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 Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Lawrence Solum has posted another example of a study showing how ISPs can take down Internet content without any justification.

The Bits of Freedom group, a non-profit Dutch digital rights advocacy organization, recently completed a study to show how easy it is to compel ISPs to disable a customer's web site. They opened an account with 10 different Dutch ISPs and uploaded text from the famous author Multatuli, from 1871. The text stated that the work belonged to the public domain (Multatuli died in 1881, 117 years ago). They then created a fake society to act as the copyright holder and sent take down notices to all the ISPs from a Hotmail e-mail account. 7 of the 10 ISPs took the site down without even having looked at the site. 1 ISP forwarded the customer's information to the fake plaintiff, even though that information was never asked for. In all cases, the customer was informed, but few ISPs sent the full complaint to the customer, and gave only a very short amount of time to the customer to reply. One ISP gave the customer only 3 hours to respond before it removed the material. Only one ISP requested verification of the fake plaintiff's identity because of the dubious hotmail e-mail address.

Tuesday, 19 October 2004 17:10:15 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The government of India's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Department of Telecommunications, has released its broadband policy. During their public consulations, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit provided its broadband background research and case studies on promoting broadband to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). [via Om Malik on Broadband]

Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:24:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 12 October 2004
Tuesday, 12 October 2004 11:35:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Tuesday, 12 October 2004 11:34:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 08 October 2004

Google as the Networked Computer from E M E R G I C . o r g. An extract:

"Morgan Stanley’s Mary Meeker wrote in a recent report on Google: “Particularly, with the launch of Gmail, we became intrigued at the possibility that Google could create a distributed computing model layered over user-generated content. Right now users can have 1GB of webmail storage—but with potentially tens of thousands of servers, and commensurately cheap storage space, we wonder about the possibility of Google providing a thin application “desktop” that resides on the browser, where users could jot brief notes (GWord?), do basic calculations (GExcel?), and of course, search. The April 2004 registration of by Google could lend some credibility to this line of thinking. Ultimately, we believe the company could have a significant opportunity ahead of it in Search / Find / Obtain well beyond the domain.”

Are we heading toward a virtualized computing environment, as argued in this talk by Duane Northcutt CTO, Silicon Image, Inc, entitled Mega-Gates, Mega-Bytes, & Mega-Bits Per Second: Three major forces and how they are changing computing (PDF).

Friday, 08 October 2004 20:54:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 13 August 2004
Spectrum Policy.

The Economist writes that "governments and industries are bracing themselves for the possibility that radio interference will become a thing of the past."

On one side, therefore, are notions of radio frequencies as scarce resources that can be used by only one transmitter at a time and are worth lobbying and paying billions for; on the other side is the idea that any number of transmitters and receivers can peacefully co-exist on the airwaves and that spectrum should therefore be open to all—not individual property, but rather a commons. To understand this debate, one must look back at history; to understand its importance, at economics.

The article discusses four technologies:
- spread spectrum or wideband
- smart antennae
- mesh networking
- cognitive radios

[E M E R G I C . o r g]
Friday, 13 August 2004 17:27:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 12 August 2004
Cellphones-WiFi Links.

WSJ writes:

Imagine walking to work while talking on your cellphone. Out on the street, you're using a cellular network and paying your mobile provider for each minute you gab. But once you reach the office, your cellphone detects a signal from your company's wireless Internet, or Wi-Fi, transmitter and automatically switches you from the cellular network to the Wi-Fi one. Your call is now being routed over the Internet, saving money on cellphone fees. You're also able to browse the Web on your cellphone at superfast broadband speeds.

Such technology -- under development in Japan and elsewhere -- stands to revolutionize telecommunications on two levels. For the consumer, the technology combines the convenience of cellular access with the low cost and high speeds of Wi-Fi, all in a single device. For the industry as a whole, this technology illustrates a new but increasingly common theme: how the convergence of once-discrete technologies -- in this case, mobile-phone service and the Internet – is pitting unlikely rivals against each other in a battle for chunks of a brand-new territory.

