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)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

India remains outsourcing favourite, says survey

Bangalore (ANTARA News) - India remains the favoured technology outsourcing destination, an industry report said Sunday, amid concerns a rising rupee and soaring wages would blunt the country's competitive edge.

A study by industry publication Global Services and investment advisory firm Tholons put the Indian cities of Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune at the top of a list of 15 emerging outsourcing destinations for global companies.

Kolkata at number five and Chandigarh at number nine were the other two Indian locations on the list, which contained three Chinese and two Vietnamese cities as well.

The three hot cities for outsourcing from China were Shanghai at number eight, Beijing at 10 and Shenzhen at 13. Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi were put at number six and number 12.

Cebu in the Philippines came in at number four, the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo at seven, Cairo at 11, Buenos Aires at 14 and Sao Paulo at 15, the study's sponsors said in a statement released in Bangalore.

The list is based on criteria such as scale and quality of workforce, financial infrastructure, risk environment and quality of life.

But it does not include established outsourcing locations such as Bangalore, the New Delhi capital region, Manila, Mumbai and Dublin that have had a decade's headstart.

Costs are surging in the prime cities in India, which has earned a reputation as the world's back office, as property values and rentals rise and wages increase at an annual pace of more than 15 percent amid a shortage of skilled employees.

Indian outsourcing firms are also feeling the pinch from an appreciating rupee, which dents dollar-billed earnings, forcing them to cut costs by expanding to less expensive locations.

"With the demand-supply gap widening, newer tier II cities will play a critical role in re-engineered globalisation models," Tholons chairman Avinash Vashistha told AFP.

"Destinations will need to provide greater level of cost effectiveness and operational efficiency."

India's outsourcing companies have thrived by winning work from companies in the US and Europe that sought to tap the country's low costs and large employee pool by handing over jobs ranging from answering customers' calls to risk management and financial analysis.

Pure-play outsourcing firms account for about 10 percent of the 50 billion dollars in revenue logged in the year ended March by the entire information technology industry, which also includes software giants such as Tata Consultancy and Infosys.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

IBM Lotus Symphony--Fully Orchestrated Office Suite

Why should we even care about IBM Lotus Symphony?

Kevin Tolly, Network World

Friday, September 28, 2007 12:00 PM PDT

Alternative office suites are nothing new. For users requiring the trio of word processing, spreadsheets and presentations there have always been options. For some years, it has been possible to get OpenOffice for free and the commercial version, Sun's StarOffice, for $69. More recently, Google Apps has been enticing business users by adding collaboration as an integral part of its office alternative. So why should we even care about IBM Lotus Symphony?

Given the myriad potential uses of "office" applications, your reasons will likely differ from mine. but for me it represents the first time I've tried an alternative office and found the user experience to be every bit as good as using Microsoft Word.

Despite the fact that it is free, Symphony is powerful, deep, well written and well documented. Aside from a minor formatting issue, I had no problem opening and editing documents, spreadsheets and presentations created with Microsoft products.

Not having used IBM Lotus products for many years, I still was able to edit using my favorite features in just a few minutes. When it comes to core office applications, it isn't hard to navigate.

For example, "word count" is on the Tools menu. Looking for track changes mode is under "Edit... Revisions ... Record". A little different than Microsoft users are accustomed to, but no impediment. (And, yes, this column is being written using Symphony.)

A quick search of the Internet uncovered a handy two-page document that guides MS Word users on finding equivalent functions in Lotus Symphony.

Read More ....

Why do we have to tell CIO's that they need to know the business?

By Michael R. Farnum , Computerworld, on Fri, 09/28/2007 - 4:09pm

I have written in the past about security people needing to know the business side of the house. But when I saw this article about career advice for the CIO and how the CIO needs to be business savvy, I really had to throw out a big "DUH".

Now don't get me wrong; I am not disparaging Ms. Chatham on this point. What I am saying is that it drives me nuts that the point even has to be made. How on God's green Earth can a "C" level position in a company NOT know business and think he / she is going to make it? A CFO is supposed to know financial AND business issues. A COO is supposed to know operational AND business issues. Why isn't the CIO supposed to know IT AND business issues?

