Category Archives: Essays

Longer writings.

How the Web works

How it works: The Web Originally uploaded by danbri Or, “but what do all those links mean?” Based on the 1994 slides by TimBL which inspired the SWAD-Europe graphics and shirt. The twist here is just an emphasis that the giant global graph is a graph of idiosyncratic claims, and only sometimes do we all [...]

Google Social Graph API, privacy and the public record

I’m digesting some of the reactions to Google’s recently announced Social Graph API. ReadWriteWeb ask whether this is a creeping privacy violation, and danah boyd has a thoughtful post raising concerns about whether the privileged tech elite have any right to experiment in this way with the online lives of those who are lack status, [...]

Waving not Drowning? groups as buddylist filters

I’ve lately started writing up and prototyping around a use-case for the “Group” construct in FOAF and for medium-sized, partially private data aggregators like SparqlPress. I think we can do something interesting to deal with the social pressure and information load people are experiencing on sites like Flickr and Twitter. Often people have rather large [...]

Spam poetry

This just arrived in my mailbox, sneaking past my spam filters. While it advertises the most horrible spamsite, the words are strangely hypnotic… Hei, Inncrease your S.[E].X.U.AL health! Sane, recalled me from these fantastic speculations. Miss believer, please tell me in your own words do without them. footnote: ‘a description of nova friar, sent an [...]

Symbol languages and the Semantic Web

OK so I just stumbled upon this… …via Jonathan Chetwynd’s ever-inventive and SVG-happy Peepo.com. The “Car Bomb in Baghdad” story is from a site created by Widgit Software, and explains itself as follows: Symbolworld has been set up to provide a web site with material suitable for symbol readers of all ages. The internet is [...]

“The World is now closed”

Facebook in many ways is pretty open for a ‘social networking’ site. It gives extension apps a good amount of access to both data and UI. But the closed world language employed in their UI betrays the immodest assumption “Facebook knows all”. Eric Childress and Stuart Weibel are now friends with Charles McCathienevile. John Doe [...]