Elpub buttonEP Topic News: 18th July 2002

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5th Virtual Reality World Congress
First Monday July 2002
Microsoft webs services webinar
Metadata standards development
KM development in Europe
IMS Global Learning Consortium
FP6 EoIs top 15,000
Visual Studio .NET free trial
eGovernment in Europe Study
oXygen XML Editor
Personal area networks developing?
iSpeak for Pocket PC
Bluetooth Platform from Motorola
LiquidPDF v2.5
MPEG for set-top boxes
Handwriting recognition SDK
Netratings to rate multimedia
IT dominates UK patents
StreamFactory adds MPEG-4
AES Audio over ATM
Wireless developer resource centre
Worldwide multi-player games service
Comverse MMS Developer Suite
Web information management workshop
Web service resources
Music information retrieval research
IMAX launches in China
European Social Simulation Association
Visual J# .NET launched

5th Virtual Reality World Congress

VR World Congress V, organised by the INFORM project, responsible for the El.pub information services, is to be held in Paris, France on September 9th and 10th, 2002 with the theme "Systems for Visionaries".

The Congress is timed to provide the opportunity to identify prospective partners to submit proposals for the European Commission's forthcoming Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The budget for the category including Virtual Reality (VR) is estimated to be worth 3.6 billion euros ($3.24 billion). VR/i3D applications will be a major feature of electronic publishing and of FP6.

Managers from the European Commission will be available to answer questions about the Information Society Technologies and FP6 schemes in addition to making a presentation to explain how procedures under the FP6 for research will be simplified. The Commission has proposed a "radical shift" in the current management model, with more flexible rules and contracts and a substantive reduction of administrative red tape. The Agenda includes demonstrations of existing VR projects as well as presentations of innovative and emerging technologies, techniques and applications of VR and interactive three-dimensional (i3D) systems.

Among the projects on show will be interactive speech activated avatars, narrative applications that mix the real and virtual worlds; a new form of multi-sensory content; strategic e-learning experiments for laboratory education; a system for assessing safety, for training of rescue personnel and for planning rescue scenarios; new ways of working over distance; a means to improve the process of building design and construction ... and more.

Chairman for VR World Congress V is Professor Robert J. Stone, BSc (Hons), MSc, C.Psychol, AFBPsS, MErgS, Eur.Erg, FIoN, FVRS and the opening Keynote Address will be delivered by Dr Louise Guay, founder and CEO of My Virtual Model in Montreal, Canada. Speakers from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, the USA and the United Kingdom will be delivering papers.

Details including registration information are available from the web site below.

URL: Congress programme http://www.VREfresh.com
Email: Congress bookings (Sophie Lafond) mailto:Slafond@mva.co.uk

First Monday July 2002

The July 2002 issue of First Monday (volume 7, number 7) is now available online and includes the following articles:

"Reconceptualizing the Digital Divide";
• "Competition and the Development of the Internet in Japan";
• "Non-Profits on E: How Non-Profit Organisations are Using the Internet for Communication, Fundraising, and Community Building";
• "TOOL: The Open Opinion Layer";
• "After the Dot-Bomb: Getting Web Information Retrieval Right This Time";
• "When Internet Companies Morph: Understanding Organizational Strategy Changes in the 'New' New Economy";
• "Management Responsibility in Protecting Information Assets: An Australian Perspective"

URL: http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_7/

Microsoft webs services webinar

Online registrations are open for the "Web Services: The Strategic IT View" webinar, sponsored by Microsoft and "broadcast" on Tuesday, July 30, 2002. The seminar will be moderated by Justin Kestelyn, Editor-in-Chief of Intelligent Enterprise and the two guest speakers for the event are Ken North, industry analyst on web services and enterprise computing, and Jack Hakim, Founder and CEO of EC Wise, a software design and development consultancy.

URL: Register http://www.dsi-enews.net/trk/enews.asp?id=100318305&rc=51213

Metadata standards development

The CEN/ISSS Workshop on Metadata for Multimedia Information - Dublin Core (MMI-DC) provides "a forum for industrial players and research projects in Europe to form a concensus" on the development of metatdata standards. The Forum aims to this by:

gathering information on metadata activities of European projects and industry, plus international activities;
analysing current work including identification of overlaps and gaps;
disseminating information to European industry, projects and programmes;
generating recommendations, advice and workshop agreements.

