Newsletter Archive

Newsletter No.90


« Previous Newsletter Feed Next Newsletter »


                             Free Pint
         "Helping 38,000 people use the Web for their work"
                     http://www.freepint.com/

ISSN 1460-7239                                   21st June 2001 No.90
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

                           IN THIS ISSUE

                             EDITORIAL

                        MY FAVOURITE TIPPLES
                         from Duncan Parry

                    FREE PINT BAR & STUDENT BAR
                    In Association with Factiva
                   a Dow Jones & Reuters Company
                     Reviewed by Simon Collery

                               JOBS
      Assistant Librarian/Researcher | Data Matching Project
    Senior Research Professional | Researcher/Knowledge Worker
              Researcher Documents and Quick Reference

                           TIPS ARTICLE
                          "Do you Google?"
                         By Richard Eskins

                             BOOKSHELF
  "E-Business to the Power of 12: The Principles of .Competition"
                    Reviewed by Drosten Fisher

                          FEATURE ARTICLE
       "Electronic Health Information : A boon and a curse!"
                          By Crystal Sharp

               EVENTS, GOLD AND FORTHCOMING ARTICLES

                        CONTACT INFORMATION

              ONLINE VERSION WITH ACTIVATED HYPERLINKS
            <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210601.htm>


> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = ADVERTISEMENT = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


BUILD YOUR CAREER TO NEW HEIGHTS, TAKE A POSITIVE STEP TO BE THE BEST!
GoJobsite the UK's leading recruitment website are offering you the
chance to register for their Jobs By Email service.  Currently there
are over 2500 jobs in the Banking and Finance sector today!  Why not
register now for the best jobs available.
             http://www.gojobsite.co.uk/acumen/a2.html

GoJobsite have the widest choice of jobs - whatever your profession

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = [ac901]
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


                      >>>  ABOUT FREE PINT  <<<

Free Pint is an online community of information researchers. Members
receive this free newsletter every two weeks packed with tips on
finding quality and reliable business information on the Internet.
Joining is free at <http://www.freepint.com/> and provides access to
the substantial archive of articles, book reviews, jobs, industry news
& events, with answers to your research questions and networking at
the "Free Pint Bar" and "Student Bar". This newsletter is best read
when printed out and viewed in a Courier font.

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


                             EDITORIAL

In the last edition of Free Pint I placed a number of adverts for our
UK company research gateway at <http://www.freepint.com/icc>. I talked
about how easy it is to research suppliers, customers and competitors.

Well, it seems that I surprised an awful lot of people. Many readers
didn't know that this type of information is available for purchase
and have been staggered by the amount of detail in the reports they've
retrieved from our service.

We've therefore negotiated a special deal with our suppliers, ICC, to
demonstrate just how much information is available. Until the end of
July, if you buy any report - ranging from 2 pounds for a basic
profile report to 24 pounds for a Financial Report - then you will get
one Financial Report, worth 24 pounds, completely free.

This is a fantastic deal as you can choose which company you want the
Financial Report to be about. All you have to do to receive your
report is to use our gateway to purchase any report. Your account will
then be automatically credited with the free Financial Report and next
time you come to pay for such a report you will be offered it for
free. We've got to limit this offer to one free report per customer,
but I'm sure you'll join me in thanking ICC for their generous offer.

                   <http://www.freepint.com/icc>

If you'd like to see examples of the types of reports we have
(including a demonstration of just how much information is available
in a Financial Report) then view the samples online at
<http://www.freepint.com/icc/sample/sample.htm>.

We are delighted to welcome Glen Recruitment as a recruitment agency
to Free Pint Jobs. Glen Recruitment specialise in finding candidates
at all levels for information related job vacancies and are based in
London. Find out more about them and see their latest vacancies at
Free Pint Jobs <http://www.freepint.com/jobs>. Whilst there you might
like to join the 200 other people who have set up profiles and are now
receiving email alerts to new vacancies weekly.

In today's Free Pint we take a closer look at the extremely popular
search engine Google. In the feature article there is a discussion of
the many issues surrounding the use of health information stored
electronically. The article certainly opened my eyes. With its wide
range of tips and reviews I hope you'll want to pass this issue on to
your colleagues and friends. Please urge them to sign up for their own
copy - it's free and comes with many benefits (like a free Financial
Report) on our site at <http://www.freepint.com/>.

Cheers
William

       William Hann BSc MIInfSc, Founder and Managing Editor
      Email: <william@freepint.com>   Tel: +44 (0)1784 455435
                  (c) Free Pint Limited 1997-2001

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = ADVERTISEMENT = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


Best of Business Information on the Internet, 17 July 2001, at the
British Library. Come and hear the experts: Simon Collery, Karen
Blakeman, Phil Bradley, Paul Pedley and Alastair Allan at this one day
event. Beginning with an overview of relevant search tools, then
covering key business information areas such as Government, market
research and company sources, and how to exploit the Invisible Web.
Full details see our website at www.bl.uk/services/stb/courses.html
or tel 020 7412 7978, email: stb-marketing@bl.uk

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = [bl902]
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


           >>>  FREE FINANCIAL REPORT WORTH 24 POUNDS  <<<

      Purchase any report from our UK company research gateway
         and get a free Financial Report worth 24 pounds.
             Searching is free, so try a search today:
                   <http://www.freepint.com/icc>

Offer limited to one free report per customer and ends 31st July 2001

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 


                        MY FAVOURITE TIPPLES
                         from Duncan Parry

* Newsguard <http://www.newsguard.com/> - Type in some keywords and
  have news headlines that match your interest delivered by e-mail
  once a day, week or month - for free.

