3G Communication Systems. South Africa. CSIR, Home Web site, Dec 2000.
The first generation of mobile phone was based on analogue technology which provided simple telephony. The current second generation networks provide additional data facilities ranging from simple messaging services to narrow band ISDN facilities. This is sufficient for basic data services such as fax or e-mail but cannot cater for multimedia applications.
It is expected that the third generation of mobile networks will enable users to utilise a full range of multimedia services such as online banking/shopping service, video telephony and high speed Internet access from both fixed and mobile networks. The South African Department of Communication is very keen to introduce 3G system in the country and a policy is being formulated by the government to eliminate all barriers to entry by potential operators and end users for its implementation.
-- Reproduced from WISTA Innovation 2001, 2(8), 19.
Maximum protection of confidential data . FhG Research News. 3/2001. Topic 4.
Attacks launched by hackers on corporations such as Microsoft, research laboratories and even the Pentagon are constantly making the headlines. However, viruses and Trojan horse programs transmitted via Internet are not the only threat for companies - their own staff also represent a risk. Non-authorized software, imported viruses, abuse of network access privileges and data theft are unfortunately not uncommon. The CIPRESS (Cryptographic Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement System) project has been developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD under contract to the Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan. This system aims to ensure secure data distribution and is now being marketed by Mitsubishi under the name "ReEncryption System".
"The objective of our research work was to create an all-encompassing security concept for preventing illegitimate usage of sensitive information and to protect copyright - both internally and externally," reports Dr Christoph Busch of the IGD. Automatic authentication for each document is a special feature of this system and can neither be perceived nor circumvented by the user, as he or she enters their data and proceeds with work as normal. As soon as the user stores a document, a complex process is set in motion. If data distribution occurs only within the trusted system, the user remains unaware of the cryptographic mechanisms in operation. "On the other hand, an attempt to open an encrypted document on a non-authorized PC or laptop which is not connected to the secure distribution system, or without adequate access privileges will just lead to frustration. The data will appear in encrypted form," explains Dr Busch. Furthermore, printed material is marked with invisible watermarks providing information on the most recent user of the document and the copyright holder. Even if entire storage devices or computers are stolen, the confidentiality of stored data protected by the system is ensured at all times. In such a case, the data still remains in encrypted form.
ReEncryption TM technology was patented by the Mitsubishi Corporation and the digital watermarking technology by the IGD. The current version runs on the operating system Microsoft Windows NT 4.0/ versions for Windows 2000 as well as for leading Unix alternatives such as Sun Solaris, currently under development.
Contact: Dr Christoph Busch, Tel:+496151/155-1 47, Fax:+49 61 51/1 55-4 99, christoph.busch @igd.fhg.De Fraunhofer-Institut for Graphische, Datenverarbeitung IGD. Runderurmstrasse 6, 64283 Darmstadt, GERMANY
-- Science and Technology in Germany 2001, March, 4
Hard disk capacity
The capacity of hard disks to store data has been doubling every year. With the current level of technology, it may reach its platter at 100 GB or 100 billion bits/in2. However, two technologies under development promise to break through the 100 GB barrier and open new vistas for magnetic recording media. These are Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) and Tunneling Magneto-Resistive (TMR) heads. With these technologies, hard disks could find new applications beyond their traditional role of data storage medium in computers. Their ability to pack so much data in such a little space may qualify them as memories in cellular phones and as recording medium for high-definition movies in consumer appliances.
In a technology seminar held some weeks ago, Mr Ryo Imura, Director of Information Storage Research, Hitachi proclaimed that the terabit-capacity hard drive was now in sight. His confidence emanated from the lead Hitachi has in the practical development of PMR technology. Hard disks are circular and the data bits are stored along concentric tracks, but otherwise the method now used for recording on a hard disk is the same as that employed for cassette tapes and videotapes. Namely, each bit is stored in a separate magnetized area, with the north and south poles aligned length-wise along the track in what is known as longitudinal magnetic recording. However, in the PMR technology, the poles are aligned one on top of the other, and thus each data bit takes up less surface area on the disk. The result is a tremendous increase in recording capacity.
