Lightweight Attention Preference Markup

So this is the 2nd time I'm writing this because I forgot to save the entry when I upgraded the memory on my Dell. Yep 2gig of memory instead of 1gig now but still no decent Blogging tool for Linux. Wblogger and Ecto would have automaticlly saved the entry every few minutes or at least asked me what I should do with the unsaved entry before terminating and throwing my words to a black hole. Anyway enough moaning…

Previously I promised a couple of things in this entry

First up, I'm going to standardise some way of linking FOAF, OPML, OpenID and APML together. I expect I'll keep this very simple using the link element in (x)HTML or somehow combine this into a Hcard profile. Next up a APML microformat or APML lite for sure. I'll try it as I've been studying the others and the general methology of Microformats and I think it could be done. So I'll suggest it and draw up how it works and submit it for lots of review. I'm now exploring how to get APML out of Amarok and RSS Owl.

So how far have I got so far?

One : So I have linked all three (APML, FOAF and OpenID) together using links on my blog. So if you look at the source you will now see this. Which is cool but I think we can do better.

<link rel="openid.server" href=""/>
<link rel="openid.delegate" href=""/>
<link rel="meta" type="application/rdf+xml" title="FOAF" href=""/>
<link rel="meta" type="text+xml" title="APML"

When I say do better, I've been looking around a couple of things. First up is a better way to do the basic link element so it can be turned into a RDF triple later. It was found while looking at RDF/A examples which will be explained later.

When a meta or link is used within another meta or link, the internal triple has, as subject, the external triple. This is reification.

<link about="" rel="[cc:license]" href="">  <meta property="dc:date" content="2005-10-18" /> </link>

which yields:

[ rdf:subject <>; rdf:predicate cc:license ; rdf:object <> ] dc:date "2005-10-18".

Now I'm not that keen on the syntax, but its not over complex and I guess you could do something like this.

	<link about="." rel="[foaf/images/emoticons/silly.giferson]" href="">
	<meta property="apml:profile" content="" />
	<meta property="openid.server" content=""/>
	<meta property="openid.delegate" content=""/>

But I guess getting all those openID parsers to change now will be a nightmare, so to be honest I'm happy either way. But I think it does make sense to link everything in the HTML rather that rely on a OpenID parser to look at the HTML then find the URL for the FOAF file and then parse through that to find the Open ID url. Yes I already know you can put OpenID in FOAF thats why I'm saying its not a good idea, but there is no harm in having it in the FOAF optionally. Which is what I'm going to do, but I've recenly seen how out of date my FOAF file really is, so I'm going to try and update it soon. If anyone knows how to get FOAF out of Facebook, Flickr, Delicious, Linkedin, Dopplr, Upcoming, etc that would be useful. O'reilly's connections network use to allow for FOAF but somehwere along the line seems to have died or closed down, because I tried to find it and login, so I can at least start somewhere. So generally number one is done.

Two : So the huge challenge of building a Microformat for APML, so people can easily put in there preferences without building a very complex xml file. Because lets be honest, like RDF and other XML's this stuff was never meant to be built by humans. Also I like the idea of using standard HTML elements and attributes so people can instantly try this stuff out. I saw recently on the microformats blog that there is almost 450 million? examples of Microformats now and its growing everyday. Its not hard to see why when you consider how it is to try out some of them. For example adding a tag is as simple as adding another attribute to a link. Some of the other microformats are a little more tricky but generally with a example in front of most people they can work it out quickly. So whats the W3C's answer to Microformats? Well RDF/A which is a unified framework build around putting semantic meaning into HTML. A while ago it was meant to be for XHTML 2.0 but its been brough forward which is great news. Because the only other alternative seemed to be e-RDF which no one could work out if was royality free or not. Ok I have to admit I'm writing this entry over a couple of days. So I found my way on to the O'reilly connections network again. So you should be able to see my public view here. Anyway the point is that they already have FOAF, which makes my life slightly easier that starting from scratch again. Going back to APML, I'll try modeling it with RDF/A and see what happens. So far I think my plans is to keep the explict and implicit context and maybe attach it to a openID or unique ID. I'm not going to include stuff like the source because its too complex and not that relevent for a lightweight version of APML. I mean if you really want APML, just use APML. If you want something to indicate your preferences (< href="">beyond a link) in HTML, what I'm brewing up might just be right for you. I've also decided to call it LiteAPM, as in Lightweight Attention Preference Markup for now.

