Long Live Closed-Source Software! | Computers | DISCOVER Magazine

You have got to read this! [link to document]
Jaron Lanier states that the open-source model will hold back radical, unique and one of a kind new designs. As an examples he uses Linux with it’s many distribution versions, the iPhone as a product and the scientific practice of doing research and publishing your result at the moment your result is ready.
Very interesting.

Long Live Closed-Source Software! | Computers | DISCOVER Magazine

Netherlands Adopts Open-Source Software: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance

It sounds really nice, the adoption of open-source software and open standards to cut cost and the dependencies on individual companies. Anyone who looks further into this sees that it is more the case of “using only those open standards so certain companies are excluded”.

Netherlands Adopts Open-Source Software: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance

The death of e-mail

Chad Lorenz wrote in Slate an article about the “Death of e-mail”. It was picked up by Thomas Hawk on his blog who celebrated it this development and said:

And I read this article and can’t help but keep muttering inside, “Yes. Yes! YES!!!! Die email die!”
Increasingly email is playing a smaller and smaller role in my own life. I used to spend hours every day in email. Checking my email. Answering emails. Following up. Sending my own email to others and merely perpetuating the problem. Email sucks. Now I spend maybe 30 minutes a day skimming my email, ignoring most of them, deleting most of them. Answering a few.
At present I have 3,002 messages in my email inbox. Of these 2,794 are unread. And this is already after committing email suicide once. One of the fortunate by products of my Mac’s hard drive recently failing was that it wiped out all of the 5,000+ messages that I could never quite get to.

Thomas was missing the point that Chad was making in his piece. Besides the fact that Thomas has a time management problem, it is about how we use communication devices and how we communicate these days.

Basically, contacts and communication have become more superficial and more casual. Take a look at how sites like Hyves, MySpace, Twitter and FaceBook operate. You sign up to the service and you try to expand your list of ‘friends’. Before you known you have hundreds of people who call themselves a ‘friend’ of you. But how many of those friends are really friends and how many are part of the service?

Last year an experiment was conducted in the Netherlands with some kids. As with most kids they were constantly texting their friends during the day. In the experiment they took away the cellphone for a week and looked what the effect off that was on their circle of friends. The most frustrating conclusion (for the kids) was that none in the circle of friends had missed them that week.
Another survey looked at how kids used e-mail addresses, login accounts and other identifiers on the Internet. I find one of the most frustrating things when somebody changed his e-mail address but has not informed me about this. This is one of the reasons why I took a personal e-mail address which I can take with me to any provider. The survey showed that kids just dumped e-mail addresses, changed login accounts when they forgot the password. Basically they did not care about the worries I had of being reachable on the net.

Sure, collaborating and Instant Messaging tools have found their ways into the corporate world. But that is simply because there is a business case. These tools enable organization to become more flexible, use resources and people more efficient and to respond quicker to opportunities. But they won’t eliminate e-mail. E-mail will remain the only formal way of communication in a company and kids moving into the corporate world will have to learn to communicate via formal channels. Maybe we can learn them something?

Amazon Kindle

Robert Scoble has published his one-week review of the Amazon Kindle. The Amazon Kindle is an eBook Reader much like the Sony Reader and the iLaid from iRex Technologies.

Of the six comments Robert has, some of them are legit but most of them show that he is looking at this too much from a PC point of view.
What is an eBook Reader and what should an eBook Reader be like.
An eBook Reader is an device which should give an user the same user experience when he/she is reading a newspaper or book. That includes:

  1. Be quiet, no fans, no humming, etc.,
  2. Always on, always available,
  3. Size should be book-, tabloid- or full newspaper size,
  4. Weight should be light,
  5. It should be flexible like paper,
  6. User Interface should that of a book or newspaper.

As it is an electronic device, it should be able to:

  1. Refresh content, subscribe to e.g. newspapers and libraries,
  2. Connect Wireless and not be dependent on a connection with a PC,

Suggestions like:

  1. No Social network,
  2. No touch screen,
  3. No ability to send electronic goods to anyone else,

are nonsense and show that Robert is trying to make an eBook reader yet another PC.

