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)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Internet failure hits two continents

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- Large swathes of Asia, the Middle East and north Africa had their high-technology services crippled Thursday following a widespread Internet failure which brought many businesses to a standstill and left others struggling to cope.

Hi-tech Dubai has been hit hard by an Internet outage apparently caused by a cut undersea cable.

One major telecommunications provider blamed the outage, which started Wednesday, on a major undersea cable failure in the Mediterranean.

India's Internet bandwidth has been sliced in half, The Associated Press reported, leaving its lucrative outsourcing industry trying to reroute traffic to satellites and other cables through Asia.

Reports say that Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain are also experiencing severe problems.

Nations that have been spared the chaos include Israel -- whose traffic uses a different route -- and Lebanon and Iraq. Many Middle East governments have backup satellite systems in case of cable failure.

An official at Egypt's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was believed that a boat's anchor may have caused the problems, although this was unconfirmed, AP reported. He added that it might take up to a week to repair the fault.

Rajesh Chharia, president of India's Internet Service Providers' Association, explained that some firms were trying to reroute via Pacific cables and that companies serving the eastern US and the UK were worst affected, AP added.

Besides the Internet, the outage caused major disruption to television and phone services, creating chaos for the UAE's public and private sectors.

There were contradicting reports on the real cause behind the disruption, but Du, a state-owned Dubai telecom provider, attributed it to an undersea cable cut in the Mediterranean Sea between Alexandria, Egypt and Palermo, Italy.

A Du internal memo, obtained by CNN, called the situation in Dubai "critical" and stated that the cable's operators did not know when services would be restored.

"This will have a major impact on our voice and Internet service for all the customers," the memo stated. "The network operation team are working with our suppliers overseas to resolve this as soon as possible."

The outage led to a rapid collapse of a wide range of public services in a country which proudly promotes itself as technological pioneer.

Sources from Emirates Airlines confirmed to CNN Arabic that the outage did not affect its flight schedules -- a statement which assured hundreds of travelers worried after rumors about the possibility of rescheduled flights due to the faults.

However, Dnata, a government group in charge of providing air travel services in the Middle East and ground handling services at Dubai International Airport, acknowledged facing problems because of the outage, sources from its technical department confirmed to CNN Arabic.

The outage heavily crippled Dubai's business section, which is heavily reliant on electronic means for billions of dollars' worth of transactions daily.

Wadah Tahah, the business strategies and development manager for state-owned construction company EMAAR, told CNN Arabic that it was fortunate the outage started Wednesday, when there had been only moderate activity in the UAE markets. He said that softened the blow to business interests.

But Tahah warned that if the outage continued, "such a situation could create problems between brokers, companies, and investors due to loss of control."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

SMBs to drive Indonesia ICT spend

By Lynn Tan, ZDNet Asia, Monday, January 28 2008 08:21 PM

Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in Indonesia are projected to spend about US$7.2 billion on infocomm technologies (ICT) in 2008, according to a new market report.

In its study released Monday, AMI-Partners said Indonesian SMBs are projected to grow their ICT expenditure by some 11.2 percent over last year, fueled by a boom in the overall economy and a surge in the number of small-sized businesses.

Prasannavadan Gaitonde, a Singapore-based research manager at AMI-Partners, said in a statement: "In Indonesia, more than 99 percent of SMBs are [small-sized businesses], and they account for about 78 percent of the total ICT spend."

Gaitonde noted that approximately 80 percent of these small-sized businesses--defined as having fewer than 100 employees--are startups, or are staffed with between one and four employees. He added that these companies will account for 50 percent of the overall small-sized business expenditure in 2008.

According to AMI-Partners, Indonesia has a "young and dynamic" business environment. The average age of business owners and managers is 33 years, and over 66 percent of these professionals have a graduate degree or higher education qualifications.

Gaitonde said this pool of young decision makers, along with a burgeoning domestic demand, has resulted in a "positive" environment with over 40 percent of SMBs expecting growth of between 15 percent and 20 percent in 2008.

"This optimism is also prodding more SMBs to consider hiring more people, [and] that will help relieve pressure on an otherwise high unemployment rate in Indonesia," he said. "The wage pressures are expected to remain flat through 2008."

Growth potential is also encouraging Indonesian SMBs to increase branch locations, where over 25 percent plan to add one to two branches this year, AMI-Partners noted.

As such, connectivity between branch offices and remote locations will be a top priority for SMB IT decision makers this year, the research house said. It added that the highest growth is expected in data security deployments at 33 percent, followed by data storage at 26 percent and Internet-related implementations at 24 percent.

Gaitonde said Indonesian SMBs will depend more on the Internet in 2008, adding that this increase in online usage will prod more SMBs to invest in basic security tools.

Mobility is another "hot" area because Indonesian SMBs are at the "cusp" of broader adoption of mobility-enabled devices, AMI-Partners said, driven by a desire to improve productivity of their mobile workforce.

For instance, the awareness of WiMax in Indonesia is "very high" and uptake of the technology could accelerate rapidly if the "right" products are offered at the "right" price points, AMI-Partners said.

The analyst company added that VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) and IP telephony tools are still "attractive" alternatives to reduce calling costs.

"Indonesian SMBs expect telecom service providers to play a stronger role in offering them various bundled solutions especially for voice-related services, [and] it is important that service providers rise to fulfill this need of a growing market," Gaitonde said.

Lynn Tan is a freelance IT writer based in Singapore.