Well, now that I think about it, I guess I actually do know the reason the point has to be made: because so many CIO's up to this point have come directly from the technical side of the house, and they have found it hard to relate to the business world when their world has been technical for so long. CIO is NOT a technical position. Yes, it is good to know the ins and outs of the technical world so there can be a realistic expectation of what the techies can do. But a person at this level should be way past their days of "rack-and-stack" and script writing. It is like an old boss asked me when I was pining for a management job: "Are you ready to give up your technical knowledge?" It is true. Very few management jobs in IT involve technical tasks. And if you are going to become a CIO, you should have had at least a couple of management jobs before now.

Of course, when you throw a former pure management type into the mix who is not technology savvy, then you run into other problems. And though I can't speak for every company, this seems to be why companies are either dropping their CIO positions or creating de facto CIO positions with different titles. There are just too few people who can fit into that type of role, no matter their background.

Running A Business Is Essential Experience For A CIO

Posted by John Soat, The Informationweek, Sep 28, 2007 05:27 PM

If you want to excel as a tech exec, go out and run a business -- or get your place of employment to put you in charge of one.

"Anybody who has the opportunity to run a business -- you will view the world differently," says Jon Stevens, CIO of CDW, the well-known vendor of IT products and services.

Stevens should know. He joined CDW in 2001 as VP of IT. He was named CIO and appointed to the executive committee in 2002. From 2005 to 2006 Stevens was CDW's VP, international, in charge of the company's global strategy, and as part of that he ran its Canadian subsidiary. He says it was an invaluable experience for him as a CIO.

"You get a good idea of what will work for your customer base and what won't work," he says. "Having a first-hand experience running a business at CDW has helped me connect the dots on how we can drive our customer contact, our business, and our results."

Stevens, who reports to CDW CEO John Edwardson, started out in IT at NCR (NYSE: NCR), when AT&T (NYSE: T) owned it. Then he worked for Microsoft's consulting service, and helped in the launch of a Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)-oriented service firm called Avanade, formed as a partnership between Accenture and Microsoft. Avanade is now a subsidiary of Accenture.

"The key role of the CIO now is to sit right next to your business partner and really understand their goals," he says. "How are they trying to drive revenue? You need to show them the art of the possible, what to plug in that can make their approach to the market, the customer experience, better."

Understanding technology is important for a CIO, Stevens says, but being able to understand the business pressures both internal and external customers are dealing with is just as essential. And there's nothing like first-hand business experience, though "everyone learns differently -- everyone has different opportunities."

Being able to connect the customer experience with the capabilities of technology is the secret to being a successful CIO, Stevens says. "Being that bridge is key."

Friday, September 28, 2007

Microsoft Investigates Blocked Patch Updates in XP

Updates quietly deployed by Microsoft in July and August could prevent Windows XP users from installing up to 80 recent patches.

By Brian Prince, PC Magazine

Microsoft officials say they are investigating reports that files the company deployed this summer prevent Windows XP users who run a built-in "repair" function from installing as many as 80 of the company's latest security patches.

"We are aware of reports about customers not being able to download some updates from Windows Update when using the latest version of the Windows Update client and after reinstalling Windows XP system files from CD," a Microsoft spokesperson said Sept. 27. "We take this issue very seriously and are investigating the root cause of this behavior and what options are available to address it."

The issue was brought to light by Scott Dunn, a writer and associate editor with Windows Secrets Newsletter. According to Dunn, the problem is stealthy updates deployed by Microsoft in July and August. The files prevent Windows XP users who utilize the repair function from installing recent patches.

In the newsletter, Dunn explained that after a user employs the repair option from an XP CD-ROM, Windows Update downloads and installs the new 7.0.600.381 executable files. Some of the Windows Update executables are not registered with the operating system, which in turn prevents Windows Update from working as intended.

