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)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Google drives into navigation market

Reuters, Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:30am EDT

A screenshot shows Google's new mapping navigation in Santa Clara, California, October 27, 2009. Google announced its new Google Maps Navigation product will provide real-time, turn-by-turn directions directly within cell phones that are based on the new version of its Android software. (REUTERS/Google/Handout)

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc is adding Garmin Ltd and TomTom to its growing list of rivals as the Internet search giant weaves technology for driving directions into new versions of its smartphone software.

Google said its new Google Maps Navigation product will provide real-time, turn-by-turn directions directly within cell phones that are based on the new version of its Android software.

The navigation product, which features speech recognition and a visual display that incorporates Google's online archive of street photographs, marks the latest step by Google to challenge Apple Inc's iPhone and Microsoft Corp's Windows Mobile software with its Android smartphone software.

It also represents a direct competitive threat to companies like Garmin and TomTom which sell specialized hardware navigation devices. TomTom also makes a software navigation app for the iPhone that sells for $99.99 in the U.S.

Google executives told reporters at a press briefing on Tuesday ahead of the announcement that the company decided to offer turn-by-turn driving directions in its four-year-old maps product because it was the most requested feature by users.

CEO Eric Schmidt said that expanding into a new market with new competitors was not a part of Google's motivation.

"Those are tactical problems that occur after the strategic goal which is to offer something which is sort of magical on mobile devices using the cloud," Schmidt said.

The new navigation service will work with Google's forthcoming Android 2.0 software, the next version of the smartphone operating system developed by Google. The company announced development tools for Android 2.0 on Tuesday, but a spokeswoman said specific details about when Android 2.0 will be available should be directed to phone-makers and wireless carriers.

Google said the product, which will initially be limited to driving directions in the U.S., will be free for consumers.

Executives said the company was not currently serving ads on the navigation product, though they said Google is constantly looking at innovative ways to advertise in Google maps.

Google Engineering Vice President Vic Gundotra said the company hoped to eventually make versions of the navigation product for non-Android smartphones, but noted that the software has "stringent" hardware requirements.

He would not comment on whether Apple's iPhone, which offers Google mapping software as part of its standard menu of built-in applications, would offer the new navigation features. He said, in response to a question, that the latest version of the iPhone, the iPhone 3GS, has the horsepower to support the navigation product.

The new navigation product taps into various existing Google products and technology, including Google's flagship Internet search capability to find the addresses for a particular destination, as well as Google satellite images and Google Street View, for more realistic views of a route.

The product also uses voice-recognition technology, making it well-suited for use while driving, Google said. And the navigation software can display live traffic data that Google collects from various sources, including data it collects on the speed and distance that users of Google mobile maps are traveling.

Gundotra said the company does not collect any personally identifiable information in the Google mobile maps and the navigation products.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing Bernard Orr)

Related Articles:

Is New Google Nav Service Really Android-Only?

Garmin, TomTom Shares Sink On New Google Navigation Feature

Motorola announces new Android phone for Verizon

Google Steps Into Another Market: GPS for Phones


Sunday, October 25, 2009

As the Internet Turns 40, No Signs of a Midlife Crisis

The Jakarta Globe / Glenn Chapman/Agence France-Presse


Leonard Kleinrock poses with the first Interface Message Processor. (Photo: AFP)

San Francisco. Leonard Kleinrock never imagined Facebook, Twitter or YouTube that day 40 years ago when his team gave birth to what is now taken for granted as the Internet.

“We are constantly surprised by the applications that come along,” Kleinrock said as he and others at the University of California, Los Angeles, prepared to throw the Internet a 40th birthday party this Thursday. “It’s a teenager now. It’s learned some things but it has a long way to go. It’s behaving erratically, but its given enormous gratification to its parents and the community.”

On Oct. 29, 1969, Kleinrock led a team that got a computer at UCLA to “talk” to one at a research institute.

Kleinrock was driven by a certainty that computers were destined to speak to each other and that the resulting network should be as simple to use as telephones.

