Tuesday, February 22, 2005

TECHNOLOGY MARKET - USA

Bush's '06 budget request boosts IT - for a few
Don't be fooled by the 7 percent increase in IT spending proposed in President Bush's fiscal 2006 budget request. Although the IT budget request of $65.1 billion boosts spending by more than 20 percent each at the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Veterans Affairs, most agencies received only modest increases, and six had their IT budgets cut.

Additionally, among the 21 agencies slated to receive increases for 2006, five -- the departments of Education, State and Treasury, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Office of Personnel Management -- remain at or below their 2004 IT budgets.

"We will have to manage as we always do, and maximize the money we have to make sure our spending makes sense," said Patrick Pizzella, the Labor Department's chief information officer. The Labor Department's IT budget was cut in 2005, and it faces a cut of $13 million to $409 million in 2006.

In contrast, DHS is slated to receive $6 billion, a $1.2 billion increase that industry officials said compensated for two years of underfunding at the agency. "Officials recognized that some of the programs at Homeland Security, such as U.S. Visitor Immigrant and Status Indicator Technology System, were underfunded, considering the scope of the effort," said Jim Flyzik, a former DHS official and a partner with consulting firm Guerra, Kiviat, Flyzik and Associates of Oak Hill, Va. "Many of these programs were underfunded at the concept stage, but as you put more meat on the bones of the business cases, you can articulate the funding levels better."

U.S. Visit is not the only program that would get a large increase. The Transportation Worker Identification Card, the Integrated Wireless Network and the Coast Guard's Nationwide Automatic Identification System would all get more than a $25 million boost in 2006.

"DHS clearly is a winner, and they might not get enough," said Robert Atkinson, vice president and director of technology and the new economy project for the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington. "I don't think the question for Homeland Security, as it is for all agencies, is really about overall funding, but it is much more about what the administration is investing in and how well they are doing it."

Veterans Affairs was another budget winner with a $485 million increase to $2.1 billion for its IT budget.

"The increase is reflective of the administration's attitude toward IT as a toolset everyone needs to use, but they need to use it wisely to make government more effective," said CIO Robert McFarland.

McFarland said more than $300 million of the increase is for the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture.

Although VA's increase, like many other agencies, is because of a planned big money need for an IT project next year, many of the department's expanded dollars are at the expense of other programs or personnel.

The Defense Department, which has an IT budget that comprises nearly half of the entire federal technology expenditure, saw a 4.9 percent increase to $30.1 billion, its largest increase in four years.

Linton Wells, the Defense Department's CIO, said he was encouraged by the 2006 budget process.

"In the battle over digits versus widgets, widgets always win. This year, digits are winning," he said.

Industry officials said it's not surprising that the departments of Defense and Homeland Security fared well in the budget request. Both departments perform missions that are top administration priorities, and both are in the middle of transformations. The IT budget requests reflect that.

"There are a lot of new capabilities and modes of operational services DOD is looking at dealing with, linking networks and getting soldiers a better picture of what is happening on the battle field," said Steven Kosiak, director of budget studies for Washington think tank the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. "All of the modernization or transformational efforts rest on, to some degree, putting more money into IT."

Although most agencies are faced with tight budgets, they are successfully meeting the administration's IT goals. The Office of Management and Budget approved more business cases for the 2006 budget process than ever before, according to budget documents.

Seventeen of 25 agencies had all their business cases approved, according to the budget. And just 342 IT business cases of 1,087 made the Management Watch List for lacking in one of three areas: assuring security; meeting cost, schedule and performance goals; or establishing performance measures. Last year, OMB said 621 of 1,130 IT projects made the watch list. The 342 programs are worth $15 billion, down $7 billion from last year.

"We are starting to see the fruits of our labor," said Karen Evans, OMB administrator for IT and e-government. "We've been asking agencies to tell us how they are becoming more efficient and, to their credit, they have demonstrated the effectiveness of their IT programs and the metrics by which they measured it."

