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e-Europe Net initiative

A European Commission initiative known as eEurope aims to create a digitally literate and socially inclusive Europe by getting every individual and business organization on the continent connected to the Internet. This will be achieved by focusing on ten priority issues, which include facilitating e-commerce and smart cards, ensuring access to the Internet for the disabled and those in education and using technology to improve healthcare and transport services. The Commission advocates cheaper access rates, more risk capital for new technology businesses and the provision of all government-related information online. The eEurope plans are to be set in motion during the Portuguese presidency of the European Union, which began in January 2000.

Source: NUA Internet Surveys

Portals go vertical

Search engine companies have been busily transforming themselves into portals, but Lycos wants to be a great destination. “Destination content is where it’s at,” says Lycos executive vice president Ron Sege. Accordingly, the company is launching a series of verticals, or areas of deep content, that will keep users on the Lycos site rather than shooting off someplace else. The company has debuted Lycos Music and is planning new verticals in gaming and investing following Lycos’ recent purchase of Gamesville and Quote.com.

Source: NewsScan Daily

Me and my shadows

Montreal software company Zero-Knowledge Systems is marketing software that allows a person to use five different anonymous and untraceable identities on the Internet, preventing companies or agencies from using technology to track people’s buying habits or other personal information. While such software makes it a little more difficult to trace wrongdoers, Zero-Knowledge says that spammers will not be aided by their technology because a user of the software will be able to send only a small number of anonymous email messages.

Source: NewsScan Daily

Intel inside Web appliances

Intel Corp. is planning a new line of simple-to-use consumer Web appliances based on its Celeron microprocessors. The appliances will run on Linux operating system software, and are expected to incorporate hard drives for storage and speedy Internet access via ADSL or cable modem. Targeted at very specific tasks such as email retrieval or online shopping, the devices will likely be provided free with a subscription service linked to their function, such as home shopping or online banking. The first models are expected mid-2000, and will integrate Internet access with telephony features such as call management, email and fax capability.

Source: NewsScan Daily

Scholarly publishers unite

Twelve of the world’s top scholarly publishers have announced that they will collaborate to supply Web-based full text delivery of articles cited in each other’s publications. The reference-linking service, scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2000, will let researchers viewing electronic articles on one Web site move easily from a reference or footnote to an article appearing on another publisher’s Web site. Some issues remain unresolved, such as opening the service to secondary publishers’ abstracting services, authentication technicalities and, of course, pricing and access options.

Source: Information Today

E-commerce principles vs. caveat emptor

A set of principles for the protection of consumers shopping online has been developed by a working group of Canadian business and consumer organizations and government officials. Titled Principles for consumer protection in electronic commerce — a Canadian framework, the principles set a benchmark for consumer protection on the Internet and are intended to provide guidance to business, consumers and governments as they adapt to the use of online transactions. The Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP) and the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) have Codes of Conduct consistent with the Principles.

Source: Press release

From p-books to e-books

Microsoft and Barnesandnoble.com have unveiled a plan to sell paper-free books that can be read on personal computers and handheld devices. Under their e-book initiative, barnesand noble.com’s customers will soon be able to buy and read thousands of titles using Microsoft Reader, a free software application designed to deliver a clear and customizable on-screen computer reading experience rivaling that of traditional paper-based text. Barnesandnoble.com will create the Microsoft Reader eBook store on its Web site by mid-2000, and Barnes & Noble will promote the books and sell the reading devices at its locations. In the first few years, books will be predominately transferred over the Web to PCs and laptops.

Source: Wired News

Clare Hart appointed president and CEO of Factiva

Factiva has announced that Clare Hart, formerly vice president and director of global sales, has been named the company’s president and chief executive officer. Under her leadership, Factiva will continue to support Reuters Business Briefing and Dow Jones Interactive as well as the development of Factiva-branded products, including a newdot com product and content integration tools.

Hart has been a member of Factiva’s leadership team since the new company’s inception in May 1999. Prior to joining Factiva, she worked since 1983 in a series of sales, marketing, technical and product senior management posts at what is now Dow Jones Interactive Publishing. She played key roles in the development of information services for the corporate market, including DowVision and Dow Jones News/Retrieval, the predecessor products of Dow Jones Interactive, and was instrumental in the market-transforming effort to move Dow Jones Interactive to the World Wide Web.

Hart replaces Timothy M. Andrews who resigned to head up IndustryClick.com, asubsidiary of Primedia.

Visit www.factiva.com

Source: Press release

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