In This Issue: 1. Editor's Note: It's Plain To See: LCDs Are Better Than CRTs 2. Today's Top Story - Microsoft Rolls Third Beta For Internet Explorer 7 Related Story: - Brief: Microsoft Pushes Back Office 2007 Release 3. Breaking News - FBI Recovers Stolen Veterans Affairs Laptop - Apple Probe Finds Option Grant 'Irregularities' - RSA Security Up For Sale - VoIP Over Wi-Fi Helps, Hurts Service Providers - Microsoft Reorgs Business Division - 3Com To Cut 250 Jobs, Reports Narrower Q4 Loss - Web Apps Get New Open-Source App Server - Defense Fails To Rattle Computer Forensics Expert In UBS Trial - Google Checkout To Make Debut, Aimed At E-Commerce - Cisco Details Wireless LAN Vulnerabilities - Broad Alliance Forms To Fight ID Fraud 4. Grab Bag - Open-Source Java Right Around The Corner? (Ars Technica) - Six New World-Changing Trends (Wired) - The Best Product Design Of 2006 (BusinessWeek) 5. In Depth - Review Roundup: Five Low-Cost 19-Inch LCD Displays - Review: McAfee Total Protection Beta Takes On Windows Live OneCare - Review: Casio EX-Z850 Camera - Review: Casio EX-Z1000 - Cenzic's Hailstorm: Augment Your Web Security Toolbox - A Look At The Latest In Mobile Technology From HP And Toshiba 6. Voice Of Authority - Senate: AT&T Can Discriminate Against Minorities 7. White Papers - The Software Quality Needs Of Java Development Managers 8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek 9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote Of The Day: "A computer terminal is not some clunky old television with a typewriter in front of it. It is an interface where the mind and body can connect with the universe and move bits of it about." — Douglas Adams
1. Editor's Note: It's Plain To See: LCDs Are Better Than CRTs
Some technology revolutions come with a great deal of bombast, PR, and headlines—for example, Microsoft's upcoming Vista operating system, which makes headlines every time Bill Gates sneezes. Others sort of sneak up on you to the point where you forget that things have ever been any different. That's the case with LCD displays.
(Before I go any further, let me assure all the grammar geeks out there that, yes, I know LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display, and saying "LCD display" is redundant. Yes, it sends shivers up editorial's spine as well. However, sometimes you just have to bow to clarity and popular usage. Sometimes.)
Until recently, it seemed to me that LCDs were, like many bleeding-edge tech toys, beyond my means and, quite frankly, not necessary. I had a good, working CRT monitor sitting on my home office desk, and it didn't feel like it was worth the extra cash to make a change. That is, until I was loaned a somewhat used Samsung LCD—and my mind changed real fast.
First, of course, there's the reclaimed space. My CRT sat at one edge of the desk—the only place I could fit it—with most of the device sticking out into space, right over the area where I kept my system box and surge protector. That meant that any time I had to do something with my system, either I had to be very careful not to stand up too quickly and bash my head on the back of the CRT, or I would have to move the heavy monitor to another part of my usually crowded desk. The LCD, on the other hand, can be placed anywhere I need it. It's basically given me back my desk.
Second is the quality of the image, which is fantastic. I've gone through quite a few CRTs in my time, and there was always some slight imperfection that either had to be tweaked or ignored—the image would be slightly skewed or curved, etc. On the LCD I just had to tweak the brightness a bit, lower the refresh rate on the driver (because I didn't know at first that the refresh rate on most LCDs shouldn't be set above 60Hz), and voila! a clear, crisp image.
Then there's the noise factor. CRT = constant, low-level hum. LCD = silence.
And these days price is no longer a barrier to getting a decent-sized, high-quality LCD, as shown in Bill O'Brien's review roundup of five low-cost 19-inch LCDs. Bill chose a range of displays hovering around the $250 mark, from both well-known brands such as BenQ, Samsung, and ViewSonic to lesser-known companies like AG Neovo and Rosewill. Between them, you should get a good idea of what type of LCD might be right for your desk.
Another type of peripheral that doesn't get a lot of attention in the news is the printer (including multifunctions, also known in my household as MFPs, all-in-ones, AIOs, and that-lousy-machine-isn't-working-again). I have a huge gripe about how ink and toner cartridges are priced and marketed to consumers and businesses—including the way that many printer manufacturers have done all they can to prevent third-party (and less expensive) cartridges from being available.
We're planning to cover this topic in a feature next month, and I'd be curious to know, is the price of ink and/or toner something that makes you slightly nuts? Have you tried any alternatives—third-party retailers, refilling kits, and so on? How did it work out? Let me know at my blog post.
We're skipping publication for Monday and Tuesday, but we'll be back on Wednesday, July 5. And for our fellow American readers (which is to say, most of you): Have a great Independence Day weekend!
Microsoft Rolls Third Beta For Internet Explorer 7 The new beta of IE7 for Windows XP boasts improvements in reliability, compatibility, and the user interface, including minor changes such as the ability to add an e-mail button to the customizable toolbar and shuffle tabs.
FBI Recovers Stolen Veterans Affairs Laptop The Department of Veterans Affairs and the FBI aren't saying much about how or where they recovered the laptop and its external hard drive, but they did say the database containing 26.5 million personnel identities was intact and hadn't been accessed.
RSA Security Up For Sale The digital encryption pioneer confirms it's in negotiations, but won't say precisely for what or with whom. This is following reports that storage giant EMC is looking to acquire it for $1.8 billion.
Cisco Details Wireless LAN Vulnerabilities Cisco says its Wireless Control System, an application for managing lightweight access points and WLAN controllers, has flaws that could allow remote users to perform a wide range of malicious acts.
Broad Alliance Forms To Fight ID Fraud The new Center for Identity Management and Information Protection will focus on issues related to identity management, information-sharing policy, and data protection.
Job Satisfaction Are you satisfied with your job? Find out how other IT professionals feel with InformationWeek Research's National IT Salary Study. The report covers job satisfaction as well as salaries and compensation, making it a valuable tool for IT managers, staffers, and recruiters.
Steal These Charts: Linux And Open Source Need to present Linux or open source as an alternative to other applications at your next meeting? If so, download these charts, which include adoption rates and migration plans from our recent "Linux: Service and Support" research.
Senate: AT&T Can Discriminate Against Minorities Preston Gralla describes how the Senate Commerce Committee has, in essence, legalized the ability of AT&T and other telcos to discriminate against minorities when building their video and broadband networks.
7. White Papers
The Software Quality Needs Of Java Development Managers Historically, many software companies have done their best to understand the needs and desires of Java developers, but rarely have companies looked at the unique needs and frustrations of Java software development managers. Read a study to better understand the issues that vex these managers on a day-to-day basis.
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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.