Boosting cultural heritage online: the E…

Boosting cultural heritage online: the European Commission sets up a Reflection Group on digitisation :
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has announced that the European Commission will entrust three personalities – Maurice Lévy (CEO of Publicis), Elisabeth Niggemann (Head of the German National Library) and Jacques De Decker (writer) – to come up with recommendations on how best to speed up the digitisation, online accessibility and preservation of cultural works across Europe. This Reflection Group will examine the various ongoing initiatives involving both public and private partners (notably the Google Books project) and copyright issues to find ways to boost the digitisation efforts of the complete collections held by libraries, museums and archives in Europe. These recommendations will ultimately help Europeana, Europe’s digital library, reach a new dimension: today the Europeana portal ( already offers access to over 7 million digitised books, maps, photographs, film clips, paintings and musical extracts, but this is only a small part of all the works held by Europe’s cultural institutions. The establishment of the Reflection Group is part of the Commission’s broader strategy to help the cultural sector make the transition towards the digital age. The Group, who will report to Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes and Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou, has been requested to submit its conclusions before the end of the year.

Libre accès et archives ouvertes. Mise e…

Libre accès et archives ouvertes. Mise en oeuvre des projets.
Texte déposé par Pfister Theophil le 19.03.2010 au Conseil national de la Suisse.
Le Conseil fédéral est chargé, dans son rôle de bailleur de fonds, de renforcer son soutien à la réalisation des objectifs du libre accès et des archives ouvertes et de viser la mise en oeuvre systématique de ces projets. Il évaluera les réglementations nécessaires à cet effet et soutiendra activement les décisions prises. La sécurité des données, l’accessibilité et la recherche dans Internet seront réglementées selon les principes régissant les projets de libre accès et d’archives ouvertes.

The Provenance of Electronic Data : In t…

The Provenance of Electronic Data :
In the study of fine art, provenance refers to the documented history of some art object. Given that documented history, the object attains an authority that allows scholars to appreciate its importance with respect to other works, whereas, in the absence of such history, the object may be treated with some skepticism. Our IT landscape is evolving as illustrated by applications that are open, composed dynamically, and that discover results and services on the fly. Against this challenging background, it is crucial for users to be able to have confidence in the results produced by such applications. If the provenance of data produced by computer systems could be determined as it can for some works of art, then users, in their daily applications, would be able to interpret and judge the quality of data better. We introduce a provenance lifecycle and advocate an open approach based on two key principles to support a notion of provenance in computer systems: documentation of execution and user-tailored provenance queries.

ICT in politics: from peaks of inflated …

ICT in politics: from peaks of inflated expectations to voids of disillusionment :
Today, most European democracies are experiencing a decline of confidence in traditional structures of policy formation and low voter turnout. In a climate of growing dissatisfaction with governments and politics, both citizens and policy-makers have realised the potential of electronic (e-) democracy for enhancing efficiency, approval and legitimacy of political processes. eParticipation is generally promoted rather uncritically. However, digital technologies do not “save us from ourselves” (Barber 1999) but work merely as amplifiers of existing political trends. They could even be creating new democratic problems or exacerbating old ones. It is probably to early to spot the full effects of eParticipation since new technologies show their actual effects only when some time has elapsed after their introduction. At present, the rapid flow of new digital tools is causing peaks of inflated expectations and voids of disillusionment, while the perennial problems of democracy remain unresolved.

ICT research: EU invests €500 million in Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) to improve people’s lives

Developing intelligent artificial hands for hand amputees, neural devices to help people suffering from vertigo, dizziness and other vestibular disorders and the possibility to see how your brain responds while learning are a few examples of European research carried out in the area of future and emerging information and communication technologies (FET) that are being presented in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today.

Twelve outstanding science projects funded under the European Commission’s Future and Emerging Technologies programme will be showcased at the exhibition on “Science beyond Fiction: an Excursion into Future and Emerging Technologies”. Europe is taking the lead in FET by proposing to invest around €500 million in exploratory research into high risk future Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).