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Judge Approves Deal In Google Click-Fraud Case

In This Issue:

1. Editor's Note: Digital Music: Rent Or Own?
2. Today's Top Story
     - Judge Approves Deal In Google Click-Fraud Case
     - Google Gives Advertisers Click-Fraud Tool
3. Breaking News
     - Infamous File-Sharing Network Settles Record Industry Suit
     - Microsoft Patent Envisions Free Hardware, Software
     - Microsoft Hedges On Vista Timetable
     - Hackers Face Prison Time For Boosting Grades
     - Mozilla Patches 13 Firefox Flaws
     - Government Hearing Reinforces Push For U.S. Control Of Internet
     - With Gates Away, Ballmer Takes The Stage
     - Mobile-Phone Complexity Driving Rise In Customer Support Calls
     - Motorola Gears Efforts To Usurp Nokia's Top Spot
     - EU In Antitrust Probe Of Rival DVD Format Creators
     - Google Revamps Customer Support With New Help Center
     - Microsoft Sees Windows Unit Sales Growing 8% To 10%
4. Grab Bag
     - Portable Navigation Systems Going In More Directions (NY Times - reg. required)
     - Eco-Heating System For The Lazy (Wired News)
     - What Dell Should Do (BusinessWeek)
5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech
     - Review: Napster And Rhapsody For OS X And Linux? Sort Of
     - Review: Dliveo Delivers Easy File Transfers
     - Review: Dragon's Upgraded Voice-Recognition Software
     - Coming Soon To Your Cell Phone: Emergency Alerts From Homeland Security
     - From Flying Mice To Bluetooth, Here's How To Cut The Cord
     - What All Those Wireless Terms Really Mean
6. Voice Of Authority
     - The Myth Of The Flying Car
7. White Papers
     - Storage Savvy: What IT Organizations Need To Know
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote Of The Day:
"There is no delight in owning anything unshared." —Lucius Annaeus Seneca


1. Editor's Note: Digital Music: Rent Or Own?

For music lovers, the advent of the iTunes online music store has been an incredible boon. The ability to legally download individual tracks from a huge catalog at 99 cents a pop is delicious (and a little dangerous for your wallet).

If that sounds a bit pricey, there is an alternative: music subscription services, which offer unlimited downloads for a flat monthly fee, usually around $10. The catch? With these services, you don't own the music you download — you just rent it for as long as you pay the monthly fee. As soon as you stop paying, the digital rights management (DRM) coding in the music files prevents them from being played.

Of course, there are those, such as Internet activist Cory Doctorow, who argue that even when you pay for individual tracks or albums from iTunes and its competitors, you don't really own the music. That's because those files, too, contain DRM coding that places restrictions on what you can do with the music you've paid for. And there's always the possibility that the DRM coding will work improperly and prevent honest paying customers from playing their own music. Indeed, several readers reported just such problems at last week's blog post from my colleague Barbara Krasnoff.

Nevertheless, most of us are willing to put up with DRM to get the music we want. But the debate rages on: Is it better to rent all the music you want for a low monthly fee or pay more to own all your downloads?

Two groups that have largely been left out of this debate are Mac and Linux users. The major music subscription services use a DRM scheme in their client software that was developed by Microsoft, which has little interest in making it compatible with non-Windows platforms. This has left Linux and Mac users with no choice but to purchase digital music outright—or download it illegally.

However, two of the biggest music-subscription providers, Rhapsody and Napster, have recently launched Web-based services that do work with Linux and Mac OS X. Music junkie Matt McKenzie took both services for a spin on OS X, Fedora Core 4, and Ubuntu Linux (as well as Windows XP for the sake of comparison) and found mixed results. Can OS X and Linux users get unlimited plays via the Web player for $10 per month? Yes. Do they get as many features as subscribers using the Windows-only client software, who also pay $10 a month? No. Is that fair? Not in my book.

If Linux and Mac users want to partake of the all-you-can-eat musical buffet, though, these services are their only option for now. As McKenzie notes, it's at least worth trying out Rhapsody (but not Napster) for a month or two.

And if you're looking to really own your music outright, not some DRM-saddled version that might go poof someday, the story provides a list of alternative music-download sites. You won't find the same mass-market, major-label fare that the big boys provide, but you will discover a great variety of off-the-beaten-track tunes from small labels and independent artists.

What's your digital music preference—rent or own? DRM or no DRM? Tell us about your favorite music-download site at my blog post. (Don't forget to include URLs.)

Valerie Potter
vpotter@cmp.com


2. Today's Top Story

Judge Approves Deal In Google Click-Fraud Case
The circuit judge said in his ruling that the settlement—which calls for Google to allow all advertisers to apply for credit for invalid clicks—was "fair, reasonable, and adequate."

Related Story

Google Gives Advertisers Click-Fraud Tool
While awaiting the court's ruling, Google announced a new AdWords feature that allows advertisers to view click fraud. Advertisers, however, must pay for the reports.


3. Breaking News

Infamous File-Sharing Network Settles Record Industry Suit
Sharman Networks has agreed to pay $115 million to settle its legal troubles with the record industry, which sued the company for distributing illegal music files through its Kazaa file-sharing network.

