Month: February 2010

Internet Censorship Gathers Momentum

Once upon a time, the world was outraged by Iran and China filtering and blocking access to content on the internet. Then Australia got into the game which started people scratching their heads, and now with France being the latest entrant into the censorship arena it appears that this is going to be the norm from now on. The initial argument for censorship is blocking child pornography. This is something no one can argue against and is an absolute necessity. However, once that is in place it is only a few policies away from an Orwellian “1984” scenario. If...

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Hulu for your iPad

As the jokes about Apple’s inadvertent naming of its newest product have slowed down, there is news that the online streaming service Hulu may be coming to an iPad near you. Hulu’s owners are currently pondering over how they can bring an effective service to the iPad. The insider reports suggest that it will be a paid service or in other words a subscription package. While Hulu has been free so far online, there have been constant rumblings from NBC U, Fox and Disney that a premium service is somewhere in the offing. The subscription service to the iPad, when it does materialize, will be the first step in monetizing the Hulu service. The rumors are that Hulu will eventually move onto a three-pronged approach, where it will reach consumers via the web, mobile and TV. Under this plan they intend to keep the current episodes free on the web while offering back episodes for a nominal fee while the mobile and TV services will be offered as subscriptions. However, the first step of the larger plan still involves moving to a mobile device which currently happens to be the iPad. Unfortunately, the iPad does not support Adobe Flash, which is the medium used by Hulu and a myriad of other online video services to deliver their content. So it appears that a workaround solution has to be found....

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Latest Trends in Smart Phones

The Mobile World Congress trade show is set to begin soon and the big boys of the cell phone handset world are ready to come out all guns blazing. So, here is what you can expect from each of them at the trade show scheduled to take place shortly. Nokia – Once the undisputed leader, Nokia finds itself challenged by the iPhone and the Blackberry. With its dominance reduced to 39 % of the Smart Phone market, Nokia is concentrating more on 5000 series models which are simpler and cheaper. The free satellite navigation feature that is included with all new Smart Phone models makes it unique among its competitors. RIM – Business professionals love the Blackberry, which is reflected in the 20 % share that Research In Motion currently holds. The Blackberry Curve is RIM’s best seller due to its retail-friendly nature. Although it has a lower profit margin, the sheer volume of sales is making this model a winner for RIM. Apple – The iPhone is still a phenomenon, even though it is almost three years since it was first released. It has been steadily growing while currently holding almost 14 % of the market share. Although no new features or developments are announced yet, Apple is focusing on is new markets. With China as the new target, expect the iPhone to challenge the #2 spot in...

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Google’s Fluctuating Fortunes in 2010

The last six weeks have been full of action for Google. It has pulled out of China, asked the NSA for help with security, launched Buzz and also offered 1 Gbps fiber lines to homes in the U.S. After all this, you would expect Google to have a quiet week, but this was not to be. Its latest controversy is Internet Censorship. Pakistan blocked off YouTube videos of President Zardari telling people at a political rally to “Shut up”. Reminiscent of Thailand’s YouTube block in 2007, Pakistan proceed to block total access to the site and thereafter removed it while placing a block on the offending content. The content itself has not been removed from YouTube. Iran was more worried about information being sent out of or circulated within the country without its permission. The prime suspect in this regard was Gmail, one of the most secure services around today which is also free. The security built into Gmail did not lend itself to the type of censorship that the Iranian Government required so it did the easy thing and denied access to it altogether. The Government has announced that it will be implementing its own email solution for its citizens soon. While the decisions by these two countries is more or less in line with what we expect from them, the biggest shock was when Australian Communications Minister...

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Mozilla Weave – Mobile Bookmarks

If you use different methods to access the internet in different locations, keeping your bookmarks in any form of synchronization is a chore. For example, your work computer, home computer and mobile browsing device are never likely to have a synchronized set of bookmarks. Mozilla’s Weave 1.0 seems to be the solution for this exact situation. Weave allows you to synchronize browser settings and bookmarks across any number of computers and all you have to do is install the add-on. All browser-based data pertinent to the user is encrypted and sent to a Mozilla cloud. So, the next time you log on to a computer with the Weave add-on that has been authorized by you, the settings will be restored so that it will seem seamless. This is also useful if you are running multiple instances of OS’s. The consistent browsing experience will soon have you hooked and wondering how you did without it. The clincher in this whole deal is that mobile browsers can also be included to the Weave experience. Phone browsers can be updated via the same service making this a very powerful browsing tool. What makes this add-on even more exciting is the eventual goal Mozilla has for it. The vision is to have a seamless browsing experience where the user can browse on his home computer, pick the mobile browser and continue browsing from...

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