The Secretariat, responsible for the MMI-DC, publishes details of its meetings on its website, and also runs an email news service. It has announced a call for experts for the following Project Teams:

Dublin Core application profile guidelines
A Dublin Core eGovernment profile and model
Geographic Information and Dublin Core

The deadline to apply to join a project team is by 22 August 2002, with a proposed start of the PTs in September 2002 (exact date still to be decided). The is posted on the CEN/ISSS web site.

URL: CEN/ISSS http://www.cenorm.be/isss/
URL: call for experts http://www.cenorm.be/isss/Workshop/MMI-DC/Default.htm

KM development in Europe

At the conference: "Multimedia Content & Tools: Towards Information & Knowledge" held on May 30-31, 2002 in London, and organised by the INFORM project, Ben Heald presented an introduction to The European Knowledge Management Forum. The Forum is aiming to build a Knowledge Management (KM) community in Europe and to identify and support common approaches in KM terminology, application and implementation. The Forum resulted in work carried out under the European Commission's IST programme, it's funded as a Thematic Network, and it runs the KnowledgeBoard web site which is described as a "European KM portal". KnowledgeBoard includes: repositories of information (including articles, products lists, news and "best practice" reports; and provides virtual meeting facilities for chat and discussion boards.

Of potential interest to El.pub readers is the "KM in Europe Business Survey" published on the site which outlines the results of a pilot survey that was sent to selected European firms and published on KnowledgeBoard between October and December 2001. The study was initiated by The European Center for Knowledge Management (ecKM) with the objective of establishing a research agenda concerning the way the topic of Knowledge Management (KM) is treated within the Management Development function of European businesses. This initial research will provide the basis for a large-scale survey targeted for Q4 2002. Highlights from this study were:

Respondents tend to define Knowledge Management as a source of innovation and value creation, with a strong focus on business objectives.
Over three-quarters (77.8%) of the companies surveyed have or are establishing a KM programme. The majority of existing programmes have been in operation between 9 and 24 months.
Approximately 45% of the firms have a Knowledge Management officer and half have Management Development programmes specifically devoted to KM.
The KM-related Management Development programmes most frequently cited by respondents include: team-based topics aimed at synergies and new work designs; technologically-based topics aimed at managing information and / or knowledge assets; topics related to the strategic use of information and knowledge assets.

The report is available for download in pdf format via the link below, as are the presentations given at the "Multimedia Content & Tools: Towards Information & Knowledge" Conference.

URL: Conference presentations http://www.elpub.org/agenda23.htm
URL: KnowledgeBoard http://www.knowledgeboard.com
URL: KM study http://www.knowledgeboard.com/item/82224

IMS Global Learning Consortium

The growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web is transforming teaching and learning at all levels of education, in the workplace, and at home. IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS) is developing and promoting open specifications for facilitating online distributed learning activities such as locating and using educational content, tracking learner progress, reporting learner performance, and exchanging student records between administrative systems. IMS has two key goals:

defining the technical specifications for interoperability of applications and services in distributed learning;
supporting the incorporation of the IMS specifications into products and services worldwide.

IMS endeavors to promote the widespread adoption of specifications that will allow distributed learning environments and content from multiple authors to work together (to "interoperate"). IMS is a global consortium with members from educational, commercial, and government organizations. Funding comes from membership fees, with organisations choosing to join as either Contributing Members or Developers Network Subscribers.

URL: http://www.imsglobal.org

FP6 EoIs top 15,000

A report in CORDIS Focus confirms that the European Commission received more than 15,000 Expressions of Interest (EoIs) from consortia wishing to participate in research projects under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). According to the report, the Commission is planning to publish EoIs on a dedicated web site (see URL below) "in order to promote partnering and collaboration". CORDIS understands that an analysis of the ideas is expected to be published in September 2002 and this will feed into drafting of the detailed work programmes which will form the basis of calls for proposals scheduled for release at the end of the year.

