The Internet - The first Worldwide Tool of Unification ("The End of History")

" ... Now I give you something that few think about: What do you think the Internet is all about, historically? Citizens of all the countries on Earth can talk to one another without electronic borders. The young people of those nations can all see each other, talk to each other, and express opinions. No matter what the country does to suppress it, they're doing it anyway. They are putting together a network of consciousness, of oneness, a multicultural consciousness. It's here to stay. It's part of the new energy. The young people know it and are leading the way.... "

" ... I gave you a prophecy more than 10 years ago. I told you there would come a day when everyone could talk to everyone and, therefore, there could be no conspiracy. For conspiracy depends on separation and secrecy - something hiding in the dark that only a few know about. Seen the news lately? What is happening? Could it be that there is a new paradigm happening that seems to go against history?... " Read More …. "The End of History"- Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“…5 - Integrity That May Surprise…

Have you seen innovation and invention in the past decade that required thinking out of the box of an old reality? Indeed, you have. I can't tell you what's coming, because you haven't thought of it yet! But the potentials of it are looming large. Let me give you an example, Let us say that 20 years ago, you predicted that there would be something called the Internet on a device you don't really have yet using technology that you can't imagine. You will have full libraries, buildings filled with books, in your hand - a worldwide encyclopedia of everything knowable, with the ability to look it up instantly! Not only that, but that look-up service isn't going to cost a penny! You can call friends and see them on a video screen, and it won't cost a penny! No matter how long you use this service and to what depth you use it, the service itself will be free.

Now, anyone listening to you back then would perhaps have said, "Even if we can believe the technological part, which we think is impossible, everything costs something. There has to be a charge for it! Otherwise, how would they stay in business?" The answer is this: With new invention comes new paradigms of business. You don't know what you don't know, so don't decide in advance what you think is coming based on an old energy world. ..."
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)



Etiquette mavens say the book on manners must be rewritten, literally, to take into
account new technologies and social media (AFP Photo/Ed Jones)

A 2012 survey by Intel found that in several countries, a majority said they were put
off by "oversharing" of pictures and personal information on the
internet and smartphones (AFP Photo/Nicolas Asfouri)

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls
Logo No Hate Speech Movement

Bundestag passes law to fine social media companies for not deleting hate speech

Honouring computing’s 1843 visionary, Lady Ada Lovelace. (Design of doodle by Kevin Laughlin)

Monday, December 25, 2006

Opera to Provide Browser for Samsung Handsets

By Jennifer LeClaire, TechNewsWorld, 12/22/06 7:56 AM PT

Opera Software has struck a deal that will make its mobile Web browser available on Samsung handsets. Though Opera's browser lags far behind Internet Explorer and Firefox in terms of PC use, the company is gaining a reputation for innovation in the mobile Internet market, which is picking up steam.

Opera Software on Thursday announced a deal with Samsung Electronics to deliver Opera Mobile on Samsung mobile handsets -- two days after it launched a browser for Nintendo's Wii gaming console.

Opera Mobile is Opera Software's standards-compliant Web browser for advanced mobile phones. The browser uses Opera's small screen rendering technology to reformat Web pages and allows users to navigate with intuitive vertical scrolling.

In addition to the obvious plus of aligning Opera with a major brand name electronics maker, the Samsung deal is strategic for the company on another front, noted Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with JupiterResearch.

"Part of Opera's strategy is to get its technology directly onto the handset so consumers don't have to jump through hoops to get it," Gartenberg told TechNewsWorld. "Now mobile phone users don't have to go to a Web page, download the application, install it, etcetera. This is a very good deal for Opera."

On a Mobile Roll

Opera is on a mobile roll, so to speak. In mid-December the open source browser maker announced its Opera Mini Web browser would be shipping in most markets with selected Nokia (NYSE: NOK) 6300s.

Opera Mini is a Java-based Web browser that offers users full Internet access on the majority of mobile phones in the market. By using a server to preprocess and compress Web sites before sending them to the handset, Opera Mini reduces the size of data transferred to speed up the browser's response.

Opera has gained a reputation for browser innovation, particularly with Opera Mini 3.0. The new version launched in November with enhanced mobile social networking abilities for photo sharing, RSS (really simple syndication) feed readers, and secure connections for online banking and shopping.

Not About PCs

Opera's browser technologies also target PDAs (personal digital assistants), home media such as TV and set-top boxes, automotive and transportation entertainment and infotainment technologies, and, of course, video game consoles. Opera is the browser of choice on Nintendo's DS and Wii.

