Elpub buttonEP Topic News: 16 and 13 March 2001

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eContent programme adopted

The eContent programme was adopted by the European Council on the 22 December 2000 for a period covering the years 2001 to 2004, with a budget of 100M Euro. It is aimed at supporting the production, dissemination and use of European digital content and to promote linguistic diversity on the global networks. The draft Work Programme has been published on the Europa web site along with the Council Decision (see link below).

Following the release of the Work Programme a call for proposals will be launched during the second half of March, there is also a call for experts open. Information on this forthcoming call will be published on E-content pages of Cordis. An Information Day is planned for Brussels on 26 April to present the call for proposals. National Information Days will also be organised. 16/03/01

URL: work programme http://europa.eu.int/comm/information_society/econtent/index_en.htm
URL: E-content http://www.cordis.lu/econtent

Napster - membership model?

We do not intend to add to the significant comment concerning the potential demise of Napster except to report that the company has announced progress on the development of a key aspect of the technology necessary to implement a new, membership-based business model supported by the recording industry. The solution, which apparently enables secure administration of transferred files within a peer to peer structure, will be implemented by Digital World Services (DWS), a Bertelsmann subsidiary with extensive experience in innovative digital rights management solutions. Details as to whether and when implementation of the new system would take place were not provided. 16/03/01

URL: http://www.napster.com/

Warner Bros by country

Warner Bros. has begun its global online expansion with country-specific web sites. The first of these has been launched in the UK, with other local language sites are expected to follow. 16/03/01

URL: http://www.warnerbros.co.uk/

Advertising in new media OK?

An IDC study ("Advertising Tolerance in Emerging Media: Consumers Want to Call the Shots") has found that consumers will tolerate advertising in New Media if they feel that they are in control. Some forms of commercial advertising in emerging media, such as web pop-ups - are despised by consumers, but Tom Kiersted, research manager for IDC's Telecommunications Business Brands program asserts: "The fact is consumers are pretty willing to entertain some of the latest new media advertising models, but the more they can control the way advertisers reach them, when they reach them, how often they reach them, where they reach them, and in what context they reach them, the better they like it." 16/03/01

URL: http://www.idc.com/

Flash latest

A developer release of the Flash Player for Microsoft's Pocket PC (PDA) platform is available for free download and has been released "to enable developers to author content for these devices in advance of the full-featured version of the player, due later this year". Microsoft's Pocket PC is used by the Compaq iPaq, Casio Cassiopeia and Hewlett-Packard Jornada devices.

A free Macromedia Flash Authoring Kit for Pocket PC, including authoring guidelines, documentation and examples is also available for download. Macromedia have also announced Flash Player 5 has been release for both Linux and Solaris, joining the existing Windows and Macintosh versions. 16/03/01

URL: developer release http://www.macromedia.com/software/flashplayer/pocketpc/download/
URL: Authoring Kit http://www.macromedia.com/software/flashplayer/pocketpc/authoring/
URL: Flash Player 5 for Linux and Solaris download http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/alternates/

First Monday March issue

The March 2001 issue of First Monday (volume 6, number 3) is now available online and includes the following articles:

URL: http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue6_3/
URL: subscription form http://firstmonday.org/join.html

Journal of Information Law & Technology

The latest issue of Journal of Information Law & Technology (JILT) is available online and contains eight refereed articles, three commentaries and other papers covering Privacy, E-Commerce and Electronic Contracts, Digital Signatures, Internet Patents and Intellectual Property, Copyright, Domain Name Disputes, Civil Litigation and the use of IT in law firms.

One emerging theme from this issue is the enhanced global use of privacy technologies, whether this be for personal data being sent across the Internet, the protection of intellectual property such as patents, trade marks, domain names or copyrighted material, or for the facilitation of e-commerce and the use of digital signatures.

The next issue, will be published at the end of June 2001, papers for inclusion should be submitted by 18 May 2001. 16/03/01

URL: http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/01-1/

New electronic law journal

The Electronic Law Journals Project (based at the University of Warwick, UK) has recently launched another electronic law journal (they already publish the "Journal of Information Law & Technology - JILT"): "Law, Social Justice and Global Development (LGD)" which went online in December 2000.

This new electronic law journal covers a range of topics relating to legal issues surrounding the impact of globalisation on social development and justice around the world. The Journal contains a diversity of materials including peer reviewed and non-refereed articles, commentaries, book reviews, and conference reports and papers, as well as information papers, news and details of global conferences. It is envisaged that the Journal will provide: "a much-needed academic forum for furthering the debate on this rapidly expanding and hugely important area".

