PatPending writes: MOSCOW — Two small manned Russian submarines completed a voyage of 2 1/2 miles to the Arctic shelf below the North Pole Thursday, planting a titanium capsule on the Arctic Ocean floor to symbolically claim what could be vast energy reserves beneath the seabed. The dive was part serious scientific expedition and part political theater. But it could mark the start of a fierce legal scramble for control of the sea bed among nations that border the Arctic, including Russia, the U.S., Canada, Norway and Denmark, through its territory Greenland.
Stephanie Overby writes: "A.T. Kearney came out with its annual list of the "best" places to send IT services work. Countries like the U.S. and Canada are sliding fast (the U.S. ranks 20 out of 50 countries), while others like Senegal, Mauritius, Uruguay, and Pakistan are gaining ground, says the IT consulting house.
BusinessWeek highlighted ten new countries on A.T. Kearney's list of top offshore outsourcing destinations.
Estonia made an auspicious entrance at number 15 on the top 50 countdown edging out such well-known offshore players as Russia, Israel, and our friendly neighbor to the north, Canada.
Other A.T. Kearney debutantes included Latvia, Lithuania, Uruguay, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Senegal, Ukraine, and Pakistan.
Countries were ranked on financial attractiveness based on compensation and infrastructure costs; people attractiveness (not physical!) based on skills, language capability, educational resources, and size of IT workforce; and economic/political environment."
catherine odonnell writes: "Aug. 1, 2007 | Politics and Government Muslim political parties grow online but digital divide continues to widen Catherine O'Donnell firstname.lastname@example.org
World Information Access Report 2007 The WIA Project investigates causes and consequences of the global digital divide.
Political life in Muslim countries is surprisingly wired, according to researchers at the University of Washington.
In 2000, fewer than 50 political parties from Muslim countries had Web sites. By 2007, there were more than 200 parties represented online, the majority of them secular. The expansion of online politics in the Muslim world outpaces that of the rest of the developing world.
Also in 2000, 40 percent of the world's political parties were online, and 28 percent of parties in developing countries were online, but only 16 percent of parties in Muslim countries were online. Political parties in the Muslim world have quickly caught up, and today 38 percent of the political parties in Muslim and other developing countries are online. These figures likely reflect overall growth of political content in blogs, chat groups and listservs, said Philip Howard, an assistant professor of communication at the University of Washington who with his students prepared the World Information Access Report.
"We only looked for Web sites produced by an official party organization," said Howard.
"It is probably now safe to say that there is a political blogging community in every country, and that in some countries the Internet is the only infrastructure for political debate.
"No dictator has been toppled because of the Internet," Howard added, "but today, no democratic movement can topple a dictator without the Internet."
World Information Access researchers, who review trends in the global digital divide, studied data on political party Web sites from 2000, 2005 and 2007. They covered 212 countries and thousands of political parties — 3,217 parties in 2007 alone.
This boom in online political life in Muslim countries is surprising given the digital divide between rich and poor countries. Wealthier ones have more high-speed broadband service, which means citizens get more information more quickly. In contrast, many citizens in poorer countries continue using dial-up services, which are slower but less expensive.
Other findings from the report:
Many poor governments depend on Web site hosting services in wealthy countries such as Canada and the United States. One-third of all nations maintain some of their government Web sites on servers in the U.S., and one-fourth maintain all of their government Web sites on servers in the U.S.
Three-fourths of national libraries have Web sites but only 54 percent load in the country's national language. For example, Tajikistan's national library offers online access in Russian, but not Tajik. Sixty-nine percent of national libraries load in English but only 20 to 25 percent of the world's people speak English.
Almost every city in the world offers cybercafes or other commercial Internet access, but they cost average people in a developing city twice as much of their daily income as people in a developed city. In wealthiest cities between 2000 and 2005, cost of an hour of Internet access for average people dropped significantly, from 26 percent of daily income to 7 percent. The cost of going online fell as average income rose. In many developing cities, however, cost of going online didn't fall as dramatically, nor did incomes rise as fast. People in those cities spent 40 percent of their daily income to use the Internet in 2000 compared with 14 percent in 2005.
African nations are reforming their telecommunications policies, but surprisingly, the number of Internet hosts in Africa has declined. For several decades, African governments have been encouraged to reform their telecommunications by de-regulating the industry, privatizing telecommunications companies and introducing competition. The number of Internet hosts around the world has grown significantly since 1990, but the portion in Africa has declined because the governments have difficulty creating national infrastructure. In 1990, only 1.6 percent of the world's Internet hosts resided in Africa; by 2005, that number declined to 0.7 percent. ###
For more information, contact Howard at (206) 612-9911 (cell) or (206) 221-6532 or email@example.com.
A briefing booklet is available at www.wiareport.org
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thefickler writes: Mac users will continue to see the Internet as it was intended, thanks to the renewal of a font licensing agreement between Microsoft and Apple. At TypeCon2007 Microsoft and Apple announced they have renewed their font licensing agreement, giving Apple users ongoing use of the latest versions of Microsoft Windows core fonts.
Back in 1996 Microsoft started the "Core fonts for the Web" initiative. The idea of this initiative was to create a a standard pack of fonts that would be present on all or most computers, allowing web pages to be displayed consistently on different computers. While the project was terminated in 2002, some of the fonts defined as core fonts for the web have gone on to become known as "web safe fonts", and are therefore widely used by Internet developers.
OpenSourceNut writes: "The iPhone has been hacked offering access to third party programs. Businessweek has a full article explaining the various functions of the programs now being used. Hello World!"
not5150 writes: "Using Gmail or most other webmail programs over an unsecured access points just got a bit more dangerous. At Black Hat, Robert Graham, CEO of errata security, showed how to capture and clone session cookies. He even hijacked a shocked attendee's Gmail account in the middle of his Black Hat speech."