Elpub buttonEP Topic News: 27th March 2003

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Contents
 
Intelligent textiles report
JoDI on E-education
FP6 model contract published
Content Syndication with RSS
US - advancing the Internet
Internet2 Peer-to-Peer WG
XML interface to relational dbase
Fonix iSpeak 3.0
VR for holiday site
Affluent US adults use Net
Web radio marketing
XML applications firewall
IMAX for multiplex theatres
"Syncing" PCs and PDAs
FileMaker aids its developers
Creative audio tools for games
French and German eBooks
PhotoSuite 5 Platinum
"Extreme Communications" at MIT
Stylus Studio 4.6
Superscape Swerve for PDAs
Personal Mobile Gateway
Tablet PC language support
Digital library problems/opportunities
March Library Link Newsletter
D-Lib Magazine March 2003
Cultivate-list closes
XML.com latest
 
Events news and resources
 

Intelligent textiles report

Textiles Intelligence, a provider of global business information to the international fibre, textile and apparel industry is to cosponsor Venture Development Corporation's smart fabrics and interactive textiles (SFIT) market research study. Reporting on the launch of the research phase of the study, the companies plan to base the research programme on extensive interviews with suppliers, integrators, and users of products enhanced by SFIT technologies. The final report is expected to include:

• detailed market definitions and segmentations;
• Market estimates and forecasts;
• Key vertical and application market analyses;
• Analysis of leading SFIT suppliers and integrators;
• Customer requirements and preferences;
• Standards update;
• Commercialization strategies.

The study is an attempt to uncover the potential global market for smart fabrics and interactive textiles. According to the authors, "already, a number of companies are researching, designing, producing and marketing prototype SFIT-enabled products".

Interim findings from the analysis are expected in June 2003 with publication of the completed report expected in July 2003. The pre-publication price of the report is US$ 5,250.

URL: study http://www.vdc-corp.com/components/works/smartfabrics.html
URL: VDC http://www.vdc-corp.com
URL: Textiles Intelligence http://www.textilesintelligence.com

JoDI on E-education

The Journal of Digital Information (JoDI) have announced the publication of a special issue on "E-education: Design and Evaluation for Teaching and Learning". From the special issue editorial:

"A number of products and prototypes to assist teaching and learning have been produced and educational materials have been extensively published electronically, but it is still unclear to what extent all of this is of use to students and lecturers/tutors when it comes to real teaching and learning. ... there is still lot of confusion about what electronic learning objects are, standards are yet to be found and adopted successfully, and usability issues have been almost completely neglected. For this reason we hope that the papers presented in this special issue of the Journal of Digital Information will be of great interest and utility to people in education involved in the design, production, delivery and use of electronic materials and tools."

The issue includes the following papers:

"Towards Modular Access to Electronic Handbooks";
• "E-nhance Lectures";
• "Personalising Electronic Books";
• "The Use and Abuse of Reusable Learning Objects";
• "E-Book Technology and Its Potential Applications in Distance Education";
• "E-education in the UK".

FP6 model contract published

UKISHELP, the UK Government sponsored initiative charged with aiding UK organisations participating in EU research programmes have announced that the European Commission has published drafts of the model contract documentation for the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The draft information is available on Europa via the link below.

URL: http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/fp6/working-groups/model-contract/index_en.html

Content Syndication with RSS

Originally developed by Netscape in 1999, RSS is an XML-based format that allows web developers to describe and syndicate web site content. O'Reilly have published a book entitled: "Content Syndication with RSS" which is written for web developers who want to offer XML-based feeds of their content, as well as developers who want to use the content that other people are syndicating. The book explores and explains metadata interpretation, different forms of content syndication, and the increasing use of web services in this field. The book also includes a step-by-step guide to RSS feed implementation. Chapter 4, "RSS 0.91, 0.92, and 2.0 Really Simple Syndication", is available free online.

URL: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/consynrss/?CMP=EM17526
URL: Chapter 4 http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/consynrss/chapter/index.html?CMP=EM17527

US - advancing the Internet

The US National Science Foundation has announced a new round of grants under a revised funding programme called: "Strategic Technologies for the Internet." The programme is designed to stimulate the development of critical infrastructure that advances the conduct of science using commodity and/or advanced research networks. The focus areas for the programme, which expects to receive US$ 6 million in funding, are advanced applications, collaboration tools, network security, and end-to-end performance.

URL: http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?ods_key=nsf03533

Internet2 Peer-to-Peer WG

The Internet2 Project which is developing the infrastructure for the next generation Internet has a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Working Group. The WG has created a web page listing its current activities.

