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Newsletter May 28, 2001
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X-rated agents

Among the most frequently-used search terms, no-one will be surprised to learn that "sex", "MP3", "XXX" figure in good position. Also, as well as the most common proper names (Pamela Anderson, Laetitia Casta, Jennifer Lopez or ex-porn star Traci Lords) we can find Lara Croft.

The evidence is there, whether we like it or not: sex is still in demand on the Internet (to say the least!). That's why many companies have decided to make the most of this potential gold mine by setting up free or pay services dedicated to the subject (with the help of a few photos and videos…)

Other companies have been even more innovative, and have created sensual and sexy virtual characters. Boys or girls, they accompany you throughout your day by dancing, planning your time-table, and bringing your computer to life. Besides these agents, which at the end of the day are rather sweet and funny, there is another category of agents specialised in pornographic content. This software is exclusively intended for adults. Based on the principle of Peer-to-Peer file sharing, they allow you to exchange X-rated files through their own network and to find the image or the movie that you are looking for.

However, we need to be wary of overly simplistic labels. Certain Peer-to-Peer agents, even if they are not officially specialized in XXX material, enable the exchange of pornographic content just like any other type of file. So looking for the Hot Chocolate hit 'Sexy Thing' can sometimes lead to unexpected results… ;-)

The moral of the story, or the easy way out, is that agents are there to serve Mankind, and are merely a mirror of our soul and our desires. From there to the day when the sexbot "Venus (1)", from the A.I. game, becomes a reality... who knows?

(1) Venus:

Discover all the X-rated agents available in Agentland:

A-I Movie news

> Violence in the air
Murder ­ mystery ­ suspense are all part of the world of AI in the twenty-second century! What was the terrible secret that led Enrico Basta to murder Kate Nei? And why did Ivy, Kate Nei's AI, take such a terrible revenge? We want to know! Evolving Intelligence could be turning out to be more independent than its makers ever imagined. Are AIs the victims or the real threat in this new world? Follow Cybelle's take on AI at:


N E W   A G E N T S

>> Content gathering <<

> MyWeb
OnePage, Inc., the provider of technology and applications for building the information components of corporate, consumer and wireless portals, has introduced MyWeb, the integrated portal solution for vertical portals and consumer sites that allows customization of content.
MyWeb employs an intuitive interface and a simple point-click-capture method. Users identify and grab any web-based content, including information from the Internet, intranets, web-based email and personal accounts; local and broadband content and partner data feeds. OnePage's software easily integrates into all popular portal platforms and translates into HTML, XML or WML for use in a variety of wireless, enterprise and web service applications.

>> Monitoring agents <<

> Netpinions
Netpinions automatically monitors the Internet daily for news, reviews, opinions, attitudes, facts and insights on topics with search terms specified by clients. Search terms can include brand name, issue, trend, product category or other subject. The system gathers and filters news and consumer opinion from more than 4,000 Web publications, over 60,000 message boards and forums, and 5+ million commercial, government, and academic Web sites including corporate attack sites.

>> Shopbots <<

> Youknowbest
Youknowbest is a browser, a place to store products you save, a tool for sharing products you are interested in with others, a place where you can sort and compare products based on your preferences, a portal that contains links to thousands of reviews, and ultimately a place to purchase products you are interested in.

>> Chatterbots <<

> Liam
Liam is the virtual guide to Loewe's Web site, who can help you navigate the site and answer questions about Loewe. Liam speaks English and German.

A G E N T  U P D A T E S

>> Metasearch <<

> Ixquick
Ixquick, the metasearch engine that supports natural language and complex Boolean searches, is now available for 13 languages: Danish, German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Finnish, Swedish and Turkish.
Ixquick supports phrases, wildcards, omitted terms, must-have terms, parentheses, and other modifiers such as NEAR, because Ixquick knows which search engines can cope with which complex searches.

