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With an objective of promoting Nepali software and exploring markets for knowledge-based industry, the first national software expo began here at United World Trade Centre (UWTC) today.

The four-day long event named – CAN Softech-2007 is being organised by Computer Association of Nepal (CAN) for the first time in the country and will last till May 5.

Inaugurating the event, Mahantha Thakur, minister for environment, science and technology, reiterated the government’s support for the development of information and communication technology (ICT).

“ICT has always been a priority sector,” he said, adding that the government would soon unveil new projects for ICT.
Thakur further said that policies to attract foreign investment in ICT and to create a conducive environment would be soon formulated.

“Nepal holds a huge potential in ICT, particularly software development, BPO and outsourcing,” said Ashank Desai, president of Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organisation (ASOCIO). “The government’s support is crucial at the initial stage for the development of any sector,” he added. The event is featuring Nepal’s latest development in software, BPO, computer solutions and other related industries.

The expo would give exposure to the Nepali software developers and industry people to the international arena and will be beneficial for them in exploring markets outside the country, said Biplav Man Singh, president of CAN. “It will also serve as a platform to highlight Nepal’s strength in software development, BPO and IT solutions.”

About 60 different companies, including four from India, three from South Korea and one from Sri Lanka are showcasing their products and services through 77 stalls during the CAN Softech-2007.

According to CAN, the event is expected to attract about 30,000 quality visitors. Two separate halls have been arranged for demonstration of the products and services. Business meeting room, telephone and internet facilities in each stall are some of the features of the event, which will facilitate both the exhibitors and customers to experience a real virtual world.
An IT conference on ‘middle level management of IT companies’ is being organised tomorrow, which will feature keynote speakers from India and South Korea. The event would be a platform for Nepali companies and software developers to interact with their ounterparts from the region,” said Rajan Panta, general secretary at the CAN.

Meanwhile, a two-day long plenary meeting of ASOCIO concluded here today. ASOCIO is an organisation formed by leading ICT organisations of 26 countries in Asia and the Pacific region. A delegation of over 40 representatives of ASOCIO attended the meeting and discussed about FDI in ICT, software exports and efforts for the market exploration among the member countries.

The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post are the official media partners for the event.

Responding to Viacom’s $1 billion copyright infringement suit over video clips on YouTube, Google says it will not back off, declaring that the law is on its side.”We are not going to let this lawsuit distract us,” Michael Kwun, managing counsel for litigation at Google, told reporters Monday.

In its response to the lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Google said Viacom’s allegations were unfounded and asked for a judgment dismissing the complaint.

In March, Viacom, the parent company of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, sued Google and YouTube, the video sharing site that Google acquired last year, saying they were deliberately building a business on a library of copyrighted video clips without permission.

Earlier this year, Viacom had asked YouTube to take down 100,000 clips that it said infringed on its copyrights.

Google’s court filing gives few new details of its legal thinking, which relies heavily on the so-called “safe harbor” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, enacted in 1998. Those provisions generally hold that Web site owners are not liable for copyright material uploaded by others to their site as long as they promptly remove the material when asked to do so by the copyright owner.

The 1998 law “balances the rights of copyright holders and the need to protect the Internet as an important new form of communication,” Google said in its filing.

“By seeking to make carriers and hosting providers liable for Internet communications, Viacom’s complaint threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment, and political and artistic expression.”

Viacom said Google’s response misses the mark.

“This response ignores the most important fact of the suit, which is that YouTube does not qualify for safe harbor protection under the DMCA,” Viacom said in a statement. “It is obvious that YouTube has knowledge of infringing material on their site, and they are profiting from it.”

Kwun, the Google lawyer, said there had been no talks between Google and Viacom to discuss a settlement. “We feel pretty confident about the case and are ready to take it to court,” he added.

In the suit, Viacom had complained that it was unfairly forced to devote significant resources to police YouTube. “Every day we have to scour the entirety of what is available on YouTube, so we have to look for our stuff,” Philippe Dauman, Viacom’s chief executive, said in an interview earlier this year.

In recent weeks, Google’s chief executive, Eric Schmidt, has said the company will soon unveil new tools that will make it easier for copyright owners to spot their content on YouTube. Schmidt had said that those tools, to be called Claim Your Content, will make Viacom’s complaint moot.

But Kwun said Monday that Google was not compelled by law to develop those tools or to make them available to content owners.

The first case management conference, at which the judge may set an initial timeline for the trial, is scheduled for July 27, Kwun said.

Google has asked for a jury trial.

NEW YORK — Yahoo, the Web brand that’s a distant No. 2 behind Google in search market share and search ad revenue, will try to click better with consumers with a new message: Be a better — (whatever you want to be).

“We’ll let our customers fill in the blank,” says Allen Olivo, vice president, global brand marketing. The idea? “Whatever they want to be, Yahoo’s tools and services allows them to be better.”

In the case of Yahoo, its search engine needs to be a better money engine. Yahoo’s first-quarter ad revenue was $1.6 billion, less than half of Google’s $3.8 billion in the same period. Yahoo’s share of search requests in the quarter remained flat at about 28%, while Google’s rose slightly to 48%, according to Internet tracker ComScore.

Yahoo will blast the campaign all over the Web — on Yahoo-related and other sites — and use traditional media outlets as well, including prime-time TV, radio and print. The offbeat ads promote two of its latest services: Yahoo oneSearch mobile search service introduced in January and Yahoo Answers, introduced a year ago. The services are designed to make Yahoo more competitive not only with Google but also with other popular sites, such as Wikipedia.

One TV ad, for instance, shows how Yahoo can help two friends be better explorers.

In the first part of the ad, a hiker is eaten alive by a red flower that is not identified in their guidebook.

FIND MORE STORIES IN: Google | Yahoo | TV ad | Yahoo services

In the second part of the ad, one hiker is equipped with Yahoo’s mobile oneSearch, and he learns that the flower is a “crimson man-eater” and a “potent herbal enhancer” that causes the first hiker’s hair to grow great lengths.

