From Book Fairs to Global Cybersecurity
Ashling, Jim, Information Today
In the world of information technology, nothing stays the same for long. Change is never far, especially when it comes to a little old-fashioned competition.
Reed Exhibitions may have won a bizarre battle with the organizers of Frankfurt Book Fair to host London's only book fair next spring. Reed had originally planned to keep the London Book Fair at ExCeL, the docklands exhibition center, for a second year from March 4 to 6, 2007. However, since U.K. publishers expressed widespread disfavor of ExCeL, the German Boersenverein (a unit of the German booksellers and publishers federation) jumped at the chance to create a new--and competing--show in the West End of London at Earls Court during the third week of April 2007.
Jurgen Boos, CEO of the Frankfurt Book Fair, announced plans for the Book Fair at Earls Court on May 5 after receiving requests for a central London location from disgruntled publishers. Hachette Livre U.K., Faber & Faber, The Penguin Group, Random House, and the Association of Authors'Agents reportedly welcomed the idea.
Within a week, Alistair Burtenshaw, Reed's exhibit group director, announced that the London Book Fair had signed a long-term agreement with EC&O Venues of Earls Court to hold the one and only spring book fair at Earls Court from Apri1 16 to 18, 2007. "The move to ExCeL was a major industry decision that has clearly not met our customers' needs, and we encountered many operational difficulties for which we have unreservedly apologized," said Burtenshaw. "The important issue now is to get all aspects of The London Book Fair right in 2007 in a West End location that the publishing industry tells us is very important to [its] business." Acknowledging that the move to ExCeL was out of step with industry needs, Burtenshaw also announced the creation of an independent advisory board composed of senior publishing figures who will be consulted on future developments.
Boos, in turn, stated that he was seeking legal advice because he believed EC&O had broken an agreement with Frankfurt Book Fair. Since his plan to move the London event from Reed failed, Boos turned his attention to Frankfurt and the new fair in Cape Tewn in June.
So what is it about ExCeL that U.K. publishers didn't like? Complaints ranged from the venue's great distance from their favorite West End restaurants and bars to the low air conditioning setting to the long lines for coffee. In addition, some also complained that the color scheme lacked taste. One advantage of moving the fair to Earls Court is that all the attendees won't have to cram into two small elevators just to get from the meeting rooms to the exhibit hall.
Cybersecurity Highlights World Telecommunications Day
World Telecommunications Day (WTD) commemorates the founding of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) on May 17, 1865. From 2006 on, May 17 will be World Information Society Day, as U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan noted in his Message for World Information Society Day on May 17, 2006.
This year's theme was "promoting global cybersecurity." Annan urged member states "to help increase global awareness of cybersecurity, and to develop an international network of initiatives and ICT-based [Information and Communications Technology] countermeasures to enhance security and build trust in the use of information and communication technologies. This is essential for the continued growth and development of our economies, and especially important for developing countries."
As part of its observance, ITU issued the results of a global opinion survey of users' trust of online transactions and launched the Cybersecurity Gateway portal as an online reference source for cybersecurity information.
Despite the burgeoning growth in online transactions, only half of the users consider the Internet to be a safe communication channel. Among the biggest fears noted in the survey were theft of personal information (28 percent), viruses and worms (25 percent), spyware (19 percent), and scams and fraud (13 percent). With these fears, 64 percent of respondents admitted that they avoid some activity, while 36 percent claim to continue to make full use of online facilities. Only 40 percent of users felt sufficiently well-informed about the way to report Internet malpractices.
The Cyberspace Gateway provides a useful resource to those wishing to find information on national and international cybersecurity issues. The site is divided into sections for each user group (individuals, businesses, government, and international organizations) and by topic (information sharing, watch and warning, standards and solutions, laws and legislation, and privacy and protection). Links to sites provide tips (e.g., http:// www.phishinginfo.org), policy recommendations (e.g., the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development antispam toolkit), security corporate sites such as Symantec, and information resources such as the virus encyclopedia from Trend Micro. The latter contains an interesting map of the world with the distribution of currently spreading virus infections, which is certainly useful for company Webmasters.
Since 2000, the Stockholm Challenge has awarded prizes to projects that demonstrate how information technologies can improve living conditions and economic growth around the world. The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) prize attracted more than 3,000 entries dating back to a precursor award called the Bangemann Challenge of 1995.
