May II 2009

28 May 2009

Fredric Morris, Editor-In-Chief, Connect-World
Fredric Morris
Editor-In-Chief
Connect-World

Reflections on data security, job security and Abraham Lincoln

It was a good week – three virus attacks and my antivirus software stopped them all – I hope. I have rarely been caught, but despite twice-daily antivirus updates, it has happened. A virus is bad enough, but what really irks me are all the well intentioned (?) notes I get from those that received an infected email from me. You know the ones, ‘Hey (dummy) you’ve got a virus (he, he, he – my antivirus is better than yours), I just thought you should know’.

It was a good week, then I read How to Steal Secrets without a Network, an article in the May 2009 issue of Scientific American, and was reminded that no matter how smart and careful you are, someone smarter can always invent a can opener for your best armour-plated, totally secure, secret-holder.

The article shows that no matter how hard you try to lockdown access, determined hackers can still get to your data – and what they do is not easy to “defend against and impossible to trace”. The article centres upon a discovery by Michael Backes, a professor at Saarland University in Germany. He found that a wide range of objects that reflect – a spoon for example, a coffee cup, plastic bottle or even an eyeball – could let a spy read the data on your computer screen.

Today, the information readable at a distance is limited by the size of the telescope and the fancy electronics needed to correct for the distortions introduced by the reflecting surface. To read the image of large, 14-point, type reflected off your eyeball requires a 20-inch telescope at a distance of less than 15 metres – if reflected off a good size cup; the telescope could sit some 57 metres away. Not terribly worrisome? Well, a tiny, un-noticeable, high quality, high precision Webcam could be installed just a few meters away in a ceiling or a wall decoration – not even facing your computer screen – and read everything displayed as reflected in, say, the glass of a framed photo, a bit of jewellery, a plastic bottle or perhaps the sweat of your brow.

Commercially available optics and electronics are still rather limited, but one need only consider the details technicians coax out of satellite images captured a hundred or more kilometres away to understand what the future might bring. Readable images of computer screen reflections should easy to get with a camera in a window across the street.

Will there be a big market in non-reflective items for use in front of your computer or for spray-on fuzzy coatings. Will this sort of espionage end the open office, with its low partition stalls separating one worker from another, eliminating privacy in the name of better communications (supposedly), and low cost? Will computer screens come with draw screen hoods you stick your head into for a bit of privacy?

The battle to secure data cannot be won; the trick is to stay one step ahead of the forces of evil.

Quantum computers, it seems, will be able to crack almost any data encryption scheme except – they say – quantum encryption. I am not so sure about quantum encryption. It is supposedly unbreakable; the physics of quantum encryption guarantee it. Well, we have been told many times that physical laws do not allow this or that – chips cannot get smaller, data storage cannot get denser, data can only travel so fast on a copper wire, nothing escapes a black hole, etc., etc., etc. – only to see some clever workaround or exception to the rule when the context is changed. I will not be surprised if someone beats quantum encryption. Today, someone, somewhere, is surely working on it.

Even if quantum encryption proves unbreakable, the moment someone opens the message to read it; the information is once again there for the stealing.

The use of methods to sneak under the tent and bypass normal security measures – passwords, encryption, antivirus software, operating system ‘fences’ and the like – have long been common; reflection-peeping is just one more weapon in the hacker armoury. Few commercial security companies worry about ‘side-channel’ attacks such as these; they concentrate instead upon protecting information in computers and networks and pray that those that don’t play by their rules will go away. Only government security agencies and the military seem to concern themselves with non-traditional attacks – and they should – they invented most of them.

There are several ways to capture date from keyboards, printers, monitors and networks that do not depend upon virus installed software. Snoopers can detect the radio frequency signals emitted every time a key is tapped, read the noise from dot matrix printers (researchers are trying to do the same from super-silent ink-jet printers as well) and the low-level signals emitted by monitors have long been known as a backdoor entry for well-equipped hackers and spies. Military computers have been protected against this type of snooping since the late 1960s. A Webcam on the user’s computer can be co-opted and its images of a user typing can be recorded and deciphered. Even when part of otherwise secure encrypted systems, all computer devices enter and display unprotected raw data before it is encrypted or after it has been decoded.

The user – the user’s need for open data – is the primary weakness of all systems and the hardest to deal with. If something happens within a computer or a network, there are generally ways to control it or find traces; side-channel attacks leave no traces – there is no smoking gun, not even a body to show when murder has been committed. Even when it is possible to conclude that data might have been stolen – that a system’s Webcam might have been used – it may not be possible to know when and how often it was used or what data was stolen.

Technology – electronic or not – will advance and the bad guys will use and abuse it and us. Every time they come up with something new, the defenders of all that is good will defend and counterattack. Every counterattack calls forth a different, stronger, attack in response.

There is no end in sight, there is no end; prepare yourself. It may get to the point where the defence is so strong, the cost of an attack so high and the probability of success is so low that digital attacks will be few and far between. Still, this won’t put hackers out of business; they will just get better at ‘social engineering’, at fooling you and me into giving up enough vital data for them to operate. In the end, we all have our weaknesses and blind spots; hackers know that educating us, fixing us all, is a hopeless task, their jobs might get more difficult, but never impossible – they have job security even during the worst downturn.

Although, as Abraham Lincoln said, “…you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”, he also said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time…”, and that is what hackers count on.

The next issue of Connect-World Asia-Pacific will be published later this month. This edition of Connect-World will be widely distributed to our reader base and, as well, at shows such as CommunicAsia, Singapore (16-19 June); Broadband World Forum Asia, Hong Kong (July 15-18); P&T/Wireless & Networks Comm China, (23-27 September); and Indo ICT Expo & Forum, Jakarta, Indonesia (16-18 December).

The theme of this issue of Connect-World Asia Pacific will be- Information and Communication Business Technology.

Information and communications technologies, ICTs, have always had a significant impact upon businesses. Today, they can be the business. Virtual businesses abound and even their services or products can be virtual; only the money is real. The savings and earnings that advanced ICTs bring to businesses, both real and virtual, are transforming business models, creating new markets and providing new opportunities for millions of workers. The Asia Pacific region has long been among the earliest adopters and most effective users of technology. This issue of Connect-World Asia Pacific will explore the use and promise of ICTs for business in the region.