* Ananova News Alerts <http://www.ananova.co.uk/alerts/> - Virtual
  newsreaders?  Bah!  Have Ananova deliver breaking news headlines and
  specialist news items to your inbox for free.  Wide range of topics
  from railways to individual bands to specific industries available.

* My Clips Utility <http://www.fireup.freewire.co.uk/> - Copy and
  paste text into web forms, e-mail and documents with a simple right
  click using this free Windows utility.  Sits next to your clock in
  the system tray.  Ideal for entering your name, site address,
  company details etc. online.

* Eversheds80 Internet Legal News <http://www.eversheds80.com> -
  Delivers a summary of Internet related legal stories, with
  commentary, by e-mail.

* Xrefer <http://www.xrefer.com> - Easy to use reference search
  engine; type in your search and query 50 reference titles including
  well known Penguin publications.

Duncan Parry is a directory editor for Lycos UK, responsible for
Computers, Technology, Internet and Telecommunications. 
<http://www.lycos.co.uk/>

Tell us about your top five favourite Web sites. See the guidelines at
<http://www.freepint.com/author.htm> and email <simon@freepint.com>.

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = ADVERTISEMENT = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


           The end of a day. A good day. A fantastic day.
    Facts at your fingertips.  The power to search.  Your way.
                Pinpoint precision.  Best content.
Dow Jones and Reuters. Two global leaders. One incredible new service.
              Factiva.com The basis of a good decision
   Factiva launched its new product Factiva.com on June 11th.
      visit http://www.factiva.com/factiva to find out more.

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = [fa903]
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


   >>>  HOW DO YOU FIND CANDIDATES FOR YOUR INFORMATION JOB?  <<<

    Posting your vacancy in Free Pint Jobs puts it in front of
     our global membership of 38,000+ information researchers.
  Basic listings are free or your can pay for additional coverage.
   Start promoting that job today: <http://www.freepint.com/jobs>

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 


                           FREE PINT BAR
                    In Association with Factiva
                   a Dow Jones & Reuters Company
                           
                     Reviewed by Simon Collery
          <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210601.htm#bar>


Free Pint Bar <http://www.freepint.com/bar>
-------------------------------------------

[Note: To read a posting enter the message number in place of XXXXX
in the address http://www.freepint.com/go/bXXXXX ]

Whatever about visiting aliens, search engine spiders must wonder what
the Free Pint Bar is all about. A rare word, 'sercy' (10436), some
phenomenon that is hard to pin down (10225), names for polygons
(10415), a source of Old or Middle English words (10312), King Lear in
Russian (10231), the etymology of the word Tory (10053)? I'm beginning
to wonder myself.

Well, there's always the good old business research questions, ones
about European business directories (10386), historical currency
conversion (10242), publicity and marketing strategies (10548),
companies that started in 1976 (10421), UK telephone exchanges
(10297), draft shareholder agreements (10452), company directors
(10268), launching a new charitable venture (10465) and releasing a
regional language news magazine (10266).

And good old quantitative data about mobile phone operators (10214),
performance measurement (10351), fast moving consumer goods (10553),
companies in India that use LANs (10285), rainfall statistics in
Sweden (10302) and social class statistics in the UK (10409). There's
also a call for companies to commission business students to carry out
work for their degree project (10338) and a question about how to
interpret Government statistics (10387). Depends on who's side you are
on, I guess.

As usual there are a few job related queries, too, from people
interested in job vacancy databases (10459), training for picture
editors (10573), recruitment agencies that specialize in jobs abroad
(10525), dotcom jobs in London (10212) and information on working and
living in Switzerland (10472).

And there are lots of technical and Web mastering questions from
people enquiring about backing up cookies (10199), deleting pages in
MS Works (10584), creating borders in Fireworks, Dreamweaver and Word
(10466, 10393), reading HTML emails (10249), Internet phone services
(10551), Arabic word processors (10210), free ISPs (10523, 10396),
opening IE Favourites (10457) and a piece of software called NewsMaps
(10454).

If that's not enough then there are queries about using Photoshop 6
(10206), recovering lost files (10379), finding LCD units (10336),
setting up discussion forums (10262), silencing noisy servers (10575),
opening MS Word documents (10422), obtaining a sample statement of
requirements for a new computer system (10267), a URL checker (10475),
a Spanish language training package for MS Office 2000 (10223), and
software for tracking Web site visitors (10348).

