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Thread: WWW news




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    Knighthood for 'father of the web'

    Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the world wide web, was awarded a knighthood for services to the internet, which his efforts transformed from a haunt of computer geeks, scientists and the military into a global phenomenon.

    In 1989, while working at Cern, the European particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Sir Tim proposed a method of allowing people to link electronic documents using a system called hypertext.

    Two years later, he wrote the first web browser to view and edit the documents - now called web pages - and developed the first web server to make them available to all on websites.

    Sir Tim's inventions were the building blocks of the internet, but instead of cashing in on what would have been one of the most lucrative inventions ever, the modest, publicity-shy physicist gave away his browser and web server software freely on the internet.

    Other internet pioneers have accrued multi-million-pound fortunes, but Sir Tim has fought to ensure that the web was never privately owned, earning a modest salary in Boston as an academic and head of the World Wide Web Consortium, which sets web standards.

    telegraph.co.uk

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    Japan, China, S. Korea developing next Net

    Japan, China and South Korea are reportedly planning to jointly develop Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), the next-generation Internet standard, a move that will challenge the U.S.-dominated market for current IPv4-based Internet technology.

    The report in Nihon Keizai Shimbun, a Japanese business daily, said the countries aimed to take the lead in Internet technologies, with a broad move to adopt IPv6 beginning in 2005.

    It named several Japanese companies that it said would participate in the IPv6 development: Hitachi, Fujitsu, NEC, Matsu****a Electric Industrial, Nippon Telegraph, Mitsubishi Research Institute and Internet Initiative Japan. From Korea, the newspaper said, Samsung and Korea Telecom were expected to participate, along with Chinese companies such as China Telecommunications.

    IPv6 is seen as an answer to the upcoming shortage of IP addresses under the current IPv4 protocol. With vastly more IP addresses available under IPv6, the Nihon Keizai speculated there would be growth in the remote operation and management of even more Internet-enabled devices such as cars, smart tags and home appliances.

    In October, a group of technology companies including 3Com, Cisco Systems, AT&T and BellSouth said they were embracing IPv6, and the U.S. Defense Department plans to completely switch over by 2008.

    Already Japan's Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications has allocated $18,643,000 in annual funding for a Japanese IPv6 network that will connect around 100 local governments, corporations and households. The Nihon Keizai report said that similar IPv6 networks would be built in Korea and China and then connected to the Japanese IPv6 network to create an international IPv6 network with shared standards.

    Cnet Asia

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    Internet tax... a good idea?

    One of the big issues that has been brewing in congress, but has been totally ignored in the mainstream media, is whether or not to tax the internet.

    A little history

    Back in 1998 there was a moratorium placed on internet taxation. Simply put, lawmakers decided that they didnít want to come to a decision on the whole issue of Internet taxation just yet. On November 1st 2003, the moratorium expired, leaving states open to begin taxing however they see fit.

    However, only a few state legislatures are in session at the moment. This is good news, as lawmakers won't have much time to draft anything before the year is over. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is co-sponsor of a bill that would have broadened the ban on Internet taxes. It was killed just before the senate ended this yearís session. The bad news is, congress won't be addressing this until they resume in 2004. This will give states additional time while congress drags its feet and senators change the language and drum up support for their potential cash cow.

    One tactic that is being used is to define the Internet as a telecom based business. If this is successful, then states can tax the Internet using existing telecom laws and models. By doing so, they avoid having to put the tax measure up for vote by the people.

    How would the internet be taxed?

    There are two schools of thought when it comes to Internet taxation. One is to tax the Internet Service Providers. This could be a tax on Internet access, a charge per email message, a web hosting tax, or countless other possibilities.. The other is a sales tax or transaction tax. This would be in addition to the current state sales taxes.
    Why are either of these a bad idea? Well let's take a look the purpose of taxes. Taxes should be paid by the people who enjoy the services they provide. For example, education benefits everyone; therefore everyone should pay taxes for education. Roads benefit drivers who pay taxes on the gas required to power cars. Hikers pay fees at trail heads for the benefit of rangers maintaining those trails. What would Internet taxes be used for? Whatever the state wants to use them for. Would the money go to improving the Internet or subsidizing access for the poor? I doubt it. As a matter of fact, this would only increase the so-called digital divide. If taxes are levied against the Internet, access and use will become more expensive and put it out of the reach of poorer Americans, who might otherwise benefit from the educational and economic opportunities that the Internet provides.

    The second method of taxation would be sales taxes. How would an Internet sales tax work? Based on the locality you are buying from? Or based on where the business youíre buying from is located? And again, where would the money collected go?

    The solution?

    One possible solution to the Internet tax problem, would be a nominal fee on all email that is sent. Let's say ten cents on every 100 emails sent. For me this would be about fifty cents a month max. This would help cut down on spammers and the money could be used to help low-income families get Internet access.

    However, as it stands now, some senators see the Internet as a potential cash cow and something they are loosing revenue on. Loosing revenue? It's not their money to start with!

    Design Technica

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    Patent office backs Microsoft over browsers
    Claim for inventor of plug-ins and applet technology over turned


    The US Patent and Trademark Office has cancelled a patent claim by a company that makes plug-ins and applets possible.
    The development comes as a relief to Microsoft which was last year ordered by a court to pay $792 million to Eolas Technologies which sued the Redmond-based software company in 1999 for including the technology in its Internet Explorer web browser.

    Eolas now has 60 days to appeal against the USPTO decision.

    After the initial ruling, Microsoft said it would make changes to IE to conform with the ruling.

    The ruling was upheld in January this year.

    However, the same month, Microsoft announced that it had put off making the changes as it had hoped that the USPTO could cancel the patent based on which Eolas launched the suit.

    The Inquirer

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