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[Fwd: ICSTI News for Nov 16]

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Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html
Laboratoire de Cristallographie               Phone: 41 (22) 702 62 49
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Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000 17:18:44 +0100
From: The Mahons <mahons1@EIRCOM.NET>
Subject: ICSTI News for Nov 16
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A couple of news items for today, with comments from me. Your feedback
on this style of presentation as well as the content, would be
appreciated. Bye, Barry

Is this a sign of things to come??
According to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education Online, 14
November 2000, in January 2001, Questia Media will begin offering a
digital library service that will allow students to electronically
search a collection of roughly 50,000 books and journals by keyword.
Students must pay between $20 and $30 a month for Questia's service and
will be able to cut and paste specific content into their papers
digitally. The service will automatically create footnotes and will
hyperlink footnotes in papers that are submitted online, allowing
professors to check references easily. Questia says 135 publishers have
agreed to provide some titles through the new service, although many of
the titles are out-of-print. Yale University associate university
librarian Ann Okerson says Questia appears to be creating a viable
collection. Okerson, who recently accepted an unpaid job on Questia's
Librarian Advisory Council, says she hopes to persuade the company to
offer institution-wide licenses so all students could access the
service, since the subscription fees Questia is proposing are too high
for some students. According to Questia's web site www.questia.com the
subject coverage is "liberal arts books and journal articles" and
"Material included in the Questia collection will be accessible 24 hours
per day/7 days per week. Content will be archived in adherence with best
practices for long-term retention of digital research resources"
Questia's founder is a 1998 graduate of the Harvard Law School and is
backed by financing from Rod Canion, founder of Compaq.


Autonomy, a UK software house which sells Portal in a Box and other Web
based information management software, was listed on the London Stock
Exchange yesterday November 15. Autonomy also sells an information
retrieval package for which they claim very high recall and precision
ratios and a very sophisticated indexing capability. Wearing another
occupational hat I have heard extremely varied reports of its value,
from useless to very good. For the third quarter of 2000 Autonomy's
revenues were $17.6 million (up from $6 million on 1999, third quarter)
with a net profit of $6.5 million.

The company is a spin off from Cambridge University research on so
called Beynsian mathematics and the Chief Executive Mike Lynch who with
Richard Gaunt as chief technology officer are the founders, are paper
millionaires many times over. The Financial Times of London says that
investors on the London market are "are banking  on flawless execution
and the undivided attention of these two" and asks why they are actually
employed by a privately held company Neurodynamics, instead of Autonomy.

Based on its current London market valuation of more than 4bn, Autonomy
could qualify for inclusion in the FTSE 100 (the UK equivalent of the
Dow) at the next meeting of the FTSE committee on December 6. This seems
incredible given that this year is its first year to make a profit. It
is not often that we in the information world can identify with the
equivalent of a "dot com" enterprise where the market values the shares
so highly.

Anybody out there with specific experience they can share on Autonomy or
its products??


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