Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Science of Insecurity

A shout to Meredith Patterson's talk, "The Science of Insecurity" at the Chaos Communication's Congress. I cannot say I truly understand what she is saying in this Youtube video, but this seems to be something to keep in mind. In my understanding, this seems to suggest avoiding anything but regular expressions to avoid weird machines (unexpected behavior due to an attacker).

Turtle Files and Trying to set up

So apparently turtle files are useful for configuration. Such files are used in Apache Fuseki as well as Here is's, and here is Joseki's (what was before Fuseki).

What's with this madness? Well, I'm trying to get to search for .rdf files on my local machine. Szymon Danielczyk, the maintainer for mentioned that sparql search and lookup providers needed to be configured to find them (see his post in Google groups here).

I'm guessing that I need something else besides Fuseki (if it indeed works with, such as a regular search engine. Rather arbitrarily, I searched for Apache search engines on Google and I found Apache Solr.

I'm trying to follow the design of Sindice found in the developer section since Sindice is part of I also found the metadata extractions link, and the Sindice API link particularly interesting. I may have to check out the paper on titled " Live views on the Web of Data" found at: In light of being unsure, I may also check out the SPARQL tutorial as well as SOH - SPARQL over HTTP for Apache Jena. This should be a learning experience!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chat on SWIG

Thanks to a chat that I had online, I am now aware of OpenCyc, Falcons, and UMBEL. Actually, I may have heard of UMBEL before. In any case, UMBEL and OpenCyc are very broad ontologies. OpenCyc is by far the larger one. Falcons is a semantic web search engine. Thanks to the chat, I also found that the goodrelations ontology is useful when someone owns something. In addition, I also found that the UMBEL ontology describes charitable donations.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Distributed Authentication

Online I found an article titled, "FOAF & SSL: creating a global decentralised authentication protocol" at: Or equivalently:

Monday, December 17, 2012


I really like Rhizomik. It is a handy tool for visualizing ontologies on line.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Creative Commons Rights Expression Language (also see "A Few License Labels")

Yes! There is a way to express license information in RDF. That is, there is a way to make copyright information machine readable. Once labeled, this frees the human to do other things instead of aggregating material that falls under the appropriate license.

Welcome to Creative Commons Rights Expression Language (ccREL). Also see an article for it on Wikipedia.

Please compare this to a previous post titled, "A few license labels".

Friday, September 28, 2012


In addition to Tufts Universities' Visual Understanding Environment (VUE), I also discovered CmapTools. It appears a bit older than VUE, but in some ways is more functional. Like VUE, it provides a means of building concept maps. Concept maps are like mind maps, except that they do not have to have a central node. See concept maps on Wikipedia for more information.

I am very interested in expressing concept maps semantically so that they are machine readable. This could make the information useful for other purposes such as other visualizations. For example, see my previous post, "Network Visualization Within Diaspora (cont.)". As usual, the bioinformatics community seems to be ahead of the game. See a website on Semantic Maps for Bioinformatics.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A few recent findings

Simantics is one of the most sophisticated open source project-based tools I've seen. It reminds me of tools developed by Dassault Systemes. Kune is based on Apache Wave (formerly Google Wave) and is similar to Rizzoma. This relation and further relations may be found on Wikipedia under Apache Wave. Cytoscape is a wonderful visualization tool from the Bioinformatics community. It allows for RDF visualization and SPARQL Queries.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Quotes I like

"Over the course of history, these five elements have characterized teams and collaborative innovators, starting a the dawn of humanity. Disruptive innovations like gunpowder, the printing press, paper money, and bookkeeping are not the result of a carefully planned innovation process. Nevertheless, by analyzing teams and collaborative innovators of the past, we can identify their typical behavioral patterns. Those lessons from the past form five corollaries.

1.Collaboration networks are learning networks.
2.Collaboration networks need an ethical code.
3.Collaboration networks are based on trust and self-organization.
4.Collaboration networks make knowledge accessible to everybody.
5.Collaboration networks operate in internal honesty and transparency.

