MindRaider is a “mind mapping” application that uses RDF as it’s native representation. It’s an open source software project developed in Java by Czech programmer Martin Dvorak . The concept of a mind map is a simple one, but I’ve found it to be very useful over the years for organizing my thoughts. There is a natural fit with RDF and, in fact, any graph based representation. I’m not sure yet how MindRaider is taking full advantage of RDF, but the possibilities are intriguing. (spotted on ltu).
German engineers are working on a new smart car that knows how to find empty parking spaces and park itself.
Parkmate, which is expected to be available from 2008, is part of a battery of technology being developed by Siemens VDO, one of the world’s major suppliers of in-car electronics.
Talk Digger “helps users to find, follow and join conversations evolving on the Internet.” Put in a URL and it queries nine different search engines to find blog posts and othe pages that reference the page. It’s a nicely done, useful web application developed by by FrÃ©dÃ©rick Giasson. But here’s the most interesting part, at least from my point of view:
“What is the future of Talk Digger? It will evolve as a web service that will broadcast its results in RDF or even OWL. It would be the first step to do to enter Talk Digger into the Semantic Web age. Talk Digger will eventually have some sort of semantic analyzing capabilities and being able to use them on found conversations to clarify and optimize the returned results. It will then be able to semantically analyze conversations (I will not say more than that for the moment) and make the results of these computations available and understandable by other RDF/OWL reasonners and web applications. So, what is the future of Talk Digger? I hope it is the Semantic Web.”
In today’s NYT, John Markoff writes:
With federal funds for basic computer science research at universities in decline, three of the industry’s leading companies are joining to help fill the void.
University of California computer scientists plan to announce on Thursday that the companies–Google, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems–will underwrite a $7.5 million laboratory on the Berkeley campus. The new research center, called the Reliable, Adaptive and Distributed Systems Laboratory, will focus on the design of more dependable computing systems.
The Berkeley researchers say that under the terms of their agreement with the three companies, the fruits of the research will be nonproprietary and freely licensed. Each company has agreed to support the project with $500,000 annually for five years.
… MORE …
While this is great for Berkeley, it may not be so good for the academic research computing community if (1) industry starts concentrating it’s research in the top 10 departments and (2) if government decides that its support for basic computing R&D is less neccessary because industry woll fund universities to do it.
As the size of the Web gets bigger and bigger, search engines such as Yahoo! and Google may be too general for building applications that focus on some particular domain of information. To solve this problem, Alexa provides a web search platform that allows people to define their own search engine.
Although you have to pay for the service, but it definitely looks promising. Alexa crawl works over 100 Terabytes of Web content spanning 4 billion pages and 8 million sites, and support a wide variety of types of content from the Web (jpgs, gifs, mp3s, movies. text/html, and even metadata). How does Alexa work?
Maybe Google Transit will succeed in making public transportation work in the US where others (e.g., Governments) have failed.
“Google Transit Trip Planner enables you to enter the specifics of your trip — where you’re starting, where you’re ending up, what time of day you’d like to leave and/or arrive — then uses all available public transportation schedules and information to plot out the most efficient possible step-by-step itinerary. You can even compare the cost of your trip with the cost of driving the same route!
At the moment we’re only offering this service for the Portland, Oregon metro area, but we plan to expand to cities throughout the United States and around the world.”
It does fill a gap. Public transportation in the US is provided by a mix of national, regional, local and commercial organizations. There’s no one to organize and integrate all of the information, or even to identify who the providers are. The semantics of travel is not overly complicated, there are a finite number of transportation modes, and these share much of the ontology (begin and end times, schedules, costs, waypoints, etc.).
Google base was announce at Nov 15, 2005. It lets users publishing their information in a Semantic Web way: (i) defining an instance of class; (ii)letting users creating and filling attribute-value pair (value in text though); (iii) letting users add keywords as tag; and (iv) allow bulk upload. I wonder if R. Guha is behind it. It is could be a killer app to web directory services, including classifieds like Craig’s List.
UPDATE: Greg Yardley has evidence from a Microsoft blogger that the software giant is also targeting the online classified market with its new Freemont project.
I’m still hoping some improvement from its beta version:
(1) add the total of items at the front page like below (the number was collected as of today’s snapshot)
|blogs (1193)||coupons(697)||course schedules(467)||events and activities(687)|
|jobs(431077)||news and articles(2879)||people profiles(46676)||products(785)|
|vehicles(78716)||wanted ads(27131)||rentals(31853)||comic books(27)|
(2) can I browse every item without being bound by 1000 items limit?
(3) what if many people have create many item types?
(4) can it recommend well-used attributes?