Newstand - August 2001By Sabrina I. Pacifici, Published on July 31, 2001
Site Revamped to Teach 508, August 31, 2001. "GSA has overhauled its Section 508 Web site, making it less a library and more of an interactive site that features online training, buying guidelines for government agencies and advice on Section 508 for government employees, vendors, Webmasters and others."
Breaking Microsoft's E-Book Code, August 30, 2001. Here we go again; according to this article, a U.S. programmer who remains nameless has decrypted the program used in conjunction with Microsoft's Reader. This, in effect, allows e-books that have been purchased to find their way onto the Web as free files.
ENUM: Driving Convergence in the Internet Age. "ENUM (RFC 2916) is the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) protocol that will assist in the convergence of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and the IP network; it is the mapping of a telephone number from the PSTN to Internet services--telephone number in, URL out. ENUM was developed as a solution to the question of how to find services on the Internet using only a telephone number, and how telephones, which have an input mechanism limited to twelve keys on a keypad, can be used to access Internet services."
What's New on the White House Web Site, August 31, 2001. According to the White House press release, the site has a "vibrant new design....that reflects the dignity and traditions of the White House." It also links to speeches by the President, has an improved search engine, Spanish content, a photo gallery, links to information about nominees for federal positions, and has increased accessibility for the disabled.
Study Required by Section 104 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, August 29, 2001. This report is divided into three sections, each in PDF. Volume 1 is A Report of the Register of Copyrights Pursuant to Sec. 104 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Volume 2 is the text of comments by industry, associations and the public. Volume 3 is the text of summaries of testimony for the November 29, 2000 public hearing filed in response to 65 FR 63626.
Russian Programmer Sklyarov and Elcomsoft Indicted, August 29, 2001. As reported today by David Carney today: A grand jury of the U.S. District Court (NDCal) returned a five count indictment [PDF] against Elcom Ltd., aka Elcomsoft Co. Ltd., and Dmitry Sklyarov for criminal violations of copyright law in connection with their marketing and sale of a program that circumvents Adobe's e-book reader. Elcomsoft and Sklyarov are charged with violation of the anti circumvention section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S.C. § 1201.
Library of Congress Patches Copyright Search, August 29, 2001. As previously noted on the Newstand, (see Copyright Office Announces New Search System, August 17, 2001) the new access point to the Copyright Office database of 16 million records is only a stop-gap interim measure until a completely new system is implemented, which will allow text searches and provide access to an additional 40 million records stored on cards.
Let the Dot-Info Challenges Begin, August 28, 2001. Beginning August 29, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will begin deciding disputes between rival registrants vying for ownership of sites in the dot-info domain.
Meta Search Engines Can Hit the Bull's Eye, August 27, 2001. This article provides quick, concise reviews of some noteworthy new free search engines, including FirstStop Web Search, Vivisimo, WiseNut, and Teoma.
Confusion Over Copyright and Free Speech, August 27, 2001. This article provides perspective, from outside the U.S., on the furor over copyright law that has erupted concerning the DCMA and the Russian programmer's case with Adobe. Good background is provided on the Irish Copyright Act of 2000 as well as recent copyright cases in the EU.
Adobe to Unveil Approval, August 27, 2001. Adobe will introduce new software enabling users to fill out, spell check, digitally sign, save and electronically submit PDF forms that have been created with Adobe Acrobat 5.0 software.
New York Times (reg. req'd)
System for Measuring Clicks is Under Assault, August 28, 2001. ..."a recent Jupiter Media Metrix report groused that many marketers are still incapable of evaluating online ad spending effectively. Instead, the report said, marketers "focus on quantitative metrics like the cost per click and cost per conversion, not on more qualitative metrics like lifetime customer value and cost per shift in brand perception." A separate Jupiter report argued that "the actual number of customers that Internet advertising generates is often several multiples above what is tracked directly."
