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October 30, 2004

What Makes a Wiki Work?

"It has no editors, no fact checkers and anyone can contribute an entry - or delete one. It should have been a recipe for disaster, but instead Wikipedia became one of the internet's most inspiring success stories. It might seem like anarchy. And, given the lack of central control, it technically is. However, there are three elements that make it work.

"The first is its ownership, and lack of commercial imperative. The site is manned by volunteers, and now owned by a foundation, which means people willingly give their time and intellectual property to the venture. It manages to run on less than $100,000 a year.

"The second is that the overriding editorial principle that all articles should show a "Neutral point of view' (NpoV). According to Wales, this is as much 'a social technique for getting people to work together" as it is an editorial policy.

"The third - and perhaps most critical - has been the evolution of an incredibly intricate and democratic social order to keep this vast sprawling project in order."

Simon Waldman. Who Knows?. The Guardian. Oct. 26, 2004.

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Presidential Website Restricts Access

"The folks in charge of the U.S. president's re-election campaign seem to have forgotten that the first two letters of WWW stand for "world wide."

"Just days before the presidential election, the Bush campaign's official Web site, GeorgeWBush.com, is turning away Web traffic from abroad. The virtual blockade began Monday, according to Internet traffic analysis company Netcraft.

"The site appears to be rejecting visitors from most points outside the United States, while allowing access from most U.S. locations and Canada, according to Netcraft, which is based in Bath, England."

Alorie Gilbert. Bush Campaign Site Blocks Traffic From Abroad. News.com. Oct. 27, 2004.

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ESPN Tests Video for Mobile Devices

"ESPN is testing new video services for wireless devices, taking a page from the playbook of its popular Web download service, a company executive said Tuesday.

"John Zehr, ESPN Mobile's vice president of product development, said the sports news site is experimenting with several wireless providers to preload video onto handhelds--rather than streaming the entertainment--much as it already does with ESPN Motion, an application that preloads sports highlights onto millions of PCs daily.

"Download versus live streaming media is a needling dilemma for entertainment and content providers that are looking to build new services for the PC or for Internet Protocol-connected devices."

Stefanie Olsen. ESPN Testing Video For Handhelds. News.com. Oct. 26, 2004.

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AOL, E-Mail Companies Sue Spammers

"Four of the nation's largest online providers yesterday announced a new round of lawsuits aimed at e-mail spammers, including the first major case involving spam sent via an instant messaging service.

"America Online Inc., Yahoo Inc., Earthlink Inc. and Microsoft Corp. all filed suits in federal courthouses around the country, alleging violations of the federal anti-spam law passed late last year and of state statutes.

"Instant messaging, often known as IM, has grown in popularity for its ease of use, immediacy, and relative freedom from the onslaught of unwanted bulk messages that have been choking e-mail communication."

Jonathan Krim. ISPs File Suits Against Spammers. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 29, 2004.

See also:
Tim Richardson. US Giants Move to Can Spammers. The Register. Oct. 29, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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RFID Lacks Ability for ROI

"Despite excitement over RFID technology and its future promise, most companies currently lack a business case to adopt it anytime soon.

"It’s hard to deny that radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is hot. Major retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy in the United States and Metro Group in Germany, have established full-fledged programs in which some or all of their suppliers will be required to put chip-driven tags on product pallets or cases, so shipments can be better tracked from warehouse to store shelf.

"These tracking applications, and similar ones developed by the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Boeing, and Airbus, to name a few of the organizations using this technology, hint at the beginnings of a critical mass for RFID.

"But reality often belies excitement. Our survey suggests that there is significant ambivalence among companies about RFID technology."

Stefan Stroh and Jürgen Ringbeck. Thinking Outside the Closed Loop. Strategy+Business. Oct. 28, 2004.

See also:
No author. RFID-Chips. SAP. Feb. 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Google Acquires Satellite Image Firm

"Augmenting its technology assets and pushing into subscription services, Google announced today that it has acquired digital mapping specialist Keyhole for an undisclosed sum.

"Keyhole's product combines a multi-terabyte database of mapping data and images collected from satellites and planes with easy-to-use software. It's aimed at consumers as well as businesses and public agencies.

"Users enter an address and Keyhole's software accesses the database and presents a digital image of that location on their screen. The program then gives users many options, including the ability to zoom in from space-level to street-level, tilt and rotate the view or search for hotels, parks, ATMs or subways.

"Unlike traditional mapping technologies, Keyhole creates a dynamic 3D interface for geographic information."

Colin C. Haley and Susan Kuchinskas. Google Unfolds 3D Mapping Acquisition. InternetNews.com. Oct. 27, 2004.

See also:
Matt Hines. Google Buys Satellite Image Firm Keyhole. News.com. Oct. 27, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Microsoft Aims for Desktop Search

"Another front in the on-going battle between Microsoft and Google is about to be opened.

"By the end of 2004 Microsoft aims to launch search software to find any kind of file on a PC hard drive.

"John Connors, Microsoft's chief financial officer said a test version of its desktop search software should be available for download by the end of the year."

No author. Search Wars Hit Desktop Computers. BBC. Oct. 26, 2004.

See also:
Ina Fried. Microsoft Fixes Date for Desktop Search Tool. News.com. Oct. 22, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 29, 2004

Yahoo Unveils Local Search

"Yahoo expanded its search empire to the mobile arena with the launch of some additional services.

"The company was one of the original content providers for mobile devices running on the Palm or Win CE platform, a decision Yahoo COO Dan Rosensweig admits was a 'premature start.' This is the first time, however, that mobile users can use the Yahoo search engine to find stuff.

"The rollout includes access to Yahoo Local, Image and Web search, as well as quick links to stocks, sports scores and weather. The platform also includes a modified Yahoo Instant Messaging client and Yahoo Mobile Games. The software works on any color screen handset and automatically adjusts itself to QWERTY or numerical keypads."

Michael Singer. Yahoo Sends Search Aloft. Internet News. Oct. 27, 2004.

See also:
Matt Hicks. Yahoo Takes Search Mobile. eWeek. Oct. 27, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Delphi, XM Deliver Handheld Satellite Radio

"XM Satellite Radio and radio manufacturer Delphi yesterday introduced the Delphi XM MyFi, a portable, handheld satellite radio receiver the companies hope will lure more consumers to a medium currently limited to car and home units.

"Along with giving its subscribers the convenience of a traditional transistor radio, the MyFi also offers a five-hour recording capacity to let listeners download favorite programs and songs.

"The MyFi is the latest entry in the highly competitive battle over digital music, a fight that pits XM against its immediate competitor, Sirius Satellite Radio, but more broadly against on-line music sources like Napster, and the makers of small, highly portable MP3 and other devices.

Annys Shin. Delphi, XM Unveil Handheld Satellite Radio Receiver. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 27, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Are We Ready for Podcasting?

"Every so often someone comes up with a new idea that depends upon another not fully developed new idea. So the two ideas get put together and also get a cool name. This is followed by a manic period where the new idea is extolled as the next big thing.

"In this fashion, we have been introduced to podcasting—the next big thing. Too bad it's a kludge that doesn't work as advertised unless you have a Macintosh and an iPod.

"The podcasting concept, in its most boiled-down form, is as follows. You attach a simple audio stream to an RSS feed (typically from a blog) and distribute audio feeds as they are created. With the original concept, an audio feed is designed to be grabbed in such a way that it will queue itself in iPod audio format and download itself to the iPod.

"But since the world consists of 95 percent PC users, how does all this really work?"

John C. Dvorak. Podcasting: Not Ready for Prime Time. PC Magazine. Oct. 25, 2004.

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Kids Weaned on Video Games

"It is unclear whether video games teach preschool children more about phonics and problem solving than about simply how to tool around in a virtual playground. But everyone seems to agree that the ranks of young video gamers are substantial.

"A report (.pdf) last fall by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a health policy research organization, found that half of all 4- to 6-year-old children have played video games - on hand-held devices, computers or consoles - and one in four played several times a week. Of children 3 or younger, 14 percent have played video games.

"Starting video gamers younger is good news for the multibillion-dollar video game industry as it looks to expand its base beyond its core consumers, males from 14 to 34 years old."

Michel Marriott. Weaned on Video Games. The New York Times. Oct. 28, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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MP3 Site Settles Copyright Suit

"The Recording Industry Association of America has reached a $10 million legal settlement with a Spanish company that briefly offered MP3s online for just pennies a song.

"The trade group on Monday said four people associated with Puretunes.com, which operated only briefly in mid-2003, collectively agreed to pay $500,000 in damages, while the holding company responsible for the Web site's operations will be responsible for $10 million.

"The company initially said it had acquired the rights to the songs legally through overseas licensing authorities. The RIAA disagreed and sued the company not long afterward."

John Borland. MP3 Site Settles for $10 Million with RIAA. News.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

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ICQ Instant Messaging Adds Video to Chat

"America Online's ICQ instant messaging software now supports video chat, one of the first tangible results of the ICQ unit's recently launched developer program.

"ICQ in April began providing partners with access to the software's application programming interfaces, or APIs, so they could develop programs that run inside the IM client. The ICQ unit plans to offer an open API license to the public soon, according to a notice on its Web site.

"Applications created under the program are known as ICQ Xtraz, and now include video chat, several games and a sketching tool that lets users create custom avatars."

Evan Hansen. ICQ offers video chat. News.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

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Napster Accepts PayPal Online Payment

"Digital music service Napster announced Monday that customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada can now pay for tunes using PayPal.

"Napster users can choose to pay their monthly subscriptions or buy individual tracks and albums using the online payment service, the companies said.

"Subscribers can select the new payment option when they enter billing information. If they don't already have a PayPal account, they can set one up while registering for the service, Napster said."

Dinesh C. Sharma. Napster Befriends PayPal. News.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

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October 28, 2004

Stephen E. Arnold Authors Enterprise Search Report

CMSWatch's The Enterprise Search Report

CMSWatch, a resource published by Tony Byrne that provides independent analysis and practical advice regarding content management systems, has announced the release of its newest publication, The Enterprise Search Report.

The 450-page report — which was authored by Stephen E. Arnold, founding editor of SNTReport.com and president of Arnold Information Technology — provides a comprehensive overview of search solution providers and best practices, including 10- to 20-page comparative evaluations of 28 enterprise search offerings.

"Despite the advent of various new techniques and buzz phrases in the search industry, success still revolves around basic execution," says Arnold. "The difference between success and failure in enterprise search pivots on pre-selection testing, adequate infrastructure, strong usability, and realistic budgets."

The Enterprise Search Report also address several other essential issues for an enterprise investigating search solutions, including:

  • Practical product selection roadmaps for large and small enterprises;
  • Sample ROI analyses including a detailed examination of total costs of ownership and sample search project budgets;
  • Answers to the 50 most commonly-asked enterprise search questions;
  • and
  • Comprehensive review of major players' approaches, including Microsoft, Oracle, Google, Verity, Autonomy, Convera, FAST, and 21 others.

CMSWatch. Upstart Search Vendors Gaining Ground Over Major Players. (press release) Oct. 25, 2004.

Table of Contents for The Enterprise Search Report. (.pdf)

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Court Overturns Lexmark DMCA Ruling

"In a closely watched case involving the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a federal court has ruled that a small North Carolina company can continue selling a chip that makes it possible to use refilled toner cartridges in Lexmark printers.

"Static, which sells printer parts and other business supplies, has been defending a lawsuit brought by Lexmark, the No. 2 maker of printers in the United States. The suit claims the Smartek chip violates the DMCA, and Lexmark hopes the case will slam the brakes on the toner cartridge remanufacturing industry and compel consumers to buy its cartridges.

"The case has gotten a lot of attention because it's one of the first to test the limits of the DMCA, which Congress enacted in 1998 to limit Internet piracy."

Declan McCullagh. Ruling on Refilled Printer Cartridges Touches DMCA. News.com. Oct. 26, 2004.

See also:
U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc.. (.pdf). Oct. 26, 2004.

Electronic Frontier Foundation. Lexmark v. Static Control Case Archive.

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New iPod Holds Photos and Music

"Apple Computer introduced its next generation iPod music player, which has the ability to display digital images as well as play songs.

"The new iPod Photo will be able to store up to 25,000 wallet-size digital images and display them on a television via a cable. It comes with 40-gigabyte or 60-gigabyte disk storage, capable of storing up to 15,000 songs.

"Apple also introduced a special black edition of the iPod, which has the signatures of members of the rock band U2. The company said it would begin selling a complete collection of U2's music for $149 next month from the iTunes Internet music store.

John Markoff. Newest iPod From Apple Holds Photos and Music. The New York Times. Oct. 27, 2004.

See also:
Ina Fried and John Borland. Apple Unveils Color iPod, U2 Edition. News.com. Oct. 26, 2004.

Sebastian Rupley. New iPod Plays Photos. PC Magazine. Oct. 26, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Video Game Holiday Rush Begins

"You may still be figuring out Halloween plans, but for video game companies it's already the beginning of the most wonderful retail time of the year.

"Holiday business typically accounts for about 60 percent of annual sales for makers of games and related hardware.

"With U.S. game software sales expected to hit $8.3 billion this year, according to research company Yankee Group, the potential spoils are huge, as a slew of high-profile games and several new hardware options compete for gift-giving attention."

David Becker. Big Stakes in Holiday Game Scramble. News.com. Oct. 26, 2004.

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Every Blog Will Have Its Day

"Web logs have had an astonishing season this year, enough to freckle the faces of bloggers who do not, as a rule, get much time outdoors.

"Although political blogs have received the most attention, advertising agencies and communications professionals are using blogs to create discussion about ideas within their industries."

Nat Ives. Madison Avenue Ponders the Potential of Web Logs. The New York Times. Oct. 27, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:16 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Former Defense Secretary Encourages Information Sharing

"The United States faces a brave new world in which terrorism and technology are merged, former Defense Department Secretary William Cohen said today.

"Speaking to the Executive Leadership Conference meeting, Cohen said U.S. officials 'got lazy. We dropped our guard.... We made assumptions that no one would dare attack us on our homeland.' Now, he said, U.S. officials must work to integrate systems during a siege rather than making a slow and careful transition.

"Cohen said he believes the war against terrorists must be won with not only military force but also good policies, information sharing and collaboration with officials in other countries."

Judi Hasson. Cohen Promotes Info Sharing. FCW.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

See also:
Patience Wait. Cohen Backs Info Sharing, Police Work in Beating Back Terror Threats. GCN.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Amazon Hosts Akimbo's Video-On-Demand

"Akimbo on Monday launched its video-on-demand service and signed on Amazon.com as its official retailer.

"The privately held company, based in San Mateo, Calif., makes the Akimbo Player, a set-top box that delivers hundreds of videos to television by way of Internet downloads. Seattle-based Amazon will be the exclusive retailer of the player through December, according to the company.

"The Akimbo Service, available by monthly subscription of about $10, hosts thousands of on-demand and largely niche programs, which are constantly updated and can range from yoga how-tos and CNN news to children's shows and surfing videos."

Stephanie Olsen. Akimbo Debuts Video on Demand on Amazon. News.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 27, 2004

Ray Ozzie Grooves a Pitch for the Red Sox

"Software guru -- and inventive Boston Red Sox fan -- Ray Ozzie has a method for keeping fans productive as the team continues its quest to reverse baseball's most notorious curse.

"His company, Groove Networks, has started a special World Series promotion that will allow Red Sox Nation to work at home after those late nights glued to the tube. Customers can get a free trial and discount on its Groove Virtual Office software. The software will allow employees to combat what Groove calls Playoff Exhaustion Syndrome by sleeping in a little bit and working from home."

News.com. Groove Pitches in for Red Sox Nation. Oct. 22, 2004.

See also:
Groove Networks. Groove Networks Offers World Series Promotion To Red Sox Nation. Oct. 22, 2004.

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Would Kerry Dismantle DMCA?

"In a barely noticed remark last week, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry said he might support defanging the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)--the unpopular law that has prompted take-to-the-street protests from the geek community.

"If Kerry is serious, that would be a remarkable metamorphosis on a law that the Senate approved without one dissenting vote. It would also be remarkable because, contrary to what Kerry and President Bush tell you, few differences exist between the two White House hopefuls on nearly any topic imaginable."

Declan McCullagh. Would President Kerry Defang the DMCA?. News.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

See also:
Dawn Kawamoto. Bush, Kerry Weigh In on Tech Issues. News.com. Oct. 21, 2004.

Declan McCullagh. Bush vs. Kerry on Tech. News.com. June 28, 2004.

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Yahoo!, Adobe Partner for Online Services

"Yahoo and Adobe have formed a partnership to attempt to keep pace with Google and Microsoft in the search arena.

"Under the deal, Adobe is adding a toolbar to its Acrobat software that will link to various Yahoo online resources including its search engine, its pop-up blocker and its anti-spyware software.

"The toolbar will also link to a Web-based service called Create Adobe PDF Online, which aims to help consumers and small businesses to create PDF files."

