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The Internet Technology

Berners-Lee Deconstructs a Bag of Chips 128

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-do-this-with-teeth dept.
itwbennett writes "At the O'Reilly Gov 2.0 Expo, being held this week in Washington, DC, Tim Berners-Lee compared the concept of linked open data to a bag of Utz Kettle Classics Crunchy Potato chips: 'The outside of the bag contains different sets of information, each using a different vocabulary and coming from a different source, Berners-Lee explained. The front of the package displays the name of the brand and the company's own marketing claim that the chips are crunchy. The back of the package has nutritional information, such as calories and vitamins, defined by terms generated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Finally, there is a Universal Product Code (UPC) bar code on the bottom of the package, which is not understood by humans at all but rather is recognized by scanning machines globally as the moniker for the item. In other words, this single package of information actually is a collection of data and attributes that have been developed by multiple parties, not just Utz.'"
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Berners-Lee Deconstructs a Bag of Chips

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  • that is news for nerds, since when? They talk about information and transmission of information, but I see nothing about entropy, shannon's law or even mentioning that the rule of markov chain applies here, and the amount of information transferred to the end user can be only worse or equal to the amount of information that has been put on the label.

    • by bsDaemon (87307) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @08:58AM (#32360814)

      Nerds are notorious consumers of potato chips... it's the chips that are the nerd angle here, although I agree, it would have been more clear had he used a tube of Pringles instead.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by RivenAleem (1590553)

        It is also important to note that despite what might be written on the outside of the bag, the contents cannot be empirically verified until observed directly, after which they usually promptly cease to exist.

      • Yeah, I think Utz are limited to the North East of the United States. He probably should have said Lays if he at least wanted the whole United States to understand.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I was born and raised in the land of Utz (Hanover, PA) and let me tell you, Utz is a far better chip than anything Lays or Pringles (blech) offers. Especially the Kettle Classics that Mr. Berners-Lee used in his demo. They are indeed very crunchy and extremely flavorful because they're cooked in 100% peanut oil from potatoes grown locally and genetically bred to produce the perfect chip. The "Smokin' Sweet" flavor is by far the best of the Kettle Classics. If you aren't able to get Utz where you live, I bel

          • Utz brand cheese puffs/balls (I forget the exact name) are really good, too. They have a buttery flavor and are as addictive as I imagine heroin or the like to be.

          • Pfft.

            Krinkle Kut Kettle Chips FTW!

            • by bsDaemon (87307)

              Where are these KKK Chips from? Stone Mountain, GA?

              • Kettle Foods
                Salem, Oregon

                Not even A) remotely near Stone Mountain, GA and B) not even remotely the connotation you added.

                HAND

                • by bsDaemon (87307)

                  well, a Google search shows that they spell the cut with a 'c', likely to avoid this sort of thing in the first place.

          • by PybusJ (30549)

            ... unless of course, you're horribly allergic to peanuts. ... because you'd probably be dead :)

            Peanut allergies are caused by a reaction to peanut protein not to the oil. Peanut allergy sufferers should not react [globalnet.co.uk] to refined peanut oil. Of course unrefined, or poor quality oil which may be contaminated with nut protein could be dangerous.

            If Utz use good quality ingredients then you probably wouldn't be dead. On the other hand, having a nut allergy, I would avoid them myself.

        • I know they're readily available as far south as where I am in central North Carolina.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by localtoast (611553)
          http://www.utzsnacks.com/store/ [utzsnacks.com] There. Fixed that for you.
      • Personally I like the Pringles fat free potato chips (uses olestra). The Lays variant isn't too bad either, but not as flavorful

      • by Sleepy (4551)

        >it would have been more clear had he used a tube of Pringles instead.

        Tubes ARE teh Internet!

    • Since forever (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pharmboy (216950) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:39AM (#32361230) Journal

      Transmission of information through labels.....that is news for nerds, since when?

      Since it concerns Sir Tim [wikipedia.org], the guy who literally invented the web. If Linus Torvald was hired to design the new Chevy Camero, it would also be news worthy on /. When important people in the technology industry do interesting things that may or may not be directly related to actually compiling code, some of us nerds like to know.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by WillDraven (760005)

        It amazes me sometimes when people object like this, especially when their own post refers to it as "Transmission of information!" How the hell is that NOT nerdy?

