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November 16, 2001

Design for a Web Filtering Service Phil Agre outlines the major parameters for a community web resource filtering agent. His specs are almost exactly wha I have developed for this newsletter, with one major exception: he has community members select a category for the submitted item. I tried with that and dispensed with it, treating categories instead as predefined searches. Why? Several reasons: first, any sufficiently large resource base will either have too many categories, or categories so large as to be useless. Second, many items need to be placed into multiple categories. And finally, the categorization of resources changes over time, and it's a lot easier to change the parameters of a category definition than it is to change the category listing in thousands of individual data records. By Phil Agre, Red Rock Eater Digest, November 4, 2001.[Refer]

Adobe Offers Peek at Future Developments I have long warned about the dangers of requiring the use of a proprietary reader, such as Adobe Reader, for online texts. It places content providers at the mercy of a company who, at any minute, may change the terms of service (for example, they might suddently start charging for the reader, leaving your readers having to pay for formerly 'free' content). Well. News from Adobe is not encouraging. On the one hand, they will stop charging transaction fees for use of its Content Server Application. This makes it cheaper for publishers. But it will also merge its Acrobat Reader with its eBook reader, effectively forcing people reading free Acrobat files to get up to speed with pay-per-read technology. Can the fees on free content be far behind? By Unknown, Seybold E-Book Zone, November 6, 2001.[Refer]

Texterity Make Adobe eBook Service Supports Enhanced E-Books Texterity has launched a "make Adobe ebook" service that automates the production of the PDF text files and associated navigation tools and distributes them to ebook vendors like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Yahoo. By Press Release, Texterity, October 31, 2001.[Refer]

University Withdraws from Alliance to Offer Public Free, Internet-based Distance Learning Good news from Princeton as it will withdraw next month from the Alliance for Life-Long Learning to pursue an independent free online education venture. "We decided to exit the alliance because we are committed to developing educational courseware on a non-proprietary basis," Provost Amy Gutmann said in an e-mail to the Princetonian. "We plan to make our online educational offerings as broadly accessible as possible to students, alumni and the higher educational community." By Chris Rizzi, Daily Princetonian, November 15, 2001.[Refer]

The Harvey Project The Harvey Project is a collaboration of educators and researchers working to build interactive, dynamic human physiology course materials on the Web. Materials produced by the Harvey Project will be made freely available to any educational institution. By , , .[Refer]


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