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 Thursday, 10 April 2003

ITU Opens Up World for Interactive TV Providers. The International Telecommunication Union announces the approval of a new standard that allows content providers to roll out value-added interactive TV (iTV) services to any network without modification. The standard (Recommendation ITU-T J.202) defines the interfaces that designers use to produce content (Application Programming Interfaces ó API) and gives guidelines for their use. It has the backing of the broadcast industry as well as key manufacturers of TV equipment and set-top boxes. ITU-T J.202 consolidates the work of other standards makers illustrating ITU-Tís position as the pre-eminent body for coordination of Information Communication Technology (ICT) standards. J.202 was standardized in ITU-T Study Group 9. The standard consolidates efforts from the Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB), Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB), Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), and Open Cable Applications Platform (OCAP).

Thursday, 10 April 2003 19:52:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The purpose of the WiMAX Forum is to promote deployment of broadband wireless access networks by using a global standard and certifying interoperability of products and technologies. This includes:

  • Support IEEE 802.16 standard
  • Propose and promote access profiles for ther IEEE 802.16 standard
  • Certify interoperability levels both in network and the cell
  • Achieve global acceptance
  • Promote use of broadband wireless access overall

Also see this related article at 802.11 Planet.

Thursday, 10 April 2003 17:59:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hong Kong, China has the second highest broadband penetration in the world as described in this ITU report (PDF). Hong Kong's two main broadband portals ( and allow you to purchase and stream movies online.

Thursday, 10 April 2003 15:06:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Republic of Korea has the highest broadband penetration in the world (see page 6 of this recent report issued by ITU (PDF)). The corresponding ITU country case study discusses Daum, Koreaís top portal web site. Some 90 per cent of all Korean Internet users log onto Daum. Around 450 million pages of Daumís content is viewed on an average day ranking it as one of the top Intenet portals in both pages per user and session time in the world.

Thursday, 10 April 2003 14:11:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 07 April 2003

Silent Commerce is Accenture's take on ubiquitous networks, using "tagging, tracking, sensing and actuating technologies to make everyday objects intelligent and interactive. When combined with continuous Internet connectivity, a new infrastructure for the collection of data and for the delivery of services can take place without human interaction". Accenture has authored some white papers with the Auto-ID Center, which was mentioned in the post Ubiquitious Networks & RFIDs.

Monday, 07 April 2003 18:10:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ITU is hosting a workshop this week on the different strategies used by ITU Member States, at both local and national levels, for promoting the deployment and use of broadband networks. The key research question is why some economies have been more successful than others and whether this success can be replicated. In preparation for the workshop, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit has now posted its workshop background paper (PDF, Word) as well as Country Case Studies for Canada (PDF, Word), Iceland (PDF, Word), Japan (PDF. Word), Republic of Korea (PDF) and Hong Kong, China (PDF).

Monday, 07 April 2003 14:55:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

News from down the road at CERN on SlashdotIBM & CERN openlab for DataGrid Applications. CERN and IBM today announced that IBM is joining the CERN openlab for DataGrid applications to collaborate in creating a massive data-management system built on Grid computing."

Monday, 07 April 2003 13:07:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 04 April 2003

At the next meeting of ITU-T Study Group 16, an important high-performance video encoding/decoding standard is likely to be approved, entitled Recommendation H.264, "Advanced Video Coding for Generic Audiovisual Services". H.264 is the result of work by the Joint Video Team (JVT) which combined the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). This article in discusses a possible application of the emerging standard, which includes videoconferencing, digital storage media, television broadcasting, and Internet streaming (also see this earlier article and CNET article. H.264 can deliver the same quality as MPEG-2 (e.g. used in DVD players) but with much less bandwidth.

Friday, 04 April 2003 16:17:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Here's the presentation (PDF) I made last week to the GAC at the Rio de Janiero ICANN meeting. It gives an overview of the ITU, changes in the telecom sector, its impact on the ITU, and ITU's activities related to IP-based networks and the Internet. I also made a presentation on ITU's perspectives on ENUM (PDF) in an open ICANN session.

