Tendências emergentes, factos e dados reveladores da evolução dos media, cultura, economia e sociedade. Impacto social, económico e cultural da tecnologia.


domingo, novembro 28, 2004

Rápida massificação do "phishing"

Phishing (embuste): situações nas quais a verdadeira origem de uma mensagem de correio electrónico não corresponde à que consta no campo “from” ou “De”.

"Online phishing schemes more than doubled last month, leaving financial institutions struggling to rebuff attempts to steal private account information from customers, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group.
Last month, 1,142 sites were used for phishing, up 110% from the 543 sites reported in September, according to the report issued this week by the consortium of law enforcement, financial institutions and IT security firms that tracks the online attacks.
Almost 6,600 different phishing messages were reported to the group in October.
Phishing occurs when con merchants send fraudulent e-mails to customers to lure them to websites that appear to be the home page of a well-known financial institution. The e-mails instruct the customer to leave account information on the site, which the scammers then use for identity theft.
The financial services industry has taken the biggest hit. Last year phishing scams cost banks and credit-card companies $10.2bn (£5.4bn), according to a recent Gartner report."

Computer Weekly

The "act-on-fact" business model.

Brian Zrimsek, Gartner research vice-president for ERP and supply chain:

Act-on-fact refers to when an enterprise in a supply chain is literally "able to execute an order the moment it comes in" rather than in minutes, hours or days, according to Zrimsek.
Zrimsek said suppliers should watch supply chain and sensory technology developments carefully because heavyweights like Wal-Mart were ultimately seeking to redefine supplier relationships so they themselves held no inventory - just goods on consignment.
"The question is whether you can tag stuff at an individual stock-keeping unit level so merchandise is held on consignment, and you pay the supplier when you sell the product rather than purchasing the product from the supplier. The question is whether you can free up in the case of Wal-Mart the $20bn (£11bn) or so of capital for inventory and put that into something else. This is the end game for Wal-Mart."
Zrimsek said IT managers should immediately start trialling RFID and other sensory technologies as tactical point solutions, but ultimately be prepared for the uncertainty of the act-on-fact business model.

Computer Weekly

Enorme e prolongada falha informática lança o caos na Segurança Social Inglesa...

The DWP admitted 80,000 staff were not able to process new pensions and benefits claims for several days, but regular payments were unaffected.
It said it would have received 60,000 new claims during that time.
DWP computer specialists have launched an investigation into the massive IT failure which took out a third of their computer network.
BBC political correspondent James Hardy said on Friday: "After nearly five days of chaos and round the clock repairs, the system was finally given the all clear this afternoon."
About 80% of the DWP's network crashed on Monday and technical experts from Microsoft and the computer firm EDS have been working around the clock to find the fault.
Meanwhile staff were forced to communicate by fax because the e-mail system broke down.
In a written parliamentary statement, the DWP said that in 2003/2004 it spent £412.5m on external management and technical support, including consultants, advisers, accounts and lawyers.
The breakdown was £306.7m on management and IT consultancy, £51.5m on staff substitutions and contractors and £54.3m on professional services.
A DWP spokesman said the increased use of outside consultants and advisers was required to implement "major modernisation programmes as planned".
The DWP's modernisation programme was one of the largest of its kind in Europe, he added.

Como mostrar dados

Tecnologia ao nosso serviço ?

sábado, novembro 27, 2004

Families row over home PC access

The humble home computer is becoming so much part of family life it is causing arguments over who gets to use it, according to a Mori survey.
Families see it as a crucial way to stay in touch, but 90% of them bicker over who gets to use it and when.

Portugueses vêem mais TV

Analisando as diferenças em relação a 2003, vemos como todos os targets registaram aumento de consumo de televisão em 2004.

em 2004 a média é de quase mais dez minutos por dia do que em 2003.


The Fight For Falluja...

Todos os dias na Internet é possível ver (num certo sentido) boa reportagem internacional no programa "Newsnight" da BBC.

um exemplo

THE FIGHT FOR FALLUJA When US and Iraqi forces kicked off a massive assault on Falluja two weeks ago the BBC's Paul Wood was with them. He provides us with his own inside account of what happened during the attack.

