Wednesday, July 31, 2002

All Things Semantic

They have my company and a bunch of others. They also include people and technologies.

If you don't want this semantic web things to take off these are the ones you must silence (including Ms Chair, expert, team member, speaker, etc):

Who's Wielding the Stick?

Wired is saying that it is Microsoft who is muscling in on the government of Peru and Open Source software. But wouldn't it be nice if all customers were given "donations" from Microsoft.,1367,54141,00.html

This is similar to what I said before, the more knowledgeable you are the more bargaining power you can have:

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Picking Through the .COM Trash

Being able to publish source code that you wrote while working for a now dead company seems like a good one. I thought this had resonance with the last post I made about buying stuff from Spike. Whether the source code has more value than a virtual fish tank will take more time to find out than I want to spend. The current source code published at a Not Invisible Worlds site called Mappa Mundi (itself an old magazine web site) is Alkindi Collaborative Filtering and Space Mapper.

You can add using makefiles to compile Java code to the list of signs that a company will go under:

Monday, July 29, 2002

How to Tell if a Company will go Bankrupt

You can tell if a company will go under if there's a flag, personalised number plates and fish tanks.

Well how about this item from a semi-famous Australian .com company Spike IT. One virtual fish tank made by NEC called "Fish Club". Yours for $1725 (that's Australian Pesos). The original apparently cost US$17,000. It's a Japanese HDTV with a Laser Disc player showing pictures of fish swimming around (30 minutes at a time).

I don't think it was widely successful though because I haven't been able to find many links to it.

As technologically cool pets go Eco-spheres come pretty close, and it's a metaphor of the world which we all depend:

If anyone wants to put money in my account (or just give me your credit card details) I'll buy it for you I promise:

AJile Java In Hardware - Not

AJile System are stupid. You go to all that trouble of creating a dynamically linked, platform independent language and then someone goes the opposite direction.

"How are applications developed for aJile microprocessors?

Standard Java class files from applications developed with commercial Java IDEs are statically resolved and compacted (e.g., unused methods and fields are removed) to build executables using optimizing linking tools. In addition to bytecode optimizations, the static linker technology performs several embedded application build functions including generating object initialization sequences, memory and JVM configurations, and interrupt and trap handler assignments."

"How do aJile microprocessors perform garbage collection (GC)?

aJile plans to provide several GC algorithms which will be configurable during application builds (linking process). It is also possible to build applications without GC (i.e. never deallocate memory). Utilizing the multiple JVM feature, each application can select the GC algorithm that best suits its execution profile without interfering with other applications."

Jazelle on the other hand:
"Is there any run-time compilation?
No. Jazelle is not a JIT compilation technique. At runtime, over 95% of Java bytecodes are executed directly on the Jazelle-enabled core; the remaining bytecodes are interpreted as short sequences of highly optimized ARM instructions."

And it can execute at over 1000 Caffeinemarks (or 6 per MHz).

And the user interface looks dirt ugly:

Sunday, July 28, 2002

Google and the Semantic Web

I've been rereading a number of articles about Google and the Semantic Web. Having just put a stat button on I've noticed that just about all my hits come from Google and I imagined how annoying it would be if you typed in "vivisimo" and got my page instead of the search engine (a cunning Google plot). Of course, what's the best way to find these pages about Google, people linking to me, people linking to the page about Google and the Semantic Web, the Semantic Web in general and privacy concerns with Google...Google.

The old articles:

I can understand people trying to escape from Google's grip:

Resistance is useless - Google is the future. The below article talks about the future where Google has taken over as the repository of all ideas, commerce and business in general. One of the ideas is a "Google Marketplace Manager". It's simple enough to use Google's vast collection of data, RDF and user details. The idea of a decentralised system beating a centralised Google approach, is a seductive one though. And we all dream of a time when we can sell a guitar or a human organ annonymously and efficiently.

None of this has appeared on the Google weblog:

However, it did link to a few Google visualizers. These are really cool. I've spent hours mucking around with these.

Saturday, July 27, 2002

Living the Dream

What to do...we always joke about having web cams and SNMP (or JMX) enabled coffee machine. Well I guess there's always this way:

4 cups though...I guess that's enough for one person...for a morning.

Friday, July 26, 2002


This is a rather nifty tool. Similar to some of the other RDF visualization tools I've looked at over the last few months. It's only 1.4 MB or so. Runs really well under OS X (and only for Mac). I immediately worked out how to use it. Very nice.

The agents are only simple ones at the moment. Keyword searching. With a bit of manipulating it could make a nice front-end to Meerkat.

It even has the ability to get information from other RSS feeds. If it just had some decent screen scaping or everyone started using RSS I'd be happy.


Just incase I forget this one:

0.9 and 0.91 to 1.0:

Not common knowledge yet:>


Has O'Reilly gone MS mad? Have I gone O'Reilly mad? Well I don't know but this is also another startlingly obvious thing from our friends at Microsoft. It looks from a quick look like a version of JXTA:

"To allow this decentralized approach to work without chaos ensuing, GXA builds upon the hierarchical nature of the URI mechanism to act as a "federator" of disparate, autonomous organizations."

"The focused nature of GXA protocols allows them to be used as protocol building blocks. This composability allows one to combine orthogonal GXA protocols (e.g., WS-Security, WS-Routing) into a single message. Unlike large, monolithic protocols, GXA can be adopted piecemeal or en masse. If your application doesn't need a particular GXA protocol, it is reasonable to not use it while still using other parts of the architecture."

It is also transport neutral too. It's not clear to me which one is actually better, except that you can download JXTA today and get it to work.

It's Good to be Wrong

This is great and from MS:

"The software industry remains extremely competitive, and open source software offerings vie with commercial software. Microsoft competes with rival offerings regardless of whether or not they are commercial or open source in nature. Competition with open source software should not be seen as an attack on open source or on those who choose to develop under that model. In a sense, we are agnostic on this topic; we believe we can provide customers with the best software solutions to meet their needs, period. Even in discussing the GPL, which is widely seen as controversial, I assert that we need to move from the pejorative to the substantive.

Commercial vendors do more than sell products; they also deliver value. If any company's product ceases to deliver value, no matter what development model was used, the market will exercise its ultimate power: not to buy."

What's more they mentioned that MS has GPLed stuff - modifications to GCC. Sometimes I wonder if MS suffers from whiplash the way it's messages changes from cancerous Linux to a vital part of the software development community.

Thursday, July 25, 2002


Traction Software's server looks basically like a very full featured blogging framework. The
interesting part though was this:

"Traction Software investors include In-Q-Tel (U.S. Government funded venture catalyst
charged with identifying and delivering next-generation information technologies to
support the CIA's critical intelligence missions), Slater Interactive and private investors.

In-Q-Tel is a private, independent, enterprise funded by the CIA. Launched in 1999,
In-Q-Tel's mission is to identify and invest in companies developing cutting-edge
information technologies that serve United States national security interests. Working
from an evolving strategic blueprint that defines the CIA's critical information
technology needs, In-Q-Tel engages with entrepreneurs, established companies, researchers
and venture capitalists to deliver technologies that pay out in superior intelligence
capabilities for the CIA and the larger Intelligence Community. Learn more at"

Review of Traction's software:

Actually, Intelliseek looks like a more interesting set of tools:

Should I use a portal/search engine which is based on a product funded by the CIA that purports to have "Competitve Intelligence"?

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

The UK's move to OS

Home Office minister Douglas Alexander said: "I am pleased to announce new policy on the use of Open Source Software within UK Government. It explains how we will consider Open Source Software solutions alongside proprietary ones in IT procurements and award contracts on a value for money basis, seeking to avoid lock-in to proprietary IT products and services."

"But anyway, what does it say? Open Source software "has leapt to prominence by starting to take a significant market share in some specific parts of the software infrastructure market," it cautiously begins, then revs up. "OSS is indeed the start of a fundamental change in the software infrastructure marketplace, but it is not a hype bubble that will burst and UK Government must take cognisance of that fact."

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

JXTA again

" The JXTA platform is defined by the following six protocols. A peer does not need to implement all protocols, just the protocols that it needs.

* Peer Discovery Protocol (PDP). PDP allows a peer to discover other peer advertisements (peer, group, service & pipe).
* Peer Resolver Protocol (PRP). PRP allows a peer to send a search query to another peer.
* Peer Information Protocol (PIP). PIP allows a peer to learn about the status of another peer.
* Peer Membership Protocol (PMP). PMP allows a peer to join or leave a peer group.
* Pipe Binding Protocol (PBP). PBP allows a peer to bind a pipe endpoint to a physical peer.
* Peer Endpoint Protocol (PEP). PEP allows a peer to ask for routing information to route messages to another peer.

The Miracle of Compound Interest

I could put $10 in for everyone that I wanted to meet after I was dead. Elvis, Douglas Adams, etc. Then it would be like some whacky after life type place. At least they are upfront about the 90% in overheads.

What's more likely we bomb ourselves into oblivion or we invent time travel?

There's Open and then there's Open

It's funny. I agree with the initial statement but pretty much everything else seems wrong.

"If you consider open code a benefit to society, you may want to propagate open-code legislation or otherwise try to stimulate new competition in the marketplace."

For example,
"If it was as simple as Raymond puts it, should not all code be open by now, and why did not Microsoft and Oracle open their code?"

So what is Rotor? What is the announcement at OSCON?

As for Oracle there's a whole book about the OS projects that they've used (Apache, Perl, Tcl, etc):

Of course, Microsoft and Oracle probably won't be GPLing anything soon. So there's open and then there's open. I agree that governments need to legislate changes in - for their own use. But the reasons should be things like transparency, improving effeciency, enhancing economic conditions. There are much better reasons as to why Governments should legislate for Open Source.

The prisoner's dilemmia is also about information and excludes long term cooperation. In the long run it's beneficial to help out, especially if the effort is considerable. Writing useful software requires a lot of effort. Also, in a reasonably functional market competitors should know what the other one is doing. This is not so for the prisoners. The GPL ensures that things get better, not worse, for the software by leveraging long term cooperation.

At the moment companies can still focus on short term benefit. The greedy situation holds. However, in the long run who wins in the Cisco versus embedded Linux, open source databases versus closed, etc won't be greedy.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Organizational Memory

With overtones of Englebart's groupware idea this is a great paper about developing software for "organizational memory". He talks about how information has a duality like photons. It's also alarming to think that in order to avoid litigation companies are purging their corporate knowledge bases. He also suggests that people listen in meetings - we can all dream.

"An organizational memory that consists only of formal knowledge is bare and lifeless. It is like describing the ball game by giving the statistics, or the mystery novel by simply relating the plot outline. It also lacks the history and context behind the formal documents, and as result, the organizational "memory" is essentially an immense heap of disconnected things, a giant organizational attic. Documents that contain formal knowledge that the organization has paid dearly to create live somewhere on the corporate network with enlightening names like "H:\org\finan\arc\drg\693plan.doc." (Note 6)"

Sharepoint Skyrocketing

Even though I've heard problems with Sharepoint scaling above a thousand users, which is related to Exchange's limitations. It certainly seems to be filling the low-end niche. Which is always Microsoft's target market on these things initially anyway. With Yukon and the like it's obviously going to get a boost into the larger scale enterprises.

"Microsoft Corp. said it sold more than 2 million end-user licenses for its SharePoint Portal Server last month, a dramatic rise in the number of seats purchased for the Web-based collaboration software. In the previous 12 months, according to Microsoft, it sold 5 million SharePoint licenses."

"Liberty deployed SharePoint PortalServer software two months ago as a knowledge management tool for its 125-person IT staff. "We actually needed it as a strategic base to our knowledge management system," Haroche said. "It's very easy to install. It's very easy to maintain.""

Sunday, July 21, 2002

In my house we obey the laws of thermodynamics

"They found that the change in entropy was negative over time intervals of a few tenths of a second, revealing nature running in reverse. In this case, the bead was gaining energy from the random motion of the water molecule - the small-scale equivalent of the cup of tea getting hotter. But over time intervals of more than two seconds, on overall positive entropy change was measured and normality restored."

Friday, July 19, 2002

S is for Schema

"The RDF Schema Specific Data Base (RSSDB) RSSDB (v1.5.1) is a persistent RDF Store for loading resource descriptions in an object-relational DBMS (ORDBMS) by exploiting the available RDF schema knowledge. It preserves the flexibility of RDF in refining schemas and enriching descriptions at any time, whilst it can store resource descriptions created according to one or more associated RDF schemas."

It supports string, integer, float, boolean and dateTime XML Datatypes. Just for a change it's using a Postgres backend. However, it doesn't support reified statements.

