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It's Plain To See: LCDs Are Better Than CRTs

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!

Barbara Krasnoff
bkrasnoff@cmp.com


2. Today's Top Story

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.

Related Story:

Brief: Microsoft Pushes Back Office 2007 Release
The software will be out by year-end instead of October, and Microsoft says it's "assessing the impact" of this decision on when Vista will ship.


3. Breaking News

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.

Apple Probe Finds Option Grant 'Irregularities'
The company has informed the Securities and Exchange Commission about the issues, which relate to stock options granted between 1997 and 2001.

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.

VoIP Over Wi-Fi Helps, Hurts Service Providers
A new report warns mobile phone service providers that VoIP over Wi-Fi could cut into profits.

Microsoft Reorgs Business Division
Orlando Ayala moves over to the new emerging segments group; Reller, McCollum, and O'Brien move up.

3Com To Cut 250 Jobs, Reports Narrower Q4 Loss
The downturn will force a restructuring that will include layoffs, the shuttering of 21 sites, and a revamp of spending in sales and marketing.

Web Apps Get New Open-Source App Server
A small Sri Lankan firm of open-source developers says it's time to bring a fresh set of concepts and standards to the notion of an application server.

Defense Fails To Rattle Computer Forensics Expert In UBS Trial
The prosecution's forensics expert and star witness sparred with the defense Wednesday, taking on often heated questions about hackers and the validity of his analysis.

Google Checkout To Make Debut, Aimed At E-Commerce
The new offering promises online sellers an easy way to add a checkout to their sites and can be used with other options, such as PayPal or a merchant's own pay system.

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.

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat With 'Money Talks'
HP and Dell expand their recycling programs, Palm settles its lawsuit with Xerox, and Larry Ellison reverses his $100 million donation to Harvard.

Eric Chabrow With 'M&A: Tech Factor'
Many secrets about a company can be uncovered by examining the IT department.

Stephanie Stahl With 'What's In A Name?'
Learn how Zimbra got its name.

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

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.

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

4. Grab Bag

Open-Source Java Right Around The Corner? (Ars Technica)
According to a Sun Microsystems executive, the source code of the company's Java programming language could be released within a matter of months. However, details are still quite sketchy.

Six New World-Changing Trends (Wired)
Wired magazine parses the trajectory of the brightest stars in the zeitgeist, including People Power and Video Unlimited.

The Best Product Design Of 2006 (BusinessWeek)
Design teams from Asia nabbed a quarter of BusinessWeek's 2006 gold awards, up from 8% in 2005. What's more, the bar of excellence is moving ever higher.


5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech

Review Roundup: Five Low-Cost 19-Inch LCD Displays
LCD displays have come so far down in price that they're fast replacing CRT monitors on most desktops. Which LCD is right for you? Here are five interesting (and economical) possibilities.

Review: McAfee Total Protection Beta Takes On Windows Live OneCare
McAfee has become the second company to enter the security suite fray with betas of two new products. We examine its top-line Total Protection suite.

Review: Casio EX-Z850 Camera
The new 8.1-megapixel $399 Casio Exilim camera isn't perfect, but it takes great shots and has plenty of cool features.

Review: Casio EX-Z1000
This Exilim camera emphasizes powerful ease-of-use for taking great shots in a very wide variety of situations.

Cenzic's Hailstorm: Augment Your Web Security Toolbox
The updated vulnerability assessment tool can scan Ajax-enabled sites and applications for a wide range of security weaknesses.

A Look At The Latest In Mobile Technology From HP And Toshiba
Tablet PCs have been quietly incorporating new performance features, including the latest mobile processors and technology. Here we look at two convertible tablets, Hewlett-Packard's tc4400 and Toshiba's Portege M400.


6. Voice Of Authority

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.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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