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Friday, December 01, 2006

AT&T and BellSouth's Fiber Plans in Holding Pattern

The pending merger between AT&T and BellSouth has both companies' development departments in a state of flux. Should the merger be approved, the best scenario would be to launch IPTV using only one carrier's approach, says a XChange article.

Visit IT Business Edge for a full takeaway of AT&T, BellSouth's IPTV and Fiber Plans in Flux.

[more]

Apple Toilet Seat

This guide will show you how to make a toilet as if Apple designed it. [more]

Create a Sabre

Create this older-looking style sword. [more]

Create a Holiday Card with Snowman

Learn how to create a great holiday greeting card with a snow man, snowflakes, snow covered pine trees and wintry landscape. [more]

Small Flag Icons

Create easily expandable flag icons in a few steps thanks to Photoshop's blending options. [more]

Using In Camera Zooming Preview

Increase the sharpness of your shots with this in camera technique. [more]

Create Different Brick Borders Around Your Photos

Photoshop allows you to create many different borders for your photos. In this tutorial you'll see how to create three different types of brick borders. The first part of this tutorial is written for beginners. [more]

Primitive Art Man Cartoon

This lesson we will learn how to draw primitive man from scanned or pictured contours of a drawing. [more]

Animated and Glowing Fire Effect

Create this animated fire that throws glow on surrounding objects. [more]

Shading Metal

Learn how to shade realistic metal. [more]

Winter Scene With Snowman

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create a festive wintery snow scene, just in time for the holidays. [more]

Christmas-Themed Web Layout

With this extensive tutorial you'll learn how to make a Christmas-themed web layout from start to finish. [more]

The Sopranos: Road to Respect Review

Road to Respect shoehorns the Sopranos license into a clumsy, poorly designed action game that isn't the least bit enjoyable to play. [more]

Gitaroo Man Lives!

It's a straightforward remake of Koei's cult-favorite rhythm game, but Gitaroo Man still knows how to rock. [more]

Rush Review

Rush is a PSP update of a middling street racing game that really wasn't worth your time when it was released on consoles last year, and certainly isn't worth your time now. [more]

Google Answers Axed

The search giant bows out of the "Q&A" market... [more]

Bionicle Heroes Review

Not even the allure of shiny robots with guns for arms can liven up this mind-numbingly simplistic and repetitive over-the-shoulder shooter. [more]

Researchers Train Bees to Detect Bombs

Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers have published a report that claims they were able to teach bees to detect bombs... [more]

Big Huge Games resurrecting Left Behind

Rise of Nations developer licenses technology to religious real-time strategy game developer for a sequel. [more]

SAIT and Samsung Develop World's Smallest Fuel Cell Charger

SAIT and Samsung take fuel cell miniaturization to a new level... [more]

11/30/2006 Daily Hardware Reviews - AMD Quad FX Edition

DailyTech's roundup of reviews from around the web for Wednesday... [more]

Microsoft's Xbox 360 1080p Update Still Needs Updating

Microsoft is not quite there with its 1080p support... [more]

Vista launch sparks competition between PC vendors

PC vendors are beefing up their IT service offerings to try to capitalize on Microsoft's launch of Windows Vista Enterprise.

[more]

Sapphire Announces Radeon X1950 Pro AGP

New life for AGP-only systems... [more]

AMD Demonstrates Native Quad-Core

"Barcelona" in 2007... [more]

Fujitsu to Take Magnetic Recording Density to 1Tb Per Square Inch

Fujitsu claims thermal assisted magnetic recording is the next big thing in ultra-high density... [more]

Vertical Centering with a Shiv Div

Vertical Centering with a Shiv Div. Vertically center blocks in browser windows using a bit of markup and CSS. [more]

AllofMP3 in the Clear, For Now

AllofMP3 will stay in operation and stay legal says litigation counsel... [more]

Zune Capture 9% of PMP Market During Its First Week

Microsoft's Zune gets off to a promising start... [more]

27" Dell Display En Route

Samsung will provide the panels and will launch its own displays alongside... [more]

Intrusion Protection

Download this Executive Snapshot, compliments of Core Technologies, a $49.95 value, FREE!

