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.)

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, September 30, 2009

Google Wave to be released to 100,000 testers Wednesday

By John D. Sutter, CNN

(CNN) -- Google Wave, a product that promises to revolutionize online communication, will go out to about 100,000 beta testers Wednesday.

Google Wave hopes to replace e-mail as the main way people communicate online.

The Web application from Google Inc. combines elements of e-mail, chat, Wiki documents, blogs and photo-sharing sites to create a form of Internet communication called a "hosted conversation," or a "wave."

Google demonstrated Wave at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, California, in May. The closed group of beta testers will help Google fish bugs out of the application before a public release by the end of the year, according to the Google Wave Web site.

The app was created by Jens and Lars Rasmussen, the Australian brothers who developed Google Maps. The Rasmussen brothers said they hope Google Wave will eventually replace e-mail as the main way people converse on the Internet.

"This should be something everybody uses and something everybody knows," Jens Rasmussen said.

In Wave, e-mail-like communications can be edited by several users simultaneously. And users can chat about certain sections of Wave documents in real time, where all users see what a person is typing as it is typed. If a person comes to the conversation late, they can replay everything they've missed.

The Rasmussens hope these functions will make online communication more efficient and collaborative.

Jens Rasmussen said e-mail is a computer version of snail mail. Wave will be something new, a real-time communication system designed specifically for today's faster-paced, multitasking Internet, he said.

"We really have a much too strong tendency to just take things we know and just adapt them to the digital world," he said.

Tech bloggers have largely cheered the release of the product. But there are some concerns that the app may be too complicated for mainstream Web users.

In a video demonstration, the Rasmussens spend an hour and 20 minutes explaining Wave.

Initial reviews of Wave also noted a number of glitches in the application.

Ben Parr of the social-media blog Mashable writes that Wave still has bugs but that the product is improving over time.

"As an initial user of Wave, I have to tell you: things have gotten much more stable. It still has a slow response time in certain situations and it can still crash, but these things happen far less often than they used to," he writes.

The blog TechCrunch wrote that Wave "drips with ambition" and will be "a new communication platform for a new Web."

"Wave offers a very sleek and easy way to navigate and participate in communication on the Web that makes both email and instant messaging look stale," TechCrunch's MG Siegler wrote.

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SAP, Make Apps With Google Wave

Apps From The Serious To The Fun Go Google Wave

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Moving from Information Technology to Business Technology

Businessweek, Posted by: Rachael King on September 28

(Guest blogging today is George Colony, CEO of Forrester Research, who for 30 years has been advising CEOs on the impact of technology on business. He also blogs at The Counterintuitive CEO: )

For the past four years, I have been preaching the gospel of converting information technologists into businesspeople. I call this concept “moving from information technology to business technology — or IT to BT.”

At its core, I define BT as measuring your usage of technology with business metrics instead of technology metrics. The message is for IT to measure itself using business metrics that matter to the COO, CEO, and board of directors, instead of assessing its success with a technology yardstick, such as network availability or server uptime.

It’s not the mean time between failure or server response times that matter. If you change that one word from information technology to business technology, you begin to change the way IT people work and the way they think about their jobs.

Although this mental shift is happening slower than I figured, a generational change in IT and business leadership is beginning to force the issue. Now we’re seeing the older baby boomer generation beginning to retire, and for the first time, we’re getting CEOs of Fortune 500 companies who had an Apple II when they were 12. So now you have CEOs and presidents who are far more technology-focused. We’re no longer seeing so many people who are getting emails printed out — instead, these top execs actually read them. You know, business leaders actually use these IT devices today — maybe an iPhone or BlackBerry or Kindle —and now you have technologists who had an Apple II as a kid. Both groups of execs understand the evolution of technology out to people — technology populism, if you will — that we all have high-tech devices, and there’s now this new way of thinking and working.

Since the last technology recession from 2001 to 2003, CFOs have been looking more closely at IT spending, which accelerates the shift to BT. The overspend on technology in 2000 was so large — it was about $60 billion in the US — and that was the death knell of runaway technology expenditures. At that moment, CFOs and CEOs said, “We’re never doing that again. We’re going to have tight linkage here, higher return there.”

