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, March 31, 2011

Japan disaster sparks social media innovation

The Jakarta Post, Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press, Tokyo | Thu, 03/31/2011

As Japan grapples with an unprecedented triple disaster - earthquake, tsunami, nuclear crisis - the Web has spawned creativity and innovation online amid a collective desire to ease sufering.

Once the magnitude of the March 11 disaster became clear, the online world began asking, "How can we help?"

And for that, social media offered the ideal platform for good ideas to spread quickly, supplementing and even rivaling efforts launched by giants like Google and Facebook.

A British teacher living in Abiko city, just east of Tokyo, is leading a volunteer team of bloggers, writers and editors producing "Quakebook," a collection of reflections, essays and images of the earthquake that will be sold in the coming days as a digital publication. Proceeds from the project will go to the Japanese Red Cross, said the 40-year-old, who goes by the pseudonym "Our Man in Abiko."

The entirely Twitter-sourced project started with a single tweet exactly a week after the earthquake. Within an hour, he had received two submissions, which soon grew to the 87 that now comprise the book.

Quakebook involves some 200 people in Japan and abroad, and the group is in negotiations to sell the download on Amazon.com. It didn't take long for others to notice. Twitter itself has sent out a tweet about Quakebook, as has Yoko Ono. Best-selling novelist Barry Eisler wrote the foreword for the book. Organizers, including Our Man in Abiko, will hold a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo on Friday.

"I just thought I want to do something," he said in a telephone interview. "I felt completely helpless."

Another project, "World's 1000 Messages for Japan," is an effort to convey thoughts from around the globe. Writers can leave short notes on Facebook or through e-mail, which a group of volunteers then translate into Japanese. The translations are then posted on Twitter as well as the group's website.

"The news of the earthquake, tsunami, and meltdown in Japan has mostly been horrifying. But it has also served as a reminder of the strength and resolve that comes out of Japanese culture," said one recent message on the project's Facebook page.

The calamitous events that transfixed people worldwide led to a jump in traffic among social networking sites - typical after recent major disasters elsewhere.

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster that likely killed more than 18,000 people, phone and cellular networks were either down or overwhelmed with traffic.

So people turned to the Internet to track down friends and family, and connect with those who saw the disaster unfold firsthand. In Tokyo, which suffered minimal damage, commuters wanted to know if their trains were running, and whether their neighborhoods would be subject to rolling electricity blackouts due to damage to nuclear and conventional power plants.

Figures released this week show that millions flocked to sites like Twitter following the earthquake and tsunami. Its audience grew by a third to 7.5 million users during March 7-13 compared with the previous week, according to the Nielsen NetRatings Japan.

Video streaming provider Ustream and Japanese video sharing platform Nico Nico Douga also saw viewership climb. Ustream's audience more than doubled to 1.4 million, driven largely by public broadcaster NHK's channel featuring live coverage online, the report said.

The numbers underscore the increasingly valuable role that social media, particularly Twitter, can play in the wake of natural disasters. The microblogging site helped drive fundraising after the earthquake in Haiti last year, and it served as a critical communication tool after the New Zealand earthquake in February.

Twitter was already a big hit in Japan, where more than three-quarters of the population is connected to the Internet. The earthquake convinced even more users of its value as a communication lifeline.

"Many people signed up for Twitter after the earthquake, and that's because they wanted to exchange information," said Nobuyuki Hayashi, a prominent Japanese tech journalist and consultant.

"Twitter played a great role in the first few days" after the quake, he said. He added, however, that the surge of activity also brought to light some of Twitter's shortcomings during disasters.

As helpful as Twitter was after the quake, it also helped propagate a number of unfounded rumors and fears. A post-quake fire at an oil refinery east of Tokyo led to a torrent of tweets that incorrectly claimed the blaze would result in toxic rain.

Some people moved to Facebook "because they can access more trusted information and engage in more topic-based conversation," Hayashi said.

That's something that concerns Web designer Qanta Shimizu as well. But he sees a greater good in embracing social media in times of crisis.

In 1995, when a massive earthquake devastated the western city of Kobe, the Internet was in its infancy and the mass media controlled the flow of information. National consciousness of the disaster shifted too quickly, Shimizu said, as the media moved on to new topics.

"Society has changed now, and through the Internet, I wanted to find a way to offer support indefinitely," he said.

