Internet

  • The commitment with which certain companies try to make the problems caused by their products and practices a general issue for which they have no fault, that is something that should be fixed by others with public money, is impressive. I just had a good laugh reading a BBC report about the latest, exceptional idea on how to fix the huge problems caused worldwide by virus-infected computers (that in the great majority of cases run some version of Microsoft Windows):
  • Email is a crucial, basic service that is almost impossible to not use these days, but the way email is normally used these days has serious limits. The most common answer I get when I try to explaine those limits is some variation of “you may be right, but… I’m not I software programmer and never will, so I have no choice but to use what’s around”. This is wrong. I already run my own email server and I never had to compile or write any software in order to do it.
  • (this page is a part of the essay I wrote for the Open Government Book. For copyright info, see the introduction) Index Why Open Digital Standards Matter in Government: Introduction The Digital Age Explained Standards and the Problems with Digital Technology Why Has Digital Gone Bad So Often? The Huge Positive Potential of Digital Technologies Free and Open Standards and Software: The Digital Basis of Open Government
  • (this is the second part of an interview to Tony Baechler about the usability of Free Software by vision-impaired users). Stop: Tony, what kind of resources would you like to have available, in order to convince more blind users to try Linux and Free Software, at least through a live CD? Tony: Hopefully, I would be able to point them to various distros being demonstrated and audio tutorials, custom written for vision-impaired users, explaining how to perform various tasks.
  • As I wrote in the Online Loser Guide, Internet is a wonderful thing, but should be used with lots of attention. Following the flow without thinking you just risk to contribute to lots of confusion, as shown in the example below (which is quite recent, even if for several reasons I was unable to publish it earlier).
  • The online petition of the week, at least in Europe, is called “Internet for Democracy - Shut Down the Europarliament. Now!”. I will not sign it, and I recommend everybody to do the same. However, I do suggest that everybody reads it because it’s about very general issues that you should really, really think about.
  • We regularly hear from prime time news or urban legends how Internet is some sort of Big Brother (the real one… able to track and report to some more or less hidden controllers everything we do online, to the point that what was once called privacy is dead.
  • The Online Loser Guide that I just wrote was born also as a reaction to a vision of the Internet (haven for perverted and terrorists, huge time-wasting toy or mere work tool) very limited and narrow-minded. A proof that the effects of digital technologies are much deeper is in how they are influencing the religious sphere, in ways still largely ignored by traditional, mainstream media and by many blogs. The following paragraphs contain some evidence of this trend in Catholicism, but I’d guess that the same general concept is valid for any other religion (more on this at the end).
  • Introduction: awareness of the immense power of the Internet is so widespread these days that it is almost impossible to look a fool by using it in the wrong way. Should that be your goal, however, follow the advice below!