SAP brings hosted ERP to Asia


By Victoria Ho, ZDNet Asia, Tuesday, January 29 2008 07:30 PM

SINGAPORE--SAP has brought its hosted ERP (enterprise resource planning) suite to the region.

Announced Tuesday, the company is releasing its Business ByDesign product to Singapore--the sixth country globally to receive it. The product is currently available in Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and China.

Hans-Peter Klaey, president of SAP's SME division, said at the launch event that Singapore was chosen because many regional offices are headquartered in the country.

SAP is targeting the suite at SMBs (small to medium sized businesses) employing between 100 to 500 staff.

Klaey said that a hosted solution "makes the most sense" for an SMB, because it takes the burden of building expensive infrastructure off the shoulders of the companies that may not have the capital freely available.

Historically, SAP has been in favor of on-premise installations. However, it launched a hosted CRM service in 2006, in a bid to capture the growing hosted CRM market.

Similarly, the company is eyeing the growing SMB SaaS market, which it estimates to be worth some US$15 billion.

According to Klaey, 74 percent of SAP's customers are SMBs, with this proportion expected to go up in the years to come. Having offered only on-premise ERP products till this, Klaey said that he expects this to fill the void in the market for a hosted ERP service that is "end-to-end".

Eric MacDonald, SAP Asia-Pacific and Japan president and CEO of South East Asia, said: "[Business ByDesign] addresses the 'testing out' market--the users who don't have the bandwidth to take on huge IT projects but are interested in trying out a product which gives them improved control."

Klaey did not comment on whether SAP's acquisition of Business Objects would see business intelligence functionality added to the product.

Presently, users' data on the system is hosted in Waldorf, Germany with prices beginning at US$149 per user, per month, for a minimum of 25 users.

Govt to launch book on macro indicators of Indonesia`s ICT

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government will soon launch a book on macro indicators of the county`s information and communication technology (ICT), an official said.

"Communication and Information Minister Muhammad Nuh will launch the book on the ICT macro indicators on the occasion of a seminar on Indonesia Outlook 2008 on Thursday (Jan 31)," Achmad Jazidie of the Center for Technology and Industry Policies said on Thursday.

He said the ICT macro indicators would hopefully encourage stakeholders, along with the government, to make positive contributions to the development of the ICT sector in the country.

Meanwhile, Abdullah Alkaff, assistant to the communication and information minister, said the idea of writing the book came from Muhammad Nuh to give complete and accurate information on the conditions of the country`s information and communication technology.

The government hoped the launching of the book would attract investors to the country, improve productivity and bolster the nation`s optimism, he said.

"Investors will be willing to invest if the ICT of a country is good. ICT is related to many factors and one of them is productivity. If the ICT of a country is good, its productivity will be high and investment will increase," he said.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Google eyes setting up data center in Taiwan

Taipei (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - Minister of Economic Affairs Steve R. L. Chen has confirmed that Google, one of the world's largest search engine operators, is considering setting up a data processing center in Taiwan.

The ministry was making efforts to secure the investment, Chen said, including offers of a stable electricity supply and land for the investment project.

According to the ministry, Google is planning to depose backups of the data in its servers in the planned data processing center, to be constructed in a country outside the United States, where it is headquartered.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Google eyeing operations in Malaysia: report

Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:06am EST

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Web search engine giant Google Inc is interested to set up operations in Malaysia, citing the country's technology infrastructure and strategic location, newspapers reported on Sunday.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Google has started discussions with Malaysia's Multimedia Development Corp on establishing a base in the country.

"They want to make their presence felt in Malaysia. It will be a big boost for our ICT industry," he told reporters after meeting Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Abdullah said Malaysia ranked as the top users of Google in Southeast Asia, which was another reason why it would make sense to use the country as a base for its operations.

In Asia, Google has offices in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Bill Gates new project: Farming

By Barry Neild

DAVOS, Switzerland (CNN) -- Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates announced a new direction Friday as he pledged $306 million in grants to develop farming in poor countries, leading the charge for corporate responsibility at a major meeting of business chiefs.

The announcement by Gates, who is to step down from the computer giant later this year, drew attention from the financial woes that have dominated the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Gates received a standing ovation for his announcement at the suggestion of U2 frontman Bono.

The move, the first foray into agriculture by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will help boost efforts by the annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland to shake off its image as a billionaire's talking shop that does little to solve the problems it discusses.

"If we are serious about ending extreme hunger and poverty around the world, we must be serious about transforming agriculture for small farmers, most of whom are women," Gates said.

"The challenge here is to design a system including profit and recognition to do more for the poor," he said, calling for a new form of "creative capitalism."

Bono, returning to add showbiz sparkle to the Forum for a second year, and UN chief Ban Ki-moon pushed the debate towards issues such as malaria eradication, poverty alleviation and climate change.

In his first appearance at Davos 2008, which gathers more than 2,500 world business figures and government leaders, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called for the World Bank to take on an environmental role to fight climate change.

Despite the fresh financial shockwaves generated by the $7.2 billion fraud at French bank Societe Generale, there were easing concerns that the global economy was heading towards recession.

A CNN straw poll of business leaders attending the Davos meeting voted in favor of an economic slowdown.

John Thaine, CEO of Merrill Lynch told CNN that he believed the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to 0.75 rate cut would help avoid long-term turmoil.

"I think that the steps that the Fed is taking, the steps that the administration is taking, are the right steps, they will help, but the economy is still going to slow," he told CNN.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Asia reports 'spectacular' PC sales

By Lynn Tan, ZDNet Asia

Tuesday, January 22 2008 06:40 PM

The Asia-Pacific PC market enjoyed robust sales in 2007 and continues to be spurred by portable personal computers, according to an IDC study.