"The Opera folks are showing that there are ways to compete in the browsing business that have nothing to do with the PC desktop," Gartenberg noted.

The Mobile Opportunity

Opera's largest opportunity may be with mobile devices. The mobile Web is getting more traffic. Fifteen percent of mobile services subscribers accessed the Internet from their mobile devices in 2005, according to Forrester Research. That compared to only 6 percent in 2004. Analysts expect 2006 numbers to be strong.

While Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox outpace Opera on personal computers, Opera is burning up the mobile handset market. Opera may have to wait for its ultimate payoff, but getting a head start in this growing market is likely to position the developer well for the future.

"Mobile browsing is still not a super-mainstream consumer activity, but it's a bit of a chicken-and-egg syndrome," Gartenberg remarked. "You need to have a good browsing experience on the phone for people to begin to start using it. Fortunately, that's what we are starting to see happen now. We are definitely beginning to get closer to the time when mobile browsing moves to a mainstream activity."

Google site overtakes Yahoo

Jonathan Thaw, Shanghai Daily, 2006-12-25

GOOGLE displaced Yahoo! as the world's second-most visited Website in November and closed in on leader Microsoft Corp, a market researcher said at the weekend.

Visitors to Google's sites rose 9.1 percent to 475.7 million in November from a year earlier, while those to Yahoo sites rose 5.2 percent to 475.3 million, ComScore Networks Inc said, according to Bloomberg News. Both sites trail Microsoft, which had 501.7 million visitors, ComScore said.

It is the first time that Google attracted more visitors than Yahoo, reflecting the site's growing popularity outside the United States.

Yahoo is still the most-visited site within the US, ComScore said. Microsoft's visitors increased 3.3 percent from a year earlier.

Shares of Yahoo rose seven cents to US$25.55 at Friday's close of trade in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading. They have fallen 35 percent this year. Google fell 62 cents to US$455.58 and have gained 9.8 percent this year.

Visitors to News Corp's Fox Interactive Media sites rose almost fivefold to 130.4 million in November from a year ago, reflecting a surge in users from the purchase of MySpace.com.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Anderson Forecast: 2007 Predictions From One of the Best

By Jim Louderback, PC Magazine

Analyst and futurist Mark Anderson, author of the influential Strategic News Service newsletter and blog has made a career out of making correct predictions. He claims a 93.5 percent success ratio over the years he's been doing annual predictions.

By and large, I think they've held up pretty well. So when Anderson invited me to his annual prediction dinner, I accepted immediately – even though it meant missing our company holiday party, held concurrently in New York City.

Do those numbers stand up? Decide for yourself. Read Anderson's 2006 predictions.

Anderson started by laying out some chilling world trends that keep him up at night. "I think about oil, cheap labor and money", he said, continuing to explain that "these are things which we have no control over."

Read More ….

Friday, December 22, 2006

Are You Sure About Upgrading to Vista?

Advice for those who are determined to make the upgrade, cautionary tales for folks who are still on the fence, and some tips on playing Scrabble.

Steve Bass, PC World

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 12:00 AM PST

I hate upgrades. Sure, I used to look forward to the latest and greatest, but there are so many downsides: new equipment requirements, hassles getting all the old apps to work correctly, and getting up to speed on all the new features. (Don't laugh, but I still have a copy of Wordstar and FoxPro on my PC for, well, I don't know what for. Maybe it's just in case someone needs a copy.)

Nonetheless, Vista has launched and Microsoft made a big splash with it in New York. Read "Vista Lands in the U.S."--and don't miss the reader comments at the bottom of the article.

If you're bound and determined to make the upgrade, I have a couple things for you to consider.

Read More ....

Google's Blogger Adds Privacy Options



Associated Press 12.21.06, 1:27 PM ET


Google Inc. has released a new version of its Blogger service, adding privacy settings that restrict readership to a predetermined audience.

Users can choose to have blogs accessible to anyone or just to themselves.

Or they can list the e-mail addresses of the people they want to let in. Those readers would need to register for a free Google account - the same used for its Gmail and other services - and would sign in with their regular Google passwords.

Several blogging competitors already offer privacy options, and in fact, Blogger used to offer a password option through a premium service that's no longer available.

Google began offering the new privacy features this week, although it is gradually converting existing Blogger users to the upgrade.

The offering comes as potential employers, mates and others increasingly try to screen people by checking out their blogs, social-networking profiles and other Internet postings.

The new version of Blogger also comes with other enhancements, including the ability to tag posts with multiple keywords, the way Gmail users can label their e-mails.

Blogger, which is free, is among the more widely used software for keeping Web journals. Its blogs are generally published under the "blogspot.com" address.

Google bought its developer, San Francisco-based Pyra Labs, in February 2003.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nasa and Google form cosmic union

BBC, Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Detailed 3D images of the Moon and Mars will soon be just a click away for web users, following a deal between search giant Google and US space agency Nasa.

The Space Agreement Act, signed on Monday, will put "the most useful of Nasa's information on the internet".

Real-time weather data and the positions of the International Space Station and shuttle could be included.

The deal will also see scientists from both institutions working together to solve complex computational problems.

"This agreement between Nasa and Google will soon allow every American to experience a virtual flight over the surface of the moon or through the canyons of Mars," said Nasa administrator Michael Griffin.

The deal will make "Nasa's space exploration work accessible to everyone," he added.

Public resource

The deal formalises a partnership started last year when Google agreed to build a research centre at the Nasa Ames Research Center.

The two organisations said they will now collaborate in a variety of areas including adding data collected by Nasa to the online mapping tool Google Earth.

Other projects could include finding new ways for humans to interact with computers as well as utilising Google's expertise to accelerate the process of searching the massive amounts of data collected by the space agency every year.

"NASA has collected and processed more information about our planet and universe than any other entity in the history of humanity," said Chris Kemp, director of strategic business development at Ames.

"Even though this information was collected for the benefit of everyone, and much is in the public domain, the vast majority of this information is scattered and difficult for non-experts to access and to understand."

The internet's leading search engine already provides some Nasa data through programs such as Google Mars, an interactive map that allows users to explore maps of the red planet's surface.

Another service, Google Moon, lets users view the sites of moon landings.

The two organisations said they are now finalising a series of new collaborations including "products, facilities, education and missions".

"We're pleased to move forward to collaborate on a variety of technical challenges through the signing of the Space Act Agreement," said Eric Schmidt, chief executive officer of Google.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Time Magazine's Person of the Year: You

Time Selects Millions as Person of the Year, Names Citizens of the New Digital Democracy.

By LARRY McSHANE, ABC News

NEW YORK Dec 17, 2006 (AP)— Congratulations! You are the Time magazine "Person of the Year."

The annual honor for 2006 went to each and every one of us, as Time cited the shift from institutions to individuals citizens of the new digital democracy, as the magazine put it. The winners this year were anyone using or creating content on the World Wide Web.

Read More ....

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Mozilla to release Firefox 3.0 next year

Despite the fact that Firefox 2.0 was only released last month, Mozilla is to release the new version of its browser as early as next year.

E-consultancy.com

The rival to Microsoft's Internet Explorer has increased its share of the browser market since the release of Firefox 2.0 to nearly 11% in the US, 22% in the UK, and an average of 23.2% across Europe.

While Firefox 2.0 has been successful, with an average of 500,000 downloads every day since its release, it wasn't the radical overhaul of its predecessor which some were expecting, with its anti-phishing software the main improvement.

The next version of its browser has been in development for a year now, and is planned to be a more comprehensive update.

Firefox boss Tristan Nitot said that Firefox 3.0 will take advantage of the latest built-in computing power to allow it to 'render' web pages more quickly. Firefox 3.0 is now available for beta testing (Called: "Gran Paradiso").

Microsoft's IE7, despite early predictions of incompatibility with some websites, has performed well and was generally welcomed as a much-needed improvement to IE6.

However, if a new and improved version of Firefox is released next year, Microsoft may be forced to speed up development of the next version of Internet Explorer, to avoid losing more of its browser market share.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Google Gets Into Web Site Registration

Friday December 15, 12:33 am ET
By The Associated Press

Google to Offer Web Site Registration for Addresses Ending in .com, .net, .biz and .info

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) -- Google Inc. on Friday will join the crowded field of services registering Web site addresses in a move aimed at encouraging more usage of the online search leader's free software products.

The Mountain View-based company is offering its latest service in a partnership with GoDaddy.com and eNom, two of the many administrators that help Web sites officially register their names under domains like ".com" and "net."

Google's service will charge a $10 annual fee and only handle addresses ending in four suffixes -- ".com," ".net," ".biz" and ".info." There are more than 250 other suffixes in the Internet's master directories.

Web sites that register their domains through Google will be automatically set up to work with several other company products, including e-mail, calendaring and instant messaging. The configuration won't prevent the Web sites from using services offered by Google rivals like Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Time Warner Inc.'s AOL.

