Internet Use/New Technologies

19 February 2007

Norwegian newspaper publisher finds the secret to profiting online International Herald Tribune

After catching up on the latest news flashes on the death of Anna Nicole Smith, visitors to www.vg.no, the online version of the biggest-selling tabloid newspaper in Norway, can get their minds back to business by scrolling down the page — to the oil company earnings reports. ... At a time when other newspaper companies lament a loss of readers and advertisers, Schibsted is thriving. No profit warnings here: Earnings rose 28 percent in the fourth quarter. Online operations will generate about 20 percent of the company's revenue this year, according to analysts at Kaupthing, a bank based in Reykjavik, even as many other big newspaper publishers struggle to reach the 10 percent mark. Perhaps more important, at least for investors, online businesses will provide nearly 60 percent of the company's operating earnings by next year, the Kaupthing analysts predict. Schibsted has become so emblematic of online success that Bharat Anand, a professor at Harvard Business School, is writing one of the institution's well-known case studies on the company.

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16 February 2007

The future of television: What's on next - The union of television and the internet is spawning a wide variety of offspring The Economist

Bosses in the television industry have been keeping a nervous eye on two Scandinavians with a reputation for causing trouble. In recent years Niklas Zennström, a Swede, and Janus Friis, a Dane, have frightened the music industry by inventing KaZaA, a "peer-to-peer" (P2P) file-sharing program that was widely used to download music without paying for it. Then they horrified the mighty telecoms industry by inventing Skype, another P2P program, which lets internet users make free telephone calls between computers, and very cheap calls to ordinary phones. (The duo sold Skype to eBay, an internet-auction giant, for $2.6 billion in 2005.) Their next move was to found yet another start-up -- this time, one that threatened to devastate the television industry.

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15 February 2007

cn: Despite a Ban, Chinese Youth Navigate to Internet Cafes Washington Post

There was no sign, but Gedong's teenagers knew the way. Down a dusty alley just off Jicui Park and a few minutes' walk from local schools, the curtained door beckoned. Inside, in a dingy back room off the kitchen, a clutch of adolescent boys crowded around six computers and stared at the images flickering on their screens.

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14 February 2007

United Nations global audit of web accessibility report now available (pdf) Nomensa Executive Summary

The United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs commissioned Nomensa to conduct this audit to determine how accessible the Internet is for persons with disabilities. The report reveals that 97% of websites tested fail to achieve the minimum web accessibility level.

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08 February 2007

Internet Boom in China Is Built on Virtual Fun New York Times

When Pony Ma, the 35-year-old co-founder of China's hottest Internet company, sends a message to friends and colleagues, the image that pops up on their screens shows a spiky-haired youth wearing flashy jeans and dark sunglasses. That is not how Mr. Ma actually looks or acts, but it is an image that fits well with the youthful, faintly rebellious nature of a company led by somebody who may be China's closest approximation to Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the young founders of Google. In the two years since Mr. Ma's company, Tencent, went public in Hong Kong, it has grown into a powerhouse that has crushed everyone else in the field.

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06 February 2007

Elves, trolls and deadly danger Sydney Morning Herald

Mental health experts now agree that online gaming addictions exist: Doctors didn't believe Liz Woolley when she said her son was addicted to an internet game in which players take on the roles of elves, ogres and trolls. Sure, her son, Shawn, 21, was depressed, they said, telling Woolley the 12-hour days of game-playing, the social isolation and the personality changes were a side effect rather than a cause of the American man's mental deterioration.

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05 February 2007

uk: Surfing net is top pastime for elderly The Daily Telegraph

Browsing the internet has overtaken DIY and gardening to become the favourite pastime of older people, according to a survey by the insurance company AXA.

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30 January 2007

us: Families Entrenched in Technology ClickZ

Technology has worked its way into the daily lives of both parents and children. A study conducted by Nickelodeon, "The Digital Family," finds technology adoption in the family is both top down and bottom up.

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Active Home Internet Users by Country, December 2006 ClickZ

Active home Internet usage experienced its largest growth in Spain as the year closed out, according to data from Nielsen//NetRatings.

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Gates: Internet to revolutionize TV in 5 years CNet

The Internet is set to revolutionize television within five years, due to an explosion of online video content and the merging of PCs and TV sets, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said.