Marketing bem feito de produtos culturais derivados de um conceito mediático (ou algo mais ?): "Metro vs Retro América"

"The Great Divide: Retro vs. Metro America, by John SperlingThis groundbreaking book explains why our nation is so bitterly divided into what the authors call Retro and Metro America. With hundreds of informative full-color maps, charts, and graphs, dramatic editorial and historical photography, incisive political cartoons and illustrations, this book acts as a blueprint for the reform of the Democratic party. "

from the book web site

"The more valuable half is the interior, effectively a detailed appendix to the barging introductory chapters. Indeed, its discussion of the disconnect between wage growth (or the lack of it) and productivity growth, to choose just one example, ought to be read by all management theorists, Wall Street gurus and CNBC pundits before their next pronouncements on the magic powers of the unfettered free market to enrich us all. Unfortunately, the insides don't seem to have been read by the authors of the book's bluster-packed opening section. Here the goal is to blend together two of the worst big ideas of recent years -- the new economy fantasy of the 1990's and the red/blue thesis of the last few years -- into a universal narrative that can simultaneously direct the electoral strategy of the Democratic Party and inform future scholarship. The essential cleavage in American life, the authors argue, is not between left and right or business class and working class; instead, it is a regional matter, a cultural divide between the states, polarized and unbridgeable. One America, to judge from the book's illustrations, works with lovable robots and lives in ''vibrant'' cities with ballet troupes, super-creative Frank Gehry buildings and quiet, tasteful religious ritual; the other relies on contemptible extraction industries (oil, gas and coal) and inhabits a world of white supremacy and monster truck shows and religious ceremonies in which beefy men in cheap clothes scream incomprehensibly at one another.
A stereotype, to be sure, but a stereotype that we must not underestimate; versions of it have been floating around in the new economy and New Democrat literature for years; and for a large number of centrist Democratic thinkers, this may be the real deal, a Rosetta stone to decipher and to win over America. ''The Great Divide'' furnishes them with demographic, poll-based vindication for the strategy they have been pursuing all along: forget the focus on class conflict that defined the party in the old days, and rebrand the Democrats as the voice of enlightened industry versus dirty industry; of sensitive, artistic billionaires versus loathsome, racist billionaires. "

Thomas Frank, no NYT

sexta-feira, novembro 26, 2004

A moral majority ?

Now, it seems, the conservative rural red-neck Calvinist vote has captured America. A plurality of voters, emerging from poll booths, said that the most important issue in the campaign had been “moral values”. It was not, it seemed, Iraq or the economy. And eight out of ten of these moralists voted for George Bush.
Hang on a moment. It is perfectly true that one of America's most overtly religious presidents of recent times has been re-elected with an increased majority. It is also true that 13 states this year passed state referendums banning gay marriage—in most cases by larger majorities than Mr Bush managed—and that a plurality of American voters put “moral values” at the top of their list of concerns.
But they hardly formed a moral majority. Look at the figures: the moralists' share of the electorate was only 22%, just two points more than the share of those who cited the economy, and three points more than those who nominated terrorism as the top priority. A few points difference (and the exit polls are, after all, not entirely reliable) and everyone would have been saying the election was about jobs or Iraq.
Moreover, that 22% share is much lower than it was in the two previous presidential elections, in 2000 and 1996. Then, 35% and 40%, respectively, put moral or ethical issues top, and a further 14% and 9% put abortion first, an option that was not given in 2004. Thus, in those two elections, about half the electorate said they voted on moral matters; this time, only a fifth did.
Of course, in those previous elections there was no war on terrorism, nor had there just been a recession. So one could argue that it was remarkable that even a fifth of voters were still concerned about moral matters when so many other big issues were at stake. Maybe, but all that this means is that the war on terrorism has not fundamentally altered, or made irrelevant, the cultural, moral and religious divisions that have polarised America for so long.

The Economist (requires subscription)

O Dilema Ocidental

Europeans ponder how the tolerant can best deal with the intolerant
“THE jihad has come to the Netherlands.” That was the verdict of Jozias van Aartsen, parliamentary leader of the power-sharing Liberals (VVD), after the violence following last week's murder in Amsterdam of Theo van Gogh, a film-maker, by a Muslim radical. Attacks on mosques and Muslim schools were met by retaliatory attacks on churches. A raid on a terrorist cell in The Hague turned into a street battle featuring hand grenades and wounded policemen, before two suspects were arrested.

