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Tech-Related Articles
(March 2002)

U.S. Prepares to Invade your Hard Drive (Salon.com, March 29th)
A bill before Congress would mandate built-in copy-protection on all digital devices. But even technology experts who really want to protect intellectual property think it's a lousy idea.

Digeo, Moxi Heat Up iTV Space (internet.com, March 29th)
Further consolidating and strengthening the foundation upon which US-based iTV services will be delivered, two of the most promising players have united through a merger that promises to bring together most of the components needed to make their respective visions a reality. For more on this, and a look at the value of the transaction to both players, see this BusinessWeek Online article.

Eyeing a Chip that Brings Vision (ABC News, March 29th)
For decades, scientists and eye doctors have been trying to develop artificial eyes that would return the sense of sight to blind and visually impaired people. And the thought of the 'bionic eye' may not be too far fetched, as this article explains.

Technical Breakthrough in Solar Element Manufacturing (Nanotech Planet, March 29th)
A new nanomaterial discovered by Nanosys Inc. will reportedly facilitate the production of solar energy at costs competitive with traditional sources of electricity.

Telly Banking: Europe Leads the Way (eMarketer, March 28th)
Several top European banks are extending their services through interactive television. eMarketer's Ben Macklin compares the different attitudes of Europe and the US.

Google Experiments with Distributed Computing (GridComputingPlanet, March 27th)
Selected users will get to try out a new version of Google's Toolbar that allows them to donate spare compute cycles to Stanford University's Folding@home project, which simulates protein folding to study folding-related diseases such as Alzheimer's.

AOL Moving to Reduce Reliance on Microsoft (NewsFactor, March 27th)
AOL's decision to shift away from dependence on Microsoft's dominant web browser is just one component of the company's attempt to defy MS' growing intrusion into various markets outside of its traditional operating system/PC base.

Sun Grinds Java for Consumer Devices (internet.com, March 27th)
Still in damage control after suffering a week of predominantly bad news, Sun has bounced back via the announcement of a series of new Java Virtual Machine platform technologies targeted at a variety of portable devices.

Sun's McNealy Says Microsoft May 'Hijack' XML (EE Times, March 27th)
In yet further news to come out of Scott McNealy's keynote address to developers at the JavaOne conference Tuesday, the Sun chief exec has claimed that Microsoft may attempt to control XML - which is seen by many industry pundits as core to interoperability and development in the next decade. Mr McNealy claims that this is being done through Microsoft's creation of proprietary extensions or implementations of the Extensible Markup Language in Windows.

The internet. Volume One (BBC News, March 27th)
In an effort much like that undertaken by Alexa and the Internet Archive, the British Library is attempting to stave off the somewhat transient nature of online content by preserving and archiving websites of social and historical importance for future reference.

Sun CEO Percolates Java-ites (internet.com, March 26th)
CEO of Sun Microsystems and long-time Microsoft opponent Scott McNealy has made an empassioned address to the web and application development community in order to suggest that a battle will be reigned betweek Microsoft and no less than Mankind as a whole during the next few years - and that mankind should support Sun's Java language in order to remain free of the tyranny of a .NET world.

SMS, WAP: Mobile Users Worldwide (eMarketer, March 26th)
A.T. Kearney and the University of Cambridge reports that 23% of worldwide mobile phone users use short message service (SMS) more than once per day. In fact, 55% of those 18 and younger use SMS more than once each day.

Images May Replace Your Lousy Passwords (ZDNet, March 22nd)
Researchers at Microsoft - that's right, the company whose new focus is on security and system integrity - are working on new image-based passwords that will be easier for their owners to remember, but harder for rogue elements to crack.

M-Commerce to be $25B Market by 2006 (ITWorld.com, March 22nd)
According to a study released Thursday by Frost & Sullivan Inc., electronic commerce revenues derived through transactions originating on mobile devices will reach a solid $25 billion by 2006. This, the firm suggests, will represent 15% of the world's online commerce market. To balance this upbeat projection, M-Commerce Times has published an article that reveals the continued doubts that have set in to counter the m-commerce hype.

Mobile Users Yearning for Micropayments (CyberAtlas, March 21st)
More than 40 percent of mobile phone users would like to use their mobile phones for small cash transactions such as transit fares or vending machines, according to an A.T. Kearney study.

The Young and the Restless: Demographics of an iTV User (eMarketer, March 21st)
Ben Macklin flips channels to scan a number of surveys that break down iTV interest by race, age, gender and other factors.

Giga Predicts 'Next Big Thing(s)' (internet.com, March 20th)
Sleek PCs, voice browsing and superfast wireless are among the technologies tabbed as up-and-comers by the Cambridge, Mass., IT researcher.

DoCoMo Starts 4G Experiments (allNetDevices, March 20th)
The only company that seems to have established a grip on 3G and its potential is already looking at the horizon for the next big thing, which is has logically referred to as 4G. The 4G service is aimed at providing data access speeds of 100 Mbps for downloads and 20 Mbps for uploads, the company said in a statement, and will be capable of streaming enough data to reproduce HDTV-quality full-motion video. Meanwhile, companies within the US continue to downgrade their expectations of what 3G will be able to deliver to their users and bottom lines. For more on this, read this Seattle Times piece.

SkyGo Bets on Convergence (internet.com, March 20th)
It's not a new idea, but SkyGo is punting on the expectation that they can hit the cross-channel niche better than those who have tried and failed in their wake. The wireless ad firm has launched a service that allows marketers to connect traditional ads with mobile phone-based interactive creative. The technique works by embedding ads with special keycodes that, when entered into a cell phone or PDA device, present consumers with additional information, the ability to sign-up for marketing messages and special offers, or to make an impulse buy.

