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Thursday 27 September 2007

Singapore ranked among least corrupted in global index

By Channel NewsAsia's Catherine Drew | Posted: 27 September 2007 1801 hrs

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/302430/1/.html

LONDON: The global anti-corruption group Transparency International has released its annual report, which grades 180 countries for their perceived levels of corruption.

The report concluded that the divide between developing and wealthy nations remained sharp.

Singapore came in joint fourth place with Sweden while Finland dominated the chart.

However the outlook for the region was mixed, with Myanmar coming joint last, and the Philippines, Cambodia and Bangladesh also near the bottom.

This year's report says persistent corruption in low income countries needs to be tackled internationally, and draws a strong link between poverty and corruption.

Huguette Labelle, Chair of the Transparency International, said: “There is no question that countries like Singapore, New Zealand and Australia have to play an increasing role in the region by supporting those countries that require a lot of assistance.”

Transparency International says the main responsibility for fighting corruption must rest with developing countries themselves but the developed nations also have a major role to play.

Dr Cobus De Swardt, Managing Director of Transparency International, said: “We cannot have a situation where the north continues to point a finger at corrupt countries in the south or Africa in particular when its companies as well as financial markets from those countries continue to facilitate money laundering."

At the bottom of the list jointly are Somalia and Myanmar. Transparency international officials say the current demonstrations led by the monks in Myanmar are a textbook example of what happens when a country's civilians protest against corruption and repression.

Dr Cobus De Swardt said: “The events that we see unfolding now (show that) corruption is most definitely one of the important aspects as you continue to see the wealth of that country being located in the hands of the few and the system being maintained through processes that are not accountable, that are not open, and transparent and that benefit the few."

He added that while much work still has to be done, Transparency International is heartened by some of the aspects of the report as well as global efforts to recover monies taken out of the countries by corrupt leaders and businessmen.

The index is important for private and public sector inward investment opportunities. -CNA/vm

Singapore ranks as best place to do business for second year

By Pamela Almeda, Channel NewsAsia

Date        :       26 September 2007 1751 hrs (SST)

URL : http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporebusinessnews/view/302172/1/.html

SINGAPORE : Singapore has been named the easiest place in the world to do business for the second year running.

The annual rankings were released in the 'Doing Business 2008' report by the World Bank. A total of 178 places were surveyed for the report.

Singapore has kept its top spot, followed by New Zealand, the United States and Hong Kong.

"This Doing Business report by the World Bank is meant for foreign investors and enterprises who are interested to enter these countries, and invest and do business in these countries. Singapore, by being number one, shows that it is number one destination for businesses to come here," said Ryan Ang, Liaison Officer, World Bank Group Office.

The rankings are based on 10 indicators that track time and cost to meet government requirements in business start-up, operation, trade, taxation and closure.

Singapore outshone the rest with its efficient business processes, many of which are online. The availability of one-stop shops also spells out low-cost and significant time savings for businesses.

Other factors in its favour include the secure credit environment and high level of protection for investors. But Singapore also continues to improve its business processes.

Ang said: "The one minor reform that we did was the number of days or number of procedures to start a business. Singapore reduced that from 6 to 5 from 2006 to this year, so that is a significant improvement for Singapore."

The 'Doing Business' report also studied efforts by economies to simplify their business regulation.

Egypt emerged as the economy which had made the most progress in this area. China also stood out - with its new private property rights and a new bankruptcy law.

The World Bank's annual 'Doing Business' report was first released in 2002. - CNA /ls

Asian SMB telecom spend to hit US$50B

By Victoria Ho, ZDNet Asia 25/09/2007 URL: http://www.zdnetasia.com/news/communications/0,39044192,62032629,00.htm

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, will spend over US$50 billion on telecommunications this year, according to a new AMI-Partners study.

In a statement released Tuesday, Prasannavadan Gaitonde, an AMI analyst, attributed the increased 5 percent spending over 2006 to companies upgrading equipment to IP-based telephony.

"The market is witnessing a transition from traditional PBX to IP-based PBX," Gaitonde said.