The elements constitute the “genetic code” of participants in COINs."

pg. 53, Swarm Creativity, Peter A. Gloor

This quote reminds me of distributed funding as described in an earlier post:

'One could envision a "digital-age co-op" with peer-rating systems that dynamically apportion shares to contributors based on the community's assessment of the value added by individual contributors. Annual profits form sales and services could then be distributed across the community of contributors. Whatever the precise arrangement, it's clear that the future of peer production lies in hybrid models where participants share and appropriate at the same time.' pg. 283, Wikinomics

Quotes related to Boeing:

"Like many of its contemporaries, Boeing is moving beyond the multinational model to something new--a truly global firm that breaks down national silos, deploys resources and capabilities globally, and harnesses the power of human capital across borders and organizational boundaries." pg. 284, Wikinomics

Concerning Boeing's 787:

"Altogether, it's a massive technological and human challenge to bring together such a diverse and globally distributed team of designers and manufactures into a highly complex and structured development project. Underlying this complex network is a real-time collaboration system created by Boeing and Dassault Systemes called the Global Collaboration Environment. This cutting-edge system links all of the various partners to a platform of product life-cycle management tools and a shared pool of design data." pg. 227, Wikinomics (See the YouTube video Global Collaboration Environment for Electronics or End to end PLM story for an example.)

"No more need to send engineering drawings back and forth between engineering and design teams. Any member of any team, anywhere in the world, at any time, can access, review, and revise the same drawings and simulations while the software tracks the revisions. Non-engineering managers can get in on the action too. Light-weight viewers enable everyone from marketing execs to cost accountants to review and comment on the plans as they progress, ensuring that the final design come to fruition in the broadest possible context.', pg. 227-228 Wikinomics

"Without real-time access to a shared pool of design tools and engineering data, Boeing's efforts to create effective interenterprise collaboration would be nowhere.", pg. 238 Wikinomics

The Wikinomics relating to Open Source:

"In the old days you were assigned to a corporate team, and that's where you stayed, building up bonds of trust and loyalty that would enable you and your teammates to collaborate effectively. Today, new forms of mass collaboration suggest that companies may be better off with a more self-organized approach to teaming. ... Some will no doubt complain that such a radical approach to workplace organization is unmanageable. But if that were really the case, then we wouldn't see communities like Wikipedia, the open source movement, of the Human Genome Project collaborating successfully on a very large scale. With the right tools and enough transparency, a large and diverse group of people self-selecting to add value can complete even the most complex tasks with only a minimum of central control", pg. 259, Wikinomics

Strategies of SocialText:

"Mayfield thinks that the solution is collaboration tools that adapt to the habits of workplace teams and social networks rather than the other way around. Indeed, this insight was the genesis of the business. He and his partners came up with the idea for Socialtext when they observed how employees in Silcon Valley firms were bringing in applications from the open source community and using them as a source of personal competitive advantage. If the tool proved to be effective, they would quickly begin to see a bottom-up demand pattern emerging in the firm as other employees clamored to try them out." pg. 252 Wikinomics

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Some Research on A few Progamming Goals

Given that mobile technology is so popular, at some point it may be prudent to investigate mobile technology programming. I was very excited when I discovered a video about creating a touch enabled user interface for Java ME devices. I looked it up later, and I found a page that is perhaps better. Here is a screencast for creating a touch enabled UI, that I may have found originally. I also stumbled across a Google Tech talk titled "Girl Geek Dinner #5: How to Succeed in Mobile".

Also, screen a size could be an issue. I was reminded of this when I tried to find some more information about what Nerdy Girls (a group at Ohm Space) had put up. I found this site on github.

I've been wanting to have a way to express RDF, create ontologies, use ontologies (e.g. I believe fill in instances of ontologies to create particular RDF graphs), perform SPARQL queries, and see results in a visual way.

Here are a few initial observations:

Franz has a product called Gruff that allows for graphical SPARQL queries within AllegroGraph. Everything is done without writing code, and this is demonstrated in a YouTube video titled, "Graphical SPARQL Queries from the Gruff Lab". AllegroGraph also provides another way to see the result from a SPARQL query, this is though integration of TopBraid Composer. This is demonstrated in "AllegroGraph TopBraid Composer Integration" on Youtube. In addition, AllegroGraph allows for visual RDF browsing which is apparent in the Youtube video, "AllegroGraph Views". As a side note, Franz is also associated with Callimachus, which is described on the home site as, "A framework for data-driven applications based on Linked Data".

