Category Archives: Computers and Internet

Who Is Civilisation For?

Another thought-provoking talk given by Jaron Lanier. It’s a recording of the talk he gave as the Willy Brandt Lecture in 2018, followed by a Q+A session with Ulrich Kelber, German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information.

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Darkening the World

“we live in a world that has been darkening recently” – and yet… I do like Jaron Lanier and his polemics and dissertations on where we are and where we are going… Worth listening to.

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Will Microsoft Ever Learn?

This is an old cartoon showing the organisation chart of Microsoft and its warring fiefdoms. It was certainly true back in the day when I had business contacts with Microsoft on behalf of my employer. And it would seem that … Continue reading

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Drinking from the Firehose

It’s been a journey that has taken more than five years, but we have a fibre-optic broadband network connection here at the farmhouse at last. Now we have an internet connection speed of 200 mbits/s instead of just 3 mbits/sec. … Continue reading

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I Have A Bad Feeling About This…

I use Ivideon occasionally to keep an eye on the dogs when we’re out of the house. A couple of days ago, I received an email from Ivideon’s newly appointed business development manager. We are exciting [sic] to announce that … Continue reading

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A Contract For The Web

I see that Sir Tim Berners-Lee has launched his “Contract for the Web” – that requires endorsing governments, companies and individuals to make concrete commitments to protect the web from abuse and ensure it benefits humanity. Two of the nine … Continue reading

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Stumbling at the Finishing Line

Time for yet another instalment in the long-running saga of trying to get broadband internet available in our area. Our story began five years ago when I described the connection to the internet as being like a piece of wet … Continue reading

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China Today, Tomorrow, The World?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Jaron Lanier’s book: Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, which is a warning against the rise of surveillance technology and algorithms capable of social manipulation. In the West, … Continue reading

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Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

That’s the title of a book by Jaron Lanier. He poses the question: How can you remain autonomous in a world where you are under constant surveillance and are constantly prodded by algorithms run by some of the richest corporations … Continue reading

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Plex Drops a Bomb

Back in the mists of time (i.e. 2006), I installed a home cinema setup here: a Denon AVR with 7.1 audio, B&W speakers, and a Bluray player connected to the TV. After four years of service, I began to wonder … Continue reading

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

So Facebook wants us all to use their new cryptocurrency Libra? I loathe and detest Facebook enough already without this being thrust upon us. As Kenan Malik writes: Libra cryptocurrency won’t set us free, it will further enslave us to … Continue reading

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Wherefore By Their Fruits Shall Ye Know Them…

Back in January, I blogged about the fact that my Internet Service Provider, XS4ALL, was going to be swallowed up by its parent company KPN. XS4ALL customers were not happy about this – over 50,000 of them (including me) signed … Continue reading

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Killing the goose that lays golden eggs

Here in the Netherlands we have a number of internet service providers (ISPs) to choose from. One of the oldest is XS4ALL, and it has been offering internet access to private individuals since 1993. It’s been my ISP since 1994. … Continue reading

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Microsoft – still asleep at the wheel

Another day, and yet another rant at Microsoft. I’ve already ranted about the fact that the OneDrive ‘Files on Demand’ feature is a step backwards from the old ‘Smart Files’ feature in Windows. I’ve also complained numerous times that the … Continue reading

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I’m Getting Nervous…

It’s the little things that gradually mount up. A series of changes, often small in themselves, that suddenly align and bring about a situation that can cause a major catastrophe. Over the years, I’ve built up about 500GB of personal … Continue reading

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Typically Dutch

The Dutch have a reputation for being straightforward, bordering on rude, in their interactions with other people. I had a prime example of this in an encounter yesterday. My Lenovo wireless keyboard and mouse has been giving trouble over the … Continue reading

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Breaking New Ground

A new chapter has begun in the ongoing saga to get high-speed internet in the countryside around here: today, the work began on digging the trenches for the fibre optic cable. The director of the company that is investing in … Continue reading

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Jaron Lanier and Social Media

An interview of Jaron Lanier, and why he thinks that Facebook and its ilk are bad for us both as individuals and as society. He’s absolutely right, of course, but the damage has probably already been done. The one false … Continue reading

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The Internet Apologizes…

… that’s the title of a sobering article on what has gone wrong with the internet. Well worth reading. The apology is necessary, but it’s too damn late – the damage is done. I’m not sure how it will ever … Continue reading

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You Are the Product

That’s the title of an article about Facebook by John Lanchester. Published back in August 2017, it is eerily prescient about the shit that has now hit Facebook’s fan. It’s a long article, but definitely worth a read. As Lanchester … Continue reading

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