[more]

What It Takes to Become More Agile-- Demand Driven Retailing

Join Lora Cecere, Research Director, AMR Research and Dr. Amit Shekhar, Global Head- Supply Chain Management, HCL Technologies for this on demand webcast as they discuss trends in Supply Chain and how demand driven retailing is bringing in tangible benefits to retailers.

[more]

Sprint expanding next-gen 3G deployment

Sprint announced that it is expanding the number of cities in which it is deploying next-generation EV-DO Rev A 3G service.

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Survey finds Zune could grab iPod market share

While Microsoft's new Zune won't topple iPod as the leading media player, a survey indicates it could eventually take sales away from Apple.

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Hello, Vista, have some malware

Security researchers at Sophos have identified three viruses already in circulation that can potentially affect computers running Vista -- a less-than-auspicious discovery for the operating system's official launch.

[more]

Typhoid Larry

This pilot fish manages a computer lab at a university field station, where students can use the PCs. One day he arrives to find several machines infected with a virus -- and he can't understand why.

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Avoid the top five disc-burning mistakes

Here are the five most common disc-burning errors and how to avoid them.

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F-Secure takes aim at rootkits on Windows XP, Vista

Client Security 7.0 will include what F-Secure calls its DeepGuard rootkit detection to identify hidden malicious code and remove it.

[more]

AMD launches four-core '4x4' motherboard

Company launches its 4x4 Quad FX Platform for gamers and multitaskers, hoping to keep up with rival Intel's quad-core chips.

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IRS shelves IT seat management plan

The Internal Revenue Service has decided to shelve a seat management plan aimed at improving the performance of its IT staff because the effort is considered to be too unwieldy.

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Pixar Animation Studios:
Speeding to the Finish Line with Cars

Join Pixar's Vice President of Technology, Greg Brandeau, as he brings his extensive knowledge of engineering, technology, and management from Pixar Animation Studios to your desktop. Greg and his group played a critical part in bridging all phases of the film production process for the animated film Cars. They provided the software tools, computers, and audio-visual equipment used by the studio's artists to translate their creative visions to the big screen. Download this on demand Webcast now to learn more!

[more]

Think video game jobs are all fun? Think again

Looking for glamour and excitement? Try low pay, long hours and grinding, mind-numbing monotony.

[more]

CSS Cookbook: How to make a printer-friendly page with a style sheet

Using a sample design, a Web page is transformed from a browser-friendly page to a browser and a printer-friendly page through CSS coding.

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Vista: It's heeeeere (for business customers, at least)

Microsoft celebrated its Vista and Office 2007 business launch across the globe today, including a major event in New York.

[more]

Ohio county eyes switch to optical-scan e-voting

Cuyahoga county officials in Ohio are considering a switch away from touch-screen e-voting systems to optical scan devices -- a move that could mean scrapping a $17 million investment in Diebold Election Systems hardware.

[more]

Corporate adoption of Vista could take a while

Although some companies may be ready to jump on the Vista bandwagon, analysts said most enterprise users will take their time testing the new operating system before rolling it out to employees.

[more]

Piracy ring hits Symantec, slows Veritas license rollout

A piracy ring that has cost Symantec tens of millions of dollars in revenue is one reason the company is pushing all of its customers to sign up for a new online licensing program to verify the authenticity of their software.

[more]

Business Performance Management, BSM, and Enterprise Transformation

BMC® Performance Manager, the next evolution of BMC Patrol, combines agent-based technology with the local, lightweight presence of an agentless solution. RFG believes BPM and BSM are critical success factors for short- and long-term IT-business alignment. BMC and its solutions offer potentially significant short- and long-term benefits to IT.

