David Kramer's high-entropy blog

The History Of The Internet In A Nutshell

This is an awesome article.  I found the link from the Semantic Web group on LinkedIn.  I haven’t spot-checked it for accuracy, but there’s a fair amount of dispute over the history of computers and the Internet anyway.  But this article is very enjoyable, and includes many related historical points, like when certain companies formed, and the history of tangential technologies that made the Internet possible.  It’s a good read for geeks, and a great primer for geeks-in-training.


Will The Semantic Web Ever Take Off?

I was just reading this article from Priyank Mohan’s Semantic Technology Blog.  He draws parallels between it and the movement to automated online B2B transactions from years ago and linked data on the web, and what lessons we should learn from the (mostly) failure of B2B.  Priyank focuses mostly on the similarities of the benefits, which is useful, but I think both movements didn’t have the impact they were supposed to have for the same basic reason; They both require incredible amounts of work that will only pay off if enough other companies follow suit.  As much as I would love to see it happen in the near future, I don’t think it will
Read on…


Google’s Next Semantic Web Move

We all love Google.  And I’m not just saying that because I would love to work there.  Sure, there are other search websites, but for general use, Google works best for me.  And I’m not saying that because it usually brings me to the right Wikipedia page as the first result, or the cool logos.  They get the whole metadata thing.  They get the whole “The Web As A Database” thing, as does Yahoo.

Just the other day, Google announced on their Webmaster Central blog a new technology that will allow web devleopers to specify content for their website’s Rich Snippets (I found this on Dries Buytaert’s blog post, posted on a LinkedIn group).  Rich Snippets are tiny sections of a website that appear next to the link on Google’s search results page.  Depending on the kind of website, it might show reviews of the company/product, contact information for that person, etc.  That information is automagically derived from that page and related pages. Read on…


Eating Your Own Semantic Web Dog Food

I was heavily involved in semantic web, ontologies, and natural language processing in my last company.  I was supposed to work on that in my current company. In other words, I’ve been following this stuff for a while.  The realization I came to is that, while it would be cool if everyone added all this metadata to their content on the Internet, and the cylons could take care of complex tasks for us automatically, like “Book me a room in a hotel near the Hynes Convention Center next Friday through Sunday with one queen size bed, bill it to my Visa card, and send the confirmation email to my Blackberry”, it’s not going to happen.  The simple truth is it’s a lot more work than most content creators think is worthwhile, and adding metadata to existing content is nigh impossible.  Just to save some businessman about an hour poking around the Internet for hotel recommendations and booking a room. Read on…


A Glimpse Into What My New Employer Is Doing

ZDNet (Ziff Davis) has a blog called The Semantic Web, run by Paul Miller.  He recently interviewed Howard Greenblatt, CTO of Metatomix, and wrote a post called Metatomix seeks to bridge divide between structured and unstructured information. Read on…


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