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Monday, December 25, 2006

Format shift will give more choice

The slogan “all the news that’s fit to print” used to be what newspapers lived by. Now, that could be replaced by ‘all the news that’s fit to print, access online, download, podcast….’ — the choice really has become endless. [more]

Anything else, it seems, will Du...

The UAE’s second telco, Du, has announced an extension to its number booking service until January 10 due to huge demand. Is it me? Am I missing something, or is the anti-Etisalat sentiment in the UAE really that intense? [more]

Answering the IP call

Global adoption of internet protocol (IP) telephony is growing with vendors eager to stress the potential benefits to SMBs — particularly in terms of cost reduction [more]

Holiday Season to Provide Data Crunch for Retailers

Tis the season to see if investments in data mining, Web analytics, and customer data integration tools will pay off. Forrester reports that online holiday retail sales in the U.S. will reach $27 billion, says an Intelligent Enterprise article.

Visit IT Business Edge for a full takeaway of The $27 Billion Data Warehousing Challenge.


Open Source Benefiting from Venture Funding

According to a The Street article, venture funding for open source firms has increased dramatically in recent years.

Visit IT Business Edge for a full takeaway of Venture Firms Confident in Open Source.


Virtual World, Real Business

According to a ZDNet article, IBM believes that virtual reality presents opportunities for commerce, conferences and training. IBM CEO recently hosted a business meeting in Second Life.

Visit IT Business Edge for a full takeaway of IBM Sees Real Opportunities in Virtual World.


Mainframes Still Mainstream

Contrary to belief about big iron, sales of UNIX servers are on their way up, says an IT Week article.

Visit IT Business Edge for a full takeaway of Mainframes Continue to Thrive.


FSF: Vista Very Naughty...and Not Very Nice

The Free Software Foundation is using to promote free software alternatives to Vista, says a article.

Visit IT Business Edge for a full takeaway of FSF Uses to Promote Open Source.


High Hopes for FEF over Sarbox Constitutionality

The Free Enterprise Fund is getting its day in a U.S. District Court after filing a lawsuit against the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board over sections of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that FEF considers unconstitutional, says an accountingWEB article.

Visit IT Business Edge for a full takeaway of FEF, PCAOB Get Day in Court over Sarbox Constitutionality.


Not Safe for Work?

According to a BusinessWeek article, Internet addiction could be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which would require companies to allow medical leave or provide counseling.

Visit IT Business Edge for a full takeaway of Internet Addiction Covered Under the ADA? Maybe


Delisting for Foreign Companies Eased

The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed rules that would allow foreign companies to delist when their average daily trading volumes are less than 5 percent of the trading volumes in their primary country, says a Chase Cooper article.

Visit IT Business Edge for a full takeaway of SEC Eases Foreign Delisting Requirements.


Vista Short on Battery Life

Full-blown Vista will drain battery power faster than laptops that run on Windows XP, says an InfoWorld article.

Visit IT Business Edge for a full takeaway of Windows Vista May Drain Laptop Batteries Faster.


Waterfall Digital Photography

Waterfalls do present themselves as a wonderful and challenging subject matter to photographers. Here's how to photograph them. [more]

Hard Surface Texture Painting

This focuses on texturing/skinning hard surfaces to get that wear and tear, worn look. [more]

Creating Brushes

In this tutorial, we will guide you on how you can create your very own brushes that you and others will be able to use. [more]

Glossy Button Navigation Menu

In this tutorial, you'll walk through the creation of a glossy looking menu and get the HTML code for that menu. [more]

Credit Card Design

Make a digital credit card design in Photoshop. [more]

Old Freak Drawing

See how to draw this painting of this old alien character. [more]

Modern Logo Design

This tutorial will teach you how to create a contextual logo for a flyer, standard press, or for website headers. [more]

The Beauty Of Large Aperture In Digital Photography

In digital photography there is one thing that, for crisp images, you simply must know about. And that's the proper use of your aperture. [more]

