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Re: Microsoft improves SmartTag feature (let's get back to Decent ralization talks here)...

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  • Robert Scoble
    ... What, you don t have Bill Gates home phone number too? Just kidding. Seriously, can we really take this over to some place more appropriate? Say DevX s
    Message 1 of 18 , Jun 18 3:18 AM
      >Baseless criticism doesn't imply idiocy. Nor are you the only critic
      >of this feature. (I mean, do you really think Microsoft is caving in
      >to you alone? ;)

      What, you don't have Bill Gates home phone number too? Just kidding.
      Seriously, can we really take this over to some place more appropriate? Say
      DevX's infamous "off.ramp" newsgroup at news://news.devx.com/off.ramp ?

      Until we do, we're just adulterating this mailing list, because I can not
      see any connection between SmartTags and decentralized technology. I can't
      see this discussion getting on topic anytime soon, so let's go to the
      "off.ramp." Thanks! (Or post a message in the discussion area on my weblog
      and I'll point to it from my home page and we'll go from there).

      We haven't had any discussion of decentralization issues here for a few
      days. It's time to get back on topic.

      >Post production markup of content by someone other than the author or
      >publisher is a perfectly valid activity and as long as thoughtful
      >people have been _readers_, they have also been habitual annotators
      >of texts.

      Um. I don't consider this to be a "perfectly valid activity."

      I work for a magazine. I don't allow any third party to adulterate my
      content before you get it. Note, I said "third party." That's real
      important.

      There's a difference between me taking my Wired magazine and making a few
      notes in it, and participating in a scheme where a third-party gets to put
      advertising into Wired before I get the magazine without Wired's approval,
      control, or even knowledge.

      >Who cares to deny this?

      Me. See ya in the off.ramp!


      Robert Scoble
      http://scobleizer.manilasites.com
    • kiyoumars@yahoo.com
      Your objections to my 2 posts on this topic is a bit surprising considering the more than a handful of messages in this forum with the words Smart Tag in them.
      Message 2 of 18 , Jun 18 4:51 AM
        Your objections to my 2 posts on this topic is a bit surprising
        considering the more than a handful of messages in this forum with
        the words Smart Tag in them.

        And I must decline your kind invitation to chew the fat on oframp as
        my intent is not to engage in idle conversation.

        >I can not see any connection between SmartTags and decentralized
        technology.

        (Ah, the wisdom of Chinese cooking ;)

        Content is served from one node in the net; Meta-info (e.g.
        annotations) served from another; content is view on yet another node
        in the network. All collaborate in a *decentralized* fashion.

        One can see, in a better designed user agent, the exciting
        possibility of peer based collaboration for even the _construction_
        of the semantic networks from which the meta-information is
        obtained.

        Taking this to a happy extreme, there is the possibility for the
        utility of many such networks, per topic, per interest, per
        affliation.

        And of course, having the ability to select the semantic network
        certainly opens the possiblity that you, the user, can provide your
        own semantic network on your own machine/network.

        (One of the *issues* here is the design of an effective UI for such a
        *decentralized* peer/user-agent, which promises to be a *technical*
        challange.)

        As regards to advertising, that is clearly a *business* issue,
        regarding which I wish to only say that given your (imo justified)
        abhorance of advertisement, one wonders why you would even reach for
        Wired.

        Peace.


        joubin@... [using a friend's account]




