BBC Creative Archive: Pilot to Start in 2005

More details of the BBC’s Creative Archive were revealed at an Royal Television Society, London Centre meeting last night when Paula Le Dieu gave a presentation on the project’s background and recent developments. Following this, an hour-long discussion, chaired by Digital Lifestyles’s own Simon Perry, explored further details [MP3 recording ~14Mb].

Paula is co-director of the Creative Archive (CA), a project to make BBC archived audio and video media available to the UK public so that they can download it and make creative works based upon it.

The BBC is taking this extraordinary step as they believe it will help them give more value to the licence fee payers – one of their core values.

Paula told us that one of the inspirations for the move was the BBC Micro. Released in 1982, the BBC Micro was an open hardware and software platform that ignited public interest and in no small way contributed to the UK’s hugely popular computing and games scenes. Indeed, by encouraging owners to use the BBC Micro platform in whatever way they wished, it helped many people take their first steps into the digital age and helped shape the industry as it stands today. A game of Elite, anyone?

Since then, we’ve seen the rapid growth of the Internet, and this has encouraged users to share content around the world – and the more material that people share, the more there is for them to draw inspiration from.

The BBC, slow on the uptake, came to the realisation that opening up their archive would allow them to present significant value to their public – enabling them to listen, watch, download, share and use materials in any way they wish, under an non-restrictive licence.

The remit of the Creative Archive has changed since the BBC’s previous Director General, Greg Dyke, left – Mark Thompson, the new DG, is completely behind the project and wants to include full programmes from the BBC’s huge media library. Give that some of the material that may be released has not seen the light of day since broadcast, it’s an exciting opportunity to give new life to content that has been sitting on shelves gathering dust for years. The BBC’s archive contains some 1.5 million items of television, equating to 600,000 hours of television – or put another way, 68 years of consecutive viewing. In addition to this is 500,000 audio recordings.

Obviously, that’s a lot of bandwidth – and the more popular the Creative Archive becomes, the more expensive it will be to distribute it. Consequently, the BBC is looking at peer-to-peer (P2P) methods of distribution, so that the public become not just their creative partners, but distribution partners also. The Corporation is also looking to the public for help in metatagging the content, after all people need to find what they need and know what they are looking for. Users of the content will be invited to tag content, and communities of interest will be sought out for their expertise on particular subjects. Paula gave an example of the Archaeological Society, who have already, of their own volition,  tagged and catalogued all of the BBC’s archaeological output before the Creative Archive was even announced. Layers of metadata will be encouraged, so that content will be searchable in many different ways – for example, actors present, type of canned laughter – even types of shoes worn in a scene, and each layer will be open to peer review.

We feel this layering of metadata is of huge importance, an idea we have been putting to media owners for a long time. We feel the addition of descriptive metadata will be added to time-coded media with or without the owner blessing – it enables the viewing public to add their knowledge and experience, without limit of depth. It’s very encouraging to find that the BBC is to include this in CA.

New ways of using and accessing material require new licences. The Creative Archive team have looked at a number of alternative licences, and intent to distribute the content under terms based on the well-established Creative Commons (CC) Licence. Key requirements of content users will be that they properly credit the source and creators of the original materials, and that the new work they have produced inherits the same CC licence. All derivative works have to be non-commercial in nature – but of course a new licence can be sought for commercial use if required.

One aspect of the licence that needs work is a requirement that content is not distributed out of the UK. It is far from clear as to how this would be enforceable – web sites can be accessed from around the world, and one file downloaded from a P2P network may be assembled in blocks from a dozen countries. Any clip of interest to anyone will certainly be distributed worldwide within seconds of it becoming available. The provision has been built in because the UK licence fee is paying for the project, but it shows that the BBC is trying to tackle the new distribution problems that the digital age brings.

Because of content licensing within the BBC and the source of much of the materials in the archive, the Creative Archive’s material will be started off with natural history content – music clearance and artist’s rights will have to be tackled later before the rest of the archive is put online.

Andrew Chowns of the Producers Rights Agency raised the question of derogatory  treatment of works from the CA. Depending on the content within the CA this could become a problem. Nothing spreads faster than a Friday afternoon joke video clip, and the Creative Archive will no doubt contain many items that regulars to b3ta and similar sites might find too tempting not to load into Premier and misuse. Again, this is an aspect that they will need to work on.

To enable the public to use the content, it will not be distributed with a digital rights management scheme and will be available in a number of formats, probably two proprietary and one open. Le Dieu described DRM as an envelope with a transparent window that only allowed you to see part of the content, without getting access to it.

