What Makes Podcasting Different

What Makes Podcasting Different

by: Mahmood Bashaash

When the signs of a new technology for developing web content appeared, nobody was aware about its growth speed. Now, after months, the podcasting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcasting) is going to be more and more popular and new publishers are developing content, based on this technology. They have found this method intuitive and attractive to clients. But regardless of the fascinating aspects of multimedia content, what other options make the podcasting different than other methods of providing and publishing content? Here, I have listed five major differences. Perhaps, at the time that you read this article, as this technology is going to be more mature day by day, new reasons could be added to my list. I leave it to the readers’ interests to search for new options.

In spite of other known methods of delivering content which are mostly based on Push technology, the podcasting is based on pull technology. In push technology, the content is delivered, directed from the source to the consumer. The consumer has no control over it. For example, when a radio channel starts at a specific time, follows based on a predefined and fixed program and ends at a specific time, the consumer has no chance or permission to alter any part of it. If you lose a part of the program, you won’t be able to relisten to it. You can not rewind it, stop it and think a while about the subject then replay it. This is push technology. But, if you could have control of the flow of the content, it would be pull. The consumer selects the content and controls it. Podcasting is a kind of pull technology. You download selected content and use it based on your own desire and full control over the flow of content.

However there are many notifying and automatic content syndication utilities, but you should always surf different websites for different content. This is your responsibility, as the consumer of the content, to go and visit the source of the content, on a website. But podcasting removes this step. Just one time, for ever, you choose your desire radio channel, news feed, poet channel or else. Then the aggregation software would be responsible to deliver the most recent casts right in your mobile MP3 player. After a while, you would even forget the address of websites and just listening to the downloaded up to date content would be your daily fashion.

Internet connection is not that much easy to be available every time and every where. So, using web contents would be impossible in many cases. When you are driving, climbing, resting and walking in the morning, you would be deprived of having access to web content. No web log, no web surfing, no radio channel and else. But, the downloaded podcasts are available in the MP3 player which could be accessible to you in different occasions and places, making casts ready to use. No laptop and phone line to connect to the Internet is needed. No clean place to sit and use your PC for surfing the web sites is required. Everything is loaded in your tiny MP3 player which is able to play hours without any need to electricity plugged.

The device for using podcasts is a tiny, every time and everywhere available MP3 player. The iPod is a brand which is owned by Apple company. It is why this technology is called Podcasting. The Pod is derived from iPod and cast from Broadcast. The iPod is not the only MP3 device that could be used. There are numerous providers of MP3 player devices that the consumer could use for listening to podcasts. These small devices are mobile. Consume very low energy to work. They are light and small. They are not expensive and are available with different capacities. MP3 players are very popular and you can see many people in the street that have hung them over their neck and are listening to the music. They are now part of the daily life. It makes the penetration ratio of the podcasts deeper than other type of contents that are basically dependant of having a PC, or laptop and Internet connection.

Possibility of developing podcasts is high. It is cheap and easy to develop. From very professional radio channel owners to amateur poets who have little audiences among their school friends would be able to easily develop podcasts. Just a personal computer with very basic multimedia capabilities, like, microphone input, audio output and software to record voice, combine with background music and convert to low quality and small size MP3 format. Then you need just a FTP account for uploading the MP3s. A very basic knowledge about RSS 2.0 standards is also required. For this last option, you can use current available feeds and alter them for your own needs. I just started using this method, as learning RSS 2.0 needs times. I copied an already created RSS file and edited it based on my own needs and it worked without having enough knowledge. To download your podcasts, the consumer should install very basic aggregator software, one like iPodder (http://ipodder.sourceforge.net) which is free. And finally a MP3 player software like iTune (http://www.itune.com) or Microsoft Media Player which is already installed on Windows operating systems.

Podcasting, like web logging, is rapidly growing and every day, new podcasts in different fields, from poetry to technology, from training to radio channels are being created and published on the Internet. There are special directories and websites that index podcasts and podcasting websites. You can start from one of these directories and reach hundreds and thousands available and known podcasts on the Internet. One of these directories is http://www.podcast.net which has categorized podcasts in a directory structure. It could be a good start point for your adventure.

About The Author

Mahmood Bashaash is the owner of SGNetway (http://www.sgnetway.com) company which is focused on developing web sites and web applications. SGNetway is specialized on managing outsourced projects and uses Microsoft .Net platform with C# to develop complicated web applications and web services. Mahmood Bashaash is the author of www.MahmoodB.com and www.appliedmarketingtips.com websites focused on Internet marketing tips and tricks. To access his articles, visit: http://www.mahmoodb.com. His native language is Persian and his web site is totally in Persian language.


This article was posted on March 14

by Mahmood Bashaash

Fast Forwarding your Business with Instant Messagi

Fast Forwarding your Business with Instant Messaging

by: Lee Traupel

Instant Messaging is rapidly becoming accepted in the business community as a viable communications tool and process itกs faster than email, free on the client side, even a novice user can easily grasp the interface in just a few minutes and it enables remote workers and business partners to ‘talkก and share files and information effortlessly using the inplace infrastructure of the internet. Its mushrooming in popularity too according to IDC, corporate and general business users will jump from 5.5M in 2001 to close to 200M by 2004.

What are some of the pitfalls and concerns you need to have when assessing and integrating Instant Messaging (กIMก another biz acronym) with your business processes? Be aware you are sending clear text messages over the public Internet so all IM technology is inherently insecure. Privacy issues can also be raised these messages are typically archived via the IM servers of the company whose services you are using and can be made public at a later date. Anyone with a network scanner may have access to and be reading your messages and if your are downloading files, you need to ensure your antivirus software is setup to scan these files when you open them.

One of the biggest pitfalls of the technology and process is that it adds another communications layer to your busy day but you can offset this by selecting or filtering who you communicate with at any point by using the IM interface to block all or selected individuals from กseeingก you when you are online.

