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Tuesday 24 April 2007

Govt support crucial for RFID growth in Asia

By Lynn Tan, ZDNet Asia

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

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

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.

(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

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.

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.”

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.”

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

Wednesday 28 March 2007

Oulu the Mobile City of Finland 28.3.2007

Finally my trip to Oulu has started. Going to meet a lot of companies interested in internationalization of their business and sparring of their business. Schedule for the day one was like this:

04:00 AM get up from the bed.
05:00 AM taxi to the Helsinki-Vantaa airport
06:35 AM flight to Oulu
07:30 AM arrive to Oulu airport
08:00 AM first meeting
10:00 AM second meeting
12:00 Noon third meeting including lunch
01:30 PM Days last meeting
03:00 PM Check-in to a hotel (Scandic Oulu was very nice)
03:30 PM Check emails and do some work
04:30 PM Jogging to clear my head after the days meetings
06:00 PM Dinner and a glass of wine
07:30 PM Again some work and talking with my daughter and wife
09:00 PM fell a sleep while watching tv

Overall very nice meetings and people. Would like to thank the people who I met and lets keep in touch. Over and out for the day one of my trip.

- Markus

Wednesday 21 March 2007

Asian SMB retailers to spend US$11B on IT

By Isabelle Chan, ZDNet Asia

URL: http://www.zdnetasia.com/news/business/0,39044229,61998544,00.htm

Small and midsize (SMB) retailers in Asia are seeking new
ways to carve a competitive edge, and many are turning to IT as the

According to AMI-Partners’ latest study, IT spending by small
and midsize retailers in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, is
forecast to hit US$11.6 billion this year.

Retail SMB IT spending in India, Indonesia, Philippines and
Vietnam, is forecast to grow more than 15 percent year-on-year in 2007.
“More mature markets” such as Singapore, will grow less than 10 percent
over 2006, Nishant Dave, AMI’s Singapore-based Asia-Pacific research
director, said in a statement.

Retailers in the SMB segment are hoping to reinvent themselves
by adopting new technologies, where PCs, server hardware and IT
services are the top drivers of spending in 2007, according to AMI.

The market analyst also estimates that nearly 150,000 new
retailers in the region will invest in basic PC infrastructure this

The study indicates that countries such as Australia, China,
India, South Korea and Taiwan, will drive the sector’s IT spending.
Storage and security are expected to be the fastest-growing categories
for retail IT spending, growing more than 20 percent year-on-year in

IT managers in these top five retail IT markets are also
looking to upgrade POS (point of sale) systems, set up inventory and
SCM (supply chain management) applications, and implement employee
monitoring and service quality measurement systems, AMI said.

Monday 19 March 2007

Five things Asia’s IT buyers want to avoid

By Isabelle Chan, ZDNet Asia

URL: http://www.zdnetasia.com/news/business/0,39044229,61997964,00.htm

A new IT project can easily turn into a nightmare, if IT
managers are not watchful. But some problems lie with the technology
vendor that does not understand their customers’ business requirements.

Whether it is at the start of a new project, or two years after
the technology has been implemented, there will be pain points
businesses will have to deal with. ZDNet Asia caught up with two IT
decision makers in Asia to find out more about their top-most concerns,
when working with vendors and implementing IT.

Here are five key areas IT buyers could do without:

1. Overselling and under-delivering

From experience, Daniel Lai, CIO of Hong Kong’s MTR, has learnt not
to believe everything the sales person says. “It is very common for
separate teams from a particular vendor to be responsible for selling
and delivering.

“Sometimes, the sales team may be too anxious to conclude an
order, and may end up over-committing without realizing the other team
may face technical difficulties or resource constraints [trying to
fulfil the order],” he said.

2. Lack of understanding

One common lament IT buyers have is the difficulty in finding good
technology vendors that are also business-problem solvers. Lai said:
“Vendors sometimes lack understanding of the IT user’s business, his
requirements and expectations, which create unnecessary
misunderstanding and tension. They may also recommend inappropriate

3. Not knowing when to call

While IT buyers appreciate an IT vendor’s call, it has to come at
the right time and at the right place. According to Lai, some vendors
just do not know this.

