Star In.Tech: 22 Feb 05

News:
1. RFID
A school in Britain stripped off the project for which students would wear a tag which contains RFID devices. This would allow them to tract many things automatically.. such as sleeping in the toilet. The news said the technology provider pulled out last minute. But it also stated that not everyone parents approved to such implementation (personally I wouldn't agree as well). So I guess the reason for the tech comp to pull out is just an excuse. The school couldn't cope with pressure of those objecting parents and they are looking for a good way out to explain to those who gave the green light.

2.Microsoft



  • World: Antivirus- Microsoft has acquired Sybari Software and is going to give out free version for customer to battle against spyware and viruses.
  • Local: Microsoft Malaysia has worked on a localized version for its Window XP and will be retailed under OEM basis for RM120. OEM basis means it is not coming from the source (USA) and thus it can be cheaper due to unnecessary cost such as logistic. It means localized-costing. The BM version software is a result of working with Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka which has agreed on the 7000 word glossary for the software (means Dewan Bahasa needs to license those word), as well as relying on two local companies for the translation job.

3. Geneva based tech comp; OnAir has teamed up with Airbus to provide GSM service to people flying in the plane. Base station will be available in the plane. As well as voice, Internet service also available. They estimated Internet access from the air to be USD400 mil annually while mobile phone service to be 4 times higher. I think the whole idea is how Airbus gonna earn something from it. Because they are customer are travelling on air. it is not the territory of any cellphone provider. For instance, even if Maxis have satellite which can shoot signal to customer flying on a jet, Airbus isnt gonna allow that people that would be stealing.

This is actually a direct competition to satellite phone service..

4. Mobile phone virus
Virus is coming into your mobile phone. Currently there are 6 viruses(with variants) where its source code already available from the Internet. It is said that now the phone manufacturer is getting worried and been engaging with mobile virus creator such as Fsecure. According to them, this thing only happen to advance phone where they get to install application on their own. they also claimed that since Microsoft has hard on virus creator with release of security pack, which prompted virus creator to look for other breeding ground. 4 of the virus is written for Symbian OS and the other 2 are for Microsoft OS. Symbian has the biggest share for mobile phone O.S, over 20 million phones. The total phone in the world is around 1.7 billion.

5. Samsung DDR3 DRAM.
This chip not allow capable of 1,066 Megabits per second (equivalent to reading 8000 newspaper pages a second) , double the speed of current standard for DDR2. It also only operates on less that 1.5 volts. They are looking at 65% of market share by 2009.
6. A computer game aim at discriminating Gypsies in Hungary has been banned.
7. Italian D.J fined 1.4 millinon Euro for using pirated music in his club.
8 Naspter, although have already rolled out its legitimate service for either:
a. USD15.00 - for unlimited download and also transferrable to portable devices.
b. USD0.99 - for per track download.
However, user have a found a loop hole, apparently via www.boingboing.net. Apparently, Napter is powered by Microsoft which provides the format WMA that can protect anyone from burning unauthorised track into CD. All the burning software have to conform to such rules in order to be viewed as honest. However, according to Engadget.com, user can apply a patch to Winamp called 'Output Stacker' which then would allowed you to convert the digitally protected files from one format to another. Please bear in mind this is different from he conventional CDA format. However, Napster lambasted at it saying that it doensn't break the encryption but merely does a bypass copying. Napster also spent USD30mil on ad champaign, a move to compete with Apple's iTune.

Home Users:

1. Openoffice - An alternative to MS Office business suite.Coming out version 2where you get to have 65,536 rows of record for spreadsheet (current version is 32,000 rows) and also they are packaging with a Java-based HSQLDB. You can download it at openoffice website.

2. AVG antivirus - Not much update, just some plain features being describe. If you pay for it, you will get 24 hours technical service. Nevertheless, AVG like many other antivirus software, can't really solve all the problems. Perhaps Microsoft Sybari will do a better job.

3. GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)- Alternative for Adobe Photoshop CS which is around RM2,280. It was started 10 years ago for linux and has a lot of feature similiar to Photoshop.

