Some thoughts on Ubuntu Unity

A lot has been said and written about Ubuntu Unity, the new ‘shell’ that’s replaced the ‘classic’ default GNOME desktop in Ubuntu 11.04. Despised by many that interpreted Canonical’s break from the ‘open-source’ norm of restricting modifications to upstream platforms to a bare minimum, as a threat to the upstream projects’ existence (a valid point […]

Location and Privacy

Yesterday a story about Apple’s unauthorised logging of timestamped location data on iPhones running iOS 4.x versions of the system software was published in several articles in technical and mainstream media worldwide. This is important, not only because of the ubiquity of location-based services available to consumers worldwide and the significance of location in safeguarding […]

Μια Προσωρινή Πολιτική Τρικλοποδιά ή Μόνιμη Απαξίωση της Ευρώπης;

Διαβάζω το άρθρο στο BBC για τα παιχνίδια με Προσωρινές Άδειες Παραμονής σε Τυνήσιους μετανάστες στην Ιταλία, το Σένγκεν και τα τρένα. Η γειτονική μας χώρα, χρόνια ‘σκληρή’ απέναντι στους μετανάστες που κατέφθαναν στα λιμάνια της από την Αφρική, αλλά και την Αλβανία, αντιμέτωπη με αυξημένη, ενδεχομένως υπερβολική, εισρροή μεταναστών από την βόρεια Αφρική μετά […]

Javaless Guardian

Guardian.co.uk is switching from Java to Scala. I'm surprised it took so long and that other Java shops are not following en masse --- it could be because of how different and esoteric Scala can be, especially to Java programmers. The linked infoQ article contains an interesting discussion with the Guardian folks. Programming enterprise web applications (or anything, for that matter) in Java is painful for anyone mature enough to have experienced the wealth and breadth of tools out there, given how primitive, verbose and unproductive it is, and how much it caters for the lowest common denominator of a programmer. That's not to say that Scala is the best choice for everyone, let alone those not starting from scratch, but given the Guardian's existing infrastructure and systems, I guess that it's the best choice they could've made.

Unrated.

Today, Greece and Portugal saw their credit ratings downgraded, once again. Greece’s socio-economic mess notwithstanding, reading the linked BBC article made the absurdity of the dependence on the ‘markets’ (and the ‘unrated’ rating agencies that drive them) clearer than ever: in 2010 Greece woke up to the realisation — or at least some in that […]

Back to the future.

I'm lost for words. This is unbelievably cool: recreating the same photographs, with the same people, twenty+ years later. Check it out.