Shimizu created a Twitter application to remind Internet users to do their part, however small. "Setsudener" - a play on the Japanese term for "save energy" - automatically darkens a user's profile picture from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., symbolizing the need to cut back on power consumption during peak demand.

For others, especially local governments and agencies, simply venturing onto social media has been a big step.

Mitaka city in western Tokyo decided to start a Twitter account after the earthquake. Announcements of the possible rolling blackouts led to a huge spike in traffic on the city's website that it could not handle, said spokesman Shinichi Akiyama.

One of the city's recent posts informed residents that The Tokyo Electric Power Co. had called off blackouts for Wednesday - an essential piece of information for businesses and households. The information is posted on the city's Website, but putting it out on Twitter enables the city to keep residents informed in real-time, Akiyama said.

"We're using social media a bit differently than what it was probably intended for, like having a conversation," he said. "But it has helped us realize that it's possible to use social media as a tool."

Mitaka's neighbors took note almost immediately. Nearby cities like Musashino and Koganei have also signed up for Twitter, as have numerous municipalities in the hardest-hit areas of northeast Japan.





Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bell Labs’ lightRadio Promises Greener, Simpler, Lighter Networks


Alcatel-Lucent has announced lightRadio, a new mobile and broadband infrastructure that streamlines and radically simplifies mobile networks. The solution was unveiled at a major press launch event in London supported by partners Freescale and HP.

The lightRadio cube is a small antenna
and radio that has shrunk the regular
workings of a conventional cell phone
base station and antenna and could,
as soon as mid-2012, replace unsightly
cell phone towers. Courtesy of Bell Labs /
Alcatel-Lucent
Pioneered by Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent’s unique research and development arm, the new lightRadio system is designed to dramatically reduce technical complexity and contain power consumption and other operating costs in the face of sharp traffic growth. This is accomplished by taking today’s base stations and massive cell site towers, typically the most expensive, power hungry, and difficult to maintain elements in the network, and radically shrinking and simplifying them.

lightRadio represents a new architecture where the base station, typically located at the base of each cell site tower, is broken into its components elements and then distributed into both the antenna and throughout a cloud-like network. Additionally, today’s clutter of antennas serving 2G, 3G and LTE systems are combined and shrunk into a single powerful, Bell Labs-pioneered multi-frequency, multi-standard Wideband Active Array Antenna that can be mounted on poles, sides of buildings or anywhere else there is power and a broadband connection.

The new lightRadio product family, of which initial elements will be ready to begin customer trials in the second half 2011, is designed to provide the following benefits:

  • Improve the environment: reduce energy consumption of mobile networks by up to 50 percent over current radio access network equipment. (As a point of reference, Bell Labs research estimates that basestations globally emit roughly 18,000,000 metric tons of CO2 per year). Also, lightRadio provides an alternative to today’s jungle of large overcrowded cell site towers by enabling small antennas anywhere.

  • Address digital divide: By reducing the cell site to just the antenna and leveraging future advances in microwave backhaul and compression techniques, this technology could eventually enable the easy creation of broadband coverage virtually anywhere there is power (electricity, sun, wind) by using microwave to connect back to the network.

  • Offers major savings for operators: Thanks to lightRadio’s impact on site, energy, operations and maintenance costs; when combined with small cells and LTE, this new solution is expected to lead to a reduction of total cost of ownership (TCO) of mobile networks up to 50 percent (as a point of reference, Bell Labs estimates that TCO spent by mobile operators in mobile access in 2010 was 150 billion Euros).

Ben Verwaayen, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, said: “lightRadio is a smart solution to a tough set of problems: high energy costs, the explosion of video on mobile, and connecting the unconnected.”

Alain Maloberti, Senior Vice President, Network Architecture and Design, France Telecom/Orange said: “Alcatel-Lucent’s new vision and strategy of mobile broadband is quite exciting: the new wireless network architecture and innovative radio proposal will potentially help us to achieve significant operating cost savings and be better prepared for future challenges. We look forward to work closely with Alcatel-Lucent to explore and test this new approach.”

Tom Sawanobori, VP Technology Planning, Verizon Wireless, said: “Verizon looks forward to learning more about the benefits of lightRadio technology and how they could be applied as we continue to expand and evolve our LTE network.”

Alcatel-Lucent also is in advanced planning with China Mobile, as well as a number of other carriers around the globe around co-creation and field trials of the lightRadio solution.