But the Bar has obviously got something to do with Latin, hasn't it?
After all, we have received twenty postings on the subject in the last
two weeks. With the odd bit of Spanish (10308) and Sanskrit thrown in
(10413). And something to do with whether you should have one or two
spaces after a full stop (10288).

Perhaps those search engine spiders have built up a varied picture by
now. And there are still all those miscellaneous questions about
document delivery companies (10583), obtaining copies of out of print
serials (10213), lifestyle articles on financial issues (10240),
selling images to picture libraries (10419), library specifications
(10198, 10384), out of print books (10445) and dodgy pyramid schemes
(10238). Also, I reviewed resources for people interested in online
research tutorials (10356) and fish (10578).

Even if that does answer the spiders' questions, there are then those
who insist on trying to track down little known illustrators of
children's books (10222), buy land on the moon (10474) and replace
lost Teletubbies (10304). Laa Laa, since you ask. And I guess that
wraps it up. Bye bye!


Free Pint Student Bar <http://www.freepint.com/student>
-------------------------------------------------------

[Note: To read a posting enter the message number in place of XXXX in 
the address <http://www.freepint.com/go/sXXXX>]

In the Student Bar people have been asking about jobs for sports
science graduates (1487), virtual maps and atlases (1491) and visual
arts resources on the Web (1497). Someone doing a dissertation on
distance learning would like to hear from anyone who knows about
previous research in this area (1519). And someone else is looking for
Central and Eastern European students to do some research and answer
some questions (1502). There's been the usual interest in rankings for
various university courses in the UK and US as well. If you can help
with this, please pay a visit to the Student Bar.

      Simon Collery, Content Developer <simon@freepint.com>

If you have a tricky research question or can help other Free Pinters
then do post a message at the Bar <http://www.freepint.com/bar> or
the Student Bar <http://www.freepint.com/student>.

To have the latest Bar postings sent to you every other day, log in to
your account online or send a blank email to <digest@freepint.com>.
For the Student Bar Digest contact <studentdigest@freepint.com>.


> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = ADVERTISEMENT = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


               *** MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE ? ***

   Is your web site more than just a pretty face?  Do you want to
   build an online community, or add a "killer app" to your site?

   Lightwood Consultancy Ltd are specialists in creating dynamic,
   database driven web sites.  Call now on 0800 092 3441 or visit
                   <http://www.lightwood.net/fp/>

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = [gg904]
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


                           FREE PINT JOBS
                   <http://www.freepint.com/jobs>

Free Pint Jobs has details of many information-related vacancies.
The following are a selection of featured jobs:

Senior Research Professional
  With 10 years experience for Management Consultancy. Involves
  reactive and involved research with direct client contact.
  Recruiter: Glen Recruitment <http://www.freepint.com/go/j247>

Researcher/Knowledge Worker
  Put your new Information Management Masters to work in this multi
  faceted role in a major accountancy/management consultancy.
  Recruiter: Sue Hill Recruitment <http://www.freepint.com/go/j276>

Researcher Documents and Quick Reference
  Recent Lib/Info gradate or with 1 year Business Info experience
  required for Junior Researcher role with Global Investment Bank.
  Recruiter: Glen Recruitment <http://www.freepint.com/go/j161>

Assistant Librarian/Researcher
  A varied role in a professional, motivated information team within a 
  top law firm.  An opportunity not to be missed.
  Recruiter: Sue Hill Recruitment <http://www.freepint.com/go/j274>

Data Matching Project
  2-3 month temp work for Data Matching Project. Knowledge of Excel &
  financial sector advantageous, attention to detail essential.  
  Recruiter: Alacra Inc.  <http://www.freepint.com/go/j170>

                [The above jobs are paid listings]

It is free to search Free Pint Jobs and you can set up a profile to be
notified by email of relevant new vacancies.

Listing jobs is also free, or you can pay to receive significant
further publicity including coverage in this newsletter. Recruitment
agencies can also automatically upload all their jobs.

       Find out more today at <http://www.freepint.com/jobs>

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


   >>>  WE KNOW. WE UNDERSTAND. EMAIL PUBLISHING IS A PAIN.  <<<

  If your subscriber base has grown beyond a few hundred members
  then you know what a pain it is publishing an email newsletter.

  Free Pint have extensive experience of email publishing and can
 automate your publication's subscription handling and distribution.
 Find out more about the benefits at <http://www.freepint.com/bulk>

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 


                           TIPS ARTICLE
         <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210601.htm#tips>

                          "Do you Google?"
                         By Richard Eskins

The phenomenon that is Google started in 1998. I think I must have
started to use it some time in 1999 (at a guess). It seems like the
last six months or so have seem a big shift in Google's profile. Early
2000, if you mentioned Google, the response was Goo what? Now it's an
enthusiastic "I always Google". Last summer we had a number of
teenagers in our labs for open days and although they used the web,
their knowledge of search engines didn't go far beyond the adverts
they had seen for Yahoo! and Lycos. It will be interesting to see this
year if any of them are Google aware!

