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

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

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

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

“…5 - Integrity That May Surprise…

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

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



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

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

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls

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

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

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

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pakistan launches Facebook for the faithful

Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 28 May 2010 - 2:28pm | By Marijke Peters

(Photo: RNW)

It was meant to be the Muslim alternative to the world’s biggest online social network, but the Pakistani version of Facebook has already banned a member for depicting Mohammed. RNW spoke to the man who set up the site, and asked whether he really thinks it’s possibly to censor the internet?

Pakistan recently barred access to Facebook and the video sharing website YouTube after a user launched a competition to find the best picture of the prophet Mohammed. Depictions of Mohammed are considered blasphemous in Islam and the contest caused huge controversy in the Muslim state. Some furious internet users responded by shutting down their Facebook accounts, but Omer Zaheer Meer decided to take a more practical approach and set up his own alternative, Millat Facebook:

“Basically the objective is to provide a platform for all people, not only Muslims, but nice and decent people of all faiths, to come together and interact in a way that is socially responsible by providing them all the freedom of expression, however respecting each others’ sensitivities and faiths. [Facebook] seems to allow mockery of religions it has an issue with… The caricatures of the prophet Mohammed were uploaded, and instead of taking any consideration and action, they came out and said they were supporting it.”

Conspiracy theory?

At the time of publication Millat Facebook had attracted around 7,000 new members, many of them based in Pakistan. But while a huge number of their wall posts feature religious messages or comments about the importance of promoting Islam, it didn’t stop one person from posting an image of the Prophet Mohammed on the site on Thursday morning. Millat Facebook’s administrators have blamed the CIA for the incident, saying they have proof the IP address was connected to US secret services.

The man’s account was deactivated and he’s been banned from the site because even the right to freedom of expression must have its limits, says Zaheer Meer:

“I would like to say we should all express our freedom and rights with sensibility and care and consideration for our fellow human beings. My freedom shouldn’t mean that I go out on the street and start hitting my neighbour every day and say ‘that’s my freedom’. As for all internationally accepted laws and regulations, the freedom of a person ends where the freedom of another person starts. So why is it that when it comes to the Holocaust, or racism, this rule is respected, but when it comes to the Muslim faith, it’s not? Is it the new Holocaust for Muslims in the making?”

Growing fast

Facebook has yet to respond to its new Pakistani rival but Zaheer Meer is confident his project will have a significant impact on the US-owned company. He says anyone, from any country and from any faith, is welcome to sign up to the social network and expects it to grow along with the publicity it’s generating.

But while its fans may be pleased with the way Zaheer Meer and his team are running the site, computer experts in Pakistan are less than impressed. The Express Tribune newspaper described the quality of the experience as “abysmal”. And RNW’s ability to monitor the progress of Millat Facebook is also limited – we were banned just two hours after signing up.

Related Articles:

Old join young in social networking craze

Pakistan lifts Facebook ban but restrictions remain


Saturday, May 29, 2010

SharePoint 2010: Three Ways Sony Is Using It

CIO.com, May 28, 2010 , – Shane O'Neill

Sony Electronics, the division of Sony Corporation that designs and develops the company's cameras, computers, TVs and other devices, is making a broad move to SharePoint 2010 to improve search, social networking and document sharing.

Over the past few years, there's been a big push in the Sony Electronics IT group to migrate more content into SharePoint, first from the 2003 version to the 2007, and now from 2007 to SharePoint 2010.

"Between late 2007 to mid-2009, we grew from five SharePoint site collections to over 400," says Jim Whitmoyer, business applications manager at Sony Electronics.

With 180,000 employees spread around the world, Sony Electronics looked to the new version of SharePoint to improve on the social networking and document sharing features in the 2007 version.

Sony was an early adopter of SharePoint 2010 and has been poring over the product's enhanced social features for a year now. "Wikis are a big interest to us," says Whitmoyer. "Employees were saying that the wiki feature in SharePoint 2007 was not easy to work with. Microsoft has addressed those issues. The wikis in SharePoint 2010 are better."