Ray Bjorklund, senior vice president at Federal Sources Inc. of McLean, Va., said some of the decreased spending could be attributed to OMB's emphasis on better management.

"Many public IT companies have been reporting sluggish government spending to their investors," he said. "We believe this sluggishness could be due in part to OMB's exercising its oversight of IT programs. OMB may be slowing down the apportionment on major IT programs to ensure proper emphasis on program management due to some major missteps in government IT projects over the last few years."
Written: by Jason Miller is a senior writer with Government Computer News.



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DIGITAL DIVIDE - AFRICA

Local Languages Demand More Space on the Internet
African Woman and Child Feature Service
A bid to have African languages join the likes of English and French in the Internet is being blocked by information experts from the West as lacking in commercial value.

A group of African linguistics and technology experts at a recent African Regional Preparatory Conference for the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in Accra, Ghana, say they have already developed special characters that can now help these languages be used on the World Wide Web.

They argue that the use of languages such as English has played a big role in the development of Western countries.

Another reason the Westerners are opposed to African languages being put on the Web, they say is their structure with some having characters and sounds in their alphabet that are not recognisable in the coding system of the Internet.

Therefore, the continent should continue expressing itself through appropriate languages in social and economic development.

According a Prof Mwasoko from the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Africa's political elites are a problem than a solution, as they too oppose, for reason well known to them, the use of these languages on the Internet, Prof Salam Diakite, Director of Research and Documentation, African Academy of Languages said the only way to make African languages accepted in the cyberspace is to transact business in those languages.

In Kenya, for instance, information on tourism and tea products should be in a local language or in Kiswahili, which Microsoft is going to launch officially on the Internet between April and May this year.

Other communities like the Maasai Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo, or Turkana can also use their languages on the Internet when communicating with their family members, relatives or transacting business with the outside world.

If this happens, then those from Europe and America will have no otherwise but to learn how to use these languages. But this can only occur if special characters and sounds like those found in the Gikuyu dialects are accepted by Unicode consortium.

Based in the USA, and with organizations such as Microsoft and International Business Machines (IBM) as members, Unicode Standard defines how characters and sounds of different languages are represented in modern software products and standards.

Language experts think bantu speaking communities will be better placed to put their languages on the Internet because they can adopt the Kiswahili characters and sounds, which Unicode has approved.

Addressing participants at the Accra conference, Mark Lange, senior attorney at Microsoft, said they support the idea of African languages on the internet.

But he was fast to add that African countries need to put in place proper standards for the idea to be supported by other stakeholders in the information society.
Currently, there are plans to put in place an African standardization and certification centre for those who want to use their vernacular languages on the website.

Dr Shem Ochuodho, a computer expert, says any attempt to address over 80 per cent of Africans who live in the rural areas on how to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), can, among other things, be achieved by using their languages online.

"The only problem is the existence of a few words from certain African languages whose sounds cannot be accepted by the computer," says Prof Diakite.

African linguistics at the African Academy of Languages have therefore developed special characters for these languages, and now want them accepted by Unicode.
This list of African characters is then to be officially submitted to the committee of ISO standardization so that the characters can be added to their list as pre-composed African characters.

Once this happens, letters in the African language in use will have to be mapped into the keyboards of computers. The type of fonts used will also have to change depending on the language being used.

In addition, a dictionary of the African languages has to be developed to aid those people who are going to have problems in expressing themselves in these languages.

So far, less than one percent of African languages have developed these requirements and gotten access to the cyberspace. In Ethiopia, where the local and national language, Amharic, is in use, attempts have been made to use it on the computer.

Experts there have been struggling since the 1980's to make the computer recognize the Amharic characters. Since they have been accepted by Unicode, Dr Atnafu says they have in place a Content Management System, which allows them to use both Amharic and English on the computer.

In South Africa too, local languages have been put in use on the Internet.
Whereas these two countries have made headway in placing their local languages on websites, other African countries face a double challenge.

