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Weekly News Digest

August 6, 2007 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Wikia Acquires Web Crawler for New Search Engine

Wikia, Inc. (www.wikia.com) has acquired the distributed Web crawler Grub from LookSmart (www.looksmart.com) and released it under an open source license. Grub adds a significant component to Search Wikia, which is scheduled to debut in this year’s 4Q. The Search Wikia project seeks to create a search engine based on open source search protocols and human collaboration.

Grub operates under a model of users donating their personal computing resources toward a common goal and is available for download and testing at www.grub.org. Grub, now open source, is designed with modularity so that developers can quickly and easily extend and add functionality, improving the quality and performance of the entire system. By combining Grub, which is building a massive, distributed user-contributed processing network, with the power of a wiki to form social consensus, the open source Search Wikia project has taken the next major step toward a future where search is open and transparent.

To keep up with the latest developments around open source search or to volunteer, visit the community wiki at http://search.wikia.com.

Source: Wikia, Inc.

News Corp. (Finally) Wins Its Bid for Dow Jones

Dow Jones & Co. (www.dowjones.com) and News Corp. (www.newscorp.com) announced on Aug. 1 that they have signed a definitive merger agreement under which News Corp. will acquire Dow Jones in a transaction valued at about $5.6 billion. The merger, which is expected to close in 4Q, is subject to approval by Dow Jones stockholders, execution and delivery by the parties of the editorial agreement, regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.

Under the terms of the agreement, which was approved by both companies’ boards of directors, Dow Jones stockholders will be entitled to receive $60 in cash for each share of common stock and Class B common stock that they own. Certain members of the Bancroft family and the trustees of trusts for their benefit who collectively own about 37 percent of Dow Jones’ voting stock have agreed to vote to approve the transaction. In addition, the parties have agreed on the terms of an editorial agreement that provides for the establishment of a five-member special committee with the objective of assuring the continued journalistic and editorial integrity and independence of Dow Jones’ publications and services (in particular, The Wall Street Journal). The initial members of the special committee will be Louis Boccardi, Thomas Bray, Jennifer Dunn, Jack Fuller, and Nicholas Negroponte. The parties have also agreed that, upon closing of the merger, News Corp. will appoint a member of the Bancroft family or another mutually acceptable person to the News Corp. board of directors.

Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp., reportedly made his initial offer to Richard F. Zannino, CEO of Dow Jones, over breakfast on March 29 and made a formal, written bid to the board on April 17. The Dow Jones board of directors first announced on May 1 that it had received an unsolicited bid from News Corp. A number of Bancroft family members had opposed the deal, as had the union of Dow Jones employees. (The process thus dragged out for nearly 4 months, with much internal wrangling and intense media scrutiny and analyses of the proposed deal.)

Sources: News Corp. and Dow Jones & Co.

GlobalSpec Adds Technical Definitions From McGraw-Hill

GlobalSpec (www.globalspec.com), a specialized search engine, information resource, and epublishing company for the engineering, industrial, and technical communities, announced a partnership with McGraw-Hill Professional. GlobalSpec’s visitors will now have access to more than 17,000 copyrighted definitions from McGraw-Hill Professional’s new Digital Engineering Library.

Engineering professionals who visit the GlobalSpec Definitions page, located at www.globalspec.com/definitions, can find comprehensive definitions in a variety of disciplines, including chemical engineering, design engineering, electronics, mechanics, systems engineering, and thermodynamics. The partnership allows McGraw-Hill to embed its proprietary content into its customers’ workflow as they use GlobalSpec in their daily tasks.

GlobalSpec offers users domain-expert search engines, a broad range of proprietary and aggregated Web-based content, and more than 59 product-specific enewsletters—helping them search for and locate products and services, learn about suppliers, and access comprehensive technical content. GlobalSpec was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Troy, N.Y.

Source: GlobalSpec



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