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Archive for March, 2007

New language in the third draft of the GNU General Public License (define), GPL v3, has the potential to reach beyond big Linux vendors with its proposed licensing rules that govern how most open source software is deployed and modified.

Some of the terms in the just-released draft also have the potential to adjust software practices at search engine giant Google, which uses open source widely within its own infrastructure. But Google manager of Open Source Programs, Chris DiBona, told internetnews.com he doesn’t see a problem with the draft license.

DiBona noted two points in the latest version. One is a clause that said “mere interaction with a user through a computer network, with no transfer of a copy, is not conveying,” in a reference to how license terms are conveyed.

The other is the so-called “Affero” clause, which refers to the Affero General Public License (or AGPL). The AGPL is a derivative of the GPL, v2 and is intended to provide GPL rights over a network application.

DiBona noted that the draft appears to allow for a one-way relicensing of GPL v3 code into Affero-covered code. At that point, the code could be governed by Affero GPL, rather than the latest version of the GPL v3. But the latest GPL draft said if conveyance occurs, then, according to the right of the GPL, the developer would need to provide full source code for the GPL’ed application.

The new clauses won’t change Google’s practices. “We have the ability to tag incoming open source code as being allowed or not allowed in Web performance situations,” DiBona said. “This means we don’t need to worry too much about these kinds of restrictions [because] we can track them.”

The new GPL draft also does not provide compatibility for Apache 2.0 licenses projects, which Simon Phipps, Chief Open Source Officer for Sun Microsystems, lamented. On the other hand, Phipps noted, the prior draft, GPL v2, isn’t compatible with the Apache license either and developers are living with that.

“I think it’s a shame that the free software community has been unable to come up with mechanisms that allow genuinely free software to be mixed by genuine free software developers,” Phipps told internetnews.com. “I think it’s unfortunate that [this] has become the case. I would like to see us as the Free and Open Software community find a solution to the problem, though it doesn’t look GPL 3 will be the solution to that.”

Google’s DiBona noted that the incompatibility of Apache 2.0 and GPL has never presented a problem to Google. “We typically choose the Apache license as we like our code to be broadly adopted both within the commercial realm and by our friends in open source,” DiBona said. “We have released software under the GPL before when it made sense to do so, and we will continue this practice when v3 comes out.”

Another key item included in the third draft of the GPL v3 is aimed at preventing third party patent deals like the one signed by Novell with Microsoft late last year. However, in a blog post, Novell spokesperson Bruce Lowry wrote that nothing in the new draft of GPL3 inhibits Novell’s ability to include GPL3 technologies in SUSE Linux Enterprise, openSUSE, and other Novell open source offerings, now and in the future.

“We are firmly committed to continuing the partnership with Microsoft and, as we always have, fully complying with the terms of the licenses for the software that we ship, including software licensed under GPL3,” Lowry wrote. “If the final version of the GPL3 does potentially impact the agreement we have with Microsoft, we’ll address that with Microsoft.”

Source: Internetnews 

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Spending on UK internet advertising surged in 2006, overtaking newspaper ads for the first time, a report says. Online advertising expenditure jumped 41.2% to £2.01bn during the year, the report by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers said.

In contrast, spending on national newspaper ads grew just 0.2% to £1.9bn, taking a 10.7% share of the market.

But despite online ads taking an 11.4% market shares, internet ad spending was just over half that for TV adverts.

TV advertising itself experienced a 4.7% fall in spending to £3.9bn.

“With almost all expenditure on traditional media in decline, the upward momentum of the internet reflects a new era … which is driven by high-speed broadband take-up and user-generated content,” the report said.

Popular medium

The report added that online advertising actually grabbed a record market share of 12.4% in the second half of 2006, as expenditure topped £1.098bn.

As a result of such heavy spending on online adverts, the UK’s online ad market share is almost double the global average of 5.8%, the report added.

Recruitment spent the most on web advertising – increasing expenditure by 2.7% – followed by finance and technology.

“The internet is a hugely popular mass medium now, and advertisers are continuing to switch more of their budgets online to build their brands and interact with their customers,” said IAB chief executive Guy Phillipson.

“2006 was a tough 12 months for the advertising market as a whole, but once again the internet bucked the trend, recording a 41% increase in ad revenues.

“With consumers now enjoying even faster broadband and installing wireless routers in their homes, the growth of online advertising in the UK is set to continue unabated,” he added.

Source: BBC 

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The US has lost its position as the world’s primary engine of technology innovation, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.

