Archives: January 2011

SemTech 2011 Pre-Agenda Rates Expire Tonight!

Register by January 31 and save!Now in its sixth year, SemTech is the world’s largest educational conference for the community of
executives, technologists, researchers, investors and customers involved with semantic technologies.

SemTech 2011 features five days of presentations, panels, tutorials, announcements, new companies, product launches, and conversations. It’s a place for new learning, professional networking, and
business development. Register to attend before midnight PST tonight, January 31 for early bird rates.

The program is shaping up to be another not-to-be-missed event. While the formal agenda will not be announced until next week, we can give you a sneak peek at some highlights.

Confirmed Keynotes:

Dennis Wisnosky
Chief Architect and CTO, Department of Defense

Bill Guinn
CTO Product Enablers, Amdocs Product Business Unit

Case studies and presentations from companies such as:

  • Amdocs
  • Amsterdam Fire Department
  • Avis Budget Group
  • Best Buy
  • Cisco
  • Forbes.com
  • Globo.com
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN
  • NASA
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Sallie Mae
  • O’Reilly Media
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Elsevier
  • PayPal
  • …and many, many more!

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Frank Fazio.

Build Data-Aware Apps, Without the Hassle

The day may come when you might not need a team of developers to write data-driven or data-aware apps that themselves can be described in just a few words. Ideally, that would mean companies would spend a lot less money on, and speed up, a long-winded process that encompasses everything from understanding requirements to discovering data sources and normalizing results, to managing data coordination across front-end and back-end teams.

That day isn’t here yet, but  SemantiNet is trying to move things a step closer to that point. The company this month has introduced an open-ended alpha API that has as its centerpiece the idea of the data flow graph.

Its purpose is to enable easy querying of a collection of Web Services, Wikipedia, Linked Data and the unstructured web, and culminating in “one-liner” search bar apps, including mashups, built in minutes. Some examples: drawing out from dbPedia objects within a 50-kilometer radius of the Eiffel Tower that are somehow related to Napoleon and displaying the results as video; breaking down the revenue of the world’s major car companies listed in Wikipedia and providing a pie chart with that data and also mashing into the results the age of the companies in a table, its locations pinpointed on a map, and company snapshots called out in a graph; or finding out which pizza places close to your current location have some lunch deals on. For good measure, throw in some tweets and analyze them for sentiment, just to make sure that we’re talking about tasty pizza.

Or check out some of the output at left for the Keith Richards Guitar Gallery app, built on combining the unique DBpedia URI for Keith Richards; a fuzzy matching of the free-form text “instrument” with a predicate of dbpedia:Keith_Richards to get a list of the instruments he played; and a rendering of  this list of instruments using a SemantiNet template called videolist.html.

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Semantic Web – What’s Your Pitch?

Elevator Door

People working in the Semantic Technology space are often asked for a clear, concise, easy to understand answer to “What is the Semantic Web?”  My friend and colleague Brian Sletten recently said to me, “If you ask 10 Semantic Tech experts to define Semantic Technology, you’ll get 11 different answers – one from each of the experts and the one that represents what the listener hears.”  Read more

Firefox, Chrome Take On Tracking; Maybe Now It’s Time To Look To Semantic Web Advertising Platforms

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browsers this week unveiled responses to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) call for a Do Not Track browser option.

What’s the impact on the online advertising community? Andy Ellenthal, CEO of semantic web advertising company Peer39, thinks the efforts are good for all involved, including advertisers. “Starting with the obvious, if users have the perception that they’re being stalked, it is not good — not for consumers and not for the industry,” he says. “These new tools from Google and Mozilla, which empower users to easily manage their online data exposure, address this perception by easily and openly giving users control, which is good for all parties involved — users, advertisers, publishers and even the government.”

Maybe even better for those advertisers leveraging semantic web technologies. Ellenthal previously told The Semantic Web Blog that “the increasing government pressure on audience data targeting in fact will drive a renewed interest in relevancy via semantic targeting.” Peer39 offers its SemanticMatch technology to understand web content and send along relevant ads on the fly, vs. observing their browsing habits as they visit pages across the web.

J. Brooke Aker, CMO of Expert System spin-out Admantx, sees some good coming out of it for the semantics-infused ad space, too.

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When supercomputers meet the Semantic Web…

Cray. Despite everything that has happened over the years, from technological advances to organisational wobbles, bankruptcies and buy-outs, the name retains a certain cachet. They make super computers! Their computers come (came) with seats and bubbling coolant systems and everything! To someone growing up with early examples of rudimentary computing in the home, Cray was the stuff of Tomorrow’s World, Bond villains, and more. This was what real computers were all about.