Council Developing Standards for Electronic Signatures (internet.com, March 19th)
A consortium of e-commerce and financial companies are working together to develop a voluntary standard that will serve as secure digital equivalents of hand-written signatures that may be used to seal official documents and orders over distance.

Scans and Cams for M-Commerce (M-Commerce Times, March 15th)
Input methods, according to analysts, will have a significant impact on the success or failure of mobile commerce. From digicams to wonder keypads, it seems like they're trying everything.

Operators Creating Wireless Payment Scheme (internet.com, March 14th)
Working independently from a few other industry groups that are brainstorming wireless payment systems presently, Vodafone Group Plc and T-Mobile International AG said Thursday that they had begun work on a platform that would eventually enable wireless phones to pay for a wide variety of items both in stores and via m-commerce. The companies said that they platform would provide interoperability among wireless operators. Meanwhile, another company - Brooktrout - has debuted a product at CeBIT that will facilitate micro-payments through the cell phone so as to allow consumers to buy a Pepsi or similar by reaching for their cell rather than their wallet. See this Internet.com article for more.

BT Linking Suit Dealt a Blow (Wired News, March 14th)
An initial ruling by a New York federal judge has dealt a serious blow to a British telephone company's claim that it owns the rights to hyperlinking.

Jilted by Broadband (RedHerring, March 13th)
Feeling as though that sense of tecstasy is gone? Think the heady days of technological innovation and creative application are dead and buried? Well, this article contends that as well as the drying up of the VC well and the general sluggishness of the economy, a major contributing factor to this situation is the lacklustre rate of broadband uptake. While blinded by the tech boom, it seems that many tech execs pinned their futures on the assumption that consumers would be ready and willing to sign up for broadband networks, and would abandon their dialup modems the first chance they got. Now that this has proven not to be the case, the push is on to mod-down new tech and to offer encouragement to consumers to join the evernet party. For more on this, check out this ISP Planet article which argues that small ISPs are a (or even the) crucial element in ensuring that the broadband future arrives smoothly.

The Future of Interactive Television: Report from Two Alternate Universes (ClickZ, March 13th)
This light-hearted commentary looks at the viewpoints expressed by both the techie and media camps concerning interactive TV and converging media, and finds that neither viewpoint may mesh with reality.

IM Gains More Virtual Agents (eCRMguide, March 13th)
Artificial Life, which provides intelligent agents for web sites, enters the world of instant messaging. But it already has some big competition from another Big Apple-based company.

Women Surfers Rule in the Roost but Lag in the Workplace (Newsbytes, March 13th)
A study of web usage patterns conducted by Nielsen//NetRatings has revealed that while women surfers account for 51% of the at-home net using population, men domainate the workplace in terms of net use - both as a proportion of the population, and in their increasingly aggressive surfing habits.

Interactive TV to Reach 22Mil Homes This Year - Study (Newsbytes, March 13th)
Optimistic projections out of eMarketer claim that iTV uptake will boom this year, increasing some 74% throughout this calendar year. If this comes to fruition, some 20 percent of American households will be equipped with interactive TVs by December.

Satellite Speeds Internet to the Field (FCW.com, March 12th)
A new satellite system that provides up to 2 megabit/sec data rates and offers true broadband Internet service in remote locations is expected to be formally introduced this month and has already been used by firefighters in rural California.

Cable Internet Subscribers Up, FCC to Label Service (Reuters, March 12th)
The number of subscribers to high-speed Internet service via cable rose more than 12 percent to 7.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2001, a trade group said on Monday, days before federal regulators begin shaping the framework for what rules apply to the service.

Mozilla's Revenge. (ZDNet, March 11th)
Wishing that the browser wars were well-and-truly over? Well, it may very well be that the M$ competitors were just taking a few years off to regroup if the latest effort by open-source biggie Mozilla are anything to go by. As the long-delayed browser nears the version 1.0 finish line, it may give AOL a new weapon against Microsoft (hopefully without leaving web designers with unnecessary compatibility headaches). Meanwhile, in the wireless world, both Palm and Handspring have released new web browsers for their respective portable devices, and are selling these at $20 a pop on the premise that they promide features superior to those offered by established players. (Palm, incidentally, recently purchased the assets of failed BeOS, which suggests a growing interest in the operating system market). See this allNetDevices article for more. For additional info on where Netscape stands now - having recently filed a civil suit against MS - check out this Salon.com commentary.

Think DSL's Fast? Watch VDSL (ZDNet, March 11th)
The next generation of broadband came closer last week when Californian chip company Ikanos demonstrated Ethernet at 50 megabits per second (mbps) download speeds over a kilometer of copper wire.

High-Speed Connections Promise Lifestyle Improvements...But When? (SF Gate, March 10th)
Always-on broadband technologies have long been touted as a key to not only enhanced entertainment experiences, but to an increasingly convenient lifestyle. But when - if at all - will these promises come to fruition?

Who Are You? Who..Who? Who...Who? (internet.com, March 7th)
At a time when proving you are who you say you are has perhaps reached its zenith in importance, XML interoperability group OASIS Thursday said it has put together a new technical committee to focus on biometrics.

The Next Web (BusinessWeek Online, March 4th)
This feature article begins by tempting the reader with a brief conceptual look at Tim Berners-Lee's latest obsession - a design for a web that recognizes semantic context - before progressing through to a concise biography of the tech legend's life and works.


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