Read the rest of this eWEEK story: "Microsoft Investigates Blocked Patch Updates in XP"

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Amazon to face off with Apple on downloading

Online retailer's MP3 service aims to bite into electronic firm's dominance over Internet digital music industry

MATT HARTLEY, Reportonbusiness.com

September 26, 2007

A few years ago it was unthinkable that anyone could challenge Apple Inc.'s dominance over the online digital music industry. But with the launch of a new music download service from Amazon.com Inc., the world's biggest online CD retailer, Apple faces the prospect of true competition from a legitimate opponent for the first time.

Yesterday, Amazon announced the launch of Amazon MP3, the first online music store where every song is available in the MP3 format, free of the digital rights management (DRM) software that imposes restrictions on what consumers can do with their music. Plans have not been announced for a Canadian version of the site.

Seattle-based Amazon is also undercutting Apple's iTunes by offering more than half of the two million songs in the Amazon library for 89 cents (U.S.), 10 cents less than Apple charges.

Music labels have long insisted that DRM software helps protect their music against piracy by limiting the number of times a user can upload a song to a mobile device, burn it to a CD or by preventing the music from being used on multiple computers.

Read More ....

Monday, September 24, 2007

Armani to launch mobile phone with Samsung

Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:42am BST

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian designer Giorgio Armani has joined forces with Samsung Electronics to design a television and a mobile phone, along with other consumer electronics, the companies said on Sunday.

Armani, one of Italy's leading fashion designers, will unveil a mobile phone model on September 24 at his show for Giorgio Armani womenswear for spring and summer 2008, joining several other designers who have already tapped this market.

The Armani-Samsung phone will be the size of a credit card and 10.5 millimeters thick, the companies said in a statement.

Designers Dolce & Gabbana have teamed up with Motorola for a gold-colored version of the RAZR mobile phone model and Prada has developed a phone with South Korea's LG Electronics.

Armani said the liquid crystal display (LCD) television that it develops with Samsung will be unveiled in January 2008. Home electronics are still unusual territory for fashion designers, although several have launched interior design collections.

Luxury goods segments are benefiting from a surge in the wealthy alongside fast economic growth in countries such as China, India and Russia, while Middle East markets have strengthened as a boom in commodity prices increases incomes.

"We make as much of a personal statement with the mobile phones that we carry or the televisions that we have in our living rooms as we do with the shoes and bags we wear or the furnishings we choose," Armani said in the statement.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Yahoo to Target SMB E-mail Market

Inc.com

Yahoo has announced plans to buy Zimbra, Inc., a next generation e-mail and collaboration software provider for a proposed $350 million. The acquisition would enable Yahoo to target the small and midsize business market.

Zimbra's e-mail service would allow small and midsize companies to host e-mail on or off premises with their own domain. Zimbra offers rich, AJAX-based email, calendar and contact management features, as well as creative mash-ups called Zimlets that tie in Web value to e-mail. Zimbra's open platform allows features to be customized to each customer's needs.

The acquisition is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.

Google in talks with group over undersea cable: report


Yahoo Finance
, Friday September 21, 7:27 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Google Inc is in early talks to join a group looking to lay a high-speed, trans- Pacific undersea cable that could potentially lead to the Internet company becoming an investor in the project, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The potential undersea fiber-optic investment could reflect Google's recent push to provide Internet-based services to businesses, since companies have lower tolerance for service interruptions and have offices around the world, the Journal reported on its Web site, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The discussions remain fluid, the Journal reported.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Microsoft Endgame

by Joel Dreyfuss, Redherring.com, 19 September 2007

One day, we may look back on Sept. 17 as the official beginning of the end for Microsoft’s dominance. Two separate events signaled the shift; one was the European Union court’s harsh ruling against Microsoft itself, charging that the world’s No. 1 software maker had abused its monopoly power to harm competitors. The verdict was expected – and showed that European bureaucrats had more courage than the U.S. Justice Department.

The other important announcement was IBM’s offering of Lotus Symphony, a suite of office applications, for free. This is just the latest bullet to the head of Microsoft’s cash cow. Years ago, when Google CEO Eric Schmidt ran Novell – and tried to save the faltering networking company – he argued that Microsoft’s real stranglehold on the PC market was not the Windows operating system but its Office productivity software suite.