        --- In decentralization@y..., Robert Scoble <rscoble@f...> wrote:
        > >Baseless criticism doesn't imply idiocy. Nor are you the only
        critic
        > >of this feature. (I mean, do you really think Microsoft is caving
        in
        > >to you alone? ;)
        >
        > What, you don't have Bill Gates home phone number too? Just kidding.
        > Seriously, can we really take this over to some place more
        appropriate? Say
        > DevX's infamous "off.ramp" newsgroup at
        news://news.devx.com/off.ramp ?
        >
        > Until we do, we're just adulterating this mailing list, because I
        can not
        > see any connection between SmartTags and decentralized technology.
        I can't
        > see this discussion getting on topic anytime soon, so let's go to
        the
        > "off.ramp." Thanks! (Or post a message in the discussion area on my
        weblog
        > and I'll point to it from my home page and we'll go from there).
        >
        > We haven't had any discussion of decentralization issues here for a
        few
        > days. It's time to get back on topic.
        >
        > >Post production markup of content by someone other than the author
        or
        > >publisher is a perfectly valid activity and as long as thoughtful
        > >people have been _readers_, they have also been habitual
        annotators
        > >of texts.
        >
        > Um. I don't consider this to be a "perfectly valid activity."
        >
        > I work for a magazine. I don't allow any third party to adulterate
        my
        > content before you get it. Note, I said "third party." That's real
        > important.
        >
        > There's a difference between me taking my Wired magazine and making
        a few
        > notes in it, and participating in a scheme where a third-party gets
        to put
        > advertising into Wired before I get the magazine without Wired's
        approval,
        > control, or even knowledge.
        >
        > >Who cares to deny this?
        >
        > Me. See ya in the off.ramp!
        >
        >
        > Robert Scoble
        > http://scobleizer.manilasites.com
      • Chris Hanson
        ... There are clipping and annotation services that do exactly this. It is a perfectly valid activity; it s my choice as a reader *how* to read your magazine.
        Message 3 of 18 , Jun 18 7:09 AM
          At 3:18 AM -0700 6/18/01, Robert Scoble wrote:
          > >Post production markup of content by someone other than the author or
          > >publisher is a perfectly valid activity and as long as thoughtful
          > >people have been _readers_, they have also been habitual annotators
          > >of texts.
          >
          >Um. I don't consider this to be a "perfectly valid activity."
          >
          >I work for a magazine. I don't allow any third party to adulterate my
          >content before you get it. Note, I said "third party." That's real
          >important.

          There are clipping and annotation services that do exactly this.

          It is a perfectly valid activity; it's my choice as a reader *how* to
          read your magazine. Once you've sold a copy, what happens to that
          copy (so long as it's not reproduced) is absolutely out of your
          control. Similarly, once your HTML is downloaded to my browser, what
          happens to it is absolutely out of your control.

          What I'd like is to have a decentralized annotation service. There
          is a group of people I went to school with on a mailing list.
          They're very interesting and I trust their opinions. Right now we
          mark up the web by posting URLs to the mailing list with commentary.
          It would be nice if I could see their notes on a page, or in a
          sidebar next to a page, as soon as I go there.

          In other words, something similar to Third Voice but with the ability
          to be very selective about whose comments you want to view. It
          sounds to me like Microsoft's Smart Tag technology may be a useful
          platform for implementing this.

          -- Chris

          --
          Chris Hanson <cmh@...>
          bDistributed.com: Making Business Distributed
        • kiyoumars@yahoo.com
          ... One wonders: Is this perhaps what is so worrisome to WSJ and other organs of news and information? Does this upset the plans of AOL/TimeWarner to help
          Message 4 of 18 , Jun 18 8:27 AM
            > [...] Once you've sold a copy, what happens to that
            > copy (so long as it's not reproduced) is absolutely out of your
            > control.

            One wonders: Is this perhaps what is so worrisome to WSJ and
            other 'organs' of news and information?

            Does this upset the plans of AOL/TimeWarner to "help [us] understand
            a complex world"?


            > What I'd like is to have a decentralized annotation service.

            Yes. And the sooner, the better.

            It would realy be interesting to be able to read NYTimes 'version' of
            events with annotations by, say, Alternet.

            [..]

            > It sounds to me like Microsoft's Smart Tag technology may be a
            > useful platform for implementing this.

            It sure is. It could be an empowering technology.

            Lets hope they catch a clue, for a change.