In its report released Monday, the research house said preliminary results indicated that the regional PC market, excluding Japan, shipped 66.6 million units last year, registering an annual growth rate of 20.9 percent.

"It was a spectacular year for the PC market in Asia," said Bryan Ma, Asia-Pacific director of personal systems research at IDC. "Even though wildcards such as the U.S. economy are looming overhead, the fundamentals are so solid that the market could very well beat our conservative expectations for 16.8 percent growth in 2008."

According to IDC, portable PCs continue to be a key driver, with nearly every country in the region posting double-digit growth for such computers over the previous year.

"China's economic momentum should accelerate both before and after the Summer Olympics, and portable PCs will continue to be a hot segment of the market across all countries, especially as the competition for sexy-looking consumer products intensifies," Ma predicted.

In particular, the fourth quarter of 2007 met expectations and saw 18.1 million PCs shipped, posting 1 percent sequential growth as well as 21 percent increase over the same period last year, the IDC survey revealed.

The research house noted that some markets such as India, Malaysia and Vietnam, came in short of forecasts due to tender delays, while portables recovered significantly in Indonesia as products were able to clear customs procedures more easily than before.

The region's top five PC vendors continue to maintain their rankings for the full-year 2007.

Lenovo held on to its "commanding" lead in the total number of PCs shipped in the region, clocking 18.4 percent market share and 27.4 percent annual growth, according to IDC numbers.

Hewlett-Packard's moves in the consumer space paid off, helping to narrow the gap between the U.S.-based company and Lenovo by some two percentage points. HP enjoyed the largest annual growth rate of 52.3 percent, and its regional market share expanded to 13.9 percent.

Dell retained third position with 7.8 percent market share and registered 22 percent annual growth. Trailing in fourth position is Acer with 6.1 percent market share and 37.5 percent year-on-year growth, IDC said. Fifth-placed Founder holds 5.1 percent market share and 14 percent annual growth.

Government project drives Singapore market

The Singapore PC market continued to meet expectations in the fourth quarter of 2007 with 22 percent year-on-year growth, said Reuben Tan, IDC's Asia-Pacific research manager of personal systems research.

"As we move into 2008, consumers will likely drive the Singapore PC market, which will help make up for any potential delays in the government's Standard ICT Operating Environment project."

Kathy Sin, IDC's Asia-Pacific research manager of personal systems research, also gave a positive outlook on Hong Kong's PC market for this year.

"Hong Kong's PC market continued to do well, beating forecasts by 7 percent despite the seasonal [fourth quarter] lull as channel inventory was filled," Sin said. "Healthy economic growth should continue to fuel the market into 2008 with little or no problem."

Lynn Tan is a freelance IT writer based in Singapore.

HBO to Offer Movie Download Service

Gameshout.com, Posted Jan 21, 2008, 1:31 PM ET

HBO to launch movie and television show download service this Tuesday.

HBO, a subsidiary of Time Warner will be launching a new movie and T.V. show download services for its subscribers starting on Tuesday January 22nd. The service called HBO on Broadband will feature a huge cable-based on0demand service focusing on the mobile PC user.

The offering will start out in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin as a free add-on to their HBO and HBO on-demand services. There is currently no time-line for rolling the service out to the rest of the U.S.

The goal of HBO is to target more of its subscribers who watch more content online allowing for more viewing flexibility. HBO found that the flexibility of their on-demand service reduced their cancellation rate among younger subscribers, and believe that this new service should further protect their subscriber list for those who are more travelers and prefer to watch more on their laptops.

Initially, HBO on Broadband intends on having about 600 titles available each month with about 400 of those available at any time as well as i live stream of the main HBO channel.

Monday, January 21, 2008

IBM and SAP Ink Agreement to Develop Their First Joint Software Product

Yahoo Finance, Monday January 21, 10:01 am ET

ORLANDO, FL--(MARKET WIRE)--Jan 21, 2008 -- LOTUSPHERE -- Today, before 7,000 customers and partners at the annual Lotusphere conference, IBM (NYSE:IBM - News) and SAP AG (NYSE:SAP - News) announced plans to deliver their first joint software product codenamed "Atlantic" that will integrate IBM Lotus Notes software with SAP Business Suite. The combined efforts to create "Atlantic" will result in a new style of applications that present information and data in the context of users familiar with the Lotus Notes desktop. This will make it easier for users to do their jobs and greatly enhance the return on investment that companies have made in their SAP applications.

Providing workers with access to critical business information in this intuitive, easy-to-use interface will enable timely, more informed business decisions. All types of employees can benefit from increased business analysis, information capabilities and the power to run their business operations directly from their Lotus Notes desktop.

"We're creating a richer collaboration environment," said Michael Rhodin, general manager, IBM Lotus Software. "Businesses are looking to find better ways to collaborate and manage their business processes. This IBM-SAP solution addresses both challenges in one seamless package for millions of users."

IBM Lotus and SAP have thousands of mutual customers who have been asking for the functionality that "Atlantic" software will provide. The majority of IBM's top 100 customers also use SAP solutions.

"SAP and IBM Lotus are strategic partners to The Coca-Cola Company," said Jean Michel-Ares, CIO, Coca-Cola Company. "Our IT goal is to help our people to be more responsive, productive and effective, and SAP and IBM Lotus have helped us get closer to that goal. The partnership between IBM Lotus, SAP and The Coca-Cola Company promises to deliver additional value to our associates and improve the tools they use every day."

