Tuesday, March 16, 2004


Telecommunications – Mobile

Vodafone publishes guidelines for content publishers
It seems that Vodafone is moving to control parts of the mobile Internet that are not controlled by anyone else - until now. The company has published a set of documents that explain how content will be rated, billed and distributed to the end users.
Source; Vodafone

Telecommunications – Mobile Europe

Despite the Myths, the Reality is that Consumers Will Appreciate 3G's Value
3G should not be targeted at business customers but used to support and improve the wide range of consumer services that are beginning to emerge on today’s GPRS networks
Source; The Yankee Group

Telecommunications – UMTS Germany

3G UMTS Portal launch
O2 Germany is launching their ClixSmart enabled UMTS or 3G (Third Generation) mobile portal. With ClixSmart UMTS, content over the O2 Active UMTS mobile portal is delivered dynamically from all content sources.

Europe: O2 Germany is launching their ClixSmart enabled UMTS or 3G (Third Generation) mobile portal at the leading ICT and Telecoms Tradeshow, CeBIT, in Hanover. With ClixSmart UMTS, O2 Germany offers faster, more sophisticated and dynamic mobile data services than have ever been offered before on its O2 Active mobile portal. The new O2 Active mobile portal offers subscribers rich, personalized, dynamic content more efficiently and with new possibilities.

With ClixSmart UMTS, content over the O2 Active UMTS mobile portal is delivered dynamically from all content sources. This means that content is dynamically refreshed and updated on the portal every few minutes. With ClixSmart, the mobile operator can control how frequently the UMTS portal is updated. For example, with news and sports, this content can be dynamically updated every few minutes, as this is information that is likely to change very frequently. Games and downloads could be updated once a week. As a result, the portal user is presented with constantly refreshed and updated content.

All of the content feeds from different sources and content partners are aggregated by the ClixSmart Aggregation Server to manage the presentation and delivery of the content over the UMTS portal. This merges content from both the operator portal and external portal content to optimise the presentation.

Moreover with ClixSmart UMTS, the portal content can be subdivided and conveniently organized into 'chunks' of information better suited to individual users based on their profiles. This means that the end-user sees units of concise and relevant information on a mobile portal page. These small units of content within the UMTS portal can be personalized as a unit in the same way as a menu link or option i.e. they may move up the page as a user shows a preference for that content unit.

O2 Germany has developed a great variety of information and entertainment services for its O2 Active mobile portal. With ClixSmart UMTS, O2 Germany can now enhance the presentation and delivery of these mobile data services across its UMTS handsets. UMTS mobile portals exhibit significant differences in character and ChangingWorlds ClixSmart Menu Manager and Device Manager cater seamlessly for this. ClixSmart Menu Manager enables an operator to rapidly develop, update and maintain a UMTS mobile portal effectively and efficiently. ClixSmart Device Manager recognizes UMTS enabled handsets and can use enriched style sheets to make the most of the handset capabilities.

Having launched ChangingWorlds industry-leading ClixSmart Intelligent Portal solution on the O2 Active mobile portal over a year ago in January 2003, O2 Germany has since succeeded in achieving and maintaining amongst the highest mobile data usage and revenues in Europe. With the ClixSmart solution, O2 Germany can now also manage its UMTS mobile portal more effectively and provide better overall, personalized mobile data services and enhanced Quality of Service (QoS) to its customers. Moreover, with ClixSmart Intelligent Navigation, O2 Active portal subscribers now enjoy rich and dynamic 3G portal content that is also easier to get to as a result of reduced click-distance.
Source; O2

Telecommunications – CDMA Europe

Nortel deploys CDMA in Latvia
Nortel Networks has been awarded a supply agreement by Latvia's Telekom Baltija to deploy a CDMA2000 1X network. Deployment of the network, which will operate in the 450 MHz radio spectrum, is already underway. Telekom Baltija expects to launch the CDMA network in the second quarter of 2004 and offer commercial service beginning in the third quarter of 2004.

