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C|Net Integrates Ontology Viewer Into News Site 127

ikewillis writes "The new beta version of now features an integrated ontology viewer developed in collaboration with LivePlasma who appears to have built a large ontology for music and movies. While they don't appear to provide direct access to the ontological data using semantic web formats like OWL and RDF, it's the first time I've ever seen web ontologies used on such a high profile site. How long until we can expect web ontology viewers (and semantic web integration) for sites like Wikipedia?"
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C|Net Integrates Ontology Viewer Into News Site

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  • That do want it or not, the semantic web is coming!
    • No its not (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sfcat ( 872532 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @06:43PM (#13700536)
      I am tired of people touting the Semantic Web. It isn't a good idea just because it came out of the W3C. I'll explain...

      The semantic web expects everyone to agree on one ontological framework (one master ontology) and further for each and every web page to markup parts of the page (or the entire page) by indicating parts of the ontology which refer to that piece of text. Then a search engine will come along and use the semantic information encoded in OWL (or some other RDF variant) to know what the page is able and to provide better search results.

      The problem is that this process puts far far far too much responsiblity on the web page author. First, they must be aware of this obsecure project. Second, they must understand ontologies and markup their pages honestly. Third, they must maintain this knowledge against shifting ontologies, and the drift of human language both geographically and over time.

      Ignoring for a second that people tend to spam search engines in the ever increasing competition for hits. Most people don't have the time, expertese or patience to add this information to the page. It will just be used to fool the search bot just like the meta tags that most search engines currently ignore.

      There are good WSD (word sense disabiguation) technologies currently being developed that can figure out from context clues which meaning for a specific word is intended by the author. And these tools are generally built around wordnet which is the ontology that most AI researchers use (and it isn't in RDF, OIL, OWL or any of the other stuff from the W3C). AI researchers know the semantic web won't work because of the reasons outlined above and a few more I can't think of right now. Search engines are pretty good and will only be getting better with time. Quit pimping the semantic web. It only makes you look ignorate in the eyes of the AI community.

      • by NickFitz ( 5849 )

        There are good WSD (word sense disabiguation) technologies...

        Was that meant to be disambiguation by any chance?

      • I wont go into point by point response. You bring valid concerns, but none that cannot be solved.

        Let me just say that those who don't think semantic web can really happen are those who would have said the same thing about the web in it's very first steps.

        I know I will be flamed, but let's take a bet. I'm sure we will see a full semantic web worldwide implementation before we see any AI mainstream succes. Never mind, one day, when semWeb will meet AI, things are going to change forever!

      • Re:No its not (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DrEasy ( 559739 )

        The semantic web expects everyone to agree on one ontological framework (one master ontology) and further for each and every web page to markup parts of the page (or the entire page) by indicating parts of the ontology which refer to that piece of text.

        I don't think that's necessarily true. Metadata markup doesn't have to be embedded within the web page, therefore a third party could create RDF statements relating documents that were created by traditional web designers.

      • The semantic web expects everyone to agree on one ontological framework (one master ontology)

        WRONG ! Semantic Web expects minimal agreement within communities and domains, for example all camera companies agree on a 'camera ontology' and TV companies create a 'TV ontology', such domain specific ontologies may or may not be linked to a 'master ontology'.
        SW is very much out there.. and is already weaved in to the Web of today..

        - ALL the PDFs and Adobe documents that you use have RDF embedded [] in them

      • Re:No its not (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Narphorium ( 667794 )

        The semantic web expects everyone to agree on one ontological framework (one master ontology)..

        The Semantic Web does not expect everyone to agree on one ontological framework. At the core of the Semantic Web Architecture [] is the concept of XML namespaces which allow you to differentiate overlapping ontologies. In other words, the Semantic Web is designed to take into account different views of the same domains and provides mechanisms to map between these different views.

