John Trobough of Business 2 Community recently wrote, “From narrowband to broadband, from kilobits to gigabits, from talking people to talking things, the volume of data in the world has reached epic proportions… and it’s only the beginning. Data is entering and leaving enterprises at unprecedented rates, and is often stored and accessed from a range of locations, such as from smartphones and tablets, virtual servers or the cloud. As the Internet has evolved, so has cybersecurity and the need for increased data analytics. Humans can no longer keep up with the data driven world, but machines can. By enabling semantic Web’s automated, continuous machine learning to create context out of interactions and data, security efforts will have continuous visibility and better control over digital assets. This future of machine learning is known as Cyber 3.0.” Read more
Carmel Deamicis of Pando Daily reports, “Dr. Eyal Kishon, co-founder of Israeli based venture capital firm Genesis Partners, had a very personal reason for investing in Riskified, a startup that fights fraud for e-commerce sites. He kept getting rejected when he’d try to buy things online. Merchants would occasionally flag him as a “risky” purchase — perhaps because he lived in Israel and American stores can’t fact-check international addresses through the Address Verification System (AVS). Israeli startup Riskified, which recently raised a $1.65 million seed round, thinks its “semantic risk engine” is the answer. The technology builds a story around the shopper that ties together two types of information — the transaction information (where the person’s shipping address and billing address are, what proxy server they’re hiding behind, etc) and publicly available information about the person online. That way, they can more accurately predict which online shoppers are fraudsters and which are legitimate.” Read more
Sir Tim Berners-Lee recently spoke out against UK government plans to monitor citizen’s internet use, Ian Katz reports. Katz writes, “The government’s controversial plans to allow intelligence agencies to monitor the internet use and digital communications of every person in the UK suffered a fresh blow on Tuesday when the inventor of the world wide web warned that the measures were dangerous and should be dropped. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who serves as an adviser to the government on how to make public data more accessible, says the extension of the state’s surveillance powers would be a ‘destruction of human rights’ and would make a huge amount of highly intimate information vulnerable to theft or release by corrupt officials.” Read more
The Obama administration has announced a blueprint for a consumer privacy bill of rights. The President’s cover letter to the proposal stated, “Never has privacy been more important than today, in the age of the Internet, the World Wide Web and smart phones. In just the last decade, the Internet has enabled a renewal of direct political engagement by citizens around the globe and an explosion of commerce and innovation creating jobs of the future. Much of this innovation is enabled by novel uses of personal information. So, it is incumbent on us to do what we have done throughout history: apply our timeless privacy values to the new technologies and circumstances of our times.” Read more
At the recent SemTech Berlin conference, husband-and-wife team Michael Trevor McDonald and Kim Chandler McDonald, CTO and Executive VP, respectively, of KimmiC, led a session that discussed a marriage of a different sort: that between the Semantic Web and the user interface. The session was described as providing the audience insight into the benefits of the semantic web, given that so much of the world’s economic brain/ecosystem is tied up in the relationships between companies, consumers and suppliers – an interaction between systems and people that is a real-life ‘Matrix’ whose ubiquity is hampered by the lack of a common way of talking about things such that they can be utilized and shared simply, and in a confidential, secure, and vendor-neutral manner.
The Semantic Web Blog had an opportunity to have an email discussion with the Australian-based minds behind KimmiC, and its FlatWorld cloud-based technology for enabling the global, digital economy, to learn more about the SemWeb/UI marriage.
Semantic Web Blog: Help us better understand this idea of The Matrix in the context described – considering the movie, is that a positive analogy and what does the Semantic Web have to do with it?
Michael: I think we can use the analogy pretty well as is. What we have seen in the market is essentially a few large companies trying to subvert the intent of the web into a controlled matrix (controlled by them) that they can exploit – it is, in fact, the cornerstone of their business models.
We view that consumers, once they become more aware of it, will see themselves as a “knowledge/insight” commodity in that they a) control their information and b) control who, when and where (what part) companies/friends/family etc. have access to them – it is most probably the next big frontier.
Dr. Kieron O’Hara has examined how the semantic web might be used to implement a so-called ‘right to be forgotten.’ O’Hara writes, “During the revision of the EU’s data protection directive, attention has focused on a ‘right to be forgotten’. Though the discussion has been largely confined to the legal profession, and has been overlooked by technologists, it does raise technical issues – UK minister Ed Vaizey, and the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office have pointed out that rights are only meaningful when they can be enforced and implemented (Out-law.com 2011, ICO 2011). In this article, I look at how such a right might be interpreted and whether it could be enforced using the specific technology of the Semantic Web or the Linked Data Web.” Read more
Today, Experian, the global information services company, announced that it has acquired Garlik Limited, a provider of web monitoring services based in the United Kingdom. Garlik uses Semantic Web Technologies to help consumers protect themselves from the risks of identity theft and financial fraud. At the last SemTechBiz UK Conference, Steve Harris, CTO of Garlik, presented “Combatting Online Crime with RDF.” Mr. Harris presented a compelling case of Garlik’s use of Semantic Technology throughout its offerings to support business-critical, highly sensitive production systems to financial institutions worldwide. Read more
If you missed this excellent live webcast with Evren Sirin, CTO, Clark & Parsia, the recorded webcast is now available. You also can meet Evren in Washington DC, November 29-December 1, 2011 for SemTechBiz DC. The customer mentioned in this case study, JP Morgan Chase, will be co-presenting and discussing how they are implementing Access Control using Semantic Technologies.
Access control is an essential part of nearly every IT system; Read more
One of the primary challenges in putting together a good content management system is building a decent permissions model. Whether a particular user or process is able to perform some kind of an action upon a resource or not can be remarkably difficult to establish, especially when there are multiple constraints involved. For an XML-based CMS, this can be even more of a challenge, because the n-dimensional nature of such a constraint model is often difficult to model in hierarchical structures.
However, RDF is far more ideally suited for this particular role. A permissions system is, at its core, a set of assertions about who can do what to what, which fits nicely with the “subject predicate object” model that RDF exemplifies. Moreover, because such models are sparse — the number of assertions is likely to be very small compared to the total potential assertions that are possible — this fits nicely into models where sparseness of data is a common characteristic (again, RDF), as compared to storing this information (expensively) in tabular fields as with a relational database.
I’m working on building an XML-based CMS (specifically on a MarkLogic platform, though I would like to keep it portable), and realized as I was working on it that while the user permissions system that MarkLogic employs is powerful, it’s not portable and there are facets that don’t fit nicely into that particular model. Thus, I decided to chase the RDF triples approach to see if that would work better for this. (The end product may very well be a hybrid approach to take advantage of fast queries, but that’s beyond the scope of this particular article).
A recent article takes a look at three IT trends that are driving information security evolution. One of these trends is semantic security: “Like IT, humans network to exchange information. However, information security works at a syntactic level, while humans work at a semantic level. Commonly implemented security controls can detect individual words or terms and can block entire traffic for certain ports or addresses. These security controls currently do not work at the semantic level. I may accept and trust news from a friend that ‘the Dow dropped 500 points today.’ However, I would not trust the same friend with the statement that ‘today’s 500 point Dow drop proves the financial collapse of the United States will initiate Armageddon.’” Read more
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