This sorry tale raises a big issue not just in the Netherlands, but across Europe: how far should liberal societies tolerate the intolerant? For 20 years the instinct of many has been to defend the rights and cultures of growing numbers of Muslim immigrants, even radicals. Any other approach, it was feared, would pander to racists. But both multiculturalism and tolerance are now under broad attack.
After the Van Gogh murder, calls for Europe's open societies to be more aggressive towards Islamic radicals can only get louder. “Militant Islamism is only a tiny force in Europe”, wrote the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, “yet it is dangerous, because many societies on this continent have elevated their defencelessness into a virtue.” Yet the risk is that, rather than the intolerant learning tolerance, the tolerant become intolerant too.

The Economist (requires subscription)

quinta-feira, novembro 25, 2004

Indicador interessante...o interesse pela ciência é uma base indispensável do futuro...

Semana Aberta da Ciência e Tecnologia bate recorde de inscrições

A quinta edição da Semana Aberta da Ciência e Tecnologia da Universidade de Aveiro, a decorrer de 22 a 28 de Novembro, bateu o recorde de participantes com onze mil inscrições nas várias sessões de experiências, exposições, visitas guiadas, palestras, saídas de campo e espectáculos, informa a organização.
Em 2000, na primeira edição, a semana aberta registou quatro mil interessados e, em 2003, atingiu os dez mil.Aderiram à iniciativa escolas de Aveiro, Porto, Coimbra, Viseu, Leiria, Castelo Branco, Santarém, Barcelos, Proença-a-Nova, Sabugal, Cascais, Arganil, Azambuja, Fátima, Lourinhã, Alvaiázere e Lisboa.Além das escolas, a Universidade de Aveiro recebeu também 200 inscrições individuais de investigadores, estudantes universitários, docentes, enfermeiros, psicólogos e público em geral.


New browser wins over net surfers

The proportion of surfers using Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) has dropped to below 90%, say web analysts.
Net traffic monitor, OneStat.com, has reported that the open-source browser Firefox 1.0, released on 9 November, seems to be drawing users away from IE.


Satellites to keep an eye on EU's farmers...

The new weapon against mistakes and fraud in the distribution of payments worth €40bn ($52bn, £28bn) a year will be “very high resolution” observations that can distinguish features less than a metre across 10 times better than the previous generation of remote-sensing satellites.
Very high resolution satellite observations will enable the authorities to monitor whether farmers are meeting environmental obligations, such as maintaining hedges or leaving enough uncultivated land to support wildlife around field boundaries, says Simon Kay, a remote sensing specialist at the Joint Research Centre.

FT.com (requires subscription)

Como aqui chegámos, segundo Medina Carreira.


Entre 1980 e 2004 acentuou-se a divergência entre o ritmo do crescimento económico e o do aumento das despesas, nos seguintes termos: 1º). A riqueza produzida em 2004 é 80% mais elevada que a de 1980; 2º). Quanto às despesas: as totais, aumentaram 200%; as sociais, 260%; e as das pensões (SS + CGA), 520%; 3º). Os impostos subiram menos que as despesas e atingiram mais 180%. É este desajustamento, profundo e prolongado, durante um quarto de século, entre o volume da riqueza criada, o dos impostos arrecadados e o da expansão das despesas, que suscita as dificuldades orçamentais actuais e gera as maiores preocupações sobre a situação financeira do Estado Português, já a médio prazo.


Paralisada, a elite politicamente activa e responsável aguarda, sem vergonha, a sentença severamente condenatória que será proferida pelos seus filhos; confusa, ela escuta com ingenuidade os que balbuciam irrelevâncias, mesmo assim não fundamentadas objectivamente; assente na certeza de um futuro pessoal confortável, ela promove só com palavras a justiça social e age como seu principal coveiro; acriticamente e fora do tempo, ela não percebe que o passado luminoso dos “30 gloriosos” é só passado; ela rotula, levianamente, de neoliberais os que se limitam a fazer contas e a mostrar que o perigo não vem das ideias mas da incapacidade que temos para criar riqueza suficiente. Sem as reformas não venceremos o atraso que está na base da nossa debilidade. E a elite politicamente responsável não consegue antecipar os efeitos, social e politicamente arrasadores, que uma crise profunda das finanças públicas provocará, num país com 4 a 5 milhões de pensionistas e funcionários públicos, mas com uma população de 10 milhões de habitantes.

