EP Topic News: 24th January 2002
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Xfinity Author wX 2.1 from US company B-Bop Associates is the latest version of its Microsoft Word-to-XML authoring software. The software apparently "hides the complexity of XML from the business user allowing them to create well-formed XML documents without learning the specifics of XML syntax". Content can be saved to a number of user-defined DTDs including NewsML, HR-XML, DocBook, XBRL or even HTML. The new release also provides support for international languages via support for both ISO-8859-1 and UTF-16 character sets.
Xfinity Author wX version 2.1 requires Microsoft Word 2000 and runs on Windows 98, Windows NT and Windows 2000 platforms. To view a sample output generated by Xfinity Author wX, is available online.
URL: sample output http://www.b-bop.com/authorwX_to_docbook.htm
URL: Xfinity Author wX http://www.b-bop.com/products_xfinity_author_wX.htm
URL: B-Bop Associates http://www.b-bop.com/
"Designing From Both Sides of the Screen" is a book which explores "how designers and engineers can collaborate to build cooperative technology". Written from the perspectives of both a user interface designer and a software engineer, this book demonstrates rather than just describes how to build technology that cooperates with people. It begins with a set of interaction design principles that apply to a broad range of technology, illustrating with examples from the web, desktop software, cell phones, PDAs, cameras, voice menus, interactive TV, and more. It goes on to show how these principles are applied in practice during the development process - when the ideal design can conflict with other engineering goals. While it illustrates the entire development process, the book emphasizes the importance of three phases:
- understanding how people carry out the tasks that the technology will support;
- designing a user interface specification up front and then designing the system architecture to support it;
- observing people using the system under realistic conditions during development and iterating to smooth out ease of use problems.
The authors have developed a web site to continue the discussion started in the book.
URL: discussion site http://www.uidesigns.com/
The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) announced today that 232 Wi-Fi product certifications have been awarded to 61 WECA member companies products since March of 2000. The Alliance believe that this continued growth in certifications indicates that Wi-Fi is becoming "the world's dominant wireless LAN technology". WECA is described as a nonprofit organisation formed in 1999 to certify interoperability of Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) and Wi-Fi5 (IEEE 802.11a) products and to promote them as the global, wireless LAN standards across all market segments.
URL: WECA http://www.wi-fi.org/
URL: list of Wi-Fi certified products http://www.wi-fi.com/certified_products.asp
Virtual Reality Cultural and Heritage Information Portal (VRCHIP project) aims to contribute to the European Commissions community social objectives by providing an innovative and pleasurable means of accessing cultural and heritage information stored in electronic format. Run by a project supported under the European Commission's IST research and development programme, the key objectives of the VRCHIP project are to:
- gather and store cultural and heritage information in multimedia electronic format;
- provide access to the information through an innovative and exciting virtual reality environment;
- assess the impact of the new facility in improving access to the data and enhancing the learning experience of people of all ages.
The project commenced on 3 September 2001 and progress has been made in defining project methodologies. Further information will be published progressively on the web site
TclDOM is described as a Tcl language binding for the DOM (Document Object Model). It provides DOM Level 1 functionality and partially implements DOM Level 2. This release is designated as 'theta' because it contains only the pure-Tcl implementation of TclDOM. Two other subprojects are working towards providing TclDOM implementations in C. Version 2.0 theta is now available for download from the TclXML project web site on SourceForge. Please submit bug reports and suggestions for improvements via the link below.
URL: download http://tclxml.sourceforge.net/tcldom.html
URL: comments http://sourceforge.net/projects/tclxml/
"Protecting Your Corporate Domain Names," is a free white paper from VeriSign a provider of digital trust services, which includes:
- new generic top-level domains and deadlines;
- why have a registration policy;
- how to develop a domain name protection strategy.
Note that registration is required to download the white paper.
The last edition of El.pub Analytic covered media convergence and ownership. Complementary to the information in the article is a recent article in the US magazine, The Nation, dealing with the "Big Ten" media companies and showing the extent of their cross-media coverage.
URL: Elpub Analytic http://www.elpub.org/analytic07.htm
Wind River plans transfer FreeBSD, its open source UNIX operating system, derived from BSD UNIX and developed at the University of California to FreeBSD Mall Inc. FreeBSD technology is widely used as a server operating system by many large Internet sites including Yahoo!, Hotmail, Sony Japan, Apache, Pair Networks and Whistle Communications.
Like Linux, the source code for FreeBSD is freely available. FreeBSD Mall plan to: "aggressively promote and market FreeBSD ... in addition to providing the standard FreeBSD distribution on CDROM, they will continue to offer a several levels of professional support and services".
