Elpub buttonEP Topic News: 4th and 1st May 2001

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VRWorld Congress latest agenda

The latest agenda for the VR World Congress, to be held in Barcelona on June 27-29, 2001, and organised by the EPIFOCAL project, has been published on El.pub. In addition to attending the sessions outlined in the published agenda, there will be ample opportunity for delegates to network with prospective partners in the commercial and public sectors.

The event has been designed to appeal to the widest audience of professionals interested in the development of VR and interactive 3D (I3D) applications. Applications which will be exploited in a wide range of disciplines, including: publishing, healthcare, education, culture and heritage, entertainment, services, manufacturing, engineering. The event will also consider the hardware, software, systems and services which will provide the necessary infrastructure. Throughout the three days the conference will:

The event is already proving to be very popular, so potential attendees are encouraged to register with the event administrator as soon as possible (using the details published on the conference agenda page below). Attendance at the event is free of charge. A limited amount of space is available for tabletop demonstrations, please contact the administrator for further information. 04/05/01

URL: vrcongress.htm
Email: Administrator Sophie Lafond mailto:slafond@mva.co.uk

Educational publishing updated

The educational publishing section has been updated this week and includes a new page on "Finding resources" which points to services that provide information about research and development, including ongoing and completed projects and archives, and to individuals undertaking research. This section, as a whole, provides annotated references to ways of creating or using multimedia to present information for educational purposes. The section is less concerned with the content of multimedia resources than it is with the principles underlying the content. We are particularly interested in resources where the use of multimedia makes a substantial difference to the presentation of the information than if a traditional print medium was used.

Individual pages focus on:

URL: top010.htm

GEO-Mobile Radio interface specs

ETSI has published the first release of a complete set of specifications for a mobile satellite radio interface, known as "GEO-Mobile Radio interface specifications (GMR)". This first ever release of ETSI specifications for personal communications systems based on geostationary satellites was jointly developed with the US Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and is largely evolved from the popular Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) standard (which was also developed by ETSI). Publication of parallel GMR specifications by TIA is expected to follow later this year.

The GMR specifications include many new features, such as direct terminal-to-terminal calls that adapt and enhance the GSM radio interface technology to make it operate efficiently over geostationary satellites. This first release of specifications includes a full set of circuit mode services for voice and fax, as well as a range of data services. All these services are compatible with the services provided by current terrestrial GSM systems. 04/05/01

URL: http://www.etsi.org/

3G mobile standards on target

The review process of the 3GPP third generation digital mobile communications specifications set for the first release, which was functionally frozen in December 1999, has been completed. The completion of the first release (under the auspices of ETSI) is a major milestone, concluding a concerted effort by experts from all over the world. It allows manufacturers to deliver 3GPP compliant equipment to operators in the confidence that the specifications are comprehensive and stable.

The 3GPP Partners are now working on a further release of the 3GPP standard, which will provide additional multimedia features, improved data streaming and other enhancements. In addition, the first all-IP (Internet Protocol) standard for 3GPP is expected to be functionally frozen at the end of this year. We have decided to publish (the rather long!) list of organisations committed to the work - as their web sites provide an ideal starting point for further investigations. The current Organizational Partners (which by definition are recognised Standards Development Organizations) are:

The current Market Representation Partners of 3GPP are:

For more information on 3GPP, visit the 3GPP web site. 04/05/01

URL: 3GPP http://www.3gpp.org/
URL: ETSI http://www.etsi.org/

US funding for R&D - reports

The Computing Research Association publishes a free semimonthly electronic bulletin intended as a news digest for computing researchers. The CRA Bulletin of April 19, 2001 includes a couple of reports on US federal funding of R&D which on first sight seem to be contradictory:

Subscribe to the CRA Bulletin online. 04/05/01

URL: CRA Bulletin April 19, 2001 http://www.cra.org/cra-bulletin/4.19.01.html
URL: home http://www.cra.org/cra-bulletin/

Canonical XML Processor released

ElCel Technology have announced the public release of their Canonical XML Processor, a command-line program (available in binary form for Windows and Linux-Intel platforms) is being made available free-of-charge from the company's web site. Written in ISO-standard C++ using ElCel Technology's C++ XML Toolkit, this program apparently implements the canonicalisation algorithm as described by the W3C's Canonical XML 1.0 Recommendation.

Canonicalisation has a number of uses outside of the generation of digital signatures:

Full details can be obtained from the ElCel Technology web site. 04/05/01

URL: http://www.elcel.com/

D-Lib Magazine April issue

The April 2001 issue of D-Lib Magazine is now available online in which there are five full-length articles, several smaller features in the "In Brief" column, and news of upcoming conferences and other items of interest in 'Clips and Pointers'. The April 2001 articles include:

URL: http://www.dlib.org/
URL: April 2001 table of contents http://www.dlib.org/dlib/april01/04contents.html

Picture Publisher 9 released

Picture Publisher 9 is the latest upgrade to Micrografx's image-editing software and is being aimed at users of the latest generation of three megapixel cameras now in the shops. According to the company the package provides "professional level image editing with the addition of a range of image effects and wizards". Key features include:

100+ interactive Wizards and on-line tutorials; 55+ import/export file formats;120+ effects and creative macros; Digimarc digital watermarking plug-in; Kodak ICC colour management system; 250+ page user guide; Media Manager 9 - drag and drop content management utility;10,000+ royalty-free stock photos and clip art images; 500+ Internet textures; 250+ true type fonts.