According to the study, Australia, South Korea, China and India make up 70 percent of the spending. SMBs are defined as companies with up to 999 employees.

However, the study also noted that sales of end-point IP devices are moving slower than that of their digital counterparts, due to the former's higher price tag.

To encourage adoption, the study suggested SIP- (Sesssion Initiation Protocol-) enabled phones would provide a more attractive cost option for companies, based on lowered call costs.

" have tighter budgets and need high quality, low-priced telecom solutions and services," Gaitonde said.

He added that SMBs will continue embracing new technologies to remain competitive, and advised telecom equipment vendors, operators and service providers to offer products and services using "the right model and price points" to tap this growing market.

Over the next four years, AMI projects the volume of hosted communications services to dwarf premise-hosted equipment amongst SMBs by over three times.

With increased connectivity, medium-sized businesses will spend significantly more on wide area networks (WAN). WAN spending is projected to rise by 24 percent this year over 2006 amongst medium-sized businesses, which are defined as having 100 to 999 employees.

According to AMI, currently more than one in four medium-sized businesses has a WAN.

Monday 24 September 2007

Miksi Yhdysvalloissa tulee turpaan?

(sorry folks this is in finnish)

Jukka Lukkari 24.9.2007 (Tekniikka&Talous)

Stora Enso ei ole ensimmäinen eikä varmaan viimeinenkään suomalaisyritys, jolle on käynyt heikosti Pohjois-Amerikan markkinoilla.

Kaikkien Ameriikan raitille hamuavien yritysten kellojen pitäisi alkaa kilkattaa jo siitä tiedosta, että jopa Nokialla on maassa suuria vaikeuksia.

Yhdysvaltojen petollisuus bisneksenteon kannalta perustuu siihen, että markkina näyttää helpolta. Yli 300 miljoonaa keskimäärin vaurasta asukasta ja näennäisen yhtenäinen markkina-alue takaavat periaatteessa hyvät mahdollisuudet.

Mutta vain periaatteessa.

Tyytyväisin viime vuosien Amerikka-operaatioonsa voineekin olla UPM. Sillä kävi hyvä onni, kun se luuli jo ostaneensa Yhdysvalloista metsäyhtiö Championin, mutta yllättäen kauppa ei ollutkaan selvä vaan Champion päätyi kilpailija International Paperille.

Tätä onnenpotkua UPM on moneen kertaan kiittänyt seuratessaan Stora Enson taivallusta.

Näyttävimmät epäonnistumiset Yhdysvalloissa on kirjattu metsäteollisuudessa, mutta aivan yhtä vaikeaksi on menestyminen osoittautunut muillakin aloilla.

Asiaa on toki tutkittukin. Kompastelun syyksi on todettu ero perusajattelussa: Suomessa ja muualla Euroopassa ajattelu lähtee tuotannosta, Yhdysvalloissa markkinoinnista.

Kun tähän liitetään amerikkalainen konservatiivisuus uusia ajatuksia kohtaan ja keitosta suurustetaan jättipalkkioita kahmivilla juristiarmeijoilla, ei ihme, että maailmanvalloituksessa kannattaa katseet kääntää mieluummin Aasiaan.

Wednesday 5 September 2007

Digitalizing Customer Interface


I just took part in a "Digitalizing Customer Interface" seminar in Mikkeli Finland. Mika Raulas from Helsinki School of Economics gave us a great speech about different advantages the new digital communication methods offer to companies sales and marketing departments.

The seminar was arranged at Mikkeli Technology Center Miktech.


Jukka




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Thursday 2 August 2007

30% of Singapore companies use shared services: SAP

"According to business solutions provider SAP, about 30 percent of Singapore companies are using shared services in their operations to reduce cost."

That is the way of future people. Software as a Service (SaaS) is winning on the software market's all the time and companies seem to be really happy about it.

It was not very long time a go when I was selling software for companies and they insisted that it had to be installed to their premises. Unfortunately that usually costs a lot because of the software maintenance costs and installation fees and etc.

