Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Personal devices leads lifestyle computing trend

In time for the holiday season, leading global ICT research and advisory firm XMG releases its latest update on "Lifestyle Computing" trends. The research results are based on XMG's annual study of the Asia Pacific market, namely Australia, South East Asian countries and North Asia, to track new trends on consumer adoption of technology and how technology is adopting to user lifestyle. The 2007 study results show a number of interesting trends worth noting.

The rise of personal-area networking such as the use personal devices is growing due to richer interfaces in powerful and intelligent personal devices. Over 55% of consumers believe that personal devices can become a replacement for laptops in the years to come. Of this number, 60% also indicate they would rather put their investments in purchasing peripheral and auxiliary devices for their personal devices than for their laptops in the next 3 years despite indications that consumers are still not willing to spend infinite amounts of money on technology in the consumer technology market.

With the introduction of the Apple iPhone in 2007 and the eventual entry to Asia Pacific, user-centricity has reached new levels, setting the stage for other technology firms such as Nokia, Palm and Samsung to follow. Attributes of user-centricity rated high by consumers included pervasive availability, diversity and richer interfaces, enhanced personalized experience, simplicity and innovation. "As human beings, we simply need to always be connected," said Glaiza Veluz, research analyst for XMG. "Our studies of consumer behaviors have shown that 9 out of 10 people do not mind having technology run rampant and moving through their lives so long as they can stay connected". Veluz continues to add, "Success of devices comes down to making life simpler, meaningful and enjoyable in some way, rather than making life more complex such as having the need to lug around a laptop".

Other notable trends include a drastic drop in consumers' tolerance of less reliable devices. A stark contrast to last year's results, the study showed that consumers are more than ready to upgrade or dispose of their devices within 6 months of purchasing the product. In 2006, consumers were willing to live with their devices for about 1 year before finding a replacement. "Consumers will no longer accept complexity and instability with their devices," added Veluz.

As the lifestyle computing trends continue, the lifestyle shift will challenge everyone. As the lines continue to blur between personal-area space and work-area use, the study also showed ongoing challenges faced by companies in managing these devices within their organizations sighting privacy, security and technical support issues. Since traditional management enforcement techniques have failed to reach a compromise, over 90% of firms indicated they will need to modify their views and policies in supporting personal devices. Work-life balance has also been sighted as an issue as lifestyle computing devices enable workers to work anywhere with their devices. "People are working longer, harder hours because of total global connectivity through their devices, but these are the same people also believe that their personal area devices are also working more for them," added Veluz.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

DepEd rolls out second mobile school

By Alexander Villafania - INQUIRER.net

The Department of Education (DepEd) has teamed up with technology school STI Colleges and Education Centers to roll out a second mobile school in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said the mobile education program aims to widen access to remote public schools using the Internet technology.

“The launch of the second Mobile School speaks of the department’s thrust to integrate information technology in public education,” he said.

The Mobile School is a 50-seater bus carrying 27 computers with wireless Internet connection. It costs at least P5 million to build.

The mobile program is under DepEd’s Adopt-a-School Program, which also aims to enhance computer literacy among public school teachers.

Its launch coincides with STI Foundation’s IT literacy advocacy for the disadvantaged sectors, particularly out-of-school youths.

The first DepEd Mobile School launched in January reached out to at least 6,000 students in about 70 sites in Luzon.

Labels: , ,

Telecom firm wins P17-M tax case vs Pasig City gov’t

Telecom firm wins P17-M tax case vs Pasig City gov’t

By Leila Salaverria - Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines -- Ericsson Telecommunications Inc. has won its tax suit against the Pasig City government after the Supreme Court reinstated a regional trial court’s ruling canceling the more than P17 million business tax deficiency assessed by the local government.

In ruling for the telecommunication firm, the high tribunal said the tax assessments made by the Pasig government were based on the wrong kind of data -- the gross revenue.

The high court said the business tax assessments against Ericsson should have been based on gross receipts.

Gross receipts include money or its equivalent that has actually or constructively been received in exchange for services rendered or articles sold, exchanged or leased.

On the other hand, gross income or revenue refers to money actually or constructively received, including the value of services rendered or articles sold, exchanged or leased, the payment of which is yet to be received.

In this case, Ericsson’s audited financial statements, on which the tax assessment was based, reflected income it was entitled to receive during the taxable period, even though it has not yet been paid the amount.

Hence, the high court said, taxing Ericsson based on gross revenue could lead to taxing the private firm twice for the same transaction.

“The imposition of the local business tax based on petitioner’s gross revenue will inevitably result in the constitutionally proscribed double taxation -- taxing of the same person twice by the same jurisdiction for the same thing -- inasmuch as petitioner’s revenue or income for a taxable year will definitely include its gross receipts already reported during the previous year and for which local business tax has already been paid,” the court said in its Nov. 22 decision.

It also pointed out that under the Local Government Code, Pasig City may impose a business tax on contractors based on gross receipts for the preceding calendar year. The Pasig Revenue Code also provides that the tax should be computed based on gross receipts, it added.

“Thus, respondent [Pasig City] committed a palpable error when it assessed petitioner’s local business tax based on its gross revenue as reported in its audited financial statements,” it said.