The 2006 Stockholm Challenge, sponsored by The Royal Institute of Technology of Sweden (KTH), The City of Stockholm, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and Ericsson, selects winners in six categories from 1,155 projects. A prize of 5,000 [euro] was awarded to each, with 10,000 [euro] given to the best African project. All winners and 151 finalists were invited to Stockholm for the awards ceremony held on May 11.
The winner in the Culture category was BiblioRedes: Nosotros en Internet (Us on the Internet), a window to local culture in Chile. BiblioRedes (previously mentioned in my February 2006 column) promotes Internet access through Chile's public libraries. The Nosotros en Internet project promotes cultural exchange between local communities and the world. The project has already created a network of 378 libraries, trained 200,000 people, and established 4,933 Web sites by local cultural and social organizations.
In the Environment category, the winning Tanzania's African Conservation Network supports continentwide wildlife conservation efforts. More than 400 conservation groups are linked for training, support, news, jobs, and educational applications. The network, aimed primarily at local community conservation groups and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), uses the latest in Internet mapping and generic database technology to share spatial and nonspatial data and project information.
The winner in the Health category was a joint U.S. and Cambodian project called Operation Village Health. The program provides e-mail access to Harvard University-affiliated physicians and U.S./European physicians in Phnom Penh for Cambodian health workers at two remote sites. This telemedicine project provides consultations and medical recommendations in a few hours for an otherwise poorly served community.
The top prize in the Public Administration category went to RISEPAK--Relief Information System for Earthquake Pakistan. This portal provides information, relief coordination, and accountability for those affected by the October 2005 Pakistan earthquake. The service offers vital local information such as population statistics, damage reports, accessibility, and relief efforts to date for relief workers. The site was launched 10 days after the earthquake and now offers information on the 4,000 affected villages.
The best Economic Development went to ITC eChoupal of India for its support of small farmers by reorganizing the agricultural supply chain. A choupal is a village community kiosk that provides farmers with weather and price information, farming advice and information, a sales channel, and a marketing channel for produce. After starting with an experimental pilot group of just six, the project has grown to 5,400 choupals for 3,500,000 farmers.
The prize for Education, the final category, went to a Tanzanian project called KiLiNuX. Its vision is to assist Kiswahili-speaking programmers who converted open source Linux operating system programs and applications into Kiswahili. Aimed at government ministries, schools, and teacher colleges, the project will open up ICT software development to non-English speakers and will act as a model for translating into other Bantu languages.
Internet Pioneer Meets the Gorillaz
The Stockholm awards were quite a contrast from the 10th Annual Webby Awards. No less than 69 categories attracted 5,500 entries from more than 40 countries to make up this Internet Web design awards fest. The list of winners and runners-up makes a useful favorites list for anyone who hasn't created one yet. It includes familiar names such as Mercedes, Bank of America, The New Yorker, Flickr, and Google Earth, as well as a few less familiar such as Big Ideas Come from Big Pencils (try it!) or 5 Blogs Before Lunch.
The Lifetime Achievement honor in the Webby Special Achievements Awards went to TCP/IP protocol co-inventor Robert Kahn, alongside the virtual band called The Gorillaz, who were also winners of Webby Artist of the Year. Similarly honored for Special Achievement are MySpace co-founders Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe, Dallas Mavericks and HDNet owner Mark Cuban, and columnist Thomas Friedman.
Expedia, the Webby Award winner for Best Travel Site, recently announced a partnership with eLong, Inc. that will result in 360-degree virtual hotel tours on its Chinese hotel booking Web site. Rotating images of hotel rooms and facilities have been available in part for a while on Western Expedia sites, but there has never been such a sophisticated Chinese-language travel site available before. eLong's CEO, Tom SooHoo, has recognized the fast growth in foreign tourism for Chinese consumers and has introduced information on hotels in more than 140 international destinations as well as domestic Chinese cities.
London Book Fair
Frankfurt Book Fair
Big Ideas Come from Big Pencils
5 Blogs Before Lunch
Jim Ashling runs Ashling Consulting, an independent consultancy for the information industry. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Send your comments about this column to itletters@ infotoday.com.…
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: From Book Fairs to Global Cybersecurity. Contributors: Ashling, Jim - Author. Magazine title: Information Today. Volume: 23. Issue: 7 Publication date: July-August 2006. Page number: 22+. © 2009 Information Today, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
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