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The Internet

Submission + - 10 Semantic Apps to Watch (

ReadWriteWeb writes: "Semantic web applications are coming out of the woodwork, due to a combination of Semantic Web technologies and Web 2.0. A key element is that the apps try to determine the meaning of text and other data, and then create connections for users. Nova Spivack of Twine noted at the recent Web 2.0 Summit that data portability and connectibility are also crucial for these new semantic apps — i.e. using the Web as platform. This article profiles 10 Semantic Apps and looks at the approaches they are taking."
The Internet

Submission + - Twine: The First Mainstream Semantic Web App? (

ReadWriteWeb writes: "Radar Networks has announced a new Semantic Web application called Twine, which it says will be the first mainstream Semantic Web application. Founder Nova Spivack, who has worked in the past with Semantic Web and AI legends Ray Kurzweil and Danny Hillis (of Thinking Machines), showed a demo of Twine to several reporters today. Spivack described Twine as a "knowledge networking" application. It has aspects of social networking, wikis, blogging, knowledge management systems — but its defining feature is that it's built with Semantic Web technologies including RDF, OWL, SPARQL, XSL. Spivack told Read/WriteWeb that Twine aims to bring a usable and scalable interface to the long-promised dream of the Semantic Web."
The Internet

Submission + - Top-Down: A New Approach to the Semantic Web (

ReadWriteWeb writes: "Alex Iskold puts forward a new approach to the long-held dream of a Semantic Web. Iskold's vision is of a top-down approach to the semantic web. Instead of requiring developers to change or augment the web, this approach leverages and builds on top of the current web. The essence of a top-down semantic web service is simple — leverage existing web information; apply specific, vertical semantic knowledge; and then redeliver the results via a consumer-centric application. Iskold says that we are actually well on our way doing this. Vertical search engines (like Spock, Retrevo, ZoomInfo), page annotating technology from Clear Forrest, Dapper, and the Map+ extension for Firefox are just a few examples of top-down semantic web services."
The Internet

Submission + - 10 Future Web Trends (

An anonymous reader writes: What is the future of the Web? Read/WriteWeb lists 10 Web trends to look out for over the next 10 years. Currently the Web is still mostly accessed via a PC, but we're starting to see more Web usage from mobile devices (e.g. iPhone) and television sets (e.g. XBox Live 360). So the biggest impact of the Web in 10 years time won't necessarily be via computer screens. Expect to see technologies such as the Semantic Web, AI, virtual worlds, attention economy and 'web sites as web services' to ramp up over the next decade.

Submission + - Flash Player 9 Gets H.264 Support (

ReadWriteWeb writes: "Adobe announced today the latest version of its near ubiquitous Web video software, Adobe Flash Player 9. It's codenamed Moviestar, because it includes H.264 standard video support — the same standard deployed in Blu-Ray and HD-DVD high definition video players. In other words, the quality of video has been substantially improved from the previous version of Flash Player 9. Also added to the mix is High Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) audio support and "hardware accelerated, multi-core enhanced full screen video playback".

Adobe claims that these advancements will extend their leadership position in web video "by enabling the delivery of HD television quality and premium audio content"."

The Internet

Submission + - Google on Privacy Concerns With Personalization (

ReadWriteWeb writes: "In this interview with Google's Sep Kamvar, Lead Software Engineer for Personalization at Google, Kamvar responds to concerns about privacy in personalization technologies. He was asked whether privacy is less important now than it used to be — due to the popularity of social networks and social software? To achieve true personalization, do sacrifices need to be made in terms of privacy? Kamvar replied that Google aims to respect user data in the following ways:

1. Choice. Our Web History product is an optional product. Those who don't want it, can opt to not use the product.

2. Transparency. For those users who opt in to the Web History product, we show them their previous queries, so that our users can see all the data that is used to personalize their search results.

3. Control. Our Web History users have the ability to pause Web History at any time, or go back and delete individual items.

4. Data Portability. Our Web History users can export their web history data to another service through an RSS feed.

The Internet

Submission + - Rethinking 'Crossing The Chasm' (

ReadWriteWeb writes: In 1991 Geoffrey A. Moore wrote a book that became widely read and quoted in the business community and turned into a theory — Crossing the Chasm. Moore argued that there is a gap that exists between the early adopters of any technology and the mass market. He explained that many technologies initially get pulled into the market by enthusiasts, but later fail to get wider adoption. So to create a company that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, entrepreneurs need to come up with strategies that will help them build a bridge across that gap.

The problem is that compared to a few years ago, the speed with which new technologies are coming to the market has increased dramatically. All these technologies are aimed at the early adopters. And they love it and they try it. But the question is what happens when your early adopters run off to play with a new great thing before you have a chance to take your technology mainstream?

The Internet

Submission + - Is Facebook Worth the Hype? (

ReadWriteWeb writes: Is the Facebook hype justified? The platform was a brilliant move for Facebook, and they have an opportunity for phenomenal growth. But Facebook hasn't won anything yet. They operate in an industry that has already seen the meteoric rise and fall of a number of sites, and Facebook has yet to prove that they can even reach #1 let alone stay there. Further, if MySpace releases an API in the next six months, Facebook's platform advantage could be greatly minimized. There is also the threat of platforms from Google and Yahoo!.