This issue of Connect-World Asia-Pacific 2009 will examine the implications of these far-reaching converged systems and the impact they have not only upon users, but upon the complex ecosystem that will make these innovative communications systems possible – the networks, communications equipment, user devices, software and business applications.

Asia-Pacific II 2009 Media Pack; Click here


May I 2009

7 May 2009

Fredric Morris, Editor-In-Chief, Connect-World
Fredric Morris
Editor-In-Chief
Connect-World

Telemedicine, ICT and a ‘Doc-in-the-Box’

In the mid eighties, when ‘artificial intelligence’, AI, seemed to promise a future full of miracles, I read about early AI medical diagnosis programs and about the possibility of using microcomputers and a variety of remote devices to let paramedics in remote regions deliver first class medical care. Bells – some cracked – went off in my head.

The idea of using this technology to guide paramedics in remote areas led me to speak with a number of doctors and read all I could find – not an easy task in those pre-Web days. The research did not get me very far, and discussing the possibility of computerised diagnostics was, with few exceptions, was surprisingly unsettling. At best, doctors looked as though they were thinking of committing me to a mental institution and an astonishing number were openly hostile to the idea and, by extension, to me. The few that took the idea seriously and understood the benefits, the need and the inevitability, soon convinced me of the hopelessness – at that time – of doing much of consequence with the available technology.

Reflecting upon some of the problems – the immaturity of AI, the lack of adequate telecommunications, the primitive PCs, the lack of reliable power supplies where most needed…, finally led me to discard the idea as impractical. Well, we all have our moments of irrational exuberance; I just control it better now than 20 years or so ago. Nevertheless, I believed then, and still do, that extensive, totally pervasive, use of telemedicine is inevitable. Indeed, I expect that medicine without the ‘tele’ attached will, with time, become as outdated as an office without a computer.

Some ten years later, I revisited the idea, spoke again with doctors and once again investigated telemedicine – this time on the Web. It still wasn’t practical – all the conditions were much better than the first time around, but still not nearly good enough – so nothing came of the discussion. Almost nothing, that is; one of the doctors I discussed this with came up with a great name for a telemedicine service, ‘Doc-in-a- Box’, but the name was never used or registered.

I looked up Doc-in-a-Box today on the Web and discovered that the Council on Foreign Relations came up with the same name for the cornerstone project of their global health programme. It is an interesting project, but shares few of the characteristics that I associate with telemedicine; it is simply a 20-foot shipping container with a doctor’s office pre-installed; the container is stocked and equipped to conduct a series of medical tests, administer vaccines and offer a number of simple medical procedures. The limited information I have about the project says little about its use of ICTs except that they hope to use it to amass data for a gigantic database about health problems (HIV, TB, malaria, etc) in the developing world.

Telemedicine, driven today by vastly cheaper and better software, PCs, wireless broadband connectivity, remote sensors, solar panels and other devices is slowly starting to take shape as a viable service.

There are types and degrees of ICT-aided medicine. Let’s start with the simpler services everybody uses or abuses, – such as call your doctor. Some patients, of course, constantly call their doctors anytime; day or night about everything from hangnail and hair loss to Hansen’s disease and the fax has long been used to send medical reports, but this is not really what telemedicine is about. I think of telemedicine as the use of ICTs to deliver many of the quality, sophisticated, health services one expects at a doctor’s office – but at a distance and with the help of no more than a nurse or paramedic.

Nowadays, telemedicine over the Internet is used not only for consultation, online collaboration between specialists and even remote examination and treatment, but for remote monitoring of homebound patients or even remote controlled – ‘robotic’ – surgery. Information and communication technology is also used for such related services as disease control – it is now on the frontlines of the Swine Flu battle, for example – public health education, continuing medical education for doctors, medical databases and the like. These supporting services are usually categorised as telehealth or eHealth; telemedicine is primarily concerned with making clinical services available at a distance.

Telemedicine, despite some very sophisticated technology, is still in its infancy, but in the coming years it will revolutionise the delivery of health care in remote and developing regions of the world. In highly developed regions telemedicine will provide increasingly sophisticated on-the-spot services.

Remote diagnosis and treatment will greatly upgrade medical care in remote regions where the few, if any, overworked medical professionals need to cover vast areas or treat great numbers of people. Using video conferencing technology linked by satellite, doctors at specialised medical centres elsewhere in the world can remotely examine people, diagnose and treat a wide variety of problems. The same systems let professionals remotely follow up and monitor the progress of patients in their care.

In developed regions, the use of devices to monitor patients at home – heart rates, blood pressure, and other vital signs – has been growing steadily for years. With video conferencing-like facilities professionals can observe and communicate with bedridden patients in their home. Broadband links connect the monitoring and video conferencing equipment to centres where professionals watch for signs of trouble. Based upon the data received at the remote monitoring site, emergency care can be rushed to the patient and medication and treatment regimes can be altered when indicated by the data gathered.

Home monitoring of patients, especially the elderly and those with chronic conditions, eases the task of healthcare professionals, frees hospital beds and greatly lowers costs for patients, insurers and the state.

Video conferencing technology in conjunction with specially designed remote devices let a physician see – and be seen by – the patient. With these devices, the doctor can speak with patients while checking (with the help of a paramedic to fit and adjust the devices) their heartbeat, looking into their pupils or ears, or examining their skin or a wound. This sort of technology has already been put to use by a wide variety of specialists including, among others, rehabilitation therapists, dermatologists, psychiatrists, gynaecologists, neurologists, cardiologists and, of course, family medicine practitioners.

Remote surgery, at one end of the scale, makes intense use of high-speed broadband links to remotely control the movements of the robotic arms that wield the scalpel, to transmit video and radiological images as well as vital sign monitoring data to the remote surgeon.

Nevertheless, not all telemedicine needs real-time connectivity. Images and test results can often be transmitted and stored until a specialist can examine and diagnose them at leisure.

Telemedicine still has a way to go, but I have no doubt that a doc-in-a-box will one day be a common sight. Perhaps, one day, each house, office, or car and such will have its own shoebox sized ‘doctor’ instead of a first aid kit.

The next issue of Connect-World Asia-Pacific will be published later this month. This edition of Connect-World will be widely distributed to our reader base and, as well, at shows such as CommunicAsia, Singapore (16-19 June); Broadband World Forum Asia, Hong Kong (July 15-18); P&T/Wireless & Networks Comm China, (23-27 September); and Indo ICT Expo & Forum, Jakarta, Indonesia (16-18 December).