Some of the marketing will try to demonstrate Yahoo services. The TV ad, for instance, will be available online where users can click on their favorite clips and create a new commercial.

Yahoo hopes that the marketing attracts more users to draw in more advertisers. “If from a brand-marketing standpoint we are creating more value and more choice for our users, we are also creating a more engaged audience for our advertisers,” Olivo says.

But will more ad spending bring in more ad revenue? Yahoo hopes so. It traditionally spends a lot more on advertising and marketing than its bigger rival in the race for ad dollars. Last year Yahoo outspent Google by 72%, $353 million in advertising vs. Google’s $205 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

“More engaged consumers also tend to have more interest and give more permission to be introduced to our next generation of products such as Yahoo oneSearch,” says Nick Chavez, senior director of brand advertising. “And through word of mouth they are more likely to share their experience with those products.”

Two of the industry’s best-known end-user monitoring tool vendors — Websense and SurfControl — proposed a merger yesterday, putting an end to a storied rivalry and raising some questions about the future of the SurfControl line.

Websense (nasdaq: WBSN news people ) said that its subsidiary, Websense SC Operations, has made a pre-conditional cash offer to acquire all shares of SurfControl, which makes on-demand Web and email security products. The deal is worth approximately $400 million.

The deal will let the two former rivals combine resources to compete with larger security software vendors, according to Gene Hodges, CEO of Websense. Websense, which makes software that detects spyware, phishing, and other malware, has leapfrogged SurfControl in recent years to become the market’s biggest seller of Web filtering and end-user monitoring tools. It supports approximately 25 million PCs worldwide.

SurfControl, which was one of the first “parental control” tools for filtering unauthorized content from end users, now has some 16 million customers. While it has competed head-to-head with Websense for more than a decade, it has also developed some capabilities that Websense doesn’t have, including an email filtering product and an on-demand filtering and security service called BlackSpider.

“Websense was the better product,” says Rob Enderle, president of the Enderle Group, an IT consultancy. “SurfControl provided adequate coverage for a lot less money and was likely forcing Websense to drop prices. My sense is that, assuming they just don’t do the Oracle/PeopleSoft thing and shut SurfControl down, they will position the SurfControl line as an entry level, value-based offering and Websense as their premium product.”

“This looks more like a ‘pooling of assets’ type of acquisition than a ‘we can do great things with this technology’ type of acquisition,” says Eric Ogren, principal analyst and founder of the Ogren Group, which specializes in consulting services for security vendors. “It perhaps signals the incorporation of email security into a broader application security portfolio, as evidenced by Cisco/IronPort and Secure Computing/CipherTrust purchases.”

Hodges positioned SurfControl as a means of expanding Websense’s prospects in the small- and medium-sized business market, and analysts said they expect the combined software company to continue to sell SurfControl as an entry-level product, then upsell the Websense line to companies that need more sophisticated content filtering tools.

“After the transaction closes, we are committed to supporting SurfControl’s and Websense’s customers and channel partners,” Hodges said. “We plan to introduce a customer satisfaction and retention program and pledge to support SurfControl’s layered software Web security solutions at least through 2010. We plan to enhance these products with data from the merged research databases of the two companies. We also plan to renew existing SurfControl subscriptions at competitive levels, similar to their historical prices.”

The merger shortens the list of content filtering choices for users, and perhaps opens the door for competitors, analysts say. “If the SurfControl customers get the sense that their product will be crippled over time — or worse, discontinued — they will treat Websense like they did CA (nyse: CA news people ) in the ’90s and move to another vendor,” Enderle says. “And this does seem rather likely.”

Websense and SurfControl have very different corporate cultures, which could create problems, Ogren says. “It is very very difficult to integrate acquired organizations, and in this case, Websense and SurfControl are literally oceans apart,” he notes, referring to Websense’s U.K. headquarters. “Retaining star contributors and incenting the teams will be a challenge and a half.”

The transaction, which has been approved unanimously by the boards of both companies, is expected to close approximately four months following regulatory approval by U.S. and U.K. agencies.

Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, said on Monday it plans to offer a streaming video service that stores and hosts video for its new Silverlight online media platform.

Silverlight, which is now available for download in a test version, is a rival to Adobe Systems Inc.’s dominant Flash player and a new application to deliver video, games and animation through a Web browser.

Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live is one of the first applications announced by Microsoft to take advantage of the company’s heavy investments in building a data center infrastructure backbone for its Web services.

The company said it will store and host up to 4 gigabytes of video for Web developers.

“You should consider this as a sign of things to come in terms of our software and services platform,” said Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief software architect, in a keynote speech at its MIX 07 conference for Web developers and designers.

Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in building a network of massive data centers filled with computer servers, data storage and network systems to provide the company with the computing power needed to compete with leading Web services provider Google Inc.

The company’s “software plus services” strategy aims to bring a host of new Web services — some supported by subscriptions and others provided for free with advertising — without compromising its cash cow desktop software business.

The company further announced it will begin on Monday shipping Microsoft Expression Studio, a suite of graphic design and animation tool software that allows designers to create applications for both the Web and Windows operating system.

Source: reuters.com

BRUSSELS, Belgium – Belgian French-language newspapers were back on Google on Thursday after agreeing that the search engine can link to their Web sites, the first signs of a thaw in a bitter copyright dispute.

But neither has so far settled on a key part of the dispute: the use of newspaper story links used on Google News.

In February, Google Inc. lost a lawsuit filed by the newspapers that forced it to remove headlines and links to news stories posted on its Google News service and stored in its search engine’s cache without the copyright owners’ permission.

Google had earlier removed all reference to the newspapers to avoid legal trouble, meaning that a search for even the name of Belgian daily “Le Soir” would not bring up the publication’s Web site.

