30 July, 2009

Cyber-criminals targeting social networks, experts warn

F-Secure CorporationImage via Wikipedia

And this issue of cyber security, as ever before, is more prone to attack, with more people/users now engaging in online networks and forums.

Read that news article here: Cyber-criminals targeting social networks, experts warn

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Twitter, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google

Windows Internet ExplorerImage via Wikipedia

What's new from Twitter? See this news:
Twitter unveils new frontpage

And if you feel secure using Internet Explorer, see this news:
Microsoft releases security patch for Web browser

Internet Rags to Riches

The giants battling each other, or should I say, three giants battling each other, and two decide to team up, against one:
Yahoo, Microsoft in Web search partnership

Did people react to that merger? You bet!
Microsoft-Yahoo! deal draws mixed reviews

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21 July, 2009

Apple shuts down Palm Pre's iPod functionality

LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 08:  A photo is displayed ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

More on the technology side, and maybe to cut short the competition, nothing of its own functionality should be found in other phone models; that could be the reason why the act was done.

Are you into iPhone?

Or are you eyeing Palm's Pre?

I am neither. I'm looking at Samsung. This is my honest talk. It would be either the Samsung i8910 HD, or the Samsung Omnia II.

For the removal of the iPod functionality from Palm Pre phone, read it here.

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Samsung's back with new laptops

SyncMaster 152X is Samsung's 15" LCD display.Image via Wikipedia

Okay folks, I've been surprised with this news. A couple of months back, I was following how Samsung have entered the arena of consumer electronics battle, and it gained some footage, if I may say: black, sleek, shiny flat-screen TVs, top-of-the-line mobile phone models, coming close to the iPhone standard (I do prefer Samsung over the iPhone), etc., etc., then I noticed, nothing on the laptop area.

I searched the web, and found some history, sad as it is, telling that Samsung didn't make it good in its line of laptops, and had to quit.

2 years after, they now make a comeback. Will they make it this time?

A coincidence on Google Chrome's OS launching? Or all in the 'perfect timing' mantra?

Read the news story from ChannnelNewsAsia here.

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10 July, 2009

iPhone 3GS doesn't disappoint

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

So they say, the iPhone 3GS is one good phone. From 3G to 3GS, the additional "S" stands primarily for ssspeed! And if that isn't enough, another of the "S" thing is that is doesn't disappoint.

So much for the hype, read the review here.

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08 July, 2009

Google to launch its own PC operating system

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

Even with a high sales rate for iPhone, over a million just at its launching, and more, and a new OS for Samsung’s mobile phones, including an inhouse browser, Google pitches in, and announces that its target device is the notebook.

I think that iPhone is primarily suited for Mac, and that is somehow clamping down its sales for Windows Mobile users. As for Samsung, while the mobile phone OS is not WM6.x, it is still able to link up and communicate with WM6 devices. It is still compatible, in that sense.

Anyway, for Google’s OS plan, see that story here.

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02 July, 2009

Microsoft posts modest search gains with Bing

Posted: 02 July 2009 0849 hrs

MS-Bing WASHINGTON: New search engine Bing helped Microsoft increase its share of the search market in the United States in June but, still lags behind Yahoo! and Google, a Web analytics firm reported Wednesday.

StatCounter said Microsoft carved out an 8.23 per cent share of the US search market in June, up from 7.21 per cent in April and 7.81 per cent in May.

Yahoo!'s share of the search market was 11.04 per cent in June, up from 10.99 per cent in May but down from 11.27 per cent in April.

Google continued to dominate the search market with a 78.48 per cent share in June, down slightly from 78.72 per cent in May and 79.07 per cent in April.

"At first sight, a one percent increase in market share does not appear to be a huge return on the investment Microsoft has made in Bing, but the underlying trend appears positive," said StatCounter chief executive Aodhan Cullen.

"Steady if not spectacular might be the best way to describe performance to date," Cullen said in a statement.

StatCounter said that globally, Microsoft increased its search market share from 3.08 per cent in April to 3.30 per cent in June.

Yahoo! fell from 5.48 per cent in April to 5.15 per cent in June while Google remained steady at 89.80 percent.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer earlier this month downplayed expectations for the success of Bing, but said the company was committed to challenge Google over the long-term.

The initial response to Bing has been "very good" Ballmer said, but it will not displace Google anytime soon.

"I don't want to overset expectations. We're going to have to be tenacious and keep up the pace of innovation over a long period of time," Ballmer told an economic summit in Detroit, Michigan.