Please see the Scope of the Journal page via the URL below. 16/03/01

URL: December issue http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/global/issue/2000-1/
URL: Journal information http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/global/
URL: Scope of the Journal http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/global/scope.html

"Open Archive" resorces

There are a number of new items accessible from the Open Archive Initiative (OAI)web page:

The OAI are also planning to publish a revised web site in an attempt to improve access to the growing list of resources. 16/03/01

URL: http://www.openarchives.org/

Video e-newsletters

MTVi (a UK based music web site) has announced plans to introduce video newsletters to its 75,000 UK subscribers. The newsletters use a new streaming video technology (from Energis) Streamwave along with Emblaze Systems software, allowing recipients to watch video clips without the need to download plug-ins or media players. Through the web-based newsletters, MTV.co.uk plans to "promote key site content via teaser video clips and headline links".

The first issue of the newsletter has been sent to subscribers, a demo can be viewed online. Streamwave uses either a Java Applet or ActiveX technology to present audio and video through "standard" web browsers (Internet Explorer/Netscape Navigator 4). 16/03/01

URL: MTVi UK http://www.mtv.co.uk/
URL: Newsletter http://www.mtv.co.uk/newsletter
URL: Energis Squared http://www.energis-squared.com/
URL: Streamwave http://www.streamwave.co.uk/
URL: Emblaze http://www.emblaze.com/

Internet2 backbone opened-up

Abilene, a nationwide Internet2 network available in the US, has announced that an increasing number of state education networks will establish connectivity under a new policy that allows expanded access to the high-performance educational backbone. Partnerships with Internet2 universities and regional networking organisations will provide institutions such as elementary schools, secondary schools, community colleges, museums and libraries access to the national high-performance network.

"Expanded access to Abilene supports the primary Internet2 goal of facilitating the rapid transfer of new network services and applications to the global Internet and especially the broader educational community," said Douglas E. Van Houweling, president and CEO of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development, the organisation leading both the Internet2 and Abilene projects.

Abilene, an advanced backbone network developed through a collaboration among Qwest Communications, Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks, Indiana University and the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), supports the development and deployment of the new applications being developed within the Internet2 community. Abilene connects regional network aggregation points, called gigaPoPs, to support the work of Internet2 universities as they develop advanced Internet applications. 16/03/01

URL: Abilene http://www.internet2.edu/abilene/
URL: Internet2 http://www.internet2.edu/

US - Advanced Encryption Standard

NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) is seeking comments on a draft Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) for the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). NIST selected the algorithm, known as Rijndael (developed by European researchers in the Netherlands), for the AES in October 2000 (as reported in a previous issue of Topic News). Information on AES, which will replace the Data Encryption Standard (DES), is available via the NIST web site. 16/03/01

URL: AES home page http://www.nist.gov/aes

ERICA competition 2001

Application forms for the ERICA 2001 awards programme are going to be posted on the web on 3 April, 2001. The competition is open to non-profit and charitable organisations "with the knowledge, tools and resources to use the Internet to become more effective agents of social change". The winners receive funding to help in implementing their project proposals. 13/03/01

URL: http://www.ericsson.com/erica

Metadata spec. for publishers

The PRISM working group has announced the "last call" version of their metadata specification which is available online. The specification is intended to meet the needs of publishers and other organisations who produce and/or disseminate information. The PRISM specification uses XML + namespaces, RDF, and the Dublin Core namespace. It adds a new namespace containing more detailed elements than those from the Dublin Core. It also adds namespaces for simple representation of controlled vocabularies and for a simple rights and permissions language.

The period for comments closes March 29. Version 1.0 of the specification will be released April 9, in conjunction with the Seybold conference. Given the short time between the close of comments and the initial release, the editors request your comments be submitted as early as possible. 13/03/01

URL: http://prismstandard.org/only/lastcalldraft.pdf

Hybrid library project report

The final report for the BUILDER Hybrid Library Project is now available. BUILDER aimed to "develop a working model of the hybrid library within both a teaching and research context, seamlessly integrating access to a wide range of printed and electronic information sources, local and remote, using a Web-based interface, and in a way which will be universally applicable."