Graeme Wearden. Yahoo and Adobe Ally on Search. ZDNet UK. Oct. 25, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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HDTV for Cell Phones

"Miniature mobile phones, which already double as cameras, Internet devices and music players, are poised to merge with the largest of home appliances, the television.

"The cell phone industry is working to build phones able to receive high-definition television signals over the air, even though HDTV has yet to make its way into most American living rooms.

"Texas Instruments, the largest maker of computer chips for mobile phones, announced Thursday that it is developing technology that will allow wireless handsets to receive hundreds of high-definition channels. The phones will not be marketed until 2007."

Matt Richtel. Coming Soon to Your Pocket: HDTV Phones. News.com. Oct. 21, 2004.

See also:
David Koenig. TI Says Chip Will Allow TV on Cell Phones. USA Today. Oct. 22, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Palm Introduces Treo 650

"PalmOne this week is announcing the Treo 650, a hybrid PDA/cell-phone device that addresses many of the shortcomings of its hugely popular predecessor, the Treo 600.

"Treo 650 boasts a high-res display, an improved keyboard and camera, a removable battery, and more.

"Among other improvements, the Palm OS-based Treo 650 boasts a sharp, 320-by-320 color screen that should be readable in sunlight. The new model also has nonvolatile flash memory, meaning you don't lose important data if the battery runs down."

Yardena Arar. PalmOne Unveils Treo 600's Successor. PC World. Oct. 24, 2004.

See also:
Ina Fried. PalmOne Pushes Out Treo Update. News.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

Tom Krazit. PalmOne Packs Treo Smart Phone With New Chip. InfoWorld. Oct. 25, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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UpSNAP Gives the 411

"Consumers no longer have to fork over $1.25 or more for directory assistance, as a host of free alternatives are emerging, including a new service announced today.

"UpSNAP will allow cell phone users to send a request for a business or residential listing via a cellular phone text message that includes the city, zip code, area code or airport code and the name of the person or business, the company announced today. Upsnap will then send the phone number within 10 seconds.

"At home, consumers can also get free directory assistance via Optimum Voice, Cablevision's telephone service."

Richard J. Dalton Jr. Getting the Info But Not the Invoice. Newsday. Oct. 20, 2004.

See also:
Chris Sherman. A New Mobile Phone Search Service. Search Engine Watch. Oct. 25, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Multimedia Craze Hits U.S.

"Mobile operators, content providers and other participants at the CTIA Wireless IT and Entertainment trade show this week in San Francisco will be gearing up for an expected boom in mobile multimedia in the U.S.

"The country is far behind Europe and Asia in using mobile phones for more than talking, but it's already begun to catch up, according to IDC analyst Lewis Ward.

"Messaging is still the most popular mobile data service in the U.S., but downloadable ringtones have already caught on and graphics are just starting to take off, according to Ward. Games are next in line, he said, and their higher price tags can drive a lot of revenue."

Stephen Lawson. Multimedia Goes Mobile at CTIA. InfoWorld. Oct. 25, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 26, 2004

Identity Theft Hits Home

"Analysts say several factors have combined to make identity theft a particularly intractable crime: the growth of the Internet and digital finance, decades of expanding consumer credit worldwide, the hodgepodge nature of local and federal law enforcement, and the changing but often still inadequate regulations governing the credit industry.

"In a report prepared by its consumer protection bureau, the F.T.C. said 27.3 million Americans had their identities stolen from April 1998 to April 2003 - with more than a third of them, or 9.9 million, victimized in the last 12 months of that period alone. The crimes ranged from the theft of a credit card number to more elaborate identity thefts used to secure loans.

"The crimes ranged from the theft of a credit card number to more elaborate identity thefts used to secure loans. During those 12 months, the report said, businesses and financial institutions suffered about $48 billion in losses because of identity theft, and victimized consumers paid more than $5 billion in out-of-pocket expenses to regain their financial identities."

Timothy L. O'Brien. Identity Theft Is Epidemic. Can It Be Stopped?. The New York Times. Oct. 24, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:47 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Wall Street Journal Offers Free Content

"The Wall Street Journal Online, a bastion of subscription-only news on the Web, has begun giving away some content.

"In recent months, the business news outfit has been sending nightly e-mail to bloggers, or online diarists, to offer up several daily stories free so that they can point to or link to them from their Web pages. And on Nov. 8, the company plans to remove its paid wall altogether for five days, for the first time in 7 years, according to the company.

"The move is notable because WSJ.com has long been held up as one of the few examples of success in collecting subscriber fees from Web surfers, who have a bevy of free choices in news."

Stefanie Olsen. Extra! Wall Street Journal Gives Away Web Content. News.com. Oct. 22, 2004.

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Wiki Projects Expand

"Jimmy Wales, 38, a computer programmer in St. Petersburg, Fla., is trying to make the entire concept of a printed reference book obsolete. Three years ago he created the Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia that draws articles not from a sequestered brain trust of academics but from the great unwashed: thousands of Internet users around the world who freely add to and edit the site. It's one part reference tool, one part fascinating social experiment.

"Wikipedia just roared past 1 million total articles (300,000 in English, the rest mostly in 40 other languages), making it the world's largest encyclopedia—three times the size of the 233-year-old Britannica.

"Wales is also expanding into projects like the Wiktionary (a dictionary and thesaurus), Wikibooks (textbooks and manuals) and Wikiquote(quotations). The goal: to give 'every single person free access to the sum of all human knowledge.'"

Brad Stone. It's Like a Blog, But It's a Wiki. Newsweek. Nov. 1, 2004.

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Click and Search

"As our hard drives fill up with thousands then tens and hundreds of thousands of digital snapshots, we're all going to face the same basic challenges as the Bettmann Archive. A digital camera is an enticement to take more snaps than you can keep track of. With the price of digital storage plummeting even as our time seems to become ever more valuable, it's cheaper to store the lot of them than to weed out the clunkers.

"But having thousands of photos on a hard disk or DVD-ROM is the equivalent of throwing Bettmann's images into the air and letting them flutter to the ground. Our only hope is that the army of engineers laboring in labs around the world can come up with a better way."

David Weinberger. Point. Shoot. Kiss It Good-Bye. Wired. October 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 07:26 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Grass-Roots Politics Harness the Internet

"As the election season reaches its peak, Silicon Valley is using its technical know-how and money to try to change politics in the same way it reinvented commerce -- by harnessing the Internet's ability to take advantage of and grow social networks from the bottom up.

"The founders of dot-com hit HotOrNot, which allows users to rate strangers' looks on a scale of one to 10, last month launched the nonpartisan VoteOrNot, a voter registration site that is running a $100,000 sweepstakes to entice newcomers.

"Slashdot, a Web site that bills itself as offering 'news for nerds,' for the first time has put together a politics section to encourage discussion of tech-tinged campaign issues.

"Bay Area Dems, 'BAD,' was founded on the dot-com philosophy of not dismissing even the smallest players because they may become the next new thing. Their meet-and-greets, which concentrate on small donors, have drawn some prominent politicians."

Ariana Eunjung Cha. Grass-Roots Politics With Click of a Mouse. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:22 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Online Attack at University Computer System

"An August intrusion into a social researcher's computer may mean that more than a million Californians need to call the credit bureaus.

"On Tuesday, the California Department of Social Services warned the providers and recipients of the state's In Home Support Services (IHSS) that their names, addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers and dates of birth may be circulating the Internet. IHSS allows individuals to get paid for providing in-home care to senior citizens.

"The warning comes after an unknown attacker slipped in through a security hole in a social researcher's unsecured computer at the University of California, Berkeley, on Aug. 1, perhaps making off with 1.4 million database records containing personal information."

Robert Lemos. Online Attack Puts 1.4 Million Records at Risk. News.com. Oct. 20, 2004.

See also:
Reuters. Hacker Strikes University Computer System. News.com. Oct. 19, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:58 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

New Price Models for Software Usage

"Pay-as-you-go software might sound like a fine idea in principle, but it's a bear to put into practice.

"That was the gist of conversation at the SoftSummit conference, as software executives discussed the promise and reality of utility computing and subscription pricing.

"Utility computing, a tech buzzword, essentially promises that a company will have to pay for only the computing resources it actually uses, dramatically cutting costs and improving efficiency."

David Becker. Pay-as-You-Go Software Licensing Going Slow. News.com. Oct. 19, 2004.

See also:
Alorie Gilbert. Is the Software License Dead?. News.com. Oct. 19, 2004.

Macrovision. SoftSummit Survey Results. Oct. 18, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:56 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

October 25, 2004

Record Labels Now Embrace P2P

"Amid the recent collapse of talks over the Induce Act in Congress, record labels are closing in on deals to enable several new peer-to-peer services to emerge -- with the sanction of major record labels that have so far derided P2P as a haven for piracy.

"At a panel held Wednesday by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, at least one record industry representative predicted that such sanctioned P2P services will start to proliferate in the next several months.

"According to Mitch Glazier, senior vice president of government relations and legislative counsel at the Recording Industry Association of America, the new services will be consumer-friendly and enable the portability that digital music consumers demand, all without running afoul of copyright law."

Michael Grebb. Toe-to-Toe Over Peer-to-Peer. Wired News. Oct. 21, 2004.

See also:
Federal Trade Commission. FTC to Host Two-day Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Workshop. Oct. 15, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:18 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Yahoo Acquires Search-Based Email Company

"Yahoo has quietly purchased e-mail software company Stata Labs, in what could be an investment in a coming PC search tool to rival Google and Microsoft.

"Stata Labs, a privately held company based in San Mateo, Calif., sells an e-mail application called Bloomba that lets people search message text and attachments.

"Yahoo apparently bought the underlying technology of Stata Labs and does not intend to continue sales of Bloomba."

Stefanie Olsen. Yahoo Buys E-mail Search Company. News.com. Oct. 21, 2004.

See also:
Matt Hicks. Yahoo Buys E-Mail Search Startup. eWeek. Oct. 21, 2004.

Scarlet Pruitt. Yahoo Joins the Search with Stata Purchase. InfoWorld. Oct. 22, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:02 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Location Still Counts for E-Retailers

"For traditional retailers, 'location, location, location' is an all-too-familiar mantra, with stores made or broken by factors such as traffic flow, demographics and parking.

"But what about the brave, new and often perilous world of Internet retailing, where the physical location of a store is meaningless? How, when customers and competitors are geographically dispersed, does an online retailer's customer base evolve?

"A recent study by Wharton marketing professor David Bell offers some intriguing answers. In his research paper, 'Social Contagion and Trial on the Internet: Evidence from Online Grocery Retailing,' Bell studied the effect of word-of-mouth or other 'social contagion' factors on consumer willingness to try an online retailer."

No author. Location, Location and 'Social Contagion'. News.com. Oct. 20, 2004.

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PLoS Takes On Reed Elsevier

"A major new 'open access' journal for medicine has been launched, putting it in direct competition with the established publications in this lucrative area including Reed Elsevier's The Lancet.

The Public Library of Science (PLoS), a US-based not-for-profit organisation, is behind PLoS Medicine, which it said was 'the most significant international general medicine journal to emerge in over 70 years'.

Saeed Shah. US Public Library of Science Launches Rival to 'The Lancet'. Independent.co.uk. Oct. 19, 2004.

See also:
Laura Lynch. Public Library of Science. Creative Commons. Oct. 2003.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:21 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Web Services Intermediary Assists Amazon.com

"Mercent said Friday that it will handle e-commerce operations on Amazon.com for clothes maker Guess.

"The deal marks the third time in recent weeks that Mercent has landed new business as a Web services intermediary (WSI) for an established consumer products vendor.

"The company recently signed similar deals with automotive accessories retailer Car Toys, and bath and body products maker Crabtree & Evelyn, to facilitate the use of Amazon's e-commerce tools."

Matt Hines. Mercent to Help Guess Sell on Amazon. News.com. Oct. 22, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:05 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

AOL Downloads Movies

"America Online launched a promotion Thursday that lets subscribers of its broadband service download full-feature films for free through Movielink.

"The promotion expands on an existing deal between the two companies that allows AOL members to rent downloaded movies for 99 cents a title.

"Under the new program, the companies will make 10 'classic titles,' including 'Steel Magnolias' and 'Against All Odds,' available for free in the first month. In subsequent months, five movies will be offered. Once downloading is complete, customers have 30 days to watch the film and 24 hours to complete it, once viewing begins."

CNET staff. AOL Offers Broadband Subscribers Free Flicks. News.com. Oct. 21, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:43 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Digital Entertainment Takes a Road Trip

"Your digital home entertainment system is about to take a road trip.

"Consumer electronics makers are racing to find new offerings, from wireless music downloads at gas stations to digital TV, to entertain American families when they're stuck in traffic, driving home for the holidays, or just out for a ride.

"Some of the efforts to transplant digital media technology from PCs and home entertainment centers are still on the drawing board, companies said at a technology conference. But other changes are likely to start appearing in new cars and SUVs as early as next year."

Declan McCullagh. Digital Home Entertainment Hits the Road. News.com. Oct. 19, 2004.

See also:
Declan McCullagh. Car Crazy: Microsoft in the Driver's Seat. News.com. Oct. 21, 2004.

David Becker. TVs, Cameras Top Holiday Plans. News.com. Oct. 18, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:39 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

October 23, 2004

New American Passports to Include RFID

"New U.S. passports will soon be read remotely at borders around the world, thanks to embedded chips that will broadcast on command an individual's name, address and digital photo to a computerized reader.

"The State Department hopes the addition of the chips, which employ radio frequency identification, or RFID, technology, will make passports more secure and harder to forge, according to spokeswoman Kelly Shannon.

"'The reason we are doing this is that it simply makes passports more secure,' Shannon said. 'It's yet another layer beyond the security features we currently use to ensure the bearer is the person who was issued the passport originally.'"

Ryan Singel. American Passports to Get Chipped. Wired News. Oct. 21, 2004.

Update: Alorie Gilbert. U.S. Moves Closer to E-Passports. News.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:26 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Google Expands AOL Alliance in Europe

"America Online and Google have expanded their partnership in Europe, in a deal that once again pushes search rival Overture Services to the margins.

"Under the deal, announced Tuesday, AOL subscribers in the United Kingdom, France and Germany will receive targeted advertising from Google related to their search request.

"Google has already been providing Web search results for all AOL search-related products in Europe. Google AdWords advertisers will now appear on all search results on AOL's European Web sites, the companies said."

Dinesh C. Sharma and Stefanie Olsen. AOL, Google Expand Alliance in Europe. News.com. Oct. 19, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:47 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

AOL Teams Up With Major League Baseball

"Staging a sort of a late-inning rally, America Online and Major League Baseball are teaming up in an instant-messaging deal.

"AOL and baseball's interactive media and Internet company, MLB Advanced Media, announced an AOL instant-messaging feature that will give baseball fans real-time access to baseball scores, headlines, standings and fantasy game links, as well other baseball information, when they add the screen name 'MLB' to their Buddy List.

"The announcement comes with just a handful of games left to be played in the championship series and the World Series, which begins later this week."

Dawn Kawamoto. AOL Pitches Baseball for IM. News.com. Oct. 20, 2004.

See also:
Jim Hu. Sox Comeback Takes Web by Storm. News.com. Oct. 21, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:23 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

What Crisis? CD Shipments Rise

"CD shipments are surging this year, but not enough to erase previous years' declines in the music business, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

"The record industry's trade group said the value of shipments of all music at the midpoint of 2004 had climbed nearly 4 percent compared to the previous year. The industry has shipped 10 percent more CDs to retail outlets than last year, showing a strong increase in demand.

"But that growth does not mean that the industry can let up in its years-long legal attacks on file swapping and other digital copying, executives said."

John Borland. CD Shipments Surge After Lean Years. ZDNet. Oct. 20, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:22 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Super-Duper PDAs Hit Market

"PDA? No, EDA. Mobile-solutions provider Symbol Technologies announced the MC50 family of handheld PCs, which it dubbed 'enterprise digital assistants' because of their barcode-scanning and VoIP features.

"The combination of barcode/image-capture capabilities and built-in voice-over-IP technology is ideal for mobile workers who need real-time access to people and information, Symbol said.

"For example, a retail manager could monitor and manage merchandise pricing and availability from the sales floor. An IT manager could oversee the maintenance of enterprise technology assets, such as server farms and data-storage facilities."

Rick Broida. PDAs Incorporate Barcode Scanning, VoIP. ZDNet. Oct. 19, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:17 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Classrooms Go Dark Over E-Rate Snafus

"In the far reaches of Alaska, the Internet has become as integral a part of the classroom as a blackboard and textbooks.

"But at least three school districts in the state are going without online access while administrators await a decision on the fate of the federal program known as E-rate.

"Since August, funds earmarked under the $2.5 billion program have been held up over accounting issues, leaving cash-strapped districts with no alternative but to turn off the Internet."

