Saturday, June 07, 2008
Presently the foundation has registered more than 2,8 million nl. domains and is the fourth largest country domain in the world. In the Netherlands more than 80 per cent of all domains are .nl domains. The domains are registered and administered by the independent foundation SIDN.
So far the foundation has worked on the principle of self regulation. It has been at the basis of the explosive growth of internet in the Netherlands. The covenant between the government and the SIDN confirms this principle of self-regulation. In the covenant the principles of continuity and sovereignty of the nl. domains have been recorded. Other agreements have been recorded in order to keep the nl domain accessible for internet and e-mail under all circumstances. The covenant is the result of talks between the government and SIDN started in 2005.
SIDN has been under fire recently with the introduction of numeric URLs in the nl domain. A few ISPs had chalked code in order to pick up a large number of numeric URLs. Despite the fact that the handing out of the numeric URLs was on the basis first come, first serve it became clear that most of the numeric URLs were in the hands of a very few ISPs. In the aftermath, the few ISPs were asked to return most of the numeric URLs and they did, completely shocked by the public indignation of their greediness. The returned numeric URLs were handed out in a second round
Blog Posting Number: 1121
Tags: domain, URLdomain, URL
Friday, June 06, 2008
Sanctions and legal proceedings against file sharers cannot be the long-term fix for music creators missing out on royalties through the illegal sharing of music over the Internet. Instead STIM is inviting ISPs to work with us to develop a new type of Internet plan under which music downloading will be legal. This could be done by ISPs signing license agreements with STIM and other rights holders.
Until now the debate about file sharing and copyright has been conducted like an intensifying trench warfare between two irreconcilable camps. On the one side there are calls for continued ownership of artistic property on the net, increased control over the online exchange of music and other products, and a single-minded focus on the prosecution of illegal file sharing. While the other side mutters about an approaching police state and seems happy to toss out the copyright baby with the bathwater.
Obviously collecting societies laws that allow the effective prosecution of systematic criminal activity. Sweden needs to update ita legislation to European standard as it is seen behind the pack when it comes to having effective means of going after openly illegal activity online. Laws that state clearly what is and what is not allowed will always have an important place in shaping popular attitudes to copyright on artistic materials. But they will never be the whole solution.
The file sharing phenomenon, in which large networks of Internet users upload music and other files to be copied by others, exploits the full potential of Internet technology, making large volumes of music available for download anywhere in the world by quite simple means.
STIM wants to sit down and talk with ISPs about what can be done to offer users a way of paying through their Internet charges for the music streaming through the providers’ networks — a way of making their music surfing legal.
Typically it will mean increasing the ordinary Internet user’s monthly charge by an amount related to the overall use of music on the net. In return, they will be free to legally download music from the net for their own use.
STIM understands the providers’ objections to having what they perceive as a law enforcement role thrust upon them. But STIM believes that they will realise it is in their commercial interest to be able to offer services with added value over those they can offer today—services that will let customers use the Internet in a way that conforms to their own moral code and sense of fairness, without special action on their part.
STIM hopes to find one or two providers will take the lead with an “ethical” broadband offering. An obvious target group is parents worried about their Internet connection being used by teenage offspring for illegal file sharing. But in time STIM hope that ‘legal free Internet’ will become the new norm, offered as standard by ISPs to private customers.
In the fall, trials will be held in order to find out which MP# files are exchanged; these trials are based on checking ID3 codes in music files. Swedish ISPs have shown interest in the model. Tele2 is considering hiking the charges with a surcharge of 5 euro extra per month. This charge is based on research by Terry Fisher (see photograph) of the Berkman Center, part of Harvard Law School. He has calculated that a surcharge of six dollars a month would compensate 20 per cent of the music and movie revenues.
It looks like Sweden will supercede France which in 2006 was also thinking about this kind of measure, but never converted this intention in law and practice. Also in The Netherlands thre is still a discussion going on. Recently the NVPI, the music producers association, pleaded for regulation through ISPs, who should take action in the case of illegal downloading. NVPI would like to see the introduction of graduate response. Subscribers infringing on copyright should get a warning. If they despite warnings continue, the access should be limited to internet banking and e-mail for some weeks. If the subscriber continues illegal downloading after the full restoration of facilities,an ISP should be able to execute permanent measures.
Blog Posting Number: 1120
Tags: file sharing, downloading
Thursday, June 05, 2008
This Memorandum is a major step for bringing Europe's rich literary and audiovisual heritage online, as it deals with the issue of orphan works – books, films, photographs or songs for which it is impossible to identify or locate the rightholders. As a consequence, rights cannot be cleared and therefore the works cannot be digitised or made available to the public. It clarifies how searches for rightholders have to be handled for libraries and archives and representatives of publishers, photographers, authors, record and film companies. Orphan works represent a substantial part of the collections of Europe's cultural institutions: for example, the British Library estimates that 40 percent of its copyrighted collections are orphan works. 50,000 requests were also made for re-using orphan works in Europe's film archives according to a recent survey from the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes.
In parallel, the High Level Group on Digital Libraries, chaired by Viviane Reding, adopted practical guidelines for partnerships between cultural institutions and private organisations. These partnerships such as the existing collaboration between the British Library and Cengage Gale on historical newspapers – are essential to provide funding and expertise for digitisation projects.
In relation to copyright issues, the High Level Group adopted a final report in which it endorsed a new model license for making works that are out of print or out of distribution accessible for all on the internet. It also gave guidance on copyright issues related to the preservation of web-content by cultural institutions. In the area of scientific information, publishers and scientists presented the progress of a large scale project on the effects of open access to scientific journals.
Blog Posting Number: 1119
Tags: library, digital library
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
MobielTV will offer 11 broadcast stations: Nederland 1, Nederland 3, RTL 4, SBS 6, Jetix/Veronica, RTL Z, MTV Music, Nick Toons, Xite, Discovery Channel en Playboy TV, while more stations will be added in the future. The service will be offered on Nokia and Samsung devices. The service will cost 9,50 euro separately; when bundled with a new subscription above 27,50 euro, the service will be free. The service will have coverage of 85 per cent in The Netherlands, while 65 per cent in the car and in the train.
KPN will be the only DVB-H information provider in the Netherlands in collaboration with its technology partner Samsung. KPN has the sole right to the DVB-T/H frequencies until 2017. KPN will be in the company of other European telcos, offering TV services. Italy was first in launching with Operator La 3 of H3G, part of Hutchinson Whampoa, and has 600.000 DVB-H users. In the meantime competition has started in Italy with Telecom Italia Movile (TIM) and Vodafone; in Italy UMTS is used as back-up service. DVB-H services are also operational in Germany (Mobile 3.0), Switzerland (Swisscom), Austria (TDF/Mediabroadcast) and Albania (DigitAlb).
KPN is negotiating with Vodafone and T-Mobile to offer the service MobielTV through their networks. Vodafone took the occasion to send out a press release, saying that Vodafone had already a mobile TV service with 14 stations and a subscription for 7,50 euro a month. It also notes that with DVB-H you can only watch live TV, while with mobile internet people can watch TV in their own time.
