Elpub buttonEP Topic News: 10th January 2002

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CONTENTS

RADICAL creative arts lab
IDC puts W. Europe ahead of US
Email security testing new tests
Signal processing for broadband
Charging for cultural heritage resources
Emerging market of streaming audio
Gorille - XML/Unicode testing
JaxMe - Java/XML binding tool
M/S resources for service providers
Computational Intelligence in S/W Engineering
Google claims largest index
3G international roaming test
Developer resources from IBM
Digital rights debates
Paper still dominates
Mobile entertainment study
Web domains diminishing?
Spanish text-to-speech engine
Mobile Transactions Initiative
Wolters Kluwer selects Arbortext
Adobe software latest
Sony interactive entertainment
Palm's best-selling eBooks
Learn to use Maya free
VIZ 4 (ex 3D Studio VIZ) available

RADICAL creative arts lab

Interactive Electronic Publishing project, RADICAL, is holding a creative arts lab, the ComiXlam, which will take place at the Ecole supérieure de l'image, Angoulême, France from 11-15 February, 2002. The lab is organised in two main parts: a week-long workshop with restricted participation, and a full-day seminar followed by a presentation-performance based on practical experimentation ensured during the workshop.

The workshop will explore and compare digital tools used by young artists, ranging from standard off-the-shelf Adobe and Macromedia products, through to artist-developed programs and interfaces allowing generation and control of sound and image. These include the prototype KeyStroke software environment, which is designed for online multimedia collaboration, and is capable of integrating and optimising a wide array of existing tools.

Feedback generated by the workshop will be used to develop and re-focus the RADICAL project workplan in the future. Updates will be emailed to all persons responding to the registration call, including non-attendees wishing to be kept informed. During the second part of January, full details including logistics, updated programme, and registered participant list, will be posted on the RADICAL and ESI web sites. Contact Sally Jane Norman via email for the current programme and application form.

Email: Sally Jane Norman mailto:norman@wanadoo.fr
URL: RADICAL http://www.get-radical.net/
URL: ESI http://www.eesati.fr/

IDC puts W. Europe ahead of US

A new report from market research company IDC puts Western Europe ahead of the US in numbers of Internet users. Of the world total of 497.7 million users at end 2001, 29.8% are in W. Europe compared with 29.2% in the US. However, WE lags significantly in eCommerce revenue at 25.7% of the world total of $615.3 billion in 2001 compared to 43.7% in the US, but now ahead of the 15.8% registered in Japan.

URL: http://www.idc.com/en_US/browse/viewNewsletterArchive.jhtml

Email security testing new tests

GFI's Email Security Testing Zone, has launched two email tests targeted at Outlook XP administrators. According to GFI despite Outlook XP's default security settings that do not allow users to run any executable attachments, certain email threats can circumvent Outlook XP's standard protection measures. The two new tests enable Outlook XP users to check whether their system is vulnerable to such threats. Both tests consist of an email carrying an executable attachment in disguise. One contains a CLSID file extension, while the other is based on a malformed HTA (HTML Application) file extension.

Though these attachments are executable files, Outlook XP does not recognize them as such: rather than blocking them as dangerous attachments, it asks the user if it should run the files. Outlook XP users can sign up for these tests by submitting their name and email address at GFI's Email Security Testing Zone. The company develops and markets software called "Mail Essentials" an email content checking and anti-virus solution for Exchange and SMTP servers. Pricing starts at US$ 350.

URL: tests http://www.gfi.com/emailsecuritytest/
URL: Mail Essentials http://www.gfi.com/me/
URL: GFI http://www.gfi.com/

Signal processing for broadband

The EURASIP Journal on Applied Signal Processing (EURASIP JASP) is planning a special issue on: "Signal Processing for Broadband Access Systems: Techniques and Implementations". The editors are requesting papers that present state-of-the-art signal processing techniques and implementation issues for broadband access systems over different access channels. Original papers are being sought (due January 31, 2003) which consider the design, implementation, and application aspects of current and emerging wireline/wireless access technologies, such as xDSL, Cable modem, FTTC, FTTH, 10G/Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, Wireless LAN, Broadband Wireless Access, Digital Audio/Video Broadcasting. A more complete list of specific topics of interest are available via the EURASIP JASP web site, along with notes for authors.

URL: http://asp.hindawi.com/

Charging for cultural heritage resources

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant to the UK's Higher Education Digitisation Service (HEDS) to explore the charging models for digital content of cultural institutions in the UK and Europe. HEDS will:

To discover the underlying motivation driving charging and rights policies, HEDS will use relative and comparative cost modeling with a framework of opinion-based research. It is believed that this work will help the community to compare and assess costs for delivering digital content against a realistic model.

