close this bookVolume 7: No. 77
View the documentAward and funding news
View the documentIndustry news
View the documentElectronic publishing
View the documentCareer jobs (in our CCJ 7.39 digest this week)
View the documentInformation retrieval
View the documentAI resources

The USS Hopper, a 500-foot destroyer using stealth technology, is one of the most capable warships ever built. This is only the second US Navy ship named after a woman, computing pioneer and COBOL developer Rear Adm. Grace Murray Hopper. The ship is affectionately nicknamed "Amazing Grace," also after the admiral. [SJM, 06Sep97. EduP.] (Contrary to media reports, the moth that her aide pulled out of their computer relays and taped to a trouble report was not the first bug in electronic equipment. A more interesting incident was when her team replace "jump" with "sprunge" and likewise for other COBOL keywords. When they offered a demo, Pentagon brass were so upset at the idea of an American computer "speaking German" that she had to claim it was a hoax.)

President Clinton has named 60 young researchers to receive up to $500K each, over five years, through the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) program. Awards are given through the Departments of Agriculture (3), Commerce (4), Defense (7), Energy (7), Veterans' Affairs (2), and Transportation, the EPA, NIH (11), NASA (6), and NSF (20). [The White House, 23Oct97. Maria Zemankova , IRLIST, 03Nov97.] (Congratulations to Renee J. Miller of Ohio State University/CIS, among the other NSF winners. Her winning project is "Managing Schematic Heterogeneity in Database Management Systems." .)

UMichigan's DRDA website posts NSF program announcements for the current month. ("What's New"). [Kathy Adams , umich.eecs.announce, 03Nov97.]

The City of Los Angeles Private Industry Council is sponsoring 1-year graduate fellowships at the USC Integrated Media Systems Center beginning Jan98, for MS degrees with specialization in multimedia and creative technologies. Applicants must be "dislocated" engineers or computer scientists. 19Nov97 deadline. , (213) 740-8415, . [Ken Stuart , la.jobs, 04Nov97.]

Compaq, Digital, Intel, IBM and Silicon Graphics have agreed to support Open MP, a new Unix/Windows NT standard for parallel processing on workstations rather than supercomputers. [NYT, 28Oct97. EduP.]

Rockwell International says that within a year it will introduce modems capable of 20 times current speeds over conventional phone lines. [WSJ, 29Oct97. EduP. NewtNews. Bill Park.]

The US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is planning to eliminate its paper archives by 2001, in favor of electronic searching. The shift will begin soon in selected technologies, and most biotech searches are already done online. Many patent examiners are opposed to the new policy, saying that a search through the stacks gives better information on prior art than does a keyword search. A pilot study found that paper searches take an hour less and that examiners chose to return to paper methods after the study ended. The examiners' union wants to have both methods available until electronic retrieval improves. Otherwise issued patents may be invalid or may poorly describe an inventor's real contribution. [James Evans , SF Daily Journal. Gregory Aharonian , Techno-L, 06Nov97. Bob Jacobson.]

The US PTO has awarded 117 trademarks that include "millennium" and more than 1,500 containing "2000." Playboy, for instance, claims the term "Official Magazine of the Millennium." [AP, 31Oct97. EduP.]

If you create or distribute software products, you may need protection from lawsuits alleging copyright and trademark infringement, defamation of character, libel, advertising injury, plagiarism, breach of contract, unauthorized use of ideas, and similar actions. Now the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies is offering such worldwide "multimedia" and "non-multimedia" liability insurance in amounts up to $10M, for businesses with revenues of $10M-$500M. Patent infringements are not currently covered. [Business Wire, 19Aug97; Bill Park. Also EE Times, 28Aug97; EduP.]

Affinicast is a personalized news service, including editorials and alerts to interesting web pages. There are nine pre-defined profiles (such as Technophile), or you can enter your own by answering a set of psychological questions. .

Microsoft wants to be an Internet content company, not just a communications service provider. However, like AOL and CompuServe, it's found that the ISP business is where the money is. Microsoft Network (MSN) will be offering basic connectivity for $19.95/month and premium services for $25/month. [Broadcasting & Cable, 20Oct97. EduP.]

Liquid Audio's MusicPlayer lets you sample/download single tunes or albums, paying by credit card. Any hard disk will do, but you'll probably want a $200-$400 writable CD ROM drive and some $2 blank CDs. The Liquid Audio software incorporates a digital watermark that prevents making copies of the CD. [TechWeb, 04Nov97. EduP.]

Adaptec's Easy CD Creator can convert most audio formats to CD format. It even cleans up pops and hisses from old LPs. It can't remove audiotape hiss, though. [IBD, 04Nov97. EduP.]

A company called Narrative offers a Java-based "Enliven 2.0" technology for fast downloads of "spiffy" Macromedia Director animations. See for a demo. [BW, 15Sep97, p. 18E9.]

WebMastery is a discussion list for Web formatting questions, including HTML, Java, JavaScript, Shockwave, CGI, and graphics. Sign up at or by contacting Andy Online . [NEW-LIST, 21Sep97.]

WebTracker is a free service for counting web page visitors and gathering statistics on their browsers, operating systems, visit times, etc. . [Michael A. Tilp , net-hap, 17Sep97.]

WebDevelopment is a moderated discussion list about website design and development, from basic to advanced. Sign up at . [Adam Boettiger , NEW-LIST, 20Oct97.]

Scan is a list about purchase and use of film and print scanners. Send a "subscribe scan" message to . [, NEW-LIST, 29Sep97.]

