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February 28, 2005

Political Bloggers May Out-Drudge Drudge

"In every major conference, at every major speech, sitting at tables in restaurants, there is going to be a blogger or podcaster with microphone, PDA, Videophone, laptop or paper and pencil in hand. Listening. Taking notes. That information is going to be transmitted to and from a blog entry and placed in the hands of 'the readers.'

"Unlike celebrities who hear or see the flash of the camera, the gatekeepers don’t know they are there. Blogging in plain site. Questioning everything.

"Dan Rather and Eason Jordan were just practice laps."

Blog Maverick. Political Bloggers -- The New Paparazzi. No date.

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Palm Soon to Ice HotSync

"Since the first Palm Pilot, handhelds running the Palm OS have communicated with desktop computers via HotSync, its self-developed method of information synchronization. This will soon come to an end.

"PalmSource is going to switch to SyncML, a widely used, open standard for information synchronization."

Ed Hardy. PalmSource Moving Away from HotSync. Brighthand. Feb. 22, 2005.

Related:
Daniel Robinson. PalmSource Sees Future on Phones. Computing. Feb. 17, 2005.

See also:
Ed Hardy. PalmOne May Be Committing Itself to Wi-Fi. Brighthand. Feb. 23, 2005.

Uwe Hansmann, et al. SyncML Applications. Informit.com. Dec. 12, 2003.

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Protecting Digital Property Without New Legislation

"The agenda for last week’s Digital Media Hollywood Summit reads like a self-help guide for the content industry. Sessions on the economics of media convergence and 'embracing the connected consumer' are indicative of an industry dealing with changes in technology and consumer behavior. Panels discussed technologies that package digital content in new ways.

"Using technology protections for copyright instead of legislation to protect copyright is a worthwhile public policy discussion. Indeed, going forward, technology, and not legislation, should be the primary means for defining the consumer experience.

"Why? Technology applications - if not the result of a government mandate - represent a market solution that can help reward artists and provide consumers with innovative content."

Braden Cox and Clyde Wayne Crews. Helping Hollywood Help Itself - Protecting Digital Property Without New Legislation. Competitive Enterprise Institute. Feb. 15, 2005.

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

Flickr CEO Interviewed

"Flickr boasts 270,000 users, four million photos, 30 percent monthly growth in users, and 50 percent monthly growth in photos. And these numbers don't even begin to tell the story. Flickr is simply the manifestation of the perfect storm of camera phones, consumer broadband, blogs, RSS, and folksonomy tags.

"Flickr is part of something else too, something radical: the massive sharing of what we used to think of as private data. Photos, bookmarks, and journals used to be considered personal. The social networking revolution--which encompasses everything from Flickr and del.icio.us to blogs and wikis to P2P itself--encourages us to share everything."

Richard Koman. Stewart Butterfield on Flickr. O'Reilly Network. Feb. 4, 2005.

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Spim on the Increase

"Of the 52 million adult Americans who use instant messaging, approximately 30 percent have received 'spim,' or unsolicited commercial instant messages, according to a survey by Pew Internet & American Life Project.

"This amounts to approximately 17 million adults who have received the instant-message variant of spam.

"'I think it's safe to say that instant messaging has become popular enough and important enough in people's lives that commercial groups are trying to figure out how to use it to sell things,' said Lee Rainie, director of Pew Internet & American Life Project. 'The question is, how will people feel about that? It will be interesting to see if they try to keep it out of their lives or will embrace it as something useful to them.'"

Rob McGann. Forget Spam. Have You Been "Spimmed"?. ClickZNews. Feb. 22, 2005.

See also:
Lee Rainie. The Advent of Spim. Pew Internet and American Life Project. Feb. 21, 2005.

U.S. Department of Justice. Against Internet Against Internet Messaging Company and Sending More Than 1.5 Million Spam Messages. (Press Release.) Feb. 17, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:08 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Making Blogging Your Day Job

"After years of juggling a full-time job and a high-profile blog, Jason Kottke is calling it quits.

"Quits for the job, that is.

"From now on, the New York web designer will no longer be commuting five days a week to his day job at a Manhattan financial services firm. Instead, he'll be devoting himself full time to building out his blog, kottke.org, a scattered collection of writings and photos on topics ranging from web design to the politics of Girl Scout cookie sales.

"As for earning a living, Kottke has a plan for that, too. His readers will support him. At least he hopes they will. Kottke does not intend to seek advertising revenue; he plans to depend solely on reader contributions."

Joanna Glasner. Quit Your Job to Blog, Blog, Blog. Wired News. Feb. 23, 2005.

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World Bank Report: Digital Divide Closing Fast

"The 'digital divide' between rich and poor nations is narrowing fast, according to a World Bank report.

"'People in the developing world are getting more access at an incredible rate - far faster than... in the past,' said the report.

"But a spokesman for the UN's World Summit on the Information Society said the digital divide remained very real."

No author. Global Digital Divide 'Narrowing'. BBC News. Feb. 25, 2005.

See also:
Thomas Atkins. 'Digital Divide' Narrowing Fast, World Bank Says. Reuters. Feb. 24, 2005.

Global Information and Communication Technologies Department. World Bank Highlights Role of Private and Public Sectors in Closing Digital Divide. (.pdf) (Press Release.) Feb. 28, 2005.

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ChoicePoint Sued Over Identity Theft

"A California woman has sued ChoicePoint Inc. for fraud and negligence after criminals gained access to a database of personal records compiled by the company.

"The suit, which seeks class-action status, was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court last Friday and claims that for at least five months the company failed to adequately protect people's financial records and confidential information."

No author. ChoicePoint Sued Over Identity Theft. Reuters. Feb. 23, 2005.

See also:
Kim Zetter. California Woman Sues ChoicePoint. Wired News. Feb. 24, 2005.

Jesse J. Holland. Congress Holding Hearing on Identity Theft. Yahoo! News. Feb. 24, 2005.

Reuters. Lawmakers to Act on Identity Theft. News.com. Feb. 24, 2005.

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February 26, 2005

Business Continues to Discover Podcasting

There have been a spate of articles this month about Podcasting, but much of the coverage in the mainstream press has focused on how the Podcasting movement threatens traditional consumer- and music-oriented radio.

Another set of articles, however, has focused on how the Podcasting movement is changing the communication dynamic within businesses. These articles have appeared mostly on blogs and other non-mainstream publications that focus on one or more aspects of the digital collaboration spectrum.

A bibliographic listing of these articles follows; SNTReport.com will continue to update this listing as more interesting information becomes available.

NevOn. The Hobson and Holtz Report - Podcast #10. Feb. 24, 2004. (A 54-minute podcast recorded live using Skype from Chicago, IL and and Amsterdam, The Netherlands and featuring an interview with General Motors' Michael Wiley, who discusses the company's first foray into podcasting.)

Common Craft. Podcasting and the CEO. Feb. 15, 2005. (Discusses how the CEO of an organization can use podcasting to communicate with employees throughout the company.)

FastLane Blog. Cadillac, Buick Reveals in Chicago. Feb. 10, 2005. (General Motors -- yes, that General Motors -- uses its first podcast to introduce the Cadillac DTS and Buick Lucerne luxury sedans at the Chicago Auto Show.)

Glenn Fleishman. How to Record a Podcast. O'Reilly Macdevcenter.com. Jan. 25, 2005. (This article offers information on podcasting that is specific to the Macintosh computer and the OS X operating system.)

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Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 09:00 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

BBC's Implementation of Digital Collaboration

"Late last year I paid a visit to Euan Semple in the BBC Digilabs, and he has graciously allowed me to interview him about the very forward-looking way in which 'Auntie' is taking the new on board and putting it to meaningful use."

broadbandblog.net. London Blogging. Feb. 24, 2005.

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Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:59 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Will the Wall Street Journal Survive?

"The Wall Street Journal is not only the best-written, most elegantly edited newspaper to cover business, it may be the best paper period.

"Because of its immense clout and vast resources -- the Journal might assign half a dozen reporters to the telecommunications beat while The New York Times and Washington Post each have one -- publicists feed it exclusives, sources leak it information and corporate chieftains plead for the privilege of having their cartoon portraits grace Page 1. All of this helps the Journal maintain its competitive edge.

"Given all of this, it might be hard to believe that The Wall Street Journal is in danger of becoming irrelevant, but it is."

Adam L. Penenberg. Whither The Wall Street Journal?. Wired News. Feb. 24, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:44 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Blogging Takes Root on Capital Hill

"As he stood inside the National Cathedral at President Reagan's funeral last June, Representative Mike Pence, Republican of Indiana, typed a stirring message into his BlackBerry.

"Blogging, the Web-based craft of diary-keeping and commentary, is taking root on Capitol Hill.

"The nonprofit Congressional Management Foundation, which helps educate Congress on running its business, says at least four members - Mr. Pence; Representatives Mark Kirk, Republican of Illinois, and Katherine Harris, Republican of Florida; and Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont - have taken up the task on a continuing basis. (Others have used temporary blogs to document trips, said Brad Fitch, the foundation's deputy director.)

The Congressional bloggers praise the power, popularity and potential of blogging, citing it as one of the most frequently visited parts of their Congressional Web sites.

"While popular political blogs like Wonkette, MyDD and Daily Kos serve as an alternative to traditional news sources and allow their authors to purvey commentary, Congressional blogs are extremely tame. In many cases, staff members - not the legislators themselves - post entries, and they rarely link to other blogs, as most blogs do."

Brian Wingfield. The Latest Initiative in Congress: Blogging. The New York Times. Feb. 24, 2005.

(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 08:38 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Start Up Eyes Podcasting for Profit

"The primarily amateur Internet audio medium known as podcasting will take a small, hopeful step on Friday toward becoming the commercial Web's next big thing.

"That step is planned by Odeo, a five-person start-up that is based in a walk-up apartment in this city's Mission District and was co-founded by a Google alumnus. The company plans to introduce a Web-based system that is aimed at making a business of podcasting - the process of creating, finding, organizing and listening to digital audio files that range from living-room ramblings to BBC newscasts.

John Markoff. For a Start-Up, Visions of Profit in Podcasting. The New York Times. Feb. 25, 2005.

Related:
Evhead. How Odeo Happened. Feb. 25, 2005.

(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 08:36 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Search Continues to Sizzle

"IBM's mission to spice up corporate search and become a 'Google for the enterprise' continues in earnest. By the end of the year, Big Blue intends to release an update to its corporate information-management tools, which are designed to bring order to potentially thousands of data sources in a company's network.

"Code-named Serrano, the product will use technologies including artificial intelligence and data mining to derive more meaning from corporate documents. It will also have a revamped search engine and front-end tool designed to make hunting for company information as straightforward as searching the Web, according to IBM."

Martin LaMonica. IBM Expands Corporate Search Ambitions. News.com. Feb. 24, 2005.

Related:
Barbara Darrow. IBM Preps Serrano Update To Information Integrator. CRN. Feb. 23, 2005.

See also:
Dinesh C. Sharma. Google Adds Movie Search. News.com. Feb. 24, 2005.

Stefanie Olsen. AOL Goes Public with Local Search. News.com. Feb. 24, 2005.

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

Search Engines Involve Legal Issues

"A competitor is running a search engine ad with your trademarked brand name. Another has copied your web site without permission. You suspect another of driving up your advertising costs through click fraud. What are your legal options?

"What can you do to protect your site from these online thieves? At the Search Engine Strategies conference in Chicago, a panel of experts explored a wide range of issues related to search engines and legal protection."

Grant Crowell. Search Engines and Legal Issues. SearchEngineWatch. Feb. 23, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:38 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Spyware Exposes Blogs to Attacks

"Hackers are using blogs to infect computers with spyware, exposing serious security flaws in self-publishing tools used by millions of people on the Web.

"The problem involves the use of JavaScript and ActiveX, two common methods used to launch programs on a Web page. Security experts said malicious programmers can use JavaScript and ActiveX to automatically deliver spyware from a blog to people who visit the site with a vulnerable Web browser.

"Spyware tools also have been hidden inside JavaScript programs that are offered freely on the Web for bloggers to enhance their sites with features such as music. As a result, bloggers who use infected tools could unwittingly turn their sites into a delivery platform for spyware."

Stefanie Olsen. Spyware Infiltrates Blogs. News.com. Feb. 23, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:32 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 25, 2005

Web Service Links Entrepreneurs & Investors

"When Chuck Abate joined PlantFind.com, an online company that connects buyers and sellers of landscaping and nursery goods, one of his first tasks was to raise some capital for the company. So he turned to vFinance.com.

"Mr. Abate, who had been a stockbroker for a decade, had heard from a colleague that vFinance.com could help him find financing from individual investors.

"VFinance.com started in 1997 when Timothy Mahoney and a partner bought the Web site from its original owner. Since then, the parent company, vFinance Inc., based in Boca Raton, Fla., has acquired six brokerage and investment banking firms in New York, New Jersey and Florida. It now offers a broad array of investment and other services, including drawing up business plans.

"But its calling card is vFinance.com, where entrepreneurs and small businesses can match their ideas and business plans with investors, whether venture capital firms or individual investors known as angels. The service is inexpensive -- PlantFind.com, which is based in Boynton Beach, Fla., spent about $350 to connect with individual investors who provided a total of about $500,000 -- and the process is relatively simple."

Elizabeth Olson. The Quest for Financing Can Start on the Web. The New York Times. Feb. 24, 2005.

(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 08:40 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Paid Search to Continue Growth Trend

"Paid search is expected to grow faster than any other sector of online advertising, increasing from $2.6 billion in 2004 to $5.5 billion in 2009, according to a new study.

"In addition, the search market is expected to become more specialized, as search focuses more on specific categories, according to the study published last week by JupiterResearch. Specialized search in four categories--retail, financial services, media and entertainment, and travel--accounted for 79 percent of the paid search market in 2004, Jupiter said.

"Paid search spending is high in these sectors because a significant portion of commerce in these areas has shifted online, the market researcher said."

Dinesh C. Sharma. Study: Paid Search to Continue Climbing. News.com. Feb. 23, 2005.

See also:
Heather Lloyd-Martin. Forecasting Paid Search Traffic. SearchEngineWatch. Feb. 24, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:38 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Kurzweil's Law of Accelerating Returns

"Which will have a greater impact on the history of humanity--Friendster or penicillin?

"I bring it up because I've been hearing more references lately to Kurzweil's Law, otherwise known as the Law of Accelerating Returns. Coined by futurist Ray Kurzweil, the theory states that building on past accomplishments, the pace of technological change doubles every decade--leading to a Moore's Law vision of progress.

"'Early stages of technology--the wheel, fire, stone tools--took tens of thousands of years to evolve and be widely deployed. A thousand years ago, a paradigm shift such as the printing press took on the order of a century to be widely deployed. Today, major paradigm shifts, such as cell phones and the World Wide Web, were widely adopted in only a few years time,' Kurzweil wrote in the original essay outlining the theory."

Michael KanellosThe Future of the Future. News.com. Feb. 23, 2005.

See also:
Charles Cooper. Ray Kurzweil: Don't Fear the Nanofuture. News.com. March. 19, 2001.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:19 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Intelligence Community Needs Blogs

"While I was serving as an intelligence analyst at the US Central Command in Qatar during operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom in 2003, my team and I analyzed hundreds of messages and reports each day. A vast amount of information was available to us on Intelink, but there was no simple way to find and use the data efficiently. Somebody had answers to my questions, I knew, but how were we ever to connect? The scary truth is that most of the time analysts are flying half blind.

"It doesn't have to be that way. Instead of embarking on an expensive and decades-long process of reform, the services can fix this themselves. There's no reason our nation's spy organizations can't leap­frog what the Army is already doing with Web technology and, at the same time, build upon what the public is doing with the blogosphere."

Kris Alexander. We Need Spy Blogs. Wired. March 2005.

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FBI Warns of E-Mail Virus

"The FBI is warning the public about malicious e-mails designed to appear as if they were generated by the law enforcement agency.

"In a statement released late Tuesday, the FBI detailed the threat, which attempts to lure e-mail users into opening an attachment containing a computer virus.

"The mail is disguised as correspondence warning people that their Internet use has been monitored by the FBI's Internet Fraud Complaint Center and that they have 'accessed illegal Web sites.' The e-mails then direct recipients to open the virus-laden attachment to answer a series of questions."

Matt Hines. Virus Arrives in E-Mail Allegedly Sent by FBI. News.com. Feb. 23, 2005.

See also:
Federal Bureau of Investigation. FBI Alerts Public to Recent E-Mail Scheme. (Press Release.) Feb. 22, 2005.

Ben Charny Cabir Mobile Virus Found in U.S.. News.com. Feb. 18, 2005.

Terry Frieden. Virus Alert: Don't Open FBI E-Mail. CNN.com. Feb. 22, 2005.

Michael Myser. FBI E-Mail Scam Spreads Virus. eWeek. Feb. 23, 2005.

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

Open Source Source Software Plays Central IT Role

"IT managers who once used Linux chiefly to support Web and file-and-print servers said at last week's LinuxWorld Conference & Expo here that they're now running key applications and databases on Linux-based systems—a sign that the open-source software is penetrating deeper into corporate enterprises.

"'It's as deep as it will get for us. It's what we're betting the data center on,' said Jon Fraley, a Linux administrator at Glen Raven Inc. In December, the Glen Raven, N.C.-based textile manufacturer finished moving mission-critical Oracle databases from an aging 24-CPU Hewlett-Packard server running Unix to four-way HP servers that are based on Intel Xeon processors and run Red Hat Inc.'s Linux distribution.

"New enterprise Linux capabilities are also helping early adopters such as Yahoo Inc. venture into new terrain. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Internet hub already had 'lots' of Linux servers running Yahoo services, databases, business intelligence software and reporting applications, said Mason Ng, Yahoo's director of engineering operations."

Carol Sliwa. Linux Starts to Take a More Central IT Role. ComputerWorld. Feb. 21, 2004.

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

Russian Police Investigate MP3 Site

"A Russian digital-music site offering high-quality song downloads for just pennies apiece is the target of a criminal copyright investigation by the local police, recording industry groups said Tuesday.

"AllofMP3.com has been operating for several years, asking consumers to pay just 2 cents per megabyte of downloads--usually between 4 cents and 10 cents per song. Alongside the catalogue available at traditional stores like Apple Computer's iTunes, the site offered access to songs from the Beatles and other groups that haven't yet authorized digital distribution.

"The Russian site claimed it had licenses to do so from a local clearing house, but record labels have maintained that the licenses weren't valid. After long-standing complaints, the Moscow City Police Computer Crimes division completed an investigation earlier this month and recommended that prosecutors charge the site's operators with criminal copyright infringement."

John Borland. MP3s for Pennies? Russian Cops Say No. News.com. Feb. 22, 2005.

See also:
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Recording industry Welcomes Police Investigation of Allofmp3.com. (Press Release.) Feb. 22, 2005.

John Leyden. Russian Police Probe Cheap Downloads Site. The Register. Feb. 22, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:28 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Panel: Cultural Change Needed to Share Data

"Health researchers are rewarded for hoarding data as opposed to sharing it, concluded experts on a panel on intellectual property and information access in the genetic age. The panel was part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's larger conference, which explores how scientific issues impact society, here this week.

"Alan Herbert, a geneticist at Boston University, said that the natural tendency of companies and universities is to lock up data contained in electronic medical records or banked tissue samples. The databases become a unique resource that can be curated to generate revenue, so there is a huge disincentive to release data, even though such access would improve the quality of everyone's research.

"Science is usually done in 'small groups that hold data in small silos,' said Carol Kovac, general manager of IBM Healthcare. She said that multiple experiences in IT showed the advantages of open access for the general community and for IBM in particular. She cited Linux as a culture that 'rewards people for contributing, not holding back.'"

M.L. Baker. Panel: Cultural Shift Needed to Make Health Data Valuable. eWeek. Feb. 19, 2005.

See also:
M.L. Baker. Bush's Science Advisor, Congressman Clash Over Computer Models. eWeek. Feb. 18, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:10 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 24, 2005

Podcasting: How Amateurs May Soon Rule the Airwaves

"'People think I'm this poseur guy from MTV, but I don't care,' says Adam Curry, the former VJ whose long blond locks once mesmerized teenyboppers across the globe. 'I've always had this total dual life as a geek and a celebrity.'