URL: EoIs http://www.cordis.lu/fp6/eoi-instruments
URL: CORDIS http://www.cordis.lu/

Visual Studio .NET free trial

Microsoft is offering developers the opportunity of a free 60 day trial of the Visual Studio .NET Professional Edition. The evaluation copy, is available on DVD, "while stocks last".

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

eGovernment in Europe Study

The European Commission has published a study on "eGovernment in Europe", which according to a report on CORDIS, shows that the online delivery of public services, and in particular their level of interactivity is on the increase. In the study, carried-out in April 2002, a representative sample of more than 10,000 public service providers was assessed in 18 countries. It found that more than 80% of these are available online, an increase of 6.5% compared with an earlier study carried out in October 2001. The study is published online via the link below.

URL: http://europa.eu.int/information_society/eeurope/benchmarking/list/2002/index_en.htm

oXygen XML Editor

The latest version of the oXygen XML Editor is available for download or appraisal online.

URL: oXygen home page http://www.oxygenxml.com
URL: download http://www.oxygenxml.com/download.html
URL: online appraisal http://www.oxygenxml.com/javawebstart

Personal area networks developing?

IXI Mobile and JABRA Corporation have formed a strategic partnership with the aim of enabling JABRA's Bluetooth hands-free devices for mobile phones to work with IXI Mobile's Personal Mobile Gateway (PMG). The PMG is described as "a micro router and micro server that can provide a the single cellular connection for a variety of Bluetooth devices consumers carry or wear". Find out more from the IXI Mobile web site.

URL: IXI Mobile http://www.ixi.com/
URL: JABRA http://www.jabra.com/

iSpeak for Pocket PC

Fonix has introduced iSpeak for Pocket PC. The software converts text files to audible speech, enabling Pocket PC users to have email, text documents and digital books read to them. The software, which retails for US$ 29.95 also plays MP3 or Wave (.wav) formated music/sound files.

URL: Fonix http://www.fonix.com/

Bluetooth Platform from Motorola

Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS) plans to launch its Bluetooth Platform, which it claims will "enable the rapid development and deployment of cost-effective Bluetooth-enabled products", such as cellular handsets, personal digital assistants and headsets. Samples of of the Bluetooth Platform and development kits are available now with production planned for the third quarter of 2002.

URL: http://www.motorola.com/semiconductors
URL: http://e-www.motorola.com/

LiquidPDF v2.5

LiquidPDF v2.5, the latest release of Cardiff Software's "document assembly and personalisation software". Key new capabilities of LiquidPDF v2.5 (formerly AudienceOne) include support for international and multi-byte text in personalised document applications, which enable organizations to distribute documents internationally to anyone, anywhere, through native language recognition. LiquidPDF v2.5 pricing starts at around US$ 15,000.

URL: http://www.cardiff.com/LiquidPDF
URL: Cardiff Software http://www.cardiff.com/

MPEG for set-top boxes

At the BroadcastAsia 2002 event held in June, 2002 Liberate Technologies and Samsung Electronics demonstrated an "integrated digital set-top supporting MPEG (MPEG2 currently, with MPEG4 planned) over IP based delivery of interactive video programmes, content and services for DSL-based telecoms networks". The demonstration system was based on Liberate TV Navigator 4.0 software, and Samsung is apparently planning to offer this to "network operator customers worldwide later this year".

URL: Liberate Technologies http://solutions.liberate.com/index.html
URL: Samsung http://www.samsungnetworks.com/

Handwriting recognition SDK

The Pen&Internet division of Parascript has released a Software Developer Kit (SDK) for riteScript, its handwriting recognition technology which includes what the company believes is, "advanced multi-lexical support". The SDK is targeted to all developers of pen-based applications that use handwriting recognition technology, as well as VARs, systems integrators and OEMs, that have a requirement for "advanced notes recognition" software. The riteScript SDK for Windows is available for evaluation and licensing -those interested should contact the email below.