Anyway, lets Google. If like me you are a regular user, but you've had
little time to delve any further than the home page, I hope to reveal
some of Google's finer features. If you don't Google, wake up and read
on!

How to Google: First and foremost is the Google home page. We fell in
love at first sight because it lacked the clutter and load associated
with the bulging portals. Options were sparse at first, but now we
have advanced search, the Google Web Directory and a few others, still
in plain text and without added graphics. They choose not to link to
some of their other services (such as Groups) from the home page, so
modest! If you want to Google from your own web pages there are a
number of options that fall under free or paid-for. The 'Buddy Link'
drops the Google search box on your web page with a cut and paste HTML
job.

The 'Free Search' takes it a step further allowing folks to
search your own site or the web (via Google), with some customisation
of the HTML. Finally, there is the 'Tool Bar' for IE users, or
'Browser Buttons' for IE and NN 4.x. Both give permanent access to
Google features from your browser. I've been using the toolbar for a
while now and find it of great use. It gives me fast access to the
search of my choice (advanced, web directory or usenet) and then ranks
the page, lets me highlight the matches and search within the page. It
does mean you tend to use the one search tool, but if it's the one
that works, who cares?

Oh yes, I google.com rather google.co.uk as I don't see any
difference in speed at work - I guess the UK restrictions may help
sometimes.

So besides the basic search what does Google provide? Advanced Search:
This page chops up the search box into slices. You can include and
exclude words, search on phrases, choose the language, restrict to
titles or URLs, restrict or omit domains and turn on the filtering. If
you have a URL you can search for similar, or look for pages that
link 'to' that page. Finally, there are some of Google's 'Topic-
Specific' searches, such as U.S. Government, Universities, Mac, Linux
and BSD Unix.

A number of the above functions can be added within the normal search
box. Phrase searches can be made within quotation marks. Words can be
excluded by prefixing with the minus sign, and domains can be searched
using the prefix of 'site:'. For a general search, Google relies on
you entering a few keywords. The ANDs will be added automatically.
Results that include all your terms come up first. You can use OR in
your search, but remember to use capitals. For phrases Google will use
ten words, dumping the stop words (which includes single letters and
digits), so remember to add the plus sign in front of any stop word
you want to keep.

No wildcards and NOT case sensitive.

The results page: The results are displayed in the usual format of the
link followed by the first bits of text from the page (not taken from
meta tags). If present in the Directory, the Directory 'Description'
is used along with a link to the relevant category. Both pieces of
text will have the query terms in bold. This is followed by the URL of
the actual page, an indication of the size of the "text portion" of
the page, a link to a cached copy of the page (cached at time the page
was crawled) and finally a link that will start a search of 'like'
pages.

Notice at the top of the page it shows that you "Searched the web for"
and highlights the terms used. Clicking on any term will send it to
Dictionary.com for checking. If a word was spelt incorrectly in the
first place you would see "did you mean" with an alternative at the
top of the search results. If a page in your results isn't English,
Google will offer up a translation from Italian, French, Spanish,
German, and Portuguese at the moment. If you want titles and summaries
in English, you can tweak this under 'preferences'.

If that wasn't wonderful enough, Google has finally given us a way
into all those PDF files lurking on the web. Any search result in a
PDF file is flagged up with [PDF]. Clicking on the link works as usual
as long as you have the Acrobat viewer installed. Below the link is a
'Text version' link that lets you see an unformatted version of the
page. A quick method of getting an idea of the page's content.

OK, so we've had some results, what else can we do from the homepage?
Well the 'I'm feeling lucky' button is worth a try for those in a
hurry. This takes you to the top ranked page, with no fuss and no
further results. Try my name! Whilst I've mentioned results, you do
know that part of Google's secret of success is down to their own
PageRank(tm) technology? (Read up at
<http://www.google.com/technology/index.html>). Throw in a postcode to
bring up a link to a UK map, or an address for a U.S map. Drop in a
ticker symbol to check your shares. Enter a company name and you will
sometimes get a link to a 'Stock Quote' among the usual results
listing.


Preferences
-----------

First up is the choice of language for the interface. This also
includes an option to translate the results into the language of your
choice. The Search language is set at "all" by default, but can be
restricted. The Number of results is at ten by default, but can be
adjusted. The results can be set to appear in a new window, which may
drive some insane, but could be handy at times. And finally there is
an option to add Google's SafeSearch filter, to do away with the
obvious. (Question: why isn't there a ".sex" domain for all these
sites, filtering would be so much easier?).

For Web authors Google is a friendly soul. Google does all the work
and seems to find your pages with ease. If you're in a hurry, they do
have submissions. If you're unhappy they will remove pages, including
cached pages. Google has won 'Most Webmaster Friendly' at the Search
Engine Watch Awards 2000. Take a look at
<http://www.searchenginewatch.com/awards/index.html#webmaster>.


