NewsLink — Issue 63/January 2005
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IN THIS ISSUE
2) ITI SNAP POLL
3) NEWSLINK MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT
5) FEATURED ARTICLES
6) CONFERENCE CONNECTION
Happy New Year!
Welcome to the January 2005 issue of NewsLink, Information Today, Inc.'s FREE e-mail newsletter for library and information professionals.
Best wishes for 2005 to all of our NewsLink subscribers! This year will surely be an exciting one for the information industry, and Information Today, Inc. promises to bring you the latest news and editorial views as they develop. We are also hard at work to bring you another year of informative conferences, many of which are scheduled for the spring months.
Information Today, Inc. will be hosting the 20th Anniversary Computers in Libraries conference, to be held March 16-18, 2005, at the Hilton Washington in Washington, D.C. It's true that the tools and technology available to libraries and information services have changed over the years, but the excellent quality and range of both topics and speakers you have come to expect will remain the same at Computers in Libraries 2005. Also, three of our events, Streaming Media East, WebSearch University, and Enterprise Search Summit, are scheduled to be held May 17-18, 2005, in New York. The preliminary programming for these three events is underway, and will be available to the public in the coming month. The New Year is filling up with conference events from ITI, so mark those new 2005 calendars with the dates! For more information please go to http://www.infotoday.com.
If you have any comments or suggestions on any special content you would like to see covered or on how to improve this newsletter and the information held in it, please let us know at email@example.com.
2) ITI SNAP POLL
I have used/plan to use Google Scholar and recommend it to others. Yes? No? Please comment on its strengths and weaknesses. http://www.infotoday.com/
3) NEWSLINK MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT
Search TV Content in a blinkx
By Paula J. Hane
Search engine developments over the last year or so have focused on enhancing online shopping searches as well as improving searches of news content, travel information, local resources, blogs, and books. Recently, a small start-up company called blinkx (which has offered a Web search tool) has introduced what it says is the first search engine for television content. blinkx TV (http://www.blinkx.tv) captures and indexes the video stream directly from TV and from the Web and then lets users search and access news, movie trailers, popular multimedia segments, and other video formats on demand. It uses speech recognition technology to create the searchable transcripts.
blinkx TV allows users to search for television video and audio clips by using standard keyword and Boolean queries, but also by using a conceptual search technology that infers the intent of the search. blinkx says its search engine uses patented context-clustering technology (CCT) to overcome the shortcomings of keyword search technologies and to understand the ideas and context behind the words.
Search results include a source, date and time, excerpt, and URL. Clicking on the source provides a pop-up window with the video playing. blinkx TV also includes "smart folders" that automatically update their content as new information becomes available.
Video sources indexed by blinkx include Fox News, CNN, BBC News, Bloomberg Television, the major networks, Biography, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and more. The name "blinkx TV" actually seems a bit limiting, since the blinkx engine also searches radio content from sources like NPR, the BBC, and Voice of America.
blinkx founder Suranga Chandratillake, who was formerly with Autonomy, said: "blinkx TV fills the gap between the explosion of rich media content and the growing consumer interest in harnessing it. At blinkx we’ve recognized consumers’ needs and taken the search engine to a new level. Groundbreaking automatic transcription technology, which transcribes content straight from the cable box on-the-fly, or from video already stored on the Web, together with advanced phonetic matching speech recognition technology, automates the process of searching TV clips for the first time. After launching the world’s first Smart Folders and Implicit Query just weeks ago, we’re pleased to be bringing even more innovative functionality to our growing userbase."
Interestingly, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) noted that there could be some intellectual property issues in what blinkx TV is doing. In a Dec. 16 article, WSJ reported that blinkx had an agreement to digitize and search all Fox News Channel broadcasts, but did not have authorization from CNN, which limits online access to its video clips to subscribers. Executives at blinkx reportedly acknowledged to the paper that they would need agreements with video content owners to expand the service, but they claimed that fair use permits blinkx to show clips of up to 30 seconds.