Alcatel-Lucent studies have concluded that the total addressable opportunity for the multi-technology radio market (consists of radio access base stations that simultaneously support 2G, 3G and LTE, and multiple frequencies, in the same platform), which lightRadio addresses, will be over 12 billion Euros in 2014, representing more than 55 percent of the total wireless RAN market. The cumulative total addressable market will be over 100 billion Euros from 2011-2018.

Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio portfolio integrates a number of breakthrough innovations and technologies from Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs research arm and ecosystem of companies:

Market Impact
  • Technology Innovation – A new generation of active antennas allows vertical beam-forming that improves capacity in urban and suburban sites by about 30 percent, supports all technologies (2G, 3G and LTE) and covers multiple frequency bands with a single unit.

  • lightRadio cube – A unique Bell Labs antenna technology, the lightRadio Cube includes an innovative diplexer type, radio, amplifier and passive cooling in a small cube that fits in the palm of the hand. By moving former basestation components to a System on a Chip (SOC), lightRadio places processing where it fits best in the network — whether at the antenna or in the cloud.

  • System-on-a-chip (SoC) jointly developed with Freescale Semiconductor, integrates intelligent software from Alcatel-Lucent onto fully remotely programmable state-of-the-art hardware. The economics of radio networks are substantially improved by reducing the number and cost of fiber pairs required to support the traffic between the antenna and the centralized processing in the cloud.

  • Unique compression algorithms provide nearly a factor of three compression of IQ sample signals. Matching of load to demand through ‘elastic’ controller capacity, delivered on sets of distributed and shared hardware platforms, will improve cost, availability and performance of wireless networks.

  • Virtualized processing platforms – Alcatel-Lucent will use innovative virtualization software and will collaborate with partners like HP to enable a cloud-like wireless architecture for controllers and gateways.

The lightRadio Product Family

The new Alcatel-Lucent lightRadio product family is composed of the following components: Wideband Active Array Antenna, Multiband Remote Radio Head, Baseband Unit, Controller, and the 5620 SAM common management solution. The Wideband Active Array Antenna will be trialed later this year and have broad product availability in 2012. Additional product family members will be available over 2012, 2013 and 2014.


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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ex-Apple exec rolls out phone-based social network

Reuters, By Yinka Adegoke, NEW YORK, Thu Mar 24, 2011

An Apple iPhone 4 is displayed in an Apple store on the day of its
British launch in London June 24, 2010. (Credit: Reuters/Paul Hackett)


(Reuters) - Bill Nguyen, the serial entrepreneur who sold his last company to Apple Inc in 2009, is launching a new cellphone-based social network which aims to challenge Facebook's dominance in social communications beyond the personal computer.

Color is a free smartphone-based application on iPhones and Android devices which lets people in close proximity capture and share their photos, videos and text simultaneously to multiple phones in real time.

With photos and video-sharing being one of the most popular activities on Facebook, Color's founders hope the always-on mobile nature of Color will create a different kind of 'post-PC' social network. Nguyen said social networks and apps were moving users away for PC-based Web many users were initially familiar with.

"This transition to post-PC world is going to be a huge fundamental shift," said Nguyen. "We're sharing more and more information in real-time."

Nguyen, who sold online music start-up Lala to Apple for a reported $80 million, worked with the iPhone maker for just under a year.

In September he raised $14 million in seed funding from Bain Capital Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank. One of Silicon Valley's biggest venture funds Sequoia Capital came on board just before launch with $25 million and another $2 million from Silicon Valley Bank.

Color is a free service with no user names or passwords but Nguyen and his team are hoping to be able to generate revenue through advertising and location-based marketing services.

"People are starting to realize with devices like the iPhone that you can do things on a social network you could never do before on a PC," said Bain Capital Ventures Mike Krupka, who had previously backed Nguyen with Lala.

The company said it will be using the latest round of funding to accelerate its development and infrastructure build-out to analyze large volume location information.

Color recently hired DJ Patil, the chief scientist of business social network LinkedIn. Patil joined Color as its new chief data officer to help analyze the vast amount of data it anticipates as users of the network move from location to location.

Nguyen had previously founded companies like Seven in 2001,

and Onebox before that which he sold in 2001 for $850 million to Phone.com. Color will be his eighth start-up.

