The most expensive DSL connection in the world

You think your broadband provider is expensive, try $3,355 per month for a 1.5Mbps DSL connection. Welcome to the internet in Kazakhstan. With DSL prices like these, it’s no wonder Borat left Kazakhstan behind! A new report from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (PDF) paints a grim picture of Internet access in Kazakhstan and shows how difficult life can be for those in poor and authoritarian countries who want to join the worldwide community of Internet users.
Consider the prices for Internet access, for one. Most users (and only four percent of the country even has access) hook up through state-owned Kazakhtelecom, a company not concerned with competitive pricing for its services. An unlimited dial-up plan costs about €82 ($111) in a country where the average monthly wage is €292 ($399). As for DSL, an unlimited 1.5Mbps connection costs €2,458 ($3,355) a month, and doesn’t even included the required ADSL modem. Want a 6Mbps cable connection? It’ll cost you, to the tune of €16,144 ($22,032) a month. As the OSCE report drily notes, this is more than a thousand times the price of such a connection in Western Europe.
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Using BitLocker, even without a TPM

While you may have heard of BitLocker, what you may not know is that you don’t need Trusted Platform Module to use it on your system.

BitLocker Drive Encryption is a new security feature integrated into the Windows Vista operating system that provides considerable protection to the OS and data stored on the operating system volume.  BitLocker ensures that data stored on a computer running Windows Vista remains encrypted even if the computer is tampered with when the operating system is not running.  This helps protect against „offline attacks“ – those made by disabling or circumventing the installed operating system, or by physically removing the hard drive to attack the data separately.  In other words, attacks made when the system is not running.

Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption provides increased security by encrypting everything on your hard drive: data, programs and even Windows itself.  When you use BitLocker, your system is more difficult to tamper with, and thus you are better protected if your computer is ever lost or stolen.  BitLocker does not replace the need to use a strong password and other vital security features, but it does make it much harder for anyone else to read the information stored on your hard drive.

BitLocker is designed for systems that have a compatible TPM microchip and BIOS.  (A compatible TPM is defined as a version 1.2 TPM.)  A compatible BIOS must support the TPM and the Static Root of Trust Measurement as defined by the Trusted Computing Group.  When available, BitLocker uses a system’s Trusted Platform Module (TPM) to provide enhanced protection for your data and to assure early boot component integrity.  The chip performs a system integrity check – a process that verifies your computer system has not been tampered with – before unlocking your drive and allowing access to the data stored on it.  This helps protect data from theft or unauthorized viewing by encrypting the entire Windows volume.  Although the TPM interacts with BitLocker at system startup, its protection is transparent and the user logon experience is unchanged.  However, if the TPM is missing or altered, or if the start-up information has changed, BitLocker will enter recovery mode and the user will be required to enter a recovery password to regain access to the data.  For more information about TPM specifications, visit the TPM Specifications section of the Trusted Computing Group’s Web site.

A great thing about BitLocker is that even if you do not have a TPM 1.2 chip, you can still use the encryption it provides, but the system integrity checking enabled by the TPM will be unavailable.

For information about how to enable BitLocker on your computer without using a TPM 1.2 chip, see the BitLocker Drive Encryption Step-by-Step Guide .  You can also find more information about the requirements for BitLocker Drive Encryption, including partitioning, start-up options and recovery options.

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Apple gets money every month for iPhones purchased

AT&T is paying Apple $3 or $11 per month for every iPhone, a business analyst says. According to Gene Munster, Apple gets $3 per month for existing AT&T customers, and an additional $8 per month for transferring customers.
„We believe the monthly revenue sharing involves $3 per month for service and data fees related to all iPhone users, and AT&T gives Apple an additional $8 per month for iPhone customers who transfer service to AT&T in order to use the iPhone.“
/* Edit this out: I’ll bet there will be at least 20 trolls bashing Apple for this, without realising this is just a freaking business agreement */
News source: ZDNet

15 Years of the SMS

mobile The mobile phone industry is today celebrating the 15th birthday of the Short Message Service Centre (SMSC), the principal application behind text messaging first brought to market by Acision in 1992. The first ever SMSC was introduced as a product designed primarily to deal with the demands and improve reliability of a developing mobile industry, and in that year the first of many deals was signed with Telenor.
Acision says that it has evolved the SMSC infrastructure from a basic ‘SMSC box’ to a complete next generation, IP-based SMS architecture, centred on Acision’s IP SMSC. This enables text management, a wide range of differentiating service scenarios and a single rack capacity of 16,000 messages per second that can grow to virtually unlimited levels. SMSC innovation has never stopped, with current state of the art future-proof, IMS-enabled platforms that can help operators improve quality of service, reduce costs and offer exciting advanced messaging services. Its value today is as crucial to the market as ever before.
Despite the rapid evolution of the mobile market, SMS is still the most important value-added service for operators. For operators looking to provide subscribers with robust messaging services, today’s mix and match platform means they can specify SMS capacity to meet their requirements.
View: Full Story @ Cellular news

Duke Resolves iPhone, Wi-Fi Outage Problems

One week after discovering a glitch between Apple iPhones and its Cisco-based campus wireless network, Duke University on July 20 finally got to the bottom of the problem that caused periodic outages of the Wi-Fi network.

