Xebece – Information Visualization

freshmeat.net: Project details for Xebece
Xebece is a multipurpose tool for information visualization and organization. It can be used to set up intriguing presentations. Likewise, document management is straightforward and effective if you use Xebece. Application fields of Xebece include presentations, courses and training, document management, mind mapping and brainstorming, and knowledge management. This program was formerly known as Calientra or Ontographics.

Novell Readies Linux Desktop 10

Novell Says Its Next Linux Desktop Will Surpass Windows
While Microsoft still has the monopoly on the desktop market with its Windows operating system, Novell is readying new features and functionality that it believes will propel its Novell Linux Desktop offering into the mass market.

NLD10 will feature Beagle desktop search and 3-d effects on the desktop.

Students Do Better Without Computers

Slashdot | Students Do Better Without Computers
The Telegraph is reporting a large study that shows that the less students use computers at school and at home, the better they do in international tests of literacy and math. The more access they had to computers at home, the lower they scored in tests, partly because they diverted attention from homework. Students tended to do worse in schools generously equipped with computers, apparently because computerised instruction replaced more effective forms of teaching.

There are some good comments in this piece. This study highlights the ambivilence toward the use of computers in education. It is not that difficult to find evidence on both sides of this argument, but the thing that one should carry away from it all is that computers are a tool. And any tool can have a either a negative or a positive impact depending upon how it is used.

I think the key to primary and secondary education in the US is parental involvement. Know what your kids are doing in school and at home, guide them in decisions on which tools to use, and be proactive about what is going on in your child’s classroom. Yes, it is a lot of work, but raising children is no easy task.

Google Print Results Are Turning Up

Slashdot | Google’s Library Up and Running
It seems that Google Print results are beginning to appear on searches. For those who don’t know, Google has been scanning from libraries from some of the world’s greatest universities in order to compile a freely accessible online library. An easy way to turn up these results is to simply type “book”, and then whatever you want to search for. For instance, book origin of species will turn up the full text of Charles Darwin’s controversial treatise.

A Look at Novell’s Hula

Doing the Hula : Page 1
At its core, Hula is a mail and calendar server, but the idea behind Hula is much broader. Instead of trying to position itself as the next thing in “groupware,” the Novell-backed Hula team has set out to create a solution that people actually want to use — a solution that, given the choice, a user would want to use over any other available products. That’s not to say that Hula won’t have the features of a robust groupware product — out of the box, it is an e-mail (POP3, IMAP, SMTP) server with a rich client web interface, calendar, mailing lists and virus protection. The possibilities, it seems, are endless.

Of note here is that Hula appears to be based on an open sourced version of Novell Netmail

Westlaw To Restrict Access To Social Security Numbers

InformationWeek > Privacy > Westlaw To Restrict Subscriber Access To Social Security Numbers > March 17, 2005
Westlaw, an online legal-research service, will sharply limit subscriber access to Social Security numbers in its database, a move announced after its top executives met Wednesday night with Sen. Charles Schumer, D.-N.Y., a sponsor of one of several bills before Congress addressing identity theft.

3rd Party VOIP to Get Dissed?

PBS | I, Cringely . The Best days of Voice-over-IP Telephone Service May Already Have Passed
These are heady days for Voice-over-IP (VoIP) phone services. From Vonage to Packet8 to Skype and a hundred more besides, several million people around the world are enjoying really cheap phone calls that are carried primarily over the Internet. But that fun may be diminishing soon because the big Internet service providers, which is to say the big telephone and cable TV companies, are about to start taking back that third-party VoIP traffic, leaving Vonage and the others at a distinct disadvantage.

The argument is that cable and telco broadband providers will tag their VOIP packets to guarantee a higher level of service and leave the Vonages of the world with ‘best effort’ service resulting in things like dropped calls and bad audio quality. There is no evidence of this yet, but with Comcast just announcing the availabilty of VOIP in metro Atlanta, it will be interesting to see if soemthing like this develops.

Dave’s New Directory Handles Text

Scripting News: 3/19/2005
My new directory displayer now handles passages of text, so you can write little documents directly in the directory.

This cool. One of the things about the directories built using Frontier/Manilla/Radio that has bugged me is the lack of text support. No real way to have a chunk of explanatory verbage to explain what is going on. Looks like that is about to be possible.

Firefox Up, IE Down

Internet Week > > Firefox Eats More Microsoft Market Share > March 18, 2005
Firefox continues to steal market share from Microsoft Internet Explorer, according to Net Applications, a maker of Web-monitoring software. According to the company’s February figures, use of Firefox rose to 6.17% from 5.59% in January.

Firefox’s gain comes at the expense of Internet Explorer, which dropped to 89.04% market share, from 90.31% in December. Net Applications reports that other browsers maintained their user base.

CALI is seeing this shift. Our IE share is down to 93%, off from about 98% last fall. Of course that’s still a huge domination of the market.