(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; editing by Carol Bishopric)

Apple kills app claiming to cure homosexuality

Yahoo News, By Brett Michael Dykes, Wed Mar 23

Well, that was quick. Apple has announced it's pulling an application from its iTunes store supplied by a Christian group that professes to "cure" homosexuality.

The free app was the handiwork of a ministry called Exodus International, which says it specializes in "ex-gay" messaging. Advocacy groups opposed to the app such as Truth Wins Out and Change.org, sponsored an online petition calling for the app's removal. As of this morning, organizers said they'd collected 150,000 signatures.

"Apple made a wise and responsible decision to dump an offensive app that demonized gay and lesbian people," Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out, said in a statement. Change.org editor Mike Jones added, "We're thrilled that Apple has removed this 'gay cure' app from the iTunes store after more than 150,000 people signed this petition. The message Apple is sending here is clear: there is no place for 'ex-gay therapy' on the Apple platform."

Still, many wonder why Apple would approve of such an app in the first place. As Gawker tech writer Ryan Tate has pointed out, "every time Apple approves an app, it implies moral endorsement of the content of that app." Approving the app seemed especially out of character for Apple, since Steve Jobs' likely successor at the tech giant is an openly gay man. What's more, Apple's iconic early logo (shown above) featured the same rainbow color scheme associated with the gay movement, reportedly because Jobs wanted to "humanize" the company.

Meanwhile evangelical opponents of homosexuality have denounced Apple's decision to pull the app. Peter LaBarbera, the founder of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, took to Twitter to denounce the move as nothing less than a violation of the Constitution, writing, "H-O-M-O-F-A-S-C-I-S-M!!! Gays win, freedom of speech loses!! Yeah!!" For the record: Apple's decision was proprietary, and the government played no role in the app's removal.


Related Articles:

About the Challenges of Being a Gay Man – Oct 23, 2010 (Saint Germain channeled by Alexandra Mahlimay and Dan Bennack) - “You see, your Soul and Creator are not concerned with any perspective you have that contradicts the reality of your Divinity – whether this be your gender, your sexual preference, your nationality – or your race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or anything else.”

Dutch ministers’ voicemails easily tapped

RNW, 23 March 2011

The voicemails of ministers, mayors, senior civil servants and government spokespersons can be easily tapped from a remote location.

Current affairs television programme EenVandaag (OneToday) reported on Wednesday it had been able to listen to voicemails of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager.

The voicemails of subscribers with telecom services provider Vodafone are easily tapped using a standard code as long as the telephone number of the person in question is known and they have not changed the standard code to a private, unique code.

Several million people in the Netherlands have a subscription with telecom provider Vodafone.




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'Serious' cyber attack on EU bodies before summit

BBC News, 23 March 2011

Related Stories

The EU has reported a "serious" cyber attack on the Commission and External Action Service on the eve of a summit in Brussels, a spokesman told the BBC.

It was not immediately clear how
widespread the attack was
Crucial decisions on the future structure of the EU, economic strategy and the ongoing war in Libya are to be discussed at the two-day talks.

Details were not given but other sources compared the attack to a recent assault on France's finance ministry.

"We're often hit by cyber attacks but this is a big one," one source said.

The European Commission has been assessing the scale of the current threat and, in order to prevent the "disclosure of unauthorised information", has shut down external access to e-mail and the institutions' intranet.

Staff have been asked to change their passwords.

'Serious cyber attack'

"The Commission and External Advisory Service are subject to a serious cyber attack," Antony Gravili, spokesman for the security and information technology commissioner, told the BBC News website.

"We are already taking urgent measures to tackle this. An inquiry's been launched. This isn't unusual as the commission is frequently targeted."

Mr Gravili added that he had no information the attack had been linked to the EU summit.

France's finance ministry came under a cyber attack in December that targeted files on the G20 summit held in Paris last month.

Confirming the attack, Budget Minister Francois Baroin said an investigation had been launched.

Paris Match magazine said a sustained cyber attack had sought documents related to the G20 and international economic affairs.

More than 150 of the French ministry's 170,000 computers were affected.


Related Article:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dutchman simply wants truth about Odyssey Dawn

RNW, 22 March 2011, by Heleen Sittig


(RNW graphic)

A Dutchman known only by his first name Huub has received worldwide publicity on the Internet by using Twitter to disclose information about Operation Odyssey Dawn, the international coalition enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya.

