Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mondovino, interesting movie

Sommelier Jonathan Nossiter's view on the globalisation of wine.

In "Mondovino," Michael Broadbent, the legendary British wine writer and auctioneer, criticized the changes Mr. Rolland had made to Ch√Ęteau Kirwan, a middling Margaux estate that now, Mr. Broadbent said, tasted like a Pomerol. He added, "I'd rather have an individual wine not up to scratch than a global wine that's innocuous." It's a sentiment that still has Mr. Rolland fuming. "I think English critics in general — the English are used to drinking older wines," he said. "Michael Broadbent is always speaking about the 1940's and 1960's. It's like they are stopped in time, like old people always looking back to the old days."
The documentary-like movie is about the e.g. traditional French winemakers with a strong belief of wine's terroir predominating its flavour versus modern-world winemakers building strong brands aided by wine consultants, like Rolland. Should winemakers design/adapt their wines to the taste of the customer and the wine critics like Robert Parker or should they stick to tradition, identity and the wine's terroir?

Monday, December 03, 2007


I paid a short visit to Dublin, Ireland. First visit to the city. More visits to come, if the project will be granted to my colleagues and I. Thanks a million to the owner of this internet cafe, 2 euros for one hour and Illy espresso, what else can one wish for...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Semantic Desktop

Google Tech Talks September 28, 2007 ABSTRACT A Semantic Desktop is a means to manage all personal information across application borders based on Semantic Web standards. It acts as an extended personal memory assisting users to file, relate, share, and access all digital information like documents, multimedia, and messages through a Personal Information Model (PIMO). This PIMO is build on ontological knowledge generated through user observations and interactions and may be seen as a formal and semi-formal complement of the user's mental models. Thus it reflects experience and typical user behaviour and may be processed by a computer in order to provide proactive and adaptive information support or allows personalized semantic search. The Semantic Desktop is build on a middle ware platform allowing to combine information and native applications like the file-system, Mozilla, Thunderbird or MS-Outlook. In this talk I will show how machine learning techniques may be used to support the generation of a PIMO. I will further introduce the main concepts, components, and functionalities of the Semantic Desktop, and give examples which show how the Semantic Desktop may become reality.