Marguerite Reardon. Schools Lose Net Over E-rate Freeze. News.com. Oct. 21, 2004.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:14 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

October 22, 2004

Times Reviews Google Desktop

"Google showed the world what great searching could look like: incredibly fast, blessedly simple, attractively designed. Unfortunately, it could only search the Web. To search your own files, you had to turn, reluctantly, back to Windows and its dog-slow mutt.

"No longer. Last week, Google took the wraps off its latest invention: Google Desktop Search. As the name implies, it's software that applies the famous Google search technology to the stuff on your own hard drive. It's free, it's available right now for Windows XP and 2000 (desktop.google.com), and it's terrific.

"Like the Windows search program, Google Desktop can find files by name, including photos, music files and so on. But it can also search for words inside your files, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents."

David Pogue. Google Takes On Your Desktop. The New York Times. Oct. 21, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:11 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Data Mining Often Clashing with Privacy

"Privacy organizations have fought an uphill battle on Fourth Amendment protections since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, particularly in the area of high-tech surveillance.

"But the debate has taken on particular urgency with advancements in 'data mining,' a technology used to identify patterns based on the millions of bits of information stored in public and commercial computer systems.

"The use of data mining represents a technological sea change in the way the federal government gathers, stores and analyzes information on its own citizens--perhaps the most substantial transformation in domestic intelligence since the excesses of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover led to sweeping privacy law reforms in the mid-1970s."

John Borland. A Global Assault on Anonymity. News.com. Oct. 20, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Turning Parks into Public Hot Spots

"Mohit Santram, a student at New York University, happily shares his high-speed Internet connection with whoever taps the wireless signal available within about 300 feet of his apartment in the East Village.

"But Mr. SantRam offers more than just the opportunity to piggyback anonymously on an Internet connection. People picking up his signal are first directed to a bulletin board where they can post and read neighborhood information and gossip.

"This arrangement comes courtesy of Neighbornode, a project created by John Geraci that is part of a bare-bones software package provided by NYCWireless, a volunteer advocacy group instrumental in turning places like Bryant Park into public hot spots. The group is encouraging people to set up their own hot spots and electronic bulletin boards to let communities of otherwise anonymous urbanites find one another."

Ian Keldoulis. Where Good Wi-Fi Makes Good Neighbors. The New York Times. Oct. 21, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:33 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

IM Enters the Game Room

"For the past year, Jules Urbach has been crunching computer code, fine-tuning a piece of software that may well revolutionize online gaming.

"His invention, which he calls Otoy, is a game engine that piggybacks on instant messaging, and thus it is something of a Holy Grail in the software world.

"For years, developers have been trying to figure out ways to turn instant messaging into a multipronged medium that goes beyond mere chat to integrate games, e-mail and Web browsing; in the gloaming of a guest bedroom, Mr. Urbach believes he may well have come up with the skeleton key that will open IM to an era of hyper-functionality."

Marc Weingarten. For an Inventor, IM Opens a Window to a World of Games. The New York Times. Oct. 21, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:24 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Stewart's Blast Explodes Across the Web

"When comedian Jon Stewart blasted the hosts of CNN's 'Crossfire' on the cable TV program, he ignited a frenzy of online activity.

On Friday night, the star of Comedy Central's 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' angered his 'Crossfire' hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala, saying they promote partisan political debate. The online transcript and video clips of the program immediately became an overnight sensation among Web surfers, bloggers and pundits alike.

As of midday Tuesday, online video hosting site IFilm said, more than 670,000 people had downloaded the CNN clip from its site. The clip runs for about 13 minutes.

Matt Hines. Jon Stewart 'Crossfire' Feud Ignites Net Frenzy. News.com. Oct. 19, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:24 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

The Web Becomes the New Suggestion Box

"Twenty-six percent of adult internet users in the U.S. have rated a product, service, or person using an online rating system.

"These systems, also referred to as 'reputation systems,' are interactive word-of-mouth networks that assist people in making decisions about which users to trust, or to compare their opinions with the opinions expressed by others. Many Web sites utilize some form of this application, including eBay, Amazon, Moviefone and Amihot.

"A nationwide phone survey of 1,399 internet users from May 14-June 17 by the Pew Internet & American Life Project showed that 29% of male internet users and 22% of female internet users have rated something online."

Pew Internet and American Life Project. 33 Million American Internet Users Have Reviewed or Rated Someone or Something as Part of an Online Rating System. Oct. 20, 2004.

Lee Rainie and Paul Hitlin. Use of Online Rating Systems. (.pdf) Pew Internet and American Life Project. Oct. 20, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:11 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

FCC Chairman Calls for VoIP Oversight

"The land of Internet calling may not be free of regulation for much longer.

"With upstarts like Vonage taking business away from traditional phone companies while AT&T; and others try to play catch up with their own Voice Over Internet Protocol offerings, the government is looking to step in soon to set up rules for the growing telecom service.

"But if FCC Chairman Michael Powell has his way, Uncle Sam will tread lightly and intervene to keep VoIP from getting wrapped up in red tape and taxes at the state level."

Cynthia L. Webb. Figuring Out the Rules for VoIP. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 20, 2004.

See also:
Jim Hu. Powell: Feds Must Use Light Touch on Net. News.com. Oct. 19, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:06 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

October 21, 2004

Data Miners Offshore Privacy

"The choreographer of one of the Bush administration's most ambitious homeland security efforts, a former intelligence official named Ben H. Bell III, is taking his ideas to a private company offshore, where he and his colleagues plan to use some of the same concepts, technology and contractors to assess people for risk, outside the reach of U.S. regulators, according to documents and interviews.

"Bell's new employer, the Bahamas-based Global Information Group Ltd., intends to amass large databases of international records and analyze them in the coming years for corporations, government agencies and other information services. One of the first customers is information giant LexisNexis Group, one of the main contractors on the government system that was known until recently as the second generation of the Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-screening Program, or CAPPS II. The program is now known as Secure Flight."

Robert O'Harrow Jr. Bahamas Firm Screens Personal Data To Assess Risk. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 16, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:35 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Google's Next Privacy Challenge

"People who use public or workplace computers for e-mail, instant messaging and Web searching have a new privacy risk to worry about: Google's free new tool that indexes a PC's contents for quickly locating data.

"If it's installed on computers at libraries and Internet cafes, users could unwittingly allow people who follow them on the PCs, for example, to see sensitive information in e-mails they've exchanged. That could mean revealed passwords, conversations with doctors, or viewed Web pages detailing online purchases."

Anick Jesdanun. Google's New PC Search Tool Poses Risks. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 19, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:12 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Federal CIO's Tangled Information Architecture

"Federal CIO Web pages reflect diverse ideas about the Web as a communications platform.

"Chief information officers may set the standards that govern agency employees' use of the Web to provide information and services, but they are not necessarily the standard-bearers for their own offices' Web pages. As in many agencies, CIOs have different ideas about whom their Web pages should serve and the information they should provide.

"The natural assumption is that CIOs would make good use of the Web to share information with staff, vendors and other stakeholders. But the sophistication of those Web sites varies dramatically: Some detail project plans online while others have only static information pages, experts said."

Sara Michael. Finetuning Needed. FCW. Oct. 18, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Libraries Trailbraze the Way with RFID

"For a glimpse of how RFID technology could transform stores, factories and people's everyday lives, you may only need to look as far as your local library.

"Hundreds of city and college libraries are placing special microchips, known as RFID tags, on books in an effort to make libraries more efficient. The tags are central to a new breed of digital tracking system that can speed checkouts, keep collections in better order, and even alleviate repetitive strain injuries among librarians.

"One snag facing RFID, however, is that consumer advocates are in an uproar. They say the unchecked spread of the devices in libraries and elsewhere could spell disaster for privacy."

Alorie Gilbert. RFID, Coming To A Library Near You. News.com. Oct. 18, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:27 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Microsoft Announces Multi-Integrated Collaboration Tool

"Microsoft Corp. announced an early beta of a new rich client for its Live Communications Server product designed to unite instant messaging with telephony and video, and to embed such technologies in other applications.

"Code-named 'Istanbul,' the company is demonstrating the new Office-based technology at the Fall 2004 VON conference here this week and seeking testers for a managed beta program.

"Istanbul will replace Windows Messenger as the preferred client for Live Communications Server, though Windows Messenger will continue to be included within the Windows operating system, Microsoft officials said."

Dennis Callaghan. Microsoft Adds Voice, Video to IM Client. eWeek. Oct. 19, 2004.

See also:
Juan Carlos Perez. Microsoft Announces LCS Client. Computerworld. Oct. 19, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:55 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Starbucks Launches Digital Music Service

"Starbucks announced it will add computer kiosks in stores in Austin, Texas and Seattle where customers can burn music CDs for about US$10 while waiting for their Frappuccino.

"Initially, the company will install the self-service touch-screen kiosks at 30 stores in Austin and 15 stores in Seattle by the end of the month. Willie Nelson is scheduled to headline a concert for the Austin kickoff on November 14.

"But the Seattle-based coffee retailer eventually plans to add the new 'music bars' nationwide as part of its plan to leverage its well-known name and chain of more than 8,300 stores to reach beyond coffee beans for profits."

Bob Keefe. Starbucks To Add Kiosks Where Customers Can Burn CDs. E-Commerce Times. Oct. 15, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:26 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Click Fraud Exposed

"If there is any single axiom of the digital age, it must be this: for every advance, there is a scourge.

"E-mail has spam. The Web has pop-up windows and spyware. Even the market infant, Internet telephony, has analysts bracing for an onslaught of what is been called 'Spam Over Internet Telephony,' (or "spit," of course).

"It should come as no surprise, then - and some might say it is a bit of poetic justice - that online advertisers are becoming acquainted with their own special plague: click fraud.

Tom Zeller Jr. With Each Technology Advance, a Scourge. News.com. Oct. 18, 2004.

See also:
Adam L. Penenberg. Click Fraud Threatens Web. Wired News. Oct. 13, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:20 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

October 20, 2004

Encouraging Your Friends to Buy

"Online retailer Buy.com is inviting itself into the expanding social networking scene, acquiring a Web site that rewards members with checks or gift certificates if they persuade others to buy their favorite products.

"The purchase of Metails.com piggybacks on a growing phenomenon: online services that link people with common interests and friends, creating bonds that transcend social, economic and geographic boundaries."

Mark Jewell. Buy.com Entering Social Networking Scene. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 19, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:48 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Sshhhh! (21st Century Style)

"It was the reporters who noticed first. Unable to call their editors while covering the weddings of the rich and famous, they asked the priest why their cell phones never worked at Sacred Heart. His reply: Israeli counterintelligence.

"In four Monterrey churches, Israeli-made cell phone jammers the size of paperbacks have been tucked unobtrusively among paintings of the Madonna and statues of the saints."

Olga R. Rodriguez. Churches Installing Cell Phone Jammers. eWeek. Oct. 17, 2004.

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Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:44 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Coming to a Blog Near You: Advertisements

"No online medium is safe from advertising anymore.

"In recent weeks, more companies have started bringing advertising to RSS feeds, the popular platforms for aggregating content from multiple sites in a single place. In the past, RSS feeds have typically been free of ads.

"By most accounts, companies, analysts and bloggers have reported little complaint from readers, noting that they can 'vote with their feed' simply by unsubscribing."

Cyrus Farivar. RSS Feeds Hunger for More Ads. Wired News. Oct. 15, 2004.

See also:
Matt Hicks. Yahoo Readies Ads for RSS. eWeek. Oct. 7, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Is iPod a Worm in the Apple?

"Apple now makes more from its top line from iPod sales than from any single line of its computers. By revenue, the PowerBook notebook line is Apple's second most important product, accounting for $419 million, or just less than 18%, of sales for the quarter.

Now don't get me wrong. I love the iPod. Two of those 7.3 million units are mine. But as much of a success as it has been for Apple, the iPod could also turn out to be an Achilles heel."

Arik Hesseldahl. The IPod In Perspective. Forbes.com. Oct. 15, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Health Care Firm Communicates by Chat

"Through a network of medical contact centers and telecommuting nurses, the company offers medical phone support for some 250 clients, such as hospitals, health insurance companies and doctor group practices. For example, a group of doctors may hire Intellicare to handle their patient calls after business hours.

"Instant messaging (IM) has helped Intellicare create a sense of virtual community among its employees, facilitated the provision of remote training and boosted real-time communications within the company, improving the flow and availability of information needed to provide services."

Juan Carlos Perez. IM Boosts Health Care Company. InfoWorld. Oct. 15, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Davids Battle Goliaths in Localization Race

"Think Yahoo! Local and Google Local are the only games in town? While the big portals are attracting the majority of local search attention, several start-ups with impressive pedigrees and innovative approaches are angling for the local market, too.

"Combatants include Seattle-based Judy's Book, which recently banked $2.5 million in venture capital financing; and Insider Pages, an idealab-incubated start-up based in Pasadena, Calif. Just this week another player surfaced. Yelp! is a San Francisco-based start-up, reportedly backed by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin. Other entrants include the Boston-based local-i, focused thus far on compiling restaurant reviews. All the players are in the earliest stages of building their businesses, but competition is mounting."

Pamela Parker. Socially Networked Start-Ups Challenge Big Boys in Local Search. ClickZ News. Oct. 15, 2004.

See also:
John Cook. Venture Capital: Checkbooks Open for Judy's Book Startup. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Sept. 3, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Chairman Powell's Consigliere

"How strictly the FCC decides to regulate emerging technology promises to have a lasting impact on areas as disparate as voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), fiber to the home, instant messaging and even digital video recorders.

"Robert Pepper is the FCC's chief of policy development, which requires him to be a kind of government futurist, advising Chairman Michael Powell on which regulations are wise and which would be harmful. He's also co-chairman of the FCC's Internet Policy Working Group. Previously, Pepper directed the Annenberg Washington Program in Communications Policy Studies."

Declan McCullagh. The Technologist Who has Michael Powell's Ear. News.com. Sept. 30, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 19, 2004

Evite Broadens Its Social Circle

"The event-planning service Evite unveiled a redesigned site that lets people create electronic networks of friends to share recommendations about eateries, nightclubs and other hangouts. Evite partnered with Citysearch to get local business listings; both companies are owned by Barry Diller's InterActive Corp.

"Evite's makeover is part of its drive to become the Internet's Union Station of social planning."

Leslie Walker. Services Help Social Networks Get Connected. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 17, 2004.

See also:
Bambi Francisco. Excite Founders Unveil JotSpot. CBS MarketWatch. Oct. 6, 2004.

Web Services Pipeline. Excite Co-Founders Turn Wikis Into Development Platform. Oct. 15, 2004. (Chronicles the purpose and development of JotSpot.)

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Web Access Via Power Lines Coming Soon

"The idea of ubiquitous broadband may have came a step closer to reality this week when the Federal Communications Commission cleared the way for commercial deployment of broadband over power lines (BPL).

"The idea behind authorizing BPL is two-fold — to make broadband available in rural places that are not currently served by cable or DSL, and to increase competition in areas that already have broadband access. And broadband enables more than just rich media ads and entertainment."

Kevin Newcomb. Ubiquitous Broadband Nears. ClickZ News. Oct. 15, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Think Tank: Bush Has Poor E-Gov Record

"Hints of presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) management agenda might be found in a new paper critiquing the Bush administration's e-government record.

"'The administration has failed to develop an overall e-government plan detailing where they want to go and how they want to get there,' reads a brief by Robert Atkinson, vice president with the Progressive Policy Institute, which functions as the think tank for the Democratic Leadership Council, often seen as a forum for moderates within the Democratic Party."

David Perera. Peek at Democratic E-gov. FCW.com. Oct. 15, 2004.

See also
Robert Atkinson. Unsatisfactory Progress: The Bush Administration's Performance on E-Government Initiatives. (.pdf) Progressive Policy Institute. Oct. 14, 2004.

Nancy Ferris. All Quiet on the Management Front. FCW.com. Oct. 11, 2004. (Neither Bush nor Kerry has offered much on their E-Government agendas.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Palm Syncs to MS Exchange

"PalmOne has licensed technology from Microsoft to make its devices work directly with Microsoft's Exchange e-mail server.

"With the support for Microsoft's Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol, users of PalmOne devices will no longer need to install third-party client and server software to be able to access e-mail, calendar and contact information on a server running Microsoft's Exchange Server 2003 software, said Steve Janiak, a senior product manager at PalmOne."

Joris Evers. PalmOne Licenses Microsoft Exchange for Mobile E-mail. InfoWorld. Oct. 5, 2004.

See also:
Microsoft Corp. palmOne Licenses Microsoft Exchange Server Synchronization Protocol for Integration With Next-Generation Treo Smartphones. Oct. 5, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Blogs Do Not Fix Businesses

"It seems that the technology trap - believing new stuff can fix old problems - afflicts corporate, nonprofits and individuals alike. You need to deal with cultural change as well as technology change at the same time. If you try and bring technology in without commitment from the top, regard to working practices and so on, you'll get resistance... or lots of systems that don't work. And if you try and innovate without using appropriate tools you could be frustrated in your purpose."