She also stressed that the Creative Archive is not just about the BBC – they want other content providers and broadcasters to get involved, and want to share what they have learned, and have still to learn, with them. The whole project is very much a learning exercise for the Corporation – scary and exciting in equal measures.

The Creative Archive know that they have a lot of areas that need to be explored and developed and are looking for ways to involve the public in the project. Although there is no fixed start date, a 18-month to two year pilot will begin in 2005. It will not be restricted in the number of people who can access it, only in the amount of material that will be available.

The CA will not be producing a software platform or editing tools as they feel there are already plenty of free and cheap solutions out there. They may however produce an environment for the public to showcase works they have produced using CA content, much like those around Video Nation and One Minute Movies.

The Creative Archive is certainly an exciting project – an experiment in alternative licensing, another legal application for P2P networks and a chance for the UK public to get their hands on some fascinating and important archive materials. As a vehicle for learning about content distribution and consumption in the digital age, we can’t think of a better example.

MP3 recording of the Creative Archive Q&A ~14Mb
BBC Creative Archive
Royal Television Society – London Centre
Producers Rights Agency UPDATE: James Governor’s write up

Limited Edition Black U2 iPod?

Here’s another unconfirmed iPod story – Apple have teamed up with U2 to produce a limited edition black iPod to mark the release of the bands new album. Apple never comment on new product releases, but have announced a music event on 26th October – and it’s expected that something iPod related will be unveiled there. Bono and The Edge will be in attendance, sources say.

The black iPod is rumoured to come preloaded with tracks from U2’s back catalogue, and may even feature How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, the new album not due for release for another month. U2 have long been associated with the iPod, and indeed feature in the latest advert for the music player, available as a free download from the iTunes store. Think Secret estimate that the U2pod may cost an extra US$30 (€24) more than the standard model.

The 26th October event might even see the release of that rumoured colour screen photo iPod, with perfect timing for the run up to Christmas.


Philips’ Connecting the Community Project

Philips have kicked off a new project in Singapore to bring together content and service providers to equip a sample of households with broadband and connectivity products. Under the auspices of Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority, the project will run for six months and residents will will participate in various ‘e’ services, including, Philips say, e-health, e-learning and e-security.

Philips are particularly interested in healthcare and the company are looking at options for providing services within the consumer’s home via a broadband connection. Applications include pop-up reminders for mediation appearing on TV screens, and the company currently delivers the service through SMS.

“We believe e-health services over broadband is one of the driving forces for establishing connected communities where patients are empowered to manage their health more effectively, and in the process help healthcare providers control costs,” said Andreas Wente, President and CEO of Philips Electronics Asia. “These personalized healthcare services would not only aim to help people with chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure manage their health more effectively, but ultimately help in maintaining a healthy digital lifestyle – for example, delivering weight management or employer health programs via a broadband enabled TV.”

The Connecting Community project is supported by Philips’ own InnoHub test bed facility, which crates a linked environment of communication and home entertainment devices that speak to one another. The InnoHub also will function as an ‘idea management facility’ for exploring the feasibility and commercial potential of innovations.

“This collaboration in Singapore embodies our vision of an emerging Connected Planet since it observes the daily habits and routines of normal families and, more importantly, identifies how their natural behavior responds to the latest state-of-the-art connectivity solutions,” said Cesar Vohringer, Chief Technology Officer, Philips Consumer Electronics. “Through an understanding of how these families interact not only virtually within the home but now through their communities, Philips can further realize its new brand promise by applying these discoveries in the creation of products that are advanced, easy to experience and designed around these consumers.”

Singapore’s IDA

Black Duck’s protexIP – Safer Open Source Code Usage

Open source can immediately prompt the words ‘law suit’ in some peoples’ minds, but Black Duck have introduced a software platform that helps developers catch and resolve potential intellectual property disputes.

A large software project may involve code and components from many sources – increasingly parts of a project may have open source origins. It’s highly likely that there will be some software on the computer that you’re using to read this now that will depend on open source components – and indeed the core of the internet depends on open source applications such as Apache.

Recently, some high profile conflicts between source code owners and developers has led to some very expensive and high profile legal challenges. The number of licenses, projects and obligations that a company needs to be aware of when looking to make a product that may involve open source code is immense – and checking and analysing what needs to be done, or what may happen if there is a conflict, is expensive and time-consuming.

