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[2005-09-05 01:10:47  |  jesper]
This blog has been discontinued as of 5 September 2005.
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Links & tags

[2005-07-12 03:12:47  |  jesper]
In a well written and even entertaining article about the subtleties of ontologies Clay Shirky explains why links and tags are hot, categories not.

He does so based on a number of convincing cases, among others the periodic system or the Dewey Decimal System's categorization for religions of the world... Well, one could add how annoying it is, as a matter of fact, that when visiting the CBS library almost all books come under the 301.XXX file...

As the article in question is based on two separate speeches it falls in two parts. As such part two argues why the social bookmarks manager called is a good case for tagging links. I tend to agree, however, although was recently dubbed as one of ten future ICT- based learning softwares I struggle to embrace it...


Flower Power

[2005-06-17 10:17:09  |  avatar]
Put faces on those guys who developed some of the social software technologies around - such as Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales, Skype's Niklas Zennström, William Wrentmore aka Green Fate and a few more...

The Net's People-Power Pioneers Slideshow

Learn more, though, by reading Business Week online's latest 5 page "future of tech" feature on how mass collaboration on the internet shakes up business...

The Power of Us

Semantic web and e-learning

[2005-06-07 19:08:41  |  avatar]
A call for papers for a Special Issue of the British Journal of Educational Technology on ‘Advances of Semantic Web for E-learning: Expanding learning frontiers’ has been launched.

The focus of the Special Issue is two-fold: On the one hand to stress the importance of applying Semantic Web techniques towards constructing systems that provide value to learners, and, on the other, to reveal research opportunities that can initiate interesting projects over the forthcoming years.

Submissions that fall in to the areas of Preparation for Semantic e-learning / Semantic e-learning readiness, Semantic e-learning and Next Generation e-learning are invited.

Journal homepage: British Journal of Educational Technology
More - Conference on Semantic Web:

Pervasive videndeling

[2005-06-06 23:01:20  |  avatar]
Cellphedia promotes itself as the first ubiquitous - mobile or pervasive - social encyclopedia (inspired by Wikipedia). Although at first sight it looks like a commercial site, it appears to be a thesis project created for the mobile phone community. Users can subscribe to different groups, e.g. art, architecture, politics, technology: The main concept revolves around the interactions amongst specific groups of interest.

Cellphedia is a cell phone application that "promotes the sharing of knowledge. It allows to send and receive encyclopedia-type inquiries between specific, pre-defined groups of users, through Text messaging. Users can register here on this site and start building the quick-reference Cellphedia-type encyclopedia entries, by asking other users and answering other users' questions where-ever cell phone service is available."

Interesting - if it works (if the community gets big enough) - the application might "be a valuable tool for those who just want to enrich their knowledge of everything, everywhere!"


[2005-06-06 21:18:15  |  avatar]
Comprehensive article about search facilities and our need for different search, retrieval, browser, navigation, monitoring, distribution, feed-back and analytical desk-top and online tools...

Several links to actual tools.

- I myself recently installed the google desk-top search (mentioned also in the article), since I was recommended to do so - by one of my online contacts. My experience is that it actually works great (much faster, i.e.), in particular as regards Outlook searches which are otherwise very slow. With google desk-top I get - based on a few key-words, an e-mail-address extension (@x.y) or name - references to suggested mails in less than the usual split-second.

KM World: Desperately seeking search

Semantic Web

[2005-05-27 23:27:11  |  avatar]
In an interview to Danish magazine "Ingeniøren", Tim Berner Lee predicts the next generation semantic web browsers to have the potential to become a killer application. Such browsers would support the visions of the semantic web - allowing users to make simple requests combining e.g. information in spread sheets, databases and internet based webpages.

A basic feature in the semantic web is the automated combination of structured data from various sources. One such proto type could be Biodash illustrating the connection between genes, proteins and cell mutations.

In addition to the interview just referred to, Danish readers will also find a well written article explaining the basic principles of the semantic web. Both articles mentioned here also hold several useful links for further research :-) Her kommer den næste www-revolution Semantisk web – bedre samarbejde mellem computere og mennesker?

Visual analytics software

[2005-05-13 00:45:13  |  jesper]
Like the internet was originally developed for military purposes, the multi-billion dollar fight against terrorism seems to have at least some positive spin-off regarding advanced search engines and so-called visual analytics software...

According to, a MIT enterprise, a "new generation of software called Starlight 3.0, developed for the Department of Homeland Security by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), can unravel the complex web of relationships between people, places, and events. And other new software can even provide answers to unasked questions."