Nowadays companies do not need to invest on hardware, installation or anything extra but only start paying based on the usage. It is easy, cheaper and you get what you want in blink of an eye.

:Markus:

Tuesday 31 July 2007

Audio, audio, audio...

the_adelphi.jpg

If you are into audio devices and I mean real audio devices like tube amps and like that not those canned plastic speakers with funny noises. Go to 1 Coleman St, The Adelphi building (Singapore). You got 4-5 floor building fully of audio shops... Me like it :-)

Thursday 26 July 2007

Arnora's Customer MHG Systems Ltd Present at Farmari Fair

Our customer MHG Systems is currently at Farmari Fair in Kuopio, Finland. During the fair they are going to publish some new very interesting network services. Go and have a look at their web site: http://www.mhgsystems.com/

Farmari is the biggest yearly agriculture and forest area exhibition in Finland with over 80000 visitors.



Image: MHG Systems' fair stand just before the exhibition opening this morning.


Jukka

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Tuesday 24 July 2007

Open Wireless LANs Should Not be an Issue Anymore

There was an article about the security issues of wireless local area networks in a Finnish newspaper Etelä-Saimaa (http://www.esaimaa.fi) a couple of days ago. In my opinion security should not be an issue anymore. Here's my comment to that article. Sorry folks - this is in Finnish.

Jukka



---------------------------

Etelä-Karjalan langattomat lähiverkot

Olipa mukava lukea viime torstain Etelä-Saimaasta langattomia lähiverkkoja käsittelevä artikkeli - kerrankin alueemme lehti oli taustoittanut uutista myös alueellisesta näkövinkkelistä. Viestintäviraston edustajien haastattelujen ja yleisten teknologiaa käsittelevien kannanottojen lisäksi mukaan oli nostettu myös taulukko langattomista lähiverkoista täällä Etelä-Karjalan alueella.

Harmillista oli kuitenkin huomata, että kirjoittajalta oli päässyt unohtumaan kokonaan maakunnassa varsin laajalti tarjolla olevat yhteisölliset verkot - tämä jopa siitä huolimatta, että viestintäviraston Kauto Huopiokin toi nämä esille omassa kommentissaan. Yhteisölliset verkot kuten Whisher (www.whisher.com) ja FON (www.fon.com) ovat kasvaneet verkkojaan ja suosiotaan viime kuukausina merkittävästi. Nopeasti tarkistettuna FON-verkkoon kuuluvia langattoman verkon tukiasemia löytyy Lappeenrannan keskusta-alueelta noin 20 kappaletta ja koko Etelä-Karjalasta yhteensä jo noin 50 kappaletta. Lappeenrannan lisäksi FON-verkon langattomia tukiasemia löytyy Etelä-Karjalasta ainakin Lemiltä, Joutsenosta, Imatralta ja Parikkalasta - maailmalta näitä tukiasemia löytyykin sitten jo 140000 yhteensä yli 140 maasta.

Yhteisöllisten langattomien verkkojen kantavana ideana on Internet-yhteyden vapaa saatavuus ja jakaminen. Jokainen, joka jakaa omaa yhteyttään yhteisön toisille jäsenille, saa vapaasti käyttää yhteisön muiden jäsenien langattoman verkon tukiasemia omiin Internet-yhteystarpeisiinsa missä tahansa maailmassa.