Bing replaces MSN Live Search, which has languished in a distant third place behind market-leading Google and second-place Yahoo!

- AFP/il

From ChannelNewsAsia.com; see the source article here.

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Facebook plans to simplify privacy settings

07/02/2009 | 07:17 AM

NEW YORK (AP) - Facebook is overhauling its privacy controls over the next several weeks in an attempt to simplify its users' ability to control who sees the information they share on the site.

Privacy has been a central, often thorny issue for Facebook because so many people use it to share personal information with their friends and family and beyond. But as the 5-year-old social networking service has expanded its user base and added features, its privacy controls have grown increasingly complicated.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company said Wednesday that the new settings will give people greater control over what photos, updates and personal details they share with their friends, family and strangers on Facebook and, eventually, the wider Internet.

To make the settings easier, Facebook is consolidating its existing six privacy pages and more than 30 settings onto a single privacy page. It will also standardize the options for each setting so the choices are always the same, something that hasn't always been the case.

That means that for various pieces of content, users will be able to click on a lock icon to choose whether to show it to everyone, only their friends, friends of friends, members of professional or school networks or people on a customized list.

Previously, users had to navigate page after page to exclude, if they want, bosses or co-workers from seeing their photo albums, status updates or shared links. And because the privacy settings were dispersed on different pages, even after making a profile visible to friends only, the photos on that profile could remain public.

Facebook's chief privacy officer, Chris Kelly, said in a conference call with reporters that the changes don't have anything to do with advertising or the information Facebook is going to make available to advertisers.

Rather, he said, the site wants people "to be able to share information with as many or as few people as they choose."

One of Facebook's most notable privacy mishaps was a tracking tool called "Beacon," which in late 2007 caught users off-guard by broadcasting information about their activities at other Web sites, including their purchase of holiday gifts for those who could see the information. The company ultimately allowed users to turn Beacon off.

Other changes, too, have often met with user uproar. Earlier this year Facebook let its users vote on the site's guiding principles after tens of thousands joined online protests over who controls the information they share on the site.

To prevent another backlash, Facebook will gradually roll out the latest changes. Facebook will start by testing them out on small groups of users and tweak the final version of the controls based on feedback. Facebook said it would take more than three weeks to reach every user.

"They are learning how to listen carefully to their users," said Jules Polonetsky, co-chairman and director of the Washington-based Future of Privacy Forum and former chief privacy officer at AOL. He added that Facebook has learned from the past that suddenly making big changes, whatever they are, has not been the most effective approach.

The privacy changes come as Facebook tries to become a broadly used destination, competing not just with other social networks like Twitter and MySpace but also more established hubs like Google and Yahoo.

To do this, Facebook needs its 200 million-plus users to share content and interact with more people than their close friends and families.

"To be lots of things to lots of different kinds of people," Polonetsky said, Facebook needs to give its users, who come from different cultures, age groups and career levels, more control over what they share on the site.

The site will soon let users assign different privacy settings to each piece of information they make available, including photos, contact information and work info, as well as status updates, links and photos.

In another big change, the site is also getting rid of its regional networks. Facebook said those separate zones have led to too much confusion over which information can be widely seen or kept relatively private. In the past, someone who joined a New York network, for example, could inadvertently make personal information available to everyone else in that network, including complete strangers.

Facebook will continue to have social networks related to schools and work. - AP

From GMANews.tv; see the source article here.

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Is Twitter the news outlet for the 21st century?

07/01/2009 | 07:55 PM

NEW YORK – Cassy Hayes and Jasmine Coleman were among the first fans to arrive outside the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles where Michael Jackson was brought and later pronounced dead.

How had Hayes, 25, and Coleman, 21, heard the news so quickly?


The two young women had learned about Jackson's health like so many who get their news nowadays: by reading the ever-flowing feed of real-time information on the microblogging service.

Jackson's unexpected death at 50 was just the latest major news event where Twitter played a central role. But just as quickly as Twitter has emerged as a news source, so, too, has its susceptibility to false rumors become abundantly apparent.

The extraordinary amount of news coverage the mainstream media has recently devoted to Twitter has led some to think the press is in love with the 3-year-old microblogging service. But it's a jealous love.

Twitter's constantly updating record of up-to-the-minute reaction has in some instances threatened to usurp media coverage of breaking news. It has also helped many celebrities, athletes and politicians bypass the media to get their message directly to their audience.

