In the video below, Dr. James Melton, a Lecturer in Comparitive Politics at University College London, gives a presentation on Constitute. Constitute is a new way to explore the constitutions of the world. The origins of the project date back to 2005 with the Comparative Constitutions Project, which has the stated goal of cataloging the contents of all constitutions written in independent states since 1789. To date, that work has resulted in a collection of 900+ constitutions and 2500+ Amendments. A rigorous formal survey instrument including 669 questions was then applied to each of these “constitutional events,” resulting in the base data that the team had to work with. Melton and his group wanted to create a system that allowed for open sharing of this information, and not just with researchers, but with anyone who wants to explore the world’s constitutions. They also needed the system to be flexible enough to handle changes, when, as Melton points out, “…roughly 15% of the countries in the world change their constitution every single year.”
Mark O’Neill, VP of Innovation at Axway recently wrote for Silicon Angle, “Welcome to the future, where smart meters monitor your home appliance usage, where fitness devices on your wrist track your heart-rate, and where electric vehicles can take commands from your wristwatch. What does all of this have in common? These innovations are all part of the Internet of Things (IoT). While the Internet of Things is going through a rosy honeymoon period at the moment, security issues are slowly creeping to the surface. There’s a growing awareness that IoT devices are riddled with vulnerabilities, and securing these weaknesses will soon become one of the major priorities for both manufacturers and the people who use them. Let’s examine the top 10 things to consider in detail.” Read more
Happy Data Privacy Day!
The semantic web community has done its share of thinking on the data privacy topic, as evidenced by events such as Privacy Online 2013 at the International Semantic Web Conference in Australia. Recognizing the impact of semantic technologies on privacy, the workshop aimed to focus on raising awareness that the technologies the semweb community is working on have global societal consequences as well as to raise the awareness of interconnections between the different communities that are involved in Web privacy and security.
If you haven’t had a chance to have a look before, today’s the perfect day to check out the papers that were accepted for that event, which you can access here.
Ron Callari of Inventor Spot recently wrote, “OK, so a $3.2 billion acquisition is nothing to sneeze at! However, when your current stock price on the Nasdaq exchange is trading at $1148 per share, and your coffers are overflowing in excess of $57 billion in cash and marketable securities – $3.2 is more or less chump change for an Internet giant. But exactly what’s Google’s end game in acquiring a company that few of us knew about? Nest, according to Tony Fadell, its founder and CEO was started humbly with one device in 2010 – the lowly unglamorous thermostat. While it seemed like ‘a crazy idea at the time – it made all the sense in the world to us,’ Faddell asserted.” Read more
Naomi Eterman of McGill Daily recently discussed a technology developed in 2012 by scientists at the University of Waterloo: “Spaun, short for Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network, is the largest computer simulation of a functioning brain to date. It is the brainchild of Chris Eliasmith, a professor in philosophy and systems design engineering at the University of Waterloo, who developed the system as a proof-of-principle supplement to his recent book: How to Build a Brain. The model is composed of 2.5 million simulated neurons and four different neurotransmitters that allow it to ‘think’ using the same kind of neural connections as the mammalian brain. Read more
Jemima Kiss of The Guardian recently wrote, “It is nearly 25 years since Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote his initial proposal for a distributed information system based on hypertext, in March 1989. ‘Vague, but exciting,’ was how supervisor Mike Sendall greeted the idea, proposed to help connect the work of several thousand atom-smashing scientists, researchers and administrators at Cern – the European home of nuclear research and the large hadron collider. The plan was a non-linear organisation system based on hypertext –quite the hot topic in late 80s computing circles – that would improve on the previous system that let documents be stored and printed. ‘A linked system,’ wrote Berners-Lee, ‘would allow one to browse through concepts, documents, systems and authors, also allowing references between documents to be stored’.” Read more
Dian Schaffhauser of Campus Technology recently wrote, “A startup that offers a cloud-based biomedical search and profiling platform is teaming up with a major publisher of scientific and technical texts to create customized research portals for academic organizations and scientific societies. Knode will be working with John Wiley & Sons to set up searchable research networks to help users locate research expertise. Currently, Knode’s focus is on life sciences, but the company expects to expand to other fields ‘soon,’ according to an interview with CEO David Steinberg posted on the Wiley Web site.” Read more