Oracle to Release FreeDb

Oracle intends to release a free version of its database, a reaction to the growing competitive pressure from low-end open-source databases.The database heavyweight on Tuesday is expected to announce the beta release of Oracle 10g Express Edition (Oracle Database XE), which will be generally available by the end of the year. It is targeted at students, small organizations and software vendors that could embed the Oracle database with an application.

Oracle to offer free database | CNET

Facebook: A Social Network Success

On the reason why the first generation of social networks failed (as compared to MySpace and Facebook), he thinks that they have not focused on providing a set of utilities to their audience, they were merely about creating connections.

Software Only: The Facebook unplugged at Stanford ETL

This is a great article on the folks behind Facebook and how it is put together.  The above quote makes me wonder: how can CALI create a social network among law students, among law faculty, amng law librarians?  What utilites can we provide that would ignite a community and a social network?

Blogging the Day Away…

Trade paper reported this week that US workers would waste the equivalent of 551,000 years during 2005 reading blogs, online web diaries and gossip sheets, which have exploded in numbers in recent years.Around 35 million workers — one in four of the labour force in the United States — spend three-and-a-half hours, or nine percent of their working week on blogs, the survey found.

Blogs on the job: US workers waste millions of hours online – Yahoo! News

MSFT Joins Open Content Alliance

Microsoft announced Tuesday that it planned to join the online book-search movement with a new service called MSN Book Search.
And in a nod to the growing influence of a recently formed group called the Open Content Alliance, Microsoft announced its plans to join it. The group is working to digitize the contents of millions of books and put them on the Internet, with full text accessible to anyone, while respecting the rights of copyright holders.

Microsoft to Offer Online Book-Content Searches – New York Times

Creating Windows Media Enhanced Podcasts

To create a Windows Media enhanced podcast, you need an app with support for Windows Media script editing. The free choice is Windows Media File Editor, which is bundled in the Windows Media Encoder download.

Windows Media Enhanced Podcast

Things to do to make those podcasts even more exciting.  Requires the audio be in .WMA format.  Should come out much like the enhanced podcasts favored by Apple and iTunes.  via Make

TinyDisk 1.0

TinyDisk is a file system that runs on top of link the TinyURL shortening service and similar services such as Nanourl. It provides a write-once-read-many anonymous, persistent, and globally shared filesystem. Once something is uploaded, only the database admin can delete it, everyone can read it, and no-one can know who created it. Project details for TinyDisk

Stuff like this is why you can’t stop folks from downloading the latest Britney song:)  There are some interesting possibilities with this sort of software.  Think of one time drop boxes, etc.

Podcasting Gaining Steam in Higher Ed

Students in the designated classes subscribe to the lectures by going to the CSS Web site and copying a link into their iTunes or a similar program. After that, the program automatically picks up each lecture after it’s recorded. The student simply goes to his or her personal computer, opens iTunes and either listens to it there or transfers it to a portable MP3 player. | University of Washington News and Information

Add U of Washington to the growing list of colleges and universities that are using podcasting as a tool for distributing course material to students.  It makes a lot of sense.  Here’s my question: what about law schools?  CALI is trying to provide law schools with tools to do this, but uptake seems to be limited.  I’m not sure why folks don’t want to try this technology now before they start getting battered by students and faculty who want it.  It is a bit frustrating.