Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tech Firms Seek to Get Agencies on Board With Cloud Computing - washingtonpost.com

The push toward "cloud computing," so named because data and software is housed in remote data centers rather than on-site servers, is the latest consumer technology to migrate to the ranks of government. Companies such as Amazon and Salesforce, which do not typically sell services to the government, want a piece of the business.

Google opened a Reston office last year to sell applications such as Google Docs to federal employees. Silicon Valley-based Salesforce, which has focused on selling to corporations, established a team dedicated to government contracting. Microsoft spent $2.3 billion in 2007 to build data centers for cloud computing, and IBM, Sun Microsystems and HP want to provide the government cloud.
Tech Firms Seek to Get Agencies on Board With Cloud Computing - washingtonpost.com
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Wall St vs. Detroit

What is the difference between Wall St. and Detroit? Innovation. Wall St has too much while Detroit has too little. Granted, it is easier to design a new financial instrument than a new car, but Detroit has seen the warnings since 1973. But to be fair to the car industry, government has been very lax. It takes an entire infrastructure to make a switch from carbon-based combustion to an alternative fuel. We have had massive market failure in the energy market, choosing an aggressive global military strategy to try to ensure steady supplies rather than revitalizing a domestic energy sector. In the meantime, oil despots solidified their control over the world's oil supply. Luckily the summer of 2008, when oil prices reach over $147 a barrel provided a wakeup call and Obama realizes playing OPEC's game is destroying America.

Obama is right to put the screws to Detroit, but he has to back it up with significant energy taxes, particularly at the gas pump to provide price incentives to switch to the new energy infrastructure, not to mention pay for all the money going to Detroit. And for all you inflation-fearers, taxes are one way to reduce inflation! Price incentives through a gas tax will keep the consumer attention on more fuel efficient vehicles. Prices of $6-$10 a gallon of gas will certainly do the trick. The problem will be competing against countries like China and India who are starting to produce for a demographic of billions!

The challenges of "sweeping" financial regulation - FierceSarbox

The plan will feature a new expanded role for the Federal Reserve, which will have oversight over corporations, hedge funds and other alternative investment providers. It will also move many kinds of derivatives to exchanges and clearinghouses, a move that is well underway. The plans will also set mortgage lending standards. And, in a move that has generated lots of debate, it will move to regulate pay at TARP companies and perhaps even prod boards to embrace pay-for-performance.
The challenges of "sweeping" financial regulation - FierceSarbox

Print, TV Losses Proving to Become Internet Advertising's Gains -- Seeking Alpha

Internet advertising in the U.S. grew 10.6%, or $6.1 billion, to $23.4 billion. The $6.1 billion fourth quarter (up 2.6 percent) was the first time Internet advertising surpassed the $6 billion mark.
Print, TV Losses Proving to Become Internet Advertising's Gains -- Seeking Alpha

Programs Try to Spur Move to Fuel-Efficient Cars - NYTimes.com

Ms. Sutton’s measure would give those trading in an old car a $4,000 voucher that could be used to buy a new car that was assembled in the United States and has a fuel efficiency rating of 27 miles per gallon. A car assembled elsewhere in North America would have to get 30 miles per gallon to qualify for the $4,000. And cars that are both assembled in the United States and rated at 30 miles per gallon would fetch a $5,000 voucher.
Programs Try to Spur Move to Fuel-Efficient Cars - NYTimes.com

George Soros, the man who broke the Bank, sees a global meltdown - Times Online

The problem in Britain, he believes, is in many ways worse than in America or Germany. “American memory is seared by the Depression, the German memory is seared by hyperinfla-tion but Britain has a pretty serious problem in many ways worse than America because the financial sector looms bigger and the overvaluation of real estate is bigger than in America.”
George Soros, the man who broke the Bank, sees a global meltdown - Times Online

YouTube - Has Divestiture Worked? Panel 3 - The Future State and Alternative Approaches:

Has Divestiture Worked? Panel 3 - The Future State and Alternative Approaches
YouTube - Has Divestiture Worked? Panel 3 - The Future State and Alternative Approaches:

GISuser.com GIS, GPS, LBS, CAD, mapping news, jobs, software, data, community

Like many of you, we haven't really had time to go through the entire 1,071 page Detailed List of Spending - you can view and download the entire document at ProRepublica We did take a little time, however, to go through this fine summary provided by ProPublica. The following were some of the spending items of interest that may indeed have a direct or indirect effect on GIS and geospatial technologies.
GISuser.com GIS, GPS, LBS, CAD, mapping news, jobs, software, data, community

15 Roles Every Startup Needs Filled

The Hat List
* Visionary/Architect. Idea generation, shape features, repositioning, market fit, competitive landscape, research.
* Lead Developer(s). AKA Hackers. A good place to have a pair of jelled programmers. Uses web framework, creates functionality; knows Python/Ruby, Javascript, AJAX, Flash(?), HTML, databases.
* Sysadmin. Network, web server, NFS (for VCS/file sharing), caching, other infrastructure, data backup, backup hardware, performance tuning, scalability.
* Toolsmith. Team is provided with: productive development environments (all users can say “apt-get install …“), frameworks, editors, interpreters, multiple browsers, GIMP/Photoshop, (D)VCS, wiki, maybe BTS, quick training/consulting on tools/environment, continuous integration.
* Webmaster. SEO, analytics, domain registration, site hosting, Apache/lighttpd.
* DBA. Helps developers plan schema, set up tables, design for scalability, tuning/optimizing.
* Graphic Artist. Color coordination, logos, icons, image libraries, etc.
* CSS Designer. Usability, accessibility, layout, look-n-feel.
* Content Creator. User-facing documentation, populate/organize wiki, design tutorial, usage studies.
* Customer Support. Answers phones, forum voice, FAQs, knowledge base, help entries, problem solving.
* Tester. Bangs on site, tries devious things, automates stress.
* Marketer. Evangelism, blogging, advertising.
* Manager. Coordinates all team member activities.
* Lawyer. Business setup, guidance, law interpretation.
* Chef. Handles all other (random) tasks to keep team functioning.
15 Roles Every Startup Needs Filled

A Hot Cup of Facebook?

