Looking for a hosting company that lets me host multiple (smallish) sites, the usual goodies but nothing special (multiple mysql databases, …), and costing significantly less than 500 US$ or 350 UK Pound a year. Recommendations welcome!

What happens if millions of new pictures are posted to the web every day? The pictures could be auto-connected by non-subject metadata like location or timestamp. What is the value of a picture without the story? What will happen to abandoned picture-collecting websites? Is there a standard way to embed metadata about a picture in the picture itself, so it doesn’t get lost?

Livia (from Brazil) writes a comment to my Racial and Ethnic classifications as an example of classification challenges post: “Not because it’s a bad or a good idea, but how they simply cloned it from the US, even though it makes absolutelly no sense to our population or ethnical background. We don’t have a racial problem in Brazil (we have a wealth distribution problem) and it really upsets me that they are turning it into something it is not.”

Classification systems really have a tendency to stick around, even when they’re no longer useful or just not applicable to the situation (as in Livia’s example).

RFP: XML format for timelines

I’d like to see a simple XML format to express timelines with events on them, and a few tools to create this XML, turn them into Flash, HTML and such. The format should allow for merging timelines.

(Just some ideas:) A timeline exists of a StartingPoint, an EndPoint, and Events in between. Each Event is optionally identified by one or more URI’s (for merging), has a required StartingPoint (datetime) and an optional EndPoint (datetime, for events that happen over time). Events can be nested within events. Each event can have a URL (semantics: where to go when user clicks on event), a title, a description and an image.

We should be able to express things like conferences, or a personal timeline in this format.

The format should allow merging: time is universal. The events can be merged based on having at least one URL that’s the same. We should be able to merge your description of a conference (with your blog entries as events for example) with my description of the same conference.

Anyone interested in working out such a format?