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Showing posts from August, 2010

Google, Skype under fire in India security crackdown

BlackBerry may have won a reprieve but Google and Skype were squarely in the firing line Tuesday as India's security agencies widened their crackdown on telecom firms.

India's 1.1 million BlackBerry users heaved a sigh of relief after the government Monday gave the smartphone's manufacturer a two-month window to provide a permanent solution to avert a ban on its corporate message services.

Security forces in India, battling insurgencies ranging from Kashmir in the northwest to the far-flung northeast, are insisting that telecom groups give them the capability to monitor their data.

Skype, the Internet phone service, and Google, which uses powerful encryption technology for its Gmail email service, are expected to be among the next wave of firms to come under New Delhi's scanner.

"If a company is providing telecom services in India then all communications must be available to Indian security services," a spokesman for the home ministry told AFP.

"If Googl…

USA Today reorganizing its staff in digital makeover that will result in 130 layoffs

Michael Liedtke, AP Business Writer, On Friday August 27, 2010, 5:10 pm EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- USA Today, the nation's second largest newspaper, is making the most dramatic overhaul of its staff in its 28-year history as it de-emphasizes its print edition and ramps up its effort to reach more readers and advertisers on mobile devices.

The makeover outlined Thursday will result in about 130 layoffs this fall, USA Today Publisher Dave Hunke told The Associated Press. That translates into a 9 percent reduction in USA Today's work force of 1,500 employees.
Hunke didn't specify which departments would be hardest hit.

The management shake-up affects both the newspaper's business operations and newsroom.

Like most newspapers, Gannett Co.'s USA Today has been cutting back in recent years to offset a steep drop in advertising that is depleting its main source of income. To compound the problem, fewer readers are paying for newspapers as free news proliferates on the Web.

Outsourced Call Centers Return, To U.S. Homes

August 25, 2010
Maureen Quigley-Hogan is the next generation of call center worker.

Wearing pink slippers and sitting at her desk in her home office in Virginia, she takes a call from a woman in New Jersey who has a question about her credit card bill.

Quigley-Hogan was unemployed for 10 years because she couldn't hold down a traditional job, she says. She has rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, a disease that causes severe fatigue.

"It was hard to get to a job," Quigley-Hogan says. "The idea of going through a regular schedule of getting up and getting ready for work, I would be exhausted."
She worked in customer service for more than 20 years, so two years ago, she was thrilled to land this job where she can work from home.

Lost In Translation: Call Center Blues
American customers say they have more trouble getting inquiries resolved efficiently when they're routed to call centers outside the U.S.

Notes
The Contact Center Satisfaction Index is bas…

Google brings phone calls to Gmail offers free calls to US and Canada

Calls on Gmail
Now you can make phone calls from Gmail without visiting your Google Voice page. Google is bringing Gmail and Google Voice together with the launch of phone call integration within Google Chat and Gmail, the goods news doesn’t stop here – the calls are free to US and Canadian landlines only.
The initial testing with Skype showed that the new Google’s service has better quality and reception. Google Voice product manager Vincent Paquet confirmed that the new calling functionality comes from Google’s Gizmo5 acquisition as the VOIP calling feature is partially based on Gizmo5 technology and was developed by a team including Gizmo5 engineers.

http://www.sporkings.com/2010/08/google-brings-phone-calls-gmail-offers-free-calls-canada/

Who The Heck Is 3Par? And Why Are HP, Dell In A Tizzy?

Who The Heck Is 3Par? And Why Are HP, Dell In A Tizzy?
By Scott Campbell, CRN 9:27 AM EST Tue. Aug. 24, 2010

A blog on 3Par's own Web site captures it perfectly: "Quite suddenly, 3Par is a very hot company."

Indeed. As Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and Dell (NSDQ:Dell) engage in a bidding war for the storage company, many solution providers are no doubt wondering exactly who this company is and why all the fuss.

3Par reported $168 million in sales for the fiscal year ended March 31, and it is a public company. It has almost no channel presence in the U.S. Its 3Par Champions channel partner program is only available in countries without a direct-sales presence, according to 3Par's Web site. That excludes North America, the United Kingdom and Germany.

The company's direct-sales force in the U.S. has worked with some solution providers in the past, Ashby Lincoln, president of VeriStore Systems, an Atlanta-based storage solution provider, told CRN in November 2007 after…

Philly requiring bloggers to pay $300 for a business license

It looks like cash hungry local governments are getting awfully rapacious these days:

Between her blog and infrequent contributions to ehow.com, over the last few years she says she's made about $50. To [Marilyn] Bess, her website is a hobby. To the city of Philadelphia, it's a potential moneymaker, and the city wants its cut.

In May, the city sent Bess a letter demanding that she pay $300, the price of a business privilege license.

"The real kick in the pants is that I don't even have a full-time job, so for the city to tell me to pony up $300 for a business privilege license, pay wage tax, business privilege tax, net profits tax on a handful of money is outrageous," Bess says.

It would be one thing if Bess' website were, well, an actual business, or if the amount of money the city wanted didn't outpace her earnings six-fold. Sure, the city has its rules; and yes, cash-strapped cities can't very well ignore potential sources of income. Bu…

Young will have to change names to escape 'cyber past' warns Google's Eric Schmidt

The private lives of young people are now so well documented on the internet that many will have to change their names on reaching adulthood, Google's CEO has claimed.

By Murray Wardrop
Published: 7:00AM BST 18 Aug 2010

Eric Schmidt suggested that young people should be entitled to change their identity to escape their misspent youth, which is now recorded in excruciating detail on social networking sites such as Facebook.

"I don't believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time," Mr Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal.

In an interview Mr Schmidt said he believed that every young person will one day be allowed to change their name to distance themselves from embarrasssing photographs and material stored on their friends' social media sites.

The 55-year-old also predicted that in the future, Google will know so much about its users that the search engine will be able to help them plan their lives.

Usi…

US Postal Service loses $3.5 bln in third quarter

WASHINGTON, Aug 5 (Reuters) - The U.S. Postal Service reported a quarterly net loss of $3.5 billion on Thursday and said it will likely have a cash shortfall going into 2011.

The agency, which delivers nearly half the world's mail, has reported net losses in 14 of the last 16 fiscal quarters.

Revenue in the third quarter that ended June 30 fell $294 million to $16 billion from a year ago, while expenses were $789 million higher at $19.5 billion, due largely to higher workers' compensation costs and retiree health benefits.

"Given current trends, we will not be able to pay all 2011 obligations,"
said Joseph Corbett, the agency's chief financial officer.

Cash flow seems on track to handle 2010 operations, Corbett said, but it is uncertain whether sufficient liquidity will be in place for 2011 after the agency must make a $5.5 billion payment on Sept. 30 to prefund retiree health benefits.

"It is clear that a liquidity problem is looming and must be addressed through…