My Web 2.0 surfings for 10-22-2008

A good introduction to the Semantic Web

The presentation can be seen here.
Syntax is about grammar, while Semantics is about the meaning.

The internet gave a voice to computers. However, they simply relay this information without understanding the content.

HTML is a syntax, while the web provides a way to send documents.
Computers understand syntax and not semantics. If computers were taught to understand semantics, they can go from passively helping us to actively helping us.

Computers will not think of documents but 'things, people, places, movies,etc'.
Computers will know how these things are related.
Two semantic technologies in use today are microformats and RDFa.
This process has begun now.
If a birthday is a date and a place, the computer can be 'told' to save the date in a calendar.
Search engines will be more effective. Rather than keywords, they would use semantic language.
Check out the Operator plugin for the Firefox browser.
Other sources:

Eyal Oren on the Semantic Web

See the video here.
Oren describes the Semantic Web as a 'layer' on top of the web.

Just as we do searches routinely now, Oren believes that soon, we will have the computer search for information based on queries like 'I will be going to Boston, next week. Which of my friends will be there?'. The computer for its part will go to his friend's blogs or other online documents and then 'read and understand' the entries. It will then formulate a response for Oren.

He explains that there will be two layers on his friend's blogs. One for him to read and another for the computer to read and understand.

The web was meant to connect people together for a purpose. People can sometimes be brought together by bringing 'data' together.

His projects include:

A European project to create a 'Semantic Desktop' where they have online meetings, then work together to create a desktop using semantic technology. Using data from a multitude of sources like photos, emails, blogs and other disparate applications.

He could look at the emails from the past, information online and then decide to go on a vacation.

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