A more impressive list of RDF Resources:

Thursday, July 18, 2002


This is a company in Cananda that's planning on creating Semantic Web tools.

They have a fairly good white paper on the advantages and applications that the Semantic Web has to offer. These include content management, image searching, knowledge management and legal applications. The obvious advantages are easier integration and enhanced productivity through improved search technology.

What's what?

While their links to other technologies is fairly light, the didn't even have Jena listed, they did have a good number of inferencing tools:
The Two Paths Converge

The key issue that seems to make or break both .Net and J2EE is not their technical merits but how they listen and support their developer community. Will MS single vendor solution be faster and more responsive to change? Or will the JSR process with its large number of vendors and their conflicting but thought out requirements win over. I suspect that the largest effect on adoption will be the use of the Apache licensing on the JSR reference implementations. It seems to me that having access to the source code for JDO or EJB rather than reverse engineering ASP.Net or ADO.Net will be advantage, at least over Mono and other non-MS versions of .Net. Of course, it also depends on developer interest. Is Mono cooler than Java?

" .NET is not just comprised of C# and CLI. It consists of much more: ASP .NET, ADO .NET, and enterprise services-related framework classes, like the types present in System.EnterpriseServices namespace, which are responsible for providing enterprise services such as transaction and security, to name a few. These were not submitted to ECMA or any other standards body. Thus, since no one has complete knowledge of .NET, it's not easy to implement .NET on other platforms."

"If Microsoft decided to make our life really hard in terms of compatibility, it would also hurt its own customers. If it changes the APIs, that affects its customers as well. So I think the APIs will remain fairly stable, and I hope that Microsoft won't go into proprietary protocols or protocols that would make it really hard for us to implement Mono. There's is always the possibility it will do so."

I also hate the .Net advertising. One degree of separation, indeed. As mentioned in the Sun article, the biggest problem with the .Net Pet Shop demo was it's lack of separation. Separation is what keeps applications maintainable. I really shouldn't be surprised that the marketing is not targetted at technical people but they're the poor suckers that have to implement it.
Strange Economics

Well apparently this has been widely known for at least a day now but anyway, Apple are charging everyone US$129 to upgrade to OS X 10.2. The only exception is if you bought a Mac, no not last year, last month, but yesterday. Something about a slow take up of OS X? Time to get the ACCC onto this one.

I guess they have bigger fish to fry (or seeds to sow):
OS Governments

"From Asia to Europe to Latin America, politicians and bureaucrats are gravitating toward open source software for a variety of reasons. In China, the Ministry of Information Industry has been pumping money into the country's largest free software startup, Red Flag Linux, as a way to stimulate that nation's domestic software industry.

In the European Union government technocrats are examining open source software as a way to smooth the integration of conflicting, parochial software and communications standards. And in Latin America, where concerns over skyrocketing software fees and Microsoft market hegemony have triggered a spate of reactionary legislative bills, the debate surrounding open source software carries both nationalist and populist overtones."

As long as you don't count Australia as part of Asia those statements are pretty correct.

Monday, July 15, 2002


This was sorely needed. Apple's lack of communication on JDK 1.4 and matters Java has been fairly good on the mailing list just not publicly (their search engine on the list sucks and who looks at that anyway).

Good news is that JDK 1.4 will be 1.4.1, 1.3 and 1.4 will be available on Jaguar, and Java 3D looks like it might happen.

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Spot the Difference

I was initially confused at the Web Services UI I thought it was XUP all over again. It appears to be just a templating and macro type idea (like Velocity).

Are they trying to look like some other organisation?

Anakia (based on Velocity)

Like this one? (Not the same idea, though):
Oracle Moves into Unstructured Data Management (email discovery)

""Studies have maintained that a lot of information to support decisions lies also in the unstructured data, even in files produced in applications such as Powerpoint."

Apart from being able to bring together every figure quoted or e-mail written about a particular business transaction, features such as those in Oracle 9i could also simplify court cases."
Autonomy in Trouble

One of the biggest (if not the biggest) company in unstructured metadata has suffered recently from "the weakness was seen in Autonomy's European markets and that's what caught the management off guard. Revenue growth in the US has continued and the company remains "encouraged" by the recovery over there."