        The problem is that this pro

      • Ontologies have allready been hugely successful: it's called Object Oriented Programming. The two are very similar, and you can read up about the similarities in detail on my blog [] [1] [2] [3]

        The Semantic Web does not expect everyone to agree on an ontological framework, just as OO programming does not require everyone to use everyone else's classes. When you write an little java ontology (also known as a class library), you put your 'ontology' in a special name space which allows mixing and matching. To g

  • Hopefully Never (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thanatopsis ( 29786 ) <despain.brian@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:05PM (#13699829) Homepage
    I have never found that view on the data very usedul. It's a solution in search of a problem to my mind.
    • I agree. It's not even pleasant to look at. I like the idea of visually and conceptually re-designing the index, but this is a failed attempt to do so imho.
    • I want an integrated ability to accept some sort of search term to "prune down" the resulting ontology tree. The thing's fun to clikc on but sometimes I also need more focused results that it can provide -- I feel like I'm in a boat floating around the ocean. Of course a plain text box might suffice for my need too. I hope they find the problem for their solution over time.
    • It's a solution in search of a problem to my mind.
      Perhaps. The same could be said (by most people) of the WWW when it first appeared. I remember thinking that the GUI (i.e. Mosaic) was sort of nice, and the html was sort of interesting, but it wasn't clear to me that it was anything more than a friendly user interface to FTP and Gopher. Turns out, I was wrong. So perhaps these "ontology"/"semantic web" things are a bit clunky now, but that's okay. They are addressing a real issue with the Web. Since th
      • I remember thinking that the GUI (i.e. Mosaic) was sort of nice, and the html was sort of interesting, but it wasn't clear to me that it was anything more than a friendly user interface to FTP and Gopher. Turns out, I was wrong.

        Please tell me where you were wrong ;-)

    • Re:Hopefully Never (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ccady ( 569355 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @05:13PM (#13700133) Journal

      There are many area where an ontological search (not necessarily graphical like C|Net) is very useful. For example. I started writing a search engine for medical texts which used a medical ontology underneath. It made it so you could search for "heart attack" and get back results about "myocardial infarction" which never mentioned the term "heart attack."

      An ontology can make your search much better.

    • Re:Hopefully Never (Score:5, Interesting)

      by null etc. ( 524767 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @05:25PM (#13700197)
      When evaluating this technology's potential, one must take care to separate criticism of its view from the inherent data representation underneath.

      For instance, as useful as Google is, it's a pain to try to perform queries for things such as "a disease that begins with the letter 'c' and involves a body's inability to produce energy from flour-based foods". With an ontology-based data source, one simply needs to write an interface that allows the user to construct such queries using a formal grammar:

      x.term.beginsWith ('c')
      x.classification ('medical disease')
      x.attributes.symptoms.searchTerms ('flour produce energy')
      etc. that's just one possible example, but semantic knowledge is infinitely more powerful than grammatical knowledge, and ontology is the genesis requirement of semantic webs.
      • Re:Hopefully Never (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Tyler Eaves ( 344284 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @06:13PM (#13700413)
        Yes, in a world in which 95% of users can't grasp simple boolean modifiers, such a scheme would surely be a success!
        • Re:Hopefully Never (Score:4, Insightful)

          by civilizedINTENSITY ( 45686 ) on Monday October 03, 2005 @01:42AM (#13701951)
          "Score:5, Insightful" ...but I've noticed a tendency of late for people to post: "In a world where people are too stupid to use computers anyway, what good is...(insert technology here)." Is it insightful? Tuning in TV signals used to be difficult. Using a telephone used to be difficult. As stupid as people are, they aren't as stupid as we so often portray them.

          Technology makes new things possible.

          Interfaces get better.

          People adapt.
        • 95% of users can't grasp simple boolean modifiers

          Is that true?


      • Well I have seen that particular form of representation hundreds of times. In 1996 a friend did a Java applet with the same representational view. I agree the underlying data structure is far more important. What I find annoying is the visual representation of the relationships. It adds nothing to my knowledge of the subject. This particular form of visual interface is just plain not very useful.
        • It's not about visual representation, it's about finding the right things, even when things are called differently.

          Perhaps it will help in translating issues as well. Since it is not about syntax, which you may or may not 'speak', it's about semantics, which we all understand.

