|Weekly News Digest
March 27, 2008 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.
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Yahoo! Joins Google and MySpace in Supporting OpenSocial
Yahoo!, MySpace (owned by News Corp.), and Google announced they have agreed to form the OpenSocial Foundation to ensure the neutrality and longevity of OpenSocial as an open, community-governed specification for building social applications across the web. Yahoo!’s support of OpenSocial and role as a founding member of the new foundation are claimed to be landmarks for the rapidly growing specification, which will now offer developers the potential to connect with more than 500 million people worldwide. Yahoo!’s support builds on similar efforts with the OpenID community and will expand the opportunity for developers and publishers to benefit from an open and increasingly social web.
The OpenSocial Foundation will be an independent nonprofit entity with a formal intellectual property and governance framework. Related assets will be assigned to the new organization by July 1, 2008. The foundation will provide transparency and operational guidelines around technology, documentation, intellectual property, and other issues related to the evolution of the OpenSocial platform, while also ensuring all stakeholders share influence over its future direction.
The OpenSocial Foundation website at www.opensocial.org will serve as the portal for the community to find all information about OpenSocial and the foundation as they evolve. Developers and website owners can find the latest specifications, links to other resources, and the opportunity to get involved. Engineers from Yahoo!, MySpace, and Google will continue to work together and with the OpenSocial community to further advance the specification through the new foundation, continuing several core elements of OpenSocial since its announcement by Google, MySpace, and many others in November 2007:
- All specifications are available under a Creative Commons copyright license
- Public community involvement shapes the specification’s direction
- An open source reference implementation called Shindig is being created and developed as a project in the Apache Software Foundation incubator, available at http://incubator.apache.org/shindig
SAS Adds Linguistic Technologies With Acquisition of Teragram
SAS (www.sas.com), a business intelligence (BI) and advanced analytics provider, acquired privately held Teragram (www.teragram.com), a provider of natural-language processing (NLP) and advanced linguistic technologies. The acquisition is designed to enhance SAS’ own text mining and analytical BI offerings and extend them to enterprise and mobile search.
Teragram, a 40-person firm headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., will be run as an SAS company. Terms of the acquisition deal were not disclosed. Teragram’s NLP technology is well-established, with a customer base including CNN, Forbes.com, NYTimes Digital, Sony, WashingtonPost.com, Wolters Kluwer, the World Bank, and Yahoo!.
Teragram’s NLP technologies help turn text (in many languages and from many sources) into useable information. NLP enables richer data processing at the level of words, linguistic relations, and word meanings. Teragram has developed and maintains large annotated dictionaries containing several hundred million words in more than 30 languages. Teragram’s categorization technologies provide instant, advanced classification of documents according to custom criteria, applied throughout the organization. For enterprise search, Teragram’s NLP technologies scan structured corporate databases and unstructured sources including text-based reports and webpages to provide comprehensive answers from these multiple information sources.
Source: SAS Institute, Inc.
Follett Corp. Acquires Fourteen40 and Its CaféScribe Site
Follett Corp. (www.follett.com) announced the acquisition of technology firm Fourteen40, Inc., a provider of Web 2.0 social networking for collaborative learning. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition includes Fourteen40’s social networking solution called CaféScribe (www.cafescribe.com), an online site at which students can browse, purchase, and download ebooks that they need for class.
Once an ebook is downloaded, the students use a digital content reader called MyScribe to read and annotate the ebook, search the internet, and share notes with others as they study. The social networking tools within CaféScribe give students the option to invite others into the virtual equivalent of study groups. Follett and Fourteen40 successfully piloted CaféScribe at a number of universities and community colleges last semester. Fourteen40 will be integrated within Follett Digital Resources, which supports all Follett businesses as the source of digital content and media for customers.
Follett Corp. is a $2.3 billion, privately held company that provides products, services, and solutions to the educational marketplace. Follett is a provider of library materials and library technology to K–12 schools, the operator of college bookstores, and a distributor of textbooks to institutions at all levels of education. Follett Corp. was founded in 1873 and is headquartered in River Grove, Ill. Fourteen40, Inc., based in Salt Lake City, derives its name from the year 1440 when Gutenberg invented the printing press.
Source: Follett Corp.
MetaCarta Introduces GeoSearch News
MetaCarta, Inc. (www.metacarta.com), a provider of geographic search and referencing solutions, announced GeoSearch News (http://geosearch.metacarta.com), a geographic search engine that displays current news on a map. GeoSearch News indexes a collection of more than 1,400 national, international, and local news sources every hour in addition to direct feeds from the Associated Press and Reuters.
GeoSearch News is designed to help consumers who may be investigating a real estate purchase or planning to travel or news junkies who are looking for local and worldwide coverage. Real estate buyers can discover what is happening in their targeted neighborhoods by searching for crime reports, editorial opinions, community news, and local events. Travelers can learn about current happenings at their destination that can enhance their trips (e.g., new museum exhibit openings) or learn of events that may interrupt their travel plans (e.g., transportation strikes, environmental issues, or political unrest). News junkies can gain a broader perspective and opinion on news without having to visit multiple sites.
GeoSearch News lets users specify their place of interest by entering a place name in a text box or panning/zooming a map to a desired place or region. Users can refine their search by simply repositioning the map. Search results are presented in order of relevance as determined by a combination of keyword(s) and the specified geography.
Founded by a team of MIT researchers in 2001, MetaCarta is privately held, with headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.; offices in Vienna, Va., and Houston; and resellers worldwide. MetaCarta also offers a NewsMap service, a hosted service that allows online media outlets to display maps that show the places mentioned in their news stories. Reuters was the first media company to use MetaCarta’s NewsMap service, deploying it in December 2007 on Reuters.com.
Source: MetaCarta, Inc.
Collexis Enhances BioMedExperts.com Site
Collexis Holdings, Inc. (www.collexis.com) announced website enhancements to BioMedExperts.com, an online social network that promotes global collaborative medical research and development. New features include expansion of available publication data dating from 1980 (1996 in version 1.0), a new directory of more than 1,800 organizations and institutions from 137 countries, and improved features to identify and invite colleagues into a network.
Collexis launched BioMedExperts.com in January 2008 to facilitate collaboration and to increase biomedical research among healthcare and life sciences professionals. With 1.4 million pre-generated researcher profiles with pre-established network connections from more than 120 countries, BioMedExperts.com is designed to help users connect with each other, free of charge, through the display and analysis of the networks of co-authors with whom each investigator works to publish scientific papers.
The initiative is the result of an agreement in which Collexis developed the knowledge-discovery solutions and text-mining applications for BioMedExperts and Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences provided the hardware and continued marketing support for the site. Additional enhancements are planned over the next 3 months so that users may continue to grow their professional networks, identify researchers with necessary expertise for future collaboration, and analyze the profiles and published research of scientists across the globe.
Source: Collexis Holdings, Inc.
Wolper and TDNet Form Strategic Alliance
Wolper Subscription Services (www.wolper.com) and TDNet (www.tdnet.com), a provider of ejournal/book access and management tools, announced an exclusive partnership designed to provide a one-stop solution that reduces cost and complexity and improves productivity for libraries and managers of corporate knowledge and information bases. The companies have similar customer bases and related needs. Existing Wolper customers and new prospects alike will now be able to consolidate their subscription ordering and collection building, using Wolper as their hub for all electronic ordering, access, and e-resource management, along with the more traditional print business.
Wolper Subscription Services, based in Easton, Pa., is certified 100% woman-owned and has a 30-year track record with Fortune 500 and other corporate, government, and library customers. The company’s serials management enables 24/7 access to more than 270,000 titles and point-and-click account management.
TDNet develops and markets advanced solutions for managing and accessing external and internal e-resources of institutions. All products are customized to requirements intending to minimize a library’s workload while allowing numerous benefits to users. Key partnerships with industry leaders complement TDNet’s fully integrated suite of services: Searcher Analyzer federated search service, full-text TOUResolver, Journal Manager, Holdings Manager, and the newly released eBook Manager.
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