[ For complete coverage on Microsoft's SharePoint collaboration software -- including enterprise and cloud adoption trends and previews of SharePoint 2010 -- see CIO.com's SharePoint Bible. ]

Sony looked at some pure-play social networking companies that integrate with SharePoint, such as NewsGator and SocialText, but decided that SharePoint 2010 "offered broad enough social tools that we didn't see value in bringing in other technologies," says Whitmoyer.

Here are three key ways, including social networking, that Sony is using SharePoint 2010.

FASTer Search

Microsoft has integrated the technology from its 2008 acquisition of enterprise search company FAST into SharePoint 2010 to provide more refined search.

Whitmoyer frequently got complaints from Sony employees that search queries within SharePoint 2007 would return thousands of documents that were difficult to wade through.

"The inclusion of FAST search has been a big deal. We've received lots of positive feedback from employees," says Whitmoyer.

The FAST search filters results by documents type, by author, or within a certain site collection or time period, narrowing thousands of documents down to a dozen. It also features people results for search terms, so if someone in a company is an expert on a subject, their profile will show up in the results.

Social Networking With MySites

Though Sony was using SharePoint 2007 for document management, it was hardly using My Sites — personal websites for users that provide a set of social networking features.

With the recent popularity of social media sites and with hiring more younger workers, Sony wanted to use My Sites to bring the company into a more progressive workstyle.

"All our worlwide users are dealing with the conflict of distance," says Whitmoyer. "But SharePoint 2010 provides better social connections and richer profiles through My Sites. So if someone is searching for a subject they can get help from colleagues quickly."

SharePoint 2010 represents an opportunity to remake the Sony landscape, says Whitmoyer, where employees will chat and post on discussion boards instead of e-mailing, and use wikis instead of tracking revisions made to various Microsoft Word docs sent as e-mail attachments.

"In my group we are all posting reports to our wiki instead e-mailing Word docs around," he says. "I have alerts when people who work for me add new pages to the wiki and my boss has alerts when I add new pages."

The merging of SharePoint with OCS (Office Communications Server) has also been a boon for Sony as a way to communicate easier and curb the reliance on e-mail.

"If I see someone in SharePoint, with OCS and Presence, I can just do a quick IM chat instead of sending three or four e-mails back and forth," says Whitmoyer.

To appease Sony's legal department, employees have to sign a user agreement before creating a My Site page that basically states they agree to act professionally and not post inappropriate content.

Document Sharing Inside and Outside Firewall

Sony is also using SharePoint 2010's document management features to resolve the dreaded circle of confusion that comes with e-mailing documents.

"We've been preaching about sending links to each other instead of documents," says Whitmoyer.

One issue Sony is still has not worked out is how to accommodate mobile users who can't access SharePoint because it is only on Sony's intranet.

But this is not a problem on employees' personal computers because of SharePoint Workspace, a feature that gives users offline access to SharePoint sites. Any changes made locally on a computer not connected to the corporate network will sync up with the SharePoint server, done either automatically or manually.

Sony is also considering Microsoft's BPOS (business productivity online services) suite, which includes online versions of Exchange and SharePoint, so that mobile users and even customers can share documents online.

"We'll leave sensitive company data on the client version of SharePoint, and use SharePoint Online for better collaboration with customers and partners," says Whitmoyer.

Shane O'Neill is a senior writer at CIO.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/smoneill. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter at twitter.com/CIOonline.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Yahoo Buys Indonesian Mobile Internet Company

Yahoo has bought Koprol.com, an Indonesian mobile location-based-services Web company similar to Foursquare in the U.S.

CIO.com, by Dan Nystedt on Tue, May 25, 2010

IDG News Service — Yahoo has bought Koprol.com, an Indonesian mobile location-based-services Web company similar to Foursquare in the U.S.

The purchase gives Yahoo an expert in location-based mobile services, including helping people find nearby local businesses complete with reviews, on their mobile phones, as well as seeing where friends are and what they're doing, and more. Prior to Tuesday's announcement, Yahoo had reportedly been seeking a deal for New York City-based Foursquare valued at over US$100 million.

Yahoo bought Koprol because people are increasingly using mobile devices to access the Internet, the company said in a statement. "This is especially true in many emerging markets where we are introducing the Yahoo brand to many new-to-Net users," said Rose Tsou, senior vice president of the Asia Region for Yahoo, in a statement. "Koprol was uniquely designed for mobile phones and within a year has already built a strong user base," she added.