"The average deal size is measured in hundreds of thousands of dollars and some deals are up towards the $2m mark. You don't need many of these to slip to put a big dent in quarterly revenues."

They do continue to make sales like the recent one to the UK government to produce a portal:
Fun with J2EE

The EJB 2.1 specification looks pretty good although it looks like it doesn't have all of the features of something like JBoss .Net.

OnJava has done an overview of the JBoss clustering:

Finally, a UML to EJB tool using XDoclet (import using XMI files):
PayPal to Drop Online Gaming

"On Monday, PayPal announced that it was being acquired by eBay for about $1.5 billion in stock. eBay said that after the acquisition, PayPal will exit the online gaming business.

"We are making preparations in order to be able to fulfill the announcement that we will cease those transactions in connection with closure (of the deal)," PayPal spokesman Vince Sollitto said.

Last month, under pressure from New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Citibank, the biggest issuer of credit cards, agreed to block the use of those cards on online gaming sites."

It seems that if you can't gamble online in NY no one will.

Friday, July 12, 2002

JEFF - ISO standard Java?

While Sun couldn't seem to get Java standardised it looks like others have had more success in the the real-time and embedded area.

JEFF is interesting because it's:
* Designed to run directly from memory rather than translated,
* Designed to support a Java like VM,
* Royalty free,
* 50% smaller.

Curse our high bandwidth, fast, cheap mobile devices. It's funny that the consortium member "are comprised of companies and individuals dedicated to accelerating the use of Java":

They didn't go through the JSR process:

I wonder why:

Would it be because of the consortium members. Microsoft still doing work using that language?

Thursday, July 11, 2002


Yes, I remember this one on the old Commodore. Little did I realise that I wasn't the only one to think that this game was compelling.

Remake (become a member of the forum to download):

Hover Bover remake (10 MB vs 171 KB for the c64 disk image):

Bruce Lee for the PC:

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Pike - The Language of the Semantic Web?

"As a language, Pike is much better suited for the Semantic Web
than Java or C#, since it provides multiple inheritance, sets, relations, and
dynamic arrays." Dynamic Arrays, Sets, Relations, yes these things would
be new to a Java programmer! And I've being pining for a language that supports
MySQL and SANE out of the box.

The RISE project:

Well I still have my WebL stuff around somewhere that was cool man:
AGLS - Australian Government Locator Service

A simple and reasonably useful first go at using RDF. Most of the Australian government sites have done the minimum. Most of the tools listed look horribly manual and simple. What would be good is automated metadata extraction tools (like Klarity or the TMex stuff) deployed widely with dedicated metadata repositories. The problem with putting the metadata inline with the document is that it makes the actual content larger with no gain to the user (once they've done the searching). The other problem of course is that current commercial search engines don't support the Dublin Core stuff (according to their page and I couldn't find it listed on SearchEngineWatch). Again, a dedicated RDF store would do the trick.


6 Dublin Core items required to be Produced:

Tutorial on Producing it with Metabrowser:

Not supported, what's the point then?

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

SPRUT Your Russian Stuff

This is more directed graph stuff but this time designed for compiler construction. SPRUT generates C/C++ code. I found this while trying to work out what SPI stood for.

SPI (Standard Procedural Interface) is also used by a program called SPRUT. An IRD (internal representation description)
describes nodes on the graph and the SPI provides graph manipulation (printing out, deleting, adding, etc). Which is in C/C++ code. Neat idea (one we're using in TKS and is also in OntoJava). This has been around since 1998 nothing new under the sun I guess.

SPRUT part of the CoCom package:

OntoJava (generate Java code from RDF):
No internet connection

BTW, in case there's anyone here that needs me I haven't had a Internet connection for the last week (at home). No connection, no updates. It's Telstra's fault, it's always Telstra's fault.
Newsflash - Internet Unsafe

"It is a trivial matter, according to Harding, to use any one of several well-known techniques to trick a user into installing a malicious program posing as an update from Apple. Such techniques include DNS spoofing and DNS Cache Poisoning."

Now maybe Apple are to blame for not using SSL and signed installers but this "hack" is lame big time. I hear that your hosts file is dangerous too, delete it now!,,t269-s2118730,00.html

Of course, he added the backdoor to SSH. Which you could exploit anyway if you hadn't recently updated: