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Three Decades of Minitel, French Proto Internet Dead

Posted: June 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Media, Online Media, Technoid, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Three Decades of Minitel, French Proto Internet Dead

Three Decades of Minitel, Frances Proto Internet DeadMore than three decades after it’s 1978 launched, Minitel, a French forerunner to the internet we know and love today – at its height was installed in 9 million French homes – will shut down for good tomorrow.

Once at the cutting edge of technology, the Minitel allowed users in France to check the news, search phone directories, buy train and plane tickets, make restaurant reservations and even take part in online sex chats long before similar services existed elsewhere.

The advent of the internet made the Minitel’s dial-up connection and black-and-white screen obsolete, despite some pretty vocal protests, Minitel’s operator France Telecom-Orange has decided to finally pull the plug.

Developed by France Telecom in the 1970s and freely distributed, the Minitel reached its height in the early 1990s, with 26,000 services available and annual revenues of about a billion euros, about $AU1.2 billion.

Today only about 400,000 terminals are still in use, many of its services – including booking Air France and railway tickets – have been discontinued and in 2010 the system brought in only 30 million euros in revenues. With 85 per cent of those revenues going to service providers, France Telecom has decided the cost of maintaining the network is no longer financially viable  :: Read the full article »»»»


European Study Pours Cold Water on Australian Banks Cost Claims

Posted: February 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Business News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on European Study Pours Cold Water on Australian Banks Cost Claims

European Study Pours Cold Water on Australian Banks Cost ClaimsElysse Morgan from ABC reports that new research by one of Europe’s biggest banks suggests that Australian banks are hiking interest rates to protect profit margins, not to cover higher funding costs as they have insisted. But the Australian Bankers’ Association has dismissed the study and says lenders may have to raise their rates again.

The study by Societe Generale shows nearly all funding costs for Australian lenders have fallen in the last six months. Societe Generale’s head of strategy in Asia, Christian Carrillo, says the banks’ claims about rising costs are dubious.

“Research suggests that effectively pretty much every source of funding that they use in terms of domestic deposits, short-term funding onshore, long-term funding onshore, has actually gone down,” Mr Carrillo said. ”There has been some widening in spreads between offshore funding rates and the rates that they use to hedge against, but if you take into account the overall rate they pay to fund overseas, even that has actually come down slightly.” Read the full article »»»»