>> Personal Assistants <<

> Bonzi BUDDY
Bonzi BUDDY, the active MS Agent who lives on your browser window, has been updated to version 3.8.9. A new feature has been added: BonziBUDDY Web Compass. It is an advertising-supported Web navigation service. It works with your browser and accompanies you as you surf, providing useful information about the sites you are viewing and suggesting related sites.
BonziBUDDY can surf the web with you as your sidekick. He can talk, joke, browse, search, e-mail and much more.

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> Avatarstudio
Create your own avatar with Avatarstudio. You can choose from several available models. Creates the body, touch up the face, dress and animate your avatar in order to personalize his expression. You have the possibility to import your own photo.


> NanoWalker Project
The NanoWalker is a very small wireless autonomous robot capable of carrying a variety of instruments. The first instrument that MIT BioInstrumentation Laboratory intends to develop is a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). The instrumented robot is designed with the capability of surface scanning with sub-atomic resolution while being capable of fast displacement between two distant samples. The diameter of the NanoWalker is 12 mm for a basic version and 32 mm for the most sophisticated version.

> Wear a retinal displayer
Microvision, Inc. is a company that designs and develops light scanning technologies that when integrated into handheld or headworn devices project images onto the retina of the eye, allowing an individual to see large, full-motion images without the need for a cumbersome screen.
The approach is similar to cathode-ray projection in a television. But instead of electron beams selectively lighting spots on a screen, light projects onto the retina, illuminating tiny points and creating the illusion of a 43- to 53-centimeter screen floating in space at arm's length. For example, to view a Web page, people using mobile phones equipped with retinal displays might hold the devices close to their eyes.

> Bluetooth test program for wireless payment
Eurocard has selected 100 credit card users in Sweden to test a virtual card service during May and June 2001 using their Ericsson R520 mobile phones with built-in Bluetooth technology. The trial uses a virtual card and Bluetooth personal area network (PAN) technology, allowing the testers to pay at selected outlets using their mobile phones. Integrated into the mobile phone's firmware, the virtual credit card securely contains a user's euroCard/Mastercard details.
According to Ericsson, four stores in the Täby Centrum shopping mall near Stockholm (MQ, Ego, Teknikmagasinet and Buketten ) are involved in the test.

> Biomimetic Underwater Robot Program
This program of the Marine Science Center at the Northeastern University is undertaking the implementation and in-water testing of two classes of biomimetic autonomous underwater vehicles. The first is an 8-legged ambulatory vehicle that is based on the lobster and is intended for autonomous remote-sensing operations in rivers and/or the littoral zone ocean bottom with robust adaptations to irregular bottom contours, current and surge. The second vehicle is an undulatory system that is based on the lamprey and is intended for remote sensing operations in the water column with robust depth/altitude control and high maneuverability.


> Seminar on BOT technology
The seminar BOT 2001 will be held on June 19, 2001 in Boston, MA, USA.
It will cover all aspects of bots and intelligent agents allowing the most inexperienced observer to the seasoned professional to have a better understanding of this field.
SearchBots, ChatterBots, VoiceBots, and KnowledgeBots will all be discussed in specific presentations from industry luminaries.

> Bluetooth Congress 2001
The Bluetooth Congress will be held on 5-8 June 2001 in Monte carlo, Monaco. It is the Official Congress of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, and the focal point of the Bluetooth business. The Congress attracts the most international and influential cross section of Bluetooth players gathered anywhere in the world. 1800 people from 39 countries, drawn from every continent in the world, attended the Bluetooth Congress 2000. The Congress will house a dedicated Bluetooth exhibition. The topics of interests will be around commercializing Bluetooth, optimizing Bluetooth implementations and Bluetooth Industry.

> Canadian Conference on Artificial Intelligence
14th Canadian Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI'2001) will be held on 7-9 June, 2001 in Ottawa, Canada. The purpose of this conference is to provide a forum where Canadian and international researchers and practitioners in Artificial Intelligence can present their work, exchange scientific ideas and results and explore possibilities for collaboration. The conference is sponsored by the Canadian Society for Computational Studies of Intelligence (CSCSI).

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