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Why It's Wrong To Predict Failure For The Video IPod

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Why It's Wrong To Predict Failure For The Video IPod
2. Today's Top Story
    - Microsoft Wins Tentative Ruling Against Google And Kai-Fu Lee
    - User Newsgroups Report Problems With IE Patch
    - Gates Completes College Tour
    - Microsoft Updates Media Center PC 2005
3. Breaking News
    - Google Snaps Up Gaim Programmer
    - Negative News Search Seeks Shady Connections
    - Web Mail Becoming The 'New Phone Number'
    - Wal-Mart RFID Trial Shows 16% Reduction In Product Stock-Outs
    - U.S. Adults Want Doctors To Adopt New Technologies
    - Get Ready For The Ride: Wireless Technologies To Advance Quickly
    - IBM Pitches Its Custom R&D Unit
    - New BlackBerry Offers Real-Time GPS
    - Intel Enters Billion-Transistor Processor Era
    - Sabre Lands Low-Fare Carrier's Airfares
    - Wikipedia Meets Google Maps In Web Site
    - Flash Memory-Based Music Players Shipping In Larger Numbers
4. In Depth: Government, Law, And Public Policy
5. Voice Of Authority: Analyst Relations
6. White Papers: Security
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Don't you wish there were a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence? There's one marked 'brightness,' but it doesn't work." -- Gallagher


1. Editor's Note: Why It's Wrong To Predict Failure For The Video IPod

A Web site called TVPredictions.com looks into its crystal ball and concludes that the video iPod will be a failure. Philip Swann, president of TVPredictions, really hates the idea. In what appears to be a press release, TVPredictions writes: "'The video iPod will be Steve Jobs' folly,' Swann said. 'Americans will not watch full-length videos--or perhaps even short music videos--on 2.5-inch screens on portable devices. It makes no sense.'"

Swann adds: "The video iPod was born from arrogance. Apple has been so successful with the audio iPod that it thinks it can't go wrong. But it will this time. This is an example of a technology that is being launched only because it can be, not because anybody wants it."

That's a risk that any vendor faces when it innovates. Sometimes, the innovation is crazy. But sometimes, the inventor has come out with something for which there's a lot of pent-up demand that's invisible to everybody but the inventor. It's those latter cases on which mighty business empires are built. I mean, who the heck needs an oven that can cook food in minutes with radiation? A box that displays moving pictures? A cheap computer that sits on your desk? Nobody needed those things--until they came out, when it turned out everyone needed them.

None of Swann's objections to the iPod stands up to scrutiny. He says that people don't have time to watch videos on their iPods, we're too busy for that. In fact, much of our busy-ness involves waiting: at the grocery store, at Starbucks, at the lunch counter, at the doctor's office, commuting to work on mass transit, traveling by train. That time can be filled by watching videos.

He says watching video on an iPod will be an uncomfortable experience. That's true for existing movies and TV, but there's a new generation of video emerging that's created especially for the Internet.

For more of my video iPod defense, see the InformationWeek Weblog. Leave a comment there if you've got something to say. My colleague Tom Claburn has his own video iPod defense.

In other content on InformationWeek today: My colleague Eric Chabrow has a the first of a five-part audio interview with Ray Kurzweil, author of The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Kurzweil describes how advances in areas such as IT, biology, and nanotechnology will fundamentally change human nature in coming decades. Download the file here (4 minutes, 37 seconds, 2.2 MB), and look for updates throughout the week.

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


2. Today's Top Story

Microsoft Wins Tentative Ruling Against Google And Kai-Fu Lee
A federal judge made a tentative decision to let the lawsuit proceed in Washington state, where the law favors Microsoft.

Related Stories:
User Newsgroups Report Problems With IE Patch

Numerous comments posted on Microsoft's own newsgroups indicate that some users are having real headaches with one of Tuesday's critical patches.

Gates Completes College Tour
Gates' impromptu classroom appearances were designed both to boost interest in computer science and to find out how students use technology.

Microsoft Updates Media Center PC 2005
The refresh is considered a relatively minor upgrade. Its most compelling feature is a link to the upcoming Xbox 360 video-game console.


3. Breaking News

Google Snaps Up Gaim Programmer
Feeding its recent voracious appetite for hiring innovators, Google recruited the lead developer on the Gaim instant-messaging project.

Negative News Search Seeks Shady Connections
LexisNexis' new search function looks for articles in which a person or company is associated with a defined set of derogatory terms.

Web Mail Becoming The 'New Phone Number'
Yahoo tops the list of major Web-mail providers in customer satisfaction, according to a new survey, as E-mail for online consumers become as important as a phone number for communications.