Black Duck’s protexIP suite informs developers of code origins, license obligations and potential violations by producing a check list of items for them to resolve. Users can even run ‘whatif’ queries on code combinations.

The product is based around Black Duck’s 50gb knowledge base with information on more than 225 licenses. The company also uses spiders to monitor some 250 key open source projects to keep protexIP up to date.

“As open source and third party components proliferate and become nested in increasingly complex applications, the challenge of assuring compliance with licensing obligations becomes overwhelming without a comprehensive compliance platform,” said Karen Copenhaver, executive vice president and general counsel of Black Duck. “protexIP/license management empowers the lawyer’s oversight of the development process, from helping define and implement open source policy to approval of software release.”

Annual subscription packages start at US$9,500 (€7,595) for up to 2 seats. protexIP/license management customers must also subscribe to a protexIP/development package, which start at $12,500 (€9,993) for up to 5 seats.


Robbie William’s Flash New Album

Robbie William’s new Greatest Hits album will be available on MMC memory card, the first major album ever to be sold on the format. Designed for use in PDAs and mobile phones, the cards will be available from Carphone Warehouse stores next month for UK£29.99 (€43.14).

The publisher, EMI Music, are in talks with Carphone Warehouse to bring out more albums on MMC before Christmas, under CW’s ‘playmobile’ brand. Isn’t that a range of plastic figures? Oh, I see the connection.

EMI claim that the sound quality will be comparable to a CD – though as the album also features video, the content is sure to be heavily compressed. Since mobile phones and PDAs are far from high fidelity devices, I suspect it doesn’t matter to most of the people who will buy the card anyway – though I predict that 25% of sales will be to nosy music execs from other labels.

Carphone Warehouse are modestly saying that the introduction of Robbie’s new MMC is the beginning of a new music era, and that it will ‘delight the iPod generation.’

I seriously doubt it will delight people with iPods – no technical details are available on the file encoding scheme, but I doubt if they’ll be compatible. In fact, I will give the first person who manages to get the tracks from the MMC to play, natively, on an iPod an original, vinyl, 12” of Joy Division’s ‘Transmission’, the track that Williams shamelessly ripped-off for his new single Radio. No transcoding allowed, and using kit available to your average Robbie William’s fan.

The MMC format will be fraught with problems – not all phones or PDAs use MMC cards and consumers may avoid it when they realise that they won’t be able to use the music on other devices like their home or car stereo. At two or three times the cost of a CD. The value added features will have to be compelling.

The Carphone Warehouse’s Director of Group Business Development Kevin Gillan said in a statement: “2004 has undeniably seen a massive, and very mainstream, shift towards digital music. We see pre-loaded music memory cards as the next step and part of a general consumer hunger for more mobile content. playmobile will go beyond this and provide our customers with a quality experience at real value for money.”

CW intend to introduce many other types of content on the playmobile brand, including games, ringtones, wallpaper and video.

Robbie Williams

StreamMan – Music Beyond the iPod

Sony’s Walkman forever changed the way that people consume music by allowing them to listen to their favourite music, privately, wherever they chose, even in crowds. The portable music player remained fairly static for ten years or so until CD came along, bringing higher fidelity and more convenience. Aside from a small flurry of activity around the time MiniDisc appeared, it took the introduction of personal digital music players to reignite consumer interest in mobile music and show them what really is possible.

With a fall in memory prices, portable MP3 players started appearing and users could wander around listening to around 16mb of tunes compressed so heavily they sounded like they were recorded in a diving bell. Then suddenly, hard drives were small and cheap enough to store 5GB of music on, and the world hasn’t looked back since. Sony have lost some of their dominance over the portable audio market as companies like Apple and Creative enjoy huge market share with players like the iPod and

Formats and colour displays aside, there isn’t much to separate digital music players apart from the amount of tunes they can store. How can Sony, the company who invented personal portable music and traditional dominator of the field revolutionise it once more by introducing something that really is different?

The answer might well be StreamMan – and the surprising thing is that it’s not really about a gadget at all.

As Simon Perry is always fond of reminding me, when consumers have access to thousands of pieces of media, how do they decide what you want to listen to or watch?

StreamMan’s current incarnation is as a stream music service to Symbian mobile phones – though its potential goes far beyond that. Independent of what ever hardware Sony may choose to deploy it on, StreamMan is really about finding music and creating intelligent channels, but more about that later. Its applications go beyond just music and phones, but to films and other digital entertainment and other platforms – such as suggesting what you want to watch tonight on television.

