Chinese first Environment Protection website

China launched its first website on local environmental protection in Shenyang. The website, both in Chinese and English was jointly set up by Environment Engineering Centre of North East China University and Economic Information Centre. The website will provide timely data on city's environmental protection industry and also release the latest information about new products, research results, high-tech developments, market managements and international cooperation.

— S & T for China, December 1999, p.8
Economic & Commercial Wing, Embassy of India, Beijing, PRC

Design Data Searching

Australian Design Data Searching (ADDS) is a new device to search on application for design registration and registered designs. All data published in Australian Official Journal of designs, expect for representations of designs, can be searched on ADDS. The data coverage is of all applications and registration from 1986 and registrations captured from 1973 to 1985. The search functionality in ADDS allows searching names of applicant/owners and authors lodgement and registration information and international design classification. Public demonstrations of ADDS will be available in all state capitals depending on the level of interests. Access to the design main frame database, will remain available for an adequate period for clients to confirm the data and functionality of ADDS. [Australia: IP Australia News, January 2000]

— WISTA, Vol. 1, Issue 8, February 2000, p.3

New Electronic Service for Patents

The Canadian IPO takes pride in announcing that their service capability has been enhanced. They now electronically accept applications, payments, (credit card or deposit accounts), the filing of assignments, and correspondence. Additionally, they accepts maintenance fees for industrial design registrations and corrections to copyright certificates. Relevant forms, instructions on use, and related information are available on this site under the relevant product.

With the latest additions to electronic service delivery for patents, one can now, through a simple online transaction, file a patent application, register documents, pay various fees, exchange correspondence or request national entry for PCT application in Canada. To perform one of these transactions via website, simply fill out and send appropriate electronic form. Instruction for writing a patent application are available there. [Canada: Canadian IP News, January 2000]

— WISTA, Vol. 1, Issue 8, February 2000, p.3

Copyright (Amendment Act 1999)

The Copyright Act in force in India came into being in 1957. This had been amended from time to time to keep in tune with the developments and perhaps the Indian Act had been considered to be quite uptodate. The Copyright (Amendment) Act 1999 had some significant improvements. In addition to amending Section 2 of the Principal Act to include Databases, Sections 14, 48 and 52, Sections 40A and 42A have been introduced. Section 40A deals with the Power of the Central Government to apply chapter VIII to broadcasting organisations and performers in certain other countries. Section 42A deals with power to restrict rights of foreign broadcasting organisations and performers.

— WISTA, Vol. 1, Issue 8, February 2000, p.11

Easier Access to Patent Information

Europe's innovations do not lack patent information but what they need is a more efficient system to access this wealth of information selectively. This was one of the conclusions drawn at the EPIDOS Annual Conference held in Greece in October 1999. The need for easier access to patent information has to some extent been met by a recent initiative, which offers free access to more than 30 million patents from all over the world. Director General of the Hellenic Patent Office (OBI) used the EPIDOS conference to announce that OBI is restructuring its information services completely to adapt them to new challenges and will make the server accessible in Greek. The President of EPO emphasised the need for well-focused and easy-to-use products on CDROM and DVD (Digital Versatile Disk) as well, in order to meet the information requirements arising as a result of the eastward enlargement of European Patent Organization. The President of Japanese Patent Information Organisation (JAPIO), Mr. Yukata Wada, said about some important changes to the Japanese Patent Office's information policy, all patent data from Japan may be available in English on the Internet by the middle of next year. The EPO, the national patent offices and the commercial sector are in the process of reacting to that change and are relying on patent information users in Europe to alert them to their needs so that they can respond to them. [EPIDOS News Issue, November 1999]

— WISTA, Vol. 1, Issue 8, February 2000, p.20

INFLIBNET Subscribes to OCLC'S first search service

Online Computer Library Centre, Inc. (OCLC) is the non-profit largest leading network and bibliographic utility for libraries in the world, linking more than 26,000 libraries form 64 countries. OCLC offers services like inter-library loan, union catalogue search and first search is an economically priced online bibliographic service that offers access to 75 databases and includes links to WWW. It also offers online full text, document delivery, library holdings and inter-library loan services. All funded universities can avail first search service from INFLIBNET centre. The participating libraries can send key words and topics. The search will be conducted at the centre and the bibliographic details with abstracts will be mailed to the university libraries. The charges will be borne by the centre.

Contact: INFLIBNET CENTRE, Ahmedabad at for more details.

— MCLC News, Vol. 2, No. 4, Oct-Dec. 1999

Proquest Research Library

This databases for academic libraries from M/s Bell & Howell provides choice of subjects that will satisfy the information needs of users in a variety of academic settings. They are very comprehensive in coverage and works well for students and researchers of all ages and levels. The database contains over 2000 journals, nearly 1000 of them in ASCII full-text or full-image in a wide range of subject areas. With Proquest Research Library, one can tailor the contents of databases to meet of individual's need in the disciplines: Arts, Business, Children, Education, Health, Humanities, International Law, Military Science, Psychology, Social Sciences, Women Studies and topics of general interest.

About 900 selected core journals in full text with back-files are also available on CDROM discs. Visit for more information.

— MCLC News, Vol. 2, No. 4, Oct-Dec. 1999

Inside Information on web

The British Library, London allows you to browse their databases containing

The full text can be had either by fax or by courier post. The documents delivery service as well as the web browsing is fee based. The database is updated on daily basis and each time about 10,000 records are added. Visit for more information.

