ICT Policy

Vista Loses 2007

All I can say is ouch:

It's just that Vista isn't all that good. Many of the innovations the operating system was supposed to bring--like more efficient file and communications systems--got tossed overboard as Microsoft struggled to get the OS out the door, some three years after it was first promised. Despite its hefty hardware requirements, Vista is slower than XP. ... We have no doubt Vista will come to dominate the PC landscape, if only because it will become increasingly hard to buy a new machine that doesn't have it pre-installed. And that's disappointing in its own right.

PC world certainly gives a bleak outlook for Vista. Can I recommend people jump ship and consider Ubuntu Linux or Mac OSX?

Actually, the entire article on the top 15 tech disasters of 07 is enlightening, tho a few are there just to incite debate (the iPhone? Not a disaster). PCWorld seems to be of the opinion (which I share) that Facebook and the social networking crowd are getting long in the tooth and in need of some low-level, seachanging improvements:
We got it. Making connections between friends is cool. Sharing photos and videos, even cooler. But it's all so... 2006. Haven't you got anything new to show us?

Here's a safe bet: Two years from now, 90 percent of these networks will be gone and their founders will be back working at Starbucks. I'll have a double mocha frappucino, please.

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Repeat after me

"Buying falafel mix does not a terrorist make." The FBI might do well to write that in chalk 500 times, and hope that it sinks in, as they're wasting our money, their time, and invading our privacy while they're at it by trawling through credit card records to find people who shop at middle eastern markets and/or buy middle eastern style food from the larger chains. No, seriously:

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JWZ on backups

JWZ as usual offers good, if acerbic, advice; today on backups:

I am here to tell you about backups. It's very simple.

Option 1: Learn not to care about your data. Don't save any old email, use a film camera, and only listen to physical CDs and not MP3s. If you have no posessions, you have nothing to lose.
[...]

Put one of these drives in its enclosure on your desk. Name it something clever like "Backup". If you are using a Mac, the command you use to back up is this:

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Geektopia achieved

My geektopia has arrived:

The fridge has now become aware of its contents; and it is capable of establishing direct contact between you and their producers. Like you, the fridge is on the Internet and thus able to get hold of you – even on your mobile. It will let you know what you need to buy if you want to prepare a simmering beef stroganoff; also, it will alert you if you are out of chocolate-and-fruit flavoured ice cream.

But this is as much about security! In case a food producer detects a potential health hazard in a shipment, he can -- via the fridge -- send out a warning and withdraw the product in question.

Version 2.0 of the refrigerator has thus been equipped with a reader on its top shelf -- a reader capable of transmitting in a higher frequency to the RFID tags appended to the foodstuff.

The resonance frequency occurring in the reader on the shelf will build up a tension high enough to transmit a response back to the antenna and – as compared with the 14 centimetres of version 1.0 – the signal now has a range of 22 centimetres.

Ah, if I'd only patented that idea!

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Guess the Country

From Development Gateway:

X plans to offer 1.2 million of the country's poorest citizens a computer with broadband Internet access for a daily fee of €1 (US$1.28), to ensure that they have access to the increasing number of government services available online. The government has set ambitious targets for making public services available over the Internet, but is concerned that almost half the population still lacks regular access to the Internet.

Brazil maybe? Mexico? Possibly Bulgaria or even Korea? Nah, it's France.

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Censored Net Access?

With all this ire suddenly released against Google (have we been waiting for them to prove that they weren't perfect?) Yahoo (it's been a while since we got to tear into them), Microsoft (best punching bag evar, OMGLOL) and Cisco (a not-just-software company, for variety), why is everyone walking gingerly around the elephant in the room?

Filtering software providers. They're (drumroll) overwhelmingly American. To quote Boas:

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