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


segunda-feira, outubro 31, 2005

Those little ads...

Those little ads - 12 word snippets of text, linked to topics that users are actually interested in - have turned Google into one of the biggest advertising vehicles the world has ever seen. This year, Google will sell $6.1 billion in ads, nearly double what it sold last year, according to Anthony Noto, an analyst at Goldman Sachs. That is more advertising than is sold by any newspaper chain, magazine publisher or television network. By next year, Mr. Noto said, he expects Google to have advertising revenue of $9.5 billion. That would place it fourth among American media companies in total ad sales after Viacom, the News Corporation and the Walt Disney Company, but ahead of giants including NBC Universal and Time Warner.

Google Wants to Dominate Madison Avenue, Too - New York Times

segunda-feira, outubro 24, 2005

Doom game film tops US box office

A film version of hit computer game Doom has topped the US and Canada box office, according to studio estimates.

Doom debuted with $15.4m (£8.7m), with horror remake The Fog dropping from the top slot to fourth.

Racing drama Dreamer was second with Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit in third place.

But the figures also showed Hollywood's slump continuing, as the top 12 films took $71.3m (£40.3m) down 27 per cent on the same weekend last year.
Starring wrestler The Rock, Doom sees a group of soldiers battle evil beings after being sent to investigate what went wrong on a space station.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Doom game film tops US box office

Consumerization Will Be Most Significant Trend Affecting IT During Next 10 Years

The growing practice of introducing new technologies into consumer markets prior to industrial markets will be the most significant trend affecting information technology (IT) during the next 10 years, according to Gartner, Inc. As a result, the majority of new technologies enterprises adopt for their information systems between 2007 and 2012 will have roots in consumer applications. "Consumer IT will affect every enterprise" said David Mitchell Smith, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

The large scale, high-volume unit production, and potential profit opportunities available to leaders in consumer markets have convinced many leading IT vendors to focus more resources and innovation on consumer products and services during IT industry's slow recovery from the dot-com collapse. As technology providers increasingly design products for consumers, enterprise IT managers have to learn how to manage these products as employees bring them into varieties of workflows and processes. Gartner analysts discussed the consumerization of IT at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, in Florida this week.

Consumerization Will Be Most Significant Trend Affecting IT During Next 10 Years, According to Gartner | Tekrati Research News

domingo, outubro 23, 2005

EU falls behind in research

The increase in corporate R&D investment for 2004-05 was 2 per cent in Europe but 7 per cent in the US and Asia, according to the International R&D Scoreboard.

South Korea had the most spectacular annual growth in R&D investment - 40 per cent - led by Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor and LG Electronics. The increase for Japan was a more modest 4 per cent.

Europe's failure to keep pace with its competitors in "a race to the top" will be a key theme of this Thursday's EU summit at Hampton Court, near London.

Tony Blair, the British prime minister and host of the summit, wants to "get Europe back on track in the direction of modernisation". Only five years ago the EU committed itself to becoming the world's leading knowledge economy by 2010.

A priority of the British presidency of the EU is to refocus the Union's €100bn-a-year budget towards R&D and away from traditional support for farming and struggling regions.

FT.com / World - EU falls behind in research

A recently foiled botnet operation has turned out to be 15 times larger that police initially thought

A recently foiled botnet operation has turned out to be 15 times larger that police initially thought.

On further investigation, authorities found that the operation had put about 1.5 million computers and servers under its control. The crime ring was thought to have created a botnet of 100,000 systems, which they claimed was the largest ever detected.

A botnet is a collection of computers infected with a computer worm which puts the system under the worm creator's control without the owner's knowledge.

Botnets are commonly used to host illegal web content such as child pornography, to send out spam or to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

Dutch police earlier this month made three arrests in the case. They have now extended the pre-trial imprisonment of two of the suspects, the 19 year-old prime suspect and a 22 year-old accomplice.

CIO Today - Worldwide Technology - Massive Botnet Controlled 1.5M PCs

domingo, outubro 16, 2005

Video Game World Gives Peace a Chance

Internet-based computer games, in which players create characters in a virtual world and interact to solve problems or win battles, are branching out from fantasy into serious social issues. Academics recognize their power as a new form of mass entertainment, and activists hope to tap into their enormous worldwide popularity to reach a new generation used to interacting through computers.