            If Microsoft is listening, one hopes that they realize that this is A
            _Golden Opportunity_ for them to work towards winning the trust of
            the community, AND making a _firm stand_ for Civil Liberties in this
            nation.

            And for those who lament the passing of the 'free web' and the
            emergence of pay-for-propaganda and captive audiences, reflect on the
            opportunity presented here for winning back control over the
            dissemination and contextualization of information.

            Peace.

            joubin@... [using a friend's account]
          • allenjs@hotmail.com
            ... Well, I laid out one possible roadmap for such a thing at http://www.netcrucible.com/semantic.html. I do not think it is hard; it is just that everyone
            Message 5 of 18 , Jun 18 2:18 PM
              > > What I'd like is to have a decentralized annotation service.
              >
              > Yes. And the sooner, the better.

              Well, I laid out one possible roadmap for such a thing at
              http://www.netcrucible.com/semantic.html. I do not think it is hard;
              it is just that everyone would rather talk about it and try to get
              someone else to do it. Decentralized annotation is very much
              appropriate for this list, and much of the infrastructure that is
              needed is already in place (NNTP, etc.).

              Be aware that even a decentralized annotation service would very
              likely meet the same objections as smart tags from many publishers.

              > _Golden Opportunity_ for them to work towards winning the trust of
              > the community, AND making a _firm stand_ for Civil Liberties in
              > this nation.

              Am I the only one who sees this as a conflict between publishers and
              readers? The objection #2 that Robert (and Dave) pointed out would
              exist regardless of who supplied the technology. I personally
              (speaking only for myself) think it is not any big company's place to
              battle in social issues like this. If publishers get upset that
              someone makes it possible for a reader to "bring along" a competitor
              while reading a site, that sounds like an argument that the publisher
              and the reader need to work out between themselves, and if I'm the
              guy who sold the copy of "consumer reports" magazine to you, I'm
              gonna get the heck out of town and stop selling magazines as soon as
              I see the knives come out. (I'm not ignoring the other issue
              about "default" tags; we all agree that this is specific to the
              market power that a particular company holds. But this is *not* the
              only or even primary objection that many important people have to
              annotations).
            • kiyoumars@yahoo.com
              ... [...] ... Agreed. ... I would venture that a decentralized annotation service which placed **ALL** power at the hand of the Reader would be even more
              Message 6 of 18 , Jun 18 3:44 PM
                > > > What I'd like is to have a decentralized annotation service.
                [...]

                > [Its easy]

                Agreed.

                > Be aware that even a decentralized annotation service would very
                > likely meet the same objections as smart tags from many publishers.

                I would venture that a decentralized annotation service which placed
                **ALL** power at the hand of the Reader would be even more strongly
                attacked -- though through peripheral diversionary means, and not on
                merit.

                That is to be expected.


                > > _Golden Opportunity_ for them to work towards winning the trust
                of
                > > the community, AND making a _firm stand_ for Civil Liberties in
                > > this nation.
                >
                > Am I the only one who sees this as a conflict between publishers
                and
                > readers?

                I disagree.

                You are an enabler of the publishers. And frankly, it is about time
                that technologists accepted the social responsibility for their
                handiworks. These things are not toys; they effect people, they
                effect lives; they deeply and subversively affect society.

                [Think TV and Automobile.]

                Since your company has so aggressively pursued dominance in this
                space, the responsibility now falls upon your company to safeguard
                certain rights, such as Freedom of (virtual) association, (virtual)
                assembly, and speech.

                And the ability to choose one's semantic network is exactly about
                freedom of association and assembly.

                Publishers who insist on controlling every aspect of their readers'
                experience are either suffering from all too common (and forgiveable)
                human shortcomings, or, in the case of behemots such as
                AOL/TimeWarner from possibly sinister (and unforgiveable) motives.

                Publishers **have every opportunity** to put whatever information
                (including links) that they wish to serve to their consumers. No one
                can, nor should, stop them from exercising their rights.