We’ll look back at this decade as a series of learning moments, and the real turning point from IT to BT is the two recessions, the customer moving clearly to the center stage because of the Internet, and the generational change in senior execs.

I’ll talk more about this at Forrester’s Business Technology Forum in a couple of weeks, but there are three questions companies should ask themselves before transitioning from IT to BT. First, you need to ask, “do we have the right CIO?” The CEO has to look in the eyes of the CIO and make the judgment “Is this person good enough to understand the business?”

Second, you should ask, “do we govern in the right way?” If the decision-making goes from the CEO to the CFO, or maybe to the COO and then to the CIO, I don’t think you’re ever going to get this IT-to-BT change to happen because the CIO is too far removed.

Third, you need to ask, “do we have the right business executives?” The onus is not just on the CIO; we need higher IQ in technology across all of the business executive levels.

If you answer “yes” to those three questions, then you have to ask, “how do we get there?” There’s no technology god that says you’ve got to be BT. The CEO and CIO have to go have a drink someplace, and they’ve got to say, “We’re not doing this right; let’s change our focus and make IT about the business.”

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Honda unveils unicycle

A Honda employee demonstrates Honda's new 'personal mobility' device at a press conference in Tokyo, Japan, Thursday, September 24, 2009. -- PHOTO: AP

TOKYO- IT LOOKS a bit like a plastic figure of eight, and its Japanese designers say it could revolutionise the way we get around, in total comfort and without breaking a sweat.

Honda Motor on Thursday unveiled an experimental electric unicycle with inbuilt balance control, a bit of advanced technology Honda borrowed from ASIMO, its humanoid robot.

Riders steer it by shifting their upper body to move in any direction - forward, backward or diagonally.

'We believe this is the first step in realising the fun of human transportation and expanding the joy indefinitely,' Honda president Takanobu Ito told reporters taking a glimpse at Japan's latest high-tech gizmo.

The U3-X moves forward and backward with the use of its single wheel, which in turn is made up of a string of perpendicular smaller wheels that can move the vehicle left and right. Combine both, and the vehicle swiftly moves diagonally.

It can run for one hour on a single charge of its lithium ion battery which propels the device at roughly the walking speed of an adult, six kilometres per hour.

The U3-X is 65 centimetres tall and weighs less than 10kg.

Its chief engineer, Yasuhisa Arai, said Honda had no immediate plans to sell the device but was looking for fun for potential uses.

'Today is the first day we have presented this technological achievement, and we look forward to receiving lots of ideas about how to use this, particularly from the younger generation,' Mr Arai said.

Honda said it would continue its research and development of the device, including some real-world experiments, to verify its practicality.

In a visual presentation, Honda pictured some fun uses it imagines for the U3-X - a group of people on an outing, a teenager using it for skateboard style acrobatics, and even a rider-less version serving up cocktails. -- AFP

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Google Has a Solution for Internet Explorer: Turn It into Chrome

Seeking Alpha, by MG Siegler, September 22, 2009

People hate IE6; they’ve made that abundantly clear on the web. Unfortunately, plenty of people are still stuck using it for reasons such as their work not letting them upgrade. So Google (GOOG) is doing something about it.

Chrome Frame is a new browser plug-in developed by Google to give you a Chrome browsing experience inside of Internet Explorer. Let me restate that slightly to make it more clear: Chrome Frame turns IE into Chrome.

Yes, it’s both hilarious and awesome (or hilariously awesome, if you will) that Google seems to dislike IE so much that it has spent its own time improving it. Google claims its goals are noble. Talking to Group Product Manager Mike Smith and Software Engineer Alex Russell, they tell us that they simply want to make a more seamless web experience for both web users and developers. That said, they are only targeting one browser, IE, right now.

And that seems fair. IE, which is of course made by Google nemesis Microsoft (MSFT), is both the largest web browser and the one with a poor history when it comes to web standards. Things have gotten better since IE6, but that’s really not saying much. And standards aren’t the only issue, performance is as well. Chrome Frame injects the latest versions of Chrome’s Webkit and JavaScript engines into IE. These are the versions used in the dev channel builds of Chrome, so they’re actually newer than the ones found in the latest regular release of the browser.

