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RSS--The Best Technology You're Not Using

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: RSS--The Best Technology You're Not Using
2. Today's Top Story
    - Time Warner Shuts Out Microsoft, Enters Talks With Google Over $1 Billion Investment
3. Breaking News
    - Windows Vista Toughest '06 Test For Microsoft
    - Dasher Worm On The Prowl, Infects 3,000 Machines
    - New Yahoo Service Looks To Improve ROI Of Online Ads
    - Microsoft Agrees To Acquire Business Software Firm
    - JBoss Preps 5.0 Platform
    - Lenovo Plans More Twists To Update An Old Favorite
    - TypePad Down, Leaves Bloggers Mute
    - Hispanic IT Students Get Boost From Latin American Grid, IBM Awards
    - Dell Recalls 35,000 Laptop Batteries
    - Murder Of HP Worker Puts Spotlight On India's Growing Female Workforce--And The Risks They Face
    - India Offshoring Industry Tightens Security After Murder Of HP Employee
    - Cingular To Launch 3G Video Service
    - RIM Faces More Pressure To Settle BlackBerry Case
    - 'Virtual' Cell Company Aimed At Young Users Launches
    - Holiday Shoppers Also Scour The Net For Gas Prices
    - Father-Son Doctor Team Aims To Revamp Hospital Business Intelligence
    - California Proposes $3 Billion Solar Plan
4. Grab Bag
    - Third NTP Patent Rejected, Boosting Research In Motion's View (Bloomberg)
    - Google Gmail Now Accessible Via Mobile Phones (Search Engine Watch)
    - Kazaa Owners Face Contempt Charge (PC World)
5. In Depth
    - AMD Memory Spin-Off Clears The Decks For Growth
    - AMD Says Court Ruling Gives It Another Victory Over Intel
    - Tokyo Court Asks For Release Of Evidence In AMD Suit
    - Analysis: Intel Vs. AMD Becomes An Epic
6. Voice Of Authority
    - WiMax Versus Wi-Fi: Which One Will Be The King Kong Of Wireless?
7. White Papers
    - Enterprise Information Integration: A Foundation For Applications That Integrates Heterogeneous Data Sources
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." -- H.L. Mencken


1. Editor's Note: RSS--The Best Technology You're Not Using

I spent a couple of days last week at Syndicate, a smallish conference in San Francisco focusing on RSS, Atom, feeds, and (what else?) syndication. I found it wonderful, exhilarating and exhausting.

The conference was wonderful and exhilarating because it had a lot of the great energy that I remember from the old days on the Internet, back in 1993-94.

Everybody was enthusiastic about the prospects for the future of RSS and syndication. There were lots of small vendors populating the show, each with their own unique angle on RSS. Half of their ideas are insanely brilliant, the other half are just plain stupid. Half the people with insanely brilliant ideas will get insanely rich in a few years and dominate the market. And half the people with insanely stupid ideas also will get rich; they'll pocket the money and run before investors figure out that they're selling worthless service.

Even the big vendors looked small--Yahoo's presence in the exhibitor area was just a row of tables. It had a couple more tables than the little guys, but other than that it's indistinguishable from the small fry.

Of course, all that wonderfulness and exhilaration can be exhausting when sustained for two full days. When I got back home, my body was crying out for a dose of mediocrity, so it could rest. Fortunately, I had a TiVo full of television to relax me; when you need to even out your metabolism after an excellence overdose, nothing does the job like network television.

I left the conference wondering why RSS isn't more popular. I'm flummoxed as to why more people aren't using RSS feeds as their primary means of accessing frequently visited Web sites. It's so much faster and easier for me to check my RSS reader than it is for me to visit a sequence of bookmarks to see if there's anything that's new on my regular sites. Why doesn't everyone feel that way?

The vast majority of Internet users don't use RSS feeds. Only 6% of Internet users consume RSS, according to a Forrester study released in September. The percentage tripled year over year, which is enormously fast growth--but still, 6%?

I asked that question of a few people at the Syndicate conference. Based on those discussions, and my own thinking, I've come to the following conclusions: Basically, it comes down to people not knowing what RSS is. They find it confusing. They don't know how to sign up. And they think they don't have time to use RSS--which, to me, is weird, because the whole value of using RSS is to save time.

For more thoughts about obstacles to RSS adoption, read the rest of this editor's note on the InformationWeek Weblog. Leave a comment there to let me know: Do you use RSS? If so, how? If not, why not? What do you think has to happen to drive further adoption of RSS?

Mitch Wagner
mwagner@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Time Warner Shuts Out Microsoft, Enters Talks With Google Over $1 Billion Investment
Google would get a 5% stake in AOL, and the two companies would broaden their advertising partnership.


3. Breaking News

Windows Vista Toughest '06 Test For Microsoft
Microsoft's biggest challenge in 2006 will be convincing companies that they should upgrade to Windows Vista when it rolls out, a consulting firm says.

Dasher Worm On the Prowl, Infects 3,000 Machines
Symantec and other security vendors have recommended that users immediately apply the patch from Microsoft's MS05-051 bulletin.

New Yahoo Service Looks To Improve ROI Of Online Ads
The service measures Yahoo ads' effectiveness against ads on other media, whether they're on another Web site, on television, or in print.