Friday, 04 April 2003 11:58:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Lawrence Solum and Karl Manheim of Loyola Law School have established the site, which is intended to be a "Clearinghouse of Information and News on Proposals to Establish gTLD Auctions".

Friday, 04 April 2003 11:45:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The DNS root server operators have published the presentation (PDF) they recently made to the GAC at the Rio de Janiero ICANN meeting. The presentation (along with the recent CRADA report on root server architecture changes) emphasizes that since November 2002, zone transfers to the set of 13 root servers are not done from but rather a hidden master server. As they put it: The "A" server is not special.

Friday, 04 April 2003 11:18:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 03 April 2003

In the Asia-Pacific region in particular, there is increasing discussion around the concept of "ubiquitous networks" and "ubiquitous communications". The term "ubiquitous comes from the Latin "ubique", meaning "everywhere". Although it is still an evolving concept, the vision is a pervasive information infrastructure of interconnected devices where computing, content, and network resources become transparent to users (if you saw the film "Minority Report", it gives you an idea of what a ubiquitous networked world may resemble). Ubiquitous communications will mean the constant presence of networks that permit interacting and exchanging information with anybody, anywhere, any time and with many types of equipment, typically using radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies.

RFID standardization work has been going on in the Auto-ID Center, which involves a number of companies, MIT (US), the University of Cambridge (UK) and the University of Adelaide (Australia). Recently, the RFID Journal announced a new Japanese-backed Ubiquitous ID Center, indicating it was a potential rival to the Auto-ID Center. The piece The Auto-ID vs. the Ubiquitous ID vs. ? from Professor Ken Sakamura's TRON laboratories at Tokyo University explains the differences between the two initiatives.

Thursday, 03 April 2003 19:00:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 11 March 2003

New Telephony is reporting that EarthLink and Vonage are going to partner to provide US national VOIP service.

Tuesday, 11 March 2003 18:38:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 06 March 2003

A Computerworld article says "Two weeks after beefing up its antispam efforts on behalf of its members, America Online Inc. said today that it has blocked as many as 1 billion spam e-mails in a single day, up from the average 780 million spam messages a day it was blocking in mid-February."

Thursday, 06 March 2003 12:03:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 03 March 2003

The OECD has declassified and made available its Indicators for the assessment of telecommunications competition (PDF).

  • "Intensified competition in OECD countriesí telecommunications sectors calls for regulations proportionate to the level of competition in the market. If regulators consider there is full-fledged competition in a telecommunications market, they should lift regulatory interventions existing in the relevant market. Therefore, regulators need a yardstick that measures the true level and scope of competition. Regulators have not yet fully developed indicators for the assessment of telecommunications competition and thus have not reached a consensus on this issue. This report explores the concept of effective competition and the definition of a relevant market, and suggests appropriate indicators and parameters for the evaluation of competitiveness in the telecommunications markets."
Monday, 03 March 2003 14:51:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Net Gurus Rally Anti-Spam Forces. The Internet Research Task Force forms a new offshoot whose sole goal is to document the magnitude of the junk e-mail problem -- and do what it takes to fix it. By Justin Jaffe. [Wired News]

Monday, 03 March 2003 13:24:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 27 February 2003

Sony Is Venturing Into Online Games for Multitudes: "Grid computing, a concept that originated in supercomputing centers, is taking a step toward the mainstream: Sony will announce today that it will use the technology to accelerate its push into the emerging market for online games with thousands of players at a time." [New York Times: Technology]

Thursday, 27 February 2003 12:46:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 26 February 2003

The Hoover Institution at Stanford University has an online book available entitled: The Transnational Dimension of Cyber Crime and Terrorism. It includes a particularly interesting chapter entitled Towards an International Convention on Cyber Security (PDF) including draft convention text.