Three : Ok I'm not being funny but where the hell does Amarok store its configurations and database? I think I've found RSSOwl's basic configuration stuff but content i'm not so sure about yet. But then again I've not really tried really hard yet. I can't find a mention about Amarok anywhere. So I hit the web and found a way to pull almost anything I want out of Amarok via the command line. So honestly all I really need now is to learn how to program Perl or install something like XMLstarlet, and learn how to use stuff like the cron and unix pipes. Wow now I can do all that stuff I've been talking about for a long time. Stay tuned…

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Never say never, yes Ian Forrester did buy a iphone…

iPhone boxed

Yes I did get one, but I never said I wouldn't so there. And just to prove its not fake, thats my SPV M700 in front of the iphone, plus more photos. When do they hit the UK again? I'm expecting comments, so I'll say nothing more.

Sorry guys, its a hoax. I did buy a iphone or more but its not for me. Why would I buy a iphone? Even when faced with one in my hands and a cheap price I still didn't want one. I was actually tempted to get a Microsoft Zune because I saw one for less that 175 dollars. I enjoyed winding you lot up…But yes that wasn't just a box it was the real thing and I did spend about 20mins playing with it in the shop. I'm either going to get a Samsung F700 or that iphone like Nokia. The touch is too much like my current phone and its 2nd gen still sucks.

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Full write up on the wealth of netwoks conference

The Wealth of Networks

I wrote my notes up here on Backstage.

The TTI Vanguard is one of those groups who run conferences you hear about but never get the chance to attend. In actually fact it might be membership or invite only like the Churchill Club. The people who attend and speak at the conferences are simply leaders in their fields and make a special effort to make such conferences. Boston plays host to the wealth of networks conference which includes great speakers such as Dr. Eric Miller (Zepheira), Clay Shirky, Dr. Henry Tirri (Nokia), Nicholas Carr, David Prior (general dynamics uk), Andrew McAfee (Havard) and Yochai Benkler who actually recently wrote a book which influenced the whole conference.

Read the rest here

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The Wealth of Networks, Boston – Day Two

The Tubeless Internet – Not bad, maybe too complex
David Reed, TTI/Vanguard Advisory Board

Starts with a quote from Ted Stevenson, which is complete wrong and is so the wrong way of thinking about the network.
Jon Steward effect = when he goes from channel to channel to get the same words from all the channels. Saying the same thing over and over again.
ARPANET was a packet net, the internet emerged at PARC, MIT, etc. At the time there was only the message switch model and phone company model. At the start no one knew what the internet was for so the creators kept their options open. Putting functions at the edge creates value in the form of options. Pervasive computing, now theres computers everywhere. Failed Pervasive computing – Universal Plug and Play, Bluetooth.
Eggtimer model, Intelligence was at the very edges. Reed talks about Phase. Traffic patterns – Rural and suburban traffic (gas), rush hour (liquid), traffic jam (solid), London (semi-conductor). Non-hierarchical, collective behaviours can and do work. Didn't understand the talk anymore, very complex. But David Reed and David Weinburger have been thinking about Beyond Net Netruality

Customized Mobile Virtual Networks – Good
Juha Christensen, CEO, Sonopia

Virtual Mobile operators. The network as a operating system. Its about the individuals not about the collective. Points out that there are credit cards which are interest and brand based. You can build price plans and do things like send out mass market messages to all subscribers. Affinity mobile gives you a revenue share of 5%. Could be used to provide cheaper or free phone calls. Ant and Heilo are other Affinity in America, while in the UK and Europe. Sonopia enterprise is around the corner.

Web 2.0 Architecture: Offline, Freedom, Open and Participation – Good
John Robb, Vice President, Technology Leadership, Zimbra/Yahoo

Things which are changing. Offline browsing, Software as a service, Freedom of Access and the web as a platform.
Offline browsing – why? Experience, lower tco, local backups, sharing, mashups. Offline solutions include Mozilla's Firefox 3.0, Google gears, Sun Java or Adobe Air. John make it clear that Zimbra will interop with many of the Yahoo services.

