Elpub buttonEP Topic News: 8th August 2002

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Contents
 
Wannabe 'Actualised'?
New French animation project
IP update
Far away in a distant continent ...
Citation/reference lists
Stopping spiders
TouchGraph visualising browser
Technology policy studies
European Research 2002 conf.
New CORDIS document service
 
Text mining and KM seminar
Nokia mobile Internet toolkit
Wireless games engine
More wireless 'broadband'
Microsoft to release APIs
Web portal standards
The Info Cockpit - Multi-screen HCI
Web site design resources
Everything about data compression
 

Wannabe 'Actualised'?

US-based ITV production company, Grim.TV, believes that the evolution of entertainment products and services will create a new type of viewer/user who is a fully-integrated participant. In order to enable that, Grim has focused its efforts on growing what it likes to call the "actualized audience culture" by continuing to create legitimate and bold user-guided entertainment pieces that engage viewers and inspire them into becoming participants.

URL: article by grim.TV http://www.itvt.com/grimtvarticle0202.html
URL: http://www.grim.tv/
URL: http://www.plurshow.com/

New French animation project

Olivier Marre in Basse-Normandie (France) has begun a project TOON to develop new tools for the creation of 2D animation for TV. The project brings together a number of local and national partners such as INT, INRIA and GREYC (Groupe de Recherche En Informatique, Image, Instrumentation de Caen).

URL: http://www.basse-normandie.net/lettre/veille/juil-02/portrait.html

IP update

We try to keep you informed about (at least some of) what is happening in IP law as it affects development of web technology, information retrieval and DRM development. The media industry continues to try to create laws in the US that protect their interests, possibly to the detriment of the IT industry and consumers rights, and some European decisions seem a little bizarre.

Recently two legal cases in Europe have dealt with 'deep linking' to web sites. In Denmark a court ruled in favour of the Danish Newspaper Publishers Association which claimed that a company had broken copyright laws by linking to pages other than the 'main' page. In Munich a court ruled that using a search engine to locate stories on newspapers' web sites breaks the EU Database Directive. The newspaper web sites carry advertising and are presumably paid for by the advertisers with the aim of attracting customers; one cannot help asking what they think about publishers that try to stop those customers finding the ad carrying pages via search engines and cross-linking.

URL: Munich http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,54083,00.html
URL: Denmark http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,53697,00.html

In Canada a judge overturned a ruling on the ownership of domain name Canadian.biz that a US brewery claimed to own through a tradmark claim. The judge asked how the brewery, which had no plans for the domain, could claim sole ownership when thousands of companies use the word Canadian in their names.

URL: http://www.globetechnology.com/servlet/GAMArticleHTMLTemplate?tf=globetechnology/TGAM/NewsFullStory.html&cf=globetechnology/tech-config-neutral&slug=TWGEIS&date=20020725

Meanwhile, in the US, efforts continue by the movie and record industry to introduce legislation to force IT companies to include automatic copy protection in their hardware despite any effects it might have on legitimate users of computers for non-entertainment related work. And, in a new move, a bill is being introduced to exempt copyright owners from any penalties they might incur from hacking into computers, used to transfer their material between users, to disable or impair their use.

URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/29/technology/29DIGI.html

In the UK, controversy surrounds a proposal which recommends that Cambridge University "asserts ownership of all intellectual property generated by its employees in the normal course of their duties, from 1 January, 2003." The aim is to protect employees (academics and researchers) from being exploited by ruthless venture capitalists, but is not seen in that light by many of the employees.

URL: http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2120183,00.html

For a less serious view, Yale Law Schools's LawMeme has an article on the Top Ten New Copyright Crimes after Jamie Kellner, chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting claimed in an interview that: '[Ad skips are] theft. Your contract with the network when you get the show is you're going to watch the spots. Otherwise you couldn't get the show on an ad-supported basis. Any time you skip a commercial or watch the button you're actually stealing the programming'.

URL: http://research.yale.edu/lawmeme/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=198

Far away in a distant continent ...