          Still I'm a bit pessemistic in how far this will work eventually, the ontologies written are as specific as the designers of them want them to be. Which leaves a big gap between the different ontologies, even on the same subject.
          When t
        • Well I have seen that particular form of representation hundreds of times. In 1996 a friend did a Java applet with the same representational view. I agree the underlying data structure is far more important. What I find annoying is the visual representation of the relationships. It adds nothing to my knowledge of the subject. This particular form of visual interface is just plain not very useful.

          I think this is a matter of 'one size does not fit all'. I'm not claiming that graph browsers do work for you

      • Re:Hopefully Never (Score:3, Informative)

        by r55man ( 615542 )

        For instance, as useful as Google is, it's a pain to try to perform queries for things such as "a disease that begins with the letter 'c' and involves a body's inability to produce energy from flour-based foods".

        I just typed in "disease digest flour" (minus the quotes) into Google, and the third match was Celiac Disease, which I'm assuming is the correct answer. It didn't seem like much of a pain in the ass to me -- it took less than 15 seconds, including the time to think up the search terms. I don't s

        • I suspect that for visually oriented individuals there might be more comfort associated with pictoral filtering. The fact is that working in a computer lab on campus I've helped people who *do* think that search engines are hard. Sometimes it isn't so much a matter of wording a query in a deliberately obtuse fashion, as it is having diffuclty 1) generating multiple forms and 2)selecting the best form from amongst them. I'd like to suggest that "Care to try again?" is the right question, but the answer is
      • Re:Hopefully Never (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        "Genesis requirement"? *chuckle* What does that express that the simple word 'prerequisite' couldn't give you? Not that I know how anyone else feels about it, but I deliberately avoid technologies like this that attract tossers in such numbers. Every time I read something about the semantic web, it's all neologisms and awkward, pretentious phrasings. Too reminiscent of dotbomb hype and snake oil salesmen in general.

        I don't think I'm alone in this either. Thing is, no one cares how smart you are if they are
  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:11PM (#13699865)
    I've noticed, for example, that the "Macintosh" (the computer) section of Google News often has non-Macintosh-related stories about sports, crimes, political events, etc. just because a person named "Macintosh" was named in the story. Smarter semantic analysis of news stories would help better categorize articles.
    • Smarter semantic analysis would obviate the need for broadcasting this information over the Internet, allowing the host computer to digest news articles free from human interference. Link this to an automated voting system, and we've solved the problem of democracy--stupid and uninformed voters. Diebold's ground-breaking work on decoupling fallible human voters from the political process is just a small taste of the bold new future that awaits us.
    • I think your problem is solved by simply using better keyword combinations. "Apple Macintosh" is going to get what you want, if another person wanted a person, they should throw in a first name or where they made their name known, say, "Macintosh baseball".

      I've seen a complaint in a Slashdot story long ago on a similar topic, complaining that searching for "Paris Hilton" gets you that American whore when they wanted the hotel in France. That's easily solved by just using "Hilton Hotel France".
  • Ontology (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sarcastic Assassin ( 788575 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:11PM (#13699866) Journal
    For the uninformed, here is some valuable information about ontology. []
    • Re:Ontology (Score:2, Redundant)

      by game kid ( 805301 )
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Would define words that 99% of the universe has never heard of. I think most people reading the article had no idea what "ontology" means, including the submitter, until he read CNET's article on it.
    • If that doesn't clear it up, using google [], I found this definition helpful, especially as it relates to a website:

      the study of the broadest range of categories of existence, which also asks questions about the existence of particular kinds of objects, such as numbers or moral facts.

      I'm sure Cnet is on to something here, but for the life of me, I don't know what it could be. Will both of the people who understand how this is useful explain it to the rest of it.
  • functional (Score:5, Informative)

    by icepick72 ( 834363 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:13PM (#13699868)
    To get an actual working version of this thing, you have to go to the beta news site [] and then click on any of the story headlines.
    • Re:functional (Score:5, Informative)

      by advocate_one ( 662832 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:25PM (#13699914)
      It needs Flash... without it, there's no fancy schmancy picture...
      • Re:functional (Score:2, Interesting)

        by icepick72 ( 834363 )
        ... and did anybody notice after you visit the beta version of site [], you are automatically pushed back to it whenever you try to go to the regular []? (try it with these links -- weird) Looks like some cookie magic. Looks like they want their readership to fall over to the new site. Considering this is /. it's more like a mass exodus to the beta version.
        • I don't think it's cookie stuff - by coincidence I went to about an hour ago before I saw this story and got pushed to the beta site, with the weird news context flash ontology thing.

