Posts Tagged ‘Tim Berners Lee’
Monday, April 23rd, 2012
Locu, the data-focused startup launched from Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s lab at MIT has nabbed a $4 Million Series A round of venture capital led by General Catalyst Partners, with participation from Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital, Lightbank and SV Angel.
Locu’s existing angel investors, including Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi of AngelPool, Quotidian Ventures, and Matt Ocko of Data Collective, also participated in the round.
The company. which has offices in Cambridge, MA and San Francisco, is building technologies to efficiently digitize real-world content, through a novel combination of document analysis, machine learning and online human computation workflows.
Locu’s mission is to structure the world’s information. The company is particularly focused on large, distributed, and complex data sets that previously could only be tackled with costly and hard-to-scale manual labor.
“We started Locu to harness the sea of unstructured information that is all around us,” said Rene Reinsberg, Locu’s CEO. “Giving people and companies an easy way to tap into it, will change the way we live and work by adding a new level of intelligence to the applications we use every day.”
Locu’s patent-pending approach features an elastic hierarchy of crowd workers and advanced machine learning, developed by a 10-person engineering team composed of MIT computer science researchers who have worked on data-related projects at companies including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Bloomberg and ITA Software.
While virtual work marketplaces like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk are geared towards micro tasks, Locu has built infrastructure to train and manage crowd workers to generate more complex structured data sets at scale.
“The next generation of web and mobile applications requires rich data sets that can only be generated with sophisticated machine learning techniques,” said Larry Bohn, partner at General Catalyst who will be joining Locu’s board.
“Locu’s proven technology combined with an innovative human computation approach has shown dramatic results for leading application providers.”
Concentrating first on the local data space, Locu spent the last year creating the world’s largest real-time, structured repository of small business offerings data.
The company has already processed hundreds of thousands of semantically annotated merchant pricelists, such as restaurant menus, and has been licensing its data to big web players and small developers that want to tap into more relevant local data.
While the majority of its data is currently for the US, Locu also has data for the UK, Canada and is adding other international markets.
With the proceeds from this funding, Locu is planning to scale its team, technology and customer base.
Friday, April 30th, 2010
Tim Berners-Lee at W3C WWW2010 conference in Raleigh
By Allan Maurer
RALEIGH, NC – Increasingly, technologies are turning the Web browser into a computing platform and future Web apps “Are very much ripe for entrepreneurship,” said Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at the WWW2010 conference in Raleigh.
Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, remains at the forefront of new developments affecting his sometimes unruly child.
At a press conference at the WWW2010 conference, Berners-Lee, Jeff Jaffe, new CEO of W3C, and Ivan Herman, W3C Semantic Web Activity lead, discussed the potential future impact of ongoing and upcoming changes on the Web.
“Jaffe noted that the ‘Semantic Web,’ which links data in the Web using URIs and W3C standard technologies, will make it possible for the Web to ‘understand’ and satisfy requests of people and machines, thereby providing a better tool for describing the real world and presenting new knowledge, information and services.”
“That will make it easier for entrepreneurs to jump in and get started in some business,” he said.
Left to right: Tim Berners-Lee, Jeff Jaffe, CEO of W3C, and Ivan Herman at WWW2010 press conference panel in Raleigh
Herman added, “All these technologies open new potential for businesses, but he semantic Web obviously does. Things become possible that were not before. I wouldn’t make a guess as to what kinds of Web businesses will be around in two or three years, because I’d be wrong.”
A primary focus of W3C and the panelists was promoting Linked Open Data on the Web by global governments.
In answer to a question about adopting the Web for smaller screens, Berners-Lee pointed out it isn’t just smaller screens, but larger ones — in adapting it for screens of all sizes. “Going forward, we see all sorts of innovations,” he said.
Those include ways to not just shrink a Web page for say mobile devices, but also to use style sheets that allow users to do different things depending upon screen size.
Eventually, he said, we may just speak the name of a town to have a mobile device go off and find weather, shopping, and other information about the town.
“The Web has been around 20 years,” said Jaffe. “It’s about to be supercharged with new technologies that are going to create enormous opportunities for industry to jump in and participate.”
Monday, April 26th, 2010
Janna Anderson, director of the Imagining the Future Center at Elon University
RALEIGH, NC – Right from the start, from its founders to its exploiters, from its builders to its consumers, the Internet has spawned a wealth of speculation on its future.
NC-based Elon University’s “Imagining the Internet” project, a sponsor of the FutureWeb Conference Wednesday and Thursday at the Raleigh Convention Center (April 28-29), has teamed with the PEW Internet & American Life Project to track those predictions past and present.
Janna Quitney Anderson, a professor in the Elon School of Communications and director of the Imagining the Internet Center, tells us the project got underway when Lee Rainie, director of the Pew project, visited Elon in 2000.
He suggested creating a database of Internet predictions similar to Sola Pool’s research work on “Forecasting the Telephone.”
