* You are viewing the archive for January, 2007

World’s Best Corporate Reputations: Apple #22, Google #4, & Microsoft #1

The results are here of the eight-annual Harris Interactive/The Wall Street Journal ranking of the world’s best and worst corporate reputations. Helped immensely by Bill Gates philanthropy, Microsoft dethroned cutesy Johnson & Johnson known for its emotionally appealing baby products. Interesting that around the same time a report comes out saying Microsoft has the best reputation, another article explains that “Few Rush Out to Buy New Windows Vista” citing consumers waiting for the bugs to be worked out.

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Dell Taking Orders for Vista PCs TONIGHT!

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has some unidentified sources claiming that Dell will begin selling personal computers with Vista tonight just before midnight eastern standard time. These first movers will get their new Vista-loaded computers on Tuesday, the official launch day of Vista for home users. My question:

Will there be a spike or drop in Dell orders tonight?

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Death of DRM Roundup: The World Wants Unrestricted Music

AppleitunesWow. We’re not even through January and DRM is knocking at heaven’s (hell’s?) door. The latest news comes today with Norway proclaiming that Apple’s DRM via the iPod and iTunes is illegal. France, Germany, and Finland joined with Norway in releasing the following statement:

“We believe consumers have a right to play material purchased online on a portable device of their own choice.”

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Scandal 2.0: Is Microsoft the only company paying for Wikipedia edits?

Microsoft is getting some bad press for offering to pay a blogger to change a supposedly inaccurate article on Wikipedia. The blogger let it out in the open, and it wasn’t long before it hit the mainstream press. Even the Wall Street Journal decided to run an article based around the situation.

I suppose the principle of payment for Wikipedia coverage is the key issue here (some argue it’s about Microsoft’s clumsiness), though I’m curious to know why Microsoft (or whichever Microsoft employee pulling the strings, more to the point) really felt the need to correct a technical Wikipedia article on Office Open XML.

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What’s Your Google / Microsoft / Yahoo Usage Breakdown?

So Yahoo released earnings info today, which was followed by mildly negative even if hopeful commentary. Google, of course, being cited as the major obstacle. It got me thinking about the fact that I don’t use any of Yahoo’s major offerings (meaning: search, email, or advertising). I don’t do this on purpose; it’s just the way my online habits have evolved, I suppose.

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Help This Woman Catch Her Cheating Husband Using a Cellphone

I get all sorts of interesting emails being part of a site like TechConsumer, but I’ve never gotten a request like this. A woman contacted me — we’ll call her Tina — and explained how her husband is cheating on her. She knows this because she took a peek at his cellphone and saw some rather questionable text messages from his new, uh, “friend.”

So what’s she hoping to find is a way to setup his phone (obviously while he’s unaware) so that it forwards his text messages (sent, received, or both) to her cellphone or email address (without him knowing).

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Why Netflix Will Make Online Movie Watching a Reality

Netflixlogo_1If you missed the Netflix news last week, the company announced that it will offer existing subscribers the option of watching movies and TV shows online at no additional cost. So if you pay $18 a month for your regular three DVDs at at time mailing plan, soon you’ll be receiving 18 hours of free online watching time too.

What I found intriguing about the story is that just days and weeks earlier, certain prominent bloggers posted why Netflix is in trouble. Mike Arrington had his post “Why I Am Breaking Up With Netflix” while Robert Scoble had his thoughts on “Netflix is dead.” Both came back with follow up stories after the news release (“Netflix, I Was Just Kidding About Breaking Up With You” and “Netflix tells Scoble he’s wrong” respectively).

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Germany & The Netherlands Consider Banning Video Games: Why This Is Wrong

The Economist (subscription required) has an excellent piece outlining the silliness associated with banning video games. The proponents of banning use the same old tired arguments that have been used throughout history, including: games poison your mind and corrupt your morals, games make you excited or aggressive, and my personal favorite: games lead to criminal behavior. Here’s why each of those arguments is false:

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