Finally, like all things in todayกs computer industry (or many) each of the Instant Messaging vendors are trying to build applications which don’t integrate with the other (no surprise here arrogance has not faded away in the business community!). So, you need to assess the installed base of the market leaders and make a decision on which companyกs product you want to utilized my recommendation would be to review Microsoftกs or AOL/Time Warnerกs products their installed bases are in the 200 million users plus when combined (these numbers include consumer and business usage) and they both work well and have user interfaces that are intuitive.

There is one alternative company that is solving the กIM Tower of Babelก issues and claims to integrate well with all proprietary apps by utilizing XML technology, Jabber, Inc., www.jabber.com So, if interoptability is important to you then I would recommend assessing their products.

Most of the IM providers including Microsoft are integrating voice communications with their IM clients you may be able to bypass your local telephone carrier at some point using this technology, but don’t bet on it anytime soon all of those lobbyists here in the states need to keep generating fees on behalf of their telecom clients in Washington D.C. We use Microsoftกs IM product and we have upon occasion utilized the voice and video features (you must of course have a multimedia setup for your PC and camera) and they do work. Although the video quality is a little jerky and the voice is akin to the old Citizens Band (กCBก) radio your Internet connection impacts the quality of both.

Whose technology do you choose? There are some clear market leaders in the Instant Messaging marketing including Microsoft (no surprise here)http://messenger.microsoft.com But, like most Microsoft technology/tools you pay a price for the software/services, albeit a small one. You have to register with Microsoftกs NET Passport www.microsoft.com/myservices/passport service which is designed to be a universal login this only takes a few minutes but be forewarned they also try to get you to setup a Hot Mail account, but you can work around this.

The other dominant IM product is AOLกs ICQ product http://web.icq.com it has similar functionality as Microsoftกs application. The original technology was developed by a great Israeli company, Mirabellis, Inc., subsequently acquired by AOL. My chief complaint with this product is the irritating banner ads that AOL keeps pushing at you when you are utilizing their product. But, itกs a small price to pay for a free product on the client side.

Yahoo also has an IM product (กYahoo Messengerก) but I am not convinced this will stay as a core part of their business, as they appear to be still trying to figure out what they are going to become in the post ก.com gold rush eraก market; i.e. Portal, Directory, Media giant, software/services company, etc. And, theyกve certainly jettisoned parts of their business the last 1218 months and I would wager theyกve had discussions about getting out of the IM business.

Finally, IM is also quickly moving into other markets and devices including PDAs and Pagers if you’re a real geek and you can’t stand to be out of touch while your in the shower and you have a water proof device you can ping away. But, I think we all need some down time for friends and family, but wanted to make sure I covered all possible bases with this column until next time!

About The Author

Lee Traupel has 20 plus years of business development and marketing experience he is the founder of Intelective Communications, Inc., http://www.intelective.com, a resultsdriven marketing services company providing proprietary services to clients encompassing startups to public companies. Lee@intelective.com


This article was posted on July 25, 2002

by Lee Traupel

Video Display

Video Display

by: Paula Jones

Video displays are most recent technique used in both outdoor and indoor environments.

Video displays are used to display live actions at either sporting event, cultural show, or any industrial event. These are widely used in today’s world’s most busy parts and metropolitan cities to cover maximum audience possible.

These features at art, graphics and video using LED technology, which stands for light emitting diodes and world’s most efficient and advance technology to produce light. As you can see, with the long lasting ability, minimal power usage, and excellent viewing range, LEDกs are a powerful and obvious choice for Video Displays.

Video displays became the first choice for business world, government, and with organizations as well. Not only this, video displays are part of the family of electronic displays with the first and extreme choice in the world of electronics and accepted all over the world to do renewable advertisement that is not limited to a single declaration.

It also offers video displays with stunning sharpness, shorter viewing distances and a smoother picture and is the leading manufacturer in the world of digital electronics. The video distribution system within many companies addresses each individual tile assuring perfect video performance over the entire display, regardless of size, shape and configuration.

In offices, hospitals, factory floors and even places of worship, these electronic signs are allowing people to spread information and messages to the maximum audience or group of people. This displays allows transmission of these messages without delay and widely accepted as outdoor signs.

Moreover, these equipments are easy to install and use. There are lot of customizing options, which include size , and shape with different mounting options with which, they can be hanged on wall or be attached by a floor stand.

About The Author

Paula Jones

Jayex Technology Limited, based in London specialise in advanced information display systems. Established in 1978 we have pioneered the development of the LED display market and now have over 18,000 customers worldwide. We offer, probably the largest range of models from small single line signs to big screen Megavision screens that can display live video and action replay in stadia.


This article was posted on September 28, 2004

by Paula Jones

Electronic Score Boards

Electronic Score Boards

by: Paula Jones

Wide range of electronic Key venues around the globe has turned to Electronic score boards that not only look breathtaking from every angle and distance, but provide consistently reliable performance year in and year out.

Different type of sports including athletics, track cycling, running events, street cycling and mountain bike, swimming, synchronized swimming, diving as well as inline skating, water polo, ball spots, motor sports, alpine skiing, cross country and biathlon are some of the areas where Electronic score boards perfect fits solutions for. Adopting the current technologies these boards provides high brightness flat panel screens and is an added advantage.

Electronics Scoreboards offers good sound and effective lights, which totally change the effect of the game. In football, basketball, hockey, volleyball where the time is so important and it is displayed continuously on the scoreboards reducing with every seconds. Then leave the game with the realistic sound of the buzzer as time ends!

Now let the board does the work for you. At the present, there is no time to keep counting everything in your head while you are playing. When you always keep counting the score in your mind then how can you concentrate your mind in the game? That is not your job. Let the board to do instead of you.

Some Electronic Scoreboards features a powerful horn system (in automatic mode), which is used to signal the start and end of a game, and the start and end of an intermission period. Such systems have manual ‘override’ facility, enabling the horn to be used at any time during a game for fouls, emergencies, etc.

Electronic Scoreboards use high brightness LEDs for maximum visibility and definition with a fullcolor spectrum, increased brightness and a great choice of designs.