URL: http://p2p.internet2.edu

XML interface to relational dbase

ConnectTel has announced the release of a beta of XQX its XML interface to relational databases. According to the developers "XQX retrieves data from a relational database and transforms the result into a XML format. The output XML data can then be transformed once again (with the power of XSL), as dictated by the end point device (web browser, cell phone, PDA, or other wireless device) requirements". The beat software supports relational databases from a wide variety of vendors. Further information via the web site below.

URL: http://www.connecttel.com/index.php?link=_XQX

Fonix iSpeak 3.0

iSpeak 3.0 for Windows, the latest version of Fonix's speech interface software that reads any text file aloud in a natural-sounding male or female voice, now features an expanded range of voices to match specific user needs including Microsoft Word text reading and a Drag & Speak capability. According to the company: "iSpeak enables anyone to simply listen as their computer reads email, digital books, documents, and web sites in a natural, human-sounding voice".

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

VR for holiday site

VRX Worldwide is working with Expedia, to provide the Expedia.com online travel site, with interactive virtual tours and detailed property maps. The cooperation will build on a number of established "virtual walk-throughs" already available on the site.

URL: VRX http://www.vrxstudios.com
URL: VRX Worldwide http://www.vrxworldwide.com
URL: Expedia http://www.expedia.com

Affluent US adults use Net

A new study from the shows that affluent adults in the US rely heavily on the Internet to make and research purchases. The online study, which was jointly conducted by washingtonpost.com and Nielsen//NetRatings, surveyed 956 washingtonpost.com users, and claims to show "just how important web advertising has become in influencing both online and offline purchases of affluent Americans". Key findings reported in the study included:

• virtually all affluent adult shoppers use the Web to make or research their purchases. For automobile, computer and travel purchases, use of the web was extraordinarily high (over 90% of those surveyed).
• affluent adults access the web almost every day from either work or home and the web dominates their weekday media usage.
• the majority of affluent adults who purchase luxury items and various professional services say the web is the best place for advertisers to reach them.

For detailed results and methodology visit the link below. In September of 2002, the two companies also released a survey looking at how business decision makers use the web which is also available online.

URL: study (.pdf) http://www.washingtonpost.com/affluentsurvey
URL: business decision makers study (.pdf) http://www.washingtonpost.com/decisionmakers
URL: Nielsen//NetRatings http://www.nielsen-netratings.com/
URL: washingtonpost.com http://www.washingtonpost.com/

Web radio marketing

JackStreet Media's Nanocasting System is said to combine digital broadcasting with a system for hyper-targeting the listening audience. The company claim that "Nanocasting" dramatically increases the response rates of listeners to marketing delivered via its web radio services. JackStreet Media aims to first deploy its Nanocasting System on Readers Radio "a global network designed to help authors bypass traditional book marketing channels and sell directly to readers".

URL: Readers Radio http://www.readersradionetwork.com/
URL: http://www.jackstreet.com/

XML applications firewall

The Reactivity XML Firewall network security appliance is aimed at securing businesses applications based on XML and web services technologies. The Firewall sits at the edge of the corporate network to secure message flow between distributed applications. It acts as an XML proxy that performs authentication, authorisation, auditing, XML validation and routing to secure bi-directional message flow. The company believe that by decoupling security from application development, the Reactivity XML Firewall "eliminates the time-consuming and costly process of custom coding such security into each application and maintaining it".

URL: Reactivity http://www.reactivity.com/

IMAX for multiplex theatres

IMAX has launched its new large-format theatre system designed specifically for use in multiplex theatres. Known as IMAX MPX, this lower cost system allows commercial exhibitors to add an IMAX theatre to an existing multiplex or to retrofit two existing multiplex auditoriums into an IMAX theatre. The company believe that this release will "have a significant impact on the growth of the commercial IMAX theatre network". IMAX introduced IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology in September of 2002, making it possible for virtually any 35mm live-action film to be transformed into an IMAX version.

URL: http://www.imax.com

"Syncing" PCs and PDAs

Now Software have released a public beta of a Palm conduit for users of its Now Up-to-Date for Windows software. The conduit enables "syncing" of calendar and "to-do" list information between the user's Windows PC and any Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) running the Palm operating system. The software is available to the public for testing as a free download.