Survey: IT and business out of sync

By Vivian Yeo, ZDNet Asia
Wednesday, December 13 2006 05:27 PM

More needs to be done to better alignment business and IT objectives, if the results of a recent study are anything to go by.

About 56 percent of businesses in the Asia-Pacific region feel that their business and IT objectives are not aligned, according to a new study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit in October.

Some 570 senior executives in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the United States took part in the BMC Software-commissioned survey. About 200 of the respondents were from the region.

In Europe and the United States, fewer than half of the respondents in felt that IT was not aligned with their business objectives. Fifty-six percent and 64 percent of U.S. and European respondents, respectively, indicated that their organization's IT objectives matched their business objectives.

"In today's environment, IT and business are inseparable and yet many organizations are still struggling to align the two," said Tom Schodorf, BMC Software's vice president for the Asia-Pacific region, in a statement. "This ultimately jeopardizes an organization's ability to expand and compete in a rapidly changing global market."

Lack of or insufficient IT investment, failure of top management to understand how IT can aid the business, and the IT department's inability to understand its role in enhancing the business were cited as the top three obstacles that prevent organizations in Asia from effectively aligning IT with business.

The survey also found that IT performance is mostly measured quantitatively by businesses in the region. The most popular ways of gauging whether IT is effective is through the ability to cut costs, contribution to revenue growth and return on investment.

Schodorf said as more organizations in the region acknowledge that the "failure to align IT with the business will cost them dearly", the adoption of business service management (BSM) will "rapidly accelerate". BSM is a suite of IT service management tools provided by BMC.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Microsoft's Office Communications Server 2007 heads into beta

CNS Magazine, December 12, 2006

Microsoft Corp. today opened a private beta of its new enterprise voice communications server, Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, to 2,500 companies.

The software giant says Office Communications Server will allow companies to integrate Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology into existing telephony infrastructure, eliminating the need for expensive network overhauls and also extending the useful life of existing investments.

The new voice server will also allow workers to launch a phone call from 2007 Microsoft Office applications, such as Office Word 2007, Outlook 2007, or Office Communicator 2007, by clicking on a colleague's name to determine their availability and initiate a person-to-person or multi-party call.

With native support for session initiation protocol (SIP), Microsoft Office Communications Server and Microsoft Office Communicator, part of the 2007 Microsoft Office system, interoperate with products from partners including Nortel Networks, Alcatel, Avaya, Cisco Systems, LG-Nortel, LTD, Mitel, NEC Phillips, Polycom and Siemens Communications.

With these partnerships, customers will be able to support VoIP using their existing desktop phones, data networks, and time division multiplexing (TDM) or Internet Protocol (IP) private branch exchanges (PBXs), the company said

"The convergence of telecom and data networks is happening rapidly," said Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Unified Communications Group. "Software will integrate these two worlds, enabling IT managers to deliver new communications possibilities that include VoIP."

According to the Gartner Group, "the ultimate driver of VoIP is not merely cost savings, but is in business process integration. Enterprises should evaluate their long-term strategy toward developing IP telephony applications beyond basic telephony, including business
application integration."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

IBM has Flash-killer on the cards

By Adam Turner , iTwire
Monday, 11 December 2006

A prototype memory card technology 500 times faster than Flash cards has been unveiled by IBM to meet the exploding demand for portable music, video and photo storage.

Developed in conjunction with partners Macronix and Qimonda, the technology is a form of phase-change memory (PCM), which promises faster read and write times than Flash, greater endurance and the ability to write to individual memory addresses. It only requires half the power of a Flash memory card.

The technology utilises a new semiconductor alloy - a combination of germanium, antimony and tellurium - that can be scaled smaller than Flash technology. The device's cross-section is a mere three by 20 nanometres, far smaller than Flash can be built today and equivalent to the industry's chip-making capabilities targeted for 2015.

As Flash technology approaches its limits, the demand for greater storage space on cell phones and portable media players is driving the search for a its successor. IBM's new technology also has the potential to form the basis of solid state storage drives, offering lower power consumption and weight than traditional hard disk drives whilst being shock resistant.

Like Flash, IBM's prototype phase-change memory technology is non-volatile - meaning it doesn't require power in order to retain information. It relies on the fact that heat can easily switch the alloy between two stable states - one amorphous with a high electrical resistance, the other crystalline with a low resistance.

