"Microsoft Acquires Powerset": Why a Semantic Web Will Be Smarter, Faster & All-Around Better

Semantic_webMicrosoft's acquisition of Powerset signals a the building of a future when the entire world will likely have access to virtual “software agents” who will “roam” across the Web, making our travel arrangements, doctor's appointments and basically taking care of all the day-to-day hassles for humankind. It’s a great vision, but it will never be achieved with today's current Internet.

As much as we’ve come to know and love the current World Wide Web—we have to admit that it isn't very smart. One webpage is the same as any other. It might have a higher “ranking”, but there's no distinction based on actual meaning. That’s why many Internet wizards believe it is time for Web 3.0, or the “semantic Web”. It’s one of the hottest buzzwords in computer science today. Why? Because it promises to bring order to chaos, and make our lives simpler.

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"Twine" - The Semantic Web Comes to Life

Internet_search_2 There's been a lot of talk over the last few years about the "Next Big Thing" in Internet search -the semantic web. While Google and Yahoo and other search engines do a good job of ranking web pages and providing relevant results to keyword searches, the truth is that they doesn't really understand what you're asking it in plain language.

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Spock! The World's Largest "People Search" Engine

Spock_logo_2_3 There are days where the wonderful world of Web 2.0 is a little lax in providing us anything to chew over, and then there are others where they just go out of their way. Today is one of the latter

THE BIG NEWS is  that Spock has finally gone live. We'll skip all possible Star Trek jokes, and say that Spock has billed itself as the largest people search engine in the world, and boasts an impressive score of over one hundred million people indexed, and growing -rapidly.

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Squidoo -The Real Thing in People Powered Search

LogosquidoohomeSquidoo is a network of user-generated "lenses" (single web pages). Created by Web legend Seth Godin, author of Cow and Small is the New Big, Squidoo has grown in two years to more than 8 million users.

Squidoo Lenses showcase a point of view, recommendations, or expertise, and then point to content on the web such as Daily Galaxy posts, Flickr photos, Google maps, blogs, eBay auctions, YouTube videos. To date there are more than 100,000 lenses covering every imaginable interest and topic.

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Beyond Google: StumbleUpon & "Social Search"

StumbleuponIn a podcast I was listening to last week, legendary Web guru, Seth Godin, the author of " Cow," "Small is the New Big," and his new New York Times bestseller, "The Dip," made a fascinating and I believe, brilliant, observation.

When asked what companies he thought might be the next big thing beyond Google, Godin answered: "StumbleUpon: it is social search and it's revolutionizing how we find things on the Web."

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PopUrl -Dashboard for the Hive Mind

PopUrls is one page encapsulation of up-to-the-minute headlines from 15 consensus filters, and top thumbnail images from the social sites Flickr, YouTube, and Google Video.

PopurlsPopUrl, created by Thomas Marban from Austria, lets you scan the latest headlines of what the web collectively thinks is either popular or interesting. A simple mouse over the headline will cleverly reveal a small box of expanded text on the article.

The design of PopUrls is brilliant. The page is essentially an improved interface for multiple RSS feeds, which keep PopUrls constantly updated with all the streams flowing into it keep it lively.


A Google Rival Emerging? Daily Discovery

GooglepentecostlogoDid you know that Xerox PARC (the orignal inventors of what eventually became Windows, Ethernet, and the pc) is licensing a broad portfolio of patents and technology to a well-financed start-up with an ambitious and potentially lucrative goal: to build a search engine that could some day rival Google.

The start-up, Powerset, is licensing PARC's "natural language" technology, which it hopes will be the basis of a new search engine that allows users to type queries in plain English, rather than using keywords. (Also, checkout Google Leaping to AI Future).