"It's been kind of a surprise for us. It just took off," said Jennifer Parmelee, a spokeswoman for the U.N.'s food program.

So popular was the U.N.'s game, titled Food Force, Yahoo had to step in as a Web host for the game when swarms of Internet users converged on http://www.food-force.com/ and accidentally knocked it off-line. The game, which Parmelee said was initially regarded with skepticism within the U.N., has been downloaded 2 million times since its launch.

Video Game World Gives Peace a Chance

Cell phones provide African solutions to African problems

The numbers are staggering.

Cell phones made up 74.6 percent of all African phone subscriptions last year, says the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union. Cell phone subscriptions jumped 67 percent south of the Sahara in 2004, compared with 10 percent in cell-phone-saturated Western Europe, according to Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese who chairs Celtel, a leading African provider.

An industry that barely existed 10 years ago is now worth $25 billion, he says. Prepaid air minutes are the preferred means of usage and have created their own $2 billion-a-year industry of small-time vendors, the Celtel chief says. Air minutes have even become a form of currency, transactable from phone to phone by text message, he says.

This is particularly useful in Africa, where transferring small amounts of money through banks is costly.

"We are developing unique ways to use the phone, which has not been done anywhere else," says South African Michael Joseph, chief executive officer of Safaricom, one of two service providers in Kenya. For an impoverished continent, low-cost phones make "a perfect fit."

And cash-strapped governments which have had to give up their monopoly on land lines are looking to reap huge revenues from license fees, customs duties and taxes on calls.

"We all misread the market," Joseph said.

The mistake, providers say, was to make plans based on
GDP figures, which ignore the strong informal economy, and to assume that because land line use was low, little demand for phones existed.

The real reason for weak demand was that land lines were expensive, subscribers had to wait for months to get hooked up, and the lines often went down because of poor maintenance, floods and theft of copper cables.

Cell phones slice through all those obstacles and provide African solutions to African problems.

Cell Phone Use Changes Life in Africa - Yahoo! News

quarta-feira, outubro 12, 2005

Back to the future

The US and Europe are still the major sources of scientific papers but, according to a recent survey by Thomson ISI, the research analysts, Asia’s share rose from 16 per cent in 1990 to 25 per cent in 2004. Another study by Amsterdam University places China second to the US in the number of papers published in top nanotechnology journals. If these trends continue, Asia will be publishing more science than the US within 10 to 15 years.

Yet such numbers fail to convey the full significance of the changes under way in Asian science. China’s spending on R&D has trebled in seven years and is predicted to rise from 1.2 per cent of gross domestic product to 2 per cent by 2010. India now pumps out 260,000 engineers a year and its number of engineering colleges is due to double to 1,000 by 2010. Quantity does not necessarily equal quality, but the Indian Institutes of Technology are ranked among the world’s best universities.

In parallel with this strengthening of the science base, China and India are benefiting from a move towards “offshore innovation”. The first wave of offshoring saw manufacturing shift gradually to the low-wage economies of the east. A second wave saw thousands of back office and call centre jobs being created in India. Now, R&D is increasingly being outsourced or co-located overseas and dozens of hi-tech firms have opened labs in China or India. According to Harry Shum, who runs Microsoft’s research centre in Beijing: “For us, it’s always been about finding the best people. China has 1.3bn brains. The question is how you make them truly creative, truly innovative. This is the key to China becoming a real superpower in science.”

There is a tendency among politicians to see these growing scientific capabilities as a threat – a manifestation of what some have dubbed the “challenge of Chindia”. But retreating into a scientific version of protectionism is not an option. More innovation in Asia does not mean less in Europe. Alongside new sources of competition, there will also be new opportunities for collaboration: the global effort to unravel the genetic code of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) virus is an example. We need to develop better mechanisms for orchestrating R&D across international networks and supporting scientists in Europe to collaborate with their counterparts in Asia.

Above all, our response must be based on a more sophisticated analysis of shifts in the geography of science. Politicians have concocted “Chindia” seemingly regardless of these countries’ many differences. And the legacy of our colonial mindset makes us surprised by what is happening.

Yet when Europe was in the grip of the dark ages, Koreans were experimenting with metallic printing presses, Indians had developed sophisticated mathematics and the Chinese were using gunpowder. So, in some respects, it is back to the future: the original scientific powers are reawakening.