"Curry, 40, is the brains behind iPodder, a tiny application that he believes has the power to challenge commercial radio. iPodder is the bastard offspring of the blog and the Apple MP3 player. It combines the hyperactive talkiness of blogs and the hipness of iPods into something utterly new: the podcast. iPodder uses the blog syndication tool RSS to automatically download homebrew radio shows, podcasts, directly into a portable MP3 player.

"Welcome to podcasting, the medium that promises a future where anyone can make radio, instead of just listen to it. The biggest podcast audiences now number in the mere tens of thousands. Yet real radio, the kind with bona fide mass audiences, is starting to use the technology to make its shows available for download.

"The podcasting scene is reminiscent of the early, heady days of blogging, circa 2001, a time before Wonkette made the cover of The New York Times Magazine. Like bloggers in the good old days, podcasters are obsessively internecine and gloriously, honestly unprofessional."

Annalee Newitz. Adam Curry Wants to Make You an iPod Radio Star. Wired. March 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:55 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Tension Builds Over Use of High Tech

"In 2002, a young software programmer in Seattle named Bram Cohen solved a vexing Internet problem: how to get large computer files such as home movies or audio recordings of music concerts to travel rapidly across cyberspace.

"Among the benefits of the invention, called BitTorrent, was that millions of users could quickly see lengthy amateur videos documenting the devastation of the December tsunami in the Indian Ocean, helping to spur an outpouring of charitable aid.

"But BitTorrent also is wildly popular because the technology makes it easier to freely trade Hollywood movies and television shows, putting it in the cross hairs of the entertainment industry.

Jonathan Krim. High-Tech Tension Over Illegal Uses. WashingtonPost.com. Feb. 22, 2005.

(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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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:50 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

iMesh P2P Network Moves Toward Release

"For more than six months, Israel's iMesh has been the strangest of beasts in the file-swapping world: a fully functioning peer-to-peer network operating with the blessing, albeit temporary, of the recording industry.

"That status is coming slowly to an end. The company is working to build a record-label-approved peer-to-peer service, using song-filtering company Audible Magic's technology to help turn unauthorized music trades into revenue for record labels.

"Originally expected by the end of last year, the song-sales service is taking longer than predicted. Company executives declined to comment on the details of the service, but said that progress on the new service has been satisfactory."

John Borland. iMesh Almost Ready to Become Paid File-Swap Network. News.com. Feb. 17, 2005.

See also:
John Borland. Record Labels Settle With Israeli P2P Company. News.com. July 20, 2004.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:53 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

At 25 Million Downloads, Firefox Gains on IE

"Firefox is gathering steam and gaining traction, but the open-source browser is not expected to overtake Microsoft in the foreseeable future.

"The number of downloads of Firefox has topped 25 million, indicating that the open-source browser continues to make gains in the market dominated by Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer.

"Downloads of Firefox 1.0 had reached 25.24 million as of Friday, just over 100 days since its release, according to the Mozilla Foundation, developers of the browser. A preview release of Firefox 1.1 is scheduled for April."

Antone Gonsalves. Firefox Tops 25 Million-Download Mark. InformationWeek. Feb. 18, 2005.

See also:
Mozilla Foundation. Mozilla Foundation Announces 25 Million Downloads of Firefox Browsers. (Press Release.) Feb. 16, 2005.

Antone Gonsalves. IE 7 Sparks Talk Of Browser Wars. TechWebNews. Feb. 16, 2005.

Jack McCarthy. Firefox Surpasses 25 Million Downloads. InfoWorld. Feb. 22, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:45 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

A New View of the News

"Want to stay up on the latest news but think Google News is dry and boring? For something a little more visual, try 10x10. The site lets viewers scour the top headlines using photos, which combine to create a broad snapshot of the world every hour on the hour.

"News at a glance has never been so literal, thanks to information architect Jonathan Harris, 25, creator of the site. 10x10 takes the most common words from major news outlets like BBC World Edition and New York Times International and couples them with pictures. The site lets users interactively search for the top stories by scrolling over pictures and the words associated with them.

"The idea for 10x10's design and ever-changing content came to Harris while traveling in Greece. He started to wonder "what a moment in the world would look like," and it was from this question that he came up with the idea for 10x10."

David Cohn. A Fluid Look at the News. Wired News. Feb. 21, 2005.

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

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Violent Video Game Debate Continues

"A key sequence in 'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' requires the player to steal a police SWAT team tank, machine gun rival gang members and incinerate employees of a rival crack dealer--all acts covered by the 'Mature' rating prominently displayed on each copy of the video game.

"That rating, however, hasn't stopped countless underage players from picking up virtual Uzis in the latest GTA installment, the top-selling video game of 2004. Advocacy groups say exposure to such material makes kids more aggressive and desensitizes them to real-world violence, an argument that's winning increasing support from state and local lawmakers looking to ban the sale of such games to minors.

"The issue's become a political football, with lawmakers and advocacy groups arguing that the government must protect children if the game industry can't or won't. The debate only gets more confusing with publicity surrounding cases such as that of Devin Thompson, an Alabama teen who claims that a previous version of 'Grand Theft Auto' inspired him to kill three police officers when he was 16."

David Becker. When Games Get Gory. News.com. Feb. 22, 2005.

See also:
David Becker. Video Game Sales up 8 Percent in 2004. News.com. Jan. 18, 2005.

David Becker. How Gory is That Game?. News.com. Nov. 23, 2004.

David Becker. 'Grand Theft Auto': Keeping America Safe From Crime. News.com. Dec. 13, 2004.

David Kushner. Grand Death Auto. Salon. Feb. 22, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: Salon.com normally requires a paid subscription, but you can view articles if you register for a free day pass.)

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

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Wikipedia's Growth Raises Concerns

"Wikipedia is a dynamic, online encyclopedia that allows users to create and edit their own entires. Volunteers then fact-check the entires to ensure accuracy. NPR's Laura Sydell reports that as Wikipedia has grown dramatically in popularity, some have begun to question its accuracy."

National Public Radio. Wikipedia's Growth Comes with Concerns. Weekend Edition. Feb. 20, 2005.

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

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Airbus Proposes In-Flight Cell Phone Use

"European aircraft manufacturer Airbus plans to include in its new Superjumbo A380 planes an optional voice and data system that can allow passengers to use their mobile devices in flight, the company says.

"The service, including onboard mobile telephony and Internet access for passengers, will be offered through the OnAir joint venture to airline companies purchasing the A380. The system could be fitted on other models from Airbus as well as on planes from U.S. rival Boeing, OnAir says.

"Airbus last year successfully completed an in-flight trial of mobile phones and infrastructure equipment based on GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) technology using an Airbus A320 flight-test plane. Tested services included GSM telephony, Web browsing, e-mail, and connectivity to a VPN. The trial, announced last September, also tested several wireless computing services."

Laura Rohde. Coming Soon: Cell Phones in Flight?. PC World. Feb. 16, 2005.

See also:
John Blau. Mobile Phones Cleared for Takeoff. PC World. Sept. 26, 2004.

Bradley S. Klapper. Cell Phone Use Coming for Airbus Fliers. SeattlePI.com. Feb. 16, 2005.

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)

February 23, 2005

SNTReport.com Celebrates Its First Birthday

One is the magic number. -- Jill Scott

Today, SNTReport.com celebrates its first full year of publication. Born on Feb. 23, 2004, SNTReport.com has grown into the one of the Web's most respected information sources about the intersection of collaboration and technology.

During the past year, we have been privileged to witness and report on several exciting developments, including Google's initial public offering, Yahoo's 10th anniversary, blogging's explosion from personal phenomenon to media mainstay, the growth of VOIP, and continued clashes over copyright. We have shortened our name, re-classified the site at least twice, pushed our publication cycle from five days to six days per week, polished our layout and logo, and tried -- with varying degrees of success -- to cover digital collaboration as the field continues to evolve and define itself.

From the beginning, we have run this publication more like a newspaper than as a traditional blog. We go to great lengths to provide core bibliographic information so that our readers may find the original articles themselves, even after the hyperlinks expire. Additionally, we diligently archive and cross-reference our stories. I sincerely believe that SNTReport.com is one of the Web's most timely, accurate and valuable sources for information about digital collaboration, social software, social networking and information policy.

But to be fair, there is room for improvement. I concede that for SNTReport.com to grow and add even more value to our readership, we need to publish more original content. I, for one, have found it increasingly more difficult to find time to develop original content for SNTReport.com. I envy fellow commentators like Steve Cohen, who does a wonderful job posting rich, original content for his blog, Library Stuff (and has managed to secure a sponsorship deal with Information Today to boot). If there is any one issue that I would like to improve over the next year, it is adding more original content.

To that end, we will be working hard over the next few months to launch a Podcasting initiative. The initiative, which we have yet to brand, will likely take the form of a weekly show that looks retrospectively on the prior week's developments in the digital collaboration space.

It is my hope that this initiative will accomplish three things. First, I hope it will infuse SNTReport.com with fresh, original, valuable multimedia content. We'll start with audio only in the first stages, then we may try full audio and video if we can work out the details.

Second, the Podcasting initiative will allow me to move closer to radio. I have always enjoyed radio and the lively, intimate commentary it can provide. As Apple's iPod continues to supplant Sony's Walkman and the transistor radio as America's audio unit of choice, it seems natural to make SNTReport.com-sponsored commentary available on that platform as well.

Finally, I hope the initiative will allow us an opportunity to lend some context and perspective to this field we call digital collaboration. With developments in this space moving as quickly as they do, it is easy for everyone involved (including us) to miss the forest for the trees. Hopefully, the Podcasting initiative will help our readers keep things in the proper perspective.

No writing venture is a singular effort, and SNTReport.com is no exception. Many people have worked hard at improving this publication, and for fear of omitting names, I will thank you all broadly instead.

Three people in particular, however, have helped this publication get to a point where it is infinitely better on February 23, 2005, than it was on Febrary 23, 2004. Stephen E. Arnold, SNTReport.com's founding editor; Stuart Schram, the publication's technology director; and Carol Schwartz, writer and editorial associate, have worked very hard to guide this publication in the right direction and provide our readers with some of the Web's finest information on digital collaboration. To each of them, I say thank you and congratulations.

My final thank you is reserved for each of you that allows us into your world somehow each day, be it through the Web or an RSS feed. We are committed to continuing our coverage of social software, digital collaboration and information policy, and look forwarding to providing a premier news source for developments in these areas. As always, if you have suggestions, information, praise or even complaints, do not hesitate to contact me at dames(AT)sntreport.com.

Best,
K. Matthew Dames
Founder & Executive Editor
SNTReport.com

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

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Steve Arnold Summarizes Search Implementation

Stephen E. Arnold, SNTReport.com's Founding Editor, has an article in this month's edition of Infoconomy, a publication and portal that serves the serves the information technology cognoscenti throughout Europe. The article summarizes some of the findings in The Enterprise Search Report, Arnold's comprehensive analysis of the field. The Report is available for sale from CMSWatch.

"Enterprise search and retrieval is a tricky field. Due to the wide variation in the type of information sets and business models within and among organisations, there is no single recipe that works every time.

"However, there are some basic rules to follow. Indeed, the larger the organisation and the greater the number of variables, the more important it is for
the search implementation team to work in a methodical, systematic manner."

Stephen E. Arnold. Searching for Answers. (.pdf) Infoconomy. Feb. 2005.

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

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Groups Challenge Broadcast Flag Rules

"Mike Godwin, the legal director for Public Knowledge, a digital-rights advocacy group in Washington, is a fan of Showtime's new drama series 'Huff.' So three weeks ago, when he missed the season finale, he decided to download it to his personal computer.

"To Mr. Godwin, the time-consuming download (and the file's poor quality) indicated that the rampant piracy of digitized broadcast programs - a threat Hollywood has long warned against - was hardly imminent. But to the Federal Communications Commission and the Motion Picture Association of America, cases like this one suggest a future of widespread illegal file-sharing that must be stopped before it begins."

"The debate will be presented in oral arguments tomorrow before the District of Columbia Circuit for the United States Court of Appeals in a lawsuit brought by Public Knowledge and others against the F.C.C., challenging a new regulation that is intended to prevent such bleeding of television content onto the Internet."

Tom Zeller Jr. Federal Effort to Head Off TV Piracy Is Challenged. News.com. Feb. 21, 2005.

See also:
Ed Felton. Broadcast Flag in Court. Freedom to Tinker. Feb. 21, 2005.

Electronic Frontier Foundation. Broadcast Flag "Just As Important As Grokster". Deep Links. Feb. 18, 2005.

Electronic Frontier Foundation. EFF's HDTV-PVR Cookbook. No date

Update: Declan McCullagh. Court Questions FCC's Broadcast Flag Rules. News.com. Feb. 22, 2005. (A federal appeals court questions whether the FCC has authority to undertake such sweeping regulation.)

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

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Librarians Value Online Communities

"Last February I was introduced to Bob Spence from the Carnegie Library in Ballinger, TX. Ballinger is a town of about 4000, smack-dab in the middle of the state. Right off, Spence told me he'd been 'cramming to learn the how-tos' ever since he'd started in his new role as library director, only six months before.

"In subsequent months, Spence shared his goal to have Ballinger's library become "the most practical public library in West Texas." He asked for advice on involving his library board, cataloging relevant web sites, and, in true Texas form, his struggle with 'wearing so many hats.'

"Since the onslaught of Internet services, all librarians have been struggling to incorporate new types of information, formats, and skills into our work, for both ourselves and our patrons. We exercise our professional skills, judgments, expertise, and even "share" an awful lot online, but perhaps we've missed an important point in all the technology hubbub—one that's fundamental to our ethics and practice in librarianship: we must be present and connected with our patrons and each other. What if we were all 'here, listening and learning,' like Bob Spence, in our online community?"

Chrystie R. Hil. Everything I Need To Know I Learned Online. Library Journal. Feb. 15, 2005.

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

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NGA Considers Restricting Access to Maps

"Officials at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency want to bar the public from viewing the agency's aeronautical and navigational data and publications, a decision that has upset many who use that information. Some librarians, commercial mapmakers and public-interest group members say they will launch a campaign to retain access.

"Without seeking public comment, NGA officials announced plans in November 2004 to stop selling and distributing the aeronautical and navigational data because of copyright concerns and worries about terrorist attacks. Last December, however, they said they would seek comments before making a final decision.

"Jim Mohan, an NGA spokesman, said the agency is considering the action partly because an increasing number of foreign source providers are claiming intellectual property rights or warning agency officials that they intend to copyright their source material."

Frank Tiboni. A Publishing Dilemma. FCW. Feb. 7, 2005.

See also:
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. NGA Invites Public Comment on Proposal to Remove Aeronautical Information from Public Sale and Distribution. (.pdf) (Press Release.) Dec. 3, 2004.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:09 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Researchers: IM Creates New Field of Linguistics

"We love instant messenger for the little pleasures it provides: workday diversions, covert flirting opportunities, parental contact with an easy out.

"But communicating using instant messenger, text messaging, even blogging are changing the way humans communicate. The technologies have opened up a whole new field of linguistic studies, and researchers say the impact will be as significant as the advent of the telegraph and telephone.

"Traditional linguists fear the internet damages our ability to articulate properly, infusing language with LOLs, dorky emoticons and the gauche sharing personal information on blogs. But some researchers believe we have entered a new era of expression."

Kristen Philipkoski. The Web Not the Death of Language. Wired News. Feb. 22, 2005.

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

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First Arrest for IM Spam

"A U.S teenager has become the first person to be arrested on suspicion of sending unsolicited instant messages--or spim.

"Anthony Greco, 18, was lured from New York to Los Angeles under the pretence of a business meeting. He was arrested upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport last Wednesday.

"Greco allegedly sent 1.5 million messages advertising pornography and mortgages. According to reports, the recipients of the messages were all members of the MySpace.com online networking service."

Will Sturgeon. U.S. Makes First Arrest for Spim. News.com. Feb. 21, 2005

See also:
Joseph Menn. Instant Messages Face Growing Spam Threat. detnews.com. Feb. 21, 2005.

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

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FreeFi Deploys Ad Supported Free WiFi

"A hotspot vendor Friday launched what it said will be a nationwide network of free, advertising-sponsored hotspots in locations such as shopping centers, airports and cafes.

"FreeFi Networks said in a statement it will develop and manage the free hotspots in qualifying locations at no cost to the venue owner other than the cost of a broadband connection. FreeFi says it will support the network with advertising that appears in what it called a 'narrow, persistent band of content' across the bottom of the user's screen."

Mobile Pipeline Staff. Network Of Free, Ad-Sponsored Hotspots Launched. Mobile Pipeline. Feb. 18, 2005.

See also:
FreeFi Networks. Nationwide Free Wireless Internet Hotspots – Free to Businesses, Free to Consumers. (Press Release.) Feb. 18, 2005.

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

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February 22, 2005

Cryptographers to Hollywood: Design DRM to Fail

"Movie industry representatives at RSA 2005 in San Francisco today called on the IT industry for help in thwarting illegal file sharing before the problem threatened its revenues. But they were told that they must recognise the limitations of digital rights management in their fight against digital piracy.

"Speaking on the RSA conference panel Hollywood's Last Chance - Getting it Right on Digital Piracy, Carter Laren, security architect at Cryptographic Research, noted that cryptography is 'good at some problems, such as transmitting data so it can't be eavesdropped or even authentication, but it can't solve the content protection problem. If people have legitimate access to content, then you can't stop them misusing it.

"'Anyone designing content protection should design for failure and if it fails update it,' he added."

John Leyden. Cryptographers to Hollywood: Prepare to Fail on DRM. The Register. Feb. 17, 2005.

See also:
Cryptography Research. Cryptography Research Security Experts to Speak at RSA Conference 2005. (Press Release.) Feb. 14, 2005.

Michael A. Einhorn and Bill Rosenblatt. Peer-to-Peer Networking and Digital Rights Management: How Market Tools Can Solve Copyright Problems. (.pdf) Cato Institute. Feb. 17, 2005.

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

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Gamer's Relationship with Hollywood: Unpredictable

"A few years ago, Warner Brothers sold the video game rights to its film series 'The Matrix,' a heady science-fiction trilogy starring Keanu Reeves, for $10 million, according to industry reports.

"So when it came time for Warner Brothers to sell the game rights to 'Constantine,' the new fantasy movie also starring Keanu Reeves, the studio might have expected a similar windfall. Instead, the rights went to a small developer, Bits Studios, for less than a million dollars.

"The difference between the two deals is just one example of how unpredictable - and at times unprofitable - the game publishers' relationship with Hollywood has become. Five years ago, the studios looked at video game royalties as a growing source of revenue as well as a source of promotion, while game makers saw movies as a way to stand out on store shelves."

Robert Levine. Story Line Is Changing for Game Makers and Their Movie Deals. The New York Times. Feb. 21, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:53 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Firms Seek to Bolster E-Shopping Confidence

"Addressing a rise in identity theft and phishing attacks, a panel of security experts discussed on Friday the steps their companies are taking to bolster consumer confidence in online commerce and prepare for the challenges that lie ahead.

"The panel, including security experts from e-commerce sites and online banks, outlined their predictions and opinions at the RSA Conference 2005 here. Earlier this week, a survey by RSA Security found that one-fourth of online shoppers have reduced purchases in the past year as identity theft has risen.

"And businesses that cater to online consumers are taking note and developing plans."

Dawn Kawamoto. Firms Seek to Reassure E-Shoppers Over Security. News.com. Feb. 18, 2005.

See also:
Dawn Kawamoto. Study: Security Fears Daunt Online Shoppers. News.com. Feb. 14, 2005.

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

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Apple Updates Multimedia Programs

"The most important letter in Apple's alphabet must be 'i' -- not just for its iMac and iBook computers, but for its flock of i-named multimedia applications. ITunes, iPhoto, iMovie and iDVD -- sold with the Garage Band music mixer in a bundle called iLife -- turn a Mac into the center of a digital lifestyle, letting people tap into digital music, photography and movies with uncommon ease.

