Überwachungstaat veranschaulicht

Eintrag 475 aus der Monochrom’schen Datenbank des Vorüberschreitens, zitiert bei Glattauer:

Kinderphilosophische Betrachtungen über die österreichische Sicherheitspolitik
Vor der elektronisch gesteuerten Bildfläche in der U-Bahn-Station Westbahnhof wurde ein kleiner Bub von seinem Opa auf das Leben außerhalb des Kindergartens vorbereitet. Ohrenzeugin Astrid D. überliefert:

“Mehr Polizisten für Wien”, liest der Opa stolz vor. “Ist das gut, Opa?”, fragt der Bub. Opa: “Ja, das ist gut.” Bub: “Warum?” Opa: “Wenn es mehr Polizisten gibt, dann können sie besser auf uns aufpassen.” Bub (verängstigt): “Wie aufpassen?” Opa: “Aufpassen, dass uns nichts passiert.” Bub: “Wie, dass uns nichts passiert?” Opa: “Dass uns kein Einbrecher eine auf den Schädel haut.”

(Pause, das Kind grübelt.) Bub: “Ich mag aber lieber, dass der Papa auf mich aufpasst.” Opa: “Der Papa passt auf dich auf, und der Polizist passt auf den Papa auf.” Bub: “Ich mag aber nicht, dass der Polizist auf den Papa aufpasst.” Opa: “Wer soll dann auf den Papa aufpassen?” Bub: “Die Mama.” Opa: “Der Polizist passt auf alle auf, auf die Mama, auf den Papa, auf dich und auf mich.” Bub: “Und auf die Oma?” Opa: “Und auf die Oma.” Bub: “Ich mag aber nicht, dass der Polizist auf die Oma aufpasst.” Opa: “Warum nicht?” Bub: “Der Polizist soll auf den Einbrecher aufpassen.”

Quelle: Daniel Glattauer, DER STANDARD Printausgabe, 3.9.2007

webinale: nur noch einen tag early bird und 150EUR sparen

webinale Countdown: Nur noch 2 Tage mit dem Early Bird bis zu 150 Euro sparen!

… kommt gerade über mail rein. warum? see me speak at webinale 2009.

sonst noch:
die angebotenen Workshops sind online:

– Flex and AIR Boot Camp (Andrew Shorten)
– Daten jonglieren mit Flex (Kai Koenig)
– iPhone-Entwicklung – Apple, ein guter Start in den Tag (für Anfänger) (Sascha Manuel Hameister)
– iPhone-Entwicklung – CocoaTouch, der Nachmittagssnack (für Fortgeschrittene) (Sascha Manuel Hameister)
– Die Kunst der Filter- und Effektprogrammierung (Frank Reitberger)

Annotating files – but where to store the metadata?

An interesting thread about file metadata for KDE got my attention: Portable Meta-Information. I waited a month until it cooled down and re-read it to draw my own conclusions.

The author, zwabel, correclty identified the problem that the Semantic Desktop must be compatible with the past – and with the future!.

I think, for the future, we need to find a way to keep the users data together, so it is as persistent and approachable as the files themselves:
– When the user copies his photo archive or backs it up to a CD, no matter what application he uses, meta-information like ratings, comments, or tags, have to move together with the photos
– When the user has a fresh install, and copies his photo archive from a CD to the disk, the meta-information for the photos should be just there
– User-generated meta-data should _never_ be lost just because a file/directory was renamed, a mount-point changed, or whatever
– User-generated meta-data should not be lost when a file completely unrelated to the item is damaged or deleted(Database)
– In 20 years, when KDE4 is history for a long time, and I find an old photo backup CD, the meta-data should still be readable

zwabel then suggested to store the metadata additionally to the central store (which NEPOMUK needs for the search engine and is essential anyway) in a multitude of “.meta” files, which are stored in the same directory as the files. For the file picture1.png, the metadata would be in picture1.png.meta. I think this is a pragmatic idea and would say:

Lets store it in picture1.png.rdf

As serialization, I suggest the W3C RDF standard, which we use in the central NEPOMUK store anyway (in the database) and which has a well-readable standardized serialization format in either XML or a plain-text format. To achieve linux-geek compability, I suggest the plaintext format. For example, to add authorship information about picture1.png, it would be:

@prefix dc: <http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/>.
@prefix rdf: <http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#>.  
<>  dc:creator "Dave Beckett";
dc:date "2002-07-31";
dc:publisher "ILRT, University of Bristol";
dc:title "Dave Beckett's Home Page" .

Note that the <> is a known shortcut for “this”, the equivalent rdf/xml is: rdf:about=””.

Sebastian Trüg also argues in a way that also leaves both ways open for the future, database and filesystem:
“you need a database anyway. Thus, in the end, the only solution I see at the moment is a kind of copy wrapper that makes sure metadata is copied with the file. Then one could also send information like a person or a project to a friend and the system would pick up all interesting metadata.”

So – how do we format the metadata inside the files? The same way we do as in the RDF repository of nepomuk. There we use the NIE and NAO ontologies. But Pushing Dublin Core is also a good way to do, but do it the W3C way, standardized.

Using the RDF encoding of Dublin Core and for example Turtle/N3 as serialization format gives a rock-solid W3C industry standardized (or at least well implemented) way.

Because the world is not perfect and needs many possible ways to evolve, we can store the metadata in redundancy now in as many places as possible – but in one format. For freedesktop and nepomuk RDF is the best choice, in my (not so humble) opinion. It is serializeable, it can be stored in a database, it can be hosted on the web. No other standard has this. It is embedded in PDF already in the XMPP format.

I propose “.turtle” files to indicate that its RDF/Turtle serialization, but if you insist, “.rdf” is also fine with me (but implying RDF/XML storage, which is a bit sluggish), and “.meta” is also fine with me if you store RDF/turtle inside. Making up a new micro format would be stupid.

My Summary:

  • storing it in the filesystem is nice, but not a killer-argument. It works ™ by just storing it in the central nepomuk repository for 90% of all use cases, so start hacking applications that help the users save time and improve their user experience with what is there today.
  • do not store it in .meta, but in .turtle, which is the rock-solid industry standard by W3C and human-readable and a simple microformat-like text format (smoother than xml)
  • do also store it however possible in the files themselves, not to block out others. Use EXIF fields, use XMPP fields in PDF, use ID3v2 fields, use those metedata!
  • do also index it in the central search engine, be it nepomuk or beagle++ (beagle++ is the rdf-enabled beagle, check it out if you are not aware of it)
  • storing it in metadata file attributes (xattr/channels/…) is the goal, but I propose to extend these standards with RDF to achieve cross-system compability. What worked for the web, may also work here.

OrganiK project: working on testdata collection

As blogged in January, Gunnar, Remzi and I are working for DFKI on the Organik-Project. As true hard bloggin’ scientists, we keep on reporting.

In the next two weeks, I will gather an exhaustive test-data collection of texts that we use for ontology learning. I hope to gather around 10.000 documents from various sources that have a topic overlap. We need e-mails, office documents (contracts, etc) and news documents. There are a lot of test data sets out there, the question is now to pick the right one. Also, in OrganiK we have SME partners who could provide some data.

After this, the next step will be to create a taxonomy learning module that analyses the documents and semi-automatically (or fully automatically) creates a taxonomy out of it for future classification. If its fully automatic, I expect that the taxonomy will have probabilistic elements in it (“it thinks that this is a customer, but only 60%”). If we work with a probabilistic model throughout the whole project, we can rank everything all the time, maybe this will reduce human work. We will see.
Anyone has experience with taxonomies that have a weight added? Its similar to a TF/IDF rank.

Permanent Breakfast 1.5.2009 Startfrühstück

Wie jedes Jahr, werden wir auch dieses Jahr in Kaiserslautern am 1.Mai am Stiftsplatz frühstücken! Teil der globalen Permanent Breakfast Kunstaktion.

Freitag, 1.Mai 2009
10:00 Stiftsplatz
bis etwa 12:00

Die regeln:

  • es muss wie ein formales frühstück aussehen (keine picknicks)
  • es geht ums partizipieren – jeder hilft mit
  • ein klein wenig mehr mitnehmen als für dich selbst, dann ist auch genug da für passanten und freunde die was vergessen haben

was man mitnehmen kann:

  • Tische
  • Stühle
  • Frühstück
  • Hüte
  • Sonnenschirme
  • Lampen, kleine Radios, es soll Wohnzimmerstimmung aufkommen


vergangene freude:

es frühstücken: Björn, Florian und Elisabeth
Blick von oben

Merkt euch den Termin an, es zahlt sich aus! Haltet es nicht geheim, macht comments hier (unten) wenn ihr dabei seid.

Kinetic Sculpture Race has 41th Anniversary! how about one in Vienna/Klosterneuburg?

“Adults having fun so children will want to grow older”,
Hobart Brown, glorious founder of the race.

A Kinetic sculpture race is an organized contest of human-powered amphibious all-terrain works of art. The original event, the Kinetic Grand Championship in Humboldt County, California, is also called the “Triathlon of the Art World” because art and engineering are combined with physical endurance during a three day cross country race that includes sand, mud, pavement, a bay crossing, a river crossing and major hills.

This year is 41th Anniversary! The first race started in 1969 in Hippie-California. How about making a race this year in Klosterneuburg, next to Vienna? We have wild cross-country, road, and water. I would like to find a few mates for a team to create “Free Ellie” and you should also make a team! its fun, it teaches you artwork and handicrafts.

and look at all the fun it can be after you do it for many years:

I search for alternative-minded people who would like to help out, co-organize, form teams, and carry on the spirit of this family-friendly event in Europe. Are you in? Write to me or comment below.

Our design is intentionally simple so that its possible to build it within a week – would you like to ride in this? then help building it!
Free Ellie

update: I made a facebook group to kickstart this: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=67272838900

See me speak at webinale 2009

Webinale 09 is the premier german conference about web 2.0. 70 speakers on two days, on all relevant topics: Web technology, scaling, running services, marketing, business, future trends, ria, mobile web, social networks and communities. Various hands-on sessions to learn about building iPhone apps, Air/Flex, etc. A startup day to see and meet the next xing or facebook. And facebook and xing groups to do some boo-haa already today.


two years ago I spoke about the state of the semantic web, this year again I will speak 40 minutes on the current state of the semantic web, or, as we call it, “the web of linked data”.

see me speak on 26.5.2009 from 10:30 to 11:30 at the ufo-lookalike congress center in berlin about the fact that even Barack Obama’s new administration does the semantic web now, and other bits. Free your data!

The ufo-lookalike congress center:
berlin congress center