“Sales representatives tend to work according to their agenda
and schedules rather than the users,” Lai said. “For example, they keep
chasing the users at the end of the quarter in order to meet their
sales quota. They show up at inappropriate times, and yet sometimes,
they can hardly be contacted when a user wishes to discuss [the
project] with them.”

4. Service, delivery inconsistencies

Inconsistency in service delivery is an oft-cited IT buyer concern.
“Users prefer dealing with vendors that can provide consistencies in
service, approach and practices,” said Lai.

5. Technology worries

Another potential IT buyer’s nightmare relates to the end of a
product’s lifecycle, said Yau Chen Hui, who works for a Singapore
government agency.

“Many IT buyers lack the technology capability, as well as
financial and technical resources, to procure the latest hardware or
software,” Yau said. “In the case of hardware, they often have to
settle for the second or third best. When there is a need for a
technology upgrade after two to three years, the upgrade components may
no longer be available from the vendor.”

There is also a lack of support and change in the underlying
technology offered in new releases, he noted. This can limit the
upgrade path. When that happens, it could mean “re-architecting the
environment”–something IT buyers would like to avoid, he added.

Thursday 15 March 2007

419 Scam / Spam Now Even Thru Skype!

I’ve just received my very first 419 scam attempt through Skype chat. A person calling him/herself “Gilda Samuel Mill” sent me a chat message asking if we could chat on business. Naturally I am open to any customer contacting, but my personal alarm system went off immediately after I saw that the person is located in Ghana (well, at least he/she claimed so in his/hers profile). After just a few chat messages my suspicions were verified - he/she really was trying to pull the oldest scam in the book.

My advice, which also seemed to work this time, is that if you are contacted by an odd person through Skype (or other instant messaging system), just quickly ask what he/she wants and DO NOT engage into any deeper conversation before that. If he/she turns out to be a con man or a con woman, immediately stop answering and block that user from Skype.

I urge Skype and other VoIP service providers to really examine how to prevent this kind of action from spoiling the entire free Internet telephony. Let’s hope that this was just a one off, even though I’am not very optimistic about that. Unfortunately this could very well be a start of a trend towards ever increasing scam/spam on VoIP systems possibly finally rendering the entire system useless!

Here is a quotation of his/hers messages: (see also the screenshot above)

[11:38:38] Gilda Samuel Mill says:
[11:38:42] …
is a fund
[11:38:49] …
am a banker
[11:39:02] …
it was deposited in my branch
[11:39:19] …
international commercial bank Accra Ghana
[11:39:41] …
i want to invest the fund a % of the money
[11:39:58] …
i need a beneficiary to help me do this
[11:40:30] …
so that i can claim the money from my headquarter bank by the beneficiary
[11:40:53] …
bcos the fund deposited by an american in 2001
[11:40:58] …
in my branch
[11:41:16] …
are you interested in this?

What is a 419 scam?
The so-called “419″ scam (aka Advance Fee fraud, “Nigeria scam” or “West African” scam) is a type of fraud named after an article of the Nigerian penal code under which it is prosecuted. See more from: http://www.joewein.de/sw/419scam.htm


Tuesday 27 February 2007

10 company name types on TechCrunch: Pros and cons

By: www.thenameinspector.com

once in a while The Name Inspector likes to step back and look at the
big picture. This post illustrates ten name categories that account for
all the names in the TechCrunch company/product index. Well, almost all of them. The name 1 800 Free 411
would have required its own category, and that would have made eleven
categories instead of the magic ten. So let’s just ignore that name for

Though most of the TechCrunch names are “Web 2.0″ names, there’s
nothing particularly Web 2.0 about the categories. They all represent
linguistic naming strategies that can be used for companies or products
of any kind.

Of course, there are different ways to categorize names. You can use
phonetic properties like sonority or number of syllables. You can use
semantic criteria, such as whether they are metaphorical, metonymic, or
literally descriptive. The categories below are based on the
morphological structure of names: what kinds of meaningful pieces they
have and how the pieces fit together. They’re listed in descending
order of frequency. The number of names in each category is in

1. Real Words (34)

Names that are simply repurposed words. Such names can’t be
generically descriptive, because then they wouldn’t be protectible
trademarks, so they usually work through metaphor or metonymy (indirect

Pros: These names are short and come ready-made with rich, often multiple associations.

