And the winner of premiere week is...CBS

The first week of the new television season is history, and CBS came out the winner. More viewers watched CBS premiere week than any other network, and CBS was the only network to be up over last year. A mighty accomplishment considering the extraordinary amount of competition in the media space. (Spoken like a true marketing guy?)

Now the race goes into its next phase: solidifying the hits and attracting more people to the other shows. We watch the week-to-week trends and see what direction the ratings are headed. Obviously, up is better! So we keep the marketing machine turning, … Read more

The six best 16:9 LCD monitors for your viewing pleasure

I've talked a lot about 16:9 lately. Some people like it, others don't. For me, it depends on the monitor. For example, I love the idea of a 16:9, 23-inch monitor like the Dell SP2309W running at a super high native resolution of 2048x1152. Or even a 21.5-incher like the Lenovo L215p running at 1,920x1,080.

On the other hand, a 20-inch, 16:9-er like the HP 2009m running at 1,600x900, is a little disconcerting when a 16:10 20-incher would have a slightly larger 1,680x1,050 resolution.

Anyway, choosing which aspect … Read more

Basic currency converter

Real Time Desktop Currency Converter is a basic currency conversion program that allows users to convert between numerous different currencies. The program is short on features but is great for quick, real-time conversions.

The program's interface is attractive, uncluttered, and couldn't be simpler. Using drop-down menus, users select the two currencies they wish to convert from among 51 choices. Users enter the amount of the original currency, click Convert, and the program shows the conversion. The program also shows the conversion rate and the change from the previous day. And that's it. This converter is pretty bare … Read more

CNET's top-rated 24-inch LCD computer monitors

I own a 24-inch Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP LCD computer monitor. Over the last year or so, I've yet to have a performance issue. I do a heavy amount of gaming on it including World of Warcraft and first-person shooters, and I've never once had a problem with input lag. Input lag is a delay measured by the difference between the time a signal is input into a display and the time it is shown by the display.

Input lag is one of the major criticisms of this monitor from its users. Just to be clear, I'm not claiming that input lag on this monitor doesn't exist, I'm only saying that I've not seen evidence of it on either our evaluation unit of my own. Dell has purportedly addressed the issue in the A02 revision of the 2408WFP.

That being said, I still feel the Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP is the best 24-incher money can buy and quite easily earned the top spot on CNET's top-rated 24-inch LCD computer monitors (that we've reviewed).… Read more

Microsoft, Verizon rate low among IT pros

Microsoft and Verizon may need to learn a thing or two about customer service from IBM's Informix, according to a report released Wednesday by market researcher VendorRate.

Among IT professionals questioned, Microsoft's customer satisfaction ratings for the second quarter dropped in three key areas.

Out of a score of 100, Microsoft's server and infrastructure software rated 55, a 17 percent decline from the first quarter; its operating systems scored 67, down 9.5 percent; and its applications came in at 64, an 18 percent dip.

"Microsoft was cruising along with satisfactory scores in earlier reports, but … Read more

iPhone app goes topless

Update (June 26, 2009): Now that the dust has settled, Jim Dalrymple has a more complete picture of how and why this app was removed.

Update: We initially reported that Apple had blocked the app, but it now appears that the developer's servers were simply overwhelmed (Apple's servers distribute the app, but the images themselves are pulled from the developer's server). We'll have further updates as the story continues to evolve.

Back when Apple first launched its App Store, Steve Jobs showed a slide with six categories of apps that would be verboten: "Porn, privacy, … Read more

MetroPCS offers $5 unlimited international calling

Regional prepaid cell phone carrier MetroPCS announced Wednesday a new plan that allows its customers to make unlimited international calls to over 100 different countries for only $5 extra a month.

To be eligible for the $5 unlimited international calling plan, users must already be signed up to an unlimited national calling plan that costs $40, $45, or $50 a month. Making international phone calls from a cell phone has typically been rather expensive with major carriers such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

For example, AT&T offers its WorldConnect service for $3.99 extra a month, … Read more

AT&T and Verizon deny price-fixing accusations

Executives from the nation's largest phone companies went to Capitol Hill Tuesday to defend themselves against allegations that they've been fixing prices on text messaging.

Executives from AT&T and Verizon Communications testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights, saying their companies have not been involved in a conspiracy to hike text messaging rates. And they argued that competition is alive and well in the wireless market.

The hearing was called in response to a letter sent in September from Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) to the four major U.S. operators--Verizon, AT&… Read more

Top 5: Best products of the spring

This week's Top 5 looks back over the past three months at the ratings our reviewers have given products. What gear got our very highest ratings? It wasn't the Palm Pre. In fact it wasn't even a phone.

Watch our video to find out what the highest-rated tech products were, and get a chance to win a CNET patch, made by CNET fan Joe, a Pi joke calendar from 2008, and a copy of Mass Effect.

FAQ: Swapping SIMs to save big on calls abroad

For travelers on a budget, slipping in a new SIM card may be the best way to ensure they won't break the bank while using their cell phones on a trip abroad.

U.S. carriers, such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless, have been trying to make it easier and less expensive for mobile subscribers to use their cell phones when traveling in another country. And indeed they have. All the major carriers offer phones that can be used for international roaming. And some have even added special international packages with reduced calling and data rates to encourage … Read more