Opinions, News and Views on Semantic Technology and Research

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Enterprise Cloud Computing Track at Cloud Expo No sooner did W3C hire itself a new CEO to run day-to-day operations than Tim Berners-Lee, who is still supposed to be director of W3C, turns up running a new research center that the British government is putting around $45 million (£30 million) into called the Institute for Web Science. It's supposed to develop, maybe even commercialize, Berners-Lee's quixotic next-generation notions of a Semantic Web and put the UK on the cutting edge of emerging Internet technologies, according to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who also wants every home in the UK to have super-fast broadband by 2020. The institute will be jointly based at the Universities of Oxford and Southampton, the latter a hot bed of Semantic Web research where Berners-Lee has had a part-time post since 2004. ... (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 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)

Semantics and Context

Although XML defines each data element in a given transaction (the semantics), there's no mechanism to also communicate the business context. This represents the difference between reading XML and understanding the business impact of the transaction. The use of namespaces, numeric values, and time stamps all create some context when looking across transactions or business entities. In this article we'll discuss the difference between semantics and context and the challenges this difference creates relative to performance and scalability. One of the core tenets of XML is its exte... (more)

Can We Finally Find the Database Holy Grail? | Part 3

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 ... (more)