“I thought it would be computer to computer, not people to people,” Kleinrock said in a nod to online social networking and content sharing that are hallmarks of the Internet Age. “I never expected that my 99-year-old mother would be on the Internet like she was until she passed away.”

A key to getting computers to exchange data was breaking digitized information into packets fired between on-demand with no wasting of time, according to Kleinrock.

He had outlined his vision in a 1962 graduate school dissertation published as a book. “Nobody cared, in particular AT&T,” Kleinrock said. “I went to them and they said it wouldn’t work and that even if it worked they didn’t want anything to do with it.”

US telecom colossus AT&T ran lines connecting the computers for ARPANET, a project backed with money from a research arm of the US military.

Engineers began typing “LOG” to log into the distant computer, which crashed after getting the “O.”

“So, the first message was ‘Lo’ as in ‘Lo and behold,’” Kleinrock said. “We couldn’t have a better, more succinct first message.”

Kleinrock’s team logged in on the second try, sending digital data packets between computers on the ARPANET. Computers at two other US universities were added to the network by the end of that year.

“We had four-node network and tested the heck out of it,” Kleinrock said. “We were able to break the network at will. It was very valuable to shake those things out early on.”

Funding came from the US Advanced Research Projects Agency established in 1958 in response to the launch of a Sputnik space flight by what was then the USSR.

US leaders were in a technology race with Cold War rival Russia. Kleinrock’s team ran a 4.5-meter cable between an Interface Message Processor device referred to by the acronym IMP and a “host” computer and tested sending data back and forth on Sept. 2, 1969.

“That was the day this baby was born,” Kleinrock said.

The National Science Foundation added a series of supercomputers to the network in the late 1980s, opening the online community to more scientists.

The Internet caught the public’s attention in the form of e-mail systems in workplaces and ignited a “dot-com” industry boom that went bust at the turn of the century.

“The original plan was that it should be very creative, basically it should be like a sandbox,” British professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee said of creating the World Wide Web in 1990.

Kleinrock pegs the launch of “the dark side of the Internet” to the 1988 release of the first malicious software “worm.”

It was April of 1994 when the first spam e-mail hit, according to the engineer. “We started sending e-mail back to those folks saying ‘Stop it,’” Kleinrock said.

“We sent so much e-mail we crashed their computer. Inadvertently, the first spam e-mail created the first denial-of-service response.”

Kleinrock, 75, sees the Internet spreading into everything.

“The next step is to move it into the real world,” Kleinrock said. “The Internet will be present everywhere. I will walk into a room and it will know I am there.”

He also foresees intelligent software “agents” that do people’s bidding online.

During an onstage chat at a Web 2.0 Summit that ended last Thursday in San Francisco, Berners-Lee said governments and big firms shouldn’t meddle with the Web. “I’m always worried, of course, about anything large coming in to take control,” he said.

“Web technology itself should not tell you what’s right and wrong; humanity has ways of doing that. It isn’t the Wild West.”

Related Articles:

Celebrating 40 years of the net

Web addresses may adopt non-English characters

World wide web's creator says sorry for the slashes

Finland: Broadband Is a Legal Right


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Windows 7 student upgrade hell

CNN Money, Posted by Philip Elmer-DeWitt, October 24, 2009 8:03 AM


image: Digital River


College students who took advantage of a "deal too sweet to pass up" have run into a bit of trouble.

The $29 electronic version of Windows 7 Home Edition sold for Microsoft (MSFT) through Digital River (DRIV) doesn't seem to install properly on 32-bit Vista machines.

Apparently the download files weren't properly packaged, or something, and when users tried to "unload the box" they got an error that read:

"We are unable to create or save new files in the folder in
which this application was downloaded"

A discussion thread with that title was begun on Microsoft Answers' Windows 7 install forum less than 3 hours after the new operating system launched. By Saturday morning it had generated more than 500 replies and been read nearly 44,000 times.

Microsoft acknowledged the problem Thursday evening and by Friday was reportedly offering refunds. Meanwhile, however, Microsoft technicians are pointing users to a five-step Download Squad workaround that might be enough to send students screaming to the nearest Apple Store.

Any bets on how long it will be before the incident turns up in an Apple (AAPL) Get a Mac ad?

