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Newsletter October 15, 2001

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Peer-to-Peer wars: the Empire keeps striking back

A new chapter begins in the war that the major recording companies are waging on copyright piracy. The RIAA (representing the American record industry) has launched court action against three of the most popular online file sharing systems: Kazaa, MusicCity (Morpheus) and Grokster. Leading cinema industry players have also joined the action, since movies are also being shared on these systems.

The battle is far from won for the majors as, unlike Napster which relied on a central server, Kazaa, MusicCity and Grokster work on a decentralized system directly via user's computers.

The global online music market should represent $2.1 billion in 2001 and as much as $8.6 billion by 2006 according to estimates from Jupiter MMXI. These figures encourage the proponents of online file sharing… and explain the majors' agitation. Because the law isn't yet the ideal solution to fight piracy, other means of protecting music files against illegal copying are being developed. Midbartech, an Israeli company, has come up with the “Cactus” anti-copy system. And Sony Music is putting an anti-pirating technology known as Key2audio on the latest Michael Jackson single. An invisible fingerprint, it is not recognized by CD-Rom drives, meaning that it will only work on classic audio CD players. Still, these efforts haven't stopped those cunning souls who have digitized the song after recording it from the radio…

It is clear that as the technology takes off, the debate about peer-to-peer file sharing agents is far from closed. The generalization of unlimited and high-speed Internet connections, in parallel with the development of decentralized networks, means that the music industry has many sleepless nights ahead of it yet.

MusicCity :
KazAa :
Grokster :
All the file sharing agents on AgentLand: _______________________________________

> Agents for commerce
It is possible to distinguish at least four types of agents on the Internet: Agents for information retrieval; agents for Veille; agents for shopping and purchases; "assistants".


> Lexibot: how to conquer the Invisible Web ?
The Lexibot software developed by BrightPlanet allows you to simultaneously query many databases in what is known as "Invisible Web"


>> Adults <<

> Tahni
Tahni is a sexy supermodel who lives and plays on your desktop. She reacts if you touch her or move her around the screen with your mouse. If you leave her alone, she will amuse herself and entertain you in the process.

>> Browsing accelerator agents <<

> Web Accelerator
Web Accelerator is one of the most popular Web accelerators in the world, with over 2 million copies in use. As well as speeding up page display time, Web Accelerator can recover transmissions from lost connections, computer shutdowns and other errors. It integrates fully into Netscape and Internet Explorer. Stop waiting for web pages to load

>> Virtual Wolrd <<

> Active Worlds

The real world seems kind of bland and boring? Then take a trip around a gigantic, colourful virtual world. The Active Worlds Universe is a community of hundreds of thousands of users that communicate and build 3D virtual reality worlds on millions of kilometres of virtual territory.

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> AuctionTamer
AuctionTamer is a customized tabbed Internet browser with a built-in auction item watch list. AuctionTamer makes it easy to use and switch between auction sites at eBay, Amazon, Yahoo, uBid and the FairMarket Network which includes Microsoft, Excite, Lycos, ZDNet and others.


> Speaking heads for Instant Messaging
Blaze International, provider of software and communication tools to humanise the Internet, has launched IMpersona, a novel enhancement for the 32 million users of MSN Messenger. IMpersona allows MSN Messenger users to see facial movement and hear speech when their buddies interact with them via text.
The product transforms ordinary text into mouth movements and speech, emulating human gestures such as smiling, which can be triggered by emoticons within the program.


> Conference on Web Intelligence
The First Asia-Pacific Conference on Web Intelligence (WI'2001) will be held on October 23-26, 2001 in Maebashi City, Japan.
This is an international forum for researchers and practitioners. By sharing ideas and discussions on the underlying foundations and the enabling technologies of Web intelligence, WI-2001 is expected to stimulate the future development of new models, methodologies, and tools for building a variety of embodiments of Web-based intelligent information systems.

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