been harping on this: the Chinese are getting into chips with "Culturecom
Holdings Ltd says it has begun selling its V-Dragon chip, claiming
100,000 orders thus far." And they're doing their own 3G standard,
to the USDA, 48% of farmers are connected to the internet. Link.
Raushel ... and colleagues tuned the enzyme phosphotriesterase
to destroy the nerve gas soman1. A more efficient version could
form part of a mask to protect against nerve agents, Raushel
naturally breaks down soman, but slowly. Raushel's team has
increased its activity by a factor of 1,000. This is still not
fast enough to be useful, but the researchers anticipate that
further tweaks should make the enzyme work even better.
ruling in California: opt-in for customer information sharing with
third parties. The judge also "said the banks don't have to
follow provisions requiring customer permission before sharing personal
information among affiliated companies, such as brokerage and insurance
divisions. Federal laws explicitly allow such sharing, she said."
New York Times, lead article on web is "Bush Looking for Means
to Prevent Gay Marriage in U.S." followed by "Bush Acknowledges
'Real Threat' of Terrorism"
Post has "Bush Takes Reponsibility (sic) for Iraq Claims"
don't know how quite to react. Except a mild shrug in disgust.
might not sound like much initially, but, those with optical networking
experience might get excited. Link.
research team at the University of California at Santa Barbara
(UCSB) has for the first time incorporated on a single chip
both a widely tunable laser and an all-optical wavelength converter,
thereby creating an integrated photonic circuit for transcribing
data from one color of light to another.
moves between coasts through nodes of the Internet located in
cities like Phoenix or Houston, where the capability is needed
to switch information arriving on one fiber as orange photons
to continue the next leg of their journey on another fiber as
red photons because the channel for orange on that fiber is
in use. Today, this switching from one color to another has
to be done by converting photons to electrons, switching electronically,
and converting electrons back to photons.
new postage-stamp-size device is a tunable "photon copier,"
which eliminates electronics as the middleman.
upcoming PSP handheld platform will be built with wireless networking
talk about this terrorism futures market.
course, members of Congress fell over themselves to label the idea
as abhorrent. (Go find your own citations ... they're easy enough
of course comes this
piece from Wired (I'm sure there are others) that took a counter
standard in that it might have been a good idea noting the familiar
point that markets are very good:
price of orange juice futures has even been shown to accurately
predict the weather, noted David Pennock, a senior research
scientist at Overture Services who has done extensive surveys
on the reliability of such markets.
mechanisms are more accurate than asking people their opinions
because they're putting their money or reputation on the line,"
said Ken Killitz of the Foresight Exchange, which speculates
on everything from the future of human cloning to the possibility
that Roman Catholic priests will be allowed to marry. "It
gives people an incentive to reveal what they know."
exchanges "tend to predict events really well when no one
person knows the answer -- when information is distributed among
many people with different knowledge bases," said Joyce
Berg, a University of Iowa professor who helped organize the
political trading floors. "Markets have been shown to be
really good at aggregating that information."
there's something of a whiff of anti-Poindexterism going on here.
He's not popular among the congressionals (both his prior interactions
with the legislative branch and being branded as the brains? behind
the always-popular TIA).
rationally, however, I don't think either group has it quite right.
I agree it doesn't make much sense -- at least as I understood how
it would function -- because I couldn't see the liquidity on two
fronts: participants & repeatability.
my understanding was that the participants would have been limited
to "experts" and I don't believe we were talking about
fixed events as commodities. In other words, I might believe that
an terrorists might launch an attack in the Paris Metro, but unless
enough people could get around the subject and buy/sell that future,
it's hard to see the market mechanism really taking "the pulse."
is probably most akin to reassurance. The events we're talking about
are so infrequent -- and can be so staggering in implications --
that evaluation becomes that much harder. I know I'm not being clear
on this point (forgive me), but hopefully you get a sense of what
I'm getting at.
Ron Bailey at Reason supports the futures initiative here.
Nothing in there that really changes my point of view (again, given
my original limited understanding of executional fine points).
depletion rates have slowed by 7% per decade. Researchers attribute
to the decline of CFCs. But we're still 40 years away from recovery.
Knowledge@Wharton: an interesting piece on how the perception of
variety influences consumption. Link.
(Believe thie is one of those registration required sources). The
article focuses mostly on eating (quite literal consumption), but
always interesting to get a new vibe on behaviors.
Wi-Fi trials (powered by Comeat ... I mean Cometa) picking up steam.
thinks that 1 in 10 tech and service jobs will head overseas, with
about half that shift taking place before the end of 2004. Link.
partners with Covad to offer DSL (and play in the home-based offerings).
Noted a premium ("preferred") option offering 1.5mbps
for $50 per month. Of course speeds are not guaranteed, but does
that mean they're capping speeds at lower levels, or do you get
a rebate if you've ordered the premium service and you're not getting
the 1.5mbps figure?
not, but just thought I'd ask.
technologies, enabling input or interaction with devices through
ordinary actions or movements, are highlighted in this
piece from CNET.
day. Much researching. Resulting numbers seem high. Fiddlesticks.
DeLong takes on memes (that he attributes to academia and the left)
that IP-heavy industries such as the recording industry and pharma
sector charge too much. Link.
disagree with his point that, in reality, the economic theory of
price = marginal cost is less than applicable. But he oversimplifies
the argument. There's insufficient time at hand to pose the argument,
but the upshot is (a) the market sets prices, (b) the definition
of "the market" has changed with visibility to global
pricing/markets and high speed connections to thie home, and (c)
reports and analyses regarding overcharging by these sectors should
be viewed as just one component of how the market works and dealt
with as such.
funding trending upward nationally. Deal size, on average, much
lower than 2000 ($6.4m vs. $13.1m in 2000). Link.
has the best in-depth look into the most recent allegations against
reports on FBI efforts to wiretap VoIP. "The FBI-drafted plan
seeks to force broadband providers to provide more efficient, standardized
surveillance facilities and could substantially change the way that
cable modem and DSL (digital subscriber line) companies operate."
Linksys product focuses on PC as central media device. Link.
what about making a wireless connection between TV, home hi-fi
system and PC?
what the Linksys division of Cisco Systems want you to be able
to do with its new line of Wireless Home products. The first
is a wireless multimedia device called the Wireless-B Media
Adapter (WMA11B). Clearly the 'B' is there to either confuse
the general public, or to appease the 'mobiliterii' and allow
them to show their knowledge of variatious 802.11 wireless standards.
way, it's a box that allows your PC to send pictures and sound
to your TV without wires.
we're talking lots of data and the WMA11B has some serious processing
to do. The underlying power is provided by an Intel XScale PXA250
processor. This enables support for the main picture formats,
gif, jpeg, tiff, png and windows bitmap, and the power to decode
digital music files. The WMA11B connects on one side to standard
red white and yellow audio and video jacks or s-video connector,
and the other via a wireless connection or standard wired Ethernet
cable. A remote control and simple menus displayed on the TV
are all it takes to control it - after all this is a consumer
it means is you can simply view your digital camera images on
your TV. You can zoom and pan the images while viewing and set
up a slideshow. With the audio in place you could also listen
to digital music while you view. Easy.
re-enters the mobile market, and (at least somewhat to my surprise)
spurns its former spin-off for T-Mobile. Link.
for getting to this late today. But I suspect that's going to be
the MO for awhile. Tradeoff for getting busy.
services provided by Primate Programming Inc. Link.
mobs at Smart Mobs. (And, via Die Puny Humans, here's
the London flash mob site.)
/.: I'm looking forward to the potential for Linux desktops or tablets
-- whatever comes first. SuSE Linux Desktop, which had received
positive reviews apparently has some teething problems working with
Windows computers. Link.
Corante: Wal-Mart (rightfully) gets serious coverage at b-schools
-- just as long as the lesson is not too much about how to replicate.
Corante: Wireless NewsFactor goes in-depth into sensors. Link.
(802.15?) is progressing through standards process at "breakneck
pace" -- should be approved by end of next year. Link.
Is that supposed to be satirical?
online futures exchange where the "commodities" are
possible Middle East events such as the assassination of political
intent of the project, called the Policy Analysis Market is
to use "market-based techniques for avoiding surprise and
predicting future events," according to a Pentagon report
to Congress. One question posed in the Pentagon report: "Will
terrorists attack Israel with bioweapons in the next year?"
Traders would be those willing to bet their own money on when
the events will occur....
Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,
or Darpa, is funding the project but said it won't have access
to traders" identities and funds....
how it would work. Traders could purchase one-year futures contracts
that would assess possible economic, civil and military events
in Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Syria and
Turkey. As benchmarks of how well or poorly a country is faring,
traders can nominate specific events, such as the overthrow
of the King of Jordan or the assassination of Yasser Arafat.
The contracts would set a specific date by which the event must
occur, and traders would buy and sell based on what they think
will happen. One example cited on the project's Web site: the
U.S. will recognize Palestine in the first quarter of 2005.
in the US don't like international standards. Need further proof?