Despite the growing power of ordinary computers, and the opportunities offered by parallelisation and the Cloud, those early memories of Cray superness were sufficient to pique my interest when a recent press release from semantic technology company Cambridge Semantics landed in my inbox. Digging a little further, it rapidly became apparent that Cambridge Semantics were not alone. Amongst eight ‘Solution Partners‘ listed for Cray’s XMT supercomputer, not one of them would look out of place presenting or exhibiting at a semantic technology event. For some reason, semantics appear to have replaced quirky styling, bubbling coolant and the circular seating of yesteryear. Read more

Garlik’s Angel Online Data Protection Service Flies Into Google’s Chrome Store


Garlik, maker of the U.K. born-and-bred semantic-enabled online identity service DataPatrol, is taking another dip into American waters. The company, which counts among its founders semantic web leading light Professor Nigel Shadbolt, today released a free, try-it version of its Garlik Angel service. The full Angel product monitors social networks, public websites and illegally traded data sites to help users keep their personal information from being found by online criminals.

The app – one of the first to hit the Google Chrome store when it opened in December – originally was available for $3.99 per month. “Basically we are trying to tell you if any of your information is in the public domain, on public sites, traded in botnet networks or on the public web, and tell you if there is too much information out there about you, and inform you about what best you can do,” says Mischa Tuffield, semantic web developer at Garlik.

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Epik Has Epic Semantic Web Plans For Its Domains and Domainers

Are you a domainer? More specifically, are you a domainer who’s sitting on a lot of parking sites that aren’t turning the profit they once used to, and for whom the cost proposition of building out each one individually to generate revenue is just plain prohibitive?

Well, a yearish-old company called Epik, which provide a platform and services to help domainers cost-effectively scale their properties by way of “mass-customization,” as well as manage and trade them, is moving semantic web technologies to the front burner to drive more business opportunities to site owners – and revenue opportunities to their customers, too.

“The semantic technologies until now were mostly on the backburner while we got a critical mass of sites up, but now we have a tipping point in terms of the scale of the opportunity,” says John Lawler, Epik SVP of products. “Now we’re going whole hog to make this all semantically enabled.” Through its own domain ownerships and relations with others, the potential is to build a truly federated semantic network, he says.

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Semantic Movie, TV “Taste Engine” Jinni Enjoys New Funding, Plans Added Services, and Explains Why It Can Be More Helpful Than Facebook’s Like Button

2010 ended on a down note for VC funds. Word came this week that 2010 represented the fourth consecutive year of declines and the slowest annual period for venture capital fundraising since 2003, according to Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA).

The silver lining, the NVCA said, is that downsizing of the venture industry has positive implications for investors and entrepreneurs.  “An agile venture capital model likely translates into more capital efficient and fewer duplicative deals in the IT arena,” said its president, Mark Heesen in a release, adding, “The most innovative and efficient companies will continue to be funded by the venture community.”

That must be happy news for semantic web movie and TV “taste engine” Jinni. 2011 started out on a good note for the site, with its announcement that it closed a series B funding round for $5 million. The round was led by two strategic investors: Belgacom – Belgium’s leading telco – and an undisclosed Tier-1 connected-TV manufacturer. Jinni’s service enables Belgacom to offer its customers personalized movie recommendations and discovery, on TV, mobile and web platforms. Venture capital firm DFJ Tamir Fishman Ventures (which previously led Jinni’s Round A funding) also participated.

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The Federated Enterprise (Using Semantic Technology Standards to Federate Information and to Enable Emergent Analytics)

comparing apples to diets
Photo Credits: Apple – FlickR/muffet ; Food Pyramid – FlickR/teacher_caroline_acsp

[Editor's Note: This article is intended to complement the post, "I’ve got a Federated Bridge to Sell You (A Defense of the Warehouse)" by Rob Gonzalez (Cambridge Semantics). Here, Michael Lang, CEO & Founder of Revelytix, weighs in on the degree to which federating information using semantic technology could compete with the capabilities delivered by data warehouses.]

The term “federation” is used often in the IT domain, but I have never seen it precisely defined, so here goes: A federation is a collection of entities that act according to a set of policies such that all of the entities interoperate and integrate with each other, and as a collection it is viewed as a single entity. Of course this definition is a description of the United States of America (which is a federation) – the road systems are integrated and interoperable, so are the legal systems of the states; and it could be applied equally well to the IT infrastructure of any large enterprise or the World Wide Web (emphasis on could), if we put the right pieces in place to make an IT infrastructure a federation. Read more

Hakia Semantic Search Engine Powers New Stock Intelligence Service


Pssst…want a hot stock tip? Perhaps you might want to check out Hakia-search powered SENSENews, while you still can. The new service aggregates information from news and social media and filters it so as to produce a score to characterize the performance of a company. Individual subscriptions to the semantic-enabled service will be available for a limited time, as the main targets for SENSENews are outfits such as trading houses and hedge funds.

As Dr. Riza C. Berkan, Hakia’s founder, CEO, inventor and chief scientist describes it, the service works on a simple principle: “If there is good news accumulated and the stock price has not yet responded to it, that means the stock is undervalued, because it will respond eventually. Or the other way around,” he says. Its stock indicator service will determine on any given day whether a stock is undervalued or overvalued – which could translate to a buy or sell proposition.

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