          And I haven't been to cnet news for a couple of weeks before today.
          • They must be testing stuff out. Right now I keep getting pushed to the beta site after having visited only once, even after closing/re-opening my web browser (Mozilla or IE). However I can clear my browser cookies and then gain access to the "old" version again. I think it's a mildy smart technique on CNet's behalf, kind of like Google didn't bring everybody over to Gmail all at once but kept the base coming overly slowly.
    • "To get an actual working version of this thing, you have to go to the beta news site and then click on any of the story headlines."

      To get an actual working version of the thing, I prefer to download the source. This is cute, but it's not really interesting to me unless it has some value to the community.

      I'm not simply standing on principle here, either. In order to be a widely useful tool, the Semantic Web has to expose data formats that are open and useful. In other words, it's not what you do with th

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Wikipedia's plans concerning the SW can be found here: [].

    From the site:

    "The WikiProject "Semantic MediaWiki" provides a common platform for discussing extensions of the MediaWiki software that allow for simple, machine-based processing of Wiki-content. This usually requires some form of "semantic annotation," but the special Wiki environment and the multitude of envisaged applications impose a number of additional requirements."
  • Ever since Java 1.0 was released with one of those stretchy "network graph" applets, I've been waiting to see them used as the navigational paradigm for webpages. Pages force us to look at a connected "graph" of linked objects sequentially, hiding the overall relationship among objects. It's been 10 years - maybe now we'll finally get this stuff to work.
    • What you're describing is kind of pointless unless you're doing SEO. Documents are read sequentially, after all. The Holy Grail of ontological/semantic structure is the zzStructure []. Instead of making a "web page" the fundamental unit of information content on the web, you make semantically categorized fragments (sentences, paragraphs, etc) the fundamental unit. Then you use server-side scripting to parse a request and apply rules to the semantic categorizations to build a single authoritative non-redund
      • Documents are read sequentiall when that's all we've got. Google is popular because it lets us skip irrelevant documents we'd have to traverse by links. Viewing a map of the links, with titles, lets us see the relationships. Even Google uses those relationships to increase the relevance of search results. Visualizing them would really help. Whether the links are retrieval URLs or thematic consistency.
        • Documents are read sequentiall when that's all we've got.

          You misunderstood. The sentences, paragraphs, sections, etc. within a document are read in sequence. Google lets you jump between documents easily, but that's contrary to the zzStructures goal -- which is to make useful documents from a large body of fragments with little redundancy and with no context switching. If a zzStructure backend were implemented, you wouldn't need to skip any documents, because the document generated by your query would a