Yahoo plans to introduce Koprol in new markets, but did not say when.

"For us, joining a company like Yahoo was an easy decision to make and will take Koprol to the next level. We are very excited," Koprol said on its blog, adding that Koprol is well suited for Indonesia and the emerging markets in general.

The Politics of Cloud Apps: Beware IT Staff Unrest

CIOs and IT managers know they must address concerns like security, compliance, service levels and end-user resistance when moving to cloud-based enterprise software, but they must not overlook a critical area: the feelings of their IT staffers.

CIO.com, by Juan Carlos Perez on Mon, May 17, 2010

IDG News Service — CIOs and IT managers know they must address concerns like security, compliance, service levels and end-user resistance when moving to cloud-based enterprise software, but they must not overlook a critical area: the feelings of their IT staffers.

When companies decide to unplug on-premise servers, ditch the applications housed on them and adopt vendor-hosted software in the cloud, the IT staffers in charge of supporting and maintaining those discarded in-house systems are bound to get nervous.

High-level IT executives may have all the "i"s dotted and all the "t"s crossed in their research and planning process, but if the switch to the cloud causes ill will among their IT troops, the initiative could well be doomed, because buy-in from the IT rank and file is key.

It's the IT department's foot soldiers who will be in charge of training and supporting end users on the new cloud-based software, which often requires adjusting to an interface that is different. These staffers may also have to build links between the new and existing systems, develop customized applications and tools, monitor the cloud vendor's performance and keep tabs on end-user activities.

If IT staffers feel left out of the conversation and used as expendable pawns bound to go the way of the on-premise systems they used to maintain, their aversion to cloud-based software could spread to the organization at large.

"With a move to enterprise cloud applications, IT executives shouldn't assume that it will be any different than other technology adoption in terms of the human, cultural and political factors," said Rebecca Wettemann, a Nucleus Research analyst.

IT staffers raised concerns about job security quickly and directly at advertising and event marketing agency Momentum Worldwide as soon as they were informed the company planned to move its enterprise portal to a cloud, software-as-a-service model offered by enterprise collaboration vendor Socialtext.

"As we talked this through with the IT group, they were very concerned about: 'What are we going to do? If we're not managing as many servers, if we're not supporting infrastructure, where does that leave us?'" said Momentum Global IT Director Doug Pierce.

About eight of the IT department's 28 staffers saw their roles change when Momentum turned off its data center servers. "Our IT employees had a lot of questions. They flat-out asked: 'What does this mean for me and my job?'" Pierce said.

IT leaders better be ready to have an honest and informed conversation with their staffers. The path to success begins with explaining to them clearly the rationale for the move.

Continue Reading

Monday, May 24, 2010

Instant messaging: This conversation is terminated

Instant messaging was once tipped to replace e-mail, but recent figures suggest that it has lost ground sharply. Why?

BBC News, By Jon Kelly, BBC News Magazine


OMG. Instant messaging (IM), once the mainstay of teenage gossips, techie know-it-alls and office time-wasters everywhere, looks as though it is in trouble.

Just a few years ago, it was meant to be the future.

More immediate than e-mail, less fiddly than texting, sending an IM was widely expected by many technology pundits to become our preferred mode of online communication, whether socially or in the office - or socially in the office, for that matter.

WHAT IS INSTANT MESSAGING?

  • Lets users send notes back and forth in real time while online
  • Displays which friends and contacts are online
  • Most popular providers include AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger)

But how times change.

In 2007, 14% of Britons' online time was spent on IM, according to the UK Online Measurement company - but that has fallen to just 5%, the firm says, basing its findings on the habits of a panel of 40,000 computer users.

The study was released shortly after AOL sold its ICQ instant messaging service $187.5m (£124m) - less than half what the company paid for it in 1998.

And in September 2009, a survey of internet use by the New York-based Online Publishers Association found that the amount of time spent by surfers on traditional communications tools, including IM and e-mail, had declined by 8% since 2003.

It is a far cry from the early days of the decade when this very website anticipated that IM would overtake e-mail by 2004 [see internet links].

Cast your mind back to the early noughties - a time when dial-up was still widespread and the Apple G3s looked futuristic - and it becomes easier to recall why IM looked like it was about to conquer the world.