The project was supported as part of the UK's Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib). 13/03/01

URL: html version http://builder.bham.ac.uk/finalreport/html/contents.asp
URL: PDF version http://builder.bham.ac.uk/finalreport/pdf/fr.pdf

Online publishing management

Blackwell Publishers, one of the world's leading independent academic publishers of books, journals and educational software, has selected Tridion DialogServer, to "help manage its worldwide web presence. The first project based on the system is the creation of online books review, allowing external contributors and authors to track the progress of their submissions via the web. 13/03/01

URL: Blackwell Publishers http://www.blackwellpublishers.co.uk/
URL: Tridion http://www.tridion.com/

Internet VI - streaming at a crossroads

Edison Media Research have prepared a set of slides from a presentation of a recent survey of Intenet users in the US, and made them available on their web site. The slides contain a significant amount of information on consumers of Internet Radio and other streaming services. The company has identified a group of consumers it labels as "streamies". One of the questions related to whether people would rather give up TV or Internet and found that for the 12-24 age group the split is very close. 13/03/01

URL: http://www.edisonresearch.com/internetvigraphs_.htm

Windows XP unveiled

Bill Gates has unveiled Microsoft Windows XP (previously code-named "Whistler"), the new Windows for home and work, which is seen as a key step in delivering .NET based services. The final version of Windows XP is scheduled to be generally available in the second half of 2001. 13/03/01

URL: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp

Java resources site

The ONJava.com web site provides development tools, resources, and articles for enterprise Java developers, with particular emphasis on cross-platform development and peer-to-peer networking between servers, PCs and wireless devices. particular technologies covered include: Enterprise Java Beans (EJBs), Java Server Pages (JSP), Peer-to-Peer (P2P), Java design, Java with XML, Java security, wireless/consumer Java, multimedia Java development. 13/03/01

URL: http://www.onjava.com/

Virtue3D Developer Zone

Virtue3D has started the "Developer Zone", a 3D development partnership programme designed to accelerate the use of 3D technologies for online merchandising. The programme is designed to encourage and support web content developers who design 3D content through a mix of training programmes, marketing assistance, project referrals and reseller oppportunities.

In launching the programme, Virtue3D also announced strategic relationships with 14 web development companies. 13/03/01

URL: http://www.virtue3d.com/

Opera 5.0 for Mac

Opera has released a free "technology preview" of its "reduced footprint" web browser for the Apple Mac. In the past Opera, a Norwegian company, has announced collaborative agreements to develop the use of the browser in mobile applications. This Mac version is only a "partial build" - the full version is expected to be released shortly. 13/03/01

URL: http://www.opera.com/download/mac.html

Travel in 3D

US company, Alpha Virtual, has developed technology for users to experience and tour destinations and services in 3D. The technology works through several different visualisation tools, including a stereoscopic flat panel screen or a virtual reality Magic Book - the latter requiring eyephones.

The technology utilises laser scanning, photogrammetry and 3D modeling. Alpha Virtual's target audience includes travel and tourism, governments, destinations, resorts, hotels, themed attractions, entertainment, education, archeology and historic sites. 13/03/01

URL: http://www.alpha-v.com/

blaxxun release Contact 5.0

blaxxun interactive has released Contact 5.0 software used for displaying 3D in CD games. It allows drag and drop to move objects around in virtual worlds as well as to import objects from outside into the 3D-world. Surface effects such as reflection or metallic surfaces have been improved. Now with particle systems fog, snow and rain can be produced. Layering techniques allow explanation features with pointers that can be directed independently from the object to be demonstrated. The same technology can be used to create an instrument panel for a flight simulator.

According to the VREfresh newsletter: "compared to the 4.4 version, Contact 5.0 has gained speed and reduced download size. During installation, existing components are recognised and only necessary components are downloaded. The download size is reduced to 1.5 MB in most cases. Other improvements have been made in the area of interplay between software and 3D graphic cards. Contact 5.0 embraces all features of the VRML standard and already fulfills 60% of the functionality of the new MPEG-4 standard". 13/03/01

URL: http://www.blaxxun.com/
URL: VREfresh newsletter base02vt.htm

ActiveWorlds 3.1

Version 3.1 of Active Worlds technology, a version that features numerous added features for 3D Internet builders, has been unveiled. This version is still committed to providing graphically rich 3D virtual environments without the need of a CD-ROM and offers programmable moving objects, new lighting effects, MP3 support, DirectSound support and more. The new Version 3.1 for Windows is available today for consumers to download free. 13/03/01

URL: http://www.activeworlds.com/


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