In LED technology, display modules comprising red, green and blue LEDs make up each pixel. Each module can have between three or four LEDs in it (one red, one green and one blue) or dozens of them and typically range from 4mm to 4cm (about 0.2in to 1.5in). To build a scoreboard using LED technology, thousands of these LED modules are integrated in a rectangular grid. The size of the screen depends on the size of the LED modules.

Excellent technology, outstanding visual clarity, easy set up and use are the aspects which attracts most sports events to install which the event is being executed.

A pioneer in the world of Electronic signs, Jayex Technology specializes in developing customized visual display solutions for the sports along having scoreboards available in the store. Specializing in solution for all sports venues, Jayex Technology are suppliers of solutions for scoring, sports timing, message display information centres and clocks/time systems.

Electronic score boards display systems are housed in smart, lightweight, wallmounted enclosure built using polypropylene panels on an extruded aluminium frame.

About The Author

Paula Jones

Jayex Technology Limited, based in London specialise in advanced information display systems. Established in 1978 we have pioneered the development of the LED display market and now have over 18,000 customers worldwide. We offer, probably the largest range of models from small single line signs to big screen Megavision screens that can display live video and action replay in stadia.


This article was posted on September 28, 2004

by Paula Jones

Search Technologies

Search Technologies

by: Max Maglias

Each of us has been faced with the problem of searching for information more than once. Irregardless of the data source we are using (Internet, file system on our hard drive, data base or a global information system of a big company) the problems can be multiple and include the physical volume of the data base searched, the information being unstructured, different file types and also the complexity of accurately wording the search query. We have already reached the stage when the amount of data on one single PC is comparable to the amount of text data stored in a proper library. And as to the unstructured data flows, in future they are only going to increase, and at a very rapid tempo. If for an average user this might be just a minor misfortune, for a big company absence of control over information can mean significant problems. So the necessity to create search systems and technologies simplifying and accelerating access to the necessary information, originated long ago. Such systems are numerous and moreover not every one of them is based on a unique technology. And the task of choosing the right one depends directly on the specific tasks to be solved in the future. While the demand for the perfect data searching and processing tools is steadily growing let’s consider the state of affairs with the supply side.

Not going deeply into the various peculiarities of the technology, all the searching programs and systems can be divided into three groups. These are: global Internet systems, turnkey business solutions (corporate data searching and processing technologies) and simple phrasal or file search on a local computer. Different directions presumably mean different solutions.

Local search

Everything is clear about search on a local PC. It’s not remarkable for any particular functionality features accept for the choice of file type (media, text etc.) and the search destination. Just enter the name of the searched file (or part of text, for example in the Word format) and that’s it. The speed and result depend fully on the text entered into the query line. There is zero intellectuality in this: simply looking through the available files to define their relevance. This is in its sense explicable: what’s the use of creating a sophisticated system for such uncomplicated needs.

Global search technologies

Matters stand totally different with the search systems operating in the global network. One can’t rely simply on looking through the available data. Huge volume (Yandex for instance can boast the indexing capacity of more than 11 terabyte of data) of the global chaos of unstructured information will make the simple search not only ineffective but also long and laborconsuming. That’s why lately the focus has shifted towards optimizing and improving quality characteristics of search. But the scheme is still very simple (except for the secret innovations of every separate system) the phrasal search through the indexed data base with proper consideration for morphology and synonyms. Undoubtedly, such an approach works but doesn’t solve the problem completely. Reading dozens of various articles dedicated to improving search with the help of Google or Yandex, one can drive at the conclusion that without knowing the hidden opportunities of these systems finding a relevant document by the query is a matter of more than a minute, and sometimes more than an hour. The problem is that such a realization of search is very dependent on the query word or phrase, entered by the user. The more indistinct the query the worse is the search. This has become an axiom, or dogma, whichever you prefer.

Of course, intelligently using the key functions of the search systems and properly defining the phrase by which the documents and sites are searched, it is possible to get acceptable results. But this would be the result of painstaking mental work and time wasted on looking through irrelevant information with a hope to at least find some clues on how to upgrade the search query. In general, the scheme is the following: enter the phrase, look through several results, making sure that the query was not the right one, enter a new phrase and the stages are repeated till the relevancy of results achieves the highest possible level. But even in that case the chances to find the right document are still few. No average user will voluntary go for the sophistication of ขadvanced searchข (although it is equipped with a number of very useful functions such as the choice of language, file format etc.). The best would be to simply insert the word or phrase and get a ready answer, without particular concern for the means of getting it. Let the horse think – it has a big head. Maybe this is not exactly up to the point, but one of the Google search functions is called ขI am feeling lucky!ข characterizes very well the existent searching technologies. Nevertheless, the technology works, not ideally and not always justifying the hopes, but if you allow for the complexity of searching through the chaos of Internet data volume, it could be acceptable.

Corporate systems

The third on the list are the turnkey solutions based on the searching technologies. They are meant for serious companies and corporations, possessing really large data bases and staffed with all sorts of information systems and documents. In principle, the technologies themselves can also be used for home needs. For example, a programmer working remotely from the office will make good use of the search to access randomly located on his hard drive program source codes. But these are particulars. The main application of the technology is still solving the problem of quickly and accurately searching through large data volumes and working with various information sources. Such systems usually operate by a very simple scheme (although there are undoubtedly numerous unique methods of indexing and processing queries underneath the surface): phrasal search, with proper consideration for all the stem forms, synonyms etc. which once again leads us to the problem of human resource. When using such technology the user should first word the query phrases which are going to be the search criteria and presumably met in the necessary documents to be retrieved. But there is no guarantee that the user will be able to independently choose or remember the correct phrase and furthermore, that the search by this phrase will be satisfactory.

One more key moment is the speed of processing a query. Of course, when using the whole document instead of a couple of words, the accuracy of search increases manifold. But up to date, such an opportunity has not been used because of the high capacity drain of such a process. The point is that search by words or phrases will not provide us with a highly relevant similarity of results. And the search by phrase equal in its length the whole document consumes much time and computer resources. Here is an example: while processing the query by one word there is no considerable difference in speed: whether it’s 0,1 or 0,001 second is not of crucial importance to the user. But when you take an average size document which contains about 2000 unique words, then the search with consideration for morphology (stem forms) and thesaurus (synonyms), as well as generating a relevant list of results in case of search by key words will take several dozens of minutes (which is unacceptable for a user).

