Fall Issue October 2008
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Better Living Through Technology

Search information technology on the Internet keeps improving, and now a free service called Semantic MEDLINE has just been released. This new important tool for researchers in the medical and biotech community uses Semantic Natural Language Processing technology which saves users hours hunting for desired documents within complex content. This technology adds word and phrase meaning and “understanding” to computer applications, enabling them to be more human-like in their processing of information.

Another aspect of the importance of online information access involves parent participation impacting student achievement. A newly released survey of U.S. parents with one or more children in K-12 revealed that parents are seeking ways to become more involved in their child’s progress at school through the use of technology. Web-based student information systems improve communication between school and home via parent portals designed to provide parents and students secure access to real-time information that includes attendance, grades and detailed assignment descriptions, school bulletins, lunch menus and personal messages from teachers. The makers of the survey are convinced that secure, user-based online information access enables and encourages parent participation, which has a positive impact on student achievement.

There is good news for bloggers who want to include interactive video into their Internet blogs. Open source code is now available for Web developers in the form of an extensive Software Development Kit. Bloggers will have full control over video settings and content. They get to decide who is allowed to add and edit videos, and if they want to enable video comments or not. All videos can be tracked through a special management console.

IBM has developed innovations through an emerging communications technology that will save people money on fuel, decrease auto accidents and change the way people travel by making their travel safer and more streamlined. As the new technology becomes more standard in all vehicles, cars in general will be able to “sense” one another. This exchange of information between cars will allow them to take appropriate automatic corrective action and give essential feed back to their drivers to ease merging and traffic flow. Intelligent traffic systems will make real-time adjustments to traffic lights to ease congestion and clear paths for emergency vehicles. New sensor technologies, GPS and satellites will provide information to drivers on the best routes to avoid driving and parking during peak hours. Fewer traffic jams will result in cleaner air and safer roads. Travelers will get notifications of train and bus delays via cell phone, drivers will converse with their cars, and cities will find the cure for congestion.

The next featured article in this fall TMIS eNewsletter shares a future world of bold virtual reality via devices that provide high resolution, full immersion, visual and auditory experience to consumers. Chairman of a leading interactive 3D software provider projects that by year 2011, use of applications that blur the distinction between physical existence and digital reality will be commonplace due to widespread use of the next generation of the Internet, Web 3.0, which uses 3D interactive virtual reality technology. This technology will allow customers to become the driving force behind e-commerce by using 3D image scans for a correct clothing fit, for example. Real estate sales will be conducted through mixed-reality, fully immersed atmospheres that will allow potential buyers to not only walk through a property but virtually transport themselves into the environment to experience the physical and sensory experience of being there. The realm of personal communications will become fully integrated with mobile phones in a mixed reality where users might wear translucent goggles. Through these, wearers will see the real world as well as computer generated images projected on top of that world, creating an interactive mixed reality experience in real time. This vision will rely on the development and build out of the next generation of the Internet to change the way consumers communicate, interact and conduct commerce.

I am grateful to be in a collaborative business with many talented and skilled professionals. Additional feedback and recommendations for our products and services at TM Information Services are always welcome.

- Mary M. McLaughlin

From the Front Page of TMIS News
Click on links below to view Full Stories.

One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Medical Research: Cognition Launches Semantic Medline
Los Angeles, California

Cognition Technologies, a next-generation Semantic Natural Language Processing company, announces a quantum improvement in the application of NLP technology with the introduction of Semantic MEDLINE -- the 18 million article abstract database of complex health information published by the National Library of Medicine. This new free service at www.SemanticMEDLINE.com enables complex health and life science material to be rapidly and efficiently discovered with greater precision and completeness. This marks the first time that users can employ a natural, conversational sentence structure to find the most complex studies within the MEDLINE dataset.

SemanticMEDLINE is powered by Cognition's Semantic NLP technology, which incorporates word and phrase knowledge to comprehend the meaning and nuances of the English language. Cognition's Semantic Map, the most complete and comprehensive available today, enables the Search process to be based on meaning, rather than statistical word pattern matching, and therefore returns more complete and relevant results.

"Cognition's Semantic NLP is the first and only technology to combine all of the key linguistic elements to unravel the complexity of language and optimize semantic understanding of ambiguous content. The foundation behind this capability is our comprehensive Semantic Map of the English language," said Scott Jarus, CEO of Cognition Technologies. "SemanticMEDLINE's results are far more comprehensive and thorough when compared with Pubmed's native Search results because of two unique capabilities: an understanding of synonymy and the ability to understand meaning and context reasoning."

With traditional keyword search engines, such as those used by Google, Yahoo! and others, finding the best medical research document within complex datasets, such as MEDLINE, is very difficult to obtain without the use of complex Boolean equations and a deep understanding of the many permutations of technical synonymy. Cognition's Semantic MEDLINE has the ability to target and locate these types of data that are otherwise hidden in masses of information because of its comprehensive Semantic Map (particularly deep within the health sciences discipline) and its unique ability to "understand" the meaning behind words, phrases and idioms.
Full Story

Pearson Survey Reveals Majority of Parents Believe Better School-To-Home Communication Will Increase Academic Achievement in Students
Rancho Cordova, California

Pearson has announced the results of an independent, nationwide survey that underscores the importance of regular school-to-home communication and its impact on overall student achievement. Ninety-six percent of all parents surveyed agreed that parent involvement was a key factor in student achievement, and ninety-five percent of parents felt achievement would improve with better communication between school and home.

