Elpub buttonEP Topic News: 16th August 2001

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CONTENTS

Web usability - machine translation
Time limited e-book test
Toon Boom Studio available
US cable modem growth holds up
OpenGL standard version 1.3 released
XML resource links
X3D spec. - vapourdoc?
Better pictures
ct site of the week Babel
ct resource sites
Top music software for Windows
Seen a Stoplight Parrotfish lately?
Why some people dont use the Internet
Latest PEW report about Internet teens
Tolerance attracts high-tech

Web usability - machine translation

IBM have produced a useful page of guidelines for web pages that will be submitted to online machine translation. The page explains how the different MT systems work, and preparatory tactics to improve the usability of MT output. For example, the author points out that often only one frame will be translated, so dont use frames, and using connecting words such as "that," "which," and "who" provides useful clues to MT software that humans dont need. 16/8/01

URL: http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/usability/library/us-mt/

Time limited e-book test

In a demonstration of technology that could revolutionize the publishing industry and help jump-start the nascent eBook market, electronic publisher RosettaBooks today announced it is offering Agatha Christie’s classic mystery "And Then There Were None" in a special time-based permit edition. Released in conjunction with network publishing software provider Adobe Systems, Inc. and digital distribution services provider Reciprocal, Inc, the eBook is available for download at www.RosettaBooks.com in a special month-long "$1 for 10 hours of reading" campaign. Once downloaded, the eBook may be enjoyed for 10 hours (cumulative reading), after which the book’s "time-based permit" will expire, and the content will no longer be available. 16/8/01

URL: http://www.reciprocal.com/ press notice
URL: http://www.rosettabooks.com/

Toon Boom Studio available

Toon Boom Technologies, a leading supplier of 2D animation software, has announced the commercial release of Toon Boom Studio v1.0 for Mac® and PC. Building on the company's extensive experience with 2D animation for film and television with companies like Warner Bros. and Klasky Csupo, the new software powers Web animation for artists, advertisers and Web developers. Toon Boom Technologies designed this suite of high-performance tools with an interface familiar to traditional animators, and features ideal for digital animators. Download an evaluation copy or buy online. 16/8/01

URL: http://www.toonboom.com

US cable modem growth holds up

Figures released by the US National Cable & Telecommunications Association for growth in cable modem use in the first half of 2001 show growth continuing in line with earlier estimates. Major cable operators added 920,000 new high speed Internet cable modem subscribers -- more than 70,000 per week -- during the second quarter, bringing the number of cable modem customers in the U.S. to more than 5.5 million. In late 2000 Morgan Stanley (then MSDW) in a report entitled "Technology and Internet Primer" estimated that at end 2001 there would be 6.7m high speed cable modem subscribers, easily reachable if growth continues through 2001 at the current rate. This news should be welcome to broadband content providers. The FCC in the US has also released overall data for high-speed access to the Internet for the second half of 2000 showing an increase of 63% to 7.1m lines at end 2000. At the same time the overall penetration of Internet use slowed with an increase of only 16% between July 2000 and July 2001. 16/8/01

URL: http://www.ncta.com/press/press.cfm?PRid=169&showArticles=ok
URL: http://www.morganstanley.com/
URL: http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/News_Releases/2001/nrcc0133.html
URL: http://www.nielsen-netratings.com/hot_of_the_net_i.htm

OpenGL standard version 1.3 released

The OpenGL Architecture Review Board (ARB) today announced the new OpenGL 1.3 specification. In OpenGL 1.3, several additional features and functions have been ratified and brought into the API's core functionality. These core features enhance OpenGL in the following ways:

URL: http://www.opengl.org/
URL: http://www.opengl.org/developers/documentation/version1_3/glspec13.pdf spec.

XML resource links

Northern Light search engine has compiled a "special edition" page on XML. The page includes "live queries", pre-set queries on basic topics that carry out a search on Northern Light. 16/8/01

URL: http://special.northernlight.com/xml/

X3D spec. - vapourdoc?

The Web3D Consortium issued a press release for X3D for SIGGRAPH 2001 that says "The Web3D Consortium today announced the launch of the X3D open standard as a new-generation successor to VRML to bring rich and compelling 3D graphics to the Web for a wide variety of applications and devices. X3D ("Extensible 3D") is an extensible standard that has been developed by the Web3D Consortium with the strong backing of a number of leading browser companies including blaxxun, Nexternet, OpenWorlds and ParallelGraphics.". Finding the specification however is impossible. Following the links (there is no direct link under "specifications" to an X3D spec.) one finally arrives at a set of dead links to the OpenWorlds web site. Reading the W3D site implies in any case that the specification is far from complete, which does not seem to be deterring sponsors from issuing "X3D products". Elsewhere is the statement "... the Web3D Consortium's standardization process that provides full and open access to the specification to interested companies and eventual submission to the International Standards Organization (ISO) for ratification...", that could be read to imply "open" is rather less open than expected. Or perhaps they simply cannot maintain their links properly. 16/8/01

