Elpub buttonEP Topic News: 22nd August 2002

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Contents
 
Environmental Comms in Info. Society
"ASP.NET in a Nutshell"
Benchmarking e-learning in Europe
The European Library news
Perl Conference report
OAIster Search Interface
European Speech Recognition Standards
SMIL and broadcasting
Adobe and electronic publishing
RealNetworks' game subscription service
CapeConnect - web service integration
Gaming opportunities for net operators
Verizon Wireless offers games
plasma - 3D web animation
eMotion digital media management
Multimedia Home Platform
VPN for Palm handhelds
Internet Software Consortium (ISC)
Gateway to Europe's National Libraries
Gaming revenues to Euros 6.5bn by 2006
Microsoft Content Management Server
Electronic library viewpoints
Email "exploit engine" blocks threats
Applying XML - techniques
Image retrieval CFP
Web 3D authoring demo
Causeway uses AutoVue

Environmental Communication in Info. Society

EnviroInfo 2002, described as the most comprehensive international conference on Environmental Communication in the Information Society, has been organised to run from September 25-27, 2002 at the Vienna University of Technology. The conference has been designed to reflect a wide range of issues associated with, "Environmental Informatics" and will include 180 presentations and 60 posters from 40 countries. The conference attempts to provide a European focus on the world-wide view presented. The conference organisers are also working with the European Commission's Information Society DG to provide opportunities for delegates to establish contacts with potential consortium partners for submissions to the 6th Framework Programme (FP6). The Eco-Informa Foundation (USA) will be organising a conference track on "Integrating Information for Better Environmental Decisions" and the annual e-EIONET work conference of the European Environment Agency (EEA) also takes place in parallel. There are also a number of technical workshops and an exhibition area planned.

URL: http://enviroinfo.isep.at/

"ASP.NET in a Nutshell"

The authors of "ASP.NET in a Nutshell" from O'Reilly & Associates believe that ASP.NET represents a quantum leap ahead of the original ASP specification. they write, "by taking advantage of the .NET Framework and Microsoft's new object-oriented languages, ASP.NET brings the same productivity to web applications that Visual Basic brought to Windows applications". As with other titles in O'Reilly's "Nutshell" series, "ASP.NET in a Nutshell" is a technical reference aimed at serious users and developers.

URL: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/aspdotnetnut/

Benchmarking e-learning in Europe

Cordis Focus reports that a survey entitled: "e-Learning in Europe and Beyond" is aiming to present an accurate picture of the take-up of e-learning in companies, public organisations, higher and further education establishments. The survey, in its second year, will cover all European countries and will be available in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian to all respondents.

URL: http://www2.trainingvillage.gr/etv/elearning/surveys/questions/2002_05_en.asp

The European Library news

The conference report and presentations from the: "The European Library - Milestone Conference" are available online. The European Library (TEL), a 30-month cooperative project being run under Key Action Line 3 of the IST Programme, is providing the groundwork on which to build a pan-European service which combines the resources of some of Europe's national libraries. The project and a number of its preliminary results were presented at the conference held on April 29-30, 2002 in Frankfurt am Main. The main topics of the conference included: National Libraries and Publishers, The Business of Digital Libraries, Describing and Handling Digital Publications, The European Library: Proof of Concept, European Information Networks.

URL: The European Library http://www.europeanlibrary.org
URL: Conference report http://www.europeanlibrary.org/tel_milconf_2002_report.htm

Perl Conference report

"Yet Another Perl Conference 2002" that took place in St. Louis, USA towards the end of June. Recordings and videos of the conference are available from the Perl.org site.

URL: http://www.yapc.org/America/
URL: http://www.perl.org/yapc/2002/

OAIster Search Interface

OAIster, a project being run at the University of Michigan Digital Library Production Services, has been made available online. The OAIster search interface enables users to freely search large database of digital resources (274,062 records) from a wide variety of institutions (56). Collections can be viewed separately or the database can be searched by keyword, author, title, or subject. An interesting application, particularly for those involved in work involving large digital repositories.