Most of them have to find ways of ensuring their people speak and use their own language when communicating economic, social and political issues.
As a first step, the conference has recommended that each African country should introduce the teaching of an African language from the primary school level up to the university as a linguistic bilingual policy.

This language is to be taught alongside English or French and both are to be examinable subjects at both primary and secondary school levels as well as in colleges.

African Union is expected to take up the issue, and impress upon member states to implement the recommendation. Likewise, to accelerate the use of local languages in ICTs, the Union is to declare 2006 as the year of African languages.

As the momentum to use Kenyan and other African languages on the website picks up, linguistics are now warning parents who pride in their children's fluent foreing languages to start a rethink.
They argue that children instructed in their mother tongue are more likely to grasp what they are taught than when the instructiona are in English or French.
Written: by Arthur Okwemba in Nairobi



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TECHNOLOGY – OPEN SOURCE

Government moves into the Open
Perhaps the clearest sign yet that open source has gone mainstream occurred last Thursday when a group of government officials met to discuss the technology and practically nothing was said about the fact that the software is free.

Many interesting points were made Thursday in Waltham, MA, at the National Government CIO Summit on Open Source, but the most important came towards the end of the meeting when Thom Rubel of Meta Group and Debra Anderson, CIO, Novell, both emphasized that open source is a compelling technology for the public sector because of the value it brings to the business needs of government agencies. Anderson pointed out that her budget has shrunk by one-third in the past three years - much like public sector IT budgets - but because of open source her staff is able to deliver the value that Novell's business units need to succeed in a highly competitive market.

Rubel explained that in order for open source to succeed in government, the public sector has to understand it's true worth. "It's not about lower cost, it's about business value and what it takes to achieve political outcomes," he said. Rubel reminded the audience that government first used computers to simply automate existing processes. It then used the Internet to place some of the same automated processes online. Little was done to change the value equation, he argued. But open source can change that if used in the right way. "Just don't over promise and don't make it an either-or proposition between open source and proprietary solutions," he cautioned.

Peter Quinn, CIO, Massachusetts, made the same point, emphasizing that his state's lead in understanding and adopting open source was not in reaction to the dominance of one or two proprietary vendors. Rather, it was an effort to face certain key facts in the world of IT and government. First, "the cost of government is not sustainable in its present form," he said. Second, software has increasingly become a commodity. Open source is accelerating that trend.

As a result, government no longer should be trapped into procuring expensive, customized solutions, he argued. While open source is attractive because of its lower upfront costs, the real value lies in the collaborative principles on which it has been developed. The more agencies and governments share open source applications, the less likely the public sector will end up having to pay for so many different solutions, wasting taxpayer money.

Some have branded the notion of developing and then sharing software for free as some form of communism. But Quinn argued that if one state developed a better electronic licensing system or voter registration system using open source and then shared it with other states, it was an exercise in democracy through the exchange of information in an open society underpinned by reliable technology.

As radical as that sounds, Quinn said the Government Open Source Collaborative he founded isn't out to challenge the commercial software industry but to take advantage of government innovation so that "we as technologists [can] finally break the back of the ineffectiveness, the inefficiency and the stupidity of the silos of information in government."

Legal Thorns
One of the thorniest issues government faces in regards to open source is licensing. Many assume that open source licensing is better than proprietary licensing, but that's not necessarily true, said Linda Hamel, general counsel for the Information Technology Division in Massachusetts. Open and proprietary licenses are different and both have their advantages and disadvantages.

She bemoaned the fact that few in government are familiar with open source licensing. For example, Hamel pointed out the common misconception that the general public license or GPL is the open source license. Not so. "The GPL is the most common license for all open source software, but it is not the most common license for the most commonly used open source software," she explained.