The software has a RRP of approximately 150 Euro. 04/05/01

URL: http://www.micrografx.com/
URL: UK http://www.micrografx.com/uk/

Semantic web developments

UMBC AgentNews a very useful free news service, often covers automated web application developments. The issue published on April 15, 2001 included news and links to a couple of interesting developments in the semantic web sphere including:

Register to receive the newsletter online which is delivered as straight email text, or as an attachment in Word for Windows, RTF, or PDF formats. Please note that you can also read previous issues online. 04/05/01

URL: April 15, issue http://agents.umbc.edu/06/11/
URL: AgentWeb http://agents.umbc.edu/

The European R&D Insider

"The European R&D Insider" is a new newsletter which intends to enhance access to information on new methods of work and e-commerce issues in the IST programme. We have received the first issue, delivered as a Word for Windows email attachment. The newsletter provides a very useful adjunct to the Cordis Focus newsletter (also published by the Commission) which covers the entire IST programme.

"The European R&D Insider" has a norrower focus than Cordis but provides a wide range of news items relating to research projects, research sectors, events and reports being produced or sponsored by the Commission in the "new methods of work" arena. A couple of news items which caught our eye:

Further information on the news service is available online or to subscribe directly email: mailto:IST-ka2-subscribe@topica.com. 04/05/01

URL: The European R&D Insider http://www.cordis.lu/ist/ka2/newsletters.htm

Macromedia / RealNetworks colaboration

Macromedia and RealNetworks have announced integrated support for RealAudio 8 and RealVideo 8 in Macromedia Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio and Dreamweaver 4. This new support builds on the existing support for RealAudio 8 in Macromedia Flash 5. The colaboration aims to enhance the synergy between RealNetworks' codec technologies with Macromedia's web authoring products to provide "a complete suite of multimedia authoring tools for web professionals". 04/05/01

URL: RealNetworks http://www.real.com/
URL: Macromedia http://www.macromedia.com/

Web services IBM resources

Three separate resources from IBM which focus on web services:

Exploitation Plans Meeting - latest

The slides from this meeting, held at the recent EVA Florence meeting, chaired by Pascal Jacques, head of the Interactive Electronic Publishing sector of the European Commission's DG Information Society, are now all available via the El.pub web site. The latest addition to the downloads available is the presentation by James Oliver entitled: "A practical appraisals of exploitation planning and gaining Venture Capital".

Other presentations also available include: "New Economy Business Accelerator" by Filippo Gargani, Chairman, NetStrategy SpA; "The Business Angels Perspective" by Luca Bastia, IBAN (Italian Business Angels Network.

There is also a presentation which outlines usability issues in IEP projects - by the VNET5 project from Elke-Maria Melchior & Miles Macleod. 01/05/01

URL: agenda21.htm

Networked Knowledge Organization Systems

The Journal of Digital Information has announced a special issue on Networked Knowledge Organization Systems (Volume 1, issue 8, April 2001). The editorial contends that: "Knowledge Organization Systems can comprise thesauri and other controlled lists of keywords, ontologies, classification systems, clustering approaches, taxonomies, gazetteers, dictionaries, lexical databases, concept maps/spaces, semantic road maps, etc. These schemas enable knowledge structuring and management, knowledge-based data processing and systematic access to knowledge structures in individual collections and digital libraries. Used as interactive information services on the Internet they have an increased potential to support the description, discovery and retrieval of heterogeneous information resources and to contribute to an overall resource discovery infrastructure."

The issue includes the following papers:

The journal offers a free email notification service, sign-up on the site. 01/05/01

Publishers Mall

Publishers Mall is a publishing news and resource site for traditional publishing. It seems to have good coverage of news on European publishers like Havas and Lagardere, despite being American. 01/05/01

URL: http://www.pub-mall.com/

famous3D Producer free

Australian company, Blaze International a developer of Internet Avatar authoring tools is has released "famous3D Producer". A demo version is available from the company's web site. famous3D Producer can be used to create virtual characters that are powered by text, and are articulated using a coding mechanism termed as: "emotional mark-up system".

The software is apparently "bandwidth efficient" - with sites supporting the avatars viewable using a 28.8k connection. The full unrestricted version of famous3D Producer retails at US$ 795 and can be purchased from the famous3D web site. 01/05/01

URL: Blaze http://www.blazelimited.com/
URL: famous3D http://www.famous3D.com/

IBM MPEG-2 chip family

IBM have announced a new family of single-chip video encoders which they claim can help broadcasters generate higher quality video over existing communications lines. Called the IBM eNV SD encoders, these products are the latest in a line of IBM solutions designed to meet the needs of the communications and broadcast industries in improving video quality.