But searchers will now find that paper and 16 others — although they will not be able to access stored versions of older content that the newspapers want to charge for. It is similar to the system used by The New York Times and others for premium content that marks stories with a “no archive” tag so it won’t be cached.

In a joint statement, Google and the newspapers’ copyright group Copiepresse said they had decided that Google could once again list the newspapers on the search engine.

But they made no mention of one of the main parts of their dispute, Google News, merely saying they were still in talks.

“The Belgian French and German-language daily press publishers and Google Inc. intend to use a quiet period in the court dispute to continue their efforts to identify tangible ways to collaborate in the long term,” they said.

The Brussels Court of First Instance ruled this spring that Mountain View, Calif.-based Google could not call on exemptions, such as claiming “fair use” because it says Google News reviews press articles when it displays headlines, a few lines of text, photos and links to the original page.

The company behind the world’s most-used search engine is still appealing that ruling to clarify what it covers. It claims its Google News service is “entirely legal.”

Google says the court has still had not settled the question of what the ruling covers, claiming it only applied to Google News Belgium and google.be. The company says it has been in compliance since September.

It was unclear if Google would have to pay retroactive daily fines of 25,000 euros (more than $32,000) for each day it did not comply — and what date any fines should start from.

Copiepresse first cried foul in February 2006, a month after Google launched a Belgian version of Google News displaying content from local newspapers found by its search engine.

The group was also negotiating similar copyright issues with Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOOnews) and Microsoft Corp.’s MSN.

GENEVA — The U.S. has failed to change its ban on Internet betting to comply with a World Trade Organization ruling that said the legislation unfairly targets offshore casinos, the global trade body said Friday.The ruling opens the door to possible commercial sanctions against the U.S.

In a 215-page decision, a three-member WTO compliance panel sided with the twin Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, which has argued that Internet gambling is a lucrative source of revenue and provides an income for hundreds of islanders.

The Geneva-based trade referee has said Washington can maintain restrictions on online gambling, as long as its laws are equally applied to American operators offering remote betting on horse racing.

Shares in London-listed gaming stocks rose after the announcement. Leisure & Gaming PLC closed up 11 percent at 19.75 pence (38.9 cents), while PartyGaming PLC rose 4.5 percent to 52.25 pence ($1.02), after initially surging by 16 percent. 888 Holdings PLC climbed 3 percent to 124.75 pence ($2.46).

“It vindicates all that we have been saying for years about the discriminatory trade practices of the United States in this area, and we look forward to the United States opening its markets,” Antiguan Finance Minister Errol Cort said in a statement.

Washington claimed victory in the WTO’s initial ruling two years ago because the body recognized its right to prevent offshore betting as a means of protecting public order and public morals. But the U.S. acknowledged Friday that the latest decision was a setback.

“The compliance panel did not agree with the United States that we had taken the necessary steps to comply with the WTO recommendations,” said Gretchen Hamel, a spokeswoman for the office of the U.S. Trade Representative. She added, however, that “nothing in the panel’s report undermines the broad, favorable results that the United States obtained from the WTO in April 2005.”

Washington still has yet to say if it will appeal the compliance panel’s findings. A final ruling upholding Antigua’s claims would allow the twin-island nation to seek trade sanctions on the United States for its failure to comply.

To avoid the penalties, the U.S. government would then have to either permit Americans to gamble over foreign-based sites or eliminate exceptions for off-track betting on horses, including over the Internet, as permitted under the 1978 Interstate Horseracing Act.

Nevertheless, it appears unlikely that the U.S. will ease access to companies with servers licensed in the nation of 80,000 people — whose legal efforts were largely bankrolled by British-owned Internet gambling operators.

The U.S. Congress caught the industry by surprise last year when it added a provision to a bill aimed at improving port security that would make it illegal for banks and credit card companies to settle payments to online gambling sites. President George Bush signed it into law on Oct. 14.

The decision closed off the most lucrative region in a market worth $15.5 billion last year. Several British-based Internet gaming companies and a handful in Europe and Australia subsequently sold off or shut down their U.S. operations, losing around 80 percent of their combined business in the process.

The arrest last year of two British Internet gambling executives while traveling through the United States also highlighted the U.S. government’s escalation in its battle against the industry.

Peter Dicks, the former chairman of Sportingbet, was detained in New York but released after former New York Gov. George Pataki declined to sign a warrant extraditing him to Louisiana, where he was wanted on charges of illegal online gambling. Former BetOnSports PLC Chief Executive Officer David Carruthers remains under house arrest in the St. Louis area awaiting trial on federal charges from the U.S. attorney’s office based on the 1961 Wire Act.

On Friday, U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said BetOnSports founder Stephen Kaplan was arrested late Wednesday in the Dominican Republic. Kaplan is named in a 22-count criminal case as the company’s top official.

Antigua filed its case in 2003, contending that U.S. restrictions on Internet gambling violated trade commitments the United States made as a member of the WTO. U.S. trade officials disagreed, saying that negotiators involved in the Uruguay Round of global trade talks clearly intended to exclude gambling.

Antiguan authorities also argued that restrictions barring U.S. residents from betting at offshore casinos were harming efforts to diversify its economy. Antigua, a former British colony in the Caribbean, had been promoting electronic commerce as a way to end the country’s reliance on tourism, which was hurt by a series of hurricanes in the late 1990s.

There are 32 licensed online casinos in Antigua, employing 1,000 people and generating yearly revenue of around $130 million. Seven years ago, its casinos had annual income closer to $1 billion.

Antigua is the smallest country to successfully litigate a case in the WTO’s 12-year history.

Microsoft has filed nine lawsuits and issued more than 50 cease-and-desist letters as part of its long-running campaign to clamp down on international software smuggling.

The lawsuits allege that companies in Jordan and elsewhere posed as academic resellers to obtain hundreds of thousands of copies of discounted Microsoft Windows and Office system software intended for students.

