RealTime IT News

Singapore Consortium Launches 8 Online Communities for E-Commerce

The Online Technologies Consortium , a Singapore online industry group backed by the National Computer Board (NCB), introduced eight virtual community projects for e-commerce, and signed on 14 key local players at its members' forum.

Some of the virtual communities unveiled include Money n Me (a one-stop personal finance Web site jointly developed by National Computer Systems, Ins Communications and OCBC Bank), BusinessOne (National Library's business-related information resources), Travel Discount Network (a travel planning resource by Linbert Travel Exchange), and BookShaw.com (an online bookstore by Sterling Commerce Asia). OTC's technological partners include IBM, Sun and Net Perceptions.

(Singapore Business Times; August 13, 1998)

Security Technologies Seen as Vital For E-Commerce In Britain
According to a report by CommerceNet UK, many British companies are aware of the possibilities of e-commerce but fear that it is being held back by a lack of confidence in both consumers and businesses, poor performance in terms of speed and low PC penetration in Britain.

The light at the end of the tunnel will be the outbreak of digital TV and easy-access devices. Security technologies are seen as vital if the issue of confidence is to be addressed.

(Internet Magazine, Britain; August 14, 1998)

Malaysia Police Crack Down on Internet Rumour Mongers
The Malaysian police claim it used a powerful national security law to arrest a man and woman suspected of spreading rumors of riots in the capital over the Internet last week.

The police had the help of ISP Mimos. But the Malaysian Bar Council, the country's largest association for lawyers, said while it supported the arrests, it disagreed with the use of the Internal Security Act which provides for detention without trial. The rumors, that Indonesian laborers and locals clashed in a downtown area of Kuala Lumpur on Friday, sent panic through the nation.

(Straits Times, Singapore; August 12, 1998)

Geography Continues to Be a Constraint For Retailing on the Internet
On its Web site, major U.S. direct selling specialist LL Bean points out that its online retailing service is only available to users in the U.S. and Canada.

Site owners are also beginning to wake up to the legal and regulatory implications of trading across international, or even state boundaries. Sites are being structured to protect their owners from the possible implications of breaches in trading law and tax barriers, such as by specifying only particular countries or regions as their target markets.

(Financial Times, Britain; August 12, 1998)

Thai Success Story: Company Sells Language Course CD-ROMs Via Web
Thai company Proglen Trading sells on average 100 copies a month of the Courage Software Thai language course CD-ROM, generating 250,000 baht income.

The market for its product is foreigners who want to learn Thai. The company advertised on the Bangkok Post Web site, which draws 300,000 plus hits a month.

(Bangkok Post; August 12, 1998)

BBC Television Service to Be Multicast Via New Zealand Web Site
A live feed of BBC World television will be made available free through Radio New Zealand's Internet site to subscribers of Telecom's Xtra Internet service.

BBC World television is keen to see what usage patterns there are for Internet distribution of its service, with a view to employing offshore systems in areas where it does not have television distribution deals, or to augment coverage. Xtra's own Internet distribution network now supports IP multi cast, which minimises traffic on its national network and guarantees consistent viewing quality.

(InfoTech Weekly, New Zealand; August 10, 1998)

Web Solutions, Training Companies Target Certification Market
Certification training programs for Internet professionals are popping up across the world.

Web solutions company USWeb Learning is the latest company to offer a Web certification program. The company offers courses in Certified Web Specialists, Internet Administration Specialist, Internet Applications Specialist, Internet Security Specialist, and Internet Architect (with a focus on developing and implementing Intranets and Extranets). USWeb also plans to offer its courses on the Web.

By next year, Internet-based delivery of education is expected to reach $2 billion. In India, NIIT and Aptech already offer online courses on software engineering and HTML programming.

(Economic Times, India, August 13; Information Week, August 10, 1998)

Battle For Kosovo Rages On in Cyberspace As Well
In remote Kosovo, a group of ethnic Albanians, foreign-based guerillas and Serb nationals are disseminating news on the conflict 24 hours a day via the Internet.

The editors of www.zik.com mourn the loss of fallen comrades and recruit support for the movement. Meanwhile the Serb Ministry of Information runs a Web site from Belgrade, and traces the movement of "terrorist forces" in Kosovo. The religious importance of Kosovo to Serbs and their cultural right to the province is dealt with at www.kosovo.com, the Web Site of the Serbian Resistance Movement.

(MSNBC; August 7, 1998)

Excite Expands Portal Offerings to Net Telephony for Europe, Far East
Excite announced a two-year deal with IDT's Net2Phone division to offer Internet telephony to visitors in Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Australia and Japan.

The Net2Phone icon will appear all over the respective sites and users will then be able to download, subscribe and phone any phone in the world via the Net. "It is now clear that any company that hopes to own the end user in the portal space needs to have a global Internet telephony strategy," said Hilary Mine, research analyst at Probe Research.

(Internet Magazine, Britain; August 12, 1998)