Toinen asia johon teknologiaorientoituneessa Suomessa usein juututaan on teknologian käytön ongelmista puhuminen, sen sijaan että kerrottaisiin mahdollisista ratkaisuista. Niin tälläkin kertaa. Artikkelissa haastateltiin ansiokkaasti alan asiantuntijoita, jotka ottivat esiin avoimien langattomien verkkojen luomia tietoturva- ja verkkoturvariskejä. Henkilökohtaisesti näkisin kuitenkin lukijan kannalta arvokkaampana tiedon siitä kuinka näitä riskejä voidaan välttää! WLAN-yhteisöt tarjoavat nimittäin tähänkin varsin yksinkertaisen ratkaisun: käyttäjien tunnistamisen. Yhteisöissä - kuten nyt esimerkiksi edellä mainitussa FON-yhteisössä - yhteisön pyörittäjä eli FON Movimiento huolehtii kaikkien käyttäjien tunnistamisesta. Toisin kuin valitettavan usein oletusasetuksilla avoinna olevien marketista haettujen langattomien tukiasemien kanssa, ei yksittäisten käyttäjien tällöin tarvitse välittää siitä kuka jaettua langatonta Internet-yhteyttä käyttää, eikä toisaalta tarvitse pelätä verkon väärinkäyttöä. Tämän lisäksi useat fiksusti toteutetut yhteisöjen langattomat tukiasemat sallivat myös vieraileville käyttäjille tarjotun liikennöintikaistan rajoittamisen, näin tukiaseman omistaja voi aina varmistaa itselleen riittävästi liikennöinti tilaa. Kun yhteisökäyttöön tarkoitetut WLAN-tukiasemat vielä hoitavat käyttäjien tunnistuksen lisäksi automaattisesti yksityisten verkko-osien salauksen, tarjoavat ne erittäin varteenotettavan vaihtoehdon myös Jorma Jokamiehelle. Avoimuus ei ole yhtäkuin turvattomuus - päinvastoin!

Jukka Niiranen



Lue myös artikkeli koskien yhteisöllisten verkkojen hyötykäyttämistä liiketoiminnassa: Arnora Mukaan FON-verkostoon


Kuva: FON-verkon langaton tukiasema on vain ison tulitikkurasian kokoinen.




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Friday 20 July 2007

Old goes hand in hand with new in Singapore

19072007113.jpg Greetings from Arnora Singapore ! Sun is always shining as you can see from this picture ;-) Anyway, this is a typical scene here where old houses go hand in hand together with skyscrapers.

Tuesday 5 June 2007

Asia Pacific ICT market will grow to 23% of global market by 2009


At a total market size of US$345 billion in 2007, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) spending in the Asia-Pacific region looks set to grow 8% over 2006. All in, the ICT compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% from 2006 to 2009 is expected to exceed the global ICT spending CAGR of 5% over the same period.

Purchasing patterns in Asia-Pacific are shifting as more customers become savvy. ICT suppliers need to understand specific market opportunities in each country’s sub- regions in order to allocate their resources more effectively, and empower their sales and marketing teams to succeed faster.

ict

Customers are increasingly concerned with how IT is aligned with the business, and security and privacy issues. More employees are working remotely and wirelessly, and companies are depending more on their channel partners for wider customer and geographical reach and deeper vertical expertise.

Demand for open source applications is increasing due to its perceived lower cost, and the availability of a wider range of end-user applications. Companies are also using Web services and service oriented architecture to integrate discrete applications, replace costly legacy systems, and improve their partner relationships. Increasingly, the concept of utility or on-demand computing is making more sense to customers, while outsourcing is being integrated with corporate ICT strategies.

Asian companies, and even some forward-looking governments in the region, are increasingly leading the way in terms of ICT development and investments in consumer technology, mobile broadband content, new technologies, and applications for different industries.

As the whole region grows and becomes more adept at using English in business, ICT suppliers will be able to reach out to more countries and industries within Asia-Pacific, and compete on a level playing field with competitors from other parts of the world.

Source: Fusion Consulting



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Wanna establish Web 2.0 company fast and cheap ?


Mr. Guy Kawasaki, use google to check him out, has some nice advice to entrepreneurs how to establish a new Web 2.0 company. I agree completely with him how easy it is today to make things happen. Check it out and enjoy !

http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/06/by_the_numbers_.html

By the Numbers: How I built a Web 2.0, User-Generated Content, Citizen Journalism, Long-Tail, Social Media Site for $12,107.09

Because of Truemors

Friday 25 May 2007

It is official now. Arnora established Singapore office.


Now it is time to let the secret out of the closet !
We actually formed Singapore based office during February but decided to keep the information from general public for a while until all arrangements where really done.