The next issue of Connect-World Asia-Pacific will be published later this month. This edition of Connect-World will be widely distributed to our reader base and, as well, at shows such as CommunicAsia, Singapore (16-19 June); Broadband World Forum Asia, Hong Kong (July 15-18); P&T/Wireless & Networks Comm China, (23-27 September); and Indo ICT Expo & Forum, Jakarta, Indonesia (16-18 December).

The theme of this issue of Connect-World Asia Pacific will be – Information and Communication Business Technology.

Information and communications technologies, ICTs, have always had a significant impact upon businesses. Today, they can be the business. Virtual businesses abound and even their services or products can be virtual; only the money is real. The savings and earnings that advanced ICTs bring to businesses, both real and virtual, are transforming business models, creating new markets and providing new opportunities for millions of workers. The Asia Pacific region has long been among the earliest adopters and most effective users of technology. This issue of Connect-World Asia Pacific will explore the use and promise of ICTs for business in the region.

This issue of Connect-World Asia-Pacific 2009 will examine the implications of these far-reaching converged systems and the impact they have not only upon users, but upon the complex ecosystem that will make these innovative communications systems possible – the networks, communications equipment, user devices, software and business applications.

Asia-Pacific II 2009 Media Pack; Click here


April II 2009

23 April 2009

Fredric Morris, Editor-In-Chief, Connect-World
Fredric Morris
Editor-In-Chief
Connect-World

The World Economic Forum, innovation, invention and tough times

I can’t get no innovation,
I can’t get no innovation.
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try.
I can’t get no…
(with apologies to the Rolling Stones)

I went to the Latin American edition of the World Economic Forum (April 14-16, Rio de Janeiro). I had hoped to get a better feeling for the crisis and how technology might help push and pull us out of it.

Well, the only technology-related session was a no-press-allowed event. There were some good people speaking at the session and I am sure those listening welcomed their opinions. The subject – in an hour and fifteen minutes – was, “How can innovation create growth and opportunity while simultaneously supporting improvements in operations and cost reductions that contribute to recovery in the long term?” WOW! That innovation stuff will make a great product.

I do not understand why they closed the session to the press. Surely no one there was about to talk about their company’s latest, not yet announced, discovery, so it must have been a secret ceremony, some arcane rite, where they paid homage to the gods of innovation.

I hear a lot of talk about innovation nowadays – the great cure and great saviour of the corporate world. It reminds me of the brainstorming methodology that was, once upon a time, a corporate fad. Brainstorming was a method designed to stimulate group to produce great quantities of new ideas; – it produced many – unfortunately, most were rubbish. Although brainstorming – like anything else – occasionally produces a good idea, most of the ideas are just ineffective bits of groupthink.

Innovation is today’s life-raft buzzword – when all else fails, innovate to keep from sinking. Maybe, but innovation is a continuing process that needs a corporate culture that accepts it and facilitates the adoption of novelties. A locker room pep talk push for innovation – Hit the ground running! Innovate the competition to death! Save the economy! – only works by luck or accident or in the movies. Innovation is not a product one can package, take off the shelf and use when needed.

There is a sort of philosophical disconnect today. We are led to believe that innovation is something one starts by flipping a switch or turning a key. Innovate, sit around come up with good ideas, have business people turn them into products, earn a lot of money and save the world – or at least the market. There are big companies that have been very successful at the innovation game; these are mostly the ones that know a bit about the care and coddling of their creative types. The Bell Labs of old is the best example of the sort of culture that fosters innovation that I can think of. In truth, the companies that are best at innovation are really the best at invention.

Among the legends of the modern world are garage start-ups like HP, Microsoft and Apple. Google, Skype, Amazon and many other start-ups, at least in the mythified versions that float about, remind one of an old romantic movie. Sure, they started with some great ideas, but it took a lot of un-romantic sweat, and day-to-day nitty gritty, nuts and bolts, innovation, to turn their ideas, their disruptive inventions, into the successful businesses they have become.

At the World Economic Forum, I picked up a booklet called, Talent for innovation: Getting noticed in a global market. It presented the 34 companies selected as the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers for 2009. The World Economic Forum has run this competition for ten years. Google is probably the best known of the past winners. Accel Partners, BT, KPMG and the Kudelski Group supported the Forum’s search for this year’s technology innovators.

The preface to the booklet prepared by the BT Group with help from the Economist Intelligence unit, states: “Innovation is no longer the work of one individual toiling in a workshop. In today’s interconnected world, innovation is the work of teams…” Maybe that’s the corporate definition of innovation, and I am sure this works to some extent for products, but this is not my idea of what innovation really is.

Innovation, means doing something a new way – doing something ‘old’ a new way. This is fine; this is a great group activity. If you want something significantly new, though, you need individuals. Innovation is not invention. Radical new ideas are not innovation. Innovation is the work of the artisan, the craftsman; invention is a creative work of a different order – it calls for a visionary, someone with a different way of seeing problems, with a different way of understanding the world. Corporations, with some notable exceptions, are not safe havens for visionaries.
It is interesting to examine the winners: eight from the biotechnology/health sector; eleven from the energy/ environmental technology sector; and fifteen from the information technology sector. Most of the winners in the biotechnology/health group, six in all were entrepreneurial start-ups and two were spin-offs from academic research centres. In the energy/environmental group ten of the eleven companies were start-ups and one was an “alliance of NGO’s, research institutes and organisations”. In the information technology sector, all but three were start-ups – one a spin-off from a technology incubator, another was spun-off from a healthcare subsidiary of a major industrial group and the last a small subsidiary of an energy and technology group.

Some large corporations were ineligible because they were members of the World Technology Forum. Still, given the large number of major companies with hoards of highly skilled, highly educated and highly motivated workers that are not members of the World Economic Forum, it is surprising (perhaps not) that not one major corporation, or one major division of a big company is a winner.

All big companies strive for innovation; it’s corporate fashion. The big guys get the small stuff right; they put out ever-better products and services that find their market. I wonder, though, how many of the bigger companies – even those that make a fetish of innovation – really protect and nurture the true innovators, the creative inventors, the discoverers of new principles.

I suspect there are very, very few, large companies specialised in the care and feeding of the inventor. That is why almost all the winners of the talent search are small start-ups (staffed by fugitives from big companies?) or were born and bred in an academic setting. The creative force in all the winning companies probably came from one person, or a small handful of close collaborators.