Diário Económico

O maior produtor de ópio do mundo é neste momento um "protectorado" ocidental....

New figures show Afghanistan's opium output is rising fast..

This year, 131,000 hectares of Afghanistan was sown with opium seed, a 64% increase on last year's figure. Yet the harvest, 4,200 tonnes of opium resin, was up only 17%. Western donors might like to put this down to their efforts to destroy the crop; they would be wrong. UNODC says eradication had little effect on yield. Only bad weather and crop disease prevented Afghanistan smashing its record of 4,600 tonnes of opium, produced under the Taliban in 1999. Nonetheless, over 95% of the heroin reaching Europe derives from Afghanistan.

The Economist (requires subscription)

Gay cyber-vigilantes ?

Computer monitors throughout the Italian Senate have been hit by a hack attack that has left staff unable to access e-mail and hardcore gay porn on screens throughout the building.
The computers had been infected by the Rbot Trojan, which offers up control of the computer to the hacker.
The problem was first noticed on Monday morning. Staff are also unable to access the internet or word-processing programmes.
The recent firing of the Senate's vice-president, Dario Mattiello, following revelations that he had visited a gay establishment in Rome, together with comments made by Italy's rejected candidate for EU commissioner, Rocco Butiglione, that homosexuality is a sin, have led to suggestions that the attack may have been orchestrated by gay cyber-vigilantes.


Breaking Ground With a Gay Movie Hero

As the culture wars rage anew between social conservatives and their liberal counterparts, Hollywood is preparing to break fresh ground by releasing a high-budget epic film in which the lead character - a classic, and classical, action hero - is passionately in love with a man.


In breaking with that historical reticence, "Alexander," set for release by Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Brothers studio next Wednesday, may redefine what is acceptable to mass audiences when it comes to heroic portrayals on the silver screen.

NYT (requires registration)

A "Espada de Dâmocles" do mundo actual....

Is the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency drawing to a close?

Get out while you can
The biggest risk, of course, is that lenders would lose pots of money were the dollar to fall. As the printer of the world’s reserve currency, America can pass on foreign-exchange risk to the lenders because, unlike other indebted countries, it can borrow in its own currency. Messrs Higgins and Klitgaard reckon that for Singapore, the most extreme example, a 10% appreciation against the dollar and other reserve currencies would lead to a currency capital loss of 10% of GDP. Though loading up with even more dollars might of course stop the dollar from falling for a while, it would increase the risk of still larger losses were it eventually to do so. America already needs almost $2 billion a day from abroad to finance its spending habits, and the situation deteriorates by the week because America imports more than it exports, which worsens the current-account deficit.
The incentives to flee the Asian cartel (to give it its proper name) thus increase the bigger the game becomes. Why take the risk that another central bank will leave you carrying the can? Better to get out early. Because the game is thus so unstable it will come to an end, and probably a messy one. And what will then happen to the dollar? It is hard to imagine its hegemony remaining unchallenged when so many will have lost so much. And doubly so given that America has abused the dollar’s reserve-currency role so egregiously that its finances now look more like those of a banana republic than an economic superpower.

The Economist

quarta-feira, novembro 24, 2004

A deslocalização dos centros de contacto e as falsas identidades...

Menace sur les centres d’appels

La signature par le ministre français de l’Économie d’un arrêté visant à imposer aux téléopérateurs d’indiquer le lieu où ils se trouvent suscite la crainte de voir les sociétés occidentales renoncer à délocaliser leurs plates-formes.