4. Google's Picasa.

It is a free tools for you to do image management. it is supposed to be installed and not a web-based thing, nevertheless, it is meant for web addin. Also, it was meant for blogging where you can directly post the image into Google's blogspot seamlessly. (This means that they actually provide you with a free but don't-know-where hosting space)


5. Irfan's solution.Something similiar to ACDSee. The author claimed that it is not subjected to "featuritis" abuse; meaning that a software loaded with many features which aren't necessary and thus its processing become slower. Someone said this to MS Word some time ago. You can use it for free and may choose to donate USD10 if the work were meant for commercial.

Corporate IT:

  • Want a SAN for half price.

Wow.. this is interesting..Dell/EMC AX100 network storage solution used to cost a lot because it requires Fibre Channel Network. But now, with new technology, iSCSI, you can use EMC AX100 with IP networks. So this is like VOIP for PSTN (telecommunication). Apparently you can save half the cost. SAN stands for Storage Area Network. However, the cost is still around RM19,500 for average package. How many corporate would subscript to it ??

  • PC Sales Growth rate.

According to Gartner(market research)GLOBAL PC sales expected slower than those of laptop. only 9% of growth rate for 2005 compared to 11.6% last year. But if you separate mobile pc and desktop from a single calcuation. the growth rate for the former would be 17.4% and later 6.1%.

The application of such figure is that if you are country manager, you would be looking at the 9% for your benchmark while if you are Mobile Sales Div Manager, you would be looking at the 17.4% benchmark and 6.1% for Desktop Sales Div Manager.

  • TrendMicro's Network Viruswall 2500(NV2500).

USD8,995.00 for security hardware alone. Support software priced at USD4,500.00 or USD3,600.00 depending on specifications. It offers total network protection via single appliance method. The single appliance means NV2500. This is not a bad ideal because there is no need to crack your head which server to run the software which would consume some memory resources and all you have to do is just to reserve a network point for it.

  • Phone porn:

Mobile contents is the key issue to the availability of 3G in the near future.Also, contents will be the only thing that makes it different for 3G compared to other issues. contents as you may know it, is pretty much a sensitive thingy where regulation is very much required. Many countries already in the process approving statutory rules for such matter. When such matter arises, the industry would suffered even more setback, especially to piracy and since the availability of seamless tech that would allow end user to share information easy, we are expecting more and more amateur actors and actresses. Imagine this, anyone would is capable of singing pretty good tunes can share music across his network of friends, such would affect current trend of branding from pop icons and etc. In short, we are seeing more and more personal-private-entertaintment emerging.

There is a European NGO dedicated for such matter. ICRA (Internet Content Rating Association). NGOs are usually political bias.

When such becomes reality, entertaintment industries would suffer while tech companies such as software which offers pay per use solutions and telco companies would benefit from uncontrolled windfall of airtime blast.

  • WiMAX+telcos

Alcatel will team up with Intel to produce technology that would enabled WiMAX with telcos. This means that they will be producing equipement such as based station that would be deployed by telco for WiMAX converage. In other words, Telco are going to provide WiMAX as a service. Just like broadband lar. Testing of the technology were scheduled for first half of 2006.

  • Microsoft+Mobile Phone

Microsoft recently teamed up with Nokia to form a synergy for music downloading industry. what they planning to do is to enabling windows media audio files to be played on the Nokia music player. This means that what we called music files now can be played on Nokia phone directly without any conversion required.

Accordingly, the only reason Microsoft got such opportunity was due to the fact that there is no single body (NGO or etc) strong and bold enough to stand up and determine the standard for digital copyright issue. Even Napster is teaming up with Microsoft on this. as such, Microsoft will be fledging its Open Standard Digital Rights Management Technology.

Apple is teaming up with Motorola, Sony Ericsson teamed up with Sony while others such as Vodafone stand on its own.

Conclusion, chaos gives rise to cheers for others. Music piracy allows Microsoft to come in as solutions provider, similiarly, when the North South Expressway near Sungai Buloh got hit by landslide, many local construction companies got jobs.

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