Elpub buttonEP Topic News: 29th May 2003

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Contents
 
Educational system interoperability
Rubus to enhance Lycos
CommKit Version 1.0
Intellectual property standards
Pinnacle offers Steinberg products
eEurope standardization assessed
The TrainCom project
National IST foresight exercises
FT chooses Documentum
UDDI Version 2 is OASIS Standard
Microsoft games protected
Intellectual property and technology
Introduction to SALT
Java Developer Tools Guide
Bluetooth-enabled "eyewear" system
Storage networking interoperability
Mobile communities promoted
Charging for mobile content
Mobile Enterprise Alliance
MPEG-4 and VRML 3D Player
Web site for gamers
Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
 
Events news and resources
 

Educational system interoperability

A news release from the Elena project notes that:

"building interoperability among educational systems is an issue relevant to many of us. Allow us to inform you that a group of people, which started in the context of the Universal consortium, has expanded to a much wider initiative and is now carried forward by the Elena Project. This group has recently reached a first milestone of its work agenda. As you can see from our interoperability working group web site, throughout the last months a peer-to-peer (P2P) network based on Edutella, which connects two instances of the Universal Brokerage Platform (the EducaNext.org portal, and UBP Experimental) as well as ULI, a learning environment for IS education, has been established.

In addition, a WSDL/SOAP interface has been implemented connecting IMC's learning management system Clix and the UBP. AREL, another learning management system, and the learning environment ITeachYou will follow soon. This interface allows users of an LMS to announce courses at the broker, which subsequently become available in the Edutella network. Other use cases specified in the Learning Management Network Specification are currently implemented."

Users are being invited to test the network, guidelines as to how are published in the Artefacts and Service Network Documentation available on the project's web site, alongside other resources. Users are being requested to provide feedback and contributions on the project's specifications and prototypes. If you have related resources that you would like to see referenced by this web site, please also contact the project.

The Elena consortium is also maintaining an e-mailing list, focusing on research topics such as interoperability of repositories for learning, modelling of learning services, brokerage of learning resources, and controlling training investments. If you want to receive further e-mails on this subject, please subscribe to this list.

URL: Universal Consortium http://www.ist-universal.org
URL: Elena Project http://www.elena-project.org/
URL: interoperability working group http://nm.wu-wien.ac.at/e-learning/interoperability/
URL: Edutella http://edutella.jxta.org/
URL: Elena mailing list http://www.im-c.de/elena/contact_mailing_list.htm

Rubus to enhance Lycos

Rubus, an interactive systems integrator based in the UK, is working with Lycos to investigate new search products for Lycos UK and Europe. The Business Interaction Design team at Rubus are researching potential technologies that take search results as a starting point and which provide users with tools to manipulate their results, be they text, pictures, sounds or even movies. The hope is by using the tools provided, "users are inspired to find new and innovative ways to create and share content".

URL: Rubus http://www.rubus.com

CommKit Version 1.0

After 2 years in development CommKit has released Version 1.0 of what the company claims is "the worlds first truly affordable scalable community solution". The company is seeking business partners and customers to develop the software further. CommKit is primarily being sold as a hosted service, "requiring no more from its users than web and email access. Nothing to install, no hardware to buy, and only basic HTML skills required to configure and manage". An installed option is also available but to run the installed version requires Cold Fusion, and an SQL database.

The software is being aimed at a wide range of potential users including: schools, universities, corporations (for both employee and customer oriented marketing communities), healthcare, media, (especially magazine publishers), music industry, religious groups, political parties, campaign groups and charities and many more.

Regarding the business model for development, CommKit recognise that the market is far too large for the company to tackle on it’s own. CommKit are by nature tool builders, and seek to partner with developers, solutions providers and consultants for whom CommKit functionality will help solve their clients problems. Partners are expected to make margin from the licence sale plus their own value add in ensuring effective implementation.

Further information is available from Ian Dickson the CEO of CommKit and via the web site.

URL: http://www.commkit.com
Email: Ian Dickson mailto:ian@commkit.com


Intellectual property standards

The work of the ITU's Standards and Documentation Group (SDWG) of the Standing Committee on Information Technologies (SCIT), which met in Geneva from May 5 to 8, 2003, agreed on a number of standards associated with the recording, storage, exchange and retrieval of patent, trademark and industrial design information. Such standards play a central role in facilitating access to intellectual property information, particularly in light of the steep rise in the number of patent documents processed by industrial property offices around the world.

