April 18th, 2009
ReadWriteWeb has a post up on The Web of Data: Creating Machine-Accessible Information that focuses on Linked Open Data.
“In the coming years, we will see a revolution in the ability of machines to access, process, and apply information. This revolution will emerge from three distinct areas of activity connected to the Semantic Web: the Web of Data, the Web of Services, and the Web of Identity providers. These webs aim to make semantic knowledge of data accessible, semantic services available and connectable, and semantic knowledge of individuals processable, respectively. In this post, we will look at the first of these Webs (of Data) and see how making information accessible to machines will transform how we find information.”
I did find the three ‘Webs’ mentioned in their into — data, services and identity providers — to be interesting. The first two are standard components of the envisioned future Web but their third, a web of identity providers, less so. I am unsure its meant to refer to authentication services and protocols (e.g., oauth) or maybe some kind of named entity recognition services from text. The former is certainly necessary for web services and APIs to work more seamlessly, but doesn’t seem to me to be as significant a problem as developing highly interoperable and integrable Webs of data and services. Of course, I am probably unaware of the subtleties involved in getting this right while maintaing security and appropriate privacy. In any case, I look forward to the articles to follow.
December 3rd, 2008
Just in time for Christmas, Amazon has released a new service via an iPhone app that let’s you snap a photo of an object you desire and sometime later in the day find out how you can buy one like it on Amazon.
Here’s how the NYT Bits blog described it in Amazon.com Invades the Apple App Store:
“There is, however, one unusual and noteworthy aspect of the app called Amazon Remembers, which Amazon is calling “experimental.” The tool lets users take a photograph of any product they see in the real world. The photos are then uploaded to Amazon and turned over to the far-flung freelance workers in Amazon’s Mechanical Turk program, who will try to match them with products for sale on Amazon.com. The results will not be instantaneous (between 5 minutes and 24 hours, the company says), but the idea is to entice consumers to buy products from Amazon instead of its offline rivals.”
Too bad we are in a
November 27th, 2008
Neologism is a simple web-based RDF Schema vocabulary editor and publishing system under development at DERI. It looks like a great lightweight tool for developing Semantic Web vocabularies and publishing them on the Web following current best practices. It’s goal is to “dramatically reduce the time required to create, publish and modify vocabularies for the Semantic Web.” The system is not yet open for use, but there is a good online Neologism demo as well as a screencast of how to use it.
November 19th, 2008
After a year, Read/Write Web has revisited their review of 10 promising Semantic Web apps, producing 10 Semantic Apps to Watch – One Year Later.
“A lot can happen in one year on the Internet, so we thought we’d check back in with each of the 10 products and see how they’re progressing. What’s changed over the past year and what are these companies working on now? The products are, in no particular order: Freebase, Powerset, Twine, AdaptiveBlue, Hakia, Talis, TrueKnowledge, TripIt, Calais (was ClearForest), Spock.”
They plan to publish a completely new list of Semantic applications to watch as the next post in the series and ask people to leave suggestions in the post comments.
Maybe Read/Write Web will do like Michael Apted’s 7up series and report back to us on how the systems are doing each year, which I guess may be like seven Web-years.
November 19th, 2008
3scale Networks is a Barcelona-based startup that is trying to fill a critical gap in helping organizations manage web services as a business or at least in a business-like manner.
“3scale provides a new generation of infrastructure for the web – point and click contract management, monitoring and billing for Web Services. The 3scale platform makes it easy for providers to launch their APIs, manage user access and, if desired, collect usage fees. Service users can discover services they need and sign up for plans on offer.” (source)
They have been operating a private beta system for a few months and just announced that their public beta is open. Currently signing up with 3scale and registering services is free and the only costs are commissions on transaction fees your service charges. Once you’ve registered a service, you can install one of several 3scale plugins for your programming environment to get your service talking to 3scale and configure one or more usage plans. 3scale uses Amazon’s EC2, S3 and Cloud Computing services.
3scale’s co-founder and technical lead is Steve Wilmott, who we worked with for many years when he was an academic doing research on multiagent systems. Several months ago he invited us to add Swoogle’s web service to 3scale’s private beta. We were please with how easy it was and look forward to exploring how else to use 3scale.
A story in yesterday’s Washington Post, Manage Your API Infrastructure With 3scale Networks, has some more information.
November 7th, 2008
Google Maps has added street views of the greater Baltimore area. One thing I had never noticed before (I think it is new) is that if you click on the STREET VIEW button, the roads from which street view is available are marked in blue. This makes it easy to zoom out and get a sense of the coverage. See for example the street view coverage of the
You can see that the Google just did a quick drive-by of UMBC.
I also noticed that you can expand the street view to “full screen” and drive around interesting areas, like nearby main street in old ellicott city.