It was, after all, instant. It let users see if their friends and contacts were online and, if so, communicate with them in real time.

Tech-savvy office staff could chase up a query and expect an answer straight away, without having to pick up the phone. Teenagers in their bedrooms could exchange schoolyard tittle-tattle without the encumbrance of having to press "refresh" on the browser screen to their web-based e-mail account.

It also offered workers a handy means of circumventing their employers' e-mail usage policies.

Chat's all folks

Chris Green, a technology journalist turned industry analyst, recalls the heady days of IM's ascendency.

"That was the way it was going," he remembers. "E-mail had peaked. And IM offered additional value over e-mail."

There were niggles, however. Initially, IM systems were "proprietary" and non-compatible, so those using Microsoft's MSN Messenger were unable to reach friends on Aim, ICQ, or Yahoo! Messenger.

The firms would subsequently allow cross-pollenation of their systems, but, says Mr Green, the delay in "finding something that was ubiquitous across all platforms" - in the same way that sending an e-mail from a Yahoo! to a Hotmail account was seamless - cost the format dearly.

Google Talk was supposed to revive IM. It didn't

Into the vacuum stepped social networking sites.

Paul Armstrong, director of social media with the PR agency Kindred, believes that the rise of the likes of Facebook and Twitter - which allow users to do much more than just send messages - simply had more to offer.

"With instant messaging you have to stay at your computer," he says. "With social networking, you can use your phone's web browser or SMS.

"Rather than shifting away from instant messaging, people are using the functions of instant messaging on different platforms."

Even though Facebook's own instant messaging system - not covered in the UK Online Measurement habits - was widely-regarded as inferior to those provided by the established IM networks, users were tied into a one-stop shop for sharing thoughts, photos, and being re-introduced to long-forgotten former colleagues and classmates.

Return to sender

The effect on IM, says Chris Green, has been catastrophic.

Windows Live Messenger - formerly MSN Messenger - was no longer "bundled" with Vista and Windows 7, becoming instead an optional extra, he says. Google may be bullish about Google Talk, the search engine's attempt to blend IM with e-mail, insisting that millions of its users "love the convenience and simplicity" of the service.

But Mr Green says its modest success represents a "flop" when put alongside the company's dominance elsewhere on the web.

"People have moved on," he says. "The novelty value has worn off. If you look at teenagers today, they are using Twitter on their mobiles."

But has IM died out altogether? The figures would suggest that although its market share has fallen, its raw numbers have not.

California-based IT research firm The Radicati Group estimates that there are 2.4 billion IM accounts worldwide, rising to 3.5 billion by 2014.

Plenty of browers, it seems, still value the speed and simplicity of IM.

Technology journalist and BBC Click presenter LJ Rich notes that, in many countries where internet use is censored, BlackBerry Messenger is used to bypass state-sponsored snoops.

And she believes that the principles of IM survive - it is just that sites such as Facebook and Twitter let us talk to a wider audience via a wider range of platforms, including mobiles.

"With social networks, we've gone from instant messaging to something that's more like conference calls," she says.

Maybe IM will have the last laugh after all. Or, rather, the last LOL.

Related Articles:

Facebook privacy settings to be made simpler

Facebook CEO says mistakes made, privacy changes coming

Facebook outstrips Arab newspapers - survey


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Digital 'genome' sent to the vault

Reuters, May 19 - Reuters Television has exclusive access to the deposit of a 'digital time capsule' inside a secret bunker in the Swiss Alps; an effort to help future generations understand our digital technologies and culture. (03:27)






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Friday, May 21, 2010

Google, Sony, Intel join on Web television project

Reuters, Alexei Oreskovic, SAN FRANCISCO, Thu May 20, 2010 2:54pm EDT

An employee answers phone calls at the switchboard of the Google office in Zurich August 18, 2009. (Credit: Reuters/Christian Hartmann)

(Reuters) - Google Inc, Intel Corp and Sony Corp unveiled "Google TV" on Thursday in the latest effort to marry the Web to television and reach into the $70 billion TV advertising market.

The attempt to bring the Internet into living rooms has frustrated virtually every major player in the technology and consumer electronics industry for years, from Microsoft Corp to Google's new archrival Apple Inc, which was the focus of frequent verbal jabs and jokes.

