Internet Use/New Technologies

26 March 2008

For the young, TV's passivity is passé next to the Internet ars technica

A study conducted by Grunwald Associates on kids' use of social networks found 64 percent of people between the ages of 9 and 17 aren't just glued to the couch while the TV is on -- they're going online at the same time. In fact, the TV is what's driving them to go online while watching their favorite shows, sometimes by offering interactive activities to go along with what they're watching.

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25 March 2008

Internet jewellers - A boy's best friend: Gentlemen prefer buying diamonds online The Economist

"Men are intimidated when they go into a jewellery store to buy their first diamond," says Diane Irvine, the chief executive of Blue Nile. Creating a website that looks good and makes it easy for men to learn about diamonds before buying has turned Blue Nile into the leading online seller of jewellery, confounding predictions that luxury and e-commerce would never mix. With revenues of $319m in 2007, 70% of which is from sales of engagement rings, it is now the biggest online specialist jeweller, and has a 4% share of the engagement-ring market in America. It is also gaining sales in Britain and Canada, where it has operated for a few years, and last month it opened in 12 new countries including Singapore and Japan.

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Online social networks: Everywhere and nowhere The Economist

A large but long-in-the-tooth technology company hoping to become a bigger force in online advertising buys a small start-up in a sector that everybody agrees is the next big thing. A decade ago, this was Microsoft buying Hotmail -- the firm that established web-based e-mail as a must-have service for internet users, and promised to drive up page views, and thus advertising inventory, on the software giant's websites. This month it was AOL, a struggling web portal that is part of Time Warner, an old-media giant, buying Bebo, a small but up-and-coming online social network, for $850m.

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Internet communities: Break down these walls The Economist

"The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see." Apply Winston Churchill's aphorism to the internet, and about the farthest back you can look is 1994, when the previously obscure computer network first became known to a wider public. Many people first ventured onto the internet from AOL, CompuServe and Prodigy, which were subscription-based online services that offered e-mail, chatrooms, discussion boards and so on. Having provided their users with access to the internet, however, these venerable digital communities were undermined by it.

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It's Too Darn Hot: The huge cost of powering-and cooling-data centers has the tech industry scrambling for energy efficiency Business Week

A 35-minute drive south of Iceland's capital of Reykjavik lies the tiny fishing village of Grindavik. One January day, Kristinn Haflioason steers his car a few minutes out of town to a vast, snow-swept expanse of volcanic rock that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. He climbs out and launches into an unlikely sales pitch that he hopes will persuade corporations from the U.S. and Europe to locate operations there. "Dozens of companies have expressed interest," he says.

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Andrew Keen on New Media: Has the prophet Steve Jobs found the secret of our digital futures? The Independent

... The most lucid explanation of life after TV I've ever heard came from a nine-year-old. "After TV," the boy said, "comes bedtime." You may laugh, but life after television may well mean bedtime for the careers of many TV executives. And that's why there is such a frenzied rush to create product that will become the standard - the platform, if you like - for the post-television age. This is the new new-media gold rush. Everyone - from Apple's Steve Jobs to News Corp's Rupert Murdoch to NBC's Jeff Zucker to the BBC's Mark Thompson - is scrambling to ascend this summit first and get their hands on the digital holy grail.

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A New Tool From Google Alarms Sites New York Times

Retailers and publishers have fought hard to work their way up in the ranking of Google's search results and refine the search features of their own Web sites to help users once they arrive. Now, Google is taking a greater role in helping users search within particular sites. And some of the same retailers and publishers are not happy about it.

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Addiction to internet 'is an illness' The Observer

Tense? Angry? Can't get online? Internet addiction is now a serious public health issue that should be officially recognised as a clinical disorder, according to a leading psychiatrist. Excessive gaming, viewing online pornography, emailing and text messaging have been identified as causes of a compulsive-impulsive disorder by Dr Jerald Block, author of an editorial for the respected American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Free TV heading way of vinyl The Australian

The rise of internet television (IPTV) - and in particular, user-generated websites such as YouTube - will soon see free-to-air networks "simply disappear", along the lines of how vinyl records were superceded, according to one of the world's most senior media consultants.

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24 March 2008

Why Old Technologies Are Still Kicking New York Times

In 1991, Stewart Alsop, the editor of InfoWorld and a thoughtful observer of industry trends, predicted that the last mainframe computer would be unplugged by 1996. Last month, I.B.M. introduced the latest version of its mainframe, the aged yet remarkably resilient warhorse of computing.

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22 March 2008

UK online newspaper readers fall after bumper January The Guardian

The UK's leading newspaper websites bumped back to Earth after record visitor numbers in January, with all the five groups that publish officially audited figures posting traffic declines last month.

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21 March 2008

EU Links New Broadband Target to Economic Prosperity E-Commerce Times

In Europe, broadband Internet access is seen as a ticket to economic freedom and prosperity. That's one of the key ideas behind the European Commission's announcement Wednesday of its intention to increase broadband penetration from the current 20 percent to 30 percent across the bloc by 2010. The EC unveiled this goal in its 13th Progress Report on the Single Telecoms Market.

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Google search share slips globally Reuters

Google's share of the global Web search market dipped in February from January, despite a rise in its US search share, an internet industry analyst said. The data from comScore, released to paying subscribers but not yet made public, show Google's dominance of the worldwide market for Web search dipping slightly to 62.8 per cent in February from 63.1 per cent in January, said the analyst, who declined to be named, though Google gained share in the US market.

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ca: Recognize Internet addiction as a mental illness, MD urges Ottawa Citizen

An editorial in this month's issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry says Internet addiction -- including "excessive gaming, sexual pre-occupations and e-mail/text messaging" -- is a common compulsive-impulsive disorder that should be added to psychiatry's official guidebook of mental disorders.

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20 March 2008

EU taking lead in broadband growth International Herald Tribune

Fierce competition from new providers has pushed broadband subscription rates in eight European countries above the levels in the United States and Japan, according to figures to be released Wednesday.

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Mobile Internet boom imminent, Forrester study says ComputerWorld

Improved 3G network coverage, wider handset availability and new flat-rate pricing models are about to spur rapid adoption of mobile Internet services in Europe, according to analyst firm Forrester Research Inc.

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Google sees surge in Web use on hot mobile phones Reuters

Google has seen an acceleration of Internet activity among mobile phone users in recent months since the company introduced faster Web services on selected phone models, fueling confidence the mobile Internet era is at hand, the company said on Tuesday.

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Samsung and Toshiba new leaders in Greenpeace greener electronics ranking Greenpeace

In the latest edition of Greenpeace's quarterly Guide to Greener Electronics Samsung and Toshiba share top spot. Nokia misses out on top spot due to a penalty point for inconsistent global takeback. Nintendo remains rooted to the bottom with only a tiny improvement but Microsoft and Philips both improve their scores.

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19 March 2008

Nokia rewrites rules in search for the killer phone Reuters

A popular video on YouTube shows a 'concept phone' that could - literally - bend to fit your wrist. Called Nokia Morph, it's also an image of how the world's largest mobile phone maker wants to change.

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Australia receives new optic backbone ComputerWorld

A new fibre backbone will be deployed across Australia this year as part of Verizon Business' plan to expand its global telecommunications infrastructure.

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EU backs Nokia standard for mobile TV Reuters

The European Commission moved to simplify the nascent mobile phone TV sector by adopting a standard backed by Finland's Nokia, but mobile operators said Brussels was acting too quickly.

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18 March 2008

Chinese race past Americans to top of world internet league The Guardian

China has more internet users than any other country in the world, according to researchers at the Beijing-based analysts BDA. The research group said China had leapfrogged the US to become the world's most powerful nation online.

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16 March 2008

Yahoo makes semantic search shift BBC

Yahoo has announced its adoption of some of the key standards of the "semantic web". The technology is widely seen as the next step for the world wide web and it involves a much richer understanding of the masses of data placed online.

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15 March 2008

For a New Brand, Pepsi Starts the Buzz Online New York Times

A beverage marketer known for pouring money into splashy ads in the traditional media is taking an unconventional approach with a new product.

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Technology laggards play pivotal role in keeping the beat of innovation International Herald Tribune

... The technology industry thrives on its ability to sell new products to consumers at an ever-increasing pace, and it has turned many upgrades into painless, one-click operations. But million of users of nearly every type of Internet service and technology, from Netscape and AOL dial-up to old e-mail systems, still prefer to ignore the pitches and sit still - or at least move ahead at their own pace.

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