URL: http://oaister.umdl.umich.edu/index.html

European Speech Recognition Vocabulary Standard

ETSI writes: "Telecommunication, merging with information processing, intersecting with mobility and Internet technology, is leading to the development of new interactive applications and services, offering global access. The enabler technology for voice user interfaces, the most natural user interaction with these often complex systems and services, is speech recognition. In order to enable the reuse of the user's knowledge between different applications and devices, the most common spoken command vocabulary for ICT products and services for major European languages is being standardised".

Drafts of the ETSI Standard (ES) on "Speech recognition for ICT products and services; Generic Vocabulary for Spoken commands" are available for download from an ETSI site which also includes information and links to related materials.

URL: http://portal.etsi.org/

SMIL and broadcasting

"Repurposing Broadcast Content for the Web" is a paper published by the European Broadcasting Union in the "EBU Technical Review". The paper takes as its starting point the increase in bandwidth available to end-users and considers the possibilities where "end-user bandwidth increases to a level where the (re)distribution of audio/video material via the Internet becomes attractive". The article provides an introduction to the concepts and facilities of the SMIL 2.0 language, in the context of the work flow requirements for taking existing broadcast content and making it available for a Web-centric audience. The EBU Technical Review is published online in .pdf format.

URL: article http://www.ebu.ch/trev_287-bulterman.pdf
URL: EBU Technical Review http://www.ebu.ch/trev_home.html
URL: EBU http://www.ebu.ch/

Adobe and electronic publishing

"Inside the Publishing Revolution: The Adobe Story" (ISBN 0321115643) will be published by Peachpit Press in September, 2002 to coincide with Adobe's 25 year anniversary. According to the pre-publication publicity, the book provides "an exploration of the rich history behind the modern publishing revolution as seen through the lens of Adobe Systems Incorporated, one of its most important players". Apparently the book traces developments from the early days of desktop publishing, the rise of the Web and interactive design, to the advent of the network publishing model.

URL: Peachpit Press http://www.peachpit.com/

RealNetworks' game subscription service

RealNetworks has launched GamePass, a worldwide game download subscription service from the RealOne Arcade. The idea is to "make it easy and economical for consumers to acquire new games on a regular basis". Each month, GamePass members will receive one credit towards a free game download, which they can then use at their discretion to acquire any one of the nearly 90 game titles that are available in the RealOne Arcade catalogue. Members also receive a $5 discount for any additional games purchased during that month. Once a game is acquired through GamePass, members may keep it forever - even if they decide to cancel their membership. Membership is not required for game downloads or purchases, but is offered in addition to RealOne Arcade's individual game sales.

Launched in May 2001, RealArcade is considered an industry leader in distribution of games online. According to the company, since the Gold launch of RealArcade in October 2001, "consumers have downloaded more than 5 million copies of the RealArcade client, and over 20 million individual games".

GamePass membership costs US$ 6.95 per month (with a three-month membership commitment). Games sold through RealOne Arcade are priced between US$ 9.99 and US$ 19.99 which according to RealNetworks represent saving of between 30-70% on the high street price. GamePass for RealOne Arcade is available worldwide as well as at localised web sites in the UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden.

URL: GamePass worldwide http://www.realonearcade.com/gamepass
URL: RealNetworks http://www.real.com/
URL: RealNetworks http://www.realnetworks.com/

CapeConnect - web service integration

Cape Clear Software, a developer of web services technology, has added support for Java Message Service (JMS) and IBM MQSeries to its CapeConnect Web Services-based integration platform. The CapeConnect platform aims to provide integration of web services originated in J2EE, Java, CORBA and .NET. Wider messaging support (HTTP, HTTPS, and SMTP are already supported) is expected to be included in the next release of CapeConnect, which should be available in Q3 2002.