Designing for Civil Society. Technology Traps Corporates and Nonprofits Alike. Sept. 21, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Lawyers Use Google for Research

"The at-your-fingertips convenience of Internet searches has lawyers and even judges a little Google-obsessed. And their fascination with the Internet and its capabilities isn’t limited to mundane questions about the latest fashions or fall gardening. Google and other Internet search engines have fast become a legal research tool, to the concern of some critics.

"Lawyers search the Internet to check out clients, find out how to locate witnesses, get the dirt on companies and examine the vitae of the opposition’s experts. The information they find is sprouting up in their legal briefs. Not to be left behind, judges are using Internet searches to double-check facts and bolster decisions."

Molly McDonough. In Google We Trust?. ABA Journal. Oct. 14, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 18, 2004

Social Software History & Timeline

"The term 'social software', which is now used to define software that supports group interaction, has only become relatively popular within the last two or more years. However, the core ideas of social software itself enjoy a much longer history, running back to Vannevar Bush's ideas about 'memex' in 1945, and traveling through terms such as Augmentation, Groupware, and CSCW in the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.

"By examining the many terms used to describe today's 'social software' we can also explore the origins of social software itself, and see how there exists a very real life cycle concerning the use of technical terminology."

Life with Alacrity. Tracing the Evolution of Social Software. Oct. 13, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Political Wiki Wars

"Wikis, touted as the next big thing in online content, have become the latest battleground in the presidential election as users of online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the best-known wiki, squabble over entries related to President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry, the junior senator from Massachusetts.

"Disputes over content related to Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry have been growing since August, prompting the popular reference site’s administrators to warn users last month that election-related entries may be the focus of 'contention and debate – possibly diminishing their neutrality.

"Wikipedia community members held an online town hall meeting last month to try to solve the disputes over the entries, to no avail."

No author. Wiki Wars. Red Herring. Oct. 14, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:45 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

MP3 Withers Under iPod's Weight

"After years as the unrivaled king of the digital-media world, the venerable MP3 music format is losing ground to rival technologies from Microsoft and Apple Computer.

"MP3 is still the overwhelming favorite of file traders, but the once-universal format's popularity has been going quietly but steadily down in personal music collections for the last year. According to researchers at The NPD Group's MusicWatch Digital who track the contents of people's hard drives, the percentage of MP3-formatted songs in digital-music collections has slid steadily in recent months, down to about 72 percent of people's collections from about 82 percent a year ago."

John Borland. Is MP3 Losing Steam?. News.com. Oct. 15, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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PC Goes Mini

"In the last few years, the biggest breakthroughs in personal computing haven't had much to do with personal computers. Instead, many of the most exciting and popular inventions have been designed to let you carry a copy of the data that's on the PC you already have.

"Thanks to some of the very advances in miniaturization that make hand-held gadgets possible (bright indoor-outdoor screens, two-inch hard drives), a couple of former Apple laptop designers have devised the OQO, the world's smallest Windows XP computer: 4.9 by 3.4 inches and less than an inch thick. The unit poses an intriguing question: why would you buy a bunch of gadgets designed to liberate the data from your PC if you could just shove the entire PC into your pocket?"

David Pogue. Fitting Your PC in a Pocket. The New York Times. Oct. 14, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Women Developers Rare in Video Game Industry

"Informal estimates put the percentage of women in the video game industry at around 10 percent, and even then, most tend to be in jobs in customer service, marketing and quality assurance. Relatively few women work as game designers and producers, and even fewer are programmers.

"The reason has to do with a truism about the computer game industry. Those who work in the industry tend to enter their jobs as avid gamers. And playing video games, especially those loaded with graphic violence, has been a male pursuit. According to the NPD Group, a market research firm based in New York, some 81 percent of video-game players are male."

Katie Hafner. What Do Women Game Designers Want?. The New York Times. Oct. 14, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Google to Add IM to Its Arsenal?

"Google watchers abuzz about the search darling's new desktop tool are already betting on its next product: instant chat.

"Such speculation isn't new, but it has gained legs as some intriguing facts have come to light this week. First, although few people seem to realize it, Google already owns an instant-messaging (IM) client called Hello that it picked up this summer with its acquisition of photo-sharing service Picasa."

Stefanie Olsen. Will Google Say Hello to IM?. News.com. Oct. 15, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Global Effort to Fight Spam

"Representatives from worldwide governments, including the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, are meeting in London this week to discuss how a united front can help to crack down on the problem of unsolicited bulk e-mail.

"The initiative represents the latest in a string of events regarding spam, which to date have yielded little result and little agreement on the best approach.

"John Vickers, chairman of the Office of Fair Trading that is hosting the event, urged the industry, the media and average e-mail users to hold off on cynicism about this most recent initiative until its effect has been witnessed."

Will Sturgeon. Britain, U.S. Talk Up Spam Fight. News.com. Oct. 11, 2004.

See also:
No author. Call For Global Action on Spam. BBC. Oct. 11, 2004.

Office of Fair Trading. International Agencies Join Forces to Combat Spam. Oct. 11, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:09 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Possible Profit in the Blog Business Model

"Among media types, blog publisher Gawker Media, creator of such websites as Gawker, Wonkette, and Gizmodo, has long enjoyed the sort of buzz that money can't buy. But now publisher Nick Denton is getting serious about converting that buzz to cash.

"In early October Gawker launched Jalopnik.com, a site about cars; Kotaku.com, a website for computer games; and Screenhead.com, a site that will collect the best of Internet humor.

"At least one big-league advertiser has already signed on: Audi will be the exclusive sponsor of Jalopnik.com at the launch, and the brand will be fully integrated into the site's graphics.

"If Denton's new sites catch on with advertisers, the blog business model may prove to be more than just hot air."

Oliver Ryan. Gawker Grows Up. Fortune. Oct. 18, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 16, 2004

Google Releases Desktop Search for Windows PCs

"Google has released a new Google Desktop Search tool today that allows people to scan their computers for information in the same way they use Google to search the web.

"The tool is remarkable for its power yet simplicity. Rather than create a standalone application, Google Desktop Search seamlessly blends into Google itself. Those using the tool see a new 'Desktop' link on the Google home page and search results page. Selecting this link brings back results found on their own computers.

"Unlike with Gmail or regular Google searches, ads are not shown with desktop search results or content viewed through desktop search."

Editor's Note: The program is available only for computers running the Windows XP or Windows 200o (SP 3+) operating systems.

Danny Sullivan. Google Desktop Search Launched. SearchEngineWatch. Oct. 14, 2004.

See also:
Leslie Walker and David A. Vise. Google Releases Desktop Search Tool. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 14, 2004.

Associated Press. Google Introduces Search Program for Hard Drives. The New York Times. Oct. 14, 2004.

Update: John Markoff. Google Envy Is Fomenting Search Wars. The New York Times. Oct. 17, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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iPods Fueling Apple's Profits

"For Apple Computer, will 2004 be remembered as a transformative year?

Yes, according to The Wall Street Journal, which said the company's fourth-quarter earnings 'show how the company continues to change from a traditional computer maker to a digital-entertainment company, with a particular focus in digital music.' USA Today concluded that 'Apple has clearly become more than a computer company,' while industry analysts told The New York Times that 'Apple was transforming itself from a computer company into a digital music and entertainment company.'

"Fueling those declarations is that fact that Apple's iPod portable music player helped the company log $2.35 billion in revenue for the quarter -- the highest amount in nine years.

"Apple said yesterday that it sold 500 percent more iPods compared with last year's fourth quarter.

Cynthia L. Webb. iMac, iPod, iConquered. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 14, 2004.

See also:
John Pallatto. Apple Revenue, Profits Soar. eWeek. Oct. 13, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:43 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

UCLA Quarantines P2P Violators

"UCLA has developed a new process of identifying and disciplining copyright infringers on peer-to-peer networks, providing schools with another tool to crack down on illegal file sharing.

"Jim Davis, the university's associate vice chancellor of information technology, testified last week about the UCLA Quarantine project before the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property.

"The school developed a system that automatically alerts students to copyright violations. Since it debuted in the spring, the system has been successful, according to Davis."

Katie Dean. UCLA File Swappers in Quarantine. Wired News. Oct. 13, 2004.

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Extracting Information from Unstructured Data

"A company partly funded by the CIA has introduced a new version of an application suite aimed at extracting useful information from unstructured data, a rich source of information that's so far been left mostly untouched by data-mining tools.

"Although most extraction tools focus on the data in structured environments such as databases, experts say up to 80 percent of the useful information in any organization may be exist in e-mails, field reports, service records, news feeds and other disparate documents.

"Until now, there's been no way to get useful data from these sources, said Craig Norris, chief executive officer of Attensity Corp., a 3-year-old firm whose investors include In-Q-Tel Inc., a nonprofit company funded by the CIA to identify and invest in cutting-edge technologies."

Brian Robinson. Attensity Finds Scattered Data. FCW. Oct. 12, 2004.

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FDA Approves RFID Chips for Humans

"The Food and Drug Administration has cleared the way for a Florida company to market implantable chips that would provide easy access to individual medical records.

"The approval, which the company announced yesterday, is expected to bring to public attention a simmering debate over a technology that has evoked Orwellian overtones for privacy advocates and fueled fears of widespread tracking of people with implanted radio frequency tags, even though that ability does not yet exist.

"Applied Digital Solutions, based in Delray Beach, Fla., said that its devices, which it calls VeriChips, could save lives and limit injuries from errors in medical treatment. And it expressed hope that such medical uses would accelerate the acceptance of under-the-skin ID chips as security and access-control devices."

Barnaby J. Feder and Tom Zeller Jr. Identity Badge Worn Under Skin Approved for Use in Health Care. The New York Times. Oct. 15, 2004.

See also:
Alorie Gilbert. FDA Approves Injecting ID Chips in Patients. News.com. Oct. 13, 2004.

National Public Radio. FDA Approves Implantable Health ID Chips. Morning Edition. Oct. 13, 2004.

National Public Radio. Radio Frequency Identification Causes Privacy Concerns. Talk of the Nation. Oct. 13, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:04 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Mining Customer Data and Delivering Value

"Want to learn to improve your customers' experience, pinpoint buyers' exact interests and reach prospects at every phase of the buying cycle? Look to your search logs to mine this crucial market research data.

"During the session 'Using Search for Market Research' at Search Engine Strategies San Jose, industry experts Ron Belanger from Carat Interactive and Kohn Klimstra from iTraffic discussed how to transform data details into behavioral marketing gold.

"Rather than discussing the merits of a page-one versus a page-two listing, the pair stressed that data mining helps Web marketers understand their customers' motivations and needs."

Heather Lloyd-Martin. Connecting with Customers through Search Market Research. Search Engine Watch. Oct. 12, 2004.

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Paid Search Considered Among Most Volatile Markets

"Because its ad costs fluctuate dynamically based on rapidly changing demand for key words and terms, paid search is considered among the most volatile markets in the advertising marketplace. Now new data reveals exactly how dynamic it can be.

"Within the same period of time - the month of September - the average cost per click for a key word can index as low as 32 cents to as much as $3.17 depending on the advertising category, according to estimates from a new index being released by search marketing firm Fathom Online and MediaPost.

"Fathom Executive Vice President Matthew McMahon, noted several questions he hopes the ongoing study will provide answers to, including the effect the increase in queries has on bid prices and how that affects the way advertisers manage campaigns."

Ross Fadner. New Tracking Data Reveals Marked Disparities In Paid Search Costs, Yield. MediaPost. Oct. 12, 2004.

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October 15, 2004

Justice Department Seeks New Antipiracy Powers

"The U.S. Justice Department recommended a sweeping transformation of the nation's intellectual-property laws, saying peer-to-peer piracy is a 'widespread' problem that can be addressed only through more spending, more FBI agents and more power for prosecutors.

"In an extensive report (.pdf) released Tuesday, senior department officials endorsed a pair of controversial copyright bills strongly favored by the entertainment industry that would criminalize 'passive sharing' on file-swapping networks and permit lawsuits against companies that sell products that 'induce' copyright infringement.

"Tuesday's report was not focused exclusively on Internet piracy: It also included recommendations about responses to trademark infringements, trade secret violations and fake pharmaceuticals. But the Internet-related bills it endorses are at the heart of the ongoing political battle pitting Hollywood and the music industry against the computer industry, 'fair use' advocates and librarians."

Declan McCullagh. Justice Dept. Wants New Antipiracy Powers. News.com. Oct. 12, 2004.

See also:
Katie Dean. Ashcroft Vows Piracy Assault. Wired News. Oct. 14, 2004.

The Hon. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Prepared Remarks: Release of the Report of the Department of Justice's Task Force on Intellectual Property. Oct. 12, 2004.

Department of Justice. Attorney General John Ashcroft Announces Recommendations of the Justice Department's Intellectual Property Task Force. Oct. 12, 2004.

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Presidential Blogs Reflect American's Frustration

"The U.S. presidential campaign between President Bush and John Kerry has prompted a frenzy of gossip and conspiracy theories among Internet bloggers.

"As Bush and the Massachusetts senator slug it out in a neck-and-neck race ahead of the Nov. 2 election, partisan bloggers have flooded the Internet with alternative views about both candidates, which they hope will help sway voters.

"Media watchers say much of the gossip on the Internet is as loony as supermarket tabloid stories claiming Elvis Presley lives, but that it still has a role to play in the campaign."

Reuters. Presidential Race Sets Blogs Ablaze. News.com. Oct. 11, 2004.

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Online Shopping Woes

"A regular Amazon customer, Yvette Thompson has found shopping online to be mostly convenient and trouble-free. But last month, after ordering two CDs on Amazon.com, discovered on her bank statement that she was double-charged for the $26.98 order. And there was a $25 charge that was a mystery.

"Thompson clicked through the Web site to find the customer service e-mail form to contact Amazon. When she didn't receive a reply after three days, she sent another. And another. She has copies of the four e-mails she sent over two weeks. When she couldn't find a customer service phone number on Amazon.com to request a refund, she got more frustrated.

"One general complaint that has plagued the online shopping industry for years is slow or inaccessible customer service. A survey released earlier this year by ForeSee Results found that 'availability of help with questions and problems while ordering' was the lowest rated of 16 factors that make online customers satisfied."

Don Oldenburg. E-shopping: When Things Don't Click. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 12, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Search Remains Hot

"The topic of search kept popping up in different sessions at the Web 2.0 conference: from a demo of a new search browser to a panel full of search experts to geospatial search to demos from the labs at Microsoft and Google. The sessions discussed the current state of search, what users want and expect from search tools, and what changes are on the way for personalization and customization."

Daniel H. Steinberg. Search: The Current and Next Big Thing. O'Reilly Network. Oct. 8, 2004.

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Microsoft Launches Windows XP Media Center

'PC makers, working with Microsoft, set course for consumers' living rooms on Tuesday, launching a slew of new Media Center PCs.

"Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Sony and Toshiba all introduced their latest Media Center PCs, wrapped around Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center 2005 operating system. The latest version of the multimedia-oriented OS features a special user interface for tasks such as playing movies.

"While the latest Media Centers are PCs at heart, the manufacturers say the machines will function more like entertainment devices that can record, show TV programs, and play DVD movies or music CDs. However, unlike before, the machines will be more adept at acquiring and sharing files with other devices around the home."

John G. Spooner. Media Centers on parade. News.com. Oct. 12, 2004.

See also:
Microsoft. Microsoft and Partners Announce New Era of Digital Devices Enabling Consumers to Take Entertainment Throughout the Home and On the Go. Oct. 12, 2004.

Jennifer LeClaire. Gates Launches New Era with XP Media Center 2005. E-Commerce Times. Oct. 12, 2004.

Harry McCracken. Digital Entertainment Anywhere. PCWorld Techlog. Oct. 12, 2004.

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Lycos Plans Social Networking Site

"Lycos plans to launch a social networking site that, unlike many of its competitors, is more focused on letting users communicate with people they already know than on letting users get to know strangers. The company plans to release a test version of the site this week.

"Called Circles, the site will be announced officially at the DigitalLife conference in New York City and can be found online at circles.lycos.com.

"Circles lets users share a variety of things via the site, including text, photos, video and audio clips, and greeting cards."

Juan Carlos. Lycos Builds Web Circles. PCWorld. Oct. 13, 2004.

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Gaining Advantage with Open Source

"Many organizations might be missing out on the benefits of open source software (OSS) because they simply don't understand how it can benefit their enterprise.

"CIOs and IT departments that see the benefits of exploiting OSS are often put off by the ongoing debates about risk, licensing, support and maturity of open source. And, those organizations that do explore OSS, often employ a misguided one-size-fits-all approach to evaluation, selection, utilization and management within the company.

