Now that storage is so cheap (hard drives, and readwrite CDs
and DVDs), it's clear to me that operating systems need to
add a gigantic knowledge-base layer with hooks that let all
applications share it.
Spellchecker and thesaurus are the simplest level of this.
A local mirror of DMoz with symbolic links to Yahoo's
parallel categories is another. A private equivalent of
the IMDb (for movies) and Amazon for books and music is
Each of these would be customised for one's own tastes,
and one should be able to flag favorite artists/topics/etc
so that background searches can be done for new articles.
But a much more interesting challenge, I think, is a
semantically well-defined _timeline_ of the universe,
into which articles can be sorted by topic-date, from
Big Bang to today's headlines.
I've prototyped the full scale logarithmically, to
explore what this might require:
The semantics have to include 'star' and 'planet' and
'molecule' with verbs like 'comes into being' and
'ceases to exist'. Biological populations should be
traced geographically, with population surges and
plunges tallied and explained (Ice Age, mastery of fire).
Food sources could be identified for each species, and
for humans the normal toolkit used (tailored clothing,
bow-and-arrow, fire drill).
Authors' and artists' creative works could be indexed
as well, and one's own autobiography (incl email).