Because Skype eliminates the middleman, calls between its users are free. The company generates revenue by selling services that allow subscribers to make calls to people who haven’t downloaded the software. A connection from a Skype-loaded device to a traditional telephone in most places generally costs about 2 cents per minute. And, according to the company (and some of its subscribers), Skype’s sound quality is better than typical telephone reception, primarily because it is not limited to the standard telephone transmission spectrum of 300 Hz to 3 kHz, a relatively narrow bandwidth.
Free software in public administration is not only about software for special government programs such as digital inclusion for the poor. This is a battle about the purchase and use of all software by national governments and the terms such software will be provided under. This is about the procurement of servers and database applications used to house government data. This is also about the software that will be purchased and used on the desktops of government office workers every day.
MUNICH -- Siemens Communications and government-owned telecommunications operator BEST have signed a memorandum of understanding for the delivery of the WiMAX solution. The broadband radio network is part of a new initiative in Belarus designed to provide large parts of the population with internet access. In addition, the Belarussian government wants to use the WiMAX network for an innovative telemetering solution with which all household consumption data for electricity, gas and water will be transmitted over the air to a central billing system. The network and the remote wireless meter reading system are scheduled to go live at the end of 2005.
The regulation governing e-invoices will come into force in July 2005. The Finance Ministry has finished its consultation, and the draft regulation is ready, according to Jaroslaw Neneman, the deputy minister of finance, quoted by Puls Biznesu. The regulation is intended to make e-invoices more popular in Poland and thus to speed up the logistics procedures and reduce costs. The Ministry has been working on the regulation for months, as there was disagreement over the electronic signature issue. The Ministry finally decided to incorporate the obligation to use a secure electronic signature into the regulation. This was opposed by the Polish Chamber of Information Technology and Telecommunications (PIIT). PIIT claims that this method of introducing e-invoices will be impracticable, because of the high costs of obtaining a secure e-signature, as there are only four companies which provide such signatures. Waclaw Iszkowski, the president of PIIT, said, in Puls Biznesu, that he hopes to convince the ministry to reverse the decision. The Chamber’s efforts are being supported by the banking industry, along with the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Iszkowski stated that companies should be allowed to choose whether to use a secure e-signature or just an ordinary one.
Political bloggers yesterday urged federal regulators to
keep the Internet as free as possible from campaign finance laws. Federal election officials until now have steered clear of Internet oversight, siding with bloggers and other online activists who portray the Web as a laboratory of grass-roots political participation and an outlet for free speech that should develop unhampered by the government.