Piece from CNET regarding IPv6. Link.
More seriously, I'd suggest that if we were unencumbered by the
current economic uncertainties, the argument might be less significant.
As it is in the US, I'm not quite sure who (outside the DoD) would
be willing to spend for it.
for Vodafone live! up from 1.5m at the end of May to 2m at the end
of June. Positive. Though not earth-shattering. Link.
to the WSJ, Disney is thinking about going the MVNO rout. All for
it, but PLEASE don't enter the market as a telco player. (Think
a more Sony-like approach). Link.
Diamond Age cometh a step closer. Link.
gemstones from thin air sounds like one of the alchemist's more
ambitious projects. But that is what a team of chemists from
China is claiming to have achieved by making small diamonds
from carbon dioxide....
team claims its method could be cheaper and more efficient than
some existing methods of synthesising diamonds, which require
pressures of up five million atmospheres and temperatures that
reach 1400 °C.
and his colleagues make their diamonds by reacting CO2 with
metallic sodium in a pressurised oven at only 440 °C and
800 atmospheres. "This is the lowest temperature reported
so far for diamond synthesis," he says. After 12 hours,
the grains of diamond can be separated from the sodium carbonate,
graphite and unreacted CO2 that remain.
then you come up with this piece replicating the matter compiler.
at the University of Calgary have developed a pill that
determine how healthy or ill the patient is, and will release
just the right amount of medicine accordingly.
the Intelligent Pill or iPill, the new drug-delivery system
packs a micropump and sensors that monitor the body's temperature
and pH balance into one pill. If the body's temperature and
pH reach certain levels, the iPill responds by pumping out more
or less of its drug payload. It could be used to treat many
ailments like AIDS or diabetes.
you haven't read it yet, here's FCC Chairman Powell's New York Times
op-ed on the media consolidation furor. Link.
It's cogent. Nevertheless wish something like this would have been
written to push public debate prior to June 2.
New Scientist: a "new type of on-board computer for satellites"
has passed its first major test. The circuits are configurable post-launch
but are therefore susceptible to cosmic ray damage -- which means
they need a way to check and repair themselves. Link.
piece in this month's Scientific American regarding the Digital
Divide. In short, the author believes the gap is not about inability
to access the internet, but rather lack of application. Pick-up
the issue. Or alternatively, if you have a subscription to SciAmDigital
Or wait until they put it online.
with HIV/AIDS growing rapidly in India -- grew 15% during 2002 to
regarding fishing practices in the Southern Ocean (waters surrounding
Wired: Nice page from the EFF "How not to get sued by the RIAA
for file sharing." Link.
decision reached today. Think I'll begin doing the archive dump
a week later than I have. Not exactly sure why this idea has hit
me now rather than earlier, but that's the magic of consciousness.
(Or maybe laziness.)
Airlines may become the first to offer free internet access and
reasonable voice calling with the caveat that one might need to
endure advertising. Link.
Politech: fine print worth reading for iTunes users considering
some inside comment on how "hard drive detectives" work
on the Wait Listing Service (WLS) (link).
on GSK transforming its drug discovery process. Link.
Take with grain of salt (as anything you would from Forbes), and
continue to watch for what happens.
in GSK's new lab, robotic arms remove compounds from the freezer
and pipette them into 1,536 pinhead wells on plates the size
of letter envelopes moving along a conveyor belt. Each tiny
well contains a disease-linked target and the equipment instantly
reads what's happening in each of the 1,536 microtests. Software
feeds news of a "hit" back to the freezer, the promising
molecule is automatically reprioritized among the stacks, and
a whole new series of tests begins. Almost 300,000 such automated
tests are conducted each day.
Goodfellow, who runs the division, says it now takes about three
years from the time a drug candidate is identified in the screening
process until the first clinical trials begin. The industry
average is five years.
to unleash the entrepreneurial energy found at biotech companies,
Garnier and Yamada created six autonomous units around the world,
each with a SWAT team of 280 to 450 biologists, chemists and
other lab scientists. These centers are run by a project manager,
much like the project leaders found inside car companies, and
they are responsible for sorting through Goodfellow's leads,
discarding the toxic compounds while shepherding the most promising
through early-stage testing.
GSK's predecessor companies produced 10 to 15 drug candidates
a year for early-stage human testing. Today a streamlined GSK
is producing candidates at the rate of 25 to 30 a year. If GSK
manages to sustain these productivity gains and produce useful
drugs, Garnier's and Yamada's restructuring will have profound
Garnier is also shrewd enough to realize GSK isn't the best
in every field of discovery. That's why he controversially folded
the drugmaker's licensing division into R&D, instructing
Yamada to cut deals with the biotechs, pharmaceuticals and universities
working on promising compounds that complemented what GSK was
now we have chipsets combining 802.11B and VoIP. Link.
Smart Mobs: the introduction to this piece is a little deceptive,
but it's basically about a smallish firm, Plastic Logic, that is
able to incorporate electronic circuits cheaply onto polymers so
that they can incorporated into nearly anything. Link.
Moore's Law & /.: an interesting case in Portland where the
city's PGE Ballpark doesn't "want a community wireless networking
group, the Personal Telco Project, to provide Wi-Fi service to people
in their ballpark because the team has a sponsorship deal with Comcast."
As Dana notes, there are no rules governing interference with an
unlicensed frequency. Link.
Lynch posts his article on Neurotechnology and Society (2010-2060)
I'm unsure whether I'd talk about the economic impacts of NBIC (nano-bio-info-cogno)
convergence as he does, but it rattled a few branches.
/.: In-dash computer from Xenarc Technologies here.
Corante: security experts told a House subcommittee that the US
DoD relies too much on commercial software. Here.
of those products are not written to be used in an environment
where there is a significant threat," Spafford told the
House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Terrorism,
Unconventional Threats and Capabilities. "We have ... attacks
being committed by hackers, by anarchists, by criminals, probably
by foreign intelligence services. The (commercial) products
have not been designed to be reliable or robust under those
kinds of circumstances."
addition to relying on too much commercial software, the DOD
uses the same software across many of its systems, forming a
"near mono-culture," Spafford added, without naming
any software packages. Common software products suffered about
2,000 vulnerabilities last year, he said.
software development is good for the world economy and good
for U.S. software vendors trying to compete in the marketplace
on price, but using this software for computer systems containing
national security information may be questionable, Spafford
introduces a tremendous vulnerability to our systems,"
he said. "The software is being developed, sometimes tens
of millions of lines, by individuals whose motivations and agendas
may not be fully known."
pioneers state that embryonic stem cells can end infertility by
creating eggs and sperm for infertile couples. Here.
food wraps here.
sky is ... rising. The troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere,
has apparently risen by several hundred meters since 1979. Link.
piece from Tech Central Station on EU membership's advantages for
Bulgaria -- and the things that may not change. Link.
troubles continue with 20%
decline in revenue (selling 490K PCs during the quarter, a 25%
decline). Sales of non-PC products of total increased from 24% in
Q1 to 28% in Q2. (Doesn't the math suggest that sales of non-PC
products also fell?) Link.
to Mr. Waitt: don't talk about commitment to the current PC market.
Talk about commitment to the new computing devices market (gaming,
companies are developing their own 3G standard, TD-SCDMA. Link.
industry experts expect that the American and European technologies
still will capture substantial shares of the Chinese 3G market.
The country's largest wireless telephone carrier, China Mobile,
uses GSM technology, which is in place across all of Europe
and much of the rest of the world. The European 3G technology,
WCDMA, was designed as an upgrade for GSM, making it a logical
choice for China Mobile. The country's second-largest mobile
carrier, China Unicom, runs on the CDMA technology developed
by Qualcomm, making it a logical candidate for CDMA2000.
as the country's two dominant old-fashioned wire-line telephone
companies -- China Telecom and China Netcom -- expand into the
mobile business and gain licenses to build 3G networks, many
analysts expect the government to press them to adopt the homegrown
standard. Hua, the secretary general of the TD-SCDMA alliance,
said he expects that even China Mobile will use the Chinese
standard for part of its 3G network.
House passed "legislation to allow Americans to import U.S.-made
drugs from Canada and two dozen other countries where they cost
considerably less than they do here" in a 243 to 186 vote.
Senate is still uncertain. Link.
on media consolidation in Congress. Too early to tell, but momentum
has shifted towards overturning the FCC's increased cap on television
ownership. Potentially sets up an interesting bout between Republicans
in legislative and executive branches. Link.
ugliness from AOL Time Warner's America Online unit. WSJ highlights
the over-hyped subscriber numbers here.
CNET emphasizes online advertising challenges here.
announcement on Intel's partnership with the Alzheimer's Association.
