EP Topic News: 15th November 2001
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Adverts from Google
content management systems
RAWCON2001 papers on wireless LANs
Metadata in ecology
Apache Cocoon 2.0rc2 released
dbXML Core XML database final beta
Introduction to XML databases
Adobe Illustrator 10
Autodesk MapGuide 6
News Industry content standards
Web Services Experience Language
CEN/ISSS Learning Technology Workshop
Stellent in French and German
P2P and web services reports
UK national news images online
Degrees in wearable computing
Clean 3.0 - music restoration s/w
Multimedia Archive Preservation workshop
Web Search Engines FAQS
Filtering the Internet
Verifying spiders and robots
Internet Streaming Media Alliance spec.
Image/Video Coding and Indexing call
JASSS October 2001
Software magazine recently ran an article on "Managing Content in Collaborative Environments". "Content shared via the Web is growing increasingly dynamic, bringing together a diverse community of people now responsible for managing and manipulating all manner of content, and driving the need for ECM solutions", says author Neena Buck. There are a list of representative CM tools and discussion of their differences and factors affecting a buyer's choice between them.
IEEE Radio and Wireless Conference (RAWCON) 2001 was held August 19-22, 2001 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. A conference summary, the keynote speech "The Ever-Present Wireless LAN Future" given by Greg Ennis, Technical Director of the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA), and some of the technical papers and panel discussions are available on the web site.
The application of metadata in ecology was the impetus for the creation of this downloadable metadata creation and querying environment for scientific data using XML. Whilst oriented towards ecology the tool has application in other scientific disciplines.
The Apache Cocoon team has announced the fourth release of Apache Cocoon - a complete rewrite of the Cocoon XML publishing framework that is supposed to remove all those design constraints that emerged from the Cocoon 1 experience. For more information about the project and this latest release of the software visit the URL below.
The dbXML project has announced the final beta release of the dbXML Core XML database. The dbXML Core is an Open Source native XML database designed to manage large collections of small XML documents. The server supports XPath queries and provides an implementation of the XML:DB XML Database API for development of client applications.
Its developers claim that the software is "easily embedded into existing applications, highly configurable and openly extensible". The source code has been released under an Apache style open source license and is available for download from the dbXML Project web site.
XML.com have a feature article providing an introduction to native XML databases (see dbXML news item above). The choice of storage system for XML-based applications is a crucial one, and this article explains the strengths and weaknesses of native XML stores as opposed to conventional databases. "Introduction to Native XML Databases" is the first in a three-part series that will also take in the dbXML project and the XML:DB API.
Microsoft has sparked a storm of protest, reaction was particularly vociferous on the XML-developers list, by blocking certain web browsers from its MSN.com portal. Much of the concerns raised were focused on the claim that these browsers, including Mozilla and Opera, did not support the latest W3C standards. XML.com includes an article which surveys the reaction to this incident on XML-DEV, and the implications for the Microsoft antitrust negotiations.
Hakon Lie, CTO of Opera and the instigator behind CSS, debunks Microsoft's claim that browser blocking at MSN.com has anything to do with "Web standards." Lie's testing shows that none of the 63 top-level pages at MSN.com validate.
URL: XML.com article http://xml.com/pub/a/2001/10/31/msn.html
URL: Hakon Lie's article http://www.alistapart.com/stories/msn/
Adobe Illustrator 10, vector graphics software, is being aimed at "cross-media design professionals", web designers and web developers. Available on Mac OS X and "ready for Windows XP", Illustrator 10 integrates tightly with Adobe's other graphics programs including AlterCast, Photoshop, InDesign, GoLive, LiveMotion, Premiere, and After Effects. The package costs £329 + VAT. Current Illustrator users can upgrade for £115 + VAT.
Autodesk MapGuide 6, is the latest version of the company's web distribution solution designed to help local governments, utilities, and communications firms leverage their years of legacy investment in mapping, GIS, and design data into new and innovative uses. Autodesk states these organisations can use MapGuide software, to increase the value of this data by deploying specialised web-based applications to distribute critical information in real time to non-technical users, helping improve customer service and streamline operations.
MapGuide software works in conjunction with the data creation, design, and mapping capabilities of Autodesk Map and the enterprise-level integration capabilities of Autodesk GIS Design Server.
URL: Autodesk MapGuide http://www.autodesk.com/mapguide
URL: Autodesk Map http://www3.autodesk.com/adsk/section/0,,693177-123112,00.html
URL: Autodesk GIS Design Server http://www3.autodesk.com/adsk/section/0,,451145-123112,00.html
The International Press Telecommunications Council has ratified version 3.0 of the News Industry Text Format (NITF). This is the updated specification for the delivery of news stories which holds out the promise of making it easier to reuse a single story for a variety of formats, including print, wireless devices, and the Web.