Wal-Mart RFID Trial Shows 16% Reduction In Product Stock-Outs
Study also shows that RFID-equipped stores were 63% more effective in replenishing out-of-stock merchandise compared with stores without the technology.

U.S. Adults Want Doctors To Adopt New Technologies
An online survey found that enthusiasm for new medical technologies exists despite the fact that few of the respondents had actually experienced these advancements.

Get Ready For The Ride: Wireless Technologies To Advance Quickly
Fast third-generation cellular networks, new business-class mobile devices, mobile Linux, and high-capacity cell phones are all on tap in the coming months.

IBM Pitches Its Custom R&D Unit
Big Blue is hoping to continue the unit's growth, expecting about $1 billion in services contracts in 2005, but lower-cost outsourcers are hoping to lure their share of the business, too.

New BlackBerry Offers Real-Time GPS
The PDA is aimed at customers who want the power of a BlackBerry with the look and feel of a 'traditional' wireless phone.

Intel Enters Billion-Transistor Processor Era
The chipmaker begins sampling the dual-core Montecito processor.

Sabre Lands Low-Fare Carrier's Airfares
AirTran thinks selling seats through Sabre and Travelocity will give it an edge over low-cost rivals like Southwest and JetBlue.

Wikipedia Meets Google Maps In Web Site
A British nonprofit has built an application written in JavaScript and Perl that can take a Wikipedia entry and show its location on Google Maps and Google Earth.

Flash Memory-Based Music Players Shipping In Larger Numbers
Fueling growth in the MP3-based players are falling prices for memory and players, the availability of paid online media services, and growing consumer demand, according to researcher IDC.

All our latest news

Ray Kurzweil: The Singularity Is Near

Listen to InformationWeek's five-part interview this week with entrepreneur and visionary Ray Kurzweil, by editor-at-large Eric Chabrow. Today, in part one, Kurzweil explains the meaning of his new book, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Download it here (4 minutes, 37 seconds, 2.2 MB), and look for updates throughout the week.

Tuesday: Thinking machines with emotions could be developed as early as 2030.

Wednesday: Technology advances provide society with creative solutions and potentially destructive consequences.

Thursday: IT executives face new challenges in managing technology of the future.

Friday: With technology so pervasive in the future, protecting individual privacy will be a challenge.

The News Show

John Soat with "Headline Psychic" in the current episode of "The News Show."

Watch The News Show

Also in Friday's episode:

Eric Chabrow with "Tracing I/O"

Elena Malykhina with "Authentic Security"

Bob Evans with "Wal-Mart Art"


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

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 all-new Daily newsletter archive page and get caught up quickly.

Creativity Threshold
Creative companies value new ideas and encourage the people who generate them. Find out if you're working for an organization that appreciates employee creativity with this quick online quiz from InformationWeek.

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


4. In Depth: Government, Law, And Public Policy

Google To Add Info To Financial Reporting
The company said it will add information outside of generally accepted accounting principles to its quarterly earnings announcements, to help make its financial reports less confusing.

Secure Computing Tries To Block Illegal Downloads In Iran
Iran is among a number of countries accused of using American software to restrict access to the Internet.

Open-Source Software Gaining Favor In Germany
The city of Mannheim is gradually moving its 110 servers to Linux software from its current Microsoft base.

Massachusetts Hits 'Internet Spam Gang' With $37 Million Fine
To collect, the state's attorney general is looking for Leo Kuveyev, the leader of the spam ring, who's believed to be in Russia.

'Macrodobe' Merger Clears DOJ Hurdle
The U.S. Department of Justice has given its nod to Adobe Systems' proposed buyout of Macromedia.

Consumer Group Calls For RFID Protest At Dallas Wal-Mart
Study results show that RFID helps reduce out-of-stock problems at Wal-Mart stores.


5. Voice Of Authority: Analyst Relations

When An Analyst Works For Your Competitor
InformationWeek editor-in-chief Stephanie Stahl writes: So what happens when an analyst whom you've trusted with confidential information about your company and your customers takes a job with one of your competitors? Howard Dresner, one of the most well-known and influential analysts in the business-intelligence space, left Gartner to take a job at BI vendor Hyperion a couple of weeks ago. That's a move that has at least one CEO of a major BI company, who asked to remain anonymous, crying foul. "He knows confidential information about my company," he said. "That could hurt me."


6. White Papers: Security

Total Access Protection: A Better Approach To Securing Networks
Securing networks and their PC endpoints has grown increasingly challenging. The answer to these problems is Total Access Protection, Check Point's strategy for defending enterprise networks by ensuring that every PC is secure before it connects to the network.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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