All the information was collected using ordinary equipment widely available from amateur radio suppliers. But by using Twitter. his monitoring reports have been able to spread worldwide literally within seconds.

On Monday morning, Huub – username @FMCNL – tweeted:

”Hmmm, second fighter showing his ID, a USAF F-15E from 494FS Lakenheath UK, I presume Gaddafis radar equipment has destroyed :o)”

Earlier, the Dutchman tweeted that two US F-16 fighter jets were en route to a base on the Italian island of Sicily. He also reported that a UK refuelling plane had supplied five Eurofighters with new fuel. That’s information which may not be considered of vital importance to the military operations in Libya, but nevertheless information that the coalition would prefer not to release to the general public.

Detailed information

During a war, the release of any piece of information can have fatal consequences. Yet Huub gives out information lavishly, including the callsigns of coalition jets and their flight movements:

“ PSYOPS is airborne again! USAF EC-130J tail nr 00-1934 call sign STEEL 74 in orbit near Libya at FL250.”

Another interesting tweet sent on Sunday evening: Huub picked up a broadcast from a US Hercules transport plane converted to a flying radio station, which was ordering Libyan ships to stay in port or face destruction.

The use of an American military aircraft to broadcast psychological warfare messages is a well-established and widely-publicised procedure. The transmissions on shortwave 6877 kHz as well as FM, have been widely reported in Europe. They can be heard by anyone with a receiver that can resolve Single Sideband (SSB) transmissions, a standard mode used by amateur radio operators. They come from an aircraft known as Commando Solo, which is operated exclusively by the 193rd Special Operations Wing is based at the Harrisburg International Airport in Middletown, Pennsylvania.

Radio ham and former soldier

Huub is a radio amateur and former soldier currently employed in IT. Huub has emphatically refused to be interviewed and said he would not send any tweets in the coming day. He gave no reason for his decision.

Huub is certainly not the only radio ham trying to follow this kind of operation, but is probably one of the most experienced people in the hobby. Earlier projects of his included following the movements of former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic. He also succeeded in picking up signals from the US presidential airplane, Air Force One.

He told the magazine Danger Room that he links information freely available on the internet to radio traffic he picks up. “My primary objective is to find out the truth, free of military or political propaganda.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Apple, Steve Jobs under fire for approving app that claims to cure homosexuality




"There's an app for that."

The catchphrase coined by Apple and their advertising gurus to sell iPhones and iPads has become so ubiquitous that it's even been parodied on Sesame Street. Still, few would have ever thought that the tech giant—which, like many other Silicon Valley concerns, boasts a progressive profile on many cultural issues, and extends domestic-partner benefits to gay and lesbian employees—would condone an app that purports to "cure" homosexuality. It would seem an even greater stretch for Apple and company founder and CEO Steve Jobs to make such an application available though its iTunes store.

Yet the app—by a ministry group called Exodus International—is right there, along the thousands of other iPhone apps available to plugged in Apple users. And this appears to be the point at which many of Apple's cultish fans—including plenty of gay activists—are drawing the line. No, they say: There's not actually an app for that.

The Exodus ministry seeks to promote the "ex-gay" movement—promulgating the testimony of people who claim to have been cured of homosexuality through Christ. The target audience for the smart-phone app, its makers say, are "homosexual strugglers." The idea is to teach gay people that they have a choice when it comes to their sexuality, a choice to choose "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus."

Of course, providing a tech platform for a particular spiritual or ideological movement doesn't signify an endorsement of its point of view. At the same time, however, as Gawker's Ryan Tate noted during an earlier controversy over a gay-themed app, "every time Apple approves an app, it implies moral endorsement of the content of that app."

And since average Apple user is younger and more culturally tolerant of homosexuality, word of the Exodus app has sparked a fast-growing protest As of this writing, more than 100,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling on Apple to abolish it. What's more, some who've purchased it are somewhat baffled by it.


So I downloaded the (free) app, which was launched on March 8. A giant resource bank, the app contains lists of events, videos and news stories that are carefully curated to reflect the mission of Exodus International, which states that individuals can "grow into heterosexuality." Nothing available on the app would lead me to question my homosexuality, but maybe I'm not fictile enough.

Perhaps the time is ripe for a market solution. Surely, engineers for a competing smart phone, like the Droid, are hard at work preparing to launch a more effective and intuitive app curing people of their straightness?



