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Flag image Copyright 1997 Xoom Software, Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.Political Content on Internet Banned in Myanmar
Myanmar’s military regime has issued tough restrictions that forbid the posting of political writings in cyberspace. Myanmar Post and Telecommunications, a government agency, prohibited publishing anything on the Internet that is "directly or indirectly detrimental to the current policies and secret security affairs of the government." Under existing law, possession of a computer or fax or the setting up of an unauthorized computer network is punishable with jail terms of up to 15 years. Last month the two local private e-mail providers using overseas servers were suspended by the government. (Associated Press; January 23, 2000)

Flag image Copyright 1997 Xoom Software, Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.New Initiative Launched for Thai URLs, Online Content
Online Thai content has received a big boost, thanks to new software developed by ThaiURL.com that lets browsers recognize Web addresses written in Thai. Association of Thai Software Industry president Arporna Sribhibhadh said the tool was convenient for Thai users and encouraged new Internet users as well as the creation of local Web sites. ThaiURL.com plans to roll out plans for e-commerce and a portal site as well. The company intends to expand internationally, with plans to develop the program for other languages. (Bangkok Post; December 22, 1999)

Flag image Copyright 1997 Xoom Software, Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.India Conference Addresses Net Impact on Newspapers, Classifieds, Audiences
The Press Club of India recently held in New Delhi its Annual Lecture entitled Journalism in the New Millennium. "The print media has certain intrinsic advantages which will ensure that other media do not replace it," said Donald Morrison, Asia Editor of Time magazine. "The biggest challenge that the industry will face is how to remain interesting," he said. There is now an "entire generation" that does not turn to newspapers or magazines for news. Another big threat is in the form of losing advertisements, particularly classifieds, said Morrison. Dileep Padgaonkar, editor of Times of India, said that as the Internet became more accessible, it would change the way news providers work in terms of amount and frequency of news published. "We have to take on the challenge posed by the Internet and be better journalists," said Larry Jagan, Asia-Pacific editor of the BBC. (Hindustan Times, Press Trust of India; December 7, 1999)

Flag image Copyright 1997 Xoom Software, Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.Web Site Provides Info, Tracking of Victims of Venezuela’s Killer Floods
More Information:

Flood Relief Web Site

Centralized Aid Site

A set of Web sites for tens of thousands of victims of Venezuela’s killer floods are now among the most heavily visited sites in the country. Of the 140,000 believed to have lost their homes, 30,000 survivors have been registered on the improvised site. About 20 people are registering on laptop computers the names of the rescued and missing, while media group CANTV has set up free connections in large stadiums and barracks housing the evacuees. The site is also able to receive donations from abroad and has links to an aid site. (Reuters; December 23, 1999)

Flag image Copyright 1997 Xoom Software, Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.Chinese Government Slowly Relaxes Control of News Sites, Chat Rooms
Locally produced Web sites and chat rooms give China’s estimated 7 million Internet users a forum for public debate and discussion—even a degree of dissent—that was unavailable previously. China now has assigned "editors" to allow participants to voice their frustrations as well as some political dissent but at the same time weed out comments overly critical of the party. "We try to let the people speak," said the Internet division head of the Chinese Communist Party newspaper Jiang Yaping. "We are the main newspaper of the party, so of course there are limits." At Sina.com and People’s Daily, the goal is to review all comments within minutes and remove those deemed inappropriate. (Straits Times, Singapore; December 25, 1999)

Flag image Copyright 1997 Xoom Software, Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.Hackers Raid Tass Agency Web Site in Protest over Chechen Raids
Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency said its Internet site had been hacked into by "computer terrorists" demanding that Russia halt its military campaign in Chechnya. "They called themselves ‘princes of darkness’ and ‘angels of freedom’and demanded that Russia stop the war in Chechnya," a spokesman for the agency said. An e-mail also protested over the "murder of peaceful Chechens." (Reuters; December 12, 1999)

Flag image Copyright 1997 Xoom Software, Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.Battle of the "Net Waves": Canadian Internet TV Broadcaster Faces Legal Action
A group of U.S. television stations is preparing legal action against Canadian Net TV company iCraveTV.com, joining a group of Canadian broadcasters already battling the controversial start-up. ICraveTV broadcasts 17 television stations from Canada and the U.S. over the Internet. The Canadian start-up is the first to offer uncut, uninterrupted streams of broadcast television programming online. Its fate could determine the early course of Internet television. (New York Times; December 14, 1999)

U.S. Portals Occupy Number One Spot in Most European Markets Except France, Germany
Europe MapA study by research firm MMXI Europe BV, the first broad-based survey of the European market, found the pull of local language content to be very strong. U.S.-based Yahoo! ranked as the number one most-visited site in Britain and number two in both Germany and France, but Germany’s T-Online and France’s Wanadoo, the Internet access providers owned respectively by telecommunications giants Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom, were the most visited sites in their home markets. "We’re starting to enter the second wave of Europeans coming online; the first 10 percent or so were perhaps more comfortable with technology and English-language content," said Stefan Slowinski, Internet analyst at Robertson Stephens International. (Reuters; December 7, 1999)

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