Email: SDK enquiries mailto:pi@parascript.com
URL: Pen&Internet / Parascript http://pi.parascript.com/
URL: riteScript http://www.ritemail.net/

Netratings to rate multimedia

Nielsen/NetRatings, the high profile Internet audience measurement and analysis "brand", has announced a new online multimedia measurement report measuring use of content of three of the most widely used proprietary formats, regardless of the media player or environment. The new report is an attempt to provide online publishers and content providers a better perspective on the type of encoding and subsequent consumption of rich media content. This in turn should help with decisions concerning what formats content should be delivered in. The new report intends to provide the following assessments (excuse the Americanisms):

Unique audience and active reach percents for RealMedia, Windows Media and QuickTime
Segmented activity with enhanced breakdowns of multimedia consumption into "audio/video" and "images/text" categories
Top requested audio/video content
An overall Web multimedia unique audience number using the three proprietary formats.

Whilst observers may have trouble in assimilating the actual figures and their inferences, the growth of mixed media on the Net can now no longer be in doubt.

URL: http://www.nielsen-netratings.com/

IT dominates UK patents

The Derwent Information annual study into the number of basic patents filed in the UK during 2001 shows that IT companies were predominant. Six of the top ten companies filing patents were in the telephone and data transmission systems, broadcasting, radio and line transmission systems and digital computers fields. The statistics were compiled between March 11-19, 2002 and were based on information used to compile the Derwent World Patents Index.

URL: http://www.derwent.com

StreamFactory adds MPEG-4

Pinnacle Systems and PacketVideo are working together to integrate MPEG-4 encoding capability into Pinnacle's StreamFactory family of encoders. The addition of MPEG-4 encoding will complement the RealNetworks, Microsoft Windows Media and Sorenson Media QuickTime for Windows formats currently available on StreamFactory. "The MPEG-4 standard is quickly emerging as a compelling streaming video format for mobile media," said Ron Nydam, Pinnacle Systems Broadband Business Manager.

URL: PacketVideo http://www.pv.com/
URL: Pinnacle Systems http://www.pinnaclesys.com/

AES Audio over ATM

The Audio Engineering Society Standards Committee has drafted AES47-xxx which proposes the use of ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) as a means or "providing optimum performance of digital audio transmission across digital networks with regard to latency and jitter". Details of the progress of the standard, aimed at implementation into products allowing the efficient use of ATM to transmit audio for professional applications, are available via the site below.

URL: http://www.aes.org

Wireless developer resource centre

DevX, a provider of information and services for professional IT developers, has launched an information portal to assist wireless developers in creating mobile applications for QUALCOMM's Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) platform. The "BREW Wireless Resource Center" offers news, tools, demonstrations and other useful information about developing for the BREW platform.

The BREW suite of products, from QUALCOMM Internet Services, includes the BREW software development kit (SDK) for developers, the BREW applications platform and porting tools for device manufacturers, and the BREW Distribution System (BDS) that is controlled and managed by carriers (enabling them to port applications and coordinate the billing and payment process).

URL: BREW portal http://portals.devx.com/BREW
URL: DevX http://www.devx.com/
URL: QUALCOMM http://www.qualcomm.com/

Worldwide multi-player games service

Handango, a publisher of mobile games software, and Pixel Technologies, the creator of JIVE multi-player cross platform technology, have formed a worldwide partnership to deliver multi-user entertainment to mobile device users. Handango plans to deliver multi-player games based on JIVE via its own distribution channels (including its Games@Handango site) and the two firms hope to "market and develop multi-player entertainment services for OEMs, handset manufacturers and mobile operators". Free trials of multi-player games are currently available from Handango. The first ten commercial multi-player games are scheduled for launch towards the end of 2002 for use on Pocket PC 2002, Windows-powered Smartphone, Palm OS, Symbian Epoc 32 and "selected Java-compliant devices".

URL: Games@Handango http://www.games.handango.com/
URL: Pixel Technologies http://www.pixel-tech.com/
URL: Handango http://www.handango.com/

Comverse MMS Developer Suite

Comverse has added a Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) Developer Suite to the developer zone of its web site. According to the company, the suite offers developers a complete set of resources needed to build, test and bring MMS applications to market including a Software Development Kit (SDK), documentation, support services and resources. Registration on the developer zone of the site is required.

