Tuesday, June 28, 2005

WHO appeals to China to test for bird flu

The World Health Organization urged China on Tuesday to step up testing of wild geese and gulls, as well as humans who've come in contact with them near a remote saltwater lake where 5,000 birds have died. Officials say 54 people have died in Asia so far this year after becoming infected by sick birds - although none in China. So far, Chinese authorities have tested only 12 dead birds and two people, with the people coming up negative.

more avain flu news

windows wins

Windows is the PC operasting system of choice at large U.S. businesses. Apple's Macintosh captured just 2% of systems across the companies that Gartner surveyed.
  1. Windows 2000 - 40%
  2. Windows XP - 32%
  3. Don't Know - 9%
  4. Windows NT - 8%
  5. Windows 98 - 6%
  6. Windows 95 - 2%
  7. Mac - 2%
  8. Linux - 1%
Gartner Large U.S. Business PC Market survey of 177 PC decision makers

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

service level rankings for banking web sites

Which banking Web sites provide the fastest transactions?
Which are the most reliable? Download Keynote's free
Service Level Rankings Report and find out who the top performers
are in the online banking industry and what you can do to improve
your competitive positioning.
Click on the link download your free copy.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

data cutbacks

Four rules for cutting back the data you keep.

  1. Determine what info you collect. Audit all sources and forms of data you gather. Make sure there is a business reason for each.
  2. Protect sensitive data. Determine what employees or customer information you absolutely need; then, enhance the security around the most important, critical information.
  3. Prepare for the long haul. You can't flip a switch and instantly stop packing away data. Getting more selective will take years.
  4. Get thick skin. Debates on what to minmize will be fierce. What you view as a liability is another department's future revenue generator.

steps to VoIP success

1. Assess your needs: Determine who within your organization demands real time communications across voice and IP systems.

2. Assess your infrastructure: Identify how your current telecom systems will need to evolve to support VoIP without pursuing a "rip-out and replace" strategy.

3. Draw up a blueprint: Use the assesment to design a flexible, reliable IP infrastructure that supports voice and data.

4. Ensure proper training: Determine who will handle training for the VoIP system, and how it will be offered.

5. Deploy and manage: Even after the network goes live, be sure you have a monitoring service in place to maximize ongoing performance.

voip Links

Firebox VoIP Cyberphone http://del.icio.us/nleghari
Skype - Free Internet telephony that just works http://del.icio.us/dantreacy
RTFM: Divide and rule - Computing http://del.icio.us/bmacauley
RTFM: Preparing for VoIP - Computing http://del.icio.us/bmacauley
wie funktioniert enum - homepage http://del.icio.us/carixus
enum howto - homepage http://del.icio.us/carixus

voip posts
from Technorati
Communications Mergers Full Committee Hearing POSTPONED
For what it's worth. Hopefully the consumer will win as a result of this hearing -- when it happens. POSTPONED -- Communications Mergers Full...VoIP Blog - Rich Tehrani 50 links from 30 sources
Telecom Competition
I received this e-mail this week from Consumer's Union and agree that we are seeing too many mega-mergers in telecom. The telecom industry is turning...VoIP Blog - Rich Tehrani 50 links from 30 sources
VoIP and Outdated Telecom Laws
Here is a great article on VoIP regulation and outdated telecom laws by TMCnet’s newest reporter, Ted Glanzer. Here is an excerpt: The Brand X case:...VoIP Blog - Rich Tehrani 50 links from 30 sources
Skype Rules VoIP: cheap/free telephone
New York wants license plates to identify drunken drivers ·Good News Blog 10 links from 6 sources
End of rumors: Yahoo! buys up Dialpad
We talked about it over the weekend. End of story yesterday. From Stowe's site: Yahoo! has had a frenzy of activity this year...Rodrigo A. SepĂșlveda Schulz 157 links from 84 sources
Another video plugin for Skype is out
Just out. It seems limited to the first 5000 beta testers. It allows for multiple video conference calls. Haven't checked it yet, but...Rodrigo A. SepĂșlveda Schulz 157 links from 84 sources
Add-on per Skype
Cooler weather.. More VoIP related stuff..
It has still been pretty cool out the past couple of days. It's really nice to get out at 10:30 PM and feel a cool breeze instead of that freakish...Why The Hell? 6 links from 4 sources
Lots going on in the Skype-o-sphere
Wow, I tell you it's an exciting time to be a Skype user. Seems like every few days I'm hearing about something new and cool to try. So we now have...Blog Consulting & Professional Blogging a View from the Isle :: Main Page 116 links from 70 sources
Skype in merger talks with Yahoo?
Permanent Link Friday, June 10...North American Bandwidth News :: Main Page 26 links from 17 sources
Research and Markets: VoIP - Spending and Trends
Research and Markets: VoIP - Spending and Trends June 17, 2005–Research and Markets has announced the addition of VoIP: Spending and Trends to their...VOIP News 0 links
Inflight mobile calls by 2006?
Boeing’s Connexion business unit expects to sell mobile phone services to travelers as early as next year, despite resistance from passengers...Oloop.org 28 links from 25 sources
Yahoo buys Dialpad, enters Net phone market
Internet portal giant Yahoo has acquired Dialpad, a 6-year-old provider of Internet phone services. The acquisition, which was announced on...Oloop.org 28 links from 25 sources
More on VOIP (Video over IP)
Permalink I had a brief play with Video4Skype last week - I was chatting to a friend in the UK (for free, via Skype) and mentioned a link I'd seen so...Mirror World 64 links from 49 sources
VOIP 911 Calls
Permalink As a user of Skype - I found the recent ruling by the FCC (in the US) interesting - the FCC demands that VOIP service providers be able to...Mirror World 64 links from 49 sources

voip photos
from Flickr

Friday, June 17, 2005

the next pandemic?

International health officials are warning that a deadly avian influenza virus may soon spread rapidly, overwhelming unprepared health systems in rich and poor countries alike. If the virus mutates to become easily transmittable among humans, the death toll of the resulting global pandemic could number in the millions.

As a call to action, the July/August issue of Foreign Affairs will be publishing a special set of articles.

energy estimates

Oil prices are expected to remain high for the balance of the year -- peaking at $62 a barrel -- it is believed that prices will drop within the next five years, a survey of energy executives and institutional investors found at RBC Capital Markets 2005 North American Energy and Power Conference in Boston. Of those polled, two-thirds expect oil prices to fall back to $35 a barrel in the next five years, while nearly one-third said it could reach $100 a barrel in the same time-frame. Respondents also indicated that they believe oil prices will retreat to roughly $53 a barrel by year end. When asked about the average price at the pump this year, survey respondents believed prices would be about $2.60 a gallon. Separately, individuals predicted that natural gas would sell for $7.70 per million cubic feet (Mcf) by the end of the year, up significantly from last winter's $6.24 price.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dollar and gold decoupling?

Are the dollar and gold decoupling? Lately the very tight negative correlation between gold and the dollar has vanished. Over the past couple of weeks as the dollar has rallied, so has gold. Theories:

1) Short-term aberration

2) Euro money that’s still afraid of the dollar—It could be that those disappointed in the euro, still have little faith in the dollar as a store of value—so where else to turn—gold. And as the gold price rises sharply in local currency terms (outside the dollar) the rising price trend creates an incentive to add to positions.

3) Financial risk building in the system—attached below is the same series as above, but this time it is on a weekly basis – US $ Index (inverted) verse gold futures. What’s interesting is that the last significant “decoupling” we saw coincided with the Asian Financial Crisis and was exacerbated by the blow up of Long Term Capital Management (LTCM), September ’98; the Trading Wizard hedge fund of the day. The demise of LTCM was a real blow to the global financial system through its labyrinth of intricately linked derivative relationships. The Fed and assorted big boys had to step in and fill the breach.

What was interesting during this same time was the action of the bond market—it was in the midst of a blow-off rally, maybe driven by a safe haven run into Treasury bonds.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

rising gold and u.s. dollar

Normally, when the dollar rises, gold does not rise too. However, recently, the dollar has been rising against the euro and the yen, but gold has rallied to $431.10 an ounce, the highest closing price since May 5th. This needs careful monitoring. It may be painting a picture for the global economy in coming months.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

the crude war

the crude war Posted by Hello
The Cold War is over, but the Crude War has just begun. It is not an arms race, it's an oil race. America and China - the biggest and the fastest growing economies - are now in a race to secure supplies of crude oil and natural gas all over the world. This new Crude War will keep energy prices high, and drive energy stocks higher.

"Absent adequate supplies of natural gas...there is no readily apparent means to meet the incremental needs of the U.S. economy over the next 5 to 7 years - raising serious questions as to how the growth of the U.S. economy will be sustained during the remainder of this decade...
I'm quite surprised at how little attention the natural gas problem has been geting, because it is a very serious problem." - Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve Chairman

Global demand continues to grow unabated and supplies are dwindling. We are on an unsustainable track straining the world's supplies, which must eventually push prices much, much higher. Chinese firms are building extensive business connections in energy around the world: investing in Iran, partnering with Brazilian state oil firm Petrobas, planning acrude oil pipeline in Columbia, proposing a $2 billion dollar in vestment in northern Alberta, and increasing already huge stakes in some of the world's largest resource companies. As China's demand pushes international prices higher, America will need to pay the spot price. But America's "ace up the sleeve" is an estimated 315 billion barrels of oil recoverable in Canada in the oil sands of Alberta.

The days of cheap energy are gone forever. The American consumer will continue to bear the financial brunt of America's uncontainable energy crisis. Americans use an average of 25 barrels of oil per capita per year. Chinese use 1.3 barrels and India uses less than 1. The U.S. represents 5% of the world population yet consumes 25% of the world's oil supply.

As the world's largest oil fields lose their production, Canada and particularly Alberta is ramping-up. With oil now trading well above $35 a barrel even the heavy oil in Alberta's oil sands is economic. Keep in mind that, right now, Canada is the largest supplier of crude oil to the U.S.

Americans are likely to pay more but the supply for America will not dry up. This new Crude War is a race for oil supply. Our "neighbor to the north" might well be what helps the U.S. win the race.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Great Chinese Firewall

The internet in China is not the same medium enjoyed in the West. China's internet
authorities are using filtering technology that disables a popular feature on Google. The
feature puts snapshots of web pages onto servers based outside China, which enabled
the Chinese to view sites that were otherwise blocked. Banned key words are embedded
in desktop software to filter messaging among PC's and cellphones. The Chinese
Ministry of Public Security is the agency that polices the internet. They have been
successful at encoding routers with unique numerical addresses for the web sites the
Chinese government deems objectionable. This blocks uncensored news. Filtering
devices also comb messages, searching for objectionable words. Chinese e-mails can be
lost in cyberspace, never reaching their destination, and going unanswered. Internet
service providers seem to be doing their own censoring and blocking probably at the
behest of the Chinese government. Instant messaging software filters words and terms

asiapundit looking for blog contributors

asiapundit.com is looking for bloggers to contribute to their bog. The Great Firewall of China has limited the web/blogmaster's browsing and the idea is to create an English speaking group blog. This is an open offer and a style guide will be used.