So how does this work? Basically, it’s just a plug-in that creates a new frame inside of IE that is the Chrome browser. The plug-in itself is lightweight (around 500K or so, I’m told), but then it must download around 10 MB of Chrome-related data to work correctly on a machine. The look will be so seamless that a user shouldn’t realize they’re not simply browsing with their regular old version of IE, albeit a much faster and more compliant one, I’m told.

While it is obviously more system-intensive to run two browsers rather than one, I’m told that the overall difference is pretty small since Chrome is designed to give resources back to your machine when you’re not using them with the browser.

In terms of promotion of Chrome Frame, Google says that while it won’t be explicitly advertising it, it will use subtle methods to alert users to its existence. For example, if you browse to a Google app in Internet Explorer that may render better in Chrome, Google might have a message on the page telling you about the plug-in.

The hope is that other developers will use similar messages on their pages. Many already do something like this to tell users to upgrade their browser, but again, this is just a plug-in, rather than requiring you to install a whole new browser. It’s pretty ingenious.

Smith and Russel wanted to make it clear that this plug-in, which is still technically in the testing phase, is just as much for developers as for web surfers. They know all too well the pain of having to design sites specifically for IE’s “quirks” and hope a tool like this can make the web a smoother and easier to develop for environment.

To target the Chrome plug-in for IE, developers simply have to insert a meta tag in their HTML code. If Chrome Frame isn’t found, the page will render just as it normally would in IE.

Chrome Frame will work with IE6, IE7, and IE8 on any Windows-based machine.

I cannot wait to see Microsoft’s reaction to this. This isn’t quite the nuclear bomb that the Chrome OS revelation was, it’s more like a smart bomb.

You can find Google Chrome Frame here.

Related Article:

IE8 runs 10 times faster with Google plug-in

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Silicon Valley reinvents the lowly brick

Reuters, by David Lawsky, Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:07pm EDT

NEWARK, California (Reuters) - Forget microchips.

Silicon Valley sees a profitable future in the humble brick thanks to a low-energy production process that illustrates the greening of the U.S. technology capital.

Brick maker Calstar Products is heavy on PhDs and backed by venture capitalists whose vision is to create buildings less expensively and in a way that saves energy.

Calstar Products Chief Executive Michael Kane stands next to submerged samples of experimental high tech bricks undergoing testing in his Newark, California plant September 16, 2009. Silicon Valley sees a profitable future in the humble brick thanks to a low-energy production process that illustrates the greening of the U.S. technology capital. (REUTERS/David Lawsky)

"We think it is time for a second industrial revolution," said Paul Holland, a partner at Foundation Capital, which invested $7 million in Calstar. EnerTech Capital led another round that raised $8 million for the business.

"We and dozens of others are trying to create green alternatives for all the things that happen in the building industry," Holland said.

Currently about 40 percent of U.S. energy use goes toward the heating, cooling and general operation of buildings.

Silicon Valley is finding high-tech ways to make age-old materials, pursuing carbon dioxide-eating concrete, windows that insulate better than walls, and wood substitutes.

The field is still new. Venture investments in green buildings have waxed and waned with the recession, but involved 45 deals worth about $350 million the past year, according to Cleantech Group LLC.


Bricks have been made pretty much the same way for 3,000 years, until Calstar's scientists came up with their new technique, said Chief Executive Michael Kane.

Ordinary bricks are fired for 24 hours at 2,000 degrees F (1,093 C) as part of a process that can last a week, while Calstar bricks are baked at temperatures below 212 F (100 C) and take only 10 hours from start to finish, Kane said.

The recipe incorporates large amounts of fly ash -- a fluffy, powdery residue of burned coal at electric plants, that can otherwise wind up as a troublesome pollutant.

"Ours is a precise product" that relies on getting the chemistry right, said Amitabha Kumar, Calstar's director of research and development.

The process of making the bricks, which look and feel like any other brick, requires 80 to 90 percent less energy and emits 85 percent less greenhouse gas than ordinary bricks, according to Calstar.

