Elpub buttonEP Topic News: 21st March 2002

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Contents
Electronic Publishing in FP6
P6 newsletter
Search engine submission guide
EU - Internet penetration levels-off
EU e-economy consultation
e-learning, teachers not convinced
FP6 and ERA progress
UK games industry magazine
ETSI - speech recognition algorithm
Private owner puts maps online
Budapest Open Access Initiative
New broadband report
DivX 5 MPEG4 system available
IST 2002 - call for ideas
First Monday March 2002
ELSPA - games in the news
Secure display technology patent
XMetaL for Stationery Office
UK faces the music - report
Sematic web workshop
Regulatory remedy for European broadband
MS mobile division news
.NET Framework Essentials
Privacy in Cyberspace lecture series
Mobile DRM

Electronic Publishing in FP6

An Interactive Electronic Publishing Workshop on 6th Framework Programme, organised by the INFORM project and supported by the European Commission's Interactive Electronic Publishing sector has been announced. To be held on April 23, 2002 at the UPF (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) in Barcelona, the purpose of the Workshop is to gather information, comments and remarks from a broad audience on what issues should be developed, followed up, or further elaborated in the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) specific programme. In addition, it offers an ideal opportunity to gain authoritative information on future developments. The event also serves as an opportunity to start the process of creating communities of interest and establishing international networks.

The 6th Framework Programme should be in place by the end of 2002. Whilst broad debate has occurred on FP6 there remains considerable scope to influence the implementation of the EU research programme activities through their specific programmes and annual work plans. It is anticipated that this workshop will aid in the consultation process.

A draft programme has been published on El.pub (follow the link below for up-to-date information), to date this includes an plenary, a number of panel sessions which include keynote presentations, invited papers and open discussions, and a final roundup session.

To facilitate focussed debate the Commission will make available to registered delegates pre-information on the FP6 specific programme developments, so that the right people can contribute efficiently to the debate. Attendees may also benefit from continued information updates through an FP6 newsletter. Participation will ensure that your organisation is aware of these developments and will enable you to position yourselves with potential partners for future calls.

The event is open to any interested party, and attendance is free of charge. However, only a limited number of places remain available so a quick indication of your interest is essential. For more information about the event, or to signal your desire to make a contribution please email the organisers via the email below.

URL: agenda22.htm
Email: event organisers mailto:FP6@mva.co.uk

FP6 newsletter

As you probably know the El.pub services are supported as part of the INFORM project in the European Union RTD 5th Framework Programme. The current four year programme is ending and the next cycle, the 6th FP will probably start towards the end of this year. As part of the project we run workshops that increase awareness of the programme and in particular interactive electronic publishing.

We have decided to launch a newsletter with information about the 6th FP in relation to projects concerned with digital content. The newsletter will appear occasionally and point to recent information on CORDIS and in other documents, and to meetings relevant to the programme organised by the Commission and other organisations, and projects. If you are interested in receiving this free newsletter please subscribe via the email below.

Email: mailto:fp6iepnews@ketlux.demon.co.uk

Search engine submission guide

The Search Engine Report, free email newsletter from the Search Engine Watch web site reports that its, "Essentials Of Search Engine Submission" guide, has been updated to reflect new pricing at Yahoo and Inktomi, the new paid inclusion programs offered by Ask Jeeves/Teoma and FAST, and the new Google AdWords Select program. The five-part guide walks through the basic steps anyone should take to get a new web site listed with search engines. The site also features an updated Nielsen/NetRatings page, which shows traffic to various search engines and search related portals, as of December 2001. Both pages, and the submission essentials guide, can be found via the What's New page, below.

The site also features a list of the winners of the 2001 Search Engine Watch awards, in which Google came out as a big winner, being named for the second year in a row as "Outstanding Search Service." Google also won for "Best Image Search Engine," (Google Images) "Best Design," "Most Webmaster Friendly Search Engine" and in the "Best Search Feature" category (Google Toolbar & Cached Links).

Although Google won five of the eight categories where it was eligible the three categories where Google didn't win were: Vivisimo for "Best Meta Search Engine"; Yahoo News for "Best News Search Engine"; Overture for "Best Paid Placement Service"; Inktomi for "Best Paid Inclusion Service"; and the science search engine Scirus won for "Best Specialty Search Engine".

