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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Cable Telephony Tops 13 Million Subscribers

Last we checked, cable controlled roughly 70% of the VoIP market, a number we're sure has risen since the stellar fourth quarter VoIP additions most cable providers reported. AT&T, Verizon, Qwest and Embarq are collectively losing roughly 2.6 million landline customers per quarter, and about half of those users are converting over to cable VoIP. All told, cable operators now report more than 13 million phone customers. While the price of cable VoIP is steep compared to indie VoIP, customers say they're more satisfied with phone service from their cable provider than from their phone company.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

US Army struggles with Windows to Linux overhaul

In multiple media reports over the past two weeks, the US Army has professed its love for the penguin. The Army eventually intends to move from a Windows-based infrastructure over to Linux for its new, roughly $200bn weapons program.

But the Army has largely been prepping new Linux-friendly weapons, vehicles, and devices before the completion of a software network to connect them to its existing Windows-based infrastructure — or blithely, putting the chariot before the warhorse.

When the Army began development of its next-gen hardware (dubbed Future Combat Systems, or FCS), they turned to Boeing and SAIC to develop the operating system rather than basing the software on its established Blue Force Tracking.

Blue Force is a Windows-based satellite tracking system designed by Boeing rival Northrop Grumman. It was used in combat in Afghanistan in 2002 and later in Iraq. Both the development of the FCS project and Blue Force are currently being funded at the same time. In 2008 the Army budgeted $3.1bn to the FCS program and $624m for Blue Force Tracking.
And while it seems both systems are being embraced by the Army, Boeing's OS and Blue Force may not share the sentiments with each other. FCS is going Linux.

"Boeing and the Army said they chose not to use Microsoft's proprietary software because they didn't want to be beholden to the company," reports The Washington Post. "Instead, they chose to develop a Linux-based operating system based on publicly available code."

That potentially presents a major problem for the first brigade of Linux-based FCS vehicles expected to be introduced in 2015. Linux-based systems have a limited ability to communicate with Microsoft-based systems. And interoperability issues aren't something you want to deal with in a war zone.

According to the US Army online pub, Defense News, they'll first try to patch things up using Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

"Red Hat 5 will link Linux with Microsoft and allow FCS forces to link with other brigade combat teams," an Army official told Defense News. "This will be an interim solution because over the long haul, eventually all of the Army's networks will be Linux-based."

For a long-haul migration from Microsoft to Linux — the Army doesn't seem to be so sure what it will do. So they're bringing some 70 programmers, engineers and other IT professionals to Washington to brainstorm in four "Battle Command" summits.

The first two summits were held in September and November, with two upcoming sessions in February and April. According to Defense News, the Army says there has been "progress" in outlining time lines for the integration.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Are Double Digit Rates Coming?

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in an interview published on Monday the Fed would have to raise interest rates to double-digit levels in coming years to thwart inflation.

But double-digit rates, which have not been seen since the 1980s, would not be a long-term fixture, Greenspan said in an interview with USA Today conducted on Friday.

"Double digit is something that is likely to happen for a short period of time," he said, adding it was hard to predict when such a big rate increase would be needed.

The U.S. central bank meets on Tuesday and is widely expected to cut the benchmark federal funds rate by at least a quarter-percentage point to help the economy weather a housing downturn and credit crunch.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

On antitrust, is Google the next Microsoft?

Not too long ago, nearly every move that Microsoft made seemed to draw complaints that the company was abusing its market dominance.

Now another market-leading technology company is under fire in Washington as well. An unlikely combination of onetime antitrust defendants like Microsoft and AT&T and liberal consumer groups that have been their traditional antagonists are taking aim at Google.
Interviews by CNET last week show that Microsoft and its occasional allies have met separately with key congressional committees that deal with consumer protection and antitrust issues--both of which announced last week that they will hold hearings on Google's plan to spend $3.1 billion to buy DoubleClick.

The Federal Trade Commission, which must review the merger on antitrust grounds, has also been meeting with Google, Microsoft and those nonprofit consumer groups, according to sources familiar with the meetings. The European Union, egged on by American consumer groups like the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the pro-regulation Center for Digital Democracy, is reviewing the merger too.