          • Well, then you're talking about infradocument fragment structure. Which is a great goal of "the semantic Web" that the perversion of HTML into presentation, rather than structure, makes long overdue. However, until that structure is delivered in actual documents, the Web's main structure is per-page. Which is what I'm talking about, the network graph that reflects the links among pages. When fragments are explicitly structured (or accurately derived), the network graph of relationships among them will still
  • by smoondog ( 85133 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:16PM (#13699882)
    I am disappointed with the lack of support in MediaWiki for ontologies and controlled vocabularies. I have been playing around with wikis for annotating outdoor activities my site at [] and I am finding that it would be great to have tighter integration of controlled vocabularies. For example, if a hike occurs in Mt. Rainier National Park, I have to make sure that it is always annotated as the same string, instead of annotating with a key that always refers to Mt. Rainier NP. Users who annotate using different strings (such as 'Mount Rainier NP') either need to be fixed or they remain semantically disjointed. The cool thing about wikis is that these ontologies could grow with the knowledgebase, and allow users to select existing terms as they are needed. They could even be extracted and used elsewhere. If the edit page had an 'insert term' button, it could take care of the backend on its own, maybe using categories as an ontology.
    • by rmull ( 26174 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:26PM (#13699923) Homepage
      It seems to me that the entire point of the wiki is to do away controlled vocabularies. [] is a good read about these kind of things - he doesn't talk about wikis in particular, but the same things apply.
      • I remember reading that article some time ago, and loving it. Sometimes academic eggheads get it right (using CSS to separate form from content), and sometimes they labor for years on an idea that you can show to be worthless in a single page (like the Semantic Web). And here I just spent twenty minutes googling for it because I couldn't remember the author's name, I finally found it so that I could show it to the world... and you already found it. Good stuff, eh?
      • Actually it would seem that taking the arguement to its conclusion, whenever you aren't dealing with a formal, stable, restricted edge, smallish domain, you should use google. Why even have wikis? The thing is that categories and search engines are two qualitatively different methods. I tend to use search engines when I know what I want. On the other hand, category based models are interesting to browse to very quickly see what sort of subjects are associated with what I'm interested in. I use categori
      • There's a difference between trying to control vocab for every wiki, and doing so for a small subset. Wikis has a category system. Unlike typical categorization, an article can be under multiple categories, so it's not restrictive. Unfortunately, categories aren't very well integrated. Categories should set the "scope" of articles that are in the category. "Overlapping scope" issues aren't a serious problem; article editors can just be warned.
  • by Helpadingoatemybaby ( 629248 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:18PM (#13699886)
    I've been working for months on my colostomy viewer website! They stole my idea and just changed a couple of letters! Once again it's the big guy beating up the little guy!

    And now I'm sitting here with a room full of sticky webcams!

    I guess I just came at this from the wrong angle.

  • agreed... (Score:3, Informative)

    by zecg ( 521666 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:19PM (#13699891)
    ..I came, I saw, I dragged stuff around for a second and then introduced the string "*plasma*swf" to Mr. Adblock.
  • Jay M. Tenenbaum gave a talk at AAAI-05 on the Semantic Web, asking people working in Artificial Intelligence to take a more active interest in its development. In his view, the idea is to provide systems with the type of data that would be exceptionally good for artificially intelligent systems to work with, but that without the support of the AI community, we would never arrive at that.
  • Wikipedia... (Score:5, Informative)

    by presroi ( 657709 ) <> on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:25PM (#13699916) Homepage
    Maybe the poster was looking for something like that [].
  • speaks for itself (Score:4, Insightful)

    by idlake ( 850372 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:25PM (#13699921)
    I think the quality of that "ontology" speaks for itself.

    People have been trying to draw these little graphs for years, and I have yet to see one that actually is more useful than a simple textual presentation.

    What would that look like? Something like this:

    Related Topics:
    - Music Players
    - Cell Phones
    - Gadgets
    Related Stories:
    - Motorola introduces the Uberfrob [in Motorola]
    - Apple and Motorola team up [in Apple, Motorola]
    - Microsoft's new media player has Really Secure DRM now [in Microsoft]

    If it gets more complex than that, you can use multiple levels of indentation to group things (but don't you go out and patent that now!).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:26PM (#13699927)

    from the w3 OWL page []

    "...a web ontology language. An ontology formally defines a common set of terms that are used to describe and represent a domain. Ontologies can be used by automated tools to power advanced services such as more accurate web search, intelligent software agents and knowledge management."

  • by EricFenderson ( 64220 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:28PM (#13699936)
    ...I do not think it means what you think it means.

    From Merriam-Webster:
    Main Entry: ontology
    Pronunciation: än-'tä-l&-jE
    Function: noun
    Etymology: New Latin ontologia, from ont- + -logia -logy
    1 : a branch of metaphysics concerned with the nature and relations of being
    2 : a particular theory about the nature of being or the kinds of existents
  • What about Dmoz? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Etcetera ( 14711 ) * on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:32PM (#13699956) Homepage

    The Open Directory Project []

    I would think the significant volunteer work done towards creating a freely-usable (with attribution) ontology of the web would be useful for a project such as this, even if the actual *content* wasn't.

    The same for use in WikiPedia, actually... hmm.

