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					Name: Ilin Tsai


Topic 1      RFID

     Oct. 19, 2005—Sweden has started issuing RFID-enabled passports, or

e-passports, fitted with RFID tags. Each tag is encoded with the personal details

normally included in a passport—height, hair and eye color, and so forth—and with a

digital photograph of the owner.

     Swedish citizens applying for a passport must visit one of the country's 270

police stations, where they can complete a passport application and have a photograph

taken. That data is then entered into a centralized government system and used to

produce the e-passport. Swenska Pass, a division of Setec, the systems integrator that

developed the e-passport system, prints the passport and encodes the holder's data

onto the tag's 64 kilobytes of memory. The document is then delivered to the police

station, where the police and passport owner verify the accuracy of the encoded

details. Designed with a custom housing, the readers can interrogate not only the

e-passports but Sweden's new national ID cards, which are being fitted with the same

RFID tags.

   A number of countries have proposed to implant RFID devices in new passports,

to facilitate efficient machine reading of biometric data. The RFID-enabled passport

uniquely identifies its holder, and in the proposal currently under consideration, will

also include a variety of other personal information. This could greatly simplify some

of the abuses of RFID technology, and expand them to include abuses based on

machine reading of data such as a person's nationality. For example, a mugger

operating near an airport could target victims who have arrived from wealthy

countries, or a terrorist could design a bomb which functioned when approached by
persons from a particular country.

News resource: , 16 November 2005

Topic 2    Lock-in

     In economics, vendor lock-in, is a situation in which a customer is dependent on

a vendor for products and services and cannot move to another vendor without

substantial switching costs, real and/or perceived. By the creation of these costs to the

customer, lock-in favors the company (vendor) at the expense of the consumer.

Lock-in costs may create a barrier to entry in a market that if great enough to result in

an effective monopoly, may result in antitrust actions from the relevant authorities.

     ODF support in the Workplace Managed Client desktop management system will

be available early in 2006. The product is set to be aggressively marketed in

developing countries and to governmental bodies that do not want to simply

standardise on the document formats offered in Microsoft’s Office suite.

     IBM said proprietary file formats can force businesses into a perpetual cycle of

royalty and licensing fees, where they can find themselves locked into their original

software choices just to ensure future access to their documents. It said open standards

such as ODF help ensure interoperability between systems, while documents will be

accessible well into the future, regardless of the platform or software used.

     The ODF standard is a key development in the management of corporate data

and documents – organisations should not have to purchase any particular vendor’s

software product to access their own data. Different companies, or a single company,

may create different versions of the same system architecture that cannot interoperate.

Manufacturers may design their products so that replacement parts or add-on
enhancements must be purchased from the same manufacturer, rather than from a

third party (connector conspiracy). The purpose is to make it difficult for users to

switch to competing systems. Other examples include the several slightly different

implementations of various open standards, the many variations of Microsoft Office's

file formats, and also Microsoft's software in general.

News resource:

mentformattopreventuserdatalock-in.htm       , 1 December 2005

Topic 3     Copyrights

     New users who attempt to access the Kazaa Web site from Australia are directed

to a notice stating, "The download of the Kazaa Media Desktop by users in Australia

is not permitted," while existing users who open up their application on their desktop

are greeted with a warning stating: "Attention users in Australia: To comply with

orders of the Federal Court of Australia, pending an appeal in the February 2006, use

of the Kazaa Media Desktop is not permitted by persons in Australia. If you are in

Australia, you must not download or use the Kazaa Media Desktop."

     Kazaa is a peer-to-peer service used largely for the sharing of music files --

whether copyright or unrestricted--within a community of users. The Kazaa Web site

is expected to remain off-limits to Australian users at least until at a decision is made

in the appeal by Sharman and associated parties against the orders. The appeal is due

to be heard in February.

     Right now a lot of service online are related to copyright, such as kazaa (peer-to

peer service), Amazon (online bookstore), New York Times (newspaper) and google

scholar (article & paper). They make lower distribution costs work for you, and must
give away some of content in order to sell rest, sometimes all free product. The

demand is sometimes for repeat view, just like free video, sometimes for

complementary products, such as economist give away index. Copy protection that

imposes costs on users is vulnerable to competitive forces. Basic tradeoff in terms and

conditions: more liberal terms make product more valuable buy may reduce sales.

News resource:

7_3-5983455.html , 5 December 2005

Topic 4     Venture Capital

     Venture capital is capital provided by outside sources for financing of new,

growing or struggling businesses. Venture capital investments generally are high risk

investments but offer the potential for above average returns. A venture capitalist (VC)

is a person who makes such investments. A venture capital fund is a pooled

investment vehicle (often a partnership) that primarily invests the financial capital of

third-party investors in enterprises that are too risky for the standard capital markets

or bank loans.

     In a deal that marks the latest example of US buy-out groups’ appetite for the

European cable sector, Carlyle and Providence Equity Partners on Monday confirmed

they had agreed to buy Com Hem of Sweden. The agreement between the US groups

and EQT Partners, a private equity company partly owned by Sweden’s Investor, puts

the last Swedish-owned cable television and broadband company into foreign hands.

     Aside from the company's reach of 1.6m customers, high quality networks, and

60 per cent share on the Swedish market, Com Hem is the leading provider of ―triple

play‖ telecoms services, where television, telephony and internet are delivered

through one pipe, in Sweden.
     Com Hem has invested about SKr1bn ($125m) to extend its networks to 1.43m

households. It has so far attracted 210,000 digital TV customers, 207,000 broadband

customers and 70,000 telephony customers. Revenue growth has exceeded 20 per cent

annually over the last three years and Com Hem's earnings before interest, taxes,

depreciation and amortisation has increased to over SKr700m from SKr59m in 2002.

     Venture capitalists hope to be able to sell their stock, warrants, options,

convertibles, or other forms of equity in three to seven years, at or after an exit event;

this is referred to as harvesting. Venture capitalists know that not all their investments

will pay off. The failure rate of investments can be high; anywhere from 20% to 90%

of the enterprises funded fail to return the invested capital. In case a venture fails, then

the entire funding by the venture capitalist is written off.

     Many venture capitalists try to mitigate the risk of failure through diversification.

They invest in companies in different industries and different countries so that the risk

across their portfolio is minimized. Others concentrate their investments in the

industry that they are familiar with. In either case, they usually work on the

assumption that for every ten investments they make, two will be failures, two will be

successful, and six will be marginally successful. They expect that the two successes

will pay for the time given to, and risk exposure of the other eight. In good times, the

funds that do succeed may offer returns of 300 to 1000% to investors.

News resource:,_i_rssPage=7c2e2

eb0-cbe5-11d7-81c6-0820abe49a01.html          , 5 December 2005

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