Newswatch: Global Audiences and the International Paradox -NYTimes
Monday 8am Silicon Valley news report:
Web companies that rely on advertising are enjoying some of their most vibrant growth in developing countries. But those are also the same places where it can be the most expensive to operate, since Web companies often need more servers to make content available to parts of the world with limited bandwidth. And in those countries, online display advertising is least likely to translate into results.
Although H.P. is trying to expand its presence in businesses like personal computers and printers, some critics argue that those markets have little left to give. The company could also use more imaginative thinking to bolster its developing line of software products and services.
It's yet another avenue for raising money and awareness, supplementing direct online contributions generated by running ads and sending e-mail to past donors. Social networks can potentially be more effective because they are cheaper and involve referrals from friends.
The business of building and supplying data centers — air-conditioned rooms packed with computers and related gear, which do everything from processing online purchases to tracking inventory, customer accounts and payroll information — is already worth hundreds of billions of dollars. It's expected to grow with the spread of "cloud computing," in which companies and consumers increasingly use PCs and mobile devices to access information and software that's stored in those centers instead of on their own hard drives.
Memory chips account for just 14% of the $260 billion global semiconductor industry. But they are a leading indicator of industry performance because of their commodity-like status as widely used products that are hard to differentiate. The memory downturn that began in early 2007 foreshadowed last year's broader industry troubles, which became worse after the financial-industry crisis led to a global downturn.
A growing number of vendors have begun offering servers that come bundled with particular programs, styling the combinations as appliances that are easier to install and manage than components sold separately. Oracle in October announced a joint effort with H-P to offer a “data warehouse” machine that was designed to better search through corporate information better than standalone hardware and software from the two companies.
"We'd hoped to have a bigger turnout for this inaugural vote, but it is important to keep in mind that this vote was a first for users just like it was a first for Facebook," Ullyot said in a blog post, adding that the site will consider lowering that threshold for future votes.
The mentality of super-users in online customer-service communities is similar to that of devout gamers, according to Mr. Fong. Lithium’s customer service sites for companies, for example, offer elaborate rating systems for contributors, with ranks, badges and “kudos counts.”
Eric Nyberg, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, is collaborating with I.B.M. on research to devise computing systems capable of answering questions that are not limited to specific topics. The real difficulty, Dr. Nyberg said, is not searching a database but getting the computer to understand what it should be searching for.
Spider silk is already tougher and lighter than steel, and now scientists have made it three times stronger by adding small amounts of metal.
Early results suggest soy toners work as advertised. In a recent test involving identical documents from two identical printers — one with a new Hewlett-Packard cartridge and the other a soy cartridge — the printouts were indistinguishable, equally dark and smudge-proof.
Tech geeks hoping for juicy details from a closely watched trial involving RealNetworks are likely to find Friday’s proceedings a bit disappointing. U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel closed much of the first day’s action to the public after an attorney for the DVD Copy Control Association said questioning would reveal too many trade secrets.
A fresh look may be long overdue, given the amount of damage that homes can do to the environment. It's easy to envision a power plant spewing pollution or a highway full of cars burning billions of gallons of petroleum. But buildings -- silent and unmoving -- are the quiet users of much of our energy, through electricity, heating and water consumption. The U.S. Energy Department estimates buildings are responsible for 39% of our energy consumption and a similar percentage of greenhouse-gas emissions.
The question on oral contracts isn't the only unanswered one in virtual law. Duranske expects future cases to confront intellectual property issues - as the sex bed dispute did - as well as employment law and tax law.
The founder of Craigslist does not plan to close the "erotic services" section of the Web site despite criticism that has intensified after a medical student was accused of killing a Boston masseuse who advertised there.
Earlier this week, Ballmer said Microsoft was not interested in buying a hardware company following Oracle Corp's proposed takeover of Sun Microsystems.
Social networking is “all about establishing boundaries,” she says. “If you have something online that you wouldn’t share openly with people in the office, you probably want to think twice about inviting them in.”
Believe it or not, a few savvy developers have discovered an even more hellish and heart-pounding backdrop in which to set their games: high school.