Facebook will go public. The only questions in my mind are "when?" and "at what valuation?"
A Hot Cup of Facebook?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Verizon Customers - Just Say No! - NYTimes.com

David Weinberger, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto and the more recent Everything is Miscellaneous received a letter today from Verizon. A "legalistic pamphlet" that informed him he has 45 days to opt out of 'agreeing' to let Verizon share his personal information.Weinberger, unlike the majority of us who rarely read the associated paraphernalia that arrives with bills and the like, noticed that Verizon's modus operandi was to share Customer Proprietary Network Information - the data created as a result of your relationship with Verizon Wireless - unless you ask them to stop.
Verizon Customers - Just Say No! - NYTimes.com

Facebook at 5 - Is It Growing Up Too Fast? - NYTimes.com

As Facebook expands, it’s also struggling to match the momentum of hot new start-ups like Twitter, the micro-blogging service, while managing the expectations of young, tech-savvy early adopters, attracting mainstream moms and dads, and justifying its hype-carbonated valuation.
Facebook at 5 - Is It Growing Up Too Fast? - NYTimes.com

MPAA Negotiates With ISPs to Disconnect or Penalize Copyright Offenders | Threat Level from Wired.com

Hollywood studios are negotiating with broadband providers to take action against customers caught downloading movies repeatedly. Penalties range from redirecting infringers' browsers to an anti-piracy message and disconnecting them entirely, a movie industry source familiar with the talks said Friday.
MPAA Negotiates With ISPs to Disconnect or Penalize Copyright Offenders | Threat Level from Wired.com

White House questions viability of GM, Chrysler

In a statement read at the White House, Obama said he was "absolutely committed" to the survival of a domestic auto industry that can compete internationally. And yet, "our auto industry is not moving in the right direction fast enough," he added.
White House questions viability of GM, Chrysler
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Finally, A Practical Use for Second Life - ReadWriteWeb

Some of the company's solutions involve using a proprietary virtual world, "Glasshouse," for data visualization, but for Second Life, Sun's Wonderland, and other virtual world users, they've developed adapters that project graphs from Glasshouse into whichever virtual world you're using. The only requirement is that the virtual world be CICP-enabled.

CICP, or Content Injection and Control Protocol, was developed in-house by Green Phosphor CEO Ben Linquist and released to the public domain. The standard, cross-platform protocol essentially serves as HTTP for virtual worlds where it works as a communication mechanism that the Glasshouse gateway can use to generate temporary artifacts in the worlds. Already it has been added to Sun Wonderland and released under the GPL license there. It has also been implemented in Second Life with the help of a Java servlet and released under a BSD license. The company is currently working to add it to other virtual worlds, too.
Finally, A Practical Use for Second Life - ReadWriteWeb
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Rob Pegoraro - Making Money Online - washingtonpost.com

If you see these words in a Web browser, you didn't pay to read them. And that should be OK.
Rob Pegoraro - Making Money Online - washingtonpost.com
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A smart electricity grid | Smart move | The Economist

Electrocrats have been plugging the “smart grid” for years. Now others have joined them. Barack Obama’s stimulus package contains about $4.5 billion in grants for smart-grid investments and regional demonstrations. GE is promoting the smart grid with ads that show a scarecrow singing “If I only had a brain” from “The Wizard of Oz” while bouncing along an old power line. In January Mr Obama declared that a smart grid could “save us money, protect our power sources from blackout or attack, and deliver clean, alternative forms of energy to every corner of our nation”—grand goals indeed.
A smart electricity grid | Smart move | The Economist
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Why the Democrats Can't Govern

What's maddening is not that Obama's budget is a perfect document--though it does a better job of setting priorities than any presidential budget in at least the last 30 years--but that the deficit-reducing measures Democrats object to are the most sensible parts of the budget.
Why the Democrats Can't Govern

Firms Take to The Tweetable Business Model - washingtonpost.com

Twitter is an easy way to create buzz for a new product launch or to alert customers to a service outage. Earlier this week, the Skittles Web site directed visitors to a Twitter search for the term "skittle" to see what people were saying about the candy. Attendees at conferences and other business-related gatherings already use the service to relate details on an unusually interesting session or to share news announcements.
Firms Take to The Tweetable Business Model - washingtonpost.com
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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Speaking Freely, Biden Finds Influential Role - NYTimes.com

The description (“Biden eats anything”) extends to the heaping plate of policy assignments the vice president has been served in recent weeks. He has been charged with overseeing the distribution of the $787 billion authorized by the economic stimulus bill, heading the White House’s “middle-class task force” and jumping into any number of treacherous diplomatic arenas, from Pakistan to Capitol Hill.Officials involved in the deliberations said Mr. Biden had been influential in Mr. Obama’s development of a new approach to Afghanistan, announced Friday, arguing for a relatively limited increase of military, diplomatic and economic involvement.
Speaking Freely, Biden Finds Influential Role - NYTimes.com

Vast Spy System Loots Computers in 103 Countries - NYTimes.com

The researchers, who are based at the Munk Center for International Studies at the University of Toronto, had been asked by the office of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader whom China regularly denounces, to examine its computers for signs of malicious software, or malware.
Vast Spy System Loots Computers in 103 Countries - NYTimes.com

TheStar.com | U of T team tracks China-based cyber spies

A vast electronic spying operation has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, Canadian researchers have concluded.
TheStar.com | World | U of T team tracks China-based cyber spies

XboxAddict.com News - Motion-based control is coming to the Xbox 360

Motion-based control is coming to the Xbox 360. We initially thought Microsoft would be the first to the table but PDP beat them to the punch. The Gametrak Freedom from PDP will offer wireless motion-based controls using Microsoft’s proprietary wireless protocol. The Gametrak uses a 3D ultrasonic transducer and a three axis accelerometer to detect motion. You’ll also find a trigger on the under side, as well as the 360’s familiar four button configuration and a D-pad.
XboxAddict.com News - Motion-based control is coming to the Xbox 360. We initially thought Microsoft would be the first to the table but PDP beat them to the punch.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

YouTube - Has Divestiture Worked? Panel 1 - Historical perspective

YouTube - Has Divestiture Worked? Panel 1 - Historical perspective

YouTube - Has Divestiture Worked? Panel 3 - The Future State and Alternative Approaches:

YouTube - Has Divestiture Worked? Panel 3 - The Future State and Alternative Approaches:

Former AOL CEO Set to Oversee Digital Strategy at News Corp. - WSJ.com

In the position, Mr. Miller is expected to help coordinate digital strategies across News Corp.'s businesses, and he will oversee the company's MySpace social networking site and its investment in Hulu, the online video site. News Corp., which owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, also operates the Fox television network, cable-TV channels including FX and Fox News and a stable of film studios.Based in New York, Mr. Miller would report to Rupert Murdoch, News Corp.'s chairman and chief executive.
Former AOL CEO Set to Oversee Digital Strategy at News Corp. - WSJ.com

Remote sensing can provide evidence of genocide, says grad student

Working from hundreds of satellite images available on the Internet, Schimmer compiled data on the extent of the areas under vegetation and the health of that vegetation from 1999 to 2007.Images from about 2005 clearly showed that, even though rainfall decreased slightly, the amount of vegetation rebounded dramatically once the livestock were gone.
UConn Advance - March 30, 2009 - Remote sensing can provide evidence of genocide, says grad student

Broadband in America: A Policy of Neglect is Not Benign | Mark Cooper

With a change in administration, this is a key moment in policymaking with respect to broadband in America. The market fundamentalists, whose liassez faire policy of the last eight years has led to the precipitous fall of the U.S. in broadband leadership, are desperate to expalin away the clear decline. The harder they try, however, the deeper the hole they dig. This paper lays the groundwork for a two step process. It underscores the importance of getting people basic broadband connectivity as the first step (described in an earlier post and analysis). Ultimately, public policy will also have to ensure that an ultra high speed wireline network is built in America.
Broadband in America: A Policy of Neglect is Not Benign | Stanford Center for Internet and Society

Is Google Going to Capture Telephony?

