Briefs

Making its watermark: Reuters online service Sports Web (www.sportsweb.com) has introduced digital watermarking to all images on its site. The news service has incorporated a system developed by US company Digimarc into the image management system of London-based digital media authentication and security specialist Datamark to achieve an invisible watermarking system which tracks the image. For information on the Datamark system contact nmellor@datamark.co.uk.

Going underground: The MA Design for Interactive Media course at Middlesex University is all set to demonstrate why, for two years running, five Middlesex projects were chosen as the sole UK representatives to attend MILIA, the international multimedia festival in Cannes. The work of this year’s MA graduates will be on public show at Aldwych Tube station on the Strand, London WC2, from 9-12 September.

For details visit http://www.labs.bt.com/middlesex98.

Burnt fingers: You may have already heard of Burn Rate: How I Survived The Gold Rush Years On the Internet by Michael Wolff (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 18.99). Wolff was an early Internet pioneer. He had a great idea, NetGuide, which was like a TV Times for the Internet, off the back of which he tried to sell his company for an obscene amount of money. Instead, he got shafted. This is his compellingly told story. The phrase burn rate refers to the difference between monthly income and expenditure – that is, the amount you’re losing every month. 20K is pathetic, 500K and you’re a player. Expect to hear about it around the bars of Shoreditch. Maybe.

Souped-up Virgin: Norwich-based new media group Soup has designed and produced an interactive screensaver for Virgin’s financial arm, Virgin Direct. It consists of six games and puzzles which are randomly accessed when the screensaver is activated. Soup has developed the saver so that more games and puzzles can be bolted on. It is available for both Mac and PC and can be downloaded from the Virgin Direct site at www.virgin-direct.co.uk/scrnfrm.htm. Meanwhile, the Virgin Group has unveiled the second phase of its new website, designed by Noho Digital. The site, acting as a gateway to the major Virgin companies, has been designed to be ‘less corporate-oriented and more consumer-driven,’ says Noho MD Tim Carrigan.

Packing a punch: Following a survey of the websites of 100 European consumer packaged goods companies, IBM Global Distribution Business believes companies are failing to reinforce brand loyalty by missing opportunities to encourage website visitor interest. Major site criticisms included the inadequate use of search phrases and search engine listings and the lack of links to other supportive sites. For more information visit www.ibm.com.

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