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Interactive news from CNN, Oracle

A new interactive news site will debut Wednesday at Spring Comdex.

ATLANTA--The interactive news site that CNN Interactive and Oracle will unveil at Spring Comdex on Wednesday is expected to provide customized news and information for users, sources told CNET's NEWS.COM today.

The site will feature content from CNN as well as many other publishers. Readers will be able to fill out a profile of topics of interest and then receive that information, sources said.

The site could allow users to mix and match information; for example, they could get world news from CNN, a weather report for a business trip, and local financial news from a publication such as the Jacksonville Business Journal. CNN already offers CNN Plus (for community message boards); CNNfn (for financial news); and AllPolitics. The customized feature will be a fourth addition to CNN's Internet offerings.

As reported Friday, CNN and Oracle were expected to unveil a Web site this week, but details were scant. Spokespersons for CNN and Oracle have steadfastly declined comment until Time Warner vice chairman Ted Turner and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison discuss the plan on Wednesday. (CNN now is owned by Time Warner.)

The idea of a personalized news and information page is not new. MSNBC, for example, offers a feature called "your personal front page," which lets users receive personalized information from the Web site. They can type in favorite headlines, personal topics, stock quotes, sports scores, and local news.

But sources familiar with the CNN-Oracle plan promised that the site would be more comprehensive and faster than MSNBC's.

Oracle will provide technology for the site. It is expected to include ConText, an optional component of the company's Universal Server database that first was introduced last summer.

ConText adds new text searching functions that let users employ the Structured Query Language (SQL) to simultaneously search relational databases for both structured information, such as spreadsheet data, and unstructured data, such as text.

Oracle technology also could include Oracle Video Server for supplying streaming video images.

Other online news sites are also ramping up their efforts. MSNBC continues to make improvements to its site, and Walt Disney's ABCNews.com recently launched. CBS also is building its presence on the Web.