[more]

Agentless or Agent-based Monitoring? Choose a Hybrid Approach Using BMC Performance Manager

BMC® Performance Manager, the next evolution of BMC Patrol, combines agent-based technology with the local, lightweight presence of an agentless solution. This paper discusses the deficiencies of most infrastructure monitoring products, describes the functionality needed, and reviews how BMC Performance Manager provides that functionality.

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GData for Google Spreadsheets

Today we would like to introduce the newest kid on the Google Data API block, Google Spreadsheets data API.



Calendars and blogs have all been done and embraced by the data feed developer community, but in Google's on-going attempt to push the envelope, here is the next installment for GData.



Now there is the possibility of getting a feed listing your updated spreadsheets, and since there is more than one way to think of a spreadsheet, we give you two different feed schemas for viewing. A worksheet could be viewed as entries of individual cells or as a list of rows similar to a database table. Checkout a sample done using JSON output.



We can't wait to see what great applications, and mash-ups, this growing developer community will put forth with Google Spreadsheets Data API, and as always all questions, comments, and criticisms are highly encouraged. Let us know what you think.



- Laura Beth Lincoln, Software Engineer
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Health care information matters





At Google, we often get questions about what we're doing in the area of health. I have been interested in the issues of health care and health information for a while. It is now one of my main focuses here, and I've decided to start posting about it. I've been motivated in this field in part by my personal experiences helping to care for my mother, who recently died from cancer after a four-year battle. While the quality of the medical care my mother received was extraordinary, I saw firsthand how challenged the health care system was in supporting caregivers and communicating between different medical organizations. The system didn't fail completely, but struggled with these phases:

  • What was wrong -- it took her doctors nine months to correctly identify an illness which had classic symptoms
  • Who should treat her -- there was no easy way to figure out who were the best local physicians and caregivers, which ones were covered by her insurance, and how we could get them to agree to treat her
  • Once she was treated, she had a chronic illness, and needed ongoing care and coordinated nursing and monitoring, particularly once her illness recurred
Once she had a correct diagnosis and we'd found the right doctor, her treatment was excellent. But before and after treatment, most people with serious illnesses have to live through these other phases and suffer similar problems. She was trying to get help from her caregivers in the family and it was incredibly challenging to get the right information and help her make the right decisions. Often the health care system isn't well set up to address these issues. I believe our industry can help resolve some of these problems and ameliorate others.



In the end, one key part of the solution to these problems is a better educated patient. If patients understand their diseases better -- the symptoms, the treatments, the drugs, and the side effects, they are likely to get better and quicker care -- before, during, and after treatment. We have already launched some improvements to web search that help patients more easily find the health information they are looking for. Using the Google Co-op platform, Google and the health community have labeled sites and pages across the web making it easier for users to refine their health queries and locate the medical information they need. Do a search on Google about a medical issue or treatment like diabetes or Lipitor and you'll see some choices for refining your query, such as "symptoms," "treatments," and so on. If you click on "treatment," your search results are refined and reordered so that sites that have been labeled as bein g about treatment by trusted health community contributors are boosted in the rankings. Note that how trusted a contributor is -? and thus how much they affect your search results -? is dependent both on Google's algorithms and on who the user decides they trust. For example, if my doctor is a Google Co-op contributor and I indicate to Google that I trust her, then when I search, the sites she has labeled as relevant will show up higher in my search results.



This is just the beginning of what our industry can do. People need the medical information that is out there and available to be organized and made accessible to all. Which happens to be our mission. Health information should be easier to access and organize, especially in ways that make it as simple as possible to find the information that is most relevant to a specific patient's needs.



Patients also need to be able to better coordinate and manage their own health information. We believe that patients should control and own their own health information, and should be able to do so easily. Today it is much too difficult to get access to one's health records, for example, because of the substantial administrative obstacles people have to go through and the many places they have to go to collect it all. Compare this to financial information, which is much more available from the various institutions that help manage your financial "health." We believe our industry should help solve this problem.