— MCLC News, Vol. 2, No. 4, Oct-Dec. 1999

C-DAC takes first step towards digitization of rare documents for public domain

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) took the first step towards digitization of rare documents when it released six digital library compact discs encapsulating some rare scientific works and documents owned by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIAP). Handing over the CDs to IIAP, in the presence of Department of Science and Technology Secretary V.S. Ramamurthy, C-DAC Director N. Chandrasekaran said the technology used was scalable and hence the data could be preserved and used even when newer technologies would arrive in future by timely upgradation of the medium. The methodology is so structured that the data stored on the server will be kept in use for posterity with the help of transition technologies at different points of time.

Undertaken under the National Information Infrastructure Development Programme, digitization of original works on Johannes Kepler, John Flamsteed, Madras Observatory, Madras Records, John Goldingham and Madras Equatorial Observations have been completed and handed over to IIAP. The digital information could be put on the Intranet, Internet or Extranet, depending on the use and the demand. C-DAC has undertaken a new project of digitising some of the rare documents of Saraswati Mahal Library at Tanjavur at the behest of the Department of Culture.

Stressing the importance of preserving heritage, Prof. Ramamurthy said once the C-DAC pilot project was assessed, new areas of document preservation would be identified and digitization process would commence on a large scale with technical assistance from C-DAC. "Under WTO and patent regime, it is even more important that our traditional knowledge is preserved in electronic form so that we can prove our ancient knowledge to the world. CSIR could win the international turmeric patent battle because it was possible to show to the world that turmeric was documented in our ancient literature for medicinal properties," he added.

— The Times of India, March 3, 2000

Recordable compact discs give amateur bands pro touch

Amateur musicians have long dreamt of cutting compact discs of their own. The emergence of recordable CDs or CD-Rs have turned that dream into reality. One can now make a CD without the help of pressing plant. Some discs cost less than the price of most audio cassettes and people have started exchanging their CDs like business cards. An amateur group recently made its own CD after a US radio program producer spotted the group's website and asked them to send a demo. Of the 2000 demos received so far from amateur musicians this year for Yamaha Music Quest contest, twenty are CD-Rs.

CD-Rs had been developed mainly to store business data. The cost per CD has plummeted to one-fifteenth in last several years. Earlier, those wishing to make a CD has to take their original recordings to a pressing plant, which was expensive and which accepted minimum orders of no less than 100 copies (at about US$ 1000) and amateurs used to fear performing poorly under the mental stress when recording. With CD-Rs, it has become possible to make just one copy at a low cost, and advances in digital recording systems have made it easier to modify original recordings. The price of making one disc at a studio in Osaka, starts at US$ 8. Newcomers are now giving their CDs to promote themselves.

— S & T in Japan, September 1999, p.9
Science & Technology Wing, Embassy of India, Tokyo, Japan

Success in Quantum Computers

The Japanese Science and Technology Corporation (JSTC) and NEC Corporation succeeded for the first time in the world in developing a fundamental circuit device (gate) for a quantum computer, using a solid-state electronic device capable of being integrated. This development was achieved by researchers of NEC Fundamental Research Laboratory and JSTC during their research on small metallic tunnel junction.

A quantum computer to which the principles of quantum mechanics are applied is the next generation computer having a remarkable computation capacity, and is estimated to be able to complete a sophisticated calculation of factorization in prime numbers within several tens of minutes which may require no less than 10 trillion years for a modern supercomputer.

Quantum computer applies wave function of matter particles to the operation method of the computer. However, it has been difficult to fabricate an integrated circuit device for realizing this objective, and the research to date has stopped at the stage of confirmation of the principles. The present success is expected to make a step for the realization of the quantum computer.

— S & T in Japan, September 1999, p.11-12

Bubble Memory

Research in micro-space image dissection of phase and amplitude of electronic waves, has opended up venues for the creation of bubble memory that can dispense with external magnetic fields. The results have been achieved through Core Research for Evolutionary Science and Technology (CREST) project undertaken jointly by the University of Tokyo, Tokyo Institute of Technology and Atomic Technology Research Body. Magnetic bubble memory has been used for electronic computers as a low cost way of memorizing a large quantity of information. However, it is necessary to always apply external magnetic fields to it, and there have always been such problems as leakage of the magnetic fields to outside. For that reason, it has not been used so widely.

The research team observed a transition metal oxide with a layered structure, using a scanning Hall-probe microscope, and discovered that fine magnetic bubbles were generated in a certain temperature range without any magnetic field applied from the outside. It is reported that the spontaneous formation of magnetic bubbles without the application of external magnetic fields is caused by the strong magnetic body multilayer structure of the oxide crystals.

— S & T in Japan, October 1999, p.10

Mouse for 3-D graphics

Fujitsu Takamisawa has developed a mouse specifically designed for users of computer graphics software who need to manipulate three dimensional images. While a typical mouse has two click switches, the new device has four disk like buttons and six click-switches, making it far easier to manipulate 3-D images on the computer screen.

The uppermost buttons work like a regular mouse to move an image horizontally and vertically on the flat plane of the screen but the other three buttons allow the user to move and rotate images in a three dimensional way. By manipulating two of these buttons at the same time, the image can be twisted and pinched.

The six-click switches work like the two on a regular mouse, but special software lets users assign a specific action to each switch. Inside each button is a magnet and a device that detects changes in magnetic field. When the user pushes the button in a given direction, the magnetic field changes, and the sensor detects this to determine which direction the button is moving. Since, the button and sensor never come in contact, the mouse has little chance of mechanical failure, the company said.

Mice developed earlier for use with 3-D computer graphics require the user to grasp and move a sphere or twist knobs and thus intuitive manipulation of the on-screen images was not possible. The new device expected in the market at about US$ 1000 can be freely manipulated as a regular mouse. Mice for computer-graphic production companies and other business users would precede those for other potential applications including the game controller.

— S & T in Japan, October 1999, p.10-11

Information Today & Tomorrow, Vol. 19, No. 1, March 2000, p.27-p.29 & p.32