URL: Comverse http://www.comverse.com
URL: developer zone https://developer.comverse.com/dzone/

Web information management workshop

The slides form presentations made at the 3rd International Workshop on Web Information and Data Management (WIDM 2001) held in November 2001 are available on the web. Held in conjunction with the International Conference on Information & KNowledge Management (CIKM 2001) the workshop was divided into four sessions on: web data mining, web information management, web performance optimisation and web information integration. The next WIDM workshop is scheduled to run alongside CIKM 2002 in McLean, Virginia USA.

URL: WIDM 2001 slides http://www.cais.ntu.edu.sg:8000/widm01/

Web service resources

Resources published accompanying an article on Web Service application development in IEEE's Computer Journal provide a good starting point for those interested in the current state of play in the commercial and open source sector. We have listed the URLs below.

Bea WebLogic Server
URL: http://www.bea.com/products/weblogic/server/index.shtml
DotGNU Project
URL: http://www.dotgnu.org/
HP Web Services Platform
URL: http://www.bluestone.com/products/hp_web_services/default.htm
IBM Web Services Toolkit
URL: http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/webservicestoolkit
Microsoft .NET
URL: http://www.microsoft.com/net/
Mono Project
URL: http://www.go-mono.net
Oracle Web Services Application Server
URL: http://otn.oracle.com/tech/webservices/content.html
Sun ONE
URL: http://www.sun.com/sunone/
Web Services Journal
URL: http://www.sys-con.com/webservices/

Music information retrieval research

The music-ir.org web site styles itself as "the virtual home of music information retrieval research". The site attempts to act as the focal point for developing support for a structured approach to music information retrieval (MIR) by establishing "standard" test collections, tasks and metrics. Currently the site has:

useful links to workshops and other events in disciplines and technologies in which MIR has a significant role;
a specialist bibliography of articles;
link to the music-ir listserv mailing list which interested parties may join.

URL: http://music-ir.org

IMAX launches in China

IMAX has officially launched its cinematic technology in the People's Republic of China, with the formation of its China operations and Asian headquarters in Shanghai. IMAX plans to roll out IMAX theatres throughout China and has recently signed an agreement with the Heilongjiang Science & Technology Museum to build an IMAX theatre in its new science center in around 2003.

URL: IMAX http://www.imax.com/

European Social Simulation Association

An email sent to El.pub by Professor Scott Moss, Director, Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK:

"Over the past year or so, a consensus has emerged among many of the most active contributors to social simulation research that the time is now right to establish a global and a set of regional learned societies in our field. As one of the initial steps in this direction, a representative group of 14 social simulation researchers in Europe has proposed the establishment of the European Social Simulation Association (ESSA). In parallel, discussions have been taking place with colleages from North America and Australasia concerning the establishment of a federation of such regional associations to publish journals and organise international (or supraregional) conferences.

A proposal to establish ESSA, signed by the abovementioned 14 researchers, is published in the Forum section of the current issue of JASSS (The Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation). The purpose and justification for the formation of the association is set out in the JASSS statement together with links to an online membership form and draft outline constitution."

URL: JASSS http://www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/JASSS/
URL: ESSA proposal http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/5/3/9.html

Visual J# .NET launched

At Tech-Ed 2002 Europe Microsoft launched Microsoft Visual J# .NET, a development tool for Java-language developers building applications and services on the .NET Framework. This final module signals the completion and availability of all the Microsoft programming languages within Visual Studio .NET, including Visual C++ .NET, Visual C# .NET and Visual Basic .NET and now Visual J# .NET. As the announcement makes clear: "Visual J# .NET has been independently developed by Microsoft and is the property of Microsoft Corp. It is not endorsed or approved in any way by Sun Microsystems Inc".

Microsoft Visual J# .NET is available for existing Visual Studio .NET customers from either the Microsoft web site from the MSDN download area.

URL: download http://www.msdn.microsoft.com/vjsharp/
URL: download http://www.msdn.microsoft.com/downloads/default.asp
URL: http://www.microsoft.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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