A Penny for your thoughts: New Year wishes from mechanical turkers

I wanted to learn more about Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service (wikipedia), and perhaps also figure out how I feel about it. Named after a historical faked chess-playing machine, it uses the Web to allow people around the world to work on short low-pay ‘micro-tasks’. It’s a disturbing capitalist fantasy come true, echoing Frederick Taylor’s ‘Scientific […]

XMPP untethered – serverless messaging in the core?

In the XMPP session at last february’s FOSDEM I gave a brief demo of some NoTube work on how TV-style remote controls might look with XMPP providing their communication link. For the TV part, I showed Boxee, with a tiny Python script exposing some of its localhost HTTP API to the wider network via XMPP. […]

How to tell you’re living in the future: bacterial computers, HTML and RDF

Clue no.1. Papers like “Solving a Hamiltonian Path Problem with a bacterial computer” barely raise an eyebrow. Clue no.2. Undergraduates did most of the work. And the clincher, … Clue no.3. The paper is shared nicely in the Web, using HTML, Creative Commons document license, and useful RDF can be found nearby. From those-crazy-eggheads dept, […]

‘Republic of Letters’ in R / Custom Widgets for Second Screen TV navigation trails

As ever, I write one post that perhaps should’ve been two. This is about the use and linking of datasets that aid ‘second screen’ (smartphone, tablet) TV remotes, and it takes as a quick example a navigation widget and underlying dataset that show us how we might expect to navigate TV archives, in some future […]

Lonclass and RDF

Lonclass is one of the BBC’s in-house classification systems – the “London classification”. I’ve had the privilege of investigating lonclass within the NoTube project. It’s not currently public, but much of what I say here is also applicable to the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) system upon which it was based. UDC is also not fully […]

Disambiguating with DBpedia

Sketchy notes. Say you’re looking for an identifier for something, and you know it’s a company/organization, and you have a label “Woolworths”. What can be done to choose amongst the results we find in DBpedia for this crude query? PREFIX rdfs: <http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#> select distinct ?x where { ?x a <http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Organisation>;  rdfs:label ?l . FILTER(REGEX(?l, “Woolworths*”)). […]

Easier in RDFa: multiple types and the influence of syntax on semantics

RDF is defined as an abstract data model, plus a collection of practical notations for exchanging RDF descriptions (eg. RDF/XML, RDFa, Turtle/N3). In theory, your data modelling activities are conducted in splendid isolation from the sleazy details of each syntax. RDF vocabularies define classes of thing, and various types of property/relationship that link those things. […]

Archive.org TV metadata howto

The  following is composed from answers kindly supplied by Hank Bromley, Karen Coyle, George Oates, and Alexis Rossi from the archive.org team. I have mixed together various helpful replies and retro-fitted them to a howto/faq style summary. I asked about APIs and data access for descriptions of the many and varied videos in Archive.org. This guide should […]

Subject classification and Statistics

Subject classification and statistics share some common problems. This post takes a small example discussed at this week’s ODaF event on “Semantic Statistics” in Tilberg, and explores its expression coded in the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC). UDC supports faceted description, providing an abstract grammar allowing sentence-like subject descriptions to be composed from the “raw materials” defined […]

RDFa in Drupal 7: last call for feedback before alpha release

Stéphane has just posted a call for feedback on the Drupal 7 RDFa design, before the first official alpha release. First reaction above all, is that this is great news! Very happy to see this work maturing. I’ve tried to quickly suggest some tweaks to the vocab, by hacking his diagram in photoshop. All it […]

WOT in RDFa?

(This post is written in RDFa…) To the best of my knowledge, Ludovic Hirlimann‘s PGP fingerprint is 6EFBD26FC7A212B2E093 B9E868F358F6C139647C. You might also be interested in his photos on flickr, or his workplace, Mozilla Messaging. The GPG key details were checked over a Skype video call with me, Ludo and Kaare A. Larsen. This blog post […]

My ’70s Schoolin’ (in RDFa)

I went to Hamsey Green school in the 1970s. Looking in the UK Govt datasets, I see it is listed there with a homepage of ‘http://www.hamsey-green-infant.surrey.sch.uk’ (which doesn’t seem to work). Some queries I’m trying via the SPARQL dataset (I’ll update this post if I make them work…) First a general query, from which I […]

WordPress trust syndication revisited: F2F plugin

This is a followup to my Syndicating trust? Mediawiki, WordPress and OpenID post. I now have a simple implementation that exports data from WordPress: the F2F plugin. Also some experiments with consuming aggregates of this information from multiple sources. FOAF has always had a bias towards describing social things that are shown rather than merely […]

WordPress, TinyMCE and RDFa editors

I’m writing this in WordPress’s ‘Visual’ mode WYSIWYG HTML editor, and thinking “how could it be improved to support RDFa?” Well let’s think. Humm. In RDFa, every section of text is always ‘about’ something, and then has typed links or properties associated with that thing. So there are icons ‘B’ for bold, ‘I’ for italics, […]