KPN can make use of the DVB-H technology as it runs the Digitenne television service in the Netherlands. This television distribution service is part of the offer by KPN, while KPN has also interactive TV via a broadband connection. In total KPN has 553.000 TV subscribers over against 296.000 subscribers last year.
It is a kind of sarcastic. But in 1997 KPN was ordered by the Telecom watchdog OPTA to get rid of its cable network company Vision; now the company competes with the cable companies on triple play. MobielTV is an advantage to KPN.
Blog Posting Number: 1118
Tags: mobile TV, digital TV, DVB-H
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
The number one broadband ISP is newly formed Ziggo (formerly @Home, Casema, Multikabel). Excluding the Orange broadband cable users, the company saw its customer base grow by 30,000 net additions during the first quarter to reach 1.242 million broadband customers on 31 March. The second largest broadband ISP continues to be Het Net with 659,000 DSL users at the end of the quarter, after adding 16,000 customers in the period. At the same time its market share grew to 11.9 percent. UPC's growth slowed down to 10,800 net additions in the first quarter, taking its total to 650,300 broadband customers on 31 March 2008. KPN's second largest DSL ISP Planet continued to lose customers, ending the quarter with 558,000 subscribers, some 14,000 fewer than at the end of 2007. However, Internet van KPN won 19,000 net additions, to reach a total of 554,000 DSL customers on 31 March 2008, closing in on Planet, to become the fourth largest broadband ISP in the Netherlands.
Dutch broadband providers gained 107,000 new broadband connections during the quarter, to reach a total of 5.55 million on 31 March 2008 . The total is lower than Telecompaper reported in its previous quarterly update, due to the restating of figures by the industry. The broadband (cable & ADSL) penetration per household increased to 77.1 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2008 and penetration per 100 inhabitants increased to 33.8 percent on 31 March 2008, compared with 31.4 percent on 31 March 2007. When including the FTTH connections, the broadband penetration per household reached 78 percent at end of Q1 2008, with the penetration per 100 inhabitants amounting to 34.2 percent.
The Dutch broadband market is nearing its saturation point. The market will grow by around 2 percent per quarter during 2008 and will reach the 6 million connections mark in 2009.
Blog Posting Number: 1118
Tags: broadband, glass fibre
Monday, June 02, 2008
Copiepresse asked a Brussels court to award this sum. A court ruled last year, that Google violated Belgian copyright laws by publishing links to articles on Google News without permission. The damages of 32 million euro are in addition to a daily fine of 25,000 euros, ordered by the court ordered.
Google and the Belgian newspapers started discussions about a settlement and an agreement after the court ruling in February 2007. Google did immediately remove the links to Belgian French and German languages newspapers in its search engine and on Google News.
In May 2007 Google removed the cached data. The agreement allowed Internet users to access Belgian newspapers again on Google's Web site in the country.
In addition to damages, Copiepresse is also asking the judge to have Google publish the court ruling from last year on Google.be in a visible and clear manner. If Google does not publish the ruling, the group seeks a 1 million-euro daily fine.
The sentence will stir up a debate all around Europe, except for the parts which are covered by Angel-Saxon jurisdiction. In practice the newspaper organisations in other European countries can go to court and try to stop Google news. They might have a good chance.
The sentence hinged on three aspects: consent, deeplinking and caching. Google News set up the service in Belgium without asking the Belgian publishers. Google said that it did not have to do this as it used the searching machine and set up a link. Google News deeplinked to the relevant article, without passing the front page. But the caching problem was really at the core of the court case. Google News did not just linked to the relevant article, but also kept it in cache.
With the Belgian sentence in their pocket newspaper publishing associations will start other court cases. Of course they could ask Google News to take off the titles of their associated members voluntarily as the Flemish publishers, united in Rerocopy, did. But many associations want to make clear to Google that copyright and database rules are different at the other side of the pond.
Blog Posting Number: 1117
Tags: copyright, newspapercopyright, deeplinking, caching, newspapers
Sunday, June 01, 2008
The newspaper and book holding NDC/VBK will combine Thieme Meulenhoff with its own educational division, Veen Bosch & Keuning-educational. The new combination will have 400 employees and an annual turn-over 100 million euro. Together with Malmberg Educational and Noordhoff Publishers the combination Veen Bosch & Keuning-educational will belong to the top three educational publishers in the Netherlands.
The implementation of online public services is progressing rapidly throughout the EU. A Belgian taxi driver can prepare and submit tax returns online while eID cards make it possible for an Estonian nurse to quickly check pension entitlements. However, the benefits of these services disappear when citizens try to use one country's card to access another country's service.
The European Commission, 13 of the 27 EU Member States (Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and Iceland (party to the European Economic Area agreement with the EU) will work together to enable different national Electronic Identity schemes to be recognised across national borders. The project will establish a number of trans-border pilot projects based on existing national systems. Through its size and momentum, it will overrun traditional barriers and encourage the mutual acceptance of other countries' electronic identities. The solutions developed and the experience gained by the project team will be shared with all states whether or not participating in the pilot.
Without replacing national schemes, the new system will allow citizens to identify themselves electronically in a secure way and deal with public administrations either from public offices, from their PC or ideally from any other mobile device. It means, for example that a student will be able to register in a foreign university using his/her home country's electronic identity. Some cross-border services already exist, including a Belgian web portal allows foreign companies to register to employ citizens from Sweden, for example. After completion of the project this should be possible using their national electronic identity card.
Easy access to public services across the EU is crucial for EU citizens travelling within Europe for business, studies or holidays and contributes to enhance the mobility of workers around Europe.
The eID pilot project is a so-called Large Scale Pilot (LSP): it is driven by participating countries and focuses on enabling the cross-border provision of ICT-based services that are already operational at national, regional or local level. LSPs build on these to find common specifications that can be further developed and gain wider agreement, enabling different national systems to communicate and interact with each other so that citizens and businesses can enjoy the full benefits of the Single Market.
This pilot project, called STORK (Secure idenTity acrOss boRders linKed), aims at implementing an EU-wide recognition of electronic identity that will enable businesses, citizens and government employees to use their national electronic identities in any Member State. It will test some of the most useful eID services by defining a set of common specifications that allow for the recognition of different national eIDs between the participants and will be accessible to other countries.
For more information on eID:
Blog Posting Number: 1116
Tags: eGovernment, eIdentity
Period: 1-5-2008 till 31-5-2008
Pageviews: 1464 (April 1435)
Visits: 1138 (April 1168)
Unique Visitors: 1008 (April 1045)
Countries: 73 (April 75)
Top 10 postings
Rank/URL/Percentage of Pageviews
2. http://buziaulane.blogspot.com/ 23,73%
4. http://www.buziaulane.blogspot.com/ 1,37%
Pageviews from the following countries
Google Ranking: 4 (April: 4)
Indexed: 3350 (April 3110)
Yahoo Inlinks: 4002 (April 4321)
Stats generated by Onestat and ClustrMaps
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Everyone agreed that the digital paper screens of the eReaders mean a break-through compared to the eBooks from Sony and Franklin, the eReaders of the nineties. The readability has definitely improved. Reading in the sun and in bed is no problem anymore. The present eReaders defies the publishers’ slogan: You can’t take a monitor to bed.