Japan serves as a prime example. Here, two companies have just announced handsets that function on cellular and wireless networks. One is made by NEC Corp. and will be marketed by NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan's largest cellular provider. The other device is from Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., a unit of computer-maker Fujitsu Ltd., which has long cooperated with DoCoMo by making handsets for the carriers' exclusive use. This time, however, Fujitsu, in a joint-project with telecommunications equipment-maker Net-2Com Corp., is striking out on its own.

Of course, Japanese companies aren't the only ones developing such devices. Other companies, including Motorola Inc., Schaumburg, Ill., and Hewlett-Packard Co., Palo Alto, Calif., have unveiled phones that combine cellular and Wi-Fi technology.

[E M E R G I C . o r g]
Thursday, 12 August 2004 13:53:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Ofcom's VoB timetable. What Ofcom calls Voice over Broadband (VoB) and everyone else calls Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is exercising the minds of several teams at the regulator. It was originally intended to publish a consultation on consumer protection aspects of VoB in early summer, but Ofcom is now planning to publish a complete set of coordinated VoB documents at the beginning of September to include consumer protection, regulatory and numbering issues. [CommsWatch]
Thursday, 12 August 2004 13:31:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The UK communications market. Ofcom has today published its Communications Market 2004 report together with a media release overview of the trends. It all makes for fascinating reading. There are fundamental economic shifts in the landscape with long-term significance. For the first time ever, subscription revenue... [CommsWatch]
Thursday, 12 August 2004 13:31:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Thursday, 12 August 2004 13:30:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 19 July 2004
Asia Pacific ENUM Engineering Team.

Press Release about Formation of APEET

Singapore, July 19, 2004 - [CNNIC] (China Network Information Center), [JPRS] (Japan Registry Service), [KRNIC] (Korea Network Information Center), [SGNIC] (Singapore Network Information Center) and [TWNIC] (Taiwan Network Information Center) today announced the formation of Asia Pacific ENUM Engineering Team (APEET), an informal technical project team formed to coordinate and synergize ENUM activities in the Asia Pacific region.

The proposal to form APEET was discussed during an ENUM BoF (Birds-of-a-Feather) session at APRICOT (Asia Pacific Regional Internet Conference on Operational Technologies) in February 2004. Founding member organizations of APEET shared a common vision that as a collective group, they will be able to achieve greater community awareness and better interoperability of ENUM-based trials.

"ENUM allows IP devices to be assigned a telephone number which is globally interoperable," says James Seng, Chairman of APEET. "It is a key enabling technology for seamless IP Telephony which will greatly benefit the end-users."

Before the formation of APEET, each member organization has been conducting its own ENUM trials, most of which are isolated trials conducted within each member organization’s country/region. With the formation of APEET, member organizations will be able to implement technical solutions that facilitate ENUM trials across Asia Pacific.

"We are extremely excited about the formation of this much needed organization," says Hiro Hotta, Director JPRS. "We are ready to bring ENUM trials to the next level."

One of APEET's key project is to implement a live ENUM trial at APRICOT 2005, Kyoto, Japan. The live trial will allow hundreds of APRICOT participants to experience IP Telephony using wireless SIP Phones and calling each another with standard 10-key telephone interface via ENUM. The live trial, believed to be the first of its kind, will serve to demonstrate and educate the technical community on the power, capabilities and feasibility of ENUM together with SIP.

"This looks like one of the most exciting events of 2005 with a demonstration of technologies to rock Asia Pacific", says Richard Shockey, co-Chair of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) ENUM Working Group.

The formation of APEET has been well received by the Industry. (APNIC) Asia Pacific Network Information Center has extended its goodwill to host DNS records of "" – the selected "golden root" of APEET technical trials. APEET is also fortunate to have individual experts member such as Richard Shockey.

APEET welcomes all Asia Pacific ccTLD administrators (or its designated representatives) to join and contribute towards the success of ENUM adoption in Asia Pacific.

For more information, please visit

Media Contact:

James Seng

[James Seng's Blog]
Monday, 19 July 2004 13:34:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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 — 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-T’s 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, Korea’s top portal web site. Some 90 per cent of all Korean Internet users log onto Daum. Around 450 million pages of Daum’s 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 countries’ 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)  #     |