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Weekly News Digest

November 19, 2009 — 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 ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Nstein Launches New Semantic Site Search

Nstein Technologies, Inc. (www.nstein.com) announced the release of a new product, Semantic Site Search (3S), a front-end, multi-index search engine. 3S leverages Nstein's patented text-mining technology to power a faceted site search that returns highly accurate results that are organized categorically.

Nstein CTO Jean-Michel Texier says, "Standard, statistical site search often doesn't give users the results they are looking for. Matching simple keywords against hundreds of thousands of documents sometimes returns a lot of irrelevant results. 3S provides an entirely different experience."

3S can ingest content from many different indexes from many different web publishing platforms, meaning it indexes material across multiple properties. It then applies Nstein's patented semantic enrichment process to it. 3S's embedded Text Mining Engine (TME) identifies concepts, categories, proper names, places, organizations, sentiment, and topics (in particular, content pieces) and then annotates those documents, creating a semantic fingerprint that exposes underlying nuances and meaning in content.

3S is also highly configurable and customizable. It has a visual interface that allows administrators to tweak search sensitivity algorithms without having to modify hard code. 3S comes bundled with front-end widgets designed to improve the search experience. Widgets can be used to point users to "similar content," "most recent content," or virtually any other identifying characteristic of content that one wants to promote. Using widgets and the powerful templating engine, integrators can quickly build complex search-based mashups, across indexes.

Source: Nstein Technologies, Inc.

FTC Holding Workshops on Journalism in the Age of the Internet

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold 2 days of workshops on Dec. 1 and 2, 2009, in Washington, D.C., to explore how the internet has affected journalism. The event is free and open to the public. For information, visit www.ftc.gov/opp/workshops/news/index.shtml. A webcast will also be available at http://htc-01.media.globix.net/COMP008760MOD1/ftc_web/FTCindex.html.

The workshop will assemble representatives from print, online, broadcast, and cable news organizations; academics; consumer advocates; bloggers; and other new media representatives. The questions and issues for discussion are listed in a Federal Register notice at www.ftc.gov/os/2009/09/090930mediaworkshopnotice.pdf.

Some questions to be addressed in the workshops include the following:

  • How is the internet changing the way consumers access news and how are advertising dollars spent?
  • What economic challenges do news organizations face today?
  • What cost-cutting measures have news organizations considered? Which have they adopted, and how have they affected the provision of news to consumers?
  • What collaborations are news organizations undertaking or considering to deal with financial challenges brought about by the internet?
    How is the internet changing the way news organizations and others research, write, edit, produce, and distribute news?
    What innovative forms of journalism have emerged due to the internet?
  • What are the business models, including the revenue sources, for journalism on the internet?
    How are news organizations likely to compete for audiences and advertising in the future?
  • Are new or changed government policies needed to support optimal amounts and types of journalism, including public affairs coverage?
  • Should the tax code be modified to provide special status or tax breaks to all or certain types of news organizations?
  • Do current U.S. copyright protections provide enough incentive to create news content?
    Should the federal government provide additional funding for news organizations?

Source: FTC

Serials Solutions Announces New Ebooks Metadata Normalization Process

Serials Solutions (www.serialssolutions.com), a division of ProQuest, LLC (www.proquest.com), announced the development of a new ebooks metadata normalization process for Serials Solutions KnowledgeWorks, its e-resource knowledgebase. It is designed to provide more accurate and consistent ebooks holdings information to improve access and management of ebooks.

To enable normalization of ebooks metadata, Serials Solutions metadata librarians have developed algorithms that efficiently aggregate and authoritatively link data from all available sources. For each ebook in the library's collection, KnowledgeWorks aggregates holdings data from all subscribed databases and normalizes them into a single record. This makes it easier for patrons to find and access the ebooks in the collection, thereby increasing usage and return on investment in ebooks content.

Serials Solutions acquires ebooks metadata from all available resources without preference or exclusion. This comprehensive approach means that Serials Solutions services provide the broadest collection coverage for libraries of all types and sizes. Ebook records harvested by Serials Solutions populate the Serials Solutions KnowledgeWorks knowledgebase and are distributed to patrons through the patron-facing interfaces of Serials Solutions 360 access services and the library's OPAC via 360 MARC Updates. Each Serials Solutions 360 service shares the same KnowledgeWorks data and administrative interface to eliminate redundancy and to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of each service. The new ebooks normalization process will be implemented and available in Serials Solutions KnowledgeWorks knowledgebase in January 2010.

Source: Serials Solutions

Hooverís Integrates Jigsaw Contact Information Into ConnectMail

Hoover's, Inc. (www.hoovers.com) and Jigsaw (www.jigsaw.com) announced the integration of Jigsaw contact information into Hoover's ConnectMail. Available as a subscription add-on, Hoover's ConnectMail, now powered by Jigsaw, gives Hoover's subscribers access to an additional 7.5 million contacts generated from Jigsaw's community.

Hoover's ConnectMail powered by Jigsaw is designed to provide customers the fastest path to the right decision makers via immediate access to actionable, quality contact data, including email addresses and direct phone numbers for key business professionals. In addition, the product features new technology that allows users to select desired decision makers directly from Hoover's database and maintain a customized "My Contacts" list.

Other benefits of Hoover's ConnectMail powered by Jigsaw include the following:

  • Unlimited use of contact emails for a fixed price
  • Access to contact information that is constantly updated by a community of more than 1 million active Jigsaw community members
  • The ability to purchase large quantities of contacts-up to 450,000-at one time
  • The ability to build and download decision makers into a .csv file for bulk emailing or uploading into CRM systems

Source: Hoover's, Inc.

International Activists Launch New Copyright Watch Website

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF; www.eff.org), Electronic Information for Libraries (www.eIFL.net), and other international copyright experts joined together to launch Copyright Watch-a public website created to centralize resources on national copyright laws at www.copyright-watch.org. Funding to create Copyright Watch was generously provided by the Open Society Institute (www.soros.org).

Copyright Watch claims to be the first comprehensive and up-to-date online repository of national copyright laws. To find links to national and regional copyright laws, users can choose a continent or search using a country name. The site will be updated over time to include proposed amendments to laws, as well as commentary and context from national copyright experts. Copyright Watch will help document how legislators around the world are coping with the challenges of new technology and new business models.

"Balanced and well-calibrated copyright laws are extremely important in our global information society," said Gwen Hinze, international policy director at EFF. "Small shifts in the balance between the rights of copyright owners and the limitations and exceptions relied on by those who use copyrighted content can destroy or enable business models, criminalize or liberate free expression and everyday behavior, and support the development of new technologies that facilitate access to knowledge for all the world's citizens. We hope that Copyright Watch will encourage comparative research and help to highlight more and less flexible copyright regimes."

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation

NewspaperDirect Launches PressReader for Smartphones

NewspaperDirect, Inc., a provider of multichannel newspaper and magazine content distribution and monetization, has launched iPhone and BlackBerry versions of its PressReader application. The move significantly expands the audience of full-content newspapers and magazines for NewspaperDirect's publishing partners, and it lets millions of owners of the two most popular smartphones download their favorite daily read from a selection of more than 1,300 newspapers and magazines available on PressDisplay.com, an online newspaper kiosk. The new PressReader applications are free and available for immediate download from Apple's iTunes App Store (www.apple.com/itunes) and RIM's BlackBerry App World (http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/3719).

PressReader lets users view offline the hundreds of publications available on PressDisplay.com, in a convenient, portable format. PressReader presents publications as full-content digital replicas in their original layout. Every article, advertisement, crossword puzzle, and cartoon is presented in its original context in the paper; users have the ability to instantly zoom in on any element. PressReader offers rich-graphics or text-only viewing options, an interactive table of contents, cross-title searching, sharing of articles, and live, clickable elements such as URLs, telephone numbers, email addresses, and hyperlinks to other articles.

Source: NewspaperDirect, Inc.



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