Business & Finance
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When (Employment) Statistics Lie

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1. Editor's Note: When (Employment) Statistics Lie
2. Today's Top Story: Entertainment/Tech
    - TiVo Merges The Internet With TV
    - Digital Content Kiosks Rock On
    - Online Video Opens Favorite Age Groups To Marketers
3. Breaking News
    - Feds Turn To Tech For Enhanced Airport Security
    - Feds Want More Airline Data
    - This Time To Control Epidemics
    - IBM Offers New Self
    - Healing Computing Products
    - Defying Expectations, PC Holiday Sales Booming
    - IDC Reports Jump In Expected IT Spending
    - Study: Lack Of App Support Stunting Linux
    - Philips Targets New Technology Toward Gaming
    - Adobe, Macromedia Deal Nearly Done
    - Omron Tags Wal-Mart Suppliers For RFID
    - Research In Motion Catches Break In Patent Battle
4. Grab Bag: Sharp Objects On Planes Opposed
5. In Depth: Chip Check
6. Voice Of Authority: EPCglobal's 2006 Focus
7. White Papers: Web Services
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Statistician: A man who believes figures don't lie, but admits that under analysis some of them won't stand up, either." -- Evan Esar

1. Editor's Note: When (Employment) Statistics Lie

Numbers never tell the whole story. Take, for instance, Friday's Labor Department payroll report, which lumps together companies offering ISPs, search portals, and data-processing hosting services. That segment experienced its second consecutive monthly decline in November. That's strange, considering increased Internet use and the popularity of Google and other portals.

The payroll dip in ISPs, search portals, and data processing is countered by gains in other IT sectors: IT services firms, officially labeled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as computer systems design and related services, employed 1,342,800 people in November, up 6,100 for the month, and nearly 58,000 for the year, a 4.5% annual gain. Computer and peripheral equipment makers added 7,200 workers to their payrolls in the past 12 months, and employed 216,500 people in November, a 3.4% year rise. These numbers -- preliminary for last month and seasonally adjusted -- reflect an increasing demand by businesses and consumers for IT products and services.

But why then, in this strong IT and Internet economy, would employment among ISPs, search portals, and data-processing firms dip to 386,400 last month, down from 389,000 in October and 387,200 in November 2004? Simply, it's the way the government counts numbers. In reality, the number of people performing jobs providing Internet services, creating and maintaining search portals, and managing hosted computers is higher, probably significantly higher, than the government statistics suggest.

In determining payrolls, the government samples some 160,000 businesses and government agencies covering about 400,000 individual worksites. If the worksite primarily supports a service such as an Internet gateway -- say an office of America Online -- it would be counted as an ISP even though the company provides other services such as Web content. Americans are migrating away from old-style ISPs to broadband Internet services, mostly provided by cable TV and telecommunications companies. Though these communications providers have increased staffing to support their ISP services, their payroll increases are reflected in the broadcast, not Internet [ironic, isn't it?] category for cable TV companies and telecommunications for the telecom. That's the story behind the numbers.

Eric Chabrow

2. Today's Top Story: Entertainment/Tech

TiVo Merges The Internet With TV
Customers with a TiVo Series 2 DVR connected to the Internet over broadband will have access to a movie-ticket service, a Web-radio network, and entertainment portal Yahoo.

More Entertainment/Tech Stories:

Digital Content Kiosks Rock On
A newly introduced unstaffed kiosk that lets consumers burn movies, music, and other media onto CDs is getting huge interest, with three Fortune 500 companies about to test the kiosks and others already rolling them out.

Online Video Opens Favorite Age Groups To Marketers
It's not just 'college kids' who are watching the Web, consumer researcher ComScore says; older, more affluent people are checking out online video, too.

3. Breaking News

Feds Turn To Tech For Enhanced Airport Security
Heavily beefed up bomb-detection portals are on tap for the nation's airports as part of the security enhancements announced Friday by the Transportation Security Administration. Cutting-edge technology is the big news behind the coming changes.

Feds Want More Airline Data -- This Time To Control Epidemics
The CDC proposes creation of a passenger database to warn travelers of potential outbreaks. But airlines are worried about the cost and privacy issues.

IBM Offers New Self-Healing Computing Products
IBM is adding three new software products to its Tivoli portfolio that can help IT systems find and fix problems on their own.