"Lotus has been an innovator in collaboration for 20 years. This agreement is great example of how SAP enables our customers to empower their users by providing easy access to SAP business processes and data through productivity tools and user interfaces of their choice," said Vishal Sikka, CTO, SAP. "Furthermore, it reaffirms the strong commitment we have to our partnership with IBM."

For more than 35 years, IBM and SAP have collaborated to bring joint customers cutting-edge solutions to improve business efficiency at more than 13,000 client sites for their millions of users. Currently planned for inclusion in the first release of project "Atlantic" is support for SAP workflows, reporting and analytics, and the use of roles from within the Lotus Notes client. In addition, tools are planned to be included to provide the ability to extend and adapt these roles and capabilities, as well as leverage additional collaborative and offline capabilities inherent in Lotus Notes and Domino products. The initial release is planned to ship in the fourth quarter of 2008 and will be sold by both companies.

If customization of the product is required, IBM Global Business Services will be available to provide consulting and perform services. SAP practitioners, other global and regional systems integrators will also be enabled to customize "Atlantic" software to meet demand.

SAP Business Suite is a comprehensive family of adaptive business applications, providing best-in-class functionality built for complete integration, industry-specific capability, unlimited scalability, and easy collaboration over the Internet. Individually, SAP Business Suite applications customers manage their most critical business processes. Collectively, they form a tightly integrated suite that adds value to every facet of large and small organizations, including banks, hospitals, retail establishments, government agencies and a variety of other businesses, and their external value chains.

IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8 enterprise collaboration software was developed with input from more than 25,000 customers. Lotus Notes 8 software transforms the inbox into an integrated workspace. It brings together email, calendar, instant messaging, productivity tools like Lotus Symphony, collaborative applications, and the ability to build and deploy customer business or third-party applications, including help desk, customer relationship management, sales force, discussion forms and blogs.

Lotus Notes and Domino products have had approximately 135 million licensed users worldwide. Companies of all sizes, industries and technology lineages are embracing the latest version as the most comprehensive and versatile open collaboration platform they've used.

For more information on "Atlantic," visit www.ibm.com/software/lotus/notes/atlantic. For more information on Lotus Notes and Domino products, visit www.ibm.com/lotus/nd8.

For more information on SAP Business Suite, please visit: http://www.sap.com/usa/solutions/business-suite/index.epx

IBM Unveils Plans for Collaboration Software and Services for Small-and-Medium Sized Businesses

Yahoo Finance, Monday January 21, 9:00 am ET

ORLANDO, FL--(MARKET WIRE)--Jan 21, 2008 -- LOTUSPHERE -- At Lotusphere, IBM (NYSE:IBM - News) announced plans for a software portfolio expansion geared to the needs of millions of companies from 5 to 500 employees that want to focus on growing their businesses instead of running their office systems.

IBM Lotus Foundations is a future line of small business software servers, installed on-premise, and is expected to be offered primarily through IBM Business Partners. In addition, IBM announced a managed beta of a Web-delivered service codenamed "Bluehouse." "Bluehouse" provides extranet services that make it easy for small-and-medium sized companies to securely collaborate beyond their organizational boundaries.

The combination of Lotus Foundations and "Bluehouse" will provide essential software solutions in simple to acquire and manage packages. Small-and-medium sized businesses (SMBs) need superior collaboration and business solutions as much as large companies. With Lotus Foundations and Bluehouse, used separately or in combination, organizations will be able to take advantage of proven enterprise-strength software delivered as a turn-key package for start-up businesses without IT staff.

"Small-and-medium sized business represents a significant growth opportunity for IBM," said Mike Rhodin, general manager, IBM Lotus Software. "Our SMB approach -- which combines easy-to-deploy, self-managed on premise servers with Web-delivered, extranet collaboration services -- uniquely empowers SMBs to succeed in any market."

Based on Linux, IBM Lotus Foundations is expected to provide server software that requires minimal technical expertise and is autonomic -- able to manage and heal itself. This will allow small-and-medium sized companies to focus on their business, rather than spending time and resources managing information technology. Lotus Foundations will be built on the principles of IBM's Express Advantage program for small and medium business such as ease-of-installation and ease-of-use.

The first component of the Lotus Foundations family is currently expected to include a pre-loaded, one-stop-shop solution for small companies: Lotus Domino mail and collaboration platform, file management, directory services, firewall, back-up and recovery, and office productivity tools. Designed to accommodate growth, customers will be able to easily add more users or servers as needed. In addition, as planned, Lotus Foundations will give system integrators and independent software vendors the opportunity to integrate their new or existing applications into the Foundations platform with minimal effort.

A key component of the Lotus Foundations family will be technology acquired through IBM's purchase of Net Integration Technologies, which is expected to close later in the first quarter of 2008, as announced last week. Industry observers have favorably rated the Net Integration Technologies small-business server against Microsoft's Small Business Server. Net Integration Technologies features have consistently received high marks for ease-of-use, installation and disaster recovery. IBM plans to integrate the innovative Net Integration's technology into its Lotus Foundations family of software servers. Lotus Domino is already integrated into the Net Integration platform. IBM's strategies for SMB, collaboration and acquisitions are among the keys to its growth.

"Bluehouse," will offer a suite of collaboration services that allows businesses to work together by sharing contacts, files, project activities and interacting with chat and Web meetings. This new set of services will enable small companies to easily collaborate beyond their organizational boundaries without the need for any in-house technical expertise. "Bluehouse" is now available as a limited beta offering and will be progressively unveiled throughout the year.

