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AgentLand Newsletter
January 07 - March 11
From protecting children to spying!

The number one rule on the Internet is to trust nobody. This fact needs to be taught to all children. Anyone can pretend to be someone else. To protect users from meeting the wrong kind of people on-line, there exist many programs that filter illicit content. However, some of them can also turn out to be fearsome computer spies, able to collect very detailed personal information and much more.[>>]

Getting organized with agents

The barriers are crumbling between the Web and personal information on your hard disk, as we advance towards total integration of the Internet and everyday technology. The distinction between life 'on-line' and 'off-line' is tending to disappear. Equally, what were once the specificities of the Internet - mind-blowing quantities of information, difficulty in finding your way around so much content and of keeping track of changes - are echoed in the mass of information that now characterises our professional and personal lives.[>>]

Information straight to the desktop

The Internet has the advantage of offering all sorts of information, but the problem is that we don't always have the time to look for and filter it. What would you say to receiving personalized information on your desktop without having to lift a finger? Well, nearly, because you will first need to customize the agent that will make your life easier. This type of agent is known as a "push" agent, it can bring you information organized by themes. This way, you can get the information that corresponds to the profile you have created, without any navigation.[>>]

Shopbots and the Euro: a winning pair for the best deals

Yesterday, France definitively bade farewell to the Franc. Just like the eleven other countries in the “Euro zone”, the Euro is now the only legal currency on the national territory. Twelve countries sharing the same currency... The cunning consumer will take particular note of one important aspect of this historic event: thanks to the Euro, it is going to be even easier to find the best deals on the Internet![>>]

Who is the best chatterbot of them all?

Do you remember the first time you talked to a robot on-line? That moment of hesitation as you said to yourself 'there must be someone at the other end', talking back to you? No, you have just met the family of talking robots - the chatterbots - those master illusionists that simulate human conversation. Now, AgentLand wants to know who is the best chatterbot of them all. That's why we are sponsoring a contest to find out. We want your opinion too! [>>]

Do you think you are anonymous on the Web?

You are logged on at your workplace, or perhaps comfortably settled into an armchair at home. You have a great feeling of freedom as you connect to web sites scattered across the world. You can't see anybody, and no-one can see you. Don't be so sure! When you visit a Web site or take part in a newsgroup, you are not anonymous even if you are careful not to reveal any information about your true identity. [>>]

Get that site out of my sight

Internet contains both the good, the bad and the ugly; this is a reality that everyone can agree on. Of course, it's an excellent window on the world, but one that presents both advantages and disadvantages. Internet is a media where free expression reigns, where everyone can say whatever they want. In the name of this freedom, all sorts of paedophile, pornographic and Nazi sites also flourish. The problem is that we don't just live in a world of adults. How is it possible to protect the children from sites with illicit content?[>>]

Many ways to share

The file sharing community is in turmoil: in the last week, two announcements have suggested that the writing could be on the wall for the millions of people who share MP3 files on-line. First, Napster unveiled its new pay service, then on Thursday KaZaA said that it was suspending downloads of the software until the decision of a Dutch court on 31 January, in a case opposing the recording industry and the popular software program. The effect was immediate: the number of attempts to download KaZaA from AgentLand more than doubled overnight, and downloads of other file-sharing programs also rocketed. [>>]

Looking for images

Finding information on the Internet, it is said and repeated fairly frequently, isn't an easy thing to do. Finding good information is often a question of experience and for those who have got into the habit of using intelligent agents, things are easier. With the right techniques and tools, it is possible to dig out precious nuggets of information. [>>]

Delving into newsgroups

There are thousands of newsgroups on the Internet, divided into different categories according to the subject under discussion. Messages are only displayed for a certain amount of time (depending on the group) before being archived. Perhaps you want to follow a trend or have people's opinions on a subject, person or product, but you can't find enough time to read all the relevant messages or be connected 24 hours a day. Every day, hundreds of messages are published on newsgroups, and there is a real risk of being rapidly submerged by the quantity of information. Assuming that you have been able to identify the newsgroup that interests you. [>>]


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