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Newsletter July 23, 2001
Get smart, get an agent

o Editorial
o A-I Movie news
o Articles of the week
o Download of the week
o Technologies
o Conferences - Workshops
o Books


Rip or browse?

While browsing, you come across a site that looks good, but you quickly see that a few clicks aren’t going to be enough to get all the information you are looking for… You could spend hours going through the different pages, reading and re-reading explanations: but the cost of communications could make it prohibitive! Unless you have a high-speed connection, where connection time isn’t important. Of course, if there is a technical problem, access to the web site can’t be guaranteed…

With an off-line browser, you can download entire Web sites (text, images etc.) to your hard disk drive. The off-line browser improves on one of the weak points of standard browsers, which only have very limited means of saving pages. Off-line browsers, on the other hand, have much more advanced ways of capturing information and consulting it off-line.

These agents can be used to feed content to an intranet, or enable portable computer users to verify, during a journey, information found on a site without being connected to the Net. Some off-line browsers can even be monitoring tools, as they are able to automatically update the content of downloaded sites. This makes it possible to keep a really close watch on any new information.

Check all the off-line browsers available on AgentLand:


> The robot referendum!
By the time you receive this message, voting will have almost closed in the great AI referendum. The Earth's population has been invited to vote on the question of whether AIs in the United States should receive the same citizenship rights as humans. Cybelle will have news on the results tomorrow, game fans – but if you hurry, there may still be time to vote...


> eCatch gets its hands on the Web
eCatch is an offline browser with Web monitoring capabilities, developed by La Mine. Light and powerful, it adapts well to both simple and advanced uses.

> There's a spider on my desktop!
Thinking about adopting a dog, a cat, a goldfish? You are still hesitating… Sure, it would liven up your home…but it's not very original. Happily we have a much "trendier" solution for you: adopt a tarantula!

> Agent - News & Mail Reader: a graphic interface for Usenet
Agent – News & Mail Reader is a tool which enables you to browse and configure newsgroups in the Usenet universe.

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> TalkToMe
TalkToMe is a full-featured talking program that uses Microsoft Agent characters to: read your e-mail to you, read your letters and documents to you, read web pages for you, send animated messages to friends, speak anything you can type.


> Get your vitamins from your T-shirt
Fuji Spinning Company, a Japanese company, says people will soon be able to get their daily dose of Vitamin C simply by wearing a T-shirt. It has developed a fibre containing a chemical called pro-vitamin, which turns into Vitamin C on contact with human skin.
A T-shirt made out of the fibre - called V-up - would have the equivalent vitamin content of two lemons and remain effective after 30 washes.

> For a trendy home
The HomePlug Powerline Alliance, an industry consortium (Cisco Systems, Intel, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, France Telecom…) established to provide a forum for the development of an open specification of home powerline networking products and services, has announced the completion and release of its much-anticipated first generation high-speed powerline networking specification.
Alliance members will be able to develop interoperable products that will allow PCs, peripherals and other information appliances to connect via every home power outlet. HomePlug compliant products will be available to consumers beginning in the Fall of 2001.

> Isamu: humanoid robot
Kawanda Industries has developed a humanoid robot called "Isamu". It is 1.5 m in height, weighs 55 kg, and has 32 degrees of freedom.
The robot can walk up and down 25-cm high steps. Its hand grippers are installed with touch sensors and each hand can lift objects weighing up to 2 kg. With two-camera stereo graphics input, the robot can recognize pre-entered human faces.
Kawada Industries plans to enhance the business of "human-interactive motion control". Some applications for this technology are mechanical systems for construction, disaster situation, handicapped aids, rehabilitation and training, and amusement.

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> Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages
The Eighth International Workshop on Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages (ATAL-2001) will be held on August 1-3, 2001 in Seattle, USA.
The ATAL-2001 workshop series aims to bring together researchers interested in the theory and practice of agent technology. Topics of interests will include : theories of agency, software architectures for intelligent agents, methodologies and programming languages for realizing agents, and software tools for applying and evaluating agent systems. One of the strengths of the ATAL workshop series is its emphasis on the synergies between theories, infrastructures, architectures, methodologies, formal methods, and languages.


> Intelligent Agents VII
This book is based on the seventh workshop on Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages, ATAL '99, held in Boston, MA, USA in July 1999. The 21 revised full papers included were selected from a total of 71 submissions during two rounds of reviewing. The book is divided into topical sections on agent theories; agent development tools and platforms; models of agent communication and coordination; autonomy and models of agent coordination; agent languages; and planning, decision making, and learning. This state-of-the-art survey is essential reading for anyone interested in agent technology. The book is published on July 20, 2001.

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