The interim summary

As we can see, currently existing systems and search technologies, although properly functioning, don’t solve the problem of search completely. Where speed is acceptable the relevancy leaves more to be desired. If the search is accurate and adequate, it consumes lots of time and resources. It is of course possible to solve the problem by a very obvious manner – by increasing the computer capacity. But equipping the office with dozens of ultrafast computers which will continuously process phrasal queries consisting of thousands of unique words, struggling through gigabytes of incoming correspondence, technical literature, final reports and other information is more than irrational and disadvantageous. There is a better way.

The unique similar content search

At present many companies are intensively working on developing full text search. The calculation speeds allow creating technologies that enable queries in different exponents and wide array of supplementary conditions. The experience in creating phrasal search provides these companies with an expertise to further develop and perfect the search technology. In particular, one of the most popular searches is the Google, and namely one of its functions called the ขsimilar pagesข. Using this function enables the user to view the pages of maximum similarity in their content to the sample one. Functioning in principle, this function does not yet allow getting relevant results – they are mostly vague and of low relevancy and furthermore, sometimes utilizing this function shows complete absence of similar pages as a result. Most probably, this is the result of the chaotic and unstructured nature of information in the Internet. But once the precedent has been created, the advent of the perfect search without a hitch is just a matter of time.

What concerns the corporate data processing and knowledge retrieval systems, here the matters stand much worse. The functioning (not existing on paper) technologies are very few. And no giant or the so called search technology guru has so far succeeded in creating a real similar content search. Maybe, the reason is that it’s not desperately needed, maybe – too hard to implement. But there is a functioning one though.

SoftInform Search Technology, developed by SoftInform, is the technology of searching for documents similar in their content to the sample. It enables fast and accurate search for documents of similar content in any volume of data. The technology is based on the mathematical model of analyzing the document structure and selecting the words, word combinations and text arrays, which results in forming a list of documents of maximum similarity the sample text abstract with the relevancy percent defined. In contrast to the standard phrasal search by the similar content search there is no need to determine the key words beforehand – the search is conducted through the whole document. The technology works with several sources of information that can be stored both in text files of txt, doc, rtf, pdf, htm, html formats, and the information systems of the most popular data bases (Access, MS SQL, Oracle, as well as any SQLsupporting data bases). It also additionally supports the synonyms and important words functions that enable to carry out a more specific search.

The similar search technology enables to significantly cut time wasted on searching and reviewing the same or very similar documents, diminish the processing time at the stage of entering data into the archive by avoiding the duplicate documents and forming sets of data by a certain subject. Another advantage of the SoftInform technology is that it’s not so sensitive to the computer capacity and allows processing data at a very high speed even on ordinary office computers.

This technology is not just a theoretic development. It has been tested and successfully implemented in a project of giving legal advice via phone, where the speed of information retrieval is of crucial importance. And it will undoubtedly be more than useful in any knowledge base, analytical service and support department of any large firm. Universality and effectiveness of the SoftInform Search Technology allows solving a wide spectrum of problems, arising while processing information. These include the fuzziness of information (at the document entering stage it is possible to immediately define whether such a document already belongs to the data base or not) and the similarity analysis of the documents which are already entered into the data base, and the search for semantically similar documents which saves time spent on selecting the appropriate key words and viewing the irrelevant documents.


Besides its primary assignment (fast and high quality search for information in huge volume such as texts, archives, data bases) an Internet direction could also be defined. For example, it is possible to work out an expert system to process incoming correspondence and news which will become an important tool for analysts from different companies. Mainly, this will be possible due to the unique similar content search technology, absent from any of the existent systems so far except for the SearchInform. The problem of spamming search engines with the so called doorways (hidden pages with key words redirecting to the site’s main pages and used to increase the page rating with the search engines) and the email spam problem (a more intellectual analysis would ensure higher level of security) would also be solved with the help of this technology. But the most interesting perspective of the SoftInform Search technology is creating a new Internet search engine, the main competitive advantage of which would be ability to search not just by key words, but also for similar web pages, which will add to the flexibility of search making it more comfortable and efficient.

To draw a conclusion, it could be stated with confidence that the future belongs to the full text search technologies, both in the Internet and the corporate search systems. Unlimited development potential, adequacy of the results and processing speed of any size of query make this technology much more comfortable and in high demand. SoftInform Search technology might not be the pioneer, but it’s a functioning, stable and unique one with no existent analogues (which can be proved by the active Eurasian patent). To my mind, even with the help of the ขsimilar searchข it will be difficult to find a similar technology.

About The Author

Max Maglias

[Phone] 2197964

[Email] press@searchinform.com

[Website] http://www.searchinform.com

This article was posted on August 17, 2005

by Max Maglias

The Lowdown on VoIP

The Lowdown on VoIP

by: Mike Schuda

It seems like technology is headed for a massive telephone change over. The traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is looking to be replaced by VoIP. VoIP is short for Voice over IP. VoIP is the routing of conversations over an IP network or the Internet. VoIP uses a packetswitched network instead of the circuitswitched voice transmission lines used by traditional telephone networks. VoIP does not need an Internet connection to work. A company that has a LAN connection with all of its computers can utilize VoIP technology.

VoIP is a great technology, but has a variety of issues with implementation. VoIP may face problems with latency because IPs do not provide Quality of Service guarantees, nor do they provide their packets of information in sequential order. Highspeed Internet connections are required for VoIP and firewalls often prove tricky for VoIP technology. To combat this, many people use Session Border Controllers (SBC).