While the differences between GPL and other types of open source licenses are complex, she urged the audience to spend time familiarizing themselves with the issues and risks that can occur should a government enter the field as an open source software developer. As just one example, she pointed out that states, unlike commercial software firms, cannot give 3rd party intellectual property infringement indemnification. Bottom line: make sure your jurisdiction's general counsel is well grounded in the nuances of open source licensing and its impact on proprietary software licenses.

Growing Market Share
The summit, which was presented by the Center for Digital Government and Government Technology magazine and sponsored by Novell, attracted dozens of government officials from around the country and from Canada. They learned that open source is no longer just about Linux, the well-known operating system, but it is also about databases and other applications as well. It's even about Internet browsers. Firefox, released last year, gained market share from Microsoft's Explorer at the rate of one percent per month for the first five months of its availability, according to Matt Asay, Novell's director of Linux Business Office. Just about every popular open source product also showed significant growth curves. Meanwhile, IBM is pouring $2 billion into its marketing campaign for Linux.

Leon Shiman, president of Shiman Associates Inc., software architect for Linux and Unix and a founding member of X.Org, one of the oldest open source consortiums, pointed out that Europe and, in particular, the European public sector, has strongly embraced open source. He said the interest was partly due to Europe's desire to thwart America's sizeable lead in the technology market. It also has to do with Europe's willingness to embrace collaborative projects and support them with public money rather than let the marketplace decide which products will survive and prosper.

But Shiman sees a darker side to this trend. First, Europe's strong support for open source means that innovation is taking place overseas, not here in America. Second, the entire open source movement has been sustained by volunteers, but Shiman said many open source developers in America could no longer afford to continue to participate. As a result, they were either migrating to Europe, where the public sector is willing to pay for their work, or they were taking jobs in other fields.

Ready, willing & able?
The Center for Digital Government has polled the nation's state, city and county governments and found that less than 50 percent have set their IT standards and architectures across the enterprise. That lack of readiness will hold back adoption of open source, according to Paul Taylor, the Center's chief strategy officer. But he reminded the audience that open source isn't cool because it's free, "but because it's open." More importantly, "collaboration is the DNA of open source software." Collaboration enhances the quality of the software, he added.

But if free accessibility makes open source cool and collaboration is the genius behind it's rise, a number of government officials wondered if they had developers on staff who were ready, willing and able to participate in writing and sharing open source code on a volunteer basis. On one hand, Novell's Anderson said she was pleasantly surprised by the number of people on her staff who were contributing to open source initiatives during their off hours. But on the other hand, a government CIO pointed out that he had very few workers on staff who had the capability, let alone time, to contribute to open source development. Others agreed with that less than optimistic assessment

Quinn best summed up the attitude government needs to take when it considers realm of open source by quoting from John F. Kennedy: "There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction."
Written: by Tod Newcombe



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E-GOVERNANCE/E-GOVERNMENT

Controlling Cyber Dissidents?
Blogging is not only a well-established element of pop culture, it has become a tremendously influential communications mechanism. As early as March 2002, an article in Wired discussed the blogging "revolution" and declared that blogging "could be to words what Napster was to music - except this time, it'll really work."

Although in America blogging is an essential component of political discourse, in some countries it is a crime. For example, the most recent Internet Under Surveillance report by Reporters Without Borders notes that two Internet users in the Maldives "have been sentenced to life imprisonment for criticizing a dictatorship...that has been in power for the past 40 years."

Reporters Without Borders is holding a press event to highlight their concerns "that the countries that least respect free expression are playing a dominant role in the preparation..." of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) conference.
To call much needed attention to the role of various dictatorships in helping set global internet policies, Reporters Without Borders will be represented at a preparatory conference being held in Geneva February 18-25 by "by a delegation of Chinese, Iranian, Tunisian and Maldivian cyber-dissidents and bloggers so that they can describe the violations of online free expression that take place in their countries."

As a Reporters Without Borders official explained, "We would like to put a face to the repression against Internet users in some of the countries that will be parading at the WSIS."

