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Netgear Showcases Internet Receiver For TVs At CES

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Second Life, New Opportunities
2. Today's Top Story
    - Netgear Showcases Internet Receiver For TVs At CES
    Related Stories:
    - HP Unveils Touch-Screen PC On Vista At CES
    - Microsoft, HP Unveil Windows Home Server
3. Breaking News
    - Bill Gates' CES Keynote: Vista To Drive Downloadable Apps
    - CES INTERVIEW: Gates Sees Microsoft Leading Sony In Video Games
    - Kimberly-Clark Outsources Accounting Positions To India's Genpact
    - RealNetworks Licenses Rhapsody Music Service Technology To CE Makers
    - Vonage Offers Wi-Fi Services; Wi-Fi Alliance Promotes Security
    - Infosys To Offer Outsourcing Services To Hospitality Industry
    - Microsoft Postpones Half Of Tuesday's Patches
    - Macworld Advice: Four Things Never To Do To Your Mac
    - Americans Will Spend $155 Billion On Consumer Electronics This Year
    - Toshiba Sees HD DVD Sales Jumping In 2007-08
    - CES 2007: Cisco Sets Sights On Home Market
    - Panasonic Takes Java To Cable TV Set-Top Box
4. In Depth: Second Life
    - Second Life Moves To Open Source
    - IBM And Sears Build Second Life Store
    - Virtual Property Rights Are No Game
    - IBM Throws Open Its Doors In Second Life
    - Second Life Game Gets Virtual Phones
5. Voice Of Authority
    - New Security Threats For VoIP
6. White Papers
    - Solving The Energy Crisis In The Data Center
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Reality in our century is not something to be faced." -- Graham Greene


1. Editor's Note: Second Life, New Opportunities

My 11-year-old daughter and her friends already are addicted to a virtual world. Called Club Penguin, it's for tweens, who create avatars--of course, they don't call them that--who are (quite naturally) penguins. Through their penguin alter egos, the kids can chat, build and furnish houses (igloos), and work at various jobs to earn money that they can spend on penguin clothes, furnishings for their igloos, and other goodies dear to the hearts of that species, er, age group.

As I watch her immersed in this virtual space (access to which she is strictly limited to 30 minutes a day) I'm struck by what our virtual fantasies reveal about us. For the kids at Club Penguin, they are obviously attracted by the fact that they can emulate grownups and get access to adult privileges and rewards.

All this leads up to the fact that companies are diving into Second Life at accelerated rates. The latest news: IBM and Sears build a Second Life store designed to help users visualize purchases planned for real homes--and hopefully traipse to Sears to buy what they need. (For other recent Second Life corporate initiatives, go to my blog entry.)

What I'm curious about is this: What do these initiatives tell us about corporate fantasies (of course, executives call them "strategies" and "goals")?

With more than 2.3 registered avatars as of Jan. 1, there's a huge potential market out there. But how to tap into their particular fantasies for commercial purposes? (For an interesting discussion of why these numbers--released by Second Life's owner, Linden Lab--might be dubious, click here.)

What do you think? Do you belong to Second Life or another virtual world? Do you welcome or resent the steadily increasing corporate presence? What do you think of these virtual corporate fantasies? Do you think they make strategic business sense? Let me know by responding to my blog entry at the InformationWeek Weblog.

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


2. Today's Top Story

Netgear Showcases Internet Receiver For TVs At CES
The Netgear product can stream to a TV online video, music, radio programs, news feeds, and other content, and organize in a single library media files from other devices attached to a home network.

Related Stories:

HP Unveils Touch-Screen PC On Vista At CES
The TouchSmart PC is but one of several new Hewlett-Packard products introduced in Las Vegas on Monday.

Microsoft, HP Unveil Windows Home Server
HP's MediaSmart Server will be powered by an AMD processor and includes four hard drive bays and four USB ports for printer or external storage connections.


