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byte size: Sites filter will protect children.

SOFTWARE that will let adults filter out potentially offensive or harmful sites more effectively has been unveiled by the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA).

ICRAFilter is the second phase of a voluntary content labelling system. It allows internet content providers to flag up sites with material that is potentially offensive or harmful to children. This non-censorial approach has been welcomed by the industry as the best way to protect children, as website operators don't feel they have to disguise the content.

The new software differs from other filtering tools because its foundation is one of choice, not censorship.

The ICRA labelling system can distinguish between sites containing normally sensitive topics, such as the promotion of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, weapons, sex, nudity and language. The content can be changed as children mature.

ICRAFilter is available as a free download from the ICRA website.

www.icra.org

Passport control

BRITONS might be carrying biometric cards acting as "smart" passports within four years. They will hold identification details such as fingerprints, digital images of the holder's face and scans of the iris of their eyes.

www.homeoffice.gov.uk

Image boost

THE latest image-compression technology is set to be released in a few months' time.

Internet users will be able to make use of the JPEG 2000 standard which, its developers claim, enables web graphics to be downloaded hundreds of times faster than is currently possible while preserving image quality.

It is the first major upgrade of the standard since it first appeared in the early 1990s. To take advantage of JPEG 2000, web designers will need a plug-in for either an Internet Explorer or Netscape browser. These free plug-ins are expected to be on the market later this year and the extension for the new files will be "jp2".

www.jpeg.org/JPEG2000.htm

Mood music

MATSUSHITA is developing software that can match music to people's moods.

Musicsommelier analyses elements of music such as tempo and beat. It assigns "moods" to each track and then downloads the music into a database of categories.

www.panasonic.com.sg
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 6, 2002
Words:345
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