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Internet Content Standard Proposed

Software companies and users yesterday gathered in San Francisco to unveil Internet and Content Exchange 1.0, a proposed standard protocol for distributing syndicated content over the Internet. Software based on the protocol could prove useful to companies that copy content from their Web sites to other companies' sites.

ICE 1.0 is based on the Extensible Markup Language. XML lets a publisher define which content will be sent to which Web sites and set a schedule for the transmissions. The selection of content can be customized for each site. The content is automatically reformatted for the recipients, for example adding company logos and changing links.

The companies that authored ICE 1.0, which is not yet under consideration by a standards body, are Adobe Systems, CNET, Microsoft, National Semiconductor, News Internet Services, Sun Microsystems, Tribune Media Services, and Vignette. Vignette yesterday introduced Vignette Syndication Server, a product based on ICE 1.0. It expects to ship the product in February. Pricing will start at $50,000. ShiftKey Software introduced an ICE 1.0-compatible version of its product, SiClone 2.0, which it expects to ship by the end of the year. Pricing starts at $1,500.

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