URL: Cape Clear Software http://www.capeclear.com/
URL: CapeConnect http://www.capeclear.com/capeconnect
URL: JMS http://java.sun.com/products/jms/index.html
URL: MQSeries: http://www-3.ibm.com/software/ts/mqseries/

Gaming opportunities for network operators

According to new analysis from Frost & Sullivan published in: "World Mobile Gaming Markets", with mobile voice services becoming increasingly commoditised, network operators are turning to mobile data-related offerings to boost falling revenues. Gaming will be a key part of that strategy. By attracting a huge pool of customers and driving up network traffic, gaming promises to raise profits and should become a mainstay of operators' plans. According to the research however before this sector can realise its full potential, market participants will have to implement micro-billing systems. Consumers tend to be apprehensive about making over-the-air payments with credit cards for mobile services, and therefore network operators are likely to have to implement "billing-on-behalf-of-others (BOBO) techniques" to collect revenues for content providers.

In addition, the research highlighted that: "Network operators will [also] face an uphill challenge in getting consumers to pay for premium mobile content such as games. The Internet model of free content has become well engraved in consumer attitudes, especially in North America." Many Internet content providers have shown how difficult it can be to persuade users to pay for information and entertainment services. The question is whether mobile operators will fare any better.

"World Mobile Gaming Markets", (Report: 7914-65) is available for purchase from Frost & Sullivan, and a free news service on the global wireless market is available from Wireless.frost.com.

URL: Wireless.frost.com http://www.wireless.frost.com/
URL: http://www.frost.com/

Verizon Wireless offers games

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone, and one of the major wireless phone networks in the US has launched a games download service. The phone games from JAMDAT Mobile, run on phones equipped with QUALCOMM's Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) platform. Verizon Wireless subscribers can select, purchase and download the games which are permanently stored on the handset.

As reported previously on El.pub, DevX, 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.

URL: Verizon Wireless http://www.verizonwireless.com/
URL: JAMDAT Mobile http://www.jamdatmobile.com/
URL: BREW portal http://portals.devx.com/BREW
URL: DevX http://www.devx.com/
URL: QUALCOMM http://www.qualcomm.com/

plasma - 3D web animation

Discreet, a division of Autodesk, has launched plasma which is described as: "professional 3D animation software for creating 3D web animation". The plasma software can be integrated into both Macromedia's Flash MX and Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio and delivers 3D animations that will play on both Flash and Shockwave Players. The software retails for around 800 Euros.

URL: http://www.discreet.com

eMotion digital media management

eMotion, a developer of digital media management (DMM) software aimed at large enterprises has released a couple of products, ArchivePartner and CreativePartner, aimed at divisions of such organisations which may have more limited DMM requirements. Both complement the company's flagship product, eMotion MediaPartner Enterprise, which is a required component in any implementation. ArchivePartner is a digital asset store and retrieval application which features a web-based interface, eMotion's natural language search engine and rights management functionality. CreativePartner is a workflow-based digital media management solution which aims to provide, "increased efficiency in the creative development process". eMotion's products are used by many large media companies including ABC Television and the BBC.

URL: http://www.emotion.com

Multimedia Home Platform

The Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) is described as "an interactive broadcasting standard for digital television and convergence services world-wide, aimed at facilitating convergence between broadcasting, telecommunication and computing technologies". The Consortium promoting MHP considers it as the "bridge between broadcast and Internet, offering a common application programming interface (API)".

By promoting MHP, the consortium, is hoping that developers working in the digital TV and set-top-box markets will move away from "proprietary operating systems". Widespread implementation of MHP holds out the promise that users will require a single MHP set-top-box or integrated digital TV, which will be able to receive a wide range of multimedia and interactive applications. The MHP standard, released in February 2000, having been sanctioned by the DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) Group, is being implemented in applications and receivers, more details from the Consortium's web site.

URL: Multimedia Home Platform Forum http://www.mhp-forum.de/

VPN for Palm handhelds

Mergic has released Mergic VPN 1.0, a virtual private network (VPN) client for Palm OS handhelds. According to the publicity, Mergic VPN Client allows users to "securely access a private network, such as a corporate or home LAN, using a connection to the Internet". The VPN Client uses widely available authentication and encryption technologies along with the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) to provide a "secure connection". Access to a VPN-enabled server is required to use the client software, further details available online.

URL: http://www.mergic.com/

Internet Software Consortium (ISC)

The Internet Software Consortium (ISC) is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to developing and maintaining production quality Open Source reference implementations of core Internet protocols.

