THE BROWSER: Truth and rumors from the tech world
FCC leaks Sidekick III details
The new smartphone's specs are published online before its splashy, official launch. Plus: The technorati trash
By Owen Thomas, Business 2.0 Magazine online editor and Oliver Ryan, Fortune reporter

SAN FRANCISCO (Business 2.0 Magazine) - It's a nightmare for any electronics maker planning a splashy launch: Key technical details and photos of the gadget show up on the Web prior to its premier. But Danger Research, the designer of the popular Sidekick smartphone, doesn't have a disgruntled employee to blame for the leak: It turns out the Federal Communications Commission published details of the new Sidekick III on its website, as it does with all new wireless devices that run on FCC licensed airwaves, unless manufacturers request confidentiality. Ironically, the FCC also published the request for confidentiality that Danger's manufacturing partner, Sharp, filed along with the photos.

The new phone includes a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and a memory-card slot -- details available to Web surfers most of Monday, until FCC staffers took down the documents. An FCC spokesman said the posting as "inadvertent" and "a mistake."

AOL to launch MySpace killer
The online service wants to turn its instant-message software into a social-networking website. Plus: Is Microsoft hiding security flaws? (more)

MySpace haters unload on the Web

Do the digerati have it in for MySpace? After a lengthy profile of the social-networking website appeared in the New York Times this weekend, the blogosphere quickly erupted with bilious reactions. Some observers made basic errors in their haste to put down MySpace, like Newsvine CEO Mike Davidson, who confused reach, the size of a website's audience, with pageviews. But the most thoughtful posts questioned the premise of the Times piece: That MySpace, with all its billions of pageviews, has yet to live up to the profit potential for which News Corp. (Research) bought it last year.

Bloggers noted that MySpace's advertising woes went far beyond its deeply discounted ad rates. Publishing 2.0 argues that online advertising may simply never be as profitable as older forms of advertising, since it's easier for advertisers to see which ads are effective and only pay for those. Clickety Clack notes that the Times piece underplayed a key point - that Yahoo (Research) and Google (Research) passed on the opportunity to place text advertisements on MySpace's pages, because MySpace users are on the site to socialize, not shop.

Corning opens LCD glass plant in China

An update for those who still think of Corning (Research) as the glassware maker: It ditched its consumer products long ago and is now the world's largest maker of glass for liquid crystal displays. Today, the company announced it will locate an LCD glass-finishing facility in Beijing, Corning's first facility on the Chinese mainland. That follows a recent expansion of Corning's catalytic-converter manufacturing plant in Shanghai. The moves put Corning closer to its Chinese electronic and automotive customers, and serves as a vindication for the Corning execs who continued to invest in technologies besides the company's mainstay fiber-optic business in the late 1990s, when Wall Street analysts argued that the company should focus entirely on the then-booming telecom market.

PC recycling gets Earth Day boost

The exploding volume of computer hardware has not come without environmental and even social fallout. On Saturday, Earth Day brought renewed attention to the hardware recycling programs of leading American PC makers. Apple (Research) led the news, announcing that it would eliminate hazardous parts from the iPod and expand its current policy offering free recycling with the purchase of a new Mac, notes the Treehugger blog. Could this have been a reaction to the efforts of the Computer TakeBack Campaign? Last spring the guerrilla activist group flew a banner over the Stanford University graduation ceremony asking Apple CEO Steve Jobs - who was the event's keynote speaker - not to be a "mini player" in computer recycling. Perhaps, but Jobs is not alone in upgrading its recycling programs. PC makers Dell and Hewlett-Packard both have expanding programs, as does - somewhat incongruously - tech media outlet CNETTop of page

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