Microsoft claims that these companies reaped “millions of dollars” in illegal profits by allegedly selling the software to internet retailers in the US rather than supplying it to the students.

Many of the internet retailers allegedly made hefty profits by selling the software at retail prices to unsuspecting American consumers who were deceived into buying software that was not licensed for their use.

“Jordan has invested heavily in transforming itself into a fully-fledged knowledge economy,” said His Excellency Eng. Basem Rousan, Jordan’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology.

“Companies that break Jordan’s intellectual property laws will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Investigations are being pursued in other countries where a similar scheme has been used.

The lawsuits were filed in federal courts in California, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Nevada and Montana.

“To those who say software piracy is a victimless crime, I would say this case tells a different story,” said Bonnie MacNaughton, senior attorney at Microsoft.

“The defendants in these lawsuits and others are charged with profiting from selling clearly marked educational software to unsuspecting retail customers who were not licensed to use it, potentially depriving students and schools of the opportunity to benefit from the latest technologies.”

EDirectSoftware.com, one of the largest alleged offenders, has already agreed to settle Microsoft’s lawsuit out of court for more than $1m in cash and property.

Other merchants that received cease-and-desist letters have agreed voluntarily to stop selling the software, which is clearly marked ‘Student Media’ and ‘Not for retail or OEM distribution. Not for resale.’

Businesses will spend $1bn on business process management (BPM) tools worldwide this year, as they attempt to gain a competitive edge, according to analyst firm Gartner.

Janelle Hill, research vice-president at Gartner, said, “The competency of a business to change its processes more frequently

will be the main differentiator between one company and another. BPM will be the next killer application of IT.”

The IT director has a key role to play. Research from Gartner suggests that IT directors will take more responsibility for business processes over the next five years. There is a growing number of products which IT directors can implement to automate business processes and improve operational efficiency.

BPM tools are designed to automate business processes using workflow. Significantly, Gartner has not identified any of the major software providers doing much work in the BPM space. Hill said, “It is not quite a mainstream market. There are more than 170 suppliers and the leaders are not household names.”

While IT directors needed to think strategically about process improvement Hill recommended they take a tactical approach. “Start with a strategic design of the process to improve, assess development skills then pick one of the best of breed providers, but recognise the supplier may be acquired or may merge.

Although process management has previously been very popular during a downturn, Hill said, “We think business conditions have funadmentally changed due to globalisation and the internet, leading to the commoditisation of products.” This pressure is sustained and is leading many organisations to look inwards at operational efficiency and process management, she said.

One user of BPM technology is mobile operator Orange, which has been using the technology to help it keep pace with the fast-paced world of mobile communications. Paul Tuffs, a programme office manager at Orange said, “BPM frees people up to think creatively and gives them a structure so they can see what is going on and who is responsible and accoutnable for different parts of a business process.”

If you don’t know high def from high heels, and the thought of even going into an electronics store makes your eyes glaze over, this is for you.

Rich Demuro, a senior editor at technology Web site CNET.com, offers some new tech toys that are in touch with their feminine side.

Here’s the latest in fun (and pink!) gadgets to satisfy both the inner geek and girly girl:

1. Digital camera
Casio EXILIM Hi-ZOOM EX-V7 $399.99.

  • Casio 7.2-megapixel EXILIM Hi-ZOOM EX-V7, the most powerful zoom in the stylish EXILIM® series of compact digital cameras.

  • This new model is the world’s slimmest digital camera with a 7X optical zoom lens. Easily fits in a shirt pocket or small purse.

  • “Auto Tracking AF” function follows moving subjects, keeping them continuously in focus until the photo is taken.

  • Anti Shake reduces blur due to shaky hands and subject movement, using high shutter speeds and high sensitivity settings.

  • Electronic camera shake compensation function eliminates blur when shooting in movie mode.

  • Records 16:9 wide-aspect movies compatible with wide-screen TVs.

2. Pink laptop
Sony VAIO C Series Laptop, Pink, Green & Silver Colors, $1,449.99.

  • Designed to express personality, new line of slim notebooks comes in five hip colors.

  • Backed by an Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor, the VAIO C model also has plenty of power for high-speed computing and an energy-efficient battery life so you can enjoy games, music and movies longer.

  • Weighting in at about 5 pounds.

  • The model also serves as a well-equipped home theater away from home. It features a 13.3-inch widescreen display (measured diagonally).

3. Pink XM radio
XM Radio Pink Pioneer Inno, $199.99.

  • Support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s fight against breast cancer. $30 from each inno sold and activated go to the Komen Foundation.

  • Live XM when portable or docked.

  • MP3 (WMA) storage and play.

  • 50 hours storage of XM recordings.

  • Compatible with XM + Napster.

  • Built-in wireless FM transmitter.

4. Fashion phone
Nokia 7380 Fashion Phone, $359.99.

  • Accentuated with leather, cloth, metal, and ceramic-inspired finishes.

  • Glass mirror display with light-enhanced effects.
  • Capture the spotlight with a 2-megapixel camera.

  • 2-megapixel camera.
  • Video streaming.

  • Bluetooth wireless technology.

  • Shared memory of 52 MB for user data: contacts, text messages, multimedia messages, ringing tones, images, video clips, calendar notes, to-do list, and applications.
  • Integrated music player for MP3/AAC/M4A formats.
  • FM radio (requires stereo headset, sold separately).

  • Ring tones: Video ringing tones, MP3, AAC, MIDI-64 ringing tones.

5. Designer computer mice
Pat Says Now designer computer mice, $30 to $25,000.

  • Pat Says Now is Switzerland’s first manufacturer of individual computer mice.

  • Featured on show: a ladybug, a bunny rabbit, a leopard print mouse.

  • Company even sells a $25,000 diamond-laced computer mouse.

6. MP3 WATCH
Origim’s Superior Lady Diamond MP3 Watch D01, $109.99.

  • All in one: MP3 Player for 3D Music (MP3, WMA, ASF), 512 MB Flash USB 2.0 drive to carry digital photos, documents and music all together.

