Our own Jenny Zaino recently discussed the development of the News Storyline Ontology. Now, Robin Pembrooke of the BBC has more on how the new ontology is being used at the BBC. He writes, “The BBC believes in distributing its work to the wider industry in order to benefit users and other online publishers. One aspect of this is the thinking around the use of metadata in BBC News stories, how we tag our articles, pictures and video clips to make our content easier to find and more accessible. This year a group of like-minded data architects from a number of UK publishers, including The Guardian and The Press Association, have been informally working on a data model that supports how stories like these are told and they’ve found a lot of common ground in their thinking.” Read more
Chris Crum of Web Pro News recently wrote, “Google Reader is almost officially dead. Just a few more short weeks, and it will be gone forever (it goes away on July 1st, in case you needed a reminder). Since Google broke users’ hearts back in March, announcing the product’s demise, other companies have been rushing to provide an adequate replacement for users who aren’t willing to give up RSS. Sure, there were already alternatives, but Google’s announcement lit a fire underneath them and others looking to create new products, as the opportunity was created for them to obtain a lot of new users. One potential replacement that has been around for quite a while, News360, is taking a somewhat different approach than some of the others like Feedly and Digg. Interestingly, their philosophy is similar to Google’s when it comes to the changing landscape of how people consume their news.” Read more
Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (#GAAD), and there are programs taking place all around the world from Bangalore, India to Washington, DC. The purpose of the day is to get people talking, thinking and learning about digital accessibility and users with different disabilities.
GAAD is the brainchild of Joe Devon, a Los Angeles based technologist and entrepreneur. Devon says, “The target audience of GAAD is the design, development, usability, and related communities who build, shape, fund and influence technology and its use. While people may be interested in the topic of making technology accessible and usable by persons with disabilities, the reality is that they often do not know how or where to start. Awareness comes first.”
Last year, I wrote a piece about the inaugural Global Accessibility Awareness Day (#GAAD), and the strong connections between Semantic Web and Assistive Technology. Or rather, I posited that there were connections that were inherent, but not being maximized, or even explored.
One year later, I’m very pleased to report that things are progressing! There are now formal efforts to connect Semantic and Assistive Technologies.
MOOCs (massive open online courses) are gaining greater ground. Earlier this year we looked at some semantics-related MOOCs of study from outfits like Coursera, edX and Udacity. Since then, news has gone around about some other MOOC opportunities (albeit not necessarily with semantic course offerings), such as MOOC2Degree, Canvas Network, CourseSites, Udemy and Thinkful. The Hasso Plattner Institute also is involved with its openHPI courses, including coverage of semantic web technologies.
Now, word comes that Iversity, which offers its own MOOC platform, and the Foundation for German Science are sponsoring a competition to produce ten MOOCs, five courses for the winter term 2013/14 and five courses for the summer semester 2014. Winners will get 25,000 Euro grants each towards production. The MOOC Production Fellowship selection process is being managed by Iversity, as is the subsequent course production.
About 250 concepts for online courses have been submitted so far, and Internet users have up until May 23 to cast their votes for the ones they view as particularly interesting and groundbreaking. A list of submissions is here.
The categories range from linguistics and cultural studies to interdisciplinary work to natural and computer sciences. The entries include courses focused on semantic, social analytics and related technologies:
The 2013 International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC) is coming to Sydney, Australia’s biggest city, October 21- 25 2013. “The weather should be warming up beautifully for spring,” says local chair Kerry Taylor, “and I’d like to promise you sunny days and sparkling views. The first two days, Monday and Tuesday will be held at the Sydney Masonic Centre, an architecturally-significant ‘new brutalist’ building in the southern CBD. Wednesday to Friday will be held at the Sydney Conference and Exhibition Centre, in the tourist precinct of Darling Harbour, with views over the water and the city. Summer Daylight Saving will have begun, so you can enjoy the evenings too after each day of intense scientific exchange.”
John Abell of GMA News recently told the story of Summly, a company developed by 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio and sold to Yahoo! for $30 million. Abell writes, “D’Aloisio’s youth—he’s 17—and windfall are interesting data points, even if all the work behind the magic algorithm isn’t the sole product of this high schooler’s brain. Like all really good ideas, Summly’s is simple: Anything can be summarized, but by having a computer do it, the number of things you can summarize—and the speed with which it can be done—are massively increased. As an app, it filtered news stories and—Presto Chango!—spit out the CliffsNotes version, optimized for a smartphone’s tiny screen (and our infinitesimal attention span).” Read more
[Editor's Note: This guest post is from Antonia Bradford, who attended "ICT Days" in Trento Italy, and offered this report.]
Trento, Italy, hosted a technology conference ‘ICT Days 2013’ between 20th and 23rd March. Like all such events it was interesting, dynamic and informative, but it was also quite different from the normal conferences.
It broadcast a very loud message that Semantic Technology, Big Data, and the interconnectivity of things will – without any doubt – affect everything and everyone; that these technologies will change the way everyone interacts with public services, the way in which dwindling natural resources are distributed and managed, the way citizens interact with each other, the way in which public and private bodies cooperate to support the needs of the citizen and the way in which public bodies are monitored and held accountable to the people that elected them.
Devindra Hardawar of Venture Beat reports, “Like one part Siri and one part morning news update, a new app called Winston could change the way you consume news online. Launching today on the iPhone for free, Winston reads aloud recent news and social media updates through a distinguished electronic English accent. The app summarizes news to highlight the juicy bits, and it also translates your Twitter and Facebook updates into easily absorbed nuggets (ignoring hashtags, abbreviations, and the usual social media mess).” Read more