Although this report will consider several important market impacts, the most current is the announcement by Google of Google Voice. For some years, this analyst, as well as others, has been watching Google for an entry into telecommunications. Most of their business is telecommunications based, so it is a natural fit. Our last report (in 2005) on the general telecom market situation, “Next Generation Network - Will the RBOCs get Googled Up?”, predicted the rise of a class of “super competitors” to the RBOCs, led by Google. That still is a good forecast, and it is beginning to happen with Google.
Is Google Going to Capture Telephony?

Stimulus Package | U.S. Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono - 2nd District of Hawaii

Critical Investments Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Stimulus Package | U.S. Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono - 2nd District of Hawaii

Friday, March 27, 2009

Virtual Sets Move Hollywood Closer to Holodeck | The Underwire from Wired.com

Over the past few years, digital moviemakers have mastered new technologies and learned to micromanage massive teams in order to bring complex collaborative visions to the screen. The goal: to create truly immersive movies that knock the socks off even the most jaded moviegoer."Every technological advance in filmmaking points directly to something like Star Trek's holodeck, where you don't go in and watch the stories — you are actually in the bar or you're climbing the rock or whatever is there," said Phil "Captain 3D" McNally, the stereoscopic supervisor, who handled the 3-D elements in DreamWorks Animation's Monsters vs. Aliens, which opened Friday. "That's lucid dreaming as realized by Star Trek technology. If you have a choice between watching a movie and going on the holodeck, I guarantee you'd be going on the holodeck."
Virtual Sets Move Hollywood Closer to Holodeck | The Underwire from Wired.com

Web Site Provides Comprehensive View of Government Transparency Initiatives Across the Country

A Web site launched today for accessing stimulus spending by federal, state and local governments nationwide. The site offers links to online transparency, stimulus, and recovery initiatives and allows users to suggest additional content through a public feedback link. The site was created by NIC.
Web Site Provides Comprehensive View of Government Transparency Initiatives Across the Country

New World Storage Order - Storage

At the root of the conflicting approaches to the next generation of storage management are two distinct sets of technologies. The first set is collectively known as “storage virtualization offerings,” while the second set is commonly referred to as “scalable network-attached storage” (NAS).

Both technologies are trying to solve many of the same problems. In the wake of all the hype around server virtualization, IT organizations now want to increase the utilization rates of storage arrays that typically hover around the 50 percent mark. That’s a noble goal, but the complexity associated with accomplishing that goal requires a little more nuance than installing a virtual machine on a server.
New World Storage Order - Storage

BeyeNETWORK: Management by Spreadsheet

A highly placed official at a multibillion-dollar organization stated to his staff: “We run our organization on spreadsheets. Finance has their spreadsheet. Engineering has their spreadsheet. Accounting has their spreadsheet. Marketing has their spreadsheet. And we don’t even know what the actual corporate numbers are. Everybody has their own spreadsheet, and no two people have data on their spreadsheet that is in any way related to the data on another person’s spreadsheet. So how do we make decisions around here? We make decisions based on popularity. John is a nice guy and does well at parties, so I think I like his data. Judy, on the other hand, is a gossip. So I don’t like her data. Is this any way to make decisions? We are making decisions of millions of dollars based on spreadsheets that may or may not have some basis in reality!”
BeyeNETWORK: Management by Spreadsheet

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Net Neutrality Debate Holds up EU Telecom Laws Revision - PC World

The term net neutrality was coined in the U.S., and typically applies to rules that would prohibit broadband providers from blocking or slowing Web content from competitors.Some companies in the U.S. fear that a lack of neutrality will result in a two-speed Internet, where telecom companies prioritize some Internet traffic over others, in a way that suits their bottom line but not necessarily the interests of users and competitors.
Net Neutrality Debate Holds up EU Telecom Laws Revision - PC World

2003: The Year It All Went to Hell... - The Stash

What year did the financial system fall apart? Justin Fox has a compelling answer:
2003: The Year It All Went to Hell... - The Stash
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WTO pressures U.S. as world trade tumbles

The sharp drop in world trade has increased calls in Europe, Asia and Latin America for a quick conclusion to the Doha round on the basis of texts proposed in December.

But the Obama administration has said it cannot agree to proposals for cutting U.S. farm subsidies and politically sensitive manufacturing tariffs until advanced developing countries, including Brazil, India and China, make better offers to open their markets to U.S. goods and services.
WTO pressures U.S. as world trade tumbles

Audio/Video of AT&T Breakup 25th Anniversary: Internet Society—New York chapter

How does America get gigabit, open and ubiquitous, broadband telecom infrastructure?The goal of this conference was to outline the history of the last 25 years, discuss the current market issues, then give a view of the future of broadband and telecom in the US that has been mostly untold in the media. It is a future that leads to ubiquitous, very high speed networks based on an infrastructure that is open to all competitors — giving customers choice, lower prices and new quality products and innovative services. And widely acknowledged as critical for long term economic growth.
isoc-ny.org: Internet Society—New York chapter

Obama Back in Control

On a substantive level, the press conference provided an illuminating window into Obama's style of argumentation. In the most provocative sound bite of the evening, Obama responded to a question about why was he slow to voice outrage over the AIG bonuses by snapping, "Well, it took a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." Of course, if cable television news and talk radio followed the Obama Doctrine, there would be long intervals of gape-jawed silence during the broadcast day. Even though a CBS New poll found that a quarter of Democrats and more than 40 percent of independents disapproved of Obama's handling of the AIG tempest, the testiness of the usually self-disciplined president can be seen as sign that he is no longer nearly as worried about an anti-bonus army of angry voters.
Obama Back in Control

FRONTLINE: ten trillion and counting: watch the full program | PBS

All of the federal government's efforts to stem the tide of the financial meltdown have added hundreds of billions of dollars to an already staggering national debt, a sum that is expected to double over the next 10 years to more than $23 trillion. In Ten Trillion and Counting, FRONTLINE traces the politics behind this mounting debt and investigates what some say is a looming crisis that makes the current financial situation pale in comparison
FRONTLINE: ten trillion and counting: watch the full program | PBS

The Road to 100 Gbps

Alcatel-Lucent has enhanced its digital media suite of products with support for the recently announced multimedia application environment for the Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV platform, called the Microsoft Mediaroom Presentation Framework. By using Alcatel-Lucent's Multimedia Content Manager and Interactive Media Manager in conjunction with Microsoft's IPTV platform, service provides are able to offer more personalized multimedia, on-demand offerings while delivering interactive advertising services.
IPTV News

G-20 Meeting May Give Impetus to WTO Accord, U.K., Brazil Say - Bloomberg.com

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Leaders of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging countries may help secure a global trade agreement that would help nations tackle the deepening worldwide economic slump, officials from the U.K. and Brazil said.

World Trade Organization negotiators have been seeking a deal since 2001 to cut agriculture subsidies and tariffs on industrial goods. While their efforts got a boost in November when the G-20 set a year-end deadline for an accord, the momentum fizzled from a lack of political will.
G-20 Meeting May Give Impetus to WTO Accord, U.K., Brazil Say - Bloomberg.com

The Roadster Points the Way for Tesla Motors - NYTimes.com

The $109,000 electric car, unveiled in 2006, is impressive by any conventional measure. Years later, the two-seater is still one of just a handful of electric vehicles on the road that can hold its own alongside any gas-powered challenger, and it is by far the flashiest of the bunch.