URL: What's New http://searchenginewatch.com/whatsnew.html
URL: Awards http://searchenginewatch.com/awards/
URL: Search Engine Watch http://searchenginewatch.com/

EU - Internet penetration levels-off

An eEurope benchmarking report published by the European Commission says that Internet connection in EU household stood at 38% in December 2001. Whilst the report showed that Internet connections up to this date had shown a steady increase, it confirms that national statistics may indicate that this upward trend is now levelling-off. The report also indicates that the growth in e-commerce may be slower than many pundits have predicted - with only 36% of Internet users surveyed having purchased online. The full report is available for download in pdf format.

URL: http://europa.eu.int/information_society/eeurope/news_library/new_documents/benchmarking_en.pdf

EU e-economy consultation

The European Commission has launched an online consultation on determining EU policy for helping European enterprises to take advantage of the e-economy. At the launch of the initiative, current Commission priorities were outlined as: measures to boost the creation of a clear and predictable framework for e-business, foster full participation of SMEs in the e-economy, improve the availability of risk capital and market-based financing. Contributions to the consultation process need to be submitted by 31 March 2002.

URL: consultation http://europe.eu.int/comm/enterprise/ict/policy/e-economy.htm
URL: e-economy in Europe http://europe.eu.int/comm/enterprise/consultations/list.htm

e-learning, teachers not convinced

Whilst commercial developers of e-learning systems are very optimistic about the implementation of such systems, teachers and educators who would have to use the systems remain sceptical. Cordis Focus reports that Cedefop, the European Centre for vocational training, carried out two surveys: "E-learning and training in Europe" and "Users' views on e-learning" and presented the results at the E-learn Expo in Paris. According to Cedefop, whilst suppliers of e-learning systems claim that sales are on the increase, few of the users and developers of content for such systems (just 17%) felt confident in their abilities and skills to use e-learning techniques. The surveys also indicated that Finland, France, Germany and Spain were the EU countries most likely to embrace e-learning techniques. Extracts of the reports are available online, and details via the email address below.

URL: http://www.trainingvillage.gr
Email: mailto:press-service@cedefop.eu.int

FP6 and ERA progress

Cordis Focus publishes a web site entitled: "RTD 2002 - Research & Technical Development Beyond 2002" which reports on progress to the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) and the European Research Area (ERA). Information published on the the site will follow the process of adoption of the new Framework Programme. The next major developments are predicted to be this month (March), when the next Research Council takes place, and May when the European Parliament begins its second reading of the amended proposals.

We have decided to launch a newsletter with information about the 6th FP in relation to projects concerned with digital content. The newsletter will appear occasionally and point to recent information on Cordis and in other documents, and to meetings relevant to the programme organised by the Commission and other organisations, and projects. If you are interested in receiving this free newsletter please subscribe via the email below.

URL: http://www.cordis.lu/rtd2002
Email: mailto:fp6iepnews@ketlux.demon.co.uk

UK games industry magazine

Indie Magazine, a publication aimed at UK games and interactive media retailers was re-launched on March 1, 2002. Indie, established over 10 years ago, will continue as a monthly print publication (providing product information and analysis), but the publishers are also promising "real-time news" on the associated web site.

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

ETSI - speech recognition algorithm

The ETSI STQ (Speech Transmission and Quality) Aurora working group has selected an advanced feature extraction algorithm for Distributed Speech Recognition (DSR). The proposal selected was jointly developed by Motorola Labs, France Telecom and Alcatel , a competing algorithm developed by Qualcomm was rejected. According to ETSI the new algorithm offers an average 53% reduction in error rates in background noise compared with the previous DSR feature extraction standard. DSR will be an important base technology for many mobile and Internet based applications, enabling speech driven services as well as being part of future multi-modal interfaces. It will be used in future for applications such as:

The algorithm defines the extraction and compression of the features from speech that is performed on the terminal device, eg. a mobile phone. These features are then sent over a data link to a remote "back end processor" which recognises the words spoken. Providing the front-end feature extraction at the terminal provides improved recognition performance compared with using the voice channel in mobile networks. It also enables the creation of multi-modal interfaces since both the speech and other input or output data can be carried over the same data channel.

URL: ETSI TC STQ http://portal.etsi.org/STQ/home.asp
URL: ETSI http://www.etsi.org

Private owner puts maps online

David Rumsey, president of Cartography Associates, owns a major collection of 150,000 historic maps. Rather than donate them to a Library he has decided to digitise them and put them online with specially written GIS software. So far there are about 6,500 maps online, plus a special web browser set that can be overlaid to show how San Francisco has developed over time. The main collection contains maps from all over the world.

