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China IP Violations Result in Lost US Jobs

According to a newly released survey by the US International Trade Commission, roughly a million more jobs might be created in the US if China were to crack down on intellectual property violations.  In a survey of US businesses, the commission estimated roughly US$48 billion was lost in 2009 due to IP infringement in China.  Additionally, the exports of goods and services could increase by $21.4 billion. The Chinese government, in a recent study of its own, said pirated software cost that nation US$20.1 billion in 2010. “China: Effects of Intellectual Property Infringement and Indigenous Innovation Policies on the US Economy” is the second of two reports completed by the commission at the request of the US Senate Committee on Finance. (redOrbit)(The US International Trade Commission)(“China: Effects of Intellectual Property Infringement and Indigenous Innovation Policies on the U.S. Economy,” (Investigation No. 332-519, USITC Publication 4226, May 2011) The US International Trade Commission)

Internet Might End Snow Days for School Kids

Some schools and school districts in the US are experimenting with using the Internet as a means for students to continue learning despite bad weather. Typically, if weather conditions are deemed too perilous for driving, school is cancelled for the day, which is known as a “snow day.” One district in Ohio has lost 11 days to adverse weather this year, according to the Associated Press. School officials say that providing lessons online during these winter weather events would help students by enabling them to continue learning before standardized tests are administered in the spring. Typically, schools make up the lost time by abbreviating spring break or summer vacation. Some school districts or individual teachers have started to experiment with using Skype and YouTube. Some concerns exist, however. Many families might not be able to afford a computer, for example, or have Internet access. Also, those families with multiple children might not have a computer for each child. (SlashDot)( Press)

Kaspersky Calls for “Internet Interpol” to Combat Cybercrime

Eugene Kaspersky, Kaspersky Labs founder and security expert, says international law enforcement agencies must create an “Internet Interpol” to stem criminal activity now that cybercrime has become the second largest criminal activity in the world. Kaspersky says the past five years have been the "Golden Age" of cybercrime with online criminal activity now bested only by drug trafficking. A lack of interagency cooperation has proven problematic. Kaspersky says the idea of an international agency to investigate online crimes has been bandied about for a decade. If coupled with issuing Internet passports and online IDs, he says, this could prove an effective deterrent for online crimes. Kaspersky made his statements during an address at AusCERT 2011. (SlashDot)(CIO)(IT World Canada)

Prototype System Designed to Support Physical Therapy

Microsoft Research is working on a prototype system designed to allow those in physical therapy to better understand their condition using images. Estimates are that half of patients in physical therapy for chronic problems fail to undertake the recommended therapies or exercises for their injury. AnatOnMe is projection-based handheld device consisting of an Optoma PK102 pico projector, a Microsoft LifeCam digital webcam, and a FireFly MV USB near-infrared camera designed to promote effective communications between therapist and patient and enable the patient to better understand the treatment regime. It also uses an off-the-shelf laser pointer, which is modified to contain an IR laser diode. Therapists will use AnatOnMe’s webcam to take pictures of the injured area, which they can use to consult with patients as well as to augment their medical records. They can also project graphics – stock images of bone, muscle tissue, tendons or nerves at the injury site -- onto patients’ injured areas, a mannequin, or wall while describing the treatment protocol. The researchers say visualizing the injury and understanding the treatment benefits might help patients stay with their prescribed treatment, which could help them heal faster. (GizMag)(Microsoft Research)

Netflix Streaming Dominates Online Traffic

A new report states Netflix is now the largest source of overall Internet traffic. According to the Sandvine Global Internet Phenomena Report: Spring 2011, Netflix is responsible for 29.7 percent of peak downstream traffic in North America – “the same amount of traffic as normal Web browsing and YouTube videos combined,” noted The Christian Science Monitor as a comparison. Netflix’s traffic share is 22.2 percent in the US while BitTorrent, the peer-to-peer service with a tarnished reputation as a haven for digital piracy, had a 21.6 percent share of traffic. “That means for perhaps the first time in the Internet’s history, the largest percentage of the net’s traffic is content that is paid for,” noted Wired. The study found that real-time entertainment applications are responsible for 49.2 percent of peak aggregate traffic compared to 29.5 percent in 2009. By the end of 2011, that figure is expected to reach 55 to 60 percent as more people use streaming for watching sporting events including March Madness On Demand and news-worthy spectacles such as the British royal wedding. But as some reporters note, the statement is misleading because Netflix isn’t actually streaming across the Internet backbone, but from the network’s edge, otherwise known as “the last mile.” (Wired)(Christian Science Monitor)(Forbes)(Tech Crunch)(Sandvine)

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