Microsoft Patent Envisions Free Hardware, Software
Microsoft's latest patent application describes several possible applications for a targeted online advertising system under development, including free hardware and software for subscribers.

Microsoft Hedges On Vista Timetable
Speaking to financial analysts, a company official sends mixed signals about Windows Vista's ship date.

Hackers Face Prison Time For Boosting Grades
A pair of California college students each face up to a year in prison for hacking into a professor's computer to give out bogus grades.

Mozilla Patches 13 Firefox Flaws
Mozilla rolls out a Firefox security update that patches 13 vulnerabilities, eight of them judged "critical." The overall update has been tagged as "highly critical."

Government Hearing Reinforces Push For U.S. Control Of Internet
Loath though U.S. officials may be to surrender the Net to foreign bureaucrats, greater international involvement in overseeing the Internet has long been anticipated.

With Gates Away, Ballmer Takes The Stage
During an annual meeting with financial analysts, Microsoft's CEO talks of building on Vista while growing the company's Internet advertising and entertainment businesses.

Mobile-Phone Complexity Driving Rise In Customer Support Calls
Some 59% of wireless subscribers surveyed this year by J.D. Power have contacted their provider within a 12-month period, the highest level since the firm started gathering such data in 2000.

Motorola Gears Efforts To Usurp Nokia's Top Spot
An immediate goal is to contest Nokia's dominance in high-growth emerging markets like India and China, to which both companies are turning increasingly for growth as most people have phones in long-established markets.

EU In Antitrust Probe Of Rival DVD Format Creators
At issue are licensing strategies of HD DVD and Blu-ray makers; a European Commission spokesman declined to name the two vendors that are being investigated.

Google Revamps Customer Support With New Help Center
The new Help page includes lists of links organized categorically and alphabetically. A search box is conspicuously absent.

Microsoft Sees Windows Unit Sales Growing 8% To 10%
A top executive in the company's platforms and services division forecast the Windows business will deliver sales of between $14.3 billion and $14.5 billion in fiscal 2007.

All Our Latest News

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John Soat with "(It's A) Networked World"
Broadband subscribers jump 33%, more wireless users are calling carriers for help, and Cisco VPNs are vulnerable to denial-of-service attacks.

Nick Hoover with "Super Session"
Only two senators showed for the recent Capitol Hill hearing on supercomputing, but that doesn't mean support is lacking.

Elena Malykhina with "Hotspot Spotter"
New pen from Informatica detects hotspots.

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Learn the top five benefits of installing VoIP beyond the pilot stage in this recent report by InformationWeek Research.

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Do you need some quick charts on business intelligence, Linux adoption, plans for Vista migration? Pick up some quick market facts for your next meeting free of charge.

A Week's Worth Of Dailies—All In One Place
Have you missed an issue or two of the InformationWeek Daily? Or want to check out some recent quotes of the day? Check out our Daily newsletter archive page and get caught up quickly.

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4. Grab Bag

Portable Navigation Systems Going In More Directions (NY Times - reg. required)
GPS devices that can be taken from car to car and plugged into a lighter socket are a godsend for driving directions, but they are becoming quite handy in other ways as well—and not just for drivers.

Eco-Heating System For The Lazy (Wired News)
Until now, pellet heating systems have appealed mainly to the ambitiously eco-minded—it takes a little work to keep them up and running. Now, a new system could attract even the indolent environmentalist.

What Dell Should Do (BusinessWeek)
Experts weigh in on ways to revive growth at the world's biggest computer maker. Some ideas: rethink retail and bring back Mike.


5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech

Review: Napster And Rhapsody For OS X And Linux? Sort Of
With the launch of new Web-based services from two major online music subscription providers, Mac and Linux users can finally get in on the all-you-can-download action. But are these services any good?

Review: Dliveo Delivers Easy File Transfers
This Web service, currently in beta, handles file transfers of unlimited size between users across the Internet, providing 128-bit security, bandwidth controls, and status reporting.

Review: Dragon's Upgraded Voice-Recognition Software
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 gets amped with better accuracy and a quick-start option that eliminates the need for "training" the software.

Coming Soon To Your Cell Phone: Emergency Alerts From Homeland Security
Cell phones and other wireless devices could become the newest way for the government to deliver critical information after a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or even a serious traffic accident.

From Flying Mice To Bluetooth, Here's How To Cut The Cord
As computers begin to move into the living room, consumers are paying more attention to wireless accessories for reasons of convenience and style.

What All Those Wireless Terms Really Mean
Companies and consumers considering wireless technology confront a daunting array of terminology and acronyms, not to mention numerous technology choices. We cut through the clutter to give you the straight scoop on what each type of technology can (and can't) do for you.


6. Voice Of Authority

The Myth Of The Flying Car
It's the fantasy of every frustrated driver who's ever been caught in traffic: to push a button, take off, and soar above the gridlock like an airplane. But don't hold your breath, says Mike Elgan—you'll never drive a flying car.


7. White Papers

Storage Savvy: What IT Organizations Need To Know
Database storage, e-mail record management and archiving, security requirements, and multiple storage system requirements create a continuing IT nightmare. Find out how you can get a handle on storage management.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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