Simon Tanner, the project manager is looking for organisations wishing to help with the study and is particularly interested to hear from libraries, museums or archives that currently make a charge for providing either a
photographic prints or digital copies of photographs, 35mm slides or other photographic materials. In particular what prices are charged for photographic prints and what charges are made for providing digital files (whatever format). Specifically the information required is:

Contact Simon via the email below. HEDS provides consultancy and production services for digitisation and digital library development to all sectors of education, libraries, museums and other non-profit organizations.

Email: Simon Tanner mailto:s.g.tanner@herts.ac.uk
URL: study page http://heds.herts.ac.uk/projects/projectsE.html#e1
URL: HEDS http://heds.herts.ac.uk

Emerging market of streaming audio

The TV Meets the Web email newsletter (and related web site) provides free weekly news and reviews of market developments concerned with the convergence of broadcast and web-based media. Published by Van Dusseldorp & Partners, the publication's mission statement is: to help clients in Europe position themselves for media convergence. They have published a a special edition focusing on the emerging market of streaming audio. In a 6 part series of features, Richard Fusco examines all aspects of the industry. There is also a review the Streaming Media East Event that took place in New York in December 2001 in which he analyses what he considers to be the most significant market development of the year in the sector, "Internetworks".

URL: http://www.tvmeetstheweb.com/
URL: subscribe http://www.tvmeetstheweb.com/news/newslettersubscribe.asp

Gorille - XML/Unicode testing

Gorille is described as a very simple Java library for testing XML content and labels against lists of allowable Unicode characters such as those provided in XML 1.0 and XML 1.1. Gorille, available under the Mozilla Public License and is currently in alpha. The author, Simon St.Laurent, believes the basic functionality is complete, but that there is still potential for improvement, expansion, and as always, better documentation. Contact Simon with comments.

URL: Gorille http://simonstl.com/projects/gorille
URL: XML 1.0 http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml
URL: XML 1.1 http://www.w3.org/TR/xml11/
URL: Simon St.Laurent http://simonstl.com

JaxMe - Java/XML binding tool

The first public release of JaxMe is described as "yet another open source Java/XML binding tool in the style of Castor or Zeus". Listed features by the author include: very small (runtime about 31K); based on SAX2 and JAXP and nothing else, hence comparatively fast; currently processes a reduced subset of XML/Schema (no choices, no references - choices and recursion are on the list of planned features); supports an "any" type; supports namespaces; supports JDBC mapping to an SQL table and reading from joined tables (more is possible via manual customization, "subclassing"). The list of planned features includes a generator for Entity Beans with BMP, support for the Tamino database and the like. The author would be thankful for any feedback.

URL: JaxMe archive http://jaxme.sourceforge.net/

M/S resources for service providers

Microsoft publish a free periodic email newsletter called: "Resources for Service Providers", which provides news items on the latest developments in the field of web services and the technologies the company is developing to support them. Among recent announcements:

Subscribe to the Microsoft Service Providers news service via the web link below.

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

Computational Intelligence In Software Engineering

The Annals of Software Engineering has issued a call for papers for a special volume on: "Computational Intelligence In Software Engineering". The aim and scope of this special issue is focused on the current research trends of introducing and implementing Computational Intelligence (CI) techniques to address the software engineering needs arising during different phases of software development and analysis. An extensive list of topics of interest is published in the call and includes: neural networks, fuzzy logic, data mining, knowledge based systems, software cost estimation, machine learning techniques, hybrid intelligent systems. Manuscripts are due by April 1, 2002.

URL: http://manta.cs.vt.edu/ase

Google claims largest index

The December 2001 Google Friends Newsletter, a free email update service aimed at the Google web search engine users, claims that its index, at "2 billion web pages, [is] far and away the web's largest". Apparently Google also has indexed 330 million images and 700 million newsgroup messages, bringing the total to more than 3 billion documents available via a Google search. Other points of note are: more than a quarter of the web pages in Google's index are in languages other than English and "millions more" are in non-HTML file formats including PDF, Microsoft Office, and Corel documents.

Searches can now be conducted on more than 20 additional file types, including Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf), Adobe PostScript, Lotus 1-2-3, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Rich Text Format. Subscribe to the Google Friends newsletter via the home page.

URL: the index http://www.google.com/press/pressrel/3billion.html
URL: file formats http://www.google.com/corporate/facts.html
URL: Google home page http://www.google.com/

3G international roaming test

Ericsson has announced that it cooperated in what is believed to be the "world's first 3G international roaming test call". The trial call was set up between J-Phone in Japan and Vodafone in Spain and marks a significant advancement in the roll out of 3G. The trial result proves J-Phone's 3G subscriber is able to receive and make calls on the same handset, using the same subscriber number while traveling overseas.