More info on Squad workaround

Related Articles:

What Windows 7 means to Windows server administrators

Microsoft Exec Taking Heat On Windows 7 Upgrades

Unfinished Windows 7 feature turns laptops into Wi-Fi hotspots

Microsoft Haunted By Windows 7 Upgrade Issue

Upgrading a Vista laptop to Windows 7

Windows 7 upgrade paralyzes some PCs with endless reboots

Microsoft: An ageing giant

How Apple is gaining on Microsoft

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional — $30 for Students !!

Will Windows 7 Change Our Minds About Microsoft?


Universal phone charger approved

A new mobile phone charger that will work with any handset has been approved by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations body.

Industry body the GSMA predicts that 51,000 tonnes of redundant chargers are generated each year.

Future handsets will all be able to use the universal charger

Currently most chargers are product or brand specific, so people tend to change them when they upgrade to a new phone.

However, the new energy-efficient chargers can be kept for much longer.

The GSMA also estimates that they will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 13.6m tonnes.

"This is a significant step in reducing the environmental impact of mobile charging," said Malcolm Johnson, director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardisation Bureau.

"Universal chargers are a common-sense solution that I look forward to seeing in other areas."

The charger has a micro-USB port at the connecting end, using similar technology to digital cameras.

It is not compulsory for manufacturers to adopt the new chargers but the ITU says that some have already signed up to it.

"We are planning to launch the universal charger internationally during the first half of 2010," Aldo Liguori, spokesperson for Sony Ericsson told the BBC.

"We will roll it out with new products as they launch."


Related Article:

Universal charger for phones plan


Friday, October 23, 2009

Unilever saves almost £1bn through IT supplier management

New team drives best value while maintaining long-term flexibility

Computerworlduk, By Leo King

Unilever has instituted a new supplier management team to accelerate the pace of its tough IT cost reduction programme.

The household goods manufacturer, which makes products including Marmite, Dove soap and Domestos bleach, is attempting to cut 40 percent from IT operational expenditure from2007 to 2011, and it has so far carved £960 million from costs.

It s new team was established at the start of the year in order to drive the most value from suppliers and projects. It also wanted to improve relationships with suppliers and understand their needs better.

Unilever has completed an SAP ERP system rollout with supplier Accenture in western Europe, and is now concentrating on other markets, under the One Unilever programme.

Mike Royle, enterprise services director at Unilever, told delegates at today’s Forrester Services and Sourcing Forum in London that the supplier management team, called Unilever Global Sourcing, was crucial because “over 50 percent of what we spend on IT is on outsourcing”.

The team is comprised of around 25 people and is focused on supplier management, sourcing strategy, handling contractual issues, and implementing best practice. It also works with IBM for extra assistance on supplier management issues.

“We used to have a really fragmented approach to technology, with many suppliers. You could say we were oversupplied,” he said. This was owing to the company’s many acquisitions, as well as its organic growth.

“The challenge is cutting costs while getting the most long term value and quality from services, especially as there’s no slowdown in our acquisitions or our new business launches,” he said. “The team creates end-to-end sourcing design, with account plans for tier one, tier two and tier three suppliers, to help with this.”

The company also sets and regularly reports on key service metrics with each supplier, and promotes good relationships and a cultural fit. “The key theme is making our multi-supplier ecosystem work, and we need to understand them and what drives them.”

Unilever has moved to cut suppliers “dramatically”, after at one point using 160 vendors for 1,200 applications. Its main focus is now working on one platform, SAP, as the base for a smaller portfolio of standardised applications.

It has cut 20 percent from application costs by moving to “one or two” key related service suppliers, Royle said, and has cut 30 percent from testing and upgrade costs by moving from 10 suppliers to one in this area.

Its main service providers include BT for networks; and HP, Dell and Unisys for servers. Its enterprise services and applications are delivered by a mixture of HP personnel and its own in-house staff, and it is working with VMware on server virtualisation. Unilever is also in discussions with Microsoft for a potential move to some cloud services.