A year ago, a PMR hard disk having an areal density of 52.5 GB/in2 was announced. A hard disk of one inch diameter could then store as much information as a DVD, or 5 gigabytes. PMR disk using a cobalt-palladium thin film material developed by Hitachi-Maxell, having an areal density of 63 GB/in2 was unveiled in a conference in the US in January, where coincidentally Toshiba demonstrated its prototype 2.5-inch hard disk with an areal density of 21.8 GB/in2 .The importance of this achievement is that the PMR disk can run on a drive made with some modifications to existing technologies. While IBM is working on PMR, Maxtor and Read-Rite have reported some success with this technology.
The other next generation technology that promises to boost hard disk capacity, uses Tunneling Magneto Resistive heads made by sandwiching an extremely thin layer of an insulator between two magnetic films. The new TMR heads boast double the magneto-resistive ratio of conventional giant magneto-resistance (GMR) heads. This means they are far more sensitive than GMR heads and thus enable each bit of data to be stored in an even smaller magnetic region on the disk. The major problem with TMR heads is the noise that is generated when the head comes closer than 10 nm to the surface of disk. NEC has developed technologies that reduce this noise and in doing so has opened the door on higher density recording with TMR heads. Using the NEC technologies, a standard 3.5 inch disk could hold as much as 130 gigabytes of data, enough information to record over 30 hours of high-definition video.
-- Science & Technology in Japan 2001, May, 10-11
A New Venture Initiated by INFLIBNET
INFLIBNET has organised new service called "Document Delivery Service." This service has been started with the following six major university libraries, i.e. Banaras Hindu University Library; University of Hyderabad, Indira Gandhi Memorial Library; Indian Institute of Science, JRD Tata Memorial Library; Jawaharlal Nehru University Library ; Panjab University, A C Joshi Library; Tata Institute of Social Science, University Library. All these libraries have a rich core collection on various subjects. Any of these libraries, on demand, will deliver promptly the copies of papers from learned journals, conference proceedings and other materials available in their collection at nominal cost.
The request, listing the items required with complete bibliographical information can be made using any of the following options: email, telephone, normal letter by post, request in person and fax.
Requested material will be delivered using any one of the following options depending on ones need and payment: Electronic delivery using email, normal/unregistered/registered post, fax, by hand delivery, speed post/courier.
For rush/urgent orders (by fax/ speed post) the requested material will be supplied within 48 hours from the time of receipt of orders, and for routine orders within maximum five days from the date of receipt of order. In case the requested material is not available suitable response will be sent within 24 hours.
Charges vary from Rs. 5 to Rs.20 up to five pages or part there of depending upon the academic or commercial organisations.
Visit INFLIBNET's Web site at http://www. inflibnet.ac.in under serial database for finding the availability of journals (current and back volumes).
Contact: Dr T S Kumbar, INFLIBNET Centre, Opp. Gujarat University Guest House, P.B. No. 4116, Navarangpura, Ahmedabad-380009 at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
FontSubidha - Devnagari Fonts Converter
People using Indian language software have always faced a few problems such as non-standardisation of keyboards and font encoding. The non-compatibility of texts amongst different Indian language fonts has posed an acute problem for those using Indian languages for computing. Fonts for English text can be very easily changed in packages like MS Word etc, just by selecting a particular text block. However, such facility is not available for Indian languages. In Devnagari alone, at present there are more than twelve popular Devnagari font formats and five different keyboard layouts. A document composed with any of these fonts cannot be read in MS Word or in any other application, if the specific font is not available, leave alone editing that document.
This is true with all such available fonts and format. There is a strong need to overcome this practical problem.
