Skiing & Snowboarding for a week in Flachau

I am snowboarding in Flachau, Austria for a week. Ingrid is skiing, I do the snowboard. As with every holiday, I try to find Semantic Web aficiandos within reach. I am open for jointly drinking a nice beer in the evening or boarding together, with web 2.0 and semweb lovers. My geo-coordinates are


here is the link:


We are around Flachau, Zauchensee, Wagrain, Flachauwinkel. I stay at Hotel Alpina, if you want to sms me, my phone number is +43 6991 924 two eights, two nines. Open for beer and party in the evening, snowboarding under the day. Expecting heavy partying around monday…

btw: thanks to the gone-web2.0 people at plazes, they don’t show the GEO-position lat/lon no longer on their website (horrrrray for “activities” though, a feature that will surely skyrocket their IPO value).
But luckily someone there remained with warm wetware within skull and left the GPS coordinates in the source code of the HTML for me to copy/paste (yes, display:none is a good feature to remove features from your web2.0 application. maybe all the other features that got lost on plazes are only display:none’d…. I will stick to the topic… and how desperate am I to look in their f***ing source for it … and how diluting is it to actually find there what they did hide!)

Anyway, in plazes this city does barely exist, one person drank a beer here 8 months ago. Googling for semantic web (flachau | wagrain) returns a handful of hits, something by me on top (ok, I know I am here now).

But a few names popped up, for example which is close. My gnowsis remembers whom I know from there… so back to direct contact. Also the omnipresent Semantic-Web company showed up, they have Austria covered quite good. But no links to people.

Leobard meets Walterra

Thanks to the tightly entangled web and closeness of interest, I met Walterra. Usually known as Walter Rafelsberger, I noticed him as blogger and being interested in similar topics. Maybe you remember my post about his holy grail of PIM.

So, after many e-mails and exchanging phone numbers, and managing to be in the same city at the same time (not so easy), we drank a beer at the nice wifi-enabled geeknest Short note in history: Walter was also at I-Semantics 2007, so we had the possibility to meet before, but alas, didn’t happen.

leobard and walterra

He works (or starts working soon?) at the fresh-founded elite-super-university “modul” which is located at the nicest spot in the 19th district of Vienna, Kahlenberg. (Accidentially also the place where Ingrid and I had our marriage party). So, besides the great location the modul university offers excellent courses (or will offer, they are setting up at the moment) and is also the home of Professor Arno Scharl. I met him at I-Semantics and we discussed possible mutual projects with DFKI. You all should know Scharl from his book The Geospatial Web.

Scharl and the modul university work on projects like idiom, mediawatch,
and the US election 2008 web monitor. They munch a lot of data, digest it, and then visualize it as nice as you can. Round corners, great backgrounds, shady buttons, nice. And good visualizations of ontologies.

Walter further pointed me to, something similar to, but run by a Vienna Startup. Since plazes changed their whole business model from “a useful tool to find free wifi spots and other areas of interest and to see where you travelled to” to a “web 2.0 buzz that will surely make us rich by offering the same crap as twitter” I am eager to find a replacement for anyway (plazes: where is the f***ing “wifi cafe in vienna” search feature?! you killed your best features.) But alas, Tupalu does not offer the desktop-app-using-network-mac-address way of identifying hotspots, so they are also bare on features.

Another thing you may not want to miss is Meral Akin-Hecke’s socializing and networking effort. Its something like a barcamp, but for newbies. Invited speakers talk about the web and new technologies, interested people can learn about it. The next is 15.January 2008 on Virtual Worlds (probably in german), and of course, in Vienna.

We also touched the topic of what the hell is doing these days? Blogging, but what business is coming up? Similarly, we found out that Walter knows Andreas Blumauer, adding prove to my theory that Andreas knows everybody related to Semantic Web in Austria.