The technical details of the research will be presented this week at the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineer's 2006 International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Papers Battle Online News Sites

By David Reid, Reporter, BBC Click
Friday, 8 December 2006, 15:42 GMT

"All the news that's fit to print" was once the newspaper man's slogan. Now, with news-junkies turning increasingly to the net for their daily fix of world events, papers are beginning to feel the pinch.

Not since the internet began has there been so much free quality newspaper content on the web.

You will have to make the most of it because the current bonanza might not last forever.

Newspapers are still not sure what to do about the internet, no matter how determined they are to prove wrong the doomsayers who claim they are dead.

Read More ....

Saturday, December 9, 2006

A CIO List For The New Year

Are CIOs obsessed with technology minutiae?

By David Needle,
Internetnews.com, December 8, 2006

The research firm Gartner thinks many are, and that those who want to see their companies thrive, need to change.

In a preview of its annual list of New Year's resolutions for CIOs, Gartner issued a preliminary list of do's and don'ts for those executives prepping for next year.

For example, on a short list of what CIOs should do more of in 2007, Gartner recommends making human resource departments more strategic.

"If marketing was the department to partner with in the first wave of Internet transformation, HR is the function to get on-side, as the second Internet 'revolution' washes across your bows," said John Mahoney, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

"The global talent wars of the next few years will depend on the ability to absorb and exploit revolutionary technical change. CIOs should expect to face a lack of comprehension from the HR department in 2006; however, his or her challenge is to overcome that."

And on the topic of human resources, Gartner said CIOs need to also start work on an IT leadership succession plan. As the baby boomers begin to retire, en masse, IT departments are threatened by a wisdom and leadership gap. At the same time, Gartner says the turnover is an opportunity to "clear out some of the dead wood," such as people who were over-promoted in the early days of IT.

Gartner vice president and fellow Mark Raskino, said CIOs would be well-advised to identify individuals with the creativity, ability and a determination to overcome corporate inertia and help IT deliver business innovation.

While evaluation and keeping up on the latest trends is important, Raskino said CIOs need to take a leadership role in stopping the organization from repeatedly discussing technology minutiae.

"All the noise around Microsoft Vista is a good example," said Raskino. "Make your decision about a technology and then stop debating it. Too many IT organizations waste energy in endless discussion loops, distracting attention from far more important issues."

The environment is also an issue that should be a top IT concern. "CIOs need to make sure they get their own house in order by setting targets for IT's contribution to electrical efficiency, recycling, travel reduction and equipment lifecycle management," said Mahoney. "They should also add environmental sustainability to their list of equipment, services and vendor selection criteria."

Yesterday, Andy Karsner, an assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy out of the U.S. Department of Energy met with tech executives in Silicon Valley.

He said the government has a legal obligation to help enhance technology efficiency and make the United States a more competitive nation. "High tech is an absolute juggernaut," when it comes to power consumption, said Karsner.

Gartner also said CIOs need to take the time to use the latest technologies if they hope to understand the business benefit. Mahoney mentioned four key technologies he said IT leaders should get their hands on in 2007: 3-D printing; social information analysis tools; newer high-level programming languages and virtual communities.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Toshiba Introduces 100GB 1.8 Inch HDD With Perpendicular Magnetic Recording

Geekzone, 5 dec 2006

Toshiba Corporation has announced a 1.8-inch drive that offers a storage capacity of 100 gigabytes, the largest capacity yet achieved in this class of HDD. The new drive, MK1011GAH, employs perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology and an improved error correction code.

The areal density for this 1.8-inch HDD is 240.8 megabits per square millimeter (155.3 gigabits per square inch). Toshiba will start mass production of this new drive from January 2007. The drive measures 54.0 × 71.0 × 8.0 mm and weighs 59g.

The company says packing larger data capacities into small form factor HDD is a must to support continued advances in the notebook PC market and to meet growing demand for personal digital media supporting high capacity audio and video applications.

Toshiba has also improved power consumption to 0.003W/GB. The new drive also complies with the EU's RoHS directive, which came into force in July 2006.

With 2 platters and 4 heads, MK1011GAH offers an average seek time of 15m sec and data transfer rate of up to 100MB/sec at 4,200rpm. The device uses the ATA-7 (LIF connector) interface.


Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Y2K + 7 : Or Why the Shuttle Isn't Supposed to Fly on 31th Dec

Quirky, Dated Computers Could Ground Space Shuttle for Months if It Had to Fly Over New Year's

By GINA SUNSERI, ABC News

HOUSTON, Dec. 5, 2006 — Forget the foam. The problem that has many at NASA scratching their heads is YERO — or year-end rollover. NASA doesn't want Discovery and its seven astronauts in space on New Year's Eve, when 2006 rolls over into 2007.

