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Ready, Set, Shop!

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Ready, Set, Shop!
2. Today's Top Story
    - Hackers Hitting Popular Apps
    - Lawsuits Mount Over Sony BMG Copyright Snafu
3. Breaking News
    - EU Legal Expert Calls For Scrapping Passenger-Data Agreement With U.S.
    - China Tests RFID System For Tracking Bird Flu
    - Panelists Weigh Potential RFID Security Threats
    - Gartner To Win2K Users: Prepare For Vista Or Die
    - Microsoft Seeks Standards Approval For Its XML Office Format
    - Midnight Madness Hypes Xbox 360 Launch
    - University Researchers Claim First Nanoscale Silicon Laser
    - Broadband Over Power Lines: Ready For A Big Breakthrough?
    - Young Adults Expected To Drive Online Bill Payments
    - SAP To Acquire Retail Software Vendor
    - VoIP Chip Market To Rocket 600% By 2009
    - Software Tool Melds Yale's Art Disciplines
4. In Depth: Holiday Shopping
    - Online Retailers Gear Up For 'Cyber Monday'
    - Online Shopping-Comparison Sites Beef Up For Holidays
    - High Gas Prices Expected To Spike Online Spending
    - Consumers Fear Holiday Theft Of Credit Data: Survey
    - Survey Has Good News For Small Online Retailers
    - Holiday Online Sales To Come At A Cost To Retailers
    - Google Introduces Tool For Mapping Out Shopping Trips
5. Voice Of Authority
    - Business Technology: Don't Drive Right Past GM's Latest Idea
6. White Papers
    - Top 10 Ways To Increase Enterprise Security While Reducing Costs
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day: Thanksgiving

"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"On Thanksgiving Day all over America, families sit down to dinner at the same moment--halftime." -- Unknown

"Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday. ... The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production." -- Ayn Rand

"A 2-pound turkey and a 50-pound cranberry--that's Thanksgiving dinner at Three Mile Island." -- Johnny Carson


1. Editor's Note: Ready, Set, Shop!

Don't look now, but Thanksgiving is bearing down upon us, which you probably know means that the biggest shopping weekend of the year is right around the corner. What you might not know, however, is that the Monday following that weekend is fast becoming the biggest online shopping day of the year.

This year, online retailers plan to help drive Cyber Monday shopping with special promotions and discounts, with deals ranging from free shipping to gifts with purchase to percentages off, according to an eHoliday Mood Study.

Overall, online holiday shopping is expected to be big this year. How big? Forrester Research predicts that Americans will click on "buy" to the tune of $18 billion between Thursday and Christmas. That would constitute a 25% increase over last year's online sales, which were also pretty darn good, fueled in part by free shipping, better response times, and improved reliability.

From the looks of things, it should be an even better year for online coffers and for deal-hunting, information-hungry consumers as well. High gasoline prices and convenience factor in heavily this year, but adding to the mix will be promotions, discounts, and a boatload of information sharing and shopping guidance that consumers won't get offline. Forrester predicts that 25 million U.S. households will shop online for the first time this year. And according to eMarketer.com, Internet shopping placed second on the list of consumers' favorite shopping venues, in an annual Holiday Mood Survey of retail spending and trends, commissioned by Deloitte.

For those shoppers who have yet to catch the cyber Yule spirit and who still need a reason to go online, you can read about just a few of the enticements awaiting you in the rest of my editor's note.

As for E-retailers, don't get too cocky. A number of consumer surveys--from IBM and I4 Commerce, to name two--reveal strong lingering concerns about online security and identity theft and fraud. E-businesses that don't provide adequate security will not only lose customers, but they'll make it that much harder for the rest of the online business community to assuage consumer fears.

Patricia Keefe
pkeefe@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Hackers Hitting Popular Apps
Cybercriminals have shifted targets. Until recently, hackers went after operating systems and Internet services like Web servers and E-mail servers. In 2005, they took aim at software applications and set Internet security back six years.

Lawsuits Mount Over Sony BMG Copyright Snafu
The Electronic Freedom Foundation is suing the company under California anti-piracy laws; the state of Texas had earlier revealed its lawsuit.


3. Breaking News

EU Legal Expert Calls For Scrapping Passenger-Data Agreement With U.S.
The agreement to share airline-passenger data took effect in May 2004, but the European Union's legislature had objections, claiming the deal failed to sufficiently protect the privacy of passengers.

China Trials RFID System For Tracking Bird Flu
On the heels of the country confirming its first human death from the virus, the goal is containment.

