Archive for April, 2000


Tuesday, April 18th, 2000

A new open circuit television (OCTV) system from UK company, Shawley, provides remote surveillance via the mobile phone network over any distance through a camera that can be held in the palm of the hand, or fixed to the wall or ceiling in homes and offices. Authorised personnel with a mobile phone and computer combination plus the appropriate PIN can carry out monitoring at any time. The system can also be used with traditional wired telephone systems.

Applications include the replacement of closed circuit TV (CCTV) systems in town centres, convert surveillance by security services, access control on building sites and anti-vandal surveillance in schools, sports stadiums and other public places. The system will even allow users to watch their homes from tens of thousands of kilometres away.

According to the manufacturer, cost savings over CCTV systems can be as high as 80%, as there is no need for expensive wiring, special monitors, or cables that may have to be buried beneath the ground.

OCTV transmits colour video over GSM and PCN networks and through any other network that allows the transmission of data. The video pictures are stored at the camera end but compressed and transmitted to the monitor for remote storage and viewing. They use analogue colour and black and white twin CCD camera for the plan, titl and zoom heads and static cameras, and digital cameras for hand-held or palm PC devices.

All images are encrypted on receipt before transmission and before storing on local camera positions. All hardware is encoded so that only specific monitoring positions can access specific camera positions. Replicating the hardware will not give ‘hackers’ access to the image even if they have the OCTV software.

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Saturday, April 1st, 2000

In what is believed to be a world first, a Webside has been launched to help mediate disputes over native title claims.

The site offers a step-by-step guide to use the skills of mediation in land claim issues, with each step clearly explained to help people find their solutions.

The site, to be found at, was produced with money and help from philanthropic trusts, lawyers, the Federal Government and business firms.

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Saturday, April 1st, 2000

A new Web site will offer online fixed income secondary trading and research for institutional clients of project sponsors Deutsche Bank, Salomon Smith Barney, Warburg Dillon Read and Westpac Banking Corporation.

The site will offer a faster and more efficient alternative to the current telephone ordering system for fixed income products such as Australian government and semi-government bonds, selected Australian corporate bonds and New Zealand government bonds.

Institutional clients will be able to request quotes on individual products from the four competing investment banks on one screen, in keeping with the requirement for most institutional investors to obtain three quotes before trading.

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Saturday, April 1st, 2000

In March 2000, AT&T Wireless commercially rolled out its first commercial fixed wireless service in Fort Worth, Texas.

The service can support up to four phone lines and operates over AT&T’s existing mobile spectrum.

For US$25.95, customers get one voice line with caller ID, call waiting and three-way calling. That price includes unlimited local calling and 7¢ per minute long-distance. The data service costs US$34.95 per month and is always on. Current trial customers were recently upgraded from 256 to 512Kb/s and will receive even higher speeds later on in the year.

Customers have a small antenna fixed on their house, which will be connected to a control unit inside their homes

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Saturday, April 1st, 2000

The percentage of home Internet users in the USA who surf the Web every day has risen from 46.7% in 1997 to 61% today, according to the Strategis Group.

Workplace usage of the Internet among workers has declined by 3 million users to 58 million since the middle of last year. Women, who accounted for only 16.5% of all users in mid-1997, now make up 49% of users.

The study shows that the average Internet user has access to 1.5 computers at home. Internet ‘veterans’, defined by at least three years’ experience on the Web, rose from 22.5% of all users in mid-1997 to 44.9% by late last year. Internet users with less than one year of experience have dropped to 18.8% of the overall total. The number of people who make e-commerce purchases jumped 25 million in one year – to the current 52 million.

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