I hope you are enjoying your holiday season!
2010 is almost at an end, and the New Year is almost here. January is always a time of new beginnings, and most of us take advantage of such a clean slate to set goals and make resolutions for the New Year. All too often, however, we move forward with loads of energy, but without the tools or knowledge necessary to make our dreams into realities.
This year, KOTORI TECHNOLOGIES is proud to be part of Charlestons First Annual SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS SUMMIT. This phenomenal one-day event is designed specifically with the small business owner/manager in mind, and has as its Mission to provide its attendees with the knowledge and tools they need to THRIVE, rather than merely ~survive~ in 2011.
The cost is a very affordable $75.00, and for that fee you will hear from 6 accomplished presenters (including yours truly!) who will speak on a wide range of topics, be fed an amazing lunch by Chef Travis from the Harbour Club, and have plenty of opportunity to network with a wide range of business owners and managers. This event will take place on January 10, 2011 from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
If you are a business owner/manager, or are considering launching a new enterprise in 2011, this is an event not-to-be-missed!
To learn more about this event, visit: http://charlestonsuccess.eventbrite.com
Please also consider liking us on Facebook!
By the CNN Wire Staff
December 23, 2010 7:04 a.m. EST
(CNN) -- Internet phone service Skype was still trying to fix an outage early Thursday that was keeping many from using its service.
The outage started Wednesday, Skype said on its website, and the technical problems were keeping people from logging into the Internet phone service.
Early Thursday morning, the company announced on its Twitter page that it was still working on the problem. Twitter is a microblogging site that allows users to display messages.
"Thanks for your continued patience while we get everyone back online -- sorry especially to those of you who are still waiting," the announcement said.
The company said the issue stemmed from a problem with connecting to computers they called "supernodes."
"Our engineers are creating new 'mega-supernodes' as fast as they can, which should gradually return things to normal. This may take a few hours," Skype said Wednesday afternoon.
Skype allows free internet voice and video calling and has grown in popularity.
Users can also call land lines or mobile phones with Skype for a fee.
This Week in Tech: Dec. 16, 1770: Beethovens Birth in Bonn Leads to Longer CDs
By Randy Alfred December 16, 2010 | 7:00 am
1770: Ludwig van Beethoven is born to a family of musicians in Bonn, Germany. His Ninth Symphony will play a role in determining the length of the music CD. Exactly how big a role is a matter of debate.
Had it not been for his untimely death in 1827, the immortal Ludwig van would today have been 240 years old and likely immortal in more ways than one.
No record has been found listing Beethovens exact birth date. What we know is that he was baptized Dec. 17 in a time and place when infants were usually baptized the day after their birth.
Beethoven revolutionized orchestral music, leading it out of the Classical and into the Romantic era. His stormy personality molded much of his music, as did his progressive, democratic politics and his personal triumph over the deafness that struck him in midlife.
Among such career-crowning masterpieces as the Missa Solemnis and the late string quartets, Beethovens Ninth Symphony (Choral) with its famous Ode to Joy finale has also achieved widespread popularity. And therein hangs a tale.
The Ninth Symphony runs over an hour, even when performed at breakneck tempo. In the era of LP records, it generally took three sides and hence had to be coupled with one of Beethovens shorter symphonies, like the Eighth, to complete a two-disc set.
When Sony and Philips were negotiating a single industry standard for the audio compact disc in 1979 and 1980, the story is that one of four people (or some combination of them) insisted that a single CD be able to hold all of the Ninth Symphony. The four were the wife of Sony chairman Akio Morita, speaking up for her favorite piece of music; Sony VP Norio Ohga (the companys point man on the CD), recalling his studies at the Berlin Conservatory; Mrs. Ohga (her favorite piece, too); and conductor Herbert von Karajan, who recorded for Philips subsidiary Polygram and whose Berlin Philharmonic recording of the Ninth clocked in at 66 minutes.
Further research to find the longest recorded performance came up with a mono recording conducted by Wilhelm Furtwngler at the Bayreuth Festival in 1951. That playing went a languorous 74 minutes.
But Philips engineer Kees A. Schouhamer Immink, who participated in the technical negotiations between his firm and Sony, says thats only part of the story. Writing in the December 2007 issue of the IEEE Information Theory Newsletter, he notes that, yes, there was pressure from execs to fit the Ninth on a single CD, but commercial and technical considerations played a bigger part. For one thing, Sony knew that Philips already had a factory capable of producing 115mm CDs, and Sony wanted to change to a 120mm standard to erase Philips head start in manufacturing.
