First Coffee for 20 February, 2006

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for 20 February, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Miles Davis’s Kind Of Blue:

Sokymat SA, a supplier of RFID transponders, has developed a 13.56 MHz RFID label specially designed as an anti-counterfeiting tool for printer ribbons.

Printer ribbons? Mais oui. The label attaches directly to the core of the printer ribbon, making it “impossible” to tamper with. So a printer with integrated reader module can now distinguish between an original ribbon and unauthorized counterfeits.

The company says the system is good for high-end printers used to produce bank cards or official ID documents, where the use of non-original printer ribbons can endanger the print quality.

The transponder is available both as a standard label, which comes in a material with the same printing characteristics as paper, or customized, such as a PET laminated ring label. Sokymat provides this high frequency label with an I-Code1 IC chip.

Basically Sokymat has developed a small specific flip-chip module package for this application – the SK1 – which makes it possible to produce a thin, narrow ring transponder, about 10mm wide and less than 1.2mm thick. This HF label cannot be produced with traditional label manufacturing techniques, such as printed or etched antenna, which require a larger pitch resolution between the turns of the coil.

In early February Sokymat announced the launch of an RFID tag designed specifically for the jewelry industry, in collaboration with The Jewellery Store dmcc, a Dubai-based service provider to jewelry wholesalers and retailers.

The purpose there is to guarantee traceability and quick inventory checks of jewelry, from the manufacturers to the retailers. Not quite as small as the new chip announced today, the one developed for jewelry use is a 13.56 MHz RFID tag with a diameter of 16mm and a thickness of 2.6mm.

NetHead LLC of South Florida has announced that it has acquired the rights to VoIP for the United States and Canada through an agreement with Infinet Communications.

NetHead officials say they’ve jumped into this market “to serve the needs of its loyal community of users.” As broadband has been more widely adapted, people have become comfortable with having their phone service through their high speed connection, they believe.

NetHeadVoice offers plans starting as low as $14.99 per month. Users can expect to pay, on average, 35 percent less than traditional phone service, if company officials are to be believed.

This savings could be seen as significant enough to justify the hassle, time and uncertainty, or it might not. VoIP’s had a tough time cracking the domestic market, even in a time when utility costs have spiraled higher, leaving many families looking for ways to cut their fixed expenses.

NetHeadVoice also has plans to tackle the small business market. There are no setup fees or expensive equipment purchases, is how their marketing pitch will go: The setup is easy and tech free, as the company’s sales pitch implies – “you simply plug in your adapter and you can begin making calls.” Your number works if you unplug the adapter and take it with you anywhere in the world where there is a high speed internet connection.

NetHead has plans to launch NetHead IPTV within the next few months.

It was on this day in 1950 that the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas embarked on his first reading tour of the United States, setting the dreary stereotype of the drunk, bohemian “artist.”

Thomas had had success in England, and Americans were excited about his work and the tour. “Thomas had always wanted to travel to America because he’d grown up in Wales watching American cowboy movies and American cartoons,” The Writer’s Almanac recounts. “The man who arranged for the reading tour picked him up at the airport, and they drove toward Manhattan. When Thomas saw the skyline he said, ‘I knew America would be just like this.’”

He was intensely uncomfortable with the attention and university settings, having never finished college himself. When asked why he came to New York he’d say things like “To continue my lifelong search for naked women in wet mackintoshes,” and in his fear of academics he’d get roaring drunk at faculty parties, shout out obscenities and accost the women, shocking and horrifying his hosts and setting a template for rude, self-indulgent behavior which would be followed by infinitely lesser talented people posing as “artists” themselves.

But during readings later in the evening, despite having been nearly incapacitated with drink a few hours before, he would always amaze the audience with his performance. “He had a deep, sonorous voice, and audiences would hang on his every word,” Writer’s Almanac wrote. “He didn’t just read his own poetry. He recited a huge number of poems by other poets, and only finished the show with one or two poems of his own.”

The Corporate Office of the Government of Dubai has selected Oracle E-Business Suite to fully automate, integrate and streamline the business operations of Ports Customs Free Zone Corporation, DP World, Nakheel, Customs, Jebel Ali FreeZone and other group companies.

The project is aimed at improving operational efficiencies, enhancing financial reporting, maximizing the return on human talent and increasing the quality of customer service, according to Dubai officials.

The Oracle E-Business Suite project at The Corporate Office will cover financial management, property management, project development, human resources management and customer relationship management. Oracle Consulting was awarded the contract to manage and implement this vast project.

The Dubai officials are hoping the Oracle E-Business Suite will allow business managers within each business unit to have a clearer view of their operational and financial data. Executives at the group level will be able to view and analyze information about the whole group and be able to drill down to each operating unit’s data.

“One of the key reasons for going ahead with this project was to cope with our growth, both locally and internationally, and provide a solid and consistent solution for our businesses,” said Hamed Kazim, Group Chief Financial Officer at TCO.

Okay, the ten top are, in order, Malta, New Zealand, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Hong Kong, then Australia, the United States, Canada and Norway.

The question is, what is the question?

Internet users. Figures by the Internet World Stats website show that 78.1 percent of Malta’s population access the web, and 76.3 percent of New Zealanders, or 3.2 million people, use the Internet.

The percentages refer to the proportion of the country's population who have access to the Internet and know how to use it, according to a report from TVNZ.

Telecom New Zealand is promising faster and cheaper high-speed broadband Internet services, but the government keeps the pressure on the company with warnings regulation might still be needed.

Prime Minister Helen Clark, in her opening speech to parliament, called for initiatives to cut prices and improve unsatisfactory uptake rates for broadband, an area where the country lags other developed nations. Clark said current broadband services are too expensive, slow, and contain restrictions on the amount of data that can be downloaded.

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