Web Science Reading List

I have just added a new site to my this weblog called “Web Science Reading List“. This reading list collects a lot of interesting information on web science and similar topics. Since I do not have time to read all of the articles immediately I am going to collect them on this site and bookmark them on delicious too. If you are interested in this topic as well do not hesitate to contact me or to subscribe to my delicious bookmarks and to the feed of this weblog.

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What will the web look like in five years?

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google was answering this question in an interesting interview at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Orlando 2009. ReadWriteWeb has summarized the highlights of Eric’s interview as follows:

  • Five years from now the internet will be dominated by Chinese-language content.
  • Today’s teenagers are the model of how the web will work in five years – they jump from app to app to app seamlessly.
  • Five years is a factor of ten in Moore’s Law, meaning that computers will be capable of far more by that time than they are today.
  • Within five years there will be broadband well above 100MB in performance – and distribution distinctions between TV, radio and the web will go away.
  • “We’re starting to make significant money off of Youtube”, content will move towards more video.
  • “Real time information is just as valuable as all the other information, we want it included in our search results.”
  • There are many companies beyond Twitter and Facebook doing real time.
  • “We can index real-time info now – but how do we rank it?”
  • It’s because of this fundamental shift towards user-generated information that people will listen more to other people than to traditional sources. Learning how to rank that “is the great challenge of the age.” Schmidt believes Google can solve that problem.

Chinese-language content, no differences between distribution channels and real time information are some very interesting topics which I really have to dive in. If you feel interested then have a look at the video of the interview:

[youtube lHxub_yQfig]

(via ReadWriteWeb)

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[video] – The Sixth Sense demonstrates the great abilities of User Interfaces

Wear Ur World
Image by Larry Johnson via Flickr

Wired.com states in an article (found by ReadWriteWeb) as follows:

LONG BEACH, California — Students at the MIT Media Lab have developed a wearable computing system that turns any surface into an interactive display screen. The wearer can summon virtual gadgets and internet data at will, then dispel them like smoke when they’re done.

Pattie Maes of the lab’s Fluid Interfaces group said the research is aimed at creating a new digital
“sixth sense” for humans.

In the tactile world, we use our five senses to take in information about our environment and respond to it, Maes explained. But a lot of the information that helps us understand and respond to the world doesn’t come from these senses. Instead, it comes from computers and the internet. Maes’ goal is to harness  computers to feed us information in an organic fashion, like our existing senses.

The prototype was built from an ordinary webcam and a battery-powered 3M projector, with an attached mirror — all connected to an internet-enabled mobile phone. The setup, which costs less than $350, allows the user to project information from the phone onto any surface — walls, the body of another person or even your hand.

I’ve found some great videos demonstrating the Sixth Sense, a research project from Fluid Interfaces Research Group at MIT Media Lab. They demonstrate a wearable computing system which turns any surface into an interactive display screen. The great thing: It costs less than $350

Pattie Maes demonstrating the “Sixth Sense” at TED Talks:

(via TED)

ReadWriteWeb writes in an article called:  The Wearable Internet Will Blow Mobile Phones Away the following:

We at ReadWriteWeb are very excited about next-generation Internet interfaces, such as augmented reality and so-called cross reality. These wearable devices strike me as being the most impressive future Web interface that I’ve seen in a while. Check out the video and see if you agree.

I find it extremely interesting because this kind of user interface is build up with very low cost and can therefore be spread easily.

The first video demonstrating the “Sixth Sense”

Here you can see the first video which demonstrates how a wall is being used to project and interact with several applications. Using a really small projector enables people to project to walls while speaking to a friend standing nearby to someone. Using a projector integrated into a helmet is not very applicable because while you are speaking to your friend the projection is made on your friend’s face. Thus switching to a smaller device hanging around your neck is more applicable as your head is free fro movements.

(via Wired.com)

Another video demonstrating the “Sixth Sense”

For example someone being in a supermarket and heading from product to product trying to find the cheapeast or most appropriate one is done easily by just scanning the product and retrieving real time information directly from the internet. This has great potential and can be used in a variety of applications.

(via Wired.com)

More ressources can be found on Wired.com, on ReadWriteWeb as well as on the Sixth Sense Project Website, on the Fluid Interfaces Research Group Website and at the official site of MIT Media Lab.

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Obama’s impressive use of Semantic Web Technologies

US President Obama enforces the use of Semantic Web Technologies. David Peterson posted on SitePoint the follwing:

In a revolutionary move, Obama’s administration is set to utilise next generation web technologies to bring an unprecedented level of transparency to government. In this case it will shed light on how the roughly US $800 billion dollar economic stimulus will be spent. The recently launched recovery.gov website (powered by nothing other then Drupal) brought with it the promise that citizens would be able to view where the money was going and how it was going to be spent.

To enable the citizen masher to do their wizardry, the administration will be opening up a veritable candy store of goodies: Semantic Web, RDF, Linked Data, SPARQL, RDFa, SIOC, ATOM, RESTful APIs, JSON, Widgets, Wikis, XForms, P2P Networks. Wow. They only forgot the lions and tigers and bears oh my… This is an unbelievable stack of technology. I didn’t think the government even knew what an RSS feed was 🙂

This is a great step forward for Semantic Web Technologies. Gaining broader attention will force other administrations as well to make use of Semantic Web Technologies. One really great and interesting facette of Semantic Web is Linking Open Data.

