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24 May 2008

Excuse me, your supporting layer is showing

TO had a recent air travel experience. Most of this passed as per usual, but for a curious twist. On a couple of occasions, the seatback video system was restarted. TO observed and laughed at the appearance of a Linux penguin on the upper left corner of each seat's screen, with a boot sequence scrolling below it. TO's seatmate commented that TO was perhaps the flight's only passenger to find the occurrence of such a display amusing, even though it had presumably not been presented to the captive audience with this intent. Perhaps so.

17 May 2008

Semantically Qualified Owls

The technologies of the Semantic Web offer significant technical promise, but have so far found selective rather than pervasive application. TO was interested to see what commentators might have written about the uptake of the W3C's Web Ontology Language (OWL, by way of transposed acronym), and asked a Prominent Search Engine about "OWL adoption". A comprehensive set of hits concerning topics such as wildlife rescue and rehabilitative care for members of the order Strigiformes was received; while informative, these did not appear closely salient to the intended question. They did serve, however, as a concise and ironic example of the value of semantic qualification in information searches.