Due to a technical problem on Wednesday Jan
16, we are upgrading the news management system by a Canadian
software company, which will be
completed in coming days.
It has taken longer than
anticipated. That is one of the drawbacks of outsourcing. C'est
la vie - even Google News updating falls behind at times!
We expect to have our upgraded
news system on stream on Wednesday.
News Headlines to Jan 16 2008
Today's News Links
Tuesday's stories and links from Jan 17 2008
Deloitte analyses top
trends for the technology, media and telecoms industries for 2008
Deloitte Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Industry Group
today announced its predictions for the
TMT industry in 2008. The reports forecast that 2008
may be the year in which, among others, there will be increased
online authenticity required by online traders, the reluctance to
spend money on digital downloads will mean the industry will look at
ways of making music more tangible and we will see the number of
devices that incorporate GPS technology grow rapidly.
Tom Cassin, TMT Partner at
Deloitte Ireland comments: "The technology, media and
telecommunications sectors are challenging environments with
constantly shifting dynamics for business and consumers to consider.
The Deloitte Predictions aim to provide a perspective on some of the
principal trends expected to impact business and society over 2008
and beyond. Digital technologies will continue to have a profound
impact on people's everyday lives, and on business. How companies
choose to create, distribute and charge for products, content and
services will be critical for delivering sustained revenue growth."
The rising value of digital
Since the launch of the first PC, the volume of and,
more critically, the value of data stored on PCs, has grown
exponentially. In 2008, some owners will spend more on virus
protection, online backup and insurance over the lifetime of the
computer, than they did on the initial outlay for the PC. This trend
will likely extend beyond the PC to other devices, from MP3 players
to mobile phones, from DVRs to external hard drives. All hold
different forms of valuable data.
From anonymity to authenticity
It is often argued that one of the great benefits of
the Web is anonymity. However in 2008, there may be an increasing
clamour, from regulators, users and online traders, for the Internet
to require people to provide authenticated identity every time they
make any transaction via the Web. A move to online authentication,
while initially being regarded as an affront to liberty by some,
could ultimately be good for business and for users. For example,
bolstering consumer confidence in e-commerce, online auctions,
Internet chat rooms and other transactional websites should help
sustain growth, suppressing fears about the growing volumes of
online frauds or other malign behaviour.
A digital divide for the
The digital divide that afflicts users of technology
will become deeper than ever in 2008. This division affects people
who own or need access to digital data, but are unable to access it.
This digital divide is most vexing when the existence of multiple
standards for a particular type of file limits the utility of
current computing systems.
Across the TMT industry, there has always been a
tension between the desire of companies to own proprietary
solutions, and the desire of individuals and corporations for
established and robust standards. In the realm of data storage, this
tension is likely to become increasingly apparent during 2008, and
dealing with it in a manner that satisfies the needs of both groups
is likely to become a substantial challenge.
The living room moves closer
to being public enemy number one
These days, itís hard not to feel guilty about our
impact on the environment. So in 2008 it may feel more responsible
to stay at home and indulge in the innocent pleasure of watching
television, or listening to music, or perhaps even playing a video
game, albeit one not requiring too much physical movement. But the
proliferation of technology in the living room is creating its own
distinctive carbon footprint, and this is expected to grow in 2008
and beyond. The media and consumer electronics industries should
consider how the living roomís carbon footprint could be reduced
without the need to revert to antiquated technology. One approach
would be to reduce unnecessary power consumption, for example by
forcing devices into standby when not in use.
Time for music to get physical
Over the past twenty years the price of concert
tickets has climbed steadily. Over the same period, however, the
price of recorded music has fallen. The reluctance to spend money on
digital downloads may be because it is hard for consumers to value
intangible products. Customers may be happier to pay, and to pay
more, for music if it were contained within a physical wrapper. 2008
could therefore be the year in which the music becomes physical
again. The industry could evolve from offering digital downloads for
transfer to a device, to selling pre-recorded MP3 players,
containing a single album or even an artistís entire back catalogue.
The industry should look at various ways of making music tangible,
while still providing the flexibility of digital downloads. One
solution would be to bundle a physical copy, or even an accompanying
book or T-shirt, with the digital download.
Long live traditional
television, thanks to Internet television.
Televisionís imminent demise will be forecast in
2008. But the sector should remain in overall good health throughout
the year. Internet television will likely contribute to traditional
televisionís fortunes. This outcome may appear perverse,
particularly when Internet television has been regarded by some
influential commentators as a direct competitor to traditional
television. But it appears that Internet television is another
medium whose quality, set of content formats and audience largely
differs from traditional television audiences. Traditional
broadcasters should work out how online channels can complement or
supplement broadcast content, rather than cannibalise it. Internet
television may find it more profitable to serve as an additional
route to markets for traditional television than to try and rout the
Prey becomes predator
While the credit crunch may dampen the overall pace
of mergers and acquisitions activity in 2008, the will to grow via
acquisitions is likely to remain strong in the telecommunications
sector. However while established, developed-world mobile operators
may be looking for acquisitions, in 2008, the tables may be turned.
The leading operators in emerging markets may transform themselves
from prey to predator, with the cash generated from hundreds of
millions of new subscribers providing a potent war chest,
unconstrained by the higher interest rates that have followed the
Questioning the need for speed
The debate over how fast is fast enough in the
telecommunications is likely to be as vigorous in 2008 as in earlier
years. But concerns over the cost of financing will cause
telecommunications companies and their shareholders to question far
more aggressively the business case for speed. Telecommunications
companies should be careful not to prioritise the quest for
attaining the limits of what is technically possible with the
unrelenting need for profitability.
Giving mobile GPS direction
In 2008 prices for GPS chipsets is expected to fall
to just a few dollars and the number of devices that incorporate the
technology is expected to grow rapidly. In 2008 the mobile industry
may overlook several critical differences between how satellite
navigation is used in vehicles and how it might be used by people on
foot. Thus while a growing number of GPS-enabled mobile phones may
be shipped and sold in 2008, aside from the initial novelty, their
use may be infrequent. Which may mean additional costs, but with
disappointing added value.
Exploiting new mediaís growing
need to communicate
In 2008 digital communications will become more
voluminous, varied, vibrant and vital to the way we live than ever
before. New media companies, such as social networks, synthetic
worlds and blogs, are likely to offer the services through which a
large volume of traditional and newer forms of communication is
initiated. All of these trends may reassure the telecommunications
industry that demand for communications is more vibrant than ever.
Demand for new media might however also highlight the
telecommunications sectorís inability to monetize more of this
demand. Communications companies may consider that in 2008 they are
still allowing new media companies too large a share of