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Lost In The Shuffle

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Lost In The Shuffle
2. Today's Top Story
    - Sony Warns It May Lose Some Battery Business On Recall
    Related Story:
    - Sony Swings To Q2 Loss On Cost Of Battery Recalls
3. Breaking News
    - Database Software Boosts Microsoft Profits
    - Microsoft Investigates IE7 Spoofing Bug
    - AOL Patches Critical Browser Bug
    - 'World Of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade' Game Delayed
    - Fugitive Millionaire Seeks U.S. Extradition Papers
    - Capgemini To Buy Service Provider Kanbay International
    - Digital Trail Helps Lead To Terror Hoax Suspect
    - IBM, Chartered, Samsung Chip Collaboration Snares Qualcomm
    - Mentor's Strong 3Q Exceeds Analyst Expectations
    - Cisco To Integrate Cell Phones With VoIP Platform
    - Gateway To Review Investor Request For Board Seats
4. Grab Bag
    - A New Campaign Tactic: Manipulating Google Data (NY Times - Reg. Required)
    - Microbubbles' Fantastic Voyage (Wired)
    - Apple, Tear Down This Wall (BusinessWeek)
5. In Depth
    - Analysis: Web 2.0 Technologies
    - 5 Recovery Apps Bring Your PC Back From The Dead
    - Hacker Unlocks Apple Music Download Protection
    - Adobe Offers E-Book Reader, Manager
    - Analysis: YouTube Users Beware
    - Info Select 2007 Helps Organize Random Info
6. Voice Of Authority
    - No Vista Coupon For You!
7. White Papers
    - Protect Your Business From Web-Based Threats
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones." -- John Cage


1. Editor's Note: Lost In The Shuffle

There's a human tendency to root for the underdog--to hope that the losers who start at the bottom of the heap, who have the odds stacked against them, can fight their way to the top and stand tall in victory while the credits roll. Thus, the popularity of Rocky, the Mets, and, yeah, Firefox.

However, most of the time, things don't work the way they do in the movies. Just this morning, I received e-mail from a reader who had just found a story we did back in February comparing four Web browsers: IE7, Firefox, Opera, and Maxthon. He wanted to explain about why he preferred Maxthon to the more well-known browsers. You've heard about Maxthon, right? You haven't?

Unfortunately, in our coverage of the stars of the software firmament--for example, "Internet Explorer Vs. Firefox: The Battle Heats Up"--the tech media often neglects the less-publicized products. Which is too bad because these are the products that are developed by people who are truly dedicated to new ideas--and are then picked up by users who become fans of the product in the best sense of the word. Have you ever read the blogs or discussion forums on these sites (such as this one from 30 Boxes, a calendar/social networking site)? There's a real sense of a community of enthusiasts--they push the product to its limits, discuss it on online forums, and argue with the developers as to where to go next.

It's extremely difficult for these small companies to get themselves heard over the cacophony of other, competing products. If they can become noticed, they have the hope of being the one in a thousand that attracts the attention of the public and the media--in other words, the next Firefox. If not--well, the virtual highway is littered with the bodies of good ideas that just didn't make it.

That's a bit of oversimplification, of course. There are actually several paths that developers can take with an innovative product. They can hope to at least attract enough attention so that a larger company looking for an interesting addition will buy them up--for example, the online word processor Writely, which was bought by Google and is now part of Google Docs & Spreadsheets. They can develop, expand, change, or even drop their product in the hope of finding that major formula that will spell success--for example, JotSpot, a business wiki product that has pulled its group note-taking applet, JotSpot Live, in order to rethink its place in the company's product line. Or they can just keep the faith, trying to get publicity, upgrading their product, staying in touch with their users, and keeping their corner of the market. Like the folks at Maxthon.

What have you seen that really rings your chimes? Are there innovative new applications and concepts out there that need to be written about? Or do you think that the cream will rise to the top whether we review them or not? Let me know at my blog post.

Barbara Krasnoff
bkrasnoff@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Sony Warns It May Lose Some Battery Business On Recall
A massive battery recall has already forced Sony to re-examine its earnings forecast for the year. Now the vendor says the recall could sap its production and result in a loss of business.

Related Stories:

Sony Swings To Q2 Loss On Cost Of Battery Recalls
The operating loss at Sony was 20.83 billion yen ($175.4 million) in July-September, against a 74.56 billion yen profit in the same period last year.


3. Breaking News

Database Software Boosts Microsoft Profits
Microsoft posted sales and profit growth at its server and tools business, powered by strong sales of its database software platform, SQL Server, and solid demand for its Windows server software.