Later this year the software will be released, probably under a public license. It is expected to offer visual analytics software, which "graphically displays the relationships and interactions between documents containing text, images, audio, and video."

- Quite recently I have developed an interest in pervasive technologies and so-called social recommender systems - software that combines multiple data sources incl. e.g. e-mail correspondance, discussion threads, documents on intranets, research databases, to support knowledge workers in finding the right resources - people, knowledge, projects - to learn from past experiences, to avoid repeating the same mistakes and ultimately advance an organisation's innovative capacity.

In addition to Starlight 3.0 two other products receive advance attention:

1. IN-SPIRE, a software that "extracts the meaning of large datasets and allows users to pose alternative hypotheses and to see data supporting that scenario"
2. IxReveal, that can "drill down through multiple paths simultaneously, enabling analysts to see multiple dimensions and possibilities".

But which one was it that could "provide answers to unasked questions" :o

Technology Review: A Vision of Terror


[2005-05-01 16:18:59  |  avatar]
A recently finished R&D project on advanced media processing (BUSMAN) has resulted in a "content management system and series of tools, all based on the MPEG 7 standard, to enable search, retrieval and delivery of video content from both PCs and mobile devices." Among the promises are an ability to manage the content of large collections of videos and pick out specific video segments - e.g. for an instruction video.

One example as to how the technology works is based on the trivial form of football matches. To automatically add meta-data to any 90-minute match the research team developed a tool to annotate the apparantly most interesting shots:

"What you find is that, when a goal is scored, it is accompanied by rapid changes in camera shots and a rise in background noise from the spectators. Our tool can use this information to select highlights from the video, which saves the annotator much time and effort".

Quite interesting. So far the BUSMAN technology has been integrated into the educational programmes of project partner Queen Mary University of London.

IST feature: Making video easier to search and find

Haptic feed-back

[2005-04-20 22:42:41  |  avatar]
High-fidelity "haptic display" technologies promises to augment our realiy - at least in virtual environments... in the real virtuality!

Haptic displays are based on touch and movement-related sensory information. So far the technology - as well as the psychophysiology of the sense of touch - is not very developed, but ongoing research may soon add new insights.

(Yet) another IST-funded programme, Touch-Hapsys project, focuses on fundamental psychophysical research of haptic perception and feedback, haptic illusions to overcome technological limitations, and new technologies to significantly improve haptic displays.



[2005-04-20 22:32:50  |  jesper]
SAFIR is an EU-funded project aimed at developing an "innovative paradigm in interface combining Voice & Graphics". One of the objectives is to enhance "data modeling and voice domains thru ontology and semantic in a multilingual enlarged Europe".

Among the expected spin-off's are, i.a.,

- better dissemination and integration of e-Learning modules
- bi-directional communication between IRC & Set Top Box...

A set top box is a box you place on your TV to watch interactive TV (iTV). iTV has been tested in Denmark by TV2 North; in Europe and the UK in particular, iTV is apparently a quite common and therefore often used facility. With iTV viewers get added value to the programme they watch since they can browse back-ground information on the TV while watching a programme.

The project deploys a so-called Voice Query Language (VQL). VQL is a natural language technology that enables users to directly request and manage information from any database application with simple, everyday language...

As I see it, voice applications, e.g. so-called 3D voice, are coming strongly in pervasive learning environments.


Mixed Reality

[2005-04-15 00:18:19  |  avatar]
Exploring the kontinuum of realities... some virtual, other augmented, yet others mixed!

The Mixed Reality Lab (in Singapore) ( - active link removed, link rot)holds a lot of interesting stuff about the issues, incl. e.g. a number of videos. One of them "explores the transition between Physical Reality, Augmented Reality (AR), and immersive Virtual Reality (VR) in a collaborative setting." Interesting stuff - another displays an IKEA catalogue in 3D.

I guess all realities are mixed - some, Manuel Castells, even find that the reality is virtual:

"Thus, when critics of electronic media argue that the new symbolic environment does not represent 'reality', they implicitly refer to an absurdly primitive notion of 'uncoded' real experience that never existed. All realities are communicated through symbols. And in human, interactive communication, regardless of the the medium, all symbols are somewhat displaced in relation to their assigned semantic meaning. In a sense, all reality is virtuelly perceived." (1996: 404).

Castells does so - referring Jean Baudrillard and Roland Barthes, who claim that we always communicate qua symbols - in his 1996 classic The Rise of the Networked Society.

