[FoRK] Google's toolbar: threat or menace?

Sandor Spruit sandor at cs.uu.nl
Wed Feb 23 23:58:02 PST 2005


Ken Meltsner wrote:

>I'm trying to figure out whether Google's new toolbar feature of
>adding anchors to product names, etc. in the web pages you're looking
>at is a desirable feature.  It is more than reminiscent of Microsoft's
>abortive attempt to provide the world with "Smart Tags", but computer
>companies have been trying to figure out how to insert themselves into
>our documents for a long time -- Apple's Data Detectors come to mind,
>as does Inxight's entity detection tools.  Annotating text
>automatically is considered valuable by some, and a threat to
>individual freedom by others, depending on the company, application,
>context, etc.
>
>So, I'm trying to figure this out.  When are added anchors/links
>desirable?  When is it a good idea to collect entity (e.g name,
>company, product, location) references to support smarter indexing,
>and when is it an intolerable violation of textual integrity?

Well, suggestion. When you are a publisher with tons of non-XML textual
content that you want to prepare for multichannel publishing? In other
words: could this be somewhere in between plain text and hand-crafted
(expensive) XML documents?

Sandor



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