Cybershoppee took up a project with a few dedicated staff comprising Ninad Pradhan, Shailesh Deodhar, Shridhar Malagi, Sanjay Jain, Atul Gupte and Amit Pandey to overcome this problem and allow easy transportation of documents from one font format to another. Cybershoppee succeeded in solving the knotty problem existing ever since computing in Indian languages began over a decade back.
The solution has come in the form of FontSubidha that addresses this acute need of conversion of documents from one format to another. It is now possible to select a particular text and change the font from any of those available with you in just seconds. This is just like changing the text of the document from Times New Roman to Arial within the MS Word document itself. FontSubidha makes it possible to use a combination of Indian language fonts while composing a document with one software having a limited number of fonts. FontSubidha allows using of more than 200 fonts even if one has a software allowing use of a few fonts only. The facility is extended to HTML and text files also.
FontSubidha 1.0 released in December 2000 comes with a total of eleven font conversions. Updates are being added from time to time.
Any person or organisation using any Devnagari editing software can use FontSubidha. It is a boon for the newspapers, book publishers, DTP houses, journalists, authors, government and other organisations.
Four different converters are available now. They are: FontSubidha - Devnagari Fonts Converter for MS Word, FontSubidha - Text File Converter, FontSubidha -HTML File Converter, and FontSubidha - Clipboard Converter. The use of the Converters is simple. Document converter is directly available in the Tools menu of MS word. Following just five to six steps the conversion can be done.
Contact: Cybershoppee, Chanakya, 2nd fllor, Gokhale road, Naupada, Thane 400602. Phone: (22) 542 1185, 5339003 for the purchase of FontSubidha and trade enquiry at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at http://www.cybershoppee.com
-- Source: Publicity Brochure
After computer screen touch, it is iSmell. Smell is most evocative of senses. A number of experiments are on to put scents on the Web and into e-mail. DigiScents of California, which recently acquired the Israeli rivalSense IT Technologies, has created a device that emits scents via PCs. The iSmell device that plugs into a computer blends 128 basic smells into a theoretically unlimited number of scents and wafts them around using a fan. DigiScents plans to begin marketing the device soon, in collaboration with Proctor and Gamble. A similar `portable nose' manufactured by Cyrano Sciences, also based in California, is currently being marketed to the food industry. It might make its way to consumer PCs within a few years.
-- Reproduced from MALA Newsletter 2001, 14(2=April), 3-4.
INFLIBNET Funds 19 More Universities
As a part of its continued support to the university libraries for modernization under INFLIBNET programme, University Grants Commission has sanctioned non-recurring grant of Rs. 6.5 lakhs to each of the following 19 universities and released in March 2001. With this the total number of universities covered under INFLIBNET goes up to 142. The 19 universities are:
1. Bharathiar University, Coimbatore
2. Chatrapati Shahuji Maharaj University, Kanpur
3. Chaudhry Charan Singh University, Meerut
4. Guru Ghasidas University, Bilaspur
5. Kannada University, Kamalapura
6. Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University, Darbhanga
7. Mahatma Gandhi Gramoday Vishwavidyalay, Chitrakoot
8. Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad
9. Mother Teresa Women's University, Kodaikanal
10. Potti Sriramulu Telugu University, Hyderabad
11. Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi
12. Sri Padmavati Mahila Vishwavidyalayam, Tirupati
13. Swami Ramanand Tirth Marathwada University, Nanded
14. The Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow
15. Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapith, Pune
16. Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthinilayam
17. Jain Vishva Bharati, Ladnun
18. Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapith, Tirupati
19. Bharathi Vidyapith, Pune.
This grant has been provided for creating the necessary infrastructure in each library for computerisation and LAN. With the grant the libraries will procure computers, software, and other peripherals to initiate the process of computerisation. These universities will also be supported for the first five years with a recurring grant to meet the salary of `information scientist', (a post created especially to take care of INFLIBNET programme implementation at these universities), data entry work including retrospective conversion, etc.
