might realize.
This provides a nice system of checks and balances. After all, if the consensus of the masses is radically different from the opinion of a single so-called expert, this raises a red flag that will almost certainly cause a shopper to investigate further and be more cautious before making a purchasing decision. The chance that a vendor can unduly influence purchasing decisions en masse will almost certainly diminish.
What do you think? What do you trust more, user-generated reviews or official reviews posted by online publications? How do you discriminate between the massive amounts of purchasing advice being dished out? Let us know by responding to the InformationWeek Blog.
Google Maps Gains Transit Info
In some cities and for some types of public transportation, Google Maps can show the next departure time, what lines serve a specific station, and a link to the transit agency.
Intel Unveils Multimedia Chipset
More than 100 motherboard designs incorporating the new chipset are under way, and Intel expects shipments of the 3 Series product line to increase faster than any of its other chipsets.
Intel, Asustek Announce Plans For Low-Cost Laptop
Intel detailed plans Tuesday to team up with Asustek Computer, the world's largest maker of computer motherboards, to make a notebook PC that would cost as little as $200 aimed at the education market in developing countries.
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Did Verizon Wireless Force Amp'd Mobile To Declare Bankruptcy?
Maybe. Staci Kramer at mocoNews.net claims that the carrier may have played a hand in the event. Verizon Wireless -- Amp'd Mobile's host carrier -- reportedly played a key role in Amp'd Mobile's decision to file. Is this real or is this just Amp'd trying to spin the story?
Microsoft And HTC Develop New Touch Screen Technology To Fend Off The iPhone
High Tech Computer Corp. unveiled its newest smartphone, the HTC Touch. The Touch is similar in many respects to other HTC Windows Mobile-powered smartphones, with one major exception. HTC has added a new three-dimensional user interface that employs what it calls TouchFLO touch screen technology. The UI lets users sweep their fingers around the screen to access applications and control the device. Sounds strangely similar to the UI on another soon-to-be-released device you may have heard of.
Is AT&T Enhancing Its Edge Network For The iPhone?
According to an internal operations employee, AT&T decided that it had better get its data network in tip-top shape for the iPhone launch. As such, it is working to improve coverage, latency, and throughput in its Edge systems. AT&T is calling the upgrade Operation Fine Edge. I'd say AT&T is walking the razor's edge here. While it will dampen the sting of not having 3G in the iPhone just a little, Edge is still limited by comparison. And, um, does this mean that AT&T's Edge network hasn't been providing the best possible service?
Will Terrorists Use Google Earth?
Does Google Earth provide too much information? Could it become a tool of terrorists? Last month, I asked if the CIA would eventually censor Google Earth. Now we discover that the suspects being held for the JFK terror plot supposedly referenced Google Maps as a part of the supposed plan.
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