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From issue 6 onwards, the main monthly issue has been increased in size to accomodate more feature material; and the intermediate mailing contains news information only.
It is available to subscribers only. Here's just a snippet...
CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, U.S.A., 1994 How about being able to build a "personal Internet newspaper" that gives you just the information you need, in the order you want to see it? BBN demonstrated a product, now being developed to make this happen, at a Technology Open House held in conjunction with the 25th anniversary celebration of the founding of the ARPANET.
The new Mosaic-based technology is aimed at letting end-users register profiles of queries to Internet newsgroups, in addition to defining rules on exactly how information from newsgroups, electronic mail (e-mail), and knowbot searches is going to be published in the "paper," said Harry C. Forsdick, manager of BBN’s Distributed Systems Department, in one of a series of demos at the Open House.
In the e-mail category, for example, the user can determine which senders’ messages will appear, Forsdick noted during the demo, one of several "ARPANET celebration" activities attended by InfoHIGHWAY. Specified mail can be given "priority" status, he added.
Users can also set time parameters -- establishing that the paper will only include e-mail and other information from the last 24 hours, seven days, or entire month, for instance. The personal paper can contain graphical as well as text-based information.
Using his own life as an example, Forsdick explained that BBN’s new personal publishing tool is aimed at helping users sift through the increasing amounts of information that are bombarding them daily.
"I get hundreds of e-mail messages every day. Of these, only about two are useful. I get thousands of responses to database searches, and of these, only two to five are useful. The number of ‘really useful’ faxes and phone calls I receive are even fewer. So what I need is an ‘intelligent assistant,’" reported the BBN manager.
Forsdick then showed the group his own "personal Internet newspaper." At the top of the menu page came e-mail for "immediate attention," consisting of messages from his boss and his "boss’s boss." After that, Forsdick’s investments appeared, and below that, "news."
In the "news" section, Forsdick clicked on "Boston weather forecast," bringing up a graphical weather map of Boston that had been generated in the MidWest from satellite reports.
Information content can be displayed on the same page as the newspaper menu, Forsdick pointed out. Menu items that you have already accessed appear in blue, while those you have not yet seen are shown in red.
In developing the new personal publishing tool, BBN is adding to Mosaic with the use of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), a programming language based on SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language), according to Forsdick.
BBN-added elements include scripts for defining rules and "building the newspaper," as well as interfaces to both e-mail systems and knowbots, "intelligent agents" for searching the Worldwide Web (WWW). BBN is also working on interfaces to fax and voice-mail systems.
Speaking with InfoHIGHWAY at the close of the session, Forsdick said that the demo was conducted on an Apple Macintosh PowerBook, linked over an Ethernet LAN (local area network) to an Internet server. BBN, he added, would like to hear from content providers who are interested in the new "personal newspaper" technology.
BBN’s Technology Open House took place at company headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition to the personal Internet newspaper, other technologies demonstrated at the event included: BBN’s Internet server; Lightstream switch for ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) migration; Network Operation Center; Cornerstone data analysis software; and Hark speech recognition products.
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