More services
-------------

The Google web directory is a simple, old fashioned tie up between
Google and The Open Directory, for the latter to supply a directory
type index. The fact that Google supplies Yahoo! with a search engine
in a vice versa type situation makes one wonder. However, the Open
Directory is a fresh-faced alternative to Yahoo!.


Google Groups
-------------

It's been in the news and although still beta, Google Groups has now
added posting. If you don't know the story, basically Deja (home of
usenet via the web) died and Google bought up the five years-plus of
archive which they are now hosting. First you could search, but not
post into a group, but now you can do both (you need to register to
post). Google are looking to add further services and functions in the
future. For more read Chris Sherman's piece at 
<http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/01/sd0509-googlegroups.html>.

Finally, it seems Google is doing a lot to provide a WAP service with
tie-ins with some major players. Google is doing the hard work of
translating HTML pages into WAP usable pages. I'd love to see how our
pages come out of the mangle! See the Google press releases for the
latest at <http://www.google.com/press/pressreleases.html>.

Happy Googling.

P.S. If you ever wondered where the name came from,
they tell you at <http://www.google.com/corporate/facts.html>.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Richard Eskins is currently lecturing in Web Page Design at
the Department of Information and Communications at Manchester
Metropolitan University <http://www.mmu.ac.uk/h-ss/dic/>.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Related Free Pint links:

* "Internet Searching" resources and articles in the Free Pint Portal
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/p185>
* Read this article online, with activated hyperlinks
  <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210601.htm#tips>
* Post a message to the author now at the Free Pint Bar
  <http://www.freepint.com/bar>
* Access the entire archive of Free Pint articles and issues
  <http://www.freepint.com/portal/content/>

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


      >>>  THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING IS IN THE REPETITION  <<<

 In some cultures it is polite to allow your food to repeat on you.
The host and guests have public proof that the meal was appreciated.

This is true of advertising in Free Pint too. To know if advertising
works simply look at the number of repeat advertisers. Find out more
 at <http://www.freepint.com/advert.htm> or call +44 1784 455466.

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 


                        FREE PINT BOOKSHELF
                <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf>

  "E-Business to the Power of 12: The Principles of .Competition"
                    Reviewed by Drosten Fisher

Overall, this book was a great disappointment.  It promised to explain
a clear structure and context to understand basic eBusiness
principles.  But it delivered a muddled, cliche-ridden hotch-potch
which fails to meet even its basic objective - an explanation of basic
eBusiness principles.  This was surprising given that the book is
sponsored by the FT, which is known for the quality of its writing.
Both the content and the quality was far below that which you would
find in a decent Economist article, or an FT Survey.

The book sets out as its framework twelve areas which are common to
all eBusinesses.  These are mostly standard business divisions such as
strategy, marketing, sales etc., with a few new economy-specific areas
such as security and partnerships.  However this framework is
immediately muddled by the introduction of the comparison between
eBusiness and war.  There may be some important similarities between
war and business, such as the primacy of strategy and the focus on
effective implementation of that strategy.  However, there are also
some important differences, for example, no-one gets killed in
business and you do not kidnap and torture your business rivals to get
their corporate secrets.  The analogy is pushed much too far with
continued references to von Clauswicz's classic "On War", an
eighteenth century Prussian book on military strategy.  The quotations
and the constant use of military terminology to describe business
functions are at best distracting.

This is further compounded by the constant use of cliche and mixed
metaphors.  And this makes up the bulk of the book.  I was unable to
discern a coherent framework or consistent set of opinions beneath the
military jargon, cliche and hyperbole.  Apart from some mildly
interesting case studies in the appendix, the book is almost wholly
devoid of content, and unless you already have some well-formulated
opinions on eBusiness when you start reading, this book is likely to
leave you much more confused than when you started.

For a clear, understanding of the issues and the theoretical framework
underlying the new economy, I would recommend the recent article
"Strategy and the Internet" by Michael Porter in the Harvard Business
Review.

There is a gap in the market for a book describing the theoretical
framework behind eBusiness.  Unfortunately, this is not that book.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Drosten Fisher works as a Research Associate for Impact Plus plc.
Founded in 1990, Impact Plus is one of the fastest growing management
consultancies in the UK and Ireland. It is Impact Plus' mission to
make a positive impact on the business of our clients. We have an
enviable reputation for delivering independent, practical, value-for-
money advice. Impact Plus has offices in London, Edinburgh, Manchester
and Dublin and has delivered in virtually every market sector. Impact
Plus is also a principal member of E-I Consulting Group, with access
to 1,800 consultants in 75 offices worldwide <http://www.impactplus.co.uk>.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Related Free Pint links:

* Find out more about this book online at the Free Pint Bookshelf
  <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf/twelve.htm>
* Read about other Internet strategy books on the Free Pint Bookshelf
  <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf/strategy.htm>
* "E-Business to the Power of 12: The Principles of .Competition". 
  Details: ISBN 0273650211 published by Financial Times Prentice 
  Hall Publishing and written by Power, Weber and Boswell
* Read customer comments and buy this book at Amazon.co.uk
  http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0273650211/freepint0c
  or Amazon.com
  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0273650211/freepint00
* Search for and purchase any book from Amazon via the Free Pint
  Bookshelf at <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf>

To propose an information-related book for review, send details 
to <bookshelf@freepint.com>.