URL: ISC http://www.isc.org

Gateway to Europe's National Libraries

Gabriel - Gateway to Europe's National Libraries - is available in a new and totally revised format. After 5 years of existence Gabriel has been completely redesigned and updated in a new and more user-friendly layout. Gabriel is a web service covering 41 European national libraries from the 39 countries that are represented in the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL).

This multilingual Internet service offers access to consistently structured information about European national libraries, with details about their printed and electronic collections as well as instructions on how to gain access to their online catalogues and services. The web sites of European national libraries can be searched simultaneously via a central search facility. The Gabriel service is "mirrored" and is available simultaneously via five European servers. Information is offered in the most commonly-used European languages, namely English, French and German.

Dr. Elisabeth Niggemann, Director General of Die Deutsche Bibliothek, and Chair of the Gabriel Board said, "This free-of charge Internet service is an example of successful European cooperation and it makes an important contribution to the construction of a European Virtual Library".

Gabriel is considered to be an excellent model and a viable platform for further networking developments and services in the international library system in addition to its original function as an overall European Online Guide.

Of particular note is the joint online exhibition: "Treasures of Europe's National Libraries", which is an illustrated selection of rare and precious treasures that can be seen in national libraries.

URL: The Netherlands http://www.kb.nl/gabriel/
URL: United Kingdom http://www.bl.uk/gabriel/
URL: Germany http://www.ddb.de/gabriel/
URL: Finland http://www.lib.helsinki.fi/gabriel/
URL: Slovenia http://nuk.uni-lj.si/gabriel/
URL: history of Gabriel http://www.kb.nl/gabriel/news/2002/contents/relaunch/history_public_launch20020709.html

Gaming revenues to Euros 6.5bn by 2006

Emerging video game platforms are poised for rapid growth, as a confluence of factors enables advanced multiplayer experiences on consoles and PCs, improved games on mobile phones and other handheld devices, and simple, yet engaging interactive TV games. According to a new study commissioned by the European Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) and carried out by Screen Digest, spending on these emerging services by European consumers will grow from Euros 127m in 2001 to Euros 6.5bn in 2006, a growth of over 5000 per cent.

While the new online services being launched for Sony's PlayStation 2, Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's GameCube will start slowly, the report forecasts that these will ultimately be very successful and generate more than Euros 2.5bn in European revenues by 2006. Indeed, online console gaming is itself expected to become an important driver of broadband Internet deployment as a predicted 16.6m households in Europe connect their game consoles to the Internet over the next 5 years. The report also predicts that next generation mobile phones will also fuel the growth of the mobile games sector with consumer spending estimates of around Euros 70m in 2001 rising to Euros 2.2bn by 2006.

The ELSPA/Screen Digest study, "Wireless, Interactive TV, & Online Gaming", is available for purchase at Euro 1775 from ScreenDigest.

URL: Screen Digest http://www.screendigest.com/
URL: ELSPA http://www.elspa.com

Microsoft Content Management Server

Microsoft have released a beta version of Microsoft Content Management Server 2002, which is availble for free download. This is the latest server to join the .NET Enterprise Server family, an offers support for XML web services with application developer support provided through integration with Visual Studio .NET. The full production release is apparently scheduled for the end of this year.

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

Electronic library viewpoints

The July 2002 Library Link Newsletter includes a number of articles and viewpoint pieces concerning developments in the digital library arena.

• Virtual Reference: the Way of the Future? - considers the subject of real-time reference: "as more resources go online and web traffic increases on our sites, many in libraries are seeing 'gate counts' and face-to-face reference figures going down. Research is happening at the desktop, outside the library. Who helps these people if they have questions during their work? Well, if it is not their local librarian, available via virtual reference, it is likely to be another online resource - a search engine, knowledge base or friend or colleague via chat. So the way of the future seems to be in online, real-time reference ..."

URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/librarylink/technology/july02.htm

• Electronic Text-How Do We Manage? - "the trend toward electronic text continues unabated and appears to be increasing in velocity-more libraries are finding that they must make the decision: electronic or print, or both. In the process experience suggests that the vast majority of users seem to prefer electronic formats, especially for journals ..."

URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/librarylink/collection/july02.htm

URL: Library Link http://www.emeraldinsight.com/librarylink

Email "exploit engine" blocks threats

GFI has launched what it terms, "an email exploit engine", technology built into its GFI MailSecurity for Exchange/SMTP product designed for blocking email threats and attacks - by detecting "exploits" embedded in emails. According to GFI, "an exploit uses known vulnerabilities in applications or operating systems to execute a program or code; it 'exploits' a feature of a program or the operating system for its own use, such as to execute arbitrary machine code, read/write files on the hard disk, or gain illicit access". The latest module apparently works like an intrusion detection system (IDS) for email, analysing applications to identify potential "exploits". The company has published a white paper which outlines their approach: "Why you need an email exploit detection engine: Networks must supplement anti-virus protection for maximum security".

URL: white paper http://www.gfi.com/mailsecurity/wpexploitengine.htm
URL: GFI MailSecurity http://www.gfi.com/mailsecurity
URL: GFI http://www.gfi.com

Planning an information architecture

"Information architecture concepts" is an article published on IBM's developerWorks web site which seeks to clear up some of the misconceptions about information architecture and help define the role an information architect plays in web site development.

URL: http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/library/us-inarch.html?n-us-7112

Applying XML - techniques

A couple of articles on XML.com which consider the application of XML which may be of interest to readers of El.pub:

"Getting Started With Cocoon 2" provides an introduction to the Cocoon 2 XML, the Apache XML Project's open source XML publishing framework, demonstrating Cocoon's architecture with some simple applications.

URL: http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2002/07/10/cocoon2.html

"Interoperability Summit: Good Intentions, Little Action" is a report from the second interoperability summit organised by e-business standards groups - OASIS, OMG, XBRL.org, and HR-XML. As with the first such summit, the aim of the meeting was to promote the advance of cooperation between industry bodies creating e-business standards and frameworks. Although some small progress has been made, the author reports that "in general more urgency and importance needs to be attached to the promotion of standards interoperability" ... and ... "Surprisingly, in this arena where web services have an important part to play, the summit drew no representatives from either the W3C or the Web Services Interoperability Organization".

URL: http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2002/07/10/interop.html

Image retrieval CFP

The Computer Vision and Image Understanding Journal has issued a call for papers for a special issue on "Colour for Image Indexing and Retrieval". As the call explains, with the growth of the Internet and developments in imaging technology, very large digital image archives have been created and used in numerous applications. Together with the increase in the number of pictorial archives, demands are also growing for methodologies and techniques to store and retrieve pictorial entities from large image archives. It is known that colour provides powerful information for data analysis, recognition and visualization. As a consequence, colour has become a centre of interest as a powerful tool in content-based image retrieval, opening many new directions of research and technology.

This special issue will focus on the use of colour in the exploration of image data repositories for the purpose of content-based image access. A full list of topics and paper submission guidelines are available from the web site - the paper deadline is December 1, 2002.

URL: http://carol.wins.uva.nl/~gevers/cfp_cviu.html

Web 3D authoring demo

Flatland, the developer of the 3D browser plug-in Rover, is offering a free trial version of Inside Track's WYSIWYG environment editor for PCs, DENVER D3. Available for download, Flatland claim that using this and the Rover plug-in web site authors can have a 3D web site up and running "within an hour". We'd be interested to hear from any El.pub readers who take-up the Flatland offer, and a brief review of their experiences.

URL: http://www.flatland.com/demoa

Causeway uses AutoVue

Causeway Technologies, a supplier of collaborative, commercial, and supply chain solutions to the construction industry, has licensed Cimmetry's AutoVue for Java technology for use with Causeway Collaboration, Causeway's ASP Project Extranet solution. The addition of AutoVue will give users of this project collaboration software the ability to access over 200 different 2D/3D CAD, EDA and office formats without requiring the authoring applications.

URL: Causeway Technologies http://www.causeway-tech.com
URL: Cimmetry http://www.cimmetry.com
URL: press release http://www.cimmetry.com/cimweb.nsf/pages/NewsCauseway


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