Tesla Motors hopes to garner more acclaim this week when it unveils the Model S, an electric sedan that will target more practical buyers and potentially transform the San Carlos, Calif., company from a fringe player to a mainstream automaker.
The Roadster Points the Way for Tesla Motors - NYTimes.com

Why Some Dark Pools Are Increasing Their Volumes

Some dark pools are growing faster than others. Overall, dark pool volume appears to be increasing as a percentage of consolidated market share, but a handful of pools are making more headway. The growing pools run from Goldman Sachs's Sigma X and Morgan Stanley's MS Pool to Getco Execution Services.

According to Rosenblatt Securities, which tabulates dark pool volume monthly, dark pools were 8.75 percent of consolidated volume in January, in line with market share in November and December, but several percentage points higher than their share earlier in 2008. However, data from the earlier part of last year is incomplete since some pools declined to publish their numbers.
Why Some Dark Pools Are Increasing Their Volumes

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stimulus Bill Funds Intelligent Transportation Systems

Money for transportation projects has been some of the earliest to flow from the U.S. economic stimulus package. Municipalities in Bucks County, Penn.; Philadelphia; Flint, Mich.; and elsewhere are using a portion of the money for intelligent transportation systems (ITS), a class of products that include changeable electronic message boards, pavement sensors and cameras that help synchronize traffic.
Stimulus Bill Funds Intelligent Transportation Systems

Asian youths can't live without TV, Web: poll - washingtonpost.com

Want to get across to Asia's youth? Do it through media or music, with a survey revealing that most spend on average 10 hours a day watching TV, on the Internet, reading magazines or listening to the radio.
Asian youths can't live without TV, Web: poll - washingtonpost.com

Administration moves against bad bank assets - Yahoo! Finance

The Obama administration aimed squarely at the crisis clogging the nation's credit system Monday with a plan to take over up to $1 trillion in sour mortgage securities with the help of private investors. For once, Wall Street cheered.
Administration moves against bad bank assets - Yahoo! Finance

Beyond server virtualization: The private cloud

With server virtualization as its basis, cloud technology has a way to go, but CIOs are finding it a powerful vision. In part one of this two-part interview, Bowker offers insight into the differences between private clouds and virtual server farms and explains application awareness and the concept of a data center operating system. Part two will delve into specific CIO issues, including working with application owners to buy into a cloud strategy to make it a success.

Are people clear yet on what an internal cloud or private cloud is?

Bowker: The whole cloud definition is still very foggy, to say the least. You have companies like Cisco, VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and EMC all sharing cloud visions that are each a little bit different, but they're all driven around the same thing. [These vendors' strategies] are very centered on virtualization to make the cloud more of a reality. So once you virtualize things, such as your applications … then you have the sense that you can apply policies or service-level agreements directly to that virtualized infrastructure and that infrastructure will respond.
Beyond server virtualization: The private cloud

Taking the World's Cheapest Car for a Spin - washingtonpost.com

With a sticker price of about $2,000, the new Tata Motors' Nano has been mocked as a lawn mower for four. It has no air conditioning, stereo or air bags. Those cost extra. It does come with a single windshield wiper, kind of skimpy for a country with a monsoon season. Oh, and the Nano comes only with manual transmission.
Taking the World's Cheapest Car for a Spin - washingtonpost.com

Verizon's Terry Denson on DVR, HD, targeted ads - FierceIPTV

On the evolution of DVR services to remote storage/network DVR: With DVR services, I'm not really sure where it all leads because it depends on what different parties start out trying to accomplish. Time Warner Cable approached Start Over from an innovation stance of wanting to offer a network DVR service. Cablevision Systems may have wanted to offer Remote Storage-DVR from an operational efficiency stance-they wanted to keep customers. The functions that are starting to happen now with DVRs are just a natural progression. I'm not sure what to glean from them.
Verizon's Terry Denson on DVR, HD, targeted ads - FierceIPTV

G-20 Factsheet - A Guide To Committees, Groups, And Clubs

The Group of 20 (G-20), which superseded the Group of 33, was foreshadowed at the Cologne Summit of the G-7 in June 1999, but was formally established at the G-7 Finance Ministers' meeting on September 26, 1999. The inaugural meeting took place on December 15-16, 1999 in Berlin. The G-20 was formed as a new forum for cooperation and consultation on matters pertaining to the international financial system. It studies, reviews, and promotes discussion among key industrial and emerging market countries of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability, and seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organization.
Factsheet - A Guide To Committees, Groups, And Clubs

Net-Neutrality Backers, Telcos Spar Over Stimulus' Broadband Rules | Epicenter from Wired.com

If telecoms are to get $4 billion in stimulus funds for broadband that enables Facebook for farmers and netbooks for mountain men, then the feds must require the new networks to be open and nondiscriminatory, public interest groups told federal bureaucrats Monday.

By contrast, representatives of nation's telecoms asked "Won't someone think of the economy?" — protesting to Commerce Department officials that attaching conditions to the cash would make it even less enticing to bring broadband to Americans stuck with only dialup or expensive satellite connections.
Net-Neutrality Backers, Telcos Spar Over Stimulus' Broadband Rules | Epicenter from Wired.com

In Peru, Former Leader's Lengthy Human Rights Trial Nears End - washingtonpost.com

Fujimori, 70, is still the figurehead of a strong political movement, with 13 seats in the 120-member Congress and support among parts of the population that see his decade-long rule ending in 2000 as a time when Peru defeated the Shining Path insurgency and set the country on a path of economic growth. His daughter, congresswoman Keiko Fujimori, 33, has presidential aspirations of her own and has vowed to set her father free if he is convicted. And some speculate a guilty verdict could set a precedent under which Peru's current president, Alan GarcĂ­a, could face prosecution for alleged state abuses during his first administration in the 1980s, when he also fought the Shining Path.
In Peru, Former Leader's Lengthy Human Rights Trial Nears End - washingtonpost.com

Konarka Technologies

Konarka’s Power Plastic® is made using low cost organic materials (organic photovoltaics, or OPV). Such 3rd generation technologies are rapidly emerging to displace 1st and 2nd generation technologies by overcoming their technical limitations and delivering a truly cost-effective renewable power solution.
Konarka Technologies

Roubini Sees Light At The End Of The Tunnel!

There may be light at the end of the tunnel according to Roubini if the right policies are undertaken. Governments and central banks should commit to "break the vicious circle", the lack of confidence that is hindering real investment spending by companies that are solvent and that is leading sound households not to spend...
Roubini Sees Light At The End Of The Tunnel!