Cons: Expect to pay money–possibly a lot–to secure the URL. Trademarking can be tricky too.


Misspelled words

These are simply words that have been misspelled to make them more distinctive. This addresses the URL/trademark issue.

del.icio.us (delicious)
Digg (dig)
flickr (flicker)
Google (googol)
Goowy (gooey or GUI)
Snocap (snow cap)
SoonR (sooner)
Topix (topics)
Zooomr (zoomer)

Foreign words

Renkoo (Japanese renku, a type of poetry)
Rojo (Spanish ‘red’)
Vox (Latin ‘voice’)

2. Compounds (31)

Each of these names consists of two words put together, with the
first word receiving the main emphasis in pronunciation. (It doesn’t
matter if there’s a space between words). In most cases both words are
nouns. Names with verbs in the second position are Bubbleshare, Google Talk,and possibly Tailrank (share, talk, and rank can all be nouns, but they’re verbs under the most natural interpretation). Names with non-nouns in the first position are BlueDot, SocialText, JotSpot, Measure Map, and possibly Jumpcut, Rapleaf, and SearchFox. Again, the first words here can all be nouns, but they’re more naturally treated as two adjectives (blue and social) and a bunch of verbs.

Compounds are a simple way to create new words and are very common
in English (and other Germanic languages), so it’s not surprising to
find them high on the list.

Pros: The practically limitless number of possible
combinations makes it easy to create a unique name. Interesting
meanings can be created through the combination of words.

Cons: There are no huge drawbacks, which is one reason that compounds are popular, but they are longer than many other kinds of name.

Attention Trust
Google Talk
Measure Map
OPML Editor
Video Egg

3. Phrases (25)

These are names that follow normal rules for putting words together to make phrases (other than compounds).

Pros: They sound linguistically natural and have clear meanings because they follow regular rules.

Cons: Phrase names can be long, and they can also sound awkward when used as nouns if they are not already noun phrases (e.g. Have you tried iLike?)

37 Signals
Adaptive Path
Amie Street (could be a compound, but __ Street is such a common pattern)
Planet Web 2.0
TheVeniceProject (could be a compound, but the the makes it phrase-like).

Included in this category are names that consist of a company name
or prominent brand name followed by a generic noun. In these names, the
first word functions as a kind of modifier of the second.

AIM Pages
Google Reader
Google Video
Microsoft Expo
Yahoo Answers

Notice the Google Talk is not here–it’s on the compound list. That’s because Google Talk is pronounced with the emphasis on Google, which
means that the whole thing is treated as one word. As far as The Name
Inspector knows, all the names immediately above are pronounced with
some emphasis on each word, and the main emphasis on the second. Does
anyone disagree?

4. Blends (12)

Each of these names has two parts, at least one of which is a recognizable portion of a word rather than a whole word.

Pros: When they work, blends can be short and elegant and have all the advantages of compounds.

Cons: When they don’t work, blends can be awkward and/or have obscure meanings.

Maxthon (max + marathon)
Microsoft (microcomputer + software)
Netscape (net + landscape)
Newroo (new + kangaroo)
PubSub (publish + subscribe)
Rebtel (rebel + telephone)
Rollyo (roll + your own, or roll + your own)
Sharpcast (sharp + broadcast)
Skype (sky + peer-to-peer)
Technorati (technology + literati)
Wikipedia (wiki + encyclopedia)
Zillow (zillions + pillow, with overlap of -ill-)

5. Tweaked words (11)

Some names are just words that have been slightly changed in pronunciation and spelling–usually with a letter replaced or added.

Pros: As long as people recognize the word, you get all its rich meaning while still having a distinctive name.

Cons: People might not recognize the word, and some of these names can be a little cheesy and gimmicky.

Attensa (attention)
CNet (might stand for computer network, but who thinks of it that way?)
Zoho (Soho)
Zune (tune)
Zvents (events)

6. Affixed words (10)

These are all novel forms consisting of a real word and a real prefix or suffix. Notice how common the -ster suffix is.

Pros: These names can be distinctive and meaningful while remaining relatively short.

Cons: Sometimes these names sound contrived. The
meanings added by affixes are limited in variety and usually abstract
(which means not very vivid).