All this amounts to the first serious political threat to a company that has grown to a market capitalization of $162 billion by worrying more about serving customers than catering to the whims of bureaucrats and politicians. Longtime Washington observers believe that even if the DoubleClick acquisition is eventually permitted, federal scrutiny will only increase.

In addition to its full-time staff lobbyists, also involved in Google's efforts to fend off antitrust bureaucrats are four newly hired lobbyists in the Washington office of the law firm Brownstein Hyatt & Farber (including Makan Delrahim, a former top Justice Department antitrust official). Google's earlier hires include the now-renamed PodestaMattoon, which draws its name from longtime Democratic dealmaker Tony Podesta, and King and Spalding, home to former Republican Sens. Connie Mack and Dan Coats.

A Google representative said there had not, however, been any personal visits to Washington in support of the DoubleClick deal by top executives like CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who famously showed up in blue jeans and sneakers when he arrived on Capitol Hill for meetings with politicians last summer.

Citing confidentiality concerns, an FTC representative declined to comment on anything beyond the fact that the investigation is continuing. AT&T, which has made public statements in opposition to the merger before, would not comment. Time Warner, which reportedly has voiced concerns about the deal, also would not comment.

Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans declined to offer details about his employer's attempts to sink the DoubleClick deal. "As a general rule, we don't comment on specific lobbying efforts," he said Friday. "Microsoft continues to believe the Google-DoubleClick acquisition raises a number of serious questions about the effects it will have on advertisers, publishers and consumers, and we believe it warrants closer scrutiny."

By any measure, Google is seriously outgunned in Washington. Its spending on lobbyists in 2006 amounted to a mere $720,000--a fraction of what the Google co-founders spent on their personal jet. By comparison, last year AT&T wrote checks for at least $27 million to buy political influence and Microsoft spent $8.9 million.

The disparity is even greater over a longer period. Starting in the late 1990s, when Google was moving into its first office, AT&T and Microsoft spent a combined $179 million while Google spent a mere $540,000. (That's counting lobbying and political contributions through 2005, as calculated in's special report last year.)

It's no surprise that Google has paid little attention to Washington and hired a government
relations director just over two years ago: it's not in a heavily regulated industry like AT&T. Microsoft, of course, began writing fat checks to lobbyists--including Rick Rule, a former top Justice Department antitrust official--only after its antitrust headaches began in 1997.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Why is yawning contagious?

Rather than being a precursor to sleep, yawning is designed to keep us awake, say US researchers. But why does seeing someone else yawn make you to do the same?
Yawning is an involuntary action that everyone does. We start before we are born and most creatures on the planet do it - even snakes and fish.

New research suggests rather than being a precursor to sleep, the purpose of yawning is to cool the brain so it operates more efficiently and keeps you awake.

The theory could explain a puzzling question about subconscious human behaviour - why many of us yawn when we see or hear another person doing it, or even read about it or even just think about it?

The brain cooling theory says that when we contagiously yawn we are participating in an ancient, hardwired ritual that evolved to help groups stay alert and detect danger.

'Herding behaviour'

It's not copying another person's sleepiness, say scientists at the University of Albany in New York, who are behind the latest research.

"We think contagious yawning is triggered by empathic mechanisms which function to maintain group vigilance," says Dr Gordon Gallup, a leading researcher at the university.

The belief is further supported by the observation of University of Maryland's Robert Provine that paratroopers report yawning before jumping.

But there are other theories. It's been suggested contagious yawning could be a result of an unconscious herding behaviour - a subtle way to communicate to those around us, similar to when flocks of birds take flight at the same time.

Another theory suggests contagious yawning might have helped early humans communicate their alertness levels and co-ordinate sleeping times.

Basically, if one decided it was time to sleep they would tell the others by yawning and they would do it in return to show they agreed.

Chimpanzees also suffer from contagious yawning, according to researchers at Kyoto University in Japan. They are thought to be the only other creatures, apart from humans, who do so.
The rest of the animal kingdom - including birds, snakes and hippos - yawn for other reasons. Dogs yawn to stay calm in certain situations, says Turid Rugaas, author of On talking Terms with Dogs.