Amandine, domiciliée à Poitiers, en France, veut se faire rembourser le taxi qui l'a conduite à l'hôpital. Elle compose le numéro du service clients de sa mutuelle. À l'autre bout du fil, Arnaud, le téléopérateur, lui explique les démarches à entreprendre. Une opération banale, en somme. Sauf qu'Amandine ignore que son interlocuteur, qui se fait passer pour un Français, est en réalité un Tunisien, Ahmed de son vrai nom, et qu'il lui parle depuis un centre de contacts, une plate-forme gérant les communications à distance, basée près de Tunis.
Cette communication à distance est aujourd'hui monnaie courante grâce aux nouvelles technologies de l'information, incitant de nombreuses entreprises françaises à délocaliser leurs centres de contacts vers des pays francophones d'Afrique.

Jeune Afrique

Building a Brand by Not Being a Brand...

Urban hipsters — and some of their elders, too — are scooping up Mr. Charney's form-fitting T-shirts, underwear, jersey miniskirts and hooded sweatshirts, sold in white-on-white stores that double as art galleries. On the walls of the 26 American Apparels that have sprouted across the country and in Europe and Asia are snapshots of 1970's suburban proms and Christmas Eves, poster-size blowups of seedy Los Angeles storefronts, surfers, skateboarders and, not incidentally, scantily outfitted street kids vamping for the lens.
Perhaps most important to younger consumers who have grown suspicious of corporate branding, there is not a logo in sight.
A business built on the mystique of no mystique, American Apparel had sales of $80 million in 2003, which are expected to double this year, as they have in each of the last four years, Mr. Charney said. He is planning to open 14 more stores before Christmas. Fast outgrowing its status as an under-the-radar phenomenon, the chain is seen as a new model for the marketing of hip.

industry insiders are more impressed by his marketing skills, which they say are in tune with a cultural shift. "There is a highbrow stand against commercial culture right now," said Alex Wipperfürth, a partner in Plan B, a marketing firm in San Francisco. "People are sick of being walking advertisements for clothing. By stripping brands of logos and of pretense, by being more subtle in your cues, you are saying that you are more about quality than image."
The peril, he warned, is that a company may put off consumers by too insistently tooting its own horn. "When you overexplain, it kills the magic," Mr. Wipperfürth said.

NYT (requires registration)

How 21st-century-style shopping means more 19th-century-style work

Much of the prepared food sold in supermarkets is washed, chopped and bagged in pack-houses by workers supplied by specialist agencies (or gangmasters). Their business is booming. “There's much more work around now,” says Gary Norman of One Call, a medium-sized agency that places 400-600 workers in temporary jobs every day. One pack-house has just invited bids for 2.7m hours of temporary work, equivalent to over 1,000 full-time jobs. That's thanks to a combination of spoilt shoppers and snappy purchasing by supermarkets.

The Economist (requires subscription)

Real Pan-European Politics ?...

While some supporters of “ever closer union” in Europe worry about losing the support of the Catholic church, others welcome the Buttiglione battle. They say that it is high time that some real politics was introduced into the European Union. Only by arguing about values, rather than economics—so the theory goes—can EU politicians engage ordinary citizens, and convince them that the Union does more than regulate the curvature of bananas. The federalists hope the battle of Buttiglione will mark the coming-of-age of the European Parliament. The parliament, as they see it, did what parliaments are meant to do—hold the executive to account. Nor did the European Parliament divide along national lines. Rather, the division was ideological, with conservatives backing Buttiglione and the commission, and socialists, greens and most liberals coming out against. This looks like real pan-European politics, rather than simply another forum for international horse-trading. As federalists see it, elected politicians have asserted themselves against the bureaucrats; European democracy has begun, not before time, to shove aside elitist technocracy.

The Economist (requires subscription)

A telefonia móvel evolui para um negócio em que a marca capturou boa parte do potencial de diferenciação...

um exemplo de hoje:

Easy Group is just days away from clinching a deal with T-Mobile, Deutsche Telekom's mobile division, to launch a low-cost mobile arm in the UK in what would be entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou's first foray into mobile telephony.

TDC, the Danish telecoms operator, which signed a deal to use the Easy brand to market mobile services in August, had been shunned by most established mobile operators such as Orange and Vodafone, out of fears that a new Easy-branded mobile phone service could cannibalise their revenues.

FT.com (requires subscription)

terça-feira, novembro 23, 2004

São já perto de dois milhões e meio os portugueses que residem em lares onde existe ligação à internet.