      • by Lord Grey (463613) *

        If Linus Torvald was hired to design the new Chevy Camero, it would also be news worthy on /. When important people in the technology industry do interesting things that may or may not be directly related to actually compiling code, some of us nerds like to know.

        I own a 2010 Camaro SS. I like and respect Linus' work. But if I had any kind of hint that Linus was involved in the Camaro's design, I would have waited for an even-numbered release before buying it.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      "and the amount of information transferred to the end user can be only worse or equal to the amount of information that has been put on the label.
      False.

      You can give people information that leads to other information NOT expressed on the bag. Marketing people do it all the time.

  • by kirill.s (1604911) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @08:54AM (#32360774)
    Much tastier than the average car analogy.
  • by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @08:58AM (#32360822)
    I'm English you insensitive clod! My bag of chips is hot, greasy and with no writing on it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by FriendlyLurker (50431)

      My bag of chips is hot, greasy and with no writing on it.

      Not like in the good old days, when it came wrapped in newspaper - lucky you if you scored the page 3 girl in the process of consuming hot, greasy chips...

    • by ArcherB (796902) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:34AM (#32361182) Journal

      I'm English you insensitive clod! My bag of chips is hot, greasy and with no writing on it.

      I'm in Texas. Our chips are large, brownish-green and steamy when fresh. After rainy days, you will find hippies from the Austin area looking for mushrooms growing on them.

      • I'm in Texas. Our chips are large, brownish-green and steamy when fresh. After rainy days, you will find hippies from the Austin area looking for mushrooms growing on them.

        Strangely this is also true for your women. ;)

    • So is Tim Berners-Lee (which I'm surprised an English slashdot geek didn't know). That's probably why he didn't say "chips," but rather "Utz Kettle Classics Crunchy Potato Chips," which is more specific.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      And your wrong for it~

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      There are over* 305,000,000 people [usnews.com] who call them "potato chips" and only 61,126,832 [answers.com] people who call them "crisps". You're outnumbered five to one.

      And unlike tyres, they were invented by an American [wikipedia.org].

      *Probably more, since I'm sure Americans aren't the only ones who call them "chips".

  • by Anonymous Coward

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ga1aSJXCFe0

  • Crisps (Score:2, Funny)

    by dandart (1274360)
    Nomnomnomnomnom.
    And besides, it's crisps. Both he and I are British!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jedidiah (1196)

      Yes... chips are what they call french fries.

      Two nations separated by a common language...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dangitman (862676)

        Yes... chips are what they call french fries.

        No. "French Fries" derive their name from julienning, the French term for cutting into thin strips. British chips are not thinly julienned, they are more thickly sliced, though not as thickly as "wedges."

        French Fries and English Chips are not the same thing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jedidiah (1196)

          > French Fries and English Chips are not the same thing.

          This is probably going to be the most absurdly funny thing posted all week.

        • Although many road-side fresh-cut french fry places I know of serve something very similar to chips. Only fast food restaurants cut them so thinly.

        • French fries are what you get at a McDonalds. Chips are what you get with your steak in a franchise restaurant.
        • by geekoid (135745)

          Potato / potato

          While you are technically correct, you aren't actually correct in any practical manner fr anyone who isn't a chef.

      • by OzPeter (195038)

        Yes... chips are what they call french fries.

        Two nations separated by a common language...

        You mean "Freedom Fries" don't you?

        If I was French I'd be really insulted by the US for that, especially as they helped them break the yoke of the oppressor and then gave them that statue of the tall lady that hangs out near NYC.

        • by dangitman (862676)

          If I was French I'd be really insulted by the US for that,

          You don't need to be French to be offended by that, most Americans are too. Although, on the other hand, doesn't it imply that France is actually the land of freedom?

        • Truly ironic I thought, considering the use of the word 'Freedom' to replace 'French' when 'France' supported 'Liberty' in the USA.

          Just a side-note to all the (not North) Americans who aren't aware, "your" statue of liberty is also on the back of French coins.

        • I am French and the "Freedom Fries" debacle is such an old story nowadays... there's no point in being insulted by that anymore, or in rekindling the debate. Do Americans still label their fries like that ? Don't answer that, I actually don't care if some Americans are still silly enough to do so. From my point of view, the reaction in France at the time was a collective "Meh. Those silly Américains again." It's never been a big deal. The big deal at the time was the USA waging an unnecessary war aga

          • by FooAtWFU (699187)

            Oh, good lord. "Freedom Fries" lasted about two weeks, maybe eight weeks in parts of Texas, and it was a harmless silly way to snub France and complain while they were being recalcitrant themselves. Most people, by this point, have forgotten 90% of the matter, except maybe for the fact that it's amusing to call the French "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" (not because they are, or are not, but because they enjoy name-calling, and this is one name that lives in the archives.)