Performancing (performance isn’t a verb, so doesn’t normally take -ing ending)
PostSecret (post can also be a noun or a verb, making this a compound)

7. Made up or obscure origin (8)

These are short names that are either made up or whose origins are so obscure that they might as well be made up.

Pros: Made-up names can be short, cute, and very distinctive (and therefore easy to trademark).

Cons: Made-up names don’t provide much ready-made
meaning to work with (all the meaning has to come from sound
symbolism). Good ones are hard to think of, and when they’re short the
URLs are likely to be taken.

Zimbra (taken from a Talking Heads song based on a nonsense Dada poem)

8. Puns (8)

These names are words or phrases that have been modified slightly to
evoke an appropriate second meaning. They’re similar to blends, but
they involve a coincidental similarity between part of the main word
and the second evoked word.

Pros: Pun names can be fun and memorable.

Cons: Nothing sounds dumber than a bad pun.

Automattic (automatic, mat –> matt, the guy who runs the company)
Consumating (consummating, consumm –> consum(e))
Farecast (forecast, fore –> fare)
LicketyShip (lickety split, split –> ship, the verb)
Memeorandum (memorandum, mem –> meme)
Meetro (metro, met –> meet)
Meevee (teevee/TV, tee –> me(e), the pronoun)
Writely (rightly, right –> write)

9. People’s names (real or fictitious) (5)

Some names are either pitched or recognizable as people’s names. If
the audience for a name doesn’t see the connection, the name is just
like a made-up one.

Pros: These names are short and give personality to a company (or product or service).

Cons: Aside from personality, these names don’t
provide meaning to work with. As with made-up names, good, short ones
might not be available as URLs.

Bix (e.g. Bix Beiderbeck)
Jajah (F. Jajah Watamba seems to be their fictitious spokesperson)
Kiko (a name in Japanese and other languages)
Ning (a Chinese name)
Riya (the name of a founder’s daughter)

10. Initials and Acronyms (3)

These are names made up of the first letter of each word in a much
longer phrase name. Sometimes the letters are pronounced individually,
in which case we can just think of them as initials, and sometimes the
combination of letters is pronounced as a word, in which case it’s an

Pros: These names provide short mnemonics for long, descriptive phrases.

Cons: Zzzzzz. Also, sometimes initials are short when written but long when spoken. For example, the initials www have nine syllables when spoken, while the phrase world wide web has three.

AOL (America Online)
FIM (Fox Interactive Media)
Guba (Gigantic Usenet Binaries Archive)

The Name Inspector hopes that these name categories will be useful
to people struggling with their own naming problems. They might suggest
naming strategies or spur name ideas that wouldn’t otherwise come up.
Good luck in your naming endeavors!

Thursday 22 February 2007

Google goes after Microsoft with software suite

Updated 2/22/2007 3:52 AM ET

Google (GOOG) is getting serious about taking on Microsoft (MSFT).

it introduces Google Apps Premium Edition, a software suite for
companies that provides e-mail, instant messaging, calendar, word
processing and spreadsheets. The cost is $50 per worker per year vs.
about $500-$600 for Microsoft Office.

“The price point is unbelievable,” says Erica Driver, an analyst at market tracker Forrester Research.

Murphy, an analyst at AMR Research, calls Google’s enterprise product
“the biggest threat to Microsoft” since the 1990s, when Microsoft duked
it out with Lotus Notes. But now 68% of large companies use Office,
compared with 27% for Lotus, he says.

Two versions of Google Apps Premium (www.google.com/a)
are available. There’s a free, ad-supported version with 2 gigabytes of
e-mail storage, or the premium $50 version, with 10 GB.

corporate e-mail accounts have 100-megabyte limits, says Dave Girouard,
general manager of Google Enterprise. He says the suite is targeted to
companies that currently don’t use Office.

Companies can customize the Gmail accounts to reflect their workers and firms (worker@firm.com).

says companies will have to weigh cost benefits vs. privacy concerns.
With Google Apps, the files will be stored on Google servers, as
opposed to internally.

“It’s a big concern and will be one of the sticklers that hold back larger companies from trying it,” she says.

Microsoft didn’t directly address Google’s new software but called its own new version of Office a “dramatic step forward.”

Friday 16 February 2007

Beware of a Potential Customer & Hide Your Contact Info!

