Announcements Items
July 13, 2007

Healthcare 3.0 video presentation now online

Announcements, Lab News By: ams

The video of Marty Tenenbaum’s presentation Healthcare 3.0: Transforming Medicine through Collective Intelligence can now be downloaded as well as viewed online. This particular presentation was given at the Biomedin 200 Collaquia at Stanford University in May.

Here’s the abstract:

All of healthcare is an experiment, but we measure only a small
portion of the outcomes, i.e., in clinical trials. We’re also not very
good at collaboratively analyzing the data, interpreting the results,
and disseminating them in a timely and meaningful manner. In this talk
we will present a vision and technological approach for addressing
these problems by using the Web to tap the collective intelligence of
patients, physicians and medical researchers, ultimately bringing the
world’s knowledge and resources to bear on curing diseases one patient
at a time.

February 11, 2007

Study finds weaknesses in online banking authentication

Announcements, Lab News By: ams

The New York Times reports on a study authored by CN Fellow Rachna Dhamija. The study, conducted with colleagues at Harvard and MIT, tested a website authentication system currently in use by Bank of America, ING Direct and Vanguard. In this system, online banking customers are asked to select an image that they will see every time they log in to their account. If customers do not see their image, they could be at a fraudulent, or “phishing” Web site, and should not enter their passwords. However, in a usability test, the researchers found that most online banking customers did not notice when the images were absent and provided their passwords.

Public radio’s FutureTense program interviewed Rachna about the study and released a short MP3 of the interview.

More details can be found in the draft paper [PDF], which will be published at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy in May.

December 12, 2006

CommerceNet Holiday Open House

Announcements, Lab News By: ams

Check your inbox for an invitation to the 2006 Holiday Open House at our offices in Palo Alto, at 169 University Avenue. Cocktails, conversations, and connections after work on a Tuesday evening — who could ask for more? Another jumbo chocolate fountain, like the last two years? Well, stay tuned…

If we’ve overlooked you, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line!

July 10, 2006

MediaMachines Open Sources FluxPlayer for X3D

Announcements By: ams

MediaMachines, a CommerceNet portfolio ignition company, recently announced an open source release of FluxPlayer for X3D, 3-dimensional visualization browser plug-in for working with standard, scriptable, 3D objects. Released under an LGPL license as the Flux project on Sourceforge, there were several dozen developers working with it within the first few days. We look forward to significant growth in this arena as developers tackle building a decentralized version of the user experiences popularized by systems such as Second Life. Stay tuned for further open source releases from MM soon, too…

Media Machines Releases Source Code for Enabling Web-Based 3D Virtual Worlds

Award-Winning FLUX(TM) Software Now Available as Free Download to Virtual World, Social Network, and AJAX Developers Under Open Source License

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — (MARKET WIRE) — July 10, 2006 — Media Machines, Inc. (, a leading provider of solutions for real-time 3D communication, announced today that it has released the source code to its FLUX™ 3D platform under an open source license.

FLUX allows developers and content creators to publish their interactive 3D animations, models and virtual worlds to a standard web browser. Today’s FLUX release includes FLUX Player, a lightweight browser plug-in with a one-click installer for end consumers. 3D developers can create content in a variety of popular 3D modeling applications including Autodesk 3ds Max™ and Google Sketchup™. Additionally, FLUX supports Javascript for creating rich immersive experiences.

“Online virtual worlds are here,” said Tony Parisi, creator of FLUX and president of Media Machines. “Fast 3D graphics on home PCs, broadband penetration and consumer desire has made the mass distribution of 3D web content a practical reality,” Parisi continued. “An essential ingredient in this formula is a runtime platform based on open standards, with an open source implementation. FLUX is the ideal starting point for connecting existing virtual worlds and building a web-enabled Metaverse.”

FLUX is a leading implementation of X3D, the XML-based, ISO open standard for delivering 3D graphics content over the web. Media Machines’ customers have utilized FLUX since 2002 to experience online virtual worlds and immersive content for a variety of engineering, education and entertainment projects. FLUX has won several technical excellence awards, including the Web3D Showcase at the ACM SIGGRAPH conference for two years in a row.

“The release of the FLUX source code into open source is an extremely important development for the real-time 3D graphics community,” commented Alan Hudson, president of the Web3D Consortium. “FLUX is a welcome addition to the growing body of open source code for developing X3D software, thereby ensuring the rapid spread of X3D-based web applications. The Web3D Consortium welcomes this event and congratulates everyone at Media Machines.”

Media Machines will continue to foster the development of online virtual worlds with a series of open source technology offerings over the coming months. Additionally, Media Machines recently released KML2X3D™, a free translator that converts Google Earth (SketchUp) KML 3D models to industry standard X3D files for display in web pages.

The FLUX source code is licensed under the Gnu Lesser General Public License (LGPL). To download the FLUX source code, please visit

About FLUX

FLUX (current version 2.0) features a highly optimized engine for rendering X3D content and a one-click installable media player plug-in for viewing X3D content embedded in web pages. FLUX is suitable for use in a variety of commercial settings, including web sites, turnkey products, and enterprise applications. FLUX is available for Windows and runs as a plug-in for use in Internet Explorer and Firefox, and as an ActiveX component in Windows applications. Support for other operating systems is currently under development.