To achieve effective long-term cuts, the team worked with executives to set a strategy, as well as defining critical services and reducing investment in non-key areas or where there was a low risk.

It also forecasts requirements in areas such as storage, a high-growth area, to make better-calculated investments. It is offshoring increasing amounts of “level two” support, while keeping higher level skills in-house.


Unilever chose a stealthy, digital campaign to generate buzz, establish the product's credibility and encourage Chinese women to give Pond's Age Miracle a try.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

P&G looking for bathroom bloggers

Business Courier of Cincinnati

Procter & Gamble Co. is looking for five people who will, in return for $10,000, spend five weeks in a Charmin-branded, Manhattan bathroom and blog about the experience.

The five “Charmin Embassadors” will work in the Charmin Restrooms in Times Square from Nov. 23 to Dec. 31. Job requirements include interacting with hundreds of thousands of bathroom guests, maintaining their own blogs and content on Charmin-branded Web sites and popular social media sites, and sharing family-friendly video from the restroom space and surrounding areas.

This is not the first year Charmin has hosted a temporary, or pop-up, bathroom in Times Square. In 2008, it kicked off a “Plush Potties for the People” tour that traveled from Santa Monica, Calif., to Times Square, where it settled for the holidays. Comedian Chelsea Handler, host of “Chelsea Lately” on the E! network, was on site to launch the tour.

But this is the first time P&G is using online and viral marketing to promote the bathroom, and the first time it is hiring a consumer as a spokesperson.

For this year’s campaign, called “Enjoy the go,” Charmin will conduct open auditions Nov. 5 at New York’s Hilton Hotel on 53rd Street and 6th Avenue. Among questions the candidates will field: Why they “enjoy the go,” and what qualifies them as a “Charmin Ambassador.” The winners will be announced Nov. 23. For more details, visit www.EnjoyTheGo.com.

Cincinnati-based P&G is the world’s largest consumer products company.

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Procter & Gamble Is Said to Weigh Purchase of Sara Lee Brands


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Apple smashes expectations, shares hit record

Reuters, Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:47pm EDT

An Apple iPhone 3GS and an Apple Macbook Pro are shown at the Apple retail store in San Francisco, July 21, 2009. (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc's profits and sales streaked past Wall Street's forecasts as iPhone and Mac sales hit quarterly records, sending its shares rocketing to all-time highs on Monday.

Sales of Apple's Mac computers jumped 17 percent from a year earlier to 3.05 million in the September quarter, above analysts' average forecast of roughly 2.8 million.

Apple sold 7.4 million iPhones, up from 6.9 million a year ago, and just shy of expectations of 7.5 million units. Some analysts had thought the company was having a tough time making enough iPhones to meet demand.

"These are huge numbers tonight. Apple is probably the best growth story in tech, maybe one of the best growth stocks in the market. I bet this stock can go to $250 in six to nine months," said Jane Snorek, analyst at First American Funds.

"Usually Christmas and back-to-school are correlated and Apple usually has a gigantic Christmas quarter. This makes me think Apple will have a great Christmas.

Apple's stock jumped 7.5 percent to above $204 in extended trading. It had closed at $189.86 on Nasdaq. The stock's record intraday high was $202.96 on December 27, 2007.

The company posted a net profit of $1.67 billion, or $1.82 a share, in its fiscal fourth quarter ended September 26, up from $1.14 billion, or $1.26 a share, in the year-ago period.

Analysts were expecting a profit of $1.42 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Market expectations had appeared even higher in the run-up to the earnings release. The so-called "whisper number" was near $1.60, said William Lefkowitz, options strategist at vFinance Investments.

Revenue rose 25 percent to $9.87 billion, ahead of the average Wall Street estimate of $9.2 billion.

Cupertino, California-based posted a gross margin of 36.6 percent, up from 34.7 percent a year ago. Wall Street had been expecting a margin of 35.5 percent.

Apple's guidance is typically conservative. It forecast earnings for the current quarter of $1.70 to $1.78 a share on revenue of $11.3 billion to $11.6 billion.

Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.91 a share on revenue of $11.4 billion.