Anderson, together with another Elon professor, Connie Ledoux Book, collaborated over a number of years to get the Imagining the Internet database, going from early predictive statements to ongoing data collected via its site and activities.
Early on, the researchers established certain persistent major themes:
- The Internet will transform society; it will transform economies;
- content will drive the Internet’s success; the Internet presents security and privacy concerns;
- the Internet’s growth is dependent on an efficient and reliable infrastructure; the Internet will spawn a new generation of hardware and software;
- it will create a smaller world; it will transform America’s schools;
- it will impact professions.
The results found in this work made it evident that the predictions research should be expanded upon, the researchers say.
Some early predictions right on
Anderson tells us that while some kooky predictions appear (such as, “The trees will whisper information”), many of the early Internet founders pinpointed the issues we face today. People like Tim Berners Lee and John Perry Barlow suggested we would have to reinvent our notions of privacy, ownership and “Lots of other things we talk about today,” says Anderson.
In 2003, Anderson used Book’s study as the base from which to launch a research initiative aimed at assembling a large, thorough, public database of thousands of the predictions made between 1990 and 1995. This comprehensive study targeted statements made by internet stakeholders and skeptics. These were mined through searches of the major books of the time, Internet sites, magazines, speeches, research presentations and newspaper articles.
Ongoing predictions collected
In 2004, and years to follow, experts quoted in the early 1990s database and many other technology leaders have been sent an e-mail invitation to participate in a web-based “Future of the Internet” survey that records their thoughts about anticipated changes to come in the years ahead. The responses are published along with an accompanying research report in the Predictions Survey section on the site.
The ongoing work included publishing books based on the research, video reporting by School of Communications students, and even a video documentary. The project has also collected thousands of predictions by hundreds of people and amassed a huge and growing database.
In 2007-08, Elon University recognized the ongoing work of the project by establishing the nonprofit Imagining the Internet Center, based in the School of Communications.
When the World Wide Web conference slated a Raleigh event, Anderson was invited onto the steering committee and expressed the idea that it might be effective to bring not only engineers and infrastructure experts here, but to also co-locate a conference exploring the social and political aspects of the Web, which became FutureWeb.
Imagining the Internet site address:
The Early ’90s database of predictions:
Latest Future of the Internet survey:
Share Your predictions:
By Allan Maurer
TechJournal South Editor Allan Maurer can be reached at: Allan at TechJournalSouth dot com.
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
RALEIGH, NC – FutureWeb, a conference exploring the future of social networks, open source, media, privacy, and other Web-centric issues, is bringing an impressive lineup of Internet mavens to the Raleigh Convention Center April 28-30 (next Wednesday-Thursday).
Panelists and speakers include Vint Cerf, Tim Berners Lee, Danny Weitzner, Chris DiDona, Doc Searls, and Bob Young among many others.
Cerf, often called “Father of the Internet,” spoke at our own Southeast Venture Conference in February and is an engaging and entertaining keynote speaker with a wealth of personal stories to bolster his insightful ideas about the future of the Internet.
Leaders from Google, the Web Science Trust and Web Foundation, eBay, NTIA, the US Executive Office of the President, Microsoft, EPIC, the Internet Society, Red Hat, Lulu, the Mozilla Foundation and more will discuss the probable evolution of the Web and what it will mean for our social, political and economic future.
We understand that Bob Young, CEO and founder of Lulu.com and a co-founder of open source software provider Red Hat, will be making a major announcement about Lulu. The company recently temporarily withdrew its planned initial public offering of stock on the Toronto Exchange, so we’ll be looking forward to what Young has in mind for the Web-based publish on demand company.
The Mission of the sponsoring organization, Elon University’s Imagining the Internet, is to explore and provide insights into emerging network innovations, global development, dynamics, diffusion and governance. The Center is based at Elon Univeristy’s School of Communications and is a mostly volunteer effort financed by the university, with added support from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.
Speakers and panelists at the event include:
Tim Berners-Lee, Vint Cerf, Danny Weitzner, danah boyd, Andrew McLaughlin, James Hendler, Chris DiBona, Bob Young, Marc Rotenberg, Nigel Shadbolt, Nathaniel Lin, John Lovett, Michael Clemente, Doc Searls, Lee Rainie, Scott Bradner, David Ferriero, Phil Mui, Bob Page, Alejandro Pisanty, David Burney, Michael Tiemann, Charles Coleman, Tom Rabon, Penny Abernathy, Michael Rappa, Paul Jones, Cathy Davidson, Henry Copeland, Tom Miller, Nathaniel James, Fred Stutzman, Dan Conover, Mark Anthony Neal, Negar Mottahedeh, Dave Levine, Zeynep Tufekci, Wayne Sutton, Ira Nathenson, Eric Fink, Jacqui Lipton, Tony O’Driscoll and more.
Follow FutureWeb on Twitter!
Learn more about Imagining the Internet!