FT.com / Comment & analysis / Comment - Do not fear the rise of world-class science in Asia

Study Says Software Makers Supply Tools to Censor Web

Myanmar now joins several nations, including China, Iran and Singapore, in relying on Western software and hardware to accomplish their goals, Mr. Deibert said.

Microsoft, Cisco and Yahoo, for example, have all come under fire recently for providing technology or otherwise cooperating with the Chinese government to enable it to monitor and censor Internet use.
"There's a cat-and-mouse game going on between states that seek to control the information environment and citizens who seek to speak freely online," said John Palfrey, the director of Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society and a researcher with the OpenNet Initiative. "Filtering technologies, and the way that they are implemented, are becoming more sophisticated."

Not surprisingly, repressive governments have been eager buyers of those technologies.
"It's related to the problems that Yahoo and Microsoft and others are facing in China," Mr. Palfrey said, "but here the issue is that these technology security companies are directly profiting from the censorship regime itself."

Study Says Software Makers Supply Tools to Censor Web - New York Times

sexta-feira, outubro 07, 2005

Graduate shortage ‘may hinder Chinese economy’

A shortage of well-trained graduates could hinder the growth of the Chinese economy and prevent it from developing more sophisticated industries, according to a report by consultants McKinsey.

A lack of practical skills and poor English-speaking levels will make it hard for China to develop service-based industries such as the sort of information technology outsourcing that India has specialised in over the past decade, it says.

The study underlines the difficulties China faces in trying to shift from an economy dominated by manufacturing into services and research-based industries, despite the large number of new graduates that the country is producing. McKinsey also predicts that multinationals will have an increasingly hard time recruiting high-quality staff in China at a time when growing numbers of foreign companies are expanding their operations there.

“It is a paradox of shortage among plenty,” said Andrew Grant, director in McKinsey's Shanghai office and one of the report's authors. “Few of China's vast numbers of graduates are capable of working successfully in the services-export sector.”

The report is based on interviews with 83 human resources executives who concluded that fewer than 10 per cent of graduates in China had the skills to work for a foreign company, compared with 25 per cent of graduates in India. China will produce 3.1m university graduates this year compared with 1.3m in the US.

FT.com / World / Asia-Pacific - Graduate shortage ‘may hinder Chinese economy’

quinta-feira, outubro 06, 2005

Gartner Heralds Second Internet Revolution

Advances in broadband Latest News about Broadband penetration, and the increasing trend of using the Web to deliver applications, will help pave the way for a "second internet revolution," industry experts predicted today.

Analyst firm Gartner stated that a number of factors are acting as a catalyst for a second internet revolution.

These include concepts such as "Web 2.0," a term applied to a perceived transition of the web from a collection of sites to a computing Latest News about computing platform serving applications to end users; the emergence of Internet "platforms" from firms such as Google Latest News about Google, eBay Latest News about eBay and Salesforce.com Latest News about Salesforce.com; and near ubiquitous internet access.

This process will ultimately see enterprises embedding internet and derivative components into their core business systems, according to the analyst.

CIO Today - Worldwide Technology - Gartner Heralds Second Internet Revolution

Clone-Generated Milk, Meat May Be Approved

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to rule soon that milk from cloned animals and meat from their offspring are safe to eat, raising the question of whether Americans are ready to welcome one of modern biology's most controversial achievements to the dinner table.

Hundreds of cloned pigs, cows and other animals are already living on farms around the country, as companies and livestock producers experiment and await a decision from the FDA.

The agricultural industry has observed a voluntary FDA moratorium on using the products of clones, but it has recently become clear that a few offspring of cloned pigs and cows are already trickling into the food supply. Many in agriculture believe such genetic copies are the next logical step in improving the nation's livestock.

Consumer groups counter that many Americans are likely to be revolted by the idea of serving clone milk to their children or tossing meat from the progeny of clones onto the backyard grill. This "yuck factor," as it's often called, has come to light repeatedly in public opinion surveys. Asked earlier this year in a poll by the International Food Information Council whether they would willingly buy meat, milk and eggs that come from clones if the FDA declared them to be safe, 63 percent of consumers said no.

Yet mounting scientific evidence suggests there is little cause for alarm, at least on food-safety grounds. Studies have shown that meat and milk from clones can't be distinguished from that of normal animals, although work is not complete and researchers say that clones do suffer subtle genetic abnormalities.
So far, only scattered opposition has emerged to farm cloning. Animal-welfare groups have come out against it, saying it poses unnecessary risks to farm animals. The FDA has made clear it won't require labels on clone products, which may leave meat-eaters who want to avoid them little practical way to do so.