Protege-OWL includes the OntoGraph and OwlViz plugins. An OntoGraph demonstration video on Youtube has in the caption that it allows "browsing, searching, filtering, and manipulating the graph". OwlViz allows someone to navigate the class hierarchy and compare the asserted class hierarchy with the asserted class hierarchy.

The NeOn-Project involves 14 European Partners. Activities such a collaborative ontology development, ontology visualization, a graphical rule language, and others are possible. Based on the manual, the capabilities appear to be very extensive. One example is their relationship browser. Their video tutorial appears to be very interesting

Dan Brickley posted about Visual SPARQL queries with the Semantic Web.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Protocol Confusion

I have been confused about protocols. Apparently, Rizzoma does not use Apache Wave? It does according to Wikipedia. According to a comments section on the Rizzoma site it uses ShareJS. Jeremy Naegel also comments on it on Quora. For reference, here is a long list of protocols on the W3C site.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Project Related Links Online

The Edelweiss research group has much in common with the scope of this blog and with Apache Wave (also on Wikipedia), on which platforms such as Kune and Rizzoma have been built. These platforms are distributed, but are unlike Diaspora and Friendica since they do not use protocols like Salmon and Zot. In addition, they do not use OStatus. More information about distributed social networks may be found on Wikipedia.

Edelweiss is an acronym for Exchanges, Documents, Extraction, Languages, Webs, Ergonomics, Interactions, Semantics, and Servers. More information about its scientific foundations may be found at under the heading Social Semantic Web. Fabien Gandon, the head of this group also has participated in the Gephi project with his Semantic Web Import.

One popular website with the semantic web is Michael K. Bergman's site. He includes a list of Semantic Web tools. Out of all that I have seen, his is one of the most interesting, and perhaps complete.

MIT hosts the Center for Collective Intelligence. Books associated with the group include ones such as Democratizing Innovation by Eric Von Hippel, and The Future of Work by Thomas W. Malone.

Bioinformatics is one application for the semantic web. This is apparent in places such as the Semantic Web Challenge at, the paper by Cannata et. al., "A Semantic Web for bioinformatics: goals, tools, systems, applications", the Zachary Voase's blog post, "Bioinformatics and the Semantic Web",, and the World Wide Web Consortium's site. A fascinating book dealing with bioinformatics is Kevin Davies $1,000 Genome.

Visual Interfaces for Presentation and Querying

I've been wanting to have a way to express RDF, create ontologies, use ontologies, perform SPARQL queries (and other queries), and see results in a visual way. It would look a lot like the node and arc diagrams presented in the Apache Jena Tutorial: "An Introduction to RDF and the Jena RDF API". Like they said, "RDF is best thought of in the form of node and arc diagrams".

One thing that might help with this, especially the querying part, is something like Tangible Functional Programming by Conal Elliott.

Other sources of inspiration might be Dr. Chris Weaver's Improvise Software. Dr. Weaver's Software is used for exploratory visualization. His software follows navigation coordination patterns which include things such as semantic zoom, synchronized scrolling, and scatter plot matrices. The software also allows for the construction of coordinated query graphs with the visual abstraction language coordinated queries.

Visual Abstraction is an interesting topic. Other sources found online include things such as: Chang et. al., "Visual Abstraction in the Visual Design Process", Burnett and Ambler, "Interactive Visual Data Abstraction in a Declarative Visual Programming Language"

Margaret Burnett has written a plethora of documents on Visual Programming. For example, here is one that appeared in the Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

Well this is a work in progress. I could be totally off.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Thoughts on the Transit Project

Montana's Transit project reminds me of Howard Rhiengold and Eben Moglen. Howard Rhiengold because of his mention of his mention of distributed computing, and Eben Moglen due to his mention of Freedom Box, a personal device for privacy purposes. Howard Rhiengold gave a TED talk on a "new way of collaboration" which may be found on Youtube. Eben Moglen explores his reasoning behind the freedom box in his talk Freedom in the Cloud. Dylan Mackey told me what I really was doing for my project was developing a programming language. Strangely, this is includes what Montana is talking about.