Television represents an attractive market in which to expand Google's Internet advertising business, which generated the bulk of its $23.7 billion in 2009 revenue, but so far a successful formula has proved elusive.

Google's main focus was to integrate an Internet-style search box into sets which could then look for video and other information on television as well as the Web.

Sony will build devices to launch in the fall -- in time for the 2010 holiday buying season -- with Intel providing its small Atom processors to run machines.

For Sony, whose dominance in electronics has been eroded by the likes of Samsung Electronics, the effort helps it get ahead of rivals in developing a new generation of devices.

"Video should be consumed on the biggest, best and brightest screen in the house. And that's a TV. It's not a PC or a phone or anything else in between," said Google project senior product manager Rishi Chandra.

Best Buy Co Inc will sell devices and DISH Network TV will integrate its service into Google TV. Chief executives from those companies, as well as Google, Sony, Intel and Adobe Systems Inc, all went on stage at Google's developers conference for the announcement.

TOUGH TASK

The effort is hardly a sure thing, based on the track record of other high-profile attempts.

Executives said previous efforts had failed because they dumbed down the Web for television, were closed to participation by others, and made people choose between using the Web or television.

"It's much harder to marry a 50-year-old technology and a brand new technology than those of us in the brand new technology industry thought," Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt acknowledged to the audience of developers.

Portending the potential speed and bandwidth limitations of such a device, embarrassed Google engineers struggled initially to get their TV up and running, and had to ask their audience to turn off their cellphones, which were interfering with Google TV remote controls.

Google's increasingly tense relationship with Apple was clear throughout the conference. Engineers showed off new versions of the Android mobile phone platform, which will also run Google TV and which competes directly with Apple's iPhone.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Writing by Edwin Chan and Peter Henderson; Editing by Andre Grenon and Richard Chang)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Announcing Google App Engine for Business

Google, Wednesday, May 19, 2010

We launched Google App Engine two years ago to enable application developers to rapidly build and scale their apps on Google’s infrastructure, without having to worry about maintaining their own servers. Today, we’re excited to bring this platform to IT departments, with the announcement of Google App Engine for Business. Google App Engine for Business lets organizations build and maintain their applications on the same scalable architecture that powers Google applications, with added management and support features tailored specifically for the enterprise.

Google App Engine for Business introduces a number of new features that our enterprise customers have been asking for, including:

  • Centralized administration: A new, company-focused administration console lets you manage all the applications in your domain.
  • Reliability and support: 99.9% uptime service level agreement, with premium developer support available.
  • Secure by default: Only users from your Google Apps domain can access applications and your security policies are enforced on every app.
  • Pricing that makes sense: Each application costs just $8 per user, per month up to a maximum of $1000 a month. Pay only for what you use.
  • Enterprise features: Coming later this year, hosted SQL databases, SSL on your company’s domain for secure communications, and access to advanced Google services.


With these new features, we’re making it easier for businesses to take advantage of the core benefits of Google App Engine: easy development using languages you already know (Java and Python); simple administration, with no need to worry about hardware, patches or backups; and effortless scalability, automatically getting the capacity you need when you need it.

Google App Engine for Business is currently in preview, opened to a limited number of enterprises. Learn more about how you can participate, and check our roadmap to follow features as they become available.

By Sean Lynch, Google App Engine team

Related Article:

Google Opens Wave to Public, Previews Chrome Web Store


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Facebook Launches Mobile Site in Indonesia

Jakarta Globe, May 19, 2010

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg poses at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California, in this file photo. Facebook has teamed up with an Indonesian wireless operator to offer cellphone users a stripped-down version of the social networking site that can be accessed without incurring data charges. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

San Francisco. Facebook has teamed up with 50 wireless operators to offer cellphone users, including those in Indonesia, a stripped-down version of the social networking site that can be accessed without incurring data charges.

The new site, dubbed 0.facebook.com, is a text-only version of Facebook’s flagship Web site and is specially designed for mobile phones with limited bandwidth Internet connections.

The new site will be available beginning today in 40 different countries, including Indonesia, Brazil, India and Turkey from a variety of carriers.