EPIC Alert a newsletter published by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in Washington DC reports on the The Future of Music Coalition (FMC) which held its second annual policy summit on January 7-8, 2002, in Washington DC, USA. Many topics were discussed that relate to issues of music and technology policy, copyright law, and other areas of interest to musicians, the media, policy makers, and the public. The emphasis of the conference was on finding ways to protect the interests of artists and copyright holders, as well as the music-loving public, in a constantly changing technological environment.
There was also apparently, much talk of Digital Rights Management (DRM) and its efficacy as an anti-piracy technique. Panelist bios, transcripts, and more post-conference information is currently available at the Future of Music Coalition web site. In addition there is a new page on the EPIC site devoted to Digital Rights Management.
URL: FMC conference http://www.futureofmusic.org/events/summit0102/
URL: EPIC's DRM page http://www.epic.org/privacy/drm/
URL: EPIC Alert http://www.epic.org/alert/EPIC_Alert_9.01.html
The January 2002 edition of the Safer Internet Newsletter published by the EU's Safer Internet programme has been published. Providing news and occasional feature articles the information provides news of Internet protection policy across the member states. Subscription is free via the project's web site.
The Webreference Update Newsletter has been running a series of article looking at the potential role for XML in electronic commerce. Styled as an "XML for e-business survey" the latest edition considers Microsoft's BizTalk, examining the BizTalk Framework, the document and messaging formats supported by the BizTalk Server.
The Gama Network is described as "where professional creators of interactive entertainment come for information, interaction, and inspiration". Providing resources for game development, The Gama Network includes the Game Developers Conference, the Independent Games Festival, Game Developer magazine, and Gamasutra.com.
The Kenwood Excelon Music Keg, is described as "a high capacity digital music storage and playback mobile audio system, that builds a bridge between desktop and vehicle music environments". The Music Keg comes with 10GB of storage capacity to record, organise, store and play MP3, WMA and WAV music files. It is made up of three components which enable the download of files from a PC to a removable 10GB hard disk cartridge which can then be inserted into a player inside a car.
According to Microsoft following the launch of the Xbox video game system in North America on November 15, 2001 it sold around "1.5 million units to the end of 2001". The company also announced that it is on track for the Japanese launch on February 22, and in Europe and Australia on March 14. The company also re-stated its commitment to promoting the use of Xbox for online gaming, claiming that "27 publishers [are] creating online games for Xbox".
URL: Xbox http://www.xbox.com/
URL: Xbox Japanese site http://xbox.jp/
Counterpoint Systems, a developer of rights and royalty administration software to the entertainment industry, has completed a key rights management component of Napster's new membership service, which is scheduled to launch during the first quarter of 2002. Counterpoint's technology will track songs as they are shared through the Napster service so royalties can be accurately calculated and distributed to artists, songwriters and other rights holders.
URL: Counterpoint http://www.counterp.com/
URL: Napster http://www.napster.com/
National Semiconductor is developing a reference design for "Mira" (the code name for a set of Windows technologies aimed at display devices). Based on National's Geode processors, and utilising the .NET architecture, the hope is that "Mira will allow wireless display devices from different vendors to interoperate".
URL: National Semiconductor http://www.national.com/
URL: press release http://www.national.com/news/item/0,1735,716,00.html
The Internet Home Alliance brings together a number of high-tech and consumer companies "focused on developing and testing a fully integrated home control and security system that can be controlled and accessed remotely or on-site through in-vehicle voice recognition, a standard Web browser, a WAP phone or a wireless enabled PDA". OnStar, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors, Invensys, Panasonic, Hewlett-Packard Company and ADT Security Services, Inc - have been working together to incorporate their various technologies into a packaged solution that will be tested in about 100 homes.
The combined technology of the pilot program will allow home owners to remotely access and control a wide range of household functions, such as locking/unlocking doors; operating the security system, thermostats, lights and smart door bell; and using a webcam to view the home's interior. Results will be fed back to other members of the Alliance.
URL: Internet Home Alliance http://www.internethomealliance.com/
URL: OnStar http://www.onstar.com/
URL: Invensys http://www.invensys.com/
URL: Panasonic http://www.panasonic.com/
URL: Hewlett-Packard http://www.hp.com/
SCM Microsystems, and DVDCre8 plan to jointly develop and market software technology for the growing Digital Versatile Disk (DVD) authoring market. Together, the two companies will work to develop DVD authoring software that will be sold under SCM's Dazzle brand of digital video capture and editing products.
