|Weekly News Digest
May 22, 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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Microsoft Live Search Offers Cashback Rewards
Microsoft Corp. (www.microsoft.com) announced it will offer ad-funded cash rebates to customers who find and purchase their favorite products through a new program called Microsoft Live Search cashback. Key partners including eBay, BarnesandNoble.com, Overstock.com, Sears, Zappos.com, and WPP joined Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates at advance08, Microsoft’s annual advertising customer event, to announce their participation in the new program.
The complete Live Search cashback product portfolio includes more than 10 million product offers from more than 700 merchants, including more than 13 of the top 40 U.S. retailers. The company also announced it has delivered a new Live Search travel destination, Live Search Farecast, making it easy for searchers to find the best travel deals on the web.
Microsoft says the announcements of Live Search cashback and Live Search Farecast signify that commerce queries will be the first of four tasks on which the company will focus. As part of this "Commercial Search" strategy, Microsoft aims to make Live Search the premier search engine for the growing category of search queries that help consumers conduct research and purchase goods or services—those that are critical to merchants aiming to drive online sales of their products.
Live Search cashback, built on technology and partnerships acquired through Microsoft’s October 2007 purchase of comparison shopping site Jellyfish, launched online at www.live.com/cashback. Customers sign up for a Live Search cashback account at the time of their first purchase, accrue ad-funded rebates in their accounts each time they purchase products in the Live Search cashback program, and receive their rebates in their cashback accounts directly from Microsoft 60 days after completing purchases.
The new Live Search Farecast includes technology acquired through Microsoft’s April 2008 acquisition of Farecast, Inc., the travel site known for helping users find the lowest airfares by predicting when to buy. Live Search Farecast results can be found at http://farecast.live.com and via Instant Answers in the main Live Search results page. Microsoft will explore the possibility of also incorporating an ad-funded rebate option for travel services in the future.
Source: Microsoft Corp.
CBS Corp. to Acquire CNET Networks, Inc.
CBS Corp. (www.cbscorporation.com) has entered into an agreement to acquire CNET Networks, Inc. (www.cnet.com). Under the terms of the agreement, CBS will make a cash tender offer for all issued and outstanding shares of CNET Networks for $11.50 per share, representing an equity value of approximately $1.8 billion. The companies say the acquisition will make CBS one of the 10 most popular internet companies in the U.S., with a combined 54 million unique users per month and approximately 200 million users worldwide.
Based in San Francisco, CNET Networks owns many entertainment, news, and information sites including CNET, ZDNet, GameSpot.com, TV.com, mp3.com, CNET news.com, UrbanBaby, CHOW, Search.com, BNET, MySimon, and TechRepublic. The company, which reported significant profits in 2007 on revenues of $406 million, has a large international footprint, particularly in China.
Upon closing, CNET Networks’ sites will be combined with CBS’s stable of interactive businesses. These include CBS.com, CBSSports.com, CBSCollegeSports.com, MaxPreps.com, CBSNews.com, last.fm, Wallstrip, MobLogic, CBS Radio and CBS Television Stations digital media platforms, and the distribution network of the CBS Audience Network, which is made up of more than 300 partner websites and is said to reach 82% of all online users in the U.S.
The board of directors of CNET Networks has unanimously approved the merger agreement and unanimously recommends that CNET Networks stockholders accept the tender offer and tender their shares. The transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.
Source: CBS Corp.
Engineering Village Mashes Up GeoRef and Google Maps
Engineering Village (www.engineeringvillage.com), an Elsevier online search platform that provides database content and analysis for engineering researchers, announced the addition of the American Geological Institute’s GeoRef database to its content offerings. In addition, the new GeoRef database and Engineering Village’s existing GeoBase database have both been "mashed up" with Google Maps to create a unique results mapping tool.
The additions optimize geosciences research by plotting geographic locations that are included in GeoRef and GeoBase search results on a digital map to show at-a-glance the areas of the world associated with a specific research topic. By providing a powerful visualization of results, Engineering Village gives users an alternate way to extract value from information.
GeoRef provides Engineering Village with a comprehensive, in-depth history of geology and its subfields, featuring more than 2.9 million records of geosciences literature. Its coverage of North American geology dates back to 1785 and that of international geology dates back to 1933; referencing scholarly journals, books, maps, conference papers, reports, and theses. GeoRef compliments GeoBase, which is a multidisciplinary database supplying bibliographic information and abstracts for the earth sciences, including human geography, physical geography, environmental science, geology, and oceanography.
Using Google Maps, search results from these two databases can be easily navigated by zooming in, zooming out, moving around, or rolling over an icon to find out which location it represents and how many records are associated with that location.
Source: Engineering Village
IGI Global Launches InfoSci-Medical Database
IGI Global (www.igi-global.com), a publisher of scholarly computer science and information technology management research, is launching a new database covering innovations in biomedical informatics and healthcare technology. InfoSci-Medical (www.infosci-medical.com) is designed to meet a need for authoritative research to help organizations understand and fully benefit from the rapidly expanding role of technology in basic research, medical education, clinical practice, and healthcare delivery and management, across all sectors of the biomedical and healthcare industries.
Delivering full-text studies selected for their relevance to biomedical informatics and healthcare technology from IGI Global’s peer-reviewed journals, scholarly books, and reference works, InfoSci-Medical covers a range of topics such as clinical knowledge management; medical informatics and nursing; robotics in healthcare and medicine; technologies for dentistry; telemedicine and healthcare delivery to rural areas; and hundreds of other issues.
InfoSci-Medical is updated continuously with new content and is available for unlimited, site-licensed access under annual subscription and one-time fee models (contact IGI Global at firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing information).
Source: IGI Global
Vivísimo Launches New Velocity Discovery Module
Vivísimo (www.vivisimo.com), a provider of enterprise search software and expertise, launched the Velocity Discovery Module, an addition to the Vivísimo Velocity Search Platform that expands the ability of organizations to quickly and automatically classify all data by topics and themes. The new module also adds improved collaboration tools that speed the process of accessing, reviewing, and sharing search results.
The launch of Vivísimo Velocity 6.0 in 2007 delivered a key innovation of adding essential social software tools to enterprise search. The concept of social search includes such tools as document and keyword tagging, rating and annotation of documents and search terms, use of shared virtual folders and content mashups—all aimed at improving collaboration, innovation, and productivity in the enterprise.
Adding the Discovery Module to the Velocity platform is designed to strengthen search as the essential tool to drive innovation throughout the enterprise. Specific functionality allows for the rapid classification of all available data for quick insight into information themes and topics without ever entering a search query. The discovery module’s autoclassification feature uncovers data that managers may have lost or never known of to begin with—information that may be critical to their businesses. Vivísimo says it is the first to use clustering capabilities to produce a full autoclassification system on top of a search platform.
The new Discovery Module’s enhanced collaboration features of express tagging—the ability to quickly tag large groups of search results—and native document export empowers search users to add their own knowledge faster than ever and to disseminate value-added content in its native format to colleagues and partners alike. The ability to easily tag, collect, save, share, and archive documents by the thousands or millions through search queries enables powerful knowledge sharing throughout a company.
Source: Vivísimo, Inc.
Thomson Reuters Expands Japanese Patent Coverage in DWPI
Thomson Reuters (www.thomsonreuters.com) has further increased coverage of the growing patent activity in the Asia Pacific region with the addition of registered Japanese Utility Models in Derwent World Patents Index (DWPI). This is the latest addition to the DWPI database, with Chinese Utility Model Registrations added in October 2007.
Utility models are similar to patents, but they require a less stringent review process and offer a shorter protection period. Japanese Utility Models, which have a protection period of 10 years from the application date, tend to be used to seek protection for devices that have a short life cycle or for inventions that have a lower technological aspect when compared to a full patent. Approximately 150–200 utility models are published each week by the Japanese Patent Office (8,000 to 10,000 annually). Thomson Reuters says that more applications are filed in Japan than anywhere else in the world.
The English-translated Japanese Utility Models, beginning with records published on Jan. 10, 2008, are available in DWPI and Derwent World Patents Index First View. Unexamined applications and some granted Japanese patents are available within 6–10 days of publication. DWPI provides detailed, value-added titles and abstracts—in English—for patent documents issued in more than 30 languages.
Source: Thomson Reuters
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