The new version of NITF, or News Industry Text Format, has several enhancements not found in version 2.5, such as the ability to more accurately format tabular material, including weather tables, stock listings, sports statistics, election data, and TV listings.
The IPTC also released a draft version of a new standard it is developing to format sports stories and statistics. The IPTC is seeking comment from news organisations and sports leagues on version 0.5 of SportsML (Sports Markup Language). Both NITF and SportsML use XML to format text and are designed to be compatible with the IPTC's NewsML specification. The IPTC focuses on developing and publishing industry standards for the interchange of news data.
URL: IPTC http://www.iptc.org/
URL: NITF http://www.nitf.org/
Indiana University Press have made the e-Service Journal available on CatchWord. e-Service Journal is a brand new multidisciplinary journal that publishes peer-reviewed research on the design, delivery, and impact of electronic services using a variety of computing and communication technologies. The online version will include additional material that is not available in the print edition. Online access is free with a paid-for print subscription.
URL: e-Service Journal http://iupjournals.org/eservice/
URL: Subscription info. http://www.catchword.com/activate.htm
Web Services Experience Language (WSXL) is an IBM initiative which is aiming to "help businesses to distribute Web applications through multiple revenue channels, and to use existing applications to create new services or applications across the web".
The first in a series of eBrochures is now available online outlining progress of the activities being carried-out by CEN/ISSS Learning Technology Workshop and in other standards and specifications activities. The Workshop aims to enhance global e-learning initiatives to help them to meet European requirements. These include:
- Internationalisation of the IEEE LTSC Learning Object Metadata (LOM) specification;
- to define standards, guidelines and codes of practice for quality description and assurance during the life cycle of a learning resource;
- making an inventory of educational modelling languages (EML), exploring the feasibility of a standard EML;
- collecting and organising a register of taxonomies and vocabularies relevant to a European learning society;
- investigating best practice in educational copyright licensing and collaboration with a view to moving towards European harmonisation.
If you think that the development of global and European open standards for learning technologies is something of interest to your organisation or business, why not attend the next meeting on 18-19 December 2001 in Berlin, Germany.
URL: Workshop home page http://www.cenorm.be/isss/workshop/LT
French and German versions of the Stellent Content Management system are now shipping. Previously known as Xpedio Content Management, the software provides content management for deployment on the web "personalising it for specific audiences, devices and applications". The program works with content in a variety of web formats, including PDF, HTML, XML, WML and cHTML.
URL: Stellent http://www.stellent.com/
O'Reilly has published a couple of resources concerned with Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networking and web services.
- a weblog and photo reports from the P2P and Web Services Conference (held in Washington, DC on November 5-7, 2001
"2001 P2P Networking Overview: The Emergent P2P Platform of Presence, Identity, and Edge Resources", is a research report which the publishers claim is "a comprehensive look at peer-to-peer from business and technical perspectives". It describes the state of the industry and offers opinions about where it's going to go next. The report costs US$ 495.00, though there are a number of resources gleaned from the report online, including:
- a "2001 P2P Networking Overview"
- "2001 P2P Networking Overview Ten Key Conclusions"
- Executive Summary
- The first chapter is online
- URL: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/p2presearch/chapter/ch01.html
Picdar and Syndication International (SI), formerly Mirror Syndication International, have re-launched Mirrorpix.com. The site hosts an extensive picture library containing close to 300,000 images that can be purchased on-line for either business or private use. Picdar host the Mirrorpix.com service through its managed secure Digital Asset Management solution, the Picdar Greenhouse.
The sister site, UK-press.com, also hosted by Picdar, contains a fully searchable text database of own-copyright articles from leading UK newspaper titles: The Mirror, the Sunday Mirror, Sunday People, the Daily Record and the Sunday Mail.
URL: Picdar http://www.picdar.com/
Xybernaut Corporation and The Graz University of Technology have announced a partnership to offer the first undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate degree programmes for wearable computing and related technologies. The degree programmes will be included in the Electrical Engineering and Telematics curricula and will include courses such as computation, communications, signal and video processing, project and change management and man-machine interface, as well as its traditional core courses in math, physics and electronics. The TUG wearable computing programmes are expected to serve as a foundation for other universities to develop academic degree programmes in wearable computing and related technologies.
URL: Graz University of Technology http://www.iti.tu-graz.ac.at/
URL: Xybernaut http://www.xybernaut.de/
Steinberg has released version 3.0 of its music restoration program, Clean. According to the company Clean 3.0 and Clean plus 3.0 allow records, audio cassettes and MP3 files to be "measurably improved for better sound". The package includes an interactive IntelliAssistant to support the user "like a professionally-trained sound engineer", and a number of other functions to optimise recording playback. The standard version of the software costs £24.99 and the professional version £69.99.
