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Newsletter October 08, 2001

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E-mail moves into the intelligent era

E-mail is celebrating its thirtieth birthday this year. To remind you, the first e-mail was sent by Ray Tomlinson in 1971. At that time, it was possible to send a message only on condition that the receiver's mail box was on the same computer as the sender's! The introduction of PCs in the early 1980s and Internet browsers in the 1990s have since helped e-mail become a means of communication used by millions of people around the world.

The beginning of the 1990s was the starting point for sustained exponential growth in the number of applications and users connected to the Internet, accompanied by a huge increase in the volume of information in circulation.

To deal with these massive information flows going through not only the Web but also our electronic mail boxes, e-mail software became essential. Unfortunately not all the software has overcome certain difficulties, such as blocking unwanted mail, managing multiple accounts simultaneously, conviviality, monitoring and alerting when new messages arrive, checking web-mail accounts… But there are intelligent agents able to do, or complement, the work of e-mail clients. Small and lightweight, they are easy to personalize.

Agents specialized in e-mail do different jobs. From filtering unwanted messages to reading information aloud, they could become your essential companions.


> Using agents to monitor the Internet
Methods of Monitoring: Having considered the different technologies, it is essential to understand how they can effectively be used, in order to optimize the principal monitoring activities.


> Bearshare: The trendy bear
Bearshare is a peer-to-peer agent enabling you to freely exchange different types of files between connected computers.

> Glooton: are you a searcher or a metasearcher?
Inspired by Sherlock, Mac OS's integrated software, Glooton submits your query to multiple online search engines, as defined by its thematic plug-ins.


>> Privacy security <<

> Window Washer
Protect your privacy and keep your system clean with Window Washer, which automatically cleans your browser's cache, cookies, and history along with your Windows tracks, and much more!

>> File SHaring <<

> LimeWire
LimeWire, the software package that enables individuals to search for and share computer files with anyone on the Internet, has decided to open itself up to developers by making its code open source.
By going open source, Lime Wire hopes to enable future Gnutella research and development projects to break new ground without the need to rewrite the core message passing and file sharing code.

> Hollywood -vs- MusicCity, Kazaa and Grokster
Adding a new challenge to their list of legal attacks, the record industry and Hollywood studios have joined forces to sue MusicCity, Kazaa and Grokster, which together form one of the most popular file-trading networks to spring up in Napster's wake.
People using these systems can find movies still in theatres, such as "Planet of the Apes" and "Legally Blonde", as well as new releases by recording artists such as Bob Dylan and 'N Sync, a recording-industry trade group said in a release.
But unlike Napster, which eventually agreed to purge its system of copyrighted files in March after a long court battle, Morpheus, Grokster and Kazaa could prove harder to shut down, due to the lack of a centralized list of shareable files.

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> WebZIP
With its user-friendly interface and original features, WebZIP combines business with pleasure. It's not only a site retriever, but also a real content management tool because it is able to capture, update, compress and export the retrieved information.


> Computer Robots Gather Intelligence
The US military is testing software robots that can identify targets and present them to commanders much more quickly than a human could.
The software, known as the Control of Agent-Based Systems or CoABS, uses artificially intelligent "agents" to sift through huge quantities of images and intelligence data to find viable targets.

> Artificial intelligence vs Terrorism
Intelligence analysis software being developed in the US could be used to predict future terrorist attacks, claims the research company that has developed it.
The software is called Knowledge Aided Retrieval in Activity Context (KARNAC) and uses "profiles" of different categories of terrorist attacks to seek out key components of possible events. When complete, they say it will be capable of sifting through and analysing existing databases of information, both public and private, and spotting suspicious patterns of activity.

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