Given the financial crunch, many companies will cut expenses and, as in past downturns, future oriented creative projects, speculative research, the projects with long-term payoffs and such will be among the first programmes cut. The real inventors and the great innovators will not be lost, just delayed. They will come back as start-ups – some with truly disruptive ideas. New markets will appear and some old companies that saved a few cents, favouring superficial innovation over deep changes and invention, will disappear. Many of yesterday’s great names have fallen this way.

The next issue of Connect-World Europe will be published later this month. This edition of Connect-World will be widely distributed to our reader base and, as well, at shows such as: Sviaz/Expo Comm, Moscow (May 12-15, 2009) and WiMAX World EMEA, Prague, (November 3-5, 2009)

The theme of this issue of Connect-World Europe will be – ICT and the EU Innovation Agenda.

The EU has actively promoted innovation of all types through a series of programmes and conferences. The EU has committed over €2 billion to its plans for “Inventing the Future” by promoting research and development in ICT, including its use in such leading edge fields as ICT-bio, photonics, robotics and cognition. The far-reaching EU development programmes promise to open new markets, new sectors, and bring new players. This issue of Connect-World Europe will track the progress and the promise of these important EU initiatives.

Europe II 2009 Media Pack; Click here


April I 2009

9 April 2009

Fredric Morris, Editor-In-Chief, Connect-World
Fredric Morris
Editor-In-Chief
Connect-World

CTIA, Vegas, glitz, tech and flaps

CTIA Wireless 2009 (1-3 April, at the Las Vegas Convention Center) is arguably the most significant wireless event in the Western hemisphere. The show attracted more than 1,000 exhibiting companies representing the full spectrum of wireless related hardware, software and service providers.

The event is organised by the CTIA-The Wireless Association, an international non-profit membership organization. The CTIA, founded in 1984, represents the full range of participants in the wireless communications sector – cellular, personal communication services and enhanced specialized mobile radio.

The CTIA show is considered a regional event, but given the globalisation of information and communication technologies, professionals from more than 100 countries attended the four days of conferences and exhibitions. I have not yet been able to get the official attendance statistics, but I have seen estimates ranging from 34 to 40 thousand attendees from 125 to 169 countries. Although most agree that attendance is down this year, the overall level of the attendees seems to have improved. According to some exhibitors, fewer technicians and more decision makers visited their stands. The competition in wireless, especially mobile wireless is so intense, that no one in a critical position in the sector – from anywhere in the world – can afford to miss the latest announcements or the latest trick the competition has devised.

The show’s venue, Las Vegas, is perfect for the hype and glitz that surrounds it. If you like gadgets, if you buy the latest and greatest handset the moment it hits the market, you might want to take it easy at this show to avoid overloading your circuits, blowing your fuse or tripping your circuit breaker.

Despite the economic meltdown, the possibility of doing business, finding a job, or finding the next market sensation still continues to attract hoards of companies and individuals to the CTIA Wireless event. Although the attendance was, for some at least, a cost be damned situation – okay, so you take a red-eye flight and go to a cheaper hotel ‘off the strip’ – the CTIA is an essential resource for building relationships and driving business in the wireless industry.

The CTIA 2009 show was pretty much what one would expect – the latest and greatest in flashy handsets of all sorts, still not much of earthshaking import on the Google Phone front and a big flap about Skype.

Skype’s announcement of its Skype for iPhone software signalled the start of a new era. Skype’s move has long been anticipated, and in truth, many people have been using third party software and services for some time to hook into Skype using a variety of WiFi-enabled phones. The announcement that Skype, itself, was supporting this sort of mobile usage had carriers around the world considering the regulatory implications.

Deutsch Telekom didn’t wait long, it prohibited its customers from using Skype – or any other VoIP software on its phones. DT’s customers will not be allowed to use their 3G data network or its network of hotspots – those that do might have their contracts cancelled.
Skype is not taking this quietly. It is said to be organising a heavy-duty lobbying effort and calling on bloggers to turn up the heat on politicians. The fight has just begun and the troops are moving into the trenches – this is going to be one hell of a war.
The show closed on Friday, 3rd April, after a high-profile keynote address by former Vice President Al Gore, who stressed that the wireless industry is “one of the great success stories in the American economy”. The continued development of wireless infrastructure is a key indicator fuelling the communications revolution.

Addressing environmental concerns, Al Gore noted that wireless technology will be one of the key tools used to solve the climate crisis. “This is one of those rare times we all agree that the government needs to build out a green infrastructure that will free us from foreign oil and draw on clean energy.”

“Wireless is the solution to so many of the important issues we are facing today,” said Robert Mesirow, Vice President and show director for CTIA. “This show made it extremely clear that innovation in sectors such as energy and healthcare is happening now – its real, and its transforming business and lifestyles.”

Throughout the show, companies showcased the latest high-end devices and netbooks while developers shined with new applications touted for new and existing storefronts, including the BlackBerry App World, launched during RIM’s keynote on Wednesday.

Top Global took this year’s ‘Best in Show’ award for its 3G UFO Personal Hotspot, which provides instant mobile access to the Internet. The winners were determined by the more than 40,000 online and text votes sent by CTIA show attendees and wireless industry professionals. iLoopMobile and OpenMarket provided text-voting capabilities for this year’s programme.

“It’s a privilege to win this award and we appreciate the support of the people who voted for us,” said Alan Zhen Zhou, President and CTO of Top Global. “We spent a lot of effort developing this cutting edge product using Gobi technology from Qualcomm, which allowed us to design one product for the global marketplace.”

The CTIA Emerging Technology Awards programme gives industry recognition and exposure to the best wireless products and services in the areas of mobile consumer electronics and applications; enterprise and vertical market technology; 4G and network infrastructure; and environmentally friendly hardware and services. Nearly 300 applications were submitted in 18 categories and reviewed by a panel of 30 recognized members of the media, industry analysts and executives. Products were judged in terms of innovation, functionality, technological importance, implementation and the overall impact upon the consumer.
“With a broad spectrum of categories, ranging from consumer to enterprise to wireless health and energy applications, the E-Tech awards are an indicator of the phenomenal innovation taking place in the wireless industry,” said Robert Mesirow, Vice President and Show Director for CTIA. “We received a great response to the online and text voting campaigns for Best in Show and extend our congratulations to all of today’s winners.”