VoIP technology has many advantages. There are more new features with VoIP because of the lack of an International Telecommunications Union. VoIP is still very much an open market for developers, so the technology is constantly being improved. VoIP also has a lower cost than traditional sources because of the monopolies that exist or traditional phone companies being controlled by the government. Some users even see VoIP phone calls as free because they do not have to pay extra for the service. The user only pays the Internet service provider, and therefore the usage of VoIP seems to be free. You can also take your VoIP phone wherever you go because all you need is a network connection to make it work. VoIP technology will also benefit network agents who work for call centers. Agents can help callers from anywhere in the country with an Internet connection. Finally, because VoIP is on the computer, there is increased functionality. Conference calls can be held, information can be sent, and things like address books can be updated and shared over VoIP.

While VoIP has many advantages, there are a few drawbacks to the service. One of the biggest drawbacks is reliability. Telephone lines have back up generators in case of power outages, so phones can keep working. Because VoIP is connected to the Internet, a power outage will end a VoIP call when the computer shuts down. To combat this, users must buy an expensive uninterruptible power supply or a generator that must then be installed on the premises. Internet connections are also subject to disconnection, depending on crowded networks, and the quality of the ISP. If the Internet connection drops, then the VoIP call will be dropped. VoIP is also a problem for emergency calls. Because of the nature of the Internet and VoIP systems, emergency workers cannot trace calls. In the event that someone with an emergency has a problem but is unable to give an address, the emergency worker will not be able to trace the call and find the person. VoIP carriers are already attempting to fix this problem by implementing a technical workaround. Finally, it will be very difficult to integrate VoIP on a massive scale, because while the standard Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) has a common standard, VoIP does not.

VoIP has many advantages as well as some large drawbacks. The main roadblock in the way of global VoIP adoption is reliability. When VoIP proves that it can be just as reliable as traditional telephone services have been over many years, then it will start to be adopted. VoIP technology is always improving, so the problems with VoIP today are likely to be solved sooner than many people expect. VoIP can truly revolutionize both the business world and home life.

About The Author

Mike Schuda is fascinated by new technologies and writes for VoIP Lowdown ( http://www.voiplowdown.com ).

This article was posted on September 10

by Mike Schuda

What is Broadband Phone?

What is Broadband Phone?

by: Aki Majima

A broadband phone is one that makes phone calls over the Internet using the IP protocol. Several large broadband phone companies have come to the forefront in recent months offering the ability to make phone calls with a regular phone, that are routed over Internet Protocol using broadband Internet access. The most popular method of using voice over IP among the household users of this technology is connection to IP telephony via a digital adapter. This is the device that is connected between a broadband modem and a normal house phone to gain access to the broadband phone line. The digital adapter unscrambles the digital voice data that is received via the Internet and converts it to an analogue signal that can be heard and understood with regular nondigital phones.

Without a doubt, voice over IP is the future in telecommunications and long distance communication. Making phone calls over IP is much cheaper than either conventional phones or cellular communication. The technology is extremely efficient and it is very easy to implement due to the fact that it uses the infrastructure of the Internet, a communications structure that already exists.

As internet telephony and its surrounding technology become more and more refined over the coming years, so will the technology that gives us access to it. Even over the coming twelve months, we will see a change from the use of a digital adapter to convert digital data from the web into analogue. Instead, we will see an increase in the availability of digital telephones and USB phones that plug directly into a USB port and that can make and receive phone calls digitally. You will also notice other mediums produce products that will attempt to bridge the gap between old technology and new. While other companies will keep their eye on the digital future and come up with more advanced variations of voice over IP to take us into the future.

The above article is copyright 2005 by Aki Majima.

About The Author

Aki Majima is a successful author and publisher of http://www.phoneserviceexplained.com. Informing and recommending the best route to take when dealing with your phone service needs.

This article was posted on January 24

by Aki Majima

Step Aside PopUps, Hover Ads Are Here!

Step Aside PopUps, Hover Ads Are Here!

by: Tanner Larsson

As anyone involved in online marketing has learned in recent times, PopUp ads have developed a very negative connotation amongst Internet users the world over. Indeed, there has been an explosion in the availability of software and tools that are designed to block PopUp advertising.

An estimated 405 million internet users have free access to some form of popup blocking technology. If you are an internet marketer this is bad news, as popup had been an effective way of increasing sales and capturing email addresses for newsletters. Now over 405 million users that cannot see their advertisements and not only that, but the people who use popup blocking technology are typically ‘savvy internet users’ are the kinds of people most likely to spend money online.

Fortunately, Hover ad technology has arrived just in time. Hover ads are completely unblockable, dynamic ad technology that are on the cutting edge of Internet marketing today.

As mentioned, Hover ads not only have the ability to avoid the latest PopUp blocking tools, Hover ads are a truly dynamic method of advertising. Even without blocking tools, the vast majority of Internet users will regularly ขclick offข any and all PopUp ads that invade their space.

Hover ads are so different, so appealing that the typical Internet user is going to read the ad content rather than make a reflexive decision to the click the advertisement away.

Boost Your Sales with Hover Ads

Internet business owners and internet marketers alike have reported dramatic sales increases after they commenced using hover ads on their websites. One typical example is that of an Internet business owner who had been using traditional PopUp ads only to see his sales dramatically decline over time.

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On the Cutting Edge

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Some of the advanced features you will only find with hover ad technology are:

Autoscrolling – this feature allows the hover ad to scroll down the page and stay visible as the user scrolls down the webpage.

Draggablility – this feature allows the user to click on the hover ad and drag it around the screen and position it anywhere they want.

Transparency – This cool feature allows you to see through the hover ad to the webpage beneath, while still displaying the hover ads content.

There are many other advanced features of hover ads that allow you to completely tweak and customize your marketing messages and advertisements for maximum impact.

By utilizing Hover ads you will be able to take your business to a whole new level. Since their recent introduction on the market, Hover ads have ensured revenue growth for a wide variety of online businesses. Any online business can benefit through the use of Hover ad technology. In little time you will see a marked increase in people visiting your online website as well as a noteworthy rise in your sales and revenue.

Copyright © Tanner Larsson


About The Author

Tanner Larsson is a veteran entrepreneur and the creator of the award winning HoverPro Ad Generator. Create powerful attentiongrabbing Hover Ads for your website. Free DEMO!


