RealTime IT News

Chinese University Spins Off Online Bilingual News Service

Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) spin-off Wisers Information Ltd. has developed Hong Kong's first online bilingual news service.

The online news service, called WiseNews, is designed to meet the specific requirements of businesses, government agencies, educational institutions and public libraries.

Wisers Information Ltd. was launched earlier this year by CUHK's Information Laboratories Ltd., a incorporated scheme aimed at transferring technologies from Hong Kong academia to industry.

WiseNews provides subscribers with the ability to electronically access archived clippings in specified subjects through two technologies developed at CUHK, bilingual search engine Information Processing On Chinese (IPOC) and desktop interface Electronics News Media & Publishing (ENMPS).

"Recent tests have confirmed WiseNews ' archived system is beyond comparison, both in terms of search speed and size of data capability," said Ringo Lam, chief executive officer of Wisers. "When programmed with ten concurrent requests on a data set of approximately 500 megabytes of raw text, IPOC achieved an average retrieval rate of 1 to 3 seconds in response time."

"This is a very convenient way to get the news to individuals as well as firms and corporations," stated Professor Arthur K. C. Li, Vice Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong. "The more information that is disseminated the better it is for the health of the whole society because access to information is a guarantee of our democratic process and a yardstick to an advanced economy."

Seventy percent of Hong Kong's newspapers have signed up as content providers for the service including Ming Pao Daily, Hong Kong Economic Times, Sing Tao Daily and Hong Kong Standard.

Wisers has also developed a personalized online news service called Newsy.Net which organizes materials according to users' needs and sends them via e-mail free of charge.

Since it was launched in July, Newsy.Net has already won two IT 1998 awards from the Sing Tao Daily and the Federation of Hong Kong Industries.