The Concept of Pull with HackerSpaces

I imagined that the concept of Pull as described by David Siegel would be a boon to Hackerspaces. I would guess that each person would be found by others without the need of a large marketing budget. They could sell their product, partner on projects, and receive funding all because someone else found a need ... and in a utopia, the web of linked data would make this possible. At least, that is how I see it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Context Information Security Reveals WebGL Security Risks

Context provides an excellent blog post on the Security Risks of WebGL. It is referenced by US-CERT on SECLISTS.ORG. On May 9th 2011, the date the post was written, risks included things such as DoS attacks and Cross-Domain Image Thefts.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Glorious Generalist's thoughts on Facebook's Open Graph Protocol

I just found a wonderful blog post by Margaret Heller. She gives a healthy background of the history of Linked Data and the Open Graph Protocol on Facebook. This could be something to keep in mind when developing a new platform, if it should be called that.

More Reflections in the Real World

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories seems to have some parallels. They have a College Job Fair posting that mentions a few of the technologies proposed in this blog.

"Experience with knowledge discovery, information extraction, text processing, data analysis, visual analytics, , semantic graphs, natural language processing, machine learning, image and signal processing, large-scale data management and integration." Source: Job Title: COMPUTATION RECRUITER REFERRALS - Job ID: 8226 - LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY - Computation Directorate/Computing Applications and Research Department - College Job Fair Posting

In an article in the American Libraries Magazine titled, "The newest TECH SET® offers 10 guides to today's best library technologies" the semantic web is mentioned. In the same magazine, there is an article titled "Create a Library "Tech Shop"". Could it be that a distributed economy could be focused in libraries?

In 2007, there wasn't a whole lot going on between the semantic web and social networks. Now there is quite a bit. Compare Nova Spivack's 2007 article, "Defining the Semantic Graph, What is it Really?" to the Open Graph Protocol on the Facebook Platform.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Embedding VUE Within a Webpage

This is encouraging, Tuft's VUE may be integrated into a webpage.
Hence, it just might be possible to integrate Friendica with VUE.

GraphGL for Network Visualization

GraphGL, based on WebGL, can be used for network visualization. In fact, it has been implemented with Gephi. Urban Skudnick describes such an implementation at On the web, it can be expressed in HTML5 with the canvas element.

Friendica works with Hiawatha

Thanks to members of DC405, Friendika now works with Hiawatha. Well at least to an extent. There are a few kinks to work out.

 Here is a nice banner for Friendica from

And another from


It might be obvious, but Friendica and Hiawatha seem to work well together. Friendica is loaded with privacy settings, and Hiawatha has never been hacked. For those interested, I plan on posting a how to later.

Photos of Ohm Space HackerSpace/MakerSpace

These are a few photos from Ohm Space, which could be a place for Distributed Manufacturing:

Ohm Space Meeting Place:

CNC Machine:

CNC Router:

Prusa Mendel 3D printer:

A view of the west side of the space:

More information about Hackerspaces is available at:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Validation from thoughts by Peter A. Gloor on Collaborative Online Innovation Networks (COINs)

On page 16-17 of Swarm Creativity, Peter A. Gloor says:

"Over the past two decades, businesses have largely focused on streamlining structured business processes. Today, the challenge is to optimize the flow of knowledge, streamlining unstructured, knowledge-intensive innovation processes, and turning organizations into COINs. By visualizing the flow of knowledge, making it transparent, and optimizing its course, organizations and individuals become more creative, innovative, and responsive to change. This is one of the keys to success in the new century. But while the importance of continuously optimizing and fine-tuning businesses processes is universally recognized, the importance of redesigning and optimizing knowledge flows is still widely underrecognized.
Organizations can successfully promote COINS by giving up central control in favor of self-organization in swarm creativity, developing an ethical code, and setting up a social network connected by hubs of trust (which you'll also learn about in subsequent chapters)."

If this is true, this validates an idea I've had for awhile. That is, it makes a lot of sense to develop a global network of Hackerspaces. Perhaps, each Hackerspace could have its own node of a distributed social network. Hackerspaces seem to be places that prefer to give up central authority in favor near chaos. I know this is the case with Ohm Space. Ohm Space also supports the Hacker and Maker Communities.