Most users could care less about operating systems, he said, but they wanted to run Microsoft Office to be compatible with everyone else. After all, Schmidt argued, others, including IBM (OS/2) and Apple (Macintosh), had already shown they could write a better operating system.

It is no surprise, then, that Google has gone after Microsoft by providing an ever-expanding list of online office applications that include a word processor, a spreadsheet, a calendar – and soon presentation software to compete with PowerPoint. Others have been chipping away at the office market that provides 40 percent of Microsoft’s revenues. Sun has also distributed its version of Open Office, a suite of apps developed under the open source model and therefore improvable by users that is also the basis of IBM’s offering.

Read More ....

Internet Google to Bring New Gadget Ads to Internet

Google gadget ads attempt to make advertising useful to viewers

Wolfgang Hansson (Blog) - Dailytech.com, September 19, 2007 6:53 PM

One thing most internet users can agree on is that we don’t need more ads on our favorite websites and homepages. What might be interesting, however, is an ad that actually serves a function and might be useful to someone other than the company paying for the ad space.

Google it trying out a new ad format, gadget ads, that has that exact goal in mind. The new ads are interactive and allow for JavaScript and Flash to be integrated. The interesting part is that the ad delivers this additional information without taking the viewer away from the page that they are currently reading.

The ads can also be shared with other internet users and can be added to a blog or an iGoogle home page. Several examples are posted of the new ad format and some of them are quite interesting. One ad is for the Nissan Altima and allows users to put their zip code in and get traffic information for their specific area.

Google says that an ad for Six Flags delivered 94.5 million impressions to 17.1 million unique users and that the ad was interacted with about 200,000 times. The Six Flags ad has a simple video game embedded within.

Currently the new ad format has been in limited testing with a few companies. Google says that they are now ready to roll the ads out to a much larger audience of participating advertisers. The new ad format will be served via Google’s Adsense network and will be priced by the number of clicks or the number of impressions.

SAP unveils Web software, new business model

Wed Sep 19, 2007 5:42pm EDT

By Georgina Prodhan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - SAP AG unveiled a long-awaited line of Web-delivered software on Wednesday that will radically change the company's business model and may shake up the Internet software arena.

Called Business ByDesign, the software is initially a one-size-fits-all, subscription-based package aimed at mid-sized companies and is a crucial plank in SAP's strategy to more than double its customer base to 100,000 by 2010.

"It's not just a new product for us," Chief Executive Henning Kagermann told journalists and analysts at a company event in New York. "It's a new era for SAP."

SAP, the market leader in complex suites of software for large enterprises, is the first major software maker to enter the market for so-called software as a service delivered over the Internet.

It said it will have invested up to 400 million euros ($559 million) in marketing and ramping up Business ByDesign by the end of next year. One-fifth of the company's 12,300 developers are working on the project.

Business ByDesign, which integrates management of areas including financials, human resources, supply chain and customer relationship management will cost $149 per month per user and $54 per month per five users for a pared-down version.

The offering is both more complex and more expensive than competing products from the likes of Internet software pioneer Salesforce.com Inc, which has 35,000 customers and whose prices start from $60 per user per month.

Read More ....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Apple to Launch IPhone in Germany Nov. 9

Wednesday September 19, 9:09 am ET

Yahoo Finance

BERLIN (AP) -- Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile division will sell Apple Inc.'s iPhone in Germany, where the eagerly awaited gadget will go on sale in November, company officials said Wednesday.

The iPhone, a combined cell phone-music player that can access the Internet, will be available starting Nov. 9 and cost 399 euros ($553), Telekom CEO Rene Obermann and Apple's Chief Executive Steve Jobs told reporters in Berlin.

The announcement came a day after Apple confirmed the iPhone's first foray across the Atlantic -- its launch in Britain, also on Nov. 9, through mobile operator O2.

