Features

Thomas Edison conceptualized the moving picture more than a century ago. Since then “we’ve been refining . . . but not innovating it,” according to FrameFree Technologies president Tom Randolph. FrameFree Technologies plans to pick up where Edison left off with its May 15, 2006, launch of FrameFree Studio, digital imaging software that Randolph hopes will set new standards for ease of use, picture quality, and even bring motion to still images.
By - June 2006 Issue, Posted May 16, 2006
Basis Technology recently announced an initiative to create the next generation of digital forensics products. Basis Technology specializes in multilingual information retrieval, focusing on the problem of searching, sorting, classifying, and organizing information in many different languages. The company’s clients include Google, Microsoft, MSN Search, Yahoo!, AOL, and numerous others.
By - May 2006 Issue, Posted May 16, 2006
The infiltration of online communications technologies into the corporate training space has resulted in a new subset of elearning that promises quick, easy, and rich learning at lower costs. Now you don’t have to be rich (in money or technical skills) to create or benefit from rich learning.
By - May 2006 Issue, Posted May 09, 2006
As digital asset collections grow, it becomes increasingly important to build a digital asset management system (DAM) with strong classification, taxonomy, and search components to help you locate an asset whenever you need it. Yet digital assets present a unique search problem, requiring a strategy all its own.
By - May 2006 Issue, Posted May 02, 2006
Most companies start small, hoping to attract a bigger clientele as they grow. ClearStory is trying a different approach with its recent launch of ActiveMedia Essentials, a hosted, browser-based digital assets management package that targets smaller companies and departments that want to manage their digital media assets with the same security and usability that the major companies have come to expect from ClearStory’s ActiveMedia Enterprise software.
By - May 2006 Issue, Posted May 02, 2006
Baffled by the difference between .3gp, .3gp2, .avi, .dv, .mpg, .mpg4, .mov .mqv, .wmv, .asf? Hung up on how to upload these pesky digital video formats into your business Web site, blog, eBay account, or online store? Unsure whether your format plays nice with your customers’ preferred players? Well, the mystifying business of publishing digital video content online just got a whole lot easier.
By - May 2006 Issue, Posted May 01, 2006
The French minister of culture, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, has a growing controversy on his hands: the DADVSI law on copyright in the digital age. The most contentious aspect of the DADVSI law is the attempt to curb illegal downloading of music and movies via P2P programs through the use of Digital Rights Management (DRM). This has caused uproar amo486ng the Internet-using public and divided the governing political party representatives in the national assembly.
By - May 2006 Issue, Posted Apr 25, 2006
The recent proliferation of blogs and other “consumer-generated media” has had a major impact on our culture—affecting the way we get our news, entertain ourselves, and especially the way we do business. These days, smart companies need to equip themselves to track their corporate image online.
By - May 2006 Issue, Posted Apr 25, 2006
“The next generation was born digital,” according R.J. Pittman, CEO, president, director, and co-founder of Groxis, Inc., who gave the opening keynote at the 2006 annual NFAIS Conference in Philadelphia. The “next generation,” he describes, was raised communicating through cell phone, either voice or text messaging.
By - May 2006 Issue, Posted Apr 21, 2006
Information-security problems caused by metadata, like the Pentagon fiasco from last spring, are becoming a pressing issue for the government and many corporations, are concerned that may transform the way information is shared online. The National Security Agency (NSA)—charged with protecting U.S. government information systems and producing foreign signals intelligence
By - April 2006 Issue, Posted Apr 13, 2006
The “badware” problem—the plague of viruses, Trojan horses, worms, spyware, adware, and similar applications that hurt business and consumers alike—has become so pervasive that three major technology companies, two universities, and a consumer’s watchdog group have banded together in an attempt to deter these malicious software programs.
By - April 2006 Issue, Posted Apr 10, 2006
You can’t live forever, but thanks to a StoryBooth coming to a town near you, you might be able to live on in digital form (and even tell your grandkids what life was like before the Internet, though they might not believe you). StoryCorps, a national project designed to inspire people to record others’ stories, was formed to make digital recording accessible to the general public.
By - April 2006 Issue, Posted Apr 07, 2006
Welcome to an on-demand nation, an emerging Web where users don’t just demand content, they also define its value in unanticipated ways. From the simplest of Web Services, RSS, to advanced database publishing and even APIs that let users drill into your content repository, the emerging service orientation model argues that users not only provide the demand for content but also provide its value.
By - April 2006 Issue, Posted Apr 07, 2006
In an age when whole lives are lived online, people not only create content, they're building their own infrastructure for making it easier to find. The term folksonomy was coined to name the growing phenomenon of users generating metadata by tagging pieces of digital information with their own searchable keywords, a phenomenon picking up steam all over the Web.
By - April 2006 Issue, Posted Apr 03, 2006
For years, the ebook industry has been trying to bring ebooks into the mainstream, but hardware issues with the reader devices have held back widespread adoption. This could change this year when Sony debuts its reader featuring E Ink screen technology this Spring.
By - April 2006 Issue, Posted Mar 28, 2006
Rich Internet Applications increasingly provide access to applications of all sorts—from email to mission-critical ones—via Web interfaces. This article takes a look at the burgeoning Rich Internet Application (RIA) space and explores some of the reasons for its growing popularity.
By - April 2006 Issue, Posted Mar 27, 2006
With each emerging content type comes the ever-present need to help users find it. While text-based search has continued to evolve, effective tools for rich media are still nascent. For the Web’s hot content-type du jour, podcasting, search tools have only just started to appear, though this search niche is poised to heat up: Forrester Research predicts that 12.3 million U.S. households will listen to podcasts by decade’s end; the Diffusion Group estimates the U.S. podcast audience will be at 56 million by 2010.
By - March 2006 Issue, Posted Mar 16, 2006
Users taking control was the theme of this year’s Software Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) Summit held in New York City January 31 and February 1, 2006. However, another underlying current flowed through the event: a shift in the business model to leverage the appeal of free content.
By - April 2006 Issue, Posted Mar 15, 2006
DAM has experienced slower-than-expected growth, in part because of the perception that DAM limits access, rather than the reality—that it expands access. Effective strategies for implementing and using DAM are emerging, particularly in various vertical markets. Within verticals—regardless of differing needs and challenges—the demand for simplified, universal access drives adoption.
By - March 2006 Issue, Posted Mar 15, 2006
Promising to free users from the bondage of PCs and clunky headsets, Skype is bringing its signature voice over IP (VoIP) services—which let individuals and companies make cheap or free phone calls over the Internet—to the mobile space. To this end, Skype has teamed up with Netgear, a provider of networking products, to develop a family of new products, including the world’s first Skype wireless mobile phone.
By - March 2006 Issue, Posted Mar 09, 2006
In its earliest incarnation, elearning was viewed by businesses as a tool to provide basic education to employees, many of whom no longer occupied desks at the office. These days, however, executives expect elearning to do much more, including provide a potent way to help drive sales by leveraging it to educate every member of the value chain.
By - March 2006 Issue, Posted Mar 08, 2006
Long the bane of your inbox, spam has come to a blog near you. You may have already encountered a spam blog, though they often look exactly like the real thing: there’s an area at the end of each “post” for Comments, an Archived Blog section by month, a Recent Posts section, and some even include a BlogRoll so you can see who has viewed the blog. But that’s where the similarity to real blogs ends. The spam-esque content bears little resemblance to the insightful, edgy commentary associated with popular blogs. Spam blogs—or splogs—are comprised of the all-too-familiar content of spam email: porn links, mortgage offers, and drugs for sale.
By - March 2006 Issue, Posted Mar 03, 2006
Google co-founder Larry Page’s much ballyhooed unveiling of the Google Video Store made official the company’s plan to launch a video content marketplace. The announcement came in January at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas where über-geek Page’s keynote was punctuated by onstage banter with comedian Robin Williams and two-time NBA champion Kenny Smith. It wasn’t all fun and games though; Page’s announcement is big news for video content providers and consumers alike.
By - March 2006 Issue, Posted Mar 01, 2006
Now that we’re more than a decade into the widespread use of email, the platform may not be in crisis so much as awash in mid-life ennui, suffering from middle-age spread and lacking the motivation to fix itself. The real answer may lie in learning to go with, rather than curtail, the flow.
By - March 2006 Issue, Posted Mar 01, 2006
Think you are giving customers what they want? Not if they have to navigate through multiple menus and sift through search results to find it. And what if the customer isn’t entirely sure what she needs in the first place? If companies want to connect users with content, then they need to remove the pain from the discovery process and provide users with what they want—perhaps even before they know they need it.
By - January/February 2006 Issue, Posted Jan 20, 2006
A report from the Cutter Consortium, an IT advisory firm, says that the U.S. Patent Office should carefully re-examine its rules and regulations regarding software patents. Cutter believes the U.S. software patent scheme is “badly broken” and that, in light of the European Union’s ruling not to grant patents on software, it is time for the U.S. to give serious thought to revamping its patent system.
By - January/February 2006 Issue, Posted Jan 20, 2006
Twenty-first century business is transacted online—even the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has trouble getting people to read paper versions of corporate proxy statements in the econtent age. In a move to regain investors’ attention, a recently proposed SEC rule change would allow them to read and post proxy communications via the Web.
By - January/February 2006 Issue, Posted Jan 17, 2006
Consider for a moment how many visual cues you rely on when accessing a Web site. Without even thinking, your eyes quickly scan navigation menus, examine main headings, spy the search box, and skim over other links. Now imagine, if you can, what it would be like if you couldn’t use a mouse and needed to use only your keyboard to move around a Web site. It would be, as one Web accessibility expert put it, like looking at a Web site through a soda straw.
By - January/February 2006 Issue, Posted Jan 16, 2006
Ask fans of the dearly departed free file-swapping software Grokster—if digital content sounds too good to be true, or too cheap to be legal, it probably is. While building a free digital library might not seem like an audacious move at first glance, when three major Internet companies each aspire to create the biggest, most widely accessible library ever, copyright watchers the world over take notice.
By - January/February 2006 Issue, Posted Jan 13, 2006
At the local level, a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina can either stress libraries and schools or destroy them. While communities always seem to come together at trying times like these and find a way to go on, digital content now provides many organizations with a way to prepare for and contend with devastating events like these.
By - January/February 2006 Issue, Posted Jan 13, 2006
The question facing digital entertainment companies seems to have changed from Can we implement effective DRM? to Should we even try? The shift seemed inevitable to some as one digital or audio DRM scheme after the next was swiftly circumvented. However, while some software distributors began to view pass-along as an inevitable fact of the digital distribution universe—developing DRM models to enable and monetize file sharing—the entertainment industry has been slow to follow.
By - January/February 2006 Issue, Posted Jan 11, 2006
The EContent team suggests some sites, projects, and resources that—while outside the scope of the EContent 100 list—are well worth taking a closer look at.
By - December 2005 Issue, Posted Nov 16, 2005
Vasont Systems is releasing the newest version of its Vasont content management software at the Gilbane Conference in Boston this month. Vasont’s CMS is designed to enable users to manage, organize, and reuse content for multiple print, CD, wireless, and Web formats. In fact, Vasont boasts that its clients report 71% content reuse.
By - November 2005 Issue, Posted Nov 04, 2005
Trying to download the same song to your PC, MP3 player, and cell phone usually means downloading three different files from three different sources, thanks to the brand-exclusive DRMs that come with each individual digital content player. Sun Microsystems is trying to find a way to simplify that process with its Open Media Commons initiative, a cross-industry, open source project aimed at developing a royalty-free rights management standard for digital content.
By - November 2005 Issue, Posted Nov 01, 2005
In contrast to previous generations of technology that focused primarily on automating business processes within the organization largely to reduce cost, this new generation of technology will shift to amplifying the practices of people, especially as they seek to collaborate. This new breed of software—which includes collaborative workspaces, blogs, and wikis—allows companies and individuals to address unexpected challenges and opportunities.
By - November 2005 Issue, Posted Nov 01, 2005
RSS feeds offer a revolutionary way for Web publishers to reach their audience. Instead of relying on the mercurial nature of readers’ online viewing habits or the increasingly ineffective use of email to push content to users, RSS allows publishers to enable readers to pull fresh site content into a desktop RSS aggregator. Yet getting eyeballs on the content is only part of the equation—content providers are still seeking out the best way to monetize RSS feeds.
By - November 2005 Issue, Posted Nov 01, 2005
When you think of KM, you probably think of the corporate variety, but there is also a more personal type of knowledge management whereby individual workers try to keep track of the information they encounter in their daily work lives, and more importantly, make intelligent use of that information.
By - November 2005 Issue, Posted Nov 01, 2005
People archive all the time and don't even realize it, much less realize its value. For instance, a mother may want to have records about her son who recently enlisted in the Army. Her pride may cause her to keep track of his accomplishments, yet these records will take on profound importance if he loses his life fighting in Iraq. We often do not grasp the importance of archiving until a major event in history shows us why we should stay connected with the past.
By - November 2005 Issue, Posted Oct 28, 2005
So far, the big online search companies such as Yahoo!, MSN, and Google have been slow to answer, which has allowed smaller, more nimble companies like Technorati (the current leader), Daypop, Feedster, and IceRocket to gain a foothold in the market for blog search tools. It is a potential gold mine of a market for big and small companies alike.
By - November 2005 Issue, Posted Oct 25, 2005
Techno-geeks and futurists like George Lucas say that digital video-based “Digital Cinema” is superior to today’s standard film-based cinema. Many beg to differ, especially when it comes to image quality. Regardless of videophiles’ varying opinions on the appearance of Digital Cinema, the bottom line is the bottom line. If the distribution of feature movies to the world’s cinemaplexes (now done by shipping individual film prints to each theater) could transition to digital video file transfers, the cost savings for Hollywood and the rest of the world’s motion picture industry would be enormous—estimates vary from $900 million to $2.28 billion annually.
By - October 2005 Issue, Posted Oct 10, 2005
Why bother with all the issues of installation and upgrades, server maintenance and security, when for a fee, you could let the vendor take care of it all? However, hosted CMS is certainly not for everyone as—right or wrong—concerns about hosting linger.
By - October 2005 Issue, Posted Oct 10, 2005
The new wave of marketing professionals manages by the numbers, and technology companies have emerged to serve their needs. While the market is mostly fragmented into products that serve specific marketing niches, savvy marketers are increasingly leveraging content management tools to help them work more efficiently and effectively.
By - October 2005 Issue, Posted Oct 04, 2005
The peer-review process is part of the foundation on which academic publishing was built, and while Open Source publishing models are emerging along with alternative outlets for scholarly publication, it remains the most respected method for assessing the quality of published works. Venerable publisher Elsevier is no stranger to the traditions of scientific, medical, and technical publishing, but has not shied away from leveraging digital delivery options for its works. In November of last year, the company launched its Scopus project, which is a multidisciplinary navigation tool that contains records dating back to the mid 1960s.
By - October 2005 Issue, Posted Oct 04, 2005
If your cell phone knew what you were going to do at two o’clock, would that change how you planned your day? If your cell phone “predicted” correctly where you would be at a particular time of the week, how would you feel? No longer hypothetical situations, the Reality Mining experiment answers these questions.
By - October 2005 Issue, Posted Sep 28, 2005
After a decade of digital information overload—email, multimedia, and endless Web surfing—podcasting is starting to engage the enterprise because of its sheer simplicity. This is new technology that revives our appreciation of the oldest medium. Podcasting offers brief, regularly scheduled, and automated distribution of media that pokes through the digital noise with the most basic and compelling content delivery device of all, the human voice.
By - October 2005 Issue, Posted Sep 27, 2005
Cyberspace doesn’t give its travelers much room for reflection. Every day, millions of Web sites are updated, and older versions are erased from existence with the click of a button. Remember when Amazon.com sold only books? Or when WebCrawler ruled the search universe? The Wayback Machine does.
By - October 2005 Issue, Posted Sep 26, 2005
In July, RSS Investors, LP announced the creation of the first investment fund specializing in companies based on the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) family of standards and services. The fund, created by Jim Moore, John Palfrey, Richard Fishman, and Steve Smith and Tom Crowley (representing Ritchie Capital Management), will focus on supporting and nurturing the technologies and leaders who are championing RSS-related technologies, including news aggregation, blogs, and new classes of search engines.
By - September 2005 Issue, Posted Sep 16, 2005
With the increasing globalization of business and the sharing of information among companies, customers, and suppliers in far-flung parts of the world, protecting confidential information, not only within an enterprise, but also once it leaves, has become paramount. Take a look at the DRM providers vying to protect enterprise content.
By - September 2005 Issue, Posted Sep 16, 2005
Like most professions, the advent of digital content has affected the legal profession. It has changed the means and methods by which law firms, their clients, and the courts themselves must use, manage, and discover content.
By - September 2005 Issue, Posted Sep 09, 2005
The April announcement of a planned Adobe/Macromedia merger left some content creators in a lather, fearing that it would, at worst, blunt competition and inflate price tags on vital publishing and Web development tools, or at best, result in the most successful product in each space being simply integrated by its former competitor.
By - September 2005 Issue, Posted Sep 09, 2005
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