DVD players are believed to be one of the fastest growing consumer electronics products in history, growing from 798,000 units sold in the US in 1998 to an estimated 13 million units in 2001 (figures quoted from: NPD Intelect, September 2001). Dazzle's new DVD authoring software should enable consumers to create "professional looking DVDs with features such as interactive menus, motion menus, contextual media and jacket labels, slide shows, overtures, credits and director's cuts, by following project wizards".
URL: Dazzle http://www.dazzle.com/
URL: SCM Microsystems http://www.scmmicro.com/
URL: DVDCre8 http://www.dvdcre8.com/
Adobe has announced a new pricing structure for Adobe Content Server 2.1, the company's digital rights management (DRM) software for Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) based content. The company claims that the new pricing model is "designed to open new opportunities for publishers, distributors and retailers to expand their eBook and electronic content distribution offerings". Content Server 2.1 is available directly from the Adobe web site.
URL: Content Server 2.1 http://ebooks.adobe.com/
URL: Adobe http://www.adobe.com/
The January 2002 issue of First Monday (volume 7, number 1) is now available, and includes the following feature articles:
- "I don't watch TV to like learn anything: The Leisure Use of TV and the Internet";
- "Mapping the Information Society Literature: Topics, Perspectives, and Root Metaphors";
- "Object Lessons: Towards and Educational Theory of Technology";
- "Globalization of Information: Intellectual Property Law Implications";
- "Music in the Age of Free Distribution: MP3 and Society".
The Second First Monday Conference is sub titled: Speed Demons, Contemplative Places: The Digital Importance of Momentum and Meditation and it takes place on 5-6 August 2002 in Aarhus, Denmark. The preample to the conference objectives explains: "The Internet and information technology have advanced the prominent role of speed, but does technology have meaning in non-accelerative processes? Should traditional oases of contemplation, such as libraries, churches, museums, and ateliers, ban or embrace the Internet? How can we organise knowledge mean when knowledge creation is in a flux? What cultural heritage will be left for future
This conference will consider these and other related questions and examine them from different perspectives - artistic, scientific, historical, religious, and political. The organisers of the conference are:
- The Alexandra Institute, Center for New Ways of Working conducts research and consulting in design
and evaluation of the integration of mobile and pervasive ICT, workspace design, and knowledge management in project organised collaborative work organisations.
- First Monday, one of the most widely read peer-reviewed, Internet-only journals, dedicated to the Internet.
- The State and University Library, one of Denmark's national libraries and the main library of Aarhus
University. A key target for the Library, is to optimize the use of information technology to provide
users with ready and unimpeded access to all relevant types of information, whether held on paper or electronically. At the same time the library is active in the preservation of cultural heritage.
For more information, write to the email below.
Ericsson has won its first global contract to supply multimedia messaging software to Vodafone. The companies have agreed a roll-out schedule that will see commercial availability of the service in Europe from the middle of this year. Vodafone will initially roll out Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) in Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
Both companies believe that "MMS offers a dramatic increase in mobile-to-mobile messaging capabilities by enabling colour pictures, animations, audio and video clips to be sent along with text. This opens the door to content-rich applications and services such as electronic postcards, animated cartoons and multimedia presentations". Handsets from Sony Ericsson, capable of displaying MMS, are expected from to be released shortly.
The January 2002 issue of D-Lib Magazine includes six full-length articles, an opinion piece ("Beyond the Scriptorium: The Role of the Library in Text Encoding"), and a report on the 4th International Conference of Asian Digital Libraries. The articles include:
- "A Spectrum of Interoperability: The Site for Science Prototype for the NSDL";
- "Re-inventing the Wheel? Standards, Interoperability and Digital Cultural Content";
- "Preservation Risk Management for Web Resources: Virtual Remote Control in Cornell's Project Prism";
- "Safekeeping: A Cooperative Approach to Building a Digital Preservation Resource";
- "Object Persistence and Availability in Digital Libraries";
URL: table of contents http://www.dlib.org/dlib/january02/01contents.html
Ektron are looking for beta testers for its eWebEditPro+XML product. The softare enables users to apply XML tags to semi-structured content without any knowledge of XML. It works in a web page and is configurable, which its authors believe will "reduce cost, decrease update time, and automate content publishing workflow".
Further information on eWebEditPro+XML, multimedia tours, features, and a 30-day trial version, along with the option to sign-up as a beta tester are available via the link below.
The January 2002 of the Library Link Newsletter has been published and includes articles and viewpoints on: Library Management & Information Services, Library Collection & Development Management, Library Technology.
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We publish topic news once a week with a separate page for each week, ensuring that links (particularly from El.pub Weekly) continue to remain current. To view news from other weeks, please use the navigation buttons below.
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