3. Breaking News

Bill Gates' CES Keynote: Vista To Drive Downloadable Apps
In his Sunday night CES keynote, Gates said Windows Vista will offer computer users the ability to gain additional features over time—for a price.

CES INTERVIEW: Gates Sees Microsoft Leading Sony In Video Games
Microsoft's chairman called the early success of the company's Xbox 360 game console a role-reversing change of fortune for the software giant looking to overtake market leader Sony.

Kimberly-Clark Outsources Accounting Positions To India's Genpact
The move is part of a major cost reduction initiative that the papermaker outlined in 2005.

RealNetworks Licenses Rhapsody Music Service Technology To CE Makers
Consumer electronics companies plan to incorporate the online music service into MP3 players, digital video recorders, and microprocessors.

Vonage Offers Wi-Fi Services; Wi-Fi Alliance Promotes Security
Vonage unit will team up with EarthLink to offer Wi-Fi Web access in select U.S. cities, while the Wi-Fi Alliance pushes an industry-standard approach that encourages consumers to enable security measures.

Infosys To Offer Outsourcing Services To Hospitality Industry
The services will come from an alliance between Infosys and HVS International, a consultancy offering valuation and other services to the hotel, restaurant, gaming, and leisure industries.

Microsoft Postpones Half Of Tuesday's Patches
Dropped were two security updates for Windows, one for both Windows and Office, and another that involved Windows and Visual Studio 2005.

Macworld Advice: Four Things Never To Do To Your Mac
Despite best intentions, people do bad things to their computers. An Apple guru offers four basic but important tips on protecting data, your machine, and your sanity.

Americans Will Spend $155 Billion On Consumer Electronics This Year
Consumer electronics sales grew 13% in 2006 to $145 billion, outpacing the industry's forecast of 8% growth.

Toshiba Sees HD DVD Sales Jumping In 2007-08
Toshiba said Sunday sales of its HD DVD players and recorders were likely to jump about six times to 3 million units or more in the year starting April, driven by robust demand in the United States.

CES 2007: Cisco Sets Sights On Home Market
Cisco and its Linksys division are geared up to debut a slew of products at this week's 2007 International Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, backing chairman and CEO John Chambers' recent pledge that the company plans to focus on the connected home.

Panasonic Takes Java To Cable TV Set-Top Box
Delivering on a promise made at the Consumer Electronics Show a year ago, Panasonic said Sunday that it will start offering this spring a Java-enabled digital cable set-top box to U.S. cable operators.

All Our Latest News


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

Mobile Computing
Learn what more than 500 companies are planning regarding their companies' wireless and mobile computing strategies in InformationWeek Research's Wireless/Mobile Computing report.

Vista Adoption
Will the release of Vista provide business technology professionals with the security and functionality they've been hoping for? Learn how nearly 700 business technology professionals answered these questions and more in InformationWeek Research's report Windows Vista: Ready, Set, Go?

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


4. In Depth: Second Life

Second Life Moves To Open Source
Source code for Second Life's Viewer application has been posted to a Linden Lab server and is available under the GNU General Public License.

IBM And Sears Build Second Life Store
The online store is designed to help users visualize purchases planned for real homes.

Virtual Property Rights Are No Game
Lawsuit against Second Life owner Linden Lab seeks to clarify ownership of real estate in the virtual world.

IBM Throws Open Its Doors In Second Life
IBM will allow non-IBMers to traipse through the 3-D replicas of its real-world premises that are located in the virtual world of Second Life.

Second Life Game Gets Virtual Phones
The accessories from YouNeverCall look and act like cell phones.


5. Voice Of Authority

New Security Threats For VoIP
Mitch Wagner thinks we shouldn't dismiss the threat of VoIP being used for denial-of-service attacks.


6. White Papers

Solving The Energy Crisis In The Data Center
The vast amount of energy that storage consumes is fast becoming a major concern for IT data center managers. This white paper points out the challenge of storing large amounts of fixed, long-term, and infrequently accessed "persistent data"—which now represents more than 75% of all data under management-and comes up with some innovative solutions.


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