"This type of thinking about OSS is causing many IT organizations to miss out on the ongoing practical value that can be realized from using what is now a vast and diverse toolkit of useful software components."

Cyndi Mitchell. Understanding Open Source. CIO Update. Oct. 8, 2004.


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October 14, 2004

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Net Privacy Case

"The Supreme Court on Tuesday let stand let stand a lower court decision holding that the recording industry can't force internet service providers to turn over the names of users trading music files online, effectively stopping one of the legal tactics of the music business as it tries to stamp out piracy.

"The case (.pdf) pitted the Recording Industry Association of America against Verizon Internet Services, which earlier had challenged a 2002 copyright subpoena stemming from a provision in the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.

"Tuesday's loss came as a blow to the entertainment industry, which has tried to use litigation as a way to deter alleged copyright infringement on peer-to-peer networks."

Michael Grebb. Music Industry Spurned by Court. Wired News. Oct. 12, 2004.

See also:
Electronic Frontier Foundation. No "Fishing License" for the RIAA. Deep Links. Oct. 12, 2004.

No author. Subpoenas Snubbed in File-Sharing Fight. Red Herring. Oct. 12, 2004.

Gina Holland. High Court Won't Hear Music Sharing Case. SiliconValley.com. Oct. 12, 2004.

Cynthia Webb. Supremes Quietly Change Piracy Debate. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 13, 2004.

Update: WashingtonPost.com Supreme Court Internet Privacy Decision. Oct. 14, 2004. (Transcript of chat between Post writer David McGuire and Verizon vice president and associate general counsel Sarah Deutsch. Verizon was the lead party in the fight over keeping subscribers' identities private from entertainment companies seeking to sue for copyright infringement.)

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:58 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

FTC Cracks Down on Spyware

"The Federal Trade Commission formally announced yesterday its first assault against spyware - bits of computer code that surreptitiously install themselves on the computers of Internet users to track their activities, push them to Web sites, barrage them with advertisements, and otherwise wreak havoc with their machines.

"The commission filed a lawsuit in a federal court in New Hampshire last week against Sanford Wallace, the owner of Seismic Entertainment Productions and Smartbot.net, contending that Mr. Wallace and his companies had violated federal law, which prohibits 'unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.'

"The commission's action comes at the same time Congress focuses attention on legislation aimed at curbing spyware on the Internet. Two bills - the Internet Spyware Prevention Act and the Safeguard Against Privacy Invasions Act - were passed in the House of Representatives last week."

Tom Zeller Jr. F.T.C. Files First Lawsuit Against Spyware Concerns. The New York Times. Oct. 12, 2004.

See also:
John Borland. From Spam King to Spymaster?. News.com. Oct. 12, 2004.

Jason Tuohey. Is Distributing Spyware a Crime?. PCWorld. Oct. 11, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:04 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Experts Ponder if Telecom is Dead

"There was one question on the minds of technology leaders attending the Etre conference in Cannes on Tuesday: 'Is telecom dead?'

"Paradoxically however, whether they answered yes or no, they pointed to the same reason: Skype.

"Skype Technologies SA, provides software that allows users to make free phone calls worldwide over the Internet, is changing the landscape of the traditional telecom market, experts agreed.

"Whether Skype was killing the traditional telecom industry or forcing it to reinvent itself to survive were matters of contention, however."

Scarlet Pruitt. Experts Wonder: Is Telecom Dead?. InfoWorld. Oct. 12, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:18 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Executives Urge Rewrite of Telecommunications Act

"Verizon Communications Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts addressed the meeting of the U.S. Telecom Association, highlighting the merging worlds of telephone and cable companies as they move into each other's business.

"Congress has been expected to launch a reworking of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, as a series of contentious legal challenges to many of its provisions wind down after years of fighting.

"While the act attempted to preserve competition between the dominant local phone companies, or Baby Bells, and challengers such as AT&T; and MCI, it did not forecast the growing importance of broadband Internet services."

Reuters. Verizon Sees New Telecom Laws Within Reach. News.com. Oct. 11, 2004.

See also:
United States Telecom Association. Telecom '04: USTA's McCormick, Verizon's Seidenberg, Comcast's Roberts Call for Free Market for Telecom Industry. Yahoo! News. Oct. 11, 2004.

Stephen Lawson. Update: Verizon, Comcast Execs Slam Regulation. InfoWorld. Oct. 11, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:57 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Union Organizers Using the Net to Collaborate

"Union organizers used to hand out leaflets in the cafeteria or on the factory floor. Today, they try to pass them out in cyberspace. It's a change that could reshape decades-old labor laws.

"The issue is highlighted in a case before the National Labor Relations Board involving Agilent Technologies. In a complaint now being investigated by the NLRB, an Agilent worker alleges the company violated federal labor laws when it prevented him from using its electronic newsletter to unionize co-workers.

"At the heart of the debate is whether a pro-union notice on a company's electronic newsletter is any different than a leaflet posted on a bulletin board in a cafeteria."

K. Oanh Ha. Digital World Muddles Labor Laws. San Jose Mercury News. Oct. 10, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:39 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

OCLC's Entire Collection Moving Toward the Web

"Excited by the 'resounding success' of the Open WorldCat pilot program, the management of OCLC has decided to open the entire collection of 53.3 million items connected to 928.6 million library holdings for 'harvesting' by Google and Yahoo! Search.

"Besides expanding the Open WorldCat content to the entire WorldCat collection, OCLC has modified the interface. According to Andrew Boyer, project manager for Open WorldCat, the new interface lets the user choose to expand holdings information to regional or even a worldwide view.

"If Google and Yahoo! choose to harvest the entire WorldCat database, several advantages should occur. Most obvious, the leap in coverage from 2 million records to 53.3 million records represents a tremendous value surge to and through the Web."

Barbara Quint. All of OCLC’s WorldCat Heading Toward the Open Web. Information Today. Oct. 11, 2004.

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Ideas Outlining the Web's Future

"Universal access to all human knowledge could be had for around $260m, a conference about the web's future has been told.

"The idea of access for all was put forward by visionary Brewster Kahle, who suggested starting by digitally scanning all 26 million books in the US Library of Congress. His idea was just one of many presented at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco that aims to give a glimpse of what the net will become.

"Experts at the event said the next generation of the web will come out of the creative and programming communities starting to tinker with the vast pool of data the net has become."

No author. Visionaries Outline Web's Future. BBC. Oct. 8, 2004.

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October 13, 2004

Do Mobile Phones Create False Sense of Security?

"First in phone-company marketing, and now in popular culture, the cellular phone has taken on the aura of an amulet of safety, an indispensable lifeline: wherever you are, you can always reach help.

"The new movie 'Cellular' is all about the cellphone as savior. Kim Basinger plays a woman who is abducted and taken to an attic, where there is an old rotary-dial phone that her captor proceeds to smash with a bat.

"Though the surfer must overcome weak cellular signals and dying batteries along with the more generic sorts of movie-plot crises, the mobile phone is clearly meant to be the hero of the piece, trumping fusty old fixed-line telephony in nearly every way.

"But the notion is stretched so far in the film that it raises some contrarian questions: Is the sense of security engendered by a cellphone as much illusion as reality? Does carrying one make people better at coping with the world, or worse? Is it a lifeline or an apron string?"

Ken Belson. Saved, and Enslaved, by the Cell. The New York Times. Oct. 10, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Maverick's Owner Says No to WiFi

"Mark Cuban, the billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner, wouldn't think of surfing the Internet from his seat during Mavericks home games. 'Hell no,' he declares.

"And thanks to him, neither will anybody else attending Mavericks games at the American Airlines Center.

"The people running the center, where the Mavericks and the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars play, have just installed a Wi-Fi network. The center wants to become, in essence, an Internet service provider for fans other than those attending Mavs games, whether it's to check e-mail or watch specially prepared video highlights from their seats."

Ben Charny. Wi-Fi Not A Slam Dunk for Basketball Maverick. The New York Times. Oct. 11, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:27 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Survey Shows Few Americans Buy Prescription Drugs Online

"According to a May-June 2004 telephone survey of 2,200 American adults, 64% of American households contain a regular user of prescription drugs. One in four Americans (26%) has used the internet to look for information about prescription drugs.

"This survey finds that most Americans do not fully trust the online prescription drug marketplace. Sixty-two percent of Americans think purchasing prescription drugs online is less safe than purchasing them at a local pharmacy.

"Twenty percent of Americans think such online purchases are as safe as local purchases. Eighteen percent of Americans responded that they did not know or that it depends on the situation."

Pew Internet and American Life Project. One-Quarter of American Adults Have Used the Internet to Find Prescription Drug Information. Oct. 10, 2004.

Susannah Fox. Prescription Drugs Online. (.pdf). Oct. 10, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:17 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

E-Mail Services Track More than Just the Message

"You sent me an e-mail? My spam filter must have zapped it.'

"Lots of us have used this line, and chances are that a few times, like when the message was a bunch of lame jokes from Uncle Morty, it wasn't the absolute truth. But the excuse won't work anymore if Uncle Morty starts using one of the new services that track whether you got an e-mail and what you did with it.

"These services, from MsgTag ($20 with a free trial) and DidTheyReadIt ($50 per year, with a free trial), insert a small piece of HTML code into outgoing messages. When the recipient opens the message in an HTML-compatible e-mail client such as Outlook or Outlook Express, or with a Web-based mail service like Hotmail, either service can track the message."

Andrew Brandt. Privacy Watch: New Services That Peep Into Your Inbox. PC World Magazine. Oct. 2004.

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U. S. Earns Gold Metal at World Cyber Games

"Amid fanfare fit for actual world-class athletes, five Americans with really quick fingers took home the gold medal in the popular 'Counter Strike' competition of the World Cyber Games championships, capping five days of intense gaming by the world's elite.

"In addition to 'Counter Strike: Condition Zero' and 'WarCraft III: Frozen Throne,' players competed in 'FIFA Soccer 2004,' 'Need For Speed: Underground,' 'StarCraft: Brood War,'Unreal Tournament: 2004,' 'Halo' and 'Project Gotham Racing 2.'

"Winners at this year's event, which took over the streets near San Francisco City Hall, took home a combined $400,000, according to organizers. The video game industry rakes in $10 billion annually in the United States alone."

Associated Press. U.S. Wins Gold at World Cyber Games. CNN.com. Oct. 11, 2004.

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BBC Announces Open Source Video Technology

"The British Broadcasting Corp. has announced an open-source video compression project that it hopes could one day give Windows Media Player a run for its money.

"The BBC didn't make a particularly big show of the project at LinuxWorld in London, but if the codec lives up to expectations, it could soon be challenging proprietary video technology.

"The codec, called Dirac--after physicist Paul Dirac--is still in the early stages of testing. But developers say when it goes into beta in the fall of 2005, there's a good chance it will be as good, if not better, than anything else out there."

Matt Loney. BBC Reveals Open-Source Video Technology. News.com. Oct. 7, 2004.

See also:
John Leyden. BBC wants Help Developing Open Source Video Codec. The Register. Oct. 6, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:46 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

An Alternative to Current Copyright Law

"Getting rights OK'd can be frustrating for artists, be they authors seeking to quote an essay or documentary filmmakers who've got snippets of pop songs playing in the background of key scenes. Artists and scholars who believe the current copyright system unduly stifles creativity are pushing a less restrictive alternative that they call the Creative Commons.

"Driving the movement is the belief that we all benefit when creative minds are free to expand upon others' work — that public discourse is hurt when too much of it is weighed down by the baggage of commerce.

"'The (Creative) Commons encourages sharing and makes explicit that creativity depends on easy access to raw materials,' said Siva Vaidhyanathan, a New York University professor critical of current copyright laws. 'Right now, you have to assume you're going to get in trouble if you quote from somebody extensively or build upon a previous expression.'"

Anick Jesdanun. Movement Seeks Copyright Alternatives. Yahoo! News. Oct. 10, 2004.

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October 12, 2004

Google Launches Mobile Short Message Service

"Google on Thursday announced a new test service that allows people to use mobile phones or handheld devices to tap Google's Web search via text messages, or short message service.

Called Google SMS, the service is the newly public company's broadest push yet in the mobile market and comes as Google and its rivals in the hotly competitive Web search industry race to expand their reach.

"Google SMS delivers business and residential listings, product prices and dictionary look-up. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company is not taking a percentage of the 5-cent to 10-cent per-message charge levied by mobile carriers, nor will advertisers influence results."

Reuters. Google Tests Short Message Service. News.com. Oct. 7, 2004.

See also:
Jay Lyman. Google Goes Mobile with Free Text Message Searches. TechNewsWorld. Oct. 8, 2004.

Juan Carlos Perez. Google Introduces Wireless Service. ComputerWorld. Oct. 7, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:46 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Podcasting Brings Convenience to Internet Audio

"For anyone who loves listening to the wide variety of internet audio programming, but can't always listen to their favorite shows when they're scheduled or take the time to download them manually, help has arrived.

"Known as podcasting, the technology is a new take on syndicated content feeds like RSS and Atom. But instead of pushing text from blogs and news sites to various content aggregators like FeedDemon and Bloglines, podcasting sends audio content directly to an iPod or other MP3 player.

"'It's aggregating audio content, but it's taking one extra step, in that it's putting it on your device,' said Adam Curry, who built the first podcasting aggregator, known as iPodder. 'Not only do these devices play it, but you don't have to put it there yourself. It just happens automatically.'"

Daniel Terdiman. Podcasts: New Twist on Net Audio. Wired News. Oct. 8, 2004.

See also:
Phillip Torrone. How-To: Podcasting (aka How to Get Podcasts and Also Make Your Own). Engadget. Oct. 5, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:08 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Skype to Offer Business Service

"Skype plans to offer a business telephone service for 'individuals and work groups, not CIOs' that the free Internet phone service provider says will shake up another major telephone market.

"Winning over business will not be an easy task, Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom said Wednesday. Incumbent suppliers of business phone services and equipment fiercely protect customers, who in turn are extremely loyal.

"Winning over business will not be an easy task, Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom said Wednesday. Incumbent suppliers of business phone services and equipment fiercely protect customers, who in turn are extremely loyal."

Ben Charny. Skype Readies Business Telephone Offering. News.com. Oct. 6, 2004.

See also:
David M. Ewalt. Can Skype Cash In On Free?. Forbes. Oct. 6, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:49 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Pulver App Combines IM, VoIP and Social Networking

"Pulver Communications Corp. is introducing a new SIP-based application to enhance the usability of IP communications, company founder Jeff Pulver said.

"The offering, pulver.Communicator, will launch at this month's Fall VON show in Boston. It melds elements of instant messaging, VoIP and social networking.

"The application uses the Free World Dialup network (which Pulver founded) for VoIP and provides access to: AOL, MSN, Yahoo and ICQ as Instant Messaging networks. Users can share buddy lists in real-time if they choose to."

Colin C. Haley. Pulver App Melds VoIP, IM, Social Networking. InternetNews.com. Oct. 8, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:29 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

The Wiki as an Application Development Platform

"The co-founders of early search engine and portal Excite.com are bringing a new concept to the Web: the wiki as an application development platform.

"JotSpot Inc., the brainchild of Joe Kraus and Graham Spencer, was unveiled here on Wednesday during the Web 2.0 conference and began offering invitation-only access to a beta of its hosted wiki.

"JotSpot combines more typical wiki functions— collaborative editing, version control, support for attachments and full-text search—with a tool for writing applications and tying together outside data from RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds, e-mail and Web pages.

Matt Hicks. Startup Turns Wikis into Development Platform. eWeek. Oct. 6, 2004.

See also:
Rob Hof. Do-It-Yourself Software for All?. BusinessWeek Online. Oct. 6, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:25 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Microsoft Increases Industry Cooperation

"Microsoft Corp. is expanding its efforts to move from a 'trade secrets' company to one that banks on sharing its intellectual property (IP) and benefits from being seen as a more cooperative and open-industry player.

"Almost a year after announcing a new IP licensing policy and the formal licensing of two technologies, the software giant is set to announce new formal program licenses within the next two months, according to David Kaefer, director of business development, for Microsoft's Intellectual Property and Licensing Group.

"The move comes amid an overall effort to even up the amount of technologies the company offers through licensing and those it licenses."

Scarlet Pruitt. Microsoft Opens IP in Licensing Push. InfoWorld. Oct. 8, 2004.

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GAO Security Policy Lacks Clear Criteria

"After U.S.-led military forces discovered a report from the Government Accountability Office in a cave in Afghanistan in November 2001, GAO officials instituted a new policy of not publishing certain reports on the Internet for national security reasons.

"Since December 2001, GAO officials have designated 15 reports as unsuited for public Web access for security reasons, a policy they say is reasonable, but some researchers question it.

"More than 99 percent of the 1,400 reports, testimonies and legal documents that GAO officials publish annually are listed and available to the public on GAO's Web site. For a publication to be designated NI, or non-Internet, agency officials must convince GAO officials that the document contains information too sensitive to post on the Web."