SMBs have the same types of business challenges as large corporations but must solve them with limited or no IT resources. They need to compete globally and they require industry-specific solutions that help them automate, simplify and speed product-to-market cycles.

Consequently, small-medium companies need powerful collaboration and business solutions to allow them to work more easily with their customers and suppliers. These new offerings from IBM Lotus software draw upon 20 years of innovation in collaboration with world-class business expertise and research delivered in a way that is easy to access and use.

Today's announcement illustrates the future of work and how IBM operates as a globally integrated enterprise in the 21st century workplace. Global integration has become embedded in IBM's workforce, strategy, leadership and operations -- affecting how the company collaborates across time zones and cultures and locates its operations, functions and leadership anywhere in the world based on the right skills and business environment. Small and medium businesses are increasingly going global and becoming more competitive through technology. Accessing world-class collaboration is the next step.

For more information, please visit http://www.ibm.com/press/lotusphere

Sunday, January 20, 2008

GPS Adds Dimension to Online Photos

GPS Location Adds Dimension to Online Photos, With Geotagging Practice to Grow With Devices

Yahoo Finance

By Anick Jesdanun, AP Internet Writer, Saturday January 19, 9:19 am ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- To plan an upcoming hike in the Alps, John Higham scoured scores of photos plotted along his route on a digital map for clues to the steepness of trails and the availability of accommodations or camp sites.

These images were just like all the other vacation photos shared by travelers and amateur photographers, except they'd been tagged with location information in an emerging practice known as "geotagging."

Armed with such data, Higham didn't have to search endless combinations of keywords and guess how photographers would describe images in captions. By zooming in on the map, he could easily find geotagged photos along the Via Alpina and gain a fresh perspective.

"I do like to see a place before I go and study more about it," said Higham, 47, of Mountain View, Calif. "This affords me a way of seeing not just a map or satellite image but the landscape of where I want to go."

That's just one of the growing number of uses for geotagging, which is largely practiced by tech-savvy and professional photographers but is likely to expand. Global positioning is becoming omnipresent as more cell phones and digital cameras have built-in GPS support.

"It's something that will become integral to the way digital imaging works," said Aimee Baldridge, a New York-based writer and photographer who tracks trends with digital imaging. "I think it's definitely headed for the mainstream."

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture with geotagging can add a few hundred more.

Read More ....

CIA Says Hackers Have Cut Power Grid

Several cities outside the U.S. have sustained attacks on utility systems and extortion demands.

Robert McMillan, IDG News Service

PCWorld, Saturday, January 19, 2008 6:00 AM PST

Criminals have been able to hack into computer systems via the Internet and cut power to several cities, a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency analyst said this week.

Speaking at a conference of security professionals on Wednesday, CIA analyst Tom Donahue disclosed the recently declassified attacks while offering few specifics on what actually went wrong.

Criminals have launched online attacks that disrupted power equipment in several regions outside of the U.S., he said, without identifying the countries affected. The goal of the attacks was extortion, he said.

"We have information, from multiple regions outside the United States, of cyber intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands," he said in a statement posted to the Web on Friday by the conference's organizers, the SANS Institute. "In at least one case, the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities. We do not know who executed these attacks or why, but all involved intrusions through the Internet."

"According to Mr. Donahue, the CIA actively and thoroughly considered the benefits and risks of making this information public, and came down on the side of disclosure," SANS said in the statement.

One conference attendee said the disclosure came as news to many of the government and industry security professionals in attendance. "It appeared that there were a lot of people who didn't know this already," said the attendee, who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak with the press.

He confirmed SANS' report of the talk. "There were apparently a couple of incidents where extortionists cut off power to several cities using some sort of attack on the power grid, and it does not appear to be a physical attack," he said.

Hacking the power grid made front-page headlines in September when CNN aired a video showing an Idaho National Laboratory demonstration of a software attack on the computer system used to control a power generator. In the demonstration, the smoking generator was rendered inoperable.

The U.S. is taking steps to lock down the computers that manage its power systems, however.

On Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved new mandatory standards designed to improve cybersecurity.

CIA representatives could not be reached immediately for comment.

Related Article:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gartner Says Worldwide PC Market Grew 13 Percent in 2007

Hewlett-Packard Widens Its Position as Leading Vendor of Worldwide PC Shipments

Centredaily.com

STAMFORD, Conn. — Worldwide PC shipments totaled 271.2 million units in 2007, a 13.4 percent increase from 2006, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. The industry ended the year with fourth quarter PC shipments of 75.9 million units, a 13.1 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2006.

"The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region continued to be the largest PC market in 2007, helped by robust Eastern Europe and Middle East and Africa growth," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner's Client Computing Markets group. "Asia/Pacific took over as the second largest PC market during the fourth quarter. 2007 showed a clear indication of the worldwide PC market landscape: strong growth in emerging regions such as Asia/Pacific and slower growth in markets such as the United States."

Hewlett-Packard was in a virtual tie with Dell for the No. 1 position in worldwide PC shipments in 2006, and HP extended its lead in 2007 as it accounted for 18.2 percent of global PC shipments (see Table 1). "HP established a solid number one position in 2007. Robust consumer and mobile PC sales across all regions were two main drivers of HP's overall growth," Ms. Kitagawa said. "The company experienced the strongest growth among the top 5 vendors in fourth quarter of 2007, as its shipments increased 23.3 percent in the quarter (see Table 2)."

