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David Weinberger

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Top Stories by David Weinberger

Today, for the very first time in my experience, The Encyclopedia Britannica was the #1 result at Google for a query. It’s good to see the EB making progress with its online offering, but I’m actually puzzled in this case. The query was “horizontal hold” (without quotes), and the EB page that’s #1 is pretty much worthless. It’s a stub that gives a snippet of the article on the topic, but the snippet oddly begins with definition #4. The page then points us into actual articles in the EB, but they’re articles you have to pay for (although the EB offers a “no risk” free trial). So, how did Google’s special sauce float this especially unhelpful page to the surface? And why isn’t there a Wikipedia page on “horizontal hold”? And does this mean that if there’s no Wikipedia page for a topic, Google gets the vapors and just doesn’t know what to recommend? Nooooo……… [Tags: g... (more)

AP to Digitally Monitor Copyright

The AP has announced it is going to use an automated system to monitor the use of AP content on the Web, looking for copyright violations. The empire is fighting back. From the press release: The Associated Press Board of Directors today directed The Associated Press to create a news registry that will tag and track all AP content online to assure compliance with terms of use. The system will register key identifying information about each piece of content that AP distributes as well as the terms of use of that content, and employ a built-in beacon to notify AP about how the con... (more)

Ellen Degeneres Should Go Open Source

By the way, if Ellen Degeneres wants to respond in a reasonable and constructive way to the lawsuits over her use of song snippets to dance to, she could always start using Creative Commons-licensed music, with a nice plug for the open-hearted musicians making our lives more tuney. ... (more)

[ugc3] Final Panel

I went first. I talked about exceptionalism, responding to Eli Noam’s challenge at the beginning of the conference that if we’re going to think the Net is going to bring about substantial changes, we have to be able to point to characteristics of it that are different from other technologies that also looked revolutionary but that turned out to be rather prosaic. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other peo... (more)

[berkman] Stephen Wolfram - WolframAlpha.com

Stephen Wolfram is giving at talk at Harvard about his WolframAlpha site, which will launch in May. Aim: “Find a way to make computable the systematic knowledge we’ve accumulated.” The two big projects he’s worked on have made this possible. Mathematica (he’s worked on it for 23 yrs) makes it possible to do complex math and symbolic language manipulation. A New Kind of Science (NKS) has made it possible that it’s possible to understand much about the world computationally, often with very simple rules. So, WA uses NKS principles and the Mathematica engine. He says he’s in this pr... (more)