                But we (perhaps reluctant) consumers of _your technology_ are
                dependent on your company to deliver **equally enabling means** in
                this conflict between publisher and reader.

                If the Media Machine can make such (apparently) cowardly lions out of
                Microsoft, which is no gentle giant by all accounts, then what chance
                do smaller grassroots movements and organization and individuals have
                in such an environment?

                And if Microsoft is so afraid of the Big Bad Wolf, then really, do
                us all a favor and open hooks in your system so we fearless ones can
                insert our own Smart Tag modules to go where Microsoft fears to tread.

                --

                Its a funny little thing that in this age of ever-merging Financial
                and Media conglomerates, DOJ has had its laser sights *exclusively*
                on Microsoft. Not a word about AOL. Not a word about the Big Banks.

                Funny little things make me sit up and pay attention.

                And I think Microsoft should pay attention too. (It is, after all,
                also in your own best interest as well.)


                Peace.

                joubin@... [Using a friend's account who is not responsible in
                any way shape or form for my comments.]

                p.s.: Did you see that Tim Robins movie?

                Fine piece of 'film-making', don't you think?

                I wonder when the sequal is gonna come out :)
              • Sean Gallagher
                Chris is right. And Chris is wrong. And Chris is right. As both an editor type and as one who has consumed clipping services, annotation is a valid
                Message 7 of 18 , Jun 18 5:10 PM
                  Chris is right. And Chris is wrong. And Chris is right.
                  As both an editor type and as one who has consumed clipping services,
                  annotation is a valid service--but there's an important difference between
                  clipping services and SmartTags.
                  You choose a clipping service to annotate your reading experience. You have
                  a choice of clipping services in a free market. You do not have a single,
                  central editorial voice annotating all content. If SmartTags only points to
                  Microsoft content--that is, if it cannot be user configured to point at a
                  third-party annotation service (for example, what if I wanted to point at
                  whatis.com?), then it is not in the spirit of a clipping service.

                  Also, clipping and annotation services don't insert advertisements into
                  your reading experience.

                  Now, for a business spin:
                  Magazines, especially free ones that depend on advertising for revenues,
                  would vigorously fight republication of their content in a clipping service
                  because it doesn't contain ads. And they certainly wouldn't want ads from
                  some other publisher pasted into their publications. Sure, there's
                  software that strips out banner ads from websites--that's a user choice,
                  just like not looking at the ads in a magazine. But show me one user who
                  would choose to have ads inserted into content in addition to the ones
                  already there.

                  Any link to a Microsoft site is an opportunity to insert a marketing
                  message. Therefore, it is an ad.

                  However, it is the user's choice, and if a user selects to have SmartTags
                  turned on, I don't see the problem. They could download an alternative
                  markup service--I believe NBCi offers something similar, for example.
                  Unless we adopt proprietary content delivery technologies (like the RIAA and
                  MPAA are), we can't control the way readers choose to consume our content.

                  >
                  > On 6/18/01 10:09 AM, "Chris Hanson" <cmh@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >> At 3:18 AM -0700 6/18/01, Robert Scoble wrote:
                  >>>> Post production markup of content by someone other than the author or
                  >>>> publisher is a perfectly valid activity and as long as thoughtful
                  >>>> people have been _readers_, they have also been habitual annotators
                  >>>> of texts.
                  >>>
                  >>> Um. I don't consider this to be a "perfectly valid activity."
                  >>>
                  >>> I work for a magazine. I don't allow any third party to adulterate my
                  >>> content before you get it. Note, I said "third party." That's real
                  >>> important.
                  >>
                  >> There are clipping and annotation services that do exactly this.
                  >>
                  >> It is a perfectly valid activity; it's my choice as a reader *how* to
                  >> read your magazine. Once you've sold a copy, what happens to that
                  >> copy (so long as it's not reproduced) is absolutely out of your
                  >> control. Similarly, once your HTML is downloaded to my browser, what
                  >> happens to it is absolutely out of your control.
                  >>
                  >> What I'd like is to have a decentralized annotation service. There
                  >> is a group of people I went to school with on a mailing list.
                  >> They're very interesting and I trust their opinions. Right now we
                  >> mark up the web by posting URLs to the mailing list with commentary.
                  >> It would be nice if I could see their notes on a page, or in a
                  >> sidebar next to a page, as soon as I go there.
                  >>
                  >> In other words, something similar to Third Voice but with the ability
                  >> to be very selective about whose comments you want to view. It
                  >> sounds to me like Microsoft's Smart Tag technology may be a useful
                  >> platform for implementing this.
                  >>
                  >> -- Chris
                  >
                  >
                • chris hollander
                  If SmartTags only points to ... point at a ... point at ... i haven t found any reference to smartTags being a msft only party... in fact, most
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jun 18 10:38 PM
                    <snip>

