Articles by date
24 July 2007
ITU Digital Opportunity in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, Americas (International Telecommunications Union)
The ITU has published its latest evaluation of digital opportunity for Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Americas and Africa. The first two places in digital opportunity go to the broadband kings of Asia (Korea then Japan), with Europe and Asia both taking 5 of the top 10 places. Denmark is number 3.
Mobile television - The third screen: Having spread to computers, television is starting to reach mobile phones (The Economist)
An underappreciated feature of the iPhone, Apple's fancy new handset, is its ability to mesmerise a toddler in her terrible twos long enough for a parent to take an espresso break. Just call up a YouTube video -- tots love the dog on a skateboard -- and put the sleek, high-resolution screen on the table. After a few minutes, tap on another clip -- of a man dancing in exotic places, say. The quality of iPhone's video "experience" points the way to what the industry sees as the next step: not just video clips but live television on mobile phones. Except for islands of early adopters, such as South Korea, consumers have so far shown little interest in watching TV on their handsets. Once they see the ease and fun of the iPhone clips, the logic goes, they will want video on their phones too.
Now that we are breaking down the digital divide by getting computers to children in impoverished regions of the world, let's take a look at what the kids are doing with their new laptops. It turns out they are using them the same way most of the people surfing the Net use them: searching for pornography. A reporter for the official News Agency of Nigeria found that pornographic images were stored on many of the laptops donated by the One Laptop Per Child project.
us: VoIP woes: Losing service without warning (InfoWorld)
VoIP is heralded as a new age of free-market competition in the telecom industry, but it is still not without significant drawbacks: On Monday evening, my wife reached me on my mobile phone. She was spending a long weekend with her family in Maine. "I've called our home phone several times," she said. "And I keep getting a busy signal." That night, I didn't think twice about the phone problem. We have been VoIP customers for more than a year, and flaky service has been standard operating procedure. I reset my VoIP converter box and crossed my fingers.
Asia leads the world in fibre-to-the-home penetration (Fibre to the Home Council)
Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan are the world leaders in the percentage of homes that receive broadband communications services over direct fiber optic connections, according to a new global ranking of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) market penetration issued jointly by the FTTH Councils of Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. According to this first ever official ranking of FTTH deployments in the world’s economies, 21.2 percent of homes in Hong Kong are wired with FTTH, followed by South Korea at 19.6 percent and Japan at 16.3 percent. Scandinavian countries occupy the next three positions, with Sweden having 7.2 percent of its households connected to FTTH, Denmark at 2.9 percent and Norway at 2.5 percent.
23 July 2007
us: When Mobile Phones Aren’t Truly Mobile (New York Times)
Wireless carriers in the United States are spiritual descendants of dear Ma Bell: they view total control over customers as their inherited birthright. The younger generation -- Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and the namesake child AT&T -- would make their hallowed matriarch proud. They do everything they can to keep power firmly in their own hands. It is entirely at the carriers' discretion to permit, or disable, the features that a factory loads into the newest phones. They also decide which software can be installed and how it may be used. Many wireless subscribers have ruefully become acquainted with gotcha clauses in their contracts. In most European and Asian countries, a customer can switch carriers in a few seconds by removing a smart card from a cellphone and inserting a different one from a new provider. In the United States, wireless carriers have deliberately hobbled their phones to make flight to a competitor difficult, if not impossible.
Africa, Offline: Waiting for the Web (New York Times)
On a muggy day in Kigali in 2003, some of the highest-ranking officials in the Rwandan government, including President Paul Kagame, flanked an American businessman, Greg Wyler, as he boldly described how he could help turn their small country into a hub of Internet activity.
Cyber squatters ride on Sochi's Olympic success (Russia Today)
With Sochi nominated to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, a wealth of websites containing the name of the Black Sea resort have been created, including the website Sochi.info which was bought for for less than €100 and is now on sale for €3m.
Internet jihad: A world wide web of terror (The Economist)
Al-Qaeda's most famous web propagandist is jailed, but the internet remains its best friend: ... Nevertheless, the capability of the internet to promote terrorism is worrying intelligence agencies. According to America's National Intelligence Estimate in April 2006, "The radicalisation process is occurring more quickly, more widely and more anonymously in the internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint."
On 12 July 2007, OECD Member countries adopted a Recommendation on Consumer Dispute Resolution and Redress to provide governments with a framework to help consumers resolve disputes and settle claims with business. The framework covers disputes in both domestic and cross-border transactions. It was developed to deal with issues arising from the rapid growth in electronic commerce, but it will also benefit consumers making traditional types of purchases.
OECD urges government and industry to overhaul consumer protection for Internet and other shoppers (OECD)
OECD countries have agreed a new approach to better protect the rights of consumers and make online shopping safer. They call on national authorities and business to make it easier, cheaper and quicker for people to resolve complaints and get compensation when they are unhappy with goods or services they have bought.