URL: map collection and software http://www.davidrumsey.com/
URL: Wired article http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,50785,00.html

Budapest Open Access Initiative

A new player in the attempts to make peer-reviewed articles from journals freely available on the web is the Open Society Institute, the foundation network founded by philanthropist George Soros. Open access to peer-reviewed journal literature is the goal. Self-archiving and a new generation of open-access alternative journals are the ways to attain this goal. OSI is committed to providing initial help and funding to realize this goal. It will use its resources and influence to extend and promote institutional self-archiving, to launch new open-access journals, and to help an open-access journal system become economically self-sustaining. The Budapest Open Access Initiative arises from a small but lively meeting convened in Budapest by the Open Society Institute (OSI) on December 1-2, 2001.

URL: http://www.soros.org/openaccess/

New broadband report

The National Academy of Science in the US has published a comprehensive report on the economics, technology, application and regulation of broadband communications. The report is available online and a hardcopy version can be purchased. Key questions include these:

Although the report is concerned primarily with the US market it is of value to everyone interested in the future of broadband.

URL: http://www.nap.edu/books/0309082730/html/

DivX 5 MPEG4 system available

DivX, the MPEG4 encoding / decoding system, has released DivX 5.0. The system is available in three versions DivX, and DivXPro. DivXPro has many new facilities and is available in a free version with ads or a US$ 30 version without. DivXPro includes a number of new video encoding techniques that are awaiting patent.

URL: http://www.divx.com/divx/index.php#download

IST 2002 - call for ideas

The IST 2002 Conference (4-6 November 2002, Copenhagen) is sub-titled: "Partnerships for the Future" and has broadened its scope "to all European Information Society research, whether it be funded at European, national or regional level - or even entirely within the private sector".

The European Commission intends to publish an informal "Call for Ideas" for both specific workshops and research exhibits in an attempt to tailor the event to participants' needs and is specifically aimed at those in Europe: engaged in research; funding research through national, regional or private initiatives; setting strategic research priorities; seeking to commercially exploit the results of research.

URL: announcement (pdf) http://europa.eu.int/information_society/newsroom/documents/ist2002_first_announcement.pdf

First Monday March 2002

The March 2002 issue of First Monday (volume 7, number 3) is now available online. Featured articles include:

URL: http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_3/

ELSPA - games in the news

This year is the 30th anniversary of the very first home video game: Pong, which launched with the Atari in 1972. According to The European Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) computer and video gaming is the fastest growing entertainment sector in the UK - in 2001 sales increased by 36%. Britons now spend more on games than on videos or trips to the cinema and it is expected that sales of games CDs will soon surpass music. As the official trade body, The European Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) provides a wide range of information about computer and video games, including: the size and growth of the market; the official UK games charts; the ELSPA Platinum, Gold and Silver Sales Awards, the age rating system; the effect of game playing on children; demographic information. ELSPA has also published a number of opinion pieces in the "media pack" on its web site including:

URL: http://www.elspa.com/

Secure display technology patent

Alchemedia Technologies, a developer of Enterprise Digital Rights Management (EDRM) software, has announced that it has received a US Patent (No. 6,353,892) relating to its Secure Display technology. With the grant of this patent, along with a previous one (US Patent No. 6,298,446), Alchemedia belives it has "broad and extensive coverage" for Secure Display, the driving technology for its Mirage Enterprise software. Mirage helps companies control their intellectual property by allowing trusted users to view critical business information unimpeded while preventing the unauthorised redistribution and copying of documents. According to the company Mirage does this by:

URL: Alchemedia http://www.alchemedia.com/

XMetaL for Stationery Office

The UK Government's Stationery Office, the UK's statutory, parliamentary and government publisher, has developed its own XML-based content management system using XMetaL, SoftQuad's XML content authoring solution. The Stationery Office (TSO) is using XMetaL to effectively manage and deliver thousands of pages of official documents, as well as to manage and develop content on government web sites (including www.clicktso.com, www.the-stationery-office.com, and www.tso.co.uk). TSO have built a content management system based on XML technology called GEMS (the Generic Editorial Management System), which will also enable TSO to effectively integrate authoring into the publishing process.

URL: SoftQuad Software http://www.softquad.com/
URL: http://www.clicktso.com
URL: http://www.the-stationery-office.com
URL: http://www.tso.co.uk

UK faces the music - report

Contributing more than £4bn to the UK economy per year, the music industry is the third largest export earner after whisky and Formula One racing. But with world-wide sales of recorded music falling for the first time in 2001, it's time for an overhaul of the 100-year old business model. The industry has been surviving on a model, which saw artists contracted to record labels and control of the product through radio, retail and relationships with consumers. The industry is increasingly under threat from innovations in digital distribution, particularly the availability of free online music.