Also, as negotiations neared an end, Philips engineers made a technical breakthrough that, at the data compression then planned, would have allowed 97 minutes of music to fit on a 120mm CD, or 75 minutes on a smaller disc. That, Immink writes, was never seriously considered, because the higher-ups had already decided on 120mm, for reasons perhaps competitive and perhaps Beethovenian.
Instead, engineers increased the track pitch from 1.45 m to 1.6 m, and the bit length from 0.5 to 0.6 m. The 30 percent lower information density made production easier and playback more reliable. Maximum playing length was set at 74 minutes, 33 seconds.
That was theoretically long enough for Furtwnglers Ninth, but in reality it wasnt. The real limit for CDs started at 72 minutes, the maximum length of the U-Matic videotapes then used for audio masters. So the Furtwngler performance couldnt be released on a single CD until new digital audio technology made that possible in 1997.
A Philips webpage is often cited for the more-musical, less-technical version of the CD story. Its is no longer available on the Philips site, but the Internet Archives Wayback Machine still archives it. The Phillips site now has this brief mention:
The original target storage capacity for a CD was one hour of audio content, and a disc diameter of 115 mm was sufficient for this, however both parties [Sony and Philips] extended the capacity to 74 minutes to accommodate a complete performance of Beethovens 9th Symphony.
The rumor busters and urban-legend experts at Snopes.com call the Beethoven CD story neither true nor false, but undetermined.
So, theres a hole in our story, just like the hole in the middle of the CD. The diameter of that hole, the Philips website points out, matches the size of an old Dutch coin. So, even if the Japanese prevailed on the diameter of the disc, the Dutch called the shots on the hole.
In any event: Happy Birthday, Ludwig. And to his fans everywhere, be sure to take time to listen to some of his music today, whether its on CD, an old LP, an even older 78, FM, satellite radio, all-Beethoven web radio or an MP3-loaded iPlayer of some kind. The flame still shines.
Image courtesy Library of Congress
An earlier version of this article appeared on Wired.com Dec. 16, 2008.
With cyberspace almost full, it's going to take half a trillion dollars to avoid a global squeeze.
IPV6. It is the ultimate case of procrastination; a problem so big, so complex and so expensive, the world has ignored it for two decades.
The problem: The Internet is full. Well, almost.
It is brimming with more than 4.29 billion websites and addresses for networks, mobile phones, refrigerators and, of course, personal computers at home and at work.
As with anything that exists on the Internet, anything connected to the Internet, and anything transported across the Internet, an address is required called an IP (internet protocol) address that acts like a phone number, allowing every individual device, piece of data or location to be found in the digital labyrinth.
But the existing 32-bit internet routing system, Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), is only capable of hosting 4,294,967,296 addresses. So, when the remaining global pool of some 204 million addresses runs out, as is expected before June, no new devices or websites will be able to connect unless they've transitioned to IPv6, the latest 128-bit incarnation of Internet Protocol, which can store up to a whopping 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 (or 2^128) addresses.
"IPv4 is about 30 years old and when they put it together, they anticipated 4.3 billion addresses would last a long time," says Michael Biber, the president of IPv6 Forum Australia, the local chapter of the global IPv6 Forum charged with spearheading the transition.
"Of course, they couldn't have predicted what would happen with mobile phones and VoIP and social networking, or that we'd use up addresses as fast as we have."
Although the IPv6 Forum has been working on the transition for more than a decade, businesses around the globe have been reticent until now to exploit their efforts.
The biggest issue is that IPv4 and IPv6 don't talk to each other. Though IPv6 devices communicate happily with their less-evolved IPv4 cousins, it doesn't work the other way.
A breakdown is inevitable. It won't be immediate and it won't be dramatic but it will happen, slowly and subtly, as little bits, mostly the newer IPv6 bits of the Internet, fail to appear to anyone still using IPv4 architecture.
The IPv4 Internet and all the devices and sites we're accessing now will still work exactly as they do now, but when IPv6 devices and sites start appearing online, the existing IPv4 infrastructure simply won't be capable of recognising them, and small, random pockets of the new Internet will be inaccessible by older hand-helds, routers, modems, servers and operating systems.
Upgraded websites won't appear on machines running old software and hardware, and even your shiny new IPv6-ready handset will not be able to display your weather update because your telco may not have upgraded its own IPv4 back end.
So, who's in charge of fixing this looming, global problem? Well, you are.