OECD-Canada Technology Foresight Forum on the Participative Web: Strategies and Policies for the Future (OECD)
Questions to be addressed in the Foresight Forum include: What does the future hold for the participative web? What are the trends and impacts on knowledge-creation, business, users and governments? What are the implications for enhancing confidence and trust in the Internet? What is the government role in providing the right environment for stimulating Internet innovation and economic growth?
21 July 2007
us: Federal Prosecutor: Cybercrime Is Funding Organized Crime (Information Week)
Cybercrime has been so profitable for organized crime that the mob is using it to fund their other underground exploits. And U.S. law enforcement is reaching around the world to reel them in.
In the remote tribal region of Waziristan along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, local reporter Sumera Rebab interviews villagers about the custom of "ghag," in which a man can lay claim to a girl for life simply by going to her house and firing some shots in the air. Meanwhile, at a tiny community radio station in Chad, in central Africa, 25-year-old Houda Malloum presents a radio news program every day at noon for refugees who have fled neighboring Darfur, providing essential information such as how to stay safe while gathering firewood around the camps.
Top EU Court Bruises Music Industry in P2P Case (E-Commerce Times)
Music file sharers and ISPs in Europe were triumphant after an advisor to the European Union's Court of Justice said Wednesday that, in civil cases, telecommunication companies in Europe are not required to provide data on clients thought to be illegally sharing music files. A Spanish court sought the advice of the EU's top court in a case launched by Promusicae, a music and audiovisual association in Spain -- think Spanish RIAA -- after Telefonica, an Internet service provider, refused to release the names and addresses of subscribers suspected of using file sharing programs.
Hi-tech criminals have found novel ways to carry out web-based attacks that are much harder to spot and stop, warn security experts.
Broadband companies desperate to woo new customers have started giving away expensive new laptops in a bid to get then to sign long-term contracts.
'I don't think bloggers read' says Andrew Keen (The Guardian)
Andrew Keen says the internet is populated by second-rate amateurs - and that it is swiftly destroying our culture. Tim Dowling meets the man cyberspace loves to hate: ... In fact, the book, he insists, isn't really about the internet. It's more about personal responsibility: "It's not against technology. It's simply saying that we make technology and we need to control it. When we look at the internet we're looking at ourselves."
The Age explains the rules for registering .au domain names - such as do the holders of registered trademarks or business names have a better entitlement to a domain name.
Is IT losing the battle against DNS attacks? (Network World)
Few things can strike fear into the heart of the IT department like an attack on a company's Domain Name System servers. That may explain why companies are spending so much time to deploy myriad, complex security measures to keep their DNS protected from malicious attackers.
ICANN: Independent Evaluator Seeks Public Input to Nominating Committee Review & Updated IDN .test Evaluation Plan
Two ICANN announcements. One is the "Interisle Consulting Group was selected by ICANN's Board of Directors to conduct an independent review of the Nominating Committee or NomCom", while the other announces ICANN has updated "the IDN .test Evaluation Plan based on comment to the previously posted version of the plan for the insertion of evaluation IDN TLDs in the root zone."
The Most Expensive Web Addresses (Forbes)
Following the recent Moniker auction, Forbes looks at the biggest sales of domain names. At the Moniker auction, Creditcheck.com sold for US$3 million and Seniors.com for $1.8 million. In total, 218 domain names were bid for, and $10.8 million exchanged hands. Part of this is supply and demand – it’s now extraordinarily difficult to get a memorable domain name in the .com name space. Forbes says, "During the tech boom, top-selling domains were based on brand appeal. Now it's all about searchable keywords that are both generic and descriptive." And the reason – well, a big reason is with "online ad spending increasing at a rate of 30% a year, owning domain names has become a business in itself. Entrepreneurs can flip them, like Miami condominiums, or they can sit on them and collect rent."
Sedo have reportedly brokered the sale of the highest value .info domain name, selling Travel.info selling for US$116,000.
Reduce poverty by narrowing technology gap, UNCTAD'S Least Developed Countries report 2007 urges (UNCTAD)
Science, technology and innovation are necessities, not luxuries, for the world´s 50 poorest nations, study says. Unless their domestic businesses and farmers can acquire knowledge and technology that enable them to catch up with the rest of the world, the world´s 50 poorest nations will not be able to achieve the sustained economic growth necessary to reduce poverty, Least Developed Countries Report 2007.
Technological neglect traps poorest nations in poverty: UNCTAD (Sydney Morning Herald)
The world's poorest countries are being sapped of the technological capacity they need to break out of the poverty trap and catch up with the rest of the world, the UN's trade and development agency said Thursday.