The Buzz: April 28, 2003

Edgar Codd, an IBM mathematician who created the relational database model, died last week at age 79.

Relational Database Pioneer Codd Dies

Edgar Codd, an IBM mathematician who created the relational database model, died last week at age 79.

Codd literally rewrote database management theory when he published his relational model in 1970 while working for IBM. It formed the basis for the first commercial RDBMS product, built by Larry Ellison of Oracle.

IBM arrived with its SQL/DS in 1981. DB2, for larger MVS mainframes, was announced in 1983.

Verizon Brings Messaging Services to the Skies

Verizon last week announced that its Airfone subsidiary has messaging services on all Continental Airlines narrow-body planes.

Continental Airplane IM

Up to 46 passengers per plane can pay $6 per flight to use Verizons JetConnect service for instant messaging and one-way text messaging, as well as for access to destination information, news, weather, sports and stock information. Customers gain access to JetConnect by plugging their laptops into a jack on the air phone.

Verizon plans to add services such as high-speed e-mail and file downloads in the future, according to officials.

Google Acquires Applied Semantics

Google continued its buying trend last week by picking up Applied Semantics, which develops contextual marketing software that helps businesses categorize and summarize articles.

In February, Google acquired Pyra Labs, a six-person startup that develops the popular Blogger personal Web publishing tool.

Applied Semantics, with about 50 employees, was founded in 1998, and officials said its been profitable over the past four quarters. Meanwhile, Overture, which provides paid search services at portal and content sites, suffered a big setback in trading last week after cutting its earnings projections for this year. At one point, Overtures stock was down more than 25 percent.

nTag Name Badges Get Interactive

Trade show attendance may be down, but nTag Interactive is hoping those who do show up will get more out of it. The company has released a new interactive name badge that is designed to encourage attendee networking and information sharing at events of all kinds. nTags can help organizers deliver event information, track attendance, manage security, send messages, and evaluate surveys and polls in real time.

nTag badges exchange data with one another using infrared sensors. The tags LCD screens illuminate and display information on shared interests. They can be preloaded with information an individual wants to share with others.

Based on research at MITs Media Lab, nTag prototypes have been featured at events hosted by MasterCard, Columbia University, Eyebeam, the Boston Museum of Science and PC Forum.

GenuOne Catches Online Infringement

For many companies, the Internet is a great place to sell and market their products. Unfortunately, it is also a great place for others to sell unauthorized versions of their products at cut rates or spread misinformation about their companies.

Updated software that GenuOne will release next week will enable companies to identify and track unauthorized sale of their products at online trading sites. GenuNet 3.0 can also help companies find instances of counterfeit versions of products for sale. GenuOne also will announce an agreement with eBay that will provide customers with the ability to scour the eBay Web site for brand infringements and get e-mail alerts when issues arise.