The new site comes as the world’s largest Internet social network continues to grow its base and looks for ways to increase the amount of time Web surfers spend using its service.

At the company’s annual developer’s conference last month, Facebook introduced new technology that allows third-party Web sites to integrate Facebook features directly.

Roughly one quarter of Facebook’s 400 million users access the site on mobile devices, according to the company.

But Facebook wants to make the service more accessible to cell phone users who do not own high-end smartphones such as Apple Inc’s iPhone, or phones based on Google Inc’s Android software.

“We are targeting people whose major barrier is they have little experience on the mobile Internet. They want to try it, they want something super simple, super fast. And they are potentially afraid of browsing costs,” said Henri Moissinac, who heads Facebook’s mobile business. “If you take an iPhone user in San Francisco, that’s not his problem.”

Among the carriers partnering with Facebook are Reliance and Videocon in India (with Tata Docomo coming soon), T-Mobilein Hungary and Vodafone in Greece.

Customers of the participating wireless operators will be able to access the new Facebook site without paying any wireless data charges, Facebook said.

The 0.facebook site offers the same capabilities as Facebook’s standard Web site, allowing members to view their news feed, comment on posts and send messages.

But 0.facebook will not feature any photos or videos — Web surfers can link to view photos and videos, although they will be charged standard wireless data fees by their carriers at that point.

Facebook is not paying the wireless operators any money to reimburse them for the free usage they provide and there are no financial terms to the partnerships, said Moissinac.

In addition to many so-called emerging economies in which 0.facebook will be offered, the site will be available in the United Kingdom, Finland and Hong Kong, among other places.

While the United States is not among the countries in which Facebook has operator deals, Moissinac said he hoped the site would eventually be available there as well.

Reuters

Related Articles:

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg pledges easier privacy

Facebook mulls U-turn on privacy


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Virtual protests in Tunisia against web censorship

Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 10 May 2010 - 11:47am | By Ismail dbara


In Tunisia, the volume of protest against internet censorship is rising. There are growing demands for freedom of internet usage in the country, which is classified as "anti-internet" by press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders. A group of young Tunisians and web activists has started a campaign planned to run throughout May to confront the electronic censor, whom they mockingly refer to as 'Ammar 404'.

Tuesday 27 April was an extraordinary day for the internet in Tunisia, when popular sites like YouTube and The Daily Motion were blocked. This censorship even hit cookery websites that do not contain as much as hint of political criticism.

Pressure on the press authorities to back down has grown, with the protests including a petition that aims to amass 10,000 signatures against censorship, 4,000 of which have already been collected. Activists have also flooded internet websites and networks with photos and videos.

Young activists

One of the most novel campaigns calls itself Sayyeb Sala7. It started on Facebook and Twitter before establishing its own website and managing to gather 6,500 participants and attract a group of young activists to administrate and promote it.

One of the supervisors of Seyyeb Saleh - who wishes to remain anonymous - spoke to Radio Netherlands Worldwide's Arabic Service and explained that the term Seyyeb Saleh is a traditional expletive in Tunisian dialect, meaning "give me my freedom".

"Our initiative was spontaneous, but was ready to come out one day especially after the recent fierce attack by Tunisian censorship on internet websites."

The campaign has encouraged internet users to overcome the barrier of fear and even show their faces to express their protest. The website ammar405, which was blocked a few hours after its appearance, featured protestors disclosing their names and surnames in an attempt to mock or even provoke the Tunisian censor.

Cooking websites

Lina Ben Mehenna, a professor at Tunisia's April 9 University (named after the popular uprising of 1938), had her personal blog blocked twice. She is now a part of the protest campaign. She told Radio Netherlands Worldwide's Arabic Service:

"Past campaigns against censorship were mainly sponsored by elite politicians and rights activists as the blocking was mainly directed at political and news websites, but it has now moved to websites that have nothing to do with politics, including photo, video, and music sharing websites, cooking websites, and even those dealing with arts and theatre."

Moez al-Bay, a journalist at Kalema Radio, says that the blocking of sites that provided a means of expression to young internet users has encouraged them to join the campaign against censorship aimed at normal internet users rather than opposition politicians.