Forecasts of an E-Book Era Were, it Seems, Premature, August 28, 2001. Last year publishers and e-book manufacturers touted the revolution in e-book sales in the near future, but these predictions have been way off base, with current sales in the single digit percentage as opposed to book sales.
Exploration of World Wide Web Tilts from Eclectic to Mundane, August 25, 2001. A recent study of Web usage conducted by Jupiter Media Metrix indicates that the blush may be off the rose in regard to the way Americans are using the Web. Indications are that Web usage has become more routine, involves on average only 20 sites per month, and often bypasses search engines to link directly to sites of interest.
As Public Records Go Online, Some Say They're Too Public, August 24, 2001. At www.registeredtovoteornot.com, visitors to this free site can type in the last name and birth date of anyone registered to vote in New York City and retrieve that individual's address and party affiliation. As mentioned in a posting on Slashdot, Mayor Guiliani's data is readily available via his birth date: 5/28/44. Proponents of open records are once again at odds with privacy advocates in regard to this database, as well as databases of sex offenders and records of property owners.
Can Hacking Victims Be Held Legally Libel?, August 24, 2001. There is a debate in the legal community concerning whether companies that fail to take reasonable steps to protect their computer systems from hacker/cracker attacks or compromising internal system failures are leaving themselves open for lawsuits.
Law School Beckons as Economy Slows, August 24, 2001. The number of individuals taking the LSATs went up 18.6% over the course of the past year. As the dot-com market continues to hemorrhage, this significant increase in attendance at law schools rivals that of the early 1990s.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 - W3C Working Draft 24, August 2001. Abstract: W3C published the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0) as a Recommendation in May 1999. This Working Draft for version 2.0 builds on WCAG 1.0. It has the same aim: explain how to make Web content accessible to people with disabilities. Incorporating feedback on WCAG 1.0, this Working Draft of version 2.0 focuses on checkpoints. It attempts to apply checkpoints to a wider range of technologies and to use wording that may be understood by a more varied audience.
Fingered by the Movie Cops, August 23, 2001. The author of this article tells a rather startling story concerning the termination of her Internet account by her ISP, Time Warner Cable. The ISP did so as a result of an accusation by the MPAA that she had distributed copyrighted material (as it turns out, she had done no such thing). The ISP was required to terminate her account immediately under provisions of the DCMA. Needless to say, the author is not a proponent of the DCMA or the MPAA!
West Group Acquires ProLaw; Accelerates Expansion Into Law Practice Management Software Market, August 23, 2001. "From its headquarters in Albuquerque,ProLaw will be the center for West Group law practice management solutions development and marketing initiatives, including WestWorks(TM) product and practice library development."
Excite@Home Snoops on User Downloads, August 22, 2001. Excite@Home Australia's security team is actively tracking its customers' Internet activity and will terminate the accounts of those users who it finds have been downloading pirated software of copyrighted material.
Plot Your Search Engine Strategy, August 22, 2001. The two authors of this article are from Slack Barshinger, and they offer useful tips on how to boost Web traffic to your site through a better understanding of the mechanisms by which spiders and robots index content and establish relevancy ranking.
Appeals Court to Consider 'Fair Use' of Online Images, August 21, 2001. The question of whether or not a "visual search engine" has "fair use" of copyrighted images will be considered Sept. 10 by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California. Arnold & Porter is handling the appeal. Judge Taylor's decision from the U.S. District Court, CD California, is available at http://pub.bna.com/ptcj/99-560.htm. The reply brief for the plaintiff, Leslie A. Kelly, is available at http://netcopyrightlaw.com/pdf/brief_reply.pdf.
Student's Site Tests Criminal Libel Law, August 21, 2001. A 17 year old high school student in Utah was arrested and charged with criminal libel for publishing statements (apparently falsehoods) about his principal's conduct and personal life on the Web. The issue of whether criminal libel is constitutional will be determined by the Utah Supreme Court.