This article was posted on January 30

by Tanner Larsson

The Ghost in the Net

The Ghost in the Net

by: Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

However far modern science and technology have fallen short of their inherent possibilities, they have taught mankind at least one lesson: Nothing is impossible.

Today, the degradation of the inner life is symbolized by the fact that the only place sacred from interruption is the private toilet.

By his very success in inventing laboursaving devices, modern man has manufactured an abyss of boredom that only the privileged classes in earlier civilizations have ever fathomed.

For most Americans, progress means accepting what is new because it is new, and discarding what is old because it is old.

I would die happy if I knew that on my tombstone could be written these words, ‘this man was an absolute fool. None of the disastrous things that he reluctantly predicted ever came to pass!ก

Lewis Mumford (18951990)

Dear Sam,

We begin our series on great personalities of the 20th century with Lewis Mumford. Of course, this is only an excuse to develop our own ideas. Those who are interested in the ideas of กourก characters can go to the nearest bookstore and read directly form the fountain. Anyway, for the sake of those who are not acquainted with Mumford, I will draw a brief biography.

Lewis Mumford was born in 1895 (the same year Xrays were discovered by Roentgen and the Dreyfus affair was another significant กsuccessก). Mumford started his career in the US Patent Office (overseeing กcement and concreteก), which gave him a first person insight into technological innovation processes. Later he made contact with his late master Patrick Geddes (and other great thinkers like Victor Branford). These encounters converted him into a generalist. His writing career extended over six decades in which he made significant contributions to the literature of history, philosophy, art, and architectural criticism. Perhaps best known for his work on urban planning and the study of technology, Mumford was cofounder of the Regional Planning Association of America and, for 32 years, wrote the กSky Lineก column on architecture for the New Yorker. He served on the faculties of several institutions, including Stanford university, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT, and was appointed to the New York City Board of Higher Education. He received many awards, as the National Medal for Literature and The National Medal for the Arts.

His first literary work was ‘the Story of Utopiasก, which advanced one of the major themes of his life: the utopian (technological) literature and its impact on human development. After some other minor works (which included a beautiful book on Herman Melville, 1929), he published his first great opus, ‘technics and Civilization (1934)ก, one of the first historical works on technology. It was even incorporated in the curricula of technological institutes, like Cal tech, the first technological university to have a historical course. This book was, though with some doubts, technologically oriented. After the war, his point of view, regarding this as well as other matters, changed somewhat. In 1938 he presented ‘the Culture of Citiesก, the first work pertaining to the other leitmotif of his life: urbanism and architecture. In the forties and fifties, Mumford produced sevearl works on the กhuman conditionก, sanity, city development and arts. In 1961 appeared another major work of his, ‘the city in Historyก, a complete survey of the city and its cycles.

In the กdecisive yearsก, during the sixties, Mumford wrote, in our humble opinion, his major work: ‘the Myth of the Machineก. It was partly based on the ideas of Oswald Spengler as refined by Alfred Toynbee, and, distilling nearly sixty years of investigation, Lewis Mumford brings to a head his radical revisions of the stale popular conceptions of human and technological progress. ‘the Mythก is a fully developed historical explanation of the irrationalities that have undermined the highest achievements of modern technology speed, mass production, automation, instant communication, and remote control. These have inevitably brought about pollution, waste, ecological disruption and human extermination. And he makes a comparison part historical and part artistic between the state machine of the Pyramid Age and the global cybernetic technomachine of our กstrange daysก (the Pentagon of Power).

As the generalist work of Mumford covers practically all fields of knowledge, I propose to you to focus our dialogue on the problem of technology and life (with some linkage to his other major field: urbanism). Indeed, this is a hot topic nowadays (the กmad cow diseaseก issue).

Highlights of this theme are:

Mumford discussion of cybernetics and the กautomation of automationก (Wiener)

Mumfordกs polemics with McLuhan and the audiovisual tribe a humbug, in LM words

And especially, his proposal to change the actual megatechnology into the life plenitude of organic polytechnology anticipating the ecological views of today.

As you are interested in technological media (i.e. your essay on the Internet), here is a first strike courtesy Mr. Mumford:

ก…. It is to replace human autonomy in every form by an uptodate electronic model of the megamachine. The mass media, he demonstrates, are กput out before they are thought outก. In fact, ‘their being put out tends to cancel the possibility of their being thought out at allก. Precisely. Here McLuhan gives the whole show away. Because every technical apparatus is an extension of man´s bodily organs, including his brain, this peripheral structure, by Mcluhan´s analysis, must, by its very mass and ubiquity, replace all autonomous needs or desires: since now for us ‘technology is a part our bodiesก, no detachment or divorce is possible. กOnce we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulations of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don´t really have any rights (read autonomy) leftก ก.

‘this latter point might well be taken as a warning to disengage ourselves, as soon as possible, from the power system so menacingly described: for McLuhan it leads, rather, to a demand for unconditional surrender. กUnder electric technologyก, he observes, ‘the entire business of man becomes learning and knowingก. Apart from the fact that this is a pathetically academic picture of the potentialities of man, the kind of learning and knowing that McLuhan becomes enraptured over is precisely that which can be programmed on a computer: กWe are now in position…ก, he observes, ‘to transfer the entire show to the memory of a computerก. No better formula could be found for arresting and ultimately suppressing human development…ก

Well, this is my opening movement, Your turn, Mr. Vaknin.

Dear RCM,

Good to renew our dialogues. I will get straight to the point, or, rather, to the points. I intend to deal with each and every one of them extensively but, as is our habit, I am just mapping the territory.

