Sunday, January 27, 2008

Three new languages, Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian in Blogger

Blogger Buzz: Three new languages and a whole new direction for Blogger
These three languages should bring together a whole new groups of people to blogger and therefor to their societies a place to share ideas, visions, tips and whatever else we do via blogs today. Even though I do not read, write nor speak any of those languages, I still feel happy. Thanks Blogger team.
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Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Foreigner Registration System In Japan.

Japan Times is reporting that foreigners in Japan going to get a new card, a registration card!. Foreigners in Japan has always been a hot topic and both sides, foreigners and Locals have been at odds 1950s. It is big issue in Japan that still one can see "Japanese Only" just like a few decades ago here in USA had signs that said "Whites Only". But those signs in USA is long gone but Japan continue to have those. It is important as I will have to spend some time of my life in Japan, because My partner is Japanese!.
The government plans to abolish the current registration system for foreigners living in Japan and introduce a new regime similar to that for Japanese residents that will manage them on a household basis, Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama said Friday.
The new arrangement, which is being examined by a team at the Justice Ministry and the internal affairs ministry, is expected to introduce a new registry system under which detailed information of foreign residents on a household basis, instead of an individual basis, will be kept by local governments.
Critics view the new system, however, as increased state control.
The JT article By JUN HONGO
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Most Expensive College Education In The World

I read an article about most expensive colleges and Universities in the world! Well I thought my motto was the best until I saw the costs at these places; (my motto is 'educate yourself, never graduate!'). One may have to move to Spain to do that now!
Article also mentions those higher education institutions are not from Ivy league nor placed in Swiss Alps. But these are all highly selective private colleges.
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the most expensive four-year university in the U.S. (and most likely the world) is Washington, D.C.’s George Washington University, with a price tag of $39,240 in 2007-2008. Rounding out the top five: Ohio’s Kenyon College ($38,140), Bucknell University in Pennsylvania ($38,134) and Vassar College ($38,115) and Sarah Lawrence College ($38,090), both in New York. All private, all selective and all extremely pricey--and that’s before room, board and books are factored in.
Complete article is at Yahoo Finance.
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

BBC is Coming to My Space

New York Times is reporting that BBC is planing to share it's content on MySpace following the path of success BBC had with the YouTube.
"The commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation is expected to announce a partnership with MySpace on Thursday to make some of its content available on MySpace, the popular social networking Web site.

MySpace, part of the News Corporation, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, said Wednesday that the relationship was its first global agreement with a major broadcaster. The companies will share advertising revenue.

The BBC has already found some success syndicating content on the Google Web site YouTube, where its videos have garnered more than three million views since last February. MySpaceTV is the second most popular video Web site, behind YouTube."

You can find the Growing Online, NYT article here.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Getting Social - Leveraging New Media Tools in Marketing

Jigsaw and Duct Tape Marketing Join Together for Jigsaws Latest Webinar: Getting Social - Leveraging New Media Tools in Marketing, January 30 <

SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As part of its ongoing, free informational webinar series on best practices in data management, Jigsaw (www.jigsaw.com), the online directory of business contact and company information built by and for its global membership, presents Getting Social - Leveraging New Media Tools in Marketing on January 30, 2008 at 10:00 am PST. The webinar is available to individuals or companies already using Jigsaw as well as those interested in how Jigsaw improves marketing campaigns and response rates.

As social media technologies evolve, a business-critical need is emerging to tap into these resources for effective, low-cost methods to enhance marketing processes. In the latest Jigsaw webinar, award-winning blogger and veteran marketing coach John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing uncovers the benefits and proven techniques used to employ new media tools in sales and marketing campaigns. Jantsch will share his expertise on the use of blogs, podcasts, wikis and user-generated content, such as Jigsaws online directory of business contact data, to improve business best practices.

In this free webinar youll learn:

  • How to use blogs and podcasts as tools to enhance your search results and create better content.
  • Simple uses of RSS technology for research and content creation.
  • Smart ways to involve your organization, customers and prospects in social networking.

To register for this free Jigsaw webinar visit:


Jigsaws webinar series helps professionals get better business results by identifying common pitfalls in data processes and also techniques to enhance data management.

The next Jigsaw webinar, New Years Resolution: Build Great Campaigns with Jigsaw, will take place February 6, 2008 at 10:00 am PST.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

IP Addresses are People Data! EU says!

EU, European Union says that IP addresses associated with Internet access are personal data.

IP Address is Personal Information, EU Says.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Bobby Fischer dies!

Chess master Bobby Fischer, one of the greatest chess players in history, has died, a spokesman for the World Chess Federation confirmed to CNN Friday.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Yahoo! Support OpenID And Accounts Numbers Triple To 368 Million

I am a very happy user of OpenID and have been very happy to see any website that I frequent uses it. Because it makes much easier to handle multitudes of accounts one has to carry these days. People tend to use one password for all their accounts for ease and we all know it is a security risk yet continue to practice it. Using OpenID is similar but it is very much safer than anything else that is available to us common users of internet services. So when I read the Yahoo Press Release, I was very happy. Here it is.

(OpenID is an open, decentralized, free framework for user-centric digital identity, which eliminates the need for multiple usernames across different websites, simplifying your online experience. OpenID is still in the adoption phase and is becoming more and more popular, as large organizations like AOL, Microsoft, Sun, Novell, etc. begin to accept and provide OpenIDs. Today it is estimated that there are over 120-million OpenID enabled URLs with nine thousand sites supporting OpenID logins.)

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Jan 17, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO), a leading global Internet company, today announced its support for the OpenID 2.0 digital identity framework for all 248 million active registered Yahoo! users worldwide. OpenID, an open framework based on proven Internet technologies, enables users to consolidate their Internet identity, eliminating the need to create separate IDs and logins at all of the various websites, blogs, and profile pages they may visit in the course of their online session. In addition to the many leading Yahoo! services users already enjoy, anyone with a Yahoo! ID will be able to use the same ID for easy access to any sites that support OpenID 2.0.

Yahoo!'s initial OpenID service, which will be available in public beta on January 30, enables a seamless and transparent web experience by allowing users to use their custom OpenID identifier on me.yahoo.com or to simply type in "www.yahoo.com" or "www.flickr.com" on any site that supports OpenID 2.0. Alternatively, web sites that accept OpenID 2.0 will be able to add a simple "Sign-in with Your Yahoo! ID" button to their login pages that will make it even easier for their users. Yahoo! is working with several partners, including Plaxo and JanRain, to make it possible for users to access these sites with their Yahoo! ID from the first day of the public beta.

"A Yahoo! ID is one of the most recognizable and useful accounts to have on the Internet and with our support of OpenID, it will become even more powerful," said Ash Patel, executive vice president of platforms and infrastructure at Yahoo!. "Supporting OpenID gives our users the freedom to leverage their Yahoo! ID both on and off the Yahoo! network, reducing the number of usernames and passwords they need to remember and offering a single, trusted partner for managing their online identity."

"Yahoo!'s commitment to an open web is a significant validation of the OpenID movement and Yahoo!'s adoption of the standard today immediately triples the total number of people able to use OpenID," said Scott Kveton, chairman of the Board of Directors for the OpenID Foundation. "With Yahoo! actively engaged with the OpenID Foundation and its community to promote OpenID, Yahoo!'s users will be able to more easily access the many sites across the web that support the standard, and the potential for access to Yahoo!'s vast international user base will create an even more powerful incentive for additional websites to begin accepting OpenID users."

Yahoo!'s implementation is based on the OpenID 2.0 specification, which Yahoo! worked closely with the OpenID foundation and community to finalize in December 2007, and includes new features that improve security and usability of OpenID, making it the most user-friendly single sign-on and online user-authentication standard. Yahoo! users who log in with their Yahoo! ID on OpenID sites will have the added protection of Yahoo!'s sign-in seal wherever they go on the web. In addition, no email or IM addresses are revealed or disclosed as part of the login process, which further helps protect users from phishing or other attacks.

"Plaxo believes that users should be able to carry their identity and personal information with them wherever they go across the social web," said Joseph Smarr, chief platform architect of Plaxo. "Yahoo! is making that vision a reality by becoming an OpenID provider. Yahoo! users will be able to easily access Plaxo and other services without having to create and remember yet another password. This also paves the way for a secure approach to data portability between the various services people use across the web."

"At JanRain, we believe the evolution of the Internet and the next generation of web applications hinges on universal adoption of a secure, portable digital identity," said Larry Drebes, founder and vice president of engineering for JanRain. "JanRain is a leader in OpenID libraries, tools and applications, and has worked closely with Yahoo! to integrate its new OpenID offering into our services. The addition of 248 million Yahoo! users to the OpenID ecosystem will be a tremendous milestone in expanding the user base for OpenID."

Yahoo! will continue to devote resources to helping to improve the OpenID user experience and to educating its users. In addition, Yahoo! intends to expand its support of OpenID by adopting other elements of the program as the service evolves. More information and updates can be found at http://openid.yahoo.com.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Working Group on Social Networking Formed with All the States, Except Texas

According to the following news release by News.com on MySpace news conference on MySpace Security. Something that is lacking in most social networking sites. The new Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking, led by attorneys general Roy Cooper of North Carolina and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, consists of Nigam as well as the attorneys general of 49 total U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The group has released a "Joint Statement on Key Principles of Social Networking," which it hopes will achieve industry wide approval from other social-networking sites and Internet providers.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said later on Monday that his office declined to participate because he didn't consider the proposed safety measures to be strong enough and did not join the group.

Here is the news com release MySpace safety plan is smoke and mirrors.

A coalition of law enforcement authorities and representatives from social-networking site MySpace.com gathered Monday morning to unveil an extensive new plan for ensuring the safety of minors on the Internet.

Under the agreement, MySpace has pledged to work with the attorneys general on a set of principles to combat harmful material on social-networking sites (pornography, harassment, cyberbullying, and identity theft, among other issues), better educate parents and schools about online threats, cooperate with law enforcement officials around the country, as well as develop new technology for age and identity verification on social-networking sites.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Time for socialising the real way! (Indian Way ?!!)

Not that anything wrong with it. India has a history of socializing longer than most people in other countries can even imagine. When Europeans were still finding out how to live in caves, India had two major civilizations around it. They knew how to count, they wrote books, they traveled, ( they had free travelers rest houses in each major village or cities). So I guess it is safe to say they were socializing, long before, in many different ways, perhaps some what primitive in todays standards of facebooks and myspaces.
But the article I am going to point you to does not take you through history lessons. It just tells us about social networking fatigue! in modern day world.
"What was once novel becomes routine. And when you reach that stage, it's time to step back, take a deep breath and ask yourself where your real world friends are. You could pop into a bar or have them home for a real chat, for between work, play and other things you do in your life it's just not possible to keep up."
Yes it is little different for us in bay area, SF CA. I have found more real life friends to go out and have a drink with. I also keep my real friends close at hand to go out and get drunk, too.
But there is some truth to what the author, Rahul Sharma, has to say as well. The newness of social networking can die off fast. Once you know the layout, it is like playing GT4 on Playstation. You cover all the circuits once or sometimes twice. You go through the races, win cheat and soon it is over. Now you are looking at sony to release the new version. While waiting you load the game once or twice just for the heck of it.
So there is no facebook two or myspace 2.0, and people run over to other networks like orkut, dating sites or million other sites that has Social Network Badge on it, like specific social networking sites catering to specific groups such as hamster owners.. But some stick to those social networks because they work for them. You can find new channels and people in your profession or carrier. But it is hard for people like me who wear multiple hats, professor or scientist by the morning, consultant and systems designer by afternoon, and blogger by night. But I am very secular as well. My cell phone say do not leave a message becaus I do not listen to them, keep the caller ID open and if I know you, I will call you. Office phones are another matter. Some one will answer or I will, if I am in a good none busy mood.
So do I have time to digg deep into social networking sites. Not really. I get dragged there by people I know and the circle gets you some times. Yes Social networking fatigue could get you if you are on/in a boring site. (which does not?). It might be also that people tend to look for next best thing, according to the author, next best thing!
"Communities are fun, so is social networking, but for me the newness of the experience is beginning to fade. I can't hang around on the same site forever because the next one that appears around the corner might be just that much more exciting."
So it could be the reason that second life attracts and keeps people, because of the variety and the different ways of socializing!
You can find Time for socialising the real way here.

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Flick your Photos With Flickr Graph

Does Flickr bring people together? Yes anyone that has visited knows that. Strangers from far corners of the world sharing what their cameras caught and commenting on photos, creating groups and teams, both public and by invite only. But I found the Flickr graph which allows you to explore those relationships that exist within Flickr.
In my research about social networks, I have seen other methods that explore relationships withing groups like MySpace or even yahoo email. This also uses classic attraction-repulsion algorithm for graphs and I have no clue about the algorithm as he explains.
This is not a new application and has been running for while, since 2005.
Go have a look.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Facebook, apparently, owns Our Birthdays And More.. Bring Out that assbook!

I came across this post about Scoble getting kicked out for testing an application based on Plaxo Pulse. His crime, Scoble scraped information on his contacts (name, address, and birthday, so he could move them to Outlook, he says). This is against norms of facebook. Guess I have to make my new site, assbook (or is it Lassbook?) come out sooner.
Perhaps I should direct you to the original article I mentioned, Does Facebook own this blog post?
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Social.im brings facebook Users Together Outside Browser Confinements.

A new desktop application called Social.im lets anyone with a Facebook account chat with their Facebook connections outside of the browser. Once you download and install Social.IM, (whch is only available on Windows right now), a window opens to Facebook's login page and once you login to facebook, Software pulls your friend's names and Facebook avatars into a buddy list. If your friends also have the Social.im, they will appear as available, busy, or offline, as in any other chat program.
I learned about this at Wired.
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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Is Large Number Of Users making Social Networking Sites Like Facebook and MySpace Slow?

Watchmouse, leading website monitoring company, has released a report on accessibility and availability of Social networking sites. I was surprised to read that "Facebook performance was poorest of all"
"The Netherlands, January 10, 2008 – Popular social networking sites fail to deliver to their users, according to WatchMouse. Research from the leading website monitoring company has shown that web 2.0 sites often are slow to open or fail to load properly. WatchMouse monitored the time it took the social networking sites, listed on Wikipedia, to load. The results showed that the worst for availability is the immensely popular Facebook."
Complete article, Social networking sites slow and inaccessible. This article also covers about other sites like Twitter, last.fm, Windows Live Spaces, Friendster and del.icio.us. which also said to be slow.
Complete Site availability index could be found here.

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Social Engineering In Indian Politics

India Times carry the following story about how social engineering is changing Indian Politics.
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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Resveratrol SIRT1 and Why I'm Having A red Face, I am Prolonging My life!

Wired Magazine article says that we have found a way to extend our lives. Here is a little bit from the article. Follow the link below for the complete article.

SAN FRANCISCO -- For the first time, scientists have proof in human subjects that a derivative of an ingredient in red wine combats some symptoms of aging. Sirtris Pharmaceuticals announced the results here on Monday at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference.

Resveratol, naturally found in red wine, stimulates a gene known as SIRT1, which has been linked with extended lifespans in rodents. The new study is the first time similar effects have been replicated in humans.

"We believe that this is the first time that a drug candidate has shown efficacy in a disease of aging by targeting the genes that control aging," said Christoph Westphal, CEO of Sirtris.

Sirtris was co-founded by David Sinclair, a Harvard Medical School researcher, who discovered SIRT1's role in regulating lifespan. His early work was in yeast, and he later showed that stimulating SIRT1 through a calorie-restricted diet helped animals live longer. Then, Sinclair found resveratol, which stimulates the same gene with results similar to calorie-restriction but without the diet. Resveratrol's effects in mice touched off a storm of excitement among people, including Sinclair, who began taking the drug in its over-the-counter form hoping to extend their lifespans.

Red Wine Drug Shows Proof That It Combats Aging

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OpenIDDevCamp Don't Miss It, Come Join Us This Weekend!

After having a very good time in Vegas and CES, I had to get back to Bay Area. But all is not that bad! Why you may ask! Yes you may. It is because the first OpenIDDevCamp which is said to be inspired by BarCamp, SuperHappyDevHouse, iPhoneDevCamp and MacHack among other things, will be hosted at at the San Francisco offices of Six Apart, and all are welcomed.
I will be certainly be attending as I am working with three projects that have OpenID integrated of has in the plans to do so. I really want to pick the brains of those fine folks that know OpenIP better than their own faces.
OpenID.net has this message for you;
"If you’re already in San Francisco or will be coming into town for MacWorld, want to learn more about OpenID, you should definitely drop by. Please RSVP for OpenIDDevCamp on Upcoming. Maybe you’ll even find out from Yahoo! what is going on with OpenID tags on Flickr?"
So spread the word, get together to promote this fine ID platform.
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Friday, January 04, 2008

Social Networking Conference 2008

The Miami Social Networking Conference is the industry's largest event that covers business management for the Social Networking and Online Personals industry. The next event will be held on January 31-February 1, 2008 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, USA. The Miami focuses on all the social networking market and is attended by senior executives in the industry. The event will discuss: Social Networking business strategies, mobile technologies for social networking, Social Networking software, partnerships, venture capital, legal issues, online/traditional marketing strategies, background search and payments.

SPEAKERS at the 2008 Miami Conference include:

• Google
• Digg
• Synthasite
• Visible Path
• RockYou!
• Research In Motion
• Pixsy
• Intel Capital
There will be two simultaneous events in Miami this year. While the Social Networking Conference is taking place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the Internet Dating Conference will also be taking place down the hall. These are two separate events.
Registration to the Social Networking Conference also gets you complimentary admission to the Internet Dating Conference.

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Bebo named as best social networking site

They have transformed the way people communicate and attract millions of regular users keen to make virtual friendships or chat about common interests. Of the most popular social networking websites, Bebo is today named in a report as the top performer, beating its rivals Facebook and MySpace.

Computing Which? publishes the results of an independent test assessing the 10 most popular sites for ease of setting up and using the site, the range of features, and the way the sites protected privacy and security, including how easy it is to remove personal details.

Bebo and Facebook achieved the highest scores of 79% and 74% respectively, and were rated easier to use than MySpace and best for socialising. Bebo, which is used predominantly by the 13- to 24-year-old age group, is praised for working hard to encourage responsible networking.
Continue reading at Social Networking news source.
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Plaxo On The Sales Block!

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Plaxo, a site that helps users keep their friends' contact information up to date, is considering a sale of the company for as much as $200 million, media reports said on Thursday.

Plaxo is seeking as much as $100 million and has hired Revolution Partners to advise it on a deal, the New York Times reported, citing people briefed on the offering.

Private Equity Hub, a blog edited by Thomson Financial editor-at-large Daniel Primack, said Plaxo was considering an unsolicited offer of about $200 million, but had not retained any bank to advise it.

Officials from Plaxo and Revolution could not be reached for comment. Fast-growing social networks like privately held Facebook and LinkedIn might be interested in acquiring Plaxo despite its "flat growth" in 2006 to 2007, said Michael Osterman, head of messaging research and consulting firm Osterman Research.

"It might make sense for a consumer-oriented social network (like Facebook) to acquire a business-oriented social network" like Plaxo, he said.

You continue reading more at Reuters.

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