                    If SmartTags only points to
                    > Microsoft content--that is, if it cannot be user configured to
                    point at a
                    > third-party annotation service (for example, what if I wanted to
                    point at
                    > whatis.com?), then it is not in the spirit of a clipping service.
                    >
                    </snip>

                    i haven't found any reference to smartTags being a msft only party...
                    in fact, most of what i've seen (taking office smart tags as an
                    example) point to a published SDK allowing anyone to implement and
                    distribute their own STs... so, for example, if cnet wanted to have
                    their own "tech company info" ST, they could write one, and IE would
                    dilligently link the names of tech companies to cnet's site... it
                    would be cnet's burden to get their ST installed on edge machines.
                    at the end of the day, STs are not too different from context menu
                    customizations.
                  • Julian Bond
                    In article , chris hollander writes ... This is the one feature I m quite puzzled about. Installing a Smart
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jun 18 11:01 PM
                      In article <9gmogg+gsh2@...>, chris hollander
                      <chollander@...> writes
                      >it
                      >would be cnet's burden to get their ST installed on edge machines.
                      >at the end of the day, STs are not too different from context menu
                      >customizations.

                      This is the one feature I'm quite puzzled about. Installing a Smart Tag
                      list seems to involve getting a file onto the users hard disk. Which
                      means an install routine. I suspect this has occurred because the
                      feature came out of the Office group, not the IE group. There's was one
                      rumour that the List file could be embedded or attached to a web page.
                      Can anyone confirm this? The whole feature would actually be
                      considerably more powerful if it was slightly less decentralized and had
                      more of an element of auto update about it.

                      Conceptually this is quite like the problem of a spelling checker having
                      to have it's dictionary installed locally. Except that the dictionary
                      data is more dynamic.

                      --
                      Julian Bond eMail: julian@...
                      HomeURL: http://www.shockwav.demon.co.uk/
                      WorkURL: http://www.netmarketseurope.com/
                      WebLog: http://roguemoon.manilasites.com/
                      M: +44 (0)77 5907 2173 T: +44 (0)20 7420 4363
                      ICQ:33679668 tag:So many words, so little time
                    • beno@xs4all.nl
                      ... No matter how they try to get the Tags to the client (although to me, *not* using a networked xml distribution scheme sounds too ridiculous to even
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jun 19 5:17 AM
                        >Conceptually this is quite like the problem of a spelling checker having
                        > to have it's dictionary installed locally. Except that the dictionary
                        > data is more dynamic.

                        No matter how they try to get the 'Tags' to the client (although to me, *not* using a networked xml distribution scheme sounds too ridiculous to even consider), the biggest problem I see is the 'Smart' part.

                        AI only works (somewhat) within the narrowest of subject matters, and after considerable efforts teaching the computer. A client-based, generic text interpreter, able to 'understand' what the text is about and make useful decisions about what would interest a reader is totally unfeasible at this point. If MS thinks otherwise,they simply haven't done their homework.
                      • Erik Moore
                        ... Yep. ... a web page. You can embed SmartTags in a page, but those tags will only work for that page. ... The SmartTags spec only provides for the interface
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jun 19 6:44 AM
                          > This is the one feature I'm quite puzzled about. Installing a Smart Tag
                          > list seems to involve getting a file onto the users hard disk. Which
                          > means an install routine.