All calls made during the trial used a complete 3G network supplied by Ericsson, J-Phones main supplier.

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

Developer resources from IBM

A number of announcements and online resources for developers using IBM-based solutions:

Digital rights debate

Last year the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School presented a webcast debate between two of the most powerful conflicting forces in the argument over rights to digital content in the Internet age: Motion Picture Association of America head Jack Valenti and Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig. Now the USC Annenberg School of Communication has brought the two together again for a re-match. Follow the link below to access the webcast archives of the Valenti versus Lessig debates. Further details are published in the Berkman Centre's periodic news service The Filter, available as a free subscription via the link below.

URL: 1st debate http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/futureofip/
URL: 2nd debate, download file http://annenberg.usc.edu/events/011129LessigValenti/debate.smil
URL: The Filter http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/filter/

Paper still dominates

Despite the immense popularity of "paperless" media such as e-mail and the Internet, a new study by Lexmark International, (a leading US developer, manufacturer and supplier of laser and inkjet printers) reveals that the need for printing remains as strong as ever - and is growing. Results of the study also offer details on home and office printing and the future of printing technologies and applications, including public preferences for wireless printing, while dispelling a number of popular misconceptions about printing trends.

The survey, which was conducted by the opinion and market research firm SWR Worldwide, included 500 respondents who use computer printers both at home and in the workplace on a regular basis.

URL: press release http://www.lexmark.com/US/Corporate/Press/PressRelease/0,1196,744,00.html
URL: Lexmark home page http://www.lexmark.com/

Mobile entertainment study

According to Nokia a new study undertaken by the HPI Research Group on their behalf highlighted the potential for the mobile entertainment services in 3G. Over 3300 people across three continents took place in the survey and represented what Nokia consider the core target market for the 3G offering, namely, teenagers, young adults and family adults, all of whom currently have mobile phones for personal use. The markets were Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States.

Not surprisingly the most popular feature was SMS texting (81%), however 72% of respondents stated they would like to have at least one entertainment service available on their 3G terminal. The "top five" entertainment services attractive to respondents were: listening to radio, requesting single songs, requesting albums, watching live TV, playing games. Interestingly the majority of respondents preferred the idea of paying for bundled services rather than purchasing on "a more individual-service basis". Further information is available via the press release below.

URL: press release http://press.nokia.com/PR/200112/843449_5.html

Web domains diminishing?

According to a recent Netcraft Web Server Survey the number of sites on the Internet is showing a decline along with .com domains. The survey concentrates on web server software usage on Internet connected computers, collecting as many "hostnames providing an http service as we can find, and systematically poll each one with an HTTP request for the server name". In the December 2001 survey, Netcraft received responses from 36,276,252 sites which showed that Apache remains the dominant server at just over 60%, with Microsoft servers accounting for around 26%, and IPlanet servers (and Netscape derivatives) accounting for 3.5%.

This was only the second month since the survey was started in 1995, that there has been a drop in the number of sites found but is attributed to non-renewal of domains initially registered during the "domain name speculation" period towards the end of 1999. View the complete survey online, and subscribe (registration required) to a free email update service.

URL: survey http://www.netcraft.com/survey/
URL: Netcraft http://www.netcraft.com/

Spanish text-to-speech engine

AT&T Labs have announced a Spanish language version of its Natural Voices text-to-speech (TTS) engine, and operates on platforms from large servers to the desktop to meet the needs of developers and businesses of all sizes. Although no applications are bundled with the software, the TTS engine is compliant with Microsoft's Speech Application Programming Interface (SAPI 5.0 and 5.1). The software development kit for all three editions (Server, Server-Lite and Desktop) enables developers to create SAPI-compliant applications or use the C++ Application Programming Interfaces to create TTS-enabled applications.

Details of the products, including news of a German version (which should be available early in 2002) are available via the AT&T Labs Natural Voices web site. Information and resources concerning AT&T's research into natural langiage processing the latest Text-to-Speech (TTS) research is available via the AT&T Labs TTS Research web site.

URL: AT&T Labs Natural Voices http://www.naturalvoices.com/
URL: TTS Research site http://www.research.att.com/
URL: TTS Research projects http://www.research.att.com/projects/tts

Mobile Transactions Initiative (MeT)

The Mobile Transactions (MeT) Initiative, founded to establish a framework for secure mobile transactions regardless of mobile device and network, is made up of six Sponsors (Ericsson, NEC, Matsushita, Nokia, Siemens, Sony), and 55 Associate Members from around the world. The MeT initiative has introduced the 1.0 specification which defines mobile device functionality for mobile e-commerce. Release 1.1, currently under development, aims to provide both mobile terminal manufacturers and service providers with a common platform for developing secure mobile e-commerce services, along with a method for conformance testing.

