What I’ve read so far this week (111406)

Here the list of what I had the chance to go through so far. Yes, it’s a lot, but it’s amazing what you can do when you a) have a case of insomnia, b) are up hours before the kids, and c) teeing up content to help make the commute go a little faster:

A customer at Best Buy in Marin City, Calif., inspects Microsoft's Zune digital music player on its first day on shelf.As Zune Goes on Sale, Microsoft Says iPod Can Be Tamed (Washington Post): Microsoft Corp. can break the dominance of Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod in the digital music market with the Zune player that went on sale yesterday, chief executive Steven A. Ballmer said. “We can beat them, but it’s not going to be easy,” Ballmer said in an interview. By Dina Bass and Connie Guglielmo, Bloomberg News, Wednesday, November 15, 2006; Page D07

Also see “Hey Microsoft haters- sorry but Zune has a leg up on iPod” posted by ZDNet’s Russell Shaw, Mercury News’ article with Robbie Bach, “Zune as a serious iPod rival”Zune music player’s slow first day no surprise by Franklin Paul, and PC World’s First Look: Microsoft’s Zune by Eric Dahl (11.14.06).

PS3 launch rewards few – News at GameSpot – The hardcore and hearty get their consoles in Japan, but most gamers in Nippon are left out in the cold, go home empty-handed. By Hirohiko Niizumi, GameSpot, Posted Nov 11, 2006 5:22 am PT


Reinstalling Windows XP – Sometimes the only way to go is a fresh reinstall of Windows. Nick Peers reveals it’s a lot simpler and less scary than you might think…


Louderback: Importance of Net Access on Vacation (PC Magazine) – Jim Louderback writes about “Why should you care about Net access on vacation? Because with Skype and other VoIP services, you can make free calls home and talk as long as you want.” 10.11.06


Feature from PC Magazine: Get Smart, Stay Connected – “With a smartphone in hand, there’s never a reason to leave your office, the Net, or your favorite media behind. These devices will make you smarter and more productive.” See also “11 Great Smartphone Apps” By Sascha Segan, 10.11.06.


Upgrade Your Laptop: DIY Hardware from PC Magazine – PCMag’s John Delaney talks about how “upgrading a laptop can be a costly endeavor, depending on how many components need replacing. At some point you have to decide if it makes more sense (financially) to scrap the older system for a shiny new model.” Oct ‘06


PC Magazine’s Top 99 Undiscovered Web Sites (2006) – “Think of us as the friends who are always forwarding you links to cool sites you’d never find on your own. That’s who we aim to be with this list of 99 Undiscovered Web Sites, and that’s who you’ll be after reading it.”


Microsoft Office 2007 review by PC Magazine – Office is like the weather—you can’t get away from it—but the 2007 version combines power, ease of use, and visual clarity in ways that leave earlier versions far behind. By Edward Mendelson, 11.06.06


Hacking XP (Feature from PC Magazine) – 11 tips, tweaks, and time-savers that will win you some peace of mind. By Dave Mathews, 10.11.06


The Virtual House Call: Feature from PC Magazine – A California doctor explains how technology improves care and how to get your doc on board.


Technology for Life (Feature from PC Magazine) – “One of the most powerful health-care instruments is sitting right on your desk. Your PC can be the link to resources that can prevent illness and help you reach your exercise goals, battle bad habits, and communicate more effectively.” By Erik Rhey, 10 2006


Restore Transparent Background for Icon Labels (Solutions from PC Magazine) – “The names of the icons displayed on my desktop have a background color, instead of being transparent. How would I get them back to being transparent?” PC Mag explains.


Google: So Much Fanfare, So Few Hits (BusinessWeek) – “Rivals get the jitters when Google’s nonsearch products grab headlines. But a close look shows that so far, there’s not a market leader among them.” By Ben Elgin – July 10, 2006


No One Does Lean Like The Japanese (BusinessWeek) – Take Matsushita. To counter low-cost rivals, it’s taking efficiency to new heights Take Matsushita. By Kenji Hall, July 10, 2006.


How Failure Breeds Success (BusinessWeek) – Businessweek. “Everyone fears failure. But breakthroughs depend on it. The best companies embrace their mistakes and learn from them.” By Jena McGregor, Symonds, Foust, Brady and Herbst, July 10, 2006.