                          Yep.

                          > There's was one rumour that the List file could be embedded or attached to
                          a web page.

                          You can embed SmartTags in a page, but those tags will only work for that
                          page.

                          > Can anyone confirm this? The whole feature would actually be
                          > considerably more powerful if it was slightly less decentralized and had
                          > more of an element of auto update about it.

                          The SmartTags spec only provides for the interface to the browser. The
                          developer is free to extend the backend any way he pleases. There are two
                          ways to implement SmartTags- one with an XML list of terms and actions, the
                          other with a DLL that searches each word dynamically. _What the dll uses to
                          search that term is up to the developer_. IOW, your SmartTag recognizer
                          could very easily search for matches in a database on another machine
                          (performance would be quite a factor here). Probably a better way to do it
                          would be to have a local database updated periodically and automatically,
                          and searches could be performed against that database.

                          The XML file method does provide for automatic updates by allowing the
                          developer to specify some optional tags in the bottom of the file that
                          specify a location to retreive updates from. From what I understand the
                          browser takes care of it for you.

                          > Conceptually this is quite like the problem of a spelling checker having
                          > to have it's dictionary installed locally. Except that the dictionary
                          > data is more dynamic.

                          Sort of. But if you're the one writing the spell checker, you can store the
                          dictionary wherever you can reach it. SmartTags lets you do this...
                        • Erik Moore
                          ... after considerable efforts teaching the computer. A client-based, generic text interpreter, able to understand what the text is about and make useful
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jun 19 6:48 AM
                            > AI only works (somewhat) within the narrowest of subject matters, and
                            after considerable efforts teaching the computer. A client-based, generic
                            text interpreter, able to 'understand' what the text is about and make
                            useful decisions about what would interest a reader is totally unfeasible at
                            this point. If MS thinks otherwise,they simply haven't done their homework.

                            We don't ask so much out of our search engines, what's the use in holding an
                            automatic annotator to a higher, unachievable, standard?
                          • beno@xs4all.nl
                            ... Well, there isn t, except for the fact they are called Smart and the fact that Microsoft claims/hopes they will provide useful information to the
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jun 19 7:15 AM
                              > We don't ask so much out of our search engines, what's the use in holding
                              >an automatic annotator to a higher, unachievable, standard?

                              Well, there isn't, except for the fact they are called 'Smart' and the fact that
                              Microsoft claims/hopes they will provide useful information to the reader.

                              This morning I got the example of reading the word 'Madonna'. I imagine
                              seeing 4 or 5 links (not 200) to related information; but we need the client to
                              understand which Madonna we are talking about, otherwise the feature is
                              useless and laughable (and could be implemeted today, cross-brand, cross-
                              platform, with backwards compatibility to browsers version 4)

                              If the hit rate (chance of a useful annotation) is going to be similar to that of
                              the average search engine or spell checker getting it right, I think we should
                              aknowledge that.
                            • hpyle@agora.co.uk
                              ... holding ... fact that ... reader. So, get some smart developers. For example, a SmartTag DLL which finds context from your Groove spaces? An example of
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jun 19 7:23 AM
                                > > We don't ask so much out of our search engines, what's the use in holding
                                > >an automatic annotator to a higher, unachievable,  standard?
                                >

                                > Well, there isn't, except for the fact they are called 'Smart' and the fact  that
                                > Microsoft claims/hopes they will provide useful information to the reader.


                                So, get some smart developers.

                                For example, a SmartTag DLL which finds context from your Groove spaces?  An example of the general "context lens" [1].  (Hmmm.  I might just have to do that!).


                                -Hugh

                                hpyle@...