See Wikipedia's Hacker Ethic for exposure to the Hacker Community:

Or perhaps Chris Anderson's Ten Rules of Maker Businesses for Exposure to the Maker Commununity:

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I downloaded Apache Fuseki today. It is an improvement on Joseki. Time to learn about the SPARQL query language for the Semantic Web.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Conceptual Overview

I figured it was time to provide a bit more clarity. Hopefully this achieves it:

One part of this distributed economy is distributed manufacturing, where things are made where they are needed. In addition, there is an internet side to act as an enabler. There is an emerging form of web, the semantic web (or data web), that promises to make web search much easier and organize our information. There is also visual analytics that promises to allow us to see patterns in the data.

For the semantic web, look no further than Google's Knowledge Graph for an example of a Semantic Web application, or even Facebook's Open Graph. Both of these use ontologies, which are a key component of the semantic web.

For visual analytics, Tuft's universities' Visual Understanding Environment is a good example. Ontologies and RDF export are supported (two semantic web technologies). There also are cool things it interfaces with such as zotero (a bookmarking system) and Fedora (an architecture for storing digital content) that make it a bit more powerful.

What I described in the overview post of my blog ( is a big picture view of a platform and system that agglomerates all of these emerging technologies in addition to a few others. They seem to work well together.

Here are a few links:

Google's Knowledge Graph:

Facebook's Open graph:

Visual Understanding Environment (VUE Project) on YouTube:

Visual Understanding Environment Home Page:

Semantic Web at the W3C:

Fedora Commons Repository Software:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Examination of VUE (Visual Understanding Environment)

VUE, or Visual Understanding Environment, led by Tufts University provides and excellent way to explore new information. It would correspond to the network visualization portion of this distributed economy. Unlike Gephi, VUE has the ability to interact with various digital repositories such as those built upon Fedora, interact with the bookmarking and bibliographic service Zotero, merge concept maps and interact with instant messaging to promote collaboration,export RDF, and many other things. In addition, VUE also mildly supports ontologies, which are used in the Semantic Web as frameworks to express a particular domain of knowledge.

Diego Uribe has also demonstrated an extension of VUE through his Digital Creative Problem Solving environment. In his extension, he developed an interactive work space that used infrared tracking technology present in the Wii Remote. He also proposed extensions such as a VUE I-Phone app, the ability for multiple users interacting in real time within the same workspace using Wii Remote technology, the ability to import spreadsheets into the map, importation of VUE into Second Life. He composed a two part Youtube video of his proposals which may be found at the following URLs: for part 1 and for part 2.

A few videos that I found useful include:

VUE 2 overview by VUE Project

Other VUE Videos produced by the VUE Project

Undergrads Should Love Zotero by Rebecca0321

Why use the Semantic Web for Distributed Innovation?

Follow the quotes:

"Four organizational principles needed for distributed innovation: "Empower people to experiment." "Enable bits of information to find each other." "Structure information so it can recombine with other pieces of information." "Create a governance system that sustains this process." --- (Summary of: The Success of Open Source)

"The Semantic Web is about two things. It is about common formats for integration and combination of data drawn from diverse sources, where on the original Web mainly concentrated on the interchange of documents. It is also about language for recording how the data relates to real world objects. That allows a person, or a machine, to start off in one database, and then move through an unending set of databases which are connected not by wires but by being about the same thing." ----(W3C SEMANTIC WEB ACTIVITY)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quote from the book Wikinomics

"Without effective access to data, materials, and publications, the scientific enterprise becomes impossible", pg 180 of Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams. Solutions? "effective access to data" ---> semantic web "materials" ----> crowdfunding or donation of materials "publications" ----> open access journals

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Potential for Change

The distributed economy appears to offer enormous potential for change. Technologies such as the semantic web, additive manufacturing, crowd-funding and crowd-sourcing and social-micropayments, distributed computing, and network visualization all appear to have great potential. The potential of one component, the semantic web, is described briefly by Tim Berner's-Lee and Mark Fischetti in the book Weaving the Web,
"I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers. A ‘Semantic Web’, which should make this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. The ‘intelligent agents’ people have touted for ages will finally materialize."
Further information from Tim Berner's-Lee may be found in the Youtube video: The Semantic Web of Data. Additionally, Tim-Berner's Lee appears to offer a broader view of the Semantic Web and the Web in general in his interview with Tim O'Reilly titled, "A Conversation with Tim-Berner's Lee".