Minolta has introduced a 600dpi Color PageWorks laser printer for $3K, $1K less than competitors. Or for $4K, one might chose the faster, lower-maintenance 1,200dpi Tektronix Phaser 560. [BW, 15Sep97, p. 18E9.]

NYU (NY): profs in HCI, IT, knowledge discovery.

Eloquent Technology (Ithaca, NY): BS+ linguists for multilingual speech synthesis.

UCF (Orlando, FL): Director of the School of Computer Science.

UMichigan (Ann Arbor): jr/sr prof in ML, AI.

Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI): PhD researcher in OLAP, KDD, data mining.

Ohio State U. (Columbus): prof in AI, DB, SE, networking.

Microsoft Research (Redmond, WA): computational grammarian for French.

OGI (Beaverton, OR): PhD in speech/gesture recognition, HCI, NLP.

UC Davis (CA): assistant prof in AI, systems.

SF Bay Area: MS/PhD sr SE in constraint reasoning, NLP.

South SF Bay Area: MS/PhD sr. SE in AI, fuzzy logic, CBR, expert systems.

Queen's U. (Kingston, Ontario): postdoc in spatial reasoning, CBR for molecular biology and engineering.

City U. (London): EU MS/PhD researchers in computational logic, agents, constraint programming, etc.

UEssex (UK): BS/MS sr. researcher in AI, NLP, KR, IR, DB for spoken dialogue access to partially structured data. (*)

UHertfordshire (UK): postdoc researcher in alife, NN.

UEdinburgh (Scotland): researcher in natural language generation.

Ubilab (Zurich): PhD in IS, IR, DB, KBS.

UStuttgart (Germany): researcher in NLP, constraint-based logic.

CSIRO (Australia): PhD sr. researcher in DB; others in HCI, IS, SE (at Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, and Perth).

ACSys (Canberra, Australia): postdocs in data mining, VR, digital media libraries.

* captain's cool job of the week. (Selected by Brian "captain" Murfin.)

TidBITS organized a Search Engine Shootout to find the best Mac-based full-text search engine for their newsletter archive. They chose Curt Stevens' entry, , using "Apple e.g." (aka the Apple Information Access Toolkit, , formerly known as the V-Twin text indexing engine). Other choices might be better for other applications, depending on cost, setup and maintenance effort, ease of use, Boolean or ranking capabilities, speed, etc. Runners-up built solutions around Frontier and Phantom, ; Frontier and FileMaker, ; and custom text-indexing code for WebServer 4D, . Other solutions used FoxPro, WebSonar, LiveCard, WarpSearch, GIA, and the [non-Mac] New Zealand Digital Library server based on Perl. [TidBITS, 12May97.]

SiteSearch is a free Java-based search applet that can be set up for any site. You also need the free "creator" application, for Windows 95/NT. . [Network News, 15Sep97.]

ZDNet offers some downloadable search engines for Windows at .

Ten options for adding a search engine to your web site are analyzed by Network Computing Online, . [Network News, 12Oct97.]

DigiSearch offers simultaneous access to 24 search engines. .

Surfer's Edge Monster Search Engine Directory lists over 400 search engines, directories, and projects. . [net-hap, 23Sep97.]

"The Informant" will check your favorite websites or search queries for any changes, notifying you by email. Free. .

"Internet Web Text:Index" by John December is a Web-based guide to Internet information resources (as opposed to Web resources). .

The Britannica Information Guide offers links to 65K "best and most reliable" information sites in 14 categories. The user interface helps track where you've been and where you might look next. [N'Gai Croal, Newsweek, 27Oct97, p. 12.]

I found a message that I had lost. Adele Howe suggested that I mention two meta-search engines that began as university research vehicles: SavvySearch at and MetaCrawler at . [, 15Aug97.]

UCB has a $954K DARPA contract to develop "metadata vocabularies" for searchers working with unfamiliar databases. The system will automatically convert the user's search terms into a list of terms relevant to the target database. . [Michael Buckland , IRLIST Digest, 10/13/97.]

Infoseek has a revamped website with information channels and directories to help you find what you need. Its Careers channel, for instance, links to job listings, job-hunting tips, salary surveys, etc. By keying all of this to your search terms, they claim to be integrating directory and search features. [NYT. SJM, 26Oct97, 2F.] (Yahoo's site had over 14M different visitors in Sep97; Excite, 9M; Infoseek, 7M; and Lycos, 5M.)

Northern Light is a search engine covering the Web fairly deeply, with optional search of 1M pay-per-view documents from over 1,800 journals, books, magazines, databases, and newswires. The search engine offers OR, NOT, MUST(+), MUST NOT(-), and phrase searching, but not full Boolean expressions. (That may be remedied soon.) Retrieved articles are clustered into "folders" with meaningful titles, making it very easy to browse by drilling down through categories. or . [10/21/97.] (Similar to the defunct NlightN service.)

Need to research printed articles on AI? You might check Artificial Intelligence Abstracts, COMPENDEX PLUS, Computer Abstracts, Computer Literature Index, Current Contents, EBSCO's database, EI page One, Engineering Index, INSPEC database, ISI Current Contents, Knowledge Scan, LISA, MasterFILE, Research Alert, Research Trends, Science Citation Index, SciSearch, or indexes for specific application fields. [, comp.ai, 14Oct97.] (Check with your librarian.)

Final technical reports for all DoD-funded research projects are available from the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), via a searchable database of nearly 2M reports. . [Fedix OAF!!!, 20Oct97.]

ForeFront offers a free email course about finding information on the Internet and presenting it in published reports. . [, comp.infosystems.www.misc, 23Sep97.]

There's an AI Internet Resource List at , , and . [Nina Pinto , comp.ai, 02Oct97.]

-- Ken