Along with desktop search tools, video search seems to be the current darling of the search world—thanks to recent advances in transcription technology and the growing adoption of broadband. Yahoo! recently introduced a video search engine in beta, which crawls the Web for video files (http://video.search.yahoo.com). CNET reported that Google is recording and indexing TV programming to make shows searchable online and that Microsoft is also developing a search engine for video. Of course, most of the focus of these initiatives is for consumer and entertainment purposes, but the tools could also be useful for business and professional applications.
Analysts from Outsell commented: "We expect this to go the way of other innovations in search: it will be a little clunky at first and you won’t know what to expect in your search results, but the next thing you know you won’t be able to live without it. All these new developments are testimony to the search players’ willingness to experiment and test the waters with an eager and forgiving user base."
A representative of blinkx boasted that it "continues to out-innovate, and preempt Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!," because blinkx TV handles both Web-based content and direct feeds, while "Google is still only talking about searching video that is already on the Internet." In addition, the contextual search capability of blinkx can "infer from the content on a user’s screen whether to retrieve information on Apollo the space program, Apollo the Greek god, or the Apollo theater in London."
blinkx was founded in 2003 and launched its Web search tool in July 2004. The free downloadable tool (http://www.blinkx.com) searches Web resources, including audio and video sources, blogs, and e-mail and files on a user’s local hard drive.
Finally, as I was writing this, I stumbled onto a BusinessWeek Online article about a further impetus for the growing video phenomenon—video blogs, or what some call vlogs. Just when you think you’re caught up with the latest on blogs, RSS, and other stuff in the Web world, another technology emerges, ripe for development.
Paula J. Hane is Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a complete listing of previous NewsBreaks visit the Information Today, Inc. Web site at http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks.
NewsBreaks for Monday, January 3, 2005
Wrapping Up 2004; Looking Forward
It’s a contemplative time of the
year. If you send out one of those traditional Christmas or New Year’s
letters to family and friends, you’ve reviewed the good and bad occurrences
in your life and decided what you wanted to include. It’s generally time
to take stock of what we’ve achieved and to look forward to goals for the
new year. The media outlets tell us what have been the hot stories, topics,
and trends of the year, while the search engines report on the most popular
search terms. It’s also the time when the pundits take a stab at what they
think will happen or what will be the hot trends.
Google’s Library Project: Questions,
Librarians, academicians, journalists,
information industry pundits, and real people continue to ring in with
comments, concerns, quarrels, and commendations for Google’s new library
program. “This is the day the world changes,” said John Wilkin, a University
of Michigan librarian working with Google. “It will be disruptive because
some people will worry that this is the beginning of the end of libraries.
But this is something we have to do to revitalize the profession and make
it more meaningful.” When asked whether Google is building the library
to replace all other libraries, Google representatives—after saluting the
role of librarians—said they had “no such plans at the moment. There was
too much work to do.”
NewsBreaks Weekly News Digest
Bacon’s to Monitor Blog Content
Thomson Financial Adds 12 New
Factiva to Deploy FAST Data Search
5) FEATURED ARTICLES
For full-text coverage of the following articles please use the hotlinks provided.
A serial entrepreneur remarkable
for being one of the few remaining innovators in the STM publishing industry,
Vitek Tracz, chairman of the London-based Current Science Group, has, over
the years, created a series of mold-breaking businesses under the Current
Science Group umbrella, including Gower Medical Publishing, Current Drugs,
and the Current Opinion series of journals. Convinced that all research
must ultimately be freely available on the Web, Tracz has become a powerful
advocate for open access. He was a key player in the development of PubMed
Central, NIH's free literature repository, and, in 1998, he founded the
first open access publisher, BioMed Central. Tracz discusses his successes
in publishing and the future of open access.
It is always a guessing game as to
which online technologies and products will succeed and which will fail.
As an ONLINE columnist, I constantly watch the various Internet-related
news that I think might be of interest to information professionals. The
latest public relations campaign for any commercial product (and even many
free ones) tends to overstate the impact and promise not-quite-yet released
features. This month I am revisiting a variety of technologies from previous
columns to see which have changed my online habits and which have not.