1. Is it meaningful to discuss technology separate from life, as opposed to life, or compared to life? Is it not the inevitable product of life, a determinant of life and part of its definition? Francis Bacon and, centuries later, the visionary Ernst Kapp, thought of technology as a means to conquer and master nature an expression of the classic dichotomy between observer and observed. But there could be other ways of looking at it (consider, for instance, the seminal work of Friedrich Dessauer). Kapp was the first to talk of technology as กorgan projectionก (preceding McLuhan by more than a century). Freud wrote in กCivilization and its Discontentsก: กMan has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic god. When he puts on all his auxiliary organs he is truly magnificent; but those organs have not grown on to him and they still give him much trouble at times.ก

2. On the whole, has technology contributed to human development or arrested it?

3. Even if we accept that technology is alien to life, a foreign implant and a potential menace what frame of reference can accommodate the new convergence between life and technology (mainly medical technology and biotechnology)? What are cyborgs life or technology? What about clones? Artificial implants? Life sustaining devices (like heartkidney machines)? Future implants of chips in human brains? Designer babies, tailored to specifications by genetic engineering? What about ARTIFICIAL intelligence?

4. Is technology INhuman or Ahuman? In other words, are the main, immutable and dominant attributes of technology alien to humans, to the human spirit, or to the human brain? Is this possible at all? Is such nonhuman technology likely to be developed by artificial intelligence machines in the future? Finally, is this kind of technology automatically ANTIhuman as well? Mumfordกs classification of all technologies to polytechnic (humanfriendly) and monotechnic (human averse) springs to mind.

5. Is the impact technology has on the INDIVIDUAL necessarily identical or even comparable to the impact it has on human collectives and societies? Think Internet the answer in this case is clearly NEGATIVE.

6. Is it possible to define what is technology at all?

If we adopt Monsmaกs definition of technology (1986) as ‘the systematic treatment of an artก is art to be treated as a variant of technology? Robert Mertonกs definition is a nondefinition because it is so broad it encompasses all teleological human actions: กany complex of standardized means for attaining a predetermined resultก. Jacques Ellul resorted to tautology: ‘the totality of methods

rationally arrived at and having absolute efficiency in every field of human activityก (1964). H.D. Lasswell (whose work is mainly mediarelated) proffered an operative definition: ‘the ensemble of practices by which one uses available resources to achieve certain valued endsก. It is clear how unclear and indefensible these definitions are.

7. The use of technology involves choices and the exercise of free will. Does technology enhance our ability to exercise free will or does it detract from it? Is there an inherent and insolvable contradiction between technology and ethical and moral percepts? Put more simply: is technology inherently unethical and immoral or amoral? If so, is it fatalistic, or deterministic, as Thurstein Veblen suggested (in กEngineers and the Price Systemก)? To rephrase the question; does technology DETERMINE our choices and actions? Does it CONSTRAIN our possibilities and LIMIT our potentials? We are all acquainted with utopias (and dystopias) based on technological advances (just recall the millenarian fervour with which electricity, the telegraph, railways, the radio, television and the Internet were greeted). Technology seems to shape cultures, societies, ideals and expectations. It is an ACTIVE participant in social dynamics. This is the essence of Mumfordกs กmegamachineก, the กrigid, hierarchical social organizationก. Contrast this with Dessauerกs view of technology as a kind of moral and aesthetic statement or doing, a direct way of interacting with thingsinthemselves. The latterกs views place technology neatly in the Kantian framework of categorical imperatives.

8. Is technology IN ITSELF neutral? Can the the undeniable harm caused by technology be caused, as McLuhan put it, by HUMAN misuse and abuse: ก[It] is not that there is anything good or bad about [technology] but that unconsciousness of the effect of any force is a disaster, especially a force that we have made ourselvesก. If so, why blame technology and exonerate ourselves? Displacing the blame is a classic psychological defence mechanism but it leads to fatal behavioural rigidities and pathological thinking.


About The Author

Sam Vaknin is the author of กMalignant Self Love Narcissism Revisitedก and กAfter the Rain How the West Lost the Eastก. He is a columnist in กCentral Europe Reviewก, United Press International (UPI) and ebookweb.org and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and searcheurope.com. Until recently, he served as the Economic Advisor to the Government of Macedonia.

His web site: http://samvak.tripod.com

This article was posted on February 2, 2002

by Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

The Skinny on RFID

The Skinny on RFID

by: John Hanson

RFID is the abbreviation for Radio Frequency Identification. RFID is a method used to store and retrieve data using RFID transponders or tags. RFID tags have antennas that allow them to accept and respond to queries from the RFID transceiver. There are passive and active RFID tags. The difference between the two is that passive tags do not need an internal power source, but active tags do. RFID technology is already used in many technologies today. The future of RFID technology seems limitless as new ways to utilize its effectiveness are discovered frequently.

Passive and Active Tags

As stated before, passive RFID tags do not have an internal power supply. There is a minute electrical current induced in the antenna by the radio signal it receives. This small current is enough to power the tag to respond to the signal. Passive RFID tags have a very brief response because of their limited power. They are very small, and may be used in the future for medical purposes or, as some fear, tracking devices. Passive RFID tags can be embedded within the skin because of their small size. The smallest RFID tag in existence in 2005 was 0.4 mm by 0.4 mm. Passive tags have a read distance that ranges from 10mm to almost 6 meters. Passive tags are cheaper than active RFID tags and as a result are more commercially available. Active RFID tags have a longer range and larger memory capacity than passive RFID tags and may therefore be able to store a significantly higher amount of information. Active RFID tags may have a battery life of up to 10 years.

How it Works

In order to understand the uses, and potential uses, of RFID technology, one must understand the RFID system. RFID systems consist of tag readers, tags, edge servers, middleware, and application software. Having an RFID system will allow data to be transmitted by a tag, which is then read by the RFID reader and processed in accordance with the application’s specifications. Data transmitted can have information about the location of the tag, or specifics concerning the product tagged. Typical RFID systems have a small and inexpensive tag on a product. There is then an ขinterrogatorข which has a certain range in which to detect the RFID tag, activate it, and receive the response.

Current and Potential Uses

RFID technology is used in every day life. RFID tags are found in CD stores and in library books. When an alarm goes off because an item was not purchased or checked out, that is the RFID tag responding. WalMart has even used RFID tags on shipments to improve supply chain management. Other RFID tags are used to track trucks in shipping yards. More recently, RFID tags have been used in automated tool booth systems like the EZPass system on the east coast. Mobile gas also implemented RFID technology to allow customers to simply pull up to the pump, pump gas, and then leave without having to scan a credit card or pay a cashier.