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


                >>>  HOW CAN FREE PINT BE FREE?  <<<

 Free Pint is free because of support from advertisers and sponsors.
           They want to talk to you and your colleagues.

 If you want Free Pint to remain free, then please spread the word
and persuade others to sign up at <http://www.freepint.com/>. Why not
forward this copy now to five of your colleagues or friends? Go on ...

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


                          FEATURE ARTICLE
        <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210601.htm#feature>

       "Electronic Health Information : A boon and a curse!"
                          By Crystal Sharp

The Internet has dramatically changed the way health data can be
collected, collated, stored, analyzed, distributed and accessed,
across the world, as easily as manipulating a file on one's own
computer. Using the Internet, individuals can take an active part in
their own healthcare using research, telehealth consulting, and
knowledge sharing. A Pew Internet and American Life Study estimated
that 55% of the Internet-user population have turned to Internet
sources to seek health information.

Most of an individual's health related data is still collected by
physicians. However, much of such intimate information is also held in
clinics and medical centres, pharmacies, private sector managed care
providers, blood supply systems, academic and other non-profit
research centres, manufactures of pharmaceuticals, and commercial data
vendors. Data flow is often at very high volume within and among many
of these organizations.

Such availability and accessibility of comprehensive health data is
useful to patients - who may need access to care in multiple locations
or by different health care providers. Health care providers use it in
their calculations of reimbursements, and to coordinate diagnoses and
treatment. Insurers use it for settling claims, in utilization
reviews, and in underwriting and coverage decisions. Knowledge of
medical history and usage of services and medications is, of
course, extremely helpful to drug companies and other commercial
enterprises.

While such information availability and accessibility clearly benefits
the individual and society at large, there is understandable concern
about invasion of privacy and possible repercussions from use and
abuse of identifiable data. The Pew Internet and American Life Study
The Online Health Care Revolution - 'How the Web Helps Americans Take
Better Care of Themselves' - found that 80 per cent of Internet health
enquirers were of the opinion that anonymity was very important in
their quest for health information on the Web. That is interesting
because Internet users provide, often unknowingly, a great deal of
data about themselves just by browsing for health data on the Web. 89
per cent of respondents were concerned about web sites selling or
giving away information about what they did online.

While there is a current trend towards keeping health records online,
63% of Internet users oppose the idea of keeping medical records
online, even at a secure password-protected site, because they fear
other people will see those records. A survey of over fifty countries
by the Electronic Privacy Center (EPIC) and Privacy International,
found there to be a worldwide recognition of privacy as a fundamental
human right.  Nearly all industrialized countries support
comprehensive privacy and data protection acts, and nearly fifty
countries and jurisdictions have, or are in the process of enacting
such laws.

In the past year, over a dozen countries have enacted new
laws or updated previous acts. Legislation generally aims to protect
individual privacy, while preserving research access to personal data
for the benefit of society for public health or "national security"
reasons. Striking the right balance is an elusive goal, as is
evidenced by debates on the topic worldwide. While it is desirable
that data be non-identifiable, there are legitimate reasons why
researchers need to be able to identify subjects (legitimacy of the
research, to examine linkages, to relate results to race, gender or
family traits).

Individual concerns relate to how the knowledge of sickness or mental
health problems would affect their insurance rates, their place in
society, their personal relationships or their jobs. Most legislation
for research on human subjects now requires informed consent from the
individuals involved. That concept of informed consent itself is
fraught with complications. For instance it is debatable whether a
child or a mentally incapacitated individual is adequately informed to
be able to consent. Research that is based on retrospectively
collected records may never be allowed to commence if subjects cannot
be located for their consent.

Researchers have legitimate concerns that the completeness and
validity in sampling and systematic bias in research results is of
concern if potential research subjects can opt out. The question of
data ownership is another legally complex issue. A review article
'Privacy, Confidentiality and Electronic Medical Records', observed
that "ownership of a medical record is at best a limited right that is
primarily custodial in nature, and information contained in the record
is often characterized as the patient's property. All parties who are
entrusted with health data, both the movers and the users, should
reasonably be considered as stewards of that data, and may be held
liable for irresponsible acts and breaches of confidentiality." Adding
fuel to the already heated debate, is the issue of the international
flow of data.

Personally identifiable health research data are exchanged
internationally every day by governments, pharmaceutical firms and
others. Uniform international standards for protecting privacy,
confidentiality and security are being developed, but there is no
universally accepted standard yet. While many organizations are aware
of privacy concerns and have privacy policies and practices,
identifiable personal information is still accessible.  Consumer
Reports (August 2000) reported that state agencies doing public health
research were able to routinely locate the same person in disparate
databases by simply matching up data elements of age, gender, race,
ZIP code, and diagnosis, even though hospital discharge records were
supposed to have been stripped of "personal identifiers"!