Make no mistake about it, Twitter has in many ways been a boon to the media. It's one more way a story might go viral and it's arguably the best way for a news outlet to get closer to their readership. Most outlets now have a presence on Twitter with a feed directing readers to their respective sites.

But even in an Internet world that has for years eroded the distance between media and consumer, Twitter is a jolt of democratization to journalism.

To date, the most salient, powerful example of Twitter's influence has been Iranian protesters using the service (among many other methods) to assemble marches against what they feel has been an unjust election.

Early in the protests, the State Department even urged Twitter to put off maintenance that would have temporarily cut off service. Twitter is difficult for governments to block because tweets — 140 characters or less — can be uploaded from mobile phones like a text message. (The Iranian government has nevertheless often succeeded in blocking Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.)

Further, many Americans were upset at what they considered CNN's thin early coverage of the revolution in Iran and voiced their complaints (where else?) on Twitter. Some said they preferred news on Twitter to the cable news network.

Twitter also produced eyewitness accounts of the Mumbai terrorist attacks last year. And when the US Airways jetliner crashed into New York's Hudson River, Twitter was among the first places photos of the landing were linked.

Many users have become accustomed to clicking on Twitter when news breaks. There, they can find a sea of reaction, commentary and links to actual articles.

The popular technology blog TechCrunch recently questioned whether Twitter is "the CNN of the new media generation."

"Twitter absolutely changes the media landscape," said Ross Dawson, author and communications strategy analyst. "I like to refer to Marshall McLuhan's description of media as `an extension of our senses.' Now, Twitter is extending our senses to tens of millions of people who are often right on the scene where things are happening."

Ashton Kutcher, one of Twitter's most popular users, in an earlier Web video evoked the rhetoric of a revolutionary: "We can and will create our media." Kutcher, who declined an interview request, sees Twitter as putting media power in the hands of regular people and — presumably — regular movie stars.

But comedian Michael Ian Black, a popular figure on Twitter, notes that while Twitter allows someone to "communicate very directly with people," it also allows you to keep them "totally at arm's length."

There are no follow-up questions on Twitter if the user chooses not to hear them. When tweets replace an interview or a press conference, something is lost. Twitter — where brevity can neatly do away with messy details — can thus be used to control one's message and one's image.

Cyclist Lance Armstrong, for example, has caused some news organizations to question how they approach Twitter. Armstrong, who's in the midst of a comeback bid, often treats Twitter as his primary news outlet.

In May during the Tour of Italy, Armstrong's end-around the media caused some news organizations to boycott his tweets. VeloNews.com, the Web site for a competitive cycling magazine, avoids using Twitter to establish facts without independent sourcing.

"It's one-sided," said VeloNews.com editor Steve Frothingham, who's a former Associated Press reporter. "It's us just sitting there taking what he's giving. We can't just not ask follow-up questions, we can't ask any questions."

Frothingham also notes the awkwardness of distribution. Armstrong's followers (more than 1.1 million) outnumber the readership of VeloNews.com. When Armstrong announced the birth of a son in early June on Twitter, he also, in effect, scooped cycling and tabloid outlets.

But truthfulness remains the biggest problem: Those direct, near-instantaneous dispatches are far less reliable than old-fashioned journalism. News that circulates on Twitter, re-tweeted from person to person, can spread quickly — often too quickly for it to be verified. False rumors spread daily on Twitter.

In the days following Jackson's death, fake reports have frequently had to be knocked down by news organizations that do the fact checking. Dawson notes that established media channels still have a virtual monopoly on credibility.

Erroneous declarations of celebrity deaths have been one trend.

Patrick Swayze, who is battling pancreatic cancer, recently had to defend that he is indeed still alive after thousands of Twitter users spread the news that he was dead.

Jeff Goldblum had to do the same. On Monday, he appeared on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" to confirm his warm-bloodedness. The host, Stephen Colbert, refused to believe him, preferring the random accounts on Twitter. Eventually, Goldblum, too, became convinced and eulogized himself.

While involvement in the protests in Iran might be Twitter's most meaningful achievement thus far, some have noted that many inaccuracies were circulated.

That has raised the concern that some people or governments may use Twitter to spread disinformation even more dangerous than suggesting Jeff Goldblum is dead.

Andrew Keen, author of "The Cult of the Amateur," believes Twitter — and whatever real-time Web services follow in its wake — represents the future of both the Internet and media.

But Keen says the Iran coverage on Twitter "exposes all the weakness of the service, the fact that it's so chaotic and unreliable. Who knows who's tweeting what?"

