This is going to be a bit wonky, but the man to help you understand how to work with the latest version of SPARQL is David Beckett.
David Beckett is now the Lead Software Engineer at DIGG (congrats Dave!) and formerly the Principal Software Architect at Yahoo. He is a free software/open source software developer and designer of HTTP web services and applications for metadata, content storage and content management. Expert in web metadata, XML, RDF, Semantic Web technology and web standards.
More on RDF and SPARQL 1.1:
RDF is a directed, labeled graph data format for representing information in the Web. This specification defines the syntax and semantics of the SPARQL query language for RDF. SPARQL can be used to express queries across diverse data sources, whether the data is stored natively as RDF or viewed as RDF via middleware. SPARQL contains capabilities for querying required and optional graph patterns along with their conjunctions and disjunctions. SPARQL also supports aggregation, subqueries, creating values by complex expressions, extensible value testing, and constraining queries by source RDF graph. The results of SPARQL queries can be results sets or RDF graphs.