NETWORKED READINESS INDEX RANKINGS 2006 (2005)

1: Denmark (3)

2: Sweden (8)

3: Singapore (2)

4: Finland (5)

5: Switzerland (9)

6: Netherlands (12)

7: US (1)

8: Iceland (4)

9: UK (10)

10: Norway (13)

Source: WEF

The US is now ranked seventh in the body’s league table measuring the impact of technology on the development of nations.

A deterioration of the political and regulatory environment in the US prompted the fall, the report said.

The top spot went for the first time to Denmark, followed by Sweden.

Innovation

Countries were judged on technological advancements in general business, the infrastructure available and the extent to which government policy creates a framework necessary for economic development and increased competitiveness.

The Networked Readiness Index, the sixth of its kind published by the World Economic Forum with Insead, the Paris-based business school, scrutinised progress in 122 economies worldwide.

Despite losing its top position, the US still maintained a strong focus on innovation, driven by one of the world’s best tertiary education systems and its high degree of co-operation with industry, the report said.

The country’s efficient market environment, conducive to the availability of venture capital, and the sophistication of financial markets, was also given recognition.

Nordic crown

Denmark is now regarded as the world leader in technological innovation and application, with its Nordic neighbours Sweden, Finland and Norway claiming second, fourth and 10th place respectively.

“Denmark, in particular, has benefited from the very effective government e-leadership, reflected in early liberalisation of the telecommunications sector, a first-rate regulatory environment and large availability of e-government services,” said Irene Mia, senior economist at World Economic Forum.

European countries to make the top 20 included Switzerland in fifth place, the Netherlands, one of the most improved in sixth, the UK (nine), Germany (16), Austria (17) and Estonia (20).

While countries from Asia and the Pacific continued to progress, the powerhouse economies of China and India both showed a downward trend.

India was four positions down on last year to 44th, suffering from weak infrastructure and a very low level of individual usage of personal computers and the internet.

China was knocked to 59th place, nine positions down, with information technology uptake in Chinese firms lagging.  source: BBC

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Accenture (Quote) demonstrated how technologies currently available on the market can be stitched together to improve the quality of health care while driving down costs. Peter Glaser, an executive with Accenture’s technology labs, showed how commonly used biometric devices like blood-pressure cuffs, heart-rate monitors, and weight scales can gather patient information and send data wirelessly on a continuous basis to a remote analytic engine that aggregates, filters, extracts and displays high-level trends about the patient’s current condition.

The trends can be monitored by nurses or other remote practitioners whenever alerts show that the patient’s personalized thresholds have been exceeded.

The personalization is important because different people have different thresholds. If trends indicate than a particular patient may be headed towards trouble, the center can contact a physician or specialist via VoiP (define) or webcast and deliver current trends as well as any relevant history the caregiver needs.

Doctors can review the information and decide whether follow-up care is needed, if a prescription needs adjusting or whether the trends are not alarming. The keys here are that caregivers can be alerted to potential problems more quickly and can react more quickly — which reduces expenses.

Continuous monitoring and virtual care “is a model that is inherently more efficient than the episodic model,” Glaser told internetnews.com.

Glaser said that Accenture is working to “integrate multiple emerging technologies and to propose new used that the original technology makers may have never even thought of.”

The global consulting and integrated services vendor is also trying to encourage industry and government to settle on standards so that networks such as the one Glaser demonstrated can connect across the country and, eventually, around the world.

Currently, the information contained in his home network in Chicago would be unavailable to doctors if he got sick here in New York, he said. But an increasing number of hospitals and other medical providers are using standards-based technology. “I’m more optimistic than I’ve been in the past” about the creation of interconnected networks,” he said.

Those hopes got a significant boost today during hearings held by the subcommittee on regulations, health care and trade of the House Committee on Small Business.

Testifying at the hearing, Roger Cochetti, group director of U.S. public policy for the Computing Technology Industry Association, urged Congress to adopt incentives “that would aid and assist small health care providers to purchase, install and maintain hardware and software,” including tax incentives and accelerated deduction of health IT costs.

“Without added incentives, we fear that the costs of acquiring and operating [health care IT] systems would prevent many small practitioners from participating in this important and vital advancement for health care in the United States,” he said in his prepared remarks.

The prospects for these tax and accounting incentives are good, given that this is one issue on which the Democratic-controlled Congress and the Republican-held White House agree. Heath and Human Services secretary Mike Leavitt has been crisscrossing the country giving stump speeches to business leaders to garner support for increased use of IT in the country’s health care system.
Source:

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Accenture (Quote) demonstrated how technologies currently available on the market can be stitched together to improve the quality of health care while driving down costs. Peter Glaser, an executive with Accenture’s technology labs, showed how commonly used biometric devices like blood-pressure cuffs, heart-rate monitors, and weight scales can gather patient information and send data wirelessly on a continuous basis to a remote analytic engine that aggregates, filters, extracts and displays high-level trends about the patient’s current condition.