I am moving permanently to Singapore during July and that has taken a lot of time to prepare everything beforehand and at the same time do the real work for our customers.

There has been a lot of paperwork to get all the permissions but somehow it has been very educating to see how efficiently the government of Singapore works.

So now we have offices in Finland, Hong Kong and Singapore. Finland is going to stay as a EU HQ and Singapore will be our Asia HQ. More to come so stay tuned...

//Markus

Tuesday 24 April 2007

Govt support crucial for RFID growth in Asia

By Lynn Tan, ZDNet Asia
24/4/2007

URL: http://www.zdnetasia.com/news/communications/0,39044192,62007812,00.htm

SINGAPORE–Radio frequency identification (RFID) will grow
alongside the barcode technology in the Asia-Pacific region over the
next few years, where government support is crucial in driving the
adoption of RFID, says an analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

Speaking to ZDNet Asia today on the sidelines of an RFID seminar
organized by Intermec, Jafizwaty Ishahak, industry manager of smart
cards and auto ID group for Frost & Sullivan Asia-Pacific, said
RFID will continue to coexist with barcodes for the next five
years–unless there is a government mandate to change that.

Jafizwaty noted that price remains a primary factor, where barcode is still a cheaper technology compared to RFID.

Malaysia, she added, is as an example of where the government’s
commitment to drive the use of RFID had led to the successful adoption
of chip-based credit cards in the country. A government mandate pushed
banks in Malaysia to migrate from magnetic-striped to chip-based credit cards.

In addition, the Malaysian government made considerable efforts
to drive the growth of RFID in the country, said Jafizwaty. These
include the “positive development” of the Malaysian Microchip, which
was recently re-launched by the Malaysian Prime Minister, the
establishment of an RFID center of excellence and training center, as
well as plans by the country’s Veterinary Services Department to tag
all of Malaysia’s 2.5 million livestock animals with economic value
such as cattle, goats and pigs, by 2008.

Jafizwaty added that Malaysia’s Home Ministry will soon be
rolling out the first government application based on the radio
frequency technology to combat piracy. It plans to deploy RFID-enabled
holographic security labels to verify the authenticity of CDs and DVDs.
In addition, the ministry is also looking to embed RFID chips into
marriage and birth certificates to counter forgery, she said.

Governments in other countries across the region, such as
Australia, Singapore and Thailand, have also been “driving the market
for RFID”, said Jafizwaty.

For instance, Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority invested S$10 million (US$5.9 million) in a three-year plan to promote the adoption and development of RFID technology in 2004, she said. In July last year,
the republic also opened a research facility focusing on the use of the
technology for deployment across the region’s lifestyle and hospitality
industry.

Meanwhile, some Asian countries are looking to implement RFID
in niche areas, Jafizwaty said. For example, Thailand is planning to
use RFID to track animals in Thailand, she said.

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IDC: Open source, SaaS top disruptors in Asia

By Aaron Tan, ZDNet Asia
23/4/2007

URL: http://www.zdnetasia.com/news/software/0,39044164,62007650,00.htm

SINGAPORE–Open source, software-as-a-service and
consolidation are just some of the main disruptions rippling across the
Asia-Pacific software industry, according to research house IDC.

Daphne Chung, research manager for infrastructure and middleware
software at IDC Asia-Pacific, noted that as much as 83 percent of the
US$15 billion Asia-Pacific enterprise software market is now exposed to open-source software. This includes areas such as enterprise resource management applications, customer relationship management and operating systems.

Chung said companies across various industries were adopting
open source for similar reasons, such as security and cost. “They think
open source has better security,” she said. “It doesn’t mean the products are [the] most secure and do not have any loopholes, it just means customers think open source products are less prone to hackers,” Chung added.

The IDC analyst also noted that open source software also helps companies address budget constraints.

“Budget constraints don’t necessarily mean a dollar value,”
Chung explained. “Initially, a lot of people thought open source is
free, but that notion has gone away. But, it is still a low-cost way to
test something in a new environment or a new technology.”