                                http://www.cabezal.com/

                                [1] http://groovelog.agora.co.uk/groove+log/groovelog.nsf/($All)/3F249D3532666B3E80256A650059289D
                              • beno@xs4all.nl
                                ... I like the idea, but I think you underestimate the tremendous difficulty of returning truly useful links to each indiviual user (which my original post was
                                Message 15 of 18 , Jun 19 7:59 AM
                                  >from the linked article:

                                  >>Imagine (for a second) a "context server" - a SOAP-based Web service,
                                  >>say - which returns you useful links when you send it a word, phrase,
                                  >>paragraph or URL. That's how I imagine SmartTags works

                                  I like the idea, but I think you underestimate the tremendous difficulty of
                                  returning truly useful links to each indiviual user (which my original post was
                                  about).

                                  As I stated before, limiting the 'subject matter' (like in a corporate context
                                  server, which is a great idea) can make the service more useful. It will also
                                  move much more control towards the author of the document, away from MS,
                                  which is a good thing.

                                  But I'm not sure Microsoft's spec will allow the author of a document to
                                  specify their own context server (will it?). And this will most certainly not be
                                  the case for the web of today, which has no ST-related directives at all and
                                  seems to be totally at MS's mercy.
                                • Hugh Pyle
                                  Decentralisation: the most useful context is local. A Groove- (or Jabber-)integrated SmartTags DLL is quite a serious suggestion; the context is really local
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Jun 19 8:12 AM
                                    Decentralisation: the most useful context is local.

                                    A Groove- (or Jabber-)integrated SmartTags DLL is quite a serious
                                    suggestion; the context is really local (eg. just to highlight people's
                                    names, by looking into the local contact list, and add a "chat" action to
                                    them), plus Groove is a smart vehicle to deliver DLLs to the desktop since
                                    it already includes all the version management stuff you need to do that
                                    reliably.

                                    Building a SOAP-driven "context lens" is quite doable too, by building a
                                    SmartTags DLL which knows how to talk to your context server (and which lets
                                    the end-user choose their own context server/s).

                                    But, the proof will come when several of these beasts are actually deployed.
                                    I can't wait.


                                    -Hugh
                                    hpyle@...
                                    http://www.cabezal.com/
                                  • C. Wegrzyn
                                    Do you know is funny about all this talk of Smart Tags? The idea was stolen by MS - nothing unusual there. (Personally I doubt they have much really original)
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Jun 19 8:13 AM
                                      Do you know is funny about all this talk of Smart Tags? The idea was stolen
                                      by MS - nothing unusual there. (Personally I doubt they have much really
                                      original) There is a company that has been around for at least a year that
                                      already has most of this technology. The way you activate it (and I don't
                                      mean install the software), is to place the cursor on the word and hit the
                                      "magic keys" (you assign the exact magic key sequence). They go out, pop up
                                      a little window, giving you access to the definition, etc. It works very
                                      well.

                                      Chuck Wegrzyn


                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: <beno@...>
                                      To: <decentralization@yahoogroups.com>
                                      Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2001 10:59 AM
                                      Subject: [decentralization] Re: Microsoft improves SmartTag feature (let's
                                      get back to Decentralization talk


                                      > >from the linked article:
                                      >
                                      > >>Imagine (for a second) a "context server" - a SOAP-based Web service,
                                      > >>say - which returns you useful links when you send it a word, phrase,
                                      > >>paragraph or URL. That's how I imagine SmartTags works
                                      >
                                      > I like the idea, but I think you underestimate the tremendous difficulty
                                      of
                                      > returning truly useful links to each indiviual user (which my original
                                      post was
                                      > about).
                                      >
                                      > As I stated before, limiting the 'subject matter' (like in a corporate
                                      context
                                      > server, which is a great idea) can make the service more useful. It will
                                      also
                                      > move much more control towards the author of the document, away from MS,
                                      > which is a good thing.
                                      >
                                      > But I'm not sure Microsoft's spec will allow the author of a document to
                                      > specify their own context server (will it?). And this will most certainly
                                      not be
                                      > the case for the web of today, which has no ST-related directives at all
                                      and
                                      > seems to be totally at MS's mercy.
                                      >
                                      >
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                                      >
                                    • allenjs@hotmail.com
                                      ... The smart tag architecture is agnostic on this for DLL-based tags. You could write a smart tag that honors some specific context server information
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Jun 19 11:02 AM
                                        > document to specify their own context server (will it?). And this
                                        > will most certainly not be the case for the web of today, which has