Court order

Moez al-Bay told Radio Netherlands Worldwide's Arabic Service,

"Most countries practise censorship on the internet, but the difference is that the Tunisian censor works undercover, although blocking is only supposed to be authorised via a court order. The government never admits such censorship, while allocating huge sums to practise censorship and equally huge sums to evade any legal responsibility of such practices."

Blogger Lina Mehenna adds, "In many cases, citizens turned to the courts to fight for their rights after being affected by censorship. But the Tunisian judiciary has never shown itself to be impartial on the issue. It has always come down on the side of the censor, the Tunisian Internet Agency, and up to now has ever done justice to any claimant."

Monday, May 10, 2010

Add volcanoes to your disaster recovery plan, Gartner says

Computerworld, by Mitch Betts, May 10, 2010 06:00 AM ET


Computerworld - Your business continuity plan covers fires, earthquakes, hurricanes and maybe pandemics. But how about volcanoes?

It's time to update your crisis management plan, according to a report by Gartner Inc., since the ash cloud from the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano caused an epic disruption in air travel and stranded thousands of people last month.

"Take advantage of the publicity surrounding this event ... to raise internal awareness of your organization's vulnerability to transportation outages," the Gartner report said, noting that for the past 2,000 years, the larger Katla volcano has always erupted after Eyjafjallajokull.

The first priority is to help stranded employees find alternate transportation, accommodations and workspaces, the report said. And that requires a central system that tracks which employees are in transit.

Companies also need to figure out how critical work will get done when employees are out. Gartner suggested that a business process management system would help: "It could tell you what work is in progress, what the status is, and who was supposed to do it."

Technologies such as Skype, mobile devices and Web interfaces to company systems could make it easier for stranded employees to get work done. Telepresence rooms aren't widely available, but it might be possible for an employee to find a videoconference room that can be rented by the hour, the report noted.

Read more about Business Continuity in Computerworld's Business Continuity Knowledge Center.

(Solar and Heliospheric Observatory - website)

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Wi-Fi iPhone May Make It to Chinese Market

From China Realtime Report:

Apple’s belated launch of the iPhone in China last year was dampened for many users by the discovery that the handset did not have Wi-Fi capabilities, but a new Wi-Fi-enabled Chinese iPhone may finally be on the horizon, according to a Chinese government testing body.

A man displays an iPhone along a street in Beijing (AFP/Getty Images)

The State Radio Monitoring Center, which handles radio frequency testing for handsets released in China, posted an approval notice for a handset by Apple Inc. with wireless Internet capabilities. The listing, dated April 26, doesn’t provide enough information to tell whether the device is an iPhone 3GS or anewer model, but says the device includes China’s homegrown wireless standard, WAPI.

An employee who answered the phone at the testing center on Thursday confirmed that the listing means the device has been approved, but declined to answer any other questions, saying she was not informed on any other issues. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

IPhones currently officially sold in China do not have Wi-Fi because government regulations USED to force handset makers to use China’s homegrown wireless standard, WAPI, instead (even though consumers predominantly use Wi-Fi). Officials changed the regulation last year to allow Wi-Fi on handsets on the condition that the handsets also had WAPI capabilities, but apparently not in time for Apple to have one approved. People who want iPhones with Wi-Fi in China currently must buy them from overseas, or from one of the many sellers here who bring them in from other markets and resell them for as much as $840.

Apple’s partner China Unicom estimated that only 5,000 Wi-Fi-less iPhones were sold in the first four days after the devices launch last October, a tiny number compared to other markets, especially when considering that China is the largest mobile market by subscribers. By comparison, Apple sold 270,000 iPhones in the 30 hours after the first model went on sale in the U.S. in 2007, and in South Korea, where Apple had plenty of competition, 65,000 pre-orders were taken when the iPhone debuted last December.

Adding Wi-Fi could help the iPhone’s reception, as could Apple’s plan to open 25 more stores in China. China Unicom Chief Executive Chang Xiaobing has also indicated that if conditions permit, the companies may lower the prices for the handset in China, which are currently $730 to $1,020. With Google, a competitor of Apple’s in the mobile space, on shaky ground with Chinese authorities after a spat over censorship and cybersecurity, perhaps the iPhone still has a fighting chance to crack the Chinese market.

Screen shot of Apple Wi-Fi device approval

–Loretta Chao and Bai Lin