The Pasig City government earlier asked Ericsson to pay business taxes based on its gross revenues for the years 1997 and 1998, and 2000 and 2001

Labels: , ,

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Lapus stresses technology in revolutionizing education

EDUCATORS, teachers and representatives from the private sector and government and non-government organizations underscored the importance of technology in revolutionizing the deteriorating Philippine education.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus, speaking before the hundreds of delegates on the Education Summit 2007 at Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Manila, said it is the role of all education stakeholders and the private sectors to empower today’s young with the skills necessary to help them survive the toughest times.

He said that the ability to improve the skills of Filipino youth to become globally competitive rests solely on the government and the stakeholders’ ability “to innovate and transform education into what is required.”

“If we are to prepare ourselves to become successful in the 21st century, we must recognize the need to go beyond traditional teaching methods,” Lapus said.

“We have to look beyond the power of these technologies to improve our lives. We too must take into account that our world is dependent so much on these technologies that ignoring them will not only prevent us from being competitive globally, it may actually render us incompetent and powerless in the coming years,” he added.

He, however, stressed that sound policy is necessary to ensure that all schools, particularly those in the far flung areas are given equal opportunities on educational technology.

“We believe that it is not enough to simply provide computers with internet connection in the classroom and hope-that somehow-learning with occur. We need a comprehensive response to the challenges and opportunities given to us by these new technologies. We need an encompassing strategy that is backed by sound policy,” Lapus explained.
Jeffrey C. Tiangco - Journal Online

Labels: , , ,

CICT wants to become lead agency for BPO

By Lawrence Casiraya - Inquirer

The Commission on ICT aims to become the “single-point of contact” for investors in the outsourcing industry.

“If there are concerns (from investors), they can come to us,” said CICT chair Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua in an interview.

The CICT recently signed a formal partnership with the Trade and Industry department's regional operations group to implement an ICT strategic roadmap. The partnership also involves the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPA/P).

The agreement basically aims to mobilize all three parties in developing regional ICT hubs that will accommodate BPO investors.

Under the partnership, CICT's role will be to provide technical assistance. The DTI, meanwhile, will be working with local government units.

“Based on industry feedback, investors cannot figure out who exactly in the government is championing BPO,” Roxas-Chua said.

“What we want to become is the coordinating body for different agencies involved,” he added.

BPA/P is targeting to reach $12 billion in revenues and add half a million more workers by 2010.

“These are achievable goals but all stakeholders need to work together,” Roxas-Chua said.

Labels: , , ,

France to set up authority to outlaw illegal file-sharing

Agence France-Presse

France is to set up a new Internet authority with powers to suspend or cut access to the web for those who illegally file-share, under an agreement signed Friday.

A memorandum of understanding between music and film producers, Internet service providers and the government was signed in the Elysee Palace in the presence of President Nicolas Sarkozy, who said it was a "decisive moment for the future of a civilized Internet."

Service providers will cooperate in identifying illegal file-sharers who will be issued with first a warning and then the threat of a suspension or termination of their contract.

In order to encourage the legal supply of cultural wares on the Internet, producers undertook at the same time to remove some blocking mechanisms on the web and to shorten the time between a film's relase and its on-line availability.

In London the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which represents the intersts of the recording industry worldwide, praised the initiative as a major step forward against online piracy.

"This is the single most important initiative to help win the war on online piracy that we have seen so far. President Sarkozy has shown leadership and vision. He has recognized the importance that the creative industries play in contemporary western economies," said IFPI chairman John Kennedy.

The agreement was reached by a special committee on the Internet and cultural protection set up by Sarkozy and chaired by Denis Olivennes, president of the French media goods chain FNAC.

"The challenge is clear. If we let piracy keep developing, we threaten the cultural diversity of our country and of the world. But if we over-suppress, it is ineffective," Olivennes told Le Monde newspaper.

He said that France had become a "paradise for piracy, with all the risks that means for our creative environment .... In France we pirate twice as much as Germany, three times as much as Britain, and five times as much as the United States."

Olivennes said that existing sanctions -- including a maximum 300,000 euro ($440,000) fine and five years in jail -- were fine for "industrial" defrauders, but "totally disproportionate for dissuading my children or yours from copying a few hundred songs for themselves and their friends."

Labels: ,

C/S, ETC, 2nd Avenue on free TV

By Bayani San Diego Jr. - Inquirer

Solar Entertainment bared its new channel lineup at the Advertising Congress in Subic on Thursday.

According to Solar head Wilson Tieng, his company has formed an “alliance” with four free TV channels, both on the VHF and UHF bands—RPN 9, SBN, RJ TV and ABC 5. The new partnerships resulted from the impending termination of Solar channels in Home and SkyCable, Tieng said.

In an official statement, Juno Chuidian, SkyCable vice president for programming, said: “With the entry of our three new channels (Balls, Maxxx and Velvet), SkyCable will no longer carry [Solar channels] Basketball TV (BTV), Solar Sports, ETC, 2nd Avenue, Jack TV and Crime/Suspense.”


Chuidian said this move is envisioned to “strengthen and streamline [SkyCable’s] programming mix.” After all, he noted, “some of the more prominent programs on [Solar] channels may still be found on free TV or SkyCable’s other channels such as Star World and AXN.”

Tieng said that moving to free TV would solve his company’s problems, including “bad signal in our old cable companies.”

He said C/S programs will be seen on RPN 9, ETC shows on SBN and 2nd Avenue series on RJ TV “24 hours a day, 7 days a week, starting Jan. 1, 2008.”

Ramon Jacinto, head of RJ TV, told Inquirer Entertainment that his regular shows—“Thank God It’s RJ” and “RJ Online”—would be retained in their weekend time slots.

Labels: , ,