(& Motorola's) PTT technology (do I really need to trademark
PTT?) will be tested by Jordan-based Fastlink and Nextel Mexico
subsidiary, NII Holdings, internationally. Link.
allowing web customers to pay with electronic check. Link.
bid for PeopleSoft-with-JDEdwards. Unreassuring.
approaches to presenting the pictures of (reportedly) Saddam Hussein's
sons highlighted by CNET here
(interesting given general opposition to Al-Jazeera's use of graphic
identified numerous security holes in the current set of electronic
voting machines. "Our analysis shows that this voting system
is far below even the most minimal security standards applicable
in other contexts ... [A]s a society, we must carefully consider
the risks inherent in electronic voting, as it places our very democracy
at risk." Link.
ISPs are suing SBC (in California, that leftest of coasts) for inflating
wholesale DSL prices (highlighted here)
and/or "bundling offerings for the high-speed service, known
as D.S.L., for digital subscriber line, with equipment like free
modems and by engaging in actions intended to discourage customers
from switching to independent vendors, like delays in filling change
Once again highlights the challenges inherent in having different
regulatory rules across an increasingly converging/bundling landscape.
days Wed and Thurs. (Duty calls, you know.) More soon.
FuturePundit: "The study found that nodding your head up and
down is, in effect, telling yourself that you have confidence in
your own thoughts whether those thoughts are positive or
negative. Shaking your head does the opposite: its gives people
less confidence in their own thoughts." Link.
carriers are expected to launch a roaming Wi-Fi service across
networks in Australian, Singapore, China and Malaysia tomorrow.
service will allow subscribers to access more than 20,000 hotspots
in the Asia-Pacific region by the end of the year, including
17 at international airports.
will be targeted at businesspeople needing Internet access while
move was first announced by the Asian Wireless Broadband Alliance
in March. Australia's Telstra, Korea telecom, China Netcom,
Malaysia's Maxis and Singapore's Starhub are all involved.
BoingBoing: Oil-money enabling big thoughts of building islands
in the shape of palm trees by the UAE. Link.
human tongue transplant successful (assuming "successful"
equates to being able to talk and eat, but not taste). Link.
expectations management continues -- despite introduction of Reg
FD, SEC activity and passage of Sarbanes-Oxley (link).
To be fair: no one should be surprised: implications of share price
are significantly financial to influence behavior.
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle as it relates to macro-objects.
is entering the medical imaging space with acquisition of PracticeWorks,
announced yesterday, for about $500m in cash. Link.
(Hmm. Verticalizing a horizontal technology?)
activity regarding micropayments -- thrust more apparently on execution
of reality for those expecting easy WLAN access during your next
hotel stay. Link.
to see headline in New York Times: "Pfc. Jessica Lynch Is Returning
Home Today" -- less specifically because she's returning home,
but happier that they incorporated "Pfc." rank. Link.
Wireless and Sprint PCS are reportedly discussing roaming across
their public WLAN networks. Link.
adds to its search capabilities with Advanced
News Search. Link.
service] allows visitors to scour headlines by date, location,
exact phrases or publication. People can use it retrieve articles
from more than 4,500 news outlets publishing on the Web.
News Search adds to the company's ever-expanding set of Web
navigation tools and improves on its specialty index, Google
News, which was introduced last fall. For example, Google released
a new browser toolbar last month that lets people block pop-up
ads and easily update their blogs as they surf the Web. For
its part, Google News has proved immensely popular, with roughly
2.5 million unique visitors in June, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.
Politech: Some reminders on how government can work. (Ah, where's
that darned sausage-making allusion?). Link.
Chris Doherty uses the recent case involving John Gilmore to take
a broader look at privacy, including a reference to Brin's "The
Transparent Society" and the "we are all guilty"
it -- I think it puts privacy into the appropriate light.
acquires Unidocks, a pharmaceutical logistics provider in Brazil.
Yet another example of verticalizing horizontals (and the fact that
everyone wants to get into pharma).
Corante: San Francisco Chronicle reports on Steve Wozniak's latest
said the technology would create personal wireless communications
networks that fill a gap between the geographically limited
wireless local area network now available for computers and
wider telecommunications networks like cell phone systems....
Like the RFIDs, the wOzNet technology uses standard 900-Mhz
radio frequencies, but combines low battery power usage with
the ability to transmit a small amount of data over longer distances.
individual wOzNets can be moved from location to location, like
from home to the park, and can tie into other individual wOzNets
to create a community watch network, Wozniak said.
devices would allow wOzNet zones, or hot spots, to extend over
an area of 1 to 2 miles, but Wozniak said it could be expanded
to cover as much as 100 square miles.
According to CNET,
launch expected early in 2004.
Corante (sorry, didn't glance at WSJ y'day): Tensions between European
telcos and shareholders regarding what to do with their "gobs"
of cash (ah, visuals). Link.
This underscores my view that fixed line commco players are the
ones that can invest to drive change into their industry;
Given self-interest, very few executives would be expected not to
tell some kind of net income growth story. Coupled with fewer opportunities
to improve bottom-line numbers through cost-cutting will force execs
to increasingly consider the top line.
Top line story is easy to talk about, much more difficult to execute
on. Specifically, firms will point to opportunities related to geographic
expansion, expanding share of consumer connectivity spend (e.g.,
bundles including entertainment and communication, fixed and wireless),
and enterprise network-related IT spend. These are all viable possibilities,
but shareholders and analysts must apply razor-sharp focus to the
fine points of execution as all these areas are, generally, extremely
Qwest & SBC announced deals to partner with satellite-based
content providers (Echostar and DirecTV) for consumer bundles. Link.
at Amazon.com are negotiating with several of the largest book publishers
about an ambitious and expensive plan to assemble a searchable online
archive with the texts of tens of thousands of books of nonfiction,
according to several publishing executives involved."
on a number of fronts. It does create competition for Google and
Yahoo as an information source but I think the more interesting
opportunity lies in a meta-approach, leveraging both as potential
once again runs into IP/copyright problems. This time it's not Google
but rather ISPs using Joltid's PeerCache technology to cache high
traffic p2p files. Link.
carbon levels by .002% in martensitic steel improved time to rupture
by a factor of 100. Appears to be driven by larger number of fine
particles (5 and 10 nanometers vs. typical 100 to 300 nanometers)
in vulnerable regions of the material. Link.
reports on mobile device use by enterprises, focusing mostly on
the security risk. Found some of the usage-related data useful as
well. (Question: I wonder what's more valuable: information on the
portable device or information sent from remote users to corporate
new products will be more Hollywood friendly. (Hmm ... how long
before someone hacks in and makes a few adjustments?) Link.
new 5500 model, which will go on sale next month, will no longer
be able to skip entire commercials automatically without recording
them or to send recorded programming over the Internet to other
ReplayTV users outside a home network. The recorders will, however,
still be able to store large libraries of programming indefinitely
and allow users to skip manually through recorded commercials
in 30-second increments.
Times reports on Disney's upcoming self-destructing DVD trial. Link.
energy experts expressed doubt that hydrogen powered automobiles
would cut air pollution and reduce dependence on oil imports. They
suggest focusing on fuel efficiency and stronger environmental standards.
report evidence from a study using mice that stem cells from the
brain do not provoke immune response when transplanted into another
individual's body. Link.
this month, the Pew Internet & American Life project issued
a report on gaming at universities, suggesting that it's both more
prevalent and has more of a social role than earlier expected. Link.
also appears to play a surrogate role for some gamers when friends
are unavailable. Nearly two-thirds (60%) of students surveyed
agreed that gaming, either moderately or strongly, helped them
spend time when friends were not available.
of respondents (65%) said gaming has little to no influence
in taking away time they might spend with friends and family.
integrate gaming into their day, taking time between classes
to play a game, play a game while visiting with friends or instant
messaging, or play games as a brief distraction from writing
papers or doing other work.
of internet users search for health-related information online,
making it the third most frequent activity using the internet (1
being e-mail, 2 being product research). Link.
information-gathering has been helpful, as 73 percent of health
seekers say the Internet has improved the health information
and services they receive. With 87 percent of the nearly 2,000
respondents claiming to be living with a chronic illness or
disability, online resources could help them become well-informed
should have warned. Thought I mentioned it, alas.
went into that long, dark night while I was away (no, it wasn't
due to being left alone -- it was with me).
evening chose to spend some quality time reformatting hard drive
and reinstalling its (albeit) abbreviated functionality).
small things remain (e.g., reinstalling WinRAR's key, reinputting
the settings for the web site on that machine) but bulk of effort
completed, and have tested internet accessibility via the WLAN.
following the work day, basically accomplished next to nil here
(am typing this while Dreamweaver is re-installing itself -- looks
nearly done so I'll close this off).
(Whatever happened to objective, measured approaches to an issue?
Or has that form of discussion gone the way of wearing baseball
caps with bills forward and centered
University researcher John Gurdon and colleagues have transplanted
adult mouse and human nuclei into frogs eggs and found that
frog egg cytoplasm has compounds in it that induce the production
of Oct4 RNA which is normally expressed only in pluripotent
embyonic stem cells.
the researchers injected the adult nuclei into frog egg nucleii,
rather than into the surrounding cytoplasm, Oct4 levels shot
up by a factor of ten. "The reprogramming activity is particularly
concentrated here," says Gurdon. Molecules in the frog
nucleus may be responsible for the eggs' revitalizing abilities,
researchers think there are compounds in froog oocyes that reprogram
believe that the ability of amphibian oocyte components to induce
stem cell gene expression in normal mouse and human adult somatic
cells, and the abundant availability of amphibian oocytes, encourages
the long-term hope that it may eventually be possible to directly
reprogram cells, easily obtained from adult human patients,
to a stem cell condition,"
at [Carnegie Mellon's] School of Computer Science (SCS) have
received an initial 7 million dollars from the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as part of a five-year plan
to develop a software-based cognitive personal assistant that
will help people perk up their productivity in the workplace.
RADAR for Reflective Agents with Distributed Adaptive Reasoning,
the software will aid its human master with tasks like creating
coherent reports from snippets of information, scheduling meetings,
and managing email by grouping related messages, flagging high
priority requests and automatically proposing answers to routine
Corante: Wal-mart and Home Depot push UCCnet, trying to address
the $40B (0r 3.5% loss according to A.T.Kearney) lost in supply
chain inefficiencies. Link.
scanning technology reconstructs shredded documents. Link.
passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday
to create a federal Office of Global Internet Freedom and gives
it $16 million to spend over the next two years. The office
would be tasked with an unusual mission for a government agency:
devising technical methods to prevent other nations from censoring
regimes have been aggressively blocking access to the Internet
with technologies such as firewalls, filters and black boxes,"
said Rep. Chris Cox, R-Calif., sponsor of the bill and Chairman
of the Homeland Security Committee. "In addition, these
oppressive regimes habitually monitor activity on the Internet,
including e-mail and message boards...The Global Internet Freedom
Act will give millions of people around the globe the power
to outwit repressive regimes that would silence them, and to
protect themselves from reprisals in the process."
a start-up company based in Finland, has developed a device that
lets users scroll through menus, browse web sites and play games
all by tilting the phone in different directions." Link.
Gurley talks about "The comeback of the mobile Internet."
the past twelve months, the cellular phone began to prove what
many of its hard-core supporters have voiced for years--that
the cell phone can be a leading springboard for interactive
entertainment services. What's more, it could be much bigger
than you realize, perhaps even bigger than the PC industry.
Then we migrate to the fact that carriers are seeing some revenue
benefit from wireless content.
April, Verizon announced that active Get It Now customers showed
a $7.50 increase in Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). With ARPU
declining steadily across the industry, any product or service
that can increase ARPU is the nirvana of the cellular business
model. Sprint and AT&T Wireless have announced increased
download and ARPU traction as well.
cell phones should be the major platform:
an alternative to other potential interactive technologies (game
consoles, PCs, GameBoy), cell phones have some unique advantages.
First and foremost, they are pervasive. The installed base of
cell phones worldwide is around 1.3 billion. Second, most people
carry them wherever they go--this is a real plus for interactive
games as well as communication-oriented features. Cell phone
games can entertain during "stolen moments"--time
that would otherwise be wasted.
cell phone carriers have been much more adept than say Internet
portals in introducing billing or "wallet"-like features.
You can "buy on a click" much easier on your phone
than you can on the Internet--an example of the carrier using
its previously existing billing relationship. Lastly, because
all current cell phones have both a global phone number and
an Internet Protocol (IP) address (with your carrier acting
as the ISP), you already have a directory-enabling structure
that allows any phone to easily link to another.
it concludes triumphantly with the law of big numbers and setting
the competition between the PC and cellphone platforms.
punch line to this story is the law of large numbers--in this
case the enormous numbers of cell phones launched around the
world. Consider this: Analysts peg the worldwide installed base
of active PCs to be between 500 million and 750 million. However,
the active installed base of cellular phone users is, once again,
approximately 1.3 billion. Looking forward, this gap is likely
to increase. The IDC-reported number for annual PC sales is
approximately 150 million. The current estimate for worldwide
cellular sales is more than 400 million. Turn your eye to developing
countries and the gap is even larger. In China, the installed
base of cell phones, at 200 million, is already 10 times the
size of the installed base of PCs.
I can be slow, but I think it's a false competition.
point that bringing internet connectivity to whereever you are is
clearly happening -- although last mile high-speed connectivity
is still in flux.
role and how devices are segmented is still changing and will be
increasingly tied to need. In olden times, one could say that PCs
and cellphones did fundamentally different things. However, the
ability to shrink the physical footprint of a capable computation
device, the fact that most people don't use most of their machine's
capabilities, the price differential between PCs, tablets, laptops,
PDAs, smart phones and game consoles, and the ability to modularize
components (separating storage from processing for example) changes
the dynamics where we must focus instead with needs and then figure
out how to address those needs with products/platforms.
as a platform have several characteristics: yes, they are pervasive
(given physical size, convenience and appropriate pricing), but
their relatively small physical footprint (screen-size and keyboard/input)
creates some challenges in terms of workability and, to a degree,
immersability (for more avid gamer.
on Sony's Clie PEG-UX50 (with pictures). Nice, but pricey. Link.
Cooper, a CNET columnist, believes that the "next big Linux
controversy" lies around liability if the product incorporates
misappropriated IP. Link.
have created the "first detailed map" of dark matter mass
by using weak gravitational lensing techniques on CL0024+1654. Link.
cards" without saying so. Link.
University has chosen U.S. Bank to be its bank partner for the
school's multi-use identification card.
identification card already allows Gonzaga's 5,400 students
and 800 faculty and staff members to use photocopy machines,
check out resources from campus libraries, purchase meals without
cash, and have dorm access. The new card can also be used as
a U.S. Bank ATM card on and off campus and at many Point-of-Sale
(POS) terminals in the United States starting August 2003.
WiFi hot spots create some difficulties for the RIAA. Link.
mixed emotions on David Kirkpatrick's recent "Fast Forward"
column in Fortune (link).
While I agree broadly with some of the points attributed to his
friend, the CEO of WiFinder (e.g., WiFi will be much like air conditioning,
not much money to be made but seemingly omnipresent and the transformative
effect of WiFi) I don't think that Vohseip (voice over hot spot
enabled IP) will be the leading disrupter of cellular players.
it's the plethora of network types (including different types of
WLANs, 3G, GPRS, etc.) coupled with SDR that will drive serious
reports on Intel's use of technology to "monitor the health
and activities of senior citizens." Link.
Instapundit: A brief Fast Company piece about Charity
Navigator, a company that tracks and rates "efficacy of
geting and spending" of non-profits. Link.
the fishbowl of life, when hordes of well-fed predators drive
their prey to the brink of extinction, sometimes evolution takes
the fast track to help the hunted survive -- and then thrive
to outnumber their predators.
rapid evolution, predicted by Cornell University biologists
in computer models and demonstrated with Pac-Man-like creatures
and their algae food in laboratory habitats called chemostats,
could play an important role in the ecological dynamics of many
predator-prey systems, according to an article in the latest
issue (July 17, 2003) of the journal Nature .
the Cornell biologists say, should keep this rapid evolution
in mind when investigating interactions between diseases and
victims. As one example, they say, it is useful in trying to
understand how HIV, the AIDS virus, manages to evolve so swiftly
that development of improved vaccines is extremely difficult.
Corante: The New England Journal of Medicine "has pledged to
aggressively seek out and publish research on embryonic stem cells
to boost the controversial field's standing among politicians and
the public." Link.
Register takes a long hard look at a recent report
suggesting that development costs for WIndows embedded systems are
a quarter that of Linux. Link.
actually is worth a read. Of course, it's only an opinion.
new computer program can tell whether a book was written by a man
or a woman. The simple scan of key words and syntax is around 80%
accurate on both fiction and non-fiction." Link.
gene, which encodes a protein called 5-HTT, reveals its influence
when people experience divorce, debt, unemployment or other
occasions of "threat, loss, humiliation or defeat",
Terrie Moffitt of King's College London and her colleagues have
carrying two short forms of the 5-HTT gene had a 43% chance
of becoming clinically depressed after four or more stressful
events experienced between the ages of 21 and 26. This compares
with 17% of those with two long ones.
joins the RFID party, testing in the greater Phoenix, Az area. Link.
prices increased 0.2 percent in June as the cost of energy,
clothes and air travel rose, the Labor Department reported.
The advance in the consumer price index, which came after prices
decreased 0.3 percent in April and were flat in May, might ease
concerns that the country is headed for deflation. Separately,
the Federal Reserve reported that industrial activity edged
up by 0.1 percent -- for the second consecutive month -- in
June, a sign that the battered industrial sector may be turning
the heels of Marvel Comics' box office success comes this
piece about CrossGen's set of Hollywood projects. Of course, until
the recent set of releases beginning with the X-Men, Marvel also
had consistently a plethora of projects in the works.
Bureau of Economic Research reported that recession that began March
2001 officially ended eight months later. Now, aren't you happy?
households, most individuals, will really not believe that it
is a recovery until we see that job growth as part of the picture,"
said Lynn Reaser, chief economist of Banc of America Capital
Management. But, she added, "the official declaration of
the end should help confidence on the part of businesses, investors
hints that Lucent, Motorola, and others need to look for alternative
sources for revenue growth. Link.
are no signs of improvement in the infrastructure market this
year," Jorma Ollila, Nokia's chief executive, told investors
Thursday. "Operators' investment has decreased to exceptionally
handset maker warned that it expects sales to decrease in its
current quarter. Ollila predicted a 15 percent drop in cell
phone network equipment sales worldwide this year compared with
picking up the "on-demand" meme. Link.
is set to get in the game, too. In two weeks, the storage specialist
will introduce a service called OpenScale that measures how
much storage is actually being used, said Tony Marzulli, EMC's
vice president of open software marketing. Customers will be
Collector software application is a web-based performance monitor
for EMC's ControlCenter.net products and services. The Collector
can gather data from storage, Unix, Windows, Oracle, and SAP
R/3 environments for access by other EMC products and services
such as AutoAdvice, OpenScale and SAN (Storage Area Network)
Architect, the firm said.
storage systems providers, such as HP, IBM and Hitachi, have
traditionally offered on-demand storage services that allow
customers to turn on incremental blocks of storage when they
see a need. However, EMC's OpenScale service--to be officially
unveiled in two weeks--marks one of the first attempts to break
storage subscription right down to granular details.
airlines ANA and JAL will begin testing luggage with RFID tags.
"hands-free" delivery of luggage will be tested this
year by the new Advanced Airport Systems Technology Research
Consortium. It comprises 58 Japanese transport-related and electronics
firms such as the Narita Airport Authority, Japan Airlines (JAL),
All Nippon Airways (ANA), Omron, Dai Nippon Printing, Fujitsu
and Matsushita Electric.
will start later this year and carry on for the next five years,
the report said. The airlines ANA and JAL will test the system
this year at Narita Airport in Japan, as well as at airports
in Singapore, New York and Amsterdam.
Narita Airport Authority is aiming for commercial launch of
the system in two to three years, according to Nikkei News.
is receiving positive feedback on Office 2003, most notably the
ability to save things in XML format. Strikes me that this XML openness
(at least as positioned by the article) is very one way:
with the software giant means they get to tap into those proprietary
add-ons, which means they can offer Office applications as a
way to view and manipulate back-end data. Given that no enterprise
software maker can offer a user interface as familiar as Microsoft
Word, that's a compelling advantage.
a very usable user interface, and people spend a lot of time
there," said Susan Funke, an analyst for research firm
IDC. "I think that's a big part of why--if you look at
somebody like a J.D. Edwards--(enterprise software companies
are) definitely looking at Office 2003 in their strategy."
giving workers a familiar interface, Office 2003 can help remove
a roadblock that has helped prevent wider adoption of CRM software
and other enterprise technology, Microsoft's Leach said. "One
of the biggest challenges with these back-end systems is the
tremendous ramp-up people have to go through, to get proficient
at using it," he said.
integration of XML offers even more benefits for companies involved
in the nascent Web services field, as it allows them to insert
those services into Office applications. Microsoft gets to promote
new whiz-bang services that make Office more useful, and service
providers can offer their wares in the environment where office
workers spend most of their day.
will be interesting to observe the degree to which Microsoft's XML
standard can be used the other way (e.g., compatability of Sun's
StarOffice outputs with Microsoft Office). Coupled with a robust
Linux desktop environment, could create problems for Redmond --
if one thinks about a sub $200 computing device. Link.
of course, you could simply hack an Xbox and convert it into a sub-$200
am a real fan of multi-tasking. But things quite hectic (including
a four round match with my computer this morning). Expect blogging
to be nigh absent until tonight.
also eventually reformat hard drive on the laptop. Unpleasant.
tired than I ought to be. Therefore heading to bed sooner than I
should. & yes, my writing has indeed been less than inspiring
and coherent of late -- but my right ear poundeth.
/.: Some interesting information regarding Microsoft's attempts
to keep Linux (this time unsuccessfully) from getting key toeholds.
Muon and Neutrino Detector Array (AMANDA II), a rather odd observatory
in the sense that it's buried under 1500 meters of ice, has produced
its first survey of high energy neutrinos. No conclusions yet. Link.
New York Times describes the genesis of grid computing -- more specifically
the computing science aspect. Link.
looks at the ownership tensions underlying the Verizon Wireless
I think Verizon's position is far more sustainable than Vodafone's
... but that's just me.
Reading examines commcos' particular style of bankruptcy. Link.
Corante: The Observer obtained documentation highlighting links
between scientific experts used by UK authorities and major companies
in the industry segments they were advising on. Link.
get conflict of interest and agree that one needs to manage it (or
take it into account when receiving the input), but it's worth suggesting
that most experts in a field are likely to have practical experience
and much of the available experience will be driven by economic
hubs that are the big industry players. Just bear that (and keep
in mind how many companies are in your mutual funds) while you read
through the points.
and EIU report on the growth of teleworking. Link.
survey indicates more than 80 percent of companies worldwide
expect to have employees who telework or work remotely in the
next two years, up from 54 percent today. And even though only
13 percent of companies offer financial and material help to
teleworkers currently, that number will rise to about 32 percent
top three drivers of this 26 percentage point jump in telework
cited by the 237 senior executives surveyed by the Economist
Intelligence Unit, the business information arm of The Economist
magazine, are better network access from remote locations (62
percent), better communications facilities (62 percent) and
globalization of business operations (48 percent).
64 percent of companies identified enhanced productivity as
the top benefit of telework, more than half (56 percent) reported
difficulty in monitoring the output of remote workers as the
biggest obstacle to telework. The Economist Intelligence Unit
report warns that those companies that cannot meet the supervisory
and security challenges posed by remote working should be concerned,
as remote working is just one facet of a larger strategic trend
toward ubiquitous network access.
Economist Intelligence Unit report also suggests that enterprises
today are increasingly "net-centric"--organized around
networks rather than buildings. Robust corporate intranets are
enabling employees to access significant amounts of company
information electronically through enterprise resource planning
and customer relationship management applications.
have engineered mice with a "remarkable ability to heal wounds."
researchers were analysing the role of a gene linked to blood
vessel formation when they inadvertently created mice with significantly
thickened skin, swollen ears, noses and eyelids.
showed these mice also had the ability to rapidly heal wounds
- two millimetre-wide holes created in the mice's ears closed
completely within 28 days....
mice were genetically modified to produce large amounts of a
protein called angiopoietin-related growth factor (AGF) in a
type of thickened skin cell called epidermal keratinocytes.
The resulting transgenic mice showed an increased number of
blood vessels in the dermis, suggesting that AGF does indeed
promote blood vessel formation.
But further experiments revealed that AGF was also found in
particularly high concentrations at the site of wounds. This
suggests that the protein also plays a role in wound healing
by increasing skin cell formation and improving blood flow to
people are busy arguing about whether 802.11b or WiMAX or Zigbee
or 3G networks will win out, remind yourself of this
article (hint: software defined radio). Of course, reality for SDR
remains out a few years, but it probably really is the simplifying
/.: Traffic to Kazaa and Morpheus both down about 15% following
RIAA threats. Link.
Register reports on a report from Honeynet Research highlighting
credit card thieves kindness to credit card thief wannabes. Link.
products in the home (notably in the media realm) increasingly outfitted
with WLAN capabilities. Link.
Cisco Systems' Wireless-B Media Adapter, introduced Monday,
and Sony's RoomLink rely on a Wi-Fi access point and eliminate
the need for cables. Wi-Fi networks, already in millions of
homes and offices, use the 802.11b standard to create 300-foot
areas where files can be wirelessly downloaded at up to 11 megabits
per second. Both devices cost $200.
wireless adapters are another sign of how Wi-Fi connectivity
is beginning to expand its reach beyond laptops. Just two years
ago, it was rare to find something other than a laptop on a
Wi-Fi network. Along with home entertainment devices, tablet
PCs, printers and handheld computers, stereos and televisions
now employ Wi-Fi's 2.4mbps file-shuttling prowess.
buying Overture for $1.63B. Sayeth chairperson (lest we equate chairman
with maile and chairperson with female) and CEO Terry Semel "The
combined assets position Yahoo as the largest global player in the
rapidly growing Internet advertising sector." (link).
excerpt, though, I think is telling is this one from the WSJ (link):
Chief Executive Terry Semel said in an interview that it is
important for the company to have direct control of the development
and tools necessary for generating search-related revenue. Mr.
Semel said that this realization became quite clear as the company
was preparing for its second-quarter earnings call.
portion that Overture contributed to Yahoo's second-quarter
revenue was roughly the same as the first quarter, he said.
"That was too much control of our revenue" in the
hands of a partner, he said.
was also in the midst of making a decision about its international
expansion strategy, Mr. Semel said. All the revenue from the
Overture partnership comes from U.S. advertisers. "If we
were to continue to expand with Overture outside the U.S., that
number would obviously go up," Mr. Semel said.
is really (I think) a defensive maneuver thay buys Yahoo a bit o'
time. The web outgrew their business model and Yahoo never really
caught up to it.
International Airport (BWI) is thinking about on-campus experience,
focusing on a "mall-like" experience. Link.
contract with HMS Host Corp. of Bethesda to run the 60 restaurants,
fast-food stands and retail shops ends in April. The airport
is seeking a developer to manage the concessions more like a
shopping mall, where tenants lease space. HMS Host hires all
of the estimated 500 employees in the concessions and brings
want to have local, regional and international brands at the
airport," said Gary Davies, who is overseeing the contract
for the Maryland Aviation Administration, which owns the airport.
"We want to see a broad range of food and prices. We're
trying to make the airport experience as pleasant, comfortable
and convenient as we can."
the mall is now equated with good experience? (Insert mild expression
of disgust here).
IPO to fund a movie project? Link.
which still needs SEC approval for the IPO idea, sees the concept
becoming a regular alternative source of financing for indie
projects, one that would allow movie buffs to invest, as the
saying goes, in what they know....
IPO plan includes a provision that the financed companies would
have limited lives: Billy Dead Inc., for example, would be dissolved
after about three years the economic life span of a typical
film. The residual rights to the film then would be sold and
remaining assets, if any, would be distributed to shareholders
LA Times focuses on the risks inherent in the investment (e.g.,
Ethan Hawke does not play the leading role, the subject matter might
lead to an NC-17 rating) but there's something interesting (at least
to me) in both the notion of democratic/public funding and short-term
or project-oriented IPOs. In the former case, it would be extremely
interesting to see how public funding would drive the publicity
wheel and project selection. In the latter case, I've been a long-time
proponent that some companies (e.g., Cometa Networks or INTTRA)
are more like projects and, might be interesting to structure them
caveat: nothing taken to an extreme degree is necessarily good.
And money, in particularly, tends to lead to piles of unintended
circumstances -- so I'm not suggesting this is the wave of the future.
But rather that it should be given thought.
last. A major bank (in this case HSBC) begins to focus on the Muslim
market. The story is UK-centric, but of interest. Link.
the sexiness of WLAN technologies of 802.11 and WiMAX standards
of 802.16 lies ZigBee, a wireless
standard leveraging unlicensed spectrum but focusing on low data
rates, low power consumption and reliability/security (aren't we
all). West Technology Research Solutions is thinking that ZigBee
will take off. Link.
a new report, analysts predict that more than 46 million ZigBee
chipsets will ship in 2006 in the home automation segment alone
and will continue to grow thereafter. In the not-too-distant
future, it will be common to find as many as 50 ZigBee chips
in a house, said Kirsten West of WTRS. These will
be found in light switches, fire and smoke detectors, thermostats,
appliances in the kitchen, and video and audio remote controls.
The same principles apply to networks in industrial, building
automation and medical markets.
we all know how accurate these assessments can be, but, under the
heading of embedded intelligence, ZigBee is worth incorporating
into your brainspace.
hurts. Drank insufficienct quantities of coffee to prepare myself
for reading about anti-de Sitter spacetimes and conceiving the universe
through holograph techniques might supercede field or string thinking.
With that, be warned. Link.
from Cornell University suggests that solar sails may not work.
Technology has learned lessons from RIM (who, by the way, will get
completely trounced by the majors) and, in releasing GoodLink 2.0,
will be emphasizing compatibility with more devices and networks.
Scientists profiles technologies and tactics that could reduce death
tolls related to gun crime and accidents. Link.
have thus far been relatively immune to developments in file sharing.
The popularity of Harry Potter's fifth installment coupled with
increased comfort with the e-book format might be changing the landscape.
doesn't this sound familiar:
Blair, business manager at Christopher Little, Ms. Rowling's
literary agency, said the firm was aware of several unauthorized
copies of the book on the Web and was contacting Internet service
providers to ask that they be removed.
rights are reserved to J. K. Rowling," Mr. Blair said.
"so any Harry Potter novels on the Net are unauthorized.
We also have an obligation to protect the children who might
believe they are reading the official work."
Blair said he did not expect the illicit e-books to have an
impact on sales of the printed book....
point: how about someone such as Sony Ericsson develop a handheld
with e-book capability built in (and perhaps a few books for free
download). And of course a comfortably reading screen.
from Strategy Analytics and Forrester basically conclude that WLAN
interoperability will be increasingly embedded into laptops from
about 24% today to 80 or 90% in 2008. Link.
profile, however, is interesting. Both research firms seem to conclude
that primary use will be "on campus" (rather than, say,
a public hot spot). The people who should be happy are those playing
the secure access game.
Times profiles SES Global, the world's largest commercial satellite
Maggs reports in the National Journal on the administration's focus
on competitive sourcing. Link.
president's radical aim is to eventually make upwards of 850,000
federal workers -- nearly half of the civilian workforce now
protected by bureaucratic tradition and civil service rules
-- compete against private contractors for their jobs every
three to five years. So far, Bush has demanded that 425,000
face competition in the next few years, but he's also said that
number won't be a ceiling for his administration. The administration
seeks both to reduce the federal workforce by hundreds of thousands
of workers and to force half of the government to justify why
it should even be part of the government.
York Times profiles "The New Card Shark" -- people who
honed their gambling skills in online casinos and are winning major
poker championships. Link.
an accountant named Chris Moneymaker won $2.5 million in the
World Series of Poker last May, the chatter in the poker world
wasn't focused on his skillful bluffing, his tremendous luck
or even the aptness of his surname. Everyone wanted to know
how a man who had never before sat down at a tournament table
could clean out so many skilled professionals.
the Las Vegas hype machine focused on the rags-to-riches tale
of a man who parlayed a $40 entrance fee into a huge pot, many
poker players recognized that the amateur's success signaled
the arrival of a new age in the game. Mr. Moneymaker may never
have been in the same room as other players in a tournament
of Texas Hold'em poker, but he had played extensively online,
where the game is faster but the money is just as real.
operators in Europe have been accused of quietly pocketing a
whopping €38 billion (US$43 billion) in excessive termination
charges on fixed-to-mobile network calls over the past five
years, taking advantage of a uniform lack of regulatory controls
in the region.
charges -- the price mobile operators charge for connecting
callers from rival networks -- have been under intense scrutiny
recently, following high-profile efforts by U.K. regulators
to slash them.
joint report from WIK Consult, Cerna, and the University of
Warwick Business School is the first attempt, however, to elucidate
the massive amounts of cash these charges are generating for
Europes wireless carriers.
is reportedly considering replacing its paper-based travellers check
with a prepaid card. Link.
State Department has asked vendors to comment by July 28 on
a plan to add contactless smart card chips to passport books.
The document ... says the U.S. government will follow standards
set in May by the International Civil Aviation Organization
for adding chips to travel documents to store biometric data
... that can identify travelers. ICAO, which sets travel document
standards for 188 member nations, specified that biometric data
would be stored in contactless smart card chips.... The State
Department says it aims to begin issuing passports with chips
at one facility by Oct. 26, 2004. That is the deadline set by
Congress for the 27 countries whose citizens can enter the United
States without visas to begin issuing passports carrying biometric
data. By 2006, the State Department says it expects to issue
all passports with chips.
have created "slow" and "fast" light in
a crystal at room temperature for the first time. The team at
the University of Rochester in the US used an 'alexandrite'
crystal to reduce the speed of light to just 91 metres per second,
and also to make a laser pulse travel faster than the speed
use carbon nanotubes to create smaller and more effective gas sensors.
and colleagues made a simple discharge device in which the cathode
is a thin-film array that contains billions of multiwall nanotubes.
The anode is an aluminium sheet (see figure). Individual nanotubes
in the film create very high electric fields near their tips,
and the combined effect of all the nanotubes is to increase
the overall field and so speed up the gas breakdown process.
This means that the gases can be ionized at voltages that are
up to 65% lower than in traditional sensors.
researchers also found that the current discharged in the device
was six times higher than in conventional electrodes, which
makes the detector highly sensitive. It is able to detect concentrations
of gas as low as 10-7 moles per litre. Moreover, it can distinguish
between different gases in a mixture and is not affected by
external factors such as temperature or humidity - unlike previous
little offering via Tesco & Citibank (link):
farmer in southern Taiwan checks out the latest invoice report
on his handheld computer. One of his biggest customers in Taipei
promises to pay him NT$250,000 for his asparagus, pumpkins and
watermelons. Payment will be made in four months' time, his
client says. Relieved, he immediately hooks up with his bank
via his PDA, and requested a loan. Using his customer's outstanding
invoice as "collateral," he is able to convince his
credit officer to lend him the money that he needs for the next
you think this is fiction, you've got another thing coming.
This Internet platform - which strengthens the pipeline between
buyers and suppliers - is up and running, says Peter Evans,
finance director of Tesco Stores Taiwan....
loose marriage between Tesco and Citibank promises to deliver
huge pay-offs for both parties. The supermarket chain, in fact,
has already saved millions of dollars by piggy-backing on Citibank's
supply chain platform, says Evans.
you build it from scratch, you will spend anywhere from NT$5
million to NT$6 million to get it ready," Ang adds.
Internet portal is also expected to mitigate Tesco's supply
chain headaches. The British grocer has over 2,000 suppliers,
and receives an average of a thousand deliveries per day per
piece from the McKinsey Quarterly (caught via eMarketer) presenting
information on how firms should go about developing and selling
solutions. Unusually practical. Link
(free registration required).
a nice catch (I think he picked it up because of the use of Moore's
Law in the original paragraph, but that's beside the point).
to set context, I linked yesterday to this piece where Jim Gray
at Microsoft concluded, in effect, that should be, for the most
part, close to computation.
highlights this quote ...
telecom prices drop faster than Moore's law, the analysis fails.
If telecom prices drop slower than Moore's law, the analysis
becomes stronger. Most of the argument in this paper pivots
on the relatively high price of telecommunications. Over the
last 40 years telecom prices have fallen much more slowly than
any other information technology. If this situation changed,
it could completely alter the arguments here. But there is no
obvious sign of that occurring.
and then proceeds to highlight how optical fiber coupled with higher
speed wireless technologies like WiMAX will therefore make Mr.Gray's
a good point, but I wonder whether the bottleneck in telecommunications
pricing is in technical capacity/supply or in competitive
capacity. Think about it.
BoingBoing: WLAN sniffing gets a bit easier. Link.
Virginia Postrel & the Volokh Conspiracy, comes the following
comment column from the National Review Online. Link.
the end, Lawrence is a very simple ruling. Justice Kennedy examined
the conduct at issue to see if it was properly an aspect of
liberty (as opposed to license), and then asked the government
to justify its restriction, which it failed adequately to do.
The decision would have been far more transparent if Justice
Kennedy had acknowledged what was really happening (though perhaps
this would have lost some votes by other justices). Without
this acknowledgement, the revolutionary aspect of his opinion
is concealed, and it is rendered vulnerable to the ridicule
of the dissent. Far better would have been to more closely track
the superb amicus brief of the Cato Institute which he twice
the Court is serious, the effect on other cases of this shift
from "privacy" to "liberty," and away from
the New Deal-induced tension between "the presumption of
constitutionality" and "fundamental rights,"
could be profound. For example, the medical-marijuana cases
now wending their way through the Ninth Circuit would be greatly
affected if those seeking to use or distribute medical marijuana
pursuant to California law did not have to show that their liberty
to do so was somehow "fundamental" and if the
government was forced to justify its restriction on that liberty.
While wrongful behavior (license) could be prohibited, rightful
behavior (liberty) could be regulated provided that the regulation
was shown to be necessary and proper.
Lawrence v. Texas to be constitutionally revolutionary, however,
the Court's defense of liberty must not be limited to sexual
conduct. The more liberties it protects, the less ideological
it will be and the more widespread political support it will
enjoy. Recognizing a robust "presumption of liberty"
might also enable the court to transcend the trench warfare
over judicial appointments. Both Left and Right would then find
their favored rights protected under the same doctrine. When
the Court plays favorites with liberty, as it has since the
New Deal, it loses rather than gains credibility with the public.
smacks me as odd, however, is how different this seems than the
current instincts expressed by the executive branch.
in-depth view of the politics behind anti-spam bills. Link.
radar techniques can "see" into dry ground up to at least
40 cms. Link.
have long suspected that microwave radar from satellites could
"see" below the surface of very dry ground. Many were
startled when images from a shuttle mission in the 1980s revealed
what appeared to be ancient river drainage patterns below the
eastern Sahara desert. Since then there have been other intriguing
finds, including ring structures buried under Antarctic ice
that look like meteorite craters or the remains of subglacial
Blumberg and Julian Daniels of the Ben Gurion University of
the Negev in Israel decided to test the idea. They buried flat
squares of aluminium at different depths under the sand in the
Negev desert, then flew an aircraft over the area to carry out
radar sensing of the layers beneath the surface.
comparing the radar results with the squares' known positions,
the researchers showed that the patterns detected by the radar
really did show the buried pieces of metal. "Now we have
systematic proof," Blumberg told New Scientist. "Buried
objects can be detected from airborne systems."
at Sandia National Laboratories -- exceeding the predictions
of a 100-year-old law of physics -- have shown that filaments
fabricated of tungsten lattices emit remarkably more energy
than solid tungsten filaments in certain bands of near-infrared
wavelengths when heated.
greater useful output offers the possibility of a superior energy
source to supercharge hybrid electric cars, electric equipment
on boats, and industrial waste-heat-driven electrical generators.
The lattices' energy emissions put more energy into wavelengths
used by photovoltaic cells that change light into electricity
to run engines.
reports on the further implementation of hypertags in the UK (link):
to be launched in 20 cinemas in mid-July, the Hypertag technology
will enable mobile-phone and PDA users one-click access to Web
pages by pointing and clicking at advertising posters.
real-world equivalent of hyperlinks, the small battery-powered
electronic tags use infrared signals to send Web links to mobile
phones. Developed by the Cambridge, U.K.-based company Hypertag,
these smart tags can be discreetly attached to any information
display surface, such as advertising panels, billboards or walls,
enabling any mobile-phone user with an infrared port or Bluetooth
to access digital content by downloading a small software application.
another example of the possibilities from embedded intelligence.
Not overly valuable nor earth shattering. But another piece of the
anonymous poster to Politech suggests that threats to critical national
infrastructure may be overhyped or misleading. Link.
have two observations:
1. It would be easy for anyone wishing to massively disrupt
society, to successfully attack the crucial infrastructure (and
2. Suck attacks do not seem to occur. Instead we have (in the
USA) one instance of spectactular, suicidal, localised destruction
(WTC), and one instance of a generally disruptive (but politically
targeted) biological attack. (The anthrax mailings.)
only possible conclusion, is that there is simply no one seriously
interested in committing major infrastructure attacks. And that
implies there are actually no true (or even wannabe) 'terrorists'
among us. And never have been.
in turn implies that all the actual and threatened attacks were
not initiated by 'terrorists' (as advertised on TV), but by
people withquite different motivations.
for who they are, and their motivations, I notice the rest of
the internet has a few things to say about that. Hovever, it
is curious to note that our governments, while doing their best
to scare the citizenry with tales of impending attacks, and
making a great show of upgrading security around high visibility
'targets', tend to be doing virtually nothing of substance to
protect the _real_ soft and vulnerable spots of our society
- the critical service infrastructure of the cities.
Seybold, who typically focuses on the wireless realm, pens some
recent experiences regarding broadband in home and office. Link
(anticipate it will be here soon. if not, check here
and look for a commentary called "I Want Wireless Broadband
and I Want It Now!").
more or less caught up. (Finally). I say "more or less"
more because I've chosen to basically ignore last week's news and
less because I actually have a clue what went on.
Politech: Speedpass-enabled Timex. Link.
(How about SIM cards slots in wristwatches?)
NPD Group claims that laptops/notebooks exceed 50% of retail PCs
sold in US (up from about a quarter at the beginning of 2000). Link.
chips are expected to be in the hands of developers in 2003 and
cell phones and PDAs using MRAMs should be on sale by mid-2004.
in Wired. Link.
propulsive force, [physicts] say, has a simpler explanation:
the current enters the wires ringing the top of the lifter,
electrons race off to ionize the surrounding air. The ions are
attracted to the foil skirt and race down, smacking into neutral
molecules and generating a downward-moving breeze. At one point,
I take my lifter to Rainer Weiss, a hyperactive, gray-haired
gravity expert at MIT. He's working on the groundbreaking LIGO
project to detect gravitational waves - when he's not dealing
with journalists who plunk tinfoil UFOs down on his desk. He
shakes his head and sighs.
is nothing mysterious about this at all," he says. He scribbles
furiously across two sheets of paper, calculating the current
flowing through the device, the number of ions it would create,
and their total potential kinetic thrust. It's about 7 millinewtons,
he concludes, and scoops up my lifter. "Do you know how
much this weighs? Let's take a guess - it's a couple of grams."
That's probably just light enough to get it airborne. As far
as he's concerned, my lifter is nothing more than a hovercraft.
it's a press release. Link.
Corporation, Bell Canada and VIA Rail Canada today announced
plans to equip select VIA 1 train cars with wireless Internet
access for passengers traveling between Montreal and Toronto.
the first time in North America, wireless local area network
or WLAN connectivity will be available within a moving passenger
train car. The four-month pilot gives business and personal
travelers with Wi-Fi enabled laptops or PDA devices another
convenient option to wirelessly access the Internet, check email
and connect to corporate networks while traveling on the train."
while we're at it, Intel is also intending to develop chipsets for
Smart Mobs, a paper from Jim Gray at Microsoft Research on "Distributed
Computing Economics." Link.
economics are changing. Today there is rough price parity between
(1) one database access, (2) ten bytes of network traffic, (3)
100,000 instructions, (4) 10 bytes of disk storage, and (5)
a megabyte of disk bandwidth. This has implications for how
one structures Internet-scale distributed computing: one puts
computing as close to the data as possible in order to avoid
expensive network traffic.
to conclude that "on demand" computing -- where one moves
the data to the application via networks only make sense over a
certain amount of processing capability (I think I've got that right).
packing myself up on two Friday's ago and getting ready to close
shop for a week I scribbled a little note to myself to write a piece
on how the embedded computing (and standards) create enormous value
from little things.