Defying Expectations, PC Holiday Sales Booming
Several analysts had predicted PC sales would drop this season, but Current Analysis said unit shipments of PCs are up 35% over last year.

IDC Reports Jump In Expected IT Spending
A better economy and lower oil prices are helping push IDC's forecast to a 5% increase, based on IT buyers' own expectations.

Study: Lack Of App Support Stunting Linux
Buyers want Linux versions of VPN clients, Adobe Systems' Photoshop and PageMaker, as well as Autodesk's AutoCAD and Intuit's Quicken financial software, according to an open-source organization's online survey.

Philips Targets New Technology Toward Gaming
According to the company, amBX submerges the user within a complete "sensory surround experience," which extends the gaming world out of the screen and into the real world by barraging the senses with audio and visual queues tuned to the action on the screen.

Adobe, Macromedia Deal Nearly Done
The $3.4 billion merger was expected to close on Saturday, with more details about plans expected in the firm's annual analyst briefing in January.

Omron Tags Wal-Mart Suppliers For RFID
The Japanese company has a promising market. Wal-Mart already has mandated that its largest 100 suppliers ship RFID-equipped goods; the company's next-largest 200 suppliers are required to comply in 2006.

Research In Motion Catches Break In Patent Battle
The U.S. patent office again has rejected one of the NTP patents that a court says is being violated by BlackBerry devices.

All our latest news:

Watch More News

John Soat with "Eye On IT" in the current episode of The News Show.

Also in the current episode:

Ivan Schneider with "Oracle Yacht Club"

"China Stories, Part 5"

Sacha Lecca with "Skin Flick"

4. Grab Bag: News You Need From The Web

Sept. 11 Families, Others Oppose Sharp Objects on Planes (Fox News)
The government's proposal to allow small scissors and some other sharp objects back onto airliners is causing an uproar among flight attendants, families of victims of the Sept. 11 hijackings, and several lawmakers.

Greenspan urges action on budget deficit (MarketWatch)
Fed chief Alan Greenspan urged Congress to take steps to bring the federal budget deficit back into balance before it gets to be too late.

Nation's Jobs Rebound in November (Los Angeles Times)
The nation's payrolls expanded by a strong 215,000 jobs in November as the employment picture brightened across a wide range of fields and hurricane recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast triggered a hiring boom in the construction industry, the government said.

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

Unstructured Content
With the surge of blogs, E-mail, and other unstructured company content, many companies are evaluating enterprise-content-management strategies in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Enterprise Content Management.

The BI Challenge
Training, compatibility, and data-quality problems are curbing the effectiveness of BI tools. Find out what 300 companies are doing to overcome these issues in InformationWeek Research Business Intelligence 2005 report.


5. In Depth: Chip Check

Intel Fills CTO, Marketing Posts
The company has tapped Senior Fellow Justin Rattner to serve as chief technology officer; he's responsible for leading Intel's microprocessor, communications, and systems-technology labs and Intel Research.

Analyst: Intel Chip Shortage Hurting Market
The situation could leave notebook computers in short supply during the critical holiday season, one analyst says.

Chip Market: Consumers Drove $20-Billion October
Buyers of cell phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, digital TVs, and personal computers helped boost the market, according to the newest statistics from the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Researcher Ranks Top 25 Chip Companies In 2005
Two chip companies are set to outgrow Intel's projected 14% annual growth, iSupply says: IBM (30%) and Hynix (18.5%).

Intel Faces More Chipset Shortages
On Wednesday, Intel acknowledged that the short supplies for its notebook-based chipsets will continue at least until the first half of 2006.

Intel To Raise Q4 Guidance: Analyst
Citigroup analyst Glen Yeung said he believes the current 2006 growth forecast underestimates the earnings from Intel's dealings with Apple Computer, among other things.

6. Voice Of Authority: EPCglobal: Privacy, Strategy

And Focus For 2006
Mike Meranda, president of ECPglobal Inc. U.S., said the nonprofit organization spearheading radio-frequency identification technology adoption will roll out in early 2006 the Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) network. The EPCIS network is a collection of standards that will enable companies to share data and information electronically. It also will give software vendors a platform in which to build features into their products. Tune into the podcast interview.

7. White Papers: Web Services

Understanding Web Services In An Enterprise Service-Bus Environment
This white paper explores Web-services considerations when operating an enterprise service bus. It explains what an ESB is in conceptual and practical terms, what Web services are, and what Web services bring to an ESB.

8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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