Mashup on the Fly – Excellent
David Prior, Chief Technologist, Research & Development, General Dynamics

Demystifying Mashups. There is nothing which the marketing department will understand. Demostrated a couple of Mashups in less that 5mins.

Enterprise Knowledge Infrastructures, enabling collective knowledge – bad
Ross Button, Vice President, Technology Leadership, CGI

Connecting people and people to knowledge.

PlanetLab: Catalyzing Network Innovation – Good
Larry Peterson, Director, PlanetLab Consortium

Innovation can come from anywhere.
Most of the internet success is due to its support for at the edge development
There is a high barrier to entry for innovating through-out the net.
Planet Lab allows you to define what happens through-out the net, its all distributed virtualsation. So each project could use a slice of a bunch of servers (up to 600). 2500 users.

Therapy Development in a Networked World – Great
Sean Scott, President, ALS Therapy Development Institute

Build a project out of filemaker database to hunt down the correct drugs for his dying mother, simply an amazing story

Layer 8 Is More Interesting Than You Think – Great
Clay Shirky, Writer and Consultant – Layer 8, where the users are.
Users will do what you'd never thought someone could do
Individual vs community
Powerlaw signature can be found in many social systems – Links per weblog, tag pairs on digg, edits per user on wikipedia.
Commons based peer production – pluto on wikipedia. adverage of 2.5 edits per user.
80/20 would kill wikipedia, you need the organic division of labor/cooperation without collaboration. If you want good quality work, you need limited collaboration. Jane Jacobs problem – many eyes on one problem, keeps people straight.
the Problem Wikipedia has is down to idenity, but if you make the wiki strict for secuirty you will lock out those who bring good stuff too.

Networks and Social Identity – Excellent
John Clippinger, Senior Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School

The state of identity in social networks
Facebook, email address was your context (.edu), now its open and they've lost the context. In secondlife, people wanted to look like yourself with some slighly changes. Persistence is important. In linked in what does the numbers really mean when you can game the system easily? To build effective social networks you need to solve the identity. Identity is more that security, privacy, compliance, unfeathered rights, decisions. Social signaling is happening all the time, look at myspace. Implicit vs Explicit signals in profiles is a interesting idea. User control is centricity. Higgins = manages identity across multiple applications. If people can build relationships together based on trust and express what they want, you could have reverse auctions. Someone suggests that Facebook causes could be used to indicate your identity. Someone suggests that Facebook causes could be used to indicate your identity. Causes clouds which sits out side the closed networks are interesting. Some interesting URLs. and

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APML as a lightweight Microformat?

My Ubuntu install is working again thanks to Jon Callas from PGP. So I can finally bring you this entry from the Airplane trip 2 days ago.

I've not blogged much of BarCampBrighton, but sitting on this flight to Boston with 2.5 hours of battery life left (54%) I'm now reflecting on a couple of my sessions

The first one was titled as Facebook is Dead, which I later changed to social network killer – reclaim your attention. The whole thing presentation went through reasons and technologies which mean the dead end, locked in social networks no needed to exist. However Jeremy Keith and Tantek had covered most of my points about Microformats and OpenID in a previous session so I skipped most of that stuff and got on to the juicy part about lifestreams and attention profiles. In a quick look, I showed off APML and suggested ways you could do FOAF+APML together to build up everything you needed for open social networking (as aposed to locked in like Linkedin and Facebook style). Oh also while on the differences I made it clear that social media sites like Flickr, Delicious, Bliptv, etc were not included in the locked in category and then started to rip the living piss out of (no link for this nasty social network). I think I put the slide up and asked How dumb do you have to be?. Anyway I'm going off topic here.

So many people are throwing APML around but as Jeremy Keith would say, it looks like a technology looking for a solution. So I came up with some perfect examples of APML including my killer which I thought would also attract the bigger audience who don't care about the technology of it.

First example : Tape it off the If you join tape it off the or tioti it will ask you again and again and again… what shows you like and do you also like these shows? Now this is fine but its tiresome although you can type in your shows and hope it finds them. But what you can't do very well is give shows a certain weighting. So for example I love lost and heroes but have also started watching the new prision break 3rd season although yes its jumped the shark years ago. Now I would like to indicate that although I watch it, I'm not really that much into it. Then I also want to be able to show my friends and maybe get less matches based on this preference. Whats evern better is if I can say I really dislike something. Right now you can give it one star or not add it but what incase I want to say, I watched that show and I bloody hate it? In APML you can set a negative value to things as you'll see later. In actual fact Tioti is going to support APML in the future so that battle is done already.