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29 January 2007

Google's founding duo say net will not kill newspapers The Daily Telegraph

Newspapers will not be killed off by the internet, say Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google. Mr Page, who declared at the World Economic Forum in Davos: "I think that newspapers have a good future," said his company was working "really hard" on helping advertisers using Google to also put their adverts in newspapers.

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25 January 2007

China net use may soon surpass US BBC

China could soon overtake the US to have the world's largest number of internet users, according to a state-controlled think-tank. "We believe it will take two years at most for China to overtake the US," an official at the China Internet Network Information Center told state media.

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22 January 2007

Pakistanis like Indian porn Times of India

Pakistanis are most inclined towards Indian porn, entertainment and 'masala' websites on the Internet, the rating website Alexa said.

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19 January 2007

kr: Internet pushes concept of 'free' content International Herald Tribune

"FIFA 07," a video game for soccer fans, costs around €50 in Europe. In South Korea, five million players have downloaded the online version free -- yet Electronic Arts, the publisher, is cheering them on. Realizing that it was impossible to sell "FIFA Online" in a country where piracy is rampant, Electronic Arts started giving away the game last spring. Once the players were hooked, the company offered for sale ways to gain an edge on opponents; extending the career of a star player, for instance, costs less than $1. Since May, Electronic Arts has sold 700,000 of these enhancements.

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uk: Computers baffle 50% of adults, says survey The Guardian

Half of British adults feel overwhelmed by new technology and struggle to understand the jargon, according to a survey today. The research also expresses concern about the large number of older people who are frightened to use computers or the internet, despite the many practical and social benefits.

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Designers work to make Web accessible USA Today

Cynthia Ice is blind and lives in the suburbs, so shopping on the Internet can make her routine easier. But it also leads her into odd dead ends -- like the time a technical shift in a Web grocery site made its meat department inaccessible to her screen-reading software. "Everybody could go on the Atkins diet but me," she joked. Such troubles are especially common for computer users with disabilities as the Web takes on many features that make sites appear more like dynamic programs than static documents.

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18 January 2007

Convergence Convergence! Forbes

More than 140,000 people were expected to flood Las Vegas for the 40th annual Consumer Electronics Show, where the industry traditionally shows off its latest and greatest--and some stuff that never will be. Then many turned their attention to San Francisco, where Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs was set to show off his own set of wonder-gadgets at Macworld. By following this link you can go to the Forbes coverage of both events.

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17 January 2007

Google's Top-10 Search Terms Dominated By Trademarks Circle ID

According to Google's 2006 Year-End Review, dubbed Zeitgeist, or the cultural climate of an era, a majority of the top-ten search terms for 2006 were trademarks. Topping the list is the registered BEBO mark which is held by Bebo.com LLC, a California company that runs a social networking website. Second on the list was MYSPACE, the registered mark associated with Newscorp's $580 million social-networking giant. Next, as a result of a majority of the world catching soccer fever over the summer, "world cup" ranked as the third most searched term.

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12 January 2007

Europe gets 'ItsSpace' International Herald Tribune

Even before its official opening, set for Thursday, the French version of the popular social-networking Web site MySpace had about 1.2 million unique users.

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11 January 2007

uk: Workers 'prefer lying by e-mail' BBC

Workers do not like lying to colleagues face-to-face and prefer the anonymity of the phone or e-mail, a study says.

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09 January 2007

us: Teens 'turn to social websites' BBC

More than half of all net-using American teenagers use social networking sites, research suggests.

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07 January 2007

Number of Chinese web users grows by a third The Guardian

China's internet population increased by almost one-third during 2006, reinforcing the country's position as one of the most powerful internet economies in the world.

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Microsoft positions for robot era Sydney Morning Herald

Bill Gates believes robots could become a "nearly ubiquitous part of our day-to-day-lives", and he's already jostling to lead the industry.

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Rivals battle for connected world BBC

Microsoft and Apple will set out their rival visions of the digital future at two separate events in the coming days.

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02 January 2007

How one mobile phone made Saddam's hanging a very public execution The Times

Those close to him said he had wanted to die with dignity. Within a day, a million people had seen an illicit film of his last moments: None of the images was part of the "official" footage filmed from the top of the gallows, which was aired on Iraqi state television and beamed around the world. In Iraq the other footage, which was filmed on a mobile phone, was being swapped on handsets for 20p and soon spread around the world on the internet.

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