The trends can be monitored by nurses or other remote practitioners whenever alerts show that the patient’s personalized thresholds have been exceeded.

The personalization is important because different people have different thresholds. If trends indicate than a particular patient may be headed towards trouble, the center can contact a physician or specialist via VoiP (define) or webcast and deliver current trends as well as any relevant history the caregiver needs.

Doctors can review the information and decide whether follow-up care is needed, if a prescription needs adjusting or whether the trends are not alarming. The keys here are that caregivers can be alerted to potential problems more quickly and can react more quickly — which reduces expenses.

Continuous monitoring and virtual care “is a model that is inherently more efficient than the episodic model,” Glaser told internetnews.com.

Glaser said that Accenture is working to “integrate multiple emerging technologies and to propose new used that the original technology makers may have never even thought of.”

The global consulting and integrated services vendor is also trying to encourage industry and government to settle on standards so that networks such as the one Glaser demonstrated can connect across the country and, eventually, around the world.

Currently, the information contained in his home network in Chicago would be unavailable to doctors if he got sick here in New York, he said. But an increasing number of hospitals and other medical providers are using standards-based technology. “I’m more optimistic than I’ve been in the past” about the creation of interconnected networks,” he said.

Those hopes got a significant boost today during hearings held by the subcommittee on regulations, health care and trade of the House Committee on Small Business.

Testifying at the hearing, Roger Cochetti, group director of U.S. public policy for the Computing Technology Industry Association, urged Congress to adopt incentives “that would aid and assist small health care providers to purchase, install and maintain hardware and software,” including tax incentives and accelerated deduction of health IT costs.

“Without added incentives, we fear that the costs of acquiring and operating [health care IT] systems would prevent many small practitioners from participating in this important and vital advancement for health care in the United States,” he said in his prepared remarks.

The prospects for these tax and accounting incentives are good, given that this is one issue on which the Democratic-controlled Congress and the Republican-held White House agree. Heath and Human Services secretary Mike Leavitt has been crisscrossing the country giving stump speeches to business leaders to garner support for increased use of IT in the country’s health care system.
Source: internetnews 

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he Federal Communications Commission is expected to release findings this summer on whether a new device can deliver high-speed Internet service over unused airwaves without disrupting television programming.

Scott Blake Harris, the attorney for a coalition of technology companies that developed the device, said Tuesday the FCC is expected to issue its test results by July.

He said the regulatory agency could then adopt final rules by October.

The FCC did not confirm the timetable.

The coalition, which includes Microsoft Corp., Google Inc., Dell Inc. and others, wants the agency to open up unlicensed and unused TV spectrum, also known as “white spaces,” for broadband Internet service.

However, TV broadcasters are unconvinced the device will work and said if the new technology is approved it could also cause problems with their federally mandated transition from analog to digital signals in early 2009.

If the device passes muster and rules are adopted for spectrum usage, Harris said the agency could start certifying similar devices in December. That means manufacturers of the devices must show their technology conforms to the agency’s rule.

However, such devices would not go on sale until February 2009, he added.

The coalition, which submitted the prototype about two weeks ago, said using the white spaces would spur technological innovation and help provide affordable broadband service to millions of Americans, especially in rural communities.

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The support for a blogger hounded by death threats has intensified with some high profile web experts calling for a code of conduct in the blogosphere. The female blogger at the centre of the row has been shocked to discover that hers is not an isolated incident.

It has led her and others to question some of the unwritten rules of blogging.

It could force a re-examination of the way the tight-knit blogging community behaves.

Among those calling for a bloggers’ code of conduct is Tim O’Reilly – one of the web’s most influential thinkers.

He told BBC Radio Five Live that it could be time to formalise blogging behaviour.

“I do think we need some code of conduct around what is acceptable behaviour, I would hope that it doesn’t come through any kind of [legal/government] regulation it would come through self-regulation.”

While condemning the bloggers who issued the threats, Mr O’Reilly was keen that the whole blogosphere should not be tarred with the same brush.

“The fact that there’s all these really messed-up people on the internet is not a statement about the internet. It is a statement about those people and what they do and we need to basically say that you guys are doing something unacceptable and not generalise it into a comment about this is what’s happening to the blogosphere.”

Source: BBC 

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