IFRA Flashlights on Google’s Android, broadband, convergence

In the first months of this year IFRA published two reports of the new Flashlight series covering latest developments for news publishing, such as Google’s Android and printed electronics. Three new Special Reports dealing with subjects as diverse as the press acceptance test, the convergence project at the Daily Telegraph and a glossary of broadband technology were also released.

IFRA calls its newest group of Research Reports the Flashlight series because it sheds light on the very latest developments affecting news publishing.

On the face of it there’s not much to interest publishers about a new mobile phone operating system (OS) – after all, few users would be able to tell you what OS they have on their phone. So why should you care about Android? The ‘G-word,’ that’s why because nobody can afford to ignore it when Google gets behind a move to open up the mobile market.

Electronics sprayed onto paper as part of a normal print run might sound more like science fiction than real world reality, but the pace of progress is blurring the gap. The limiting factor is less likely to be the technology but rather the familiar problem of translating that potential into profitable application.

The following Special Reports, which IFRA members receive free of charge, were published during the last months or are at present being translated into German, English or French and prepared for distribution

A rotary press is always a major investment item for a newspaper operation. That is why every effort must be made to ensure careful planning at all project stages in order to guarantee an optimum result. The specifying phase starts quite often up to 3–5 years in advance. For many years IFRA has assisted its members in investment planning by offering its service in the outlining of specific press requirements, evaluating different press quotations, and acceptance testing of new press installations.

The aim of this Special Report is to give guidelines on how performance and quality acceptance tests are carried out. This report is based on the practical experience of printers, press manufacturers and the IFRA advisory services that have carried out and evaluated many acceptance tests in the past. The IFRA Technical Group Production approved the final version of this report at its meeting in October 2007.

One of the pioneers of newsroom convergence is the Telegraph Media Group (TMG) in the UK and this special report is the story of their journey towards newsroom transformation. In the autumn of 2005, the recently appointed CEO of the Daily Telegraph, Murdoch MacLennan was challenged by the Barclay brothers, the new owners of the paper, to bring the publishing house well and truly into the age of digital media. Around 400 journalists have gone through a week-long training programme. Today, everyone working in the newsroom is expected to write for the paper as well as for the website, and to be able to produce audio and video for the online offerings. IFRA Newsplex was part of the core project team from the outset and has gained IFRA a unique insight into the pioneering convergence process at the TMG over the past three years.

This glossary provides an overview and comparison of existing and emerging, as well as competing, broadband access technologies such as Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), cable modem, Wireless Fidelity (WiFi), Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMax), Ultra WideBand (UWB), Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS), Long Term Evolution (LTE), Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA2000) and Evolution Data Optimized (EVDO). Broadband technologies will have a phenomenal impact on society in the future. The emergence of broadband technology can be also traced to the spectacular growth of the World Wide Web and its use, which created a favourable business environment for the development of a host of new services that needed speedy Internet access.

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