Lower energy costs mean higher profit, allowing the company to pay for its research and compete against large companies that have economies of scale. The new bricks -- which the Brick Industry Association says are not actually bricks -- will sell for the same price as traditional clay-based ones. The Brick Industry Association says there is also no proof that products using fly ash will last as well as traditional brick.


The low-carbon footprint in the production process also gives the bricks a strong environmental cachet, and Calstar is targeting the "green materials" market with the goal of competing against traditional clay brick makers like Glen-Gery of Pennsylvania and Endicott of Nebraska.

The company's headquarters and research facility is based in a warehouse on the shores of San Francisco Bay but its first plant is under construction in Caledonia, Wisconsin, the heartland of brick-using country. It is near a Wisconsin Energy Corp plant that can supply calcium-rich fly ash.

The plant is to be running before year's end. At first, the company will make only "facing brick," used on the outside of buildings, a $2 billion annual U.S. market. It plans to branch out into paving stones, roofing tile and other brick markets.

The company has signed 16 distributors to sell 12 million or more bricks the first year, and plans to make 100 million bricks for sale throughout the Midwest and South, Kane said.

After that, fast-growing markets like China beckon.

(Reporting by David Lawsky, editing by Matthew Lewis)

Related Article:

Building with green bricks

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dell Seeks to Expand Services in $3.9 Billion Perot Deal

The New York Times, by DAVID JOLLY and ASHLEE VANCE, Published: September 21, 2009

Dell announced on Monday that it would acquire the information technology provider Perot Systems for $3.9 billion as it seeks to expand beyond its core personal computer business.

Michael Dell, the company’s founder and chief executive, has spent much of the recession talking about directing his company’s cash stockpile toward acquisitions, particularly in the services arena. By agreeing to buy Perot Systems, for $30 a share in cash, Dell has made just such a purchase. But even with the acquisition, Dell’s services arm would remain far smaller those of rivals Hewlett-Packard and I.B.M.

Customers look at a Dell computer at a Miami store (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Perot Systems, based in Plano, Tex., handles a wide range of technology services, including data center management, software and consulting.

Perot Systems is “a premium asset with great people that enhances our opportunities for immediate and long-term growth,” Mr. Dell said in a statement. “There will be efficiencies from combining the companies, but the acquisition makes such great sense because of the obvious ways our businesses complement each other.”

Dell and Perot Systems, which was founded in 1988 by H. Ross Perot, said that the terms of the deal had been approved by the boards of both companies. Perot Systems, which had revenue last year of $2.8 billion, will become Dell’s services unit and be led by Peter Altabef, the Perot Systems chief executive. Ross Perot Jr., the chairman, is expected to join the Dell board.

“Today’s announcement is the next step in formalizing a relationship that has flourished for some time,” Ross Perot Jr. said in the statement. “When my father founded Perot Systems, he envisioned a global information-technology leader. The new, larger Dell builds on that promise and its own successes by taking Perot Systems’ expertise to more customers than ever.”

The combined heft of Perot Systems and Dell’s own services organization should result in about $8 billion of services revenue annually, according to Dell’s statement. Services deals tend to have far higher margins than selling things like PCs and computer servers.

Since its overall business has slowed significantly in recent years, Dell has been exploring more profitable growth areas. It has been slowly building up its own services division through smaller acquisitions over the last two years. It has claimed to offer lower-priced services than its larger rivals and India-based services firms.

But the acquisition of Perot Systems now places Dell in much the same arena as its competitors.

Dell, based in Round Rock, Tex., is one of the world’s largest computer makers, with a customer base that includes corporate, government and home users. Dell said in late August that its profit fell 23 percent to $472 million in the three months through the end of July, as businesses reduced their computer purchases and prices tumbled. Revenue fell 22 percent to $12.8 billion.

For the fourth straight quarter, Dell, the No. 2 PC maker by shipments after Hewlett-Packard, posted a drop in sales and profit from a year earlier. But in a sign Dell’s business may be stabilizing, it said sales rose slightly from earlier this year.

