three players that are really up there are the U.S., Japan, and (inaudible). And then you start to have a drop off, and then it just keeps going going going like into the depths of the ocean.
Carol: Gee. Well, we'll be right back with more of Dr. Howard Rubin and our discussion about the digital divide and cybergeography, and what separates and links us as nations.
And we're back. This is Carol Dekkers. For any of you who have just joined us, I'm Carol Dekkers. I run a company called Quality Plus Technologies, and we are technology industry leaders in the area of software measurement and management consulting services. We specialize in services to the information technology industry, particularly in the area of improving the way that software is developed and the way it is developed to meet customer needs, to meet requirements, to meet quality software requirements. I haven't mentioned our Web site yet, but we are at www.qualityplustech.com. And there's a lot of information there that you can go and take a look at. I'm rejoining my guest, Dr. Howard Rubin. And we've spent the last, oh, 25 minutes discussing cybergeography, digital planet, some of the work that's going on. It's very exciting with the U.S. government, and I guess not only are we doing work, you're doing work with the U.S. government, but you've also been retained by India's technology minister and the president of the Philippines on the whole cybergeography and studies that you've been working on with IT trends and benchmarking that you've been working for the last seven years. Can you explain a little bit about that, Howard?
Howard: Sure, I'd be glad to. And I guess I would soften the word "retained," the work we've been doing with governments, we do for them, not really for hire. So we stay out of politics that way, which sounds a little strange. But… what happens is, what is happening is, everyone from the United States, President Clinton's administration, the governments of Ireland, India, the U.K. and Philippines are realizing again that they all need to either continue to be major players in the global economy or the global new sort of e-economy gives them new opportunities. So, for example, a country like India has had a massively strong reputation in the world of IT outsourcing. They've adopted government policies that allow them to create centers such as Bangalore and attract U.S. companies and companies from other countries to invest in facilities there. And that's …….. by their labor pool, which is basically generated through educational policy and things like that. And in fact, also now major changes in telecommunications policy, now that we're sort of in a wireless age. So actually for a country like India, and we're finding patterns of this over and over again, is countries are very much interested in finding ways of, I hate to use the word advertising, but letting people understand what their competitiveness position is in the global economy, number one, and number two, they're very interested in benchmarking where they stand in terms of their nations' strengths versus other nations. And use that information to help them enact policies, to leapfrog ahead of other nations, or literally change their global competitiveness position. So I recently had the opportunity to be in New York at the Indian Consulate, with the technology minister of India, and actually was part of a panel with him on issues of India's position in the world in terms of the new digital economy and actually where India has been very strong,