Despite a high price point, Macs have been gaining share for years and are expected to continue to do so. According to industry tracker IDC, Apple holds 9.4 percent of the PC market in the United States.

(Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Writing by Edwin Chan; Editing by Tiffany Wu and Richard Chang)


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Laptop for every pupil in Uruguay

BBC News, By Verónica Psetizki, Montevideo, Uruguay

362,000 pupils in Uruguay now have the distinctive laptops.

Uruguay has become the first country to provide a laptop for every child attending state primary school.

President Tabaré Vázquez presented the final XO model laptops to pupils at a school in Montevideo on 13 October.

Over the last two years 362,000 pupils and 18,000 teachers have been involved in the scheme.

The "Plan Ceibal" (Education Connect) project has allowed many families access to the world of computers and the internet for the first time.

Uruguay is part of the One Laptop Per Child scheme, an organisation set up by internet pioneer Nicholas Negroponte. His original vision was to provide laptops at $100 (£61) but they proved more expensive.

The Uruguay programme has cost the state $260 (£159) per child, including maintenance costs, equipment repairs, training for the teachers and internet connection.

The total figure represents less than 5% of the country's education budget.

Around 70% of the XO model laptops handed out by the government were given to children who did not have computers at home.

"This is not simply the handing out of laptops or an education programme. It is a programme which seeks to reduce the gap between the digital world and the world of knowledge," explained Miguel Brechner, director of the Technological Laboratory of Uruguay and in charge of Plan Ceibal.

"A revolution"

In the run up to Uruguay's general election on 25 October, the project is being promoted as an achievement of the Tabaré Vázquez government.

"It's been a revolution, which has helped us enormously, but it hasn't been easy," explained Lourdes Bardino, head teacher of School 173 in Las Piedras.

Ms Bardino said that some teachers were originally opposed to the introduction of the XO laptops.

"We have a lady who's been teaching for 30 years and when they gave us the computers and the training, she asked for leave because she didn't want to have anything to do with the programme. Later she changed her mind and now computers have changed the way she teaches."

All the teachers have been given training, but the extent to which they use the laptops in the classroom is up to them.

Research carried out recently by the State Education authorities revealed that some teachers have chosen not to include computer-related work in their lesson plans.

Costs and criticisms

The laptops have an open source Linux operating system with a user interface called Sugar. It has attracted some criticism from detractors for not being mainstream.

However Mr Brechner believes that children should learn computer skills regardless of the software available. Blind children were being taught on a Microsoft Windows operating system, he said.

The annual cost of maintaining the programme, including an information portal for pupils and teachers, will be US$21 (£13) per child.

The future

Now that all the schoolchildren have their computers, the authorities say that they will endeavour keep the schools connected, particularly those in rural areas, where many still do not have internet access.

There are plans to extend the scheme to secondary schools and pre-school children next year.

Organisers of the Plan Ceibal have set up a consultancy in order to advise other countries wishing to replicate the Uruguayan experience.

Mr Brechner said that Rwanda, Haiti, El Salvador, Paraguay, some provinces in Argentina and Colombia have been in touch although they have not yet decided to contract their services.

"We would help them with tenders, planning, evaluation, which software to use, how to spread the word, training, all the "know how" we have developed. We don't have a manual. It´s a culture shock scenario - many countries are simply too scared to put it into practice."

Related Article:

Finland: Broadband Is a Legal Right


Acer overtakes Dell in PC shipments

Cnet, by Erica Ogg

Turns out Acer President Gianfranco Lanci wasn't just idly boasting earlier Wednesday when he said his company would pass Dell in the PC rankings "very soon." By very soon he clearly meant "today."

IDC released its PC tracker report Wednesday afternoon for the third quarter of 2009 and for the very first time, Acer is indeed the No. 2 producer of PCs in the world, with 14 percent. Hewlett-Packard remained on top with 20.2 percent of PCs shipped, and Dell dropped to 12.7 percent.

While not a total surprise considering that Acer's and Dell's momentum have been headed in opposing directions for some time, Acer's rise is indeed impressive. Just a few years ago most people would probably not have been able to recognize the Taiwanese brand, but that changed when it scooped up Gateway and began its aggressive attack on retail laptops in the U.S and Europe. Meanwhile Dell has fallen from the top vendor of PCs as recently as mid-2006 to No. 3 today as it navigates the changing PC market.