A California Health Care Foundation examining the privacy practices of
21 of the most popular health care sites found that some violated
their own written privacy guidelines - often, by sending personal
information to third parties without the knowledge or consent of site
visitors. Sometimes, even when an organization has a privacy policy,
violations occur due to poorly understood or communicated
institutional policy, use of different computer hardware and software
platforms that make up a system of access, and inadequate controls
that compromise the security of records.

Complicating the entire issue, are new technologies that emerge
regularly to stay ahead of current legislation.  A whole new industry
is being built around surveillance, encryption, data linking, privacy
enhancing, privacy preserving and other technologies. The Economist
(May 1, 2000) observed that "... unless society collectively turns
away from the benefits that technology can offer ... privacy debates
are likely to become ever more intense ..." That is so true -
electronic access to health information is a boon, but we might have
to compromise with some loss of privacy if we wish to enjoy the
benefits.


Studies
-------

The Online Health Care Revolution: How the Web helps Americans take
better care of themselves. The Pew Internet and American Life Project
<http://www.pewinternet.org>
The findings come from several surveys conducted by the Princeton
Survey Research Associates.

Privacy and Human Rights 2000. An international survey of privacy laws
and developments - David Banisar
<http://www.privacyinternational.org/survey/>
Electronic Privacy Center, Washington DC, USA. Privacy International,
London, U.K.


Legislation
-----------

<http://www.ita.doc.gov/td/ecom/SHPRINCIPLESFINAL.htm>
Safe Harbor Privacy Principles. Issued By The U.S. Department Of
Commerce On July 21, 2000

The European Union's comprehensive privacy legislation, the Directive
on Data Protection (the Directive), became effective on October 25,
1998. It requires that transfers of personal data take place only to
non-EU countries that provide an "adequate" level of privacy
protection. While the United States and the European Union share the
goal of enhancing privacy protection for their citizens, the United
States takes a different approach to privacy from that taken by the
European Union. The United States uses a sectoral approach that relies
on a mix of legislation, regulation, and self regulation. Given those
differences, many U.S. organizations have expressed uncertainty about
the impact of the EU-required "adequacy standard" on personal data
transfers from the European Union to the United States.

<http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/datacncl/PHRintro.htm>
In September 1996 the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr.
Donna E. Shalala, requested this study as background for policy
decisions that her Department and American society, along with their
counterparts in other countries, urgently must confront.

<http://www.consumerreports.org/Special/ConsumerInterest/Reports/0008med0.htm>
Who knows your medical secrets? Its getting easier for health
marketers, your boss, and your mortgage company to find out what ails
you.

Whitehouse press release, April 12, 2001. President Bush to enact the
Medical Privacy Bill
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/04/20010412-1.html>

<http://www.gov.on.ca/health/english/pub/ministry/phipa/phipa_mn.html>
Draft: Personal Health Information Protection Act 1997 -  A review.
Ontario Government.


Metasites
---------

<http://www.netreach.net/~wmanning/privacy.htm>
Medical Records, Privacy & Confidentiality

<http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/DV/PEPST.html>
Privacy-Enhancing and Privacy-Sympathetic Technologies: Resources
Website of privacy advocate Roger Clarke

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Crystal Sharp is the co-owner of InformAction, CD Sharp Information
Systems, a professional research firm that specializes in helping
businesses and professionals with their competitive intelligence
needs.  Crystal is a member of the CAREMH research team (Consortium
for Applied Research and Evaluation of Mental Health). She is also on
the Board of Directors of AIIP - the Association of Independent
Information Professionals. Crystal lives in London, Ontario, Canada
with her husband Dr. David Sharp and three sons, Andrew, Christopher
and Joseph.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Related Free Pint links:

* "Healthcare and Medicine" resources in the Free Pint Portal
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/p64>
* Respond to this article and chat to the author now at the Bar
  <http://www.freepint.com/bar>
* Read this article online, with activated hyperlinks
  <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210601.htm#feature>
* Access the entire archive of Free Pint content
  <http://www.freepint.com/portal/content/>

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


                     >>>  FREE PINT FACT  <<<

Following our announcement of a free Financial Report with any
purchase from our UK company research gateway at 
<http://www.freepint.com/icc>, I thought it might make an interesting
Fact to find out just how many companies are in the database:

There are 1.7 million live companies, 2.4 million dissolved companies
and 2 million unincorporated businesses. Accounts and annual returns
go right back to March 1995 and Financial Reports have up to 5 years
worth of financial information. Finally there are 7.4 million
Directorships and many millions of images in the image bank.

So, quite a lot then.

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 


                         FORTHCOMING EVENTS
                 <http://www.freepint.com/events>

July and August are, not surprisingly, quiet months on the conference
scene. Therefore, you might want to make the most of a trip to
"UmbrelLA 6" from the Library Association in Manchester at the
beginning of July. Alternatively at the same time the ICCC
(International Council for Computer Communications) in conjunction
with IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing) are
running their Fifth ICCC/IFIP Conference on Electronic Publishing, in
Canterbury.  This is followed by the "Digital Resources for the
Humanities 2001" conference in London "for all those affected by the
digitization of our common cultural heritage".