Nortel Networks providing Telekom Baltija with a cost-effective 450 MHz wireless voice and data solution based on its specific business needs, this will help position Telekom Baltija to usher in a new era of wireless services in Latvia.
A/S Telekom Baltija plan to use in Latvia one of the most progressive and advantageous mobile technologies in the world – CDMA.
CDMA 450 is a standard for use in countries transitioning to digital wireless service from Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) 450 analogue service and in countries advocating universal access to voice and data. Because of the lower radio spectrum, CDMA 450 has the advantage of covering a significantly larger geographical footprint compared to traditional cellular systems. This means fewer cell sites, lower capital expenditures and no need for licensed operators to acquire additional spectrum.
In October 2003, A/S Telekom Baltija received a public mobile telecommunications operator license, giving the company the rights to establish, develop and maintain the public mobile telecommunications network and to offer public telecommunications services.
Source; Nortel Networks

Health – HIV

HIV experiment shows child welfare system running amok
Reports of improper medical testing by New York City's foster-care bureaucracy could lead to overdue reforms that would make child-welfare agencies more transparent and accountable, according to Wendy McElroy, research fellow at the Independent Institute.

One hundred HIV-infected children -- some as young as three months old - were assigned by the city's Administration for Children's Services to be tested with experimental AIDS treatments. But the agency lacked both the medical expertise and the legal authority to supervise the treatment of children without a parent or foster parent to render consent.

"No one could fault researchers for administering appropriate drugs to sick children and monitoring the results, especially when the children might not otherwise receive treatment," writes McElroy in a column for FoxNews.com. "But questions immediately arise concerning studies that purportedly tested the 'safety,' 'tolerance' and toxicity' of AIDS drugs. Or one that tested the reaction of HIV-positive children, ages six to seven months, to the injection of two doses of meals vaccine."

Medical experts have called the experiments outrageous and potentially fatal, but the data that could confirm or dispel such fears have disappeared from the agency. Furthermore, the former head of the agency - during whose tenure the agency conducted the Experiments - has remained silent.

"Hopes are not enough," McElroy concludes. "For once, a child welfare system must have the courage and decency to open itself to public scrutiny."
Source; See "When 'Mother' is a Bureaucracy," by Wendy McElroy

Democracy – China panoramic

China adopts amendments
Breaking with doctrines laid down by Mao, China's legislative assembly yesterday passed what appear to be the most promising institutional reforms China has seen in more than five decades of oppressive communist rule - constitutional amendments that formally protect property and human rights.

Constitutional safeguards have long been recognized in the West as essential for securing the rights of the people from governmental overreach and thereby enable people to enjoy the prosperity that accompanies liberty. In China, however, the notion of a constitutionally limited government never took hold. Authoritarian rule has been the norm in China for at least two millennia.

But this doesn't mean that China has no liberal traditions to draw upon in its fight to break the chains of oppression. For example, as James Dorn explained last spring in THE INDEPENENT REVIEW, Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu advised political rulers to rule with the lightest touch:

Administer the empire by engaging in no activity.
The more taboos and prohibitions there are in the world,
The poorer the people will be.
The more laws and orders are made prominent,
The more thieves and robbers there will be.
Therefore the sage [ruler] says:
I take no action and the people of themselves are transformed.
I engage in no activity and the people of themselves become prosperous.

It remains to be seen, of course, whether China's government will actually move to protect property rights and human rights. Speaking out against the Tiananmen Square massacre, for example, can still land you an extended stay in the Laogai work prison system. But China's adopt of the new amendments does give one hope that China will take meaningful steps away from the tyranny that has victimized the world's most populous country.
Source; See "China Codifies Property and Human Rights" by Edward Cody. The Washington Post, March 2004


Economy – USA

Setting the Standard for American Working Families
Wider Opportunities for Women has been working to change the terms of the debate about what it takes to make ends meet in America, providing state-specific budgets and strategies to help low-wage families reach economic self-sufficiency. This report profiles state data and next steps for 32 states and the District of Columbia - with tools for practitioners and advocates.
Source; Wider Opportunities for Women

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