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16 February 2007

The future of television: What's on next - The union of television and the internet is spawning a wide variety of offspring (The Economist)

Bosses in the television industry have been keeping a nervous eye on two Scandinavians with a reputation for causing trouble. In recent years Niklas Zennström, a Swede, and Janus Friis, a Dane, have frightened the music industry by inventing KaZaA, a "peer-to-peer" (P2P) file-sharing program that was widely used to download music without paying for it. Then they horrified the mighty telecoms industry by inventing Skype, another P2P program, which lets internet users make free telephone calls between computers, and very cheap calls to ordinary phones. (The duo sold Skype to eBay, an internet-auction giant, for $2.6 billion in 2005.) Their next move was to found yet another start-up -- this time, one that threatened to devastate the television industry.

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Recycled PCs Bridge Digital Divide (Business Week)

For green disposal of electronic gear, companies may consider recycling computers in the developing world. Here Business Week looks at two nonprofits

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Microsoft hit by Vista upgrade workaround (ZDNet)

An IT professional has discovered a way of getting a full version of Vista for the cost of a simple upgrade

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15 February 2007

IT goes green (Sydney Morning Herald)

As the climate debate heats up IT finds itself part of the problem ... and part of the solution. The inconvenient truth about IT can be found in a simple equation: at the heart of every computer is a machine that sucks in power, and creates information plus heat. The more IT there is in the world, the more power is consumed and heat expelled. It's a basic law of physics.

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Old PCs help Africa's blind (ZDNet)

Refurbished PCs and clever use of USB keys are revolutionising the lives of visually impaired people in Kenya

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cn: Despite a Ban, Chinese Youth Navigate to Internet Cafes (Washington Post)

There was no sign, but Gedong's teenagers knew the way. Down a dusty alley just off Jicui Park and a few minutes' walk from local schools, the curtained door beckoned. Inside, in a dingy back room off the kitchen, a clutch of adolescent boys crowded around six computers and stared at the images flickering on their screens.

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Spammers face new controls under Singapore bill (Sydney Morning Herald)

Email spammers will face new controls on their unsolicited advertising under proposed legislation introduced by Singapore.

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us: Bill Would Make ISPs Keep Data (Washington Post)

The act, aimed at child predators, would give Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales broad discretion to write data collection and retention rules for Internet service providers.

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MySpace to launch video filtering system (AP) (USA Today)

MySpace said Monday it will experiment with a video-filtering system designed to block clips containing copyright materials. MySpace is licensing technology from Audible Magic Corp to compare with vectors stored in a database. Video can be blocked from appearing on MySpace when there is a match.

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ICANN Office of the Ombudsman Introduces Web Log (ICANN)

The ICANN Office of the Ombudsman, www.icannombudsman.org, has introduced a new blog at http://omblog.icann.org/

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14 February 2007

Net grows to meet fresh demands (BBC)

The BBC reports on a Deloitte study that claims 2007 could be the year the "internet approaches capacity, with demand outstripping supply. It predicted bottlenecks in some of the net's backbones as the amount of data overwhelms the size of the pipes." The article quotes Google's head of TV technology who said "the web could not scale to meet surges in demand and so could not deliver a good experience. The article notes the increase in supply will largely be caused by the demand for mobile phones, net telephony and TV, and also notes investment by VeriSign, among others, to improve bandwidth.

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British web surfers opt for .uk (PC Advisor)

British users are six times more likely to choose a .uk rather than a .com address when using internet search engines, an online YouGov survey found. The survey of over 2,000 internet users found 62 percent believe a .uk address suggests a company name is local or more relevant than a .com and 72 per cent would visit a British web address before any other when searching for a company on the internet, with only 5 percent trying .com first.

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VeriSign’s Internet cloud fortress (ZDNet)

During his keynote at the RSA 2007 Conference, VeriSign CEO Stratton Sclavos announced Project Titan, a three-year investment from the company's capital spend of $150 to $200 million to add capacity to its network infrastructure to keep up with growth of the Internet. The Titan project will increase capacity on the company's two root servers and infrastructure for supporting .com and .net domains. VeriSign will increase bandwidth from 20 gigabits per second to 200 gigabits per second of aggregate network bandwidth and servers will handle 4 trillion daily queries, up from a maximum of 400 billion today.

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The elusive world of child porn dealers (BBC)

The alleged international paedophile ring smashed in Austria highlights the ease with which criminal gangs have been able to exploit the internet to make money out of child abuse.

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Belgian Court Rules That Google Violated Copyright Laws (The New York Times)

A court in Brussels ruled today that Google violated copyright laws by publishing links to articles from Belgian newspapers without permission, a case that legal experts say could have broad implications in Europe for the news services provided by search engines. The ruling, which Google said it would appeal, may be the first of its kind in relation to a search engine's news service. It was hailed by newspaper industry representatives internationally and may also have an impact on an ongoing legal complaint against Google by the news service Agence France-Presse.

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Why the Belgian court ruled against Google (Out-Law)

Every search engine should obtain permission from a website before copying its pages or even snippets of text, according to a ruling by a Belgian court.

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Google will appeal Copiepresse decision (Out-Law)

Google will appeal today's judgment from a Belgian court that it broke the law when it used newspaper material in Google News. The company will have to stop publishing links to certain newspaper sites having been found liable for copyright infringement.

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WiFi Turns Internet Into Hideout for Criminals (Washington Post)

Detectives arrived last summer at a high-rise apartment building in Arlington County, warrant in hand, to nab a suspected pedophile who had traded child pornography online. It was to be a routine, mostly effortless arrest. But when they pounded on the door, detectives found an elderly woman who, they quickly concluded, had nothing to do with the crime. The real problem was her computer's wireless router, a device sending a signal through her 10-story building and allowing savvy neighbors a free path to the Internet from the privacy of their homes.

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us: Feds seek middle ground in Net neutrality feud (ZDNet)

Federal consumer protection officials on Tuesday indicated they're not ready to side with fans or foes of contentious Net neutrality regulations and said a middle-ground approach may be preferable.

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be: Google loses court battle with Belgian publishers (The Guardian)

Google could face fines of €25,000 a day after losing a court battle with Belgian publishers over the scope of its Google News service. A court in Brussels ruled today that the search engine had infringed the copyright of several newspapers after it included their stories in its news services.

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Eight nations set to get $150 laptops (ZDNet)

From Brazil to Pakistan, some of the world's poorest children will peer across the digital divide this month--reading electronic books, shooting digital video, creating music and chatting with classmates online.

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United Nations global audit of web accessibility report now available (pdf) (Nomensa Executive Summary)

The United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs commissioned Nomensa to conduct this audit to determine how accessible the Internet is for persons with disabilities. The report reveals that 97% of websites tested fail to achieve the minimum web accessibility level.

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us: Networks and film makers accuse Google of encouraging pirates (The Guardian)

America's biggest media companies have accused Google of knowingly encouraging copyright theft by suggesting to illegal movie download sites that they place adverts to appear in response to search terms such as "pirated" and "bootleg".

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13 February 2007

Teraflop chip hints at the future (BBC)

A chip the size of a fingernail and capable of more than a trillion calculations per second is unveiled by Intel.

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12 February 2007

us: RSA panel addresses Net threats to children (CNet)

The amount of unwanted sexual material that teens and preteens are exposed to on the Internet has skyrocketed in recent years, yet only a fraction of those children are likely to report it to an adult.

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