By Stephen Downes
August 15, 2003

METS: An Overview & Tutorial
This is a very interesting specification. The Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS) is intended to describe the structural properties of digital resources. Why is this necessary? "While a library may record descriptive metadata regarding a book in its collection, the book will not dissolve into a series of unconnected pages if the library fails to record structural metadata regarding the book's organization, nor will scholars be unable to evaluate the book's worth if the library fails to note that the book was produced using a Ryobi offset press. The same cannot be said for a digital version of the same book." The initiative has evolved into a wider set of standards, and the body just recently announced a streamlined digital rights metadata specification. According to the METS News "The METS Editorial Board sees the need for a simple Rights schema that the METS community could use while the more comprehensive Rights Expression Language (REL) schemas such as XrML, ODRL, the IEEE LTSC-DRELWorking Group, and others are being developed, and debated." The schema has been published but I don't see any documentation yet, though there are some sample instances available. By Unknown, METS, Undated [Refer][Research][Reflect]

3 F's, They're Out: Edison Sees Shake-up
The problems continue at Edison Schools, the private company hired to manage public schools in Philadelphia and other American cities. It turns out that you can't just hire anybody off the street: you need quality teachers. Who knew? Not Edison, apparently. "'We've never been able to attract teachers,' said Shawn DeNight, a longtime Edison stalwart. 'We always just took whoever showed up.' But after the state gave Edison its third consecutive F grade this summer, district officials made the drastic move of forcing out nearly a third of the school's faculty." By Metthew I. Pinzur, Miami Herald, August 15, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Search Engines: Weblog Search Engines
Short article that reviews major blog search engines. Though the author lists some major sites, such as DayPop, Blogdex and Feedster, some major indices are overlooked, including Blogstreet, Memufacture, PopDex, Bloglines and Technorati. Some minor indices listed in the article include Detold Blawg Search, Eatonweb PortalEatonweb Portal, and Globe of Blogs. SchoolBlogs is an important site for educational blogs, as are the Educational Bloggers Network and Edublog News. And of course I would be remiss if I left my own Edu-RSS off this list. By Phil Bradley, Ariadne, August, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Google Ads a Threat to eBay Trademark?
I don't know where ebay would be if it couldn't use the brand names of other companies on its site, but the same logic doesn't appear to have occurred to its lawyers as it demands that Google cease allowing advertisers to use the eBay name in their ads. And the copyright silliness continues. By Stefanie Olsen, CNet News.com, August 8, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

SCO Attorney Declares GPL Invalid
I can't see how a judge would favour the SCO interpretation, as it would be a major change to declare the concept of free software contrary to law. But that seems to be what SCO is urging, as their lawyers argue that GPL violates U.S. copyright law by allowing more than one copy to be copied, and is therefore invalid. By michael, Slashdot, August 14, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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