Initial reports of the problem placed the blame for the outages squarely on Apple’s iPhones, which flooded the Cisco WAPs (Wireless Access Points) with thousands of address requests per second. However, in a statement released this afternoon, Cisco Systems admitted that the problem was caused by a Cisco glitch.

„Cisco has provided a fix that has been applied to Duke’s network and the problem has not occurred since,“ the statement read. Cisco did not describe what the source of the problem was. Late on June 20, Duke released a statement elaborating on the problem and how it was resolved.



Google на челно място в класация за най-желаният работодател

Младите хора в Европа мечтаят да работят в интернет компанията „Гугъл“, предаде Ройтерс, цитирайки резултатите от допитване, направено от шведската фирма „Universum“, което е проведено сред 8100 студенти по компютърни и инженерни науки от 100 европейски университета.
Данните от проучването сочат, че според 17 процента от анкетираните, компанията „Гугъл“ е идеалният работодател. През изминалите три години от списъка със 130 компании на „Universum“ студентите, които учат последна година избираха „Ай Би Ем“, припомня агенцията. Тази година обаче компютърната компания е паднала чак до четвърта позиция.
На второто място в класацията на предпочитаните работодатели се нарежда германският производител на спортни автомобили „Порше“, а на трето – конкурентите им от италианската автомобилна компания „Ферари“. Пета позиция участниците в допитването отреждат на производителите на „Еърбъс“ EADS.
В челната десятка на компаниите, в които бъдещите специалисти най-много биха желали да работят, намират място още BMW, „Сименс“, „Ауди“, „Сони“ и „Нокиа“.

75-годишна шведка се сдоби с… 40 Gbps интернет

75-годишна жителка на Швеция стана потребител на най-бързия интернет в света. Скандинавската баба ползва частен канал със скорост 40 гигабита в секунда, разкрива местният сайт The Local.
Безпрецедентният достъп до мрежата е реализиран от сина на жената, легендарния интернет експерт Петер Льотберг, който сега работи в корпорацията Cisco.
Петер е приложил нова технология за модулация на сигнала, благодарение на която е възможен пряк обмен на данни между два рутера на разстояние до 2000 километра.
Технологията не изисква междинни ретранслатори, което допринася още повече за високата пропускателна способност на оптичния канал. Теоретично, при скорост от 40Gbps, един DVD филм може да се свали за 2 секунди.
75-годишната потребителка на най-бързия интернет в света Сигбрид Льотберг живее в Карлстад, град в централната част на Швеция. В момента тя може да се наслаждава едновременно на 1500 HD TV канала.

Microsoft Earns $177,000 Per Employee

Deo Melgaco has a fascinating set of posts looking at Wal-Mart and Microsoft and the costs associated with employees. The highlight is the chart that shows the annual net income for the two companies, plus Oracle and Costco, compared with the number of people employed. Microsoft profitted to the tune of $12.6 billion last year on 71,000 employees, earning $177,450 per employee, while Wal-Mart earned $11.3 billion on 1.9 million employees, a profit of just $5,938 per employee.

Talk about inefficiency!

After looking at those numbers, I don’t see how you could argue Wal-Mart needs to pay its employees more or give them health benefits. As is, Wal-Mart cannot afford to both issue pay raises and continue to operate as a healthy company, because their income per employee is practically a sick joke. Wal-Mart already needs to find a way to fire many of its employees and operate more efficiently, and if it paid them better or offered benefits, that would force them to find a way to mass-fire employees even faster.

With 1.9 million jobs at stake, the idea of them firing half those people (which they should, if they want to be more efficient) is a scary one for how it would effect the economy.

I tell you this, if Wal-Mart fired 900,000 people, the illegal immigration debate would end as nearly a million Americans would do whatever necessary to take those jobs from illegal immigrants that you always hear Americans aren’t willing to work. That many unemployed, both the workers and the legislative bodies will find a way to enforce illegal immigration legislation and give those low-paying jobs to legal workers. And without the jobs for the illegal workers, I’d imaging illegal immigrant amnesty legislation loses its purpose in Congress.

Anyway, how did this turn into a political discussion? The point is, Wal-Mart earns just north of nothing per employee, Microsoft makes enough to pay everyone handsomely. The numbers on Google on even better, $288,270 per employee ($3.1 billion on 10,674 employees) while Yahoo makes considerably less, just $65,911 per employee ($751 million on 11,400 employees).

Deo also calculates Wal-Mart’s costs due to a 40% turnover rate at $1.36 billion per year.

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