“It gives them the belief that they are getting better value
for money,” she said, adding that the open source community also gives
companies a better and broader range of development tools.

Enterprises also find that open source software has adequate
functionalities that suit their needs, without the unnecessary bells
and whistles, she noted.

Software-as-a-service
(SaaS) is also changing the software landscape, Chung said, noting that
the term has been hotting up among IDC’s clients over the past year.

“SaaS is a delivery model that software vendors have taken
from eBay and Amazon, delivering software on-demand, in a hosted
manner,” she said. The analyst added that most enterprises have noted
an increased impact of SaaS on software licensing. In fact, they are
likely to consider moving to a SaaS structure, or have already adopted
some form of on-demand software, Chung added.

About 24 percent of the Asia-Pacific software industry is open
to SaaS penetration, she said, and cautioned that traditional software
vendors may face threats to their installed base if they ignore
customer demands for a SaaS delivery model.

“It’s not just about having the [SaaS] technology, it’s about having the right delivery system that customers want,” she noted.

M&A activities double

Consolidation efforts among software vendors have also been on the
rise in the past few years, particularly in 2005, Chung said. The total
value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals involving enterprise
application developers doubled in 2006, compared to the previous year.

She said software vendors often undertake M&As to fill
product gaps or to enter converged industry segments, such as systems
infrastructure, storage and security.
“We see the market converging into two areas–infrastructure and
information–where companies derive intelligence from their data,”
Chung noted.

M&A deals are not always smooth sailing, however.
According to the IDC analyst, consolidation efforts can fail for a
variety of reasons, such as uncertainties in product roadmaps or a poorly-conceived acquisition strategy. “But as vendors do it more often, they get better at it,” she said.

A successful consolidation, Chung said, can allow the smaller
company in the acquisition to expand its footprint into new markets and
geographies. “It also gives the two companies cross-sell and up-sell
opportunities,” she added.

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Saturday 21 April 2007

Oracle: Asia’s big on identity management

By Lynn Tan, ZDNet Asia

URL: http://www.zdnetasia.com/news/software/0,39044164,62004250,00.htm

update SINGAPORE–Majority
of companies in the Asia-Pacific region are taking a closer look at
identity management tools and considering implementing such
applications to secure data access within the organization, says a
senior executive at Oracle.

Speaking at a press briefing today, Roman Tuma, regional sales
director of security solutions at Oracle for Asean and North Asia, said
that most of the companies in Asia are planning to adopt identity and
access management (IAM) tools. “Telcos, banks, and organizations in the
healthcare, education and government sectors in countries such as
Malaysia and Singapore, are all looking at it,” Tuma said.

“It is the top priority project in most of the organizations
these days,” he added. This is because most IT systems such as those
based on ERP (enterprise resource planning), CRM (customer relationship
management) and HR (human resource) systems, that run the business
today are automated, and as such, companies are now looking at ways to
secure them.

According to Tuma, the IAM market in the Asia-Pacific region,
excluding Japan, has a “sizeable growth”, and research company IDC
forecasted that it would grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR)
of 18.3 percent to reach US$370 million in 2010.

Singapore, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong are leading the adoption
curve for IAM tools, while India, Thailand and China are in the second
tier, Tuma said. Specifically, he noted that “Thailand is actually a very promising market, and China is incredibly focused on security these days”.

According to Willie Low, IDC Asia-Pacific senior market analyst
for infrastructure software research, the IAM software market size in
Thailand and China in 2006 is expected to be about US$2.4 million and
US$35 million, respectively.

Low added that the Thailand IAM software market is forecasted
to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 percent from 2005
to 2010, while China’s IAM software market is expected to grow at a
CAGR of 22 percent in the same period.

Although the Philippines and Indonesia fall into the third tier
of the adoption curve, Tuma noted that telcos and banks in those
countries are “pushing as much as they can to be compliant”, and as
such, they are turning to IAM.

Tuma explained that companies in the telco and banking industries are driving the adoption of IAM tools from two angles: compliance, or purely as a “business enabler”.