Dell posted earnings for its fiscal second quarter ended July 31 of $472 million, or 24 cents a share, down from $616 million, or 31 cents, a year earlier. Revenue was $12.76 billion, down 22% from a year ago.

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Seagate's 6Gbps desktop hard drive now available

CNET News, by Dong Ngo, September 21, 2009 12:01 AM PDT

Six months after showing off the demo, Seagate announced Monday that it is now shipping what it says is the word's first 3.5-inch 6Gbps 2TB hard drive.

The drive is based on the third generation of the Serial ATA (SATA) standard, roughly called SATA3. The majority of existing hard drives use the SATA2 standard that caps at 3Gbps. Theoretically, the new 6Gbps standard's throughput could be fast enough to transfer the entire contents of a CD (about 800MB) in just one second.

The new 6Gbps 2TB Barracuda XT hard drive from Seagate. (Credit: Seagate)

The new hard drive is called Barracuda XT, and it belongs to the company's mainstream line of desktop hard drives. It spins at 7200rpm and boasts 64MB of cache memory, as opposed to the 16MB or 32MB of most existing hard drives. It is a four-platter drive with an areal density of 368 gigabits per square inch.

Of course, to take advance of the new 6Gbps throughput speed, the Barracuda XT needs to be installed in a computer with a 6Gbps SATA controller. The good news is that's also available now.

According to Marvell, a maker of hard drive controllers, the first SATA 6Gbps controller is now incorporated in high-end motherboards from Asus and Gigabyte, such as the Asus P7P55D Premium or the GA-P55-Extreme. There will soon also be expansion cards that add the new controller to existing computers.

However, the new drive is backward-compatible with previous versions of the SATA standard, including the SATA 1.5Gbps and SATA2 (3Gbps). This means you will be able to use it with your current computer at the speed of the current controller. Nonetheless, it's predicted that by the end of next year, the new SATA3 will be the mainstream standard that replaces the existing SATA2.

According to Seagate, the new Barracuda XT hard drive is ideal for high-performance desktops, low-cost servers, and external storage devices.

Together with the Barracuda XT, Seagate is also introducing Seagate SeaTool software, which allows for optimizing the drive configuration and tuning it for performance by sacrificing some capacity. For example, users can use the tool to format the 2TB drive into a 1TB drive that offers much faster performance.

The new Barracuda XT 2TB 6Gbps hard drive is available now and costs $299, which is the same price as other 2TB 3Gbps hard drives currently on the market.

Related Article:

Not many motherboards support new standard yet

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Can Amazon Be Wal-Mart of the Web?

The New York Times, by BRAD STONE, September 19, 2009

Amazon is shaking up retailers, both big rivals and small independent stores, as it speeds its way beyond books toward its goal of becoming a Web-sized general store. (Jim Wilson/The New York Times)

THE hum of 102 rooftop air conditioners and a chorus of beeping electric carts provide the acoustic backdrop in’s 605,000-square-foot distribution facility on this city’s west side. But the center’s employees can almost always hear Terry Jones.

On a recent summer afternoon, Mr. Jones, an “inbound support associate” making $12 an hour, steered a hand-pushed cart through the packed aisles and shouted his location to everyone in earshot: “Cart coming through. Yup! Watch yourself, please!” Mr. Jones explained that he was just making his time at Amazon “joyful and fun” while complying with the company’s rigorous safety rules.

But his cries might double as a warning to the retail world: Amazon, the Web’s largest retailer, wants you to step aside.

Fifteen years after Jeffrey P. Bezos founded the company as an online bookstore, Amazon is set to cross a significant threshold. Sometime later this year, if current trends continue, worldwide sales of media products — the books, movies and music that Amazon started with — will be surpassed for the first time by sales of other merchandise on the site. (That transition already occurred this year in its North American business.)

In other words, in an increasingly digital age, Amazon is quickly becoming the world’s general store. Alongside the books and CDs and DVDs are diapers, Legos and power drills, not to mention replacement car clutches and more arcane items like the Jackalope Buck taxidermy mount ($69.97).