Some news outlets have begun aggregating, translating and confirming tweets said to be from Iran, including The Daily Dish (Andrew Sullivan's blog for The Atlantic magazine) and the Web site for the National Iranian American Council, a nonprofit organization that represents the interests of Iranian Americans on Capitol Hill.

"The very nature of an editor needs to shift," says Keen. "(The Iran experience) is going to underline the need more and more for curators, for people who are able to take all of this raw content and actually shape it into valuable news." - AP

From GMANews.tv; see the source article here.

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01 July, 2009

Report: China extends deadline on filtering software

Updated 1 hour, 18 minutes ago

By Steve Mollman


Story Highlights

  • NEW: China extends deadline for filtering software to accompany PCs
  • Government says Green Dam software is designed to block porn
  • Critics say software can block all non-government sanctioned content
  • Green Dam has been dogged by tech glitches

PC makers are being ordered to include software that could affect the quality of their products.

(CNN) -- China has announced it would indefinitely postpone a mandate requiring all personal computers sold in the country to be accompanied by a controversial content-filtering application, state media reported.

The Tuesday announcement came one day before a government-set deadline that would have required the software, called Green Dam-Youth Escort, to come with all PCs, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The Chinese government has said the software is chiefly a way for parents to protect children from pornography. But a wide range of outside parties have expressed concern about the software.

A letter was sent directly to Premier Wen Jiabao on June 26 and signed by an international group of more than 20 business associations including the Business Software Alliance, Consumer Electronics Association and both the U.S. and EU chambers of commerce.

China's central government announced in May that the Green Dam software package must accompany all new computers in China. Citing China's Ministry of Information Technology, China Daily recently reported the government policy came "in response to calls from many schools and parents."

The number of people online in China has swelled in recent years. The nation surpassed the United States in 2008 as the world's top user of the World Wide Web, according to a Chinese government-backed research group.

Critics of the application say it is capable of causing glitches when a PC user types or encounters "forbidden" political content. And some independent researchers have demonstrated that the application has programming errors that expose users to security risks.

A June 11 report by researchers at the University of Michigan stated that because of security vulnerabilities, "any Web site a Green Dam user visits can take control of the PC."

A week later the researchers re-investigated the program after the software maker, the Jinhui Computer System Engineering Co., dispatched a patch designed to fix at least some of the problems.

"Despite these attempts to make the software secure," they wrote, "we found a new remotely exploitable vulnerability in the patched program. It took us just over an hour to find this new vulnerability."

Meanwhile, Hal Roberts, a Harvard University researcher, showed how the program could freeze a browser every time the user types the letter F into the location bar.

In his demonstration posted on YouTube, this happened after the letter became associated via the browser's auto-complete list with the Web site falundafa.org, which is related to Falun Gong, the religious sect banned in China.

Through Green Dam's auto-update feature, authorities can keep PCs current on which content is forbidden.

"If you operate an Internet business in China, you know there are really only two topics to avoid," according to Richard Lim, a managing partner at Beijing-based venture capital fund GSR Ventures.

"You avoid politics -- especially certain types of politics -- and you avoid pornography. Pretty much everything else is fair game."

On Chinese-language blogs and other sites, according to Lim, there has been a lot of discussion about Green Dam and the company that created it for the government.

According to the Web site of China Daily, the country's official English-language newspaper, the government paid Jinhui Computer System Engineering Co. a little over $6 million for the development, future maintenance and updates of the software.

The software, which is for Windows only, is not noteworthy in a technical sense, according J. Alex Halderman, one of the researchers and a professor at the University of Michigan.

"Its main features are keyword and URL-based filtering, image recognition, and contextual phrase recognition, all of which have been used before by other filtering programs," he noted in an email.

"Blocking political speech isn't even unprecedented--some filtering software used in the U.S. allows parents to block categories of sites with certain political leanings."

What's unusual, he noted, is "for a government to license one particular software product and then require PC makers to ship it."

The Open Net Initiative, an academic consortium focused on censorship and surveillance, reported that it was "unprecedented" for a government to demand, at an individual level, nationwide use of a particular company's software.

Concern about the software goes beyond censorship watchdogs. PC makers are being ordered to include software that could affect the quality of their products.

A June 24 letter from the U.S. Department of Commerce to the Chinese government listed "numerous concerns raised by global technology companies, Chinese citizens, and the worldwide media about the stability of the software, the scope and extent of the filtering activities and its security weaknesses."