Wish you blessing, was nice chatting with you Walter! And, as you have read so long: here is the motivational poster picture of Walter you will love to see.

mobile clubbing kaiserslautern

aftermath of the last mobile clubbing in Kaiserslautern / elf freunde kreisel: the video!

update: the missing links:

  1. raus-aus-kl blogpost
  2. flashmob announcement on twoday

Und der spirituell perfekte artikel aus der online-lokalzeitung kaiserslautern:
Zu denken gegeben hat den eingesetzten Polizeibeamten ein Vorfall am Dienstagabend am Löwenburg-Kreisel. Gegen halb 8 wurde die Streife verständigt, weil sich zu den elf „starren“ Freunden mitten im Kreisel weitere 29 gesellt hatten und für Aufsehen sorgten. Der Grund: Die Gruppe tanzte und hüpfte auf der Fläche herum und schien „lautlos in Richtung Himmel“ zu beten.
Nachdem die Streife den „Haufen“ eine Weile beobachtet hatte und sich keinerlei rechtliche Beanstandungen ergaben, zogen die Beamten wieder ab. Im Rapport wurde vermerkt: „Ob die Gruppe mit ihrem Tanz den Wettergott bezüglich Schnee, oder das Christkind auf reichliche Geschenke beschwören wollte, konnte nicht geklärt werden.“

Offensichtlich wurde die Polizei Zeuge des angekündigten Mobile Dancing Club, zu dem im Internet aufgerufen wurde. Dabei trafen sich Tanzfreudige mit einem MP3-Player, um öffentlich zu tanzen, beim ersten mal in der Karstadt-Unterführung, dann jetzt am Löwenburgkreisel.

Cool uris gets light from e-learning

Stephen Downes blogs:

Some of this W3C doment discussion seems to be echoing some of the discussion about open social networks. It’s nigh well time. “RDF allows the users to describe Web documents and resources from the real world-people, organisations, things-in a computer-processable way. Publishing such descriptions on the Web creates the Semantic Web. URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers) are very important, forming the link between RDF and the Web.” Leo Sauermann and Richard Cyganiak, eds., W3C, December 18, 2007.

good to hear!

thx to Martin Memmel for the link

UbiCollab kickoff

Recently an expert group for ubiquitous collaboration was initiated, the founding meeting was in Vienna. I collaborated, read the press release of the group:

The Ubiquitous Collaboration Expert Group kick-off meeting collocated with the EU CWE projects concertation meeting at the TU Vienna on Dec 6. was a great success.
Representatives from CoVES, DiFac, inContext, Nepomuk, POPEYE, and Nepomuk presented their projects and participated in a fruitful discussion on “Standardization of Collaboration Services”. We are very happy to have them join UbiCollab. Many thanks to all participants demonstrating their interest in jointly driving future UbiCollab activities.
Presentations, discussion results, and fotos of the kick-off meeting are
available online at:

“Cool Uris” for the semantic web working draft published

The Semantic Web Education and Outreach Interest Group has released a first Working Draft of a document explaining the effective use of URIs to enable the growth of the Semantic Web. The “Cool URIs for the Semantic Web” discusses two strategies for choosing URIs for the Semantic Web, gives pointers to several Web sites that use these solutions, and briefly discusses why several other alternatives are less effective. Comments on this draft are requested by 21 January, to be integrated into a final document at the end of the Group’s charter.

First blogged by Ivan Herman in the SWEO blog. As Editor, I expect feedback especially by SWD and TAG members.

this also means, that finally the document has a cool uri

“Every Triple is Sacred” song

This popped up on the mailinglists (thx to Danny and Heiko for forwarding)

Every Triple is Sacred
(with apologies to Mony Python)

There are DB designers in the world.
There are OO programmers.
There are Lispers and even logicians, and then
There are those that use ML, but
I’ve never been one of them.

I’m a true blue RDFer,
And have been since before I was born,
And the one thing they say about RDFers is:
They’ll take implementors as soon as they’re warm.

You don’t have to be a six-footer.
You don’t have to have a great brain.
You don’t have to have any math knowledge. You’re
An RDFer the moment Tim came,


Every triple is sacred.
Every triple is great.
If a triple is wasted,
Tim gets quite irate.

Every triple is sacred.
Every triple is great.
If a triple is wasted,
Tim gets quite irate.

Let the others spill triples
On academic ground.
Tim shall make them pay for
Each triple that can’t be found.

Every triple is correct.
Every triple is bright.
Tim will let no triple
Away from his oversight.

Every triple is wanted.
Every triple is good.
Every triple bears truth
In a graph’s neighbourhood.

DLs, logic, OOP,
Spill syntax just anywhere,
But Tim loves only RDF, which treats its
Syntax with more care.

Every triple is useful.
Every triple is fine.
Tim needs everybody’s.
… And mine!
…… And mine!

Every triple is beautiful
Every triple is wed
To its eternal meaning
In the Semantic Web!

