July 13, 2008 in Business

Internet use in China reaches new heights

By The Spokesman-Review

If the Web were the Billboard charts, registrations for Internet addresses ending in China’s “.cn” would be described as rising with a bullet.

A study by Verisign Inc. found the “.cn” domain addresses have surpassed those for “.net,” showing the continued rapid rise in Internet use in the communist nation.

The top four domains, by type, are: “.com” with 76.5 million as of June 15; “.de” German addresses with 12.1 million; “.cn” at 11.8 million and “.net” at 11.6 million.

The findings come as China reported that the number of Internet users there has soared to 221 million, by some measures tying the U.S. online population as largest in the world.

Both “.com” and “.net” are global domain names and usable by individuals, groups and companies worldwide on a first-come, first-served basis. They are typically used by U.S. groups. Elsewhere, country-specific addresses such as “.de” and “.cn” are typically preferred.

Nearly half of users rely on unsafe browsers

A comprehensive study of online surfing found only 60 percent of the world’s Internet users surf the Web with the latest, most secure versions of their browsers.

The study, conducted by researchers from Google, IBM and the Communication Systems Group in Switzerland, used data from server logs provided by Google for search requests between January 2007 and June 2008. The researchers found that among 1.4 billion Internet users worldwide at the end of March 2008, 576 million surfed with outdated versions of Web browsers.


Retrevo.com — Retrevo has been called a Google for gadget heads. It’s a handy one-stop site to track down comments, reviews and product manuals on electronic stuff. It leans heavily toward digital cameras and computers.

What is cool is how Retrevo produces not just product reviews found across the Web, but also handy points of reference, such as any relevant entries on a product in Wikipedia.

The site also attracts a large number of product users and experts, who offer pretty straightforward comments on the gadgets they’re reviewing.

Wildsanctuary.com — This site is the life work of naturalist Bernie Krause, who devotes nearly all his energies to recording and saving the great variety of sounds found in the wild. Krause has traveled widely and works hard to find acoustic moments totally free from human noise.

Wildsanctuary lets you enjoy his work in either of two ways. You can buy soundtracks or recordings, which allows you to reuse the sound yourself.

Or you can choose to listen to the free audio streams found at the site’s wildstore.


Jumpcut.com is a site allowing you to edit or manage your videos, adding elements or effects without needing expensive editing software on your computer.

The same way some online sites let people edit, sharpen or crop images, Jumpcut does the equivalent for video clips or movies.

If nothing else, it’s a good place to practice some editing without causing lasting damage to a home video. It’s recommended you look at help files there to understand how to apply effects or make changes.

The .etc column is a compilation of Web-related news and notes. Reach Tom Sowa at toms@spokesmancom

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