(via mhausenblas)

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TED Talks – Tim Berners-Lee: The next Web of open, linked data

For everybody who is asking: “What’s the next step in internet evolution?” This presentation of Tim Berners-Lee could give you the anser. Linking Data is one of the most exciting initiatives going on right now. Enjoy the presentation!

(via TED)

SEAmail – Semantic Delivery of Emails

SEAmail - Semantic Email Addressing

SEAmail is a prototype e-mail system implemented by Stanford University Logic Group lead by  Michael Genesereth, an associate professor of computer science at Stanford University. The interesting and innovative part of this e-mail system is the use of semantic technologies in order to determine the recipient of an e-mail message. Users don’t have to bother on keeping track of e-mail addresses, they just type in the real name of the recipient letting the system searching the right recipient address.

MIT‘s Technology Review writes:

E-mail addresses are an artificial way of directing messages to the right people, says Michael Genesereth, an associate professor of computer science at Stanford who works on SEAmail. “You want to send messages to people or roles, not to strings of characters,” he says. Semantic technologies are aimed at making just this sort of thing possible. The idea is to create programs that understand context, so that users can interact with the software more naturally. Technical details, such as the need to specify an e-mail address, get hidden inside the system, so that everyday users no longer have to pay attention to them.

In SEAmail, a user selects recipients for a message in much the way that she would set up a search query. The parameters can be as simple as a person’s name, or as complex as sets of logical requirements. But the system is limited by how much information it has about potential recipients. “To realize the full potential, we need to have rich data about the people who are sending messages to each other, their interests, and so forth,” Genesereth says. Within an organization, he says, there’s usually a lot of available data. The technical challenge is setting up an integrated version of the data that SEAmail can access easily. The data needed to fulfill the request for professors who graduated from Harvard, for example, would probably come from several databases, Genesereth says. His team is currently researching ways to pull together existing databases without affecting how they’re already being used.

These existing databases should be part of the Linking Open Data Movement, which aims to semantic interlink existing open data sets in order to build useful new applications and to support a Web of Data.

Furder information can be found in an article published by Standford University Logic Group, called Semantic Email Addressing (PDF).

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How Google’s PageRank predicts Nobel Prize winners

Google, Inc.

Sergej Maslow and Sidney Redner, both researchers have found out that Google‘s Page Rank algorithm could be used to predict future nobel price winners based on interlinked scientific papers. Scientific papers are interlinked by references, just like websites are which means they can be ranked by googles page rank algorithm. Taking into account how important a paper is, it is possible to generate a list of wighted ranked scientific papers.

The researchers have applied the algorithm to 353.268 articles published by the American Physical Society since 1893 and generated a ranked list. (Paper: “Promise and Pitfalls of Extending Google’s PageRank Algorithm to Citation Networks”).  Interesting is that nearly all of the authors are nobel price winners.

KenntuckyFC writes:

The top 10 papers by Google Pageranking are:

  1. Unitary Symmetry & Leptonic Decays by Cabibbo
  2. Theory of Superconductivity by Bardeen, Cooper & Schrieffer
  3. Self-Consistent Equations . . . by Kohn & Sham
  4. Inhomogeneous Electron Gas by Hohenberg & Kohn
  5. A Model of Leptons by Weinberg
  6. Crystal Statistics . . . by Onsager
  7. Theory of the Fermi Interaction by Feynman & Gell-Mann
  8. Absence of Diffusion in . . . by Anderson
  9. The Theory of Complex Spectra by Slater
  10. Scaling Theory of Localization by Abrahams, Anderson, et al.

That’s an impressive list, not least because most of these authors are Nobel Prize winners. (Curiously the author of the top paper, Nicola Cabibbo, is not. That ought to be of interest to the Nobel committee who awarded Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa the 2008 Nobel Prize for physics for work that was heavily based on Cabibbo’s ideas.)

All of which suggests an idea. Mining the later entries in this list might be an good way of predicting future prize winners. So get your bets in before the bookies get wind of it.

Redner and Maslov conclude: “Google’s PageRank algorithm and its modifications hold great promise for quantifying the impact of scientific publications.”

Well that’s an interesting example on how interlinked data can be processed in order to predict meaningful information. In terms of Semantic Web Linking of Open Data should be provided by every new application on internet. This example illustrates how interlinking of library data increases the possibility to generate new information.

(via slashdot)

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[video] – It is time for a different kind of university

Kaplan University has produced two interesting and inspiring videos on how e-Learning can be performed in near future.

It’s time to use technology to rewrite the rules of education

[youtube e50YBu14j3U]

Here is another one.

[youtube F3nHvkJSNFg]

Besides I have found an interesting article written by George Siemens on How MIT is going to get large lectures off the blackboard. The whole artikle is called Media Literacy: Making Sense of New Technologies and Media by George Siemens.

(via e-Learning Blog)

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