Krugman Despairs About Geithner's Latest Giveaway

Remember the crux of the problem: Banks say their assets are worth 60 cents on the dollar. The market says they are worth 30 cents on the dollar.
Krugman Despairs About Geithner's Latest Giveaway

5 Reasons Why You Should Pay Attention to Cloud Computing

If you've never heard of cloud computing, you are not alone. While it has a definite buzz around web circles, it hasn't quite penetrated the mainstream audience like Web 2.0 and social networking. But it is already having an effect, and you are probably utilizing it whether you know it or not.
5 Reasons Why You Should Pay Attention to Cloud Computing

Map addresses in a Google spreadsheet | Workers' Edge - CNET News

If you store street addresses in a spreadsheet, you can now plot those addresses on Google Maps in just seconds, with no programming required. And doing so won't cost you a cent--unless you volunteer a contribution to the people behind the Map A List beta service that makes it all possible.
Map addresses in a Google spreadsheet | Workers' Edge - CNET News

ICANN Should be Reformed Before "Privatization", Says New Study

The Technology Policy Institute (TPI), an IT and communications policy think tank, has just released a paper proposing that "ICANN's governance structure should be dramatically reformed to make it more accountable before the current tie with the U.S. Department of Commerce is allowed to expire." The paper titled "ICANN At a Crossroads: a Proposal for Better Governance and Performance" is written by Thomas M. Lenard, President and Senior Fellow at TPI, along with Lawrence J. White, Professor of Economics at the NYU Stern School of Business. The 52-page study also asserts that ICANN must have a clear focus on encouraging competition with minimal role as a regulator with respect to the creation of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs).
ICANN Should be Reformed Before "Privatization", Says New Study

Monday, March 23, 2009

Warner Bros. brings film vault into digital age - washingtonpost.com

The initiative, which Warner claims is the first of its kind for a major studio, is an effort by the Time Warner Inc. subsidiary to combat what could be a fundamental decline in demand for DVD purchases _ a falloff that can be blamed on market saturation as much as the recession.
Warner Bros. brings film vault into digital age - washingtonpost.com

Columbia J-School’s Existential Crisis -- Daily Intel -- New York News Blog -- New York Magazine

Grueskin wants to make multimedia skills and storytelling mandatory via the school’s core course, RW1, shorthand for “Reporting and Writing 1,” which has, since its inception in the early seventies, stuck to very traditional lessons in beat reporting and on-deadline news writing. Though RW1 has undergone upgrades such as a class website, Grueskin wants a more significant shift. "Where the transition needs to go is from a skill set to a mindset," he explains, citing a live blog of a news event, followed by a slideshow, followed by a longer story a week later as an example of new media practices.

But the push for modernization has also raised the ire of some professors, particularly those closely tied to Columbia’s crown jewel, RW1. “Fuck new media,” the coordinator of the RW1 program, Ari Goldman, said to his RW1 students on their first day of class, according to one student. Goldman, a former Times reporter and sixteen-year veteran RW1 professor, described new-media training as “playing with toys,” according to another student, and characterized the digital movement as “an experimentation in gadgetry.”
Columbia J-School’s Existential Crisis -- Daily Intel -- New York News Blog -- New York Magazine

D.C. Homeless People Use Cellphones, Blogs and E-Mail to Stay on Top of Things - washingtonpost.com

Today, it's not unusual for the homeless to whip out Nokia 6085 GoPhones (with optional Bluetooth and USB connectivity), stop at a public computer to check e-mail or urge friends to read their blogs.

It's another sign of a society in transition by way of technology, as businesses shed physical addresses for cyberspace and homeless people can establish an online presence and chase opportunities digitally.
D.C. Homeless People Use Cellphones, Blogs and E-Mail to Stay on Top of Things - washingtonpost.com

Google lets Gmail users hit panic button with Undo Send tool

Google's Gmail Labs has created an Undo Send button designed to hold e-mails for five seconds -- but only five seconds -- so the sender can pull them back if necessary.
Google lets Gmail users hit panic button with Undo Send tool

Washington Hearing Drives Home Complexities in Awarding Broadband Stimulus Money - 2009-03-19 17:05:33 - Broadcasting & Cable

In a morning session at NTIA Thursday, a panel was divided over whether there should be a minimum speed set, whether that is the FCC's 200 kilobits per second, or something much higher. The cable industry has argued against setting mandatory speeds, for one reason because it could advantage the telcos.Some panelists, which included telecom cooperative associations, wireless internet providers, consultants and public interest groups, argued that setting a low minimum speed would be the only way to assure a workable business model, while others said it would "not be visionary" for one, and wouldn't keep up with applications already out there.
Washington Hearing Drives Home Complexities in Awarding Broadband Stimulus Money - 2009-03-19 17:05:33 - Broadcasting & Cable

The Financial Crisis and a Flaw in Corporate Capitalism - Brookings Institution

For practical reasons, day-to-day control over publicly traded corporations is placed in the hands of company managers rather than the shareholders who own the company. Managers have wide latitude on how to organize production, allocate investment funds, and select and market the products the company sells. Writing in late 18th century, Adam Smith pointed out the weakness of this arrangement: “… being the managers rather of other people's money than of their own, it cannot well be expected that they should watch over it with the same anxious vigilance with which the partners in a private copartnery [partnership] frequently watch over their own. Like the stewards of a rich man, they are apt to consider attention to small matters as not for their master's honour, and very easily give themselves a dispensation from having it. Negligence and profusion, therefore, must always prevail, more or less, in the management of the affairs of such a company.” A crucial problem is that the interests of the company’s managers are not the same as those of people who own the firm.
The Financial Crisis and a Flaw in Corporate Capitalism - Brookings Institution

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lawmakers Seek Inventory of U.S. Airwaves - WSJ.com

Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass) and Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine introduced legislation Thursday requiring the Commerce Department and Federal Communications Commission to make an inventory in six months of how government and private companies are using their airwaves.

"Our public airwaves belong to the American people, and we need to make certain we are putting them to good use in the best interests of those citizens," said Mr. Kerry, chairman of the newly reinstated Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, in a prepared statement.
Lawmakers Seek Inventory of U.S. Airwaves - WSJ.com
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OECD Communications Outlook 2007

Published every other year, the OECD Communications Outlook provides an extensive range of indicators on the development of different communications networks and compares performance indicators such as revenue, investment, employment and prices for services throughout the OECD area. These indicators are essential for industry participants and for regulators who use benchmarking to evaluate policy performance. This book is based on the data from the OECD Telecommunications Database 2007, which provides time series of telecommunications and economic indicators--such as network dimension, revenues, investment and employment--for OECD countries from 1980 to 2005.Graphics and tables in the publication include StatLinks, URLs linking to spreadsheets containing the underlying data.
OECD Communications Outlook 2007
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Is a Food Revolution Now in Season? - NYTimes.com

After being largely ignored for years by Washington, advocates of organic and locally grown food have found a receptive ear in the White House, which has vowed to encourage a more nutritious and sustainable food supply.

The most vocal booster so far has been the first lady, Michelle Obama, who has emphasized the need for fresh, unprocessed, locally grown food and, last week, started work on a White House vegetable garden. More surprising, perhaps, are the pronouncements out of the Department of Agriculture, an agency with long and close ties to agribusiness.
Is a Food Revolution Now in Season? - NYTimes.com

Economic View - When ‘Deficit’ Isn’t a Dirty Word - News Analysis - NYTimes.com

In 1929, President Herbert Hoover thought that the best response to a collapsing economy was to balance the federal budget. With incomes and tax receipts falling sharply, that meant cutting federal spending. But as almost all economists now recognize, President Hoover was profoundly mistaken.