Kick off

[2005-04-07 09:12:16  |  jesper]
In Denmark, the four national IT competence centres and the IT University of Copenhagen have just established a high tech knowledge exchange network focusing on pervasive communication (PC).

On 18 April 2005 the network goes public to share its visions with members and non-members alike. The key speaker of the day comes from IBM's Zürich Research Laboratory - presenting trends in PC.

There will be three different workshops. One of these will focus on "pervasive knowledge enabling", i.a.:

- third generation knowledge management (KM)
- convergence in e-learning and KM
- workplace-based e-learning within a pervasive framework

More (in Danish):

Ontology learning

[2005-04-04 11:34:27  |  jesper]
"Ontologies provide the lifeblood of the Semantic Web by defining shared and common domain theories, and allowing people and machines to communicate more effectively. They also play a crucial role in enabling content-based access, interoperability and communication across the Web"...

Among the increasing number of research projects under the 'semantic web' header comes one with a focus on ontology learning. Ontology learning takes advantage of the flexibility of future web Services with on-the-fly software composition through the use of loosely coupled, reusable software components... Keep an eye open!

Related appplication areas for this technology include Enterprise-Application Integration (EAI), eWork, and Knowledge Management.

Selects readings--

IST Results: Laying the foundation for the next-generation Web
Digital Enterprise Research Institute: W3C Workshop on Frameworks for Semantics in Web Services

Code-name Istanbul

[2005-03-21 18:30:10  |  avatar]
Microsoft has just released a (revised) set of new communication and collaboration tools. Under the label MS Office Communicator 2005 (previously code-named 'Istanbul') and MS Live Meetings, two new products were unveiled at a March 2005 press meeting. Furthermore, Bill Gates announced a new service pack for the Communications Server and highlighed some of the technologies foreseen in Office version 12.

With the new products Microsoft makes a decisive move into the social software market offering functionalities such as:

- Rich presence. With presence awareness built into Microsoft software, information workers can view the context and availability of a person before initiating communication with her or him.
- Unified experience. The new communications client integrates IM, voice, video, telephony and Web conferencing capabilities into a single interface and makes them accessible in Microsoft's Office applications.
- Built-in intelligence. With integrated communications, software can automatically handle communications based on knowledge of people's preferences, physical location, organizational relationship and topic of communication. Software intelligence allows users to control how incoming communications are routed to them based on their context and preferences, and who is calling.

This, taken together with other related initiatives, such as Exchange 12, which will manage PBX-based phone messages, and Office 12, which will include pervasive new collaboration tools, Microsoft's efforts in this market seem wide-ranging and long-term.

Microsoft® Office Live Meeting 2005 Features
Microsoft Debuts New Communication Tools
Microsoft Showcases Integrated Communications Vision and Unveils New Microsoft Office Real-Time Collaboration Offerings
Microsoft Unveils Next-Generation Real-Time Collaboration Client


[2005-03-14 16:18:03  |  avatar]
Another EU-financed project, DICTATe (voice mediated system for structured entry of medical data), is about to finish (June 2005). The goal of the project has been to improve the efficiency of electronic patient records - by using wireless technologies and speech recognition.

The key components of the DICTATe system include:

- Modified PDA that supports speech dictation, text input and wireless communication.
- Wireless communication infrastructure to facilitate secure, real-time exchange of data with the handheld PDA.
- Server application that performs voice-to-text conversion, medical-language processing and communication with both the clinician’s PDA and the hospital's electronic records system.

Following the project description, the server application applies some of the latest advances in structured document representation, automated speech recognition and natural language processing to convert the doctor's input into a structured format.

One of the forward-looking features of the system is a self-learning mechanism for Natural Language Processing (NLP) with enhanced NLP performance through self-training - with adaptability to content/domain.


MOSES - Semantic Web

[2005-02-28 22:24:54  |  avatar]
The Universities of Copenhagen and Rome have succesfully tested a scalable and modular environment or prototype of the semantic web. The prototype, named MOSES (MOdular and Scalable Environment for the Semantic web), allows content to be "automatically updated, while interlinking ontologies form different academic websites in different languages".

It is believed that "the Semantic Web is making encouraging progress and will continue to grow in the future because of user demand ... More demand means the technology will be enhanced and better technology means there will be more users – it is very promising.”

Currently the prototype lets the user "obtain the same type of results" whether he consults the Italian or the Danish websites. The system extracts "machine-readable information guided by the knowledge map, which allows it to find data on either interlinked site and in either language based on matching ontologies".