But it's not hyperbole to say that Facebook's platform is one of the most significant developments in web business this year — even though it isn't as open as the hype would suggest. Facebook has taken the widget culture that caused MySpace to rise to prominence (and allowed piggyback companies like Slide, Photobucket, and RockYou! to gain multi-million dollar valuations), and embraced developers, making it easier for them to make more useful applications for the Facebook ecosystem. The Facebook platform is currently the best way for application developers to quickly reach a potential mass market of Internet users (including many early adopters).

Technology (Apple)

Submission + - How Apple Can Win The PC Battle (

ReadWriteWeb writes: "Despite dropping the word computer from its name, Apple still desperately wants to win the PC market. And recent statistics show they are making progress. Just a year ago Apple's share was close to 2%. Now Apple's Desktops have crossed 10% and the MacBooks now closing on 15% of the laptop market. This puts MacBooks in 4th place behind HP, Toshiba and Gateway. The figures are likely to increase in the 3rd quarter, which is traditionally strong for Apple, because of the back-to-school sales.

Despite the fact that Macs are on the rise and iPods rule already, one can't help but wonder: why are people still using PCs if Macs are so great? One reason is of course cost — Apple computers are usually more expensive than PCs. But another reason is Inertia. When it comes to switch, the cost is not just measured in dollars — it is measured in time and brain power. In addition to cost and learning barriers, there are big corporate barriers as well."

The Internet

Submission + - 4 Years Ago Today, Mozilla Foundation Born (

ReadWriteWeb writes: "4 years ago today, 15 July 2003, AOL Time Warner disbanded Netscape Communications Corporation — the company that sparked the Dot Com Internet boom in the mid-90's with its 1995 IPO. Also 4 years ago today, The Mozilla Foundation was established. mozillaZine reported at the time "that AOL has cut or will cut the remaining team working on Mozilla in a mass firing and are dismantling what was left of Netscape (they've even pulled the logos off the buildings).""
The Internet

Submission + - Outsource Your Brain for Science (

ReadWriteWeb writes: "A new project from the University of Oxford (UK), the University of Portsmouth (UK) and Johns Hopkins University (US) aims to harness the power of the human brain to identify and classify galaxies and stars. On the Galaxy Zoo website, users are asked to identify the objects in photographs as spiral or elliptical galaxies, the direction of rotation, or if the photo depicts a star or merger of galaxies. The site launched yesterday and says they have already had an "amazing response."

"The human brain is actually better than a computer at pattern recognition tasks like this. Whether you spend five minutes, fifteen minutes or five hours using the site your contribution will be invaluable," said Kevin Schawinski of Oxford University of the project."

The Internet

Submission + - Web Companies Lag in Climate Consciousness (

ReadWriteWeb writes: "Climate Counts, which launched on June 19th, is a non-profit website that rates corporations based on their environmental impact. They use a 22-item scorecard that asks questions like "Is there top-level support for climate change action?" and "Does the company require suppliers to take climate change action or give preference to those that do?"

It would seem that web companies (at least large corporations involved in the web) mostly have a long way to go toward helping clean up the environment. Only News Corp., Yahoo! and Microsoft on this list scored favorable ratings. Google scored a rating of "Starting," meaning that they are heading in the right direction but have a long way to go. Also scoring poorly was Apple, which has come under fire for their environmental track record before. This is disappointing, especially given that former US Vice President Al Gore, one of the world's most prominent environmental activists, sits on Apple's Board of Directors."

The Internet

Submission + - Google Loses Gmail Court Case in Germany (

ReadWriteWeb writes: "German courts have confirmed that Google's fight for the G-mail trademark has been lost. 33-year old German businessman Daniel Giersch has won a case against Google, meaning that Google is not permitted to use the "Gmail" name in Germany. Giersch had registered 'G-mail' in 2000, four years before Google came out with its web mail service of the same name.

This is the second time that Google has had to give up the Gmail name — two years ago Google handed over the rights to the name in the UK. Indeed Google is having trouble holding onto the Gmail name in Europe as a whole. Again Giersch is at the center of it, as he also won in Austria and claims to own the name in Spain, Portugal and Switzerland. Meanwhile in Poland, the Gmail name is owned by a polish group of poets."

The Internet

Submission + - 2007 Half-Year Web Technology Report (

ReadWriteWeb writes: "It's halfway through the year, so how is 2007 shaping up in terms of web technology trends and activity? Which companies have shined from January — June 2007? Read/WriteWeb reviews the year so far and states that two Web companies have really stood out — Google and Facebook. Google has been furiously buying companies and refining its product range this year, while Facebook has broken through in 2007 as a BigCo and is now a true threat to other big companies like Yahoo and Fox/MySpace."

Submission + - To Launch Web 2.0 Re-design This Weekend (

ReadWriteWeb writes: "This weekend CNN is re-launching its website as an enhanced multimedia site — packed with web 2.0 features such as recommendations and user generated content. Over the past year or so many mainstream publications have 'web 2.0-ized' their web presence. BBC has been a leading force, while in March USA Today announced a re-design. Now it's CNN's turn.

The new features a big increase in multimedia, including live video content that was previously only available via the subscription-only CNN Pipeline. It is also now in Flash, rather than Windows Media format. The video content has been integrated into the main site and is available for free. CNN has beefed up its content with that web 2.0 favorite, "user-generated content". Also there is a recommendation feature called "We Recommend" — which is based on past browsing."

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