Category Technology

EVs – For the Few.

For several decades, automobiles have been synonymous with the democratization of mobility both within and beyond the city, for billions of people across the globe. You would think that by switching to Electric Vehicles (EVs) en masse, we’d be replacing ‘traditional’…

The jing-jang of hardware and software support

Ever since the 1980s, a vicious cycle of software and hardware requirements and updates has ‘plagued’ users and maintained high and constant rents to the vendors who systematically collude to render their previous offerings obsolete, while forcing (not enticing) their…

Ζήτημα αξιοπιστίας

Ένα από τα μεγάλα προβλήματα στο ελληνικό επιχειρείν είναι αυτό της αξιοπιστίας. Συχνά, κατηγορούμαστε, ως λαός, πως αποφεύγουμε το ρίσκο, πως είμαστε καχύποπτοι και συντηρητικοί στις ενέργειες, τα πλάνα, την γενικότερη δραστηριότητά μας. Και σε έναν μεγάλο βαθμό είναι αλήθεια.…

Disempowering the user.

I think what really happened was that in the early days of personal computing, decisions were made to give the user an enormous amount of freedom, to communicate without barriers and to share files. And consumers started to use those to, you know, trade information, outside of the boundaries of the law. Since about 2007 or 2008 though we've seen a complete shift in this paradigm. Since that time the technologists and the rights holders have really been working together to disempower the user and to turn them more into a customer. So the goal is no longer to empower the computing user, it's to extract value from them. And I think if you look at your smartphone you'll see that: it's a lot more closed than a PC used to be. You almost always have to go through a corporate intermediary. And that was not the case in the early days of computing. There was a period there where the average user had an extraordinary amount of power to do, basically, what they saw fit.
This is a quote by Stephen Witt, author of 'How Music Got Free', as mentioned in The Pop Star and the Prophet (around the 20 minute mark), a BBC podcast published back in September --- if you're a music lover in addition to a technology enthusiast, you should listen to the podcast and, perhaps, read the book. And while his book is probably only tangentially interesting to anyone interested in the history of technology, but without an interest in music, the quote couldn't possibly be more accurate or well-put.

Τηλεπικοινωνιακή παράνοια.

Αν ταξιδέψατε σε κάποιο απο τα ελληνικά νησιά φέτος με ένα 4G smartphone μάλλον θα διαπιστώσατε πως η ταχύτητα μεταφοράς των δεδομένων από και προς τη συσκευή σας ήταν εντυπωσιακά μεγάλη. Στην πραγματικότητα συχνά ξεπερνούσε τα 60Mbps downstream/15Mbps upstream. Ταχύτητες…

Η Ώρα του Ηλίου

1η Μαΐου. Ο ήλιος λάμπει στην Αθήνα, κι’όμως η διάχυτη κατήφεια τείνει να χρονίσει στην ελληνική πρωτεύουσα. Προϊόν δεκαετιών οικονομικής εξάρτησης και δανεικών, ψευδούς ευφορίας, παράλογων προσδοκιών και απαιτήσεων, κάκιστης διαχείρισης και αδιαφορίας σε συνδυασμό με ένα παγκόσμιο οικονομικό σύστημα…

Δυο ημέρες με το Myo

Πριν από τρία περίπου χρόνια εξετάζαμε το ενδεχόμενο ανάπτυξης του AthensBook ως ένα ‘φυσικό’ αντικείμενο (κιόσκι) το οποίο θα βρισκόταν σε συγκεκριμένα σημεία στην πόλη (π.χ. στο lobby ενός ξενοδοχείου, ενός δημόσιου κτηρίου ή την σάλα ενός καταστήματος) και θα…

The 'Net As A Utility – Arcs of Political Discourse

In the years between his sensational appearance as a Junior Senator before his colleagues at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 and his election in late 2008, Barack Obama carefully built a public profile of a quasi-radical reformist who, at…

Unwarranted Takedown

A few days ago Microsoft, in what is probably the silliest action they’ve taken in a while now, took down 22 domains belonging to dynamic DNS company noip.com. We know ’cause we use their services at Cosmical. Their move, against…