Aliya Sternstein. GAO Policy Reflects Security Concerns. FCW.com. Oct. 4, 2004.

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October 11, 2004

Movie & Record Companies Ask High Court to Rescue Their Industries

"Hollywood studios and record companies on Friday asked the United States Supreme Court to overturn a controversial series of recent court decisions that have kept file-swapping software legal, saying that letting the lower court rulings stand would badly undermine the value of copyrighted work.

"The decisions have been among the biggest setbacks for the entertainment industry in the past several years, as they have tried to quell the rampant exchange of copyrighted materials over peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa and Morpheus."

Editor's Note: Former Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth W. Starr and former Bill Clinton impeachment counsel David E. Kendall are representing the entertainment industry in this matter.

John Borland. Hollywood Takes P2P Case to Supreme Court. News.com. Oct. 8, 2004.

See also:
U.S. Supreme Court. Petiton for Certiorari: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer v. Grokster, Ltd.. (.pdf). Oct. 8, 2004.

Electronic Frontier Foundation. MGM v. Grokster Case Archive.

John Borland. Judges Rule File-Sharing Software Legal. News.com. Aug. 19, 2004.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer v. Grokster, Ltd.. (.pdf). Aug. 19, 2004.

John Borland. Judge: File-Swapping Tools Are Legal. News.com. April 25, 2003.

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer v. Grokster, Ltd.. (.pdf). April 25, 2003.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:45 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

INDUCE Act Dies on Congress Floor

"A bill that would make it easier to sue online file-trading networks like Kazaa appeared on Friday to have died a quiet death, but other copyright bills sought by the entertainment industry continued to advance.

"The Senate Judiciary Committee declined late on Thursday to take up a bill that would hold liable anyone who 'induces' others to reproduce copyrighted material, a move observers said all but assures it would not become law this year."

Reuters. Copyright Bill Dies in Senate as Others Advance. News.com. Oct. 8, 2004.

See also:
Brooks Boliek. Induce Act Stalls as Compromise Talks Break Down. The Hollywood Reporter. Oct. 8, 2004.

Keith Regan. Congressional Action on Induce Act Could Be in Jeopardy. TechNewsWorld. Oct. 7, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:30 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Nintendo DS Includes Wireless Download Capability

"Nintendo President Satoru Iwata revealed on Thursday that the company's dual-screen DS handheld gaming console can download game data wirelessly, then play it back.

"The Nintendo DS's greatest features are its revolutionary control schemes, such as the touch-sensitive screen and the microphone input," Iwata said during a press conference at CEATEC, a large technology conference taking place here this week. "And its other major feature is the wireless connection. With it, we're going to revolutionize the way that games are played."

Hirohiko Niizumi. Nintendo Handheld to Feature Wireless Downloading. News.com. Oct. 7, 2004.

See also:
Yuka Obayashi. Nintendo Says 12 DS Games to Debut in Japan. Reuters. Oct. 7, 2004.

David Smith. Nintendo DS American Launch Lineup. PC Magazine. Oct. 8, 2004.

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Business Networking Service to Include Search Engine Optimization

"Less than a year after acquiring the ZeroDegrees business networking service, Barry Diller's InteractiveCorp is set to release a revamped version with built-in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features.

"ZeroDegrees, which is expected to exit a beta period at the TechXNY show in New York this week, now integrates user profiles with an internal linking technology that connects to major search engines.

"The move is aimed at displaying the names of ZeroDegrees members more prominently on search engine results. Additionally, the new version will let users list specialties and localities, such as 'attorney in Denver,' to link into keyword searches for those phrases in major search engines."

Ryan Naraine. Diller Extends Socializing with Search. InternetNews.com. Oct. 7, 2004.

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Study Shows Major Increase in Household Use of VoIP by 2009

"More than 12 million U.S. households could switch to Internet phone service by 2009, though younger people may be hard to sign up, according to a new market research report.

"JupiterResearch says that Internet phone service is likely to expand from just 400,000 customers now to nearly 10 percent of U.S. households within five years as prices fall, quality improves and new features are added.

"While startups like Vonage have gained early momentum, the research firm said that the established companies are likely to dominate the Internet phone market because of their brand strength, marketing clout and large customer base."

Scott Goldstein. Internet Phone Service Seen Booming. TechNewsWorld. Oct. 8, 2004.

See also:
JupitermediaResearch.
JupiterResearch Forecasts Voice Over IP Telephony Services to Reach 12.1 Million U.S. Households by 2009
. Oct. 7, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:46 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

WiFi Hotspot Operators Beware of Patent Lawsuits

"Wi-Fi hotspot operators must pay $1,000 a year, or face a lawsuit from a patent enforcement firm.

"Acacia Technologies Group says it is enforcing a patent it says covers the methods that wireless ISPs, WLAN aggregators and other Wi-Fi networks use to redirect users to a common login Web page. The company claims it owns the technology behind gateway page redirection.

"The Newport Beach, Calif.-based company is sending out information packets to Wi-Fi operators informing them of the patent claim and including a licensing agreement. Companies have 30 days to ask questions, sign the licensing pact, or prove to Acacia that the wireless operator is not infringing the patent."

Ed Sutherland. Hotspot Operators Face Patent Lawsuits. InternetNews.com. Oct. 8, 2004.

See also:
Nancy Gohring. Hotspot Operators Face New Patent Fee Demand. WiFi Networking News. Oct. 5, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:42 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

IceRocket Offers New Tools-Including Blog Search

"Recently IceRocket added two new tools that even help to position it more as an alternative search engine with its loyal users.

"IceRocket’s Blog Search marks IceRocket as one of the first top to mid tier search engines that has opened its doors to blog searching. It indexes works from a database of RSS feeds from blogs only.

"Also available is an interesting live time search reporter called IceSpy. IceSpy is a cool way to see what people are searching for on IceRocket and the different niches of search queries which are performed on an ongoing basis.

"IceRocket has also released a new toolbar offering their search box (of course) along with a news ticker, Alexa rankings, related links, site info, and a dictionary. While most toolbars are available only for Microsoft IE browsers, IceRocket offers a version for Mozilla FireFox at IceRocket FireFox."

No author. IceRocket Adds Blog Search to New Features. SearchEngineJournal. Oct. 7, 2004.

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October 09, 2004

Google Announces New Book Search Service

"Google has quietly launched a new search technology to help publishers sell books online, a fast-growing market dominated by Internet retailer Amazon.com.

"Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will host a press conference on Thursday to demonstrate the technology at the Frankfurt Book Fair, an important showcase if the Internet search engine is to recruit the heavyweights of the book publishing industry.

"The new service, dubbed Google Print, will be incorporated into Google search queries. From launch, users will see book excerpts alongside ordinary Google Web page search results. The book excerpts will carry a link to buy the book from a choice of online book retailers."

Jeffrey Goldfarb. Google Launches Amazon-Style Book Search Business. Reuters. Oct 6, 2004.

See also:
Danny Sullivan. Google Print Opens Widely to Publishers. SearchEngineWatch. Oct. 6, 2004.
Associated Press. Google Expands Book Search, Making More Content Available. San Jose Mercury News. Oct. 6, 2004.
Keith Regan. Search Wars: Google, Snap, Amazon Arm for Battle. E-Commerce Times. Oct. 6, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:41 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Microsoft CEO Claims iPod Music is Stolen

"It's official. All iPod users are music thieves - according to Microsoft CEO Steve 'Monkey Boy' Ballmer.

"The most common format of music on an iPod is 'stolen'," he told reporters in London today, according to a Silicon.com report.

"Ballmer conveniently ignores not only that there are many non-Apple music players out there, on which there are probably as many, if not more 'stolen' songs."

Tony Smith. Most Songs on iPods 'Stolen' - Microsoft CEO. The Register. Oct. 4, 2004.

See also:
John Lettice. iPod Owners Very Honest, Not Thieves At All, says MS. The Register. Oct. 8, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:59 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Professional Video Gamers

"Mr. Leto, 20, of Allen, Tex., is no ordinary gamer. He is one of a relative handful of young people who make a living playing video games.

"Recognized by many as the world's greatest Halo player, he was in Long Beach, Calif., last month at the American finals of the World Cyber Games. He was hoping to qualify for a trip to the world finals this week in San Francisco, aiming to repeat his feat of last year, when he won a top prize of $20,000 in Seoul, South Korea.

"As with other pro sports, the entrepreneurs behind tournaments like the World Cyber Games believe that in the multibillion-dollar video game industry there is enough interest to support an elite level of gamers who play for pay.

"Some of the biggest names in the electronics industry, including Intel, Nokia and Samsung, have latched on to the idea, sponsoring competitions in the hope of a big publicity payback and sales boost."

Eric A. Taub. Taking Their Game to the Next Level. The New York Times. Oct. 7, 2004.

See also:
David Becker. Global Gamers Battle For Glory--And Money. News.com. Oct. 7, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:30 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Instant Messaging Going Mobile

"Although it grew up on desktop PC's, instant-messaging software has gone mobile. The software, which lets you send short text messages to a list of designated contacts, works virtually in real time, and increasingly it lets you see who is online and available for a chat no matter what they are using to log into the service.

"It's that young audience that AT&T; Wireless is eager to capture with the Ogo, a $100 device that includes special navigation keys for messaging and carries unlimited IM service and e-mail from the three big IM providers, AOL, MSN and Yahoo.

"It looks more and more as if IM has outgrown its exclamatory roots in teenage chatter and mobile IM is finding a role in business."

Heather Clancy. Flip Open That Cellphone: It's IM on the Move. The New York Times. Oct. 7, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:07 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Revolutionizing Internet Navigation

"Bill Gross, Idealab founder and man behind commercial search giant Overture Services showed off his new Web search venture, Snap, on Tuesday.

"He boasted that Snap will revolutionize Internet navigation and search-related advertising by helping people find what they're looking for faster 'after the search box' and knowing what marketers pay for their business.

"What's different about Snap.com is the tools it uses to help people refine search once they have typed a query into the search box."

Stefanie Olsen. New Snap Site Thinks Outside The Search Box. ZDNet. Oct. 5, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:53 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Using RFID Without Invading Privacy

"Once upon a time, checking out an armful of library books could seem to take longer than writing them yourself. Today, however, using the technology that lets commuters zip through E-ZPass tolls, some libraries are offering quicker checkout, improved inventory practices, and better protection against theft.

"As RFID technology becomes more advanced, privacy adovacates warn it could allow both the tracking of books borrowed by a reader and the tracking of the reader via his library books.

"This could permit the government or other interested parties to compile a list of readers who have checked out books on particular topics - a potential invasion of privacy that civil-rights advocates find troubling."

Andrew Heining and Christa Case. Are Book Tags a Threat?. Christian Science Monitor. Oct. 5, 2004.

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Search Engine Uses Dictionary to Govern Language Patterns

"Search engines make it easy to ask any and every kind of question, from ones that are refreshing in their innocence to those that would make even a prison doctor blush. But the net, like any friend, is not infallible and can let its prejudices skew the information it passes on.

"Keyword and page rank just look at the fact that there's that word out there and that it exists on a web page and people link to it,' says Justin Gardner, spokesman for new search engine Kozoru.

"'This can be dubious at times, providing information that's old or information that's not correct. It does not understand timeliness or actual fact.' This could explain why some search engines and services are setting themselves up as unbiased sources of fact.

"Kozoru is going back to basics to build its search engine, which is due in mid-2005."

Mark Ward. The Future of Facts. BBC. Oct. 4, 2004.

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October 08, 2004

Could CALEA Extend to the Internet?

"The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) was passed in 1994 to make it easier for the feds to listen in to everyone's phone calls. The law forced phone companies to design their digital networks with special backdoors for government surveillance.

"There was a single saving grace - CALEA did not apply to the Internet.

But now, all of that could change. Under pressure from the Department of Justice (DoJ) and federal law enforcement, the FCC is gathering comments on a proposal to expand CALEA to cover broadband Internet access providers and Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony companies."

Electronic Frontier Foundation. A Government-Mandated Backdoor For Every Network. Deep Links. Oct. 6, 2004.

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Washington State Launches America’s First Government Digital Archives

"Yesterday, Washington state made 2.4 million records available online — many for the first time — as part of what officials said was a crusade to rescue endangered history.

"The state now has an online archive of records, including birth, marriage, death, census and military information, free for anyone to see from a personal computer.

"This is the stuff of government,' said Secretary of State Sam Reed, who led the project. 'This is what makes it work. People need to have access to it.'

"Known as the Washington State Digital Archives, the government project is online at: www.digitalarchives.wa.gov."

Kim Peterson. State's Online Archive Rescues Records From History's Dustbin. Seattle Times. Oct. 5, 2004.

See also:
Washington Secretary of State. Secretary of State, Microsoft, EDS Rescue Endangered History. Oct. 4, 2004.

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Americans Relying More and More on Internet

"It's only been a decade since the first decent Web browser began transforming the Net from something cherished only by Star Trek fans with modems the size of shoeboxes to something your mother uses.

"Yet the Annenbergers report that three quarters of all Americans have access to the Internet, spending an average of twelve-and-a-half hours a week online. Netheads abound in every age range, but for those between 12 and 18, usage approaches 100 percent.

"Though e-mail is still the No. 1 activity, the study concludes that the Net has profoundly changed the way we spend money, keep in touch with our friends and get information (Internet users use the medium as their No. 1 source of news, despite worries about credibility). For millions, it's as essential as air."

Steven Levy. No Net? We'd Rather Go Without Food.. Newsweek Oct. 11, 2004.

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Record Industry Using Net to Extend Reach

"When R.E.M.'s 'New Adventures in Hi-Fi' was released, music buyers yawned -- it was the start of a steady decline in U.S. album sales for R.E.M. as hip-hoppers and pop divas eclipsed the band.

"The record industry itself didn't do much better, as sales overall shrank from its halcyon days of routine multi-platinum hits. Record labels are quick to blame Internet piracy; many fans point to high CD prices instead.

"In 2004, both R.E.M. and the record industry are turning to the Internet to reverse their fortunes.

"Today, the band releases its 13th major album, 'Around the Sun' -- but for hundreds of thousands of fans, there's no suspense. They've already listened to the entire album for free on the Internet over the past two weeks, and with the band's label's encouragement."

Frank Ahrens. Record Labels Aim for Net, Hope to Score. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 5, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Sony Ericsson Predicts Slow Growth for Mobile Devices

"Japanese-Swedish mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson said on Tuesday it expects slower growth in the global handset market next year.

"Replacement sales in rich markets, which has powered the market this year as consumers are trading in their old phones for new models with color screens and built-in cameras, may not be such a major force next year, said Miles Flint, president of the three-year-old joint venture between Sony and Ericsson.

"The phone market will be dominated by current models, although 2005 will be the first year of volume sales of handsets that can work on third generation (3G) networks, for fast multimedia services like video telephony and song downloads."

Santosh Menon. INTERVIEW: Sony Ericsson Chief Sees Slower Growth. Reuters. Oct. 5, 2004.

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An Alternative to iPods

"As the trading of MP3 files ate into music sales, Damon Dash, the 33-year-old entrepreneur behind Roc-A-Fella Records, turned his hip-hop music company into a platform to sell other, more profitable products.

"Now Mr. Dash is taking his celebrity and music-infused marketing approach to a product line closer to the source of his troubles: MP3 files. In November, he will introduce a line of MP3 players under the name Rocbox, including one aimed squarely to compete with Apple Computer's iPod.

"Mr. Dash hopes to distinguish the Rocbox players from other players on the market by weaving images of them into videos for artists of his label, and put tags promoting them on his clothing. While details haven't been worked out yet, buyers of the player will have access to exclusive bits of Roc-A-Fella music."

Saul Hansell. Battle of Form (and Function) in MP3 Players. The New York Times. Oct. 4, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Google's Blooger Announces Departure

"Google confirmed that the founder of its blog unit is leaving the company.

"Evan Williams, who launched Pyra Labs in 1999 to facilitate other people's Web logs, announced his imminent departure from Google--appropriately enough--in a blog posting.

"In his post, he anticipated speculation about an acquisition gone awry and denied any ill will against the company."

Paul Festa. Blogger founder leaves Google. News.com. Oct. 5, 2004.

See also:
Matt Hicks. Blogger Boss to Leave Google. eWeek. Oct. 5, 2004.

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October 07, 2004

Lashing Out at Bloggers

"Network news anchors are taking off their gloves as they go toe to toe with Internet bloggers.

"At a panel discussion sponsored by The New Yorker magazine on Saturday in New York, NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw and ABC anchor Peter Jennings lashed out at Internet bloggers in defense of CBS anchor Dan Rather, according to reports from the Associated Press and Reuters.

"Brokaw compared the bloggers' attacks on Rather's '60 Minutes II' report about President Bush's National Guard service to a 'political jihad.'"

Marguerite Reardon. Network TV Bigwigs Rail Against Bloggers. News.com. Oct. 4, 2004.