URL: http://www.nowsoftware.com
URL: http://www.palm.com/
URL: http://www.poweronsoftware.com/

FileMaker aids its developers

FileMaker has announced enhancements to its FileMaker Solutions Alliance (FSA) programme for professional developers, consultants, trainers and publishers worldwide. Among the new program changes, FSA members will receive new products, including FileMaker Developer, product updates, technical information, and - in some instances - volume licensing pricing discounts. Complete details are available on the FileMaker site.

URL: FSA http://www.filemaker.com/developers/index.html
URL: FileMaker http://www.filemaker.com/

Creative audio tools for games

Creative Technology has announced audio technologies for simultaneous rendering of multiple environments and creation of interactive multi-channel content for PC game development. The company demonstrated its latest audio innovations at the Game Developers Conference held in San Jose, California at the begining of March, 2003. Announcements included the intended release of an authoring tool for a new 3D audio format called "Interactive Spatial Audio Composition Technology" (ISACT). Further information from Creative's Developer Relations web page.

URL: Developer Relations http://developer.creative.com/leftmenu/DC_LM_Contact.asp
URL: Creative http://www.creative.com/

French and German eBooks

Two Internet retailers, envi.con KG of Berlin and GiantChair, an American company based in Paris, are to offer German and French language editions of Palm Reader eBooks via their online sales operations. Apparently the eBooks available, include "best-selling titles from major publishers such as Bertelsmann, Hachette, and one of France's largest publishing groups".

URL: envi.con KG http://ebooks.pdassi.de/
URL: Palm Digital Media http://www.palmdigitalmedia.com
URL: PalmSource http://www.palmsource.com

PhotoSuite 5 Platinum

PhotoSuite 5 Platinum software is the first major upgrade of this Roxio software since late 2000. The new version aimed at consumers provides an integrated photo manipulation suite and includes features such as capturing, organising, enhancing, creating, burning and sharing digital photo collections.

URL: http://www.roxio.com

"Extreme Communications" at MIT

Nicholas Negroponte will be the keynote speaker at a two-day MIT conference entitled "Extreme Communications, A Radical Rethinking of Business, Technology and Regulatory Strategies" on April 15-16, 2003. The programme, hosted by MIT's Industrial Liaison Program, will feature a series of presentations and discussions by MIT faculty and government officials which will present perspectives on the opportunities throughout the world for technological and business innovations.

According to Charles Fine, professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management: "Telcos are currently in a state of vertical disintegration," noting that when vertically integrated giants such as AT&T "disintegrate" into Lucent and other business unit spin-offs, the supply/value chain from R&D to the end user can become highly fragmented and inefficient from a market standpoint.

Fine argues that by developing interdisciplinary value chain models, communications companies could improve their understanding of the interdependence between industry, technology, and regulatory dynamics. Fine and colleagues at a dozen MIT media-related and IT research groups are attempting to organize pockets of expertise into an interdependent value chain that suggests a new approach to doing business for executives in telecommunications, IT, and a wide range of increasingly decentralised industries.

The two-day agenda will focus on emerging technical architectures for the communications industry, policy implications for both wired and wireless communications, and social, cultural and economic game plans for bit distribution.

URL: conference http://ilp.mit.edu/ilp/Conferences/Current.html
URL: MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) http://ilp.mit.edu/ilp/

Stylus Studio 4.6

Sonic Software's Stylus Studio 4.6, is the XML development software acquired through the company's acquisition of eXcelon Corp. last year. Version 4.6 integrates Stylus Studio's hallmark XSLT debugger with the SonicXQ enterprise service bus (ESB), making it easier to develop transformations stored within the SonicXQ environment. Additional new features in Stylus Studio 4.6 include an XQuery editor and debugger, an XML-to-HTML WYSIWYG editor, a graphical XML Schema Designer and automated XML Schema Documentation Generator.

For a limited period Sonic is offering Stylus Studio 4.6 at an introductory price of US$ 295 per copy, an evaluation version is also available for download.

URL: Stylus Studio http://www.stylusstudio.com
URL: Sonic Software http://www.sonicsoftware.com

Superscape Swerve for PDAs

Superscape has joined TI's OMAP Developer Network making its Swerve 3D enabling technology available for TI's OMAP processors, for use on popular mobile operating systems such as Microsoft Windows PocketPC and Symbian OS for Series 60 devices. "We are delighted to offer our customers Superscape's Swerve 3D technology on our OMAP processors," said Paul Werp, worldwide director of marketing for TI's OMAP platform. "Applications developed using Swerve 3D highlight the possibilities for 3D on mobile devices and showcase the real-time, multimedia processing capabilities of the OMAP platform."

