technology notes… mobile and embedded.

Tech this week (Sep 15- Sep 20 ,2008)

with one comment

Semantic search:Where is it now? Semantic search was largely touted to be the ‘next big thing’ in web search and many called it as one of the defining aspects of   Web3.0 ,an evolution from the now prevalent Web2.0. But the idea has not yet reached prevalence.
For the uninitiated,Semantic Search involves analyzing the semantics (meaning) of the search string and provides better results.
Its a  powerful tool compared to present syntax based web searches . For eg: if you search for ‘melancholy songs with birds’ the search can give you sad songs written based on birds. In other words,the mapping can ‘understand’ that melancholy means sadness and give the correct results.(source AFP)

A major building block for the technology is a  vast database of words and phrases and a mapping of their meaning. Now a company called Cognition has released one such database. Cognition’s database  is the result of 20 years of research on the semantics of the English language,  and the founders claim that the database has mapped 99.9 % of the English language!  Here is a nice article on popular web2.0 site readwriteweb.com

But why no search engine based on this?  Semantic search is not for normal consumer usage. Its power can be felt when the search is more focused and in-depth. Potential clients are from the fields of Medical research and criminal analysis where users need to sift through reams of  research papers/ evidence data  where meanings of words are also important. Cognition’s database could be an important building block for similair technologies and could be the beginning of the Web 3.0 or the Semantic Web era.

Esquire and the 21st century: Men’s magazine Esquire commemorated its 75th anniversary with a   collectors edition book ,that’s worth mentioning here.  The cover of the magazine had something revolutionary . Here is a video on how it looks on the bookshelves across the world.

The cover had text that keeps scrolling text just like adds on TV. The dynamic display of text was based on what they call ‘e-ink’ technology. Here is a rip off of what went inside  to create the blinking news .

OpenOffice 3.0 rc2:  Like many I  had a gripe that the previous edition of Open Office was not so appealing. The team seems to have listened and come up with the rc version of their next major release. Let us see if OpenOffice3 breaks into Microsoft’s Office domain. Here is first look on the various features with this new edition.

Public beta of StackOverflow.com Jeff Atwood‘s new site is now open for  public beta. Stackoverflow.com is question/answer site for programmers. It combines the  ideas from forums ,user groups ,blogs and wiki .

For e.g, users who have gained some ‘points’ could edit answers from fellow users much in the same way as a wiki.The UI seems decently made. Give it a try or have a casual look on the various ‘interesting questions there. Here is an in depth review from another blogger

Kernel Summit 2008 : Finally ,here is a group photo from the recently concluded Linux Kernel Summit 2008. The kernel summit is an annual meetup of the who’s who of the Linux Kernel team. Its heartening to see quite a few Indians working on this great project 🙂


Written by sujai

September 22, 2008 at 10:37 am

One Response

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  1. One thing that irritates me in these Office wars is the Microsoft propaganda that claims that parents should buy “MS Office Home and Student Edition” to see their kids pass exams with flying colors. Which costs a measly Rs 4k INR or something.

    So irritating!


    September 22, 2008 at 3:46 pm

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