See also:
Paul J. Gough. Rivals Rally to Rather's Side. Reuters. Oct. 3, 2004.
Deepti Hajela. Brokaw, Jennings Show Support for Rather. Observer-Reporter. Oct. 3, 2004.
Staci D. Kramer. CBS Scandal Highlights Tension Between Bloggers and News Media. Online Journalism Review. Oct. 4, 2004.

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Yahoo Offers Personal Way to Search

"Yahoo has enhanced its My Yahoo service with personalization features including search history, the ability to save pages to a 'personal web' and block URLs from appearing in search results.

"Reached at My Yahoo Search, the new features available to registered Yahoo users are similar to those recently introduced by a9.com and Ask Jeeves, although Yahoo plans to differentiate the service in future enhancements, according to Eckart Walther, senior director of product management for Yahoo! Search.

"Search results with My Yahoo Search resemble standard web search results, with additional options added to each individual listing. These options are 'Save,' 'Save with Note,' 'Share' and 'Block Site.'"

Chris Sherman. Yahoo Introduces Personal Search. Search Engine Watch. Oct. 5, 2004.

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A New Search Business Model

"Bill Gross, the driving force behind commercial search pioneer Overture Services, is once again swinging for the fences in Web search.

"The founder and CEO of famed venture capitalist Idealab plans to unveil a new search venture Tuesday at the first annual Web 2.0 Conference being held in San Francisco. Meanwhile, his venture fund has bankrolled a new localized service that ties online yellow pages with social networking.

"Called Insider Pages, the Web site lets people sign up to connect with friends and mine their recommendations for local shops and services. The free product, still in experimental form for Los Angeles residents only, puts a new spin on social-networking services like Friendster by infusing it with the local insider feel of Craigslist."

Stefanie Olsen. Idealab Chief Stakes Out New Direction in Search. ZDNet. Oct. 4, 2004.

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SBC Offers Mailbox for Faxes, E-mail, and Voice Mail

"SBC Communications on Monday announced a new service that integrates voice messages, faxes and e-mails into a single mailbox that can be accessed from anywhere by phone or the Internet.

The service, called Unified Communications, has an e-mail-like interface and uses text-to-speech technology to read e-mails over the phone and voicemails over computers.

Consumers can get alerts via e-mail and cellular or landline phones when new e-mails, voicemails or faxes arrive, the company said. Alerts also can be received on pagers or wireless phones."

Dinesh C. Sharma. SBC Links E-mail, Voice Messages, Faxes. News.com. Oct. 4, 2004.

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AT&T; Offers Music Service

"In the first foray by a U.S. wireless carrier into the online music market, AT&T; Wireless is launching a service that lets subscribers buy songs using their cell phones and later download them to a computer.

"Until now, mobile music sales have centered on ringtones, the song snippets used to customize ringer and other sounds on mobile phones.

"At Tuesday's launch, mMode Music Store will offer roughly 750,000 tracks priced at 99 cents each. Full albums will start at $9.99."

Alex Veiga. AT&T; Wireless Launching Music Service. MSNBC News. Oct. 5, 2004.

See also:
John Borland. AT&T; Wireless Opens Mobile Music Store. News.com. Oct. 4, 2004.

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Balance Between Copy Protection and Technical Innovation

"A computer scientist at Princeton University, Edward Felten, took part in a contest sponsored by the Recording Industry Association of America to test technology for guarding music against piracy. He and his students quickly found flaws in the new antipiracy software and prepared to publish their results.

"But when the RIAA learned of the plan, it threatened to sue under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Congress passed it back in 1998 to block hackers from breaking copy protection. And they wisely included a provision designed to let researchers such as Felten carry out their important work. Still, the RIAA deemed Felten's line of study too sensitive.

"The lesson many scientists drew was that copyright protection takes priority over research."

Heather Green. Commentary: Are The Copyright Wars Chilling Innovation?. BusinessWeekOnline. Oct. 11, 2004.

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The Nature of Spam is Changing

"People are being warned about a scam e-mail which uses the US presidential poll to con them out of their money.

"A junk e-mail invites people to dial a premium rate number to express their support for President George W Bush or rival John Kerry.

"E-mail filtering firm BlackSpider estimates that almost a quarter of a million are being sent out every day."

Alfred Hermida. E-mail scam plays on US elections. BBC. Oct. 5, 2004.

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October 06, 2004

Coral Seeks to Corral Copyright

"A consortium of technology companies hopes to create a common antipiracy language, ending the Babel of copy-proofing technologies that has rendered much digital content and hardware incompatible.

"The Coral Consortium, to be announced Monday, will initially draw on support from giants such as Hewlett-Packard, Matsushita Electric Industrial, Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Twentieth Century Fox, along with digital rights management (DRM) company InterTrust Technologies."

John Borland. Tech Powers Seek Antipiracy Accord. News.com. Oct. 3, 2004.

See also:
Coral Consortium. Coral Call to Action. No date.

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Amazon Broadens Web Services

"Online retailer Amazon.com broadened its Web services efforts on Monday by releasing additional guidelines and data designed for use by people and companies building links to its site.

"One package, Amazon E-Commerce Service 4.0, promises to offer application developers more detailed information on products being sold on its site.

"The second release, dubbed Alexa Web Information Service, tenders access to a database of Amazon's Web site usage data, compiled by statisticians at the company's Alexa Internet division."

Matt Hines. Amazon Expands Web Services Efforts. News.com. Oct. 4, 2004.

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No Profit in Google News Beta

"When Google launched its news site three years ago, it led to a certain amount of hand-wringing at Yahoo News, MSNBC and CNN. Unlike its competitors, which were forced to budget millions of dollars a year to license up-to-the-minute content and pay reporters and editors, Google had figured out a way to do it on the cheap.

"By relying on algorithms, Google News completely automated the news-gathering process using high-speed computers to sift through information and determine the most relevant articles. They then grab the headline and first paragraph to post on Google's news page, with the headlines acting as external links.

"As it turns out, however, Google has a problem that is nearly as complex as its algorithms. It can't make money from Google News.

"The reason: The minute Google News runs paid advertising of any sort it could face a torrent of cease-and-desist letters from the legal departments of newspapers, which would argue that 'fair use' doesn't cover lifting headlines and lead paragraphs verbatim from their articles."

Adam L. Penenberg. Google News: Beta Not Make Money. Wired News. Sept. 29, 2004.

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Community-Based Gaming Service

"Intermix Media today announced the launch of Grab.com, a comprehensive community-based casual gaming site.

"Grab.com brings together the best features of Intermix's online properties and assets: the leagues and tournaments of Case's Ladder, the social networking of MySpace.com, the avatar technology of Superdudes, and the wide range of casual gaming community tools from Gamerival.com .

"Leveraging years of online gaming experience, a broad array of community support features and functions, and some of the best content from game developers and publishers, Grab.com intends on providing the broadest and most comprehensive community governed casual gaming service on the web."

Intermix Media. Intermix Media Leverages Its Top Internet Properties to Create Community-Based Casual Games Site. Yahoo! News. Oct. 4, 2004.

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Meetup: Organizing Local Interest Groups

"Why is Meetup.com so alone?

"In nearly every Internet category imaginable, successful sites have triggered copycats, sometimes by the dozens. But Meetup, which has helped more than 30,000 groups - including knitters, Republicans and pug owners - organize online and meet offline in the last two years, and has earned a following among technology's elite, remains virtually without competition.

"So far, Meetup has signed up roughly two million users who rely on it to help find people with similar political or business interests or hobbies.

"Meetup is announcing a revamped version of its Web site today that its executives hope will position it for further growth - continues to operate as if it is being pursued by the competition."

Bob Tedeschi. Meeting Site Stands Nearly Alone. The New York Times. Oct. 4, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Online Business Networking is Thriving

"Today, online social networks are gaining favor nationwide as a way to turbocharge your existing face-to-face network and extend your reach into new industries and even internationally. By joining the networks, users have more personal control over whom they are in contact with than those who indiscriminately send or receive blasts of e-mail.

"Since California-based Friendster Inc. launched in 2002, millions of 20-somethings have signed themselves up and invited their friends to sign up in what has become a massive online community of friends helping friends get dates.

"The business versions, namely LinkedIn and Ryze, operate in similar fashion, but with a different demographic and extra layers of privacy."

Jane Larson. Business Networking is Flourishing Online. IndyStar.com. Oct. 4, 2004.

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Presidential Campaign Ignoring Internet as Medium

"The presidential campaigns (candidates, parties, and advocacy groups attempting to influence the presidential election) have virtually ignored the internet as an advertising medium, according to the first-ever systematic study of online political ads.

"The campaigns have spent more than $100 on television ads for every dollar they have spent on web ads.

"In sum, while presidential campaigns have stepped up their online fund-raising, voter-profiling, and insider communicating this year, they have not ventured aggressively into online advertising."

Michael Cornfield. Presidential Campaign Advertising on the Internet. Pew Internet and American Life Project. Oct. 3, 2004.

Pew Internet And American Life Project. Presidential Campaign Advertising on the Internet. (.pdf). October, 2004.

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October 05, 2004

FCC Freezes Grants for E-Rate Program

"Public libraries and schools around the nation have suddenly stopped receiving any new grants from a federal program that is wrestling with new rules on how it spends $2.25 billion each year to provide high-speed Internet and telephone service.

"The moratorium at what is known as the E-Rate program began two months ago, with no notice, and may last for months, causing significant hardships at schools and libraries, say state officials and executives at the company that runs the program.

"The suspension came after the Federal Communications Commission, in consultation with the White House, imposed tighter spending rules that commission officials say will make it easier to detect fraud and waste in the program."

Stephen Labaton. Internet Grants to Schools Halted as the F.C.C. Tightens the Rules. The New York Times. Oct. 4, 2004.

See also:
E-Rate Central. House Committee E Rate Hearing Focuses on NEC and IBM. Sept. 27, 2004.

Update: Stephen Labaton. Internet Grants Cut, and F.C.C. Scolded. The New York Times. Oct. 6, 2004. (At the E-Rate Full Committee Hearing on Tuesday, the majority of senators focused on the F. C. C.'s decision to impose tighter spending restrictions and declared that many of the most significant changes would not make it easier to perform audits or disclose fraud and waste.)

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Online Technology Is Hot Once Again

"The Web is over. Now comes the next big thing, growing out of the primordial soup of wireless and wired networks, gadgets, software, satellites and social changes created over the past decade.

"This coming wave doesn't even have a name yet. Some in tech call it the world network. A big part of the promise is that it will turn the Web around: Instead of having to find information or entertainment, it will find you — and be exactly what you want or need at that moment. The network becomes a butler."

Kevin Maney. Next Big Thing: The Web As Your Servant. USA Today. Oct. 1, 2004.

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Second Life Meets the Classroom

"It's not unusual for teachers and students to use an online environment like a chat room to meet. But a few college professors are taking advantage of Second Life's fully three-dimensional virtual world and are the first to teach classes in a world where the students can fly, change body types at will and build fantastical structures that can float in the sky.

"Second Life is one of a number of so-called massively multiplayer online games. Linden Lab charges a monthly fee of $10 for access to an open-ended virtual world with a developed economy, neighborhoods and communities, all manner of vehicles and the ability to create nearly anything imaginable.

"But Second Life is also an ideal environment for students, and that for the most part, they've integrated well into the larger community."

Daniel Terdiman. Campus Life Comes to Second Life. Wired News. Sept. 24, 2004.

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RIAA Files 762 More P2P Lawsuits

"The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed 762 new lawsuits against alleged file-traders using P-to-P (peer-to-peer) services, with the total number of lawsuits filed since September 2003 now reaching more than 5,500.

"The 762 lawsuits announced Thursday included 32 people at 26 U.S. universities who allegedly used their university networks to distribute music files on P-to-P networks."

Grant Gross. RIAA Files 762 New File-Trading Lawsuits. InfoWorld. Oct. 1, 2004.

See also:
Brooks Boliek. Music Industry Files More Piracy Lawsuits. Reuters. Oct. 1, 2004.

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Microsoft Tests MSN Messenger 7.0

"A select group of testers next week will get an early look at MSN Messenger 7.0, the next version of Microsoft's popular instant messaging client.

"According to Brooke Richardson, lead product manager for MSN at Microsoft, MSN Messenger 7.0 will offer users a more personalized messaging experience, Richardson says.

"Additionally, Microsoft will promote other MSN services, especially MSN Search, in the client and is testing transactional services that allow users to purchase additional features such as special emoticons, the smiley faces and other icons that indicate emotions, she says."

Joris Evers. Microsoft Tests MSN Messenger 7.0. PCWorld. Oct. 1, 2004.

Update: Joris Evers.Security Concerns Shelve MSN Messenger 7. PCWorld. Oct. 7, 2004. (Microsoft has suspended the beta testing due to a potential security problem.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:46 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Friendster to Offer VoIP

"Social networking site Friendster has struck a deal with Voice over IP provider Voiceglo in order to offer the IP telephony service to millions of the site's users.

The new 'Friendster Phone,' powered by Voiceglo's GloPhone technology, will allow the social networking site users to make free calls to other users on the VoIP system.

"The deal with Friendster follows other deals VoiceGlo has made in recent months with large online networks. In July, it partnered with P2P network eDonkey to offer VoIP services to that user base."

Sean Michael Kerner. Friendster 'AGlo' For VoIP. InternetNews.com. Oct. 1, 2004.

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Blogging Connects Businesses and Customers

"Blog enthusiasts are excellent evangelist candidates. They're early adopters. Often, they're serial buzz spreaders, and they can funnel waves of others just like them toward your blog and your organization, especially if it's a small business.

"B2C or B2B? Doesn't matter. Companies that sell primarily to other companies may find that a blog more easily bridges the feedback loop between end customers and channels. That bridge is often missing or difficult to create using existing tools—like focus groups, or the telephone.

"Blog enthusiasts are excellent evangelist candidates. They're early adopters. Often, they're serial buzz spreaders, and they can funnel waves of others just like them toward your blog and your organization, especially if it's a small business.

"B2C or B2B? Doesn't matter. Companies that sell primarily to other companies may find that a blog more easily bridges the feedback loop between end customers and channels. That bridge is often missing or difficult to create using existing tools—like focus groups, or the telephone.

"For any organization, a blog is part of a long-term customer evangelism strategy."

Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba. Seven Reasons Why Businesses Should Blog Now. MarketingProfs.com. Sept. 28, 2004.

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October 04, 2004

In-Flight Phone Calls May Be Allowed

"You're on the red-eye from Los Angeles to New York, soaring over the Nevada desert and preparing for an uncomfortable, partial night's sleep in your aisle seat. All of a sudden, the passenger on the other side of the armrest whips out her cell phone and begins yakking away.

According to purveyors of wireless communications technology for the airplane industry, such a scenario is probably less than two years away, as airlines and telecom service providers press federal regulators to lift a 13-year-old ban on the use of most personal wireless devices during flights.

"Last year, U.S. airlines began allowing passengers to use cell phones onboard after planes land and are taxiing to the gate.

"Now it appears that in-flight cell phones are next."

Joanna Glasner. Mobile-Phone Ban May Be Near End. Wired News. Oct. 1, 2004.

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Blogs Benefit Potential Employers and Employees

"Gary Feldman was vice president of strategic planning at a Manhattan marketing and advertising agency, when he received an e-mail message last spring from HotJobs.com listing opportunities that might be of interest to him. Although he rarely gave such notices a second glance, he said, a position as director in the New York office of the marketing research and consulting firm Cheskin caught his eye. He followed a link to the company's Web log, or blog, and read the job description.

"It wasn't typical, it was cool,' Mr. Feldman said. 'It sounded like the person who wrote it really knew what the job was and understood the business. It was written by someone you would want to talk to.'

"The blog entries of others at Cheskin intrigued him. 'I got the sense this was a company where the employees really enjoyed their work,' said Mr. Feldman, who was hired in June. 'If I had not read the blog I doubt I would have applied.'"

Eilene Zimmerman. Before Applying, Check Out the Blogs. The New York Times. Oct. 3, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:16 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Mobile Devices Miss the Mainstream

"BlackBerrys and Bluetooth share an embarrassing trait -- these two uses of wireless technology have remained stubbornly irrelevant to many mainstream users, despite the benefits they might offer and the hype they often get in the press.

"Many busy executives have become utterly dependent on the always-on e-mail access provided by Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry handhelds, but these devices' high costs and business-oriented features haven't constituted an attractive bundle for people who mostly use their cell phones to talk."

Rob Pegoraro. BlackBerry, Bluetooth Miss a Shot to Move Into More Hands. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 3, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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CIA Sharing Info Among Employees

"Officials in the intelligence community have started several initiatives related to information technology tagging, collaboration and acquisition to improve data-sharing among personnel of all security levels.

"They believe data can be published after information about how it was acquired is removed.

