In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: TV, TV Everywhere
2. Today's Top Story
- Beyond Viral: Using The Web To Nurture 'Contagious Behavior' Among Customers
- Tracking Down 'Infectious Agents'
- Sun Throws A Tupperware Party For Java, And 34,000 Consumers Show Up
3. Breaking News
- Apple Recalls 1.8 Million Notebook Batteries, Will Provide Free Replacements
- Microsoft Repatches IE's August Patch
- Microsoft Takes IE7 To RC1, Firefox 2.0 Slips
- Microsoft Tests New Wi-Fi Security, Locator Tools
- You Can Take It With You: TV On The Small, Small Screen
- Education Department Glitch Exposes Data On As Many As 21,000 Borrowers
- AOL Signs Studios For Movie Downloads
- IBM Unveils WebSphere Portal For SMBs
- Pay-Per-Click Ad Model Becomes Thieves' Cash Cow
- To Get That Job, Bring On The Charm: Survey
- Apple To Pay $100 Million To Creative In Settlement
- Review: Which Free Linux Desktop Is Best?
4. Grab Bag
- Top 10 Most Beautiful Cell Phones (Fosfor Gadgets)
- Invasion Of The Robo-Reporters (ABC News)
- Prius, Escape Owners Break Even In Three Years (Reuters)
5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech
- Review: Is Google Still The Ajax King?
- Sony Unveils PC/TV Combo
- Lenovo Releases First Cingular-Enabled ThinkPad
- Fasten Your Seatbelts And No Mobiles, Please
- Privacy Worries Spur New Search Engine Tool
6. Voice Of Authority
- Perpetually Restructuring Sun May Have It Right This Time
7. White Papers
- Securing Data Transmission On Metro Ethernet Networks
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book." -- Groucho Marx
1. Editor's Note: TV, TV Everywhere
While editing this week's personal tech story about all the ways you can get video on your mobile device, I was surprised. I knew mobile TV was moving forward by leaps and bounds, but I had no idea there were so many different options available right now.
You can get short show clips, news updates, and music videos from your cellular service provider. You can subscribe to channels that send real-time streaming TV shows to your PDA or smart phone, or you can set up a Slingbox to stream video content to you. You can buy individual shows to play on your iPod, subscribe to a movie-download service, use a hybrid DVR/video player combo, or choose from several other options. In other words, if you have a fairly recent mobile device with video capabilities, chances are you can find a way to get some kind of video content on the go.
But do you really want to? If you're sitting in an airport or on the subway or in the doctor's office, is watching TV how you want to fill up your time? Frankly, I would much rather read a book, listen to music, or solve a crossword puzzle than watch the 563rd CNN recap of the news story du jour. But that's me. I'm afraid my connection to today's hot media trends isn't what it was when I was 20.
To get a more balanced view, I asked a few coworkers whether they were interested in getting TV on their mobile devices. One of them sounded an emphatic "No," saying, "I watch a ton of TV, but I have no desire to watch it on a mobile device. It's just not something I care about doing."
Another voiced concerns over the amount of time she already spends watching TV at home, worrying that the ability to view TV on the go would only feed her habit. On the other hand, she said, she would be interested in catching certain momentous TV eventsKatie Couric's first broadcast as anchor of the CBS Evening News, for instanceas they happen, wherever she happens to be.
She's got a point there. I can see the appeal of watching the World Series live, or the final episode of your favorite show that you just know everyone will talk about before you get to watch your TiVo'd version. But I'm not sure it would be worth paying a monthly subscription fee for such occasional use.
Yet another coworker finds the small format too limiting. "Maybe it's because I'm getting old and have to use glasses for reading," she said, "but I can't imagine trying to watch shows on such a tiny screen."
She's not the only one. At this year's National Association of Broadcasters conference, HBO executive Bob Zitter discussed some of the problems of playing HBO shows, which tend to have a dynamic range of light and sound, on the small, small screen. "We ran a test version of 'Deadwood' on a cell phone, a scene where everyone was sitting around a campfire," he said. "All you could see is a little flicker of light."
Despite these concerns and others (including cost, infrastructure, and standards), study after study predicts rapid growth in both the number of subscribers and the revenue generated by mobile TV. What do you think? Do you see yourself subscribing to mobile TV service in the next three years? What would it take to get you to subscribe? Weigh in at my blog entry.
Microsoft Takes IE7 To RC1, Firefox 2.0 Slips
Release Candidate 1 is the last update of Internet Explorer Microsoft expects to distribute before shipping the browser later this year. Meanwhile, Firefox 2.0 Beta 2 is expected to be available next Wednesday.
Microsoft Tests New Wi-Fi Security, Locator Tools
Microsoft is testing a to-be-released service that helps users find and manage wireless connections when using public hotspots. It also maps the location of available hotspots and provides driving directions to them.
Is your security road map headed in the right direction? InformationWeek Research's 9th annual Global Information Security Survey, a joint research project with Accenture, examines these issues and more, including security investments and priorities.
Invasion Of The Robo-Reporters (ABC News)
At business news provider Thomson Financial, computers have begun to replace reporters. Robo-reporters respond to changes in a company's earnings estimates with a story highlighting the company's new earnings forecast. Average writing time equals 0.3 seconds.
Review: Is Google Still The Ajax King?
Google has taken a decisive lead in creative Ajax-based applications, but challengers abound. We review 20 other online apps to see how they stack up against Google's offerings.
Sony Unveils PC/TV Combo
The Vaio LS1 includes a 19-inch LCD screen with computing components tucked behind the flat panel.
Fasten Your Seatbelts And No Mobiles, Please
Airlines are seeking ways to police potentially annoying on-board phone chat via symbols of a mobile phone crossed out, forcing passengers to switch off during take-off and designated "night" periods.
Perpetually Restructuring Sun May Have It Right This Time
Sun Microsystems seems to be in a perpetual state of recovery, reorganization, and rebirth, as witnessed by the countless "new Sun" stories we've seen in the past five or six years. New revenue numbers published by IDC indicate, however, that Sun may have indeed finally gotten it right, and that the company has a chance to again become a premier technology provider.
7. White Papers
Securing Data Transmission On Metro Ethernet Networks
Today's networks have expanded beyond the corporate perimeter, opening up new network security concerns. Find out how to protect data both inside the expanding corporate perimeter and outside the traditional hardened exterior on both layer-2 and layer-3 Metro Ethernet VPNs.
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Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 7, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program!