          • by OzPeter (195038)

            It's never been a big deal. The big deal at the time was the USA waging an unnecessary war against Irak, not what some people wanted to call their fried bits of potato.

            This is getting OT but .... I'm not American but am living in the US. The level of anti-French sentiment at the time was pretty high - renaming food stuffs and pouring wine down drains. But even now I get the feeling that a lot of people in the US still carry anti-French sentiment

    • America invented it, we get to name it. :p
  • by Wormfoud (1749176) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:12AM (#32360940)
    Yes, but my bag of Potato chips does not relay the number of chips and their associated calories and fat content back to the vendor, who then sells the information to my health care provider who then raises my rates because I am a risky eater. (At least, not yet....)
  • by emmjayell (780191) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:17AM (#32360986)

    Later that day Tim used some toilet paper and noted that although the manufacturer said that it was a soft as a cloud, cloud computing is not ready for the toilet yet.

  • TBL uses nutritional information on a bag of potato chips as an example of effective communication at a conference in a country with epidemic obesity rates.

  • Sorry, TB-L, you've completely lost me. Come up with something about tubes or cars - or GTFO.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Come up with something about tubes or cars

      Pringles come in tubes, and many people eat them in cars.

  • The front of the package displays the name of the brand and the company's own marketing claim that the chips are crunchy. The back of the package has nutritional information, such as calories and vitamins, defined by terms generated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    And there are fat nerds consuming the chips, too!

  • by ericlj (81729) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:06AM (#32361556)

    He's wrong. Utz developed all the information put on the package (with the possible exception of the base part of their UPC number). Some of the information is required to be there by others, but they don't create the information. Some of the formats (the bar code, for example) are created by others, but they don't create the information. Further, none of that information is guaranteed to be correct, and the only party responsible if it's not is Utz.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ogrisel (1168023)
      The point of Tim Berners-Lee is to say that the vocabulary used to provide the nutritional information was standardized by FDA and related laws. ("defined by *terms* generated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)", emphasis mine). The valuation of those properties or terms on this specific packaging are produced by Utz. To speak the semantic web lingua, the nutrition info ontology has been authored by FDA while the instance data on the package was authored by Utz reusing the FDA ontology.
    • by Bugamn (1769722)
      A better analogy would say that is like a car owned by uncle Utz, who receives information from other people to write there, and it is his fault if it's wrong?
    • by geekoid (135745)

      Way to miss the point.

      The way the nutrianal information ir presented is different then the marketing information both of which is different then th Barcode.

      All three are there for different reason and mandata, and all three work well together to give the user the information.

      It's how th real world works, and it's how data information is now working.
      It's called "5th Generation computing".

      You should read Mota-oka's Keynote speech: "Challenge for knowledge information processing" systems written in 1982.
      It ext

  • Grandma Utz's are fried in lard. Old school, sinful, delicious lard. Where does that fit in his analogy?

    http://www.utzsnacks.com/products/grandmachips.html [utzsnacks.com]

  • by BlindSpot (512363) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:46AM (#32362102)

    "Oh shit, my speech, I forgot all about it! I shouldn't have stayed out drinking until 2am last night..."
    "Must find inspiration, quickly..."
    *sees chip bag in garbage*
    "Ah, a chip bag! Maybe I can use this somehow..."
    *scrawls some notes*
    "Hey this might just work..."
    *15 minutes of feverish writing*
    "YES! An entire speech on linked open data based on a bag of chips. My career is safe!"
    "Hey, maybe I'll even get a few cases from Utz as a thank you for mentioning them..."

  • "Linked data is data you can click on. It will take you to another data set."

    I've thought since early 2000's that our data structures (like JSON) need the concept of a pointer. What would it look like? A URL, of course -- a URL pointing to yet more JSON data.

    {"name": "Lion Kimbro", "favorite color": "yellow", "homepage": "http://www.speakeasy.org/~lion/", "friends": [http://example.org/joel, http://example.org/whit [example.org], http://example.org/phil [example.org], http://example.org/amber%5D [example.org]}

    The idea here being that you have API

  • I'll take this potato chip...AND EAT IT!

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