Friday, February 24, 2006

Law RSS and Atom

RSS and Atom syndication are increasingly defining the way that news and information is and will be distributed in the future on the internet.

Hence, we need to know something about them.

The main difference between the RSS and Atom syndication standards is that, as written by John Palfrey, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School is now the owner and trustee of the RSS specification, whereas the Atom standard is open source.

A short, somewhat dated but understandable history of the development of both standards was written by Glyn Moody at Netcraft.

Other explanatory articles about RSS are found at Radio Userland, RSS Specifications, and Web RRS History.

For current RSS politics, see Sam Ruby's Intertwingly and Dave Winer's Wordpress Blog.

For developments regarding the Atom feed format see the IETF, where Sam Ruby is the secretary for the IETF's atompub (see the Atom publishing protocol).

Dave Winer entertained the idea of merging both formats some time ago, but nothing has come of that.

Flickr Archaeology Travel Photos

Speaking of travel, more than a year ago we created a Flickr group called "Archaeology Travel Photos", a photography site which now has 80 members who have submitted 500 photographs from around the world, many of them of exceptional quality. Take a look, or add new or old photos of your own from your culturally-related business, law or private travel journeys.

Archaeology Travel Photos are accessible through RSS and Atom feeds, as well as through a My Yahoo feed: Here are the feeds:

  • RSS - we ourselves use the RSS feed on pageflakes to see what new photos on archaeology travel have been posted recently.
  • Atom - see our next post for the difference between RSS and Atom syndication
  • My Yahoo! - in My Yahoo, after installing the feed, one must manually adjust the feed (click "edit") at the My Yahoo page so that it does not point to "Headlines" but rather to "Media"

Top Hotels for Law and Business Travelers

Professionals in law and business generally do a lot of traveling. Accordingly, the quality of hotels at business destinations is important. Most of the well-known lists of the world's top hotels are produced by travel experts. has now published its "Top 100 Best Luxury Hotels [Four and Five Star Hotels]" (World, USA, Europe, Asia, Caribbean), based on travelers' choices. There are thus many surprise selections.

TripAdvisor has also published its "Top 10" lists of "Best Hidden Gems [Hotels not in the 4 or 5 star category]" (World, USA, Europe, Asia, Caribbean), "Best Bargains [Affordable Hotels, Good Value Hotels]" (World, USA, Europe, Caribbean), "Best Hotels for Families [for travelers with small children]" (USA only) and "Best Pools" (USA, Caribbean).

In addition, TripAdvisor has a list of travelers' choices of the top three hotels for each of the following destinations.

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Hawaii
  • Las Vegas
  • London
  • Los Angeles
  • New York City
  • Orlando
  • Paris
  • Philadelphia
  • Rome
  • San Francisco
  • Washington D.C.

The TripAdvisor Top 10 list of the world's luxury hotels gives an idea of the selection:

1. Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
2. Mina A' Salam at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
3. Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai
4. Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest
5. Hotel Gault, Montreal
6. The Peninsula Bangkok
7. Pompano Beach Club, Bermuda
8. Fairmont Vancouver Airport
9. JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa
10. French Quarter Inn, Charleston, S.C.

All of these lists can be requested gratis at the site.

Please note that this is NOT an ad but merely passes on information that we find to be useful to others, as we not only subscribe to the TripAdvisor travel newsletter, but occasionally also evaluate the hotels at which we have stayed.

Studies have shown that the best way to obtain accurate information about a place is to ask someone who has been there, even if that person is a complete stranger, and TripAdvisor applies this principle to hotel selection by travelers.

Google Pages, Pageflakes and Reddit ("read it")

Google Pages, Pageflakes and Reddit ("read it") are three new tech developments which represent new directions.

Google Pages is a free website page maker and hoster. We have given Google Pages a quick test go at Andis Island and Andisleben. The technology is still very simple and will have to be be improved to be competititve. But it is a free form of webhosting which is bound to find some adherents.

Pageflakes, a name which we do not particularly care for, is an AJAX application which has some impressive features. Our main reservation is that the page loading is simply too slow.

Reddit is a headline lister similar to digg but in its present form reddit is no competition for digg, whose headline feed is featured on LawPundit (lower left column).

The ISandIS Network

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