The next issue of Connect-World Europe will be published later this month. This edition of Connect-World will be widely distributed to our reader base and, as well, at shows such as: Sviaz/Expo Comm, Moscow (May 12-15, 2009)

The theme of this issue of Connect-World Europe will be – ICT and the EU Innovation Agenda.

The EU has actively promoted innovation of all types through a series of programmes and conferences. The EU has committed over €2 billion to its plans for “Inventing the Future” by promoting research and development in ICT, including its use in such leading edge fields as ICT-bio, photonics, robotics and cognition. The far-reaching EU development programmes promise to open new markets, new sectors, and bring new players. This issue of Connect-World Europe will track the progress and the promise of these important EU initiatives.

Europe II 2009 Media Pack; Click here


March II 2009

25 March 2009

Fredric Morris, Editor-In-Chief, Connect-World
Fredric Morris
Editor-In-Chief
Connect-World

eRegulation – smoother than expected square wheels

Regulating anything can be a messy business. Regulating the world of ‘e’ – eCommerce, eFinance, eBanking, eServices, eAnything, online digital rights management, the Internet itself – is messy enough for the story lines of a whole slew of low-budget terror movies, and it gets even messier if it is international. Regulations in each country for online dealings are as different as the legal systems themselves and the culture of the country. They cover different pieces of the eWorld, they regulate them differently and enforce the regulations – or not – as they see fit. Despite the confusion, the eWorld is growing and this system, as makeshift as it seems, has generated enough friction to raise concerns and stimulate legislative concerns – but not enough raise a general alarm.

Most of us have never given the question a thought. The few who do either are in government or international organizations – or have businesses that stand to gain or lose depending upon the regulatory winds. Some consumers have found, to their disappointment or grief, that eCommerce is a slippery beast that slides past regulations developed over the years and centuries to deal with brick and mortar transactions.

The bigger countries, the international trade organizations, the EU and such have studied the question, published guidelines and even enacted laws and regulations, but it will be many years before there is a consolidated, consecrated, body of eLaw to deal reliably with all the issues involved.

Many of the problems associated with eRegulation are the direct result of the history of the Internet, or rather the lack thereof. In its short history, the Internet has passed from a tool for researchers, the military and government agencies to a global phenomenon. The Web is an integral part of the social and business lives of hundreds of millions of people. It is one of the world’s largest and most diverse marketplaces. It is the world’s greatest source of information – its reference library. The Web is a major source of entertainment, of news, of political debate, a focal point for science, for fantasy, for crime, a focal point, indeed, for almost every human activity.

Regulation and control was not an issue when the Web was designed, but given the reach of the activities online it is now a pressing need. Where do you start, how do you devise comprehensive legislation and regulation for a phenomenon that covers just about every conceivable human activity, especially when one considers the enormous diversity of interests in our society. The Internet, itself, the greatest public forum in the history of humankind, contributes to the difficulty; never before have so many people been aware of the issues or had a way to make themselves heard.

The very philosophy of the Web, implicitly believed by hoards of users, is that the Web is an instrument to extend our civil liberties by making all information (and just about everything else) free. It is important to remember that supporting deregulated markets was, until the recent financial market meltdown, considered an almost sacred obligation of forward-minded thinkers, so this, too, has made it difficult to comprehensively regulate the Internet.

Despite the ardent, but not always justified, positions the overwhelming need for regulation to protect users has pushed forward a patchwork of protective regulations. Regulatory issues still have to be decisively addressed, to sort out legal issues relating to contractual obligations and to deal with buy/sell transactions, intellectual rights, money transfers, digital services, advertising, child protection, questions of privacy, of fraud and a range of other questions. Although in the ‘real world’ we have a long history of regulating trade and protecting businesses and consumers alike, in the digital world we often seem at a loss or at odds.

Businesses want regulations that set eCommerce on a charted path, one that can be evaluated in unambiguous black or white terms; on the other hand they want to be sure the regulations do not take away any advantages they have in the free, unregulated, environment. In keeping with the prevailing competitive free market philosophy of recent decades, regulators and legislators have sought – as they have while liberalising the telecom sector – to ‘level the playing field’ for all competitors. Although legislators and regulators have had some success – more in the EU for example than the US – businesses and business associations have long called for a self-regulatory approach.

Given the conflicting interests involved, it was something of a wonder that practical good sense has triumphed in many instance around the world. Rules have been established which give the market some semblance of order and credibility without which it could not grow. Still, the rules are far from perfect and the balance of forces on each side of the issue is likely to hobble the pace of regulation for years to come. To be fair, no one really knows what is needed or how to achieve it. It took centuries for today’s ‘real world’ laws to take shape and they are still constantly pinched, poked tweaked and stretched as the need arises. Digital regulations still have a long way to go.

Finding cyberspace on the map is a problem for regulators. What laws, from what country, apply to a place you can’t find? When there is a cross border digital transaction, a fraud, a felony, a question of privacy violation, a financial transaction that goes awry – in what court do you settle it, using the laws of what country? Real world rules may not apply at all in many cases.

Many countries apply a ‘country of origin principle’ to determine which country has jurisdiction and which laws to follow. Now that sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, in practice, things are not quite so neat; there is no universal law that says either party must necessarily agree. There are even areas where it is commonly recognised that the origin principle simply does not apply. This is the case, for example, with intellectual property rights such as copyrights, eMoney, spam and real estate transfers among others. Sovereign states can, and do, pass laws that ignore the country of origin principle when questions of public interest, consumer protection, national security, public safety and health are involved.

It is easy to let international organisations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), draw up the rules, but they cannot pass laws, at best, they establish standards that the world’s countries might, or not, adopt. Then too, these groups lack the diplomatic credentials and reach needed to forge a global consensus that takes into account the interests of all segments of society. The EU, because of its structure, has the best chance of harmonising the regulations of its members, but even this falls short of the ideal – worldwide, universally adopted, regulations – since the EU only wields a stick in Europe.

Taxes are a problem for most governments and there is no universally agreed way for governments to dip their hands into the consumer’s pockets when business is transacted online. In the EU, value added taxes are tacked onto each transaction, but this has been hard, rather impossible, to collect when international transactions are involved. There has been talk for many years about requiring companies to register, collect and pay taxes in the countries where they do digital business, but anything that requires countries to collaborate on tax legislation, and involves so many conflicting special interests, is not going to happen quickly – if at all.