Beyond Britain and Germany, rumors have circulated for months that Spain's Telefonica SA -- the parent of O2 -- and France's Orange likely would offer the device in Spain and France. None of those companies has confirmed holding talks with Apple.

Apple announced last week that it had sold 1 million iPhones in the United States in the first 74 days it was on sale, shortly after also slashing the price by a third.

IBM Launches Free, Online Office Applications

By Chloe Albanesius. PCMagazine.com

IBM on Tuesday launched a beta suite of free, online office applications intended to compete with the ubiquitous Microsoft Office and boost the presence of IBM's Lotus Notes.

The IBM tools, dubbed Symphony, are available for download free of charge online and will provide access to documents, spreadsheets and presentations on machines supported by Windows and Linux desktops, according to IBM. Customers who purchase the latest version of IBM's Lotus Notes will also receive Symphony.

Symphony will also feature optional, fee-based support for businesses, Ed Brill, a business unit executive for worldwide sales at IBM/Lotus, said at a Tuesday launch event in Manhattan.

Symphony is based on the open document format (ODF), which allows for the open standards favored by IBM but generally shunned by Microsoft. IBM last week joined OpenOffice.org, an open source project founded by Sun Microsystems in 2000, to which IBM will be making code contributions.

ODF is an "incredibly important initiative as an industry," Brill said. IBM is looking to see the "proliferation of tools that use [ODF] standards."

Framing Symphony as a free, web-based open source office suite offering puts it opposite Microsoft's $150 proprietary Office suite. It is unlikely, however, that Symphony will overtake Office in the near future given the proliferation and brand-name recognition of Office. Symphony also faces competition from other free online office applications like those from Google.

Read More ....

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

MP3 players could replace stethoscopes: researchers

Stockholm (ANTARA News) - MP3 players/recorders detect some respiratory sounds better than traditional stethoscopes and could prove handy replacements in the future, two researchers told an international conference on respiratory diseases.

With better quality sound from MP3 players/recorders, some clinical sounds can be better heard and even recorded, stored on computers and fileshared, according to Neil Skjodt of the department of medicine at the University of Alberta and his audiologist colleague Bill Hodgetts.

By pressing a microphone directly to the chest, the researchers were able to record a whole range of respiratory sounds with different patterns.

"The quality, clarity and purity of the loud sounds were better than I have ever heard with a stethoscope," Skjodt was quoted by AFP as saying Monday in a statement issued by the European Respiratory Society's (ERS) annual congress in Stockholm.

"The MP3 files were later transferred to a computer and converted into frequency curves. Computer analysis of the stored sounds showed that each had a a distinct signature," the statement said.

"The computer -- like the human ear -- did, however, sometimes have difficulty in processing complex or quiet breathing sounds," it added.

Researchers decided to conduct the experiment after several studies showed that health care staff "generally had mediocre auditory faculties, especially when using stethoscopes."

One of the studies showed that medical students sometimes had to listen to certain clinical sounds up to 500 times before they could recognise them accurately.

Skjodt said that in addition to providing better quality sound, the use of MP3s also enabled doctors to reproduce or store the sounds heard during a medical consultation or even transmit them to a databank so other doctors could refer to them.

Stethoscopes date back almost 200 years. Even modern, digital stethoscopes are outperformed by MP3s, the researchers said.

According to the ERS, respiratory diseases are the main cause of death in the world. In Europe, respiratory diseases cost society more than 100 billion euros (140 billion dollars) a year.

A total of 15,000 clinical doctors, researchers, physiotherapists and medical and pharmaceutical industry workers from more than 100 countries are attending the congress in Stockholm, which concludes on Wednesday.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Microsoft suffers decisive EU antitrust defeat

Monday September 17, 10:37 am ET

By David Lawsky and Sabina Zawadzki

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Microsoft suffered a decisive antitrust defeat on Monday when a European Union court upheld a landmark ruling that the world's largest software maker had abused its dominant market position to crush rivals.

The second-highest EU court dismissed the company's appeal on all key points against the 2004 European Commission ruling and upheld a record 497 million euro ($689.9 million) fine.

