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BusINess » Internet

Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

On 10th anniversary, Wikipedia aims for diversity

Wikipedia, the online trove of assorted facts and trivia, is trying to be more well-rounded.

As the encyclopedia nears its 10th birthday on Saturday, its leaders are seeking a more diverse group of editors—specifically, women, people in developing countries and people with expertise in assorted disciplines.

Wikipedia is about to open an office in India and wants to expand further in Brazil, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. Today, 20 percent of the site’s pages are written in English, but the organization expects that to change over the next 10 years.
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E-mail secondary as Facebook revamps messaging

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about the new email service at an announcement in San Francisco, Monday, November 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about the new email service at an announcement in San Francisco, Monday, November 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Facebook is betting that one day soon, we’ll all be acting like high school students—more texting and instant-messaging, at the expense of e-mail. Facebook unveiled a new messaging system Monday, and while CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t go as far as declaring e-mail dead, he clearly sees the four-decade-old technology being eclipsed by more real-time ways of communicating.

“We don’t think a modern messaging system is going to be e-mail,” Zuckerberg said.

Right now, Facebook’s Messages section is a lot like an e-mail inbox. The overhauled version, which will be rolled out to users by invitation in coming months, brings in cell phone texts, IM chats and e-mails from non-Facebook accounts.
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Labor Department grant to boost IT security for unemployment systems

Indiana and Illinois will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Labor to improve security for the states’ unemployment insurance systems.

Indiana will get $94,650, and Illinois will get $150,000 to improve unemployment insurance information technology and IT security.

The purpose of the grants is to encourage states to use the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s guidelines to enhance and secure the unemployment insurance systems, and achieve security certification and accreditation of the systems. The grants also will improve IT contingency planning weaknesses identified in the audits of the states’ unemployment insurance contingency plans. The Labor Department’s Office of the Inspector General leads the audits.

The Department of Labor awarded about $9.6 million to 29 states and the Virgin Islands. This is the sixth year the department has awarded these grants.


Online voter registration arrives July 1

As the Indiana Supreme Court wrestles with accusations that the state’s voter ID law is an obstacle to casting a ballot, state officials are preparing to offer an additional and, for some, easier way to register to vote.

Any Hoosier with a valid driver’s license or state identification card will be able to register or update an existing registration online at indianavoters.com starting July 1, according to Jim Gavin, communications director for Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita.

The service is the latest addition to a website that allows voters to confirm their registration, locate polling places, inquire about the status of a provisional ballot, learn which candidates are on their ballot and obtain contact information for local election officials.
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An American dream

Tyler Bush, whose roots are deeply imbedded in the steel industry, branded his company, its website and its clothing line “Rusted Blue.”

Bush is founder and chief designer of the design/photography/film production company that will launch the line of lifestyle clothing this summer as one of its initiatives. Bush says all the company’s products build on the innovation of this country’s forefathers.

“Rusted Blue is inspired by the American dream,” he said. “It focuses on American craftsmanship. That’s something of value that has to be celebrated.”
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Hobart company wins Web award

Point Imaging and Director of Marketing Marco Perez have won the best static Web site by the Print Industries of America. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

Point Imaging and Director of Marketing Marco Perez have won the best static Web site by the Print Industries of America. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

A digital graphics provider in Hobart has been named a winner in the inaugural web2awards by Printing Industries of America.

Point Imaging won best static website for companies under $10 million in sales. Marco Perez, PI’s director of marketing, said it launched the website last March and has seen a rise in traffic and opportunities over the past year.

“I’m glad the judges saw and felt the personal touch that we incorporated into the site,” he said.
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Yahoo keeps AP in its content corner with new deal

A screen shot of Associated Press news content on the Yahoo news website is shown in San Francisco, Monday, Feb. 1, 2010. The Associated Press has signed a licensing deal with Yahoo Inc. that gives the news cooperative a steady stream of revenue at a time less money is flowing in from newspapers and broadcasters. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

A screen shot of Associated Press news content on the Yahoo news website is shown in San Francisco, Monday, Feb. 1, 2010. The Associated Press has signed a licensing deal with Yahoo Inc. that gives the news cooperative a steady stream of revenue at a time less money is flowing in from newspapers and broadcasters. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The Associated Press has signed a licensing deal with Yahoo Inc. that gives the news cooperative a steady stream of revenue at a time less money is flowing in from newspapers and broadcasters.

