Canadian financial firms intro webdoxs
A company owned by various Canadian financial groups, including the National Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the TD Bank Financial Group, Scotiabank and le Mouvement des caisses Desjardins, has announced the launch of webdoxs, an on-line document presentation service. The company, e-route inc., offers the service, allowing users to receive bills and other documents from participating businesses via a group of selected banking Web sites, according to a press release. In conjunction with that announcement, the company said Chevron Canada, Ford Credit Canada Limited, Bell Canada, Bell Mobility and Videotron would be the first companies to offer the on-line billing and document services to their customers. The company also said the service will ultimately enable its financial customers to “seamlessly” connect with their customers, and it will eventually be able to offer greater access to self-service features and customer support.
The federal opposition takes a chance on-line
Having lost a vote for an inquiry into the Prime Minister’s business dealings, a new Web site has been launched by the Conservatives, the Canadian Alliance and the Bloc Quebecois for visitors to post information. Prime Minister Jean Chretien has been under scrutiny for lobbying for federal grants to a hotel in his riding, the Auberge Grand-Mere. The government parties are crossing their fingers that new information will be collected through the site, which is on the Web at www.shawinigate.ca.
Springboard.ca springs out
Just five weeks after its official launch, Springboard.ca shut down. Rogers iMedia, which owned the Internet business, announced a restructuring plan for all of its Internet businesses, and said in a recent article that it could not justify all the money going into the project given the current Internet market. The Web site was planned to be a Web destination geared specifically at Canadian women. Rogers will continue onwards with its established sites for its various print publications including Flare and Chatelaine magazines.
Brazilians make the Internet-phone connection
Ear-shaped public telephone booths in Brazil will soon have more than just a standard phone – they will also offer Web access. Telephone carrier Telemar and a partner have been installing Internet access into its booths across Brazil, and expect to have approximately 2,800 multimedia booths up and running by the end of the year. The terminals take regular phone cards, which can be purchased at most newsstands. The carrier hopes the booths will encourage more Brazilians to get on-line. The company has already launched a pilot program of 50 booths in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, the capital of Bahia.
Napster gets tough with Toronto firm
According to an article published last month, one Toronto start-up is getting picked on by Napster Inc. PulseNewMedia – a division of Scarborough Campus Student Press Inc. – has made available its NapCameBack “encoder” program, which enables users to bypass Napster’s filtering process. Napster set up the filtering in compliance with a California court ruling. Napster has sent PulseNewMedia a letter, asking it to cease the distribution of NapCameBack, as it “threatens to undermine” the U.S. company’s compliance with the court. According to the article, the NapCameBack software allows MP3 traders the ability to “mask” and “unmask” song titles using a variation of pig Latin.
Yahoo takes a different approach
After many complaints from users, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Internet portal Yahoo Inc. last month said it will remove adult-related products form its Web sites. It also announced it will no longer enter into any new contracts for banner advertisements for adult-related products. Recent media reports about the site’s sale of pornographic videos and other products drew customer attention, even though the site has been selling the items on password-protected sites for approximately two years. While Yahoo did not sell the products directly, it did provide partner merchants with portals to do so.