In short, StreamMan is all about metadata – information about the media contained in the system. Tracks are categorised and described with fifty fields of information. If a user says she likes a particular track, then StreamMan can create a whole channel based on similar tracks – and the more data it captures from the user, the more accurate the results are.

I spoke to Robert Ashcroft, Senior Vice President, Sony Network Services about the StreamMan concept, and what it means for the future of music and media discovery.

Tell me how the StreamMan concept came about?

We’ve seen portable audio devices coming up with more and more capacity, where you can just put enormous collections of music on them. This begs the question of whether people actually want to pay for all of that content because you might be walking around with, in the case of our own NW-HD1, [Sony Style] 13,000 songs or somewhere in the region of €13,000 worth of music in your pocket.

What’s been happening is that people are getting their music from a variety of sources. Some of it from paid downloads, some is captured in the wild, some is ripped from CDs – but you start getting to a point where people have access to an enormous music collection. The question arises, if you really push this to the limit is – ‘If you have every piece of music that had ever been written on your hard drive, which is not inconceivable, how would you decide what to listen to?’

This is really the original motivation for StreamMan – if you have an intelligent personalisation engine which becomes your personal DJ, it can play you music and you can react to that music, saying that you like or dislike it. You can train it to send you music you like and you can save lots of different channels that correspond to different moods, different contexts and different types of music – then you can pick amongst your personalised channels and discover music, and make up playlists if that’s what you want to do. Or you can just let the service suggest stuff to you!

You can do that with any large collection of music, whether you owned it all on your hard drive or you were streaming it from a central server.

So StreamMan is separate from its hardware presentation, it’s not about a device – it’s about intelligently finding music that you like?

Yes. Ultimately if you crystallise it down to the absolute essence of it, that’s what it’s about. It’s liberating in that sense. With that thought, you can then go into lots of devices and applications – obviously the one that springs to mind and is the first implementation of it is streaming music to mobile phones.

Will it be implemented in mobile jukeboxes later on to help users find the right track amongst their 13,000 tunes?

It’s a possibility – but you have to understand how it works first, to see that we’re a little way off from being able to do that. You have to start off with a fully normalised [Hyperdictionary] database of music. The whole music industry is album-centric in its organisation. Imagine how many albums, including compilation albums, have the same recording of Candle in the Wind, from Elton John? If you normalise it, you may, say end up with five or six major versions of it.

You will still have a substantial music catalogue, but it’s somewhat shrunken from the numbers that are bandied around by some online services with regards to the number of songs that they offer.

You move into a song structure rather than an album structure, and you know how many albums a song is represented on. If you then then go further, which is what we’ve done with the music on the StreamMan service, you then characterise each song with, on average, around fifty objective and subjective characteristics that then describe it. That then forms the basis of your intelligence engine. When you say that you like or dislike a song as you listen to it, the server looks up the fifty or so characteristics of the song to understand why. It might be something to do with beats, or cadence, or instrumentation or pace.

In order to bring that intelligence, you would have to have a database on your hard drive that held all that information about the songs or at least be able to look it up with such accuracy that you knew exactly which song you were looking at.

That’s an incredible amount of metadata to compile.

It is – and this is why the StreamMan personalisation engine is so powerful. We’re probably some way from this sort of high-value music database being available in any format other than on our servers – and if it’s the source of our intelligence, then we’ll probably keep it on our servers for quite a while!

It’s an incredible piece of intellectual property that you could probably license and turn into a revenue stream on its own.

There are many things we could do with it – right now it’s powering the StreamMan service. On top of this very rich database we have our own personalisation intelligence which powers the StreamMan Player. It’s not just the database, it’s what use you then make of that database.

So we started from the vision of ‘If you have access to everything, how do you decide what to listen to?’. And then we had a lot of hard work to do to turn it into a practical, easy to use product.

It’s now available on Symbian smartphones working under GPRS, and serves a 16 kilobit AAC mono bitrate because all of these practical elements bring it to market in today’s network environment.

This doesn’t mean that we can’t see it evolve in the future because the essential vision is for an intelligent interface for music.

My job is to run Network Services – in our own minds, the question was ‘Is this network intelligence? Is this a virtual product? Is it a service?’ Whatever it is, we think that’s it’s very powerful.

We’ve just launched the second version of StreamMan, in Finland. It had a soft launch in June, which was literally just for mobile streaming. Teliasonera have seen it as a convergent product where you can listen on your mobile phone, you can interact and you can train your stations until they really give you the music you want and you can listen to them on your PC. It’s a passive player, it just plays the personal stations that you’ve created – but there we’re able to do 96kbs stereo, which is really high quality sound.