Students from the University of Ottowa have also provided an excellent overview of the potential of the semantic web in their video, "Semantic Web vs. Web 2.0". For those that need to see more of the technical side of the semantic web, a video titled "A Semantic Web Overview" may be useful. A site such as with its Distributed Information Management System makes a lot of use of the semantic web, and provides a means for inspiration. The company, Metatomix, is also very interesting. Please also note Metatomix's cross-agency systems for justice, which seem to parallel this distributed economies functionality. In addition, an ideal semantic web application should work without extensive knowledge of RDF or other semantic web technologies.

Additive Manufacturing, another component of this distributed economy, also appears to offer great potential. One emanation is the 3D printing craze. Perhaps as this technology, and others under the additive manufacturing umbrella, become more widely available, and perhaps open-sourced, a great change may happen. Manufacturing could become much more distributed. An article by the Atlantic Council titled, "Could 3D Printing Change the World? - Technologies, Potential, and Implications of Additive Manufacturing" provides an excellent discussion on this very topic.

A number of pieces of hardware have come out that have been open source. One such example is the Rep-Rap printer which has a website at: Another example is the Lasersaur laser cutter, which may be found on the web at: Yet another example is arduino, which may be found on the web at:

Crowdfunding, which is the virtual equivalent of pitching an idea and offering rewards while keeping a bucket in front of you, is growing rapidly. In fact, President Obama recently signed the JOBS act which includes crowdfunding. This is described in an article on titled, "Crowdfunding goes prime time -- what next?". Crowdfunding may be found at sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Vodo. As described in the article, it is different than the traditional model for starting a business, which involves appealing to rich venture capitalists who may want large returns. As the article suggests, this could allow for more flexibility and creativity.

Flattr, is one example of a social-micropayment platform. Like crowdfunding, it can involve transferring small sums of money. However, it is more like the "like" button on Facebook than the sales pitch for crowdfunding. This distributed economy could have both. Basically, each URI could function like a "like" button, and URIs could be connected to other URIs that give further detail by means such as text or multimedia.

The distributed economy also uses crowd-sourcing. which is defined by, is "..the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call". Basically, it enables open source projects and taps into such ideas as Open Research, Open Science, Collaborative Innovation Networks, Open design, Open Innovation, and perhaps others.

Distributed computing, or grid computing, has been around for some time. It was used for the famous SETI project. While this was university-based, private individuals may also set up their own grid computing networks. Some of the projects on BOINC team USA are such examples: The university-based Constellation project which may be found at: is also very interesting. The virtual supercomputer that results from a grid computing network could be used for improving and testing models that were funded by social micro-payments and/or crowdfunding and built with additive manufacturing. Supercomputing seems instinctively vital for larger projects, such as those described by

Network visualization software is used to visualize data. Network Visualization has been used for things such as social networks in applications such as Thomas Fletcher's Friend Wheel, random constructs in a collaborative fashion at Perl Trees at, in multiple ways with Touch Graph's applications (with a Facebook plugin nearly identical to the network visualization within Diaspora idea presented earlier), Visual Thesaurus from, for academic searching with Action Science Explorer which was cited by the National Science Foundation, for academic searching with Microsoft Academic Search (possibly built on the same technology?), for Security Network Visualization at UCDavis, in Gephi which describes itself as "like Photoshop(TM) for graphs", Large-scale RDF Graph Visualization Tools which are described at in addition to theory, Ontology mappers such as Snoggle, RDF visualization tools such as RDF Gravity, Revelytix's Knoodl 3.0, and likely many other things. Network Visualization is transformative because it allows people to see patterns in data that they would not see otherwise. It speeds up research as in Action Science Explorer. TouchGraph's Facebook plugin and especially Revelytix's SPARQL query visualization appear very close to the use for this particular distributed economy.

All of the components of this distributed economy would work together, and are and will likely continue to cause radical change. Of course, such transformation has not occured without resistance, and it seems Hackers have tried to set up a Peer to Peer Bank to fund open source hardware, but they faced a lot of resistance from the conservative banking industry as described in Wired. Presumably, intellectual property will also be a huge issue. In addition, at least some work may involve Professional Engineers in some way. Fortunately, the semantic web holds the promise to make data much easier to find which could smooth legal issues (or it could go the other way?). Hopefully this distributed economy would encourage people to be more open. After all, if you have more in the semantic web, more people can find you and contribute their ideas which could make things better for everyone.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Privacy and Authentication (cont.)

