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E-Business Secrets

Free clipping service offers Reuters feed


By  Brian Livingston August 27, 2002  

An as-yet-unannounced online news-clipping service, which includes stories from the Reuters wire, is now in the testing phase.


The service, which is being offered free of charge, will be launched by iCopyright.com, a licensing bureau for online publishers.

The beta stage of the service currently sends subscribers a daily, weekly, or monthly HTML e-mail with summaries of stories from more than 300 news sources. Recipients can select to scan all of the sources or limit the sources to a single one, such as Reuters, which joined the service only last Thursday, according to iCopyright President and CEO Michael O'Donnell.

The new service, called Clip and Copy, competes with older clipping services such as WebClipping.com and CyberAlert.com. The differences, however, are stark:

1. The competitors monitor thousands of sources, but aren't free, with CyberAlert charging $295 per month for a basic level of service, for instance.

2. Each Clip and Copy article links to a form that authorizes subscribers to reproduce PDF or online versions of the material.

3. Some publishers authorize Clip and Copy subscribers to make limited printed or online copies for free, while others impose charges ranging from a few dollars to thousands of dollars for unlimited use.

O'Donnell says Clip and Copy can provide more accurate summaries than other online clipping services because iCopyright understands the XML behind each article as well as uses an algorithm to scan the full text.

Clip and Copy's keyword-based topic selection tool is intended to allow companies to monitor mentions of their name in all the sources that iCopyright follows. A subscriber's keywords, however, could focus on any topic, such as "computer AND memory."

iCopyright is seeking to greatly increase the number of sources covered by its clipping service. But you may find that 300 sources are plenty for your needs, and you can't beat the price.

Free news clipping service includes Reuters wire:

http://www.icopyright.com http://bri.li/?4e69

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Decisions by major e-business sites to make available XML hooks into their databases are increasingly leading to highly useful new offshoots.

Developer Alan Taylor has created Amazon Light, a Web page that provides a faster, simpler way into Amazon's books, CDs, and other products. The page uses VBScript and the ResponseXML object to fetch XML from Amazon via HTTP.

Other entrepreneurs have created e-mail front ends that eliminate the need to surf the Web to search databases. (This is especially popular in countries, unlike the United States, where online time is charged by the minute.)

Cape Clear Software is behind the e-mail address "google@capeclear.com," which sends out Google search results in response to any query that's contained within your Subject line. Similarly, messages with title or author queries sent to "amazon@capeclear.com" receive a reply with related products from Amazon. This could be the start of something big.

Alan Taylor's Amazon Light XML search engine page:

http://www.kokogiak.com http://bri.li/?7579

Amazon.com's details on Web services over XML or SOAP:

http://www.amazon.com http://bri.li/?8901

Cape Clear Software's page on Google and other services:

http://www.capescience.com http://bri.li/?98a1

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Livingston's Top 10 News Picks o' the Week

1. Amazon cuts to $25 its requirement for free shipping

http://www.ecommercetimes.com http://bri.li/?431

2. Online retail, up 24 percent, defies dot-com blues

http://money.cnn.com http://bri.li/?819

3. Microsoft's latest IE patch fails to close SSL hole

http://www.cw360.com http://bri.li/?c01

4. Police nab perpetrators of "Nigerian scam e-mail"

http://www.computing.co.uk http://bri.li/?fe9

5. Arrested Nigerians a mere part of ingenious schemes

http://www.newsfactor.com http://bri.li/?13d1

6. Considering Mac OS X 10.2? Check all the reviews

http://www.diveintomark.org http://bri.li/?17b9

7. Watch out for these project management mistakes

http://www.builder.com http://bri.li/?1ba1

8. Reality check: Are there truly half a million blogs?

http://www.wired.com http://bri.li/?1f89

9. Keep your e-zine from being eaten by spam filters

http://www.promotionbase.com http://bri.li/?2371

10. Australian National Library collects adult Web sites

http://www.smh.com.au http://bri.li/?2759

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I initially thought this was a put-on, but it's all too real. The Geek Squad, a Minneapolis-born computer repair service, is getting great press as it expands into California and other states with its trademark black-and-white police-style cruisers and its staff decked out in white, short-sleeved shirts, and skinny black ties.

With titles such as Special Agent and Chief Inspector, the Geek Squad's high-tech fixers seem to enjoy their stylish put-on as much as they like dinking around in the innards of your PCs. If you've never seen a Geekster hard at work, check this out.

The Geek Squad provides a touch of style with a smile:

http://www.newtimesla.com http://bri.li/?c399

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E-Business Secrets: Our mission is to bring you such useful and thought-provoking information about the Web that you actually look forward to reading your e-mail.

About the Author: E-Business Secrets is written by InfoWorld contributing editor Brian Livingston (http://SecretsPro.com). Research director is Vickie Stevens. Brian has published 10 books, including:

Windows Me Secrets: http://www.amazon.com http://bri.li/?0764534939

Windows 2000 Secrets: http://www.amazon.com http://bri.li/?0764534130

Win a gift certificate good for a book, CD, or DVD of your choice if you're the first to send a tip Brian prints. mailto:Brian@SecretsPro.com

Brian Livingston is publisher of BriansBuzz.com. Send tips to him at brian@briansbuzz.com.

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