28 March 2007
I went to the 16th Annual EFF Pioneer Awards tonight. The opening entertainment was a debate between Fred von Lohmann and Mark Cuban over the merits of Youtube and the DMCA. It was a high spirited and good natured fight over the companies "cowering behind the DMCA" (Cuban) versus the convenience to copyright holders of being able to take down offending content without court action (von Lohmann).
Afterwards, the EFF presented awards to Bruce Schneier, Yochai Benkler, and Cory Doctorow. Yochai Benkler was unable to attend, but sent a prerecorded acceptance speech. Bruce Schneier was "introduced" via the presentation of some Bruce Schneier facts before coming on stage. Cory Doctorow was presented with goggles and a red cape (thanks to this comic) before giving a particularly moving acceptance speech (and an engagement announcement, too!)
(full photoset here)
27 March 2007
26 March 2007
Robert used our alpha server for the demo and showed a few examples of autocomplete and bidirectional linking. Esther and Tim then had questions about our philosophy of user-created data and the directions we might take as our community grows.
22 March 2007
Martin Heller has written a thoughtful technical review of Freebase and the Metaweb Query API in an article titled Freebase, the Semantic Web, and the Metaweb Query API on the Strategic Developer weblog at Infoworld. I recommend that any developer interested in the Metaweb read his review. And if you're really interested, I have three invitations to give away for our alpha test.
At Metaweb, we're making our API as open as possible - here's the documentation. The API allows programmers and web developers to query Freebase via MQL (mickle) the Metaweb Query Language. MQL is not your standard SQL "select user_name from users where ..." syntax because our database allows for a great deal of expressiveness and connections between objects with varying schemas.
If you want to ask questions and learn more, our dev team posts on the Freebase Dev Blog. For executive-level discussions about Freebase and the philosophy behind it, see Robert Cook's blog, Freebasics.
Here's a MJT documentation excerpt.
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Mjt is an HTML templating engine that runs entirely in a web browser. It was built for the Freebase service, but it can be used for many other web services. It is distributed as open source.
20 March 2007
The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is in the process of putting 3000 pages of scanned emails on-line. These are emails the US Department of Justice handed over in relation to the firing of eight Attorneys General. The documents are linked to from the front page, in the "What's New" section.
Here are direct links to what's on-line at the moment. The printed emails are still being scanned, so check the Justice Department page for more. And remember, if you find something interesting, you'll be doing everyone a favor by posting it.
19 March 2007
15 March 2007
I just got back from SXSW, and there was a really positive response to Freebase from the people I met.
I think that our decision to make Freebase data available via the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-by) license is a big part of the positive reaction -- people are willing to share when they know that the sharing goes both ways.
Freebase invite contest
Now I'm looking for people who have data to share and would like to try out Freebase. So I'm holding a contest - if you want to use Freebase, post a comment and tell me why you are interested. The three best submissions between now and Friday, March 23 will get invites to our alpha test.
Whether you're a regular user, a programmer who wants to use an API, or have an interesting data set that you'd like to share with the world, you've got a chance.
10 March 2007
Snakes on a Plane did something that few other films have achieved. It gave the fans not so much an enduring piece of cinema, so much as a reason to have a big one night party. Some on the panel felt that had Snakes on a Plane stuck to a tight budget - $3M instead of $30M - it could have spawned a niche of such films - financially successful one-night parties.
Maybe the studios will learn from this, and see Snakes on a Plane as a successful experiement working with internet fans - supporting them and learning from them too.
09 March 2007
Jon Phillips of Creative Commons has good things to say about our use of the CC Attribution license for the shared data - this is a database we want people to use.
I'm at SXSW Interactive Mar 9 - 14 looking for people who would like to work for us in San Francisco (we're hiring) or develop their own applications that use Freebase. I'm also looking for communities and people with data to share - if you have a catalog of data in any domain and want to share it with the world, let me know.