Opinions, News and Views on Semantic Technology and Research

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In my first post in this three part series I talked about the need for distributed transactional databases that scale-out horizontally across commodity machines, as compared to traditional transactional databases that employ a "scale-up" design.  Simply adding more machines is a quicker, cheaper and more flexible way of increasing database capacity than forklift upgrades to giant steam-belching servers. It also brings the promise of continuous availability and of geo-distributed operation. The second post in this series provided an overview of the three historical approaches to designing distributed transactional database systems, namely: 1. Shared Disk Designs (e.g., ORACLE RAC); 2. Shared Nothing Designs (e.g. the Facebook MySQL implementation); and 3) Synchronous Commit Designs (e.g. GOOGLE F1).  All of them have some advantages over traditional client-server da... (more)

Why the Titans of Business Are Investing Billions in Semantic Technology

Whether you've bought into it yet or not, the Semantic Web (aka Web 3.0) is coming - and mega-companies are leading the way. Not just the Googles, Facebooks and Apples of the world, but also massive organizations with business models as diverse as Wal-Mart, The New York Times, Dow Jones and Ford. All of them, and many more, are heavily invested in semantic web technologies. One reason: When the transition to the Semantic Web is complete, all data everywhere will be linked in the cloud as connected points on a massive global graph. Unlike data in silos, the linked data in graphs ... (more)

SDN and Security: Network versus Applications

That attackers are moving "up the stack", toward the application layer, should be no surprise. Increasingly, network layer attacks are a distraction; a means to engage security professionals attention while the real target - an application - is attacked. Even when this is not the case, the tendency to attack at the application layers is increasing because honestly it's cheaper in terms of resources to take out an application using application layer attacks than it is to do so at the network layers. Sure, an attacker might not be able to completely eradicate a company's presence f... (more)

Semantic Technologies in the Data Center

Leading Web search portals are using semantic search engines to deliver answers instead of results. That same technology is now emerging in the enterprise. It can help developers tame log data by uncovering information about application performance problems and answering the question ‘what went wrong?'. We've all been there: you're looking for something on the Web, and the search engine returns a lengthy list of blue links. All of the Web pages are shown in one place, but it takes time and effort to find the right one. The same is true for many application log tools, which may c... (more)

Semantic Web The Next Big Thing?

As I was traveling across Asia and hanging out in waiting rooms, customs lines, etc., my mind turns to the future, since the present is so dull. In our business you always have to keep wondering "What is the next big thing?". The more I think about it, "Semantics" always seems to bubble up to the top. To be clear, Semantics is the study of meaning. But its much more than that. Everything old is new again Note that I did not say Semantics is the next New thing. In fact, The pursuit of "Semantic Technology" is by no means a new pursuit. The earliest research on semantics and compute... (more)

Comparing Networks Semantics in CORBA and Java

The recent issuance of an RFP for "Unreliable Multicast" in CORBA got me thinking about the many network semantics available in a combined CORBA/Java environment. There are at least five already, not counting Unreliable Multicast: Java RMI invocations; CORBA synchronous invocations; CORBA asynchronous and messaging-mode invocations; one-way notifications using the CORBA event and notification services; and the Java Messaging Service (JMS). In this column I'll review the basic characteristics of these services side by side. I'm not planning to rate them as "better" or "worse" on a... (more)