  • Built-in Digital Voice Recorder with MIC allows you to record 18 hours conversation.

  • Max play time: 6-8 hours for full recharge

  • Color: silver dial with pink bank .

7. Designer Shoe Wheel
By Rakku, $65.

  • The Shoe Wheel is the brainchild of designer Danilo Torro, who formed a Hong Kong based company manufacturing private label fashion collections.

  • Alternative to piling up his family’s shoes in the corner of their spare bedroom.

  • Paying homage to the Shoe Wheel’s Asian Roots, Torro and his partner, Lori Quon, named their company “Rakku,” meaning “rack” in Japanese.

  • This model fits shoes up to men’s size 10.5

 

If you don’t know high def from high heels, and the thought of even going into an electronics store makes your eyes glaze over, this is for you.

Rich Demuro, a senior editor at technology Web site CNET.com, offers some new tech toys that are in touch with their feminine side.

Here’s the latest in fun (and pink!) gadgets to satisfy both the inner geek and girly girl:

1. Digital camera
Casio EXILIM Hi-ZOOM EX-V7 $399.99.

  • Casio 7.2-megapixel EXILIM Hi-ZOOM EX-V7, the most powerful zoom in the stylish EXILIM® series of compact digital cameras.

  • This new model is the world’s slimmest digital camera with a 7X optical zoom lens. Easily fits in a shirt pocket or small purse.

  • “Auto Tracking AF” function follows moving subjects, keeping them continuously in focus until the photo is taken.

  • Anti Shake reduces blur due to shaky hands and subject movement, using high shutter speeds and high sensitivity settings.

  • Electronic camera shake compensation function eliminates blur when shooting in movie mode.

  • Records 16:9 wide-aspect movies compatible with wide-screen TVs.

2. Pink laptop
Sony VAIO C Series Laptop, Pink, Green & Silver Colors, $1,449.99.

  • Designed to express personality, new line of slim notebooks comes in five hip colors.

  • Backed by an Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor, the VAIO C model also has plenty of power for high-speed computing and an energy-efficient battery life so you can enjoy games, music and movies longer.

  • Weighting in at about 5 pounds.

  • The model also serves as a well-equipped home theater away from home. It features a 13.3-inch widescreen display (measured diagonally).

3. Pink XM radio
XM Radio Pink Pioneer Inno, $199.99.

  • Support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s fight against breast cancer. $30 from each inno sold and activated go to the Komen Foundation.

  • Live XM when portable or docked.

  • MP3 (WMA) storage and play.

  • 50 hours storage of XM recordings.

  • Compatible with XM + Napster.

  • Built-in wireless FM transmitter.

4. Fashion phone
Nokia 7380 Fashion Phone, $359.99.

  • Accentuated with leather, cloth, metal, and ceramic-inspired finishes.

  • Glass mirror display with light-enhanced effects.
  • Capture the spotlight with a 2-megapixel camera.

  • 2-megapixel camera.
  • Video streaming.

  • Bluetooth wireless technology.

  • Shared memory of 52 MB for user data: contacts, text messages, multimedia messages, ringing tones, images, video clips, calendar notes, to-do list, and applications.
  • Integrated music player for MP3/AAC/M4A formats.
  • FM radio (requires stereo headset, sold separately).

  • Ring tones: Video ringing tones, MP3, AAC, MIDI-64 ringing tones.

5. Designer computer mice
Pat Says Now designer computer mice, $30 to $25,000.

  • Pat Says Now is Switzerland’s first manufacturer of individual computer mice.

  • Featured on show: a ladybug, a bunny rabbit, a leopard print mouse.

  • Company even sells a $25,000 diamond-laced computer mouse.

6. MP3 WATCH
Origim’s Superior Lady Diamond MP3 Watch D01, $109.99.

  • All in one: MP3 Player for 3D Music (MP3, WMA, ASF), 512 MB Flash USB 2.0 drive to carry digital photos, documents and music all together.

  • Built-in Digital Voice Recorder with MIC allows you to record 18 hours conversation.

  • Max play time: 6-8 hours for full recharge

  • Color: silver dial with pink bank .

7. Designer Shoe Wheel
By Rakku, $65.

  • The Shoe Wheel is the brainchild of designer Danilo Torro, who formed a Hong Kong based company manufacturing private label fashion collections.

  • Alternative to piling up his family’s shoes in the corner of their spare bedroom.

  • Paying homage to the Shoe Wheel’s Asian Roots, Torro and his partner, Lori Quon, named their company “Rakku,” meaning “rack” in Japanese.

  • This model fits shoes up to men’s size 10.5

 

Postini today said it plans to provide security, administration and archiving services for Gmail, Google’s (Quote) on-demand e-mail service.

With some 50,000 customers and over 12 million individual users, Postini is already considered the leading vendor of on-demand e-mail archiving and administration services. Winning Google’s hand further differentiates Postini from Message Labs, MX Logic and other competitors in the space.

The move also positions Postini for future growth in the small- and medium-sized business (SMB) market when and if Google’s on-demand productivity tools start gaining traction.

Postini also announced a raft of new services and enhancements to existing offerings today, including a Web-based portal that customers can use to manage their own personal settings and preferences, and restore accidentally-deleted e-mails.

The self-help aspect of the service allows companies to reduce administrative costs while giving business users greater control over their experience.

“It makes users feel more empowered,” said Dan Druker, executive vice president of marketing for Postini.

Postini also introduced a set of new investigation management tools that help customers comply with e-discovery regulations, such as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

These rules, amended December 1, 2006, make companies treat e-mail, instant messages and other electronic communication in the same manner as paper documents for litigation purposes.

Because the costs of searching for relevant documents manually are very high, the new investigation tools not only help companies remain in compliance, but also save customers money; features of this tool-set include saving search criteria for reuse, preventing documents from being deleted, and setting expiration dates for litigation holds.

Postini also announced new Web security features, including real-time network reputation triggers that detect and defend against bot-net attacks, and a feature that identifies potentially hazardous sites that come up during a Web search.

The service, which works on popular search engines like Yahoo , Google and MSN , also allows users to access safe portions of certain sites while preventing them from going to areas that violate company policy.

Druker noted that this helps companies remain compliant with internal and regulatory requirements without impinging unnecessarily on employee productivity.

MacAfee’s (QuoteSite Advisor is similar to this in many ways, except that Site Advisor does not allow users to access parts of a site and not others.

The Web-based administration console, which allows customers to delegate administration at either a regional, department or individual user level will help Postini move up-market from the SMB space, noted Gartner analyst Peter Firstbrook.

He also noted that the agreement with Google gives Postini the advantage of learning some early lessons that will help them in the long run. “It’s not a big money-maker for them — but it’s a feather in their cap.”

Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research, further suggested that Postini could well end up providing security for Google Apps, which is also being marketed to the SMB market.

“If you’re looking at storing your data on Google servers, working on Google documents and spreadsheets and all the rest, you’d need a very secure infrastructure,” he told internetnews.com.

“So Google Apps could be a very natural extension for both of them.”

ISPs have been told to improve procedures for reducing unsolicited bulk email (UBE) by the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA).

UBE – or spam as it is more commonly known – is the subject of a new report by ISPA which recommends that its members adopt better practices to deal with spam and educate customers as to how they can stop their PCs being turned into ‘bots’.
“Effective abuse procedures should be in place to make reporting easier. Customers need to be educated on the nature of UBE and how to protect their PCs with firewalls and anti-virus software,” said Jessica Hendrie-Liaño, chair of the ISPA Council.
ISPA is a trade association for companies that provide internet services. It has been around since 1995 and promotes self-regulation within the industry.
One of the proposals is that ISPA members should ensure that all email generated within their own networks can be attributed to a particular customer or system, in order to stop spam at the source.
“ISPs hate spam. It saps valuable bandwidth, can compromise the integrity of a network and affects the performance of mail servers. Combating spam costs ISPs and their customers very significant amounts of time and money,” said Mrs Hendrie-Liaño.
The news comes on the same day as a UK-based company released a solution which it claims is 100 per cent effective against spam.

Rod Baber plans to climb Everest and then establish a world record by making a mobile call from the summit.

Weather permitting, the attempt to reach the peak of Everest is scheduled to take place in late May.

“There’s no reason why it should not work,” said Mr Baber who already holds a world record for reaching the highest point of every European nation.

Peak performance

Making a phone call from the summit of Everest has become possible thanks to a mobile base station installed in China that has line of sight to the north side of the mountain.

Mr Baber was confident that the attempt on the world record would work because the phone he will use has been tested in very low temperatures and the final climb will only happen if weather conditions are good.

The downside is that staying in contact with this base station demands that climbers follow the north ridge to the top – generally regarded as the toughest route.

Mr Baber is travelling in an expedition organised and run by experienced mountain climbing group HimEx which, says Mr Baber, has one of the best records of getting climbers to the top of the mountain.

An experienced climber Mr Baber also holds the world record for climbing more of the world’s highest points than any one else. However, all his climbing has been done on peaks under 7,000 metres high.

He set off for Kathmandu on 30 March and will spend the next few weeks getting his body used to living at high altitude.

Speaking to the BBC News website Mr Baber said he had been in training for the Everest climb for months.

“I’ve been running 8-10 miles a day and on the days I’m not doing that I’m doing weights and spending time on a cross-training machine,” he said.

To help his body cope with high altitude Mr Baber has also had to eat a lot.

“I’ve put on just over two stone and increased my body-mass-index by 24%,” he said.

The reason for putting on so much weight is simply to help survive in the hostile conditions in the Himalayas.

“Above 7000 metres it does not matter how much rest you have, your body just starts to break down and your organs start slowing down,” said Mr Baber. “The way you compensate for that is just by putting on as much weight as you can.”

“Although,” he added, “eating a lot, running a lot and doing weights is a strange combination.”

Mr Baber is sponsored by Motorola who has provided the phone he will use to make the call and send a text message from the summit.

The final push for the summit usually takes 6-8 days, weather permitting, and is due to start in late May.

As well as preparing himself for life at high altitude, the weeks preceding the push for the summit will be used to prepare the route to the top and to stock the camps where climbers will shelter overnight.

Mr Baber will not spend long on the top of Everest, perhaps only 15 minutes, largely because conditions at that altitude (8,848m, 29,028ft) are so harsh.

Taking a phone that will help keep him in touch with family and friends would help in the attempt to climb the mountain, he said.

“It does not matter how fit you are,” said Mr Baber, “the key reason to success is 80% psychological. Having someone you can speak to on the other end of the telephone can overturn those invisible obstacles.”

SOURCE :BBC

Rod Baber plans to climb Everest and then establish a world record by making a mobile call from the summit.

Weather permitting, the attempt to reach the peak of Everest is scheduled to take place in late May.

“There’s no reason why it should not work,” said Mr Baber who already holds a world record for reaching the highest point of every European nation.

Peak performance

Making a phone call from the summit of Everest has become possible thanks to a mobile base station installed in China that has line of sight to the north side of the mountain.

Mr Baber was confident that the attempt on the world record would work because the phone he will use has been tested in very low temperatures and the final climb will only happen if weather conditions are good.

The downside is that staying in contact with this base station demands that climbers follow the north ridge to the top – generally regarded as the toughest route.

Mr Baber is travelling in an expedition organised and run by experienced mountain climbing group HimEx which, says Mr Baber, has one of the best records of getting climbers to the top of the mountain.

An experienced climber Mr Baber also holds the world record for climbing more of the world’s highest points than any one else. However, all his climbing has been done on peaks under 7,000 metres high.

