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Newsletter August 27, 2001

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Oops, almost missed that vital information!

We all know that the Internet is loaded up with potentially useful information. The question is how to get it, especially when you are on the lookout for information – headlines, sports, financial news etc. – that is constantly being updated. A piece of news that you find two days late may be just about worthless: you need to know what is happening, as it happens, without watching a news web site 24/7, or ten web sites if you follow 10 information sources. Or 3000 of them … There are agents that can help you.

Alerting agents come in all shapes and sizes. On- or off-line, designed for individuals or large companies that need their employees to have the most up-to-date information... What they all have in common is the possibility to send you personalized information, one of the most important differences between the Internet from television. After having set keyword triggers, you are automatically sent an alert by e-mail, or perhaps over your mobile phone when a story containing the term(s) appears online. Alerts can be sent once a day or almost instantaneously, depending on the agent. Off-line agents, which often have greater options for personalization, can "push" the information to you in real time. As soon as something important is published on the Web, you will know about it. And if you don't, then your competitors probably do.

This kind of personalized alert provides a focus that can easily be lost on the Web. If you are looking for news of one kind or another, agents do a job that would be literally impossible for humans, by permanently monitoring hundreds of news sources. So don't deprive yourself of this simple way to be the first to know about everything…

The alerting agents available in Agentland:


>BullsEye Pro : reach your target !
BullsEye is a search agent developed by IntelliSeek. In version 2, BullsEye is available in Plus and Pro versions: the second one, which has all the features offered by the editor, is undoubtedly the most complete.

> WebWhacker : not just any site retrieval tool!
WebWhacker is a Web page downloading agent, or in other words a site capture tool that makes all or part of the information available on your computer. Each local Web site is an exact replica of the original, allowing you to browse off-line, without an Internet connection.

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>> Referencing <<

> iTraffic Seeker
In the world of automatic web site referencing, iTraffic Seeker is a big hitter. The updated professional version (4.0) of this agent can automatically send your site to 200 000 search engines, directories and links pages! A sure way to get your site known and build traffic. As well as generating meta tags for your pages, iTraffic Seeker informs you of your site's ranking in response to certain keywords in search engines. It even helps you to analyze competitor's sites to find out how they get such good positions in the list of results.

>> Alerting <<

> Tracerlock introduces a news alert service
Tracerlock, the online monitoring service, is now also able to monitor keywords on hundreds of Internet news sites. When a story matches your query, you receive an alert by e-mail within 15 minutes. This news monitoring service is available for free on a trial basis until September 10 2001.
Tracerlock already lets registered users monitor search engines, Usenet newsgroups, stock prices and personal ads for specified keywords, and these services will remain free. It can also monitor specific URLs and alert you when changes take place.


> Leech
Leech is a high-speed offline web browser that downloads web site content to your hard drive. It is a multi-threaded application which allows you to simultaneously "leech" multiple files from a server.


> Decentralized file-sharing: total freedom on the Net?
Although people sometimes claim that file-sharing on decentralized systems such as Gnutella can never be stopped, a MIT Technology Review article argues that it will in fact be possible to control the Internet by a combination of international law and technological devices. In this case, net surfers and hackers should not waste time finding ways to get around the rules, but actively participate in the making of the rules that will govern Internet use in the future.

> An Orange networked house
Orange, the mobile telecommunications company, has set up a digital home in the UK to test ideas for the networked house of the future. All systems inside the house - heating, lighting, locks etc. - can be controlled from an Orange phone, wall panels, any web-connected computer and even by voice commands. Occupants of the house, which contains a whole range of intelligent, environment-friendly features, are filmed to see how they interact with the technology and to learn from this experience. At a cost of £2 million, however, this house isn't yet within everyone's reach...
An article about Orange's digital home:


> Artificial Life de-listed, offers new applications
Difficulties continue at the only publicly listed chatterbot company, Artificial Life. Their current stock has been de-listed from the NASDAQ stock exchange, and will now be traded on the Over The Counter bulletin board, as Artificial Life failed to meet the exchange's financial requirements.
In a separate announcement, the company is exploring new uses for its bot technology and algorithms in biotech, genomics and pharmaceutical applications. Demos of their simulations of cellular automata and plant growth can be found in the 'Technology' section of the Artificial Life web site.

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