Well, actually that is just the players. Lineage is the largest concurrent online game in the world. It is a massively multi-player online role-play game set in a D&D-type fantasy world of knights and monsters. At present there are more than four million active subscribers worldwide playing Lineage. The game belongs to NCsoft, headquartered in Seoul (South Korea) its blockbuster game commands a 47% market share. In comparison Everquest (Sony) has about 430,000 subscribers. Lineage costs about $12 per month to pay. (Yes, that comes to nearly $50 mill. per month!). However, an article in the FT raises questions about the social consequences of the game's popularity.

URL: http://www.lineage.com/
URL: http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=Story
FT&cid=1028185569006&p=1012571727242

Citation/reference lists

NoodleBib is a Web application that allows you to create and edit MLA and APA-style source lists (i.e. MLA Works Cited Lists, APA Reference Lists, etc.) online. Add and edit references on the fly. They'll take care of punctuation and produce a polished source list that's correctly formatted and ready to print. While in beta, NoodleBib 3.0 is free to all users. The web service is one of a group of tools for research workers. NoodleTools is a suite of interactive tools designed to aid students and professionals with their online research. From selecting a search engine and finding some relevant sources, to citing those sources in MLA or APA style, NoodleTools makes online research easier, they say.

URL: http://www.noodletools.com/
URL: free (for now) http://www.noodletools.com/members/noodlebib3

Stopping spiders

Robotcop is an open source module for webservers which helps webmasters prevent spiders from accessing parts of their sites they have marked off limits. Currently the software is available for Apache 1.3 with plans to support Apache 2.0 and ISAPI webservers. Robotcop is a module written in C which is hooked into the access control API of the webserver. All requests to the site are subject to a number of checks before Robotcop allows the request to proceed. If a check fails, Robotcop takes control of the request to counter-attack or ban the spider, and the IP address of the spider is added to an intercept list so that requests from the spider during that period will be caught immediately. The site contains links to other resources concerned with enforcing robots.txt

URL: http://www.robotcop.org/

TouchGraph visualising browser

TouchGraph provides a hands-on way to visualize networks of interrelated information. Networks are rendered as interactive graphs, which lend themselves to a variety of transformations. By engaging their visual image, a user is able to navigate through large networks, and to explore different ways of arranging the network's components on screen. The web site has TouchGraph GoogleBrowser which allows you to run the system online on Internet sites, in your browser (requires JRE 1.3). TouchGraph is being developed in an open source environment in order to expedite the matuturation of this technology, and to allow it to be used as broadly as possible (so the source is downloadable). They say, 'The prevalence of associative information, especially on the internet, creates a need for tools that allow one to directly engage such structures. With a little help from the open source community, TouchGraph seeks to build the ideal software for doing so, and to fill most of the niches for it's applications'.

URL: http://www.touchgraph.com/
URL: Googlebrowser notes http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3/4024-3-15.htm#msg38

Technology policy studies

The IPTS Report is produced on a monthly basis - ten issues a year to be precise, since there are no issues in January and August, by the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission. The IPTS formally collaborates in the production of the IPTS Report with a group of prestigious European institutions, forming with IPTS the European Science and Technology Observatory (ESTO). The latest edition July 2002 containts articles on

URL: http://www.jrc.es/pages/f-report.en.html

European Research 2002: The European Research Area and the Framework Programme

From 11 to 13 November 2002 the European Commission will hold a major conference to mark the launch of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme for research, which will cover the period from 2002 to 2006. Based on the experience of a similar event in February 1999 which attracted over 5,000 participants the conference will be a major forum to present the objectives and priorities of the Framework Programme and to explain rules for participation. At the same time the conference is meant to create opportunities for scientific debate and exchange of best practice beyond those subjects addressed in the Framework Programme. Registration now open.

URL: http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/conferences/2002/index_en.html

New CORDIS document service

CORDIS, the European Commission's research and development information service, is providing a new searchable service dedicated to research and innovation documents and publications. The library brings together R&D documents, publications and magazines. The service covers articles, conference papers, projects reports, scientific publications and European Commission's innovation-related magazines. Highlights and search features provide quick means to access downloadable official documents or to consult references and abstracts.

URL: http://www.cordis.lu/library/

Text mining and KM seminar

'Text Mining as a major advancement for Knowledge Management: the emerging commercially-based technologies' is a one-day seminar organised by the EUROMAP project. The seminar will be held at The British Library Conference Centre, London on 4th September 2002.