“Amazon has gone from ‘that bookstore’ in people’s mind to a general online retailer, and that is a great place to be,” said Scot Wingo, chief executive of ChannelAdvisor, an eBay-backed company that helps stores like Wal-Mart and J.C. Penney sell online. Mr. Wingo envisions e-commerce growing to 15 percent of overall retail in the next decade from around 7 percent. “If Amazon grows their market share throughout that period, and honestly I don’t see anything stopping it, that is pretty scary,” he said.

Indeed, Amazon has been gobbling e-commerce market share since 2006, taking away customers from eBay in particular. But its advances are shaking up the entire retail world. Giants like Wal-Mart are warily replicating elements of its strategy, while small independent retailers in sporting goods and jewelry now worry their fate will be similar to that of small bookstores and independent video rental shops (remember those?).

Read whole story ....

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HP Unveils Web Device With No Browser

The DreamScreen is a freestanding display that plays music, shows pictures, and connects to Facebook and other sites over a home network, without being attached to a PC.

InformationWeek, By Antone Gonsalves, September 18, 2009 06:00 AM

HP Unveils Web Screen

Hewlett-Packard is offering non-PC devices that can play music and show pictures directly from the Internet or a home computer.

The DreamScreen is designed to fit on a nightstand, dresser, kitchen counter, or coffee table and is meant to complement the PC in the home, not replace it. The device comes in two sizes, a 10.2-inch model and a 13.3-inch version.

The DreamScreen can connect to the Internet through a wired or wireless network. The gadget is piano-black with a flush glass widescreen display and is designed to be a more elegant alternative to the PC in a living room, bedroom, or kitchen.

The device does not have a Web browser. Instead, HP has worked with specific Internet companies to provide interfaces to their services. Those partners include photo-sharing site Snapfish, which is owned by HP, the Pandora Internet radio station, and social network Facebook.

DreamScreen can also access photos and music from networked home PCs and can play video and other digital content loaded from a USB drive or from a flash memory card. The DreamScreen comes with 2 GB of built-in memory for storing content.

HP has built its own DreamScreen software, called SmartRadio, which aggregates streams of Internet broadcasts from more than 10,000 radio stations. The device also has a built-in alarm clock, calendar, and provides a five-day weather forecast.

DreamScreen comes with a remote control and touch screen. The smaller model, available as of Thursday, costs $249 and is available online through Best Buy, Amazon, and HP. Retail stores will start selling the device Oct. 11.

The 13.3-inch model will sell for for $299 and is scheduled to be available in the fall.

HP is not the first company to offer a non-PC device for connecting to the Web. Microsoft in early 2002 launched the Smart Display initiative. The device was a portable touchscreen LCD monitor that connected to a home PC via Wi-Fi and ran a version of Microsoft's Windows CE. ViewSonic was the first manufacturer to sell a Smart Display. However, Microsoft dropped the initiative in late 2003 due to poor sales.

Today, manufacturers are bringing Internet access to a variety of consumer electronics, including digital video recorders, high-definition TVs, and Blu-ray disc players.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

U.S. continues to lead IT competitiveness index

Reuters - Finland, Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Greg Mahlich , 2:39 AM ET

* U.S. continues to lead Economist IT competitivness ranking
* Finland, Sweden, Canada rise to next places
* Taiwan, South Korea rankings fall sharply
* China, Russia rise in rankings

HELSINKI, Sept 17 (Reuters) - The United States continued to lead the global IT industry competitiveness ranking in an annual survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, followed by Finland, Sweden and Canada.

The prominence of Finland, Sweden, Canada and the Netherlands in the index's top tier was helped most by their robust IT infrastructure and strong support for technology research and development, the survey said.

An improving R&D environment and also human capital helped lift China's ranking to 39th and Russia's to 38th.

The IT Industry Competitiveness Index of 66 countries assesses and compares the quality of the local technology infrastructure, the availability and quality of IT talent, the innovation environment, the legal regime, the business environment, and government technology policies, the EIU said.