For instance, IAM tools are particularly useful during mergers
and acquisitions in the financial industry as they facilitate the
conduct of audit trails, which can help speed up the process of
consolidation, Tuma said.

Not just yet

However, most companies in Asia need more time before implementing
IAM tools on a full scale, noted Low. “In Asia, most organizations are
not ready for full-scale IAM deployment yet,” he said. “An IAM solution
is more than an install-and-forget software product. It can be
long-drawn, complex and costly, [and] any IAM implementation is likely
to impact business processes as well.”

“To be ready for a large IAM implementation, [areas such as]
business policies, roles, access rights have to be defined very
clearly, and most organizations are not ready yet,” he added.

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Thursday 12 April 2007

Arnora @ Mikkeli

Innovative and growth seeking companies can really be found from anywhere! This was once again proved when we went to Mikkeli today.

During our stay we had couple of very interesting meetings with CEOs of the local ICT companies. Mikkeli area has lately put a lot of effort in the promotion of local research and business life – and the results are visible!

A couple of words about Mikkeli

The City of Mikkeli was founded in 1838. However the history of the Mikkeli area reaches way back to the beginning of the 11th century. Already then it was known as an active market place and as a centre of the eastern Finland. In the 1500s, the place was named after Saint Michael.

Mikkeli possesses significant role in Finland’s history. During the World War II the Finnish Defence Forces’ headquarters were located there and it is still possible to feel the importance and presence of honoured Marshal C.G.E. Mannerheim at the city.

- Jukka -

Sunday 1 April 2007

Death of the cell phone charger

A Pennsylvania entrepreneur has developed
technology that gives you all the battery juice you need directly from
the air. Business 2.0 reports.

By Melanie Haiken, Business 2.0 Magazine

(Business 2.0 Magazine) — How much money
could you make from a technology that replaces electrical wires? A
startup called Powercast, along with the more than 100 companies that
have inked agreements with it, is about to start finding out. Powercast
and its first major partner, electronics giant Philips, are set to
launch their first device powered by electricity broadcast through the
air.

It may sound futuristic, but Powercast’s platform uses
nothing more complex than a radio–and is cheap enough for just about
any company to incorporate into a product. A transmitter plugs into the
wall, and a dime-size receiver (the real innovation, costing about $5
to make) can be embedded into any low-voltage device. The receiver
turns radio waves into DC electricity, recharging the device’s battery
at a distance of up to 3 feet.

Picture your cell phone charging up the second you sit down at your
desk, and you start to get a sense of the opportunity. How big can it
get? “The sky’s the limit,” says John Shearer, Powercast’s founder and
CEO. He estimates shipping “many millions of units” by the end of 2008.

For
years, electricity experts said this kind of thing couldn’t be done.
“If you had asked me seven months ago if this was possible, I would
have said, ‘Are you dreaming? Have you been smoking something?’” says
Govi Rao, vice president and general manager of solid-state lighting at
Philips (Charts). “But to see it work is just amazing. It could revolutionize what we know about power.”

So
impressed was Rao after witnessing Powercast’s demo last summer that he
walked away jotting down a list of the industries to which the
technology could immediately be applied: lighting, peripherals, all
kinds of handheld electronics. Philips partnered with Powercast last
July, and their first joint product, a wirelessly powered LED light
stick, will hit the market this year. Computer peripherals, such as a
wireless keyboard and mouse, will follow in 2008.

Broadcasting
power through the air isn’t a new idea. Researchers have experimented
with capturing the radiation in radio frequency at high power but had
difficulty capturing it at consumer-friendly low power. “You’d have
energy bouncing off the walls and arriving in a wide range of
voltages,” says Zoya Popovic, an electrical engineering professor at
the University of Colorado who works on wireless electricity projects
for the U.S. military.

That’s where Shearer came in. A former
physicist based in Pittsburgh, he and his team spent four years poring
over wireless electricity research in a lab hidden behind his family’s
coffee house. He figured much of the energy bouncing off walls could be
captured. All you had to do was build a receiver that could act like a
radio tuned to many frequencies at once.