Also the power management has improved dramatically over the old battery technology. Only in the process of starting and the powering down the eReader uses energy as well as during flipping the pages back and forth. It has now longer battery life and the eReader is also much lighter.
The wireless facility like in the iLiad is a new feature to this generation of eReaders. It offers opportunities to receive books and newspapers while on the move. Yet this feature will be technology bound. Just look at the Kindle which works already on another principle. Kindle uses an EVDO (Evolution Data only) wireless network, Amazon Whispernet, to download books. Users do not need to find Wi-Fi hotspots or synch their Kindles with computers. Books can generally be downloaded in less than a minute, and several magazines, newspapers, and blogs are automatically delivered to subscribers. But one can think about Bluetooth technology and UMTS technology. It will give the eReader more roaming power.
Looking into the future digital paper readers might get colour screens, which will help the rendering of colour printed newspapers and magazines as well as books and catalogues. As for movies we will have to wait for another technology like electrowetting to mature.
But the UMPCs could will disturb the market of eReaders. The screens of UMPCs are still variations on LCD screens. However in the ASUS and the XO the screens have received renewed attention in order to bring down the power consumption. In the XO the power consumption can be brought by just switching off the backlight and bringing down the consumption to 1 Watt; and the readability is still acceptable. And the screen for the XO-2, which will be released in 2010, looks even more exciting (see photographs).
But given the size and the new technologies, UMPCs are becoming preferable above eReaders due to its multi-functionality. The ASUS EEE has an internet facility, wifi and webcam on board. XO has even a smarter wifi set on board, linking up to one kilometre. So UMPCs are moving in: XO, ASUS EEE, Intel classmate and Dell mini. To me the XO-2 is really way ahaead by changing the concept of a Ultra Mobile PC with a virtual keyboard, the handling of a two pages book and a gamepad for two persons. Should we start forgetting the eBook reader?
For those who read Dutch, go to: Jaap Stronks' blog.
Blog Posting Number: 1115
Tags: eReader, digital papereReader, digital paper
Friday, May 30, 2008
Mt Oelderik started out with the statement that a printed newspaper is a different beast from an electronic newspaper. An edition of 32 pages will end up as 195 electronic pages. The screen is too small to render a broadsheet on the iLiad digital paper eReader. He found the iLiad basically rudimentary and not exactly user-friendly; for this he referred to the on and off knob hidden on the bottom of the eReader (see illustration). But yet he saw the iLiad as a first step and was very optimistic about the development of eReaders. Full colour could be expected, perhaps larger screens and even a double screen imitating the left and right pages of a newspaper. And perhaps the digital paper would be rolleable and flexible. But this would take some time.
He was very proud of the fact that the ePaper did not cannibalise the printed newspaper. A subscription on the printed newspaper will cost the subscriber 309 euro annually. But with the ePaper the printing and the distribution costs had been removed showing a subscription price of 189 euro for electronic news and information.
The last remark triggered a discussion on the future of electronic newspapers. Mr Oelderik took the position that newspapers had hardly changed since 1828 when NRC was founded. Now in the digital age the newspaper had the opportunity to get delivered as printed newspapers, through internet and as ePapers. Of course it begged the question about the content of newspapers. Now the printed newspaper is a collection of items from news wires and information in the form of background articles. The news items can be found everywhere and are not unique to a newspaper; however the information is specifically of the newspaper’s editorial staff, the freelancers and occasional contributors. Mr Oelderik supposed that in two years the website would go on black as people will have to pay for the electronic newspapers. This was an interesting observation as many newspapers have gone back to free access and no paid web newspaper has made any profit. Yet he expected a shift from subscribers of the printed newspapers to subscribers of other subscriptions. Subscriptions would give a subscriber the right to printed information, web information, pod and vod information as well as to the ePaper, including news items. Presently NRC Handelsblad has 280.000 subscription relationships, including 6.000 web subscriptions and 1250 ePaper subscriptions. The electronic subscriptions are still not in the double digits, but Mr Oelderik is very optimistic about it.
There was also an extensive discussion on advertisements. Presently the printed broadsheet has advertisements, just as the website edition. However the ePaper edition does not have advertisement. A subscriber pays for the news and information. The price for that, less printing and distribution, is 189 euro. However it has not been established yet, whether advertisement will be added; ads can be used to leverage the profitability later on.
The ePaper has been one of three spearheads for the editorial staff: ePaper, NRC TV and the book portal. The ePaper is to address the early adopters. NRC TV is to aim at the YouTube generation and the book portal is for the intellectuals.
Blog Posting Number: 1114
Tags: newspaper, eReader, digital paper
Thursday, May 29, 2008
After a period of competition between cities which all wanted to call themselves Game City NL, Utrecht looks like having won the competition with a remarkable initiative. Dutch Game Garden looks after the whole chain in the game industry: students, starters and existing companies. The foundation has instituted three streams: developers club, Game Company Incubator and Business Centre. Dutch Game Garden is a concrete incubator for game companies. Presently already 7 companies with 40 employees are based in the building, while 6 organisations are on the waiting list. The foundation Dutch Dream Garden helps the companies to grow nationally and internationally and does the promotion internationally using the slogan Dutch games go global.
In the Developers Club students with various backgrounds such as game design, media, art and IT will work together on projects. Dutch Game Gardens will provide the GameLabs and the necessary finances, but also assist the students in the game contents and help them when they want to enter international competitions.
The Game Incubator will help the Dutch Game Garden’s graduates and starting entrepreneurs with setting up their company and game related business. They are helped with office space and finding investment; they will be assisted by coaches and consultants for all kind of aspects in the game industry. The Dutch Game Garden will help also with business trainings.
With the business centres the foundation will create game development hotspots. Attractive housing for larger companies is created, while they are linked to the starters in such away that facilities can shared. In the business centres access is offered to other companies, research institutes, universities and schools.
The foundation is financially supported by the ministry of Economic Affairs, the Province of Utrecht, the municipalities of Utrecht and Amersfoort. Related institutes are the HU University of Applied Science, University of Utrecht and the Utrecht School of Arts.
Blog Posting Number: 1113
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
IPv4, used since 1984, provides 4.3 billion addresses, of which only about 700 million or 16 per cent remain free and available for new connections. The new Internet protocol, IPv6, will make an almost unlimited amount of IP-addresses available and so support new applications using devices that are too numerous or costly for IPv4. This will make it much easier for home users to build their own private networks and connect them to the Internet.