The announcement by both companies Monday didn’t disclose the financial terms of the agreement, which allows Yahoo to continue posting AP content on its site.

The AP says it is still negotiating to renew its online licensing agreements with two other companies with far deeper pockets, Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Google stopped posting fresh AP content on its website in late December.
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Business-to-business bartering is booming

Helen Williams, of Williams Florist in Highland, creates arrangements for a local church in October. Williams is a member of ITEX, which allows her to barter with other ITEX members who run small businesses. ITEX, like other bartering exchanges, serves as the go-between. The company grows the membership, maintains a computerized bartering platform, and keeps the records of trades, credits and payments. (Photograph by Natalie Battaglia/The Times.)

Helen Williams, of Williams Florist in Highland, creates arrangements for a local church in October. Williams is a member of ITEX, which allows her to barter with other ITEX members who run small businesses. ITEX, like other bartering exchanges, serves as the go-between. The company grows the membership, maintains a computerized bartering platform, and keeps the records of trades, credits and payments. (Photograph by Natalie Battaglia/The Times.)

Cash, check—or a full set of dental X-rays?

That’s the kind of question more businesses are encountering as bartering works its way deeper into the economy.

Bartering—trading what one has (or has too much of) for products and services one needs—is proof that “all things old are new again.” Mankind’s first economic model, bartering eventually was supplanted by currency and credit.

Today, bartering is enjoying resurgence. Craigslist, for instance, has seen a big increase in barter trades. According to reports, use of its bartering section rocketed up more than 100 percent between April 2008 to April 2009.

Bartering is enjoying a boom locally, though it’s been around longer than most know. Dr. Andy Koultorides, who runs a dental practice in Munster, has bartered dental services for office cleaning services with Constant Clean for more than 10 years. The two businesses barter their services through a national exchange called ITEX (itex.com).

“Cash is the harder thing to come by in this economy,” Koultorides said. “Bartering is one more way to make a deal.”

Koultorides has swapped his dental skills for a wide array of products and services, including office cleaning and supplies, printing, vacations and more.

Constant Clean, according to owner Robert Baidinger, trades its work for dental exams and fillings for employees, as well as advertising, printing and the design of a new website from fellow ITEX member Datamine. Baidinger’s company, with offices in Munster and Crown Point, has been bartering for more than 15 years.
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South Shore CVA wins two awards

The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority won the STAR Award of Excellence for Supplier Website and the STAR Award of Excellence for the Supplier STAR Service from the Indiana Society of Association Executive’s annual awards program.

The Supplier Website Award was won for the website, southshorecva.com. The site was redesigned in 2009 to create a user-friendly, content rich site for customers. The changes reinforced the recent re-branding of the organization. Partners of the SSCVA can also update information in real time through a partner log-in.

The Supplier STAR Service was awarded for the South Shore CVA’s FAM (familiarization) Tour. The Radisson Hotel and the SSCVA received 25 RSVP’s for the tour and has since booked one group and two more are holding space at the hotel for future meetings.

The South Shore CVA took home two of the four awards in the supplier category. Learn more about ISAE at isae.org.


Dec. 17 is D Day for free shipping

Employee Cindy Swanson, of Lansing, takes a customer's box full of holiday gifts destined for California to the back of the UPS store in Porte de’Leau Shopping Center in Highland. (Photograph by Natalie Battaglia/The Times.)

Employee Cindy Swanson, of Lansing, takes a customer's box full of holiday gifts destined for California to the back of the UPS store in Porte de’Leau Shopping Center in Highland. (Photograph by Natalie Battaglia/The Times.)

Traffic is expected to boom on a Web site created to help Internet holiday shoppers find retailers that offer free shipping and a promise of before Christmas delivery.

The website, freeshippingday.com was established by Luke Knowles last year and now has added many retail sites to its listings.

“Even though we have good intentions to get our holiday shopping done early, we as consumers tend to wait until the last second because of our busy lives,” said Knowles in a statement. “Free Shipping Day is the perfect shopping event for procrastinators, and retailers love the idea, because it extends the online holiday shopping season since consumers know that they can place an order on Dec. 17, and it will arrive at the intended destination by Christmas Eve day.”
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