30 January 2015

Renewable Energy

Energy in its many forms is a shared necessity that drives the very existence of a modern society and the running of businesses. However, centralized energy sources are not really working sufficiently enough to meet increasing population demands as even running of such plants consumes energy. While the privatization of energy sector has also led to huge price hikes for households. The trend towards energy sources should really be decentralized back to the households while still maintaining some level of government sponsored plants. In process, such initiatives should allow households to be more responsible with their consumption and more creative projects could arise in how renewable energy could be harnessed as well as stored. It would also provide incentives for households to sell back recycled energy and materials to businesses. Use of solar power is one obvious alternative. However, this alternative alone is not going to be sufficient even with government incentives. Majority of renewable energy needs to be met through recycling and refuse that households throw away on a daily basis. In process, it will solve multiple issues in cities. For one, it would stop massive landfill sites that add to global warming and pollution. It would also stop the infestation of rodents in cities. Also, there would be no need for regular rubbish to be stacked outside homes for collection. Another option for renewal is to recycle wasted heat from running water, air conditioning, and other electrical appliances. Internet of Things would also help to tackle such a hurdle through semantic technology and robotics. Decentralization of energy sources and consumption should also reduce the scalability and provisioning requirements for production. Such options could even extend to businesses who also produce a huge amount of waste. Modern living is all about living clean with environmentally friendly alternatives, while not foregoing on the luxuries that life affords. As energy cannot be created nor destroyed, we can at least make efforts towards discovery of alternative sources and forms from the many recycling options, for better and efficient ways of living as part of a community. 

27 January 2015

Shared Workplaces

Shared workplace practices are growing especially for companies that like to maintain a start-up environment. In such environments, employees from multiple companies could be situated there and collectively working while sharing certain resources. It also builds on an open atmosphere of networking for business as well as funding. Such practices can also mean cost savings. Even options for hot desks are possible. However, they do bring with them complications. Security can be a concern with shared use of the Internet and personal belongings. Health and Safety is also a major concern in such environments as different companies have their own requirements. It also means the host of such workplaces really does need to show a collective consideration for all their members who have hired those workspaces. One also needs to be cautious about pets in such environments as they may not always be welcome either by some companies or pose a health issue for others. In such issues, vaccination certificates should be available for view if demanded. It can also pose a major compliance issue especially of the various local regulations across countries. In other cases, balancing the needs of every member becomes difficult especially if one is more demanding than the other. Having too many rules and regulations for members in how they use the workspaces can also push people away. In fact, it can also get in the way of standard agile practices. Modern businesses really do have to weigh out the efficiency gains and the productivity of staff in such shared workplace practices with a full perspective of all employees as well as that of the host environment. 

25 January 2015

Order Out Of Chaos: Metadata,Taxonomies,Thesauri,TopicMaps

Businesses face an insurmountable data and needs are constantly growing. Knowledge representation is playing an ever more important role in harnessing domain context for deriving useful information metaphors. In order to achieve understanding, one has to open the window to the different forms of metadata semantics. Semantic Data is already playing an important role in providing better findability and for annotating content. However, semantics in all forms are going to be playing an even greater role for the emergence of Web 3.0 and connected web of data. Big data requirements pose a massive dilemma for enterprises as they look for ways of gaining more efficiency, productivity, reuseability, and insight. Semantics hold the key to unlocking many such information gains. As a result, big data professionals are already seeing high demand for their skills. But, librarians and information architects are also seeing massive interest in various industries. The field of semantic data is diverse requiring various domain expertise from linguists, taxonomists, big data technologists, data scientists, subject matter experts, to experienced software engineers. NoSQL has also opened the doors to more loosely connected storage and scaling requirements for unstructured data. Often software engineers have to put on many hats for roles as they embark on development of domain applications. Metadata is in everything that software engineers use as tools and platforms for transforming and building applications. It is also the starting point towards understanding and unlocking data to transform into an information gain. The following provides further resources as a professional field for learning metadata, the different design approaches, community defined specifications, and in the availability of tools.