                                        The smart tag architecture is agnostic on this for DLL-based tags.
                                        You could write a smart tag that honors some specific "context
                                        server" information embedded in a tag. I like the idea of context
                                        provided by site, and also (to me, even cooler) context provided
                                        by "community", such as groove. Context provided by site is a fairly
                                        well-solved problem (that is sort of what <a href> is for, right?).
                                        The really fascinating application would be to have the option to
                                        shift contexts. For example, today I want to browse the news, only
                                        seeing opinions from people who think similar to me, but tomorrow I
                                        want to browse the news and see the viewpoint of people who have
                                        completely different perspective than me. Groove and such are good
                                        ways to find people that are likely to have compatible metadata, but
                                        finding people with opposing perspectives is trickier (for example, I
                                        can go to slashdot for opposing perspective, but in many ways these
                                        people's background is very similar to mine [all computer people,
                                        mostly male, etc.]). As for *automatically* finding people with
                                        similar and dissimilar perspectives, I believe that some simple
                                        commodity data-mining/clustering algorithms could do a fantastic job
                                        of this. One could probably build a working prototype in just a few
                                        days.

                                        This, IMO, is something that *must* be done eventually. This
                                        effectively solves (well, almost) the problem of someone "poisoning"
                                        metadata. This is not a smart-tag specific issue, but applies to any
                                        system that shares metadata (for example, song titles on Napster are
                                        metadata). So suppose I am a performer who wishes to have my song
                                        appear really popular. I could write (or have someone write) a
                                        script that figures out which songs are the most popular, then create
                                        a few thousand fake users who have these songs (all pointing to the
                                        same copy on my HD of course). Then I just add all of my songs, so
                                        that people who want to see what "other" Brittney Spears songs I have
                                        will also see my band name associated with all those other "cool"
                                        bands. I am sure others would be able to come up with much more
                                        devious tricks, but you get the point. In fact, this is something
                                        everyone seems to have missed in the talk of a powerful interest
                                        controlling the metadata technology and thus controlling the
                                        metadata -- in fact, a powerful pro-gun lobby could easily hire
                                        people to hang out on ZDNet forums and overwhelm things with pro-gun
                                        opinions. The point being that a powerful interest can poison the
                                        metadata with or without having control of the metadata distribution
                                        technology. In fact, people could complain that google has power to
                                        shape public opinion, but the people we are *really* worried about
                                        are the ones who create artificial crosslinks everywhere to "trick"
                                        google into giving them higher rankings. So the solution for google
                                        is the same as is needed for any other metadata sharing system -- a
                                        way to detect anomalies. Simple commodity data mining algorithms can
                                        quickly find things that don't "fit the curve", and the NRA plot is
                                        exposed. When you cluster the metadata, the poison area simply
                                        becomes one "cluster" sitting off by itself. In fact, the more
                                        poison metadata gets pumped out, the more pronounced becomes the
                                        clustering.

                                        Note I am not saying this is a panacea, and there are difficulties
                                        doing this with certain types of metadata, but this would be a huge
                                        step forward IMO, and the technology for it exists today.

                                        BTW, just so nobody accuses me of trying to deliberately mislead, the
                                        simple "list-style" smart tags allow context to be specified only by
                                        the tag author, I believe. I am not aware of any secret smoke-filled
                                        meetings that decided to limit it this way, and I am not aware of any
                                        opposition to adding more options in the future.
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