"They also started a program so members of the intelligence community can communicate via instant messaging."

Frank Tiboni. Spies Work on Info Sharing. FCW. Sept. 30, 2004.

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NewsGator Partners With Movable Type Parent

"News feed aggregator NewsGator Technologies has struck new partnerships to expand its enterprise sales and tie its online service with other desktop newsreaders.

"NewsGator on Wednesday announced a co-marketing agreement with Six Apart Ltd., one of the leading makers of Weblog software, and integration of subscription information from its Web-based aggregation service with FeedDemon, a leading Windows desktop reader.

"The deal with San Mateo, Calif.-based Six Apart reflects both companies' increasing focus on selling to enterprise customers, who often want a tool for consuming feeds as well as one to create blogs."

Matt Hicks. NewsGator Gains Partners to Extend RSS Reach. eWeek. Sept. 29, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:08 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Business Plan Archive Preserves Dot-Com Failures

"Future online entrepreneurs could log on to see business plans, marketing documents, and other documents from dot-coms launched in the '90s.

"All those failed startups from the dot-com boom live on in a the University of Maryland's two-year-old Business Plan Archive containing dot-com business plans and marketing documents.

"The archives' lead researcher, David Kirsch, says the archive will be a useful tool in understanding what happened in the 1990s, but also in understanding online-business fundamentals.

"According to Kirsch, it is the failed companies whose documents are endangered that interest us and we want to save them so that today's entrepreneurs learn from the mistakes."

David Gardner. Building A Database Of Dot-Com Failures. Information Week. Sept. 30, 2004.

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U. S. and Canada Lag Behind in Global E-Government Study

"Brown researchers scrutinized 1,935 government websites this summer, perusing the sites of, among others, executive offices, legislatures, judicial branches, and major agencies including education, interior, economic development, administration, and foreign affairs.

"Despite the accelerated learning curve, some of the 198 nations surveyed are excelling at e-government. Taiwan landed the researchers' top honors because its comprehensive website serves as a tidy entry point to all government agencies and departments.

"The report also lauded Singapore (#2) and the United States (#3) for portal sites that clear a distinct path for citizens trying to navigate the maze of government. The United States got the nod for its 'extensive privacy policies,' while the Singaporean government edged others out on utility—you can use it to reserve outdoor parks for picnics—and creativity: its site offers online dating."

Deborah Asbrand. E-Government Inches Ahead. Technology Review. Sept. 28, 2004.

Brown University. Taiwan, Singapore Lead U.S. and Canada in Online Government. InsidePolitics.org. Sept. 2004.

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October 02, 2004

Can Clusty Challenge For Search Supremacy?

"Google executives have long conceded that one of their great fears is to be overtaken by a more advanced Internet search technology. Vivisimo, a company founded by three former Carnegie Mellon University computer scientists, is hoping to prove that Google's worries are well founded.

"Four-year-old Vivisimo plans to start Clusty, a free, consumer search service based on results from Yahoo's Overture engine, Thursday.

"The new Clusty service for consumers, which will be free and supported by advertising revenue, uses a similar organizational structure. But it also presents a series of tabs enabling the user to see results from sources besides the general Web, including shopping information, yellow pages, news, blogs, and images."

John Markoff. New Company Starts Up a Challenge to Google. The New York Times. Sept. 30, 2004.

See also:
Chris Sherman and Gary Price. Reducing Information Overkill. Search Engine Watch. Sept. 30, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:43 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

America's Best City and County Government Web Sites Named

"The nation's most innovative and robust city and county government Web sites have been named by the Center for Digital Government in its 2004 Best of the Web contest, an annual competition attracting hundreds of entries each year.

"Capturing first place in the city portal category is Fort Collins, CO; Phoenix, AZ and New York City follow in second and third place, respectively.

"The winner in the county portal category is Santa Clara County, CA and Fulton County, GA following closely behind.

Rhonda Wilson. Best City and County Government Web Sites Named. Center for Digital Government. September, 2004.

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Bias in the News?

"Respected online journalism observer J.D. Lasica has penned a thought-provoking piece in the Online Journalism review comparing Google News with Yahoo News. Lasica wonders, do Google's automated search results display a conservative bias?

"Google says that Google News results aren't biased, and yet the algorithms used to display news stories remove the element of choice that we have when we enter our own search terms. We see what Google's programmers have programmed the service to display. Sure, we can alter these results by searching Google News. But the stories we see when we browse headlines are automatically generated.

"So is Google News biased?"

Chris Sherman. Is Google News Biased?. Search Engine Watch. Sept. 27, 2004.

See also:
J. D. Lasica. Balancing Act: How News Portals Serve Up Political Stories. Online Journalism Review. Sept. 24, 2004.

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DRM: Eliminating Growth in Online Music

"Rival technologies that baffle consumers will run more companies out of business in the nascent music download market than will head-to-head competition, one of the lead creators of MP3 playback technology warned Wednesday.

"Consumers nowadays can store thousands of songs in a pocket-size device, play music and videos on their mobile phones, and buy albums at the click of a button.

"But to their chagrin, a bewildering number of competing playback compression technologies and antipiracy software options determine which songs play on which devices."

Reuters. MP3 Creator Warns Tech Impasse Dooming Downloads. News.com. Sept. 29, 2004.

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Telecoms and Tech Companies Unite on Induce Act

"The Business Software Alliance, along with the Computer Systems Policy Project and the Information Technology Industry Council have informed Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in no uncertain terms what's wrong with the Induce Act and what is needed for any bill that expands copyright liability."

Electronic Frontier Foundation. BSA to Hatch -- We're with the Tech & Telecom Industries on Induce. Sept. 30, 2004.

See also:
Tom Zeller. Panel Considers Copyright Bill. The New York Times. Sept. 30, 2004.

Business Software Alliance, Computer Systems Policy Project, Information Technology Industry Council. S.2560, The "Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004". (.pdf). Sept. 29, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:14 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

IBM Developing New Multimedia Search Engine

"IBM is devising Internet search technology that could let future generations archive important news footage, or just retrieve old scenes from 'Flipper.'

"Researchers at Big Blue are attempting to create a search engine, code-named Marvel, that will retrieve video and/or audio clips that for the most part can't easily be retrieved today on the Internet.

"Though current search engines like Google and Yahoo can serve up video clips or images, they really aren't searching on the images contained in the files. Instead, they rely on the text attached to the bottom of the files, and thus they search only the small number of files that have been properly identified."

Michael Kanellos. IBM's 'Marvel' to Scour Net for Video, Audio. News.com. Sept. 29, 2004.

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Microsoft Announces FlexWiki

"Earlier than scheduled, Microsoft Corp. has gone public with its announcement of its third open-source code contribution to SourceForge. Microsoft's mystery contribution? FlexWiki.

"Late Monday evening, SourceForge posted information on Microsoft's FlexWiki code to its software repository.

"FlexWiki is an experimental collaboration tool based on WikiWiki, which is a tool for collaborating on common Web pages."

Mary Jo Foley. FlexWiki: Microsoft's Third Open Software Project. eWeek. Sept. 28,2004.

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October 01, 2004

Connections: Gary Roberts, 21st Century New Librarian Award Winner

Editor's Note: For this edition of Connections, we are pleased to feature an interview with Gary Roberts, the Information Systems Librarian at the Herrick Memorial Library at Alfred University in upstate New York. Earlier this year, Syracuse University's School of Information Studies named Gary the winner of its second 21st Century New Librarian Award. Gary received the award for his outstanding contributions to Herrick, including the use of library database-driven Web sites and the library's comprehensive Journal Locator.

Gary succceeds SNTReport.com Executive Editor K. Matthew Dames as the 21st Century New Librarian Award winner.

Gary joined Herrick's staff after graduating in 1999 from the School of Informatics at the University at Buffalo. His professional research has focused on how smaller libraries can fully-utilize technology through collaboration, publication and resource sharing. Gary also has researched the benefits of combining online information literacy tutorials with course management systems to support comprehensive information literacy programs.

As he will reveal in the interview below, Gary is a strong proponent of using social software to improve how and where librarians provide services to their customers.

Gary will receive his award in a brunch ceremony in Syracuse on Sunday, October 10. Recently, SNTReport.com writer Carol Schwartz interviewed Gary to discuss several topics, including how he uses social software tools to improve work and digital collaboration efforts between Herrick's librarians and the University's students, staff and faculty.

SNTReport.com: What type of research have you been conducting involving social software?
Roberts: I have been focusing on information literacy, which is the ability of people to identify when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and effectively use the needed information. It is an essential skill in a technology-based world where the library and traditional publishing model is no longer the only source of credible information dissemination.

SNTReport.com: How has your library been incorporating technology?
Roberts: We are focusing on the use of technology to leverage the abilities of the library to meet the needs of the students and effectively use personnel to get where the students are, which is online. Librarians have traditionally been comfortable with asynchronous software, not synchronous software such as instant messaging or chat -- which requires them to speak on the spot. Students are more comfortable with using "technology on the fly" and do not necessarily want or need detail. It is a challenge to move toward the student's level.

Librarians are information sharers by profession, and it is part of our culture to document as much as possible and demonstrate best practices. We have to be careful about keeping the students coming back, we try to go with what they think they need. Ultimately with higher broadband, Internet II, VoIP, and streaming video, we may see an increased comfort and ability [to serve] another generation.

Additionally, we are using the tools to help out with information literacy. A lot of tools become essential when working with a small school. Budgets are decreasing and we have to work smarter using technology. We have a lot of resources on campus and we are leveraging existing knowledge without going out and spending lots of money.

SNTReport.com: What types of tools do you use for information literacy?
Roberts: We are using both personal management tools and course management tools. We use Outlook Exchange for a personal management information system. It is a client-server model and combines a calendar for scheduling and email contacts. We also have an Intranet that it is web-based containing archival knowledge. For course management, we use web-based Blackboard for storing knowledge about courses and specific projects. Literacy is time intensive; it takes time to set up tools. We utilize existing tools that are commercially available.

Small institutions are able to leverage their investment in available course management systems without having to implement technology-intensive authentication systems. Many librarians have expanded and are using personal digital assistants (PDAs) that feature the Palm operating system. The PDA becomes an extension to handle details, and can be used to connect via a USB connection and sync with the information management system. For example, my PDA buzzed to remind me that you would be calling at this time for this interview. I had the interview scheduled in Outlook Exchange and downloaded my schedule information to my PDA for when I was not at the library.

The PDA facilitates efficiency utilizing knowledge of 100 years of collaboration. All of the tools that we use facilitate communication and workflow allowing us to do more with less.




Social software is revolutionary for libraries. We are seeing smaller staff achieving larger goals. At this point, I think librarians are at a crossroads with external forces demanding change using social software. If we fail at this transformation, we could be extinct, marginalized at best.





SNTReport.com: What type of impact has social software had on your library?
Roberts: Social software is revolutionary for libraries. We are seeing smaller staff achieving larger goals. At this point, I think librarians are at a crossroads with external forces demanding change using social software. If we fail at this transformation, we could be extinct, marginalized at best.

Alfred University is thinking about using Vonage and using broadband for chat and synchronous communication. Synchronous communication is more friendly and the 'human touch' is still very important. Communication would involve one-to-one or one-to-several. Inquiries are typed into the computer, making for formalized communication. Chat is not formalized. We cannot use the same rules in chat that we use for email because the communication is not being archived.

Further, librarians are becoming more comfortable with video conferencing. The up-front time saves down the line since it is available inexpensively. Five years ago videoconferencing was either too expensive or the technology was impossible without the infrastructure in place; now it is much more commonplace.

SNTReport.com: Do you find your students turning toward the Web more often for information?
Roberts: There are commercial venues available such as Google, Amazon, News, and Entertainment portals. Librarians do not see them as competitors. Libraries beat them at their own game because we have content; we are the ones with the collections. Google does a better job with delivery, going where the patrons are. We have to look at the design and indexing methods that Google is using since students are attracted by the delivery methods.

SNTReport.com: Could you tell me about your Library IT Blog?
Roberts: My blog is an area to share "nuts and bolts" for other plans. It contains a little more content than listserv. Ultimately, I use it to post content for collaboration, but I don't necessarily post daily. It is an area to build an archive of what I am doing and what others are doing. Blogs take less time than publishing. I post when I have something to help others. The use of blogs depends on how you use the tool, at first they were cool, now they seem cheesy.

SNTReport.com: How does your library and IT department coordinate activities?
Roberts: Our university librarian is also the Vice President of Information Technology. We are able to keep the information flow going between both departments. More and more there is less of a distinction between IT and the library. As the knowledge base grows, the areas overlap. IT people have a better understanding of the hardware. We have a similar understanding of how thing work together and utilize core competencies. We collaborate and do not build walls.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:47 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Federal Court Strikes Down Part of Patriot Act

"A key part of the USA Patriot Act that allows the FBI to secretly demand information from Internet providers violates the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

"U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero barred (.pdf) the FBI from invoking that portion of the law in the future, saying it is an 'unconstitutional prior restraint of speech in violation of the First Amendment.'

"The 2001 law requires Internet service providers and any other type of communications provider to comply with secret "national security letters" from the FBI. Those letters may ask for information about subscribers, including what local and long-distance telephone calls they have made."

Declan McCullagh. Judge Disarms Patriot Act Proviso. News.com. Sept. 29, 2004.

See also:
American Civil Liberties Union. In ACLU Case, Federal Court Strikes Down Patriot Act Surveillance Power As Unconstitutional. Sept. 29, 2004.
American Library Association Washington Office Newsline. Court Decision on PATRIOT Act May Affect Libraries. Sept. 30, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:27 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Yo, Adrian!! We Got Wireless!!

"Forget cheese steaks, cream cheese and brotherly love. Philadelphia wants to be known as the city of laptops.

"The city recently announced a two-year effort to string a free wireless network across its 135 square miles, potentially giving Philadelphia an entirely new identity as the most wired - or unwired - municipality on the planet. But skeptics said this initiative, as well as similar efforts elsewhere across the United States, could also run aground on its own ambitions."

Bob Tedeschi. Big Wi-Fi Project for Philadelphia. The New York Times. Sept. 27, 2004.

See also:
Corey McKenna. An Interview with the CIO of the City of Philadelphia. Government Technology. Sept. 27, 2004.
(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:15 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004 Passed By House

"In a move that takes aim at file-swapping networks, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to boost penalties for online piracy and increase federal police powers against Net copyright infringement.

"By voice vote, politicians on Tuesday approved a sweeping copyright bill that would make it easier for the FBI and federal prosecutors to investigate and convict file swappers. Other sections criminalize unauthorized recordings made in movie theaters and encourage the Justice Department to target Internet copyright infringement.

"Opponents had mounted an unsuccessful, last-ditch campaign earlier in the day to urge House leaders to remove the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act from the floor schedule."

Declan McCullagh. House Votes To Target P2P Pirates. News.com. Sept. 28, 2004.

See also:
Ted Bridist. House Votes to Make Video Cameras in Movie Theaters a Federal Crime. Technology Review. Sept. 29, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:09 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Denver Leads E-Gov Initiatives

"For the second year in a row, researchers at Brown University have ranked the Mile High City number one for delivery of information and services over the Internet.

"The researchers examined the electronic-government efforts of the nation’s 70 largest city governments. Rounding out the top five were San Diego, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. At the bottom of the rankings were Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Greenville, S.C., Syracuse and West Palm Beach.

"On the state level, Tennessee, Maine, Utah, New York and Illinois top the states in providing e-government services. West Virginia, Mississippi, Wyoming, Nebraska and New Mexico were at the bottom of the 2004 rankings."

Denver Still No. 1 in E-Gov. Governing.com. Sept. 27, 2004.

See also:
Brown University. Urban E-Government, 2004. InsidePolitics.org. Sept. 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 07:49 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Feds Planning to Manage Traffic Via Wireless

"The government is getting behind Wi-Fi for automobiles—and not because it wants to make sure you can IM your friends while zipping along the freeway. The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Transportation are supporting new technology that will allow cars and roadside devices to talk to each other in the interest of safety and traffic management.

"Technically termed the Vehicle-Infrastructure Integration initiative, the project could lead to a range of developments, including traffic signals that could sense backups and change the timing of lights, and roadside posts that could automatically collect tolls from cars driving by."

No author. Car 54, Is That You?. Newsweek. Oct. 4, 2004.

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Bloggers Assist Election News Agenda

"Bloggers are helping set the election news agenda, the Internet has helped candidates raise record amounts of cash, and newspaper Web sites are helping the Old Media interact with readers like never before.

"A week after the election, the Online News Association will help you make sense of it all. This year, the ONA presents a stellar slate of high-profile speakers at its annual conference in Hollywood, Calif. on Nov. 12-13, 2004.

"In additional to the political discussions, the two-day conference will cover a wide range of topics offering practical ideas and solutions to the problems digital journalists face."

No author. Bloggers Help Set Election News Agenda. Webpronews.com. Sept. 28, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:14 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)