MeT plans to "leverage existing industry standards such as WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), ECML (Electronic Commerce Modeling Language), WTLS (Wireless Transport Layer Security), TLS (Transport Layer Security), WIM (Wireless Identity Module), PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) and local connectivity standards such as Bluetooth to ensure transaction security". In addition it will address the needs of application areas such as identification, authorisation, credit and debit card payments, loyalty schemes, and ticketing. The specifications can be downloaded free of charge from the organisation's web site.

URL: MeT http://www.mobiletransaction.org/
URL: MeT specs. http://www.mobiletransaction.org/documents.html

Wolters Kluwer selects Arbortext

Wolters Kluwer has selected Arbortext Epic software for XML content creation and plans to implement the Epic E-Content Engine (E3) for multichannel publishing. Wolters Kluwer is a multinational information services company with annual sales of approximately Euro 3.7 billion and employing approximately 19,000 people. Wolters Kluwer believes that use of the software will "reduce publishing costs and increase author productivity". Browser-based use of the Epic software will be provided to authors located throughout the organisation, with the software extending electronic collaboration.

URL: Wolters Kluwer http://www.wolterskluwer.com/
URL: Arbortext http://www.arbortext.com/

Adobe software latest

Adobe have announced:

Both GoLive 6.0 and LiveMotion 2.0 are expected to be available "during the first quarter of 2002".

URL: Adobe http://www.adobe.co.uk/

Sony interactive entertainment

In the US, Level 3 Communications, has become the primary provider of broadband services for Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment's (SPDE) Screenblast. The Level 3 services will support SPDE's new broadband creativity platform. "Screenblast is an evolution in online entertainment and is the first application to link the role of traditional media with the role of interactive media," said Mike Knaisch, senior vice president for Level 3.

Screenblast is described as: "an innovative entertainment offering aimed at consumers with broadband Internet connections. Through the SPDE web site or the Screenblast web site, consumers enter an interactive world where they can choose to navigate through five genre channels-action, comedy, drama, sci-fi and music. From there, users can then move into the 'director's' seat to create and showcase their work and connect with others online through a multitude of new devices".

URL: SPDE http://www.sonypictures.com/
URL: Screenblast http://www.screenblast.com/
URL: Level 3 Communications http://www.Level3.com/

Palm's best-selling eBooks

Palm, Inc has named its best-selling eBooks for 2001. According to the company, Palm Digital Media sold almost 180,000 eBooks during 2001, up more than 40 percent from the previous year, nearly doubling its revenue. "This is an emerging industry, and the steady growth that we are experiencing shows that there is a great deal of interest in eBooks," said Mike Segroves, director of business development for Palm Digital Media.

Palm Digital Media is one of the the leading publishers and distributors of eBooks for Palm Reader, offering a growing list of more than 3,500 titles from most major US publishing houses. Palm Reader runs on handhelds using the Palm OS 3.0 and higher. The best-selling fiction eBook for 2001 was "Dreamcatcher" by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster).

URL: Palm eBooks http://www.palm.com/ebooks
URL: Palm http://www.palm.com/

Learn to use Maya free

Alias|Wavefront is developing the Maya Personal Learning Edition which will provide users of Windows and Mac OS X with unlimited, free access to Maya. Maya Personal Learning Edition will give 3D graphics and animation students, current industry professionals, and those interested in breaking into the world of computer graphics an opportunity to explore Maya Complete software, in a non-commercial capacity. There is more VR News, in the dedicated VR news section of El.pub.

URL: http://www.aliaswavefront.com/freemaya
URL: VR News http://www.elpub.org/base02vt0179.htm

VIZ 4 (ex 3D Studio VIZ) available

Autodesk VIZ 4 software, a new release of the 3D modeling, rendering, and animation tool formerly known as 3D Studio VIZ, is now available worldwide. Unlike previous versions of 3D Studio VIZ, Autodesk VIZ 4 fully integrates a new generation of global illumination rendering technology and physically based lighting within the application. With physically based lighting, designers can position lighting fixtures in their scenes as they would in the real world, and evaluate the lighting effects of a given design both visually and quantitatively. Light intensity can be specified in photometric units (for example, lumens, candelas), industry-standard IES (Illuminating Engineering Society) data formats for manufactured lighting fixtures, or with daylight standards. Using Autodesk's i-drop technology, customers can drag virtual lighting fixtures directly from manufacturers' websites into their Autodesk VIZ scenes.

URL: http://www.autodesk.com/


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