About Media Machines

Media Machines is a leading provider of technology and solutions for real-time 3D communication. Media Machines is spearheading the development of standards and technologies that lower the barrier of entry and total cost of ownership for developing real-time, rich media applications. Media Machines was founded in 1999 by Tony Parisi, co-creator of the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) and Extensible 3D (X3D), the ISO standards for 3D graphics on the World Wide Web.

June 11, 2006

CommerceNet Sponsors ACM’s Electronic Commerce Conference

Announcements, Conferences By: ams

Next week is EC’06, the seventh annual conference of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Electronic Commerce (SIGECOM). CommerceNet is proud to join Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Akamai, CombineNet, and the University of Michigan in sponsoring the premier academic event in our field.

One of the most exciting subdisciplines growing up around this arena is Sponsored Search Advertising, an area we’ve written about before. The second annual workshop is being held in conjunction with EC’06 with a fascinating twist: the first pay-per-click bidding agent competition:

Are you interested in e-commerce / machine learning / operations research / data mining / artificial intelligence? Put your skills to the ultimate test. Enter an intelligent bidding agent in the 2006 Sponsored Search Bidding Agent Competition . Your intelligent agent will need to balance exploration versus exploitation in real-time (the classic k-armed bandit problem), and react intelligently to fickle and potentially explosive changes in customer behavior.

But we’re not just talking about a mathematical exercise. You will have the opportunity to actually bid in the real-world, with real money, and with the chance of making or losing your funds. Through a special arrangement with Microsoft AdCenter – who are providing the auction platform and are offering free funds to teams – and a retailer who is yet to be announced – we are offering you the chance to bid with real money on a real retailer. The winner will be the team that creates the greatest percentage increase in revenue. Are you ready for this challenge? Read on!

May 16, 2006

CN Director Raj Reddy Wins 2006 Vannevar Bush Award

Announcements By: ams

Congratulations to our newest Director on CommerceNet’s Board on this rare honor for applying science to imporving society!

PITTSBURGH—Raj Reddy, Carnegie Mellon University’s Mozah Bint Nasser University Professor of Computer Science and Robotics in the School of Computer Science, will receive the 2006 Vannevar Bush Award, an honor presented by the National Science Board in recognition of his contributions to science and his statesmanship on behalf of science and the nation.

The board cited Reddy for his pioneering research in robotics and intelligent systems, and his significant contributions in the formulation of national information and telecommunications policy.

Reddy and Charles Townes, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and inventor of the laser, will both receive Vannevar Bush awards this year at a May 9 dinner at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

The National Science Board, which provides scientific advice to Congress and the president and oversees the National Science Foundation, established the Vannevar Bush Award in 1980 to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to mankind and the nation through public service activities in science and technology.

…more from the official press release from NSF

March 29, 2006

Red Herring on Newroo acquisiton by Fox

Announcements By: ams

Congrats again to our friends at Newroo, and best wishes in La-La Land…!

More Startups Snapped Up: Small startups are still good buyout targets (3/27/06)

Google is not the only one buying tiny startups to get the minds behind them. When the dust cleared after a flurry of acquisitions last week, the online content software sector was three companies smaller.

The news came rapid-fire: Blog company Six Apart picked up cameraphone blogging application developer SplashBlog; NewsCorp’s Fox Interactive bought customizable online news gatherer Newroo; NewsGator bought mobile RSS reader SmartRead and mobile podcatcher SmartFeed (which makes tools for downloading syndicated updates of web sites and podcasts). It was difficult not to see a trend.

Newroo, for its part, had no users. It delayed its launch as well as a round of funding after entering talks with Fox Interactive. The three-person San Francisco-based team had taken a seed round from CommerceNet. They are building something called a “memetracker” which learns about new online content on a particular topic and retrieves information based on a user’s interests.

Apparently the activity is not a blip. Mr. Holston, Mr. Berkowitz, and Fox Interactive President Ross Levinsohn all say they are open to additional purchases in the next year.

February 1, 2006

AI Meets Web 2.0: Audio and Video

Announcements By: ams

Audio and video of Marty Tenenbaum’s presentation AI meets Web 2.0: Building The Web Of Tomorrow Today is now available, taken at the PARC Forum on January 12, 2006. This is the latest version of the AAAI/IAAI talk, with more emphasis on tapping the collective intelligence of the Web (people and computers).

January 10, 2006

A New Year’s Gift: Come One, Come All!

Announcements, Lab News By: ams

To ring in a successful 2006 for microformats, and structured blogging in general, CommerceNet is sponsoring the 10 January meeting of SDForum’s Emerging Technology SIG in Palo Alto — free admission & pizza for all!

There’s more details on their website and the website, and ours, but the bottom line is, we hope you can come on down and learn about this technology and check out the latest demos for finding, sharing, indexing, and programing with microformats.

December 17, 2005

AI Meets Web 2.0

Announcements, Lab News By: ams

Announcing CommerceNet Labs Technical Report CN-TR-05-07, AI Meets Web 2.0: Building the Web of Tomorrow, Today (PDF, 4MB), with reformatted illustrations and hyperlinks. This paper puts Marty Tenenbaum’s Semantic Web 2.0 presentation from July into an updated article-friendly format. It’s the perfect paper for end-of-the-year musing about the Web circa 2005 and it makes a great starting point for thinking about what the next five to ten years of the Web will bring.