Microsoft Agrees To Acquire Business Software Firm
UMT makes tools for managing software-development projects.

JBoss Preps 5.0 Platform
The open-source platform, due early next year, is the first commercial product based on Enterprise JavaBeans 3 and incorporates a new messaging and Web services layer, among other new features.

Lenovo Plans More Twists To Update An Old Favorite
Lenovo is shaking up the traditional design of the ThinkPad, including integrating phone features into the systems.

TypePad Down, Leaves Bloggers Mute
TypePad, a for-fee hosted version of Six Apart Software's Moveable Type blogging software, has experienced numerous problems recently. Friday's outage was the most serious yet and was expected to last at least 12 hours.

Hispanic IT Students Get Boost From Latin American Grid, IBM Awards
IBM is investing in the Latin American Grid initiative, a cooperative research effort that helps stimulate local economies and prepare students for IT leadership positions. Hispanics currently represent 4% of U.S. computer-science graduates.

Dell Recalls 35,000 Laptop Batteries
The bad batteries, which could overheat and start fires in several laptop models, were sold from Oct. 5, 2004, through Oct. 13, 2005, Dell said.

Murder Of HP Worker Puts Spotlight On India's Growing Female Workforce--And The Risks They Face
A growing number of Indian women are joining India's booming IT industry and working the night shift, which is forcing tech companies and Indian society in general to make changes.

India Offshoring Industry Tightens Security After Murder Of HP Employee
After a cab driver confessed to the rape and murder of a 24-year-old Hewlett-Packard employee this week, Indian officials are instituting tighter background checks on drivers.

Cingular To Launch 3G Video Service
Cingular said that the service will provide on-demand streaming video, including programming from HBO such as "The Sopranos" and "Six Feet Under."

RIM Faces More Pressure To Settle BlackBerry Case
The issues have become more complicated in the past few days, with at least one other legal alternative to RIM's BlackBerry. NTP has licensed the BlackBerry patents to Visto, which then went out and sued Microsoft for patent infringement.

'Virtual' Cell Company Aimed At Young Users Launches
Dude! The company, called Amp'd, has as endorsers pro surfers, skateboarders, and snowboarders.

Holiday Shoppers Also Scour The Net For Gas Prices
Gas prices have dropped some, but fuel's still more expensive than it was last year at this time. Here are some sites people check out to find out where to fill up for less.

Father-Son Doctor Team Aims To Revamp Hospital Business Intelligence
Called Micro-Cares, the product they created tracks the treatment of patients in a hospital. Their goal is twofold: to spark a revolution in how doctors think about patient care and in the training of physicians.

California Proposes $3 Billion Solar Plan
The California Public Utilities Commission this week proposed the nation's largest solar energy plan: an 11-year solar rebate program for new and retrofit installations of solar photovoltaic systems.

All our latest news

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John Soat With 'Eye On IT'
IT workers worry about layoffs, Intel partners with BMW, Oracle's revenue rises, and more.

Aaron Ricadela With 'Virtual Earth'
Microsoft rolls out a new version of its Virtual Earth software.

Curtis Franklin With 'What's Coffee Got To Do With It?'
Curt goes on a rant about the problems with the document file format.


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4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web

Third NTP Patent Rejected, Boosting Research In Motion's View (Bloomberg)
The patent office has now issued rejection letters for three of the five patents that were involved in a lawsuit filed by licensing company NTP, which is suing BlackBerry E-mail device maker Research In Motion.

Google Gmail Now Accessible Via Mobile Phones (Search Engine Watch)
If you've got a Web-enabled mobile phone and a Gmail account, you can now access your mail on the run. Gmail mobile allows you to get your mail from just about any mobile phone browser, and most of the key features of Gmail are available in the smaller format as well.

Kazaa Owners Face Contempt Charge (PC World)
File-sharing service takes a different means of fighting piracy than the court has ordered.


5. In Depth

AMD Memory Spin-Off Clears The Decks For Growth
Shares in flash-memory company Spansion Inc., which has around $2 billion in annual revenue, were offered to the public at a price of $12.

AMD Says Court Ruling Gives It Another Victory Over Intel
A Tokyo court ruled that information collected in raids on Intel and computer makers must be handed over to AMD for use in its lawsuit against Intel.

Tokyo Court Asks For Release Of Evidence In AMD Suit
The evidence was discovered during April raids of Intel's Japanese offices. AMD intends to use the evidence as part of its lawsuit against Intel.

Analysis: Intel Vs. AMD Becomes An Epic
The two have long been bitter rivals, but the competition reached a new high--or low--this year.


6. Voice Of Authority

WiMax Versus Wi-Fi: Which One Will Be The King Kong Of Wireless?
A mix of testosterone, coffee, and a really hot wireless topic got everyone's blood boiling at one panel discussion during this week's Interop conference, taking place in New York City. It was a King Kong (WiMax) versus T-Rex (Wi-Fi) debate where even the most levelheaded executives took a stand.


7. White Papers

Enterprise Information Integration: A Foundation For Applications That Integrates Heterogeneous Data Sources
The need to integrate current data from heterogeneous data sources is becoming a key requirement. This paper details how EII-based data integrations are a powerful new kind of enterprise technology that allows applications to be written that access current data from heterogeneous data sources without requiring data to be copied.


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