IT news in brief

March 23, 2001

User-centric forum
Paul Priestman, founding partner in the award-winning design agency Priestman Goode, will give the keynote speech "What can digital media design learn from physical design?" at the User-Centricity Forum on Tuesday at the Architectural Association in London.

The forum was conceived by Brunel University graduates Jon Doughty, Simon Gill and Ben Morley who founded PerceptionDM, the digital design agency. The aim of the forum is to focus digital media industry thinking on developing and promoting a user-centric design philosophy. The bimonthly User-Centricity Forums offer an opportunity for designers, journalists, marketeers and students to exchange ideas.


Latvia takes initiative
Latvia is looking for European funding for an international information technology university college due to open in the autumn of 2002.

The college, being set up by the Technical University of Riga and the University of Latvia, will offer a three-year course. Students are expected to come from countries bordering the Baltic Sea.

Career guide
Graduates looking for careers advice and guidance will benefit from a new online service launched by the Careers Services Unit and the Association of Graduates Careers Advisory Services.

Prospects Services for Graduates provides confidential, impartial and free email advice from professional careers consultants to help graduates make the right career choices during their formative working years. The new service follows a Department for Education and Employment report calling for flexible and "always available" careers advice for graduates.


Well caught
Global research gateway, ingenta, is to merge with CatchWord, the e-journal online hosting and distribution service, in a deal valued at £11.2 million.

CatchWord provides online conversion and hosting services to scholarly publishers. The merger creates a single point for hosting, distribution and e-publishing delivery services to publishers of academic and professional research. These include eight of the world's top ten journal publishers and two of the world's top three reference publishers.


Net gains
A report from Cisco and the University of Texas shows that employment in the internet sector grew 10 per cent between 1999 and 2000 and that the internet economy directly employs more than 3 million people in the United Sates.

It says that only 9.6 per cent of the internet economy can be attributed to dotcoms. The apparent slowdown early last year does not seem to have hit employment. Nearly as many jobs were created in the first half of 2000 as in all of 1999.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers shows in a separate report that 140 dotcoms failed in the United States last year, out of 1,700 that were funded in 1999.

Consultants Accenture reports that the internet economy will create 10 million jobs worldwide by the end of next year, with 5.8 million of these in the United States.


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