The news stories all contend that the THESEUS research project is aimed at competing with Google in the search engine space, but the THESEUS website says otherwise:
“THESEUS is a research program with the goal of developing a new Internet-based infrastructure in order to better use and utilize the knowledge available on the Internet. Using the standards and basic technologies (â€œsemantic toolboxâ€) developed by THESEUS on the Internet, the users will also be able to produce and edit contents, rules, and structures themselves, as well as edit, collect, and link multimedia contents intelligently. Connecting todayâ€™s Web 2.0 with its open, interactive, and social network philosophy with semantic methods will turn the Web into the Internet of the next generation (Web 3.0 = Web 2.0 + semantics).”
Sounds a bit more than just a ‘search engine’ to me. If you read some of the news stories, blog entries and in particular, the comments, you will see what sounds like contempt that anyone could dare to compete with Google, or perhaps fear that they might succeed. C’mon folks, competition helps to drive technology to newer and greater heights. And if it’s done with a little help from a government entity – in this case, the EU/Germany – so what? Governments have (and still do) funded way worse things, but that’s another topic for another day.