The Interface Between the Worlds of Cloud Computing and the Semantic Web

Paul Miller

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Paul Miller's Blog For too long, the emphasis in Cloud Computing circles has been almost exclusively upon provision of rapidly scalable and ad hoc remote computing on top of cost-effective commodity hardware. The Cloud play from Salesforce, Amazon’s EC2 and the rest has been dominated by the implicit assumption that these Cloud-based resources are an extension of the corporate data center; a way to simply reduce the costs of enterprise computing. There is value in this business, but there are bigger opportunities. Cloud Computing, and the various *aaS movements, have finally brought us to a place where the fiercely guarded and tightly delineated boundaries between the organisation and those outside it may become permeable in ways that should benefit the organisation rather than threaten it. It is a quite remarkable feeling to watch as the pieces fall into place and ... (more)

Talking About Government Data with David James of Sunlight Labs

Image by kimberlyfaye via Flickr Continuing my ongoing series of conversations about the increasing availability of Government data, I recently spoke with David James of Sunlight Labs. Sunlight Labs is part of the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation in Washington, DC, and undertakes a range of projects to shine a light on the dealings of the US Federal Government. We discuss some of the Labs’ current projects, including their new National Data Catalog, and consider ways in which this and the Federal Government’s Data.gov portal increase the availability and utility of Government dat... (more)

Talking about Microsoft’s Windows Azure with Amitabh Srivastava

Image by DBegley via Flickr Long known for their dominance on the desktop, Microsoft is now making a concerted effort to carve out a space of its own in the Cloud with Windows Azure. Amitabh Srivastava, the company’s Corporate Vice President with responsibility for Azure, spoke with me this week and the result has just been released as one of my podcasts. Production of this podcast was supported by Talis, and show notes are available on their Nodalities blog. Amitabh talks about the company’s aspirations for Azure, and reports on the success of the current ‘Community Technology ... (more)

How Open is ‘Open’ ?

Image by Getty Images via Daylife There has been a recent burst of enthusiasm for making raw data produced by and for Government more ‘open,’ and this must surely be welcomed. Long-running grass-roots efforts such as Tom Steinberg’s mySociety and The Guardian’s Free Our Data campaign continue to innovate, but in an environment that is suddenly more receptive to their ideas. Edge-case adoptions of RDFa and other ’semantic’ specifications, perhaps, are at last moving from being merely the preserve of a few isolated enthusiasts. Sir Tim Berners-Lee now walks the corridors of power in... (more)

Data Market Chat: Microsoft’s Windows Azure Marketplace

As CEO Steve Ballmer has noted more than once, Microsoft’s future plans see the company going “all in” with the cloud. The company’s cloud play, Azure, offers the capabilities that we might expect from a cloud, and includes infrastructure such as virtual machines and storage as well as the capability to host and run software such as Office 365. Microsoft also recognises the importance of data, and with the Windows Azure Marketplace and the nurturing of specification such as OData, the company is playing its part in ensuring that data can be found, trusted, and incorporated into a... (more)