There is a newly published research done by MediaCom about the consumers’ behaviour when they are looking for companies’ or service providers’ contact information. This research illustrates more than clearly that company’s presence in the Internet is absolutely essential these days. In my opinion the case is not just about being there, but also offering correct and up to date information in a right form at a right time – of course not forgetting that one must also look attractive!

Where Finnish Consumers Seek Companies Contact Information

The research shows that 52% of Finnish consumers looking for contact information access the company’s home pages directly or look the Internet address first from a search engine. Hello! That’s already over half of all consumers! To top this there are also additional 26% of consumers that seek the information from the on-line directory services. Together this means that 78% of Finnish consumers look for the contact information from the Internet.

I’d say that now it is the time for all of us not to look into mirror but into our web sites. Is all information there up to date? Is it at the right place? Can the visitor quickly and easily find your essential contact information? How about faces? Who should they contact? And please no, do not answer me that your company offers ‘a quick and easy-to-use web form for contacting’!!!


PS: Should your company need assistance in figuring out what’s important and what you should tell to your customers, please do not hesitate to contact Arnora. All our contact information is freely available at our web-site: http://www.arnora.com/

Saturday 10 February 2007

Winter in Tallinn

I’ve just been in meetings with some Estonian companies discussing about possible co-operation between them and Arnora. Naturally we are offering them internationalization services and local presence in Finnish and Singaporean markets. In my opinion the executives of the Estonian ICT companies are often very open minded and easy to work with – well of course the geographical proximity of Finland and Estonia as well as the similarity of the cultures will also help.

Above you can see a photo of the Tallinn’s Old Town’s skyline taken from the 24th floor of the Radisson SAS hotel. Estonians have taken a great care in restoring the Old Town to it’s past glory. In Estonia the contrast between the old and the new is striking. The old medieval buildings stand right next to the new high rising glass and steel sky scrapers.


Thursday 8 February 2007

Google Steps Into Microsoft’s Office

Business Week Online

FEBRUARY 12, 2007


Google Steps Into Microsoft’s Office
Google Apps, which lets companies offload their e-mail systems, is beefing up

Greg Brandeau is itching to dump the decade-old, homegrown e-mail system he manages at Pixar Animation Studios Inc. (DIS
). And the senior vice-president for technology at the Walt Disney Co. (DIS
) unit is sure about one thing: The replacement won’t be Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT
) Exchange and Outlook duo, whose e-mail, calendar, and other programs
dominate corporate computing. Brandeau says it’s difficult to manage
the software because Pixar uses a variety of computers. His likely
choice may surprise you: Google.

After months of dancing around with Web versions of e-mail, group calendars, and the like, Google Inc. (GOOG
) is finally about to take a big leap onto Microsoft’s turf. Since last
August, the search leader has offered a test version of an online
office productivity software suite, called Google Apps for Your Domain,
that lets companies offload e-mail systems to Google while keeping
their own e-mail addresses. Soon, it’s expected to add word-processing
and spreadsheet services to the suite, which includes an online
calendar, chat service, and Web page builder. In coming weeks, Google
Apps will turn into a real business as Google begins charging
corporations a subscription fee amounting to a few dollars per person
per month. “We’re dying to use something like this,” says Brandeau.
He’s “on the cusp” of signing a contract with Google.

For now, Microsoft has little to
fear. Many large corporations are wary of having an e-mail system run
outside their own walls, where they can’t be sure it’s secure from
hackers and spies. And even Google concedes its services don’t have all
the bells and whistles of Microsoft’s products, such as centralized
e-mail backups that help them comply with regulatory rules. “We’re not
looking to make it us vs. them,” swears Dave Girouard, vice-president
in charge of Google’s enterprise group. “We’re giving people choices.”
Still, his 300-person group’s very existence—plus Microsoft’s stated
aim to extend its Office franchise to the Web—suggests that before long
these two titans of tech will be battling over many of the same
corporate customers.

Google’s game is clearly different from
Microsoft’s. Its new thrust represents a dawning era in corporate
computing: software delivered as a service over the Internet, so it’s
accessible anywhere there is a Web browser handy. This time consumers
are leading the way as they flock to Web-based applications such as
e-mail, chat, and phone services like eBay Inc.’s (EBAY
) Skype Technologies (EBAY
). Says Kyle McNabb, an analyst at market watcher Forrester Research Inc. (FORR
): “Employees may ask, Why can’t I get the services that I have at home?’”