The SDWG adopted a revision of a WIPO Standard (ST.8) regarding the recording of International Patent Classification (IPC) symbols on machine-readable formats. The IPC is a uniform system of classification of patents designed to facilitate retrieval of patent information. Delegates also agreed to revise two additional standards (ST.10/B and ST.10/C) related to bibliographic data components of patent documents. These revisions are intended to bring the standards in line with the programme of IPC reform which is due to take effect from January 1, 2005.

Delegates also reviewed progress in establishing an inventory of electronic data products for the purposes of disseminating intellectual property information.

URL: ITU http://www.itu.int
URL: WIPO http://www.wipo.int

Pinnacle offers Steinberg products

Having acquired Steinberg Media Technologies AG in December 2002, Pinnacle Systems have confirmed that their consumer range now includes all of the digital audio consumer products previously marketed under the Steinberg name. The range includes Remix - a real-time audio sequencer, Cubasis VST - a professional audio mixer, Clean 4.0 - restoration and CD burning software, myMP3 4.0 - MP3 editing and CD burning software. The rough its acquisition of Steinberg, Pinnacle Systems now provides digital media solutions for use by broadcasters through to consumers.

URL: http://www.pinnaclesys.com/
URL: http://www.steinberg.net

eEurope standardization assessed

The Evaluation Partnership (TEP) were contracted by the European Commission DG Enterprise to undertake an interim evaluation of the funding in support of eEurope standardization, launched in 2000 and provided through a series of contracts with the European Standards Organizations: CEN, CENELEC and ETSI. TEP would like to thank all El.pub readers who took part in the survey. If anyone has not yet had time to complete the questionnaire, TEP would still value their input. The questionnaire remains available on-line.

URL: http://www.evaluationpartnership.com/surveys/esap/esap.htm

The TrainCom project

The TrainCom project, supported under the Information Society Technology (IST) Programme of the European Union's Fifth Framework Programme (FP5), involves 13 partners from five member states and Romania and has requested the following information release is circulated to readers of El.pub.

At present trains running across Europe use a digital network standard called "train communication network" (TCN) which allows some degree of interoperability between train equipment and devices from different manufacturers located on board the same train. The TrainCom project aims to take this one step further by integrating the already established onboard communication network with a newly developed ground system that makes use of a railway version of the radio link GSM (global system for mobile communications), and Internet solutions such as extensible markup language (XML) and the standard Internet protocol (TCP-IP).

It is expected that offering this kind of ubiquitous remote access to onboard equipment will bring about a new standard platform, on top of which a number of applications can be built, such as passenger information systems, remote monitoring and remote control. The use of such a platform has the potential to make railway travel in Europe more efficient.

Testing is now in its final stage and several demonstrations of the system are planned in the second half of 2003. There is also an associated project called EuRoMain, which is based on TrainCom.

URL: TrainCom http://www.traincom.org
URL: EuRoMain http://www.euromain.org

National IST foresight exercises

FISTERA, the thematic network for "foresight on information society technologies [IST] in the European Research Area", has published its first report on national IST foresight studies. The report compares the results of recent national foresight exercises from Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, focusing on insights and outcomes with respect to IST. The report identifies a number of crucial areas in which the national studies diverge - primarily due to the terms of reference each uses. It suggests that to overcome such obstacles, future foresight studies should follow the Swedish foresight study that uses "technology hindsight" to help forecast the technologies the will be important for the future.

URL: FISTERA http://fistera.jrc.es/

FT chooses Documentum

FT Business, part of the Financial Times Group, one of the world's leading publishers of global business news, information and services and which publishes 14 titles, has announced that it intends to use Documentum enterprise content management (ECM) software to manage its online content. The first title scheduled to use the new system will be Investors' Chronicle. The long-term intention is that "FT Business will have a single XML content repository from which all content may be published or archived as required". The software is to be implemented by systems integrator EvolvedThought.