Despite such communication, there has been no indication so far from the Chinese government that the rule will be revoked, only delayed.

PC makers, then, may eventually find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand China's large market is rather difficult to ignore. According to research firm Gartner, last year about 14 percent of the world's PC sales occurred in China, and that number should increase to almost 16 percent by 2012.

But by including Green Dam, they, for starters, leave themselves open to quality issues and accusations of abetting censorship.

From CNN.com; see the source article here.

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China backs down from requirement for Web filter

07/01/2009 | 07:32 AM

BEIJING - In a rare reversal, China's government gave in to domestic and international pressure and backed down Tuesday from a rule that would have required personal computers sold in the country to have Internet-filtering software.

Just hours before the rule was to have taken effect, the government said it would postpone the requirement for the "Green Dam" software. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said it made the decision partly because some PC markets were having difficulty meeting the deadline. It did not say whether the plan might be revived.

The change of course averted a possible scuffle with Washington. Top US officials had protested the plan after it was imposed abruptly in May, calling it a barrier to trade. Angry Web users circulated online petitions protesting Green Dam, while industry groups warned the software might create computer security problems.

The controversy reflected the conflict between the communist government's desire to control information and China's high-tech ambitions. The country has an increasingly informed, vocal public and tighter links to companies that create urgently needed jobs and tax revenue.

The decision was a "victory for China's civil society," said Li Fangping, a Beijing lawyer who had demanded a public hearing on the plan.

"Many citizens worked together and voiced their opposition to the forced installation of this filtering software and forced the government to at least think more deeply about it," Li said. "We hope now that they will go ahead and completely drop this order."

News of the announcement spread in China quickly via Twitter and the Chinese mini-blogging site Fanfou. Some bloggers said they expect the government to look for a way to carry out Green Dam that attracts less attention.

"They are using the word `delay,' instead of saying they stopped the plan," said Wen Yunchao, a Chinese blogger who has been among the most vocal critics of Green Dam. "I think that it's possible that at some point in the future the government could still enforce their policy and install software on personal computers that filters the information people are able to look at. So, I am calling this an intermediary victory."

China's communist government encourages Internet use for education and business, and the country has the biggest population of Web users, with more than 298 million. But authorities try to block access to material deemed obscene or subversive, and Beijing operates the world's most sweeping system of Internet filtering. US companies such as Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc. have cooperated in way or another with government requests to tamp down criticism.

The Green Dam software would raise China's controls to a new level by putting a filter inside each PC. Chinese authorities said it would be needed to shield children from violent and obscene material online.

Analysts who have reviewed the program say it also contains code to filter material the government considers politically objectionable. Separately, a California company claimed Green Dam contained stolen programming code.

Chinese Web surfers ridiculed Green Dam by saying it would block access to photos of animals and other innocuous subjects. State media reported extensively on the complaints, a rare move. Chinese media usually uncritically support government policy.

Green Dam already is in use in Internet cafes in China and has been installed since the start of this year in PCs sold under a government program that subsidizes appliance sales in the countryside.

China accounted for 14 percent of the 63.5 million PCs shipped worldwide in the first quarter, according to the research group IDC. Beijing-based Lenovo makes the most computers for China, capturing nearly 27 percent of the market in the first three months of the year. It is followed by Hewlett-Packard Co., whose laptops and desktops make up about 14 percent of shipments.

Other large PC makers such as Toshiba Corp. and Taiwan's Acer Inc. said they were ready to provide Green Dam on disks beginning Wednesday. Worldwide industry leaders HP and Dell Inc. had declined to discuss their plans, possibly waiting for a diplomatic settlement.

Dell spokesman Jess Blackburn said the PC maker was happy with the Green Dam delay. He would not say what Dell had done to prepare for China's deadline.

"We respect the Chinese government's stated goal of protecting children by filtering access to pornography through the Internet," Blackburn said in a statement.

Representatives from US-based technology groups, including the Information Technology Industry Council and the Software & Information Industry Association, were in Beijing trying to stop Green Dam.

"We welcome the delay in implementation of the Green Dam mandate, and we look forward to working closely with the US government to find market-based solutions that enable consumer choice and protect children on the Internet," said John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents companies including Dell, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Apple, Inc.

The Green Dam initiative coincided with a tightening of government controls on Internet use. Last week, China's Health Ministry ordered health-related Web sites that carry research on sexually oriented topics to allow access only to medical professionals.
Also last week, the government issued new rules on "virtual currency" used by some game Web sites, saying it cannot be used to purchase real goods.