>From browsers to toolbars to bookmarklets to RSS, technologies on the Web
can alter the way in which we interact with that huge information space
we call the Web.
COMPUTERS IN LIBRARIES
If you really want to know what your
users are doing and which of your sites they're accessing, you can track
their electronic movements via logs from your Web servers. If you don't
want to pay for an off-the-shelf package, you can read about how this author
adapted an open source tool instead.
In this final installment of her
three-part series on safety, Barbie Keiser provides resources for serving
the segments of the population in most need of protection and help—the
victims of abuse among the elderly, the young, the physically impaired,
and animals. Maltreatment can include a range of physical abuses, including
sexual, as well as psychological/emotional abuse. This final installment
of "Safety First" will deal with the types of abuse, mechanisms for reporting
abuse, legal and medical remedies for both victims and abusers, and specific
settings and locales where such abuses occur with alarming frequency.
As the Web continues to develop and
faster Internet access becomes available to more individuals, the likelihood
of Web-based programs replacing CD-ROMs is becoming more and more real.
Subscription Web sites offer a host of administrative and communications
features for educators. Homework can be assigned or created online. A number
of Web-based systems facilitate communication between home and school.
Expensive resources can be conserved with electronic files in place of
paper copies, eliminating a lot of record-keeping headaches. This article
is intended to provide a quick first look at a representative sampling
of the current crop of subscription Web sites. It would be impossible to
take a look at every Web site of merit within the confines of these pages.
This overview is intended as a starting place as you consider ways to use
subscription Web sites in your school.
Cookie. You wouldn't think a computer
tool with such a playful-sounding name would create the fear that it does.
But these tiny Web-browser helpers are an example of how the useful can
get tossed in with the dangerous through the hysteria brought about by
the real threats of computer viruses, hacking, spyware, spam, and phishing.
So, what exactly are cookies, and are they really worth getting worked
up over? Read on and find out.
6) CONFERENCE CONNECTION
Get the latest event information available for the library and information fields in the Conference Connection. The Conference Report/Update gives you an inside look at the most recent information industry events, while the Conference Calendar is updated monthly to provide you with important contact information for up-and-coming industry events.
Celebrate CIL's 20th Anniversary
January 3-6: HAWAII INTERNATIONAL
CONFERENCE ON SYSTEM SCIENCES, Hawaii
January 11-14 ASSOCIATION FOR LIBRARY
AND INFORMATION SCIENCE EDUCATION (ALISE) NATIONAL CONFERENCE, Boston,
January 14-19 AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
(ALA) MIDWINTER MEETING, Boston, MA
January 26-29 SPECIAL LIBRARIES ASSOCIATION (SLA) WINTER MEETING, Tampa, FL Contact: http://www.sla.org
January 26-28 FLORIDA EDUCATIONAL
TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE (FETC) 2004, Orlando, FL
For the complete
Conference Calendar visit http://www.infotoday.com/calendar.shtml
Best Technology Practices in Higher Education
Edited by Les Lloyd
"This book is a must for anyone in academia interested in how technology impacts institutional performance. It is a truly useful tool for both strategic thinking and daily decision-making." —Matt Certo, President & CEO, WebSolvers, Inc.
A handful of progressive teachers and administrators are integrating technology in new and creative ways at their colleges and universities, raising the bar for all schools. In his latest book, editor Les Lloyd (Teaching with Technology) has sought out the most innovative and practical examples in a range of key application areas, bringing together more than 30 technology leaders to share their success stories. The book’s 18 chapters include firsthand accounts of school technology projects that have transformed classrooms, services, and administrative operations. Best Technology Practices in Higher Education is an invaluable resource for technology and information staff, and for provosts and presidents who need to gauge how their schools stack up and to challenge staff to embrace the best that new technology has to offer.
January 2005/256 pp/hardbound
To purchase this title, please go
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