IPv6 will encourage more innovative Internet applications, in particular those based on networking huge numbers of small and simple devices. For example, energy management for street lighting and intelligent buildings could be improved, and the Internet could cheaply and reliably connect remote control sensors in everyday household appliances. This in turn will provide an incentive and opportunity for companies to innovate still further, and so produce the next generation of internet applications.
Most new computers and servers being sold by major manufacturers are already IPv6 compatible, but are only reachable through their old IPv4 addresses. Europe's 'backbone' Internet network for research "GEANT" is already 100 per cent IPv6 compatible and has led to Europe having the highest take-up of IPv6 addresses of any region in the world. However, this improvement has yet to filter through to the public internet. Concerted action across Europe by all industry players is therefore required to ensure that IPv6 usage grows rapidly, with 'backbone' internet networks supporting both IPv4 and IPv6.
Meanwhile, in Japan, NTT (Nippon Telecom and Telegraph) already has a public IPv6 'backbone' and China plans to implement networks that are both IPv4 and IPv6 compatible before the Beijing Olympics. The US government is demanding IPv6 as a requirement for public procurement, but on the ground their internet technology remains similar to that in the EU.
The Commission, in a Communication adopted, called for Member States to put the European public sector at the forefront of deployment by migrating their own internet networks, public sector websites and eGovernment services to IPv6. The Commission also wants the most important websites of Europe to take the lead and aims to receive commitments from at least 100 top European website operators, such as broadcasters or online news services, before the end of 2008. The EU's own website "europa.eu", managed by the Commission, will be IPv6 accessible by 2010. To encourage the European IT industry to move forward, Member States should make the use of IPv6 a condition for a public procurement, (as the European Commission and the US Government have already done), raise awareness of businesses and organisations and help them with the transition.
The Commission has invested € 90 million in IPv6 research. In 2002 the European Commission launched an action plan to prepare for the migration to IPv6, including the development a large pool of experts with experience in IPv6 deployment. As a result, European research networks are IPv6-ready and the European network GEANT is the world leader in the deployment of IPv6. More than 30 European R&D projects directly related to IPv6 have been financed through the EU's research frameworks.
On May 30, major industry players will attend a launch event in Brussels, at which the Commission will present this initiative for accelerating the deployment of IPv6 in Europe
Blog Posting Number: 1112
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The National Library has outsourced the digitisation work to the German company Content Conversion Specialists (CSS) incollaboration with the Dutch company M & R. Per month some 200.000 newspaper pages will be processed. By the beginning of 2009 the first results should be visible. The project will be financed by a Dutch national program for large scale research facilities.
The first Dutch language newspaper was published in Amsterdam in 1618. This newspaper entitled de Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, & c. was published every week and was on broad format. De Courante is seen by several scientists as the first newspaper in the world, as it was printed on a broad format and not as a pamphlet, as earlier newspapers. In the Netherlands more than 7.000 national, regional and local newspaper titles have been published since 1618. All the sections will be scanned for the sake of preservation, as many of the newspaper have been printed on perishable paper (thin and bad quality paper). The resulting database will become a resource for linguists, historians and language technologists.
The newspapers are mainly part of the National Library collection, while other newspapers come from other heritage institutions. An academic committee will assist in the selection of the titles to be digitised. As the project will meet problems with regard to copyright a committee has been set with the Dutch Publishers Association and other IP institutions to safeguard the rights of authors.
Blog Posting Number: 1111
Monday, May 26, 2008
With Live Search Books and Live Search Academic, Microsoft in partnership with the libraries digitized 750,000 books and indexed 80 million journal articles. These books and scholarly publications will continue to be integrated into our Search results, but not through separate indexes. The university libraries of the University of California and the University of Toronto were partners in the project. They set up a program for library scanning and in-copyright book programs. They did this on the platform we developed with Kirtas, the Internet Archive, CCS, and others. The libraries and the publishers are now left with the remains of the program. They have the technology and equipment in house to scan the books. One advantage is that they have received back the full rights to the scanned books. Unclear is what happened to the cooperation between Microsoft and the British Library as they work together to make 25 million pages of content available.
Satya Nadella, senior vice president search, portal and advertising, writes in his blog: “We have learned a tremendous amount from our experience and believe this decision, while a hard one, can serve as a catalyst for more sustainable strategies. To that end, we intend to provide publishers with digital copies of their scanned books. We are also removing our contractual restrictions placed on the digitized library content and making the scanning equipment available to our digitization partners and libraries to continue digitization programs. We hope that our investments will help increase the discoverability of all the valuable content that resides in the world of books and scholarly publications.”
The decision is a strange one. Did Microsoft go into these library and publishing projects to find out sustainable strategies for search engines? Bonkers. While Google has a strategy to make every publication digitally available and committed itself to library and publishing programs, Microsoft started the program just to compete with Google, despite the objective of increasing the discoverability of all the valuable content worldwide. Pure lip service! Now the company claim that they learned a lot, brought down the cost of copying and will work on a sustainable business model for searching. The translation of Microsoft’s statement will most likely be too black and white, but Microsoft basically says that the library and publishing programs did not serve as a catalyst for more sustainable search strategies. Now Microsoft changes its strategy per direct and looks into verticals with high commercial intent like travel. In other words, the library and publishing business is not profitable enough; they should have known better before getting in.
For the libraries and publishers the free lunch is over. Of course, there was never a free lunch as the libraries and publishers were limited in their actions and in the use of the scans.
Blog Posting Number: 1110
Sunday, May 25, 2008
It all started last year when the book The Poor man’s paradise of the journalist Suzanne Jansen was published. The book concerns the 19th century poor man’s colony Veenhuizen, where sentenced vagrants were sent. It was a labour camp, where people were educated and taught routines.
Church of the labour camp in Veenhuizen
There were also voluntary colonies (Frederiksoord, Willemsoord en Wilhelminaoord), where people could go to do farming work voluntarily. A charity foundation could propose a family to be sent to a colony. When the family accepted and was placed in such a voluntary colony, they had a mortgage for clothing and furniture, which they had to pay off with the agricultural products. When a family member left the farm before the mortgage was paid off, it was seen as desertion. Orphans did not have any choice at all as the charity foundation had an agreement with the government.
The colonies were later on acquired by the Dutch ministry of Justice and used as penitentiary institutions. When they were freed they often stayed in the neighbourhood of Veenhuizen as they did not want to became known as people from Veenhuizen. In many a family there was a deafening silence about relatives sent to Veenhuizen.
The database contains 74.000 names of colonists in this labour camp, who were inmates from 1818 till 1921. There are also 5.600 photographs and descriptions of vagrants and beggars from 1896 and 1901. More data will be added. There were also voluntary colonies (Frederiksoord, Willemsoord en Wilhelminaoord), where people could go to do farming work.
The launch of the database is celebrated in the Prison museum at Veenhuizen with two presentations about the colonies, a workshop on genealogy and tour of the colony.
Blog Posting Number: 1109
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Looking back at the assignment of the Kingdom of Bahrain eGovernment Agency, I can say that it has been an extra ordinary assignment. I have been 13 days in Bahrain, living out of a suitcase. I had been invited as the eGovernment Agency celebrated its first anniversary in a grand way with a competition and a Forum.