Company Layout

Make a solid color company layout for your site. [more]

Window Light Effect

Learn how to apply a light effect on an image. [more]

Screw in Close Up (Macro) Lenses

Can you take macro shots with a DSLR without buying a macro lens? [more]

Spiral Text

Learn this simple technique to create a spiral text effect using the text on path feature of Photoshop CS. [more]

Rounded Image

Create an effect that utilizes rounded corners. [more]

Gold Text Effect

Learn how to creatively create gold text effect by combining different layer styles. [more]

Futuristic Layout

This tutorial will show you how to create a futuristic web layout. [more]

Tinsel Picture

See how to represent the flares, to make the picture look older and to work with the layers and textures. [more]

Stained Glass Effect

Here's a step-by-step process on how to create a stained glass effect. [more]

Rid Your Photos of Red Eye

Learn how to reduce red eye with Photoshop. [more]

Snow on Text

Add some snow atop your text. [more]

Repeatedly Copy and Transform a Selection

In this tutorial you'll learn how to repeatedly copy and transform a selection in Photoshop. You can use this to create the dashes in a clock, for example. [more]

Stylish Business Layout

Learn how to create an elegant business web layout. [more]

America's Army: Special Forces (Coalition) v2.8 Client Patch

This patches America's Army to the newest version and includes the AA Mission Editor to allow players to modify existing levels or create their own. [more]

Dreamfall: The Longest Journey Demo

This demo lets you get a taste of the science fiction adventure game. [more]

FCC Clears Way for Phone Companies to Offer TV

Telcos such as AT&T and Verizon heard rejoicing... [more]

Illinois to Pay Up for Video Game Court Fees

Judge Kennelly ordered Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to pay video-game industry $520,000... [more]

Another OLPC Competitor Steps into the Ring

The LiteComputer may even have dual-cores... [more]

Wii Browses the Internet with Opera

Warning: frantic Web browsing may endanger wrist straps... [more]

Wikipedia Founder Plans Search Engine to Rival Google

Wikiasari, the project aimed at competing with Google and Yahoo, will be coming soon... [more]

Samsung exec pleads guilty to DRAM price fixing

Samsung Semiconductor's president agrees to plead guilty to DRAM price-fixing charges.


Oracle moves to simplify pricing schemes

The new schedule streamlines the many licensing options that came with several major Oracle acquisitions in recent years, including PeopleSoft and Siebel.


Cognos adds link to IBM-Yahoo search engine

IT executives say that such combined searches can help users more quickly gather the key data needed to make business decisions.


Or we could train users to read memos...

Every year, this manufacturing facility does a complete shutdown -- theres no electricity anywhere. And though the usual e-mail goes out the day before, one user doesnt get the message.


Data center quarantines might not be workable

Gartner analysts recommend that data centers be readied for possible quarantines of IT workers during a pandemic. But some IT managers dont think quarantines will prove to be workable.


Samba guru quits Novell for Google over GPL controversy

He says he wasn't pleased to have to go, but a guru's got to do what a guru's got to do: Famed open-source proponent and Samba programmer Jeremy Allison has resigned from Novell Inc. and will join Google in protest over the company's Linux-Windows interoperability deal with Microsoft.


Privacy and patents on '07 congressional agenda

Issues such as Net neutrality, patent reform, copyright law and privacy are apt to find their way to the Senate and House in 2007, as tech vendors and advocacy groups see fresh opportunities in the newly reconstituted Congress.


Santa's Web site hacked

When reindeer go very, very wrong: A man who has legally changed his name to Santa Claus and works as a children's advocate has had his site repeatedly hacked this week.


'Merry Christmas to our heroes' e-mail installs malicious code

iDefense warned that a version of this popular PowerPoint file silently installs a backdoor Trojan that gives attackers unauthorized access to infected systems.


Where on Earth is Santa?