Second example : Dating sites. This I thought was my killer one but maybe not? So if you join a dating site you build this profile of you and sometimes that involves answering questions and filling in a profile of who yougr looking for as such. This is usually quite detailed stuff and time sucking stuff. So imagine what happens when your friend invites you to a new dating site where he or she have previously had a positive experience. Yep fill in the forms again and indicate your preferences again. Now with APML its robust enough to maybe describe a lot of what your saying in your description and profile. You should be able to log in with your Open ID which could link to your FOAF and APML too. And because you have the concept of personas in Open ID, you could select different FOAF and APML files for those who like to have different profile. Tantek who was in the room when this was announced pretty much slammed APML but liked my example and so suggested I check out some of things people have been doing with tagging their preferences. So I did and although quite robust I had that problem of setting amounts.

So for example if I tagged this quote below you will see I've choosen to tag certain words. But there's no indication of first, if there just tags (yes some class could be added to make it clear that these tags apply to me but in what way?) and secondly what in case I tag flying and writing? How would you know I much prefer the later?

Facebook hopes to expand on the service, one person says, using algorithms to learn how receptive a person might be to an ad based on readily available information about activities and interests of not just a user but also his friends.

In APML you can add values and that makes a huge difference. But maybe there is a way to have a lighter version of APML which is a microformat, so people can play with it right now.

third example : Targeted advertising So as you read before, Facebook are using your data to advertise at you. Here's the full thing.

Next year, Facebook hopes to expand on the service, one person says, using algorithms to learn how receptive a person might be to an ad based on readily available information about activities and interests of not just a user but also his friends — even if the user hasn't explicitly expressed interest in a given topic. Facebook could then target ads accordingly.

While Facebook plans to protect its users' privacy and possibly give them an option to keep certain information completely private, some Facebook users might rebel against the use of their personal information for the company's gain.

And the perceptions that targeted ads create can be as much of a problem as the reality. “Most people don't realize how targeting works; it becomes so good that even though it's anonymous, you feel like they know you,” says Rishad Tobaccowala, CEO of Publicis Groupe-owned consulting firm Denuo Group. However, he says Facebook needs to be careful in implementing any targeted ad system, lest loyal users “find it creepy.”

Chris Saad, is right to ask the question if users will put up with it. Also just making things private isn't the answer. What in case I had kids but didn't want to see adverts for nappies and babyware? I could hide that stuff but actually don't mind telling the world that I had kids, I just don't want the adverts. In APML i could specify my distaste and give it a nasty negative value which would indicate that I never want to see Nappies or Babyware ever. Of course Facebook or Google could over ride my APML but I wouldn't be happy, and they should be looking at my positive APML stuff anyway. I mean there's more chance I'll click a link saying latest Orange SPV phone here that latest Babyware or even in reality Latest iPhone offer for O2. And this is the killer thing, anyone who knows me will know that, even a browse of my blog will tell you this but to have it in machine readable form in APML has got be final straw. On my blog my APML is linked and its public. I'm saying advertise to me if your high on my interest list. Orange should be banging my door down every time I say I'm looking for a new phone but there not wise to all this yet. Google and Facebook are.

Forth and Fifth examples : LastFM and Preferences. By now you should have got the main points and can see how having a APML output of your favorate tunes in Lastfm could be useful. One example I didn't think about at the time was moving between media players. I moved from iTunes to Winamp to Madman to Amarok. There was no way to take the ratings I had build up for my music collection but now I should be able to look at lastfm and pull out decent enough scores. On the preference front, APML could be used for more that just internet applications. So yes if Amarok supported APML that would be amazing. I'm actually looking into this because Amarok keeps a rating of all music based on how many times you heard it and how much you scored it. It also keeps this information is a SQLlite DB and the rating range is between 0 and 100 which makes it easy to put into APML. Yep I might need some help from some Perl or Python people soon. Although I've learned Gnome has its own scripting language like how Applescript works for OSX. So I might be able to pull something off that way.