In July 2008, Pearson commissioned an online survey of 548 U.S. parents, age 30 and older, with one or more children in grades K-12. The survey was conducted to determine the frequency and manner of communication that parents currently have with their child's school. The survey also gauged parents' attitudes on the impact of regular communication on overall student achievement. The complete survey results are available at http://www.pearsonschoolsystem.com/survey.

The survey revealed that parents are seeking ways to become more involved in their child's progress at school through the use of technology. Additionally, parents widely viewed their involvement as a key factor in a child's overall achievement and indicated a strong desire to be more informed about overall progress, especially grades, in order to positively impact their child's school performance.

The survey also showed that parents view middle school as the most critical time for schools to provide parents the opportunity to get more involved, and that this involvement would result in increased academic performance later on in high school. Parents also acknowledged the benefits of better communication, specifically online communication, between school and home -- namely, the ability to afford a student earlier intervention opportunities to solve problems and as a motivating factor for their child to take on more responsibility with respect to the outcome of his or her academic performance.
Full Story

Bloggers Can Now Upload, Import and Edit Videos in Any Blog Post, and Allow Their Readers to Post Video Comments and Participate in Collaborative Videos
New York, New York

Kaltura, Inc., developer of the first open source video platform for video management, creation, interaction, and collaboration, announced today that it has released version 1.0 of its Interactive Video Plugin for WordPress. The open source plugin, which can be downloaded at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/kaltura-interactive-video/, is designed to enable both basic and advanced video capabilities on any WordPress blog (using version 2.5 and higher) -- from simple video posting and playing to video commenting and collaborative video editing.

"Kaltura's open source strategy is already proving itself -- the community has warmly embraced our MediaWiki extension, and the beta version of the new WordPress plugin is already being used by many bloggers and has received enthusiastic reviews so far. We're looking forward to seeing more and more blogs using interactive videos with the release of this first official version," said Ron Yekutiel, Kaltura Chairman and CEO. "Video is becoming an inseparable part of the blogging world. Our plugin enables bloggers not only to easily upload and display videos, but they can also create mixes and slideshows, and engage their users in a real and compelling conversation."

Kaltura's Interactive Video plugin allows bloggers to enhance their WordPress blog with a full video experience. Following the short and simple plugin installation, bloggers can: -- Upload, and import videos directly to their blog post; -- Edit and remix videos using Kaltura's online full-featured video editor; -- Easily import video and other forms of rich-media from other sites and social networks, and; -- Allow readers and subscribers to add video and audio comments, and to participate in collaborative videos.
Full Story

IBM Reveals Five Transportation Innovations
Armonk, New York

IBM has announced five innovations that have the potential to change the way people travel. The list is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from IBM's labs around the world that could make these innovations possible. Every year, nine billion gallons of fuel are wasted in traffic congestion, auto accidents cost hundreds of billions of dollars and by 2020 the number of airline passengers is expected to double, soaring to an annual rate of more than seven billion worldwide.

In the next two years, these statistics will change through technology innovations in the following ways: Our cars will be able to sense other cars and avoid hazardous road conditions. The future is collaborative driving. Cars in the near future will have driver-assist technologies that will make it possible for automobiles to behave as if they have 'reflexes.' Vehicles will exchange information with each other and with the road infrastructure, take corrective action where appropriate, and provide essential feedback to the drivers. Highway and city merging and traffic flow will be smoother and safer and harmful emissions will be reduced.
Full Story

Real Life and Digital Simulation Will Merge by 2011
Irvine, California

Real life and digital simulation will merge by 2011, producing a mixed-reality environment that will change the way consumers communicate, interact and conduct commerce, according to futurist Dan Lejerskar, chairman of EON Reality Inc., the world's leading interactive 3D software provider. "What once was imagined soon will be experienced," Lejerskar explained. "The technology convergence of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, Web and search, and digital content means that people can experience more in their daily lives by blurring the distinction between their physical existence and digital reality."

As evidence of this trend, he points to the realization of commercially viable applications for 3D interactive virtual reality technology -- as well as the position of industry thought leaders championing the advancement of such experiences. Heavyweights Google and Microsoft are pushing this trend toward the manifestation of the 3D Internet, while computer and video game developers are whetting consumers' appetites for 3D experiences with new technologies, such as Nintendo's Wii. Hollywood studios and amusement parks also are incorporating 3D interactive virtual reality elements into their offerings.

"We're witnessing the creation of an environment in which visualization companies, industry, academia and the public sector can meet and exchange knowledge, experiences and ideas," Lejerskar said. "Within three to four years, we'll see radical changes in how we shop, learn and communicate with business associates, friends and family. Consumers crave user-generated experiences that combine virtual reality technology with physical location-based events to produce totally immersive 3D interactive experiences."

This convergence of technology already is enabling exponential growth in e-commerce, thanks in part to improved search engines that allow Web surfers to find products quickly. What's next, Lejerskar points out, is the ultimate in customization. The next generation of the Internet, Web 3.0, will allow customers to become the driving force behind e-commerce. Rather than walking into a retail store to try on a pair of jeans, for example, shoppers will be able to select clothes with the correct fit using an online 3D body scan image.
Full Story

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