Nobody owns the Internet and, technically, nobody runs it. It is a hodge-podge collection of billions of networks and connections and machines, all based loosely on protocols defined by ad hoc bodies with no official power to do anything, really.
Most governments have delivered mandatory IPv6 upgrade dates for their public services and networks to be made IPv6 compatible, but don't have the authority to force private or corporate citizens to upgrade.
That means all Internet users have to take matters into their own hands and upgrade their own points of connection from the ISPs who need to upgrade their servers to host IPv6-compatible websites and the vendors who need to upgrade their mobile handsets, to mums and dads who may require new modems, wireless routers and IPv6-compatible mobile handsets.
It's like the biggest team effort in the world.
Consumers will likely get away with the smallest dent to their hip pockets.
Thanks to the relatively short product cycle of today's tech gear, when your current hardware becomes too old or too slow, it's simply a matter of upgrading to an IPv6-capable device, which vendors such as NetComm, Billion and Cisco are already selling.
Of course, some hardware and software will be able to be upgraded via a software patch and many items such as Macs, Windows Vista and Windows 7, as well as many corporate-edge devices and any of Apple's iOS 4 devices, are already IPv6-capable. But, says Geoff Huston, the chief scientist for APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre), the biggest regional allocator of IP addresses globally, the main problem won't be at the consumer end.
"The problem will be the filters, the ISPs and all the bits in the middle that people don't see that aren't capable of running IPv6," he says. "It's the underlying infrastructure that will actually stop the larger numbers of people."
The only parties who stand to make a clear profit from the transition are the hardware vendors selling new IPv6-compatible gear. For everyone else, the upgrade will cost something but there won't be much to show for the investment.
It's everybody's problem but nobody is in charge and because there is no financial advantage to be gained from upgrading to IPv6, nobody really cares. "They're [telcos, ISPs and so on] all thinking that it will cost to upgrade to IPv6," Mr Huston says, "which it will, but I don't get any more money in return, I don't get any more customers and as long as my competitors don't upgrade, I won't either. That's basically what's been happening for the past decade. It's a textbook market failure."
Even with a conservative estimate, Mr Huston says the global costs for the IPv6 upgrade will exceed half a trillion dollars but acknowledges it's a nebulous figure, though he suspects even this staggering estimate may be on the low side.
"There are a number of ways to calculate the transitional costs for IPv6," Mr Huston says. "One way is to take the internet's 1.7 billion users globally and guesstimate about $100 per user for new hardware, which adds to $170 billion.
"I suspect that this is low but it's a tough one to attempt to quantify and I suspect that $200 per user may be closer when you factor in support and new hardware. But it will cost more for some and less for others.
"So, rounding up just a little, maybe half a trillion dollars for the transition globally."
So what to do? Consumers can only worry about their own points of connection. The rest is beyond their control.
Anyone purchasing new hardware or software that has any sort of Internet connection should ask if it is v6-capable, because most modems and routers on the market are not and those devices that are can be costly.
The same philosophy applies to new computers, though by now, they should all be running v6-compatible operating systems.
Similarly, anyone signing up for a new Internet or mobile phone plan, particularly 2-year plans, should ask the same questions.
Is your new hardware (back-end and the devices being deployed in your home or business) IPv6-capable and, if not, will it be upgraded and at what cost to you?
Of course, the biggest question is whether we have learnt from the IPv6 debacle or if we will be having this same discussion 20 years from now.
"Never say never on the Internet," Mr Biber says.
"But the number of IPv6 addresses is so astronomical and unfathomably huge, they will last us a long, long time.
"I'm confident that the basic IPv6 protocol will still be around in 20 years, though I think the Internet will be quite different."
That's what they said 20 years ago.
Please contact Martha Nye today for more information:
1. Make a list of people for whom you want to buy gifts. Remember to include teachers and the paper boy.
2. Set a budget. Note beside each name how much you can spend.
3. Include gift ideas for each person. Consider gift certificates and edibles.
4. Look through mail order catalogs weekly. Mark gift ideas with sticky notes. Set a deadline of November 15 to make final decisions and place orders.
5. Set aside a little time each week to shop. When you find something you love, decide who on your list might like it. Buy the same gift for several people.
6. Gather shipping boxes and packing materials. Mail your gifts early this year to avoid long lines.
7. Buy wrapping paper, bows and tags this week. Set up a gift wrap center in your home. Stock it with tape, scissors and pens. Wrap as you buy.
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