Right so what happens next? First up, I'm going to standardise some way of linking FOAF, OPML, OpenID and APML together. I expect I'll keep this very simple using the link element in (x)HTML or somehow combine this into a Hcard profile. Next up a APML microformat or APML lite for sure. I'll try it as I've been studying the others and the general methology of Microformats and I think it could be done. So I'll suggest it and draw up how it works and submit it for lots of review. I'm now exploring how to get APML out of Amarok and RSS Owl. If anyone wants to help with these, give me a shout. APML is awesome and I know everyones waiting for a 1.0 release (including Tioti, Google, Bloglines) but honestly give it a try now you won't regret it.

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What do you do when Gnome Display Manager dies? Fixed!

My Ubuntu install is working again thanks to Jon Callas from PGP. So I can finally bring you this entry from the Airplane trip 2 days ago. The mount command using the remount flag really made a huge difference. Otherwise I would still be running Windows!

Right so I'm in Boston after a nice but late flight. Get through customs, jump in the first cab which takes me to my Hotel (Westin Seaport) where I open my laptop to find that Gnome Display Bloody Manager fails. Now I can't get into my gnu/linux setup. Luckly I still have Windows on dual boot, so I can use the laptop and get on with stuff. But it seems a little setting in /etc/fstab which was recommended by Linux Format magazine which I bought for the portions of the flight when your not allowed to use electorinic equipment, has caused the root drive to be read only and hence why Gnome won't start. The problem is that I have no way to change this without (in my mind) booting into Linux with a live CD and then making the changes? If someone else knows a way to change /etc/fstab from windows or the recovery command line, drop me a email or comment. Damm you linux format and your No more disk thrashing which recommended adding this to /etc/fstab – defaults,noatime,data=writeback.

Right its 6:45am and I want to upload some pictures of Boston from yesterday and then head out for a day packed solid for the conference I'm at. Oh can I say I download the live Ubuntu CD already, I just need to find somewhere to buy blank CD-Rs, came down at 724.3kB/s from MIT over the hotels non-free (10 dollars per day) ethernet connection. So yes any tips on where I can quickly nip out and get a blank CD would be useful too. I'll quickly blog my post from the airplane too. Oh but I can't because its in my /home/ian directory! Damm it

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The Wealth of Networks, Boston – Day One

So I'm going to attempt to Live blog the conference but mainly for myself

Leanord Kleinrock, TTI/Vanguard Advisory Board
The conference isn't about plumbing, its about the services and ecosystem which sits on top of it.

The Wealth of Networks – Excellent

Yochai Benkler, Co-director, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School
Critical change is decentralisation of inputs and processes. Cites Participatory culture. Talks about the incumbents who want to fight over copyright, there last breath of air. Talks about the battle for Teraflops, SeTI@home beats IBM and NEC, radically decentralised capitalisation beats the centralised. This makes us all involved.Yochai cites the encyclopedia ecosystem, from books to cheap cds to free and wikipedia .Our authority models have been challenged. Brititannica and Nature are challenged. There
are new Opportunities. IBM's revenue jumped when they moved from old patents to there open linux stratrergy. Commons based production = production without exclusion, decentralises authority. Some guy, cuts Yochai mid flow and asks the question, what does this mean for big business? Yochai makes it clear that business needs to count all this into there business models, if they don't they will simply die. Someone else kicks in another question about how deep should people should be allowed in to collaborate. Someone
else asks a question about boundreys and hints at the trust. Whats to stop businesses to be open at the start then close everything up once they have an advantage? Yochai points out that GPL keeps people and businesses in check for the Free software world. Although Yochai isn't say everything should be Free and Open. But the legal framework keeps everyone on the right side of the line. Fear is the enemy of collaboration, fear wants you to know all the pieces and non open and collabroative. Fear puts up walls
and limits your scope. Yochai is hoping to write a book about fear soon as he has tons to say about it.
Someone asks the question if there is such as thing as too much collaboration, says Firefox stopped becoming creative and innovative due to the amount of people collaborating. However Yochai, points out that the plugin framework allows for creativity and innovation. You wouldn't see plugins like operator and seatbelt if you had a team tasked with building a browser.
Yochai says its not all about the money. If you go to dinner with friends and leave a tip for 100 pounds, you wouldn't improve your status with your friends. Not everyone is motovated by money all the time. People change their priorities a depending on many things, the system and markets need to reflect this. We need to learn how to manage and work with distributed social

Application Design, trust and the End-to-End arguments – Good
David Clark, Senior Research Scientist, MIT Laboratory for Computer Science
E2EA (the end to end arguement) –
Is Email end to end? Answer 1. No because its not wrapped around the outside. Answer 2. Yes End to end doesn't apply to apps. All of the servers are part of the rest. Answer 3. Yes we have used reliable application-aware parts to compensate for unreliable ones – we trust the servers, we trust mine and you trust yours. Answer 4. No we trust more that we need to. Question we should be asking is Email reliable? Reframing End to end in Trust instead of end of the transport mechanisms. Trust to Trust – Tim Moors.
This all fits in with net netrailty. In the Email example, the protocals allow functions to be assigned to different servers, can re-arraged to match trust assumption. So if your ISP blocks SMTP servers you have a broken trust model. Users trusts IM servers whether or not they trust it. We don't trust each other, hence in the real world we have deeds and escrow, registries. We can't really trust our own computer/servers no more due to bots, virus, etc. Trust to trust, third party servers and services are not
intrinsically in violation of End to end. How can people trust Google to look at your email along delivering your mail? What levels of trust will people put up with? Someone ask the question about a motorway of drivers and do people trust each other or is it something else?

Emerging Global Networks – Very good
Henry Tirri, Research Fellow, Nokia Research Center
Sensor planet. Wireless Grid, the worlds largest grid but how will people interact and work with the grid? A goal to have 50% access for the world by 2015. 500 Trillion text messages sent in 2004 alone. 1 in 5 are illterate.
Nokia have a app which can read a menu and translate it into english or other languages but what if your illterate? Concerns. Privacy and incentives, licences and non-licenced,centralised vs viral distributed, green vs survival, literacy (interaction methods), multi-lingual environoment, native innovation (home land innovation) vs innovation by others and transactions. America and Canada have the disadvantage of having minute based charging and charging both ends of the connections. Were still in the voice
to data transaction and that seems to be true for the rest of the world. 

The Sociology of Networks
– Very Good

Duncan Watts, Professor, Department of Sociology, Columbia University
Interactions between individuals is paramount, how they collect and aggregate (emergence) is the problem. Hence why Sociology is difficult. The Web has brought together a suite of interactions viable and measurable – email, online communities, mmorpgs, etc. Individual and group behavior can be observed over any period of time. Now there is tons of data when previously there was little. A science of networks is coming. Most data is being mined by corporations, not collected by research and the design
of sites have been largely evolutionary (mashing new features in). Recent experiments. Small-World Experiment, verified Milgram's Six Degrees result. Music-Lab Experiment, dumbness of crowds, markets don't necessarily. There is no evidence that there are leaders in a social network. Dominators, leaders, influences don't exist and if they did they would be replaced a few weeks later. After the fact, that person looks influencial. Before that they were just a person. Duncan talks about how the influencers
are just people who figure out where the crowd is going and jump in front at the right time. So in actual fact they spend most of their time working out what the crowd whats to hear.

Leveraging Networks
Michael Furdyk, Co-founder and Director of Technology,
Social network for young people who give them skills and resources to set themselves up for new challenges and opptunities. It acts as a platform for action. Inspire > inform > involved. Does Facebook and other social networks encorage you to meet people in other countries other cultures? A lot of social networks are banned in schools. Should do some work with geekdinners and girlgeekdinners?

The Emergence of Enterprise 2.0
Andrew McAfee, Associate Professor, Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Intranet need a kick up the ass. Enterprises 2.0 is about how its used not how its built or deployed. Andrew says IT is a differentiator. Underlying trends are social and network effects. Andrew adds Free platforms, lack of structure and tools that emerge.

Email = Channels which are point to point, invisible to others and be consulted.

Website = Platform which is universal, visible, consultable.

Blog = Free and Easy Platform

New apps have been getting out of the way of the user. Uses Wikipedia vs Newpedia as example. Then Delicious.

Tools should let structure emerge. Uses Google and tags clouds as example a example. Taking snapshots of tag clouds is interesting. Mentions how Flickr uses Clusters to apply structure.

Someone asks about complience. Transparancy helps.

