Updated: 5/16/2006; 11:32:10 AM.

Ken Novak's Weblog
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daily link  Sunday, February 08, 2004


Brazil takes lead role in move to all-digital cinema: "Using the latest technology, Brazil plans to open in May the largest network of digital movie theaters in the world..  The hinterlands of South America's largest country are virtually inaccessible by roads, and copying and transporting hundreds of reels of film is expensive. [A] low-cost distribution system, with built-in antipiracy measures, with 100 theaters - the largest digital network in the world - [is] scheduled to be projecting pixels by May. ..

Although it is considered a developing nation, Brazil's long-standing tradition of openness, coupled with its sheer size, means that there are tens of millions of well-educated techies eager for cutting-edge gadgets and devices.  Brazil has one of the highest rates of Internet use in the developing world, with 95 percent of taxpayers using the web to make their annual income-tax declaration. The country's voting system is fully electronic and its banking software is among the most advanced in the world. Even Brazil's computer hackers are so skilled that a leading expert recently warned, "Brazil is both a laboratory for cybercrime and also its largest exporter worldwide."..

The MPEG-4 software can squeeze a feature film onto a file of just five gigabytes, 15 times smaller than the MPEG-2 technology presently used.  The films are then beamed by satellite to picture houses across the country. Depending on bandwidth, it can take as little as 20 minutes to send a 90-minute film to a theater.  By eliminating celluloid and transport costs, distributors can quickly and cheaply beam blockbusters to distant towns the same day as they première in London, Los Angeles, or Sao Paulo. They can offer a wider range of films and even live broadcasts. [Thanks to high transport costs] Brazil has one of the lowest density of screens per person in the world, an average of one screen per 105,000 people, far fewer than in the United States (one per 9,000), or even Mexico (one per 35,000)."

  5:40:52 PM  permalink  

Big Brother in Britain: Does more surveillance work?: "More than 4 million cameras observe all aspects of life, from town centers to transport systems, office towers to banks, commercial zones to residential areas, restaurants, bars, and even churches. .. In 1990, just three towns had systems. Now some 500 do, after a decade in which more than £250 million ($460 million) of public money was funneled into CCTV systems..

A government review 18 months ago found that security cameras were effective in tackling vehicle crime but had limited effect on other crimes. Improved streetlighting recorded better results.  A new report being drawn up by Professor Gill for the government promises to be no more favorable in its assessment of CCTV as a crime-fighting tool.  "I have talked to offenders about this," says Gill. "They say they are not concerned by security cameras, unless they were actually caught by one." ..

France tends to limit coverage to high-risk locations and public buildings, while in Spain, surveillance is tightly controlled. In Austria, it is used primarily for traffic and transport systems. In Germany, it was severely restricted in public spaces until recently."

  5:30:36 PM  permalink  

The SWIPE Toolkit "allows you to determine what your data bits are worth on the open market... For instance, a typical cellular phone company will ask for your address, date of birth, phone number, Social Security number and driver's license to open a new account. Consult our data calculator and that will be $13.75 please! .. (A downloadable data calculator for Pocket PCs is on the way.)

We used the following sources to determine the worth of your individual data bits: Accurint, Aristotle, ChoicePoint, ChoiceTrust, DocuSearch, Experian, KnowX, Merlin Data, and Pallorium. "
  5:10:28 PM  permalink  

 

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Last update: 5/16/2006; 11:32:10 AM.