The United States Internet Tax Freedom Act of 2000 does not bar local sales taxes; online transactions pay the same taxes as any other, but the Act does prohibit taxes that apply only to the Internet, including Internet usage taxes and direct taxes on eCommerce. That, of course, does not mean that cities and states will stop trying to squeeze some money from the Net. So far, they have not had much success.

Privacy is another area where international regulation varies widely from country to country. The EU, as in so many areas, is a leader. Its Data Privacy Directive serves as a model for regulators in many parts of the world, but it cannot impose it on businesses from other countries. Businesses in the United States, after much pressure, consented to a form of auto-regulation in matters of privacy and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) agreed to enforce it and punish the transgression of the privacy directive where the personal and financial information of EU consumers was involved.

To earn the trust of consumers, many companies promised to abide by U.S. Department of Commerce’s Safe Harbor Privacy Framework, which call for notifying consumers of the company’s privacy policies and giving customers the right to forbid disclosure to third parties among other rights.

The Internet is supposedly the worldwide equalizer, in principle, it gives everyone free access to information and tools to exchange it. Regulators around the world have tried to restrict access to material deemed harmful to children or society – pornography, hate sites, terrorist propaganda, instructions to make bombs and the like, but their efforts have often drawn fire from civil libertarians concerned about any attempt to abridge free speech and access to information. Many of the libertarians share the fears of the regulators regarding harmful materials, but they are even more fearful of censorship of the Web, so attempts to control content have been highly controversial. Opponents of Internet regulation point to attempts by countries such as China, among others, to control the content its citizens can view; such countries tend to view the control of information flowing over its borders as a question of national sovereignty and security.

The Internet, the Web, is an agent of profound social change. So far, considering its superficial anarchy, the Web has done much better at managing itself – if not exactly regulating – than we have any right to expect. Laws, social customs and even ethics evolve in response to all important agents of change, but it takes time for society to reach some sort of working consensus. In the past, we had centuries or decades for the right sort of structures to evolve and, even then, there were often severe social and economic dislocations and wars. The Web was born about 20 years ago, but it only really began to grow in the last ten years or so.

We haven’t got it quite right yet, but I don’t see high tech counterparts of the early industrial revolution-type sweat shops, rampant disease or a collapse of the old order. I see social and economic progress in the remotest and poorest regions of the world. Sure, there is spam and viruses and all sorts of crooked dealing, but that has always been part and parcel of every human society, we just code it in bits and bytes today.

The Information Society still has a lot to learn, negotiate and regulate, but all considered – slips, slides, falls and bangs – we are doing a sensational job of keeping the train on track despite the square regulatory wheels inherited from earlier revolutions. Nice going for a toddler.

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The next issue of Connect-World Europe will be published next month. This edition of Connect-World will be widely distributed to our reader base and, as well, at shows such as: Sviaz/Expo Comm, Moscow (May 12-15, 2009)

The theme of this issue of Connect-World Europe will be – ICT and the EU Innovation Agenda

The EU has actively promoted innovation of all types through a series of programmes and conferences. The EU has committed over €2 billion to its plans for “Inventing the Future” by promoting research and development in ICT, including its use in such leading edge fields as ICT-bio, photonics, robotics and cognition. The far-reaching EU development programmes promise to open new markets, new sectors, and bring new players. This issue of Connect-World Europe will track the progress and the promise of these important EU initiatives.

Europe 2009 Media Pack; Click here


March I 2009

12 March 2009

Fredric Morris, Editor-In-Chief, Connect-World
Fredric Morris
Editor-In-Chief
Connect-World

Darwin and cyber security from hexadecimal to Tyranocyber Hex

I sat down to write this letter with the modest aim of listing and briefly describing the range of security threats and describing the current state-of-the-art cures. There were physical security threats (fire, water, theft of equipment or storage media, etc.); human problems (careless, unlucky, unsuspecting, naive or dishonest people); access questions (physical and digital); adware, spyware, viruses and other malware; denial of service attacks; cryptography; financial security… etc., etc., etc. It didn’t take long to realise I would need a book to skim the surface or a rather long paper just to list the threats.

Where do you start when a problem has no end? ICT security is octopus wrestling – pin two arms to the mat and six come up to whack you down.

Pity the poor software developers, CIOs, security forces and everyone else who uses a computer or any information and/or communications technology.
Security is a Darwinian battle for survival. Every sort of attack is eventually neutralised by a better defence; this, in turn, prompts attackers to ratchet up the intensity and sophistication of their methods or look for a new front, a new battlefield, to wage war. Mobile phones are the latest in a long list of battlefronts. You probably have heard of ‘phishing’, the use of bogus official-looking Websites and emails to trick people into revealing sensitive, personal, information, but have you heard of SMishing? SMishing uses SMS spam messages for the same end. What’s next – Twitching, using Twitter to con people or TVitching, playing ‘gotcha’ on an interactive IPTV?

All these scams use virtually the same mechanism. The phishers ask for confidential information – ID, Social Security, credit card numbers, bank account information and such – via fake Websites or emails from a bank or credit card claiming your account is blocked, an attorney in some godforsaken country promising untold sums of money, a store promising to deposit a credit in your bank account or give you a credit line. The information you send back can open the doors to identity theft and other forms of fraud.

There are many types of security problems besides phishing and other forms of “…ishing”, but it makes an important point – people, themselves, are among the biggest security problems. As Pogo, the cartoon character, said, “We have met the enemy and he is us!” We are our own worst enemy.

Security products abound; some are quite good and others are not worth the trouble and expense. They aim at stopping viruses, network attacks and a host of other problems including many I have never heard of or bothered to think about.

For years, many professionals have complained that software should be inherently trustworthy and safe. If systems were safe, they say, there would be no need to spend untold millions for separate services to lock down the house. In principle, they are right, of course, but in practice this doesn’t happen and probably never can. I am sure university specialists and theorists have mathematically analysed the problem. I haven’t read anything at all about it, but I expect the problem of protecting software will prove to be, as the specialists say, ‘mathematically intractable’.

Anyone who has ever put together a complicated system, with umpteen thousands or millions of lines of code, knows in their heart there is no way to close all the doors and check all the possibilities – it is just not doable. Ask Microsoft or SAP or Oracle or Sun, ask any other company that has ever developed complicated code and they will tell you that no matter how brilliant the developers are or how hard they test and try, someone, somewhere, can eventually find a way to blow a hole in the best defended, tightest, code. That is the way it is today and, since software gets more complicated by the day, tomorrow will be worse. That is why companies that specialise in ICT security of any sort will always have a market – they are the Special Forces, the SWAT teams and the ‘green berets’ of the information society.