URL: http://www.itri.bton.ac.uk/projects/euromap/Text_Mining.htm

Nokia mobile internet toolkit 3.1

The Nokia Mobile Internet Toolkit provides developers with a realistic, PC-based testing and simulation environment for creating WAP and other mobile Internet applications, including those based on XHTML, CSS and multimedia messaging service (MMS). The new Toolkit 3.1 provides a complete simulation and testing environment for MMS application development. With the Toolkit, a mobile application developer can create complete applications without the need for a handset or access to carrier infrastructure.

URL: http://www.forum.nokia.com/

Wireless games engine

TTPCom’s Wireless Game Engine (WGE) is the smallest and fastest game engine for mobile phones available today. Combining the WGE thin Client for mobile phones, free WGE Software Development Kit (SDK) for games developers and the WGE Provisioning mechanism for network operators and wireless application service providers, makes it a complete end-to-end solution. TTPCom's Wireless Game Engine (WGE) opens up mass-market mobile phones to the creativity of games developers. The WGE is an open Application Programming Interface (API) delivering handheld console gaming experience to the users and access to all the mobile phone's features for the developers. With the WGE it is possible to take advantage of the GSM, GPRS or 3GPP networks by downloading these games over the air, sending SMS messages between players, and creating multi-user content and games. Technologies such as Bluetooth or GPS are also made available, so a whole new world of possibilities is opened up to games developers. A software development kit and example games can be downloaded from the 9dots web site.

URL: http://www.9dots.net/

More wireless 'broadband'

Internetnews.com reports that Sprint are about to launch PCS, a US wide 3G wireless network. However, as with many 'broadband' services this will deliver much lower average speeds than the 2Mbps that is often touted as the promise of broadband. In this case an average 50 - 70 Kbps with a max. of 144 Kbps.

URL: http://www.internetnews.com/wireless/article.php/1439201
URL: http://www2.sprintpcs.com/aboutsprintpcs/CDMA_3g/

Microsoft to release APIs

As part of the proposed settlement with the US DOJ et alia, Microsoft will release more information on the Windows API. Approximately 272 new interfaces will be published on the Microsoft Developers Network later this month. In addition they will license over a hundred protocols used to interoperate or communicate between desktop products and servers. Service packs for Windows 2000 and XP will offer new options for enabling or removing Microsoft Middleware products, designated as Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Windows Messenger, Outlook Express and the Microsoft Java VM. The changes will make it easier for OEMs and users to configure their systems with rival products.

URL: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/legal/aug02/08-05settlementmilestones.asp

Web portal standards

Meta Group research has released a note on portal standardisation in which they suggest that standards will replace proprietary portlet APIs progressively from 2003. The sources that they expect standards to come from are web service standards (such as WSIA and WSRP), Microsoft and Java. OASIS Web Services for Remote Portals (WSRP) TC: Defining an XML and Web services standard that will allow the plug-n-play of visual, user-facing Web services with portals or other intermediary Web applications,
OASIS Web Services for Interactive Applications (WSIA) TC: Create an XML and web services centric component model for interactive web applications.

URL: http://www.metagroup.com/featurelink/portalstandard (requires free registration)
URL: http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/wsrp/
URL: http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/wsia/

The Info Cockpit - Multi-screen HCI

InfoCockpits are human-computer interfaces that improve human memory. The basic approach is to take well-understood psychology principles and apply them to the design of information displays, much as the 1970's GUI desktop metaphor applied principles from psychology and graphic design. They utilize the fact that human beings are adept at remembering information based on its location relative to their body, and on the place where they were when they learned it. Implementations will use two basic strategies: a) Multiple spatial displays surrounding the user, to engage human memory for location; b) Ambient context displays (both visual and auditory), to engage human memory for place. The project is ongoing research at Carngie Mellon.

URL: http://www.infocockpits.org/

Web site design resources

BT Research have a web site describing the research they are working on. They have produced a set of web site design guidelines that are available on the site, including links to other sites such as Jakob Nielsen's usability news. The site is well written and reasonably comprehensive although it fails to address accessability issues except by pointing to a couple of other sites.

URL: http://more.btexact.com/projects/webdesign.htm

Everything about data compression

Nam Phamdo of State University of New York has created a web site of information on data compression theory. The site is fairly mathematical but contains extensive links to other sites including software downloads.

URL: http://www.data-compression.com/


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