The Fine Art Of Tech Mergers: EMC (BusinessWeek) – How EMC transformed itself into an information management powerhouse. By Steve Hamm, JULY 10, 2006


Reading Your Rival’s Mind: Competitive Intelligence (BusinessWeek book review)  – “THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE: How to See Through & Stay Ahead of Business Disruptions, Distortions, Rumors & Smoke Screens” By Leonard M. Fuld. JULY 10, 2006


It’s easy and cheap being green (Fortune) – “Adobe has turned its headquarters into a towering example of environmentalism–and is saving millions in the process.” By Jeff Nachtigal, Fortune, October 19 2006. I;ve beenin these buildings and they are comfortable and inviting to boot.


A double shot of productivity: Starbuck’s CEO (Fortune) – A brief interview with Jim Donald, CEO and president, Starbucks, and a look at how he spends his time in the “How I Work” series. By Patricia Sellers, November 2 2006


Building eBay 2.0: Meg Whitman is trying to breathe new life into eBay (Fortune) – A look at how Meg Whitman and team at eBay are “trying to turn eBay from ultra-hot to built-to-last.” By Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, October 5 2006.


Google confirms copyright suit tied to video service (Fortune) – Search engine operator confirms at least one lawsuit, separate subpoena tied to service. November 11 2006


A master traveler’s secrets to better trips (Fortune) – “Insurance salesman Dean Burri is on the road 300 days a year, and relishes every liftoff and layover. Why? We tagged along to find out.” By Barney Gimbel, October 12 2006.


On the go, lightly: New gadgets in Fortune – Fortune takes a brief look at “the latest Lilliputian gear for travelers.” Featured are the new Canon HV10 HD video camera and iPod Shuffle. By Peter Lewis, October 12 2006.


The new Canon HV10 HD handheld video camera – The new Canon HV10 is on my Christmas list: a handheld HD video camera with a 10x optical zoom lens and 2.96 Megapixel camera that shoots in 1920×1080 HD and Standard Definition.


Opinions from PC Magazine: Console Yourself – PC Mag editorial on the Xbox as a Trojan horse to the home, even with Windows Media Center PCs. “Our cover story details why these three consoles more closely resemble a PC than the simple game boxes of yesteryear.”


Hard Drivin’ MP3 Players: PC Magazine’s Review Roundup – Good review of the latest players, which has the 80GB iPod in the top spot with the 30GB Creative Zen Vision:M right behind. Zune has a lot of catching up. By Mike Kobrin, 10.11.06


Epson PictureMate Flash review by PC Magazine – The Epson PictureMate Flash ($300 street) is Epson’s new top-of-the-PictureMate-line 4×6″ photo printer with CD-RW burner and DVD. By M. David Stone 10.04.06


Apple iMac (24-inch) review by PC Magazine – If there’s a Windows Vista PC as sleet as this one — with a Core 2 Duo processor, media card slots and a TV tuner card — I’ve found my dream PC. (But under $2k, please) 4.5/5 from PC Mag, Sep 20, 2006 Larger, brighter screen. Faster, more powerful…


Uniden WIN1200 5.8-GHz Dual Mode Cordless Phone review by PC Magazine – If you love Windows Live Messenger and want to get the most out of your broadband connection, PC Magazine said “get this phone.” Oct 16, 2006


Xbox 360 – Feature from PC Magazine – Xbox 360 (was designed) as a complement to a Windows Media Center PC. The 360 was conceived not as a standalone box but as something that would fit within Microsoft’s overall product line. PC Mag, 11.01.06


PCMag on the Koss SparkPlugs headphones – $1.95 – Jen found the Koss SparkPlugs ($14.95 direct) very comfortable once she got used to them. “They did an awesome job at noise cancellation,” she reports. So good, in fact, that she fell asleep while using them on a train and didn’t realize she had arrived


Stick It In Your Ear (Real World Testing from PC Magazine) iPods rock. iPod headphones suck. The steal-me-white buds simply can’t compete. But in your quest for higher fidelity, will more money translate to better sound? By Michael Kobrin, 11.01.06.


Make a Bootable USB Key (PC Magazine) – What do you do when your computer won’t boot, your most recent backup is three months old, and you don’t have an emergency CD? … just whip out the bootable USB key (or thumb drive) you prepared in advance. By Edward Mendelson, 11.01.06.


