Print Media Payday with Apple iPad?

I love my iPod and my iPhone and I think I could learn to love one of these iPads, too. I could even learn to love paying 99 cents (or less or more) for content now again, say a subscription to the New York Times Sunday edition (complete with crossword) or the New Yorker. I’d have no problem with this if it meant being able to read with the comfort of an iPad on my lap, instead of squinting to see my phone or feeling like I’m at work with my laptop on my lap (even if I’m sitting in bed on a rainy Sunday morning).

There’s going to be a lot more about whether the iPad can save so-called “print journalism” in the coming months. There’s going to be pro’ing and con’ing about how people will ever agree to pay for something they got for nothing and the best way for consumers to get a collective head around the idea that paid content is (or should be) superior to and more valuable than what is free.

My guess is that if Apple saved the 45 rpm (witness all those 99-cent singles we download), saving the Daily News, Vanity Fair and even Popular Mechanics ought to be a piece of cake.

Source: “With Apple Tablet, Print Media Hope for a Payday,” New York Times, Janaury 25, 2010.

Photo courtesy of ICT Magazine.

How to Get Hacked, Or If Your Password Is ‘Chocolate’, Change It

Today’s New York Times has a friendly reminder to review your passwords for “hack-a-bility”.

In “If Your Password is 123456, Just Make It HackMe,” Ashlee Vance writes:

“According to a new analysis, one out of five Web users still decides to leave the digital equivalent of a key under the doormat: they choose a simple, easily guessed password like ‘abc123,’ ‘iloveyou’ or even ‘password’ to protect their data.”

In one study, the top 32 most common passwords to access sites like Facebook and MySpace also included ‘qwerty,’ ‘princess,’ and ‘chocolate.’

“Overusing simple passwords is not a new phenomenon. A similar survey examined computer passwords used in the mid-1990s and found that the most popular ones at that time were ‘12345,’ ‘abc123’ and ‘password.’

Why do so many people continue to choose easy-to-guess passwords, despite so many warnings about the risks?

Security experts suggest that we are simply overwhelmed by the sheer number of things we have to remember in this digital age.”

(Read more)

Australian Startup Solar-Gem Brings Light to the World’s Poor

Khimji Vaghjiani, CEO of Solar-Gem, winner of yesterday’s G’Day USA Australia Innovation Shoot Out in Silicon Valley, and 2010 Australia Entrepreneur of the Year, talks to Robert ScobleScobleizer, Tech Geek Interviews of Business Innovators.

Click here to watch the video to find out more about Solar-Gem’s solar-charging lighting system for emerging economies that lets these communities reduce kerosene use and charge devices like cell phones, as well as to learn more about the climate for Australian entrepreneurs Down Under and why they keep coming to Silicon Valley to raise funds.

Photo by KazzaDrask Media: Khimji Vaghjiani, CEO of Solar-Gem, New South Wales, Australia is interviewed by Robert Scoble.

Solar-Gem Wins 2010 G’Day USA Australian Innovation Shoot Out

Mountain View, CA — G’Day USA: Australia Week 2010 today announced that Solar-Gem, a company from New South Wales, has won the 2010 Australian Innovation Shoot Out, a competition to promote Australian innovation by showcasing the country’s most pioneering technology companies. The fourth annual Innovation Shoot Out was hosted at Microsoft’s Mountain View, Calif. campus today.

Solar-Gem provides modular solar-powered off-grid lighting and electricity systems, pre-pay tariffing systems, and high-efficiency LED lighting modules targeting the 1.6 billion people without access to power.

Companies were judged based on their ability to solve a recognized problem, demonstrate a clearly defined business model and market for their solutions, offer a solution superior to what’s already available, and provide a reasonable return on investment. Solar-Gem was selected from six other Australian companies competing in the Innovation Shoot Out.

“Solar-Gem defines what the Innovation Shoot Out is all about—showcasing the strength and prominence of Australian innovation and its potential to impact the world,” said Chris De Cure, OAM, Australian consul general to Los Angeles and chair of G’Day USA. “We look forward to following Solar-Gem as it continues its success.” (Read more)

Photo by KazzaDrask Media: Mark Anderson, CEO of Strategic News Services (right) and chair of the judging panel presents the 2010 Australian Entrepreneur of the Year award to Khimji Vaghjiani, CEO of a Solar-Gem from New South Wales.