Following are the rankings of the top 16 countries and some selected IT industry hubs. Last year's ranking in brackets:

  • 2 FINLAND (13)
  • 3 SWEDEN (4)
  • 4 CANADA (6)
  • 5 NETHERLANDS (10)
  • 6 BRITAIN (3)
  • 7 AUSTRALIA (7)
  • 8 DENMARK (5)
  • 9 SINGAPORE (9)
  • 10 NORWAY (14)
  • 11 IRELAND (15)
  • 12 JAPAN (12)
  • 13 ISRAEL (16)
  • 14 SWITZERLAND (11)
  • 15 TAIWAN (2)
  • 16 SOUTH KOREA (8)

  • 38 RUSSIA (49)
  • 39 CHINA (50)
  • 44 INDIA (48)

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

CIOs switch focus to business innovation

ComputerWeekly, Warwick Ashford, 07:58 10 Sep 2009,

Chief information officers are changing their business infrastructures to focus on innovation rather than just running IT, a global survey has revealed.

CIOs are taking advantage of new and emerging technologies that can deliver financial returns, according to the IBM survey of 2,500 CIOs in 78 countries, including the UK.

Business intelligence and analytics top the list, with 83% of respondents turning to these technologies to improve the competitiveness of their organisations.

CIOs typically spend 55% of their time on innovation and growth rather than operations, the survey showed.

With increased focus on data analytics, the survey report said data reliability and security have emerged as top concerns for CIOs.

Some 71% of respondents said they plan to make additional investments in risk management and compliance.

CIOs are also increasingly turning to technologies like virtualisation, service oriented architectures, service management, cloud computing and green IT, the survey found.

Over 70% of CIOs said they are rolling out or planning virtualisation projects to cut energy costs.

The same proportion said they expect to build a centralised infrastructure in the next five years and more than half expect to implement standardised business processes.

"Clearly the role of the CIO is changing dramatically," said Pat Toole, CIO of IBM.

CIOs are trying to standardise routing processes and simplify existing infrastructures as well as play a central role in driving new business models, he said.

"It is not surprising that the amount of time they are now spending on driving new kinds of growth for their companies is growing considerably," said Toole.

Other technologies CIOs said they are using to boost internal and external communication include mobility tools, unified communications, collaboration tools, social networking and Web 2.0 projects.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Accenture starts re-hiring binge, throws spotlight on local CIOs

Manila Bulletin, By MELVIN G. CALIMAG, September 6, 2009, 2:37pm

With the global economy beginning to show signs of recovery, BPO and consulting firm Accenture has started to rehire about 100 of the 500 employees it laid off in the country recently.

Kenneth Corless, Accenture senior executive for CIO Business Applications, shares the company’s perspective and approach in addressing the many challenges that CIOs face today.

This was disclosed in a recent press briefing by Accenture Philippines country managing director Beth Lui who reiterated that the company remains firmly committed in doing business in the country.

Lui was joined by top Accenture executives Kenneth Corless and Shane Ryan who visited the Philippines to talk in a forum meant to engage local CIOs (chief information officers) to find ways to cut IT costs.

The US-based BPO giant gathered 50 CIOs from various industries in a bid to share its expertise in adopting new business strategies and technologies, among other areas of concern.

“CIOs should not be just technology-savvy but business-savvy as well,” said Lui, adding it was the first time that Accenture held a CIO forum where the company also recounted its own success story in terms of streamlining its IT infrastructure.

Corless said one of the emerging technology trends that CIOs can seriously consider is the hosted or software-as-a-service (SaaS) model for their local operations.

The American executive said that by adopting new computing approaches such as SaaS, CIOs could optimize their IT assets. He said it is wrong to cancel IT and business projects during the downturn as this widens the capability gap.

Ryan, meanwhile, said the tough economic environment is providing the chance for CIOs to shine in their respective business organizations by embracing new technologies or practices that make processes more efficient and reduce expenditure.

“This is one of those times when IT plays a major role in a business organization. CIOs just need to look at the right approach in their IT infrastructure,” Ryan said.

Research firm Ovum recently said in a report that Accenture’s revenue in 2009 is up 10 percent over last year.

Jens Butler, principal analyst for Asia Pacific at Ovum, said Accenture’s “continual ability to realize growth in existing accounts can often be attributable to the strength of its C-level engagement, especially in Asia Pacific where a long-term relationship and trust are the keys to success.”

