Sunday, May 9, 2010


Google rebuts U.S. objections to digital book deal

Google Inc. wants the digital rights to millions of books badly enough that

it's willing to take on the U.S. Department of Justice in a court battle over

whether the Internet search leader's ambitions would break antitrust and

copyright laws. The stage for the showdown was set with a Google court filing that

defended the $125 million settlement of a classaction lawsuit the

company reached with U.S. authors and publishers more than 14 months

ago. Google's 67page filing includes a rebuttal to the Justice Department's

belief that the settlement would thwart competition in the book market

and undermine copyright law. The brief also tries to overcome a chorus of

criticism from several of its rivals, watchdog groups, state governments

and even some foreign governments. Google revised its original book agreement in

November in an attempt to win the Justice Department's support, only to have the nation's top law enforcement agency reiterate its opposition last week.

This time, though, Google decided to dig in its heels

and attempt to persuade U.S. District Judge Denny Chin that the Justice

Department and the settlement's other opponents are wrong.

The purpose of copyright law is to promote the creation and distribution of

expressive works Google's lawyers wrote the (settlement) advances this

purpose as much as any case or agreement in copyright history.

The decision to fight the Justice Department rather than seek another

compromise represents a calculated risk for Google. The company's

domination of Internet search and its expansion into other markets have

already been drawing more regulatory scrutiny. Locking horns with the

Justice Department raises the spectre of antitrust regulators magnifying

their focus on Google's search engine, which fuels an online advertising

system that generates virtually all the company's revenue. The Justice

Department's concerns include the possibility of Google gaining an unfair

advantage over its smaller Internet search rivals if it wins the right to a

digital database of books that it built up by ignoring copyright laws.

Microsoft and Yahoo are a part of a group trying to persuade Chin to reject

the book agreement. Google has made digital copies of more than 12

million books during the past five years "at an enormous cost, But the

company has only been able to show snippets from most of those books

because of a copyright dispute that culminated in the lawsuit filed in 2005

by groups representing U.S. authors and publishers.

The proposed settlement would unlock Google's electronic library and allow

the company to sell the titles in competition with Inc. and

other merchants. Most of the money from the sales would go to the

publishers and authors.

The Justice Department believes this arrangement could create a literary

cartel that would drive up prices, a notion that Google dismissed in its

filing. Google is a new entrant and currently has zero percent share in any book

market. It does not have monopoly power and there is no 'dangerous

probability' that it will acquire such power.

Facebook pulls 30 UK inmates' pages after taunts

Britain's Justice Minister says Facebook has deleted the pages of 30 UK prisoners after they used the Internet to taunt their victims. The move follows several incidents in which

British criminals have reportedly used the social networking site to communicate with

conspirators and act against victims Outrage over inmates' online activities prompted

Straw to contact Facebook. Mr. Straw said he hoped Facebook would soon

"press the delete button" whenever the government asked to have an

offending profile removed.

Google's Buzz sets internet humming

You've Googled those facts, you've updated your status on Facebook,

you've uploaded your pictures to Flickr, and you've tweeted about it on

Twitter. But now Google would like you to head back its way and join in

the Buzz. Attached to Google's Gmail webmail service, Buzz allows you to

have short, or very long, text chats with people who are also owners of

Google accounts.

The company's executives describe it as the "poster child" for Google's

future: a social networking structure that automatically finds people to

connect with you. However, critics claim Buzz looks more like an attempt

to catch up with Facebook and Twitter, which are vying for internet users'

attention, than any solution to actual problems facing Google users.

There are also privacy concerns that it could distribute details about

people contacted by email.

Launched at Google's headquarters, Mountain View, California, Buzz has

now been rolled out to all of Gmail's 150 million users worldwide, though

not yet to those using Gmail inside organisations, where it is expected to

arrive next month. Buzz creates a "social circle" of people to whom you

are "connected", through having emailed them or visited their profile page.

It lets you post comments, pictures and videos.

During internal testing it was known as Taco Town, and proved popular for

sharing highdefinition videos, Google is really good at sorting information,

That's what we intend to do with social information as well. It is claimed

Buzz could become an aggregator for sites, as Google is now for news.

Presently, however, it only works on a few phones: Apple's iPhone, and

the latest Google Nexus.

Google has tried to build social networking systems before: Orkut, a

Facebooklike site, launched in 2004 and successful in Brazil, and Jaiku, a

Twitterlike system, acquired by Google in October 2007 but effectively

abandoned by the company in January last year.

Oxford exhibits ancient Indian art online

For the first time, images of rare objects and artefacts from ancient India

and other Asian countries have been made available online by the

Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford. The centre will provide

global access to the University's Islamic and Asian Art collections held at

the Ashmolean.

The collections span the Islamic Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent,

Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Korea, and comprise a wide range of

media, including ceramics, textiles, sculpture, metalwork, paintings, and

prints.The centre will initially focus on the objects and themes featured in the

Ashmolean's new galleries for the Islamic and Asian Collections, with over

1,400 of the Museum's great treasures of Eastern Art accessible online at


This resource will be an invaluable tool for

historians and students for research purposes, for

craftsmen and designers seeking inspiration, and

for an interested and curious public all over the


The project began in July 2007 .To digitise this

extensive collection, over 11,000 objects have been

photographed to date, providing high quality,

zoomable images of objects online.

There is an ongoing programme to update and publish all these objects on

the web, making this area of the Museum's collection available online for

the first time.

Knowledge should be accessible to everyone, everywhere, at any time.

The Online Centre for Islamic and Asian Art will be a major step towards

achieving this goal.Reflecting the methodology of Crossing cultures

crossing time, The Centre of Islamic and Asian Art will explore the artistic

cultures of Asia collectively. By examining their similarities and differences

the online visitor will learn that art from the Islamic world coexists with the

other great Asian artistic traditions, from India to Japan.

Google plans superfast internet

Google plans to build a fiber optic broadband network that will connect

customers to the internet at speeds 100 times faster than most existing

broadband connections in the United States. Its goal is to experiment with

new ways to help make internet access better and faster for everyone.

Google plans to build and test the network in trial communities around the

country starting later this year and that the tests could encompass as

many as 5,00,000 people. They cited threedimensional medical imaging and quick, high definition film downloads among the applications of such

highspeed internet access.

It will deliver internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most

Americans have access to today with one gigabit per second, fibertothehome


It plans to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and

potentially up to 500,000 people. It is being done because it wants to

make the web better and faster to everyone.

Social networks profitable for employers, staff

Social networks are slowly emerging as "commercial networks" for

businesses, as they provide profitable opportunities for both individuals

and prospective employers, Social networks are really misnomer because

they are turning into commercial entities and changing the way companies

do business.

After the emergence of social networks, organisations can tap previously

invisible and inaccessible pools of talent in the form of virtual workforce.

"These untapped but highlyskilled workers are critical in the face of an

ageing global workforce and worsening talent mismatch. Through sites such as Facebook, employees can connect to their CEO, whose access to their unfiltered ideas can inform their view of the business in exciting new ways. The focus of

company efforts is to channel use of social networking in directions that benefit organisations and employees alike, rather than trying to control

employees social networking behavior. The key is to equip your employees with a framework for what's onmessage and the tone of your company, and then empower them to be ambassadors of your brand.

These findings have come at a time when social networking sites are

blamed for reducing the productivity of businesses.

Many employees feel that their respective companies do not have a formal

policy for the use of social networks. Most organisations that have

instituted a policy have done so in order to avoid productivity loss,

mirroring the corporate reaction to the growing popularity of the World

Wide Web in the 1990s, when it was feared that employees would waste

too much time idly surfing the Web.

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