I have been involved in four major events: a presentation for the Supreme Committee for Information Technology and Communication a steering committee of 11 ministers, chaired by deputy prime ministers Sheikh Mohammed bin Mubarak al Khalifa, the jury deliberations for the eGovernment Excellence Awards, the Awards ceremony and the eGovernment Forum. There have been some side events like the luncheon with the foreign delegations attending the eGovernment Forum and exhibition and the dinner at the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Bahrain Information Technology Society (BITS).
I have met many people. I worked with the management of the eGovernment Agency and have been assisted by Abdulaziz. I also had a lot of contact with Nezar, who was the link between the eGovernment Agency and the cabinet. In the jury deliberations I work with a team of professionals with backgrounds in academics, consultancy, government and business. I enjoyed meeting again Waheed. At the Presidents palace I met old friends, involved in the 2005 World Summit Awards Grand Jury in Bahrain. At the Awards ceremony I met again Radi Ali the manager of the Labour Market Regulatory Authority. I also met in Bahrain Ghislain, an employee for Zain Mobile, who used to work in The Netherlands, but has now been relocated in Bahrain. And I met many new people during the Awards ceremony, the Forum and the exhibitions. Their business cards still have to be answered.
I still have to work on promised documents in the coming week. When these are completed and have been sent off, I am anxious to hear what is going to happen. Will there be a second eGovernment Excellence Awards in Bahrain? Will there be competitions in Kuwait, Qatar or Oman. And will there be a supra-national competition in the Gulf. I would also hope that the GCC, the associated Gulf states, will start an annual benchmark exercise. What I know is that the kingdom of Bahrain has high ambitions and wants to make it to the top of the UN list.
For the time being I will think back of the sight of a small buss of a handyman with the e-mail address with a prefix achmed6. In a country where every third boy will be named Ahmed, there is one person who is identifiable by an e-mail address as Achmed. I wonder how many e-mail addresses there are, starting with Achmed.
Blog Posting Number: 1108
Friday, May 23, 2008
The Arab Open University (AOU) offers three streams of learning. One stream is for a BA degree, accredited by the British Open University; the second stream is a centre of excellence for the Open University of Malaysia and the French university of Rouen offering a Master’s degree. The third stream is the hosting of professional skills enhancing graduate programs. The BA program includes a BA in Business Administration and a BA in Information Technology. The Master's program offers amongst others MBAs in General management, ICT and HR/Marketing. Most interesting is the course on Islamic finance, a new way of interest free banking. And as Bahrain is a kingdom, it was interesting to hear that the AOU offers a course on water management, a speciality of our Dutch crown prince (The AOU Bahrain branch is sponsored by one of the three crown princes of Bahrain).
The AOU offers its own e-learning campus system. It was started between 2003 and 2004. Their system contains five modules. There is a learning management system, containing all the administrative procedures for entry to the AOU and for payment. The second module is the virtual classroom in which you can talk to the instructor, but also the other students. There is a an e-library system, linking the students amongst others to the Open University Malaysia with its 21 databases of bibliographic book information, e-journals and repertory of master theses. Of course there are e-lectures. Last but not least there are the student packages of books and CDs. The Arab Open University believes in blended learning, using all the tools, analogue or digital, but also in studying at the university and virtual classes. The trade language is English while there is also support material for Arabic. The professional courses in for example finance, health, hotel management and manufacturing are produced in cooperation with industry, government and institutions; the students receive a certificate for following these courses.
The AOU Bahrain branch is ambitious. They are developing a platform for m-learning. But they are also eager to link up with other universities to develop programs. They look at this world in terms of networked learning. But even important to the management is the exposure to other cultures. I had a chance to them about digital paper and the experiment with digital paper by the Dutch Open University.
Blog Posting Number: 1107
Tags: e-learning, m-learning
Thursday, May 22, 2008
After the jury deliberations, the attention shifted to the Bahrain International eGovernment Forum. International delegations from the Gulf Sates arrived. A luncheon was organised for the delegations.
Trader's Vic lies in the very luxurious tourist resort on the ground of the Ritz and Carlton Hotel. You can sit outside with some 40 degrees Celsius and are cooled by fans mounted on the palm trees.
On the last day of my trip there was a dinner in honour of the 25th anniversary of the Bahrain Information Technology Services (BITS).
This is my new Asus EEE, on which I wrote today's blog. It is an interesting piece of equipment. The operating software is Linux. Office is replaced by OpenOffice. It has a webcam on board and can pick up wifi. My copy has a multilingual keyboard; it contains Arabic symbols. Iwill have to learn Ararbic now.
And the day started with a kind of a light sensation. Pictures of the press conference were in the papers; Bahrain with a population of 1 million inhabitants has five newspapers in Arabic and in English. There was also a short interview with me in the capacity of chairman of the eGov competition. The question was whether there was room for improvement in the entries. My answer was affirmative and I especially pointed to the category eProposal. The project proposals of the entrants in that category were rather weak and needed a real make over. The journalist in his article mixed up this remark and attributed weak proposals to the Bahrain eTender Board, which the winner of that particular category! He had clearly misunderstood, that the remark concerned project proposals. After all the Bahrain eTender Board was the only one with a quality proposal. I hope that this remark will be corrected by the newspaper.
The event closed with a live televised debate with participants of the Gulf countries. eGovernment is very important to those countries. I will be writing about this debate, when I receive a summary of the debate. I did hear already that the countries had agreed to set up an annual competition for the Gulf countries. It looks like this competition and the Forum have struck serious ground.
From the exhibition it was clear that some Gulf states are very serious about eGovernment. I spoke to a delegation of people from Oman. They told me about their SMS parking system and were eager to hear about the mobile parking system in the Netherlands. I knew that the Omani are working on all kinds of eGovernmental systems. They really made a fair and very efficient system for assigning to students national and international universities as well as scholarships on the basis of their grades. What was a long wait for students after high school graduation when everything was done manually, has become a simple computing exercise, by which the results are sent by traditional and digital channels such as internet and mobile. Also Qatar and Kuwait are seriously busy
At night there was a dinner to celebrate the 25 anniversary of the Bahrain Information Technology Society (BITS). The dinner was held at the poolside of the Gulf Hotel for some 100 people. And of course there was the inevitable ceremony of gifts: the president of the society and the past presidents as well as the vice-presidents all got an Asus EEE which sells in Bahrain for 175 Bahrain dinars or 120 euro. As I am not an official or a former official I had to buy one myself. This is the first blog I typed with this Ultra Mobile PC with OpenOffice on the plane home. (Asus EEE has the operating system Linux. In the discussions on eGovernment, no mention was made Open Source. It is all based on Microsoft).
