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Why, in this age of lightning-fast publishing, do members of prestigious national publications like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal still agree to embargoes? Microsoft, it seems, has placed an embargo on its new Zune models, but Gizmodo already has photos, and the Silicon Alley Insider, too, has already scooped its much-larger business-news rivals, with reports that Microsoft will introduce new Zunes with flash-memory storage, competing with Apple's iPod Nano line. Jay Greene from BusinessWeek, Jeff Leeds, music reporter at the Times, and Nick Wingfield of the Journal, we hear, were among the reporters scribbling away at the Microsoft launch event in the Seattle area today. And what did they get in exchange for agreeing to sit on the news?

Why, some attendees were treated to one-on-one meetings with Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. We can only imagine what second prize was. Do readers care, though, if the reporters got face time with a billionaire — or that they had to wait a day to read this not very momentous news? "Usually they have embargoes for news people care about," said one reporter in attendance. Heard more news on the new Zune? Break the embargo and send it in.