Networks and the Semantic Web (Weaving a web of Data) – Very Good
Eric Miller, President, Zepheira

The art of data.

The web is unique objects (pages and links) data is hidden.

How did people work before the web? Next generation just can't imagine anything before.

Eric talks about how the cuting and pasting needs to stop and points at the TTI Vanguard site as example of rich data.

The web is evolving, its not versions

Talks about community driven ontologies using it the way they want it to be.

Shows off Piggy Bank to pull together his own list of hotels which made sense via a google map.

Talks about – mines for details out of wikipedia and (intel's new pipes type system)

Shows a bunch of javascript tools to build new views on data

note to myself – as timeline

Web framework for resource description, talks about wrapping data sources like excel spreadsheets so they appear on the web.

Lego is interopable from 50 years ago, if Lego can do it, why can't we?

Eric answered my question about Microformats and he talked about GRDDL as a way to make use of microformats beyond their basic use.

Generally the questions surrounded the concept of a semantic web

Peer-Production of Rich Media (or What Happens when YouTube Meets Wikipedia) – Bad
Shay David, CTO

Shows a porno on the wikipedia page for Pornography.

Rich media collaboration is harder that text based collaboration. Been little peer production of rich media / instead lots of aggregation.

Thinks we will see real time feeds of networked video and audio. Quotes Reed's law.

Shows off

Shows off in facebook


The Big Switch – Good

Nicholas Carr, Author, Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage

Radical centralist

Nicholas thinks we're moving to a world of centralisation/control

Preview of the next book – The Big Switch

Uses the Westinghouse engine station (AC electricity) as a example of centralisation with a service over a network. Local power went out of fashion and out of business.

Someone challenges Nick about the black outs on the electricity grids. Nick says utilitys always get treated badly. And now there cueing up to take a bite out of nick. Nick points out that the mainframes use to run at 90% of capitacy while the move to the server client model has given rise to high costs and higher wastes of processes. Someone suggests Virtualisation is fixing this problem and Nick actually agrees. Someone points out that work productivity went up due to IT investment along with the server client
model. Shows off the new Google server station in Columbia and says its the new Westinghouse engine station. Someone suggests some regulation doesn't allow there data be placed outside of their firewall, nick comes back and says regulation will catch up. Plus sharing data between companies and people will be lighting quick because they will be on highspeed inner network, instead of a companies T1 connection.
Nick certainly lived up to his rep and caused a stir. But now its time to fix my machine and go to dinner.

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I know html, how to meet ladies

Ok I heard this for the first time ever today. The context was oh your so geekalicious… So with googling on my phone, I found out it means. Someone who is a geek but has strong social skills. A browse of Flickr would suggest the standard geek stereotype. I honestly don't want to hear the word again, thank you very much.

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Do I TRUST mint with my money management?

Mint - refreshing money management

So I've been using Microsoft Money for quite a while to manage my money but since moving to gnu/Linux, I've not really converted the money file over to anything else. I was checking out the KDE application Money2 but started thinking there has got to be a better way to do this?

Well in steps Mint fresh faced from the Techcrunch conference. When I first heard rumours about it, I thought it was something to do with that terriable credit card company in the UK with the same name. However promises to refresh money management by adding all the goodness of Web 2.0.

So I've been checking it out, and to be honest I like what I see but I'm not convinced they can be trusted with my finanical information. Now don't get me wrong I'm no hot shot with millions in the bank but I still wouldn't want what how much I pay for lunch (not a lot thanks to Tesco) in the public domain. I'm not saying Mint are leaking this information, I'm just not sure. I've been reading there Privicy policy and it all looks ok but I have this naggy feeling that this is dangerious and should be avoided for a while longer, at least let someone else be the test muppet. I had this feeling when I first heard about Paypal and to be honest I do use it but tend not to keep money in it for long and I use its most basic features. All those advanced features like hooking it into your bank i've avoided because it worries me. Although in a recent episode of Security now, Paypal's Director of Account protection was on talking about the levels of security and privicy they have for users of their service. SecureID was one of the solutions and to be honest, if my bank offered that, I would gladly use it.