The Reporters Without Borders press conference will be held on February 17th at 2:00 pm at Charly's Multimedia Check Point in Geneva. The press conference is being held at an internet café "so the cyber- dissidents can support their presentations with concrete examples of censorship."

All internet stakeholders who value freedom of expression, including corporations, governments NGOs, and individuals, should pay close attention to both the press conference and the WSIS process and not take their freedom for granted.
Written: by LuisB



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GENDER ISSUES – TECHNOLOGY MARKET

Of Gadgets and Gender
With women buying half of all consumer electronics, retailers and manufacturers are tailoring their products and marketing accordingly.
Five years ago, Samsung Electronics wanted to test how its phones, TVs, and home-theater systems would be received by consumers. So it showed them to focus groups comprised of its target consumer: Adult males aged 25 to 50.

The makeup of these groups has changed since then -- they're now 50% women. "We now recognize that the female consumer is influencing, if not controlling, 50% of all consumer-electronic purchasing today," says Jonas Tanenbaum, senior marketing manager of flat-panel displays for Samsung Electronics America in Ridgefield Park, N.J.

Sharper on prices
Samsung isn't the only consumer-electronics company to recognize the growing power of the female consumer. In November, retailer Tweeter Home Entertainment started using female voices in its radio and TV advertising. It also changed its catalogue covers to show a woman in a home-theater setting after internal research showed that females were twice as likely to buy a flat-panel TV as males.

Indeed, companies across America that make and sell flat-panel TVs, digital cameras, and computers are rapidly rethinking how they design, produce, and market to their consumers.

Recent research from the Consumer Electronics Assn. shows that women spend $50 billion and buy almost half of all electronic goods sold in the U.S. At the same time, they're on par with men in their ability to understand gadgets and are also early adopters, according to the CEA. However, the difference is that they're more likely than men to shop around for better prices and demand reliability, ease of use, and style.

Tailored information
This has led Best Buy to adopt the "Jill Initiative," a program to target its typical female customer. "Jill" is a trend-savvy working suburban mom with a fair amount of disposable income, who's likely to shop at Target as opposed to Wal-Mart.

The consumer-electronics retailer found that women read Target's newspaper inserts for ideas about how to better design their homes and use Best Buy's inserts for research and price comparison. So, Best Buy is using scenes that depict family life in its inserts and peppering them with gift ideas for children and friends.

As Best Buy discovers more of women's wants and needs, it's rolling out newer programs and advertising in magazines like Real Simple and Better Homes & Gardens. Last year, it launched 68 concept stores in California and Nevada, where personal assistants whisk female shoppers into their domain and provide them with information tailored to their needs.

The lure of faux croc
Rather than throw numbers at the shoppers about the size of a hard drive or the number of pixels on a camera, these representatives walk them through the uses of a computer or a camera and how it meets their needs. "We're enabling her transformation into a big-time electronics buyer by talking her language," says Nancy Brooks, vice-president and segment leader for the women's initiative at Best Buy.

Some companies are catering to the female shopper even earlier in the process -- during the design phase. X2, a computer manufacturer in Irvine, Calif., observed that notebooks were often designed with a male user in mind. "Women are asking for a lighter notebook, with a better keyboard that has all the cool features and reflects their style," says Rex Wong, president of X2.

So the outfit came up with a $1,299 notebook that weighs 4 pounds, has the latest Intel processor, a CD burner, and a built-in memory card. Starting in late February, buyers will have four colors to choose from -- pink, powder blue, pale green, and silver -- and can match the computers with stylish totes that come in suede, faux croc, or leather.

Style and substance
With women in mind, Dell has jacked up the number of accessories on its site. "We started offering stylish jackets in different colors for the Pocket DJ at the direct request of our women customers," says Gretchen Miller, a director of product marketing for the PC maker in Austin, Texas.

Other products designed to meet the demands of female buyers include: Vision Art, a framed piece of art that rolls up to reveal a plasma TV at the touch of a button ($3,500), from Solar Shading Systems, and GlamCam, a high-resolution Web camera ($99.99) from General Electric that flips open to reveal a mirror on one side and a color LCD screen on the other.

