Archive for April 2002

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[eccr] QuickLinks 232 - 28 April 2002 - 60-83

Mon Apr 29 09:04:39 GMT 2002

61. EU - EP states self-regulation is best for audiovisual
industries (Euractiv)
In a resolution adopted on 10 April, the MEPs demanded more self-
regulation by the audiovisual industry to protect children from
harmful online content.  In their Resolution the members of the
European Parliament: state children's welfare is primarily the
responsibility of their legal guardians; favour self-regulation by
the industry and are concerned at recent moves to block access to
certain websites; call on the Member States to set up hotlines to
handle complaints about illegal or harmful internet content; call for
reliable filter and rating systems for digital broadcasting; urge the
Commission to promote the creation of user-friendly content filter
systems at affordable prices so as to support parental control.

62. France - R=E8glement des litiges et administration =E9lectronique
(Forum des droits sur l'internet)
Le groupe de travail sur le r=E8glement des incidents et litiges, mis
en place en septembre 2001, rend public son rapport d'=E9tape. Vous
=EAtes invit=E9s =E0 commenter, enrichir et discuter ce rapport en envoyant
votre contribution avant le 31 mai 2002 =E0 l'adresse
(reagir /at/

63. EU - Commission asks for comments on overall report on local
loop unbundling (Europa)
see main document - overall report (792 KB), annex to overall report
(1003 KB).

64. EU - Electronic communications package published (Official
L 108 24 April 2002
 * Decision No 676/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 7 March 2002 on a regulatory framework for radio spectrum
policy in the European Community (Radio Spectrum Decision)
 * Directive 2002/19/EC of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 7 March 2002 on access to, and interconnection of,
electronic communications networks and associated facilities (Access
 * Directive 2002/20/EC of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 7 March 2002 on the authorisation of electronic
communications networks and services (Authorisation Directive)
 * Directive 2002/21/EC of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 7 March 2002 on a common regulatory framework for
electronic communications networks and services (Framework Directive)
 * Directive 2002/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 7 March 2002 on universal service and users' rights
relating to electronic communications networks and services
(Universal Service Directive)

65. UK - Lift-off for low-cost satellite broadband (BBC)
BT is offering a low-cost satellite service for those in the UK who
are cut off from the broadband revolution - but questions remain
about how widespread the take-up for this new service will be.

66. UK - Net cited as marriage wrecker (Heise)
The internet is playing a significant role in relationship break-ups
in the UK, according to marriage guidance service Relate.

67. UK - Britons dash for broadband (BBC)
The start of self-install broadband and cuts in the price of fast
net access via phone lines seem to have sent Britons barmy for high-
speed net services. Online stores are reporting shortages of the
parts people need to set up their own fast net link, retailers are
being inundated with phone calls, and websites that let people check
if broadband is available in their area are being overwhelmed.

68. UK - BT's broadband domination plan (BBC)
BT has set itself ambitious targets for broadband in the UK which
include selling consumers a whole internet package - with the PC
thrown in as well. Crucial to this plan will be BT Broadband, its
radical new model for internet access which cuts out the need for an
internet service provider (ISP) and divides the internet market for
the first time into a basic access model with content, such as e-
mail, provided separately. This is a worldwide first and has already
drawn fierce criticism from ISPs. Oftel, the telecoms watchdog,
insists the service is within BT's licensing agreement and, because
BT offers a wholesale version of it, is not anti-competitive. see
also =A327 BT internet undercuts ISPs (Guardian) and UK - ISPs fight BT
over broadband plan (vnunet).

69. UK - ITV Digital faces final whistle (Guardian)
The last rites were read over ITV Digital yesterday when
administrators to the ailing pay TV business admitted it had finally
run out of cash and would be broken up unless a last-minute buyer
came forward. The expected collapse is likely to trigger a =A3500m
legal claim by the Football League, which is owed =A3178.5m by ITV
Digital in settlement of a three-year broadcasting contract. see alos
UK - ITV Digital for immediate sale (FT), Jowell defends digital
plans (Guardian)
The culture secretary, Tessa Jowell, has sought to play down the
impact of ITV Digital's collapse, insisting that digital terrestrial
TV will continue and giving no indication she expects the target date
for analogue TV switch-off to change. Ms Jowell said today the demise
of ITV Digital was "a failure of a company, not of a technology", in
a statement to the House of Commons. see Tessa Jowell's Commons
speech on ITV Digital.

70. USA - AOL struggles with broadband plan (Wall Street Journal)
AOL  Time Warner, whose online service is struggling to hold on to
customers who want high-speed Internet access, is rethinking its
cornerstone strategy of promoting such broadband access nationwide.
The move calls into doubt one of the main goals of the merger that
brought the Internet and media colossus into existence.

