Italy


An Italian judge has held three Google executives responsible for the content of a site picked up and made accessible through Google. This is a threat to us all. 20 hrs of video are uploaded on to Google every hour, so if this ruling stands, Google will have to employ increasingly large numbers of people to monitor web content. Or screen out most web content. Most bloggers have the same problem.
One expects the Economist to give weight to economic explanations. But not in fluff pieces written over the holiday break. According to the Economist, heavy mobile use is explained by latitude, not the ultra-low prices that are the result of the Budget Telecom Network Model. Yet these global trends hide starkly different national and regional stories. Vittorio Colao, the boss of Vodafone, which operates or partially owns networks in 31 countries, argues that the farther south you go, the more people use their phones, even past the equator: where life is less organised people need a tool, for example to rejig appointments.
A single European Union-wide telecoms market could be in place from 2010 after the European Commission set out plans to increase competition. Under the new plans, a regional watchdog would be created and former monopolies could be forced to split up their network and services operations. The planned changes are designed to offer consumers cheaper broadband services and phone calls from fixed line and mobile handsets, the Commission also argues. It claims that consumers are currently losing out because in many member countries, including Poland, Italy and Germany, the former state telecoms monopolies still dominate, particularly in the broadband market. The proposals will now be debated in the European Parliament.
Gordon Gow, a lead researcher in the Last-Mile Hazard Warning System (LM-HWS) Pilot (HazInfo project), presented the paper titled – “Community-based Hazard Warnings in Sri Lanka: Performance of Alerting and Notification in a Last-Mile Message Relay” at the 1st Wireless Rural and Emergency Communications (WRECOM) Conference in Rome, Italy, Oct 01-02. One of Gordon Gow’s key contributions to the HazInfo project was the Common Alerting Protocol Profile for Sri Lanka, which was a hard case as far as integrating the multi-language scenario as it is the case in Sri Lanka. The CAP Profile for Sri Lanka was designed for disseminations in Sinhala, Tamil, and English languages. Such a complex profile of CAP was field tested in Sri Lanka’s HazInfo project. This was the first time a Multilanguage profile was field tested in the World.
Later this year, T-Mobile plans to test a service that will allow its subscribers to switch seamlessly between connections to cellular towers and Wi-Fi hotspots, including those in homes and the more than 7,000 it controls in Starbucks outlets, airports and other locations, according to analysts with knowledge of the plans. The company hopes that moving mobile phone traffic off its network will allow it to offer cheaper service and steal customers from cell competitors and landline phone companies like AT&T. “T-Mobile is interested in the replacement or displacement of landline minutes,” said Mark Bolger, director of marketing for T-Mobile. Wi-Fi calling “is one of the technologies that will help us deliver on that promise.” Major phone manufacturers including Nokia, Samsung and Motorola are offering or plan to introduce phones designed for use on both traditional cell and Wi-Fi networks.