Wednesday, 26 February 2003 15:14:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

[from E M E R G I C . o r g] Rafe Needleman writes about Opera in his article Browsers on Cellphones on the new generation of web browsers for cellphones (like the Sony Ericsson P800). The PC was where the action was in 1996, but it's not where it is today. Today the most interesting technological developments are happening in game consoles, handhelds, and cell phones. That's also where the money is: Some 400 million cell phones are sold worldwide each year, yet only 137 million PCs will be sold in 2003, according to Gartner.

Wednesday, 26 February 2003 13:37:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The establishment of national and international cybersecurity "watch and warning networks" is gaining political capital among governments. The recently released US National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace (PDF) identified as one strategic initiative to "[f]oster the establishment of national and international watch-and-warning networks to detect and prevent cyberattacks as they emerge". In a related effort, the European Commission has also called for the establishment of a European Network and Information Security Agency (Word: English, French, German).

Wednesday, 26 February 2003 13:30:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 25 February 2003
Tuesday, 25 February 2003 15:53:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 14 February 2003

The US Administration has released its National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace (PDF).

Friday, 14 February 2003 22:31:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to a press release by the Mobile Data Association (MDA), the total number of chargeable person-to-person text [SMS] messages sent across the four UK GSM networks in 2002 totalled 16.8 billion.

  • "For the year ahead the MDA forecasts continued growth with text messaging expected to reach 20 billion for 2003, equating to 55 million messages per day compared to an average of 43 million for 2002. The MDA will monitor the situation with a monthly statistics review - every month the MDA will post the numbers along with a reconsidered forecast for the 2003 figures on its website"
Friday, 14 February 2003 16:30:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

3G News is reporting that Korea Telecom will start beam 9 TV channels to 3G phone users this month for for about 25,000 South-Korean Won (about US$ 21) per hour.

Friday, 14 February 2003 14:57:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Infosync has an in-depth review of the new Sony Ericsson's P800, the first palm-sized Symbian OS converged mobile. Not surprisingly, one of the first applications ported to the P800 is Doom.

Friday, 14 February 2003 14:47:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Sapphire/Slammer Worm: Impact on Internet Performance by James Aldridge, Daniel Karrenberg, Henk Uijterwaal and René Wilhelm, New Projects Group / RIPE NCC, including a report on Internet root server performance. The report shows two root servers ( at USC Information Sciences Institute in California and at the U.S. DOD Network Information Center in Virginia) were significantly affected.

Friday, 14 February 2003 12:53:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 13 February 2003

Mesh Less Cost of Wireless: A group of wireless enthusiasts provide a town in western England with Internet access at a fraction of the usual cost. They use a device that supplies hundreds of users with broadband piped from a single connection. [Wired News]

Thursday, 13 February 2003 13:07:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Thursday, 13 February 2003 12:47:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 11 February 2003

The [US] Federal Trade Commission will host a three-day "Spam Forum" Wednesday, April 30 through Friday, May 2, [2003] to address the proliferation of unsolicited commercial e-mail and to explore the technical, legal, and financial issues associated with it.

Tuesday, 11 February 2003 12:58:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Internet Software Consortium Press Release: "TELEHOUSE America ...and Internet Software Consortium ...will jointly establish mirrors of the F-root DNS name root server at two TELEHOUSE America locations.... in its New York International Internet Exchange (NYIIX) and Los Angeles International Internet Exchange (LAIIX)." [via icann.Blog]

Tuesday, 11 February 2003 11:47:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 07 February 2003

Boeing's sky-high Net access takes off. [] Also see previous articles "Wi-Fi in the Sky!" and "Mile-High Surfing".

Friday, 07 February 2003 14:55:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Paul Klemperer, the Edgeworth Professor of Economics, Oxford University, advisor to the UK government on its spectrum auctions, argued in an article in the Financial Times in November 2002 that 3G spectrum auctions should not be considered the culprit for the telecom industry woes (PDF).

Friday, 07 February 2003 14:31:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |