A Phone That Answers When Called: [David Millrod] invented and patented a phone that can be answered with a verbal command. A user can shout, "Answer phone!" from across the room, and the phone will open the line and play a message telling the caller to hold on until the user can pick up the call.
Study: Internet Use in U.S. Homes Routine: The Internet has become a staple source of information for American households about health care, government services and potential purchases, a survey to be issued on Monday finds. About 60 percent of 2,000 people surveyed in the Pew Internet and American Life Project study said they used the Web regularly. Two-thirds of those had been online for three or more years.
2002: Telecom's Trying Year: For the telecommunications industry, 2002 was a year in which convoluted (and in some cases criminal) accounting practices were exposed, slack demand continued to buffet growth and a flurry of mergers and bankruptcies staved off outright closures for some big-name players.
Attack Of The Killer Web Robots: They swarm the Internet harvesting e-mail addresses and free accounts to spawn hoards of junk messages. They lurk in chat rooms waiting to sting unsuspecting surfers with gambling sites, get-rich-quick schemes and pornography. But these automated computer programs - known as Web robots - have what may be a fatal flaw: For all their ability to seem otherwise, they're not human. So researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are designing software that can serve as an online gatekeeper. If you can't prove you're human, you won't get in.
Worst of 2002: in terms of potential impact on our lives, the Worst of 2002 award goes to TIA, the Total Information Awareness program, spawned by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Information Awareness Office. TIA is exploring the feasibility of developing a national surveillance system intended to identify potential terrorists and criminals through "data mining" of the public and private electronic records of every citizen.
William Gibson: “El futuro ya no existe”: DN: ¿Cuál prevé que va a ser la evolución de la Red y su impacto social en los próximos cinco, diez años? WG: Bruce Sterling dijo -y creo que en cuestiones de futurología, una cita de Bruce Sterling de hace diez años vale más que una de William Gibson de este mismo mes- “y que pasa si esto no sirve en realidad para nada, si no tiene ninguna aplicación real en términos de negocio?” Eso seria lo mejor que puede pasar, porque entonces volvería a las manos de los artistas locos y los obsesos, y seria mucho más interesante y divertido. Quizás lo que vimos con la explosión de la burbuja punto com fue exactamente eso. Que la Red no funciona como modelo de negocio, pero todavía estará allí y evolucionará hacia lo que mejor podamos hacer con ello como sociedad. Con la excepción de Ebay, en términos de negocio no hay nada en la Red que me sirva para nada, mas allá de su función como paginas amarillas globales superrápidas. Siempre pienso en Ebay como una de las cosas más interesantes que han pasado en la Web, aunque quizás es porque me gustan los mercadillos.
Deadline Passes for European Digital Copyright Law: A deadline for adopting a new EU law on copyright protection has passed with just two member countries signing up, dealing a blow to media and software companies beset by unauthorized duplication of their works across the Internet.
2003, l'année des "jeunes loups" du multimédia: L'année 2003 s'annonce comme celle des grands changements pour les cinq premiers groupes multimédias de la planète, tant au point de vue des équipes dirigeantes que des évolutions technologiques. "C'était déjà dans l'air cette année avec les changements intervenus chez Bertelsmann, AOL Time Warner et Vivendi Universal mais ce n'était rien en comparaison de ce qui se prépare", commente Stephen Unger, associé du cabinet de recrutement Heidrick & Struggles.
Many Tools of Big Brother Are Up and Running: In the Pentagon research effort to detect terrorism by electronically monitoring the civilian population, the most remarkable detail may be this: Most of the pieces of the system are already in place. Because of the inroads the Internet and other digital network technologies have made into everyday life over the last decade, it is increasingly possible to amass Big Brother-like surveillance powers through Little Brother means. The basic components include everyday digital technologies like e-mail, online shopping and travel booking, A.T.M. systems, cellphone networks, electronic toll-collection systems and credit-card payment terminals.
Bush Administration to Propose System for Monitoring InternetThe Bush administration is planning to propose requiring Internet service providers to help build a centralized system to enable broad monitoring of the Internet and, potentially, surveillance of its users. The proposal is part of a final version of a report, "The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace," set for release early next year, according to several people who have been briefed on the report.
E-Mails About Staff Could Be Big Trouble for Bosses: Bosses who send unencrypted private e-mails about workers to other managers could expose themselves to damaging lawsuits because their correspondence is not legally private. This is the position adopted by many information-technology legal experts and lawyers in the wake of a furore over an intercepted e-mail between two Independent Newspapers managers.
Profits at last: Some firms are finding that there is money to be made online, after all eMarketer, a research firm, says that this year American consumers paid $1.2 billion for various Internet content (excluding gambling and pornography). This is barely one-quarter of what websites raised by selling advertising space. But the online ad market is struggling. Data from the Online Publishers Association (OPA), a trade group, show that Internet content revenues are doubling each year.
Vodafone Takes First 3G Step with J-Phone Launch: Japan's J-Phone Corp on Friday became the first Vodafone Group Plc unit to start a commercial third-generation (3G) mobile phone service, bringing Europe's largest wireless operator fresh growth potential. Although 3G isn't expected to ring up huge revenues for Vodaphone in the short term, the launch is seen as an indicator of things to come, analysts said.
AOL May Strike Gold with Instant Messaging Patent: Media giant AOL Time Warner has quietly won a U.S. patent for instant messaging, a potential goldmine as the online activity rivals mobile phone text-messaging as the most popular new communication tool. The patent, issued in September, grants AOL's instant messaging subsidiary ICQ broad ownership rights to the technology, which enables users to chat quickly and cheaply across the Internet.
Ex-IT worker charged with sabotage: A former system administrator for UBS PaineWebber was arraigned in a New Jersey federal court Tuesday on charges of sabotaging two-thirds of the company's computer systems in an attempt to crash its stock price.
IE accounts for 95% of browsers: OneStat.com found IE 6 global usage has increased with 5.3 per cent from 52.3 per cent to 57.6 per cent since its last study. The global usage share of Netscape 7 has increased with 0.1 per cent from 0.5 to 0.6 per cent over the same time. Mozilla's global usage share is 1.1 per cent and Opera 6 has a global usage of 0.8 per cent. But could these results underestimate the popularity of alternative browsers?
ElcomSoft verdict: Not guilty: A jury on Tuesday found a Russian software company not guilty of criminal copyright charges for producing a program that can crack antipiracy protections on electronic books. The case against ElcomSoft is considered a crucial test of the criminal provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a controversial law designed to extend copyright protections into the digital age.
The web bites back: Protesters are turning the tables on government officials and businessmen who they say are making the web less pleasant to use. The web activists have found the personal details of the man behind a federal surveillance system and an e-mail spammer and are giving them a dose of their own medicine.
Microsoft's top 10 challenges for 2003 10. Make Xbox profitable. 09. Watch the business model. 08. Prepare to battle the consumer electronics companies. 07. Keep pushing on the wireless front. 06. Bring trustworthiness to existing customers. 05. Improve the built-in experience. 04. Issue a Media Center road map. 03. Bring Media Center into the standard OS. 02. Simplify! Microsoft Windows and the applications that run atop it are, as a group, way too difficult to use. 01. Revive Office.
Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution: The continuing controversy over online file sharing sparks me to offer a few thoughts as an author and publisher. To be sure, I write and publish neither movies nor music, but books. But I think that some of the lessons of my experience still apply.
Do-It-Yourself DVD Commentary: Last February, in a column for the magazine Yahoo Internet Life, Roger Ebert proposed the creation of do-it-yourself audio tracks: DIY DVD commentaries. Complaining that official commentaries are all ''inside jobs,'' Ebert urged film fans to record their own thoughts as MP3 files, which could then be traded over the Internet. Users would download these files, sync them up to the original film and listen as they watch.
Tech's answer to Big Brother: Why is everyone so surprised that the U.S. government wants to create a Total Information Awareness database with details about everything you do? This is an unsurprising result of having so much information about our lives archived on the computers of our credit card companies, our banks, our health insurance companies and government agencies.
Strong players: The video-games industry is booming, but how long will the good times last? It has had a bumper year, maybe the best it ever will. Global sales of games software and hardware will exceed $31 billion this year, says Informa Media, a research firm. This summer, UBS Warburg invested 17% of its model technology portfolio in two games publishers, Electronic Arts and Activision. Gaming, it seems, is recession-proof. [...] Just as Microsoft's understanding of computer networking could give it the edge over Sony in online-console gaming, Nokia's wireless expertise could prove a crucial advantage as mobile gaming evolves. If online and mobile gaming do take off, Microsoft and Nokia are well placed to ride the industry's next wave.
Economy Hits Growth of Overseas Phone Calls: After a decade of explosive growth, the volume of international telephone calls increased at the slowest pace on record last year as tough economic times helped put the squeeze on dialing overseas. Consumers and businesses worldwide spent 144 billion minutes - or a combined total of 274,000 years - on calls abroad in 2001. That was just an 8.5% jump over 2000, a year in which call volume grew a record 23%. And it was well below the 14% annual average growth rate since records were first compiled in 1984, according to a new report by Washington-based research firm TeleGeography Inc. [...] E-mails, especially as a replacement for faxes, have taken a bit of a bite out of international calling, but Beckert maintains that the loss is not significant. [...] To help with cost cuts, telecoms also are turning more to an Internet technology known as Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, to carry voice calls. VoIP allows telecoms to push phone traffic in Internet fashion to get around the high fees that other companies charge for completing calls. VoIP transfers, which occur without callers even knowing it is happening, accounted for 9.9 billion minutes last year, 71% higher than the previous year. Adding that to the total, though, would increase overall growth to only 10%, TeleGeography said.
Google searches out an e-tail niche: With holiday spending in full gear, Google is testing a new service that uses the company's search engine to help shoppers find products online. Dubbed Froogle, the new service lets people search by category or by simply typing a product type into the search window. The search results are provided using Google's spider technology, which scours merchant Web sites for relevant product data.
Survey: DSL growth hits record high: The survey found that there are now about 30 million DSL users globally. That figure doesn't include high-speed Web surfing done via cable modems, which in general cost about $10 less a month in the United States than DSL service does.
Human or Computer? Take This Test As chief scientist of the Internet portal Yahoo, Dr. Udi Manber had a profound problem: how to differentiate human intelligence from that of a machine. His concern was more than academic. Rogue computer programs masquerading as teenagers were infiltrating Yahoo chat rooms, collecting personal information or posting links to Web sites promoting company products. Spam companies were creating havoc by writing programs that swiftly registered for hundreds of free Yahoo e-mail accounts then used them for bulk mailings. "What we needed," said Dr. Manber, "was a simple way of telling a human user from a computer program."
Month with a Mac: Can the Mac replace my PC? There are certain perennial debates amongst the technical community, constantly revisited with differing outcomes for each person. Linux vs. Windows, KDE vs. Gnome, Mac vs. PC - they are unwinnable arguments, and although the outcome varies overtime with each successive release or new piece of hardware, they consistently gain our attention. When presented with the opportunity to borrow a Macintosh for a little over a month, I jumped at the chance to resolve one of these debates for myself. The question was: Can the Mac replace my PC?
Analyst Slams Shares of Video Game Producers: Despite record sales of video games, a leading Wall Street analyst Monday downgraded the stock of four major publishers and sent shares across the industry lower. Citing a possible slowdown in industry growth next year, UBS Warburg analyst Michael Wallace lowered his recommendations on Calabasas Hills-based THQ Inc., Santa Monica-based Activision Inc. and Midway Games Inc. from "strong buy" to "hold." The new rating is two grades below his earlier designation. Wallace also downgraded Acclaim Entertainment Inc. to "reduce" from "hold."
META Predicts Microsoft Will Offer Linux Software: In a major strategy shift, Microsoft Corp. will introduce software based on the Linux open source operating system in 2004 for Web services and server software, market researcher META Group predicted on Monday.
We'll All Be Under Surveillance: Computers Will Say What We Are "For more than 200 years, our liberties have been protected primarily by practical barriers rather than constitutional barriers to government abuse. Because of the sheer size of the nation and its population, the government could not practically abuse a great number of citizens at any given time. In the last decade, however, these practical barriers have fallen to technology."
Whatever happened to...? A look at high-tech promises, kept and broken: 1 Kim Schmitz: Please, not again 2 Microsoft's smart phones 3 Sony Bank: Brand power 4 Powerline: Unplugged 5 Tiny Manx's big 3G claim 6 Inflight Internet: Unfortunate timing 7 Online phoning: Don't hang up yet 8 Recycling for dollars 9 BT reinvents Al Gore's claim 10 Incredible shrinking machines 11 AOL taking over the world? 12 EasyEverything: not easy to run
Washington's inventing a broadband crisis: Why doesn't everyone in the United States have a high-speed Internet connection at home? The most obvious answer--that broadband connections remain unavailable - is not the correct one. The truth is that at least three-quarters of American homes have cable modems or DSL service available to them. The real answer is that most people still choose not to subscribe. They feel that $40 or $50 a month is too high for the benefits they receive, and they're happy to sip bandwidth through a straw or forgo Internet access at home completely. This brings us to Washington's political class, which doesn't care much for the choices that Americans have made. Politicians have been busy for the last few years concocting new tax-and-spend schemes that would funnel billions of dollars into subsidizing high-speed connections. So far, none of these dubious proposals has become law, but that could change when the new Congress convenes in January.
But in the end, they're still nothing more than video games: People have worse entertainment addictions than playing computer games. If I am going to be addicted to something, I would choose online gaming over drugs, bowling, gambling, television, or being a baseball fanatic easily. I don’t have to wear ugly shoes, lose my hard earned money or do the wave next to someone I don’t know and that just about makes it a no-brainer for me. It IS after all just a video game, like Neal describes in his great novel, Snow Crash. It is just another amusement park. "Amusement parks in the Metaverse can be fantastic, offering a wide selection of interactive three-dimensional movies. But in the end, they're still nothing more than video games."
Karl Auerbach: ICANN "Out of Control": It's religious dogma, says Karl Auerbach, a public representative to ICANN's board. There's no reason DNS shouldn't be decentralized, except that ICANN wants to maintain central control over this critical function. Worse, Auerbach said in a telephone interview with O'Reilly Network, ICANN uses its domain name dispute resolution process to expand the rights of trademark holders, routinely taking away domains from people with legitimate rights to them, only to reward them to multinational corporations with similar names.
Spam doesn't kill appetite for e-mail among U.S. workers, according to a new study on e-mail use in the workplace. A full 52 percent of respondents surveyed in a Pew Internet & American Life Project study reported receiving no spam in their work in-boxes. Another 19 percent said spam accounted for less than 10 percent of the mail they received. The "Email at Work" survey, scheduled for release Monday, polled 1,003 Americans who use e-mail at work. The study found, among other things, that the average worker spends about a half hour each day handling e-mail and sends or receives a total of about 15 e-mails.
Dial 'T' for Television: Phone companies have a new way to fight cable: TV by DSL. France Telecom will start "broadcasting" a pay-TV service over its telephone network by the end of the year--pouring 200 channels through those old-fashioned phone lines that were supposed to be supplanted by cable and satellite. It's one of dozens of telecommunications companies running trials or selling broadcast and video-on-demand services delivered via phone lines. Major IPTV Rollouts Still On Hold (IPTV is the term describing television and video services that are delivered to television receivers using IP, Internet Protocol): while major telcos still have IPTV rollouts on hold, signs are emerging that IPTV may become a significant entertainment distribution platform in the second half of the decade. Asia-Pacific and Europe are expected to be the leading regional markets.
Do navigation systems distract? Drivers who use video navigation systems insist they do not distract them and want to be able to use them in more ways while on the move, says a new study by consultant J.D. Power and Associates. The drivers' opinion is opposite that of federal safety officials, who believe it is "ill-advised" to make navigation systems easier for drivers to use while moving.
E-mail warning for workers: Office workers are being warned to be careful about the information they put in "out of office" e-mail messages. According to the technology industry body the Corporate IT Forum, some of its 120 members have reported that criminals are buying up lists of e-mail addresses to find out details of holiday absences.
Newspaper Web visitors go to Monster to job search: In 60 of 64 metro markets surveyed during the first nine months of this year, those who regularly visit newspaper Web sites are more inclined to go to Monster than to the employment section of the daily newspaper sites they visit regularly, the report says.
Price Is Limiting Demand for Broadband: Only about 15 percent of American households currently subscribe to broadband service — or fast Internet access — despite the fact that 70 percent of households have the technical option of doing so. And analysts do not expect the majority of homes to have broadband access anytime for at least five years.
Brussels calls for more competition in the broadband internet market: The Brussels authorities are eager to initiate legal proceedings against several Member States, including Germany, Spain and the UK, if the market for broadband internet services is not opened to competition. The level of new operators' access to EU lines, which currently stands at 0.5 per cent is depriving consumers of more choice, which in turn especially affects the broadband market. The national incumbents still have a high proportion; around 90 per cent of the local calls from fixed lines market.
CD, DVD: menaces sur la copie privée: Graver ses propres compilations à partir de ses CD, extraire son morceau favori d'un disque pour l'écouter sur son ordinateur ou encore dupliquer un DVD pour en disposer à la fois chez soi et dans sa maison de campagne : autant de pratiques très répandues, et parfaitement légales, que le gouvernement s'apprête à proscrire de fait.
Video game college is 'boot camp' for designers: DigiPen is the only accredited school offering a four-year degree in making video games, and it's fast becoming the Harvard among joystick-clenching students fresh out of high school. No wonder: Even while the economy struggles, the video game industry has become one of the fastest-growing forms of media entertainment: - Video game sales exceeded the movie industry's annual box office draw last year by $1 billion. - The current video game hit, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, sold more than 1.4 million copies at an average $48 apiece in its first three days. That $70 million windfall easily puts it in the ranks of a blockbuster movie. - The popularity of NFL video games has given longtime TV football announcer John Madden celebrity status among teens and young adults. - Designers can make $50,000 a year right out of college and twice as much if they are part of a team that produces a hit video game.
Fun With Google's APIs: Building Web Service Applications With the Google API (Prerequisites: Developers need to be familiar with Java, and will need an Internet connection to access the Google service. An understanding of Web Services is not required to use the API.)
Internet Hate-Speech Ban Called 'Chilling': Council of Europe's Internet restrictions raise uneasy questions about civil rights online If European countries find unacceptable material on an American-based Web site, they cannot expect American courts to block access to the material because it would be protected here by the First Amendment, says Paula Bruening, staff counsel for the Center for Democracy & Technology. "As disturbing as this kind of speech is, it is protected by the First Amendment," Bruening says. "Our vision of the Internet is a free exchange of ideas, but Europe takes a different approach. What we're seeing here is a cultural clash."
Does Free Linux Have Hidden Costs? IDC study says Windows is cheaper than Linux for common business tasks. [04.12.02] IDC study shows Windows servers cheaper than Linux: Microsoft Corp. , fearful of being undercut in the market for server software by free offerings based on Linux, Monday released the results of a sponsored study that concludes Windows 2000 is generally cheaper for businesses to run and support.
España, a la cola de la UE en cuento a hogars conectaos a Internet: El país de la UE con mayor penetración de Internet es Holanda, con el 65,5 por ciento de sus hogares conectados a la Red, ligeramente por delante de Dinamarca (64,5 por ciento), Suecia (64,2 por ciento), Luxemburgo (55 por ciento) y Finlandia (53,7 por ciento). El resto de países tienen menos de la mitad de sus hogares con Internet, caso de Austria, con el 49,1%, Irlanda (47,9%), Reino Unido (45,0%), Alemania (43,7 por ciento), Bélgica (35,5 por ciento), Italia (35,4 por ciento), Portugal (30,8 por ciento) y España (29,5 por ciento). El país con menor desarrollo de Internet en sus hogares es Grecia, donde sólo el 9,2 por ciento de las casas tiene acceso a la Red
Cell Phones and Driving a Lethal Mix, Study Says: The devices are linked to 2,600 annual fatalities, up from 1,000 two years ago Harvard study finds cost of cell phone accidents equals benefit of calls on the road: Researchers say increased cell phone use has led to more crashes caused by drivers on the phone, but the value people place on being able to call from the road roughly equals the accidents' cost.
The $19,450 Phone: ''Sometimes even I slip up and call it a phone,'' says Frank Nuovo, 41, a founder of Vertu and its creative director, after he greets me in the client suite. ''Yes, in its core functionality, it is a phone. But once you understand the experience, you'll see that it is - well, obviously, an instrument.''
Microsoft Antitrust Case in Europe Takes New Turn: A top European Commission official has left to join Microsoft, just weeks before he was due to give his opinion on the European antitrust lawsuit against the company. [...] The official, Detlef Eckert, is taking three years' unpaid leave from his senior post in the information society directorate within the European Commission to work for Microsoft. His duties at the commission included overseeing competition rulings, although he did not work in the antitrust division itself.