FLU THREAT CAUSES BUSINESSES TO RETHINK CONFERENCING
Warnings about an upcoming bird flu pandemic are just about everywhere
these days and many U.S. businesses are preparing for what it might
mean to their workforce. Some estimates see up to 50 percent of workers
A host of new technology suppliers are stepping up their marketing
efforts offering solutions. For example, Schaumburg, IL-based Motorola
is rolling out Atlas, a video conference system that will bring a
company’s key personnel together for meetings without actually
having to be in the same room.
These types of systems will allow “face-to-face” discussions
in real time as well as the exchange of written documents via e-mail
regardless of whether the employees are in the office, at home or
SOMETIMES A PHONE IS JUST A
Third generation (3G) cell phones hit the market earlier this year
and wireless service providers have been spending billions of dollars
upgrading their networks to lure customers to the high-speed systems.
But, so far, customer reaction has been rather ho-hum.
The new phones enable customers to watch TV segments, send e-mail
messages and photographs, download music and games and search the
Web about five times faster than a standard cell phone. But industry
analysts figure less than three percent of the market is using them.
Part of the problem is that figuring out how to use all the features
on the handsets is a chore. Another part is the cost for these added
features. But Charles Golvin, an analyst at Forrester Research, was
quoted in The New York Times as saying, “The biggest impediment
is not pricing or technology, but consumer behavior. Most people still
look at these things as phones.”
WHO OWNS NO. 714?
The Internet arm of Major League Baseball says anyone using players’
names and performance statistics to operate a fantasy league commercially
must purchase a license. Disputing that is CBC Distribution and Marketing
Inc., a St. Louis company that runs Web-based fantasy leagues for
customers. It says it does not need a license because the players
are public figures whose statistics are in the public domain.
According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, more than 15 million
people spend about $1.5 billion annually to play fantasy sports.