IST feature: A scalable environment for the Semantic Web

Esperanto - the Semantic Web

[2005-02-21 12:23:47  |  avatar]
We have heard before - the semantic web will change the Web - and thus the nature of e-learning: Like foreseen in e.g. actor-network theory (ANT), we will see computers interact with each other to generate meaningful information (or perhaps even knowledge) from simple data or information. The reason is that in the semantic web unstructured information will make sense not only for human actors, but also for machine actants - allowing e.g. search engines to return answers rather than just links to articles containing the search string entered (is that persuasive):

Globally there are several semantic web projects running. Now I came across one EU-funded "cutting-edge" R&D project - dubbed Esperanto, where Spanish researchers have looked into the vision behind this. One case illustrates how it works:

“In essence we take non-structured digital information and turn it into structured information ... We developed a knowledge parser that reads texts and finds out what they mean. For example it can read an article on CORDIS [an EU webserver] and see a person’s name and then automatically link that name to information about the person, projects they have worked on, or articles they have published…”

Several tools have been developed and tested on selected cases. At time of writing, however, the (FEB06: link rot, active link removed) server was unfortunately not available - disregarding the great advances in tools and technologies, if the server is down, we may not get much out of it :-@

Source: Adding semantics to the Web
See also: It makes sense to communicate with computers

PerEL 2005

[2005-02-21 05:13:13  |  avatar]
This year the organizers of the third IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communication (Kauai, Hawaii, 8-12 March '05) has arranged for a workshop on pervasive elearning (da: IT i alting, allestedsnærværende e-læring)(PerEL 2005). The aims of the workshop is to "address the issues of pervasive computing in combination with new types and possibilities of learning, teaching and working".

The workshop covers "both the technical as well as the non-technical aspects of pervasive eLearning, including innovative learning environments by means of wireless communication. In combination with session and service mobility as well as device independency, the arising learning environments should have the potential to be accessed by anyone at any place and any time."

In short, the dictum is: "Learning wherever and whenever we need is to become possible."

Speakers will present scenarios on e.g. innovative uses of 3D Worlds for Edutainment and "Interactive Pathways for Learning through Agent and Library Augmented Shared Knowledge Areas".

Topics of interest include:

- mobile communication (asynchronous, synchronous),
- service and session mobility as well as device independency,
- techniques for cooperative learning or working,
- document, knowledge, and service management,
- realization of pervasive eLearning scenarios,
- best practice studies and experiences,
- mark-up languages and frameworks for eLearning,
- tools and architectures for mobile/ubiquitous eLearning,
- smart devices and device-independent presentation,
- security and integrity in wireless environments,
- eLearning networks,
- models of pervasive eLearning (e.g. cooperative learning, structured blended learning).

Further information:


[2005-02-03 09:31:46  |  jesper]
Podcasting may become a new buzzword: In short, podcasting is "online audio content that is delivered via an RSS feed. Many people liken podcasting to radio on demand".

To market this technology, a new site has been established. From the site you get further information, i.a., about what podcasting is, access to tools such as validators or graphics, a Podcast forum and further links.

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Research interest

In short, based on network theory and the technology-organization relationship, this section is based on my original research (master thesis) examing how ICT can support the collaboration between loosely coupled actors in a virtual research network.

From that point of departure I have broadened my field of interest to include most aspects of technology supported (groupware, social software, mobile technologies) knowledge enabling and learning. Recently this has furthermore developed into an interest for pervasive e-learning.

Background/R&D Notes

Supplementary Tables
Resume, English Abstract
Key dichotomies
Theoretical Foundation
Readings, Op. Cit.

Select Groupware :)
Collab tools
MUVE/Active Worlds
World Crossing
Yahoo Rooms
Microsoft Instant Messenger
Yahoo Messenger
AOL Instant Messenger

Virtual Reserch Networks

Danish e-learning networks - list
Inspirationsmøde: Videndeling i virtuelle 3D-rum
EQUEL Virtuel European Centre in E-Learning
ULEARN EU teacher network
ACORN: Aesthetics, Creativity, and Organization Research Network
LOK Research Centre
REMAP: Research Management Processes under Rapid Change (FEB06: Active link removed, link rot)

Research Institutions

Learning Lab Denmark
Knowledge Lab DK
E-learning Lab Nordjylland
CBS Learning Lab
Learning Lab Aarhus
Swedish Learning Lab
Innovation Lab

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