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Update: Apple airs out 'world's thinnest subnotebook'

Jobs also touts movie rental downloads, new AppleTV and wireless backup hardware

January 15, 2008 (Computerworld) -- Apple Inc.'s CEO Steve Jobs took center stage at the Macworld Conference and Expo today to introduce what he called "the world's thinnest notebook," dubbed the MacBook Air.

The new laptop, which is priced starting at $1,799 and will ship in two weeks, was the final, and flashiest, of the new products and upgrades that Jobs touted in a 90-minute keynote at Macworld, which opened yesterday in San Francisco. He also talked up a new wireless backup device called the Time Capsule, spelled out changes to the iPhone that will be delivered later today via a firmware update, and announced the relaunching of Apple TV, which now features a lower price and movie downloads via iTunes.

"There were no surprises today," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research Inc. "But it was execution, execution, execution. Apple's listening to its customers and then executing."

None of the announcements could have come as a shock to Apple fans who had followed the rumor and gossip mill during the past few weeks, and as several analysts noted last Friday, the MacBook Air was the biggest of the bunch.

The new laptop, small enough for Jobs to pull from a manila envelope, takes the tape at just 0.16-in. at its thinnest on the keyboard-side edge, and no more than 0.76-in. at the hinge. It weighs about three pounds.


The MacBook Air is only 0.75 inches thick at the hinge.

Even Jobs recognized the big-ticket price of the flash drive.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

New screen technology may hit stores Dec-designer

By Jim Finkle, Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:07pm EST

BOSTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Computers and cell phones with screens that can be read in direct sunlight could be on store shelves by the end of this year, the designer of the breakthrough display technology said.

The high-resolution monitors switch from color to black and white, allowing the screens to be clearly viewed in direct sunlight, a feature unavailable in current high-end laptop computers that cost thousands of dollars.

The display was developed by Mary Lou Jepsen while she was working for the One Laptop per Child Foundation, which produces low-cost computers for poor children around the world.

Jepsen left her post as chief technology officer at the foundation at the end of last year to start her own company, Pixel Qi, which will license the display technology.

"My target is first screens in stores by end of 2008," Jepsen said via e-mail late on Thursday.

Pixel Qi will also develop and license technology that extends the battery life of laptops by reducing power consumption, she said.

"I don't want to sell last year's technology next year," Jepsen said. "Both the price and performance of display and power management technology can be improved. They need to be made in different sizes and shapes and for different platforms with different goals."

Analysts said they expect the world's top computer makers to be eager to incorporate some of Jepsen's technology into their products as easily readable displays and long-lasting batteries are highly coveted features for any laptop.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Can Macs conquer the enterprise? The time is ripe ...

The field is wide open for a Macintosh insurrection on the business desktop. It could happen, but probably won't. Here's why.

Robert L. Mitchell

January 10, 2008 (Computerworld) -- If Apple Inc. were a football team, the New England Patriots would have had some serious competition this year.

The company is the undefeated king of cool in the consumer electronics and home computer markets. It is rapidly gaining yardage in the broader personal computing market and is experiencing a resurgence of popularity in traditional Macintosh niches such as education, marketing and creative departments.

With all of this momentum, you'd think that the Mac might be ready for a come-from-behind win in the enterprise. But on that field of play, Apple remains 1st and 10 at its own 10-yard line.

That's ironic, because corporate interest in a broader role for Macs is up dramatically among IT executives, driven by changes in what the Mac has to offer, by Apple's success in the consumer market and its other niches, and by corporate trends where, thanks to virtualization and a migration to Web-based applications, Windows' grip on the desktop may be starting to loosen just a bit.

"I'm getting more and more questions about bringing Macs into the enterprise and what it would take," says Tim Bajarin, president of strategic consulting firm Creative Strategies Inc. in Campbell, Calif.

Charles Smulders, an analyst at Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Conn., says he too has experienced a substantial increase in Mac inquiries from corporate customers.

There's just one problem. "Apple will tell you that they are focused on [the commercial business market], but at the end of the day, it's not a big priority for them," says David Daoud, an analyst at IDC.

An Apple spokesperson said the company does support corporate customers but declined to articulate a corporate strategy, saying only that Apple "tend[s] to focus on the product, not the strategy behind it."

That ambivalence is a concern for IT managers like Dale Frantz, CIO at Auto Warehousing Co. (AWC) in Tacoma, Wash., which last year began a corporatewide project to migrate to Macs across 23 locations. "The biggest weakness at this point I'd say is the lack of a cohesive enterprise strategy on the part of Apple," he says.

Outside of a few large media and advertising firms, corporations are simply not one of Apple's core markets. "There is no pretense on their part that the next mountain they have to conquer is the enterprise," says Bajarin.

Apple's attitude is simple, says Charles Edge, director of technology at IT consultancy 318 Inc. in Santa Monica, Calif. "Their strategy is to make a great computer that's standards-compliant. If enterprises want to use it, great, but if they don't, that's fine too."

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Review: Eee Laptop PC Shreds the Rules

Review: Eee Laptop PC From Taiwan Is Quick, Easy to Use and Ultra Small, Lightweight

Yahoo Finance, Thursday January 10, 1:15 pm ET

By Daniel Sorid, Associated Press Writer

Taiwanese computer parts maker Asus obviously didn't get the memo.

Didn't Asus know notebook computers need hard drives? Or that they're supposed to run Windows -- and the pre-loaded software must bloat the boot-up process to the length of a long weekend? Don't they know you don't just go selling laptops for less than $750 -- let alone $400 -- unless the hardware has been aged like whisky?

Asustek Computers Inc. went ahead and broke the rules with the Eee PC. And we should all be thankful.