When a downturn throws people out of work, they spend less, causing still others to be thrown out of work, and so on, in a downward spiral. Failure to use short-run deficits to stimulate spending amplifies that spiral, causing further declines in tax receipts and even bigger deficits. That this path makes no sense is a settled issue.
Economic View - When ‘Deficit’ Isn’t a Dirty Word - News Analysis - NYTimes.com

French Push U.S. on Global Crisis - washingtonpost.com

The Group of 20 gathering, where President Obama will make his debut in global summitry, must be a "major event" demonstrating that he and other world leaders are able to act decisively to resolve the crisis and not just talk about it, Fillon said in an interview Friday shortly before boarding his plane."We have to issue a number of firm decisions," he added, previewing his message to Washington. "If the image of this round of the G-20 is an image of impotence, that would be dramatic."
French Push U.S. on Global Crisis - washingtonpost.com

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Top Internet Threats: Censorship to Warrantless Surveillance | Threat Level from Wired.com

The internet is filled with threats real and imagined, from malicious hackers to government censors.
Top Internet Threats: Censorship to Warrantless Surveillance | Threat Level from Wired.com

Google: Beware the eBay Curse - BusinessWeek

There's a reason why cocky Silicon Valley startups fancy themselves the "The Next Google." The search giant embodies Silicon Valley at its best: product developed by nerds in a Stanford dorm room; humbled venture capitalists who turned down the chance to invest, declaring Web search "done;" now-defunct companies such as Excite that refused to buy Google (GOOG) for peanuts when they had the chance; and of course, a storied initial public offering, stellar balance sheet, market dominance, and entrenched, multiyear position as the tech stock darling. In a downturn that's ravaged every industry and most companies, Google is holding up quite well.
Google: Beware the eBay Curse - BusinessWeek
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Obama vs. Marx: Hint: One of them's not a socialist

The word "liberal" was first used in its modern political sense in 1812, when Spaniards wrote a new constitution liberating themselves from monarchical rule. As it happens, the word "socialism" originated in roughly the same period; it came into existence to describe the utopian ideas of the British reformer Robert Owen. Such timing suggests two possibilities: Either the fates of liberalism and socialism are so interlinked that one is all but synonymous with the other--or the two are actually competitors developed to meet similar conditions, in which case victory for one marks the defeat of the other.
Obama vs. Marx

Without a Buyer, Big Huge Games May Go Dark - washingtonpost.com

Game publisher THQ said this week that it will shutter its Timonium, Md.-based subsidiary, Big Huge Games, if it doesn't find a buyer for the studio within 60 days. The California-based publisher acquired Big Huge last year, but is now trying to slash its expenses by $220 million.
Without a Buyer, Big Huge Games May Go Dark - washingtonpost.com

Terence Corcoran: Is this the end of America? - FP Comment

Anybody referring to "trillions of dollars of fresh paper dollars" is automatically operating out of flawed conceptual framework. But the author is right to point out some key problems, even if in a reactionary knee-jerk fashion.

Helicopter Ben Bernanke’s Federal Reserve is dropping trillions of fresh paper dollars on the world economy, the President of the United States is cracking jokes on late night comedy shows, his energy minister is threatening a trade war over carbon emissions, his treasury secretary is dithering over a banking reform program amid rising concerns over his competence and a monumentally dysfunctional U.S. Congress is launching another public jihad against corporations and bankers.
Terence Corcoran: Is this the end of America? - FP Comment

St. Louis Fed: Economic Data - FRED®

Welcome to FRED® (Federal Reserve Economic Data), a database of 20,054 U.S. economic time series. With FRED® you can download data in Microsoft Excel and text formats and view charts of data series. We plan to continually improve FRED® and encourage you to send feedback through our contact form.

Introducing FRED® API. The FRED® API is a web service that allows developers to write programs and build applications that retrieve economic data from the FRED® and ALFRED® websites. Requests can be customized according to data source, release, category, series, and other preferences. More... (2009-03-16)
St. Louis Fed: Economic Data - FRED®

First Malaysian-made remote-sensing satellite to be sent off tomorrow

The sending-off ceremony of the satellite will be witnessed by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili at the Royal Malaysia Air Force base in Subang, a statement from the minister's office here said today.

RazakSAT, named after Malaysia's second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak, is a mini-class satellite weighing at 190kg, and will orbit the Near Equatorial Orbit (NEqO) at an altitude of 685km.
The New Straits Times Online: First Malaysian-made remote-sensing satellite to be sent off tomorrow

Can 3-D Save Hollywood? - WSJ.com

James Cameron, Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg are all working on 3-D movies. Walt Disney's next Pixar feature, "Up," was recently selected to open the Cannes Film Festival -- the first 3-D movie to do so. And starting with "Monsters vs. Aliens," DreamWorks Animation, known for hits such as "Shrek" and "Kung Fu Panda," will release every movie it makes in 3-D.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive of DreamWorks Animation, is betting heavily on the technology, which he bills as a much-needed boost for Hollywood. Even with an upswing in the past few months, movie admissions have declined more than 9% over the past decade, and were down by almost 5% last year, according to box-office tracker Media By Numbers.
Can 3-D Save Hollywood? - WSJ.com

RP urged to push reg’l deals on services | Manila Bulletin

The government should go ahead in forging deals on services with regional groupings instead of waiting for the World Trade Organization (WTO) to conclude negotiations of the Doha Round saying the Philippines has a competitive edge in this sector.

This was pointed out by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Edsel T. Custodio during his presentation on the “State of Play in Services Negotiations” during a forum on “Moving Forward with the Doha Round” hosted by the Universal Access to Trade, trade advocacy arm of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“We are benefiting from the WTO services because we are competitive in this sector given our huge talent pool of qualified manpower but we can deliver services and create a market for services with our without WTO,” said Custodio.
RP urged to push reg’l deals on services | Manila Bulletin

Friday, March 20, 2009

Alibaba plunges 8.7 pct on weak Q4 earnings - Yahoo! Singapore News

HONG KONG, March 20 - China's top e-commerce firm Alibaba <1688.HK> slid 8.7 percent after reporting a forecast-lagging 57 percent drop in its fourth quarter profit, as margins were squeezed by rising marketing costs aimed at countering the drop in global trade.
Alibaba plunges 8.7 pct on weak Q4 earnings - Yahoo! Singapore News

China's e-commerce giant Alibaba reports robust business rise - People's Daily Online

Alibaba.com, a leading global business-to-business e-commerce company, said in its financial report it added more than 126,000 paying members last year, a record rise of 41 percent.
China's e-commerce giant Alibaba reports robust business rise - People's Daily Online