He set off for Kathmandu on 30 March and will spend the next few weeks getting his body used to living at high altitude.

Speaking to the BBC News website Mr Baber said he had been in training for the Everest climb for months.

“I’ve been running 8-10 miles a day and on the days I’m not doing that I’m doing weights and spending time on a cross-training machine,” he said.

To help his body cope with high altitude Mr Baber has also had to eat a lot.

“I’ve put on just over two stone and increased my body-mass-index by 24%,” he said.

The reason for putting on so much weight is simply to help survive in the hostile conditions in the Himalayas.

“Above 7000 metres it does not matter how much rest you have, your body just starts to break down and your organs start slowing down,” said Mr Baber. “The way you compensate for that is just by putting on as much weight as you can.”

“Although,” he added, “eating a lot, running a lot and doing weights is a strange combination.”

Mr Baber is sponsored by Motorola who has provided the phone he will use to make the call and send a text message from the summit.

The final push for the summit usually takes 6-8 days, weather permitting, and is due to start in late May.

As well as preparing himself for life at high altitude, the weeks preceding the push for the summit will be used to prepare the route to the top and to stock the camps where climbers will shelter overnight.

Mr Baber will not spend long on the top of Everest, perhaps only 15 minutes, largely because conditions at that altitude (8,848m, 29,028ft) are so harsh.

Taking a phone that will help keep him in touch with family and friends would help in the attempt to climb the mountain, he said.

“It does not matter how fit you are,” said Mr Baber, “the key reason to success is 80% psychological. Having someone you can speak to on the other end of the telephone can overturn those invisible obstacles.”

SOURCE :BBC 

MOG 2.0

Better Music Through Blogging

Founder David Hyman previously was CEO of Gracenote (the music database that iTunes uses to look up the name, artist, and album of each song on your computer).  He came by my office earlier this week to give me a preview of the new Mog.  “Today, Mog is a circle jerk of music geeks,” he admits.

The most popular part of the site was something called the Mog-o-sphere—a river of all the music posts across the entire site written in one of the 50,000 individual Mog pages on the site.  But as Hyman soon realized, “most people don’t have the time to go through 300 posts a day.”  That is going away.  In it’s place will be more fine-tuned filters.
Mog’s redesign does a lot of smart things to surface the best music posts, shared MP3 streams, and music videos from YouTube in a way that is customized to your personal music collection. Mog is a place where you can blog about your favorite music and shows you’ve seen.  What makes it cool is that you can upload the song you are talking about into your post, where it is available for others to listen to via streaming.  (According to Hyman, this is not considered radio, and thus he doesn’t pay any royalties, because you have to click on each song separately to listen to it, whereas online radio is a continuous stream of songs.  Only one song upload is allowed per post and each one links to iTunes or Amazon).  You can also embed videos from YouTube, where there are a lot of music videos and concert footage.

Now each blog post will be automatically categorized as music news, a concert review, or an album/song review.  If you write a post about Prince’s “Purple Rain,” it will also exist on the Prince page, as well as the “Purple Rain” page.
What really makes Mog special, though, is the “Magic Button.” Before the Magic Button can work, you have to download a small myware application called the Mog-o-Matic that indexes the entire music collection on your computer by cross-referencing it to Gracenote (which gives Mog a royalty-free license to its service).  Once that is done, it populates your personal page with all the songs in your collection as well as your most recently played songs.  And since it knows your actual music-listening habits, it links you to other Moggers with similar taste.  (Last.fm does something similar, but it only lists your recenty played songs). You can refine this further by creating your own set of trusted Moggers.   And if you think the automatically generated lists are wrong, you can edit them yourself by moving artists or songs around thanks to simple Ajax drag-and-drop functionality.

Now, no matter where you are on the Mog site, you can hit the Magic Button to personalize what you see and hear.   Go to the Read tab, hit the Magic Button, and you get only posts about songs in your collection or the collections of other Moggers deemed to be closest to you.  Go to the Listen tab, hit the Magic Button, and you get posts with MP3s from your collection or from those musical neighbors closest to you.  Go to the Recommendations tab, hit the Magic Button, and you get songs from your musical neighbors, minus any that you already own.  Go to the Watch tab, hit the Magic Button, and you get one of 450,000 YouTube videos associated with songs that are half from your own music collection and half from those of your Mogging network.  Says Hyman:

Imagine if Rolling Stone knew any every song in your collection and generated a magazine based on that.  Imagine if YouTube knew what your music collection was—that is Mog TV.

Unfortunately, Rolling Stone writers are not putting their best stuff on Mog yet. But that is another issue.  If Mog manages to attract the best music bloggers, it will hardly matter.  If it doesn’t, then all the shiny Ajax bells and whistles in the world won’t do it much good.

Nearly half of companies globally have suffered a business disruption owing to malware, according to Webroot Software‘s latest State of Internet Security report.

The organised nature, rapid growth and severity of cyber-crime has pushed it to the FBI‘s number three priority behind counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence.

Webroot’s research discovered that 4.2 million, or 1.7 per cent, of 250 million URLs around the world harbour malware. Almost three million of these malicious sites were discovered in 2006 alone.

“Our research has shown that the methods of infection, which just a short time ago were considered incredibly advanced, are now commonplace, demonstrating how quickly today’s threats are evolving into a global security concern,” said Webroot chief executive Peter Watkins.

“Despite the growth and severity of malware, over 60 per cent of businesses do not have an information security plan. Businesses need to control this threat by adequately protecting themselves and their customers.”

The study also found that over 40 per cent of the companies surveyed reported business losses from a variety of spyware-related issues.

The most unsettling finding is that 26 per cent of enterprises reported that confidential information had been compromised as a result of spyware.

At the heart of this alarming trend is the rate of spyware infection. Some 39 per cent of companies reported Trojan attacks, while 24 per cent reported system monitor attacks and 20 per cent pharming and key-logger attacks.

