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Google Maps Gains Transit Info

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.

But balancing any for-pay bias on the part of expert reviews is the growing volume -- and importance -- of user-generated reviews. JupiterResearch found that 77% of Internet users most trusted those reviews left by other users. Brandweek found that a smaller, but still significant, percentage of online shoppers -- 33% -- trusted user reviews over traditional ads or expert reviews.

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.

Alice LaPlante
Alice.laplante@gmail.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

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.

Related Story:

Google And Salesforce.com Announce Alliance, Co-Developed Product
The companies expand a partnership that includes a Google Maps-Salesforce mashup and a plug-in for creating and managing Google ads.


3. Breaking News

Bugs Reported In Both IE And Firefox
Microsoft said it is investigating "claims" of vulnerabilities, while Mozilla released information on two flaws.

Senate Amendment Gives Employers More Clout Over H-1B Visas
The Electronic Industries Alliance and others wants federal lawmakers to amend the Senate immigration bill to make it easier for employers to hire and retain skilled foreign workers.

HTC Touch Phone Beats iPhone To Market With Touch-Screen Navigation
The 2.8-inch backlit touch screen allows scrolling and browsing of Internet pages, documents, and contact lists.

Who's To Blame For Insecure Software? Maybe You
Some 57% of those attending the Gartner IT security summit keynote session believe that vulnerability labs set up by security researchers are a useful public service.

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.

Continental To Deploy Up To 10,000 Windows Vista Copies
The airline believes new features found in Vista -- such as an improved internal search function -- will make its workers more efficient and productive.

Apple Refreshes MacBook Pro
Faster Intel Core 2 Duo processors and an LED-backlit display help usher in next week's Worldwide Developers Conference.

Kids Are Using Electronic Devices At An Earlier Age
Kids, on average, are beginning to use electronic gadgets at age 6.7, which is a drop from 8.1 years in 2005, according to NPD Group.

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.

Public In The Dark About 95% Of Software Bugs, IBM Says
An IBM security director is estimating that the 7,247 software vulnerabilities disclosed last year are a fraction of the bugs that actually were discovered.

Despite Deluge Of Data Losses, 40% Don't Monitor Databases
IT managers and CIOs still say their biggest fear is the dreaded insider getting his hands on critical database information.

All Our Latest News

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4. The Latest Mobile Blog Posts
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/mobile/

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?

AT&T CEO Stephenson Says Wireless Is The Company's Core. And The iPhone Is Big, Too.
AT&T's new CEO, Randall Stephenson, gave telecom blogger Om Malik some insight into the new AT&T and its plans. According to Stephenson, wireless will be central to AT&T's future. Oh, and that iPhone is gonna be big, too.

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.


5. Job Listings From TechCareers

Union Telephone/Union Wireless seeking Network Administration Specialist in Mountain View, WY

General Electric Transportation seeking Controls Design Engineer in Erie, PA

American Home Mortgage seeking .NET Developer in Melville, NY

Openlink Financial, Inc. seeking Java Developer in Uniondale, NY

Union Telephone/Union Wireless seeking LAN/WAN Administrator in Mountain View, WY

For more great jobs, career-related news, features and services, please visit CMP Media's TechCareers.


6. White Papers

Master Data Management: Solutions To Your Master Data Issues
Data management is a critical concern in a business environment driven by regulatory compliance, interoperability, and information issues. Read about tools that can help provide a unified view of your data.


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