Tara McMeekin of News and Tech recently wrote, “As budgets continue to shrink, most newspaper and magazine publishers have been forced to slash their R&D spending. But at a time when the right game-changing technology could be more crucial than ever for a battered industry, some news organizations are fighting back. Dow Jones, for instance, last year bankrolled a handpicked R&D team, which reports directly to CEO Lex Fenwick. Its mission, said department head Jack Levy, is to find solutions to problems that affect the publisher’s overall operations.” Read more
Liat Clark of Wired reports, “The European Commission is off-track and will stifle innovation with its data protection proposals because it’s only just catching up with web 2.0, a term coined in the 90s, according to James Leaton Gray, head of information policy and compliance at the BBC. He issued this warning at the Westminster eForum seminar on eprivacy, flagging up the impracticalities of the proposed reforms, pointing out that the future of computing is in your TV — and the proposals aren’t taking this into account. ‘It makes me extremely nervous,’ said Gray. ‘If you look at IPTV, you’re connected to the internet and directly to thousands of TV channels across the world. The present remote control will become a search engine — it won’t be things you type into, it will be about the semantic web, accessing and exchanging data. The idea that it’s confounded to computers and a computer-based world is a fallacy’.” Read more
John Wilbanks of Nature.com recently opined, “An article that is free to read is not necessarily open for all uses — often, it cannot be reused for text mining or in derivative works, for example. The permitted uses depend on the copyright license used by the author. In my view, for an article to be considered truly open access, it has to meet the widely accepted definition in the Budapest Open Access Initiative — a set of recommendations laid out by leaders of the open-access movement in 2001. That is, users must be able to ‘read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited’.” Read more
Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing reports that Morgan & Claypool Publishers have decided to release an unfinished manuscript written by Aaron Swartz entitled A Programmable Web. Michael B. Morgan, CEO of the publishing house wrote, “In 2009, we invited Aaron Swartz to contribute a short work to our series on Web Engineering (now The Semantic Web: Theory and Technology). He produced a draft of about 40 pages — a ‘first version’ to be extended later — which unfortunately never happened.” Read more
Martin Kaltenbock of the Semantic Web Company reports, “The brand new web based GBPN Knowledge Platform has been launched on 21 February 2013. It helps the building sector effectively reduce its impact on climate change! It has been designed as a participative knowledge hub and data hub harvesting, sharing and curating best practice policies in building energy performance globally. Available in English and soon in Mandarin, this new web-based tool of the Global Buildings Performance Network (GBPN) aims to stimulate collective research and analysis from experts worldwide to promote better decision-making and help the building sector effectively reduce its impact on climate change. Read more
Image morphing is a special effect in which a first image is gradually changed into a second image. Image morphing is often used to morph one person’s face into a second person’s face. In the middle of the image morphing process, a new face is created that combines elements of both. Image morphing has grown in popularity and use since its introduction in the 1980s.
Now, in 2013, it is possible to morph together two bodies of prose text in a manner that is analogous to the way in which image morphing morphs together two images. Read more
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
Edamam, a semantic company on a mission to help people eat better, recently announced “it will be powering the nutritional information for all the recipes on TheDailyMeal.com, the fastest-growing culinary site of all time. Edamam will use its advanced semantic technology to analyze and provide a full nutritional profile, as well as health and diet labels for each recipe to The Daily Meal readers. ‘As one of the premium online destinations for quality information surrounding all things food and drink, The Daily Meal needed a way to organize and incorporate nutritional labeling for an ever growing database of recipes,’ said Victor Penev of Edamam. ‘Our semantic technology helped solve the problem’.” Read more
Zemanta, a semantic service that extracts entities within the text of a publisher’s content and suggests related media, links and tags to add to a work as it’s being written, has launched a content discovery network to complement its suggested recommendations for which authors create original content.
The focus here is on providing editorial control. Publishers can feature content recommendations from their site, other web sites (Zemanta has 300,000 publishers in its network), and advertisers, taking advantage of the option to let Zemanta’s semantic algorithms automatically make those selections for them or to take the manual content selection route. Another option is to blacklist sites that they don’t consider appropriate content sources.