Members of the digital printing, publishing and creative communities will converge on Boston this week for Seybold Seminars, a conference that will focus this year on desktop and Web publishing, digital rights and document management, and ebooks. The annual conference - aimed at creative professionals - kicks off Tuesday and runs through Thursday. Speakers at this year's conference will include Christie Hefner, chief executive officer (CEO) of Playboy Enterprises and chairman of Playboy.com, Fred Ebrahimi, president and chief executive of Quark, and Bruce Chizen, president and CEO of Adobe Systems. In years past at Seybold in Boston, a large percentage of exhibitors focused on front-end creative processes like colour management, said Gene Gable, president of Seybold Seminars, which is run by Key3Media Events. That is changing, he said. "(Show attendees) are going to see a lot more emphasis on backbone issues like content management and digital rights management," Gable said. A strong emphasis also will be put on XML (eXtensible Markup Language) tools to assist with getting content on the Web, he said. Thirty-eight companies are listed as exhibiting HTML (HyperText Markup Language), SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) and XML products and tools. Ebooks are also maturing gradually - both Palm and GoReader will have handheld reader devices on display at the show. Collaboration will also be a focus, with companies assisting in ways to maximize the use of existing content, text, pictures and other information, Gable said. More than 200 exhibitors are due to attend the show, which traditionally draws about 18,000 show goers and has been around for 30 years. One of the larger vendors exhibiting this year is Adobe. It will have its new Acrobat 5.0 software on display, which lets users convert files into PDF (Portable Document Format) format, and is expected to demonstrate its forthcoming three-dimensional product for the Web, Atmosphere. Several digital rights management companies will be on hand to showcase products that assist with distributing and protecting content, including Entrust Technologies, Authentica and ContentGuard. Other new products that will be on display this week include: - Reciprocal will launch its Reciprocal Storefront, which supports the distribution of content that has been packaged using DRM (digital rights management) technologies. The New York-based company's Storefront product is a Web-based content distribution application designed to help with selling, positioning and pricing content. - Torque Systems will introduce its BrightVu live content manager, which aims to assist workgroups and corporate users who want to collaborate on creating a variety of digital content. BrightVu, which includes both hardware and software, starts at around £7,000. - Apago, a division of Essential Technical Services, will introduce its PDF/X-1 Checkup, which is an Adobe Acrobat plug-in that checks PDF files for compliance with the PDF/X-1 specification and is designed to automatically repair them if damaged. PDF/X-1 Checkup is marketed at advertising agencies, prepress houses, publishers and printers who need to need create and deliver digital ads. - North Atlantic Publishing Systems will show its new NAPS Translation System, which assists with conversion from Quark Inc. files and Microsoft Corp. Word/RTF(Rich Text Format) to XML and from XML to HTML. With the NAPS Translation System, a publication can reformat print media content so that it can be used on a Web site, the company said. - PowerFile launched its PowerFile Solo, a single-drive 200-disc DVD/CD (digital versatile disk/Compact Disk) jukebox, which aims to allow home and office users to store and access optical discs from one centralized jukebox on their desktop, the company said. The product, which works on either Mac OS or Windows platforms will retail for around £600.
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