Blog Posting Number: 1106
Tags: eGovernment, open sourceeGovernment, open source
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Happily enough we did not bite each other. I had set up my presentation around the eGovernment annual report of Cap Gemini. Of course there are more annual reports such as the ones from the UN, the Economist and others. But I liked best the idea that eGovernment will have to work on personalization. So far it has mainly been busy with getting the transactions right, not only of money transfers such as in the case of taxes, but also in the completion of end-to-end transactions such as registration of births. Funny enough the income generating transaction services of the government account are very high. In other words the government takes care of itself well, but not per se of the citizens and that is very dangerous for eGovernment. It might loose the citizens if the governments do not facilitate in easy to use services.
The 2007 measurement of Cap Gemini is based upon a method that has been modernised, to take into account new technological possibilities and insights. The existing framework has therefore been extended to include a fifth level of sophistication built around pro-activity and personalisation The measurement also recognises the significant advancement that has been made by countries over the years. The measurements have been extended to assess on the one hand to what extent the services are built around the needs of the “customer” (being citizens and businesses) and on the other hand how easy it is to access these services through the national portal.
Today’s challenge is to close that gap – delivering an experience that attracts and fulfils citizen needs, efficiently, consistently, and economically – the “Gov 2.0” experience. An experience that reaffirms trust in public services, and delivers the user-participation required to support a customer-centric, economically viable, and productive Europe.
I used of course The Netherlands as an example. Not that all the eServices of the government are great. But they are busy with the digital ID, the eForm project, the multi-channel project. I really hope that I will receive in 2009 an electronic message telling me that I am about to receive a state pension. The message should have all the details from the central administration system, the tax system and the social services system. It should note my expat status for my stay in the US and UK. And of course it should tell me the amount receivable. Instant gratification from the government!
Blog Posting Number: 1105
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
eContent: Labour Market Regulatory Authority
eService: Ministry of Education HM King Hamad H. M. King Hamad's Schools of the Future Project
eService for eGov Portal: eVisas e-Service for eGov Portal: eVisas
eMature: Labour Market Regulatory Authority
Appreciation: Ministry of Municipalities and Agriculture; Ministry of Industry and Commerce
eProposal: Bahrain Tendering Board
ICT Solution Provider: BBM
eEconomy: Economic Development Board
There were two more awards, but they were decided on the basis of statistics. The eCitizen award was given to the citizen who had dome most transactions through the Government network (for example paying of electricity bills). And the last award was for eParticipation.
The Bahrain International eGovernment Forum is indeed an international happening. There are delegations from Gulf states like Oman, Kuwait and Dubai. And they have been surprised that by the eGov competition, so I was told by a Kuwaiti. He was very interested in details and procedures.
This is not the first competition I am in. And yes it happened again. In the morning a spokesperson for a ministry called up and asked whether they should come; in other words did we win. It was interesting to see the representatives of the eGovernment Agency diplomatically telling the guy to attend the Award ceremony, so that he would hear the winners being called up. Of course the spokesperson called on behalf of his "minister". In the afternoon there was a luncheon with the foreign delegations of the Gulf States at the green ground of the Ritz and Carlton.
The Award ceremony consisted of four speeches. The handing out of the Awards was done by the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the chair of the Supreme Committee for e-Government. And of course there were gifts for the jury (see photograph above) and for the delegations of the Gulf States.
A lot of attention is being paid in the press to the competition and the event. One newspaper had a full page with a lot of photographs. Another one made it even front page news under the eschatological title: E-Kingdom in 2 years! (Bahrain is a kingdom). I liked most the paper that noticed that the jury had decided to give two awards to the Labour Market Regulatory Authority.
Blog Posting Number: 1104
Monday, May 19, 2008
Mr Sarbuland Khan said:“GAID places particular importance to initiatives such as the WSA, and welcomes the development of appropriate tools and training content, an essential ingredient of localknowledge sharing, in order to enable communities to find resources most relevant to their needs.
WSA will launch a Flagship Initiative on e-Content within GAID with the objective of creating a meaningful dialogue - involving grass-roots and civil society organizations,
governments, the private sector and other stakeholders - in order to advance consensus and help decision-makers to bring about the appropriate regulatory environment
enabling local content production, dissemination and usage for the benefit of the communities.”
WSA creates and sustains a global network and platform which provides global recognition of the individual achievements of local e-Content producers, establishes insight into what is quality in terms of e-Content and innovative applications, focuses on value add for users, and stimulates entrepreneurship and creativity in the creative industries. WSA directly empowers individuals as entrepreneurs and specifically supports the UN Millennium Development Goals of reducing poverty and using ICT for the betterment of Society.
• Make rich local e-Content issues part of the ICT4D agenda
• Facilitate local e-Content industry economic development
• Bridge the digital divide in e-Content
• Narrow the content gap
Blog Post Number: 1103
Tags: digital divide
Sunday, May 18, 2008
These three photographs have been taken from my hotel balcony of the Seef area, a area with reclaimed land (by the Dutch dredging company Van Oord) for development, mainly offices, but also tourism along the seaside. The first photograph shows the new HQ of mobile telco Zain with a shopping mall in the foreground; the second photograph shows the building of Citibank and the third one shows in the back the new financial centre buildings downtown and an immense area still to be developed. (To enlarge click on photograph)
The second three photographs are taken at the other side of Manama, the capital of Bahrain. The first photograph is of the Gulf Hotel, where I stayed last year. The second one is a view of one of a large mosk. The third picture is of the Prime Minister's Palace.
In the digital media era the traditional media companies have made quantum leaps in comparison to the telcos in terms of advertising and marketing. While the Internet companies (ie, Google) have clearly been the leaders to date, media companies are now making great progress. New advertising models, permission-based marketing and premium sales activities are being used to attract people to events and services. New video applications are also emerging as the Internet media companies seek to exploit the added speed and capacity of broadband infrastructure.
The most significant change broadband is bringing to the market is that it is opening up consumer markets. For decades, only corporate users have been able to afford data services. The Internet quickly used this new data development to create an enormous number of consumer applications. Broadband improved the quality, allowing for video-based applications, and, just as importantly, it made access to digital media affordable to the mass market.
The rise of the Internet, mobile phones and other digital media is forcing marketers and their suppliers, including ad agencies, to adopt new business models and broaden their offerings. Although the Internet still only accounts for a small percentage that will be spent on media advertising in 2008, its influence spreads much further than that. It is changing the way consumers are exposed to and interact with advertising.
To date, traditional ad agencies have been accustomed to mass media advertising, with its one-way flow of communication. Digital adverting however will be led by the consumers; they will more or less have full control of the information that they wish to receive and the format will look nothing like traditional advertising. It will be highly personal and highly interactive. Mass advertising will not disappear. There are still good reasons for it to continue, but over time its role will be eroded. The trend will be the democratisation of advertising, necessitated by changing consumer behaviour in favour of the digital media
We are seeing the emergence of new advertising models as the industry gains confidence; driven primarily by the phenomenal growth in online advertising revenues. Online advertising formats can involve searching, games, online directory listings and other permission-based models. Video-based services on broadband and interactive digital TV networks are also becoming a whole new area for advertising opportunities. Social networks have also gained much attention in recent years, but in 2008 questions are beginning to be asked about the true potential of advertising over this medium. Personalised media and one-to-one communication will be the predominant mode on the Digital Media.