The W3C report mentioned in the previous post says that, "Privacy means giving people control over their data, empowering people so they can communicate the way they want."
The Diaspora Project, described in the New York Times, is one response to the issue of privacy.
There also is an interesting post by skyfire on hubpages that goes into privacy on Diaspora. You are allowed to do things such as deleting or downloading your data, controlling who comments on your posts, and preventing yourself from showing up in search results, amongst other things. Unlike other social networks, Diaspora does not have advertising. This means data is not harvested for advertising (nor is it harvested for any purpose). Interestingly, Diaspora is also decentralized, which provides a means, perhaps fundamental, to preserving privacy. Yes, it seems so. Please see Eben Moglen's Freedom in the Cloud talk, which inspired Diaspora.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Privacy and Authentication

The W3C Incubator report titled, "A Standards-based, Open and Privacy-aware Social Web" provides and excellent overview of this. Learning about the Diaspora project may also be useful.

Knowledge Discovery with the Semantic Web

Awareness seems like an essential part of a distributed economy. Computers seem to be able to help, at least with the data side.

Consider two RDF graphs:

Now link these two graphs together, with A linking to A',
B linking to B', C linking to C', and D linking to D'. That is, let them be the same URI.

Now consider the case where all the links are preserved, but I remove all parts of the connected RDF graphs except for those that have one degree of separation from the connected nodes. From this I can see relations between the graphs to one degree of separation. This may make more sense later with an application.

In addition, if I only want the parts of the RDF graphs that are connected to each other, I can also do that.

Now consider the case where I let one RDF graph be some reflection of what connections I see between what I know (Brent's Domain), and another graph be the connections between things relating to a project (Project Domain).

Does this seem useful? Now if I draw connections between URIs that are common to both Brent's Domain and the Project Domain I can see the things I know that apply to the project. Moreover, if I allow a few degrees of separation I can relate what I know to any URI describing the project. In this way, I may be able to come up with a plan of what I need to learn to understand a particular part of the project.

I could take this idea further. What if I replaced the Project Domain graph with an RDF graph describing another person?

This really is nothing new. Liyang Yu describes A Smart Data Integration Agent in the first chapter of his book, A Developer's Guide to the Semantic Web. His description mirrors the presented idea in form. Moreover, Liyang Yu describes the linking of URIs as distributed information aggregation.

There is one issue that must be considered of course. The URIs we choose must be describing the same thing. Perhaps something like regular expressions are in order would help people do this. Could the paper, "Processing SPARQL queries with regular expressions in RDF databases" by Lee et. al be useful?


RDF, or Resource Description Framework, was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium as the fundamental building block of the semantic web. It takes the form subject – predicate – object. This form is called a RDF triple. A graphical example would be:

where John is the subject, likes is the predicate, and Cake is the object. The subject, predicate, and object are all URIs (uniform resource identifiers). A URI is like a URL, except that it does not have to be retrivable from the web. Liyang Yu, in his book, “A Developer's Guide to the Semantic Web” goes into this further.

A collection of these RDF triples will form an RDF graph, which can be used to model the Network Visualization examples.

Distributed Funding

Funding could be distributed amongst nodes. For example, given a specified amount of money, a portion could go to project A, and a percentage could go to all of the projects that project A immediately depends on. That is, projects H, J, B, C, and E. Let's call this first degree distributed funding.

Alternatively, we could also have second degree distributed funding. That is, Project A would be funded, and projects H, J, B, C, and E would be funded, but projects K, I, F, D, and L which collectively depend on projects H, J, B, C, and E would also be funded. Again a specified percentage would go to each node.

Of course we could also have third degree distributed funding, or any nth degree distributed funding.

This sort of funding is like social micropayments, of which Flattr is a good example. I also found Leyla's Cause + Effect blog which used the term Distributed Funding. Perhaps a new name is needed? Perhaps the presented idea is just a form of distributed funding?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Distributed Manufacturing

Products could be produced by technologies such as 3D printing, laser sintering, laser cutting, CNC machines, plasma cutting, etcetra, using a variety of materials. In fact, this sort of idea, rapid prototyping, is mentioned in association with Fab Labs in the Wikipedia article titled Distributed Economy. This rapid prototype could be the final product.

