PICTURES: new GEO calendars for 2006

I received from one of our provider quite an original X’mas gift last year: a marvelous GEO calendar. These beautiful pictures have accompanied me during the 12 months of 2005.

I have decided to order some of the new versions 2006 for the ecenter. I find that they are even more impressive as in 2005. Have a look!

GEO calendar “die Erde von oben (the Earth from above)”

GEO calendar

GEO calendar

GEO calendar “Genesis”

GEO calendar

GEO calendar

GEO calendar

Tags: picturesGEO

OPEN SOURCE: Status 2005, outlook 2006

[via Nick-are-you-really-on-holidays and BusinessWeek]

Very good summary of the status of the Open Source trend and business! Some excerpts:

  • In fact, open-source programs have become so popular, they now pose a legitimate threat to the established software giants.
  • According to a new study by consulting firm Optaros, 87% of organizations are now using open-source software, somewhere.
  • Red Hat finally proves to everyone it can make money from free software. […] Red Hat is one of the best-positioned stocks in software and should be able to further capitalize on the growing demand for open source.
  • Sun Microsystems open sources everything — except Java. […] The move transformed Sun into one of the largest open-source software players overnight. Yet critics have complained that what open-source developers really want is Java. Several experts expect that Sun might finally capitulate in 2006.
  • Even more exciting for penguin lovers, Motorola, the second-biggest handset maker in the world, announced that Linux would be its standard operating system for the bulk of its future phones.
  • Firefox goes mainstream.
  • Venture capitalists wake up to open source. Industry estimates show some $400 million was invested in open-source startups in 2005. Two types of companies dominated the landscape: First, so-called application companies, such as SugarCRM which makes customer relationship management software for companies and aims to compete with Siebel and

    The other category is services companies, which play the middleman between open-source projects and the info-tech departments at large corporations. Companies such as SpikeSource and SourceLabs test and maintain applications like SugarCRM for companies […]

    Half the companies that raised venture money in 2005 won’t be able to raise money in 2006.

  • All in all, it has been a pretty great year for open source. And 2006 may be even bigger and better.

BUSINESS: Holiday eSpending

[via nielsen//netratings, as pdf]

Interesting study from Goldman Sachs, nielsen//netratings, and Harris Interactive about the eSpending (Online shopping) in the US for the 2005 holiday season (Christmas’ period):

  • total holiday spending hits $25 bn (oct. 29 till dec.16), excluding travel
  • +25% compared to the same period in 2004
  • categories ranked by revenue
  • apparel/cloting: 17% (!)
  • computer hardware/peripherals: 14%
  • consumer electronics: 14%
  • books: 10%
  • video games (HW/SW): 7%

  • 45% of holiday shoppers went directly to an online retailer (URL)
  • 71% have felt very or somewhat satisfied, only 8% very or somewhat dissatisfied with their online shopping experience
  • 3 main issues encoutered: product out of stock (22%), could not locate a sought after item (18%), shipping costs excessive (16%)
  • Crazy, how the shopping structure is changing from year to year and how the remaining issues are evolving. Paiement security seems not to be a problem anymore for example.

    PICTURES: Dione

    [via CICLOPS]

    Cool and icy Dione floats in front of giant Saturn bedecked in a dazzling array of colors.

    The surface of Dione (1,118 kilometers, 695 miles across), which exhibits contrasting bright and dark areas when viewed up close, appears pale in this image. It is Saturn’s multi-hued cloud bands that boldly steal the show. Discrete clouds and eddies in Saturn’s northern hemisphere can be seen within the faint shadows of the rings on the planet.

    Cassini is in a phase of its mission in which its orbit will be nearly equatorial for some time. This view was obtained from about one-third of a degree out of the ringplane.

    Images taken with red, green and blue filters were used to create this natural color view. The images were obtained with the wide angle camera on September 22, 2005 from a distance of approximately 803,000 kilometers (499,000 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of about 43 degrees. The image scale is about 48 kilometers (30 miles) per pixel.


    Tags: picturedione

    NEWS: Google vs. Technorati

    [via Martin Varsavsky]

    Martin Varsavsky, CEO of FON, had the chance to meet Google and Technorati founders on the same day. Two different approaches. Quite provocative but interesting.

    First I was shocked to find out that there´s practically no contact between Technorati and Google. I guess it´s hard for 5000 people strong Google to meet 30 people strong Technorati and clearly Google is in a complete different league altogether but with both companies being so close to each other I found it remarkable that each should follow a complete separate path to similar objectives, facilitating search.

    Secondly after having studying the way Google works vs the way Technorati works my conclusion is that Google has a model that is not as scaleable as Technorati. I know this may sound shocking but here´s why. Google basically copies the internet every two weeks just to find out what changed. This process is slow and incredibly wasteful as “what changed”, may be, and I am guessing, one percent of what´s on the Net. In a way Google is based on the principle that people don´t want to be searched but Google goes ahead and searches them anyway. Technorati instead is based on the principle that anyone who publishes something wants others to know. Thus Technorati needs very few computers as it is only collecting notifications, the famous pings. In other words, while Google combs the haystack to get the needle Technorati simply uses a magnet that attracts the needle, and that magnet is people´s ego.

    Tags: googletechnorati

    BUSINESS: Ten CIO resolutions for 2006

    [via Gartner]

    […] “To get through this confusing and unstable period, IT leaders must drive their organisations with one foot on the accelerator and the other hovering over the brake.” […]

    Choose 2006 tactics towards a 2008 strategy
    1. Educate your business about the second internet revolution (before someone else does)
    2. Set some ‘do not migrate’ orders in advance
    3. Target 2008 for major innovation delivery

    Insist on agility – in the heart of the organisation
    4. Get yourself and your team ready for your next jobs
    5. Start a significant ‘software as a service’ implementation as a trial and education
    6. Organise your merger and acquisition capability

    Push beyond 2005 comfort zones – in value focus and technology
    7. Revisit capitalisation with your chief financial officer (CFO)
    8. Build your brand and your team
    9. Refresh your meetings with the chief executive officer (CEO)
    10. Check out some 2006 ‘hot’ technologies

    Tags: cio

    BUSINESS: Microsoft’s Top 10 challenges for 2006

    [via Directions on Microsoft]

    Interesting inputs, not on a “I hate Microsoft” level. Real strategic challenges.

    1. Take Vista into the Boardroom
    2. Lead on Application Security and Reliability
    3. Deliver Clarity on Managed Solutions
    4. Get Going on Tools
    5. Refresh the Online Strategy, Again
    6. Small and Medium Business: Get Beyond Naming
    7. Make a Systems Management Downpayment
    8. Reengineer Engineering for Clearer Roadmaps
    9. Xbox 360 Final Death Match Challenge
    10. Licensing: Value for the Money

    Tags: microsoft