Location Based Advertising has had a revival with the development of Location Based Services over mobile devices. Put simply, LBA is when advertisements are strategically communicated based on a consumer’s location. Mobile LBA is slowly becoming a reality with services starting to roll out around the world, particularly in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. In addition to the marketers, major players in the mobile and Internet fields are also taking great interest in these developments.
- The biggest growth in advertising for the next ten years will come from digital media and this will most certainly involve massive changes for the traditional ad agencies.
- It is expected that by 2015, 65% of all New Media revenues will be based on permission-based marketing..
- The online advertising market stalled during the dotcom era, but a significant recovery began in 2003 and today online advertising is flourishing with over $60 billion to be spent worldwide in 2008..
- A reflection of the growing digital advertising market has been the growth in Internet advertising across Europe, which is taking an increasing share of total advertising spend.
- Four of the major Internet media companies in the US capture over 60% of US online advertising revenues.
- In South Africa, Vodacom has started selling text ads to be placed on the 20 million free ‘Please Call Me’ SMS that are sent through its mobile network every day.
- There is a small but fast-growing band of new digital marketing houses in Australia who are promoting their ability to deliver an end-to-end solution..
Blog Post Number: 1102
Saturday, May 17, 2008
I have taken up more interest in movies since I was asked to be part of a film festival board and since I invested (a small sum) in the movie The Butterfly Tattoo. The movie has a fascinating history. A very young team of people wanted to make the movie, based on the book by Philip Pullman. This author is rather popular as his book the Golden Compass was filmed for 16 million euro. Yet the team was able to get permission from the author and went on to the next hurdle: money. They made a budget and started to solicit money from people. In no less than two days they had collected 200.000 euro.thanks to an interview in the Dutch financial daily, Het Financieele Dagblad. The movie has been completed and it has become a typical British movie (see trailer). Now distribution talks are being held with movie distributors; the team will also be active in Cannes.
President Barroso will open the Ministers' meeting on 19 May under the multilingual banner "Cinema, Dianying yan, Kino, Chalchitra, Cine: Building a world of exchanges". Ministers, filmmakers and film business participants will discuss how to intensify audiovisual exchanges between EU countries and take advantage of new cooperation and trade agreements between the EU and other regions of the world. They will also explore ways to stimulate joint initiatives between film distributors , cinema operators and training centres from Europe and other countries.
No less than 12 Ministers have already confirmed their participation, notably ministers from France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Portugal, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. Croatia, which became the first candidate country to join the MEDIA programme earlier this year, will send its Minister of Culture to the meeting.
In the evening of 19 May, the film "Douro, Faina, Fluvial" (1930) will be shown at the Croisette to honour the Portuguese film maker Manoel de Oliveira.
The 14 EU-Funded Films at Cannes 2008
Gomorra directed by Matteo Garrone (EU funding from MEDIA: €45,000) – A Neapolitan mafia drama based on a novel by Roberto Saviano.
Delta directed by Kornél Mundruczó (€100,000) – Mihail comes home for his father's funeral. He meets his sister for the first time and they fall in love.
La frontière de l'Aube directed by Philippe Garrel (€50,000) – A young photographer sees a vision of his ex-lover, an actress who committed suicide after he cut her out from his life and who has now come back to haunt him.
Le silence de Lorna directed by Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne (€202,500) – An Albanian woman marries a drug addict in order to obtain Belgian residency.
The Palermo Shooting directed by Wim Wenders (€50,000) – A German photographer decides to take a break in Palermo where he meets a young woman and her completely different way of life.
Sangue pazzo directed by Marco Tullio Giordana (€111,600) – Renowned actors of Fascist cinema, who were part of the Salò Republic, were accused of collaborating and torturing and shot by the Partisans after the country was liberated.
Entre Les Murs directed by Laurent Cantet (€30,000) – The story of a French teacher at a secondary school in a difficult area.
Un Certain Regard:
Tulpan directed by Sergey Dvortsevoy (€40,000) – Bulat has done military service in the Russian Navy and returns to the Kazakh step to become a shepherd. For that, he has to learn the shepherding trade and get married.
Eldorado (aka Léa) directed by Bouli Lanners (€51,500) – Yvan grows a strange affection for Elie, an adolescent who breaks into his house, and decides to drive the teenager back to his parents.
Elève libre directed by Joachim Lafosse (€82,500) – Jonas' dreams of becoming a professional tennis player are dashed when he fails his exams. He turns to Pierre for support. Their paternal, master-student relationship gradually becomes a complex and ambiguous one of dependence and manipulation.
Salamandra directed by Pablo Aguero (€26,000) – Six-year-old Inti has been living with his grandmother when Alba returns to drag him away on a crazy trip to a legendary valley in Patagonia.
Les Bureaux de Dieu directed by Claire Simon (€16,000) – Day-to-day functioning of the family planning centre where women come to inform themselves about a choice they have or want to make.
International Critics' Week:
Better Things directed by Duane Hopkins (€90,500) – A group of young people grow up together in a rural community in the Cotswolds, experiencing sexual awakening, boredom, and drug use.
Home directed by Ursula Meïer (€50,000) – The story of a handful of people gradually cut off and disconnected from the world, who end up shutting themselves in.
Update 25/05/2008: Entre les Murs has won the Golden Palm of the 61st fim festival in Cannes.
Blog Posting Number: 1101
Tags: film, movie
date: 13 05, 2008
MANAMA, MAY 13 (BNA) DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND CHAIRMAN OF THE SUPREME COMMITTEE FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATION SHAIKH MOHAMMED BIN MUBARAK AL KHALIFA TODAY CHAIRED THE MEETING HELD BY COMMITTEE.