I read this note from Dana, mutter curses under my breath and move
I come at it from a different slant, but connectivity enables little
things (take Instapundit's blog for example) to take on inordinate
amounts of value. (Obviously the audience needs to be aware of the
offering, but then all you need to do is hire Trans -- Pattern
Recognition reference people -- and you've got it made).
phone providers switched off their encryption systems for 24
hours on a government order, allowing the Federal Security Service
and the police to eavesdrop on all calls....
decision to shut down encryption follows the double suicide
bombings that killed 14 people at the Krylya rock festival Saturday.
A cellphone was found on one of the female suicide bombers,
and the FSB is examining its SIM card for clues as to whether
the bombers coordinated the attack with accomplices, according
to local media reports.
scientists at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, wanted
to make it easier for staff to log onto networked computers. So
they came up with SoundHunters, a program that recognises someone's
voice or laughter and works out which computer is nearest to them.
It could then be used to automatically log them on to the computer."
Irvine study suggests superWIMPS (superweakly interacting massive
particles) might be the source of the universe's invisible mass.
WIMPs, superWIMPs only exist theoretically. In fact, because
superWIMPs do not have weak-force interactions, they are predicted
to be impossible to detect by conventional experimental methods.
But Feng and his colleagues point to some alternative tests
to prove their existence. They found that observations of old
stars and the cosmic microwave background of the universe can
reveal clues for superWIMPs.
place to look for evidence is in the cosmic microwave background,
which in essence is the afterglow of the Big Bang," Feng
said. "This background is very uniform. But according to
our theory, WIMP decay would set loose a zoo of particles that
would create deviations in this background. If such deviations
are found, they would provide a particle fingerprint for the
existence of superWIMP dark matter."
launches MMS. Compatible with global MMS standard. But you can't
send pictures across carriers (yet). Link.
Webcasters Alliance is threatening an antitrust lawsuit ""unless
the RIAA takes concrete steps to address anticompetitive conditions
in the market that threaten to eliminate small commercial webcasters."
bringing in Gric Communications to enable secure public WLAN access
in certain public hotspots. Link.
the FCC tests my patience, DARPA makes me happy (link).
I include the former mostly to consider time frames.
federal agency, known as Darpa, is trying to spur a new generation
of powerful machines for national security and industrial uses
in the 2009 to 2010 time frame. The latest awards, coming after
a 12-month phase to develop new computing concepts, are for
three years of research and development, which could be followed
by full-scale development of hardware and software, the Department
of Defense research agency said.
received $53.3 million for a concept called PERCs, which stands
for "productive, easy-to-use, reliable computing systems,"
Darpa said in a news release. Sun received $49.7 million for
a system called Hero, which includes an approach to make a big
computer much easier to program.
consequences revisited. Google's cache of copyrighted web pages
creates some tensions with copyright holders. Link.
Kanellos describes developments in speech technology and the reality
of computers being able to speak or understand speech. Link.
believe that speech technology really can only be used in a specific
context (where probabilities are more likely to work in one's favor)
-- outside, of course, to those whose sight is hindered. Note: I
tested voice interface software (Dragon Naturally Speaking) but
found it cumbersome and, after about a month, gave up on it. Tried
it again more recently with the same outcome.
find it hard to imagine using voice interface in an office setting
(imagine everyone talking to their computers as much as they're
currently typing?) or with confidential work in public areas (we're
not talking about sub-vocalizations).
while Ray Kurzweil may have grown accustomed to the voice interface,
I'm not sure how many people are surrounded with the right circumstances
to move to and grow used to the speech required in voice interface.
"announced a service designed to activate 50 security-related
default settings in Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system at
the factory after a PC is built. The service, which will cost $20
per PC, is being offered in response to growing concerns about computer
vulnerabilities among companies." Offered as part of Dell's
Custom Factory Integration program. Link.
cancelled a smart shelf trial. A spokesperson noted that "Wal-Mart
ceased in-store RFID testing because executives wanted to focus
on installing RFID systems in warehouses and distribution centers
takes a long look at p2p file sharing and anonymity. General vibe
is less than pleasant: current easy-to-use tools expose users to
potential identification by the RIAA (or other copyright holders).
risk of repeating myself:
Stealing is, well, stealing. It's wrong. (2) Not all file-sharing
is stealing. To some extent there's been a grey or black music market
as long as I can remember (crikey, how many tapes did I make for
women in high school and college? Hey, back in the day I even recorded
directly from the radio!). It's social and perfectly normal (if
a bit sad as it rarely worked for me with the ladies). And it works
for the music companies as a way to spread the word. (3) The RIAA
do themselves no favors in taking up the mantle of Sheriff of Nottingham
to Kazaa's or ANOther.com's Robin Hood.
FCC released its report on 2002 cable prices. Link.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today released its annual
report on cable industry prices. The report includes information
about monthly charges for the basic service tier ("BST")
and cable programming service tier ("CPST," also known
as "expanded basic"), monthly charges for equipment,
installation fees, reconnect fees, and fees for digital service.
report shows that the overall average monthly rate for cable
programming services and equipment increased by 8.2% from $37.06
to $40.11, over the 12-month period ending July 1, 2002. This
compares with a 5-year compound annual rate of increase of 7.1%
from July 1997 to July 2002. Specifically, the 8.2% increase
reflects average increases in monthly charges of 3.7% for the
BST, from $13.93 to $14.45; 10.8% for the CPST, from $19.88
to $22.02; and 12.0% for equipment, from $3.25 to $3.64, over
the same period. The average number of channels increased
from 59.0 to 62.7 channels, an increase of 6.3% for the year
ending July 1, 2002. To reflect this growth in channels, the
FCC calculated the average rate per channel. On this basis,
the average overall monthly rate per channel increased from
65.6 cents to 66.4 cents per channel, an increase of 1.2%. Over
the same period, the consumer price index increased by 1.5%.
Thus, in real terms, the per channel rate fell by approximately
two-tenths of one percent. (Emphasis by me)
last part (in italics) is complete and utter bunk. More channels
does not equate to greater customer value (nor does it intuitively
seem to imply a significant impact on cost vis a vis upgrading the
that it means terribly much, but Commissioner Copps dissented
and Commissioner Adelstein expressed
concerns with the data.
using nano-scaled materials technology, have built a functioning
vascular system. Link.
between a virus and mental illness? Link.
Tomonaga and colleagues at Osaka University in Japan inserted
a gene for a single protein produced by BDV into mouse embryos.
Mice which grew up to express the viral protein in their brains
were more aggressive and hyperactive compared with normal mice
- much like mice with traditional BDV infection, says the team....
the role of BDV infection in the induction of psychiatric disorders
remains controversial, this work should promote further investigation
regarding this question." Ian Lipkin, an epidemiologist
at Columbia University in New York, believes the mouse findings
will be helpful if the results of a large scale epidemiological
study due out in December, 2003 confirms the suggested link
between schizophrenia and BDV. However, he adds that most human
studies linking virus and disease have found that infection
must occur at a specific point in development to have behavioural
consequences. In the Tomonaga¹s study, the protein was
expressed throughout development, which could be a problem in
pinpointing the mechanism, he says.
second of NASA's twin rovers finally took off this morning. Link.
in the cellular phone industry. Link.
partnered with a company called CollectiveGood International
to put up the mobile phone recycling bins in all of its stores.
But the bins' plainly worded signs don't tell customers that
CollectiveGood is a for-profit business that buys all the phones
outright and then sells many of them to Latin American companies.
It then delivers most of the proceeds to Staples, which, in
turn, donates the money to -- Sierra Club....
phones in [Verizon's recycle] bins don't go to nonprofit organizations
directly. They actually are shipped to a company called ReCellular,
which also collects old phones from carriers involved with the
Wireless Foundation. ReCellular, which picks up between 15,000
and 20,000 phones a day -- typically, six days a week -- scours
through the bins to determine which phones are to be broken
down and recycled and which ones can be reused. Generally, the
company is able to sell 75 percent of the phones to Third World
carriers, said Eric Forster, vice president of marketing for
Jardin previews an upcoming book "Dungeons and Dragons: The
Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic." The authors
seek to slay a few of the stereotypes regarding gamers. Link.
time, no speak. Much to catch up on. Little time in which to do
it. Also won't try to catch up on last week's material.
offense to last week's material but between being offsite, hanging
with the family, generally being neurotic and a little thin-skinned
as I'm wont to be on occasion and enjoying the love from a dying