Details of these and many other forthcoming conferences and
exhibitions in the online-information and Internet industries can be
found on the Free Pint Events page <http://www.freepint.com/events>.
If you're organising an event then submit details via this page.

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


                           FREE PINT GOLD

This time last year we were given a privileged insight into working
out a competitor's strategy from looking at their Web site. We also
talked about WAP, but that's not such a hot potato now.

* Free Pint No.65, 22nd June 2000 "Internet Intelligence - analysing 
  web-sites for competitive intelligence" and "WAP Technology and 
  Services". <http://www.freepint.com/issues/220600.htm>

Two years ago there was a timely reminder about the PR opportunities
offered by simply replying to emails. The article on archaeology sites
is timely now with the number of dinosaur programmes on British TV.

* Free Pint No.41, 24th June 1999. "Answering back" and "Finding 
  Links to the Past: archaeological resources on the Web". 
  <http://www.freepint.com/issues/240699.htm>

In Free Pint three years ago, popular contributor Sheila Webber gave a
tour of sites specifically for the information sector, whilst
bioscience sources were under the microscope in the feature article.

* Free Pint No.17, 25th June 1998 "Finding information products and 
  services via the Net" and "Bioscience Information on the Internet".
  <http://www.freepint.com/issues/250698.htm>

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


                   FREE PINT FORTHCOMING ARTICLES
                           [Provisional]

             * Academic, Economic and Social Science *
         * Legal Sources * Tracing Missing Persons * WAP *
  * UK Charity Information Jobs * DIY Website Design * Railways *
    * Women in Business * Further Voluntary Sector Resources *
  * The 3 I's of Information * Effective Problem Solving * B2B *
   * Plastics and Rubber * Latin America * Technology Transfer *
        * Obtaining Government Grants * Summoned by Bells *

If you have a suggestion for an article topic or would like to write
for Free Pint then please contact me or sign up for the monthly Author
Update on the Web site at <http://www.freepint.com/author.htm>.

                Rex Cooke, Editor <rex@freepint.com>

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

                              GOODBYE

Many thanks for reading today's Free Pint and I hope you really 
enjoyed it. Don't forget to make the most of the offer of a free 
Financial Report for every reader in our UK company research gateway at
<http://www.freepint.com/icc>. Why not try a free search now?

                       See you in two weeks!

             William Hann, Founder and Managing Editor
                      <william@freepint.com>

(c) Free Pint Limited 1997-2001
<http://www.freepint.com/>

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


                        CONTACT INFORMATION

William Hann BSc MIInfSc, Founder and Managing Editor
   Email: <william@freepint.com>  Tel: +44 (0)1784 455435

Rex Cooke FIInfSc FRSA, Editor
   Email: <rex@freepint.com>      Tel: +44 (0)1342 316027

Simon Collery BA, Content Developer
   Email: <simon@freepint.com>    Tel: +44 (0)1865 434143

Address: Free Pint Limited, FREEPOST (SEA3901), Staines
         Middlesex, TW18 3BR, United Kingdom
        (Please add a stamp if you would like to pay for postage)
Tel:    +44 (0)1784 455466
Fax:    +44 (0)1784 455436

Web <http://www.freepint.com>
Subscriptions <subs@freepint.com>
Letters & Comments <feedback@freepint.com>
Authors <http://www.freepint.com/author.htm>
Latest Issue Autoresponder <auto@freepint.com>
Advertising <http://www.freepint.com/advert.htm>

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

Free Pint (ISSN 1460-7239) is a free newsletter written by information 
professionals who share how they find quality and reliable information
on the Internet.  Useful to anyone who uses the Web for their work, it
is published every two weeks by email.

To subscribe, unsubscribe, find details about contributing, 
advertising or to see past issues, please visit the Web site at 
<http://www.freepint.com/> or email <admin@freepint.com>.
Your registered email address is listed at the bottom of this message.

Please note: Free Pint is a trademark of, and published by, Free Pint 
Limited <http://www.freepint.com/>. The publishers will NEVER make 
the subscriber list available to any other company or organisation.

The opinions, advice, products and services offered herein are the
sole responsibility of the contributors. Whilst all reasonable care
has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the publication, the
publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions.

This publication may be freely copied and/or distributed in its
entirety. However, individual sections MAY NOT be copied and/or
distributed without the prior written agreement of the publishers.
Write to Rex Cooke, Editor <rex@freepint.com> for more details.
Product names used in Free Pint are for identification purposes only,
and may be trademarks of their respective owners. Free Pint disclaims
any and all rights in those marks. All rights reserved.

> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

« Previous Newsletter Feed Next Newsletter »
 

About this Newsletter


Back to top ^



Jinfo Newsletter

Click for the Jinfo Newsletter in new window/tabKeep up-to-date with the latest from Jinfo Research by email twice-monthly.

 Register free » 


Latest: No.483 16th November