THE MEETING REVIEWED THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL E- GOVERNMENT FORUM (BIEF) TO BE HELD FROM MAY 19 TO 21 UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF DEPUTY PREMIER SHAIKH MOHAMMED. THE FORUM COINCIDES WITH THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF LAUNCHING THE KINGDOMS E-GOVERNMENT STRATEGY. IT IS ORGANISED BY THE E-GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY IN COOPERATION WITH THE BAHRAIN SOCIETY OF ENGINEERS AND THE BAHRAIN IT SOCIETY. THE FORUM WILL HOST INTERNATIONAL, REGIONAL AND LOCAL EXPERTS AT THE AIM OF EXCHANGING KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE. GULF E-GOVERNMENT PROGRAMMES WILL ALSO BE HIGHLIGHTED AT THE FORUM. THE COMMITTEE ALSO REVIEWED THE AWARENESS PROGRAMMES THAT WILL BE HELD ON THE SIDELINES OF THE BIEF. DETAILS OF THE EGOVERNMENT EXCELLENCE AWARD TO BE PRESENTED TO WINNERS ON THE OPENING OF THE BIEF WERE ALSO DISCUSSED AT THE MEETING. JURY PANEL HEAD JAK BOUMANS, THE SECRETARY OF THE EUROPEAN ACADEMY OF DIGITAL MEDIA, GAVE A PRESENTATION ON THE CRITERIA FOLLOWED FOR THE SELECTION OF WINNERS. THE CATEGORIES OF THE AWARD ARE: BEST ESERVICE AWARD, BEST EMATURE MINISTRY (READINESS), APPRECIATION AWARD, BEST ICT SOLUTION PROVIDER AWARD, EECONOMY AWARD, BEST ECONTENT AWARD, BEST EPROPOSAL AWARD, EPARTICIPATION AWARD AND THE ECITIZEN AWARD. THE AWARDS WILL GO TO WINNERS FROM MINISTRIES, GOVERNMENT BODIES, PRIVATE SECTOR ESTABLISHMENTS AND CITIZENS. THERE HAVE BEEN 79 CONTESTANTS FOR THE PRIZE FROM THE VARIOUS MINISTRIES, GOVERNMENT BODIES AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR. THE JURY, MADE UP OF INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL EXPERTS, ARE CURRENTLY VERIFYING THE APPLICATIONS COMPLIANCE WITH THE SET CONDITIONS. THE EGOVERNMENT EXCELLENCE AWARD AIMS AT SPREADING AWARENESS OF THE E- GOVERNMENT IN BAHRAIN. IT ALSO FORMS AN INCENTIVE TO MINISTRIES AND CITIZENS TO AVAIL OF THE E-SERVICES AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AVAILABLE AND SEEKS TO ENCOURAGE THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO OFFER FURTHER STATE-OF- THE-ART IT INITIATIVES. THE JURY ALSO LEARNED ABOUT THE PROMOTIONAL AND AWARENESS-RAISING CAMPAIGNS DUE TO BE CARRIED OUT BY THE E-GOVERNMENT NATIONWIDE. THE ICT COMMITTEE WILL HOLD ITS NEXT MEETING IN JUNE TO FOLLOW-UP ON RECOMMENDATIONS. HMQ 13-MAY-2008 22:24
Friday, May 16, 2008
Peter A. Bruck, Chairman of WSA, and Ramón Alberto Garza, President & CEO of Indigomedia, during the signing of the sponsorship contract
In 2003 the WSA Grand Jury had been in Dubai and the WSA Gala was in Geneva. In 2007 the WSA Grand Jury was in Croatia and the WSA Gala was celebrated in Venice. For 2009 it looks like the WSA Grand Jury will be held in Venezuela, but the venue for the WSA Gala has now been fixed. The Gala will be held in Monterey, Mexico, the home base of Indogomedia. This media company won at last year’s global contest in the e-Entertainment category with its product Indigomedia – Brain Media, an interactive broadband digital magazine, based on the premise of providing entertainment and understanding.
Each week, Indigomedia offers a unique experience addressing a range of issues including politics, economics, culture, society, sports, and many more. In a manner that is at once deep and entertaining, Indigomedia captivates the reader and creates synergy between the digital and analogue worlds. The platform allows for full interactivity through a variety of tools including video, animation, and audio. The result is a media experience in which users read, see, hear, touch, and feel each article through the most up-to-date, cutting-edge technology. Every Friday readers can enjoy the Indigo experience free of charge. For all these reasons, Indigomedia constitutes a new form of expression within media one that looks for minds willing to be transformed. This is why it is not mass media, but brainmedia.
Indigomedia is a very ambitious company. It is working on bringing the formula of Indigo to the States. This will not only be for the Hispanics in the States, but the company also wants to translate this formula for the American English market. The company is already active in the States.
Indigomedia will not only act as the host for the WSA Gala events in 2009, but will also financially support the WSA Office in order to create several e-Content related events and start working on the organization of the global contest and the preparations of the Gala and Winners Conference in Mexico. Additionally, Indigomedia will act as the liaison of WSA for the Mexican Government to ensure that official representatives will attend the WSA events.
(I just declare interest in the WSA as I am one of the members of the Board).
Blog Posting Number: 1100
Microlearning2008. Microlearning & Capacity Building June 25 to 27th, 2008, in Innsbruck
- sponsored by Intel Education and in co-operation with University of Innsbruck
Participants from all of Europe, the US, Asia the Arab Region and Africa are expected and feature the most diverse backgrounds: IT architects and university graduates, eLearning practitioners and educators, knowledge managers and corporate trainers, large enterprises and small start-ups, e.g. This exceptional blend as well as the relaxed, intimate atmosphere present opportunities to make new contacts and lead inspiring discussions which would otherwise not have have been possible.
If you are interested in participating check the preliminary program http://www.researchstudio.at/downloads/preprogram_mai08.pdf and register online (http://www.microlearning.org/index.php?catid=51&blogid=1&skinid=17).
(This is a non profit announcement)
Thursday, May 15, 2008
In 1996 ilse, the first Dutch search engine, was launched by Wiebe Weikamp, Merien ten Houten and Robert Klep. ilse grew at an amazing rate and quickly became the market leader in Dutch search engines. Two years later in 1998, a group of friends, under the supervision of Durk Jan de Bruin set-up Startpagina. This site with site pages per subject, including all daughter sites (respectively 1,500 and roughly 5,000 pages) quickly grew to become the biggest Dutch internet portal. By 1999 Google appeared on the scene. In 2000 VNU magazines, now Sanoma magazines, acquired both companies and put them in ilse media B.V.
The search engine became the stimulus for the development of a digital publisher company. By now ilse media has a network of 150 websites, of which Starpagina is the largest. It has a news site and a weblog site. IN 2005 ilse media started a cluster of youngsters and youth sites under the name newrulez. Ilse media also manages the women and home sites of Sanoma publishers and the site TVGids.nl, an electronic television guide, for the public broadcast stations.
From the beginning the search engine ilse was a popular site for the Dutch language searchers. When Google started its activity, ilse was on its height and has been going down ever since. In the last year there was a discussion about the search engine. Most people thought that the engine had come at the end of the cycle. And this became clear from the penetration rate, which went down to 5 per cent, while the real use for searching went down to 2 per cent. Presently users of Startpagina use Google five times a week, while the search engine of ilse media is used five times a week.
Of course Google will bring in extra revenues. But the management of ilse media will have to contemplate the use of the search engine. The company is adamant in stating that the dismissal of their own search engine ilse is the beginning of the end. Ilse media is working on a new strategy for the search engine. One way will be to use the search engine for vertical sites like the women magazines of Sanoma.
On May 8, 2008 ilse media announced a new site, familii.nl, a family and relatives sites, which offers tools for keeping contact with family and relatives and for mapping the relatives. Familii.nl has a few competitors in the Dutch market: Verwant.nl, familieband.nl and familiepagina.nl. Verwant.nl is the Dutch version of the popular German Verwant.de and is run by De Telegraaf.
Blog Posting Number: 1099
Tags: search engine