• (historical note: this is an article I wrote for IT Manager’s Journal, which published it at the URL on December 14, 2004. When I rediscovered the original text on my hard drive, on December 29, 2013, I put it back here with the original date as reference, since that whole website was closed years ago) The Member States of the European Union are getting ready to follow two directives that will have a deep impact on all the electronic industry.
  • Microelectronics and, to a much greater extent, software, are two strategic, immensely powerful technologies. Here I try to explain, in the simplest possible way, why this happens and the basic characteristics of some modern integrated circuits.What are software and integrated circuits? Let’s begin with some necessary definitions, in the simplest possible format, about the nature of software and digital integrated circuits. Software may be described as sequences of instructions for machines.
  • CPUs, that is Central Processing Units, are the central microprocessors that make all the real computing work inside modern computers, from desktop ones to smartphones and servers. I only now found out that China is planning a national, unified CPU architecture. This CPU architecture would have to be used for any projects backed with Chinese government money. The reason is obvious: to reduce China’s reliance on foreign technology and products, in a sector as vital today as microelectronics.
  • Several sessions and seminars of the 2011 European Open Days (*) have covered the theme of how to bring broadband connectivity to every European citizen. According to several Open Days panelists, when scarcely populated and possibly rugged rural areas get fast, reliable and affordable non-stop access to online services: innovative small and medium businesses can start and prosper locally doctors and other professionals are more likely to remain (or arrive!
  • The 2011 European Open Days (*) covered a lot of very different topics, from local transportation to health, traffic, smart cities and education. Almost all these talks, however, starting from the plenary opening session had the same implicit basis, always given for granted without the smallest amount of doubt: work is the center of life, economic growth is THE social and political framework in which human life happens, job creation is our goal Everybody was talking only about growth, development, jobs and unemployment.
  • A couple of weeks ago (1) I attended the Open Days of the 9th European Week of Regions and Cities. Seeing a bit closer how the EU works and interacts with local administrations is good. Together with some depressing situations you also find worthwhile initiatives that almost never make prime time TV. The most interesting things I’ve seen at the 2011 Open Days aren’t directly related to each other, so I’ll report them in several independent posts.
  • The fOSSa 2010 conference in Grenoble did a good job to prove (since it’s still sorely needed, see conclusions below) that Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) isn’t some unreliable toy for amateurs.FOSS for the Software and Web Industry I have already described in other articles the lessons that ALL managers could have learned at fOSSa and its coverage of the relationships among FOSS, education and environmental sustainability. Besides that, there were lots of interesting, if highly technical talks (I really want to study GeoBi for example).