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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dutch experts dismantle spam network

RNW, 19 March 2011




Dutch experts have helped an international team dismantle a world-wide illegal computer network, computer giant Microsoft has announced. The Rustock botnet is thought to have sent billions of daily spam messages from some one million infected private computers.

The Dutch High Tech Crime Unit was responsible for breaking up the network's command structure outside the United States. The investigation into the cyber crime network, which took over one month, also involved Viagra maker Pfizer, the US authorities and Chinese experts.

The notorious Rustock network is said to be among the largest ever to have been dismantled. It's thought to have been responsible for at least half of all the spam messages sent around the world every day. The number of spam messages is believed to have peaked at some points at 30 billion spam messages in a single day. The cyber crime experts saw one computer send out 7,000 spam messages in a mere 45 minutes.

IBM Agrees to Pay $10 Million to Settle SEC Foreign-Bribery Allegations

Bloomberg, By Tom Schoenberg and Joshua Gallu - Mar 18, 2011

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), the world’s largest computer-services provider, agreed to pay $10 million to settle U.S. regulators’ accusations that it gave cash and gifts to Chinese and South Korean officials in connection with about $54 million in government contracts.

The company, without admitting or denying wrongdoing, will pay $5.3 million in disgorgement, $2.7 million in interest and a penalty of $2 million to settle a lawsuit filed today by the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington federal court, according to court papers.

The SEC alleged the bribes, which included travel and entertainment, occurred from 1998 through 2009 in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

“Deficient internal controls allowed employees of IBM’s subsidiaries and joint venture to use local business partners and travel agencies as conduits for bribes or other improper payments to South Korean and Chinese government officials over long periods of time,” the SEC said in the complaint.

The improper payments were made by employees at three subsidiaries of Armonk, New York-based IBM, as well as LG IBM PC Co., a joint venture between the company and LG Electronics Inc., according to the lawsuit.

The SEC said cash payments to South Korean officials from 1998 to 2003 totaled $207,000. The payments were connected to contracts worth almost $54 million, the SEC said.

Bags of Money

Some of the money paid to Korean officials was delivered in shopping bags at specific drop-off locations, such as restaurant or apartment parking lots.

In China, the IBM employees created “slush funds” at local travel agencies that were used to pay for overseas excursions by Chinese government officials. IBM employees also gave gifts, such as cameras and laptop computers, to Chinese government officials, the SEC said.

“The misconduct in China involved several key IBM-China employees and more than 100 IBM China employees overall,” the SEC said.

The SEC lawsuit doesn’t say what IBM received from China in return.

“IBM insists on the highest ethical standards in the conduct of its business and requires all employees to follow its policies and procedures for conducting business,” Doug Shelton, an IBM spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.

The settlement agreement, filed in court today, was signed by IBM’s general counsel on Jan. 6.

No Insurance

IBM agreed in the settlement, which requires approval from a federal judge, not to pay the monetary penalties from any insurance policy.

Alisa Finelli, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to comment on whether there’s a criminal investigation of the matter.

IBM expects that revenue from geographic growth markets, including China and South Korea, will be about 30 percent of total sales in 2015, up from 21 percent last year, according to company executives.

The case is SEC v. International Business Machines Corp., 11-cv-00563, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net; Joshua Gallu in Washington at jgallu@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.


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Friday, March 18, 2011

Nippon Foundation's Fundraising Efforts on Web, Calling Out for Support in 15 Different Languages

Antara News, Fri, March 18 2011

Related News

TOKYO, Mar. 18 (ANTARA/Kyodo JBN-AsiaNet) --

After the devastating earthquake that hit eastern Japan, The Nippon Foundation set up the "Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund" on the CANPAN website which is operated by the organization. Fundraising activities started on March 12 and as of March 18, the organization is calling out for donations in 11 different languages including Japanese, English, Spanish and Chinese. It plans to increase the number to 15 and include additional languages such as Arabic and Indonesian.

The Nippon Foundation will focus on using the funds to assist the elderly or disabled individuals, immigrants, orphans and others whose particular needs are often left unmet. We will also work to secure medical supplies as well as a wide range of specialists, including nurses, psychotherapists and sign language interpreters, as paid volunteers to support the people of the disaster-stricken areas. To ensure the highest degree of transparency, reports on the use of funds will be posted on The Nippon Foundation website.