A jubilant EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said the ruling should lead to a "significant drop" in Microsoft's 95 percent market share. While Microsoft's top lawyer said it would affect the way the company markets its products in future.

Shares in the U.S. software giant were down 1 percent in early New York trade after the Luxembourg-based court's ruling, suggesting investors were not overly concerned about the implications for Microsoft's successful business model.

"Its clearly a major defeat for Microsoft. There is no doubt it will spur the Commission on to regulate Microsoft much more significantly," said Chris Bright, a British competition lawyer.

The court said Microsoft was unjustified in tying new applications to its Windows operating system in a way that squeezed out rivals and harmed consumer choice.

Read More ....

Readers Endorse Switch to Apple

Former Windows Users Offer Tales of Why They Switched to a Mac

Jason Fry, The Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2007

Last week's column on pondering a new PC, and the possibility of throwing over Windows for Apple, brought in a tidal wave of forum posts and email -- and more evidence that the consumer-PC market is turning in Apple's favor.

Email after email came from people who had recently switched from Windows to Macs, or were planning to do so once OS X 10.5 -- alias Leopard -- comes out next month. (By the way, why not stick with the working names for operating systems? They're always cooler.)

And many of those emails came from people who were longtime, dedicated Windows users, including engineering types who had resisted what they saw as Apple hype. (Another theme that emerged from my correspondence: Vista was the final straw for a number of Windows users. Microsoft has a problem on its hands there.)

Read More ....

Sunday, September 16, 2007

MS to Users: You Can't Handle the Truth

One might think that turning off the feature that allows Windows Update to automatically download and execute new patches would, in fact, disable automatic updates. Apparently, one would be wrong. This behind-the-back updating, said Microsoft, is necessary in order to avoid misleading customers. Some users found it rude, and others said it could even potentially upset criminal cases.

By Chris Maxcer, TechNewsWorld, 09/14/07 1:26 PM PT

Users of Microsoft's may be surprised to learn that Microsoft has been secretly updating their PCs even after they've activated a feature that seemingly prevents automatic updates.

So far, discovery that Microsoft is changing code on users' PCs without their knowledge is limited to a single program -- the Windows Update program that goes online to check for, and initiate the download of, other Windows updates.

"The upshot is that a longstanding procedure in Windows Update requires it to self-update before it is able to recognize that new updates are available," noted Nick White, a Microsoft product manager, on the Microsoft Windows Vista Blog.

"This self-updating is done regardless of whether the user has enabled automatic checking, download and/or installation of updates. It does so in an effort to avoid WU misleading the user to think s/he is up-to-date simply because s/he was not receiving notification that updates are available," he wrote.

Read More ....

Week in review: Vista, virtualization, vendettas

By Steven Musil, News.com

Published on ZDNet News: Sep 14, 2007 9:23:00 AM

Microsoft is making changes to Windows Vista in response to objections from Google, but Microsoft has some criticism of its own for the search company.

In an effort to satisfy antitrust concerns, the software giant plans to make changes to the desktop search feature in Vista. Microsoft agreed in June to make alterations to the way desktop search operates in response to concerns from Google.

The primary impact of the change is giving Vista users who choose a non-Microsoft option for desktop search more outlets to see those search results, as opposed to the results generated by Vista's built-in desktop search engine.

The changes are coming with the first service pack to Windows Vista. Microsoft is launching a beta version of the update in the next couple of weeks, with a final version expected early next year.

As CNET News.com readers debated the value and origins of desktop search, one reader raised the issue of what would motivate Google to challenge Microsoft on the issue.

"What makes me a little more nervous than Windows knowing the content of files on my system is the fact that an advertising company wants to know the content of our files," wrote one reader to the News.com TalkBack forum.

"What makes me a little more nervous than Windows knowing the content of files on my system, is the fact that an advertising company wants to know the content of our files."

In other Vista news, sales of boxed copies of the operating system continue to significantly trail those of Windows XP during its early days, according to a soon-to-be-released report. Standalone unit sales of Vista at U.S. retail stores were down 59.7 percent, compared with Windows XP, during each product's first six months on store shelves, according to NPD Group.