  • by DingerX ( 847589 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:41PM (#13699996) Journal
    The viewer brings up at the bottom:

    The Website does exist.
  • Wordnet at Princeton (Score:4, Informative)

    by kronocide ( 209440 ) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @04:43PM (#13700003) Homepage Journal
    Wordnet is a free semantic database with ~150,000 words and their semantic relations, and libs for several programming languages. I have played with it a lot over the years and it's an amazing database. (There are also versions being created for other languages than English.) []
  • ... that lead in is hard to read if you only know the original, useful definition of ontology, as opposed to the modern buzzword-tastic definition.
  • Wow (Score:1, Informative)

    by Cocoronixx ( 551128 )
    What a totally useless feature.
  • Stanford just got it's 2nd NIH super-center for biomedical comptuing -- this one on Ontologies

    see r/computation.html []

    soon ontologies will be to computing what politics is to governemnt

  • Why do they insist on using

    Do they think that is cool? Personally I think it makes them look very stupid, I'm curious what others think?
    I wrote them an email me asking them why they do it, I doubt I'll get a response though.

    Back to the viewer though, it looks very fancy and all but how much practical application does it have? How many people care a story has a thin link to another story because they both were sniffed at by Yahoo last week?

    Not to knock it though, it seems to work well.
    • Do they think that is cool?

      I know I do :-)

      I also think,, and is cool (not the sites, but the domainname). And all the other silly domains, like,,,,, and so on...

      But then again, I could be a bit geeky here...

    • (Score:3, Insightful)

      by blincoln ( 592401 )
      Why do they insist on using

      Probably so they can share cookies between all of the sites they own, since they're all tied to
      • Yes, of course, I should have thought of that.

        The perfect way to own a bunch of different domains but tie them all in together.

        Thanks for pointing out what should have been obvious to me :)
  • This reminds me of Public Information Research, Inc.'s [] java diagrams.

    Linus Torvalds []

    Click the java diagram link from the top of the static gif diagram.

    This has been around since 2000?

    Also I think in...2002, Touchgraph [] came out with this google browser [], and they have a wiki browser []

    sourceforge project page - touchgraph []
  • It's nice to see SW tech getting more mainstream exposure... Unfortunately, there's still some big issues in user interface design when it comes to working with SW data. If you seriously attempt navigating using a dynamic and unpredictable graph, it quickly becomes a UI nightmare for anything beyond superficial applications.

    I'm part of a team working towards making the 'solution in search of a problem' useful for average users. We have a proof-of-concept available at our site: []

  • Solution seeks Problem - for meaningful relationship.
  • Where do we want the semantic web most? Search, for now (later, AI :) Which means that it would take a long, long time for it to become useful if we wait for a large proportion of sites in the world to do the rework themselves.

    But, what if we use the same technologies that allow for p2p annotation of sites (like Greasemonkey,, to, with few clicks, vote on the relation of the important ideas in a site? You'd have to have a credibility/karma/trust system, as some of the most important relati

    • I for one welcome our googled semantic Ontomological overlords. But seriously...yes trans-linguistic queries would be extremely helpful and this peer to peer idea has alot of merit. In fact I was actually wondering how this could be done froma parallel perspective instead of a top down...and peer works. I cannot believe that straponego's post has not been modded up to insightful...but I guess its a matter of time... which is the one flaw in a peer based system with "superpeers"...the time cost..BUT in th
  • The poster nor the moderator bother to actually define what "ontology": is. So I looked it up in the dictionary. "The branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being." Sounds like the media is finally starting to take a good, close look at themselves. And their navels.

