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What has LOD2 to do with OntoWiki … and me?

English: The following diagram visualizes the ...

Image via Wikipedia

It is time to announce (another) webinar from LOD2 webinar series, this time about OntoWiki.

But first things first…

In September last year I joined Zemanta (allright!) as a researcher… and Zemanta is a partner in a FP7 project called Linked Open Data 2 – Creating Knowledge out of interlinked Data. I already wrote about LOD2 in one of the posts on our blog (you can check it out here).

Upcoming webinar is just one of the webinars in the series describing tools released as LOD2 Stack – tools that will help you (and us) create, enrich, interlink and visualize open data. First webinar (November 2011) was in an introduction to LOD2 Stack, while second one  (December 2011) presented Virtuoso universal server for linked open data.

If you think this has nothing to do with you, think again. :) We all can contribute in this way or another to create new knowledge, better data and share it with others. There are already a bunch of cool projects related to Open data (ever heard about Freebase? Or DBpedia?) and contributing to “open things” it’s a good idea. :)

Back to announcement…

On January 24, 2012 @ 4p.m. you can participate in third free LOD2 webinar about OntoWiki. OntoWiki is a tool providing support for agile, distributed knowledge engineering scenarios. It enables intuitive authoring of semantic content, it supports RDF, it fosters social collaboration and much more.

Date: 24.01. 2012, 04.00pm – 05.00pm CET
Information & Registration:

More information about webinar and registration: LOD2 webinar page.

It’ll only take one hour but it might change the way you see data for ever… ok, for now :)

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Refine your mess and make a simple girl happy


Image via Wikipedia

I’m challenged… not just vertically (154 cm if you insist!), but also technically. Almost a month ago I heard about Google Refine. Few days ago I started studying how to develop an extension to be able to retrieve triples (open data) from our database. Easy peasy… gutsy squeezy? :)

Being such a simple girl I don’t need much. A little laughter, ‘thank you’ now and then and… you cleaning the mess you left in the kitchen.  Simple, right? I’ll make you coffee and fruit salad and bring you cookies… but only if I’m happy. Wanna be happy? Make me happy.

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On Geckos, candles and human interfaces

A short story about a Geek and a Gecko

Almost ran over a gecko with my scooter. That would be so uncool. Geckos are small lizards and this was the first time I saw one in the middle of Ljubljana.

Image of a Mediterranean house gecko taking a ...

Image via Wikipedia


Commuting with a train can be quite interesting. Older lady was observing my water bottle and after a few minutes finally said it: “Is this an oil candle?” Why on earth would I have an oil candle (people put on a grave) on a table on train? Dunno. People are strange.

Human interfaces

Lately we are paying much attention to human-computer interfaces, but somehow we started to neglect human-human ones. Half-listening to customers requests, not recognizing new onces or the less frequent ones. Let me give you an example. Two older women decided to make a trip to Ljubljana with the train. They bought return ticket or at least they thought they did. As it turned out, they had one way ticket only and had to purchase tickets on the train, which is much more expensive. You can guess they weren’t pleased with the situation, especially not because they could get discount for seniors if they bought the tickets at the train station. Now, who’s to blame? The woman behind the counter at the train station or these two seniors not verifying their purchase? Me? Don’t even try. :)

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Generation G and the Era of Praise and Whine

Generation G(oogle)

Can you remember the times when we didn’t use Google? When Altavista and Yahoo! or metacrawler were the only ones you could ask for the meaning of life and stuff? Boom and then it came Google.

Google Logo officially released on May 2010

Image via Wikipedia

Today I realized how deeply Google sneaked into our lives behind our backs. Don’t get me wrong, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but it should make you at least think about it… It’s like an addiction. Here’s my story.
Every now and then we have to print a number of small tickets (we call them stories) for

planning purposes. Every story has a title, a description, a list of tasks and estimated value of this story. Ever heard of agile development or scrum? No? In few words: our work is organized in cycles (e.g. 14 days). At the end of current cycle we define what to do in next cycle in the form of stories (more abstract descriptions of what to do). Stories are written in a document (e.g. Google Docs) and later manually transferred into a template, created in Adobe Indesign. Because I’m a big fan of simplifying tedious tasks, I decided to surprise our project manager and help her automate at least part of the dull repetitive task of copying stories into template. Indesign already supports Data Merge, but it needs a comma or tab separated text file as an input. No problem if your data consist of single-line values, but as soon as you have to include multi-line text values, you have a ‘it’s complicated’ relationship – not an option in my case. Well, I figured out how to overcome this obstacle, but I still had to transform semi-structured text of Google Doc document into a structured text (spreadsheet) and export it as csv. Hmmm, how should I do it without additional tools?
People, let me introduce you Google App script. Have you noticed that Google offers Google app script for Google docs? Oh yes, it does. I used to write (not record!) a lot of macros in MS Office and I must admit Google app script kicks ass. You don’t believe me? Try it. It is based of Javascript or VB script and it can do magic… well almost. :) It solved my problem though! You can even create your own custom menus. Niiiceeee. :)

Lesson learned: Watch your back or next time you’ll find Google underneath your sheets instead of your partner. :)

Whine smart or drift apart

It’s been a month since I started working in Z-company. So far so awesome. :D  One of the things I learned here was to ‘whine smart’. It is actually a part of agile software development – a retrospective in which team members share their thoughts and opinions what went wrong or not so good and what to do about it in next (development) cycle. I’m a ninja with academic background, where whining is by default useless (mostly due to the complexity and rigidity of the system), therefore I was surprised to see that smart whining works, while not being whining at all!

If it doesn’t work any more, it is time to drift apart (before it is too late).

Praise a lot, sir Lancelot

Honesty didn’t kill the cat, neither did curiosity. If you tell people they’re good, when they deserve it, if you give credits where due and if you are true to yourself, you probably won’t take over the world, but you’ll be able to sleep at night. Guess what, praising is also a part of agile software development, just like whining. :) Ego-trippers you’re welcome to praise others… it won’t hurt you. :D

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To MIME base64 Hell and back again

Image representing Outlook as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

If you’re born and raised among “if you’re bad you’ll go to Hell” people, you expect to go to Hell when you die (if you’re bad) and not a second sooner! Although I’m not such a bad person in general and I’m pretty much alive at this moment, I had to go through MIME Hell today. This is what happened… I was waiting for a very important e-mail with attachment and when I finally got it – it was a MIME multi-part base 64 encoded message. If you ever received one of those, you feel me. If you haven’t – consider yourself lucky, but if you do it starts like this:

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Oh noez… :scotsman:

And then you see something like this:

Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

Or the worst kind – garbled plain text… plain text my ass!

Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64


Sometimes not even Google is able to decode it. If you insist on pointing fingers – Microsoft (especially Outlook and Microsoft Exchange) does a pretty good at encoding forwarded messages or attachments in this way.

If message received is not important, who cares, forgetaboutit. If it is and asking sender to re-send the message this time carefully using alternative works swell. What if message is important and you can’t or don’t want to further annoy sender? You’re doomed.  :seba:

Oh noez.  :fly:

Or not. Here it is: Online base64 sample decoder and encoder to the rescue! Copy relevant parts into appropriate textbox, hit enter, do some magic and you’ll be able to retrieve at least some parts of the message. If I did it so can you!

I rest my case.


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Yet titleless and already full of shit


A woman on a sidewalk was carrying loadshit of cardboard boxes and struggling with a mean-looking poodle. The dog repeatedly tried to chew through its leash and when this didn’t happen, he made a circle back and to the right of the woman (on the bikepath). If it wouldn’t be so funny, it just wouldn’t be. :D  I was expecting woman to eventually drop all the boxes (because of all the pulling) and smack the poodle. :D She didn’t, at least not on my watch! :P

Lessons learned: Don’t buy poodles. Ever. They look mean. If you have to carry a shitload of boxes and walk your dog, put the dog in one of the boxes.

To be continued in the evening…

The evening has come.

Pimp my Google Chrome while Foxy’s not watching

Yesterday I got a special tee – Firefox tee. Today I decided to use Chrome as THE browser, because my Foxy Lady behaves like the main character in Yo mama jokes. If this makes me a bad person, so be it. I still like Foxy, but it eats up too much resources just for few open tabs. I wonder if it’s tr00 what they claim about No.7. :)

While exploring Chrome Apps I found some that might come handy, e.g. MockFlow, Evernote, Sticky Notes and ShiftEdit to name but a few. My Chrome got some polish…

This evening @ Zemanta: Firefox 7 release party :)

 The name of the game

First week in September we had a hackday at Z-HQ. I was working with Tin (a very cool NY guy) on gamifying Zemanta experience… We ended up with some mockups and then last week Tin found this site: Big Outdoor. No, this is not the store where Gill Bear buys his gear (does he have anything except his knife?). :) I included Big Outdoor Widget on this blog to explore a bit (can you see it, can you?), and tomorrow… yes, tomorrow will be another day. :P No, seriously, they offer free API and if I don’t even try to use it, I’m lame. No excuses.

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On bureaucracy and other not-much-sense matters

Cover of "Linchpin: Are You Indispensable...

Cover of Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Today it was a non-tech-all-bureaucracy day.

The riddle

I was updating (writing and filling additional forms) our application for a public call for (co)financing. I was amused and puzzled at the same time by the instruction that applicants have to enclose signed blank copy of an contract example, which was part of call’s documentation.Wait, that’s not all! Each and every page has to have a signature on it. Wait…wait… there’s more! On the first page of the contract draft is following disclaimer: “This text is an contract example and subject to change until the contract is signed.” WTF do we have to sign it then (put a paraph on every page)? It must be something about legal matters… or something.

Lessons learned: Bureaucracy is everything but logical. I have trouble spelling bureaucracy.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Today is the day Win XP died on my old notebook. Ubuntu is THE new piece of clothes. Don’t tell my beloved notebook its naked. Please. :) It seems it has enough problems (freezing just because) without this missing piece of reality check.

Scrabble this

On the train ride back home, while I was enjoying Seth Godin‘s Linchpin, two older gentlemen (really nice and friendly) sitting across from me obviously observed me. When I was preparing to get off the train, one of them shared their observations with me. :D They were amazed about me working (reading) all the way from Ljubljana to Pragersko ( 1h 40 min). I explained them, that commuting is not the same as loosing time if you spend it on/for things that matter to you, e.g. reading, learning etc.

One of them thought I was studying for an exam or something. Heh, I’m waaay beyond this point, but this reminds me I need my beauty sleep. Now! :D

Bonus – six (seven) new words to remember and/or use :)

  • ephemeral – short-lived, lasting a very short time
  • crutch – kind of (temporary and often inappropriate) support, supplement
  • usury – an exorbitant amount/rate of interest
  • (exorbitant – highly excessive)
  • ulterior – intentionally concealed, beyond specified/understood boundary
  • equanimity – mental stability under tension, calmness
  • adroit – cleverly skillful, resourceful


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Sparkica’s zemlog hello world!

I decided to write a log, well, sort-of-a Captain’s log about the things I learned on my way to eternity in beyond. Because I currently work for Zemanta and explore new territories, this log will be called zemlog, what else?! Beware, zemlogs may or may not include all tech and geek nonsense as well as some basic findings about Life, Love and the Universe. If you think you can handle all this, you’re more than welcome to learn as I learn, laugh when I laugh and faceplam when I facepalm. Otherwise, GTFOH. Or not :bumpy:

Remember: If everything else fails, use humor. Usually it doesn’t kill anyone. If it does, it doesn’t matter if you failed. You’ll have bigger problem.


Today’s gems

  • Google webfonts: font-a-stic, I already incorporated them into this blog… Cool, right? Well, have to find the best combination so I won’t need the Enigma to decipher widget titles :D


First Expedition into GoogleRefine:

A short trip in the field of regular expressions:

  • I really should obtain and use O’Reilly’s book on regular expressions.
  • I like them.
  • They’re useful.
  • I like patterns.

Thoughts on Life, Love and the Universe

The strangest things happen when you don’t expect them. While waiting for plane to Brussels at Frankfurt I saw John Malkovich. I didn’t make this up. He actually was in Europe! :)

On the same pic you can see the guy in the front resembling Frasier‘s brother Dr. Niles Crane from TV show Frasier.



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