Talking About Online Privacy, August 21, 2001. This is an interview with Robert Smith, CTO of the Privacy Foundation, and focuses on his foundations' recent report indicating that 30% of American workers with Web access and email are routinely subjected to monitoring by their employers.
Wireless At Home, August 21, 2001. Less expensive solutions let you browse the Net, share add-on devices wherever you roam. This articles recommends and prices products to set-up an effective home network.
The Library that Keeps on Giving, August 21, 2001. The CalState Library has entered into a venture with NetLibrary to loan e-books to an "unrestricted number of borrowers at one time."
Domain Disputes Don't Get Fair Hearing, Study Says, August 20, 2001. The study, authored by attorney and law professor Michael Geist, who is also the author of BNA's Internet Law News email service, included 3094 ICANN UDRP. He determined "that when providers control who decides a case (which they do for all single panel cases), complainants win just over 83 percent of the time." The 36 page study, in PDF, titled "Fair.com?: An Examination of the Allegations of Systemic Unfairness in the ICANN UDRP," may be read in full at http://aix1.uottawa.ca/~geist/geistudrp.pdf.
FTC Commissioner Says Web Privacy Law Unlikely, August 20, 2001. The Commissioner made his statement while attending the Progress and Freedom Foundation annual technology conference, the Aspen Summit.
Teoma - A New Contender Targets Google, August 20, 2001. Rich Wiggins shines a spotlight on this new search engine that has set its sites on toppling the supremacy of search engine giant, Google. Teoma groups search engine results by topic, and also provides Experts' Links along with the search results.
LexisNexis(TM) Delivers Competitive Advantage to Businesses with Next Generation nexis.com(SM), August 20, 2001. From the press release: service easier to use with improved user features, further customizable functions, and more comprehensive content.
Days of the Free Internet May Be Numbered, August 20, 2001. Buying content and then giving it away for free is not a good business model concludes a recent study by Ovum. The report predicts that the Net's free lunch is nearing an end.
As Wireless Networks Grow, So Do Security Concerns, August 19, 2001. Wireless networks in hospitals, corporations and universities offer flexible access to the Web, but have a huge downside; the need for strong security applications integrated into the system to combat monitoring by non-authorized individuals and groups.
To One Judge, Cybermonitors Bring Uneasy Memories, August 18, 2001. Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, who grew up under Communism in Romania, is strongly opposed to monitoring the Web usage of the judiciary. In fact, he believes the practice is illegal, and stated as such in an 18 page memo addressed to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Court, in Washington, D.C.
Copyright Office Announces New Search System, August 17, 2001. From the press release: The U.S. Copyright Office announced today a new Web-based search method for finding copyright information about millions of books, music recordings, movies, software and other works. The service is designed with user-friendly features for first-time and occasional users. the url is http://www.loc.gov/copyright/search/.
How to Make A Successful Web Site, Uncle Sam Style, August 17, 2001. The Library of Congress site, America's Story, has been steadily gaining recognition, traffic and content since its release in April, 2000.
Just Counting Site Visits is No Longer Enough, August 16, 2001. The continued roar of crashing dot-com sites accompanied by a slow down in the growth of Web users is resulting in a growing reliance on data mining tools to track the activities of users on a "granular" level.
Boston Doctors Count Beans From Net Advice, August 16, 2001. Partners HealthCare System runs a telemedicine operation that currently serves 27 states and 40 countries. Via their website at https://econsults.partners.org/ they provide online consultation for second opinions at a minimum fee of $600, not covered by health insurance.
Federal Judges Recommend Policy on Electronic Access to Court Files, August 15, 2001. The Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management has submitted this report with their recommendations on privacy and security concerns, including:
* Documents in civil and bankruptcy cases should be made available electronically to the same extent that they are now in courthouses. But Social Security cases should be excluded from electronic access. In addition, personal identifiers, such as Social Security and financial account numbers, should be modified or withheld from civil case and bankruptcy files.
* Public remote access to documents in criminal cases should not be available.