URL: FT http://www.ft.com
URL: Documentum http://www.documentum.com
URL: EvolvedThought http://www.evolvedthought.co.uk

UDDI Version 2 is OASIS Standard

Members of OASIS have ratified the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration specification (UDDI) version 2.0 as an OASIS Open Standard. The OASIS UDDI Specification Technical Committee consists of a number of the leading companies active in developing web services solutions including: Computer Associates, Fujitsu, IBM, IONA, Microsoft, Novell, OpenNetwork, Oracle, SAP, and Sun Microsystems. The key purpose behind implementation of UDDI is to enable applications to dynamically locate, and use web services.

URL: OASIS http://www.oasis-open.org
URL: news item http://www.oasis-open.org/news/oasis_news_05_20_03.php

Microsoft games protected

Microsoft has announced that it has selected piracy management solutions from Smarte Solutions which utilise anti-piracy software licensed from UK-based BitArts Labs. The SmarteSECURE and SmarteMANAGER piracy management solutions have been licensed by Microsoft for use in protecting Microsoft PC-based games and applications.

BitArts Labs patented core encryption technology is based on the principles of mutation engines, injecting security code directly into the inner workings of the software application being protected. The application has random signatures injected into different locations each time, making the task of removing the protection an extraordinarily complex and time consuming process - and eliminating the possibility for generic cracks.

BitArts also provides digital rights management to the mobile Java market through a partnership, with End2End, a leading European managed service provider, that is powering the Vodafone live! Games Arcade in the UK.

URL: BitArts Labs http://www.bit-arts.com/
URL: Smarte Solutions http://www.smartesolutions.com/

Intellectual property and technology

The Intellectual Property and Technology Forum, designed and edited by students at the Boston College Law School, is "dedicated to providing readers with rigorous, innovative scholarship, timely reporting, and ongoing discussion from the legal community concerning technology law and intellectual property." The site is divided into several sections, including news headlines, articles, commentary, and resources. (Source: Scout Report)

URL: http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/law/st_org/iptf/

Introduction to SALT

XML.com have published an introduction to SALT, the Speech Application Language Tags specification. SALT is part of the emerging XML infrastructure for multi-modal user interfaces. The article, "Adding SALT to HTML" explains how to install Microsoft's SALT Software Development Kit (SDK), and how to create simple web pages that use speech as well as HTML.

URL: http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2003/05/14/salt.html

Java Developer Tools Guide

JavaWorld's latest Developer Tools Guide lists more than 1,100 tools for Java development.

URL: JavaWorld http://www.javaworld.com
URL: Developer Tools Guide http://www.javaworld.com/javaworld/tools/jw-tools-index.html

Bluetooth-enabled "eyewear" system

MicroOptical Corporation's DV-1 Digital Viewer, is described as "a colour eyewear system featuring Bluetooth wireless technology which offers wireless, hands-free and head-up viewing of electronic devices". The DV-1 viewer and a developer’s kit is expected to be available to application providers and systems integrators in mid-June, 2003.

According to Mark Spitzer, CEO of MicroOptical, "The DV-1 viewer is MicroOptical’s first digital wireless eyewear viewer. The 12-bit qVGA color display, which is capable of handling both bit map and text input shows images from compatible PDAs and PCs via the Bluetooth short-range wireless specification. Our developer’s kit will allow the development community to evaluate the technology and create business and consumer applications that require mobility, situational awareness and privacy, such as public safety, inventory management and medical data viewing, all with the user un-tethered from the image source."

URL: http://www.microoptical.net/

Storage networking interoperability

The Storage Networking Industry Association Europe (SNIA-E) and the Fibre Channel Industry Association Europe (FCIAE) held their second UK end user council meeting on April 30, 2003 in London. Debate amongst the end user community which included IT experts and technical services representatives from the financial, telecommunications, healthcare and aviation sectors, focused on the requirement for interoperability between storage technologies and storage network security solutions. A key area of interest was the potential for storage network architectures based on certified and conforming storage management standards.

The SNIA-E is a not-for-profit organisation made up of more than 300 companies worldwide including end users, vendors and resellers. SNIA members share a common goal: to set the pace of the industry by ensuring that storage networks become efficient, complete and trusted solutions across the IT community.

FCIAE is an independent, non-profit, pan European body of around 100 companies set up to promote Fibre Channel technology throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. With affiliates in the US and Japan, the FCIA Europe's charter is to raise the profile and awareness of Fibre Channel technology thereby developing the broadest possible market for Fibre Channel products.