Hawaii no paradise for struggling telco - FierceTelecom

Hawaiian Telecom is one of the oldest ILECs in the United States and the largest telco in Hawaii. It's also more accustomed to losing money than Bear Stearns. The company, which Verizon sold to Carlyle Group in 2005, this week reported another lackluster quarter (if you can call losing $30.5 million simply lackluster). Since being purchased for $1.6 billion, Hawaiian Telecom has lost some $201 million and has reported just three profitable quarters.
Hawaii no paradise for struggling telco - FierceTelecom

Hawaii Reporter: Hawaii Reporter

The decision today by Hawaiian Telcom to ask the bankruptcy court to approve $6 million in bonuses for its employees is unconscionable, and we will oppose it in court.Hawaiian Telcom is the critical communications backbone for our state, and its action to pay millions in bonuses puts the company in a precarious position that jeopardizes its long-term viability, as well as threatens Hawai‘i’s economic recovery.
Hawaii Reporter: Hawaii Reporter

Confessions of an Aca/Fan: If It Doesn't Spread, It's Dead (Part One): Media Viruses and Memes

Over the next eight posts, I am going to be serializing a white paper which was developed last year by the Convergence Culture Consortium on the topic of Spreadable media. This report was drafted by Henry Jenkins, Xiaochang Li, and Ana Domb Krauskopf With Joshua Green. Our research was funded by the members of the Convergence Culture Consortium, including GSDM Advertising, MTV Networks, and Turner Broadcasting.
Confessions of an Aca/Fan: If It Doesn't Spread, It's Dead (Part One): Media Viruses and Memes

IBM Can Probably Sell Sun Better than Sun Can

To be clear, IBM has plenty of good technology, too. But it is in marketing, sales and services that IBM holds the clear advantage—very important business ingredients that Sun has lacked for a long, long time.

IBM Global Services' well-oiled organization runs rings around Sun's services group, as it does around just about every competitor's, except perhaps Hewlett-Packard's. Sheer size and reputation have always been the major factors here.

From a business perspective, such a deal looks promising at this early date. Investors at both companies should be excited. Sun's stock was up nearly 80 percent to $9 on March 18, and you can bet it will continue to gain value as these talks intensify. IBM's stock was down a tad, but so what? It's sitting pretty at $91.
IBM Can Probably Sell Sun Better than Sun Can

Finally, A Practical Use for Second Life - ReadWriteWeb

When you think of virtual worlds, the first one that probably pops into your head is Second Life, but in reality, there are a number of different virtual worlds out there. There are worlds for socializing, worlds for gaming, even worlds for e-learning. But one thing that most virtual worlds have in common is that they are places for play, not practicality. (Yes, even the e-learning worlds are designed with elements of "fun" in mind). Outside of some reports that virtual worlds will replace web conferencing in the enterprise, we haven't seen a lot of innovation in this space which would make businesses sit up and take notice. However, that may be about to change thanks to new software that lets you perform data visualization and manipulation techniques within the virtual world environment.
Finally, A Practical Use for Second Life - ReadWriteWeb

Populism Isn't the Weasel

WASHINGTON--Conservatives have argued for decades that the sins most dangerous to our society were rooted in lust when in fact the most damaging transgressions involved greed.

We are at the beginning of a great popular rebellion against those who showed no self-restraint when it came to lining their own pockets. Their entitlement mentality arose from an inflated sense of their own value, of how much smarter they were than everyone else.
Populism Isn't the Weasel

Thursday, March 19, 2009

When lovers' quarrels go hi-tech - 3/19/09 - Houston News - abc13.com

As surveillance technology, such as GPS tracking devices and video cameras, has evolved to become smaller and cheaper, more and more people like Michelle are turning to spy gadgetry to not just monitor their property, but the people in their lives.

But, experts warn that it's easy to cross the line. Stalking is illegal, and depending on your state, you could find yourself running afoul of the law without even knowing it.
When lovers' quarrels go hi-tech - 3/19/09 - Houston News - abc13.com

I.B.M., Looking to Buy Sun, Sets Up a Software Strategy - NYTimes.com

Sun created both the Solaris operating system, a version of Unix, and Java, an Internet-era programming language and related software tools. Java is the teaching language in most of computer science, and software programs written in Java are widely used in things like data centers and cellphones.

“The technologies of greatest interest to I.B.M. are Java and Solaris, and those are notably not hardware technologies,” said David M. Smith, an analyst at Gartner.
I.B.M., Looking to Buy Sun, Sets Up a Software Strategy - NYTimes.com
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Fed Will Inject $1 Trillion More Into the Economy - NYTimes.com

Investors responded with surprise and enthusiasm. The Dow Jones industrial average, which had been down about 50 points just before the announcement, jumped immediately and ended the day up almost 91 points at 7,486.58. Yields on long-term Treasury bonds dropped markedly, and analysts predicted that interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages would soon drop below 5 percent.

But there were also clear indications that the Fed was taking risks that could dilute the value of the dollar and set the stage for future inflation. Gold prices rose $26.60 an ounce, hitting $942, a sign of declining confidence in the dollar. The dollar, which had been losing value in recent weeks to the euro and the yen, dropped sharply again on Wednesday.
Fed Will Inject $1 Trillion More Into the Economy - NYTimes.com
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The TV Watch - High Noon on the Set - Jim Cramer vs. Jon Stewart - NYTimes.com

Mr. Stewart treated his guest like a C.E.O. subpoenaed to testify before Congress: his point was not to hear Mr. Cramer out, but to act out a cathartic ritual of indignation and castigation.
The TV Watch - High Noon on the Set - Jim Cramer vs. Jon Stewart - NYTimes.com
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Electric Cars for All! (No, Really This Time) - NYTimes.com

Last Sunday, "CBS News Sunday Morning" broadcast my report about Better Place, a radical, overarching plan to replace the world's gas cars with electric ones—really, really quickly. The nutty thing is, it just might work; the streetside charging outlets for these cars are already under construction in six countries and two U.S. states. (You can watch the story here.)
From the Desk of David Pogue - Electric Cars for All! (No, Really This Time) - NYTimes.com
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Adding Up the Government’s Total Bailout Tab - Interactive Graphic - NYTimes.com

Beyond the $700 billion bailout known as TARP, which has been used to prop up banks and car companies, the government has created an array of other programs to provide support to the struggling financial system. Through March 18, the government has made commitments of about $9.9 trillion and spent $2.2 trillion. Here is an overview, organized by the role the government has assumed in each case.
Adding Up the Government’s Total Bailout Tab - Interactive Graphic - NYTimes.com

Fed to Pump $1.2 Trillion Into Markets - washingtonpost.com

The new purchases come with risks. They will balloon the value of the assets the Fed holds by about 50 percent, to more than $3 trillion. That could make it tricky for the central bank to draw that money out of the system once the economy starts to recover. The Fed would probably find it difficult to sell such massive volumes of assets, and if it doesn't handle the task adeptly, the nation could face high inflation because too much money would be in circulation.

"This will help the economy," said John Silvia, chief economist at Wachovia. "The challenge comes nine months from now, when the economy starts to recover and the Fed finds itself in a very delicate position. The challenge is the exit strategy."
Fed to Pump $1.2 Trillion Into Markets - washingtonpost.com

IBM to Acquire Sun for $7 Billion?

