The Future As Seen By Me In 2010

Well looky here, things one has scanned in eh. (ignore the photo, that's some guy that made some accounting software, not sure what became of him ;) MIKE RIVERSDALE is fuming. The expensive headphones he bought in Sydney three weeks ago have just died. His first reaction is not to randomly spill expletives into his coffee, but to use his iPhone to vent his frustration to his Twitter con- tacts, under the moniker Miramar Mike. "I will also put, 'What should I do?' It's a conversation. I'm reaching out to the people following me." The council predicts hand-held digital devices such as smartphones will rule the world in 2040. They already rule the life of Mr Riversdale, whose company WaveAdept helps businesses adapt - their computing sys- tems to allow staff to work from anywhere - and with anyone. In order of fre- equency, he uses his iPhone to tweet (1136 followers; 8363 tweets since joining), e-mail, make phone calls and use online services, such as checki

Microformats - is this the semantic web coming out of the closet?

Google Maps now uses microformats (specfically hCard).

"What the hell are you talking about Mike?" ... I'm talking about the next fing to make you all go, "Ooooh, clever!"

The Web today ... it's just a bunch of pages that you, I and the guy behind you can read. If it's a particularly modern site then you might be able to write to it as well (leave a comment on this blog, upload your pictures you get the deal). And that's it. Nothing more, nothing less - read and maybe write.

The semantic web takes it the next step. It not only lets you, I and the girl by you read stuff but the semantic web will be in a format that, da da daaaa, computers can read!
Yep, all those SciFi movies are gonna come true.

In essence - not only will you be able to read a web page that contains an address and know it's an address but so will your browser (currently it's just letters and words, could be a recipe for soufflé). Once browsers* and other software understand such concepts they can start to do things with the information - find the distance between address and home, show me on a map, post a letter ... I dunno, anything you/I and the world of developers can come up with.
Microformats is the name given to the standard way of letting both us (humanoids) and computers (electronic-oids) understand bits of content - addresses, people's contact details and many more (list here). This is the base upon which the semantic web will be born - this from Wikipedia:
The semantic web is an evolving extension of the World Wide Web in which web content can be expressed not only in natural language, but also in a format that can be read and used by software agents, thus permitting them to find, share and integrate information more easily.[1] It derives from W3C director Sir Tim Berners-Lee's vision of the Web as a universal medium for data, information, and knowledge exchange.

At its core, the semantic web comprises a philosophy,[2] a set of design principles,[3] collaborative working groups, and a variety of enabling technologies. Some elements of the semantic web are expressed as prospective future possibilities that have yet to be implemented or realized.[4] Other elements of the semantic web are expressed in formal specifications.[5] Some of these include Resource Description Framework (RDF), a variety of data interchange formats (e.g. RDF/XML, N3, Turtle, N-Triples), and notations such as RDF Schema (RDFS) and the Web Ontology Language (OWL), all of which are intended to provide a formal description of concepts, terms, and relationships within a given knowledge domain.

Oh, and Google can also tell you how many horns a unicorn has

*Firefox users can install the Operator or Tails extension; IE or Safari users can use one of these bookmarklets.


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