As traditional corporate software has grown complex and expensive to
maintain, Web services are getting more capable and reliable every
year. “For the first time, consumer-grade applications are good enough
that they can be used by enterprises,” says Douglas Merrill, a Google
vice-president for engineering.

It’s testament to Google’s popularity that even though Google Apps is
still in trial mode, hundreds of thousands of users at thousands of
organizations are already using it. That includes a few big ones.
Arizona State University plans to switch most of its 65,000 students to
Gmail, Google Calendar, and a customized “start page” this month.

But enterprise software, even if it’s delivered online, is an entirely
different business from that lucrative little search box. Corporate
users, accustomed to feature-rich applications from the likes of
Microsoft and IBM (IBM
), are more demanding than consumers. Google got a taste last October
when it switched over most of its own employees, who mainly had used
Microsoft Outlook e-mail and Oracle Corp.’s (ORCL
) calendar program, to Gmail and Google Calendar. Some features on the
old systems that Googlers considered crucial—such as a way to schedule
all those company-paid massages—weren’t available on the new system. In
all, employees shot back more than 1,000 requests for new features in
the first two weeks after the changeover.

More traditional companies, with a desire for more control, will be
tougher to crack. “Google Apps may hit a wall with Exxon (XOM
) or Bank of America (BAC
),” says Peter Rip, general partner with Crosslink Capital and an investor in corporate Web software firms.

Also, competitors aren’t standing still—least of all Microsoft. It
recently debuted Office Live, which offers Web-based e-mail, calendar,
and other services in packages ranging from free to $39.95 a month for
a single business. Some 250,000 small businesses use it, compared with
tens of thousands using Google Apps, by Google’s estimate. Chris
Capossela, corporate vice-president for Office marketing, says
Microsoft has years of experience catering to businesses, unlike Google
and other consumer-oriented services.

Dozens of startups, some of which Google has already bought, also have
piled into the nascent market for online office-productivity software.
Zimbra Inc. boasts more than 6 million e-mail boxes at 1,300 paying
customers. But even those outfits acknowledge that Google’s entry
changes the game. Zimbra Chief Executive Satish Dharmaraj says, in the
measured tones of a man who one day might find himself sitting at a
Googleplex negotiating table: “They have the brains, the chops, and the
cash to pull it off.”

By Robert D. Hof

Sunday 4 February 2007


Informa Telecoms & Media predicts that the mobile web will
herald dramatic growth in revenues in the mobile content and services

Despite falling average revenues per user (ARPU)
for mobile operators, the mobile content and services market will
continue to grow dramatically as services and applications reach
maturity and new services begin to gain traction, according to Informa
Telecoms & Media. The latest edition of Informa’s “Mobile Content
and Services” report reveals that the introduction of a whole host of
new players into the value chain presents new opportunities for growth
in the mobile content and services market, whilst simultaneously posing
a threat to mobile operators who face losing control of the billing
relationship with their customers.

The mobile web heralds a new age

handset and network technology has now evolved to a point where true
mobile web access is possible. Informa anticipates that by 2011, just
under half of all mobile subscribers worldwide will use mobile
browsing, a trend it sees developing with new operator offerings such
as T-Mobile’s ‘Web n Walk’ service and 3’s ‘X-Series’ services. Despite
this, messaging, headed by SMS will continue to dominate the overall
revenues for the market, generating over half the total revenue in 2011
(from 67% in 2006).

“Advanced mobile content and services have
been slow to take off, but this should not be confused with the
deepening relationship that we have with our mobile phones. We may not
be buying as many games, full-track downloads or multimedia messages as
operators would like, but we are spending a huge amount of time sending
and reading text messages and organising our lives using the phone’s
address book, clock, alarm and calendar functions,” commented Daniel
Winterbottom, Senior Analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media and
author of the report. “Over time, users will warm to other data
services as well. The mobile web is a prime example: WAP failed to take
off when it was first launched, but five years on, more and more users
have become comfortable with accessing news or other information on
their mobile phones.”