URL: Steinberg http://www.steinberg.net/
Eighty per cent of audio and video archive content is at risk, according to the results of EC project PRESTO. Unless preservation procedures are funded and implemented, quickly, unique heritage and commercially valuable material will be lost. This workshop, scheduled for 22-24 May 2002 in London, UK will provide, in a concentrated three days, the combined experience of ten major European broadcast archives, and the new technology developed by PRESTO.
PRESTO (Preservation Technology - new technology and processes to make preservation projects more cost effective) is a project sponsored by the Cultural Heritage sector of the IST programme (KA line III Multimedia Content & Tools) of the European Commission. The main partners are BBC (UK), RAI (Italy) and INA (France). Seven more major broadcast archives form the PRESTO user group.
To register an interest in attending the workshop send an email to either of the addresses below. Further details of the PRESTO project (along with a tabular list of all the Information Society Technologies (IST) projects is available on the Cordis web site). Information provided includes a brief description of the project, its objectives, the work programme and the partners.
URL: European Commission on Preservation and Access http://www.knaw.nl/ecpa/
URL: IST projects on Cordis http://www.cordis.lu/ist/projects.htm
Searcher - The Magazine for Database Professionals, has published online an article: "Web Search Engines FAQS: Questions, Answers, and Issues" which provides a wide ranging appraisal of current search engine practices. A side bar to the article provides a useful "top 10 things to know" about popular engines (such as Google, Alta Vista and MSN.com), as well as a handy comparison chart.
A wide ranging report from the US National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) which helps to provide a focus for the very confused and confusing subject of content access and filtering. It is based on research carried-out by the NCAC's Free Expression Policy Project which reviewed published studies and tests covering the software programs that are commonly used to filter out World Wide Web sites and other communications on the Internet.
The report summarises the results of that survey. Its purpose is to "provide a resource for policymakers and the general public as they grapple with the difficult, often hotly contested issues raised by the now-widespread use of Internet filters".
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has reached agreement with ABCi (ABC Interactive), an industry leader in the online third party verification arena, for ABCi to create and maintain the ABCi/IAB master industry list of web spiders and robots. The list will be updated monthly and is available to IAB members and ABCi clients free of charge. It is the third step in a chain of recommendations, which will culminate in guidelines that the IAB will issue by the end of the year.
The guidelines are geared "towards improving the quality of online ad campaign measurement" through establishing agreed baseline metrics. ABCi has maintained a robot list since May of 1995, compiled from over 8,000 audits and 200 trillion transactions. In addition to its own ongoing work in the area, the company invites other organisations to provide suggested updates to the list, provided that proper documentation is supplied so that their auditors can analyse the activity to assure that the user agent is, in fact, robotic. Conversely, challenges to the list are also welcomed, accompanied by proper documentation. As part of the IAB/ABCi relationship, ABCi will compile information and identify the impact of robotic activity based on ongoing audits.
URL: IAB http://www.iab.net/
URL: ABCi http://www.abcinteractiveaudits.com/
The Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA) has published ISMA 1.0 a specification the organisation hopes will accelerate existing IETF and MPEG standards for streaming over the Internet, resulting in a "fully open end-to-end chain of streaming rich media solutions for IP networks". ISMA 1.0, developed by this group of vendors working in the content management, distribution infrastructure and media streaming areas, provides a step-by-step implementation agreement to enable interoperability between components.
For this specification, the ISMA has defined two hierarchical profiles. The first, Profile 0, is aimed to stream audio/video content on wireless and narrow band networks to low complexity devices, such as cell phones or PDAs, that have limited viewing and audio capabilities. The second, Profile 1, is aimed to stream content over broadband quality networks to provide the end user with a richer viewing experience. Profile 1 is targeted to more powerful devices such as set-top boxes and personal computers.
URL: Internet Streaming Media Alliance http://isma.tv
A report from the Streaming Media West event in the US highlighted a number of product releases, which showed that products based on MPEG-4 are finally making it to market. The article, and appraisal of a number of the announcements, predicted that these were the first of many streaming products based on the open standard to be available over the next three to 10 years.
A final call for papers has been published for a special issue on "Image and Video Coding and Indexing" of the International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering. The special issue aims to assess the state of the art in the following fields:
- Image and Video Coding and Indexing - Multimedia and Hypermedia Databases
- Image and Video Sequence Analysis
- Digital and Video Libraries
- Visual Query Languages
- Human-Computer and Human-Human Communication by Images
- Knowledge-based approach to image and video coding and indexing
- Software systems for image and video coding and indexing
Papers, due by November 30, 2001, can cover innovative methods or provide tutorials/surveys on relevant subjects. Further information from the web or via the guest editor, Prof. Maurizio Tucci, Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica, Università di Salerno.
Email: Prof. Maurizio Tucci mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
The fourth issue of volume 4 of the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS) was published on October 31, 2001. JASSS is a free electronic, refereed journal devoted to the exploration and understanding of social processes by means of computer simulation. This issue has six refereed articles, two contributions to the Forum section, and six book reviews and a review essay.
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