Panelists Weigh Potential RFID Security Threats
Similar to other wireless technologies, there are security risks for companies that don't secure their RFID networks by using equipment with built-in protocols such as secure shell and Secure Sockets Layer.

Gartner To Win2K Users: Prepare For Vista Or Die
The consulting firm recommends these users begin calling their software vendors as soon as possible to determine when they plan to support Vista--or they risk getting stuck with something no longer supported by Microsoft.

Microsoft Seeks Standards Approval For Its XML Office Format
The company has submitted its XML-based document format to the ECMA standards body, seeking a compromise with Massachusetts.

Midnight Madness Hypes Xbox 360 Launch
Microsoft is positioning the system as a broad-based consumer entertainment platform that does more than gaming; it can also record television programs, play music, and display photos.

University Researchers Claim First Nanoscale Silicon Laser
Three Brown researchers claim to have created the directly pumped silicon laser by changing the atomic structure of silicon, a breakthrough that could pave the way for faster, more powerful computers and fiber-optic networks.

Broadband Over Power Lines: Ready For A Big Breakthrough?
Pilots and tests abound, and companies--including Google--are pouring money into the technology.

Young Adults Expected To Drive Online Bill Payments
Within the next five years, 75% more people will pay their bills online, Forrester Research says, and consumers under 30 will lead the trend.

SAP To Acquire Retail Software Vendor
Terms of the deal for Khimetrics, which makes software to help retailers analyze how to price and position their products, were not disclosed.

VoIP Chip Market To Rocket 600% By 2009
The market for VoIP integrated circuits will grow from almost $209 million last year to $1.3 billion in 2009, with wireless handsets a key use, In-Stat says.

Software Tool Melds Yale's Art Disciplines
Students can access integrated content from anywhere on or off campus with a computer and Internet browser through a password-protected Web portal.

All our latest news

Watch More News

In the current episode:

John Soat with "That Internet Thing"

Mitch Wagner with "A Very Shiny Building"

John Soat with "Conspiracy Theory!"

Doug Henschen is the "Jaded Reporter"


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

Managing Content
Compliance is making many companies evaluate how they manage and store unstructured and structured content. Learn what nearly 200 companies plan to do in InformationWeek Research's recent report, Enterprise Content Management.

Challenges With Consultants
Consistency of service and inexperienced consultants are two challenges facing companies working with consultants. These and other issues are examined in Optimize magazine's executive research report Consultant Conundrum.

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.

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


4. In Depth: Ready? Get Set--Shop!

Online Retailers Gear Up For 'Cyber Monday'
The Monday after Thanksgiving is fast becoming one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.

Online Shopping-Comparison Sites Beef Up For Holidays
Some are tracking more merchandise, others are alerting shoppers to money-saving deals or warning them about fraud risks. Still others supplement their price comparisons with product reviews and hard-to-find coupons.

High Gas Prices Expected To Spike Online Spending
An AOL survey found that 52% of consumers plan to shop more online this year than last year, due in part to high gasoline prices making it too expensive to drive around to different retail locations.

Consumers Fear Holiday Theft Of Credit Data: Survey
Half of the 1,000 respondents said they would feel more secure with biometrics, according to the survey, commissioned by IBM and done by Opinion Research.

Survey Has Good News For Small Online Retailers
Nearly 63% of respondents said online specialty or niche retailers are the best places to shop for unusual or hard-to-find gifts. The survey was sponsored by Yahoo and conducted by Harris Interactive.

Holiday Online Sales To Come At A Cost To Retailers
Free shipping will be very important to entice online shoppers, likely causing profits to shrink, a Web-analysis firm says.

Google Introduces Tool For Mapping Out Shopping Trips
A map will point to merchants selling a specific item within a designated ZIP code. The idea is to help shoppers avoid trips to stores that have run out of the items they seek.


5. Voice Of Authority

Business Technology: Don't Drive Right Past GM's Latest Idea
When standards become more than a thankless job of The Committee With A Really Long Name, when they start to become the language in which a business topic is discussed, when they start to represent a concept that's far more than the steps for doing something, it's time for IT strategists to take careful note, Chris Murphy says.


6. White Papers

Top 10 Ways To Increase Enterprise Security While Reducing Costs
Companies must overcome the challenge at the core of E-business: how to securely and cost-effectively manage the expanding number of people, in a wide variety of roles, requesting access to information. The list of concepts in this paper significantly contributes to improved security in a cost-effective manner.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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