Thus, Ovum noted that even if Accenture shed 500 workers in the Philippines, it has been able to continue to convince clients that it still has the capability to satisfy their needs.

“Even though Accenture does not rate as the cheapest of providers, clients still choose them to aid with the resolution of complex business problems that cannot simply come out of a box and often return for more,” Butler said.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

IBM plunges into the 'smart grid for water'

CNET News, by Martin LaMonica

Even as billions of dollars are being spent around the world to modernize the electricity grid, the systems to delivery fresh water are also in desperate need of a 21st century upgrade.

IBM is developing a portfolio of IT-related water management technologies, a business that it estimates can total $20 billion within five years. At a water conference next week, IBM and Intel will be forming a working group to study how information and technology can be used to improve water management, according to IBM.

The goal is to sketch out the technical architecture required to more efficiently use fresh water, only one percent of the available water on Earth.

Water systems even in developed countries like the U.S. are notoriously outdated, with faulty pipes--some of them still made of wood--result in 25 percent to 45 percent lost water. That means high-tech approaches, such as using sensors to gauge water quality, are a tough sell to cash-strapped municipalities, most of which are more concerned with maintaining the basic infrastructure.

IBM is betting, though, that fresh water will have more value attached to it from the public, governments, and corporations.

"The hard truth is that most of the countries in the developing world are outgrowing the amount of water that is available to them," said Peter Williams, the chief technology officer of IBM's Big Green Innovations program, who representing IBM at a conference organized by the Water Innovations Alliance industry association next week. "Certainly, it's the case that water is the great sleeping crisis and it is most definitely starting to wake up."

IBM launched Big Green Innovations two and a half years ago to capitalize on constraints in energy generation, carbon emissions, energy in the data center, and water. For the past 18 months, IBM has focused more of its attention on water, said Williams, who characterized the business as "incredibly nascent."

Reservoirs of data

Upgrading the water utility infrastructure is analogous to the many smart-grid technologies now being tested to make the grid run more efficiently and use more renewable energy.

Gathering and processing information on the status of delivery allows water agencies to better manage their operations. For example, if a water authority can use meters or sensors to locate problems, such as leaks or sewage overflows, they can cut their maintenance costs, Williams explained.

IBM has already had a number of water-related deals. In a partnership with the Nature Conservancy, it's gathering data on various environmental factors to measure the health of river ecosystems. In the Netherlands, IBM is involved in the design of levies to understand potential breaking points.

In these cases, IBM is building the software and networks to handle incoming data from sensors and to provide tools to let people analyze the information. It's also testing smart water meters that would provide more accurate consumption data and alert customer if there's a problem, such as a leak. It's also looking at new sensors being developed to track the level of pathogens or chemical contaminants that come from use of pharmaceuticals.

Big Blue's Maximo "asset management" software is used by many water utilities to keep track and maintain their equipment of pumps, plants, and filtration equipment.

Still, water utilities are a generally low-tech bunch when it comes to IT. Most water authority executives don't consider technology options beyond basic SCADA control systems, Williams said. "They are where (electricity) utilities were five or 10 years ago," he said.

Corporate risk

IBM is pushing into water because the trends on water point to the need for greater conservation for social and economic reasons.

In poor countries, billions of people don't have regular access to clean water. Meanwhile, high-profile droughts in Australia and the western U.S. served by the Colorado River are causing severe financial problems for different industries, notably agriculture.

The high energy cost of delivering water helps makes the economic case for better monitoring and data analysis. In the U.S., between 3 percent and 4 percent of the entire electricity output is used to pump water. In California, it's almost 20 percent. Meanwhile, low water levels in rivers and reservoirs forced the shut down of nuclear reactors in France a few years ago.

Industries that rely on water, such as semiconductors, agriculture, or beverages, are susceptible to disruptions of supply. There's also "reputational risk" when consumers perceive that businesses are profligate with water, Williams said.

"It's something like greenhouse gases. Ten years ago in this country, few people were talking about them but now they are," he said. "The same will happen with water."

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