IT news in brief

September 28, 2001

Ucas targets training
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service and Gloucestershire College of Arts and Technology will jointly launch a business and community training centre in Cheltenham next month. The centre is housed in the Ucas headquarters.
Details: ;

Wider SMIL
The Worldwide Web Consortium has released the Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language 2.0 specification as a W3C Recommendation, representing cross-industry agreement on an XML-based language that allows authors to write interactive multimedia presentations.
It has also issued Scalable Vector Graphics 1.0 as a recommendation, an XML-based language that allows authors to create two-dimensional vector graphics. A W3C recommendation indicates that a specification is stable, contributes to web interoperability, and has been reviewed by the W3C membership, who favour its adoption by the industry.

Space to tender
The European Space Agency is making its Emits System available to external users.
The latest version, which has been available online since July, allows industry, institutes and national agencies to use the system to issue their own invitations to tender for space-related procurements.

Silicon course
Photonics experts at the University of Surrey have designed a technology-enabling course in collaboration with the South East Photonics Network and with funding from the SEEDA fund for learning and skills.
"Silicon on insulator photonics - an introduction" is run by Graham Reed, Peter Hemment, and Tony Jeans.

Sun power
Scientists at the Radio Physical Research Institute in Armenia are testing an electric power station on Aragats mountain that harnesses solar energy through a helicopter turbine. The power produced is cheap and would boost the economy.
Arev, Armenian for sun, is a spherical mirror that slopes at 40 degrees to the horizon to catch the light throughout the year.

Energy savers
Researchers in a consortium of UK universities have developed a new way to computer-model the patterns of energy use and pollution emissions in urban areas.
The method will help local authorities to plan long-term strategies for reducing energy consumption and pollution.
The project, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, is being carried out by teams from the universities of Cardiff, de Montfort, University College London and Queen's University, Belfast.
Details: ep/index.html


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