As you know, every Christmas Eve Santa Claus gets busy on his tricked-out sleigh, soaring around the globe to deliver presents to (presumably deserving) children the world over. This year, even if you don't have a reindeer team of your own, you can use the Google Earth Santa Tracker (That's Follow along on every step of Santa's travels with Donner, Blitzen, and of course Rudolph, in all their 3-D satellite glory. And to all a good flight -- er, night!

Happy holidays

As a child growing up in France, my grandma used to read me stories on Christmas Eve -- my favorite was always "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. My grandfather told me that merchandising masks the true value of the holidays and that "the real importance is to be together." I always asked myself what it was like for others celebrating around the world: did children in Austria or Australia celebrate the way we did?

A few weeks ago, I came across a book about family gatherings, highlighting the importance of being with the people we love during the holidays. Of course, food is a big part of any holiday celebration, and at my house everyone lends a helping hand to prepare delic ious dishes and desserts. Every year, we try new recipes, and this year I'm supposed to prepare a panettone farcito to complement my mother's traditional Yule log. Thanks to Google Book Search, I found a great book of Italian Desserts which includes the recipe I needed. A feast to look out for!

Whichever holidays you're about to celebrate, we hope you're able to enjoy the company of family and friends and the traditions you hold dear. Happy holidays from the Google Book Search team! We'll see you in 2007. [more]

Sandbox Maintenance – December 1

We need to refresh the API Sandbox database on December 1st at 3pm US Pacific Time. As a result, the Sandbox will be unavailable for a few hours.

-- Jon Diorio, Product Marketing

Sandbox Maintenance – December 22

We will perform our regular refresh of the API Sandbox database on December 22 at approximately 2pm US Pacific Time. Therefore, the Sandbox will be unavailable for a few hours.

As a result of this database refresh, all Sandbox user and account data will be erased. Therefore, you will need to first make a request without including a clientEmail header (call getClientAccounts for example) to create your five Sandbox client accounts.

-- Jon Diorio, Product Marketing

CORRECTION: Sandbox Maintenance is Dec 21

We apologize for the last minute change, but the Sandbox maintenance period will actually be conducted at 2pm US Pacific Time on Thursday, December 21 (and not Dec 22 as previously announced).

It’s Hard to Apply Traditional Metrics to Blogs

If you believe Technorati, two new blogs are created every second of every day. Though many are devoted to nothing more than navel gazing, it stands to reason that at least some of these blogs are by, for or about business. Companies use blogs for everything from making their upper-level executives seem more accessible, a la [...] [more]

Process Improvement Should Be Primary Focus of IT

Does IT pay enough attention to process? Maybe not, contends Prevoyance Group President Patrick Gray in this CIOUpdate column. While IT pays more attention to processes than other business units, it tends to focus on diagramming or analyzing them rather than actually improving them, he says. And IT focuses too narrowly on technology as a process improvement panacea. Gray suggests [...] [more]

Tread Carefully On Mobile Banking

This NewsFactor story says banks and other financial institutions are heightening their security infrastructures in anticipation of a growth in mobile banking. We know that progress cannot be stopped. We also know that if the market wants mobile banking — and the story says that it is being pushed by the all-important under-35 group — it’s [...] [more]

Tech Investments and ROI: Check Your List Twice

By virtue of its very name, return on investment implies a laser-like focus on the bottom line. That’s been a problem for IT, which is a bit like the square that never quite fits into the round ROI peg. Rather than the traditional ROI formula of dividing net profits by total assets, says PriceWaterhouseCoopers analyst Navjot Sidana [...] [more]

Sarbanes-Oxley: In Pelosi’s Cross-Hairs

Future House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., seemed to say recently that a Democrat-controlled Congress wouldn’t be in a hurry to move on Sarbanes-Oxley reform because the Securities and Exchange Commission has it under control.  That’s not the impression that Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., gives. The International Herald Tribune says the future House Speaker has identified reforming the Sarbanes-Oxley Act as one of [...] [more]

Roll Back Sarbanes-Oxley? Spitzer Doesn’t Think So

We’ve said it before, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we’ll say it one more time: How you feel about Sarbanes-Oxley depends on who you are. Nowhere has this become more apparent than in the media coverage following this year’s elections. Politicians from President Bush to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have [...] [more]

Microsoft’s Hilf: It’s an IP Deal

Recent collaboration agreements between Microsoft and Novell have created waves for months now. Novell said the agreements have nothing to do with threatened IP infringement litigation. An off-the-cuff comment from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer indicated otherwise. Novell reiterated its position, via a letter from CEO Ron Hovesepian, and stated that the two “agreed to disagree” on the IP issues. Now, [...] [more]

Programmer Leaves Novell Over Microsoft Patent Pact

ZDNet India reports today that open source programmer Jeremy Allison, who helped start the Samba project, is leaving Novell for Google, where he will continue his Samba work. Apparently, Allison could not stand by and watch the Linux distributor destroy its reputation in the open source community. By partnering with Microsoft and agreeing, via the now infamous patent covenants, [...] [more]

Don’t Ignore Web 2.0

Gartner has issued an interesting report suggesting that enterprises shouldn’t ignore Web 2.0. It’s tempting to see the whole 2.0 phenomenon as having to do exclusively with consumers and, after all, how many corporations need a means for sharing stupid videos? But the bigger issue is, how many corporations need to stay on top of [...] [more]

How to Get Virtualization into the Data Center — For Real

One of the more amazing aspects of the virtualization market is that everybody is talking about it, but few are actually using it. Recent research indicates that only about 6 percent of data centers have deployed any type of virtualization at all. Some of this is no doubt due to the cost. Even if you can [...] [more]

From Windows to Mac — Is It Time?

Awhile back, we covered an issue regarding Vista migration, and it’s come up again. Computerworld just posted an article outlining why it makes a lot of sense to upgrade to Mac OS in the coming year rather than Vista. In a nutshell, the article argues that if you’re going to put up with the time, expense and effort [...] [more]

Free Enterprise Search Software from IBM and Yahoo Could Get Google’s Attention

More than one analyst is already saying that the launch of the IBM OmniFind Yahoo Edition (OYE) enterprise-level search program will take business away from search king Google at the low end of the market, which Google targets with its Mini search offering. Some say Microsoft’s SharePoint Server for Search may feel the pinch, as [...] [more]

FCC Commissioner McDowell Won’t Bow to Pressure to Vote on AT&T Merger

When Republican Robert McDowell was confirmed as the newest member of the Federal Communications Commission earlier this year, some thought he had downplayed his previous role as a lobbyist for consumer trade groups. Getting though the Senate confirmation process, some argued, meant promising to work with big telecom companies. But in the months since, McDowell has kept [...] [more]

Mozilla Releases ‘Critical’ Firefox 2.0.x Patches

Mozilla is going to push several fixes — including five “critical” patches to its Firefox browser — via automatic updates over the next couple days. reports that the Firefox fixes, which affect areas as varied as the RSS reader and JavaScript handler, are for both version 1.5.x and 2.0.x of the popular browser. Mozilla is [...] [more]

Morgan Stanley Case Could Shed Light on Limits of E-Discovery

The holidays are bringing a headache for investment firm Morgan Stanley, which has been hit with a complaint by U.S. regulatory authorities alleging it failed to adequately inform its investors that e-mail it claimed had been destroyed by the 9/11 terror attacks had in fact been safely backed up. With implications far beyond its own case, [...] [more]

100-Gig Ethernet Could Be a Step Closer, Says Siemens Testing Team

It’s not quite time for end users and carriers to do the happy dance, but Siemens is reporting that a successful test of data transmission through fiber optics at a new record speed paves the way for significant changes in broadband performance. The test had data moving at 107 Gbps, some two-and-a-half times the previous record, on [...] [more]