"Apple updated this set of programs last month with the release of iLife '05 and added a second set of "iApps," called iWork '05. Like many software-suite updates, these two only offer sweeping changes in one of their constituent applications. In iLife, the signature release is a much-improved iPhoto; in iWork, the marquee attraction is Pages, Apple's first new publishing program in years."

Rob Pegoraro. Apple Dots Some More 'i's. WashingtonPost.com. Feb. 20, 2005.

(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 07:20 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

E-Mail Service Extended to Wounded Troops

"The Defense Department's Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP), developed to help federal employees with disabilities use computers, has added wounded troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to its portfolio so that they can use e-mail.

"CAP Director Dinah Cohen, speaking here at the annual Healthcare and Management Information Systems Society (HIMSS) conference, said the fit between CAP and the mostly young, wounded troops is a natural fit 'because these are kids who have grown up in a computer environment.'

"When the troops are evacuated to a stateside hospital, Cohen said, they often want to communicate with family, friends and military colleagues via e-mail."

Bob Brewin. Wounded Vets Get E-Mail Aid. FCW. Feb. 18, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:32 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

The Erosion of Culture

"Should the Girl Scouts have to fork over a fee to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers every time its young members want to sing 'Happy Birthday' to one another? Should the organizers of athletic events have to seek permission from the United States Olympic Committee to use the word 'Olympics' in the titles of their events?

"Anyone who responds with an emphatic, 'Well, of course not,' will find a frustrating sort of pleasure in Brand Name Bullies ($25, 2005, John Wiley & Sons), by activist David Bollier.

"As the title suggests, the book is an intense critique of the U.S. copyright and trademark system and the corporations that use it as a weapon against competitors and anyone else who might threaten them. Bollier argues that the court's willingness to let corporations get away with such bullying is increasingly eroding our 'cultural commons' -- the collection of images, stories, sounds and other creative expressions that, due to their significance and prevalence, no longer belong to any single person or company."

Amit Asaravala. Are Bullies After Our Culture?. Wired News. Feb. 16, 2005.

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

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Google Moves Gmail Forward

"Social networking is out and straight invitations are in at Google's free e-mail service, but the official line is that the shift does not signal an end to Gmail's beta status.

"Google is giving more people the chance to sign up for Gmail, but the search giant insists the move does not signify an impending full-scale launch of the free e-mail service, which has been in beta since it launched on April 1 last year.

"To date, Google has been relying on social networking to roll out Gmail, initially inviting some 2,000 people, who were then able to invite a limited number of others themselves. This week though, Google started sending invitations directly to those who have signed up to be kept abreast of updates to the service."

Matt Loney. Gmail Moves to Next Stage. News.com. Feb. 18, 2005.

See also:
Robert Lemos. Gmail Glitch Yields Access to Messages. News.com. Jan. 12, 2005.

Paul Festa. Google to Offer Gigabyte of Free E-mail. News.com. April 1, 2004.

Editor's note: See also SNTReport's prior story on Google's beta cycle.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:19 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Workshare Launches Free Tool for Hidden Data

"When it comes to Microsoft Office documents, there is often a lot more in them than meets the eye. Most people don't realize that when two or more people collaborate on a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document, hidden information--such as deleted text, names of authors, and revision marks--are sometimes unintentionally left in final drafts.

"A company called Workshare Technology now offers a free safety net from the potential embarrassment of a public display of these hidden and forgotten comments and changes. The company's Trace application sends out an alert if hidden information, also known as metadata, is embedded in a Microsoft Office file. When hidden data is identified, a dialogue box pops up from your system tray alerting you. Clicking on the alert message generates a report of all the hidden data inside the file.

"Workshare Trace, announced early this month, is available for download now."

Tom Spring. Free Tool Identifies Hidden Data in Office Docs. PC World. Feb. 14, 2005.

See also:
Workshare. TRACE! Beta by Workshare. (Press Release.) Feb. 7, 2005.

Workshare. Workshare Launches Workshare Professional Release 4. (Press Release.) Feb. 7, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:10 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 21, 2005

Podcasting: A New Voice in Media

"From a chenille-slipcovered sofa in the basement of their friend Dave's mom's house at the edge of a snow-covered field, Brad and Other Brad, sock-footed pioneers in the latest technology revolution, are recording 'Why Fish,' their weekly show.

"Clutching a microphone and leaning over a laptop on the coffee table, they praise the beauty of the Red River, now frozen on the edge of town, and plug an upcoming interview with a top-ranked professional walleye fisherman. Then they sign off.

"Their show, mostly ad-libbed, is a podcast, a kind of recording that, thanks to a technology barely six months old, anyone can make on a computer and then post to a Web site, where it can be downloaded to an iPod or any MP3 player to be played at the listener's leisure.

"Since August, when Adam Curry, a former MTV video jockey, and David Winer, an early Web log writer, developed the podcasting technology, 3,075 podcasts have sprung up around the world, according to a Web site, Ipodder.org, that offers downloads of podcasting software."

Kate Zernike. Tired of TiVo? Beyond Blogs? Podcasts Are Here. The New York Times. Feb. 19, 2005.

Editor's note: SNTReport.com has been tracking podcasting technology since its inception. Selected previous stories are available here, here, and here.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:54 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

10 Copyright Myths Explained

"An attempt to answer common myths about copyright seen on the net and cover issues related to copyright and USENET/Internet publication.

"Note that this is an essay about copyright myths. It assumes you know at least what copyright is -- basically the legal exclusive right of the author of a creative work to control the copying of that work. If you didn't know that, check out my own brief introduction to copyright for more information."

Brad Templeton. 10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained. Templeton.com. No date.

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

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IBM Pledges $100 Million for Linux

"IBM is spending $100 million over the next three years beefing up its commitment to Linux software.

"The cash injection will be used to help its customers use Linux on every type of device from handheld computers and phones right up to powerful servers.

"IBM said the money will fund a variety of technical, research and marketing initiatives to boost Linux use."

No author. IBM Puts Cash Behind Linux Push. BBC News. Feb. 18, 2005.

See also:
Jennifer LeClaire. IBM To Invest $100 Million in Linux Support, Technology. TechNewsWorld. Feb. 17, 2005.

Dennis Callaghan. IBM Pledges $100 Million to Workplace on Linux. eWeek. Feb. 17, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:12 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

AOL Updates Winamp Copy-Prevention Features

"America Online is disabling a feature of its popular music software that had been used to evade copy-prevention features of digital music services, the company said Friday.

"The company's Winamp software was identified by bloggers this week as part of a process that transformed copy-protected music downloads into songs that could be burned by the thousand to CD. The tool had potentially affected any subscription service that used Microsoft's media format, including Napster, Virgin Music and even America Online's own music subscription plan.

"AOL programmers are taking a series of steps to prevent its software from being used in this way, a representative said."

John Borland. AOL Blocks Music-Copying Feature. News.com. Feb. 17, 2005.

See also:
John Borland. Napster Hack Leads to Free Downloads. News.com. Feb. 15, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:06 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Patent Infringement Suit Over Color Orange

"As a noun, it is the bane of rhyming poets. As a fruit, it is a widely enjoyed source of vitamin C. But as a color, orange could one day become the legal property of Orange, the British mobile phone company.

"Orange said yesterday evening that it would sue easyMobile, a wireless start-up founded by the entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who also founded the easyJet discount airline. Orange wants to keep easyMobile from ever using its signature color in advertisements.

"The crux of the argument is that ads for Orange prominently feature its namesake color. Its shade of orange is similar to the one used by all the easyGroup brands, and to the one that easyMobile plans to use in advertisements of its own."

Heather Timmons. In a British Mobile Phone Suit, the Color of Money Is Orange. The New York Times. Feb. 19, 2005.

(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 06:57 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

NOAA to Launch Enterprise Architecture Portal

"Enterprise data architects at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this week said they are piecing together an online portal that can navigate 99 disparate systems observing more than 500 environmental parameters.

"The NOAA Observing System Architecture, or NOSA, provides:

  • An integrated view of the agency’s data
  • A framework for examining future data needs, costs, gaps and duplication
  • Broad accessibility."

Susan M. Menke. NOAA Links its Architecture Online. GCN.com. Feb. 18, 2005.

See also:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA Web Site Provides Huge Inventory of Earth Observing Systems. (Press Release.) Feb. 14, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:44 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Gartner Addresses Microsoft's Strategy

"Microsoft should be concentrating on securing Windows instead of trying to challenge security software companies, according to research firm Gartner.

"Microsoft has bought two antivirus companies and an anti-spyware company--the latter acquisition has already produced an anti-spyware application for Windows--since Chairman Bill Gates launched the Trustworthy Computing Initiative. That effort changed the company's coding practices to make security developers' first priority.

"But Microsoft has missed an opportunity to make it clear what role it wants to play in the security market, by not stating its intentions, Gartner analyst Neil MacDonald said in an advisory published Friday. The company needs to 'articulate whether it plans to be a leader in consumer and enterprise security solutions across desktop, server and server gateway,' he said."

Munir Kotadia. Gartner Takes Microsoft to Task. News.com. Feb. 18, 2005.

Robert Lemos. Third Buy's a Charm for Microsoft Security?. News.com. Feb. 9, 2005.

Matt Hines. Long Fuse for Microsoft's Security Challenge. News.com. Feb. 16, 2005.

CNET News.com Staff. Study: Anti-spyware Market to Boom in 2005. News.com. Feb. 11, 2005.

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February 19, 2005

The Rise of Viral Marketing

"During the early days of Internet advertising, skeptics often argued that Web ads would never sell prosaic packaged goods effectively.

"As more Americans become comfortable with the Web, though, major marketers are increasingly asking agencies to produce elaborate, interactive online campaigns - even for grocery store goods that hardly anyone researches or buys online.

"One of the shiniest lures online is the developing field of viral advertising, in which companies try to create messages so compelling, funny or suggestive that consumers spontaneously share them with friends, often through e-mail or cellphone text messages. The goal is the exponential spread of ads that are endorsed by consumers' own friends."

Natives. Interactive Viral Campaigns Ask Consumers to Spread the Word. The New York Times. Feb. 18, 2005.

(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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The Gray Lady to Acquire About.com

"The New York Times Company announced yesterday that it would acquire About Inc. and its Web site, About.com, from Primedia Inc. for $410 million.

"Times Company officials said the acquisition would add a fast-growing, highly profitable Web site to the company's portfolio and would increase the company's revenue from the expanding online advertising business.

"By adding About's 22 million monthly users to the Times Company's 13 million monthly users - from The New York Times, The Boston Globe and more than 40 other Web sites - the company said it would have the 12th-largest presence on the Internet."

Katharine Q. Seelye. The Times Company Acquires About.com for $410 Million. The New York Times. Feb. 18, 2005.

See also:

Julie MacIntosh. New York Times to Buy About.com for $410 Million. Reuter. Feb. 17, 2005.

Susan Kuchinskas. NY Times: It's All About.com. InternetNews.com. Feb. 17, 2005.

The New York Times. The New York Times Company to Acquire About.com; Provides Compelling Strategic Benefits For Future Growth. (Press Release.) Feb. 17, 2005.

Staci Kramer. Exclusive Audio: Interview with Martin Nisenholtz, SVP-Digital Operations, NYTCO. PaidContent. Feb. 18, 2005.

(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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ChoicePoint Warns 145,000 of Possible Fraud

"One of the nation's biggest information services has begun warning more than 100,000 people across the country they may be targets of fraud, following disclosures the company inadvertently sold personal and financial records to fraud artists apparently involved in a massive identity theft scheme.

"ChoicePoint Inc. electronically delivered thousands of reports containing names, addresses, Social Security numbers, financial information and other details to people in the Los Angeles area posing as officials in legitimate debt collection, insurance and check-cashing businesses.

"At least 700 victims have had their mailing addresses changed, apparently by people connected to the scheme, authorities said. Identity thieves often change the addresses of victims in order to gain control of credit card offers and other mail. No one knows the extent of the fraud or the financial impact, authorities said. Only one suspect has been arrested.

"Earlier this week, ChoicePoint officials said the records of about 35,000 people in California may have been disclosed. But yesterday, the company said the scope of the scheme is probably much wider than it originally reported. Company officials said they were sending out more letters to 110,000 addresses throughout the country that may be connected to the reports delivered to the fraudsters."

Robert O'Harrow Jr. ID Data Conned From Firm. WashingtonPost.com. Feb.17, 2005.

See also:

Matt Hines. ChoicePoint Data Theft Widens to 145,000 People. News.com. Feb. 18, 2005.

Todd R. Weiss. State Officials Push ChoicePoint on ID Theft Notifications. ComputerWorld. Feb. 18, 2005.

Bob Sullivan. Database Giant Gives Access to Fake Firms. MSNBC News. Feb. 14, 2005.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Company Should Notify Illinoisans About Any Breaches of Security of Security of Personal Information. (Press Release.) Feb. 16, 2005.

ChoicePoint. ChoicePoint Update on Fraud Investigation. (Press Release.) Feb. 16, 2005.

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. Alert: The ChoicePoint Data Security Breach: What It Means for You, and How to Find Out What ChoicePoint Knows about You. (Press Release.) Feb. 19, 2005.

(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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EFF Creates Endangered Gizmos List

"Endangered animals lists are familiar to those who care about nature, but now technology has its own list of gadget 'species' under threat of extinction.

"High on the endangered list is the file-sharing network, Morpheus, which is about to fight for survival in court.

"The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) list highlights what it says is the grip industry holds over gadgets."

No author. Gizmos Under Threat of Extinction. BBC News. Feb. 18, 2005.

See also:
Electronic Frontier Foundation. Endangered Gizmos List.

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Google's Toolbar Angers Critics

"Google's browser toolbar is raising eyebrows over a feature that inserts new hyperlinks in Web pages, giving the Internet search provider a powerful tool to funnel traffic to destinations of its choice.

"When Web surfers install the toolbar in their Microsoft Internet Explorer Web browser and click the AutoLink button, Web pages with street addresses suddenly sprout links to Google's map service by default. Book publishers' ISBN numbers trigger links to Amazon.com, potentially luring shoppers away from competing book sellers such as BarnesandNoble.com. Vehicle ID licenses spawn links to Carfax.com, while package tracking numbers connect automatically to shippers' Web sites.

"Google, the world's most widely used search engine, denied that the AutoLink feature is an attempt to control which destinations Web surfers visit. People can already choose between several map services, including Yahoo and MapQuest, and choices for book retailers may be added in the future, a company representative said on Friday."

Stefanie Olsen. Google Landgrab Raises Online Ire. News.com. Feb. 18, 2005.

See also:
Gary Price. A New Version (Beta) of the Google Toolbar is Now Available, Still No Firefox. SearchEngineWatch. Feb. 16, 2005.

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Microsoft Reverses Policy

"Just when you think you have Bill Gates' next move figured out, he goes and does the opposite.

"Reversing a longstanding Microsoft policy, Gates said the company will ship an update to its browser separately from the next major version of Windows. A beta, or test, version of Internet Explorer 7 will debut this summer, Microsoft's chairman said in a keynote address at the RSA security conference in San Francisco.

"In announcing the plan, Gates acknowledged something that many outside the company had been arguing for some time--that the browser itself has become a security risk. 'Browsing is definitely a point of vulnerability,' Gates said."

Steven Musil. This Week in Security. News.com. Feb. 18, 2005.

See also:
Steven Musil. Week in Review: Reading Redmond. News.com. Feb. 18, 2005.

Ina Fried and Paul Festa. Reversal: Next IE Divorced From New Windows. News.com. Feb. 15, 2005.

CNET News.com Staff. RSA Security Conference 2005. News.com. No date.

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No Law to Protect Bloggers

"Over the past eight months, bloggers have covered two political conventions; claimed credit for forcing the resignations of two prominent journalists (soon-to-be former CBS news anchor Dan Rather, ex-CNN news chief Eason Jordan); outed a conservative faker with a taste for gay porn credentialed to cover the White House; and risen from relative obscurity to media darling. They've done this while attracting impressive levels of web traffic (and advertising dollars) and conjuring up a cottage industry and community devoted largely to, well, themselves.

"Now, with two reporters from established news organizations facing jail time for defying an order to divulge confidential sources to a federal grand jury, bloggers are clamoring for the same legal protection that journalists are accorded under the First Amendment.

"But they won't get it. Besides, even if they did, it wouldn't be of much use."

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

Adam L. Penenberg. No Protection for Bloggers. Wired News. Feb. 17, 2005.

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February 18, 2005

Next Generation Web Searches

"In less than a decade, Internet search engines have completely changed how people gather information. No longer must we run to a library to look up something; rather we can pull up relevant documents with just a few clicks on a keyboard. Now that 'Googling' has become synonymous with doing research, online search engines are poised for a series of upgrades that promise to further enhance how we find what we need.

"New search engines are improving the quality of results by delving deeper into the storehouse of materials available online, by sorting and presenting those results better, and by tracking your long-term interests so that they can refine their handling of new information requests.

"In the future, search engines will broaden content horizons as well, doing more than simply processing keyword queries typed into a text box. They will be able to automatically take into account your location--letting your wireless PDA, for instance, pinpoint the nearest restaurant when you are traveling. New systems will also find just the right picture faster by matching your sketches to similar shapes. They will even be able to name that half-remembered tune if you hum a few bars."

Javed Mostafa. Seeking Better Web Searches. ScientificAmerican.com. Feb. 2005.

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3G Linux Phone Boasts New Features

"Several leading mobile technology players are cooperating on a project to explore Linux's potential as the major software component in smart phones of the future.

"At the 3GSM World Congress taking place here this week, Infineon Technologies, Samsung and embedded-Linux specialist Trolltech said they have created a 3G, or third-generation, smart phone built around the Linux operating system.

"The prototype uses Linux software from MontaVista Software, a company that creates versions of the open-source operating system that can be embedded into special-purpose computing devices such as telecommunications equipment. The prototype features services such as video calling and streaming, Web browsing, stereo speakers and Java-based 3D gaming."

Andrew Donoghue. 3G Linux Phone Allows Video Calling, Web Browsing. News.com. Feb. 15, 2005.

See also:
CNET News.com Staff. Cell Phones Sound Off with New Skills. News.com. Feb. 16, 2005.

Stephen Shankland. MontaVista Aims to Simplify Cell Phone Linux. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

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TCP/IP Pioneers Win Turing Award

"Late in the summer of 1973, two young scientists in the nascent field of computer networks hunkered down in a conference room of the Cabana Hyatt Hotel in Palo Alto, Calif., a clean but bland stopping place for salesmen and the parents of students at nearby Stanford University. Their goal was to thrash out a way to make different, isolated computer networks talk to each other.

"They wrote, they sketched, they argued, all the while passing a yellow legal pad back and forth to capture ideas as they crystallized.

"When they emerged two days later, they knew they had the makings of a solid technical paper. What they did not know was that they had created the essential underpinnings of today's vast and sprawling Internet.

"For the work that began on that yellow pad, the Association for Computing Machinery plans to announce Wednesday that Vinton G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn will receive the 2004 A. M. Turing Award, widely considered to be the computing field's equivalent of the Nobel Prize."

Katie Hafner. Laurels for Giving the Internet Its Language. News.com. Feb. 15, 2005.

See also:
Association for Computing Machinery. Internet Pioneers Cerf and Kahn to Receive ACM Turing Award. (Press Release.) Feb. 16, 2005.

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Review: Google Maps Need to Refine Service

"Leave it to Google Inc. to innovate. Its new online mapping service produces impressive U.S. maps that please the eye and are fun to navigate. And unlike competing services, you can put all your search terms into one box.

"But as a product still in 'beta,' or test phase, Google Maps clearly needs fine-tuning. I wouldn't abandon Yahoo, Mapquest or MSN quite yet.

"So which to use in the meantime? I took a systematic look at them all."

Anick Jesdanun. Google Online Maps Need Work. USA Today. Feb. 15, 2005.

