Friday, March 13, 2015
Friday, February 13, 2015
For those with a purse of at least 2500 US dollar, Sony presented in 1998 the Aibo, a small cuddly dog. The dog could walk, sit up vertically, dance and sleep. You could talk to the dog, give command and stroke the pet. The Aibo could be nosy, busy or calm. They were also able to play with a pink ball, could balance a bone on their nose and when Aibos were brought together they would play together. The Aibo also became a favourite with kids and female pensionados. (It is even rumoured by my Nordic friends that they love to have Aibos for their sleigh rides in the snow.)
I remember an experiment from 2006 in the Netherlands where Furbies and Aibos were tested on pensionados (see photograph). The Aibo won. Over the years and mainly in Japan, small groups of Aibo owners got together to let the pets play together, but also to discuss issues of the silver wave of Aibo’s to come. Just like pensionados need knee and hip surgeries, robo-pets need limb repairs. But now that Sony has announced the shut-down of its Aibo maintenance department due to budget cuts, the pets will have to look for a caring team or an old-folks home.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
In 1975 the management of Kluwer visited legal publishers such as Westlaw in the USA and started to discuss setting up a Dutch legal database. By 1977 Kluwer Legal was in the process of building up databases and having demos of the first legal databases.
In 1976 videotex was researched for introduction in The Netherlands. The Dutch state owned telco PTT expressed interest in videotex. A year later the Dutch public broadcasting company NOS started to study the variant of videotext, the text television service teletext.
On April 1, 1980 two introductions happened. The public broadcast system started the television text service Teletekst, excluding the newspaper sector from this service. On the same day Kluwer Legal launched its Legal Database service commercially.
On August 8, 1980 the Dutch PTT started hosting the videotext service Viditel with VNU being one of the largest information providers with Jobdata, Teletips and Distrifood and several third party clients. In the same year Elsevier bought the US Congressional Information Service (CIS) for 43 million guilders; it considered the service to be a stepping stone for a comparable service of the European Economic Union (EEU).
It was clear that the race for digital information had started. Elsevier was far ahead with experience in the online database field worldwide and in the US. Kluwer had started the legal service as a new distribution channel for the legal information it owned. VNU set up a media laboratory in order to find its way in the business sector, but it failed as it did not own content and lacked a real policy. The two state companies just started the Teletekst and Viditel services on public money. However it was clear that the race for digital information distribution had started in The Netherlands. All three companies aimed at 30 percent of the turn-over coming from digital services and products in the year 2000.
Digitisation as part of the internationalisation
The race for digital information was not just limited to Dutch territory. All three publishing companies also got explicit on internationalisation policies. Elsevier had expanded already internationally with its scientific division. Kluwer started to look around in the scientific and professional sectors. VNU started its journey from Haarlem to Harlem at the business sector by buying the US service Disclosure and starting VNU Business Publications in London (UK).
Looking back after 35 years, we can conclude that Elsevier and Kluwer are great in the digital information industry and have established an international footprint. Elsevier is big with information services like LexisNexis, Science Direct and Scopus. Kluwer has specialised in law and health care and offers digital services. VNU is no longer since 2007, when its name was changed in Nielsen Corp.
Thursday, January 01, 2015
Yes and then? You can look around for a similar service. I've looked at Ello, but the site is too arty-farty.I also checked Brewster but this site does not realise its promise.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Twenty years before the acquisition of LexisNexis by Reed Elsevier, in 1974, the first electronic publishing within Elsevier product was launched by scientific publisher Excerpta Medica (EM). This company was founded after the Second World War. The war had changed the scientific world. Before the war, the language used for scientific publications was German with publishers like Springer Verlag and Thieme Verlag. After the war this changed and English became the language of science. That meant new opportunities and new players in the scientific publishing world. EM was founded as an international publishing house in 1946 by Janos Freud and E. Landsberger, both German immigrants, in collaboration with Prof. M. Woerdman. The mission of the publishing house was to publish abstracts of biomedical articles. The medical discipline was divided into 15 sectors and from 1947, the first abstract magazine were distributed.
(© 1980 NVB; Collectie Jak Boumans)
By 1974 Excerpta Medica - in 1972 acquired by Elsevier - began to distribute electronically its publications both to pharmaceutical companies for internal use of the research departments as well as to electronic online services such as Dialog Information Service and ESA/IRS. With the launch of the online version, EMbase, the company had become a pioneer of the online industry in the Netherlands and had become a money maker for Elsevier in time.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Good to hear from you. I think you know more about all this than I do.
I have been away from that world for some 20 years
so can't help with any of your queries at all.
1988 German CD-ROM With Economic Formule
1988 Dutch Magazine Titels On CD-ROM
1988 Book Review – Electronic Publishing, Looking for a Blueprint
1985 Datasolve To Launch New Database
1985 Belgian Host Euris Stops
1985 Television Channel Used For Business Data Transport
1985 G-Cam Launches French Language Daily Newspaper
1985 Eurolex Sold To Butterworth by Mead Data Central
1982 IEPRC To Institute Fellowship
Friday, December 05, 2014
The daily service was closely studied by looking at US examples. One example was the fortnightly newsletter for the information industry, Online Chronicle, file 170 on the host (server nowadays) Dialog. But the plan got solid when the email service Telecom Gold, a subsidiary of British Telecom, got interested. This service was unique in 1982 because at that time, email services and database services were split up; but Westinghouse incorporated email and database services in one machine. In this wat the daily newsletter could be loaded on the database service, while the headlines of the items were sent to the mailbox of the subscriber.
It was the first encounter for VNU (London) Ltd. with an electronic product. The marketing was developed by Clive Snell, currently co-founder and commercial director of Mylearningworx ltd. The online newsletter ran for several years independently, but was later included in an aggregate file and marketed by a syndicator.
Alan Burkitt-Gray said in a comment ...