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Re: [decentralization] Re: Microsoft improves SmartTag feature (let's get back to Decentralization talks here)...

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  • 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 1 of 18 , Jun 19 6:44 AM
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      > 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 2 of 18 , Jun 19 6:48 AM
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        > 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 3 of 18 , Jun 19 7:15 AM
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          > 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 4 of 18 , Jun 19 7:23 AM
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            > > 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 5 of 18 , Jun 19 7:59 AM
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              >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 6 of 18 , Jun 19 8:12 AM
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                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 7 of 18 , Jun 19 8:13 AM
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                  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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                  >
                  >
                  >
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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 8 of 18 , Jun 19 11:02 AM
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                    > 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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