    Come on, folks. Not everybody knows what 'ontology' is (in the context of the web) nor should they. I've been a computer professional for 20 years and I didn't know. I really grow tired of the whole 'if you don't know then you don't bel
  • Beyond the question of whether this beats some bullet lists, C/Net's version sucks. The flash for the $100 laptop is big enough to fill most of a smaller screen. And, it has exactly these pieces of information
    * 3 related stories
    * 5 related topics
    * 1 related company
    Half of those links are pretty much irrelevant. The worst one is "Piracy". I'm not sure if that links is because theft of these things is a major issue (I doubt it since the goal is to give them to every school kid) or because it will somehow
    • A lot of people seem to be missing the point with this idea. The point is not necessarily to present *relevant* information, although that helps. The point is to present information which the user wouldn't have found otherwise, such that they will be interested in it. Big difference.
    • I'm sorry, you can't pan? Did you maybe spend a single moment attempting such a basic feature? You'll note that clicking anywhere on the diagram actually, *gasp*, pans the diagram to that central point! Please don't criticise something if you haven't taken the time to see if your criticism is in any way relevant or truthful.
      • Maybe in your browser. It's not working in mine (and presumably everyone else using a similar mix of browser and os). Which means C/Net didn't test it enough.

        Beyond all that, the core point in my post (you might *gasp* read the post) is that the whole thing is a bloody waste of space that appears to have a low signal-to-noise ratio.
        • They didn't test a beta feature enough before Slashdot independently posted notice of it to the eager nerdy public? Can you see the error in that? Did you report your mix of os/browser to the team to let them know of the error? As far as signal-to-noise ratio goes, I'll say this: I was looking at an Adobe-related news story when I was testing the feature. It linked up with Adobe's purchase of Macromedia, which then linked to a story about Intel and Macromedia working together on some 3D things. So what
  • Ornithology? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Excellent, I have been lacking an easy to access directory of birds. Owls, eagles, falcons, finches.. these are all things I am now able to view while browsing a technology news website.

    Thank you, Science Of The Intercyberwebsupernet.

    In the dot com days, they'd have been trillionaires for doing something like this.
  • Is this a technical appropriation of the word that I'm unaware of? How does a little web diagram mean an "ontology"?

    Either way, I don't think I like it. "Ontology" is not the study of things, it's the study of "being". Ask me about the "ontology for iPods" and I won't tell you about Apple and the features of the iPod. If I bother to take you seriously, expect a lengthy metaphysical discussion about material and form, use and knowledge, and probably god (at some point) will be raised as a real issue. Th

    • Re:"Ontology"? (Score:3, Informative)

      by kronocide ( 209440 )
      It's a bad application of the word based on ambiguation and confusion. The theoretical research that precedes RDF and semantic databases such as Wordnet and CYC is actually much like ontology in the traditional sense. That is, it consists in deciding what sorts of entities qualifies (are "real") and on what grounds, and so on. So the result of such a project was called "an ontology." But since the word is cool-sounding and using it suggests that you Know Stuff(tm), it was inevitable that any relational data
  • Gee.. the amount of dupes it would find :|
  • This is odd timing since I just blogged on Big Picture... []

    Essentially my points are that there are cooler graph packages out there. The other issue being that it's not really a user-focused product. I just don't see many people using this.

  • ... and that is a good thing.

    See: The Semantic Web, Syllogism, and Worldview [].

    Metadata is just data with a non-standard interface. If you get rid of the non-standard interface you will live much happier.
  • While Liveplasma is certainly cool, they didn't build their own Ontology source . . . They used Amazon's Web Services. AWS blogged about it a while ago []
  • The semantic web is impractical for a variety of reasons, most importantly it requires a bunch of people to know a new protocol. Much more practical is to leverage the similarity in the structure of websites like Wikipedia to automatically generate the semantic tags. As an example, it's really easy to scrap off the birthdays of people from the vast majority of wikipedia articles about people.
  • If I was searching for a word that meant "a common set of terms used to describe a domain", I personally would have used the word "lingo". I guess it's just not as cool as overloading "ontology".
  • I refuse to use it until they Hextegrate it into their Epistemic PodCast(tm) Mindshare meta-search concept feature set.
  • Did anyone else feel like this after reading that article summary?

    <family guy>
    Dennis Miller:
    I don't wanna go on a rant here but America's foreign policy makes about as much sense as Beowolf having sex with Robert Fulton at the first Battle of Antetum. I mean when a neo-conservative defenstrates it's like Raskalnakov filibuster dioxymonohydrostinate.
    What the hell does rant mean?
    </family guy>
  • Long live aizing of web!!!

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker