Category Computing

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.

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…

Fira Sans and Fira Mono

After many years of using Inconsolata Hellenic on my linux and OS X boxes as the monospace font of choice for development, I switched to Fira Mono, commissioned by Mozilla for their Firefox OS and designed by Erik Spiekermann. Inconsolata might have been one of the best looking monospace fonts I've ever seen – and the fact that it was free made it an insanely great choice – but it was time for a change. Oh and one more thing, Fira has full support for (monotonic) Greek.

Go and Javascript.

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Python is being replaced by Go. I don’t have a lot of information to back up this prediction except that most of the positive articles I read about Go are written by Python developers, and a lot of them say that they are now actively migrating their code base from Python to Go. I don’t see as much enthusiasm for Go from developers using statically typed languages, probably because of Go’s antiquated type system (which is still a big step up from Python, obviously).

Υπερίων & η αγορά της Ευρυζωνικότητας

Ξαναγυρίζω σε ένα θέμα για το οποίο έχω γράψει αρκετά. Προ μερικών ετών, σε ένα άρθρο μου έγραφα για το ΣΑΠΕΣ, πλέον Υπερίων, το σύστημα της ΕΕΤΤ για την καταγραφή της πραγματικής ταχύτητας σύνδεσης ανα την ελληνική επικράτεια. Η ιδέα…