Let the unbelievers produce syntax
For languages complex or plain.
Tim shall strike them down for
Each triple that’s wasted in vain.

Every triple is correct.
Every triple is bright.
Tim will let no triple
Away from his oversight.

Every triple is wanted.
Every triple is good.
Every triple bears truth
In a graph’s neighbourhood.

Every triple is beautiful
Every triple is wed
To its eternal meaning
In the Semantic Web!

Every triple is sacred.
Every triple is great.
If a triple is wasted,
Tim gets quite iraaaaaate!

See also:

ultima online VS semantic web

OMG I forgot to blog this for three years. Alas, here it finally is.
I was addicted to ultima online seriously, from about 1999 to 2001. I bought the game in New York and then played it intensively all my waking moments. Whenever I was at work or at the University, the main thoughts running through my head were: more strength, going to the woods for lumberjacking and hunting (= in ultima).

Obviously, a perfect ground for a hack later on.
In 2004, freshly joined at DFKI I made a mashup of beloved ultima online with beloved Semantic Web, resulting in a few e-mails exchanged with some ultime hackers (including tensor from, now called iris2, we even had plans to bring this to a higher level 🙂 and a python script to extend wolfpack, a free clone of the ultima online server software.

The result was, that within medieval magic world, you could go up to some characters and ask “news?” and be rewarded with the character reading the news from for you, ingame. Second, more interesting, it would take all your contacts from your outlook address book via Gnowsis and put them into the game – as rabbits. In many demos I had to kill Libby and Dan to free the plains from too many white rabbits to follow 🙂

Alas, here is the screenshots that rotted on my harddisk.
ultima online with rabbit-people

ultima online with planetrdf mashup

It all was done according to another great plan from us, probably Sven Schwarz and me discussed it.

the great plan

But the goal was completly different, the typical semantic web idea: what if we could manager our photos, MP3 files, documents, communication with friends, and meet in a 3d virtual environment? What if we could see others that are at the same “place” as us, and exchange information with them? In Ultima, it is possible to hack objects that they can have links to the web – we would have used this to support the gnowsis protocol (back then, still a great idea) and HTTP. Tensor and I also planned to make it possible to exchange MP3s via P2P and Ultima Online as interface.

The difference in knowledge work when having a 3d environment around you is: you see who else is having the same problem as you, when you search for some documents, the people have to go where the document is. I would guess that this implies similar outcome as do communities of practice or coffee-corner KM techniques. The MP3 people? they hang out in Jhelom, But christian pop you say, folks listening to this usually hang out in Buccaneers den. You wanted to search for SemWeb hackers? Why not look in the prism of light dungeon, their link collection is on the walls there and several grandmaster mages have to keep the doors of inference shut 24/7 to save the planet, etc.

I cannot be bothered to get it running again, to repeat the glory you would need Ultima Online, wolfpack, rdflib for python, and these scripts:

The second one shows how you can trigger ingame events using python and RDF.

The conclusion of this story is, though, that Dan Brickley was quite right when he thought loudly about buying an island on second life and hack SemWeb stuff into SecondLife, all your triples are belong to SL. Anything going in this direction is going to be awesome, I would guess. Web 3.0 in 3d, that has even the same numbers: Web 3.0d. Sounds like a patch to Web 3.0

first screencast of rdf enabled tagging in kde4

Sebastian Trüg has published a first screencast of the NEPOMUK-KDE project, which brings the power of RDF‘s resource annotation to the KDE desktop environment for Linux (wikipedia).
The first feature is annotation of files with text, rating, and tags. The same is possible for e-mails, websites, and everything else you can think of. Underlying is not a simple model of tags-as-strings, but RDF. Thus, you can easily rename tags and do other nice things, such as semantic desktop search.

The screencast as such is a bit too long and without sound, not very brushed yet. But I bet that once more features are implemented, there will be nicer presentations.

Using RDF on the desktop opens now possibilities to improve publishing data on the web, tags and annotations added to files can easily be added to websites, and vice versa, data downloaded from the web to the desktop can be linked to additional information from the web.

A little background: The NEPOMUK-KDE project is supported by the European Union and helps building a platform for other semantic applications to build upon. This is part of the Lisbon Goal of the EU to become “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy by 2010“. The know-how to do these things is currently developed in the union, companies and solution providers may then build upon this.