For I.B.M., the move would be something of a departure from its successful strategy of paring its dependence on the hardware business, where profit margins have declined, and increasing its investment in higher-margin software and services businesses,” Lohr reports.

The other big part of this story is that it’s the latest chapter in a dramatic week for what long has been a fixed segment in IT: the server computer market.

As TMCnet reported, Cisco Systems Inc. on Monday entered that market by unveiling a new data center architecture that includes compute, network, storage access and virtualization resources in a single rackable system.
IBM to Acquire Sun for $7 Billion?

D.C. and New York are magnets for tech jobs - FierceCIO

Washington, D.C., and the New York metro region are the best places to look for IT jobs, outdistancing Silicon Valley and other tech-heavy regions, according to the Dice Report which tracks IT hiring trends.

D.C. is a very strong market, in part because the Obama administration is moving forward on transparency and relying on tech-heavy programs to help push the economic recovery forward. There are 50,000 job postings every day in the region, according to Dice. New York remains a strong market to get a job even though demand is off 44 percent because of the economic meltdown on Wall Street. Dice still clocks more than 5,000 open positions on any given day.
D.C. and New York are magnets for tech jobs - FierceCIO

Fed in Bond-Buying Binge to Spur Growth - WSJ.com

The show of force follows months of internal debate. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke had argued for staying focused on lending to troubled parts of the financial markets instead of buying long-term government bonds, an unorthodox step taken recently by the Bank of England. But Fed officials decided they had to do more as the economy deteriorated.Wednesday's move highlighted the central bank's ability to move aggressively on the financial crisis without approval from Congress. That flexibility is important at a time of growing political hostility toward devoting more taxpayer money to bailouts.
Fed in Bond-Buying Binge to Spur Growth - WSJ.com

Privacy Group Asks F.T.C. to Investigate Google - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

The Electronic Privacy Information Center asked the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday to investigate the privacy and security safeguards of Gmail, Google Docs and other so-called cloud computing services offered by Google to consumers.
Privacy Group Asks F.T.C. to Investigate Google - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

What the Hell is Wrong with Swimming Pools?

I'm a big Obama-Biden fan but was surprised to hear Joe Biden warning local communities not to build swimming pools with the stimulus money. Why not? What a great investment for a local community. Pools provide great exercise for adults, fun recreation for kids, and a great part-time jobs for teens as life guards.

Fed launches bold $1.2T effort to revive economy: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With the country sinking deeper into recession, the Federal Reserve launched a bold $1.2 trillion effort Wednesday to lower rates on mortgages and other consumer debt, spur spending and revive the economy. To do so, the Fed will spend up to $300 billion to buy long-term government bonds and an additional $750 billion in mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Fed launches bold $1.2T effort to revive economy: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

More cloud computing services for IBM - FierceTelecom

New services announced on Monday include industry-specific business consulting services; technology consulting, design and implementation services; and cloud security. Basically, IBM will built a total cost of ownership model trading off a private/in-house cloud verses moving data and apps off into a public cloud. From there, IBM will provide services to install, configure, and deliver cloud computing and wrap everything into a security blanket.
More cloud computing services for IBM - FierceTelecom
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Military Laser Hits Battlefield Strength | Danger Room from Wired.com

In recent test-blasts, Pentagon-researchers at Northrop Grumman managed to get its 105 kilowatts of power out of their laser -- past the "100kW threshold [that] has been viewed traditionally as a proof of principle for 'weapons grade' power levels for high-energy lasers," Northrop's vice president of directed energy systems, Dan Wildt, said in a statement.
Military Laser Hits Battlefield Strength | Danger Room from Wired.com

U.K. scientists agree: E-commerce is better for the environment

Arriving at a similar conclusion as U.S. researchers in a recent study, U.K. scientists say on average a purchase of an item online for delivery to the consumer’s home generates less of the carbon dioxide associated with global warming than shopping in a store. But there are qualifications.

The new report says the typical e-commerce purchase sent to a home generates 181 grams of carbon dioxide, compared with 4,274 grams, or nearly 24 times as much, for an average shopping trip by car. Thus, they conclude that online shopping is better for the environment—unless the store shopper buys at least 24 items. They also note that a trip to the store by bus only produces 1,265 grams of carbon dioxide, which would reduce the number of items that would have to be bought to make that shopping method more environmentally friendly than e-commerce.

The study entitled “Carbon Auditing the ‘Last Mile’: Modelling the Environmental Impacts of Conventional and Online Non-food Shopping,” was written by J.B. Edwards, A.C. McKinnon and S.L. Cullinane of the Logistics Research Centre at the School of Management and Languages of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.
InternetRetailer.com - Daily News for Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Social networking's effects mixed - Opinion

With this increasing isolation, people are putting their health at risk when they devote greater amounts of their time to online activities instead of interacting with others in person, according to Sigman.
Social networking's effects mixed - Opinion

WTO meeting to reveal bigger trade finance gap - Yahoo! News UK

If so, that would confirm a dangerous vicious spiral, in which the financial crisis makes it difficult to finance trade as slumping demand hits exports and, in turn, output.That would put pressure on an April 2 G20 summit of rich and emerging countries to pump funds into trade finance either individually or through institutions such as the World Bank and its private sector arm, the International Finance Corp.
WTO meeting to reveal bigger trade finance gap - Yahoo! News UK

Telcos Resisting Broadband Stimulus Because They're Worried It Might Force Them To Compete | Techdirt

We've had a lot of concerns about the broadband stimulus package, since it was shaping up to look like little more than a handout to incumbent operators who have a long history of grabbing public money, then not living up to the promises they made to get it. The real problem underlying most issues having to do with broadband in the US is a lack of competition, so any stimulus needs to address that, instead of just throwing money blindly at broadband providers. Mobile operators have already complained about anything that might force them to compete interfering with the government broadband giveaway; now BusinessWeek reports that several incumbent telcos are holding back from the stimulus, because they're afraid the government will attach strings to it to try and increase competition. Most of all, they're worried they may have to allow line-sharing, which, of course, they worked very hard to get tossed out in 2005. The rules are still under discussion, but we're optimistic that the opportunity to effect some positive change on the broadband market won't get left behind in the rush to throw money at it.
Telcos Resisting Broadband Stimulus Because They're Worried It Might Force Them To Compete | Techdirt

IBM’s Flirtation with Sun: The Next Volley in the Data-Center War - Digits - WSJ

It’s the logical consequence of the all-out war for the data center — the large computer rooms that keep businesses and the Internet running — that the industry is suddenly in the midst of. Businesses will spend about $100 billion on equipment and software for data centers in 2009, according to research company IDC.The data-center land grab is starting to coalesce around three companies: H-P, IBM and Cisco.

Cisco, the smallest of the three, announced this week that it will start selling its own “server” computer that will compete with ones from H-P and IBM.

H-P made its ambitions clear when it bought information-technology services giant EDS last year. Now H-P goes head-to-head with IBM on giant outsourcing contracts, and their already tight competition on blade servers — the one piece of the server market that’s still growing – has been publicly combative.
IBM’s Flirtation with Sun: The Next Volley in the Data-Center War - Digits - WSJ