URL: SNIA-E http://www.snia-europe.org
URL: FCIAE http://www.fibrechannel-europe.com

Mobile communities promoted

The Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF), the global trade association for the mobile entertainment industry, is promoting the development of mobile communities in order to develop a sustainable market for content developers, publishers, portals and mobile network operators. Promoted through the Community Initiative, the MEF plans to provide "guidance to ensure best practice across the industry" in setting-up mobile communities.

URL: MEF http://www.mobileentertainmentforum.org/
URL: Community Initiative http://www.mobileentertainmentforum.org/activities-current051303.html

Charging for mobile content

Siemens and Mobileway have announced that they are working together to deploy Java based mobile content using patented "Over-The-Air" (OTA) micro payment solution based on premium SMS. The OTA payment solution is run on Mobileway’s turnkey micro-payment server, which manages premium SMS payment transactions generated by Java handsets.

URL: Siemens Mobile http://www.siemens-mobile.com
URL: Mobileway http://www.mobileway.com

Mobile Enterprise Alliance

Founded in 2003, the Mobile Enterprise Alliance (MEA) is an international market development and advocacy group formed to promote the benefits of a mobile workforce to enterprise end users, knowledge workers and information technology managers. Funded by dues from sponsoring vendor members, the MEA provides a clearinghouse for information about the mobile enterprise, including news, case studies, research, and business analysis tools.

URL: http://www.mobileenterprise.org/

MPEG-4 and VRML 3D Player

VREfresh reports that Octaga, provider of MPEG-4 based technology, has announced its first Octagon Player products. The Octagon Player 1.0 is a real-time 3D player that supports MPEG-4 and VRML. It offers 3D visual features such as particle systems, multi-texturing, environment mapping, real-time shadows, nurbs, layers, X3D and multi-user ready. The Octagon Player+, supporting real-time animation and fast render to video, will be released before the summer. The Octagon Player products are targeting the architectural visualisation market. A 21 day trial version is available.

URL: http://www.octaga.com
URL: VREfresh base02vt0229.htm

Web site for gamers

NVIDIA Corporation has unveiled NVIDIA nZone, a dedicated web site for gamers and 3D graphics enthusiasts. NVIDIA nZone presents a range of 3D content, while providing a glimpse of the cinematic gaming experiences to come. NVIDIA nZone is dedicated to delivering a information on PC games and 3D applications through reviews, interviews, software downloads, and more, to showcase the power of 3D.

URL: http://www.nvidia.com/nzone

Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)

Roger Frampton, Editor of the VREfresh newsletter published on El.pub reports from the Electronic Entertainment Expo that:

"Computer and video games software sales numbered 221m in 2002 and grew 8% by value to US$ 6.9bn. Of the estimated 1300 products shown for the first time at E3, 57% are for video game consoles, 27% for PCs, 9% for handheld devices and 5% for PDAs and mobile/cell telephones (the mobile games market is predicted by Strategy Analytics Inc to reach over US$ 2bn by 2004 and US$ 7bn by 2008). By category, 20% were action games, 16% sports and driving games and educational games just 5%.

In IT, what is true for the USA today will be the case for the rest of the world tomorrow. 60% of Americans aged over six years play computer and video games. The average age of a game player is 28 years and more than 90% of games are purchased by adults over 18 years. 43% of game players are female.

Discreet was at E3 to showcase its 3D animation, modeling, character design, rendering and game modification software and integrated partner software demonstrations. The company ran educational "how to" sessions on rapid game development for PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Game Cube and mobile games Discreet's 3D software is used by over 70% of the world's top-selling game developers such as Ubi Soft Entertainment, Digital Illusion, Microsoft, SEGA Corporation and Midway Games. 3ds max is available worldwide in English, French, Italian, German and Japanese. A full-featured 30-day trial version of 3ds max software is available. Discreet used E3 to unveil game initiatives to publishers and game developers showing their link between Hollywood visual effects for motion pictures and the video game industries (Matrix Reloaded and its sequel had a US$ 100m budget for computer effects)."

The statistics quoted above were mostly provided courtesy of the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) and are appreciatively acknowledged.

URL: VREfresh base02vt0229.htm


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