The Accidental Taxonomist
Introduction to Metadata
Metadata Demystified
Open Data Handbook
The Metadata Handbook
Understanding Metadata
The Metadata Manual
Ontology Alignment
Ontology Alignment Initiatives
Ontology Matching
The Semantic Web for Working Ontologist
The Semantic Web Primer
Tools for Taxonomies and Ontologies
Metadata: Organizing and Discovering Information
Taxonomy & Controlled Vocabulary (SIG)

16 January 2015

Homeland 2014

Homeland was left in disarray after the hanging of Nicholas Brody. In season 4, we see Carrie with her daughter still coming to terms with parenthood then suddenly the loss of her father. At same time, there is another stereotypical story line emerging on Islamic terrorists. There are constant twists and turns in season 4. Eventually, the last couple of episodes provide the audience with much needed information of not only the chemistry between Carrie and Peter, but also the unequivocal entanglements between the US government and terrorism. Moreover, Carrie finds herself in a pickle in questioning her own loyalties as well as the ramifications of her US comrades towards the political links with terrorism groups. However, the season 4 ends in a disarray just as it started, leaving much to be desired. Homeland has turned into quite a frustrating drama series with questionable basis on which they create such deceptive and discriminating story lines.

15 January 2015

Our Zoo

Our Zoo is a documentary told from the narrative of June Mottershead and her childhood. What makes the series so magical is the principles on which Our Zoo is depicted as a means of providing a sanctuary for neglected animals as well as a therapy for George Mottershead from his days in the army. It is a remarkable story of how the Chester Zoo started out with the spirit of the entire family. The pinnacle of the story or perhaps the focal point is Honor Kneafsey who plays June Mottershead and her experiences with the animals. The family face many obstacles in their path when they relocate, mostly from their conservative neighborhood. It is unfortunate that the series came to an end after the first season. There could have been plenty of tales to tell for many seasons.

The Newsroom

An extraordinary serial about the politics and the dynamics of an internal newsroom. One thing annoying about the show is the amount of shouting and arguing between the characters. This is obviously what happens as part of a real-life newsroom. But, besides that, it provides for a fascinating story base of news presenters, support staff, and producers that make the network a success. Well, not always a success, if ratings is all that is left to conjure on. The casting is also a nice mix that showcases the new and the experienced actors. There is a bit of news drama from every angle almost a menagerie of stories of current affairs. A lot of consideration is made on the bond that the characters have with each other as well as the way they build and regain their sense of integrity for all things newsworthy. In a lot of ways in journalism of today, maintaining objectivity and integrity is compromised for ill-informed, timely, and artfully crafted delivery of content, while being watchful of the audience ratings. 

14 January 2015


A new serial that chronicles a story of a tyrant. A dedicated family man and doctor is brought back to his family homeland in a fictitious Arab country, forcing him to face his past. His father is also the tyrant ruler of that particular country for which he escaped much of his childhood. But, in process of coming home and interacting with his extended family members, he slowly sees his character disintegrating and becomes his own worst enemy. The environment forces him to take action and heed his responsibilities of his place in the family. Ultimately, to plan a coup against his brother. Towards the end of the first season we can almost see him emerging and rediscovering himself as a formidable tyrant, while trying to keep his family from harms way, only to be caught by his own brother. The story line is again based on a myriad of stereotypical nonsense of the west against the Arab world with plenty of bias from an Israeli vantage point. Another prototypical alternative to media propaganda, like homeland, not only against Islam but also of the east. Apart from some relatively questionable acting, the continuous drama, climax, and nail-biting intrigue attempts to keep the story galvanized to capture the interest of the audience.

13 January 2015

Taken 3

It is getting a bit tiring now that the man's family keep getting taken and that he is constantly left trying to save the daughter. The action sequences in Taken 2 and now Taken 3 have not been near as comparable to the original Taken sequel. It seems the franchise for Taken and its characters have well reached their saturation point. To put it mildly even Bryan Mills must be getting tired, old, and his daughter equally as much. Perhaps, it is time these two were left alone to live in peace. After all they have lost the mother and now Bryan Mills is about to become a grandfather. There is also only so much that a direction to an action sequence can take between the same chilling scenario. Overtime, the fan base dwindles and the audience is left with a story that has a predictable ending. However, Taken has done much to revitialize the acting career of Liam Neeson as an enviable action hero. There are bound to be plenty of other action roles, in the future, that the dynamic actor could put his mind to next.