"It's a top-of-the line camera that comes in a stylish red and fits into a woman's purse," says Jason Trice, director of product development at Jasco, which makes consumer-electronic products for GE.

Women clearly place a premium on the combination of style and substance, function and fashion. And companies are increasingly finding that it's a winning combination.
Written: by Pallavi Gogoi



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ENVIRONMENT - AID

Lessons from the Tsunami
There are many lessons that emerge from the tsunami that brought such devastation and loss of life to Asia. It demonstrated the power of globalization, as television brought vivid pictures of the destruction to homes around the world. Indeed, it is at times like this that the world truly does seem like a global village.
Of course, it seemed to take somewhat longer for news of the extent of the disaster to reach the Crawford, Texas, ranch of President Bush. But, in the end, he decided to interrupt his vacation and offer amounts of aid that were successively revised upwards, in a global competition which promised to benefit those who were desperate for help.

America’s aid still appeared niggardly when compared with the amounts offered by countries with a fraction of America’s economic wealth. Lightly populated Australia offered more than twice America’s assistance, Japan promised almost 50% more, and Europe pledged more than five times as much. This led many observers to reflect on the fact that the world’s richest country was in general the most miserly in foreign assistance – all the more so in comparison to the amount it spends on war and defense.

The disaster was international, so it was appropriate that the United Nations take the lead in coordinating the relief effort. Unfortunately, in an effort that was widely seen as another attempt to undermine multilateralism, the US tried to lead a “core group” driving the assistance program, ignoring ongoing efforts within the region and at the UN. Whatever America’s motive, it later wisely decided to join the UN effort. The Bush administration’s face-saving rhetoric that it had rushed to push together the core group in the absence of other efforts was quietly let to pass.

The response of some countries within the region was truly impressive, showing how far they had come in establishing efficient and effective governments. Myriad details were addressed: Thailand flew ambassadors to the affected part of the country to help attend to the needs of their citizens, helped those who lost their money and passports return home, provided health care for the injured, set up systems to identify bodies, and dealt with the difficulties posed by shortages of body bags and the lack of cold storage facilities.

Countries, like Thailand, that felt that they could handle the finances on their own asked that assistance be directed to others. They did ask one thing: a reduction of tariff barriers and greater access to markets abroad. They didn’t want a handout, only a chance to earn income. The response, at least at the time of this column’s writing, has mostly been deafening silence.

On the other hand, the G-7 made a truly important contribution in offering debt relief. This is especially important for Indonesia, which must service a debt of $132 billion (of which $70 billion is owed to public creditors or guaranteed by government agencies). Even without the tsunami, this debt burden would have been an enormous hindrance to the country’s development as it finally recovers from the aftermath of the 1997 financial crisis.

Indeed, there is a compelling case to be made for Indonesian debt relief in any case, given that much of the debt was incurred in loans to the corrupt Suharto government. Lenders knew, or should have known, that not all of the money was going to help Indonesian development. Moreover, some of the debt was incurred as part of the 1997-1998 crisis, which was aggravated and deepened by IMF-imposed policies.

No one pretends that we can prevent or alter the forces of nature. Rather, we have to learn to cope with them. There are now calls for improved tsunami early warning systems. But in one area, global warming, we have already received an early warning. Most countries have recognized this, coming together in Rio and Kyoto to do something about it - not enough, but the Kyoto protocol was intended only as a start. Sadly, global warming will likely destroy some of the same countries ravaged by the tsunami. Low lying islands like the Maldives will become submerged.

We are, however, still not a global village. After first disputing that there was scientific evidence of the problem, the largest polluter in the world, the US, is now simply refusing to do anything about it (other than preaching voluntary restraint - of which there is little evidence, at least in America). The international community has yet to figure out what to do with an aberrant member who fails to live up to its responsibilities as a global citizen.