The latest report from the Small Business Technology Institute found that 20 per cent of companies do not have adequate virus protection, despite the growing threats and the legal and regulatory compliance legislation.

It also found that two-thirds of companies do not have an information security plan, and many only make a security decision after suffering a damaging information security incident.

“It is obvious from this research that businesses worldwide are operating under a false sense of security,” said Watkins.

“Because of the impact on corporate revenues and reputation that unprotected users can cause, proactive security should be a top priority for every company.

Cambridge, Mass. — IBM’s demonstration of new collaboration software at an event here earlier this week is further proof the company is serious about dominating social networking for the enterprise.

Researchers wowed press and analysts with tools, upgrades and raw, experimental pieces of software spanning business intelligence, application integration, information sharing and other areas.

The tools are designed to compete with enterprise collaboration and social-networking software makers, including Oracle  and BEA Systems  .

IBM Research Fellow Irene Greif demonstrated a data visualization and collaboration tool called ManyEyes, which could let employees share information via graphical representation.

This software, a kind of wiki on steroids, has the ability to amalgamate several data sets and render them graphically for users to view, update and share comments on.

Greif showed graphical comparisons between cars boasting the best city or highway mileage, as well as statistical breakdowns of the stats for players on the University of California Golden Bears women’s basketball team.

Alistair Rennie, vice president of development ad technical support for Lotus Software, hinted that IBM will ramp up the tool for production later this year, even though it is in alpha testing.

On the business-intelligence front, one demonstration included CRAFT, or Collaborative Reasoning for Business Intelligence. In the true spirit of BI, CRAFT correlates business information from several sources to support analysts’ decisions.

IBM researcher Daniel Greun illustrated how CRAFT can be used to pinpoint the cause of dips in customer accounts. Through a series of drag-and-drop maneuvers, Greun was able to compile a log of prior calls of customers who eventually canceled their accounts.

In doing so, he learned that most of them were being handled by a certain employee, suggesting the service representative was perhaps rude to customers. CRAFT, like most BI tools, is rendered as a dashboard with graphics and reports.

One particularly interesting IBM text-to-speech product tool, PodSmart, allows users to create personal podcasts from IBM Lotus Notes e-mail and calendar files and RSS feeds.

Workers can download these podcasts to their iPods or MP3 players, take them in their cars, and essentially have their e-mail, schedule or news feeds read to them via the MP3 player as they drive to work.

IBM researchers also demonstrated the IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8 e-mail clients, which are still in development. The user experience for mail, calendaring and contacts has been retooled and can now launch Web browsers and the Open Document Format editors. Specifically, users can open Microsoft Office files and save them back as Office or ODF files.

As with Google’s Gmail e-mail application, e-mail exchanges can be grouped into threads as if they were on a message board, enabling users to use their inbox as a “to-do list.”

The goal is to reduce the flood of information and organize it for a better user experience. Lotus Notes and Domino 8 is in public beta now.

On the software development side, IBM researchers introduced Project Styx, which automates the build, test and deployment of projects for software programmers. The software can take a code build, drop it into a test server and automatically provision it.

The tool, in an early beta, is geared to solve the dilemma of developers losing as much as half of their testing time to manual configurations.

source: internetnews 

In some future history of the Internet, 2007 will be seen as the year that the mobile Web went “Zoom.” Hot on the heels of Microsoft Relevant Products/Services‘s launch of ZenZui, an innovative interface for mobile surfing, the R&D gurus at Microsoft Live Labs have announced the release of “Deepfish.”The goal of Deepfish, the Live Labs team said, is “preserving the rich layout and full form of documents on mobile devices while providing novel ways of effectively navigating that content on small screens.”

Microsoft debuted the new tool on Wednesday at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego, California, and said that a limited test of the program would be available to people who sign up on the MS Deepfish Web page at labs.live.com/deepfish/. The software giant is currently describing Deepfish as a “technology preview,” something that the Live Labs site admits is “a few releases from beta quality.”

In an interview Wednesday with Microsoft’s own PressPass office, Dr. Gary William Flake, a Microsoft Technical Fellow and director of Live Labs, said that the Deepfish technology solves the problem of accessing desktop-sized content through much smaller mobile devices.

“With the Deepfish technology,” Flake said, “we capture the full layout of the page and deliver it to the mobile device, resulting in an experience similar to that on the desktop.”

Zoom Box

Unlike ZenZui, which requires Web content providers to create specialized “tiles” of information, the Deepfish technology would allow mobile users to access existing Web pages. After entering a page’s URL, users see a thumbnail image of the full page. By moving a “zoom box” around the screen, users can select content that they want to see in more detail, and the software then zooms in.

Deepfish also will enable users to pan around a Web page to view content, or zoom back out to navigate more quickly.

“Because the layout is preserved,” the Live Labs development team said on its blog, “navigation menus, lists of search results or news headlines, and other elements that might have been bent so thoroughly to fit the usual single-column layout that they were no longer legible can now be browsed simply and easily.”

Deepfish is limited to devices that run the Windows Mobile 5 operating system. Flake said that the Live Labs team is not planning to announce when or if the Deepfish technology will be more widely available, or ported to other mobile devices.

Microsoft Live Labs

Deepfish is one of several projects percolating in the Microsoft Live Labs, a research partnership established in January 2006 between MSN and Microsoft Research, the R&D branch of the software giant first founded in 1991.

According to a press release issued by Microsoft at the time, Live Labs is intended to be “an agile environment for fast-tracking research from the lab into people’s hands.”

Other Live Labs projects under way include: Photosynth, a tool for compiling large numbers of photographs into zoomable 3D image; Seadragon, a project designed to reshape the way information is displayed on screens, regardless of their size; and Entity Extraction, a technology already built into the Windows Live Toolbar to help surfers find information related to the web page they are viewing.

source: newsfactor