The mobile entertainment space will also
see significant innovation and development. Several technologies, such
as mobile music, have been available for a number of years but the
increased availability of high-speed data networks (such as 3G and
HSDPA) is giving further appeal to these services. Mobile music will be
a major contributor to the revenues achieved in the mobile
entertainment market in the next 5 years, although its overall share of
the market will fall from 40% in 2006 to 36% in 2011 as new forms of
entertainment such as mobile TV and video services begin to gain
consumer interest. Games, gambling, personalisation and adult content
will all see significant growth, as the overall mobile entertainment
market grows from US$18.84 billion in 2006 to US$38.12 billion in 2011.

Evolving services

The report investigates a number of other areas which will see growth in the next five years:

User-Generated Content,
the big story of the Internet in 2006, will continue to extend to the
mobile space as new applications begin to extend communities to users
on the move, and provide further means for mobile users to contribute
content whilst on the move. Informa forecasts that the user-generated
and communities will be worth US$13.17 billion by 2011.

M-Commerce faces
a number of challenges and has already hit a few stumbling blocks.
Whilst payments for digital content ‘on-portal’ continue to function,
the growth in off-portal content and the migration to the mobile web
will open up the market to other players. Google and eBay are both
vying hungrily for this space. Using the mobile as a vector for
physical payments, however, has proven more complex and whilst the
technology, in terms of Near Field Communications chips embedded in
handsets, is readily available, it has been a struggle to prove demand
outside of the Far East. Informa estimates that the worldwide market
for m-commerce was US$359 million in 2006, coming mostly from the
Asia-Pacific region.

Mobile TV will continue to be the
focus of much excitement from mobile operators as broadcast services
using a range of different technologies are rolled out across Europe.
It remains to be seen if consumers will be as excited about the
services, and how operators will manage the issues of advertising and
pricing which will be critical to the success of the service.

Operator strategies

shape of the mobile content market is defining the evolution of the
mobile operator as a business entity. The report investigates alternate
approaches that are being taken by different operators, from those
remaining ‘pure play’ mobile, diversifying into new vertical markets or
business applications, to those converging into a one stop
communications house. It gauges how these strategies will pan out and
where each strategy is likely to take hold in different regions.

arrival of the mobile web on the mobile handset over in 2007 and beyond
will see users embracing the same content they take for granted on
their PCs. Operators need to ensure they are firmly locked into this
value chain or risk missing out on what will be an enormous market by
2011,” concluded Winterbottom.

About Informa Telecoms & Media

Telecoms & Media is the leading provider of business intelligence
and strategic marketing solutions to global telecoms and media markets.

by constant first-hand contact with the industry our 90 analysts and
researchers produce a range of intelligence services including news and
analytical products, in-depth market reports and Datasets focused on
technology, strategy and content.

Informa Telecoms & Media
also organizes more than 125 annual events, attended by more than
70,000 executives. In addition to the GSM>3G World Series, our
events cover subjects as diverse as fixed and mobile operator strategy,
technology, TV, mobile music and games.

Informa Telecoms & Media is always willing to work with journalists to provide stats, data or comment for articles.

Friday 26 January 2007

Our Customer is Recruiting

Arnora’s customer company Baudia Ltd is recruiting new personnel to their Otaniemi Office in Espoo, Finland.

There are open positions for System Specialist, Project Manager and IT Support Person. More details are available in Finnish language from Arnora’s as well as Baudia’s web-sites. Click here. JN

Tuesday 9 January 2007

And now something completely different :-)

Today’s work is very intensive most of the time. At least my brain needs times when you just forget working and lift your feet off the ground. I can get my feet off the ground in two ways. Either jogging ;-) or watching movies.

Movies have been close to my heart since my ears where wet from behind and when watching movies I usually plunge deep into the scene and forget about everything else. It is a way to get some different kind of experience and to be someone else for a while (analyze it as you like :-) ) and yes I know that I am too old to do it…

There is a movie that I have been waiting to see during this year. I saw the trailer last month and been watching it over and over again because it is one of the most visual trailers that I have seen for a while. Very eager to see this one when it is out !

Go judge the trailer by yourself. http://300themovie.warnerbros.com/

Plot Summary:
Based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel. In the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC an alliance
of Greek city-states fought the invading Persian army in the mountain pass of Thermopylae. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held back the enemy in one of the most famous last stands of history.

Saturday 23 December 2006

Season’s Greetings from Arnora

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