CAD files that are produced by the community could be used as models to produce these products. Economics could be a factor, as is suggested in some sources, but the potential may only be limited by imagination. Many people are thinking about production in this manner.

I found a number of these technologies mentioned on, as well as Wikipedia.

Grid Computing

Grid Computing software, such as the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, allows computers across a network (such as the internet) to link together to form a virtual supercomputer. Hopefully, engineering software, such as provided by CAELinux, would be able to run on a grid computer. The BOINC logo is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License (version 1.2), and the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

A few license labels

The following licenses are described at:
This is republication is published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Attribution CC BY

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon
your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for
the original creation. This is the most accommodating of
licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination
and use of licensed materials.


This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-
commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole,
with credit to you.


This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-
commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge
you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their
derivative works on the same terms.


This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your
work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit
you and license their new creations under the identical
terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and
open source software licenses. All new works based on
yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will
also allow commercial use. This is the license used by
Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would
benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and
similarly licensed projects.


This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work
non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their
new creations under the identical terms.


This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only
allowing others to download your works and share them with
others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them
in any way or use them commercially.

Other Licenses:

The Free Art License

The Free Art License (abbr.: FAL, French: Licence Art Libre) is a
copyleft license that grants the right to freely copy, distribute, and
transform creative works without needing the author's explicit
-Wikipedia (

More Documentation Licenses can be found
on Wikipedia in this article:
Also, please feel free to follow the links. There are a lot of licenses to learn about!

Network Visualization within Diaspora (cont.)

This is a version of the network in the previous slide with license labels. Please click on the image for a closer view. This is just a sampling of what is possible. There are many other such labels. License labels for patents could also be used indicate royalties (if any). A few of these labels are described in the next post.

Network Visualization within Diaspora

This is a modified version of a screenshot of the Diaspora Social Network that was available on Wikipedia. It shows what a network visualization of a semantic search result with people and their authored documents might look like. An annotated view of this network with license labels is in the next post. This image was adapted from Diaspora New Image.png, which was sourced from The URL Source of the image is with the date 2011-11-5. The image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Network Visualization

Network visualization is a means the visualize a network. Wikipedia provides an entry for social network analysis software that gives a part of what is available. Network visualization with Gephi of the Diaspora project file tree (around the middle of 2011) is pictured.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Distributed Social Networks

Distributed social networks are collections of people hosted on a collection of servers interconnected by the internet. Each distributed social network appears to be formed by people using the same application. They have functions similar to Google + and Facebook, except that they allow for any person to host their own server and have it interface with a larger social network. Perhaps this larger social network could encompass people beyond those using the specific application. The inter-connectivity of applications seems to reflect or parallel a move towards open standards to build a federated social web.

According to Wikipedia's description of a distributed social network, there appears to be an exception. That is, plug-ins.


In this distributed economy, distributed social networks such as Diaspora, Friendika, and GNU Social work with the Semantic Web, and are visualized with Network Visualization by means such as topic maps and RDF graphs. Files are shared amongst the network though bittorrent, perhaps in conjunction with complete files stored on and shared from certain servers. The network would allow for privacy, authentication, and display of license terms. Users on the distributed social network would have the ability to use grid computing to form virtual supercomputers and run engineering packages on them. Some projects would be realized and/or tested in the physical world by distributed manufacturing. Funding would be available from and to various nodes in the network.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


This blog represents an exploration of how a distributed economy might be developed. It is merely ideas that I have come up with, or have discovered over time.

Edit (3/18/2012): I do not have access to any of Allan Johansson's work, so I could be off in my use of the term "distributed economy".

Edit (3/18/2012): I found on page ix of the book Event Marketing by Leonard H. Hoyle that "According to the management guru Peter Ferdinand Drucker, 'Business has only two basic functions-marketing and innovation'". Aren't we messing with both of of these in some way, right now, in addition to how we handle money? I mean, this distributed economy already seems to be here in some ways, as well as developing rapidly. As I see it, this distributed economy could be huge.