The Space Shuttle may be the most complex machine ever built (2.5 million parts). But it was designed in the 1970s, with '70s technology and '70s computers.

Read More ....

Monday, December 4, 2006

Marketers' Websites Outdraw Those of Major Media Players

P&G and Unilever Attract 9 million Unique Visitors Monthly
CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Believe it or not, those boring corporate websites are pulling in more eyeballs -- and more influencers -- than the flashy prime time TV shows, print magazines

The combined monthly traffic of unique visitors to the P&G and Unilever websites is more than 9 million, according to ComScore Media Metrix.

and general interest sites on which marketers advertise. And part of what's driving the traffic is old-fashioned web display advertising and e-mail pushes.

Brand websites

Corporate and brand websites -- once derided as "brochureware" in a digital marketing world that quickly moved to sexier applications -- are getting a rehabilitation of sorts as their traffic numbers vie with those of many consumer sites in the web's long tail.

Read More ....


Sunday, December 3, 2006

Vista at Work

What your business needs to know to make the switch.

By Larry Seltzer, PC Magazine,
Thursday, November 30, 2006


Windows Vista

The first things you notice about Windows Vista are the glitzy bells and whistles, but these aren't the essentials that will woo businesses. Organizations, especially large ones, have always been Microsoft's most important customers, and Vista is full of offerings aimed at them.

There are five editions of Vista. Businesses, except perhaps the very smallest ones, should be looking only at the Business and Enterprise versions. Analogous to Windows XP Pro, Windows Vista Business contains all the core business-networking features, including domain support, Remote Desktop, and Tablet PC support.

Read more ....

Retailers still flip for catalogs.

They may be smaller, but publications are useful for companies

Dec 3, 2006, From Wire Reports

The Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog is legendary.

But this year, for the first time, customers are doing more shopping on Neiman's Web sites than through its catalogs. Likewise, J.C. Penney Co. expects its online sales to exceed its catalog volume this year or next.

Both chains have mature catalog operations that were in place long before online shopping took hold. They're finding younger shoppers and new ones online. Still, neither company is ready to stop publishing paper catalogs.

"The way we view print and Internet is that they work together. If someone has a catalog at home, she may flip through it and then go shopping online," said John W. Irvin, president of J.C. Penney Direct, the Plano, Texas-based retailer's catalog and Internet division.

"Having a catalog in her mailbox and in her home is important to us, but we don't have to publish them as big anymore," he said.

More catalog retailers such as Penney's and L.L. Bean are moving toward the day when the bulk of their sales are made online. Yet the number of catalogs mailed to U.S. households has been climbing during the past couple of years.

Some catalogs will get tossed, but retailers are counting on consumers thumbing through enough of them to drive sales. L.L. Bean expects to ship 50 million more catalogs this year than it did two years ago when it shipped 200 million catalogs.

"It is the best way for us to get lasting impressions in front our customers," spokesman Rich Donaldson said.

The days of people questioning the future of catalogs are long gone, and more and more companies are using them. Even brick-and-mortar stores such as Toys "R" Us and Circuit City Stores Inc. have begun shipping out catalogs in recent years.

Those who predicted the demise of catalogs as online sales took off overlooked a key fact: You can't make sales if you can't reach your customers. Thus, catalog retailers can't afford to cut back on catalogs.

"You're not supposed to rely on the customer to contact you. You need to contact your customers," said George Hague, senior marketing strategist at J. Schmid & Assoc. Inc., a catalog consulting company in Mission, Kan.

Neiman Marcus sees its catalogs and Web sites as selling and marketing tools that generate store traffic. Those customers shopping its stores, Internet site and catalog spend more on average than those customers who use just one source for shopping -- 3.6 times more in its last fiscal year.

About 22 percent of offline sales are influenced by the Web, according to Shop.org, an online retailers association.

Dallas-based Neiman Marcus "has found that mailing catalogs leads to those people placing orders online," said Susan Jansen, a Lehman Brothers analyst who follows Neiman Marcus. "The best way to look at it is as a combined business, and what is encouraging is that, overall, the direct business is growing rapidly."

The luxury retailer also is finding a new customer base online that it's calling "the emerging elite," said Burt Tansky, chief executive of Neiman Marcus. And they are younger, about 39 or 40, versus the retailer's average store customer age of 48, said Brendan Hoffman, president and CEO of Neiman Marcus Direct.