I cannot imagine the day when software will be so secure that we won’t need an anti-virus package, a firewall. Perhaps, we will need some sort of super software security manager as well, which will constantly evaluate threats to every conceivable internal state of a PC or, yes, cell phone. In the meantime (forever?), many companies are likely to outsource their ICT security to specialised companies or even to the carriers that handle their virtual private networks. It will probably cost less and be more effective for most companies than building – and maintaining – their own 24/7 state of the art security forces.

When attackers can’t find a way to break into the system, they will find a way to break through the defences of those that use it. Computer security is as fallible as we are. All security professionals know that the user is the ultimate backdoor into any system. ‘Social engineering’, fooling unobservant or gullible users to gain access to their secrets or their software, is often, perhaps even more often, a more effective way to crack a system than fancy programming. People can be easier to understand – and get around – than computer code.

Part of the problem, the technical part, might be better controlled if software as a service (SaaS) becomes more prevalent in coming years since the companies that provide it will have to work very hard indeed to make their systems secure and win the trust of users. I say ‘might’ because in a Darwinian world, whenever a stronger shell evolves a bigger nutcracker cannot be far behind. The other part of the problem – the people part – is even more difficult; how do you keep people from making asses of themselves? We have all done it – haven’t we?

The United State’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has come up with a fascinating and somewhat frightening way of policing the Web. Its Ubiquitous Network Transient Autonomous Mission Entities – ‘UNTAME’ – software deploys ‘an army of software robots’ to scour the Web for malware and evil-doers. New, are the “cybot entities” that UNTAME sends scurrying through the Web. According to the Lab they form, “collectives that are mutually aware of the condition and activities of other bots in their colony”. This ‘intelligent’ software army, they hope, will collaborate in the task of watching over and keeping large networks like the Internet safe.

All well and good, but an uncontrolled band of software vigilantes roaming the Web, might well become a threat in itself. So far, UNTAME is still a prototype; it runs on a closed network in the lab. What happen, though, when it is set loose on the Net? Will it work as planned or will it become a menace? No matter how well you test, you cannot test everything. I expect the designers on the project have installed some failsafe mechanisms – Isaac Asimov, I Robot, do no harm, sort of directives. Will they work?

Here is the frightening part. The collaborative model the Lab is using sounds too much like a genetic learning algorithm for comfort.

For a number of years, scientists have run genetic algorithms in computers to optimise solutions to complex engineering, weather forecasting, financial strategy problems and the like. In the first evolutionary ‘generation’, a number of potential solutions to a problem are run against real data, and each potential solution is compared to the desired result. The best features of each solution that produces acceptable results are selected and combined in a variety of ways to produce a second generation of solutions. The procedure is repeated until an optimal solution is found. Vaccines have been produced by this method that are 250 thousand times more effective than the starting candidates and the orbits of communications satellites have been optimised far beyond the orbits produced by traditional calculations.

Genetic learning algorithms are powerful tools. Although this was nowhere spoken of in any of the reports I have read, the UNTAME sort of collaborative bots will ‘learn’ from one another and will – unless they are artificially hobbled for safety reasons – probably evolve ‘genetically optimised’ solutions to new threats on their own. The developers will, no doubt, insert elaborate safety mechanisms into the code. Nevertheless, software such as this, like a collection of genes, is subject to mutation (a critical bit is dropped or changed) – not all good and not all easily controllable.

Cyber warfare, a software hurricane Katrina, is a preoccupation of the new Obama administration. To combat cybercrime and cyber warfare experiments UNTAME and many other approaches will have to be investigated, but given the power of the tools, and their inevitable adoption by the enemy as well, the escalation of cyber threats has just begun. It is only starting, but are we already evolving from hexadecimal to Tyranocyber Hex?

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The next issue of Connect-World India will be published early next month. This edition of Connect-World will be widely distributed to our reader base and, as well, at shows such as: Convergence India, New Delhi, (19-21 March 2009).

The theme of this issue of Connect-Word India will be – It’s more than outsourcing.

The growth of India’s economy, driven by ICT and business process outsourcing has inspired comment and imitation the world over. The credit given to outsourcing is deserved, but the government policies, astute entrepreneurs a vast number of well educated and prepared professionals that made India’s success in this field are often overlooked. India’s growing ability to source new service and products, not just outsource the operations of others, and its ability to move ahead by its own efforts are also overlooked by those not familiar with the country’s vast pool of talent and potential. This issue of Connect-World India will examine India’s growing strength and look a bit down the road it is travelling.

This issue of Connect-World India will explore the influence of information and communication technology upon the transformation of India, and how India, itself, is transforming technology and processes and helping create a seamless world.

India 2009 Media Pack; Click here


February II 2009

26 February 2009

Fredric Morris, Editor-In-Chief, Connect-World
Fredric Morris
Editor-In-Chief
Connect-World

Economy – handsets – Barcelona

Mobile World Congress, fence sitting, handset & platform positioning, solar power and femtocells

Barcelona, the Mobile World Congress (MWC – ex 3GSM) for 2009, was once again the epicentre for the yearly mobile telephony hypequake. As hypequakes go, this was not much of an earth shaker – only four, five or so on the Richter scale. The sliding economy undercut the exaggeration and a good number of hushed voices (slightly) moderated the general clamour.

A GSMA press release reported that the GSMA Mobile World Congress drew, all told, more than 47,000 people; there were visitors, 1300 exhibitors, 2400 media representatives and others from 189 countries. Visitors to the conference and exhibition included executives from mobile operators, governments, equipment vendors, software developers, Internet service providers and media and entertainment groups. Half of the Mobile World Congress visitors were C-level executives, including more than 2,800 CEOs.

Companies all over are cutting back, even so, the movement was good although some exhibitors mentioned that a good number of people were only there for a quick, highly focussed, trips and were not spending as much time exploring as usual.
Unquestionably, the economy was the spectre lurking just offstage. Everyone was trading opinions about how it will be, what suppliers, operators, entertainment – whatever – would be the hardest or the least hit. Governments, traditionally good targets for complaints, were being touted by a number of vendors as the last of the big time spenders and potential saviours of the industry. From the talk, one would think that troubled economic waters were going to slosh off the backs of the mobile industry’s leaders as though they were ducks, but that didn’t stop them from speaking of the cash governments would inject into economies around the world. There was talk, though, that many mergers and acquisitions were likely – tacit recognition that not all the companies would make it easily through the downturn and that shop until you drop bargain hunting for companies might be planned by groups fortunate enough to have overflowing bank accounts.

