Posts Tagged: Charlie Stross

Sunday Tidbits for Your Reading Pleasure…

Single petaled rose with large stames casting shadows

Above photo of a rose taken by Ms. Jen on May 26, 2018 at Castle Howard, Yorkshire, with a Nikon D850 and a Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens.

The Pivot:

“Something huge is happening in the UK right now, and I wonder where it’s going. […]

Brexit was a classic example of a collusion conspiracy. Many of the named politicians and businessmen above stand to gain millions of pounds from a hard Brexit that causes the British stock market to fall. Others stand to make millions from juicy investment opportunities they were offered in Russia. We cannot know for certain what the quid pro quo for those investment deals were at this time, but I strongly suspect that support for Brexit (and more general socially-authoritarian right-wing policies) was part of it.

And now we’re seeing a rival collusion conspiracy surface. Not all billionaires stand to profit from seeing the remains of British industry sink beneath the waves, and not all of them are in the pocket of the Kremlin’s financial backers. There are a bunch of very rich, rather reclusive men (and a handful of women) who probably thought, “well, let’s sit back and see where this thing leads, for now” about 18 months ago. And now they can see it leading right over a cliff, and they are unhappy, and they have made their displeasure known on the golf course and in the smoke-filled rooms, and the quiet whispering campaign has finally turned heads at the top of the media empires.

If I’m right, then over the next four to eight weeks the wrath of the British press is going to fall on the heads of the Brexit lobby with a force and a fury we haven’t seen in a generation. There may be arrests and criminal prosecutions before this sorry tale is done: I’d be unsurprised to see money-laundering investigations, and possibly prosecutions under the Bribery Act (2010), launched within this time frame that will rumble on for years to come.” – Charlie Stross, The Pivot

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Facebook confirms that it tracks how you move mouse on the computer screen

Demise of the Nation State

Clever Street Artist Transforms Ordinary Public Places Into Funny Installations

Umberto Eco’s 1999 article on ‘Ur Fascism

Here’s to Unsuicide: An Interview with Richard Powers

Mobile in 2015 and Charlie Stross on Apple and the Cloud

If you don’t already read it, I recommend putting Charlie’s Diary in your feed / RSS reader, as Mr. Stross is erudite and can pin any bug through the carapace with wit & speed.
Mr. Stross recently tackled “The real reason why Steve Jobs hates Flash” wherein he talks about how Mr. Job’s severe control addiction appears to have several strategic as well as personal reasons:

“It’s probably no exaggeration to say that Apple’s draconian security policies are among the tightest of any company operating purely in the private sector, with a focus on secrecy that rivals that of military contractors. But even so, the control freak obsessiveness which Steve Jobs is bringing to bear on the iPad — and the desperate flailing around evident among Apple’s competitors — bears some examination. What’s going on?
I’ve got a theory, and it’s this: Steve Jobs believes he’s gambling Apple’s future — the future of a corporation with a market cap well over US $200Bn — on an all-or-nothing push into a new market.”

For as much as I enjoy owning a good Apple MacBook Pro computer, as the hardware is so very nicely designed and the OS is not Microsoft (this is a theme for me, not MicroSquash, see other blog posts). But the last few years of watching what had been a potentially interesting mobile platform, the iPhone, turning into a closed cult that now involves cops, I must say I am more than turned off.
As my readers know, for my mobile devices I prefer Nokia (such lovely hardware & great camera phones) and Android (such lovely software) and I am eagerly awaiting the Meego linux based mobile platform that Nokia & Intel are currently working on. I am also excited right now for Nokia’s open Maemo and future Meego, as there is plenty of room for a web designer / photographer / developer hybrid, like me, to develop mobile applications in python.
I want great hardware and an open software architecture as well as a whole open ecosystem that welcomes a variety of creative folk to get involved. The future as Mr. Stross envisions where Apple will go in his article makes me sincerely hope that Nokia will make several more iterations of the lovely Booklet with Meego as the linux based OS rather than the current Windows 7, so that I won’t have to be stuck in a distopian Job-sian closed cloud-based future for my work and main machine.
As for mobile devices in 2015, I sincerely hope that there will be a diversity of open architectures & ecosystems that inspire creativity, connection and ease of use rather than another great computer world battle that is Apple v. Google or some other such nonsense.
As for other things I hope for in a mobile ecosystem in 2015:
1) I hope that all devices will come with their own solar battery charging array where the solar cells are on the case of the device so that you can flip it over and it will charge while it is not being used.
2) I hope that I will have a small handheld mobile device that will fit in my pocket or hand and it will have a fold out screen that will when full out will be the size of a sheet of office paper be it 8.5×11″ or A4.
3) I hope that the OS and software that will run the mobile devices of 2015 will not be a closed system, not just in concept & app store but also not in execution. I hope that Palm’s WebOS idea set will be propagated across the mobile landscape so that folks with training in web design & development will be able to code mobile apps and not just C++/Java/Cocoa/Symbian folk.
I hope this because the mobile and telecom worlds have been quite closed due to carrier strangleholds and the high barrier to entry for mobile applications, whereas the web world has had a large flowering of creativity and innovation because the barriers to entry were quite small. If the barriers to creating apps and sites for mobile are low, then in 2015 a 19 year old could create the mobile version of a future Facebook to scratch an itch in his or her community.
4) I hope that carriers will not continue to have such a vise grip on the North American market, but as I suggested in my thesis, that I can buy my mobile device from any number of stores and buy the ‘gas’ / connectivity from any number of other separate operators/carriers.
5) And then I have a ton of hopes for cameras with complete connectivity in 2015, but I won’t go there now… ;o)