Microsoft also agreed that an analysis of boxed-copy sales is not representative of Vista's momentum, noting that the trend of people getting a new operating system with a new PC has further accelerated with Vista.

Read More ....

Google Proposes International Privacy Standard

The world's largest Internet search company wants to create new ways to help keep Internet users safe

Michael Hoffman, DailyTech.com (Blog) - September 14, 2007 4:25 AM

Google today proposed that governments and technology companies need to work together to create an international method that details how the personal information of users should be handled on the Internet. Google's Peter Fleischer, chief privacy officer, challenged members of the United Nations to help make sure user privacy remains safe.

"People look to us to show some leadership and be constructive," Fleischer said before speaking before the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization. "By supporting global privacy standards, there will be a debate and part of that debate will be what our motives are."

A large problem is that privacy standards can vary greatly among countries, something that can cause issues for companies that operate in many countries. Along with not having a federal privacy law to protect consumers, laws in the United States often vary state-by-state: another roadblock that will likely need to be fixed.

Another problem facing companies such as Google is that many of the laws are extremely out of date when compared to how the Internet has progressed. An Internet law created by lawmakers just 10 years ago cannot fairly be used today.

“Privacy laws have not kept up with the reality of the internet and technology, where we have vast amounts of information and every time a credit card is used online, the data on it can move across six or seven countries in a matter of minutes,” Fleischer said.

Read More ....

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Virtualisation - a CIO's best friend?

Next-gen chips driving consolidation, consolidation, consolidation...

By Natasha Lomas, Silicon.com, Friday 14 September 2007

Chip-makers reckon their next generation of processors are stepping up to the challenges CIOs face: growing volumes of data, increasing demands on that data and rising energy costs.

But the technology poised to play the most significant role in tackling all these challenges is virtualisation, according to senior industry figures.

Virtualisation enables hardware to run multiple virtual machines, offering benefits such as the ability to run different operating systems on one server and to increase flexibility, availability and speed of deployment of computing resources.

"There is no better means today to improve energy efficiency than by the use of virtualisation"

Chris Ingle, consulting and research director for IDC's European systems group, said the next generation of server hardware needs to perform like never before - fulfilling increasingly complex business needs, without costing the earth.

Speaking at the launch of AMD's new Opteron quad-core server processor in Barcelona - which is touted by the chip-maker as very virtualisation-friendly by enabling more virtual machines to be run per server - Ingle said: "This is all about data. Businesses are dealing with more data, they're trying to get data out to more places in the organisation and to do that they need high performance systems and we continue to see performance improvement in all kinds of systems - what we need to see is improvement in virtualisation, in management and in efficiency."

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Friday, September 7, 2007

German government to appoint a national CIO

Cornelia Wels-Maug, Ovum

The German government plans to appoint a national Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the first time. More details about the appointment will be forthcoming on the second national IT Summit in Hannover in December.

Comment Ovum: This latest initiative is a response to the fact that Germany is still lacking behind the international community when it comes to the adoption of information and Communication Technology (ICT) for the purposes of public administration (on federal and state level alike) and the range of available e-government offerings to its citizens. Furthermore, the exchange of information is often hampered by the fact that not all ICT technologies used on federal as well as state levels are intra-compatible. It will be the responsibility of the newly appointed CIO to coordinate the federal IT activities, including e-government offerings.

There is not much time left between now and 10 December, the date of the second IT Summit, to clearly define the role. Moreover, if the CIO is not equipped with adequate authority, she/he will hardly be able to bring about the required changes. Furthermore, any changes made cannot be confined to just the federal level, and this again highlights the underlying conflict between the federal and state authority. The accomplishment of the long awaited federalism reform will also help in this respect. For now, the CIO, as an additional element of the role, will work to gain the cooperation between those two camps.

To help with the process of formulating the role of the CIO and finding its place in the government - it has yet to be established whether the CIO will be part of the chancellery or of one of the ministry (possibly the Ministry of the Interior) - the government has looked for a usable blueprint. To get a better understanding of the multiple aspects the role might involve, the government consulted several renowned IT management consultants on the role of CIOs in the industry last week.

