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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Tuesday Oracle is expected to announce the beta release of Oracle 10g Express Edition (Oracle Database XE), a free version of its flagship to compete with free and open source options. It should available by the end of the year and is limited to running on servers with one processor, with 4GB of disk memory and 1GB of memory. It’s unclear to me if Locator (the “comes with it” spatial offering) is part of it.

This version is aimed at small businesses, students and developers who might want to embed it in applications.

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/29 at 07:28 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Friday, October 28, 2005

[10/29 Update] ESRI posted a webpage about the product. Little information, but a nice screen shot that looks like Google Earth to me.

[10/28]After just about everyone else in the blogosphere covered the upcoming “Google Earth killer” demonstrated at the ESRI European User Conferece, ESRI’s senior staffer penned a few words.

The new info I found:

- user interface exposes additional tasks for navigation, routing, geocoding/reverse geocoding
- customizable by authoring new tasks that plug into the viewer and the server
- beta release expected in a few weeks time

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/28 at 12:58 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Rolla Daily News reports that “an internal USGS committee will be assigned to review the decision to consolidate the mapping program in Denver.” The small group will not include associate director Karen Siderelis, who made the decision. And, that’s just one investigation; there’ll be a second in response to a request from the Inspector General on the matter.

As the heat turns up more USGS employees are speaking out. These are the allegations shared with the paper:

“The private companies are here in Denver. I think the end result for Karen Siderelis is to do away with federal employees and give the money away to her little friends.”

“There’s no body in our organization who cares for this woman [Siderelis]. She and her tight-knit group have no respect or understanding of this organization, no allegiance to the USGS. The emphasis is toward giving work to the states ... They’re feeding their own buddies. No one has respect for Karen Siderelis.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/28 at 07:17 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Ok, let’s start with the premise that geography matters. Good. Let’s go one more: geography, or crossing geography, costs money. So, sometimes when you order from the local pizza place, you pay a fee for delivery. Sometimes you do not. Sometimes you pay to have the new furniture delivered. Sometimes you do not. Mostly, you do pay a fee to have someone deliver your groceries. (Apparently, that idea is still in the works as so many companies go into and out of the grocery delivery business.)

So, here’s a question: When you subscribe to a print magazine, do you explicitly pay for delivery? I ask that because a few weeks ago a cooking magazine to which I subscribe sent me note offering me a $16 subscription plus $2 for delivery. That freaked me out until I received a similar note from a running magazine. Perhaps I’m naïve (hey I’ve only been involved in publishing for about 5 years and only tiny fraction involved print publications) but I thought the price of subscription included both the magazines and the delivery of said magazines. Now, I’m ok with fees being higher for those overseas, that’s fine. The cost of the magazine and the delivery of those magazines to say Denmark from the U.S. should be higher.

I guess what I’m getting at is that the “subscription” is a package deal. It makes no sense and you can’t even buy “just the magazines.” If you did, it’d not be called a subscription, would it? It’d be called, “newsstand price.” Newsstand price explicitly does not include delivery! That’s why you walk, ride, drive, etc. to the newsstand on your own nickel!

Come on publishers, don’t treat us like idiots. Just raise the price of the subscription; don’t hide it in “delivery costs.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/28 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Reader Martin shares a review in the Guardian of a new book highlighting early maps of cities of the world. Cities of the World: A History in Maps is from the British Library. From the review: “And so with maps: they are as much signifiers of urban identity, municipal rivalry and civic aggrandisement as any realistic image of the city. They are works of fiction that offer subtle insights into the urban mentality of the era.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/28 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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