See also:
Jim Regan. You Can Get There From Here. Christian Science Monitor. Feb. 17, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:19 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Napster Denies Flawed Copy Protection

"Less than three weeks after Napster Inc. began touting its all-you-can-rent music subscription service, the company finds itself refuting Internet claims that its copy-protection measures are flawed.

"The company posted a message this week, saying the service's digital music tracks are no more susceptible to unauthorized copying than any other licensed music service.

"The statement comes after word surfaced on the Internet about how subscribers of Napster To Go, which lets users play an unlimited number of tracks on their computer or on certain portable devices for about $15 a month, could make permanent copies of the songs."

Associated Press. Napster Refutes Flawed Protection Claims. SeattlePI.com. Feb. 16, 2005.

See also:
Sue Zeidler. Users Bypass Copy Protection on Napster To Go. WashingtonPost.com. Feb. 16, 2005.

John Borland. Napster Hack Leads to Free Downloads. News.com. Feb. 15, 2005.

(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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Vonage Says VoIP Calls Blocked by Provider

"Internet phone provider Vonage said it's asked U.S. utility regulators to investigate allegations that a 'major' broadband operator is deliberately blocking Internet phone calls.

"Any investigation and its findings will add more tension to the relationships between providers of high-speed Internet and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), software that lets Internet connections double as inexpensive phone lines.

"Vonage recently met with Federal Communications Commission representatives, said Vonage spokeswoman Brooke Schulz, to discuss an instance of 'egregious, alarming and harmful port blocking.' Port blocking is when Internet providers prevent traffic of certain kinds from traveling through their Internet Protocol (IP) networks."

Ben Charny. Vonage Says Broadband Provider Blocks Its Calls. News.com. Feb. 14, 2005.

See also:
Ben Charny. Cell Phone to Double as Net Phone. News.com. Feb. 10, 2005.

Paul Kapustka. Vonage Complaining Of VoIP 'Blocking'. Advanced IP Pipeline. Feb. 14, 2005.

Paul Kapustka. Vonage Confirms 'Blocking' Complaint. Advanced IP Pipeline. Feb. 15, 2005.

Ben Charny. VoIP Provider Fears Predatory Practices. News.com. Sep. 20, 2004.

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Questel-Orbit Introduces New International Patent Database

"Questel-Orbit recently announced the release of FamPat, the family-based version of its international patent database PlusPat. An interesting feature of FamPat is that it gives searchers a choice of how broad a patent family they may display. Subject-searchable elements include:

"First, some background. Like PlusPat, FamPat has probably the broadest country and time coverage of any subject-searchable patent database. It covers 75 patenting authorities, and some countries go back to the early 20th century (or even earlier: Germany goes back to 1877). The very early records only have numeric information. However, this includes ECLA classes in some cases, so they can be retrieved in subject searches."

  • title and abstract text and (for some French patents) indexing terms
  • ECLA (European Patent Office) classifications, as applied by the EPO, including the ICO (in computer only) classes that cover non-inventive and other aspects of the patent
  • U.S. patent classes as applied by the USPTO
  • International Patent Classes as applied by most countries’ patent offices

Nancy Lambert. Announcing FamPat, A New International Patent Database from Questel-Orbit. Information Today. Feb. 14, 2005.

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Siemens Tests Mobile Phone Encryption

"Voltage Security is expected to announce on Monday that cell phone maker Siemens is putting its encryption technology to the test.

"Ten corporate customers of Siemens' communications group will take part in a beta of Voltage's identity-based encryption, or IBE, toolkit, set to be unveiled Monday. The technology takes identity information--such as an e-mail address, phone number or IP address--and uses that for the public key for a cryptographic system, said Matt Pauker, company co-founder."

Dawn Kawamoto. Siemens Tests Crypto for Cell Phones. News.com. Feb. 13, 2005.

See also:
Voltage Security, Inc. Voltage Security Announces Secure Email Solution for Siemens. (Press Release.) Feb. 14, 2005.

Voltage Security, Inc. Voltage Security Announces Growing Support from Industry Leaders for Securing Applications and Content with Identity-Based Encryption. (Press Release.) Feb. 14, 2005

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February 17, 2005

Lawyers Challenge Apple's Subpoenas

"Lawyers for news Web sites targeted by Apple Computer asked a California court on Monday to block subpoenas seeking to identify who leaked information about unreleased products.

"The subpoenas should not be permitted because Internet journalists deserve the full protection of the First Amendment that their traditional brethren have long enjoyed, the lawyers said in a brief filed in Santa Clara Superior Court.

"These writers 'cannot be compelled to disclose the source of any information procured in connection with their journalistic endeavors, nor any unpublished information obtained,' the brief says. 'The reporter's privilege applies to online publication and print publication equally.' The brief was prepared by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and two local law firms.

Declan McCullagh. Apple's Subpoenas Challenged in Court. News.com. Feb. 14, 2005.

See also:

Daniel Drew Turner. Apple Agrees to Hold Subpoenas Against Web Sites. eWeek. Feb. 16, 2005.

Electronic Frontier Foundation. EFF Asks Court to Protect Online Journalists. (Press Release.) Feb. 14, 2005.

Electronic Frontier Foundation. Apple v. Does. No date.

Update: EFF: Apple to Hold Off on Subpoenas. News.com. Feb. 16, 2005. (Apple has agreed to delay subpoena requests until after a court hears the EFF's objections.)

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Cell Phone Industry Eyes Entertainment Downloads

"With a covetous eye on the success of portable music players, mobile phone makers are going after would-be iPod buyers by building high-quality players into their handsets.

"Sony Ericsson announced Monday it would soon market music-player mobiles under its parent's Walkman brand, drawing on the music catalogue of a sister company, Sony BMG, the world's No. 2 record company.

"And Nokia Corp., the world's leading phone maker, announced an alliance with Microsoft Corp. to allow mobile subscribers to load music from a PC onto their phones - much the way that a digital music player works."

Laurence Frost. Mobile Phone Industry Eyes Music Downloads. WashingtonPost.com. Feb. 14, 2005.

See also:
Chris Marlowe. Ring-a-Ding Ding for Mobile Music. Reuters. Feb. 15, 2005.

Sony Ericsson. Sony Ericsson to Offer Exciting Mobile Music Solution in Collaboration with Sony Group Companies. (Press Release.) Feb. 14, 2005.

Nokia. Microsoft and Nokia Collaborate to Help Ensure Consumers Can Enjoy Digital Music Anywhere. (Press Release.) Feb. 14, 2005.

(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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Macrovision Introduces DVD Copy Protection

"Macrovision on Tuesday released a new DVD copy-protection technology in hopes of substantially broadening its role in Hollywood's antipiracy effort.

"The content-protection company is pointing to the failure of the copy-proofing on today's DVDs, which was broken in 1999. Courts have ordered that DVD-copying tools be taken off the market, but variations of the software remain widely available online.

"Macrovision executives said that even if it's not perfect, the new RipGuard DVD technology can prevent much of the copying done with such tools and can help bolster studios' DVD sales."

John Borland. New Copy-Proof DVDs on the Way?. News.com. Feb. 15, 2005.

See also:
Macrovision. Macrovision Introduces RipGuard DVD to Dramatically Reduce Digital DVD Piracy. (Press Release.) Feb. 15, 2005.

John P. Mello Jr. Macrovision Aims To Stop DVD Rippers. TechNewsWorld. Feb. 15, 2005.

Mark Hachman. New Tech Prevents DVD Copying, Kills 'Rippers'. eWeek. Feb. 15, 2005.

Tom Spring. DVD Ripping Flourishes. PC World. Feb. 9, 2005.

John Borland. Napster Hack Leads to Free Downloads. News.com. Feb. 15, 2005.

John Borland. Judge: DVD-Copying Software is Illegal. News.com. Feb. 20, 2004.

Courtney Macavinta. Movie Trade Group Tries to Block DVD Cracking Tool. News.com. Nov. 18, 1999.

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J.P. Morgan Fined Millions for Discarding E-Mails

"Wall Street investment bank JPMorgan Chase will pay $2.1 million in fines to settle accusations that it failed to retain e-mails sought in investigations of stock research analyst misconduct, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday.

"In a case stemming from the late-1990s technology and telecommunications stock bubble, JPMorgan will pay $700,000 each to the SEC, the New York Stock Exchange and brokerages regulator NASD over record-keeping rule issues, the SEC said.

"'Securities regulations generally require that brokers maintain records related to their business and transactions with customers, and that includes e-mail and other electronic records,' said SEC spokesman John Nester."

Reuters. JPMorgan to Pay $2.1 Million in E-mail case. News.com. Feb. 15, 2005.

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Microsoft, Flextronics Unveil New Mobile Platform

"Microsoft announced a partnership Sunday with phone maker Flextronics to market a new cell phone platform running Windows Mobile to phone makers and service providers.

"The two companies said they have jointly developed a new phone platform called Peabody--a blueprint that cell providers can customize and which is designed to cut production costs.

"Peabody runs on GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) networks, which is the world's most widespread wireless standard, and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), the data delivery arm of GSM networks."

Steven Musil. Microsoft, Flextronics Partner on Cell Platform. News.com. Feb. 13, 2005.

See also:
Associated Press. Microsoft, Flextronics in Smartphone Venture. MSNBC News. Feb. 14, 2005.

Microsoft Corp. Flextronics and Microsoft Announce Windows Mobile-Based ODM Phone Platform for OEMs. (Press Release.) Feb. 14, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:35 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

MasterCard Fights Fraud With Cell Phones

"If you've ever had a credit card purchase mysteriously rejected only to discover later that the bank thought you were a fraudulent user, you may appreciate an effort by MasterCard International to use SMS (short message service) to streamline the process of clearing up card-usage questions.

"MasterCard has joined with mBlox, a service provider of mobile messaging infrastructure, to add an SMS option to its Aristion fraud detection system and is making Aristion Communicator available to banks beginning Wednesday.

"MasterCard, in Purchase, New York, and mBlox, with primary locations in both London and San Francisco, are first rolling out Aristion Communicator in Europe due to the high use of mobile phones across the continent and in the U.K. One bank in the U.K. and another in Italy have expressed an interest in using the service, Gerber says, declining to name any customers."

Laura Rohde. MasterCard Uses Cell Phones to Fight Fraud. PC World. Feb. 9, 2005.

See also:
Jo Best. MasterCard Turns to Text to Foil Fraudsters. Silicon.com. Feb. 10, 2005.

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IRS Offers Free E-File Progam

"There was a time when many people didn't really care how good tax software was, so long as preparing returns by computer was easier than getting out a No. 2 pencil and an 800-page taxpayer's guidebook to do it all by hand.

"But today, do-it-yourselfers have more choices than just buying - in stores or online - programs like TurboTax, from Intuit, or TaxCut, from H&R; Block.

"For example, if you go to the Internal Revenue Service Web site, www.irs.gov, and click on the link to a program called Free File, you will be directed to 20 different online tax preparation sites that let you compile and file relatively simple federal returns electronically - at no cost. Many of these sites impose some age or income restrictions, but some are open to all filers."

Paul J. Lim. So Much Software, But So Little Time. The New York Times. Feb. 13, 2005.

See also:
Yardena Arar. Get Free Online Tax Filing--While It Lasts. PC World. Feb. 11, 2005.

National Public Radio. A Look at Do-It-Yourself Tax Software. Morning Edition. Feb. 12, 2005.

(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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China Cracks Down on Illegal Net Cafes

"Chinese authorities closed 12,575 net cafes in the closing months of 2004, the country's government said.

"According to the official news agency most of the net cafes were closed down because they were operating illegally.

"Chinese net cafes operate under a set of strict guidelines and many of those most recently closed broke rules that limit how close they can be to schools."

No author. China Net Cafe Culture Crackdown. BBC News. Feb. 14, 2005.

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February 16, 2005

Impact of Bloggers on Mainstream Journalism

"Late Friday night, conservative web bloggers helped force the resignation of top CNN news executive Eason Jordan over remarks he made at the World Economic Conference in Davos. This, and other recent developments, have experts questioning the impact of Internet bloggers on mainstream journalism."

Jim Lehrer. Bloggers and Journalists. Online News Hour. Feb. 14, 2005.

See also:
Katherine Q. Seelye. Bloggers as News Media Trophy Hunters. News.com. Feb. 13, 2005.

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Verizon Acquires MCI

"Verizon, the nation's largest regional phone company, announced today that it had agreed to acquire MCI for about $6.7 billion in cash and stock, the latest merger in the rapidly consolidating telecommunications industry.

"Verizon's acquisition would end the independence of MCI, the nation's second-largest long-distance company, with 14 million residential customers and about a million corporate customers.

"'This is the right deal at the right time,' Verizon's chairman and chief executive, Ivan G. Seidenberg, said in a statement.

"During a conference call with industry analysts and investors this morning, Mr. Seidenberg said the combination of Verizon and MCI woud provide great 'scale and reach.'"

Matt Richtel and Andrew Ross Sorkin. Verizon Reaches Deal to Buy MCI for $6.7 Billion. The New York Times. Feb. 14, 2005.

See also:
Marguerite Reardon and Dawn Kawamoto. Verizon, MCI Link Up in $6.7 Billion Merger. News.com. Feb. 14, 2005.

Michael Hardy. Verizon to buy MCI. FCW. Feb. 14, 2005.

Verizon Communications Inc. Verizon to Acquire MCI for $5.3 Billion in Equity and Cash. (Press Release.) Feb. 14, 2005.

(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 Social Networks 2005

"Online Social Networks 2005, going on now through February 23rd, is a summit for all those interested in working with social networking processes, tools, and media. In addition to attending many workshops, panels, and presentations by leading experts and practitioners, attendees will have the opportunity to be part of a community with a significant role in defining the future direction of online social networking.

"During the OSN2005 summit a manifesto will be created and published describing what is wanted and needed from online social networking tools.

"Attendees will be invited to participate in a series of focus groups to provide feedback on current OSN technology and articulate specific suggestions for future features and developments. A series of White papers based on these focus groups will be shared with venture investors who want to know where to place their bets in this industry."

Online Conference. Online Social Networks 2005. Feb. 9-23, 2005.

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Musicians Don't Make Money From Copyright

"Digital technologies are often said (1) to enable a qualitatively new engagement with already existing cultural materials (for example through sampling and adaptation); and, (2) to offer a new disintermediated distribution channel to the creator. A review of secondary data on music artists’ earnings and eight in–depth interviews conducted in 2003–04 in Britain and Germany indicate that both ambitions have remained largely unfulfilled. The article discusses to what extent the structure of copyright law is to blame, and sets out a research agenda."

Martin Kretschmer. Artists' Earnings and Copyright: A Review of German and British Music Industry Data in the Context of Digital Technologies. First Monday. Jan. 2005.

See also:
Mary Madden. Artists, Musicians and the Internet. (.pdf). Pew Internet & American Life Project. Dec. 5, 2004.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:40 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

E-Mail: A Platform for Personal IM

"Stuart Anderson, Microsoft's Hotmail business manager in the UK, keeps online shopping receipts in his mailbox in case he has to query anything later.

"People are keeping a lot more information in their e-mail accounts for retrieval at a later date," says Yahoo!

"Web-based e-mail services like Hotmail, Yahoo!, Gmail and AOL Mail on the Web are becoming databases by default as a growing number of people use them, to store data and photos so they can retrieve them from anywhere."

Joia Shillingford. E-mail is the New Database. BBC News. Feb. 8, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:39 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

IAC Recognizes Excellence.gov Winners

"Industry Advisory Council members recognized five federal agency programs, from e-learning to registering food imports, for demonstrating best practices in federal e-government implementations.

"Judges selected the programs from 25 finalists that showed an impact on an agency's ability to fulfill its missions and satisfy stakeholders, participants and users.

"David Wennergren, the Navy's chief information officer and one of the program coordinators, said the winners were programs that helped an agency's ability to deliver its mission. 'It's about change,' he said."

Judi Hasson. IAC Selects Excellence.gov Winners. FCW.com. Feb. 10, 2005.

See also:
American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council. 2005 Excellence.Gov Awards. Feb. 9, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:08 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

McAfee Launches Wi-Fi Security Service

"Security vendor McAfee, Inc. this week launched an on-line Wi-Fi security scanning service and said that it is developing a standalone WLAN security product that will be released later this year.

"The company's free online WiFiScan product was launched this week on the company's Web site. It downloads an ActiveX control that scans your wireless network and warns about potential security breaches and describes how to fix them. It can detect, for instance, the presence of an Evil Twin threat, as well as what networks and network-enabled devices are near-by.

"The standalone product will proactively provide security. For instance, if it detects there is lax security, it could directly change settings in either a router or on a desktop or laptop computer."

David Haskin. McAfee Launches Online Wi-Fi Security Service. MobilePipeline. Feb. 11, 2005.

See also:
Gregg Keizer. Hackers Snatch Data From Bogus Wireless Access Points. MobilePipeline. Jan. 20, 2005.

Mike Outmesguine. McAfee Launches Wi-Fi Security Scanner. thewirelessweblog. Feb. 11, 2005.

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

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

Yahoo Unveils Firefox Toolbar

"Yahoo released a beta version of its Web browser toolbar for users of the Mozilla Firefox browser on Thursday, offering bookmarks, newsfeeds, and search and translation tools.

"The beta version of the toolbar requires Firefox 1.0 for Windows and is available as a free download. It also includes features such as the ability to search a site, Yahoo Mail notifications and alerts, and buttons for access to the Internet company's games, finance, news, and sports sites, among others."

Scarlet Pruitt. Yahoo Fires Up Toolbar for Firefox Users. PC World. Feb. 10, 2005.

See also:
Reuters. Yahoo Unveils Test Toolbar for Firefox. News.com. Feb. 10, 2005.

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

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February 15, 2005

The Next Music Format

"Classic-rock fan George Petersen doesn't need another copy of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" or Cream's "Disraeli Gears." He has spent the past four decades buying and re-buying his favorite music in a succession of new formats: vinyl, 8-track, cassette, compact disc, Super Audio CD, DVD-Audio.

Enough is enough. The basement is full.

"With tonight's 47th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles drawing attention to the ever-shifting world of the recording arts, Petersen and many other music-biz insiders agree that, in the next decade or so, the CD will very likely be surpassed as the album format of choice.

"'The new format is no format,' predicted Petersen, a 24-year industry veteran who also owns a record label, a recording studio and a music-publishing company. 'What the consumer would buy is a data file, and you could create whatever you need. If you want to make an MP3, you make an MP3. If you want a DVD-Audio surround disc, you make that.'"

Sean Daly. 10 Million iPods, Previewing the CD's End. WashingtonPost.com. Feb. 13, 2005.

See also:
Dinesh C. Sharma. Study: Fee-based Music Gains on Swapping. News.com. Feb. 10, 2005.

(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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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:50 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

New Web Tools Make Online Work Easier

"This scenario is all too familiar to office workers who collaborate electronically on projects: E-mails get passed around with differing versions of documents-in-progress attached. Instant messages whizz by. Web sites are cited, then lost. It's often a jumbled mess, with no central online location for shared data. There must be a better way.

"A new crop of tools aims to help turn the Web - be it on the public Internet or a company network - into much more than a collection of documents one visits like a museum: Look, but don't touch.

"'We're turning the Web into a conversation,' said Glenn Reid, chief executive and founder of Five Across Inc.

"Reid's startup and several other companies will offer their visions for accomplishing that on stage at the DEMO conference in Arizona, an annual showcase of tech innovation."

Associated Press. New Tools Making Online Work Easier. MarketWatch.com. Feb. 13, 2005.

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

Norway to Review Proposed Copyright Law

"The government on Friday proposed a new copyright law to make it illegal for Norwegians to copy songs from their own CDs onto MP3 players, but legal to do so for making a CD duplicate.

"The proposal, intended to bring Norway's law in line with European Union rules, drew immediate praise from the music and film industry as well as criticism from opponents.

"The amendment, which requires parliament's approval, would make it illegal to crack security codes on DVD and CDs or to provide software or hardware for doing so, a news release said. It would still be legal for a person to make a copy of their own CD or DVD for private use, even if that means cracking the code, as long as it was being copied onto the same digital medium and not onto another one."

Doug Mellgren. Norway Proposes New Digital Copyright Law. SeattlePI.com. Feb. 11, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:37 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Napster Plans Marketing Campaign Against iPod

"Napster has revealed that it's planning an aggressive marketing campaign against Apple's iPod as part of its plans for a full launch of the Napster To Go portable subscription service later this quarter.

"The service, which soft-launched in the US in November, is likely to roll out in the UK in March. It's one of the first services enabled by Microsoft's Janus technology, which for the first time allows music files bought via subscription services to be transferred from a PC to a portable device."

New Media Age. Napster To Go Campaign Will Challenge Apple iTunes' Lead. Forbes. Feb. 10, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:32 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Los Angeles Considers Open Source Software

"City officials in Los Angeles are considering switching to an open-source platform for their computer systems to potentially save millions of dollars that could be redirected to other services.

"Three council members — Eric Garcetti, Wendy Greul and Jack Weiss — introduced a motion last week asking the city's Information Technology Agency to provide an initial report on potential savings in 30 days and a transition plan in 90 days. Although city officials already use some open-source software, they spent $5.8 million on proprietary software licenses for the fiscal year that ran from July 1, 2003, to June 30, 2004.

"With open-source programs, users can read, modify and redistribute the source code for free. The most widely known example is the Linux operating system, although some vendors charge for their Linux distributions."

Dibya Sarkar. L.A. Investigates Open Source to Cut Costs. FCW.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

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

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House of Commons Bans Blackberry Use

"Michael Martin, the House of Commons speaker, has declared that anyone using BlackBerrys or other 'electronic devices' in the chamber can be thrown out.

"The decision comes shortly after Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell used his BlackBerry to send a profanity-laden tirade to BBC flagship program 'Newsnight,' believing he had sent it to a Labour public relations agency.

"Martin also revealed that some members of Parliament were found to be using the devices during debates. U.K. politicians also have been banned from wearing earpieces that could allow them to communicate with the outside world when the House is in session."

Jo Best. U.K. Parliament Squashes BlackBerry Use. News.com. Feb. 11, 2005.

See also:
Tania Branigan. Ear, Ear ... Leave It Out. The Guardian. Feb. 11, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:01 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

New Site Improves Options for Vacation Renters

"Vacationers seeking a true home away from home have been fairly well served by the Web's many house rental services. But options have recently improved, thanks partly to the re-emergence, after a two-year hiatus, of one of the more useful vacation home sites.

"VacationSpot.com, which was owned by Expedia but suspended operations in 2003 because Expedia wanted to focus its attention on the travel package market, has recently reappeared - this time under the corporate flag of Expedia's sister company, Hotels.com, part of InterActiveCorp. The new site offers a refined complement to the array of less polished but increasingly useful sites in the category, like Rentalo, CyberRentals and VRBO.com."

Bob Tedeschi. More Choices for Vacation Home Renter. The New York Times. Feb. 13, 2005.

See also:
VacationSpot.com. Hotels.com Launches VacationSpot.com to Bring Vacation Rentals to the Desktops of Travelers. (Press Release.) Jan. 24, 2005.

(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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Ignite Eases Digital Content Delivery

"A collaboration tool launched on Monday is designed to ease the distribution of large files for enterprises.

"Ignite Technologies Inc. of Dallas introduced its Ignite Communicator service, which aims to deliver any type of digital content such as video, graphical presentations and software to users regardless of their networking or computer capacity.

"Ignite Communicator, for example, could help an enterprise reach mobile users connecting over less reliable networks or to partners or customers with varying levels of access, Ignite officials said."

Matt Hicks. Service Aims to Ease Digital Content Delivery. eWeek. Feb. 7, 2005.

See also:
Jason Meserve. Ignite Helps Deliver Big Files. NetworkWorldFusion. Feb. 7, 2005.

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

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February 14, 2005

MPAA Attacks P2P Again

"A Dallas federal court has ordered file-swapping site LokiTorrent.com to shut down and provide Hollywood lawyers with access to its full server logs, including data that could expose hundreds of thousands of people to copyright lawsuits.

"The Motion Picture Association of America said Thursday that it had won a quick court victory against LokiTorrent, and was launching a new round of actions against other online piracy hubs. The data provided by the onetime file-swapping hub would provide 'a roadmap to others who have used LokiTorrent to engage in illegal activities,' the trade group said.

"Hard numbers on the site's traffic are hard to come by. However, according to researchers at the Delft University of Technology, LokiTorrent was responsible for more than 800,000 downloads in the month of October alone."

John Borland. Court: Hollywood Gets P2P Giant's Server Logs. News.com. Feb. 10, 2005.

See also:
Ashlee Vance. MPAA Closes Loki. The Register. Feb. 10, 2005.

Elizabeth Millard. MPAA Wins File-Sharing Suit. CIO Today. Feb. 11, 2005.

John Borland. Movie Blackout for P2P Networks?. News.com. Feb. 10, 2005.

Motion Picture Association of America. MPAA Member Studios File Second Round of Lawsuits Against Major P2P Server Operators That Facilitate Global Movie Piracy. (Press Release.) Feb. 10, 2005.

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The Need for Information Literacy

"Information literacy seems to be a phrase whose time has come. Last month, the Educational Testing Service announced that it had developed a test to measure students' ability to evaluate online material. That suggested an official recognition that the millions spent to wire schools and universities is of little use unless students know how to retrieve useful information from the oceans of sludge on the Web.

"Clearly, 'computer skills' are not enough. A teacher of Scandinavian literature at Berkeley recently described how students used the Web to research a paper on the Vikings: 'They're Berkeley students, so, of course, they have the sense to restrict their searches to 'vikings NOT minnesota.' But they're perfectly willing to believe a Web site that describes early Viking settlements in Oklahoma.'

"But there is a paradox in the way people think of the Web. Everyone is aware that it teems with rotten information, but most people feel confident that they can sort out the dross.

"That level of confidence may not be justified, particularly when a search for information requires judging a Web site's credibility."

Geoffrey Nunberg. Teaching Students to Swim in the Online Sea. The New York Times. Feb. 13, 2005.

See also:
Deborah Fallows. Search Engine Users: Internet Searchers are Confident, Satisfied and Trusting – But They are Also Unaware and Naïve. (.pdf) Pew Internet & American Life Project. Jan. 23, 2005.

Editors note: See also SNTReport.com's prior story story on literacy assessment.

(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 08:49 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Yahoo Rebrands Its Music Service

"Yahoo has renamed its online music service Yahoo Music.

"The service had been operating under the brand name Launch, which was acquired by Yahoo in 2001. But now, Yahoo wants to showcase all its music products and services under a single brand, the company said. The service already has begun operating with a new logo.

Yahoo Music offers streaming audio, music videos, Internet radio and news covering various genres of music."

Dinesh C. Sharma. Yahoo Music--the Service Formerly Known as Launch. News.com. Feb. 11, 2005.

See also:
Yahoo! Inc. Yahoo! to Rebrand LAUNCH, the Internet's #1 Music Destination, as Yahoo! Music. (Press Release.) Feb. 9, 2005.

Jim Hu and Melanie Austria Farmer. Yahoo Thinks Entertainment with Launch Buy. News.com. June 28, 2001.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:30 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Reduce Spam: Make the Sender Pay

"Compare our e-mail system today with the British General Post Office in 1839, and ours wins. Compare it with the British postal system in 1840, however, and ours loses.

"In that year, the British introduced the Penny Black, the first postage stamp. It simplified postage - yes, to a penny - and shifted the cost from the recipient to the sender, who had to prepay. We look back with wonder that it could have ever been otherwise. Recipient pays? Why should the person who had not initiated the transaction be forced to pay for a message with unseen contents? What a perverse system.

"Today, however, we meekly assume that the recipient of e-mail must bear the costs. It is nominally free, of course, but it arrives in polluted form. Cleaning out the stuff once it reaches our in-box, or our Internet service provider's, is irritating beyond words, costly even without per-message postage.

"Even the best filters address the problem too late, after this sludge has been discharged without cost to the polluter. In my case, desperation has driven me to send all my messages sequentially through three separate filter systems. Then I must remember to check the three junk folders to see what failed to get through that should have. Recipient pays."

Randall Stross. How to Stop Junk E-Mail: Charge for the Stamp. The New York Times. Feb. 13, 2005.

(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 08:27 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Surround Sound for Cell Phones

"Are those tinny ring tones making you jumpy? How about a new kind of phone that can make it sound like you're literally in the middle of a soothing forest stream?

"A new line of multimedia phones has hit the streets in Japan over the past few weeks that incorporates three-dimensional sound technology from British start-up Sonaptic. As yet, the content for it is slim--a fishing game, a handful of sound and video clips--but the technology promises a substantial advance for mobile-phone audio.

"The company's developers previously created the 3D audio technology for the Xbox, and they are now aiming to create a similarly compelling experience even with the constraints of a little mobile phone, they say."

John Borland. Cell Phones Get Surround Sound. News.com. Feb. 11, 2005.

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

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Google Proposes to Host Wikipedia Project

"Wiki Media Foundation, the group behind the Wikipedia online encyclopedia project, said Friday that search giant Google has volunteered to host some of its content on company servers.

"In a notice posted to the nonprofit organization's Web site, the group, also known as Wikimedia, said its board of directors is currently considering the terms of Google's offer and plans to meet with the search company sometime in March.

"The group was quick to point out that any relationship established with Google would not require it to begin advertising on its Web site."

Matt Hines. Google May Host Encyclopedia Project. News.com. Feb. 11, 2005.

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

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The Endless Beta Cycle

"Once considered the final stage of software development, beta versions are taking on a life of their own, as companies tinker endlessly with their products in public.

"Underscoring the trend, Google co-founder Larry Page on Wednesday told investors that the beta, or test, stage for its products would last as long as its engineers expected to make major changes to them--a process that has already taken years, in some cases.

"Google's beta time frames represent one of the most dramatic expansions yet for a process that until recently was used as an opportunity to discover fatal flaws and make final touch-ups in advance of a product's full public release."

Paul Festa. A Long Winding Road Out of Beta. ZDNet.com. Feb. 11, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:19 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Multiplayer Game Attracts Vast Audience

"Massively multiplayer roleplaying games - or MMORPGs - have been around for a while now, but recent releases have demonstrated that they are making the crucial transition from a niche to a mass-market audience.

"In late 2004 when World of Warcraft was released in North America it broke a number of records for the genre - including first day sales and concurrent users. Now it is Europe's turn to experience Azeroth on developer Blizzard's new set of region-dedicated servers.

"Most games of this type tend to require a great deal of attention and dedication to play, but in this case it is possible to enjoy the game in relatively short bursts - perfect for the more casual gamer."

Phil Elliott. Warcraft Sets Gaming Standards. BBC News. Feb. 11, 2004.

David Adams. World of Warcraft Interview. PC Games. Feb. 8, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:35 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 12, 2005

Approaches to Open Source Licensing

"The notion of collaborating to create open source applications for higher education is rapidly gaining momentum. From course management systems to ERP financial systems, higher education institutions are working together to explore whether they can in fact build a better mousetrap. As Lois Brooks, of Stanford University, recently observed, the open source movement is as much about building communities as it is about developing and sharing applications.

"As higher education creates open source communities for shared resources, it's important to know what kind of community we are creating and some of the principles underlying that community. Fundamental differences in approaches, philosophies, and incentives for various stakeholders exist. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the legal area of licensing.

"Licensing in the open source world is not about giving up ownership of software or content. In almost all cases, the authors or communities maintain copyright of their work. However, through licensing, open source authors and communities can allow others to use the software or content more freely than would generally be allowed under copyright law. Broadly speaking, there are two approaches for open source licenses: (1) the General Public Licenses (GPLs), known as the 'copyleft' approach, and (2) a set of approaches that together are sometimes referred to as 'open/open.'"

Paul B. Gandel and Brad Wheeler. Of Birkenstocks and Wingtips: Open Source Licenses. Educause Review. Jan./Feb. 2005.

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Wikinews: An Experiment in Collaborative News

"You may, in the course of reading this article, spot a factual error that made it to press. A certain bit of grammar may makes you bristle, or you may think the writing is biased. But by now the ink has dried; all you can do is send an e-mail message or a letter of complaint.

"If this article had been published on Wikinews, a Web site begun recently, there would be something more you could do: change it, fix it, expand it or delete it.

"Wikinews (www.wikinews.org) is an experiment in collaborative news gathering and reporting, and the latest in a collection of Wikis (pronounced WIK-eez or WEEK-eez) under the umbrella of Wikimedia, which cultivates free and open information resources written by its users."

Aaron Weiss. The Unassociated Press. The New York Times. Feb. 10, 2005.

(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 08:55 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Google Blogger No Longer at Google

"Mark Jen, a blogger whose candid comments about life on the job at Google sparked controversy last month, has left the company. 'Mark is no longer an employee at Google,' a Google representative said in response to an inquiry Tuesday.

"Jen's departure comes less than a month after he joined Google as part of a wave of new hires and began recording his impressions of his new employer, including criticisms, in his blog.

"While details of Jen's departure are unclear, the newbie Googler ran into trouble at the company almost immediately when he decided to record his impressions of Google on a blog called Ninetyninezeros--one zero short of the mathematical term known as a 'googol.'"

Evan Hansen. Google Blogger Has Left the Building. News.com. Feb. 8, 2005.

See also:
Evan Hansen. Google Blogger: 'I Was Terminated'. News.com. Feb. 11, 2005.

Evan Hansen and Stefanie Olsen. Google Blogger Reappears, Redacted. News.com. Jan. 26, 2005.

Randy Dotinga. Office Memo: 'Blogging' Can Get You Bounced. Christian Science Monitor. Feb. 7, 2005.

Amy Joyce. Free Expression Can Be Costly When Bloggers Bad-Mouth Jobs. WashingtonPost.com. Feb. 11, 2005.

(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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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:12 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Best Search Tools Chart

Best Search Tools Chart compares features of the best web search tools, including selected search engines, meta-search engines, and subject directories.

Joe Barker. Best Search Tools Chart. Infopeople Project. Jan. 11, 2005.

See also:
Joe Barker. Best Search Engines Quick Guide. Infopeople Project. Jan. 11, 2005.

Joe Barker. Best Search Tools. Infopeople Project. Jan. 11, 2005.

Attribution: SNTReport.com first discovered news of the Best Search Tools Chart through a posting in beSpacific , edited by Sabrina I. Pacifici.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:56 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Associated New Media Launches RSS Feeds

"Associated New Media has introduced a Really Simple Syndication feed for the Daily Mail and This Is Money websites, to help boost traffic and make it easy for readers to keep track of events.

"Mark Milner, chief operating officer of ANM, said: 'By implementing RSS, we are making it easier for our consumers to access our content in the most convenient way possible. And it means that we as a business can distribute our content updates to consumers instantly.'"

Julia Pearlman. Associated New Media Unveils RSS Feed for Newspapers. Digital Bulletin. Feb. 8, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:13 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Facebook.com: The Latest College Craze

"Launched by five undergraduates at Harvard University in February 2004, the free Web site, www.thefacebook.com, has 1.5 million members, nearly all of them students, from more than 300 colleges and universities nationwide. More than half the users have signed up in the last two months, a spokesman said.

"Students post photos and information about themselves, including political views, tastes in music and movies, and their relationship status. They connect to members at their own schools or, in a more limited way, at others. They check out date prospects, join serious and silly interest groups, search for old friends and make new ones.

"The Web site's growing database intrigues sociologists, economists and other researchers, even as it raises privacy concerns among some college officials. Advertisers are eager to reach its lucrative young market."

Rebecca Trounson. Web Site Grows, Campus by Campus. DetNews.co. Feb. 6, 2005.

Update: Helosisa A. Nogueira. Students Launch Job Search Site. The Harvard Crimson. Feb. 8, 2005. (Eduardo L. Saverin, co-founder of thefacebook.com has launched a career recruiting website called joboozle.com.)

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:11 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

FBI Publishes Cell Phone Spam Sites

"The Federal Communications Commission on Monday published a list of Web sites that the agency says transmits unwanted e-mail and text messages to cell phones.

"Sites on the list have 30 days to stop transmitting unwanted e-mail messages, unless the recipient has given permission to receive the message."

Associated Press. FCC Lists Sites That Send Cell Phone Spam. San Francisco Chronicle. Feb. 7, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:09 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 11, 2005

Grokster Implications Run Deep

"Over the next few months, the Supreme Court and--likely--Congress will resume a debate over rules that could determine whether consumers will continue to enjoy the benefits of many of the gadgets CNET covers.

"The debate is specifically about what kind of legal liability--if any--technology manufacturers, financiers, Internet service providers, journalists and others should have if their actions 'induce' another to commit copyright infringement.

"Congressional action this year will largely be shaped by what the Supreme Court does in the pending case involving Grokster, the peer-to-peer software used by millions. While the case may appear to be simply about illegal file trading, its implications are far deeper."

Gigi Sohn. Getting Real About the Grokster Case. News.com. Feb. 8, 2005.

See also:
John Borland. Supreme Court to Hear P2P Case. News.com. Dec. 10, 2005.

John Borland. Judge: File-swapping Tools are Legal. News.com. April 25, 2003.

Mark Cuban. Grokster and America's Future. News.com. Feb. 2, 2005.

Edward W. Felten. Splitting the Grokster Baby. Freedom to Tinker. Feb. 8, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:52 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

A New Look at Web Services

"Web services are poised to revolutionize the way content sites get their goods to the folks who want them.

"Joshua Tauberer is trying to render obsolete Web surfing to track congressional bills. People usually have to check out dozens of Web addresses, like the U.S. Congress site, OpenSecrets.org, and political blogs, to find out if special interests are putting money into the campaign coffers of a bill's sponsor, read what bloggers are saying about the bill, and find out if there's any related legislation.

"But last year Tauberer, a graduate linguistics student at the University of Pennsylvania, built GovTrack.us to automatically retrieve the latest news and blog entries related to federal legislation from hundreds of sites. Copyright law is one topic he's particularly interested in, and he wants to help others take advantage of all the information about it floating in cyberspace. He's doing so via a series of related software and Internet technologies people commonly call Web services."

Olga Kharif. All Your Info in One Place. BusinessWeek Online. Feb. 8, 2005.

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

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Symposium Examines File-Sharing Networks

"Ferraris, guns and alcohol are all legal, even though manufacturers know their wares could be used to break the law.

"So should a similar standard apply to Internet users who share - or some would say, 'steal' - digital music?

"Legal scholars interested in copyright law discussed that question Saturday at a symposium put on by the Northern Kentucky Law Review."

Reid Forgrave. File-Sharing Networks Examined. Cincinnati.com. Feb. 6, 2005

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

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Google Launches Map Service

"In its latest play in the ongoing search wars, Google on Tuesday quietly launched a beta site for a new map service.

"Google Maps offers maps, driving directions and the ability to search for local businesses. The search giant appears to be working with TeleAtlas for the mapping products. Neither Google nor TeleAtlas could be reached for comment.

"The service offers a few tweaks to standard mapping products. Someone using the service can click and drag the maps, instead of having to click and reload, for example, and magnified views of specific spots pop up in bubbles."

Margaret Kane. Google Finds Its Map Service. News.com. Feb. 8, 2005.

See also:
Danny Sullivan. New Google Maps Now Live. SearchEngineWatch. Feb. 8, 2005.

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)

VoIP Security Alliance Forms

"Nearly two dozen companies say they have allied to address spam and security risks of Internet telephones, even though there's little evidence suggesting any threat.

"The providers of voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), as Net phone services are generally known, are bracing for abuses nonetheless because, like e-mail, VoIP calls find their way by locating an IP address, a unique set of numbers assigned to each device connected to the Web. Using VoIP, virus writers could conceivably commandeer someone's phone, or elemarketers could send messages to thousands more phones at a time than they can now.

"With little evidence to suggest a problem, however, the 22 member companies of the VoIP Security Alliance run the risk of provoking the digital world's black hats."

Ben Charny. Alliance Wants to Beat Spam to Net Phones. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

See also:
Colin C. Haley. VoIP Players Form Security Alliance. InternetNews.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

Ben Charny. Net Phone Customers Brace for 'VoIP Spam'. News.com. Aug. 24, 2004.

Elizabeth Biddlecombe. Hold the Phone, VOIP Isn't Safe. Wired News. Feb. 7, 2005.

VoIP Security Alliance. VoIP Leaders Form Alliance for VoIP Security Research and Testing. (Press Release.) Feb. 7, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:01 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Wi-Fi Phone's Sales See Slow Growth

"A new study suggests it will be a number of years before Wi-Fi phones, supposedly a revolutionary telephone technology, manage to fulfill expectations.

"Analysts at Infonetics Research say portable phones using Wi-Fi, the popular technology that creates 300-foot zones of high-speed wireless connectivity, are taking hold in hospitals and businesses, but worldwide sales were negligible last year.

"The results are disappointing. After years in development, the much-anticipated devices were supposed to take off in 2004. But with just 113,000 such handsets sold last year, or $45 million in total sales, it's apparent the prognosticators were wrong. Rather, the sales 'represent a market at its birth,' as Infonetics analysts put it."

Ben Charny. Wi-Fi Phones Don't Add Up to Much. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

See also:
Ben Charny. Wi-Fi Phones Make a Splash. News.com. Aug. 4, 2004.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:56 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Virtual Games Cost Real Money

"Almost every major online game has an in-game economy, where players exchange in-games goods for in-game currency. Most also have a real-world economy, where in-game currency and goods trade hands for hard cash.

"But most such offline trade is part of an underground economy discouraged by game publishers such as Sony Online Entertainment, which has blocked auctions of items for 'EverQuest' and other popular games, claiming such trade infringes its intellectual property.

"A few online game publishers, however, have decided to embrace the intersection of virtual and real-world economies, providing approved outlets in which players can convert in-game assets into real-world wealth. The result has been an intriguing blend of typical game dynamics and the free market."

David Becker. Real Cash for Virtual Goods. News.com. Feb. 8, 2005.

See also:
David Becker. Online-Game Developers Eye China Market. News.com. May 14, 2004.

David Becker. Game Exchange Dispute Goes to Court. News.com. Feb. 7, 2002.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:20 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Verizon Avenue to Launch Wireless Broadband

"Verizon Avenue, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, has bought equipment from Alvarion to make wireless broadband service available on a former military base.

Alvarion, one of the leading wireless broadband gear makers, announced Monday that Verizon Avenue had agreed to purchase about 2,300 fixed broadband units. Verizon Avenue has contracted the installation of the gear to Clark Pinnacle Family Communities, which plans to set up the gear and service at the former Fort Ord military base in Monterey, Calif.

"Alvarion said in a release that the wireless broadband equipment is based on the same technology that will be behind the WiMax specification when it is completed."

Richard Shim. Verizon, Alvarion Sign Wireless Broadband Deal. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

See also:
Alvarion. Verizon Avenue Deploys Fixed Wireless Broadband Services Using Alvarion Systems; Broadband Internet Services Being Provided to Revitalized Housing on Former California Military Base. (Press Release.) Feb. 7, 2005.

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

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February 10, 2005

Slides from K. Matthew Dames' Lecture on Licensing

As reported Wednesday in SNTReport.com, executive editor K. Matthew Dames gave a lecture to information professionals at the AeA David Packard Conference Center in Washington, DC on licensing digital information. The lecture, entitled "Licensing in the Digital Age," was the second in a series sponsored by the Washington, DC chapter of SLA, among others, that addresses some of the most important legal and policy issues that information professionals face today.

Dames will moderate the lecture for the next presentation in the series, "Digital Rights Management," on Wednesday, March 9, 2005, also at the AeA David Packard Center in Washington, DC. Those interested in attending the March 9 lecture may register online at the AIIM National Capitol Chapter website, or contact organizer Barbie Keiser.

An electronic copy of the lecture notes, as well as additional resources, are posted below.

Lecture Notes
K. Matthew Dames, "Licensing in the Digital Age." (.pdf). Feb. 9, 2005.

Additional Licensing Resources
Yale University Library. Liblicense: Licensing Digital Information; A Resource for Librarians.

Yale University Library. Licensing Terms & Descriptions.

Yale University Library. Definitions of Words and Phrases Commonly Found in Licensing Agreements.

Florida State University. Software Site Licensing.

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Licensing Principles.

Ed Foster. Ed Foster's Gripelog.

Information Access Alliance.

Creative Commons.

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Media Campaign Intensifies As Grokster Case Nears

"Garret the Ferret is one hip copyright crusader. The cartoon character urges young cybercitizens toward ethical downloading and--in baggy jeans and a gold 'G' medallion--reminds them that copying and sharing software is uncool.

"He is also a byproduct of the long-roiling public relations battle between copyright owners, who say they are threatened by digital piracy, and technology advocates opposed to strict controls on digital media copying and on software that make piracy so easy.

"With the Supreme Court scheduled next month to hear a pivotal case pitting copyright holders (represented by MGM Studios) against the makers of file-sharing software (Grokster and StreamCast Networks), participants are putting their message machines into high gear."

Tom Zeller. Messages Grow Manic as Piracy Nears High Court. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

See also:
Declan McCullagh. Supreme Court Sets Date for File-Sharing Case. News.com. Jan. 21, 2005.

John Borland. Supreme Court to Hear P2P Case. News.com. Dec. 10, 2004.

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

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The Power of Tagging

"Erik Benson, 28, is a man with plans -- 28 plans. He's posted these aspirations for the whole Web to see at '43 Things,' a site he and some friends launched at the beginning of 2005. The purpose of the site: Anyone can post their goals, resolutions and grand designs, and meet others who share the same ambitions.

"There are currently 119 other people on 43things.com decreeing their pledge to do a start-up that makes it past that two-year threshold.

"But what's intriguing about 43 things isn't the voyeuristic itch it scratches, as we get to see so many people baring their heart's desire. What makes the site work is how it connects all these people to each other. By a simple software tweak known as tagging, this site and many others, like the photo site Flickr and the bookmark-sharing system del.icio.us, have found a new way to organize information and connect people. The surprise is that the organizing itself is unorganized -- and yet it works."

Katharine Mieszkowski. Steal This Bookmark!. Salon. Feb. 8, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: Salon.com normally requires a paid subscription, but you can view articles if you register for a free day pass.)

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

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Gmail Preparing for Full Launch?

"Gmail, which was launched in April 2004 and is still officially in a testing phase, is not open to the general public.

"At first, Google let only select family and friends open accounts at Gmail. But it has slowly opened up membership more broadly to friends of those already holding accounts.

"This latest development could indicate that either Google is hoping to significantly expand its user base for further testing or that the company is gearing up for a full launch."

Munir Kotadia. Gmail Gearing up for Full Launch?. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

See also:
Paul Festa. Google to Offer Gigabyte of Free E-mail. News.com. April 1, 2004.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:40 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

A New Game Plan for Sony

"At the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas last month, Sony Electronics executives feasted at a five-star restaurant, toasting their businesses' double-digit growth and hoping the profits would lift the fortunes of the ailing conglomerate.

"But the boom in electronics wasn't enough to offset weak results for Sony's other properties, when the company reported its quarterly earnings a few weeks later. For the company's top brass, the disparity underscored the need for Sony to go double time with a convergence strategy that it has been incubating for nearly a decade.

"The strategy: Make its movies and games accessible on its gadgets, to help it beat Panasonic, Samsung Electronics and Royal Philips Electronics in an increasingly competitive consumer electronics market."

Richard Shim. Sony Hits Play for New Game Plan. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:39 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Podcasting Allows More Voices to be Heard

"After getting a taste of the radio business in college, software designer Craig Patchett never lost his interest in broadcasting. But without a job in radio, it seemed likely to remain one of those unfulfilled passions - until something called 'podcasting' came along.

"Now, Patchett's creating shows and sending them out to the masses every day - not over the airwaves to radios but over the Internet, from his personal computer in Carlsbad, Calif. His listeners download his shows to their iPods and other digital music players.

"Patchett, 43, is among a growing number of people getting into podcasting, which is quickly becoming another of the Internet's equalizing technologies."

Matthew Fordahl. 'Podcasting' Lets Masses Do Radio Shows. Boston Globe. Feb. 7, 2005.

See also:
National Public Radio. 'PodCasting' to Music, Talk Fans Online. Day to Day. Feb. 1, 2005.

Steve Rubel. Pondering Podvertising Possibilities. iMediaConnection. Feb. 8, 2005.

Cindy L. Chick. Invasion of the Podcasters. LawLibTech. Feb. 2, 2005.

On the Media. Podcasting. Jan. 7, 2005.

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

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VoIP Connects Developing Countries

"David Kovach and Nersi Zand are in a business that sometimes takes them where other telecommunications companies don't want to go.

"The company has built an Internet-phone network into developing countries such as Vietnam, India, Turkey; into combat areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan; and even into Iran, which does not have diplomatic relations with the United States.

"The two and a silent partner started Xyrous Communications LLC in Vienna in December 2003. The company is selling a new Internet-voice technology that is grabbing attention in the industry because it is less expensive than traditional calling technology."

Yuki Noguchi. Using Net to Reach Developing Countries. WashingtonPost.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

(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 08:19 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Macromedia Goes Mobile with ColdFusion

" Macromedia Inc. announced the availability of the next version of its ColdFusion MX server, with new support for mobile devices and rich forms, and new reporting and printing capabilities.

"Dave Gruber, product manager for Macromedia ColdFusion MX 7, formerly code-named Blackstone, said the new version enables developers to build Internet applications for the mobile user, including the ability to support SMS (short message service) text messaging.

"ColdFusion MX 7 is a very significant release of ColdFusion, probably more significant than any since it was released 10 years ago," Gruber said. ColdFusion can now be used to serve devices outside the world of HTTP. It has a new gateway to the Internet with mobile devices, for SMS, instant messaging JMS (Java Message Service), serving all Internet-connected devices."

Darryl K. Taft. Macromedia Adds Mobile Support to ColdFusion. eWeek. Feb. 7, 2005.

See also:
Martin LaMonica. Macromedia Cold Fusion Goes Mobile. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

Michael Singer. Macromedia's ColdFusion Looks Beyond the Web. InternetNews.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

Macromedia. Macromedia Announces Immediate Availability of Coldfusion MX7. (Press Release.) Feb. 7, 2005.

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

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February 09, 2005

K. Matthew Dames Gives Presentation on Licensing

K. Matthew Dames, executive editor of SNTReport.com, is presenting a talk in Washington, DC on Wednesday entitled "Licensing in the Digital Age." The talk will review the key terms and conditions of modern licenses and discuss how the trend toward licensing threatens the viability of federal copyright law. Today's presentation is part of a brown bag lecture series on information law and policy issues that Dames is moderating throughout the winter and early spring of 2005.

Series Description: Once a legal backwater that interested only specialists, information law issues are now considered central to the nation’s communications, legal and economic infrastructure. While information law is more important than ever, information professionals often lack the necessary knowledge and tools to navigate the thicket of laws, regulations, treaties and policies.

This brown bag luncheon series will address some of the most important legal and policy issues that information professionals face today. Sponsored by the DC Chapter of SLA, National Capitol Chapter (NCC) of AIIM, the Washington DC Chapter of SCIP, Northern Virginia Chapter of ARMA, Federal Law Librarians’ SIS, Adobe Systems Inc., and STG International, this series will identify information professionals’ responsibilities, providing a forum for discussing and resolving some of the profession’s most important issues, sharing resources for further research and problem-solving.

The sessions will be moderated by K. Matthew Dames, JD, MLS, an information policy expert who teaches information law at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies. A comprehensive set of handouts will be created for each topic and posted to the DC/SLA website and SNTReport.com.

Schedule: Join us on the second Wednesday of each month, January through April 2005, as we explore copyright, fair use, licensing digital resources, digital rights management, and open access.

Session 2, February 9, 2005: Licensing Digital Resources
As more of the world’s information is created or accessed through digital means, licensing agreements take over where copyright leaves off. Therefore, it is essential to know the basics of licensing. During this second session, we will discuss the licensing agreement, including:
- What to consider before entering a license agreement;
- Basic contract law and important licensing clauses and terms, including terms of access and termination;
- Licensing’s affect on copyright law.

Session 3, March 9, 2005: Digital Rights Management
With the increase in digital information comes the increase in measures to protect it. Some of the protections, however, may take away your rights under existing law. During this session, we will discuss the importance of digital rights management (DRM), including:
- What is Digital Rights Management and how does it relate to copyright law, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?
- The technology of DRM: Selected tools for authentication, authority, access, and accountability; and
- What are the costs associated with rights management?

Session 4, April 13, 2005: Open Access
The recent consolidation of the publishing industry has been a large factor in the price rise of scholarly resources, and has hurt the ability of libraries and information centers to provide users with essential information. The fourth and final brown bag session will discuss the open access crisis, including:
- A review of key mergers and acquisitions;
- The role of licensing and DRM in open access issues;
- Local control over scholarly and self-publishing: Open archives initiatives (e.g., eprints, eScholarship Repository, LOCKSS);
- Responses by the information profession, including the Information Access Alliance.

Site & Registration Details:The brown-bags will begin promptly at 12 noon (12:00 pm – 2:00 pm) at the AeA David Packard Conference Center, 601 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, North Bldg - Suite 600 (Metro: Archives/Navy Memorial) in Washington, DC. Space is limited, so register early at the AIIM National Capitol Chapter website, or contact series organizer Barbie Keiser.

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The Butler Buys Bloglines

"Ask Jeeves is expected to announce Tuesday that it has bought privately held Bloglines, a site for searching millions of personal Web pages and aggregating news headlines, for an undisclosed sum.

"As expected, the search company will add the blog specialist to its corral of Web search products in an effort to keep pace with rivals Google, Yahoo and MSN.

"With the property, Ask Jeeves plans to build a specialized blog search engine and fold the service into its various properties, including personalization product MyJeeves and the portal Excite.com, said Jim Lanzone, senior vice president at Ask Jeeves. It will also maintain Bloglines as a separately branded site to encourage people to aggregate and search for news headlines and blogs, as well as pen their own sites. The average user of Bloglines visits the site four times a day, Lanzone said."

Stefanie Olsen. Ask Jeeves to Buy Bloglines. News.com. Feb. 7, 2004.

See also:
Gary Price. It's Official: Ask Jeeves Acquires Bloglines. SearchEngineWatch. Feb. 8, 2005.

Stefanie Olsen. Ask Jeeves to Buy Bloglines?. News.com. Feb. 6, 2005.

Bloglines. Letter to Bloglines Subscribers. No date.

Ask Jeeves. Ask Jeeves Acquires Bloglines. (Press Release.) Feb. 8, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:52 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

NY Times Interviews MPAA Chief

Deborah Solomon had the opportunity to interview Dan Glickman.

"As the new head of the Motion Picture Association of America, do you find it hard to follow in the steps of Jack Valenti, who was so flamboyant?

"It's true, no one knows who I am, but I am hoping that will change.

"Do you have any other ambitions?

"The big substantive issue for me right now is antipiracy, fighting those who want to get the content of movies free.

"Are we talking about school kids watching movies online? Or organized-crime lords?

"We are talking about an awful lot of people worldwide who are engaged in criminal activity. We need to educate kids so they understand the value of intellectual property."

Deborah Solomon. Going Hollywood. The New York Times. Feb. 6, 2005.

(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 08:45 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

New Search Engine Claims to be Web's Biggest

"A Web search engine that uses the whois' database said Friday that it searches more Web sites than any other search engine, including Google, which crawls the Web in a different manner for its search results.

"The Web's Biggest (www.websbiggest.com) noted that the whois database contains all Internet domain names. 'Other search engines missed from a third to more than half of the Web sites [included] in the Web's Biggest search results,' the firm stated.

"The firm said it searches nearly all Web sites in English, while other search engines miss many sites because they rely on hyperlinks and manual submissions in their searches."

TechWeb.com. Search Engine Claims It Is 'Web's Biggest'. Information Week. Feb. 4, 2005.

See also:
The Web’s Biggest. New Search Engine Claims to be Web's Biggest. (Press Release.) Feb. 3, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:42 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Debate Stirs Over Blogger's Legal Rights

"An Apple lawsuit against the operators of fan websites stirs debate on whether bloggers can claim legal protections.

"Even in a country where most citizens probably have no idea what a blog is, it's not just an academic debate. Bloggers, some observers say, are becoming major players in everything from national politics to consumer trends. As a result, "their conflicts, motives, and agendas matter enormously," says Zephyr Teachout, who served as Internet director for the Howard Dean campaign.

"Now in California, a court will soon decide whether bloggers have the same legal protections as journalists under 'shield' laws that protect reporters from revealing their sources."

Randy Dotinga. Are Bloggers Journalists? Do They Deserve Press Protections?. Christian Science Monitor. Feb. 2, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:28 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

FBI Shuts Down Unclassified E-Mail System

"The FBI has shut down an e-mail system it uses to communicate with the public as it investigates a potential security breach, according to multiple media reports Friday.

"Citing FBI officials, The Associated Press reported that the e-mail system is run by a private company and is used for sharing non-sensitive information with the public.

"CBS News also reported that the accounts use the fbi.com domain name and that the FBI bought at least a portion of the affected accounts from AT&T.;"

Matt Hicks. Reports: FBI Shutters Public E-Mail System. eWeek. Feb. 4, 2005.

See also:
FBI National Press Office. Statement of the FBI Regarding fbi.gov E-Mail Accounts. Feb. 4, 2005.

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)

Sun's Open Source Vision

"Sun Microsystems is a company that's made good use of its visionary impulses to survive against bigger rivals. So it's fitting that Jonathan Schwartz is the company's No. 2 executive.

"Schwartz has a reputation as an ideas man, but now he's got to turn those ideas into reality. For Sun, which is still working to reverse a three-year revenue slide, that suggests a period of intense change.

"Schwartz has climbed Sun's ranks since the company acquired his start-up, Lighthouse Design, in 1996. On the same day in April 2004 that Sun announced a detente with Microsoft, along with its third major round of layoffs in three years, he was promoted to president and chief operating officer.

"Since then, Schwartz has pinned much of Sun's turnaround plan on software. So it is that the company's salespeople are no longer compensated simply for selling hardware. Meanwhile, the Solaris operating system is becoming open-source software, and adding a Sun database has become a real possibility."

Stephen Shankland. Sun's Open-Source Gamble. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:47 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

MSN Music To Offer Free Grammy Tunes

"Microsoft's MSN Music on Monday announced it would offer free downloads of some songs in the running for Grammy awards this year.

"From Tuesday through Saturday, the company will offer one song download per day. The songs will be selected by the editorial team at MSN Music, which will pick the tracks they think will win the Grammy in several categories."

Dinesh C. Sharma. MSN Music to Offer Free Songs. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

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

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February 08, 2005

Yahoo Offers Contextual Search Tool

"Yahoo is offering a new search service designed to help people find more-relevant content online.

"The Y!Q service offers 'contextual' search that analyzes the page being read and gives a list of related search results.

"The company, which has released the service in a test format, said it is making the coding available to Web designers to embed in their sites, so that the tool can search their pages. Yahoo is also offering versions of the tool for its news site and as a toolbar that readers can download and run on their browsers."

Margaret Kane. Yahoo Launches 'Contextual' Search. News.com. Feb. 3, 2005.

See also:
Chris Sherman. Yahoo Offers New Y!Q Contextual Search Tool. SearchEngineWatch. Feb. 3, 2005.

Aaron Wall. Yahoo Launches Yahoo! Q - Contextual Search Tool. Search Engine Journal. Feb. 4, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:50 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

French Teacher Fined for File Sharing

"A schoolteacher was fined 10,200 euros (13,300 dollars) for uploading and downloading music on the Internet in France's first big case designed to deter other peer-to-peer pirates.

"The 28-year-old teacher was ordered by a court in the Paris suburb of Pontoise to pay the money to copyright companies after being found guilty of illegally transferred 30 gigabytes of music files -- the equivalent of around 10,000 songs, or 614 albums."

Associated France Press. French Teacher Fined 10,200 Euros for Downloading Music. Yahoo! News. Feb. 2, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:48 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

ESRI to Update Geospatial Resource

"Interior Department officials have chosen ESRI to update Geodata.gov, an online tool that combines thousands of geospatial resources from federal, state, local, tribal and private sources.

"The Web portal is part of Geospatial One-Stop, one of the federal government's 24 original e-government initiatives.

"The site allows government officials at all levels to get quick access to maps and other data that can be used to aid in making on-the-spot emergency response decisions, for example."

Michael Hardy. ESRI Wins Geospatial Work. FCW.com. Feb. 1, 2005.

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

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IP in the Virtual Realm

"A multiplayer online game is sued for allowing its players to dress up like comic book heroes. An upstart company winds up in court for creating a Tijuana sweatshop to manufacture digital weaponry.

"A funny thing is happening in these sprawling online multiplayer arenas. The ultimate in digital escapism, virtual worlds keep ending up in the ultimate in depressing reality: the courts."

Tom Loftus. Virtual Worlds Wind up in Real World's Courts. MSNBC News. Feb. 4, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:26 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

LA Times, Consenda Launch RSS Aggregator

"The LA Times has launched a branded RSS news aggregator in partnership with Consenda.

"You can find it here, however the service is invitation-only right now. The launch comes on the heels of the Guardian's RSS newsreader, which like the LAT is also called Newspoint."

Steve Rubel. LA Times Launches RSS Aggregator. WebProNews. Feb. 5, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:15 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Rand McNally Offers Traffic Data to Phones

"A new service from publisher Rand McNally will provide real-time traffic information to mobile phone users.

"The new service, Rand McNally Traffic, lets people download information on traffic flow, congestion, weather conditions and accidents in about 90 cities nationwide, the company said Wednesday. Subscribers can either get information on routes they usually take or do a search based on ZIP codes of their destination and then check for incidents by roads, it said."

Dinesh C. Sharma. Rand McNally Drives Traffic Data to Phones. News.com. Feb. 2, 2005.

See also:
Wayne Rash. Rand McNally, TCS Bring Traffic Warnings to Cell Phones. eWeek. Feb. 2, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:52 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Yahoo Files Patent Infringement Suit Against Xfire

"In a twist on the classic David and Goliath formula, Web giant Yahoo is suing Menlo Park, Calif., start-up Xfire for patent infringement.

"The basis of the complaint, filed last week in a U.S. District Court in Northern California and served on Xfire representatives two days ago, alleges that Xfire is willfully infringing on a patent controlled by Yahoo.

"The patent, referred to as the '125 patent for the last three numbers of U.S. Patent No. 6,699,125, was granted to two then-Yahoo employees, Brian Gottlieb and Chris Kirmse, on March 2, 2004. As is typical, ownership of inventions by employees remains with the corporation the employees work for."

Curt Feldman. Yahoo Sues Xfire for Patent Infringement. News.com. Feb. 4, 2005.

Editor's note: The Xfire website offers a brief statement in response.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:16 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

E-Mail-Address Thief Pleads Guilty

"A 24-year-old former American Online software engineer pleaded guilty Friday to stealing 92 million screen names and e-mail addresses and selling them to spammers, setting off an avalanche of up to seven billion unsolicited e-mails.

"The soft-spoken Jason Smathers of Harpers Ferry, W. Va., entered the plea to conspiracy charges in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where he was likely to face from 18 months to two years in prison at a May 20 sentencing.

"Smathers also faces mandatory restitution of between $200,000 and $400,000, the amount the government estimates AOL spent as a result of the e-mails."

Larry Neumeister. Ex-AOL Worker Pleads Guilty in Spam Case. Yahoo! News. Feb. 4, 2005.

Editor's note: See also SNTReport.com's prior story on the thief at AOL.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:04 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 07, 2005

Blog Feeds Attract Venture Capitalists

"So many blogs, so little time--and now, so many entrepreneurs hoping to help you sort through them.

"As the number of blogs, news services and other syndicated sources of online information balloons, a new crop of start-ups has emerged promising to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. And venture capitalists and veteran Internet investors Marc Andreessen and Ron Conway are right behind one of them.

"Rojo, a San Francisco start-up in the blog aggregation business, 'is wrapping a communications capability around content consumption,' said Andreessen, Web browser pioneer, Rojo investor and Opsware chairman. 'And the killer app for the Internet is and always has been communication.'"

Paul Festa. RSS Feeds Attract Venture Dollars. ZD Net. Feb. 1, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:49 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Senate Passes Anti-Piracy Bill

"People who secretly videotape movies when they are shown in theaters could go to prison for up to three years under a bill approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate.

"The Senate also voted late on Tuesday to stiffen penalties for hackers and industry insiders who distribute music, movies or other copyrighted works before their official release date.

"The measures were approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives last year, but they did not become law because Congress adjourned without resolving minor differences between the two versions."

No author. Senate Passes Camcorder Piracy Bill. Reuters. Feb. 2, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:49 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Web Advertising Comes of Age

"When the year's largest television audience convenes for the Super Bowl on Sunday, advertisers will be spending an estimated $2.4 million for each 30-second cinema-quality commercial. But just as important to many of those same advertisers is the $1.50 or so a mouse click that they may spend on the Google Internet search site, at any hour on any day, for a few words of plain text that will link prospective customers to the advertisers' Web sites.

"The fact that Eli Lilly, Napster, Novartis and Staples, are among Super Bowl advertisers that are also regulars on Google is not the only evidence that Web advertising has come of age.

"On Tuesday, Google, the most popular Internet search company, announced that it had passed a significant milestone by selling $1 billion of advertising during the last three months of 2004."

John Markoff and Natives. Web Search Sites See Clicks Add Up to Big Ad Dollars. The New York Times. Feb. 4, 2005.

(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 08:40 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Skype Expands VoIP Service to Linux, OS X

"At a time when major U.S. telephone operators are spending billions of dollars to expand, telephone software maker Skype on Tuesday says it's building a global phone network virtually for free.

"New renditions of Skype software for Linux and Macintosh operating systems are expected to become available on Tuesday. The new releases are a significant expansion for 17-month-old Skype. Since its debut, Skype's free software only worked on Microsoft devices, though test versions of the Linux and Macintosh software have been available since last year.

"Skype's latest software arrives at a time when many elite U.S. phone companies are consolidating with others in multibillion dollar deals that let the communications giants expand into new markets and territories. Using the merger-mania as a backdrop, Skype's new software releases should put even more fright into traditional telecom executives.

Ben Charny. Skype Creeps Under Phone Giants' Radar. News.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

See also:
Skype. Skype for Mac OS X and Linux. (Press Release.) Feb. 1, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:39 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Firefox 1.1 Delayed Till June

"Firefox 1.1 will be released three months later than originally planned, according to Ben Goodger, the lead programmer on the browser.

"'In a move that I would hope should surprise exactly nobody, we're pushing back 1.1 by a little bit because of the realities of the work remaining to be done,' Goodger said in a blog posting last week.

"Some reports have speculated that the change in date was caused by Goodger's recent move to Google. But Goodger denied these reports in a later post.

"Firefox 1.1 was initially scheduled to be released around March 2005. But the final version has been delayed until June 2005."

Ingrid Marson. Firefox 1.1 Delayed. News.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

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

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NIH Calls for Speedy Net Access to Research

"The U.S. National Institutes of Health, which spent nearly $20 billion last year funding research, urged scientists on Thursday to let the agency publish their studies on the Internet.

"Researchers receiving NIH grants should send their manuscripts to a free, Web-based archive managed by the National Library of Medicine as soon as they can, after first submitting them to medical or scientific journals, NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni said."

Maggie Fox. NIH Asks for Internet Access to Studies. Reuters. Feb. 3, 2005.

See also:
National Institutes of Health. NIH Calls on Scientists to Speed Public Release of Research Publications. (Press Release.) Feb. 3, 2005.

National Public Radio. NIH to Deliver Free Access to Research. All Things Considered. Feb. 3, 2005.

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)

MP3 Founder to Launch New Digital Music Service

"Michael Robertson, the outspoken entrepreneur who helped set off the early digital music wars with his MP3.com site, said Wednesday that he is getting back in the online music business.

"Robertson, now chief executive both of Linux software company Linspire and Net-calling service SIPphone, said he wanted to give consumers--particularly those who use Linux-based computers--a broader choice of stores. His service would set itself apart from others by providing music without any copy protection added, he said.

"True to form, Robertson is launching a few barbs along with the new service, which will be unveiled at his Desktop Linux Summit conference in San Diego next week."

John Borland. MP3.com Founder Returns to Music Biz. News.com. Feb. 2, 2004.

Update: Matt Hines. MP3tunes.com Shuns Digital Rights Management. News.com. Feb. 9, 2005. (Michael Robinson launched MP3tunes.com on Wednesday. The songs are for sale in MP3 format without any digital rights management technology, which means the music can be copied without restrictions on any portable player that supports this standard.)

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)

D.C. Seeks to Limit Sale of Video Games

"D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams and most D.C. Council members say they want to ban the sale of violent and sexually explicit video games to minors, linking the popular games to juvenile violence.

Council member Adrian M. Fenty (D-Ward 4) and 11 colleagues are scheduled to introduce a measure today that would limit the sale of such games as the Grand Theft Auto series, Halo 2 and Mortal Kombat. A store that sells the games to minors could lose its business license and face a fine of as much as $10,000.

"The legal outlook for such a measure is uncertain. Federal appeals courts have rejected as unconstitutional the efforts by St. Louis County and Indianapolis to regulate video games."

Eric M. Weiss. D.C. Seeks Sales Ban On Violent Games. WashingtonPost.com. Feb. 3, 2005.

See also:
Eric M. Weiss and Jose Antonio Vargas. Video Games' Chaos Echoed In Streets, D.C. Leaders Say. WashingtonPost.com. Feb. 4, 2005.

(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 06:32 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 05, 2005

Sony Sponsers Gawker Media Blog

"Nick Denton's Gawker Media signed Sony as the sole sponsor of a new blog covering software for the non-geek. Called Lifehacker, the site will offer 'a more briskly efficient approach to using computers and downloading software,' according to Denton.

"Sony's buy with Gawker Media marks the company's first blog marketing foray. Denton described the deal, with Sony's eSolutions group, as the second or third largest it's signed with an advertiser and the largest with a consumer electronics company. In addition to owning all ad space on the new site, Sony will buy media on Gawker's Gizmodo gadget blog.

"'They [Sony] were very interested in doing something before blogging became a common marketing platform,' said Brad Bowers, founding partner of BlackInc. 'Given that Gawker is a pretty well established media property as far as blogging goes, they thought it would be a good place to dip their toe in the water.'"

Zachary Rodgers. Denton Snags Sony as Exclusive Blog Sponsor. ClickZNews. Jan. 31, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:44 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Open-Source Patents: A Closer Look

"The latest tactic in the software-patenting battle is the granting of patent rights to open-source developers. But are the grants really the equivalent of wolves in sheep's clothing?

"That's not the only movement on the patent front. The possible approval of a software-patenting measure in Europe this Wednesday could bring a barrage of lawsuits on both sides of the Atlantic, affecting proprietary software as well as the open-source community.

"Let's take a closer look."

Bruce Perens. The Open-Source Patent Conundrum. News.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

See also:
Stephen Shankland. Open-Source Honchos Trash Software Patents. News.com. Feb. 1, 2005.

Richard Stallman. Sun's No-Op Announcement. Newsforge. Jan. 31, 2005.

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

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

True Freedom of Mobility

"I love the Internet because I can plug anything I want into it. No ISP tells me what computer I can use or what software it can run. Contrast that with the phone networks. Until 1968, it was illegal to even attach a non-Bell phone. Even today, phone companies charge for services like Caller ID. Imagine if your ISP charged you for seeing the 'From' line in your e-mail.

"Mobile-phone companies have inherited this arrogance, building their business models around nickel-and-diming customers. They sell you phones that can play musical ringtones and then force you to buy the song snippets you want to use, even if you already own the CD.

"Yet I’m a net-head who learned to love phones again—specifically, smartphones such as the Sony Ericsson P900, the Nokia 6620 and the Treo 650. All come with operating systems ready to run software of your choosing because they’re made by manufacturers who treat you, not your carrier, as the real customer."

Cory Doctorow. Take Back Your Cell. Popular Science. Feb. 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:14 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Google Becomes Accredited Domain Name Registrar

"Google has become accredited to register and sell Web addresses under the governing body of domain names.

"The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit based in Los Angeles, has deemed Google a domain name registrar, according to the search company. However, it has no plans to sell Web addressees for now.

"With the papers, Google joins other Internet companies, including Amazon.com and America Online, to be ICANN-accredited without a storefront. Rival registrars that make a business of selling domain names are speculating that the credentials will give Google a more powerful seat at the table with ICANN, an Internet government body, or a potential business opportunity down the road."

Stefanie Olsen. Google Gets Rrights as Web Site Registrar. News.com. Feb. 1, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:37 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Trademark Document Retrieval System Now Online

"The Patent and Trademark Office is now making official trademark application files, including decisions by trademark examining attorneys, available online.

"The milestone is part of PTO’s effort to make the trademark registration process fully transparent to the public on the PTO Web site, the Commerce Department agency announced Friday.

"The Trademark Document Retrieval system (TDR) provides an electronic portal for viewing, downloading and printing an array of information and documents as Adobe Portable Document Format files. All told, the system has more than 460,000 trademark applications totaling more than 8 million document pages."

Mary Mosquera. PTO Puts Trademark Application Files Online. GCN. Jan. 31, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:13 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Report: Telework Participation Lags Behind Interest

"Interest in telework continues to run high for federal employees, but just 51 percent of workers are eligible to work away from the office, according to a report from a Herndon, Va.-based technology distributor.

"The report found that 36 percent of the federal workforce has been given the option to work away from the office and 45 percent of workers say their managers view telework favorably. Nineteen percent telework, the report stated.

"'The benefits of telework are simply too great to delay any longer,' said Jim Shanks, CDW Government president. 'With a clear understanding of what the real problems are, federal policymakers and industry leaders now have a real opportunity to resolve them.'"

Daniel Pulliam. Telework Participation Still Lags Behind Interest. GovExec. Jan. 31, 2005.

See also:
Jason Miller. CIOs Need to Get Behind Telework, GSA says. GCN. Jan. 31, 2005.

CDW Government Inc. CDW·G Federal Telework Report Reveals Roadblocks To Broader Telework Adoption. (Press Release.) Jan. 31, 2005.

Update: Daniel Pulliam. Telework Centers Offer Free Month to Federal Workers. GCN. Feb. 11, 2005. (The General Service Administration is funding a promotion for federal workers to receive a one-month trial membership at fourteer Washington-area telework centers.)

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)

Yahoo Japan Beats Yahoo to Blogosphere

"Yahoo Japan, owned mostly by Softbank and partly by Yahoo, on Tuesday launched a test, or 'beta,' version of Yahoo Japan Blogs, a free service that lets users post blogs and up to 2GB of images, comment on other blogs, and associate their blogs with animated representations of users known as avatars.

"Yahoo's Asian blogging services are striking in that they precede any offerings or previews by Yahoo for its flagship portal. And Yahoo's lateness to the blogging game is all the more notable thanks to significant investment by Yahoo's main portal competitors, including Google, MSN and AOL."

Paul Festa. Yahoo Japan Launches Blog Beta. News.com. Feb. 1, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:33 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Education Dept. Lists Accredited Colleges

"The Education Department released an online list of accredited colleges and universities Tuesday, as part of the fight against diploma mills and federal employees who present fraudulent credentials.

"The Web site that houses the list was unveiled during a press conference on Capitol Hill, where a string of lawmakers and federal officials said that some federal workers have used fake degrees to get promotions or higher pay. Diploma mills are schools that sell degrees, but do not have a genuine academic curriculum. The Education Department list is designed to be used by personnel officials to research schools on applications and résumés."

David McGlinchey. Education Unveils Database of Accredited Schools. GovExec.com. Feb. 2, 2005.

See also:
Patience Wait. OPM, Education Take Action on Diploma Mills. GCN. Feb. 1, 2005.

Joanne Kenen. U.S. Opens Campaign Against Fake 'Diploma Mills'. Reuters. Feb. 1, 2005.

Ryan Singel. Database Fights Diploma Mills. Wired News. Feb. 2, 2005.

Federal Trade Commission. Avoid Fake-Degree Burns By Researching Academic Credentials. Jan. 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:03 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 04, 2005

Activists Urge Open-Source Software

"Activists at a leftist gathering where Microsoft is viewed as a corporate bogeyman urged developing nations Saturday to leap into the information age with free open-source software.

"John Barlow, a lyricist for the Grateful Dead, told a gathering inside a packed warehouse that poor nations can't solve their problems unless they stop paying expensive software licensing fees.

"'Already, Brazil spends more in licensing fees on proprietary software than it spends on hunger,' said Barlow, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a cyberspace civil liberties group."

Associated Press. Activists Urge Open-Source. Wired News. Jan. 29, 2005.

See also:
National Public Radio. Brazil Makes Move to Open Source Software. Morning Edition. Jan. 31, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:51 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Libraries Position in a Google World

"Librarians just need to look at the latest announcements from Google to see why the Chinese character for change is the combination of the characters for danger and opportunity

"In the past 18 months we've seen the arrivals of Google Scholar (see 'Google in the Academic Library,' Online Databases, p. 32), Google Print, Google News, Google Alerts, Google Deskbar, Google Desktop Search, Google Library Digitization Project, Google Suggest, Google Local with Keyhole (maps), Google Gmail, Google Orkut, Google Picasa (digital photo organizer), and on and on. For two years Google has also been snapping up new technology companies—from blogging software to a global positioning system—while also investing in Baidu, China's largest search engine.

"Google has accomplished a lot in five years and now has the infusion of capital to accomplish more. Can libraries compete, complement, or cooperate? Or will we lose out? It's still our choice, but not for long. Here are ten key things your institution, your library, and you can do in a Google world."

Stephen Abram. The Google Opportunity. Library Journal. Feb. 1, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:48 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Legal Center to Support Open-Source Developers

"Freely distributed open-source software like the Linux operating system has become increasingly popular, but one cloud over its future has been legal risk. So far, most of the lawsuits have involved claims that software code owned by someone else found its way into a cooperative programming project.

"A nonprofit legal center opening today, backed by $4 million in initial financing from a corporate consortium, will provide advice from specialists that is intended to minimize the risk that developers and users of free software will be sued.

"The Software Freedom Law Center, its founders say, will focus on helping the leaders of open-source software projects organize and manage their work in ways that anticipate and avoid potential legal pitfalls."

Steve Lohr. An Effort to Help Free-Software Developers Avoid Suits. The New York Times. Feb. 1, 2005.

See also:
Jim Wagner and Michael Singer. Open Source Law Center Opens Doors. InternetNews.com. Feb. 1, 2005.

Stephen Shankland. Lawyers Ride Shotgun for Open Source. News.com. Jan 31, 2005.

(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 08:13 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Microsoft Licenses Macrovision's Anti-Rip Technology

"Microsoft and copy-protection company Macrovision have struck a deall that will add a new layer of anticopying defenses to video content being swapped between home devices.

"The two companies said that Microsoft had licensed Macrovision's technology, which aims to stop people from making copies using analog connections between devices, such as those that typically link a set-top box to a television.

"The deal could make it harder for consumers to make permanent copies of TV shows and movies without permission, if they use computers running the Windows operating system. It should also help convince movie studios and other content producers to release their products in new ways online, the companies said."

John Borland. Microsoft, Macrovision Align on Copy Protection. News.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

See also:

Todd Bishop. Microsoft Makes Deal with Macrovision. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Feb. 1, 2005.

Tony Smith. MS Licenses Analog Anti-Rip Technology. The Register. Feb. 1, 2005.

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

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:45 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Businesses Utilize Dark Fiber

"When Ford Motor Co. decided to upgrade its corporate network in Dearborn, Mich., it sent in the backhoes.

"The automotive giant sells cars, not telecommunications services. But, in a move that experts say increasingly makes sense for bandwidth-intensive business operations, Ford found that it would cost less to lay its own optical fiber lines than to subscribe to a service from the local phone company.

"'I think it's a strategy that companies need to look at,' said George Surdu, director of infrastructure at Ford. 'They need to work through the business case themselves. But I don't believe we are the first ones to think of doing this, and I'm sure we won't be the last.'"

Marguerite Reardon. Dark Fiber: Businesses See the Light. News.com. Feb. 1, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:12 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Netscape to Release Antiphishing Browser

"Netscape next month is expected to release a test version of a Web browser designed to resist phishing schemes, taking aim at recent security vulnerabilities in Microsoft's Web browser.

"Netscape, a unit of Time Warner subsidiary America Online, has been recharging its browser activity in recent months, prodded by the success of its open-source spin-off, the Mozilla Foundation, and by the prospects of increased revenue through browser-based search queries.

"On Feb. 17, Netscape is expected to release both the second test, or 'beta,' version of Netscape 8 and a redesigned Netscape.com portal site."

Paul Festa. Netscape Readies Antiphishing Browser. News.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

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)

IceRocket.com, GoFish Team for Multimedia Search

"IceRocket.com, a search upstart backed by Broadcast.com founder Mark Cuban, has licensed technology to help visitors find and download video and music online. The Dallas-based company said it teamed with San Francisco start-up GoFish Technologies to bolster its multimedia search capabilities."

Stefanie Olsen . IceRocket Goes Fishing for Multimedia Search. News.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

See also:
PR Newswire. GoFish Powers Video, Music, and Mobile Content Search for IceRocket.com. (Press Release.) Jan. 31, 2005.

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

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

The Mobile Area Code Dilemma

"Thanks to cellular and internet phones, anyone can make a call from anywhere -- and use any area code in the country.

"But the added mobility doesn't always bode well for businesses trying to operate in a messy world of multiple personal phones, calling numbers and area codes that differ from a person's home address. Some companies may ask what's the point of even having an area code? If anything, the invention of the mobile has been a headache for Domino's Pizza.

"The fast-food delivery chain has an internal group of people looking for a technical solution for accepting cell-phone orders. Right now, most Domino's restaurants accept orders only from land-line telephones tied to a local address, to ensure that drivers make deliveries to legitimate homes."

Elisa Batista. Area Codes Blur Boundaries. Wired News. Jan. 31, 2005.

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

February 03, 2005

Firefox Rocks the Software World

"For Rob Davis, the final straw came during a beautiful weekend last summer, which he spent holed up in his Minneapolis apartment killing a zombie. The week before, a malicious software program had invaded Davis' PC through his browser, Internet Explorer, using a technique called the DSO exploit. His computer had been repurposed as a "zombie box" - its CPU and bandwidth co-opted to pump reams of spam onto the Internet. Furious, Davis dropped out of a planned Lake Superior camping trip to instead back up his computer and reformat his crippled hard drive. Then he vowed never to open IE again.

"Lucky for Davis, a new browser had just appeared on the scene - Firefox, a fast, simple, and secure piece of software that was winning acclaim from others who also had grown frustrated with Internet Explorer.

"Firefox couldn't have arrived at a better time for people like Davis - or at a worse time for Microsoft. Ever since Internet Explorer toppled Netscape in 1998, browser innovation has been more or less limited to pop-up ads, spyware, and viruses.

"Like most open source software, Firefox is forever a work in progress, the product of continual tweaking by thousands of programmers all over the world. What makes Firefox different from other open source projects is its consumer appeal. Until now, the open source community has been very good at creating useful software but lousy at finding nontechnical users.

Josh McHugh. The Firefox Explosion. Wired. Feb. 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:59 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

DRM Applied to the Mobile Industry

"A word of warning to DRM-crazed companies, says the outspoken Cory Doctorow: somewhere out there is a competitor who will steal your customers with more open products.

"Cory Doctorow is a popular figure in Internet culture. He's an award-winning science-fiction author whose work explores the social implications of digital communication, and he recently moved to London to be the European Outreach Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization created in 1990 to defend our 'right to think, speak, and share our ideas, thoughts, and needs using new technologies.' As you might expect, Doctorow's an outspoken critic of digital rights management, which he believes is an impediment to the rights the EFF was established to protect.

"More interestingly, he believes that DRM is bad for business, too. Doctorow shared his views on DRM as it applies to the mobile industry with TheFeature."

Mark Frauenfelder. Closed Systems = Closed Opportunities Closed Systems = Closed Opportunities. TheFeature. Jan. 25, 2005.

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

Search Sites Face Fierce Competition

"Last Monday, Google representatives called analysts and reporters to trumpet a new service that searches the transcripts of television broadcasts. Yahoo, Google's rival, got wind of the announcement and within hours, its publicity machine had bolted into action to say it had a similar service in the works.

"Perhaps the fiercest competition on the Internet these days is among sites offering new ways to search through more information. Yahoo and Microsoft each have hundreds of engineers trying to challenge Google's leadership, and dozens of minor players are trying to find ways of getting their services noticed.

"So far, all this innovation has yet to shake Google from its perch at the top of the search market, although its growth in market share has slowed."

Saul Hansell. Search Sites Play a Game of Constant Catch-Up. News.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

See also:
Saul Hansell. Microsoft Introduces Its Own Search Service. The New York Times. Feb. 1, 2005.

(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 08:38 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Activists Work to Save 'Eyes on the Prize'

"A group of file-sharing activists is practicing a little civil disobedience of its own in order to bring the documentary series Eyes on the Prize to a wider audience.

"As Wired News first reported, Eyes on the Prize, the 14-part series chronicling the civil rights movement, can no longer be broadcast on television and has never been released on DVD because of copyright restrictions.

"Old VHS tapes that remain in schools and libraries were the only way to view the landmark series, until now. Downhill Battle enlisted the help of a group called Common Sense Releasers to digitize the series and convert it to MPEG-4 format for distribution on the internet. The group hopes people will organize community screenings of the series around the country."

Katie Dean. Eyes on the Prize Hits P2P. Wired News. Jan. 27, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:28 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Library Allows Users to Copy E-Books

"For audio-book addicts, the King County Library System has something for you and you don't even have to set foot in a library.

"Last November, the county library became the first in the nation to allow people to download audio 'e-books' to home computers.

"An e-book can be downloaded from the library's Web site onto a computer and either burned to a CD or transferred to an MP3 player.

"For free."

Susan Gilmore. King County Library Lets You Copy its E-books. The Seattle Times. Jan. 31, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:19 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Microsoft Launches Search Engine

"It's official. Nearly two years after announcing it would develop its own search technology, MSN Search began feeding the general public results found through its own internally developed search engine. The rollout has happened worldwide, including on the main MSN Search site.

"'Now we have our platform in place. We think it's super competitive to what's out there,' said MSN Search & Shopping corporate vice president Christopher Payne.

"Now the beta label has come off. MSN Search is firmly in the search wars and hoping that its new technology -- along with a massive new advertising campaign -- will help it gain users."

Danny Sullivan. MSN Search Officially Switches To Its Own Technology. SearchEngineWatch. Feb. 1, 2005.

See also:
Microsoft Corp. MSN Launches New Internet Search Service Designed to Give More-Precise Answers in Less Time. (Press Release.) Feb. 1, 2005.

Todd Bishop. Microsoft Antes up with New Eearch Engine. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Feb. 1, 2005.

Robert A. Guth. Microsoft Allots More Cash to Ads For Search Engine. WSJ.com. Feb. 1, 2005.

Stefanie Olsen. Microsoft Kicks Off Search Effort. News.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:53 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Paxfire Capitalizes on Broken Links

"In the early days of the Internet, when you mistyped a Web address or entered an address that did not exist, your browser was redirected to a Web site with a stark, black-and-white message: 'Error Page Not Found.'

"Now, if you're using Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, you're likely to be redirected to a Microsoft page with a search box for its MSN Search service. Soon, you could be directed instead to a page containing a search box -- but one provided by your Internet service provider using technology from a Reston company called Paxfire Inc."

'Traffic is the coin of the realm' on the Web, said Mark Lewyn, president and founder of Paxfire. 'He who captures the most traffic collects the most money.' So those daily mistakes, known as 'trash traffic,' are a potential gold mine, he said, when they are redirected to an error-and-search page that has links to advertisers."

Andrea Caumont. Broken Links Lined With Gold for Paxfire. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

(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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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:36 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

California Suspends Wireless Protections

"California utility regulators on Thursday suspended an 8-month-old crackdown on abusive practices in the wireless telephone industry, rebuffing the protests of consumer activists and the state's top law enforcement officials.

The California Public Utilities Commission's 3-1 decision represented a dramatic about-face from last May, when the same agency passed the nation's toughest wireless phone regulations. The sweeping overhaul was known as the Telecommunications Consumer Bill of Rights.

"Since then, the PUC's makeup has changed with the terms of two commissioners expiring. Both of those departed commissioners, Loretta Lynch and Carl Wood, played pivotal roles in getting the consumer rights bill approved after four years of wrangling.

"Rampant consumer complaints alleging false advertising and confusing billing practices prompted the PUC's push to hold the wireless phone industry more accountable for its conduct."

Associated Press.California Regulators Put Wireless-Customer Protections on Hold. San Jose Mercury News. Jan. 27, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:19 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 02, 2005

The Future of Music

"On February 13, thousands of musicians from around the world will gather in Los Angeles at the Grammy Awards to celebrate music circa 2005.

"But the celebration won't hide the war that's going on. Record labels are threatened by technologies that give fans access to music in ways no one ever planned. They plead with Congress for more laws to control the fans.

"Activist organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge (on whose boards this columnist sits) are fighting back. They (we) demand an end to the war, and the attack on innovation that it represents."

Lawrence Lessig. Why Wilco Is the Future of Music. Wired. Feb. 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:55 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Copyright Office Addresses "Orphan Works"

"The Copyright Office seeks to examine the issues raised by 'orphan works,' i.e., copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or even impossible to locate. Concerns have been raised that the uncertainty surrounding ownership of such works might needlessly discourage subsequent creators and users from incorporating such works in new creative efforts or making such works available to the public.

"This notice requests written comments from all interested parties. Specifically, the Office is seeking comments on whether there are compelling concerns raised by orphan works that merit a legislative, regulatory or other solution, and what type of solution could effectively address these concerns without conflicting with the legitimate interests of authors and right holders."

DATES: Written comments must be received in the Copyright Office on or before 5 p.m. EST on March 25, 2005. Interested parties may submit written reply comments in direct response to the written comments on or before 5 p.m. on May 9, 2005.

ADDRESSES: All submissions should be addressed to Jule L. Sigall, Associate Register for Policy & International Affairs. Comments may be sent by regular mail or delivered by hand, or sent by electronic mail to the e-mail address orphanworks@loc.gov (see file formats and information requirements under supplemental information below). Those sent by regular mail should be addressed to the U.S. Copyright Office, Copyright GC/I&R;, P.O. Box 70400, Southwest Station, Washington, DC 20024. Submissions delivered by hand should be brought to the Public Information Office, U.S. Copyright Office, James Madison Memorial Building, Room LM-401, 101 Independence Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20540.

Federal Register. Library of Congress, Copyright Office: Orphan Works. Jan. 26, 2005.

See also:
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive, Richard Prelinger, & Prelinger Associates, Inc., v. John Ashcroft. (.pdf) Jan. 19, 2005.

Editor's note: FreeCulture.org has made this website available to submit comments.

Attribution: SNTReport.com first discovered news of this copyright circular through a posting in beSpacific.com, edited by Sabrina Pacifici.

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Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:55 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Panelists Say Search Needs Greater Relevance

"A panel of industry executives gathered to speak at the Harvard Business School's ongoing Cyberposium conference here Saturday roundly endorsed the idea that making search tools more relevant in customers' lives will be the most important factor in driving their companies' success.

"Companies represented at the conference included Ask Jeeves, Google, Yahoo and MSN. And despite their different approaches to developing search tools, the executives here agreed that it will be ordinary folk outside the industry that have the most influence on its continued development."

Matt Hines. Future of Search Rides on Relevance. News.com. Jan. 29, 2005.

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Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:29 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Mobisode Makes Debut on Cell TV

"The scene veers abruptly from seduction to murder. In one of the shortest, smallest television premieres ever, a woman deftly snaps her lover's neck, then steals his identity to access secret government data.

"The miniature version of the TV show '24' lasts just 60 seconds, and it unfolds on a two-inch cell phone screen.

"The 'mobisode' (short for mobile episode), adapted from the Fox series, makes its debut Tuesday as part of a new push by Verizon Wireless Communications Inc. to sell mobile-phone video service to subscribers for a fee of $15 a month."

Yuki Noguchi. Gone in 60 Seconds. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 30, 2005.

(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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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:22 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Bush Promotes E-Medical Records

"President Bush called on doctors and hospitals Thursday to move their medical records from paper to electronic files, a change that he said would improve medical care while shaving significant sums from the nation's spiraling health care bill.

"Speaking at the Cleveland Clinic, Bush quoted health analysts who said that the efficiencies wrought by electronic medical records could reduce medical costs as much as 20 percent. Electronic records can ''help change medicine and save money and save lives,' he said.

"The Department of Health and Human Services has begun the process of helping to develop a 'medical Internet,' which would allow the confidential transmission of medical records across the country. Some civil liberties groups have raised concerns about the confidentiality of the records, but proponents say privacy can be preserved."

Michael Fletcher. President Promotes Switching To Electronic Medical Records. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 28, 2005.

>See also:
Roy Mark. Bush Pledges E-Medical Records For Americans. InternetNews.com. Jan. 28, 2005.

(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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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:58 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

SBC to Acquire AT&T;

"AT&T; Corp., the matriarch of the modern telephone business, is selling itself to one of its progeny, SBC Communications Inc., as part of a $16 billion deal that would create the nation's largest telecommunications company.

"SBC announced that documents authorizing the acquisition were signed early today after AT&T;'s board approved the deal in meetings that continued past midnight. The SBC board approved the transaction Sunday evening.

"The agreement caps weeks of negotiations and ends AT&T;'s 128-year reign as the nation's best-known phone company. If the deal meets with regulatory and shareholder approval, the combined companies would eclipse Verizon Communications Inc., with 60 million residential consumers, millions of business customers and more than $70 billion in combined annual revenue."

Yuki Noguchi. SBC to Acquire AT&T; for $16 Billion. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

See also:
Justin Hyde. SBC to Buy AT&T; for $16 Billion. Reuters. Jan. 31, 2005.

Paul Travis. SBC To Buy AT&T; For $16 Billion. Information Week. Jan. 31, 2005.

Reuters. SBC to Cut Nearly 13,000 Jobs in AT&T; Deal. News.com. Feb. 1, 2005.

(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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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:48 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Five Ways to Make Money from Blogs

"You pound on the keyboard each day, broadcasting your unalloyed truths to the world (or at least to friends and family) via your blog. Unfortunately, earning such singular authority demands serious time and energy, and what begins as a hobby can quickly start seeming like Job No. 2 -- sans paycheck. But haven't you heard? You can turn your Web log into a digital cash cow. Simply choose among these techniques (but keep in mind that it's not all free money -- come tax season, Uncle Sam gets his fair share)."

Mike Peed. How To Make Money off Your Blog. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 30, 2005.

(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 06:37 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 01, 2005

MPAA Sues Additional P2P Users

"Hollywood studios filed a second round of lawsuits against online movie-swappers on Wednesday, stepping up legal pressure on the file-trading community.

"The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) also made available a new free software tool so parents can scan their computers for file-swapping programs and for movie or music files which may be copyrighted.

"The group said its lawsuits were targeting people across the United States, but did not say how many people were being sued."

John Borland. MPAA Files New Film-Swapping Suits. News.com. Jan. 26, 2005.

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

Bloggies Celebrate the Best in Blog Publishing

"Quick, what was the catchiest idea about blogs to sweep the Web last year: podcasting, food blogging parties, group photo captions or themed photo contests?

"If you haven't even heard of those trends, you have until Thursday to check them out at the site of the 2005 Bloggies and to choose from five finalists for the 'best meme' -- that is, a 'replicating idea that spread about Weblogs.' Twenty-nine other categories are also up for a vote in the Bloggies, which aim to celebrate the best in Web log publishing.

"'The point of the Bloggies is to highlight the best blogs around, especially ones that are good but nobody's heard about,' said Nikolai Nolan, the University of Michigan senior who created the contest in 2000."

Leslie Walker. Bloggies Recognizes New Trends in Format. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 30, 2005.

(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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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:33 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Pew Examines Americans' Increasing Reliance on Internet

"A decade after browsers came into popular use, the Internet has reached into–and, in some cases, reshaped–just about every important realm of modern life. It has changed the way we inform ourselves, amuse ourselves, care for ourselves, educate ourselves, work, shop, bank, pray and stay in touch.

"This entry is the Pew Internet Project's contribution to 'Trends 2005,' a publication of the newly-created Pew Research Center, a research orgnization that combines several analytical projects funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts."

Lee Rainie and John Horrigan. A Decade of Adoption: How the Internet Has Woven Itself into American Life. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Jan. 25, 2005.

See also:
Pew Internet & American Life Project. Trends 2005: A Look at Changes in American Life. (Press Release.) Jan. 25, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:10 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

TV File Sharing Gains Popularity

"Isaac Richards didn't think of himself as a rebel, or a shock to the well-lubricated system of the television industry. He was merely unhappy with the cable box provided by his local operator.

"Dismayed by the sluggish channel-changing capability and the sparsely informative program guide, he decided to build a better cable box from scratch. Today, nearly three years since Mr. Richards, a 26-year-old computer software programmer in Willoughby, Ohio, embarked on his quest, hundreds of thousands of do-it-yourself television viewers are using the free software program he wrote, MythTV, to turn desktop personal computers into customized cable boxes, complete with the ability to record shows, surf the Web and strip out unwanted commercials.

"Millions of viewers are now watching illegal copies of television programs - even full seasons copied from popular DVD's - that are flitting about the Internet, thanks to other new programs that allow users to upload and download the large files quickly."

Lorne Manly and John Markoff. Steal This Show. The New York Times. Jan. 30, 2005.

(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 08:01 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

China Bans 50 Video Games

"The Chinese government on Wednesday issued a list of 50 banned video and computer games, according to government news agency Xinhua.

"The list is roughly split between pirated games and games banned based on content. Pirated games cited by the news agency included 'The Sims 2," the top-selling PC game in North America last year, and soccer game 'FIFA 2005.'

"Xinhua said the list was part of an overall crackdown by the State General Administration of Press and Publication 'to protect intellectual property rights and create a good environment for Chinese youth.'"

David Becker. Banned in Beijing: China Cracks Down on Games. News.com. Jan. 26, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:54 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Wireless Auction Brings $974M in Bids

"Almost $1 billion in bids were made on Wednesday on the opening day of a U.S. government auction of valuable wireless airwaves, with companies fighting hard for the Los Angeles market.

"After four rounds of bidding, $974 million had been bid for airwaves that could be used by carriers to offer new services like high-speed Internet access, as well as to improve service quality. Four of 35 bidders dropped out of the competition for 242 licenses.

"Some of the licenses put up for sale by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission are limited to bids from small entrepreneurs, so larger carriers have formed partnerships or other arrangements to gain access to those airwaves."

Reuters.Wireless Auction Bids Hit $974 Million--So Far. News.com. Jan. 26, 2005.

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

Report: Local Online Advertising Sees Sudden Upswing

"Spending on local online advertising will total approximately $3.9 billion in 2005, a 46 percent increase over the $2.7 billion 2004 total, according to research conducted by Borrell Associates on 210 U.S. media markets.

"Those growth figures are roughly double what researchers expected to measure for online local in 2005, said Gordon Borrell, president and chief executive of the Portsmouth, Virginia-based company. (The company measured a 28.7 percent increase in local ad spending online in 2004.)

"The fastest growing market in the country is Washington, D.C., which will increase its total local online ad spend by almost 70 percent, to reach $92 million in 2005, the report said."

Rob McGann. Report: Local Online Ad Spend to Rise 46 Percent in '05. ClickZNews. Jan. 27, 2005.

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