RealTime IT News

Jordanian Online Service In Test Launch Phase

Jordanian Online Service In Test Launch Phase
Content publisher Arabia.On.Line and ISP Global One are now testing an online information and entertainment service called Baladna, geared towards an audience of Jordanians at home and abroad.

The subscription-based service will cover news, hourly updates, entertainment, technology and business information. Chats, message boards, classifieds, and individual homepage services will also be provided. Initially, Baladna's e-commerce will be linked to Arabia.On.Line's Shopping Channel, Arabiashop, giving users a host of merchandise including books, CDs, hardware and software.

Indian ISPs Position Themselves For Upcoming Liberalised ISP Policy
India's long-awaited liberalised ISP policy may be announced at the end of the month, and prospective ISPs are jockeying for position.

Satyam Infoway, already in the e-mail and EDI service business with a 12-node TCP/IP network, expects to be the first firm in the country to become a private ISP. BPL Telecom decided to focus on the SOHO (small office--home office) market for Internet service and will leverage its brand equity in this segment. It will be reaching out to the target audience mainly through cable TV. Current monopoly ISP VSNL plans to focus on the wholesale international Internet connectivity business.

(Business Standard, India; August 19, August 18, August 14, 1998)

Forrester Report Addresses Net Ad Markets In Americas, Europe, Asia
Global spending for online advertising will cross $15 billion in 2003, according to "Media's Global Future," a report from Forrester Research.

The U.S. share of the worldwide market will actually decline from 87 percent in 1998 to 70 percent in 2003. Non-U.S. ad spending will be led by Europe, where the online market would grow from $105 million in 1998 to $2.8 billion in 2003.

Asian growth would be slowed by ongoing economic difficulties--that market is estimated at $1.25 billion in 2003. Dramatic growth in Latin America will be masked by a small Internet population and a low starting point for ad spending.

(Reuters News Agency; August 19, 1998)

Online Information, Intranets, IT Training Vital During Thai Crisis
Having access to real-time online information services, mobile working environments, intranet workflow systems, training in infotech innovations, and good cooperation between the government and private segments are being seen as vital for Thai organisations to emerge from the current economic downturn.

During a recent infotech management seminar, Thailand's National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre Deputy Director Kanchit Malaivongs said training was a "major weapon" to combat the economic crisis.

(Bangkok Post; August 19, 1998)

Web Site Boosts Sales of Handicrafts From Developing Countries
>From women basket-makers in Uganda to handicrafts organisations in the Philippines, artisans around the world are peddling their wares on a non-profit Web-based service.

The World Bank pledged $158,000 to Peoplelink, founded by former Peace Corps member Daniel Salcedo. The Web site offers a full catalogue of crafts from hats, jewelry and bags to sculpture and other artworks, like iron sculptures from Haiti and traditional Molas tapestry of Panama. The site has sold $30,000 worth of goods so far.

(New York Times; August 17, 1998)

Internet Banking Picks Up Steam In Japan
More city banks in Japan are setting up multimedia terminals and Internet kiosks at their branches to handle a range of banking services.

Internet banking is now offered by Sumitomo Bank, Sanwa Bank, and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, among others. The number of money transfers made via Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank's Internet service is about 700 a month, while balance queries run to about 3,000 a month.

(Nikkei Weekly, Japan; August 17, 1998)

Asia-Pacific Coconut Community To Use Net for Coordination, Promotion
The 13-country Asia-Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) plans to use the Internet to better coordinate its functioning and promote sales.

The APCC Secretariat at Jakarta, which would serve as the regional centre of the so-called Coconut Information Network, has launched a Web site. Assistance has been obtained from a Canadian agency for publishing APCC proceedings and technical resources. This holds untold ramifications for countries such as Samoa and Vanuatu whose economies are entirely coconut-dependent.

(Business Line, India; August 15, 1998)

Survey: Singaporeans Are "Moderate" Users of the Internet
Internet surfers in Singapore spend a "moderate" amount of time on the Net, according to a survey of a thousands Internet users commissioned by the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore.

Most dial-up surfers sign on for less than an hour a day, or between 12 and 20 hours a month. The monthly bill for most residential users of the Net here ranges from $16 to $30, while that for corporate users is over $7,000 and for ISDN users, between $500 and $1,000.

(Singapore Business Times; August 14, 1998)

Britain Unveils Encryption Laws; Critics Claim E-Commerce Hindered
The British government unveiled plans for new laws that would create legal bodies responsible for backing digital signatures.

A number of government approved Trusted Third Parties (TTPs) would be licensed to provide cryptography services. Law enforcement agencies would be able to obtain a warrant to get hold of the encryption keys from the TTPs. Critics of the proposed plan include the Global Internet Liberty Campaign">, which claimed that the plan "will hinder or halt the development of online commerce. . . mandatory key recovery policies would make Britain a second-class nation in the Information Age."

(Boardwatch magazine; July 1998)