Optimists say that technology will solve the problem. Realists observe that in the long race between the environment and technology, it appears that technology has so far been losing. Nature, as we have learned from the tsunami, has its own timetable. Unless we learn how to respect it, we will all miss the boat.
Written: by Joseph E. Stiglitz.
Note: Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, is Professor of Economics at Columbia University and was Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to President Clinton and Chief Economist and Senior Vice President at the World Bank. His most recent book is The Roaring Nineties: A New History of the World’s Most Prosperous Decade.



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OIL MARKET - EUROPE

European Reliance on Oil Imports to Grow
By the middle of the next decade, only Norway will remain a net oil exporter from among European countries, Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Lee Raymond said during a conference late Wednesday in London.

The U.K., Denmark and the Netherlands, which are currently net exporters, will cease to be so by the middle of the next decade, Raymond said.

As the ExxonMobil executive prepared to begin his speech, some Greenpeace protesters were led away from the hotel banquet room by security guards. Outside, amid very tight security and heavy police presence, activists protested against what they said were ExxonMobil's role in global warming.

ExxonMobil later issued a statement addressing the protests. The company said, 'We take the issue of climate change seriously and are taking many real and positive actions to address the risk it causes.'

Leading off his speech, Raymond also addressed oil companies' role in communities and the environment.
'Oil companies have many responsibilities, and we affect societies in a large number of ways,' he said. 'We employ people, we help local communities, and we earn money for our shareholders, and our operations and products affect the natural environment.'

Returning to his outlook for the world oil industry and U.K. markets, Raymond said the U.K. already has among the highest costs in the world for production.

Raymond opposed tax increases on the U.K. oil industry.
Raymond projected that the U.K.'s gas production would 'go from 10 billion cubic feet a day to 7 billion cubic feet a day at the end of the decade and less than 3 billion cubic feet a day in 2020.'
By 2030, he said, four-fifths of the world's energy needs will be met by fossil fuels.
The combination of economic growth and population increases can be expected to lead to a rise in primary energy demand of about 50% over the next 25 years, Raymond said.
'This means that by 2030, overall global energy demand will be the equivalent of about 335 million barrels a day oil equivalent,' the ExxonMobil chief executive said. 'This is a rise from today of more than 100 million barrels a day (oil equivalent) - a huge figure.'
Written: by Benoit Faucon



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TECHNOLOGY – CHIP INDUSTRY

Intel brings 64 bit to desktop
Intel has rolled out its last full slate of single core Pentium 4s for the desktop as it gears up for the debut of its dual core line sometime in the second half.

Monday’s launch saw updates to the Pentium Extreme Edition line, aimed at gamers and power users, and the Pentium 4 6xx range aimed at the volume business and consumer markets.

Both lines are built on a 90 nanometre process and feature 2MB of level two cache and Execute Disable Bit technology, which should protect against buffer overruns. The Extreme Edition’s front side bus remains at 1066MHz, while volume business and consumer buyers will have to continue scraping by with an 800MHz bus.

Monday's launch finally brings Intel’s EM64T technology to the desktop, putting it on a par with AMD's hybrid platform.

Clock speed on the Extreme Edition has been cranked up to 3.73GHz from the current 3.46GHz. The 6xx line features five models, ranging from 3GHz to 3.8GHz.

Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology - the power management used in the vendor’s mobile line - has also been incorporated into the Extreme and 6xx lines. Power consumption, and associated problems of heating and cooling, has been one of Intel’s bugbears as it jacked up the clockspeed of its chips.

The 6xx products will co-exist alongside the existing 5xx sequence for the first half of this year. Sometime in the second half Intel’s dual core products are scheduled to appear at the top end of the business market, along with new chipsets for the 6xx product range. Dual core will also appear in both the high-end and mainstream consumer markets in the second half, according to the roadmaps Intel showed yesterday.
Intel executives yesterday were reluctant to set a date for the demise of mainstream single core parts, saying that the single core products would be available for “some time”.



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