URL: http://www.web3d.org/x3d/

Better pictures

At SIGGRAPH 97 Debevec and Malik gave a paper on a method for creating high dynamic range (HDR) images from photographs taken with conventional equipment. High dynamic range images are pictures that can capture a much greater range of light intensities than standard photographs or computer images, and are extremely useful in the creation of realistic computer graphics. Photographs from traditional cameras do not record the amount of light over a certain level. Bright lights in a photo turn white, and even brighter lights show up as the same color, making it impossible to tell the difference. These photographs are called Low Dynamic Range photographs, or LDR images, because of the relatively small range of light intensities they can capture. At the current SIGGRAPH a software package to support the generation of HDR images has been made available via the web site. The package is free for non-commercial use. 16/8/01

URL: http://www.debevec.org/Research/HDR/debevec-siggraph97.pdf original paper
URL: http://www.debevec.org/hdrshop/ software site

ct site of the week - Babel (not navigation)

"In the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, a proliferation of languages leads to the chaotic undermining of a previously unified civilization. In Jorge Luis Borges' story, "Library of Babel", an infinitude of books - of information - paradoxically lends itself to incertitude. One can never be sure that one has the best or the latest source on any given topic." writes Steve Dietz in an article describing Babel. The Babel web site gives access to web pages via a process that is only partially clear. The designer Simon Biggs has created a multi-user access space that needs to be experienced rather than described. 16/8/01

URL: http://www.babel.uk.net (click on introduction for Steve Dietz piece)

ct resource sites

CFXWeb

CFX stands for Coders F/X (to read 'Coders Effects'). Just what we are - a place for developers of the graphic field. The international demo scene and the game developing community are who we aim. 16/8/01

URL: http://www.cfxweb.com

Cyber Intelligence

The official Cyber Intelligence web site is where people will find valuable information and resources for programming multimedia applications. Tutorials, links and downloads. 16/8/01

URL: http://cyberintel.multimania.com/

Top music software for Windows

Igor Engraver is probably the most sophisticated and powerful music notation program ever implemented on a computer. Swedish company Noteheads has released the first version for Windows. Igor Engraver 1.5 is an extremely powerful program. Yet it has been designed to be very easy to use for beginners and experts alike. At the same time, Igor Engraver offers the professional engraver powerful control over all aspects of the notation of music. But Igor Engraver 1.5 doesn't stop there. It has full built-in support for e-commerce, allowing you to produce portable, fully cross-platform scores which can be published on the Internet. Igor Engraver a revolutionary playback technology producing the most natural sounding and sophisticated MIDI playback on the market. Test download available and a special offer if you buy the software before August 20th 2001. 16/8/01

URL: http://www.noteheads.com/

Seen a Stoplight Parrotfish lately?

After Seti@Home and other distributed projects comes the distributed aquarium screensaver. DALiWorld offer the possiblity of starting an online aquarium that allows fish from other computers to swim into your ken and for your fish to go off on holiday. "At DALi we are not just building software that will allow you to have a localized world and ecology, we are building systems that will engender truly ubiquitous artificial life. We are not targeting any particular platform. Instead, we are targeting all of them. Our universe will be everywhere - bits of DALi scattered across millions of computing devices the world-over. In personal computers, portable devices, automobiles, airplanes, even your television. Our aim is to be the first company to realize the living global digital Gaia: a virtual ocean distributed across machines that span the entire non-virtual world; a community of millions of users all taking part in building this virtual ocean, creating the ecology and the life forms that inhabit it; the life forms seamlessly swimming from one machine to the next... And we want you to be our co-creator. " they say. 16/8/01

URL: http://www.daliworld.net/

Why some people dont use the Internet

A study by Ipsos-Reid has talked to people in 30 countries to ask why they don't use the Internet. Only 6% of the world population is online, "The answer is twofold", says Brian Cruikshank, a senior vice president with Ipsos-Reid and leader of the company’s global technology practice. "In the developed world, a substantial number of people who could very easily go online have decided not to. They see no compelling reason to be on the Web. The hype and the promise of the Internet clearly hasn't impressed them - not yet, at least. For others in nascent, less developed markets, the cost of accessing the Internet competes with the cost for basic necessities and access availability is very limited outside of urban areas." 16/8/01

URL: http://www.angusreid.com/media/content/displaypr.cfm?id_to_view=1244

Latest PEW report about Internet teens

The latest in the series of PEW reports on the Internet and American Life is about Teenage life online: The rise of the instant-message generation and the Internet's impact on friendships and family relationships. About 17 million US youth aged 12 through 17 use the Internet, about 73% of the age bracket. Nearly 13 million use instant messaging. The report covers the impact of this phenomenon on family life from teh perspective of both children aand their parents. 16/8/01

URL: http://www.pewinternet.org/reports/toc.asp?Report=36

Tolerance attracts high-tech

A Brookings Institute study "Technology and Tolerance: The Importance of Diversity to High-Technology Growth" finds some surprising effects. The survey finds that diversity - measured by the proportion of gay couples, artists, and foreign-born residents - is a very strong indicator of a metropolitan area's strength in high-technology businesses. A large gay or otherwise diverse population does not directly cause high-tech success in a particular place. Rather, talented tech workers are drawn to places known for diversity of thought and open-mindedness. Is this also true for Europe? Downlaod the reprot from the web site. 16/8/01

URL: http://www.brookings.edu/es/urban/floridaexsum.htm


About topic news
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