It goes well beyond the current personalised web radio stations because they still come from a search- and genre-based mentality. If you imagine this was voice recognition, you could have a computer on the wall and say to it ‘Play me some music for a party.’ Pick your genre – then do you want happy, powerful, relaxed, romantic? Is it action, chill-out, driving, party? It’s a completely different way of getting to different types of music. What’s your context? What’s your emotional landscape? What type of music do you like generally? Then you can choose roughly what decade – then it starts firing music at you.

If you ask StreamMan to come up with a suggested list, in each case when you’ve defined the parameters come up with fifteen songs. If you enter the same parameters over and over again, it will generate different lists each time, by saying ‘Well, we’ve looked in our database and we’d like to suggest these.’ If you see a song you like or recognise, you can start a channel based on that song – then you can train it until it’s the sort of music that you like.

StreamMan has 40,000 normalised tracks on it and it’s heavily influenced by Finnish content because that’s the market. It covers more than 90% of the available Finnish catalogue. It would take a huge amount of effort for an individual to acquire that content on their own, so it’s a very convenient service with a very powerful suggestion engine.

What we’ve found so far is that it very much appeals to 30 to 50 year olds, because we all know the music we like, but don’t all have the time we used to have to devote to getting it. But that’s just today’s picture – who knows where it’ll get to when we’re able to bring it to mass-market phones.

What about other markets? Will you be rolling it out to other European or American markets soon? What’s next?

Yes we are, but I haven’t got anything to announce – but we expect to have some announcements soon. It’s a business to business, server-based system so we can roll it out very quickly – but we have to interface with the phone operators’ billing systems and customer registration systems, and then it will appear throughout an operator’s network.

It seems absolutely ideal tool use with for Sony’s Connect music store.

It’s funny you should mention that. The one thing the music store doesn’t have is a web radio service – it doesn’t take much imagination to see that we’ll have one in a forthcoming release. We’re going to watch them both evolve and we’re going to combine StreamMan’s intelligence as we see an opportunity to do so.

Personal devices are converging, and handset manufactures are pushing phones as games consoles, music players and cameras. If there’s a decent phone out there that plays music at an acceptable quality level and has StreamMan integrated, might it not cannibalise Sony’s own Walkman business?

It’s always been true that you get multifunctional devices and you get dedicated devices – and StreamMan can appear on a moderately priced smartphone or on a dedicated device. It’s all engineering in the end.

What about applications other than music?

The work on the categorisation of the entire popular music catalogue, which has been proceeding apace, has been under way for the last nine years. We’re a couple of years away from having a complete set, before we move onto Jazz and Classical. It’s a very laborious task, as you can imagine, having experts do this value-add on the entire music catalogue. The music catalogue is a much more laborious task than the video catalogue, because there is just more music out there, it’s been going on for longer.

We think this is a very fruitful direction in terms of giving people intelligent access to entertainment content. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, because today we’re launching it with StreamMan as it is – I’m just sharing a vision with you. In the end, it’s not about the technology, it’s not about someone coming up and saying ‘We’ve got a 40gig device with a sim card.’ That’s not the point. The point is, the intelligent content management interface.

A lot of the devices that are being launched now will be entirely out of date in a year – but this project won’t date. After all, you started work on this nine years ago when you started applying metadata to you music catalogue, and it’ll still be valid ten years from now.

We’ll continue to calibrate it and improve the user experience, but we think it’s a very powerful idea. The evidence we have, because we’ve been live since June, is that the average length of time a song played on the service starts off at between 40 to 50 seconds, and that’s a combination of songs that are listened to throughout and songs that people skip within five seconds. Over a period of about three or four weeks, we see that every user follows a pattern, that they start out listening to only a few seconds and it rapidly increases to where they’re listening to 70 to 80 seconds. What that means is that they are training their channels and we’re delivering increasingly the music that they want to listen to from beginning to end. Ultimately, that will reach an asymptote of around 2.5 minutes, as the average song is three minutes – so essentially they are listening to everything and just occasionally skipping or whatever.

You’ll be capturing that user data and using it to improve the service in the future?

Absolutely – and the other thing we’re able to do is to share that information, on an aggregate level, with the content owners – so it becomes a very powerful feedback mechanism. There is enormous interest from music labels in getting direct, accurate feedback on new content, it gives easy access to back catalogue, for the mobile operators it’s a compelling data service, and for us, it’s a very interesting entertainment product – we think of it as ‘music beyond the iPod.’