A scrappy, aggressively priced two-pound notebook with a surprisingly broad set of features, Eee is a no-brainer purchase for tech-savvy travelers who want to downsize their luggage at low cost. It also makes a great gift, at least as practical as Apple Inc.'s iPhone and about the same price.

In the month I've owned an Eee, I've used it to watch movies on an airplane, read my favorite blogs and news articles -- archived automatically -- and update my online calendar while on the road. Its quick boot-up has made it perfect for writing quick e-mails (and this review) whenever I had a moment of inspiration.

I'm not tossing my larger notebook computer, which I'll continue to use for editing photos and for other tasks that feel constrained on the Eee PC's tiny, 5-inch screen. But it's hard not to be impressed with a full-service laptop light enough to be carried along with sunscreen and a magazine in a flimsy plastic bag, as I did during a recent trip to Cancun.

As it refines the software and instructions, Asus -- better known as the world's largest maker of computer motherboards -- could garner a following among mainstream computer users who right now might be puzzled by some of the eccentricities of Linux.

The $400, seven-inch Eee PC is a new entrant in a fast-growing market for ultra-portable PCs. All such computers, including the Eee, require sacrifices. Its keys may seem painfully small. For people used to a desktop or a standard notebook, its screen makes you feel like you've just moved from a McMansion into a studio apartment. (Tricks for maximizing screen real estate when Web surfing can be found on the helpful user forum, Eeeuser.com.)

Unencumbered by Windows, the Eee boots up so quickly I didn't bother counting the seconds. Its Wi-Fi chip links with the Web in a flash, and its webcam -- a feature missing from many laptops triple the price -- turns it into a video messaging device with the help of eBay Inc.'s Skype, which comes pre-loaded. There are USB ports for peripherals, a port to connect to a monitor, and -- most essential -- a flash memory slot to expand its meager storage. Battery life is advertised at 3.5 hours.

The Eee's custom version of the Linux operating system has a simple user interface that takes some getting used to. It organizes the software by tabs -- Internet, Work, Learn and Play -- but many users on the Eee forum dislike its look. An upgrade to a more familiar, Windows-like interface is available in "advanced" mode, which can be activated with a few minutes of careful programming. (But you'll do that at your peril. On my second day, a badly written command crashed my system. I had to reinstall the original software.)

The Firefox Web browser, Adobe Acrobat Reader and OpenOffice -- the open-source equivalent to Microsoft Corp.'s Office -- come pre-installed, as do a music player, a video recorder and some addictive games. Google Docs -- an online document suite for storing files remotely and sharing them -- is also configured.

Links to Yahoo Mail, Gmail and other e-mail programs are already on the desktop. A messaging program called Pidgin worked with AOL Instant Messenger and Google Talk. Skype, the voice and video calling program, also worked well when I called home from the international airport in Hong Kong.

Users willing to learn a few Linux commands can add the Picasa photo sharing program, Google Earth and Audacity, a free audio editing program beloved by bloggers.

The Eee runs quickly, despite a low-power processor. A disk drive made of memory chips is fully functional, but the four gigabytes installed on my model was insufficient for my needs. A memory card I purchased separately for around $30 doubled the space. Its software package leverages recent advancements in open source and online software. It may be hard to believe, but you won't miss Microsoft Word, or Windows, for long.

While much of the computing world was focused on Windows Vista (or spending hours trying to navigate its upgrade process), big software companies were releasing new and upgraded versions of familiar software packages for Linux.

The Eee can be retrained to run Windows. But it can feel like a major commitment. Asus's exhaustive instructions include a 12-step installation, a four-step "optimizing" process and another 25 steps to get the operating system to play nice with the Eee. (I'm thinking of giving my friends copies of one of the instructions, "Deleting unnecessary Windows components.")

The Eee is not easy to find. At a large Manhattan computer store in November, a clerk told me the store was out of stock. And why wouldn't he? If a $400 PC sat next to higher-priced competitors on the shelf, would so many people spend $2,000? I made him check the store's inventory in front of me, and there were more than 40 Eees in stock.

Asus, in fact, may have gotten the memo -- and shredded it. Even if this Linux PC doesn't become a mainstream hit, rivals are certainly taking notes.


The Asus Eee.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Compact printers are mobile, require no ink

By BRIAN BERGSTEIN, AP Technology Writer

Tuesday, January 8, 2008, Courierpress.com

LAS VEGAS— Once celebrated for cameras that made their own prints, Polaroid Corp. plans to update the concept this year by selling a portable printer for images on cell phones and digital cameras.

And like those old Polaroid instant-film cameras, the new printers should have a wow factor: they require no ink, because they employ a thermal printing technology from startup Zink Imaging Inc.

Polaroid's Distal Instant Mobile Photo Printer, is demonstrated at the Las Vegas show.
Once connected to a phone or camera by Bluetooth wireless or the USB port,

the printers need less than a minute to churn out 2-inch-by-3-inch picture.


The 8-ounce printers, a bit bigger than a deck of cards, are due to go on sale around back-to-school time for about $150, Polaroid and Zink announced Monday at the International Consumer Electronics Show.

Once connected to a phone or camera by Bluetooth wireless or the USB port, the printers need less than a minute to churn out 2-inch-by-3-inch pictures, which can be peeled off a backing and used as stickers. Sheets of paper for the device will cost about 40 cents each, less if bought in bulk.

The Zink technology, which uses heat to activate minuscule dye crystals embedded in the photo paper, won raves at the influential Demo conference a year ago.

But until the CES announcement, Zink had not lined up any partners who would bring its technology to market.