Some consumer groups have also balked, contending that Americans just aren't ready. "When the immediate reaction is 'yuck,' boy, you better watch out putting that in the food supply," said Carol Tucker Foreman, director of food policy at the Consumer Federation of America, in Washington.

Among those watching warily as the FDA announces a policy will be the huge conglomerates that buy agricultural products and turn them into groceries.

One group, the International Dairy Foods Association, has voiced skepticism, partly from worry that overseas markets will reject American products. But the biggest American food companies haven't weighed in publicly. The companies might have sufficient power in the marketplace to kill agricultural cloning, if they chose, by imposing ground rules on farmers and slaughterhouses.

The companies will take their cues from the public's reaction to cloned food, said Mark Nelson, vice president of scientific and regulatory policy at the Grocery Manufacturers of America, in Washington.

"We support the science," he said. "But our members are in the business of selling food to the public. If the public doesn't want to eat Velveeta made from cloned milk, it ain't gonna happen."

Clone-Generated Milk, Meat May Be Approved

quarta-feira, outubro 05, 2005

Atlas of Ideas - China, India and the new geography of science


Across the world of science, the boundaries are being redrawn. A new political emphasis is being placed on science and innovation by countries such as China, India, and South Korea. At the same time, a gradual process of ‘offshore innovation’ is underway, as higher-value R&D begins to flow overseas. Confronted by these trends, Britain has a choice. It can either retreat into a scientific version of protectionism. Or it can embrace the new opportunities for networking and collaboration that such transformations create. "

Demos - Projects - Atlas of Ideas

The digital music market has more than tripled in a year


The digital music market has more than tripled in a year, and that has helped offset a continuing decline in sales of CDs and other physical formats.

Spurred by the iPod revolution, digital music sales totaled $790 million in the first half of this year, equivalent to 6 percent of industry sales, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry estimated in a report Monday.

That compared to $220 million in the same period last year.

Recorded music sales fell 1.9 percent to a retail value of $13.2 billion in the first half of this year, compared with $13.4 billion in the same period last year.

The digital music sales figure in the IFPI report was based on record company estimates. It includes purchases of individual tracks online, music subscription service fees, and sales of full-length tracks and clips of master recordings for mobile phones. The tripling in digital music sales 'indicates more consumers are turning to the Internet as a source of music and wireless music services as a source of music as well,' said Susan Kevorkian, a research analyst with IDC.

The digital boom, which now exceeds the value of the global singles market, was largely driven by sales in the top five markets--the United States, Britain, Japan, Germany, and France, IFPI said in Monday's report. Sales of physical formats fell 6.3 percent by value in the period to $12.4 billion, it said.

That partly reflected pressure on prices: CD sales were down 6.7 percent in value but only by 3.4 percent in unit volume. DVD music video sales fell 3.1 percent in value and 1.6 percent in units."
InformationWeek > Digital Music > Digital Music Accounts For Growing Piece Of Global Market > October 4, 2005: "

terça-feira, outubro 04, 2005

If IPTV turns out to be only network TV with IP distribution, the game is already over

If IPTV turns out to be only network TV with IP distribution, the game is already over. It will belong to the traditional content providers, cable and telecom companies, and Microsoft. But many Internet companies and Internet users have their own ideas about IPTV.

The Internet is a participatory culture and users are not just viewers, but content producers. Blogs, photo sharing services, and podcasts have demonstrated that proclivity with regard to text, still images, and audio files. The same thing is happening with videos, despite the fact that producing polished video is significantly harder than penning a pithy blog posting.

The increasing popularity of video blogs, or "vlogs," such as RocketBoom.com, online video-aggregation sites like the Open Media Network (http://www.omn.org/), personal-content server software like Broadcast Machine (http://participatoryculture.org/broadcast/), and—if the rumors prove true—the eventual delivery of a video-capable iPod, together foretell a future full of video content.

To some extent it's already happening. Alta Vista, blinkx, Google, MSN, and Yahoo all offer video search because there's enough content to require a search engine. And some search engines are aiming to keep tabs on new video as it gets created.

InformationWeek > IPTV > Blinkx TV Gets Personal > October 3, 2005