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. […]

Site recovery

Busy sysadmin week. The main FOAF site is back, now hosted on Amazon EC2. Thanks to¬†Stephane Corlosquet for all the time he spent fixing up the Drupal installation, after the recent server compromise. I’ve also moved over danbri.org (well, DNS is propagating), and migrated my blog into a completely fresh WordPress installation. The FOAF namespace […]

Small databases, loosly joined

Over the last month or so, I’ve had a SPARQL store (just an ARC instance plus a loader script) running on the Amazon EC2 sandbox I set up for FOAF experiments. Yesterday I installed a fresh SparqlPress bundle into my own blog, which runs on another server. So how to get the data across? Since […]

Amazon EC2: My 131 cents

Early this afternoon, I got it into my head to try out Amazon’s “Elastic Compute Cloud” (EC2) service. I’m quite impressed. The bill so far, after some playing around, is 1.31 USD. I’ve had the default “getting started” Fedora Linux box up and running for maybe 7 hours, as well as trying out machine images […]

Four notions of “wishlist” for FOAF

After the recent SWAD-Europe meeting on ImageDescription techniques, I made some scribbled notes in a bar on different notions of “wishlist” that might make sense to use with FOAF. At the ImageDescription meeting we talked a lot about the difficulty of scoping such technical activities, since problem spaces overlap in ways that create opportunities and […]