Polaroid is a natural fit, and not just because of its photo-printing history. Zink was founded in 2005 by private investors who bought many technologies from Polaroid as it was coming out of bankruptcy. Now Zink and Polaroid are based in the same complex in Waltham, Mass.

Zink also announced that Tomy Co. would be its partner in Japan. Prices and availability dates were not disclosed.

Another mobile printer with thermal paper debuted at CES, though it is much larger and designed for business people.

The $300 Printstik from Canada-based Planon Systems Solutions Inc. is less than 2 pounds but prints in black and white, in the familiar 8-by-11-inch paper dimension.

After a connection via USB cord or Bluetooth wireless, the Printstik can churn out paper copies to ease the task for people who tire of reading text on the small screens on devices like BlackBerrys.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Logitech diNovo Mini Keyboard Eases PC-TV Link

Yahoo Tech,

Sat Jan 5, 2008 7:01PM EST

So, you've hooked up your PC to your TV a few times, maybe to watch TV shows and movies you've downloaded or to listen to music through a home theater system. It works well, but you need to access media through your laptop keyboard.

What if you had a keyboard to run your PC through the TV from anywhere in the room? You'd be able to do so much more: browse the web, check email, play PC and online games. Great idea, but you may not want another bulky piece of gear for the family room, and the wireless range would be limited.

Logitech has an answer: The diNovo Mini palm-sized keyboard, which it unveiled today. Using a Bluetooth USB connection, the handheld keyboard, about 6 inches wide by 3 1/2 inches, makes simple work of navigating your PC on a bigger TV screen. A scroll wheel that doubles as a touchpad controls the cursor on the screen; click it with your thumb when you want to select an option.

There's a full, nice-sized QWERTY keyboard that makes typing emails or IMing simple and fun for nimble hands. Backlighting makes seeing the keys easier in dim lighting.

Slide a switch, and the keyboard goes into media-remote mode (green indicator). The scroll wheel becomes a directional pad, which allows you to choose which media to access. Volume, channel, and play controls allow you to watch and adjust DVDs and recorded shows.

There are just the right amount of keys on the compact keyboard—one of Yahoo! Tech's Last Gadget Standing finalists—including some blue-outlined function keys that serve as shortcuts to Internet Explorer, iTunes, and some oft-used symbols. Of course, it's best for younger eyes but not impossible for older ones, either. I liked using it.

For Sony PS3 owners, there's a switch in the battery compartment that allows you to move between PS3 and PC controls. The keyboard works with Windows Vista and Windows XP Media Center PCs. Alas, it does not work with Macs nor Xbox 360s.

It is plug-and-play easy. It worked from every angle in our family room, and Logitech says it will work up to 30 feet away from the PC. A rechargeable Li-ion battery provides up to a month of battery life, Logitech says. It makes the PC-TV family-room connection far less clunky. If you're not ready for wireless room-to-room streaming of PC media to your big-screen TV, this little $150 keyboard makes the physical PC-TV connection everyday viable.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Fighting Reputation of Waste, Electronics Show Goes Green

By Kim Hart, Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The International Consumer Electronics Show will open in Las Vegas tomorrow night with the usual fanfare, talking up new gadgets and technologies and setting this year's stage for the $148 billion industry.

More than 140,000 people are expected to flock to the nation's largest trade show, all hoping to catch a glimpse of newfangled contraptions promoting new ways to watch television, listen to music and talk on cellphones -- or perhaps all three at once. CES is the premier venue for tech companies launching products and striking deals amid the incessant glow of extravagant displays and casinos.

But this year, the show's organizers say they're trying to take steps so that the glow may leave less of a dent on the environment. It's part of a broader public relations campaign to mitigate the industry's reputation as an energy-guzzling business that produces gizmos that aren't easily recycled. Offsetting the environmental impact of the show means eliminating the creation of more than 20,000 tons of carbon.

The show uses as much energy as it takes to power 2,600 homes for a year and the equivalent of 2.3 million gallons of gasoline.

"It's pretty ambitious, considering we're larger than the Super Bowl and all the political conventions," said Gary Shapiro, chief executive of the Consumer Electronics Association, the Arlington-based group hosting the show.

Recycled carpet, biodegradable plastic utensils, pamphlets printed with soy ink and energy-efficient light bulbs will be used, he said.

Carbonfund.org, an organization in Silver Spring that helps companies reduce their carbon use, calculated the amount of energy consumed at the show. Through Carbonfund.org, CEA has invested in wind farms, solar energy and reforestation projects to try to compensate for the power used by dozens of shuttle buses, the 600,000 hotel rooms and for cooling a show floor the size of 35 football fields.

Efforts to be more eco-friendly will likely extend to many of the 2,700 exhibitors trying to sell their products to consumers willing to pay a premium for sustainable devices, said Albert Lin, an analyst with American Technology Research and a veteran of CES.

"The consumer electronics world is characterized as one of the most ungreen," he said. "The industry is trying to work hard to turn around that perception."

This year, companies will be pushing low-energy devices that replace the lights with long-lasting, light-emitting diodes, TVs that contain more eco-friendly chemicals and a host of recycled cellphones. One company, TrendNet, is selling upgrades to extend the life of wireless routers. And the Environmental Protection Agency has reserved display space to urge people to recycle their electronics.

But the offset does not compensate for the thousands of flights needed to get people to the Nevada desert.

Shapiro said people use the show to network and hold meetings. He estimated that each flight to Las Vegas cuts 156,000 miles of additional air travel attendees would otherwise have had to log in order to meet.

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