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Tech-Related Articles
(April 2001)

Visualizing the Web (Technology Review, April 30th)
One of the biggest challenges online has been designing a system that serves to organize and retrieve data from the many billions of web documents. While the text-based directories and search engines have been somewhat successful in reaching this goal, a new technology outfit, WebMap, hopes to present more relevant results by presenting a visual representation of content according to its relevancy and popularity, in order to assist surfers in more efficiently navigating online.

Brazil Gives 'PC-Less' Alternative Net Access (Excite News, April 30th)
With a population of 170 million, Brazil is an internet powerhouse waiting to happen. Until now, though, the relatively high barriers to entry has kept most of its people from exploring what the net has to offer. Recent moves made by the government and several technology providers, though, hopes to narrow the digital divide by providing net access to those for whom a PC remains an excessive expense.

Internet Pioneer Helps the Net Stretch to Mars (PC World, April 26th)
Paraphrasing the most significant notes made by Vint Cerf, the figure best known for developing the IP system upon which a range of interactive network infrastructure has been built, during his recent keynote address at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, this article highlights Cerf's near-future vision for an interplanetary-internet.

The New 'Face' of Email (FOXNews.com, April 25th)
A new service dubbed Facemail allows internet users to have their email read by virtual avatars. These 3-D models even act out emoticons, in an attempt to reflect the sentiment of the message. Future applications for the technology include the creation of corporate 'tour guides' for web sites, as well as personalised models whose voice and appearance mimics those of the sender.

EU Task Force Examines Upgrade of Internet (Excite News, April 24th)
The present internet system build, known as IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) is already running at about 60-70% capacity, and has been expected to run out of addressing space by 2005. What's more, the present system is not well equipped to deal with the always-on demands of 3G mobile devices, and is filled with security holes. In response to this, an EU task force is making efforts to effectively upgrade the internet to the new, more powerful IPv6 system.

Xybernaut Ships Wearable Computers to Navy (eMarketer, April 20th)
In one of the largest practical applications of weable computers thus far, the US Navy and National Guard will equip many of their repair crew with systems from Xybernaut that provide hands-free access to reference materials and communication tools.

Global Internet Usage Has Come a Long Way (eMarketer, April 20th)
This brief report summarizes the growth of internet usage and penetration worldwide.

Smart Cars Net Wireless Users (Wired News, April 19th)
Americans love their cars, and spend more time seated in motor vehicles than the reesidents of any other nation. As such, mobile device makers and service providers see a big future in the delivery of voice-activated services to drivers.

Japanese Makers Hope to Export Web-Ready Cell Phones Worldwide (MSNBC, April 19th)
The Japanese wireless market is far advanced of the rest of the world. The inevitable result of this is that Japanese phone makers have started launching marketing campaigns directly at Americans, and others, in order to make their mark in those nations. This has created competition both between manufacturers and wireless network protocols. Some details about one such network, GPRS (which is said to be the last stepping stone towards the much-touted 3G), can be found within this Excite News article.

A Broadband World? Not in Next 5 Years, Study Says (Newsbytes, April 18th)
A study by Cahners In-Stat looking at the pervasiveness of broadband connection suggests that the online world will be a dial-up paradise for some time now.

Wearable Computers: A Different Kind of Fashion Statement (USA Today, April 17th)
Everyone from IBM to MIT, through to sci-fi authors has long been promoting the future of wearable computers. Whether designed to augment reality, or to provide on-hand sources of reference and leisure material, wearables are close to becoming a reality for workers and consumers the world over, but does our fashion sense permit the use of the industry's bulky early models?

Net Access: Socket To Me (Wired News, April 17th)
While cable, DSL, laser and satellite proponents battle each other for market dominance, a relatively new method of data and voice transmission may become more ubiquitous, and speedy, than their more expensive counterparts. Power line communications see your power sockets transformed into communication outlets. This article notes that despite its promise, power line technology may never reach its ful potential, or even get off the ground in some countries, due to hefty equipment and R&D expenses.

Web Awaits Japanese PS2 Owners (CNET News.com, April 13th)
One of the biggest promises of this generation of gaming consoles is their net connectivity, but few been able to tyake advantage of the promise until now. Japanese PS2 users may now use their console to surf the Web, download files and combat online using a new browser produced by PlanetWeb.

Minitel - The Beta Internet Breaks Out (The Standard, April 10th)
Most of us would never have heard of this 20-year-old data network existing in France, but Minitel has more registered users than the Internet in that country. It also boasts a profitable revenue model whereby users pay according to the amount of time they spend on each site, rather than viewing advertising. Read more about this technology in this Wired News article.

3D Web Surfing Gets a CPU Boost (CNET News.com, April 10th)
One of the biggest failures of 3D technology over the web has, thus far, been due to its reliance on bandwidth, with broadband users traditionally being the only audience to such technology. The release of Macromedia's Director Shockwave 8.5 is set to alter this balance, by incorporating 3D technology within its authoring software and player that utilizes a client's CPU to process and render the graphics. This allows just the set of instructions necessary for creating the animation to be delivered through the network, meaning that such animations can now reach users of 56kbps modems in real-time.

The Incidious Resistance to ASPs (internet.com, April 10th)
Despite the perceived cost savings and technology improvements of outsourcing a company's software and services through ASPs, the adoption of such systems has been far slower than expected. This article suggests many of the factors that may be contibuting to this phenomenon, and what steps are needed in order to see ASPs succeed.

Making the Internet Profitable (internet.com, April 10th)
Speaking at a COMDEX/Asia conference held in Singapore, Asia Pacific vice-president of Nortel Networks' Content Networking Business Unit, Steve Woods outlined the promise of a burgeoning market for wireless applications, devices and infrastructure within the SE Asia region.

Vendor Sees the Future in Web 3-D Modeling (deseretnews.com, April 4th)
Almost since the dawn of the Web, developers started touting the benefits of using VRML or similar languages to establish virtual malls where users can sample products with as much fidelity as possible over the Net. Boo.com's innovative shopping system was the highest-profile failure of this. Now, though, a vendor has announced that their 3D technology can apparently work efficiently over low-speed dialup connections.

Interactive TV: Changing Channels (ZDNet, April 2nd)
With set-top boxes, digital televisions and internet-ready consoles such as the XBox and PS2 ready to change TV as we know it, some companies whose focus remains on the Web environment are being forced to consider a complementary adaption of their service to iTV.

Will the "Refresh" Button Become Obsolete (CNET News.com, April 1st)
Any company backed by such tech-idols as MIT's Nicholas Negroponte and Netscape founder Marc Andreessen is bound to make waves. This one, Bang Networks, could very well change the way information is displayed through browsers. Based on a distributed network not unlike Akamai's, Bang promises to enhance the delivery of real-time data to web users.


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