URL: OMAP http://www.omap.com/
URL: Superscape Swerve http://www.superscape.com/

Personal Mobile Gateway

Samsung Electronics plans to incorporate Personal Mobile Gateway (PMG) technology from IXI Mobile into a new breed of its wireless phones and peripheral. The PMG is described as a "bridge between the mobile and the Personal Area Networks (PAN), combining cellular and short distance wireless with micro-router and micro-server functionalities". According to IXI Mobile the PMG "enables a new set of innovative, optimised devices eg. watches, pens, phones, messaging terminals, gaming devices, cameras" with providing them with mobile communications capability.

URL: PMG http://www.ixi.com/PMG
URL: Samsung http://www.samsungelectronics.com/
URL: IXI Mobile http://www.ixi.com

Tablet PC language support

The beta release of the Multilingual User Interface & Recognizer Pack (MUIRP) for the Tablet PC was announced at this years CEBIT show. Apparently the MUIRP allows users or administrators to switch the user interface settings (eg. menus, dialog boxes and help files) among multiple languages and allows installation of multiple handwriting recognition languages on the same Tablet PC.

The MUIRP extends user interface language support (originally released in English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese) to several new languages, including Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese and Swedish. The MUIRP also allows the installation of a Spanish handwriting recognizer, enabling users to automatically translate notes that were handwritten in Spanish into text. A final version of the software is scheduled for release "in July 2003".

URL: Tablet PC http://www.microsoft.com/tabletpc/

Digital library problems/opportunities

Roy Tennant a well-known columnist and digital librarian often speaks on current problems and opportunities; and proposes imaginative thinking, bold action, and a propensity to take risks as the investments needed today to build tomorrow's payoff. He spoke on February 26, 2003 at OCLC, Dublin (Ohio), USA as part of the Distinguished Seminar Series. Presentation slides (PowerPoint) and a digital audio recording (mp3:19.9MB) are now available from the OCLC Research web site.

URL: Roy Tennant's home page http://escholarship.cdlib.org/rtennant/
URL: Distinguished Seminar Series http://www.oclc.org/research/dss/date.shtm
URL: Presentation abstract http://www.oclc.org/research/dss/tennant.shtm
URL: PowerPoint presentation http://www.oclc.org/research/dss/tennant.ppt
URL: digital audio (mp3) http://www.oclc.org/research/audio/dss_tennant.mp3

March Library Link Newsletter

The March 2003 issue of the Library Link Newsletter has been published online. The Library Collection and Development Management section includes:

• a Viewpoint entitled: "The problem is access, the solution is infrastructure"

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

• and an article entitled: "Improving Access: Is There Any Hope?"

URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/librarylink/collection/index.htm#article

The Library Management & Information Services article:

"External Partnerships and Academic Libraries"

URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/librarylink/management/index.htm#article

The issue also includes a selection of press releases, news on forthcoming events and announcements and reviews of books and journals.

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

D-Lib Magazine March 2003

The March 2003 issue of D-Lib Magazine is now available online and includes six articles, several smaller features in "In Brief" column, excerpts from recent press releases, and news of upcoming conferences and other items of interest in "Clips and Pointers". The articles include:

• "The SCIELO Brazilian Scientific Journal Gateway and Open Archives: A Report on the Development of the SciELO - Open Archives Data Provider Server";
• "Usability of Hypermedia Educational e-Books";
• "Building upon the MyLibrary Concept to Better Meet the Information Needs of College Students";
• "Open Archives and UK Institutions: An Overview";
• "The Utah Digital Newspapers Project";
• "Examples of Practical Digital Libraries: Collections Built Internationally Using Greenstone".

URL: http://www.dlib.org/

Cultivate-list closes

After three years, the Cultivate project (supported under the Digital Cultural Heritage action line of the FP5, IST Programme) is coming to an end. As a result, the Cultivate-list will not be administered after 31 March 2003 which will mean that there will be no further postings. UKOLN (at the University of Bath, UK) will have announced that they will host the list archives for at least three years following the end of the project.

URL: Cultivate-list archives http://lists.ukoln.ac.uk/cultivate-list/

XML.com latest

The latest edition of XML.com includes three feature articles:

• one, "Standards: Optional Features or Law?", ponders how software implementers can best be induced to create software that conforms
to web standards.
• a second, "The Road to XHTML 2.0", considers XHTML 2.0 and explores the issues surrounding migration to the latest version of HTML.
• the third, "An XML Hero Reconsiders?", considers Tim Bray's recent complaint, that "XML is too difficult for programmers".

URL: http://www.xml.com


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