According to Fergal Gara of EMI, the challenge is to make buying music easier and more attractive than "stealing" it. In the US, an estimated 29% of adults and 53% of 12-17 year olds have downloaded music for free and there is a reluctance to see it as stealing.

The UK Government DTI International Technology Service and the University of Surrey sponsored Digital Music Mission (DMM), a group of leading UK companies with vast experience of producing and distributing music, to examine the state of digital music creation and distribution in the USA.

The report (available as a pdf document) throws up some interesting discussion points concerning the future of the music industry, the effect of digitisation of music on business models and the roles that copyright has to play.

URL: copy of the report from Zoe Tenger mailto:z.tenger@surrey.ac.uk
URL: International Technology Service http://www.globalwatchonline.com

Sematic web workshop

The International Workshop on Rule Markup Languages for Business Rules on the Semantic Web is scheduled to take place on June 14, 2002 in Sardinia, Italy in conjunction with the First International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC2002). The workshop will focus on how rule markup languages, such as RuleML, will contribute to the vision of the Semantic Web.

The Semantic Web offers a research perspective for automating business processes. Rule markup languages, that allow to express business rules as modular, stand-alone units in a declarative way, and to publish them and exchange them between different systems and tools, will play an important role for facilitating business-to-customer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) interactions over the Web. A call for papers is open until April 26, 2002.

URL: http://tmitwww.tm.tue.nl/staff/gwagner/RuleML-BR-SW.html

Regulatory remedy for European broadband

McKinsey have proposed a remedy for the failure of broadband services to expand quickly in Europe, in their current quarterly. The nub of their proposal is for regulators to drop their "fixation with low prices"; a view that this publication has also put forward in the past. Free sign in is required to access full article.

URL: http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/article_page.asp?tk=543885:1158:38&ar=1158&L2=38&L3=98

MS mobile division news

Pieter Knook, described as a 12-year Microsoft veteran is to lead the new mobile device and network service provider division. In a conversation with PressPass, he discusses the company's newly combined effort to serve the mobile and service-provider industries.

URL: http://www.microsoft.com/serviceproviders/news/pieter_knookP116895.asp

.NET Framework Essentials

The publishers of the revised version of ".NET Framework Essentials", O'Reilly, predict that "more than six million developers will build their applications using Microsoft's .NET Framework". In the newly revised second edition, the authors offer a technically detailed overview to help developers make the transition from traditional Windows programming into the world of .NET programming. It provides an overview ranging from the Common Language Runtime (CLR) and Base Class Libraries to the specialised packages for ASP.NET, Web Forms, Windows Forms, XML, and data access (ADO.NET).

The authors survey each major .NET language, including VB .NET, C# and Managed C++, as well as MSIL, the intermediate language of the CLR. Code examples and instructions in the book are up-to-date with the first official release of the .NET Framework SDK. Chapter 6 "Web Services", is available free online.

URL: http://oreilly.com/catalog/dotnetfrmess2/
URL: Chapter 6 http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/dotnetfrmess2/chapter/ch06.html

Privacy in Cyberspace lecture series

The 2002 Berkman Online Lecture and Discussion (BOLD) series is open for registration. The series of lectures and discussions are entititled: "Privacy in Cyberspace" and are led by John Nockleby, Professor of Law at Loyola Law School. This six week-long series will examine the many contemporary instances in which Internet technology has increased the risk that intimate or private information about individuals will be collected, stored, sorted, manipulated, and disclosed. It will also explore the utility (or not) of current schemes to regulate these putative invasions in the name of protecting privacy.

The series began on Monday, March 11 and is comprised of six modules that are introduced weekly over six weeks. The series is free and open to all, but registration is required at the URL below. Registered participants will have access to each module's materials, linked resources, and an online discussion board. There will be opportunities for "virtual" interaction with Professor Nockleby and his team of Teaching Fellows. Below is a brief outline of the series schedule.

URL: BOLD Series http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/online
URL: register http://eon.law.harvard.edu/privacy/register.html
Email: mailto:BOLD@cyber.law.harvard.edu

Mobile DRM

Rights|Mobile builds on InterTrust's portfolio of digital rights management (DRM) technology, extending it's second generation Rights|System DRM platform to the mobile market. According to the company, this product is specifically focused on content protection, enabling mobile network operators and technology providers to build content protection and management systems over wireless networks to portable devices, such as mobile phones (using the Symbian OS) and PDAs. This latest addition is a development of the Rights|Phone product, which offers DRM trusted computing capabilities for handsets.

URL: http://www.intertrust.com/


About topic news
We publish topic news occasionally with a separate page for each update, ensuring that links to our email alerter service continue to remain current.
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