71. USA - VeriSign Lays Off 350; Posts Loss (
Internet addressing giant VeriSign Inc. yesterday laid off 350
employees, about 10 percent of its workforce, in a restructuring move
prompted in part by disappointing first-quarter financial results.

72. Can multimedia messaging live up to the mobile industry's hype?
Mobile operators are still licking their wounds after their failures
with WAP, a crude form of web-browsing for mobile phones, and (so
far) with third-generation (3G) services that will enable handsets to
download music and video. Operators paid billions for 3G licences,
but the technology is late and demand uncertain. Now the industry is
rallying behind multimedia messaging services (MMS), which will make
it possible to zap photos and graphics to and from handsets, just as
text messages are sent in their billions already. But is this just
more hype?

73. Microsoft, Symbian Sharpen Blades in Cellphone War (Reuters)
The mobile Internet has been slow to get off the ground, according
to new research, but software makers are becoming ever more fanatic
behind the scenes to gain support in an industry they view ready to
take off.

74. Hotmail at Risk to Cookie Thieves (Wired)
MSN Hotmail users, guard your cookies. A simple technique for
accessing Microsoft's free e-mail service without a password is in
the wild and apparently being exploited. The trick involves capturing
a copy of the victim's browser cookies file. Once the perpetrator
gains two key Hotmail cookies, there's no way to lock him out because
at Hotmail, cookies trump even passwords.

75. Keeping e-mail encryption alive (AP)
Phil Zimmermann's invention for encrypting e-mail, Pretty Good
Privacy, was so good that the government considered it munitions
subject to tough export controls. Prosecutors threatened him with
criminal charges when others leaked it overseas. The government
ultimately backed off. But now, the company that makes the most
popular version of PGP is the one pulling the plug.

76. Children get impatient on the net (BBC)
Children may be more net-savvy than their parents but they can get
just as frustrated by poorly-designed websites, a new survey has
found. A study by the US design think tank, the Neilsen Norman Group
(NNG), observed children using a wide range of websites. It found
that the bells and whistles often used on sites designed for kids do
not necessarily impress.

77. France - Commerce =E9lectronique (Minist=E8re de l'=E9conomie)
Le minist=E8re de l'=E9conomie, des finances et de l'industrie, en
partenariat avec l'IDATE et l'agence "Proposition", publie un nouveau
tableau de bord sur le d=E9veloppement du commerce =E9lectronique en
France. Une mine d'informations ...

78. Global - Egovernment getting better (NUA)
Canada boasts the best egovernment initiatives according to a new
study conducted by Accenture. In the study, which measures how well
countries are doing in moving government services online, Canada beat
22 other countries to come first. Rounding out the top 10 countries
are: Singapore, the United States, Australia, Denmark, the United
Kingdom, Finland, Hong Kong, Germany and Ireland. see also Study:
Government sites "sophisticated" (CNET Treating citizens
more like customers has helped governments around the world become
"increasingly sophisticated" in their use of the Web. Consulting firm
Accenture found "a growing tendency to treat citizens and businesses
like customers and to introduce the techniques (of CRM) to government
service delivery".

79. Religion proves a draw on net (BBC)
Religious websites have experienced a surge of visitors in the past
month. Internet measurement firm Jupiter Media Metrix found that
sites dedicated to religion were the fastest growing in the United
States during March.

80. Surfers Flock to Parenting and Family Web Sites (Reuters)
Traffic to parenting and family Web sites jumped during the month
ofMarch, as Internet surfers logged on to access articles about
babynames, child development, toys and baby-care products, according
toInternet audience measurement service Nielsen//NetRatings.

81. UK - Tedious TV turns off viewers (Guardian)
Half the UK's viewers are so bored with television they cannot
remember anything about the programmes they watch, according to new
research.A staggering 50% of respondents to a Henley Centre survey
said they could not recall "anything memorable" about the last TV
show they saw. And a third claimed they only watched television
because they lacked anything better to do. There was some reassuring
news for broadcasters in the Henley Centre survey - 59% of
respondents singled out TV as their primary media source of
trustworthy information.

82. UK - Texting improves sex life (BBC)
Messaging has great text appeal in the UK, especially when it comes
to relationships, a survey has found. The poll, conducted by
interactive TV station The Dating Channel, found that some people
would rather give up chocolate and TV than lose the facility to text.

83. Hackers turn tables on file-swapping firms (CNET
For the past several weeks, a pseudonymous programmer has been
releasing versions of popular file-swapping programs online with the
advertising and user-tracking features stripped out.


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Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Free University Brussels
Studies on Media, Information & Telecommunication (SMIT)
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