IBM's eNV SD encoders are also suitable for applications requiring lower bandwidth such as video conferencing equipment, cable head-ends and satellite news gathering. More information about IBM Microelectronics can be found via the web site below. 01/05/01

URL: http://www.chips.ibm.com/
URL: news release http://www.chips.ibm.com/news/2001/0402_ibm-MPEG2.html

XTooX - open source

XLink processor According to its developers: "XTooX takes out-of-line extended XLinks and puts them into the documents that they are pointing to" (what the writers call "folding a linkbase"). They go on to claim that: "if you have a link generator that gives you a linkbase and an XSL processor, you can now produce entire web sites automatically". Originally implemented as a student project at University College London, the author has attempted to clean up the source code a bit, but there is almost no documentation inside the package - comments are being encouraged! 01/05/01

URL: http://www.xlinkit.com/
URL: download http://www.xlinkit.com:8080/xtoox/index.html

Internet elections study

The Internet Policy Institute (IPI) in the US conducted a workshop, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), to examine the issues associated with conducting public elections via computer networks. The study identified that while online voting may present an opportunity to make voting more convenient and less expensive, it also raises many issues that need to be addressed before any such systems are likely to be adopted. These include, how to:

These and other aspects of online voting were addressed from both a technical and social science perspective at the workshop. A diverse group endeavored to identify the critical issues relating to online voting, and define an agenda for future research. The workshop's plans to post a draft on the netvoting site. 01/05/01

URL: Internet Policy Institute http://internetpolicy.org/
URL: netvoting site http://www.netvoting.org/
URL: National Science Foundation (NSF) http://www.nsf.gov/

Writing for the Web

This briefing (prepared by Eldis for GDNet) examines the differences between on paper and on line communications. It considers how people use the web and consider the implications for the writing and content delivery of research. Whilst much of the work on best practice for web strategies is about commercial sites trying to sell their products, this briefing provides an introduction to the aspects that are relevant to developing a successful electronic dissemination strategy for research-based content. 01/05/01

URL: http://www.ids.ac.uk/gdn/tools/writing.htm
URL: Eldis http://www.ids.ac.uk/eldis/

Ethics in computing

The Ethics in Computing site home page features an interactive map organised under eight categories including privacy and intellectual property rights. Developed by Professor Edward F. Gehringer of North Carolina State University, the site provides a wide range of resources related to digital content creation and management. 01/05/01

URL: http://www.eos.ncsu.edu/eos/info/computer_ethics/

Nokia - XHTML microbrowser

Nokia, has demonstrated an XHTML microbrowser on a standard mobile phone - bringing the mobile phone and web ever closer together. Nokia plans to start incorporating the browser in its handsets by the end of this year, and is in the process of building XML-based servers to support the delivery of services based on XHTML.

To support its moves Nokia has also published a white paper (in pdf) entitled: "Advantages of XHTML for Wireless Data". The company also plans to license the browser source code to other handset manufacturers, mobile phone operators and service providers. Licensing information is available via the web. 01/05/01

URL: licensing information http://www.nokia.com/
URL: XHTML browser demonstration http://www.nokia.com/xhtmldemo/
URL: white paper http://www.nokia.com/press/nps_white_papers.html

Radio UserLand - web app. development

The developers of Radio UserLand claim that it is: "a full web application development and runtime environment" and that the software is an "industrial-strength web server on your desktop". The Radio UserLand site further claims that Radio "supports XML-RPC and SOAP 1.1, you can run software that links into new distributed XML-based networks, being created by developers on all platforms, in languages such as Python, Perl, Tcl, Visual Basic, PHP and AppleScript. Even C, Java and Microsoft .NET software can wire up to the Radio desktop over the Internet".

UserLand's lead developer Dave Winer, played a leading role in developing the new standards, along with Microsoft, Developmentor, Netscape and IBM. There's a free demo version available for download, with the commercial product expected to be released in the Autumn of 2001. 01/05/01

URL: free download http://radio.userland.com/
URL: http://www.userland.com/

Anark Studio in beta test

Anark Studio is under beta test. It provides visual depth by utilizing layered media including 3D and 2D graphics, video, audio, text and data, which is delivered directly to the end user and viewed within their web browser, eliminating the need for a separate media player or additional window. Viewing and interactivity is enabled by Anark Client, a free web browser plug-in that renders Anark media within the end user's browser in real time. 01/05/01

URL: http://www.anark.com/

About topic news
We now publish topic news twice a week with a separate page for each week, ensuring that links (particularly from El.pub Weekly) continue to remain current. To view news from other weeks, please use the navigation buttons below.
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El.pub - Interactive Electronic Publishing R & D News and Resources
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