RFID technology has great potential and is constantly being improved. RFID workers are constantly trying to improve the current usage in systems like EZPass. It was recently announced that the eastern states will be improving EZPass so that cars can move faster through the toolbooth (35mph rather than 5mph). RFID technology may also be used to monitor inmates, and potentially parolees. Some consumers worry as to citizen privacy invasions by the government. RFID technology is always growing, and the government may be able to use RFID to inspect citizens, or keep track of them. Currently, however, RFID technology seems to be limited to the innovation sphere. RFID technology has been utilized to make the lives of consumers easier and more efficient. Despite the qualms of some citizens, RFID has a very bright future.

About The Author

John Hanson enjoys writing about new technologies, especially RFID technology.


This article was posted on August 19

by John Hanson

The Tech Heads Need To Make It Simple For the Aver

The Tech Heads Need To Make It Simple For the Average Human

by: Jesse S. Somer

The techheads need to build new software that makes obtaining information and collective communication a simple process for the average human.

Being the total opposite to a technical person, it is hard to imagine future Internet software advances. The technohumans have come up with incredible ideas and subsequently their ideas have come to fruition. It seems like anything a human puts their mind to can be done. Our species has come such a long way, but I feel the key to the next part in our evolution of technology and consciousness is to integrate the ideas of the average person. Who do we build all this technology for anyway? I think it’s made for humans to have a better life. It’s time to start making the technological advances in computing with the noncomputerbased people of the world in mind. A famous American journalist Sidney J. Harris once said,

ขThe real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.ข

Computer and Internet specialists have to realize that they have gone so deep into their fields that they now can no longer see what the computer world looks like to a novice like myself. All this technojargon and hundreds of different types of software can be quite overwhelming to a normal person who just wants to take part in this new way of interacting with reality and society.

We’ve got to simplify if we want this awesome force to be integrated into our lives in its highest form. I know the Internet is growing at an incredible rate already. One only has to look at the example of India to see the incredible mark Information Technology has made. You can go into a tiny village that looks relatively the same as it has been for fifty years; the general infrastructure is shocking: broken traffic lights, decrepit buildings, power lines splaying out in chaotic patterns. But, something big has changed; each town now has a satellite dish, and an ISP connection (Internet Service Provider)! This is truly amazing. However I believe it is only the beginning of a new revolution that will arrive when we simplify the information and communication processes.

So what’s the special answer to the sacred question? Well, I haven’t got all the ideas, but I know of six billion human souls out there who I’m sure would have an opinion if you asked them. Find out what people really want and need. Recently I wrote an article on how great it would be if we could get our News from multiple sources instead of the onetomany, topdown structure that feeds us so much negativity today. An opportunity to only read relevant News to the individual’s liking also sounds like a great project to take on. Wouldn’t it also be great if we could communicate easily with others of similar interests? E.g.: Finding the blogs and websites that interest us without having to search for days on end to find them!

These are just a couple ideas the software masters could approach to make the new revolution of collective consciousness and independent thinking a reality. I truly believe the Internet could be the gate of entry into a new dimension for the average citizen of Earth, a dimension that thrives on the sharing of knowledge from multiple perspectives, communication that involves everyone, and incredible access to individuals who you’ve always wanted to meet. Come on people, let’s get with the program! Humans are a resilient, powerful race of creatures; it’s time to duplicate all this energy we’ve put into producing technology and put it into making it easily used by the masses for positive means. The plant has grown into a tall healthy tree, now it’s time to harvest the fruit of all our labor.

About The Author

Jesse S. Somer


Jesse S. Somer is a simple humanoid attempting to help bring the separate worlds of social consciousness and technology into the ‘one world’ it is destined to become.

Check out his personal humanistic/philosophical blog: www.thepowerofeverythingthatis.com

This article was posted on November 18, 2004

by Jesse S. Somer

Mobile Phones Explained

Mobile Phones Explained

by: Marco Barra

Even though the popularity of mobile phones is at an all time high, the complexity of the systems driving this technology usually means that only those involved with the industry have a complete understanding on how mobile phones actually work.

Until recently, and like most of today’s millions of mobile phone users, I found myself confused by the amount of information on the subject, and even when I found information which was relevant, the terminology used was best suited to someone with a degree in telecommunications.

In truth, the technology is very easy to understand when the information is presented in simple terms. In this article I’ll try to do just that – simplify the technology.

The concept:

Even though technology has become widely known as wireless, this is only true between your handset and your nearest receiving antenna. After that the connection goes through a series of telephone wires until it reaches the antenna nearest to the person you are calling – assuming the call is to another mobile.

Your handset and provider:

If you put features to one side, one handset works in much the same way to any other and the same is true of the actual network provider you choose to go with.

Manufacturers such as Nokia and Samsung dedicate themselves at producing the handsets and network providers such as Vodafone and O2 focus on the structure of the network itself.

Cellular networks:

The term ขCellularข has been derived from the fact that each antenna only has a reach of a limited area; this area is known as a cell. By placing antennas in various part of the country, providers have created Cellular network. The total area within these cells, determines the coverage of a network service provider.

Making and receiving calls:

When you make a call, your mobile phone locates the nearest antenna available for your network and connects you to the wired telephone system. The telephone network then locates the nearest antenna available for the person you are trying to call and connects you to that mobile. The opposite happens when you receive a call.

Your location:

For a connection to be successful, your network needs to know where your phone is located. To achieve this you mobile phone is in constant communication with your nearest antenna.

If you move location, and your original antenna no longer has enough reach to connect to your mobile, your phone will automatically search for another one. The new antenna then informs the system of your new location.


This article is by no means trying to undermine the achievements or the potential the technology has to offer. Instead, it is intended to provide an insight to the key elements of the mobile phone technology which would otherwise remain invisible to everyday users.

About The Author

Marco Barra is a web designer for Digital Phone Company, a leading independent provider of mobile phones serving over 30,000 customers across East Anglia through a network of 11 retail outlets and a team of dedicated Business to Business consultants.


This article was posted on August 31

by Marco Barra