Free counter and web stats News and Views: June 2006

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Communication Devices Of The Future

$100 Laptop
If we are to accept that the world economy is now fully dependent upon the information economy, then it stands to reason that those people who are left out of the global information network are doomed an endless cycle of poverty. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab has designed a fully functional laptop computer that can be sold for $100 so that children in poor or developing nations can get access to the Internet. To keep costs down, the laptop will use a $35 dual-mode display of the kind found in cheap DVD players, a 500-megahertz processor, a slimmed-down operating system, and only 1 gigabyte of storage. It can be plugged into a wall outlet or charged by a crank-driven battery, and it will connect to the Internet via a wireless card. To be sure, these laptops are not going to be playing Quake 4 anytime soon, but it could give disadvantaged kids a shot at taking part in the digital community. MIT hopes to have a working prototype by November 2005 and production units shipping to government education ministries by the end of 2006.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The home of online poker

Poker is played throughout the world, but it is probably still most popular in its country of origin, the USA. For a good introduction to Poker, refer to the Poker FAQ, which is associated with the newsgroup Other useful discussion forums are hosted by Two Plus Two Publishing and the United Poker Forum. Beginners may also want to refer to my page on the ranking of poker hands.
For those interested in the History of Poker, especially its origins and predecessors, here is David Parlett's article setting out what is known on this topic.
An excellent starting point to find all kinds of Poker information is Dan Kimberg's Serious Poker Page. Dan also maintains a comprehensive dictionary of Poker jargon, and another very useful dictionary is provided by the Planet Poker site.
Here is a link to Jerry Cooley's Basic Poker Rules, and here is Peter Sarrett's Glossary of Poker Terms.
A very detailed set of rules covering playing procedure, how to deal with irregularities, and so on, can be found on Bob Ciaffone's web site. He provides comprehensive rules for card rooms
and for home games. Joe Smith has published a web-friendly version of these rules. is the web site of the fortnightly print magazine Card Player. As well as an on line version of the magazine, and an archive of back issues it provides odds calculators, an online poker analyst, a huge forum, and many other resources. A discounted subscription to Card Player magazine is available though this link.
With the permission of the author, the full text of the book "Poker, A Guaranteed Income For Life by using the Advanced Concepts of Poker" by Frank R. Wallace is available for reading on line.
Poker Listings is an online poker guide and directory with information on online poker rooms, tournaments, bonuses, rules, strategy and many other resources. Poker Listings is also available in British and Swedish editions.
The site gives rules and strategy for Texas Hold'em, general advice on on-line poker, and has useful reviews of on-line poker rooms, poker news and a forum.
Internet Poker - Tony G's Poker News site offers rules, reviews of poker rooms, and a poker news service.
Steve Badger's Play Winning Poker site offers news, strategies and links to other useful information.
Here is the online version of Stan Sludikoff's Poker Player newspaper.
The International Poker Federation provides poker player ratings and tournament inforamtion as well as strategy articles.
The Poker Strategy site provides free strategy advice on low limit hold 'em and 7 card stud, a friendly and active poker forum, and reviews of on line poker rooms.
The Poker TV Guide provides current schedules of television programmes about poker in USA, UK and Sweden.
The Gaming Gurus site includes a collection of rules for poker variations and a guide to online poker.
The Poker Pistols site has poker rules, strategy guides for beginners and advanced players, comparative reviews of online poker rooms and a forum.
The Online Texas Holdem Poker site has information and advice on poker games, especially Texas Holdem, reviews of online poker rooms, ans a collection of other poker resources.
Mike Greenberg's sites Top Texas Hold'em, Top Stud Poker and Top Omaha offer strategy advice on these three games.
The Online Poker 777 site has a useful glossary and offers poker rules, strategy and links to online poker rooms.
The LaunchPoker site offers poker rules, tips, anecdotes and links.
Volker Diermann's Poker Institut is a German language site providing poker news and an introduction to poker with rules, tips and other resources.
There are the Swedish language sites for basic poker rules and information and for information on how tournaments are played.
The Finnish language site has poker information and advice, online poker room reviews and a forum.
Pokerkursus is a Danish language site with poker information, advice and other resources including a forum.
The Estonian site Pokkeriklubi Tallinn has information in English and several other languages about poker in Estonia and the other Baltic States.
Texas Hold'em
The site provides an introduction to Texas Hold'em Poker for beginners, some pages on strategy, and other useful information and links. provides Texas Holdem rules, helpful strategy advice, forums and other information and links.
Tyson's Flop Turn River site provides strategy advice for low-stakes no limit Texas Hold'em players.
Greg Mallon's Poker Decision site concentrates on low stakes no limit Hold'em strategy.
Matthew Hilger's Internet Texas Hold em site offers help with general Texas Holdem poker strategy and concepts; also news and a forum.
James Yates has written a useful free Texas Hold'em strategy guide: Introduction to Texas Hold'em Poker.
Arild Thorsby's NL-holdem site specialises in No Limit Texas Holdem strategy and is available in English and Norwegian.
The poker pages of the Netbettor site include a strategy section with a useful tutorial on Texas Holdem, as well as information and links for various online poker rooms and tournaments.
The Poker Check Raise site provides Texas Holdem rules and an online strategy guide.
Godfrey Daniel's Online Texas Hold'em Tips site offers tips and strategy especially geared to the low limit online Hold'em player.
Texas Holdem Poker - a Texas Holdem resource guide featuring rules, strategies and tips.
The Mastering Holdem site provides Texas Holdem rules and a guide to strategy. provides Texas Holdem rules and strategy advice. Those who register with the site receive a free Texas Holdem Secrets newsletter.
Jason's Texas Holdem Strategies Online site gives advice on playing Texas Holdem from game selection and assessment of opponents to betting, tells and tournament play.
The Classic Holdem site offers Texas Holdem rules, tips and other resources.
The Hold'em-online site provides advice on how to play Fixed Limit Texas Hold'em.
The Online Poker Beginners Guide site provides advice for beginners, mainly on Texas Holdem.
Jerry Flattum's Poker ABC is a guide to Texas Hold'em for beginners and intermediate players.
The Jugar Poker site provides basic rules and strategy of Texas Hold'em in Spanish.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Why is Google interested in Middle East