Neiman Marcus catalog and Internet sales, which include those from Horchow and Bergdorf Goodman sales, generated revenue of $655.3 million in the last fiscal year, up from $592.1 million in the prior year. Online sales rose 32 percent.

Penney's Christmas catalog is shrinking.

It's 336 pages this year compared with 440 last year, and every page has a reference to more merchandise available at www.jcp.com. Penney's fall and spring Big Books also have been losing pages, with the current edition at 970 pages, down from 1,090 a year ago and 1,390 in 2000.

Penney's online sales increased 28 percent last year to $1.038 billion, and catalog sales were $1.8 billion.

Irvin, president of its catalog and Internet operations, is confident sales will increase because Penney's installed 35,000 new cash registers in its stores with direct links to its Web site. That means that at the register, shoppers can order items not in stock.

Tesco surprises its rivals with Christmas internet trial

By Abigail Townsend, The Independent News

Published: 03 December 2006

Supermarket giant Tesco is to start selling clothes online this weekend, a first for a supermarket. The news that the UK's biggest retail group is entering the market in time for Christmas will be a blow for many online and high-street retailers.

Tesco announced last month that it planned to sell ranges such as Florence & Fred online. A trial was expected to get under way next year, but instead the retailer is starting immediately.

During the four-week trial, 100 lines will be available at the same price as in Tesco stores, plus postage and packaging. Around 400,000 selected online customers will be eligible to take part.

"Around 10,000 people a week already visit our clothing website to check availability in stores and to view products, so we know the interest is there," said a spokesman. "We'll see how it goes before making decisions on taking it further."

Clothing is the latest move by Tesco to expand its online offering. In August it launched Tesco Direct, which offers goods including televisions, sofas, kitchenware and cameras.

New E-Discovery Rules Benefit Some Firms

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
The Associated Press
Friday, December 1, 2006; 6:31 PM

WASHINGTON -- Companies that help businesses track and search their e-mails and other electronic data are experiencing a surge of interest in the wake of federal rule changes that clarify requirements to produce such evidence in lawsuits.

Roger Matus, chief executive of Concord, Mass.-based InBoxer Inc., said Friday his company is getting at least five times as many inquiries as it did six months ago for software that can accelerate the search and retrieval of electronic information.

"Companies used to be focused on how they store information," Matus said. "Now they're focusing on how to retrieve it."

The new rules, which took effect Friday, require U.S. companies to keep better track of their employees' e-mails, instant messages and other electronic documents in the event the companies are sued, legal experts say. They are part of amendments to federal rules governing civil litigation and were approved by the Supreme Court's administrative arm in April after a five-year review.

Companies and other parties involved in federal litigation must now produce "electronically stored information" as part of discovery, the process by which both sides share evidence before a trial. Federal and state courts have increasingly been requiring the production of such evidence in individual cases, and the new rules clarify that the data will be required in federal lawsuits.

Under the new rules, an information technology employee who routinely copies over a backup computer tape could be committing "virtual shredding" once a lawsuit has been filed, said Alvin F. Lindsay, a partner at Hogan & Hartson LLP and expert on technology and litigation.

Companies still could routinely purge their archives if the data aren't relevant to cases companies have pending or expect to face, though specific sectors such as financial services remain governed by other data-retention rules.

Company lawyers and information-technology staff will have to work more closely together to ensure that routine erasing of backup data doesn't pose legal problems, Lindsay said, while also ensuring that lawyers know where their company's data are stored.

The new rules make it more important for companies to know what electronic information they have and where, especially because of a provision that requires lawyers to provide information much earlier in a lawsuit than before.

Many large companies "don't know what they have" and are therefore unprepared if they are sued, said Marie-Charlotte Patterson, vice president of market strategy for AXS-One Inc., a Rutherford, N.J.-based records compliance management firm.

Without a better sense of what data they have and where, some companies settle lawsuits in order to avoid the costs of electronic discovery, she said. Better organization of the data can lower that cost and enable companies to avoid settling.

"The need from the get-go to better manage that electronic data has become paramount," she said.

Some companies have paid a steep price for failure to preserve electronic information. In one high-profile case last year, former UBS AG equities trader Laura Zubulake won a $29 million award in a federal gender discrimination suit. The presiding judge penalized UBS for failing to recognize that missing e-mails would end up being relevant to future litigation.

Large companies are likely to face higher costs from organizing their data, said James Wright, director of electronic discovery at Halliburton Co. Besides e-mail, he said, companies also will need to know about things more difficult to track, like digital photos of work sites on employee cell phones and information on removable memory cards.

