Hyperaudio and transformingfreedom

On thursday I stumbled into the relaunch party of
transformingfreedom.org. The site aims to provide essential information about our age, using the tools of our age.

Michael glowing

Andreas Leo Findeisen is one of the founders of the platform and we had a great time chatting, showing off technostuff, and drinking beer. Accidentially, most of monochrom.at were also there and somebody put on a screening of Kubrick’s 2001.

A typical content of transforming freedom is this Stallman speech:

photos of the events

Cool URIs Article – last call

We opened the last call for comments on “Cool URIs for the Semantic Web” before publishing as note.
w3c logo
Published yesterday as W3C news, we have changed and finalised the document. You can read the draft in this version and send comments to public-sweo-ig@w3.org until 28th March, but I would prefer to get feedback before. Together with Richard Cyganiak, I am editor of this article (and we have been working on it now for over 14 months, since ISWC 2006). The document is, in the eyes of the editors and contributors, finished. Therefore comments about typos, stilistic errors, bugs are welcome, whereas comments of the kind “but in general HTTP URIs are bad” are out of scope to be answered now.

2008-03-21: The Semantic Web Education and Outreach (SWEO) Interest Group has published the Last Call Working Draft of Cool URIs for the Semantic Web. The Resource Description Framework (RDF) allows users to describe both Web documents and concepts from the real world people, organizations, topics, things in a computer-processable way. Publishing such descriptions on the Web creates the Semantic Web. URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers) are very important to the Semantic Web, providing both the core of the framework itself and the link between RDF and the Web. This document presents guidelines for the effective use of URIs in the context of the Semantic Web. Comments are welcome through 28 March. Learn more about the Semantic Web Activity.

In general, the document will help you to understand basic ideas about URIs on the Semantic Web and how to tweak HTTP servers to serve useful URIs to identify mythical unicorns and other important things such as people or products. Some paragraphs, like the ones in the Section on distinguishing have been editor over and over again, until sounding a little weird at the end. Next week, we got a final, looking forward to having this problem solved and described nicely from now on.

Some note on Austrian History

I am from Austria, and have to blog about some particularity in Austrian history, the “Anschluss”.

The reason to blog, and also to do it in English, is a fatal quote by some elderly politician. On the 12th March 1938, 50 years ago, German troops marched into Austria and connected both countries to form the nucleus of the Third Reich. This is widely known and documented as “der Anschluss” (German term for “the connect”). This marks a dark day in Austrian history, reminded in many public rituals in the last week.

As part of a longer speech at a ÖVP meeting (the Christian-Democrat “conservative/republican” party in Austria), Otto Habsburg said: “kein Staat war größeres Opfer als Österreich”. Which translates to “no country was a greater victim than Austria”. This caused outcry in liberal/left parties and media in Austria, and I would guess also international reactions (if anybody noticed).

In the conservative audience, many giggles followed on some parts of the speech – making me speech-less. Here an article with a picture of our smiling ex-chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel and Otto Habsburg. You don’t fucking smile when you hear this bullshit, you leave the room. To his remedy, the article says that Mr Schüssel intervened and corrected the sayings of Habsburg (so much for inviting the right keynote speaker to your anti-nazi commemoration).

From what I know, shortly after the war Austria positioned itself as “first victim of Hitler”, to get rid of the scent of failure attached to losing the 2nd WW. Since then, this question is publicly discussed. The question is: did Hitler occupy Austria and the inhabitants were victims or was he warmly welcome and Austria was well-nazified already. Nobody can surely know, but some facts are historically known. Within a few weeks after the Anschluss, 70.000 people were imprisoned and a systematic, institutional, and coordinated suffering was imposed on Jews, Homosexuals, Left-Wing politicians, Communists, … . This was well prepared before, you need to have collected these names beforehand, it needs organisation and preparation. Within hours after the Anschluss, vandalism on Jewish property happened. It is hard to believe that Germans did this vandalism nor collected the names of “enemies of the state”, it can be assumed that Austrians did this, with the clear goal to steal some of this property their Jewish neighbours had worked hard for.

It marked the beginning of the holocaust and the role of the Austrian population was both victim, as the Jews and Left-Wings were Austrians, and agitators. Many had been forced to collaborate with the regime under the pressure of loss of life, property, and liberty, but surely not everyone had to be forced to collaborate. Austria was not “a little victim” or “the Jews were Austrian victims”, many people were attracted by Hitler or did not circumvent what happened. Objectively, it can never be known, but surely calling “Austria” a victim is far than politically uncorrect.