But the idea of a national CIO is not new. National CIOs, for instance, can be found in Canada, Australia, Austria and the UK. The UK's current CIO, John Suffolk, to take a European neighbour which has a very advanced public sector when it comes to the adoption of IT, might be used as a role model: one of his key responsibilities is deciding upon which elements of a common infrastructure for the public sector should be developed and how those common elements should be managed. This is embedded into the execution of a long-term vision in how public services can be shaped in order to provide efficient, effective services designed around the needs of citizens and businesses.

It looks like the German government is not as advanced in formulating such a long-term vision, but the actual creation of a CIO is a step towards this.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Getting Inside Google's gPhone

The search giant's mobile offensive, like the iPhone, may force new cracks in the way the wireless industry operates

by Olga Kharif, Businessweek, Technology

Still coming to terms with Apple's iPhone invasion, the cellular industry now finds itself bracing for yet another intrusion by a mighty outsider bent on altering the way wireless does business. This time it's Google.

New signals and speculation about Google's (GOOG) mobile initiatives emerge daily, but with no clear proclamations as yet from the Web search leader. One day there's buzz that Google will follow Apple's (AAPL) lead by introducing its own mobile device, the gPhone. Next comes word the company has developed its own mobile operating system or Web browser. Against this uncertain backdrop, providers of wireless service, handsets, and software have been left to guess anxiously at Google's true intentions, not unlike children gathered about a campfire, scanning for monsters in the shadowy forest.

Google Platform?

So what's really lurking behind those trees? A source familiar with the situation tells BusinessWeek.com that Google may be preparing a new mobile platform, a would-be rival to the Nokia-dominated (NOK) Symbian OS, Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows Mobile, mobile Linux, Palm (PALM), and other operating systems.

The new operating system, which may be named gPhone, was developed in part with know-how Google acquired with a startup named Android in 2005. The platform is designed to enable lower-priced "smartphones" featuring more robust Web browsing and multimedia applications. Most importantly for Google, it will work hand in glove with the company's mobile search engine and other Google applications that are already popular on personal computers. And it would allow Google to bring new applications to the wireless market faster. Google declined to confirm or deny this information.

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Apple Unveils Wi-Fi iPod Touch, new iPod Nano, Slashes iPhone Price Tag

By Eric Southworth on Sep 5th, 2007, ScienceMode

Apple has revitalized its iPod lineup with the unveiling of a new slightly smaller iPod nano and its addition of a new touch-screen-music player called, “iPod Touch”, an entirely new addition to the iPod family with a Wi-Fi wireless networking feature.

The new music player lineup promises to bring video playback, an enhanced user interface featuring Cover Flow, and an incredible new design to the world’s most popular music player.

Like the iPhone, the new iPod touch is a touch-screen user interface, which enables users to control, and sort through their music library on a widescreen display with just the touch of a finger.

The iPod touch also includes Wi-Fi wireless networking feature, the first on any iPod, pre-loaded with Apple’s latest mobile applications, which utilizes its Wi-Fi capability.

Starting with Safari, a mobile browser which works on any mobile device, lets users wirelessly view web pages just as they look on their computer, and features Google Search or Yahoo! oneSearch.

Moreover, Apple’s YouTube application lets iPod touch or iPhone users to wirelessly watch over 10 million free videos from the Internet’s most popular video website.

To conclude, the new iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store application lets both iPod touch and iPhone users to wirelessly browse, preview and buy songs and albums from Apple’s online music store.

The iPod touch is 8 mm thin, and is scheduled to be available later this month. The 8GB iPod touch model is $299 (US) and the 16GB model is $399 (US).

Meanwhile, the new iPod nano features a larger two-inch display with 204 pixels per inch, which lets users watch their favorite movies, TV shows and music videos in the same resolution they currently enjoy on the video iPod. iPod nano also includes three fun games, and additional games can be purchased from the online iTunes Store.

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