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News from the Office Front

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The news never stops, and cubicle-jockeys across the country seem more cognizant of that fact, now more than ever. According to a new report from Nielsen NetRatings, the accessing of streaming media by office workers jumped 21 percent in September compared with the same period a year ago. The surge is, at least in part, attributed to heightened interest in breaking news coverage following the attacks on September 11, according to researchers at Milpitas, Calif.-based NetRatings.

Javis Mak, senior Internet analyst at NetRatings, said the Internet was now playing a more significant role in the daily routines of office workers, especially since high-speed Internet connections have allowed workers to stream media that would otherwise be pokey on dial-up services at home.

Twenty-one million U.S. users streamed media from their offices in September, according to the report, compared to 17 million the year before. Last year, the percentage of office workers accessing streaming media in September was 51 percent. This year, that number jumped to 56 percent, an all-time high.

"From Internet broadcasts of breaking news to music concerts and sporting events, streaming media delivers up-to-the-minute information and action directly to desktops," said Mak. "More surfers are turning to the Internet to stream live video broadcasts and view instant coverage of the news, particularly now as office workers keep track of developing national news."