13.0011 new on WWW: streaming video; amusements, MI6 and....

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Thu, 13 May 1999 20:36:45 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 11.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org> (104)
Subject: White Paper on Streaming Video Technology

[2] From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk> (39)
Subject: online amusements, tools and serious consequences

Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 20:33:58 +0100
From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org>
Subject: White Paper on Streaming Video Technology

May 12, 1999

"Digital Video for the Next Millenium"


Apologies for any repeat posting: the following is from the list of the
Coalition for Networked Information on a very interesting paper on current
video-on-demand methodologies, standards, vendor offerings, and future
developments, with links to current state-of-the-art offerings.

David Green

>Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 08:40:27 -0700
>From: Clifford Lynch <cliff@cni.org>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <cni-announce@cni.org>
>There is an excellent new paper on streaming video and video on demand
>technology up on the site vide.utk.edu; for those who haven't seen it,
>there's also a very helpful cookbook on video conferencing that was
>released a few months ago. The press release below provides more
>background on the paper and the video initiative.
>The Video Development Initiative (ViDe) was established in March 1998 to
>promote and develop functional, standards-based and scalable video systems
>for use in the higher education environment. ViDe is composed of
>representatives from The Georgia Institute of Technology, The University
>of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville,
>and North Carolina State University. NYSERNet (New York State, Educational
>and Research Network) also partnered with ViDe in Phase 1 (August 1, 1998
>- April 1, 1999).
>Phase 1 of this multi-year initiative was funded by the Southeastern
>Universities Research Association (SURA) to focus ViDe efforts on the
>promotion of digital video among the 44 SURA member institutions. Two
>deliverables were prepared in Phase I: A Video Conferencing Cookbook
>and a White Paper on Video-on-Demand.
>The white paper, "Digital Video for the Next Millenium," is now accessible
>at <http://sunsite.utk.edu/video>http://sunsite.utk.edu/video (a pdf
version is
also available at this
>URL), and presents an overview of current video-on-demand methodologies,
>standards, vendor offerings, and future developments. Responses to the

>RFI released by ViDe to the video system vendor community in September

>1998 are included. The online edition of "Digital Video for the Next
>Millenium" also links to examples of streaming video applications at
>various institutions nationally. For more information, contact Grace
>Agnew of GIT, author of the white paper and ViDe video-on-demand
>technical lead (grace.agnew@library.gatech.edu).
>The Video Conferencing Cookbook (Version 1.0) was released to both the
>SURA and NYSERNet memberships on February 15, and includes practical steps
>for getting started with desktop video conferencing, a summary of current
>vendor offerings, and more advanced functionalities and management. The
>cookbook is accessible online at
>For more information, contact Mary Trauner of GIT, cookbook editor and
>ViDe video conferencing technical lead (Mary.Trauner@oit.gatech.edu).
>The next phases of the ViDe initiative will consist of the pursuit of
>collaborations and partnerships with vendors, the implementation, testing
>and evaluation of systems, and the development of applications deploying
>the selected technologies. Pursuing interoperability will continue to be
>a central focus. In addition, ViDe is currently expanding its membership
>to include institutions nationwide sharing our goals and technical
>directions, and who can bring additional resources and expertise to the
>ViDe is a member of the I2 Digital Video effort and represented on the I2
>Digital Video steering committee.
>More information on ViDe is available at
>More information on SURA is available at
>More information on NYSERNet is available at

>Ms. Mairead Martin maireadm@utk.edu
>Network Information Consultant Tel: (423) 974-6454
>Telecommunications & Network Services Fax: (423) 974-2622
>The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


David L. Green
Executive Director
21 Dupont Circle, NW
Washington DC 20036
202/296-5346 202/872-0886 fax

See and search back issues of NINCH-ANNOUNCE at

Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 20:34:24 +0100
From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
Subject: online amusements, tools and serious consequences

>From the Guardian Online for 13 May:

(1) View of London from the top of the Financial Times building, via a
controllable webcam, so that we may monitor the progress of the Millennium
Bridge (from St Paul's to the new Tate building), at

(2) All the Web search engine, now online with 80 million pages, aiming for
200 million by this Summer, at <http://www.alltheweb.com/>. As Jack
Schofield notes, in Netwatch, it is VERY fast, but then few know about it.

(3) The Hampster Dance, a lookalike called the Genetically Modified Hamster
Dance, and many others besides, now indexed at the Animated Dancing Pages
Web Ring, <http://members.aol.com/pinkbreez/> and the Centre for the Easily
Amused, <http://www.amused.com/>. Schofield explains why "Hampster" has
been misspelled; it seems that the reason is Canadian....

(4) And an antidote: from a US consultancy, User Interface Engineering
<http://world.std.com/>, an "innovative" study to be released next week at
CHI99, the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
<http://www.acm.org/sigchi/chi99/>, which establishes what we already know,
that in Web page design less is more and that when you attempt to
communicate you need to keep your audience in mind. The founder of UIE,
Jared Spool, "says the most common reason for the failure to present
information in a usable way is a lack of understanding by designers of who
their users are, and what information they want." Not an easy problem,
given the nature of the Web. Part of this audience is visually impaired;
these folks need "clear text-based information to ffed into special access
software such as speech converters." Note that the first international
guidelines for web content accessibility for the disabled, the Web
Accessibility Initiative, has been released by the World Wide Web
Consortium at <http://www.w3.org/WAI/>.

(5) The American Century: Art and Culture 1900-2000 (1900-1950 now online,
the rest to follow in the autumn), from the Whitney Museum of Art,
<http://whitney.artmuseum.net/>. The homepage specifies exactly how
well-endowed your machine must be; no statement made about the human viewer.

The same issue of the Guardian, main section, has a lead story about the
release of the names of 100 secret agents of MI6, "provided by Richard
Tomlinson, a former MI6 officer now living in Switzerland". It is worth
pondering where one draws the line concerning freedom of speech and of the
press, and to note that for some time now our tools have been touching upon
if not digging into the socio-political bedrock.


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