"It's a pretty amazing transition in market leadership by Acer," said Loren Loverde, the program director of IDC's PC Tracker. "It's reflective of the changes in form factors and channels and pricing--the way we've shifted to lower cost portables, particularly in consumer and retail, which is where Dell was not as strong."

There was more disappointment for Dell. Besides falling to third worldwide, Dell also dropped from first to second place in shipments in the U.S, according to IDC. HP sold the most PCs in the U.S in the third quarter, with 25.5 percent of shipments, compared to Dell's 25 percent.

When reached for comment, a Dell representative said only, "As we've said for some time, we're focused on profitable growth, not simply share results."

There was also good news for companies not named Acer. For the first time in a year, PC makers' shipments grew. During the third quarter, they shipped saw 2 percent growth compared to the same quarter a year ago. It's an encouraging sign, especially when IDC analysts were anticipating a 3 percent decline for this quarter. Consumers have been a huge driver of that as the sales of notebooks and mini-notebooks or Netbooks have continued apace. Commercial purchases of PCs, however, are still slow to pick back up. That will change over the next couple of quarters, according to IDC.

One of the main variables has been the looming retail launch of Windows 7. IDC has said it does not anticipate a huge bump in PC purchases directly related to the operating system release, at least immediately.

"We didn't really expect a large reaction in a sense of shipments being synchronized around Win 7," said Loverde. However, fourth-quarter growth in 2008 was negative, and the growth during the upcoming fourth quarter of this year as the economy improves is likely to be better, but not necessarily directly tied to Windows 7.

"The fact we're seeing this growth now, ahead of Win 7, means they're buying systems and planning to upgrade (when it comes out later this month) or they're buying systems because there's a lot of demand and that can only improve with Win 7," said Loverde.

Rounding out the top 5 PC makers after No. 3 Dell was Lenovo with 8.9 percent and Toshiba with 5.2 percent of PCs shipped. In the U.S. only, after HP and Dell, was Acer with 11.1 percent, Apple with 9.4 percent, and Toshiba with 8.1 percent, according to IDC.

Rival market researchers at Gartner have the numbers counted slightly differently. Gartner has Dell at No. 1 in the U.S. still, with 26.2 percent of PCs shipped, HP with 25.7 percent, Acer with 13.9 percent, Apple with 8.8 percent, and Toshiba with 8 percent. The discrepancy between the two firms' counting is derived from Gartner including x86 servers in its count of PCs and IDC only counting revenue from PC vendors' factories; Gartner looks at the revenue from the vendors as well as their sales and distribution partners.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Finland: Broadband Is a Legal Right

Businessweek, Olga Kharif on October 14

Come July 2010, every Fin will have access to a 1 Megabit-per-second broadband connection. Finland just became the first country in the world to sign a law that provides every citizen of the country with a legal right to a broadband connection.

The Finnish government had already announced that every citizen should have access to a 100 Megabit-per-second broadband connection by the end of 2015. Now, it took an intermediary step toward that goal. On Oct. 14, the Ministry of Transport and Communications announced that every Fin should have a legal right to a 1 Megabit-per-second connection by next summer.

The move could pave the way for other countries to start looking at broadband as its citizens’ inalienable legal right, akin to freedom of speech and freedom of movement. That makes a lot of sense: Most of us can no longer perform our work duties, do homework or communicate with friends without having access to the Internet. Many Web-based communications and video services, such as Skype, require a broadband connection to work. People need broadband connections to live normal lives, as Finland is the first nation to acknowledge.

Related Article:

Broadband Now! So Why Don't Some Use It?


Wi-fi 'to get a whole lot easier'

By Maggie Shiels, BBC technology reporter, Silicon Valley

The world of wi-fi is to become a whole lot easier thanks to a major technology upgrade, says an industry group.

The Wi-Fi Alliance said it would soon finish work on a new specification called Wi-Fi Direct.