Anyone who gets to the end of this article without yawning may wish to think of themselves as a medical apparition. In fact, only about half of adult humans are prone to contagious yawning.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Internet Error Codes

Sometime you are browsing the internet and trying to open any website, your e-mail and any FTP sites , but you see different error codes there. You should be familiar with these error codes. You can solve these problems if you are well-known with the meaning of error codes.

This is bad request error, First check you may be typing wrong URL name and server could not understand your request.

You are trying to open any unauthorized access site or page. Check your username and password if you are trying to open any webpage.

Payment Required Error

You are trying to open any forbidden page and you are blocked by that domain.

Here you are trying to open the webpage that was removed or re-named, also check the URL spelling.

This is time out error. you should send the request with in time that the server set for you.

Study Reveals Why We Learn From Mistakes

Researchers have pinpointed an area in the brain that alerts us in less than a second of an impending mistake so we don’t repeat it.

Scientists have long known that mistakes are conducive to learning, suggesting the reason lies in the element of surprise upon finding out we are wrong. But how the brain manages to learn from mistakes and how quickly it does so have been unknowns.

“It's a bit of a cliché to say that we learn more from our mistakes than our successes,” said lead author of the study Andy Wills, a psychologist at the University of Exeter, “but for the first time we’ve established just how quickly the brain works to help us avoid repeating errors.”

The scientists monitored the brain activity of a group of volunteers as they made predictions based on information each read on a computer screen. Then, they were given new information that made many of the predictions incorrect. The participants had to learn from the mistake in order to repeat the error next time around.

The researchers measured activity in the lower temporal region of the brain, near the temples, which is responsible for processing visual information. “By monitoring activity in the brain as it occurs, we were able to identify the moment at which this mechanism kicks in,” Wills said.

Activity increased immediately after the individual saw the new information flash onto the computer screen—within 0.1 seconds—before there was time for any conscious consideration.
Most previous research had focused on the brain’s frontal lobes, which are associated with complex thought processes, such as planning and conscious decision-making. This study, announced today and published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, indicates the brain reacts to mistakes before information even gets processed consciously. The scientists call it an "early warning signal" from a lower region of the brain.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Go Daddy Assumes 850,000 Domains

Embattled registrar RegisterFly will transfer 850,000 domain names to, the world's largest domain registrar under an agreement brokered by ICANN, the parties announced today. The move will be welcome news to domain owners who have been unable to manage their names since RegisterFly collapsed into financial and management turmoil in February.

"We worked with ICANN to effect a migration of the RegisterFly domains to and help those customers left in limbo,” said CEO and Founder Bob Parsons. “It’s what many RegisterFly customers asked us to do. After they are moved over to, all RegisterFly customers will once again be able to manage and renew their domain names with confidence and will also enjoy the world-class support we provide all our customers. We expect the move to be completed over the next week."

"The RegisterFly situation has been extremely difficult -- first and foremost for registrants, as well as for the entire registry and registrar community," said Dr Paul Twomey, ICANN's President and CEO. "The agreement is the best possible solution for RegisterFly customers since it’s a direct and automatic transfer to a competent and experienced customer service oriented organization."

Go Daddy says it now manages more than 20 million domain names, and more than 4 million customers using its domain name registration, Web site hosting, SSL certificates and related products.

RegisterFly's web site management system stopped working properly in February during a business dispute between company founder Kevin Medina and business partner John Naruzewicz, who claimed that he owned 50 percent of RegisterFly and said the company's board had fired Medina. At the direction of "new CEO" Naruzewicz, the company filed a lawsuit accusing Medina of mismanagement and misuse of company funds. Medina denied all charges, saying he remained the sole owner of RegisterFly. A Newark, N.J. court agreed, awarding sole control of the company to Medina.

The resolution of RegisterFly's ownership issues didn't resolve its operational problems. ICANN stripped RegisterFly of its accreditation, but had to resort to court action to force Medina to accept a transfer to another registrar. On Friday United States District Court Judge Manuel L. Real issued a permanent injunction against RegisterFly, clearing the way for today's transfer.