I guess my fear of using Mint is a little overboard but like linking my facebook profile to some of the other sites I use, I think somethings are maybe left alone till I can trust them. Trust is a funny thing, I mean I trust my bank, paypal, amazon, Tesco, Plaxo, etc. But I don't trust Facebook, Mint, etc with my credit card details. They haven't been around long enough to prove their trustworthness. There rep is 0 in my book. I need Facebook to stop mining my information and start offering me real uses. Mint I guess will have to rely on good feedback from people on there own blogs before I start using it.

Its all useless anyway, mint is american centric, requiring a zip code before you can sign up. Have they never heard of Open ID? Simon Wilison was right, all startups should use Open ID if they want people to use their service. Now Mint you've lost a customer because although I could make up a zip code, why the hell should I?

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Google launch presentation to google apps

Excellent now you can create powerpoint presentations online using Google Apps, just perfect for those last minute presentations but whats this? No export? Oh dear me… Just imagine presentating your killer new startup and the wifi goes down. Next slide fails to load, actually all slides fail to load, and you have to babber on about how great it was going to be. Maybe it will support Google Gears in the future?

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Shoot ’em up, is like forbidden candy

Owen and Giamatti facing each other with guns

Sometimes I like the high adrenaline fuelled action films that the film industry puts out. The last film like this I watched and loved was Crank, hence I'm also looking forward to seeing War at some point in the near future. I watched Smokin Aces recently and was let down by its highly ilogical plot and how it tried to take its self somewhat seriously. Shoot'em up like crank doesn't take its self seriously and delivers just 90mins of pure adrenaline rushing, mind numming, laugh out loud, entertainment. The only time it slows down is for sharp pieces of dialogue. Its just what I needed after a difficult weekend.

I'm not the only one who loved the film, check out this imdb review titled Perhaps the Most Shamelessly Ridiculous Film Ever Conceived.

Are you tired of all those heartless, senseless, generic and cliché, action-driven Hollywood films? That honor style and blood over character and plot? Well then I have news for you: don't go see “Shoot Em' Up”.

But it's a shame that you won't. The film whose trailer I pointed to and said 'that's what film-making has come to these days; all attitude and no heart', turns out to be the most fun and riotous satire I've seen in a long time. “Shoot Em' Up”–a relentless, simultaneously energizing and hilarious movie–is a surprisingly smart confection. As conceived by writer-director Mike Davis its an over-the-top send-up of every action film ever made; a wink and a nod (as well as a parody of) to the bloody overkill of “Die Hard” and “Rambo”, the gleeful excitement and charm of “Indiana Jones”, the cornball abandon of “James Bond”, the who cares of “North by Northwest”, the heroic terseness and ease of “Bourne”, the ultra-stylized and preposterous overdrive of “The Matrix” or anything ever made by John Woo (particularly a love for “Hard-Boiled”), and even in one scene the splendid lunacy of “Raising Arizona”.

The whole project, through controlled chaos and witty abandon, is made as a single, continuous in-joke. As in most films that take themselves too seriously, Clive Owen's hero (enigmatically titled Mr. Smith) quite literally never stops shooting. He shoots while having sex, he shoots while in the middle of free-fall, he shoots the umbilical cord off of a baby, he shoots with his fingers broken. Davis takes over-the-top to a whole new level; poking fun at action movies by taking their ridiculousness to its brinking point.

Yes the sex scene was perfectly delivered and unlike other films (except crank again) not pushed in for the sake of its self. I urge you to see this film in the highest defination you can get (cinema if possible) as there's no slow downs or clever camera tricks. Its just all the way out there action and before you know it the film will be over with a bang. Yes I won't be able to look at Carrots in the same way again.

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The war tapes on TED talks

Filmmaker Deborah Scranton talks about and shows clips from her documentary The War Tapes, which put cameras in the hands of Charlie Company, a unit of the National Guard, for one year in Iraq. The soldiers' raw footage and diary excerpts tell a powerful, unsettling story of modern war.

Wow, powerful talk and I did go check out the site later. Its self described as…

Straight from the front lines in Iraq, The War Tapes is the first war movie filmed by soldiers themselves.

This is Operation Iraqi Freedom as filmed by Sergeant Steve Pink, Sergeant Zack Bazzi and Specialist Mike Moriarty. Steve is a wisecracking carpenter and a gifted writer. Zack is a Lebanese-American university student who loves to travel and is fluent in Arabic. Mike is a father who seeks honor and redemption.

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