It will let wi-fi devices like phones and laptops connect to one another without joining a traditional network.

The Wi-Fi Alliance - whose members include Intel, Apple and Cisco - hopes devices with the new technology will be on the market by the middle of 2010.

Owners of devices without Wi-Fi Direct will be able to upgrade through a software download, says the technology consortium.

The Wi-Fi Alliance's marketing director, Kelly Davis-Felner, told BBC News: "This is going to be a quick and convenient way to use wi-fi in future to print, synch, share and display.

"The consumer is going to experience this as a very easy-to-use mechanism that will be quite seamless."

Threat to Bluetooth?

Wi-Fi Direct will automatically scan for local existing hotspots and any wi-fi-enabled devices, such as cameras, phones and computers.

The Alliance says the specification will search for both consumer electronics and office applications, enabling devices to connect from across a home or workplace.

Victoria Foote, senior analyst at In-Stat, said it was a "terrific innovation".

Ben Parr, co-editor of Mashable.com, told BBC News the potential impact could be far-reaching.

But industry watchers also say the technology could pose a threat to the future of Bluetooth and perhaps do away with the need to use wi-fi routers in some places.


The following illustration shows how the device can use the two connection types to access MDM Gateway Server.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

World wide web's creator says sorry for the slashes

The forward slashes at the beginning of internet addresses have long annoyed net users and now the man behind them has apologised for using them.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, has confessed that the // in a web address were actually "unnecessary".

Tim Berners-Lee started the web to help scientists communicate

He told the Times newspaper that he could easily have designed URLs not to have the forward slashes.

"There you go, it seemed like a good idea at the time," he said.

He admitted that when he devised the web, almost 30 years ago, he had no idea that the forward slashes in every web address would cause "so much hassle".

His light-hearted apology even had a green angle as he accepted that having to add // to every address had wasted time, printing and paper.

Sir Tim is currently director of the World Wide Web Consortium and he is also working with the UK government to help open up access to government data.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why Desktop Touch Screens Don't Really Work Well For Humans

Michael Arrington, TechCrunch.com, Monday, October 12, 2009; 10:27 PM

HP TouchSmart 600

Hewlett Packard refreshed their TouchSmart line of computers today. If you're not familiar with these, imagine an iMac all in one computer that has a touch screen, and you're most of the way there.

I really like the TouchSmart line, and use a second generation machine as my main Windows test computer. The touch interface is done via infrared, which is a very cost effective way of creating a touch interface on a large screen. Microsoft, in fact, uses it in their experimental TouchWall product that can make a touch screen of virtually any size wall (more TouchWall footage).

Overall I give the TouchSmart top marks ¿ the only drawback is that it is inexplicably heavy at something like 60 lbs., and no one seems to know why. But since it sits on your desk, it's not like you're lifting it very often, so it doesn't really matter.

But the machine is still all wrong. Anyone who has used one for a long time will tell you that they quickly revert to using the keyboard and mouse. And it isn't because of the software or touch technology ¿ both are fine.

The problem is that you get tired keeping your hands up and on the screen for a long period of time. Touch experts I've spoken with say it's because your hands are above your heart, which isn't comfortable for very long.

You don't get this problem with Microsoft's Surface computer, which is a low table in front of you. And the TouchSmart layout tends to work well in the kitchen, where you're standing at a counter with the computer at a lower level.

But for the desktop, it just doesn't work.

So what does the future of desktop touch computing look like?

Most experts I've spoken with agree that the problem was actually solved centuries ago. The proper layout for a desktop touch screen machine is the architect's desk ¿ a slightly inclined desktop that is a touch screen for your computer. With the advances in touch technology most users won't need any peripheral input device (keyboard, mouse, etc.) to be productive on inclined desktop touch screen machine. The desk should also be somewhat shorter than a normal desk ¿ the bottom of the screen should basically be on your lap, and you would be mostly looking down on the machine.

If I were HP, I'd design a version of the TouchSmart that inclined way down to a 25 degree or so angle. My guess is people would love it. Until, of course, they realized the viewing angle for the LCD screen was so poor that the screen was unreadable. But that too can be fixed.