Google is looking to expand in the Middle East and North Africa to capitalise on the region’s fast-growing online population.
The search company is hiring staff, setting up offices and releasing Arabic versions of its products to encourage the spread of the internet in the Arab world.
The launch of an Arabic-language version of Google News was heralded as giving Arab media their first unified platform on the internet. In the last four weeks Google has also launched an Arabic e-mail service and English/Arabic translation tool.
Hussein Amin, chair of the Journalism and Mass Communications department of the American University in Cairo, said the Google products would potentially strengthen cross-border political, economic and social ties in the Arab world in the same way as Arab satellite television.
“Now we have a tool like this, people will think of developing more internet sites in Arabic. This is going to reflect in fields like business, culture and education as well as politics,” he said.
Dennis Woodside, Google’s new director for emerging markets, said: “We believe the Arabic web is going to follow a number of patterns [similar] to Turkey today [where] the online population has increased sixfold in five years.”
However, there is concern that Google could come under pressure from autocratic governments in the region to divulge information. “This gives scope for tracing what each single user is doing . . . we are concerned about that,” said an editor of an Islamic website.
But Google said it did not provide details of individuals’ web use without a court order. Mr Woodside said the push in the Middle East would not be on the same lines as in China, where Google launched a special Chinese service that restricts search results for sensitive topics such as human rights.
Although governments could block access to pornographic websites, for example, the Google search results in the Middle East and Africa would be unadulterated, whereas in China these are filtered.
Sherif Iskander, Google’s Cairo representative, said there were 23m internet users in the Arab world, a number that was growing fast. Of $5bn spent on advertising last year in the region only $10m-$25m was on the internet. “Our objective is to learn before looking at monetising this,” he said.
MSN, the Microsoft portal that is one of Google’s main competitors, said it was also intending to launch an Arabic e-mail product this year.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2006

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