Donations can be made through The Nippon Foundation website (http://www.nippon-foundation.or.jp/eng/) by credit card at 1,000 JPY (12 USD) per share or by bank transfer to the following account.

- Bank name: The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.
- Branch name: Head Office
- Bank address: 2-7-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 100-8388, JAPAN
- Account name: The Nippon Foundation
- Account number: 0492440
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Google Apps: A Love Story

How the BI-LO grocery chain found happiness in the cloud.

InformationWeek, by Thomas Claburn, March 16, 2011

After exiting from bankruptcy last year, BI-LO got serious about saving some money on information technology. The grocery retail chain, based in Mauldin, South Carolina, needed a new e-mail system to replace an aging, unsupported version of IBM Lotus Notes.

"It was eating us alive from storage costs and support costs," explained CIO Carol Dewitt in a phone interview.

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But change is seldom easy. Implementing a new e-mail system was seen as a significant disruption to employees and to the company's business. "We kept postponing and procrastinating until we got to the point where we were having lots of issues with the system," said Dewitt.

Finally, something had to be done and the company decided to consider cloud-based options, including Google Apps.

There were concerns about security, at least initially. BI-LO has pharmacies, so it has to maintain HIPAA compliance. It's a tier one credit card merchant, so it has to maintain PCI compliance. And the company tries to maintain SOX compliance, even though it's a privately-held company.

"We went through rigorous testing and evaluation and we found out that Google was actually more secure than we were," said Dewitt. "We just thought we were secure."

Dewitt says there were also concerns that Google Apps might represent too much of a change. But the prospect of having access to applications like Docs and Sites proved enough to overcome those reservations. Gmail would save money for BI-LO, on the order of $200,000, and the company might be able to derive some benefit from other Google services.

Those benefits only became clear after BI-LO, with the assistance of Cloud Sherpas, a Google reseller, turned on Google Apps and migrated data for 1,500 corporate employees over the course of about three months. Now, says Dewitt, communication and collaboration have gotten much easier.

Dewitt says the company only trained a few power users but found usage soaring almost as soon as Google Apps became available.

"All of a sudden the adoption rate went crazy," she said. "I was just astounded at how quickly people stopped using desktop office productivity tools and started using Docs, just because it made their lives easier. They could share their information and track the changes. And it was that easy. No training. They just started using it."

Blame the consumerization of IT. BI-LOs users learned how to use Google Apps and similar Web applications in their personal lives. According to an internal company survey, 30% of employees already used Gmail at home and another 25% used a different Web-based e-mail service, like Windows Live Hotmail or Yahoo Mail. That familiarity translated into prior training -- training the company didn't have to pay for -- and pre-existing affinity for the cloud.

Google also made the transition easier by creating Docs in Office's image.

"It's so close to Microsoft, it was not that hard for them to do that transition," said Dewitt.

Microsoft may still dominate large enterprise accounts, but its popularity appears to be shakier among smaller organizations like BI-LO. Office 2003 is still being used at BI-LO but its future looks bleak. "I don't have any plans to upgrade [Office 2003], except for a small group of people," she said.

Thus does an observation made last year by Dave Girouard, president of Google's enterprise group, seem less like wishful prophecy and more like inevitable destiny: "I think all companies will have Office; they just won't have as much of it," he said. "Office will become something like Photoshop, something that a few users need. It's not really the right tool for most people."

Excel remains perhaps the greatest anchor for Microsoft. It's used widely and deeply and, for some, fanatically. But at BI-LO, Dewitt says that most people only use a fraction of Excel's capabilities. For most of her users, the spreadsheets in Docs are enough and bring the added benefit of mobility.

"You can work on projects from home," said Dewitt. "You're traveling and if you need to access something, you don't need to lug your laptop with you. We find that people are using other mobile devices. That's been our biggest excitement; it's given people the freedom to use other devices. iPads are prevalent here. We actually supply them to our executive committee."

In fact for Dewitt, the most significant problem with Google Apps is that it's too appealing.

"Our big issue is keeping people from using it too much," said Dewitt. "They like to create their own little sites. And then you find information that's pertinent or important to the company, you don't know where it is anymore because they weren't thinking in terms of the broader picture. So we've had educate people about what's appropriate and what's not. But the good thing with Google is they give you tools so you know who did what."


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