Personally, I hate it because many creative people, inventors, scientists, artists, queers, and freaks, were either killed or driven out of the country in the following years. And I hate the small-mindedness of some people who defend their ancestor’s sins as being right until today. (End of historical ramble, go on reading slashdot now folks)

DigiTalks im Museumsquartier: Social Networking

Keine Ahnung von Web 2.0? Was bitte ist Xing und warum soll ich “dort drin” sein? Hier kommt die Antwort.

Meral Akin-Hecke organisiert regelmäßige Veranstaltungen zum Thema Web und Net, die digitalks.at. Der nächste ist folgend:

Datum: 8. April 2008
Location:Museums Quartier Wien, quartier21, Raum D
Beginn:19 Uhr, Einlass ab 18:30


Im O-Ton:
Beim nächsten Digitalks gehen wir auf online Technologien ein, die uns neue Alternativen bieten, miteinander in Verbindung zu treten und unsere privaten und beruflichen Beziehungen zu pflegen.

Nach einem Einführungsvortrag von Medienberater Ritchie Pettauer werden zwei erfahrene AnwenderInnen mit uns gemeinsam Profile erstellen und dabei ihre Tipps & Tricks für das online social networking verraten.
Ich freue mich auf ein Wiedersehen!

Meral Akin-Hecke
Digitalks Initiatorin

Ich füge hinzu: wer schon flickrt, delicioust und bloggt wird da wohl nichts neues hören, wer aber mehr über Kommunikation im Netz hören will, und vom freien Eintritt profitieren kann, der soll doch kommen.

Do Animals get Goosebumps because of terrorists?

The masses lost their instincts, and may have more fear from terrorists than cancer.

How much are we animals? Susanna Hertrich has a project on this topic:

This project picks on how much today’s people have detached themselves from their original animal inheritance.

It is said that no other generation before has been as anxious and risk aware as ours. Other than animals, we aren’t equipped for the challenges of contemporary living. We don’t have the abilities to identify the real dangers in a surplus of potential threats and horror scenarios offered to us by mass media.

(photo shamelessly linked from Jonathan)

Jonathan Hartley (whom I met two weeks ago in Krakow) blogged about it from a different perspective:
Susanna Hertrich has an art / thesis project to artificially stimulate people’s threat perceptions (by giving them goosebumps, or making hairs stand on end) in response to actual threats, as opposed to perceived ones. It’s a topic that I’m unnaturally preoccupied with, since the most egregious examples of the disparity between the two seem to intrude on my life every day. My opinions about whether any given threat is real or illusiory seem to differ from almost everyone, but I’m going to stubbornly cling to the idea that everyone else is crazy. Take the entry on ‘terrorist attack’ as an example (see diagram.) Public reactions to the topic remind me of nothing so much as a stirred-up ants nest, a psychotic, ineffectual frenzy.

stagedive from 1st floor

Hey, we were at the “Sportfreunde Stiller” concert on 28.2.2008 in Kaiserslautern, and their frontman dived from about 4-5meter height into the crowd.

What you see here is frontman/singer Peter from Sportfreunde Stiller doing a crazy stagedive from the first floor of the concert hall. Before, he surfed the crowd and climbed up there. ROCK! Sport!

The concert was in Kammgarn in Kaiserslautern, more information in Martin Memmel’s blogpost.

qrobo is the semantic search engine

“QROBO WILL REPLACE OTHERS. The brand-new QROBO is the real semantic web search engine.”

Check this citation yourself at semantics.co.kr to verify this statement. SWESE, Swoogle, look out… 🙂

I met people from the company at CeBit.

Update (9.3.2008): They also patented PERSONAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT METHOD USING INTERNET in 2007, which shows how completly fucked up the patenting system is when you can patent something like this (which we incidentially publshed as papers 5 years ago and you can download as software since the web exists…)

NEPOMUK the single Semantic Web Product on CeBit 2008

We are proud to say: NEPOMUK is the only Semantic Web product on the CeBit fair, the biggest computer fair in the world. Why?

Wanting to search for other people working in the topics of web 3.0 and semantic web, I searched the official CeBit 2008 search engine for products and exhibitors for Semantic Web technologies. The product NEPOMUK came as single result. The only exhibitor mentioning semantic web is groupMe.


DFKI booth at CeBit 2008

You can see NEPOMUK in Hall9, booth B37, and GroupMe (presented by my good friends from L3S) in the same Hall 9 at booth B22.