“I realized we wanted to grab that static and harness it,” Shearer says. “It’s all energy.”

So
the Powercast team set about creating and patenting that receiver. Its
tiny but hyperefficient receiving circuits can adjust to variations in
load and field strength while maintaining a constant DC voltage. Thanks
to the fact that it transmits only safe low wattages, the Powercast
system quickly won FCC approval–and $10 million from private investors.

Powercast
says it has signed nondisclosure agreements to develop products with
more than 100 companies, including major manufacturers of cell phones,
MP3 players, automotive parts, temperature sensors, hearing aids, and
medical implants.

The last of those alone could be a
multibillion-dollar market: Pacemakers, defibrillators, and the like
require surgery to replace dead batteries. But with a built-in
Powercast receiver, those batteries could last a lifetime.

“Everyone’s
looking to cut that last cord,” says Alex Slawsby, a consultant at
Innosight who specializes in disruptive innovation. “Think of the
billion cell phones sold last year. If you could get Powercast into a
small percentage of the high-end models, those would be huge numbers.”

Could
Powercast’s technology also work for larger devices? Perhaps, but not
quite yet. Laptop computers, for example, use more than 10 times the
wattage of Powercast transmissions.

But industry trends are on
Shearer’s side: Thanks to less energy-hungry LCD screens and
processors, PC power consumption is slowly diminishing. Within five
years, Shearer says, laptops will be down to single-digit
wattage–making his revenue potential even more electrifying.

10 Emerging Technologies 2007

This year, as every year,
we present the 10 technologies we find most exciting–and most likely
to alter industries, fields of research, and even the way we live.

By The Editors of MIT Technology Review

As always, Technology Review’s annual
list of emerging technologies to watch comprises projects in a broad
range of fields, including medicine, energy, and the Internet. Some,
such as optical antennas and meta­materials, are fundamental technologies that promise to transform multiple areas, from computing to biology. Our reports on peer-to-peer video, personalized medical monitors, and compressive sensingreveal
how well-­designed algorithms could save the Internet, simplify and
improve medical diagnoses, and revamp digital imaging systems in
cameras and medical scanners. Nanohealing and quantum-dot solar power demonstrate
the potential of ­nanotechnology to make a concrete difference in our
daily lives by changing the way we treat injuries and helping solar
energy deliver on its promises. Precise neuron control could help physicians fine-tune treatments for brain disorders such as depression and Parkinson’s disease. And single-cell analysis could
not only revolutionize our understanding of basic biological processes
but lead directly to predictive tests that could help doctors treat
cancers more effectively. Finally, by combining location sensors and
advanced visual algorithms with cell phones, mobile augmented reality technology could make it easier to just figure out where we are.

View the 10 Emerging Technologies in a special section.

Thursday 29 March 2007

Oulu the Mobile City of Finland 29.3.2007

Morning was beautiful and sunny. A little bit cold as the ice has not yet left from the sea close bye but started to get warm during the day. I woke up around 06:30 AM and packed up all my baggages before having a breakfast. Again I have to say that the new Scandic hotel is good and everything was working.Ok, WLAN was not working well but that is not the point when you try to get some rest after a long day.

Schedule for the day was like this:

06:30 AM wake up
07:30 AM breakfast
08:30 AM sign out from hotel (gave them negative feedback regarding WLAN)
09:00 AM first meeting
11:00 AM second meeting
12:30 PM third meeting including lunch (after that I was starting to loose control of my schedule unfortunately. Had so nice time talking with the lady.)
01:45 PM fourth meeting (and again schedule problems)
03:30 PM last meeting for the day.
04:30 PM to the airport of Oulu
05:30 PM Check-in to the flight
06:30 Flight should have left…

At 06:00 PM they announced at the airport that the flight was delayed due to the malfunction. No more information except that the next flight leaves at 08:20 PM. Thank god I had some work to do so I finished those before having a glass of red wine while watching recorded tv series from my laptop.

I arrived home at 09:30 PM. It was a nice trip and I will do that again gladly.

- Markus

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