There are hundreds of "e-discovery vendors" and these businesses raked in approximately $1.6 billion in 2006, Wright said. That figure could double in 2007, he added.

Lawyers may have to spend time reviewing electronic documents before turning them over, Lindsay said. Although electronic searches can help narrow the amount of data, some high-paid lawyers will still have to sift through casual e-mails about subjects like "office birthday parties in the pantry" to find the relevant information, he added.

But Martha Dawson, a Preston Gates & Ellis LLP partner who specializes in electronic discovery, said companies will not have to alter how they retain their electronic documents. Rather, she said, they will have to do an "inventory of their IT system" in order to know better where the documents are.

The new rules also provide better guidance on how electronic evidence is to be handled in federal litigation, including guidelines on how companies can seek exemptions from providing data that isn't "reasonably accessible," she said. This could actually reduce the burden of electronic discovery, she said.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Asian Technopreneur of the Year

By Isabelle Chan , ZDNet Asia
Wednesday, November 29 2006 01:37 PM

Satyan Mishra is hoping to bridge the digital divide in one of the world's most populous nations--India--while making money at the same time.

A saint he may not be, but this 33-year-old has honourable and altruistic intentions which the world could certainly do more of. It is people like Mishra who, with their business and technology smarts, are capable of helping the underdeveloped parts of the world enrich their lives by gaining access to modern technology and services.

Read More ...

Small European businesses don't invest enough in tech

Small European businesses don't invest enough in tech
By Tom Espiner, ZDNet UK
Wednesday, November 29 2006 10:55 AM

Small businesses are failing to invest sufficiently in technology, causing them to lose productivity, according to a European Commission taskforce report.

The ICT Taskforce, whose membership includes technology giants such as Microsoft and IBM, have claimed that small businesses are not investing in business technology that could improve business processes.

"A wider integration of ICT by businesses throughout Europe would significantly contribute to improve effectiveness and productivity and could potentially revolutionize and maximize processes and organizations in a number of key sectors," said the report.

Some members of the taskforce are IT vendors who stand to benefit if small and midsize businesses (SMBs) spend more on technology. However, it appears they may realize that they need to change their own approach in some areas. Jean Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International, told ZDNet UK that the software to improve business processes has been too expensive for SMBs to run.

"We have to make it easier to invest. The software is just too expensive," said Courtois. "There's a general lack of investment [in technology among SMBs]. In France, 30 percent of small businesses don't have a Web site. Most SMBs use Web mail and browsing, but they're not at the level they should be to compete with other companies," Courtois added.

Customer relationship management applications and software that monitors key business transactions are not being used enough by SMBs due to the expense and lack of trained staff, according to Courtois.

"Many companies with fewer than 10 people don't have an IT staff," said Courtois. However, as third-party support services--which are themselves a technology opportunity for smaller companies--and software become less expensive, the situation could improve. "As solutions come down in price many SMBs will take these up," said Courtois.

Small businesses involved in technology also need to look beyond Europe, the taskforce argued. Although currently Europe has a third of the global technology market place, the European Union market is becoming more static.

"You have to sell outside Europe," said Courtois. "SMBs can connect the dots between start-ups and global products."

European governments can help small firms by encouraging public and private partnerships to fund innovative research and development, and by making public sector procurement processes simpler, said Courtois.

"It's hard for SMBs to access the public market in different parts of Europe, as there's no unifying policy," said Courtois. "There still needs to be a simplification of procurement. There's no easy way for small companies to respond and be considered because of bureaucracy and the level of details required. The process is too complex--payment and selection procedures don't help SMBs. Payment can take nine months--that could kill a small business."

Courtois also called for policy makers to consider an EU-wide education policy to raise the profile and skills set for ICT.

"Europe hasn't done enough to provide an end-to-end curriculum, from primary and secondary education through to retirement age. Something we need to do much better is use e-learning to assess proficiency levels," said Courtois.

Microsoft called for greater interoperability between technology products to encourage SMB take-up. The company itself, though, has been engaged in a long-running battle with the European Commission over access to its server interoperability protocols. The EC ordered Microsoft to hand over these server technical specifications in 2004 as part of an anti-competition ruling Microsoft provided the technical specifications this month.

"Interoperability is key for us as a company," said Courtois. "[Providing server technical specifications to the EC] is a super-complex process--we had 300 engineers working on it. It's not a case of just publishing the specifications--it's very hard to do.