AOL – Last Ditch Effort – You’ve Got Ads Forbes 7-8-06 – What if an Internet company offered free services and multimedia content to Web surfers, then tried to make money by selling advertising? The Internet ad market that topped $12.5 billion last year.


Look to India for “ideas, inventions and new processes” – – By 2050 India will have the largest (and much younger) population in the world-1.6 billion vs. China’s 1.4 B. the EU’s 25 nations will have 461 M, the US 420 million. By Paul Johnson, 09.05.05


iPod, Beware: Asian trend coming to America – – In Asia music lovers carry their tunes around in their mobile phones, downloading them from the airwaves rather than online. By Chaniga Vorasarun 10.30.06


The Rescue Squad – – Some promising technology businesses, orphaned inside giant tech firms, are just aching to be discovered by buyout artists. Erika Brown, Oct 30 2006.


It Adds Up – – Fund manager Vince Gallagher has a system to flag stocks with good attributes. You can imitate it on the back of an envelope. By James Clash Oct 30 2006


You Can’t Do That to Me! – – Tired of being frustrated by tech annoyances? You can often find ways to conquer them. By Stephen Manes 10.30.06


Toppling Linux – – Software radical Richard Stallman helped build the Linux revolution. Now he threatens to tear it apart. By Daniel Lyons, Oct 30, 2006


Sennheiser MX75 Sport Earbud Headphones – – Great, comfortable headphones, light-weight, rugged and good for the road.


Schumpeter on Speed – – Joseph Schumpeter coined “creative destruction.” By Rich Karlgaard, with a daily blog at


Snap Judgments – Click here to see nine cameras for everyone, and four for the pros – Film? What’s that? Today’s digital cameras are so good it’s hard to find a brand-name model that won’t deliver excellent snapshots. By Stephen Manes, Forbes 05.08.06


Track Your ID Thieves – – Don’t worry about losing your credit card number… Beat the problem with the technology that created it. Here’s how to get started: Practice on your kids. By Peter Huber 05.08.06


Designs On The Disaffected – Procrastination 2.0: The business model. Don’t laugh. It’s driving Time Inc.’s newest and strangest launch. BusinessWeek, April 3, 2006


Eight Tips for Better Brainstorming  – As group or as individuals? At creative companies, switching between the two modes can be seamless—and highly productive. By Robert Sutton, BusinessWeek, JULY 26, 2006


Why Toshiba Is Clamming Up – Forget licensing — the electronics giant is keeping innovations out of rivals’ hands. BusinessWeek, Dec 19, 2005


Metta Spencer’s weblog: TV Can be Good for Kids – From Forbes: “In reading, and general knowledge… kids who had grown up with television scored higher by… 25 points on the verbal SAT.”


Site: Hidden Door Company – Custom doors from the Hidden Door Company


Bubbly That’s Not Only For Toasting: Sparkling Wine – It’s not all about tech: Champagnes — just in time for the holidays. BW Dec 2005


From Faux To Fortune: Ora Ito – Shoppers clamored for Ora Ito’s imaginary goods. Now the real stuff is in high demand. BusinessWeek 111505


Searching For The Pod Of Gold – As podcasting’s popularity grows, companies are seeing dollar signs – BusinessWeek, 111505


The Transformer: Beth Comstock – Comstock, 44, is charged with transforming GE’s culture, famously devoted to process, engineering, and financial controls, to one that’s more agile and creative. BW, Aug 2005


Get Creative! – BusinessWeek Special Report – How to build innovative companies: “The Knowledge Economy as we know it is being eclipsed by something new — call it the Creativity Economy.” Aug 2005


China Design – How the mainland is becoming a global center for hot products – BW 112105


The End Of TV (As You Know It) – In an era of on-demand entertainment, Big Media is eager to give viewers the content they want. But who will pay for it? BusinessWeek, 112105


The Power Of Us – Mass collaboration on the Internet is shaking up business – BusinessWeek, 062005


The Office Chart That Really Counts – Mapping informal relationships at a company is revealing — and useful. BusinessWeek Feb 27, 2006


Speed Demons – BusinessWeek, March 27, 2006 – How smart companies are creating new products — and whole new businesses — almost overnight. Podcast:


FORTUNE: 10 tips for surviving today’s real estate market – May. 12, 2006 – Whether you’re buying, selling, staying put or flipping, these strategies can help you maximize your gains. By Ellen Florian Kratz, FORTUNE writer, May 12, 2006: 9:58 AM EDT


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