Mark Anderson on Australia Week, Australian Innovation and the G’Day USA Innovation Shoot Out in Silicon Valley

Mark Anderson, CEO of Strategic News Service, a leading influencer in the technology world, writes about Australia’s pro-innovation environment, where government and industry work closely in tandem to position themselves globally and what the US might be able to learn from this on his blog, A Bright Fire.

Click here to read “Australia Week” now.

Anderson will be chairing the judging panel and speaking at tomorrow’s G’Day USA Australian Innovation Shoot Out at the Microsoft Campus in Silicon Valley, where seven of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs will deliver 5-minute pitches to investors. The event is sold out.

Watch this space for more coverage of the event and follow it in real-time tomorrow, January 20, starting at 8 am on Twitter at @AUS_Innovation (#ISO_2010).

Top Aussie Entrepreneurs Take Aim at Silicon Valley at Fourth Annual G’Day USA Pitch Shoot Out

Seven leading technology entrepreneurs have been chosen by their states to represent Australia’s formidable innovation reputation at this year’s G’Day USA Australia Innovation Shoot Out at the Microsoft Campus in Mountain View, CA.

The competition, to be held on January 20, is designed to give the companies global commercialization opportunities that begin in Silicon Valley, where the tech world’s venture capital, marketing savvy and partnership deals converge.

The Shoot Out competitors represent a wide variety of technology sectors, from green tech to business software and hardware – innovations range from improvements for online security, surveillance and business management to new ways to measure and reduce greenhouse gases, revolutionize outdated water infrastructure systems and deliver off-grid clean energy.

“The Australia Innovation Shoot Out is the perfect intersection of Aussie know-how meets American can-do,” said Viki Forrest, CEO of ANZA Technology Network, who has been preparing the companies to deliver their 5-minute pitches to the Silicon Valley audience and judging panel of industry experts and investors. “In the global economy it makes sense for Australian innovation to commercialize beyond its borders, and the US investment community is still the best source to help make this happen.” (read more)

10 Things Not to Buy in 2010…Or, Things That Will Go the Way of the Rotary Phone

I loved taking a little break from blogging at the end of the year — but as a result I missed all those “Year in Review” and “Best (or Worst) Things of the Decade” lists that typically flutter around at year or decade end. (Note to self: There weren’t nearly as many of those stories as we’ve seen in years and decades past…hmmmm.)

Starting fresh for the New Year though, SmartMoney.com has a list for 2010: “10 Things Not to Buy in 2010”. Since most of us start the year with resolutions of frugality and downsizing on clutter, this will seem easy at first. But as the months move on and the economy picks up (as it is predicted to do), SmartMoney has compiled a list of 10 things we really won’t need. DVDs, magazine subscriptions, and energy-inefficient appliances are a few of these…unless of course you’ve got room for them near your old rotary phone. (Read more)

Source: AnnaMaria Andriotis, SmartMoney.com.

US HIV Travel Ban Officially Lifted

Over two years ago, the Bush Administration issued a directive to lift the oppressive HIV travel ban in the United States. Today, January 4, 2010, that ban is officially history.

For 22 years, the US banned people with HIV/AIDS from entering the country unless they had a US family member who could sign a waiver on their behalf. The waiver was to guarantee that the person with HIV would not place any Americans at risk for contracting the disease.

Put into place during the Reagan years, the HIV travel ban was at first an ignorant response to a serious health issue. As time went on, however, the ban became a cruel roadblock aimed particularly against gay men in same-sex binational relationships. US immigration law continues to leave LGBT people out of what constitutes a “family”. As a result, a gay American with a foreign partner with HIV/AIDS did not qualify as the “family member” needed to sign the waiver. Only a parent or spouse could do that. And — at the federal level, the US still only defines “spouse” as one’s “opposite-sex partner”.

So, good riddance to the discriminatory HIV travel ban, which President Obama says is “a step that will keep families together.” It’s a start. An LGBT American with a foreign partner with HIV/AIDS most likely is living in exile with that partner, in a country that does not discriminate against gays and lesbians when it comes to immigration rights or health concerns. Circumventing signing a waiver, the LGBT American and his foreign partner who is HIV-positive can now travel to the US for a visit. But they can’t stay together here permanently. (Read more)