São dados do estudo Consumidor 2004, da Marktest.

JFK, as "familias" e os jogos "gore"...

A coalition of religious and family groups criticized video game makers Tuesday for creating products that allegedly glorify murder and hate crimes--and slammed retailers for selling such games to minors.


A China continua a reposicionar-se e a assumir um lugar central no mundo...

In a mark of China's growing economic confidence, the country's central bank has offered blunt advice to Washington about its ballooning trade deficit and unemployment.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Li Ruogu, the deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, warned the US not to blame other countries for its economic difficulties.
“China's custom is that we never blame others for our own problem,” said the senior central bank official. “For the past 26 years, we never put pressure or problems on to the world. The US has the reverse attitude, whenever they have a problem, they blame others.”
Mr Li insisted an appreciation of the Chinese currency would not solve the US's structural problems and that although China was “gradually” moving towards greater exchange rate flexibility, it would not do so under heavy external pressure.

But it is the ability to segment as well as track consumer response via text messages that points to the future importance of mobile phone technology

“Future growth of SMS in marketing won’t just be about generating incremental responses,” he says. “It will be driven by realisation of the value of integrating SMS response data into the brand owner’s business process.”

FT.com (requires subscription)

Kazaa 3 multiplie les moyens de communication

La troisième version du logiciel de peer-to-peer améliore les fonctions de communication entre internautes et intègre le système de téléphonie sur PC Skype.



Since the beginning of 2004, the average monthly price for 512Kbps,1Mbps and 2Mbps speeds have dropped by 23 per cent, 23 per cent and 24per cent respectively, according to a report from market research firm Broad Group.

Apple's flock worships new store

Shop openings this side of the Atlantic traditionally consist of some feeble ribbon-cutting, a few pictures for the local newspaper, and maybe even a free goody bag for the first lucky customer to pass the threshold.

But in the world of Apple it was always going to be so much more.

Because judging by those queuing up for the opening of Europe's first Apple store in London on Saturday, their customers are not just buyers, they are believers.

They do not just prefer to use a Mac, they need the world to know how it has changed their life.


segunda-feira, novembro 22, 2004

As Nações Unidas procuram ganhar um papel central na governação global da Internet

CONSIDER the differences: the global telephone system is co-ordinated by a United Nations agency; countries enjoy sovereignty over phone numbers, have national regulators and license operators. But the internet is managed by a non-profit organisation that reports to America's Commerce Department; national laws are hard to enforce and even suffixes (like .es for Spain) exist in a grey area. A fight is on over whether governments should manage the internet more closely.
The battle moves to Geneva on November 23rd for the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Internet Governance. Tensions are inevitable among the 40 recently appointed delegates. Many countries are dissatisfied with the way the internet's technical standards are set, the policy for things such as domain names and valuable internet-protocol numbers (used by computers to connect online).

From "The Economist" (requires subscription)

Aproxima-se o fim do gravador de video

The death of the video cassette recorder appears to be in sight after the UK's largest electrical chain said it is to stop selling them (BBC).

Conselhos da Microsoft - A privacidade e as novas etiquetas activas de códigos de barras (RFID)

Consumo de Media na Europa - Internet ultrapassa revistas e jornais

The Power of Nightmares: Baby It's Cold Outside

Uma série de documentários recentemente emitidos pela BBC...

"Should we be worried about the threat from organised terrorism or is it simply a phantom menace being used to stop society from falling apart? .."

"A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. Those with the darkest fears became the most powerful. "

Inexplicável sucessão de enormes avarias em redes de comunicações em França..

Liberation - Après la SNCF et France Télécom, Bouygues a subi mercredi un arrêt de son système, encore inexpliqué. Une vulnérabilité alarmante...

domingo, novembro 21, 2004

Quando os jogos de vídeo deixam de ter graça...

No New YorkTimes aparecem relatos da vida dentro de uma das principais produtoras de jogos... (acesso necessita de registo)

Este Blog irá ter pouco comentário e muitas ligações...

Este Blogue nasce quase só como uma maneira de não perder de vista um conjunto de factos e ideias que considero interessantes de uma forma bastante idiossincrásica...