- OpenStructs — an education and distribution site dedicated to open source software for converting, managing, viewing and manipulating structured data.
- TinkerPop — many (often open source) tools for graph data.
- Polaroid a Day — a moving human story told in photographs.
- Prizes (PDF) — White House memorandum to government agencies explaining how prizes are to be used. The first part, the why and how of contests and prizes, is something to add to your “here, read this” arsenal.
"Semantic Web" entries
Health, Profit, Policy, and Semantic Web Software
- The Men Who Stare at Screens (NY Times) — What was unexpected was that many of the men who sat long hours and developed heart problems also exercised. Quite a few of them said they did so regularly and led active lifestyles. The men worked out, then sat in cars and in front of televisions for hours, and their risk of heart disease soared, despite the exercise. Their workouts did not counteract the ill effects of sitting. (via Andy Baio)
- Caring with Cash — describes a study where “pay however much you want” had high response rate but low average price, “half goes to charity” barely changed from the control (fixed price) response rate, but “half goes to charity and you can pay what you like” earned more money than either strategy.
- Behavioural Economics a Political Placebo? (NY Times) — As policymakers use it to devise programs, it’s becoming clear that behavioral economics is being asked to solve problems it wasn’t meant to address. Indeed, it seems in some cases that behavioral economics is being used as a political expedient, allowing policymakers to avoid painful but more effective solutions rooted in traditional economics. (via Mind Hacks)
- Protege — open source ontology editor and knowledge-base framework.
Facebook's Open Graph is both an important step and one that still needs work.
In this guest post, Alex Iskold places Facebook's Open Graph Initiative within the context of past data-linking efforts. There's work to be done — particularly on the "openness" front — but this effort represents an important step toward weaving the the web of people and things.
ACTA, Librarianship, HTML Magic, and Understanding Data
- PublicACTA — conference to critique the ACTA draft and offer better principles for the negotiators. It will be streamed online, and you’ll be able to watch Michael Geist, Kim Weatherall, and other speakers as well as follow the issues and drafting process. Raw notes and drafts will be on the web site throughout the day. I’m MCing.
- The Library is the Machine — article about the relationship of libraries to catalogues, errors, authoritative information, and the lessons for this new world of data we’re building. (via staplegun on Twitter)
- Fixing the Budget — the Economist polled Americans on the budget deficit. Overwhelmingly they want to cut spending and not raise taxes. When asked where to cut spending, the only agreement was on topics responsible for a few percent of the overall budget. This is why Budget Hero is so important: we need more SimCity-like exploration tools that let you say “what if we did (my favourite policy)?” and see what it does to not just next year’s deficit but those that our children will inherit.
For April Fools Day: a short story about a rare skill: Hardware
Copyright Economics, RDF, Linked Data Faith, and Douglas Adams
- Extending Copyright Duration in Australia (PDF) — economics of copyright extension. This proposal in the “let’s dream” section at the end caught my eye: The potential trade-off between production and distribution of intellectual property can be addressed in a number of ways. Australia could offer a system of graduated copyright protection with differing durations and differing fees. If an individual truly believed that their intellectual property would be valuable seventy years after their deaths, they should pay for that privilege. This is a Coasian solution to the copyright monopoly problem — with property rights being allocated to the public domain. In essence, creators are renting a portion of the public domain. It need not constitute a barrier to invention and creative activity because, in any event, there are few copyright materials that are valuable after such a long period of time and further, if the individual’s beliefs are correct they could either raise the necessary funds by means of a loan or by selling the idea on the secondary market. If, however, they thought their intellectual property were only valuable for ten years then they would pay far less, and so on. (via wiselark on Twitter)
- Heart Proposal (Apache) — a planet-scale RDF data store and a distributed processing engine based on Hadoop & Hbase. (via Hacker News)
- Collections Trust: 10 Principles for Linked Data — they read to me more as articles of faith than as proven statements of fact. 4. Linked Data can help us achieve more efficient practice. 5. Linked Data can help us deliver on our commitment to Public Access. 6. Linked Data is the next phase in our adaptation to the Web. 7. Linked Data should become an embedded function of the software we use (via PeoplePoints)
- Parrots, The Universe, and Everything — 1981 University of California talk by Douglas Adams. (via BoingBoing)
PM Plugs Tech, Science Bloggers, History Repeats, Beautiful Math
- British Prime Minister’s Speech — a huge amount of the speech is given to digital issues, including the funding and founding of an “Institute for Web Science” headed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. (via Rchards on Twitter)
- Periodic Table of Science Bloggers — a great way to explore the universe of science blogging. (via sciblogs)
- For All The Tea in China — a tale of industrial espionage from the 1800s. The man behind the theft was Robert Fortune, a Scottish-born botanist who donned mandarin garb, shaved the top of his head and attached a long braid as part of a disguise that allowed him to pass as Chinese so he could go to areas of the country that were off-limits to foreigners. He forged a token and stole IP, in some ways it’s like the reverse of the Google-China breakin. (via danjite on Twitter)
- Nature by Numbers — relating numbers, geometry, and nature. Beautiful and educational. (via BoingBoing)