* Appellate case files should be treated at the appellate level just as they are at the lower level.
Internet Founder Debunks Slow Web Growth, August 15, 2001. No, not Al Gore, but Dr. Lawrence Roberts, an Internet pioneer, believes that the use of the Web is growing steadily, and will quadruple by the end of 2001. His position is supported by a report released today by Robert's company, Caspian Networks, titled U.S. Internet ISP Growth.
Netscape Upgrades Search Engine, August 15, 2001. The new search engine, at http://search.netscape.com/, is very straight-forward and conspicuously lacking in any links to competitor MSN. Strong emphasis is placed on using Netscape's Open Directory Project, with links to over 2.5 million expert reviewed web sites.
Online Guide - Quick Facts - Web making space-hogging reference tomes obsolete, August 15, 2001. Although this article purports that you can now just throw out all those hard copy reference resources, there are some useful links to telephone books, encyclopedias, zip code directories, and the like.
Cities on the Internet 2001: E-Government Applied, August 14, 2001. According to this new nationwide study, although most city Web sites are just an "electronic brochure," municipal officials are viewing e-government in a more holistic and strategic manner than before. But this study also reported that an overwhelming majority of cities don’t accommodate disabled users online or post privacy notices. (from: http://www.civic.com/civic/articles/2001/0813/web-egov-08-14-01.asp
Study examines the increasing prevalence of Web bugs, or hidden data-collection tools embedded in Web pages, August 14, 2001. Be advised that in order to download this report, the user must fill-out a registration form that requires personal data.
EPAM Delivers Westgroup.com's New Corporate Site and Online Store, August
"Today, EPAM Systems and West Group, a Thomson Company, launched the new
westgroup.com, a high-performance website that offers the world's
largest collection of legal products available online...Users can search by key word, practice
area or jurisdiction for more than 4,500 West Group products and services. Customers can also check order status and history of online
purchases, find a local sales representative, or locate other key West
Group resources such as reference attorneys and technical support.
Registered customers can tailor functionality specifically to meet their needs."
Northern Light Offers Resources on the Most Significant New Web Technology: XML, August 14, 2001. From the press release: Northern Light® Technology, Inc. today announced a micro-site offering a comprehensive set of resources on XML (Extensible Markup Language), the standard for encoding Web content for communications across different hardware platforms, operating systems and applications. This Northern Light Special Edition™ (http://special.northernlight.com/xml) demonstrates the important role XML is playing in business, finance and government. With extensive resources for Web developers and designers ranging from standards, tutorials and style sheets to XML news and community sites.
Taming the Web, September 2001. The focus of this interesting article is three myths about the Web which are quickly debunked by the author: Myth #1: The Internet Is Too International to Be Controlled; Myth #2: The Net Is Too Interconnected to Control; and Myth #3: The Net Is Too Filled with Hackers to Control.
Software Double Blind, August 13, 2001. The case against Russian programmer Dmitri Sklyarov is focusing attention on the serious discrepancies inherent in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Creating or distributing a device or program to undermine copyrighted material is illegal, as is the use of such a program or device. However, the double blind enters the equation as consumers have the right to make a back-up copy of protected materials, books, songs, software, to insure against loss or damage.
Microsoft Modifies Data-Collection Plan, August 10, 2001. Criticism from privacy advocates has resulted in a concession from Microsoft that now requires customers of Passport to disclose only an e-mail address and password. Passport is a system that pre-identifies users of multiple Web sites via detailed packets of personal information it has collected.
Internet Privacy and Self-Regulation August 9, 2001. This briefing paper, authored by Prof. Tom W. Bell of Chapman University School of Law, supports the premise that: "The propriety of legislation affecting either pornography or privacy should depend crucially on the availability of alternative self-help remedies."
IE 6 Central to Passport Privacy Boost, August 9, 2001. Microsoft plans to limit user access to its new privacy application, P3P (Platform for Privacy Preferences), as an a bundled component of IE 6. This tie-in once again raises the specter of antitrust considerations.
British Official Publications Collaborative Reader Information Service, aims to save researchers wasting valuable research time and effort finding relevant British Official Publications over the period 1688 -1995 by providing a Web-based bibliographic database which enables them, from their own desktops, to: search and browse for relevant documents without having to visit libraries to consult hard-copy reference tools, or needing to seek assistance from reference librarians read abstracts, and view detailed consistent subject indexing, of key documents so they can assess whether they need to see the full document or not find out the nearest location of relevant documents if they decide they need them read the digitised full-text version of a limited number of documents
Lycos Launches Russian Search Engine, August 8, 2001. "Lycos Europe, a joint venture between Terra Lycos (NASDAQ: TRLY) and Bertelsmann, today officially launched in Russia, a move which expands its network to 14 countries with a Moscow office and site at http://ww.lycos.ru."
Microsoft's Scapegoat, August 8, 2001. For Microsoft, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's fall from judicial grace is the gift that keeps on giving--or so it hopes.
New Netscape Browser, August 8, 2001. "Netscape 6.1, the latest update to the Netscape browser suite, greatly enhances the performance and stability of Netscape 6 while improving functionality and adding a number of key features. Netscape 6.1 lets you accomplish more online with efficiency in completing tasks, power through more choice and safety with more control."
The End of Innovation, August 7, 2001. This interview with Laurence Lessig, an Internet law and policy expert, discusses a range of copyright and fair use issues currently in the news, including the Adobe encryption case, fair use and the RIAA's battle involving the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Judge Patel's recent Napster decision, and the future of open source.
Internet Filter Law Gets Slow Start at Libraries, August 6, 2001. For Microsoft, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's fall from judicial grace is the gift that keeps on giving--or so it hopes.
Why an Intranet Must be Constantly Updated- And Steps to Make Sure it Is, August 8, 2001. For those of us who are Web Managers for our organization's intranet, we know all too well that our system is an entity that must be fed and cared for on a daily basis. This article offers practical tips as well as links to associated literature on the subject.
Anonymizer Launches Browser Privacy Tool, August 7, 2001. The provider of Internet-privacy software and services releases a new plug-in tool for Microsoft's Internet Explorer browsers that lets users surf the Web anonymously.
Micron Electronics Acquires Interland, August 7, 2001. Micron plays its hand to become a major web hosting service, and changes its names to Interland.
Net Users Irate Over .info Cybersquatters, August 7, 2001. "An effort to keep cybersquatters out of a new Internet domain has drawn the ire of Web surfers who say it has allowed dishonest applicants to scoop up hundreds of desirable names like "business.info" before they are available to the public."
For Palm Users, A PowerPoint Show, August 6, 2001. Documents to Go Professional Edition 4.0, from DataVitz provides Palm compatibility for PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, Lotus and Quattro Pro.
Internet Filter Law Gets Slow Start at Libraries, August 6, 2001. A South Carolina state law requiring mandatory Internet filtering by libraries that receive state funds has run into a roadblock. There is disagreement as to whether this applies to public libraries only, or also to college and university libraries, and clarification has been requested from the Attorney General's office.
The Deep Web: Surfacing Hidden Value, August 2001. This long, well documented article focuses on the expansive data frontier called the Deep Web, whose database content is searchable only via direct query. It provides a wealth of statistics on how much data is actually available via the Web, as opposed to how much data is retrieved by most users via the top search engines.
Newspapers in Deal to Share Stories for Web Sites, August 6, 2001. The New York Times (www.nytimes.com) and the Financial Times (www.ft.com) have made a deal to use up to ten stories from each other's newspapers on a daily basis.
Lycos Bug Lets Malicious Web Pages Crash PCs, August 6, 2001. The way Lycos renders HTML in its search results could allow Web pages to crash a user's PC.
Internet Explorer 6 in Final Stretches, August 4, 2001. "IE6 will feature few drastic changes over its predecessor. The most notable are the inclusions of integrated media playback and automatic picture resizing, and increased privacy with the adoption of P3P. The software giant has also extended the browser's standards support with additional DOM and CSS functionality. IE6 will also support new specifications such as SMIL 2.0, used in interactive media presentations." Smart Tags will not be in this release.
Use Tax At Center of Net Tax Debate, August 31, 2001. Tax collection issue must be worked out before new Internet taxes can be discussed, states say.
California E-Mail Privacy Bill Clears Legislature, August 30, 2001. The California Assembly passed SB 147, that if signed by Governor Davis, would prevent employers from reading their subordinates email. However, it is not likely that the Governor will sign it.
Sen. Clinton Seeks $25M to Fight Net Crime Against Kids, August 23, 2001. Clinton said that the $25 million would help expand the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces in every state by the end of 2002.
Microsoft in Capital Hill Showdown with Privacy Groups, August 22, 2001. Consumer privacy advocates meet with Microsoft representatives to discuss privacy issues connected to their new Passport and .Net products.
House to Get Faster Computer Network, August 21, 2001. Over the next eight months, the computer network for the House of Representatives will undergo a significant upgrade, providing a more stable environment, faster data transmission, and a new firewall.
House Panel Passes Web Tax Ban, Avoids Sales Tax, August 16, 2001. "A House of Representatives panel voted Thursday to bar states from taxing Internet access and extend for five years a ban on other Internet-specific taxes, declining to approve legislation that would help states tax online commerce."
Lawmaker Wages Privacy Crusade Against Technology, August 12, 2001. House Majority Leader Dick Armey is consistently opposed to technology that invades the privacy of citizens. His newest object of scorn is the use of red light cameras to catch speeders and digitized face technology to track criminals.
House Lawmakers Urge Urge Microsoft Antitrust Settlement, August 9, 2001. "In a letter sent to top representatives from Microsoft, the Justice Department and the state attorneys general involved in the case, 122 members of the U.S. House of Representatives urged the parties to reach a "just and speedy conclusion" to the court battle over Microsoft's business practices."
Senate Bill Offers Tacit Approval of Scholarly Web Portal Scorned by House, August 8, 2001. "The fate of PubScience, the U.S. Department of Energy's Web portal that allows scientists to search journal abstracts in the physical sciences, looks brighter following Senate approval last month of a spending bill for the agency."
Congressional Leaders Demand New Internet Domains, August 7, 2001. Commerce Committee Chairman W.J. "Billy" Tauzin, R-La., Ranking Member John Dingell, D-Mich., Internet Subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Ranking Member Edward Markey, D-Mass., jointly sent a letter to Commerce Sec. Evans making clear their position that ICANN should create another set of global domains. ICANN is not predisposed to act so quickly, having agreed to seven new domain names last November. A copy of the letter is at: http://www.techlawjournal.com/internet/20010806let.asp.
High-Tech Industry Unfulfilled in D.C., August 6, 2001. Congress departed Friday for a month long recess, leaving the high-tech industry with a largely unfulfilled legislative agenda. The clock is running out for action on two issues important to high-tech companies -- Internet taxation and computer export controls.
Digital Music Bill Set to Irk Major Record Labels, August 3, 2001. The Music Online Competition Act (MOCA) is a consumer friendly bill in that it would allow music lovers to create backup copies of music they have already purchased via an online service.
Lawmakers Prepare Digital Music Bill, August 2 2001. The legislation is being authored by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) and Rep. Christopher Cannon (R-Utah), and will focus on file swapping applications an effort to maintain competition in this potentially lucrative arena.
Lawmakers to Mull Extension of Net Tax Ban, August 1, 2001. Two bills sponsored by Chris Cox (R-CA) to extend the Internet tax moratorium will be considered by the House Judiciary Cmte. on Commercial and Administrative Law on August 2.