Given the optimism, I wonder why so many vendors were stressing how well they could enhance and extend existing technologies and supercharge existing infrastructure instead of pushing the latest and greatest in new infrastructure investment.

Handsets are the eye candy at shows like this; everyone looks, everyone comments and everyone sees great omens in the handset tea leaves and Tarot deck.

The most significant happening in the handset game was not the great number of new product announcement, but a non-event. What happened to the Android handsets? There are nine handset manufacturers (HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, ASUSTek, Garmin, Huawei, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba) taking part in the that supports Android, Google’s open source mobile operating system, but only one – HTC – is actually producing Android ready handsets.

I had expected a number of companies to announce new handsets, but despite the adhesion of ten of the world’s largest mobile operators to the Open Handset Alliance (it might soon be 11, Verizon recently spoke of its interest in Android) there was only one new announcement, the HTC Magic model for Vodafone. None of the other major handset manufacturers – despite past talk and promises – had an Android model ready for the market. One has to wonder about the commitment of operators and handset manufacturers alike – with very few exceptions – to open platforms, indeed to any but their traditional, albeit updated, software platforms and their own fenced off domains. Has fence sitting become a mobile sport?

Voice quality is not even mentioned – ‘okay, it’s a phone, it talks’. Mobile handsets are about 12 megapixel cameras (Sony Ericsson); music (Samsung Beat); Internet, email and qwerty keyboards (Nokia E75); interfaces, broadband connectivity (3G, HSDP, WiFi, GPS LG Arena); and, ‘what-can-the-iPhone-do-that-I-cannot’, touch-screen phones (everybody).

Nokia, with Skype, announced its N97 with pre-installed Skype software and WiFi. This lets users call anywhere in the world using the Internet wherever they can access a WiFi hotspot. Skype’s ‘presence function lets users know whenever any of their contacts are online. Is one to wonder why mobile operators are a tiny bit paranoiac?

Could it be that egg sitting, not fence sitting, is the hot mobile sport? Guard the nest, don’t let the customer escape! Control the mobile Web, control the applications, lock the applications to the software platform with widgets and apps from their very own company store; Microsoft, Nokia and Samsung have followed the Apple lead and opened their own stores and Android, if it gets any traction, will probably sell apps as well.

Operators, rightfully, are wary about Internet giants like Google, of software giant Microsoft and handset manufacturers siphoning off their customers and are learning from early experiences with the iPhone (where Apple, not the operator was the big winner) and are hatching plans to sidetrack outsider raids upon their territory. Since, like it or not, phone makers and operators depend viscerally upon one another, one already sees signs that they are likely to join forces, cautiously, to slow the common enemy – the big Internet players like Google.

Handset makers are adhering, timidly, to the green revolution. Samsung’s Blue Earth Phone uses solar power to charge its batteries and its case is made from recycled plastic water bottles. Solar power models were shown by Samsung, ZTE and LG and Solio introduced a standalone solar powered recharging unit. Despite the green sales pitch, I suspect the real motive, the real market, behind the sun-powered handsets is to reach consumers in developing regions of the world where electrical power, if it reaches a region at all, is likely to be a low-grade, on and off again, affair. Whatever the reason, this is an important development.

Broadband was, as always, a hot topic, but Long Term Evolution (LTE’s) expected triumph was somewhat hollow this year. Sure, LTE will go ahead, but the urgency, the edge, seems to have been dulled by the economy. There was a lot of talk about pushing the limits of the existing infrastructure and even going for solutions such as High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) + or even EV-Do that would have been also-rans in a better economy, but instead of being widely available by the end of next year, LTE seems a better bet for 2012. In the meantime, WiMAX is likely to do better in many emerging markets and anywhere operators have not yet invested in 3G infrastructure.

Broadband growth is inevitable, so although LTE growth might slow, support is still strong; at least 15 companies, probably more, including Qualcomm and TI have announced LTE chipsets designed to be embedded in notebooks, netbooks and a host of other devices. The biggest concern, though, is not the technology. Cellcos are more concerned about getting the spectrum to handle the ever-growing demands of broadband applications. New spectrum can be quite expensive, and when it isn’t it is likely to be open – and open the doors for more competition.

Speaking of competition, will anyone ever ‘own’ customers again, the way they were owned in the past? People still talk about owning customers as though the Internet, deregulation and disruptive technologies never happened. Let’s face it, everyone is doing their best to get the biggest piece of each customer’s spending, but fragmentation will increase and yesterday’s business models are slowly dying.

Femtocells, small wireless access points at home or business, that might ease the spectrum crunch for some operators, although few have yet been deployed, are clearly gaining ground as important strategic network options. Femtocells offer fast, high quality wireless broadband coverage in restricted areas. When the user arrives home, femtocells automatically re-routes your mobile phone voice and data traffic away from the mobile operator’s macro-network and into the home broadband connection.

Rates for traffic routed via the femtocell are equivalent to, or less, than those for normal fixed line services and, since traffic on the mobile network is reduced, operators can make better use of their existing spectrum and infrastructure. It is no wonder that the popularity of the femtocell is growing.

____________________________________________________

The next issue of Connect-World India will be published early next month. This edition of Connect-World will be widely distributed to our reader base and, as well, at shows such as: Convergence India, New Delhi, (19-21 March 2009).

The theme of this issue of Connect-Word India will be – It’s more than outsourcing.

The growth of India’s economy, driven by ICT and business process outsourcing has inspired comment and imitation the world over. The credit given to outsourcing is deserved, but the government policies, astute entrepreneurs a vast number of well educated and prepared professionals that made India’s success in this field are often overlooked. India’s growing ability to source new service and products, not just outsource the operations of others, and its ability to move ahead by its own efforts are also overlooked by those not familiar with the country’s vast pool of talent and potential. This issue of Connect-World India will examine India’s growing strength and look a bit down the road it is travelling.

This issue of Connect-World India will explore the influence of information and communication technology upon the transformation of India, and how India, itself, is transforming technology and processes and helping create a seamless world.

India 2009 Media Pack; Click here