Microsoft Investigates IE7 Spoofing Bug
As of Thursday, Microsoft says it's not aware of any attacks trying to take advantage of the bug.

AOL Patches Critical Browser Bug
Attackers would need to dupe users into visiting a malicious Web site to exploit the vulnerability.

'World Of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade' Game Delayed
The first expansion of the highly popular game has been delayed until January, missing the holiday shopping season. But most "World of Warcraft" revenue comes from players' subscriptions, so the impact on sales is expected to be temporary.

Fugitive Millionaire Seeks U.S. Extradition Papers
Arrested last week in Namibia, Jacob Alexander, the former chief executive and founder of Comverse Technology, faces up to 25 years in prison on multiple counts stemming from a stock option scheme.

Capgemini To Buy Service Provider Kanbay International
The $1.25 billion sale will triple Capgemini's workforce in India and also boost its presence as a provider in that country.

Digital Trail Helps Lead To Terror Hoax Suspect
A federal prosecutor says computer forensics played a "critical role" in the investigation that led to the arrest of a Wisconsin man in connection with the fake terrorist threat against football stadiums.

IBM, Chartered, Samsung Chip Collaboration Snares Qualcomm
Qualcomm will use a processor developed jointly by the three companies in its high-volume cell phone chipsets.

Mentor's Strong 3Q Exceeds Analyst Expectations
The company also expects a strong fourth quarter thanks to a general strengthening of demand in the electronic design automation industry, and to specific support for its next-generation emulation product and Calibre nm platform.

Cisco To Integrate Cell Phones With VoIP Platform
To do so, Cisco is buying Orative for its software to allow customers to link cell phones into their Cisco VoIP and unified communications deployments.

Gateway To Review Investor Request For Board Seats
The investor group sent a letter to Gateway Chairman Rick Snyder and Chief Executive Ed Coleman, saying the board "lacks the sense of urgency" needed to address the company's challenges.

All Our Latest News


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

Windows Vista: Ready, Set, Go?
With a projected ship date of November of this year, Microsoft and its customers are gearing up for the release of Vista. But will the product ship as promised? Learn how nearly 700 business technology professionals are planning to adopt Vista in InformationWeek Research's report, "Windows Vista: Ready, Set, Go?"

2006 InformationWeek 500 Report
The newest InformationWeek 500 report examines the best IT and business practices of the most innovative users of technology, the InformationWeek 500.

Preregister For The 2007 InformationWeek 500 List
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4. Grab Bag

A New Campaign Tactic: Manipulating Google Data (NY Times - Reg. Required)
Several Republican candidates have also been targeted in a sophisticated "Google bombing" campaign intended to game the search engine's ranking algorithms.

Microbubbles' Fantastic Voyage (Wired)
Tiny things can do a lot, and microbubbles are no exception. Researchers say the little guys could improve medical treatment in a wide number of fields.

Apple, Tear Down This Wall (BusinessWeek)
As iPod turns five, it's time to rekindle the debate over music download formats and ask again whether iTunes is too restrictive.


5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech

Analysis: Web 2.0 Technologies
Web 2.0 technologies offer great promise, but they're still immature and guaranteed to dramatically change your infrastructure in terms of monitoring, management, security, and network load. We explore the current state of the market and what conditions must exist to move forward.

Review: 5 Recovery Apps Bring Your PC Back From The Dead
Sometimes you just have to wipe everything and start from scratch--and a good recovery app will make sure it takes hours rather than weeks. Here are some of the best.

Hacker Unlocks Apple Music Download Protection
Jon Lech Johansen wants to allow iPod users to download songs from music stores other than Apple's. The workaround would also allow users to load iTunes songs on rival music players.

Adobe Offers E-Book Reader, Manager
Digital Editions, currently in beta, supports the company's popular PDF document format, as well as XHTML-based publications.

Analysis: YouTube Users Beware
YouTube is starting to make it easier for major media companies to clamp down on users who upload videos with copyright violations.

Info Select 2007 Helps Organize Random Info
This high-powered tool makes fast work out of organizing random Web clippings, snippets of text, and more. But its high price and restrictive evaluation policy are a real problem.


6. Voice Of Authority

No Vista Coupon For You!
If you're hankering for Vista, wait until you can get it pre-installed on a new PC.


7. White Papers

Protect Your Business From Web-Based Threats
Here are some key issues organizations should consider when seeking a solution to Web-based viruses, spyware, and uncontrolled use of the Web.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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