Global and local tech updates

Here are some eye-catching and interesting technology updates.

International tech developments:

Hong Kong-based DotAsia Foundation starts accepting registrations for the new .ASIA domain.

Internet giant Google has gobbled up microblogging “activity stream” and microblogging manager Jaiku which directly competes with Twitter. See Jaiku’s announcement here. Google meanwhile still dominates internet search engines, according to a recent study, with Yahoo as a far second.

Fans of Star Wars and the Playstation Portable (PSP) are expected to jam US stores for the new, limited-edition Darth Vader PSP-2000. The US199 bundle also includes the new Star Wars Battlefront game. A related report says that Japanese bought about 500,000 PSPs in September 2007 – a record high.

For those looking for a free and competent alternative to the expensive Microsoft Office, better take a look at a review of the new OpenOffice 2.3 suite. Observers also viewed as a sign of the growing strength of Firefox the recent decision of Microsoft to skip the Windows validation process prior to allowing users to download Internet Explorer 7.

ZDNet’s Russell Shaw asks
: Is iPhone helping Apple lose its soul? — perhaps in reaction to widespread protests over the sudden price cut for the new phone barely 100 days since it was introduced. In another front, Apple may face a class action suit from victims of iBricking, which happens when an unlocked iPhone gets a firmware update.

Are you new in blogging? Blog Herald’s Jason Kaneshiro has a sound piece of advice: Make a “long-term commitment” and explains what it means.

See two new websites too: Political Base was launched today by CNet founder Shelby Bonnie, a wiki site hoping to capitalize on the burgeoning role of the internet in US political campaigns. The other newbie is Spekked, an entertainment news gateway initiated by the b5media network.

Some Philippine tech news:

The Philippine National Police rehashes its anti-crime drive through text.

Computer security company Symantec says 87 percent of Philippine emails is spam.

Google AdWords has come to the Philippines, along with some Google executives who are attending a conference in Makati City.

After the US$329-million National Broadband Network, the next flashpoint is the US$400-million Cyber-Education Project, which is the topic of a useful guide by StudentStrike, a blog run by League of Filipino Students chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.

Still on the NBN, the government’s telecom regulators have began talking with local telcos on how the three big cell networks to study the cost and feasibility of setting up such a network. Why they didn’t first think about doing this is everyone’s guess.

The country’s Commission on Information and Communications Technology has a very jurassic website, which speaks volumes about the government’s real level of appreciation for information and communications technology. (Maybe Mrs. Arroyo could ask ZTE to redo the CICT site.)

The Couch Camote says there are just too many social networking sites around today.

For those salivating at the new iPods, visit Yugatech’s blog for a review of the iTouch and the new Nano. is short-listed as finalist for the second time in the Philippine Web Awards. On mobile commerce, Filipinos can now fully use Paypal to send and receive money.

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