On Green Dam, the industry ministry sounded a conciliatory note. It promised to "solicit opinions from all parties" in an effort to improve its work.

"I think the cost of the move from trade friction and generally a public relations black eye was becoming pretty clear to the government," said Duncan Clark, chairman of BDA China Ltd., a Beijing research firm. Postponing the filtering rule "gets them out of the scrutiny of the international media and business." - AP

From GMANews.tv; see the source article here.

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Pinoys eyed to fill up 15,000 job vacancies in Guam

Southern part of Guam from spaceImage via Wikipedia

07/01/2009 | 12:35 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Filipinos can look forward to being employed in Guam. About 15,000 jobs await foreign workers in the US territory where Filipinos are preferred.

The vacancies in Guam will be for next year's transfer of the US military bases from Okinawa, Japan to the island, which will cost about $10.3 billion, according to Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Jennifer Manalili.

Edwin Beech, chairperson of the Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (Pasei), is optimistic that Guam will hire Filipinos because of their known professionalism and hard work.

"Guam does not have enough people and they are an aging population so they need foreign workers. Wala naman silang ibang makukuhanan [Guam doesn't have anywhere else to get workers from). So it's almost in the bag," Beech told GMANews.TV in an interview on Tuesday after the lunch meeting of POEA and Pasei officials with a Guam delegation led by Gov. Felix Perez Camacho in Makati City.

According to the 2007 Stock Estimate of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, a total of 22,567 Filipinos had worked and resided in Guam.

Manalili said Filipinos would not spend much for their job applications in Guam because the US government had recently declared that there should be no placement fee in the recruitment of foreign workers in the mainland and the territories.

For the relocation project, Guam is willing to pay foreign workers $11 or more than P500 per hour or about $2,200 a month equivalent to about P100,000, according to Pasei officer Noel Litan.

Manalili, however, said the recruitment has not yet started.

"We'd also like to caution (Filipino workers) because we're still in the middle of discussion. Pag nag-start 'yong project dun pa lang may vacancies, ngayong 2009 wala pa naman, kaya ayaw muna naming i-announce," said the POEA chief.

[When the project starts, that's the only time when there will be job vacancies, right now there are no openings yet, that's why we didn't want to announce it yet.]

But the Guam governor assured the Philippines that the territory is working hard to settle the deal.

"We can make it work but we first need to find a balance between what the US and Japanese government and private contractors want," he said. - KIMBERLY JANE T. TAN, GMANews.TV

From GMANews.tv; see the source article here.

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RP could be a global IT player, World Bank says

Telstra mobile phone Base station - Wireless H...Image via Wikipedia


06/30/2009 | 09:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines could be a major player in the industries of information technology and IT-enabled services, the World Bank said.

Currently, the country corners one percent of the global distribution of offshore IT services and 15 percent of ITES markets.

Although India is the global leader in both IT and ITES, countries such as "China, Mexico, and the Philippines are also emerging as potential players in this space," the World Bank said in a report entitled Information and Communications for Development 2009.

The Washington-based lender cited Philippine efforts to align skills with global standards, especially since local universities offer finance and accounting courses modeled after the US' Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

This paves the way for the Philippines to be a "natural choice" for American bank and financial institutions seeking to offshore portions of their operations.

Moreover, nearly one-third of all new jobs created in the country by 2010 could come from the IT sector, the World Bank said, citing a report from the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP).

"In the Philippines, IT services and ITES employed 345,000 people as of mid-2008 and are projected to directly employ close to 1 million people by the end of 2010," the World Bank said. "Employment of this scale means that the sector would account for 27 percent of all new jobs created in the Philippines by 2010."

Women account for about 65 percent of the total professional and technical workers in IT services and ITES in the Philippines.

The explosion of the number of internet users in developing countries increased tenfold from 2000 to 2007, and the more than four billion mobile phone subscribers in developing countries offer tremendous opportunities.

It noted the importance of Information and Communication Technology in raising incomes of citizens of developing countries.

For every 10 percentage-point increase in high speed internet connections, there is an increase in economic growth of 1.3 percentage points, the report said.

It also identified the mobile platform as the single most powerful way to reach and deliver public and private services to hundreds of millions of people in remote and rural areas across the developing world.

"Governments can work with the private sector to accelerate rollout of broadband networks, and to extend access to low-income consumers," the bank added. - GMANews.TV

From GMANews.tv; see the source article here.

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