As the Internet increasingly helps link communities of people, we also think there is an opportunity to connect people with similar health interests, concerns and problems. Today, people too often don't know that others like them even exist, let alone how to find them. The industry should help there, too.



These are some of the health-related problems we're thinking through at Google. We don't have any products or services to announce yet and may not for quite some time, but we thought we'd share a bit about the problems we're interested in helping out on even before we introduce solutions. As we explore these problems and continue to work on them, we hope to share more about our efforts along the way. Your help is welcome and, of course, if you're an extraordinary engineer with a passion in this field, we'd love to hear from you. Write to us at health@google.com .
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Answering your landing page quality questions (part 2)

Recently, we answered some of your landing page quality questions here in the blog. Now, we'd like to answer a few more, focusing on landing page quality and the content network.



What is the content Quality Score?

The content Quality Score is a measure of the quality of your contextually-targeted ads and keywords and is specific to your ads that are showing on the content network. Since we use all of the keywords in an Ad Group (taken together, and defining a 'theme' for that Ad Group) in order to target ads to relevant pages in the network, the content Quality Score is only used to rank eligible ads on these pages. The information that is used to calculate your content Quality Score is different from that used for the search Quality Score and includes the relevance of your ad and keywords to the site on which your ads will appear, your ad's performance history on that site and similar sites, as well as the quality of the landing page to which your ad is linked.



Does your content Quality Score impact your search Quality Score?

Since this is especially important, we want to make sure that everyone sees the answer to this question, and that answer is 'No.'
Performance on the content network will not impact your search Quality Score, and vice versa.



Are you applying landing page quality to publisher sites in the content network?

No, this change is focused on improving the quality of ads (and their landing pages) that we serve across the content network. If an advertiser is not providing a high quality user experience on the page to which their ad links, then their ads may stop showing on sites in our content network.



Thanks for tuning in to the final post in our two part series on landing page quality. We hope we've answered most of your questions, but please let us know if there are others that you'd like us to address.



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A non-taxing tax wizard

As you might know from our Payments Guide, one of the steps to getting paid is submitting your tax information. We've recently updated the Tax Information page located under your My Account tab with a new format that we hope will make it easier to determine which form is right for you. Also, you'll now be able to see when your information was last saved so that you can make sure all updates have been recorded in our system.



Every publisher's tax situation is different, but we aren't able to provide any tax advice. To help determine what's right for you, we recommend walking through the tax wizard in your account or visiting our Help Center for additional help. If you're not able to find the information you're looking for, we encourage you to speak directly with your local tax advisor.

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Stay tuned, we'll be right back!

At 6 pm PST tonight (11/30), our engineers will be performing site maintenance for approximately 15 minutes. You won't be able to log in to your account during this short period, but rest assured that your ads and your reporting won't be affected.



We apologize for the short notice -- hopefully this will give you an extra 15 minutes to do some more online holiday shopping. Thanks for your patience!



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New GData API: Spreadsheets

A new GData API is available today, for spreadsheets in Google Docs & Spreadsheets:
"Now there is the possibility of getting a feed listing your updated spreadsheets, and since there is more than one way to think of a spreadsheet, we give you two different feed schemas for viewing. A worksheet could be viewed as entries of individual cells or as a list of rows similar to a database table."
Check out the GData blog for further details!
[more]

Suit Claims Hurd, Others Dumped Shares Just Ahead of Pretexting Scandal

There may have been lots of valid reasons for Hewlett-Packard brass to unload $41.3 million in stock in the two weeks before the pretexting scandal broke, but a shareholder lawsuit updated this week says the executives sold because they knew the company’s image was due to take a beating. CEO Mark Hurd and seven other executives [...] [more]

Windows Vista Release Gives PC Makers Chance to Push Related Features

Depending on the hardware IT departments hope can run Windows Vista (or the hardware they may soon buy in support of the new OS), they may be able to take advantage of new software from PC makers, along with the Vista features they’ve been waiting for. An internetnews.com article today reports that Lenovo, HP and Dell, eager [...] [more]