To address various issues involved, approaches to be adopted and to promote better understanding of the total responsibility of implementation, INFLIBNET Centre is to organise a workshop at Ahmedabad for the heads of libraries of these universities.
-- Reported by Dr TS Kumbar, INFLIBNET, Ahmedabad, 24 May 2001
E-pen for the Write Stuff
New pen-like devices are being brought out that can scan and transfer text into a computer or cell phone. One such electronic pen made by Anoto AB, a Swedish company, can record handwriting and send the information it collects as fax, e-mail, or cell phone short message. They have developed a system that uses the so-called Bluetooth short-distance data transmission technology to connect specially designed pens to wireless phones or Bluetooth-enabled PCs. Bluetooth wireless technology eliminates the need for devices to be connected by cable in order to send or receive information. A key part of the technology is normal paper containing a fantastically complicated pattern of tiny dots that helps the pen convert a written note or picture into a digital image that can be transmitted in e-mail or sent as a computer file.
Newspapers and magazines could find a powerful new way to take advantage of this. Reporters, for instance, will not need to hunt out a phone and computer to e-mail their reports but can do it instantaneously.
The main parts of the Anoto pen are: a digital camera, an advanced image-processing unit and a Bluetooth radio transceiver. It looks and feels like an ordinary ballpoint pen and is used in the same way. You activate the pen by removing the cap and deactivate it by replacing the cap. The pen which is activated when the cap is removed can store as many as 50 continuous pages of solid X and Y coordinates before transmission is necessary. The camera takes digital snapshots of the pattern every 1/100 seconds; each snapshot has enough information to calculate the exact position of the pen. The pen has an accuracy tolerance of 1/1000 inches.
As you write or draw on the paper with your Anoto pen, the pen creates a digital trace of whatever you do. This information is stored in the pen until you tick the appropriate check-box. With the `send' box checked, the data can go directly to a PC or through a Bluetooth-enabled device to the Anoto look-up device via the Internet. Everything has a downside, and so does this technology. The pen can transmit a signal for just 10 to 30 feet and costs Rs.4,700. [Modified]
-- Chandragupta Amritkar, Times of India, 28 May 01.
Indian Library Science Abstracts 1992-1999
Information and Communication Society of India (80 Shivalik Apartments, Alaknanda, New Delhi 110019) has undertaken the compilation of Indian Library Science Abstracts for the years 1992-1999. The compilation will carry about 3,000 abstracts of journal articles, conference papers and other items related to library and information science and will be released during the XXIII All India IASLIC Conference at Thiruvanantapuram in December 2001. Every effort is being made to make the publication as comprehensive as possible. Still authors are requested to send the abstracts of their papers, books, etc. published during the period to the aforesaid Society to ensure full coverage of their publications. Libraries/Librarians interested to procure a copy of the compilation may place advance order with IASLIC, P 291 CIT Scheme 6M, Kankurgachi, Calcutta 700054.
Origin of the word Cyber
William Gibson is best known for using the word `Cyber' in his 1984 novel Neuromancer. He actually used it years ago in a short story in the Omni magazine. Cyber as a prefix first appeared in the word cybernetics which was coined by Norbert Weiner in his book of the same name in 1948. Weiner derived it from the Greek for steersmen and the idea of control is central to it.
The meaning of cyber has evolved over the past decade. Its original sense in Neuromancer was of electronic space as perceived by what we would call now virtual reality. The brain and senses were directly linked with the world of computers and communications and so could experience it as an actual landscape. With an explosive growth of interest in the Internet, its popular sense shifted to a weakened one that referred to the intangible (and hence mysterious) electronic domain. More recently, it has moved towards becoming a loose synonym for `electronic'.
-- Mr A S Sharma, Times of India, 1 April 01
Information Today & Tomorrow, Vol. 20, No. 3, September 2001, p.27-p.30