Newsworthy to start the day 9-8-05

> The driving force behind the spectacular market debut of shares in the Chinese search engine company on Friday was its resemblance and ties to Google, whose own offering created a sensation last year, analysts said over the weekend. Shares in Baidu soared Friday on the Nasdaq stock market in one of the most successful initial public offerings since the peak of the dot-com era. The stock more than quadrupled by the end of the day, instantly creating the most valuable Internet company in China. The shares were priced at $27 but opened at $66 and then soared to $122.54. […] Investors in Baidu include Google and the Silicon Valley venture capital firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson and IDG Ventures. Foreign investors are trying to cash in on an Internet boom in China, where there are now estimated to be about 100 million regular Internet users. (New York Times)

> The rumor that Cisco is looking to buy Nokia for its wireless networking business makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, says Business 2.0. Yes, wireless networking is becoming increasingly important to Cisco. But why buy Nokia, which has a massive consumer cell phone business that Cisco has no clue how to run and a hefty $73 billion market cap, when Ericsson and Lucent are far cheaper and far better fits especially Lucent which only has a $13 billion market cap, sells only to enterprises just like Cisco, is based in the U.S., and arguably has just as strong a set of backend wireless networking technologies as Nokia. (Business 2.0 Blog)

> Microsoft has quietly released a redaction tool for Office Word 2003 to let users black out sections of confidential data from documents. The security tool, available as a free download, plugs into Microsoft Office Word 2003 to offer a simple interface for marking sections of a document for redaction. […] The tool could come in useful for government departments and businesses worried about the leakage of sensitive documents and confidential legal information. It could also be used to protect details in insurance and other contracts that are printed or distributed electronically. The redaction tool works perfectly for securing documents without losing formatting and design. Without the tool, businesses will typically delete the sensitive text, but this disrupts the format. In addition to providing document security, Microsoft is using the tool to show off the extensibility of the Office 2003 document processing suite. (eWeek)

> Budding amateur photographers and citizen journalists should not be tempted to become star stalkers says the founder of an amateur photo agency. Kyle MacRae, whose agency Scoopt represents mobile snappers so they get paid for their work, said there are serious ethical issues at stake. Following the London bomb attacks and Asian tsunami, news outlets have been keen to exploit mobile snaps and video. Cameraphone growth has let more people capture events as they happen. Such hazy snaps usually taken by amateurs who witness events before they hit the headlines are proving valuable to traditional news organisations. Although Mr MacRae is passionate about the potential impact witness or citizen journalists can have in changing what becomes newsworthy, he said that should not mean people go out deliberately searching for that elusive scoop. This week, the UK Chartered Institute of Journalists also warned news organisations against actively encouraging people to do that, adding that people should be paid for their contributions too. (BBC News)

> A top shareholder in Skype said on Monday it wants to see the fast-growing Internet telecoms software firm stay independent after a report of failed takeover talks with media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. "The company (Skype) is worth a lot more independent," said Timothy Draper, managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a Californian venture capital firm which he says owns between 10 and 20 percent of Skype. "I would prefer that it (Skype) remains independent," Draper told Reuters in a telephone interview. By allowing users to make free phone calls around the world on the Internet, Skype is regarded as one of the biggest threats for telecoms operators. Founded just two years ago, it already counts more than 48 million registered users. "Skype is in a wonderful strategic position, it’s becoming the standard communication platform for more and more people," Draper added. (Reuters via eWeek)