The people who are doing portable audio really have to think what’s new and what’s next – what’s the leapfrog concept? And we think that StreamMan is a new concept.

Sony Network Services

Motorola to Try Out PassPay

Digital wallets have come a step closer with the news that Motorola will be trialling Mastercard’s PassPay service in some areas of the US by the end of the year.

The trial will involve two new Motorola handsets, but the company has not yet announced which ones they will be. The phones will use Near Field Communications technology to enable contactless purchases with new Motorola handsets.

Electronic purchases typically enhanced by NFC include buying travel tickets, a service already enjoyed by users in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

McDonalds and Loews Cinemas are amongst businesses that already offer PayPass services, in this case in Orlando, but the Motorola trial is expected to reach to states beyond Florida.

Ron Hamma, vice president and director of enterprise business development at Motorola said ian a statement: “Motorola is excited to be working with MasterCard to create a phone that has the potential to be lifestyle changing, and offers a convenient, fast, and secure method of payment. In essence your phone will become your wallet, key chain and your ID. Fully integrating MasterCard PayPass technology in our phones is a natural fit and major benefit to the consumer.”


Microsoft and Cisco Announce Security Partnership

Microsoft and Cisco will announce a partnership today to make the security features of their respective range of products compatible. By tying up security at both the server operating system and hardware layer, the two companies hope that they will beat hackers and virus writers, whilst at the same time regaining the faith of corporate customers.

Microsoft and Cisco products hold a particular fascination for hackers, who enjoy exploiting various vulnerabilities in their platforms. Some corporate customers have switched to Linux and Unix as server operating systems on the grounds of security, as there are simply less viruses and malware on those systems.

By ensuring interoperability, customers should have an easier time deploying security policies and integrating products from both companies on their networks.

The next big step for the MS/Cisco partnership will be the release of Longhorn Server in 2007, when Microsoft’s own Network Access Protection scheme will be compatible with Cisco’s own Network Access Control features.

Microsoft will announce the news here later on Monday

Dell’s Anti-Spyware Initiative

Dell and the Internet Education Foundation have launched an new initiative to reach at least 63 million internet users over the next three years – and inform them of the dangers of spyware. 63 million, of course, being the number of broadband internet users in the US.

The Consumer Spyware Initiative (CSI) includes links to spyware removal software and the IEF’s Get Netwise website, and is also planning to recruit other technology companies in the fight against malware. The Get Netwise site also provides information about keeping children safe online and stopping spam.

Dell have a sound financial reason for promoting user awareness of malware and security: they have revealed that most of the support calls they receive regarding PCs are from users afflicted with spyware. A survey by Dell and IEF conducted last month of 742 internet users from a sample of 1000 US citizens indicated that 39% fell less secure than they did a year ago.

“Since January 2004, more customers have called Dell seeking relief from spyware than for any other technical support issue,” said Mike George, vice president and general manager of Dell’s U.S. Consumer business. “We’ve been focused on arming our customers with the information and tools they need to combat this problem. Through this process, we’ve seen that education is our best counter intelligence against the threat of spyware.”

Tim Lordan, staff director of IEF said in a statement:”The Internet is an integral part of our economy and lifestyle, and it is vital to ensure that Internet users are not deterred from going online due to hazards like spyware. CSI will provide Internet users with the knowledge they need to feel secure online, and IEF is proud to sponsor such an important program with Dell.”

Get Netwise

Eidos Delay Championship Manager 5

Computer games developer and publisher Eidos have announced another high-profile slippage to their schedule – Championship Manager 5 now looks like it may not appear before Christmas.

The game was due for release in October and industry analysts, shareholders and fans of the series expected great things from it in run up to Christmas. The long running delays behind Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, developed by Core Design and eventually released last year after months of rewrites, damaged the company considerably with many reviewers complaining that the game still has an unfinished feel to it.

The company have released a statement on their corporate site: “Eidos is continuing to work towards release of the PC version of the game shortly before Christmas, although this may extend into the New Year. As previously stated, the much anticipated XBox and PS2 versions of Championship Manager 5 remain firmly on track for release in Spring 2005 and the online version will be available through subscription shortly after the PC game’s release.”

Eidos are also looking for a buyer for the company, with EA, Microsoft and Sony amongst those who have expressed an interest. The company made a UK£2 million (€2.89 million) loss in the year to June 2004, compared to a UK£17 million (€24.56 million) profit during the previous year.