The Kindle looks like a nice device but is still no replacement for the user experience of an actual book and newspaper.

Apple sucks!

I am a regular reader of Robert Scoble‘s blog since he popped up on the Microsoft Channel 9 website. Last Saturday he wrote a most amusing piece about the “Brand promise of Apple” and how, in his view, does not match up with the promise.

Apple’s promises:

  1. Apple will always work,
  2. Everybody can use an Apple,
  3. Apple is better that the ‘other brand’.

1) Apple’s will crash. Either due to hardware failures or software failures.

2) Most people can ride a bicycle. That does not mean that everybody can repair a bicycle? So why does Apple have a “Genius line” in their US Apple shops?

3) This is rather a bold statement from a company with not more than 5% market share in the US and even less presence in Europe and Asia. I would say that Apple is where Sun was some 5 years ago. Apple produces software which can and may only be run on hardware which is produced by Apple. Comparing Apple to the “other brand” is like comparing potatoes to strawberries.


Does anybody understand the value-add or the business plan of Twitter?

I don’t, I think I’ll give it another 12 months before desolves into thin or something else.


One week after the introduction of the iPhone the excitement has lowered to a more normal level. Prices on Ebay have dropped as most people now understand that the iPhone is a nice gadget but it is not worth paying twice the market price.

What can be said about the iPhone.
It does most of the things it was promised to do. Most of the people who bought it like it, some of them don’t and have even returned it. But the conclusion is, it still is a GSM phone which has a nice User Interface. Dave Winer [link] wrote on his blog ‘iPhone is a Tablet PC’, which it is. Engadget [link] already reported of somebody who wrote some routines on a Smartphone which gave it exact the same look and feel and User Interface.

So what will happen.
The iPhone will reach the market share it was aiming for. Other manfacturers will copy the user interface and produce simmular devices for half the price and more importantly more open and custumizable.

Scoble and the iPhone hype

I watched Scoble and Thomas Hawk on the ZoomrTV stream getting their iPhone.


They stayed their all night blogging and streaming. It was a bit idiotic but at was a big party with lost of fun people in line.
Next thing is checking out ebay and see how much a second hand iPhone goes for. There were 6249 offers the last I checked, prices around the $900.

Diesel particle filter not allowed

The European court has ruled that the Netherlands is not allowed to make diesel particle filters compulsory on new cars. Instead the Netherlands has to wait till the end of 2008. Making the filter compulsory in the Netherlands would be unfair the the manufacturers because they would have to make changes to the product only for the Dutch market.
The Dutch government wanted to make the filters compulsory earlier because of the problems the Netherlands have with the European rule on clean air. Despite the ruling, 60% of the cars sold in the Netherlands which are equipped with diesel engines are also equipped with a particle filter.

One example of how the market can react quicker than the European politicians and how Europe should not interfere with the activities in the individual countries.

AT&T willing to spy for NSA, MPAA, and RIAA


In a move that has executives from movie studios and record labels grinning from ear to ear, AT&T has announced that it will develop and deploy technology that will attempt to keep pirated content off its network. The move is spurred in part by the company’s decision to offer IPTV television service as part of its U-Verse package, AT&T senior VP James W. Cicconi told the Los Angeles Times.

The first step for AT&T is coming up with a technological solution that works: something that can effectively filter out illicit traffic while protecting its users’ privacy. That’s a tall—if not impossible—order. YouTube hasn’t managed to do it even for video yet, and that’s when customers are sending them entire files which they can scan at their leisure. Monitoring all the files sent through BitTorrent—which splits them into tiny pieces—could be even more difficult; doing it in real-time sounds both expensive and impossible.

I agree that the industry should be able to protect its interests and income but I do think it is going a bit to far in trying to control the use and ownership of audio and video content and the effect is has on their customers, namely us.

Apple iPhone; old wine in new bag?

How about that new phone from Apple. Looks good doesn’t it? Questions is, is it as good as it looks and does it deliver what is promised?

From what I read on Engadget, Robert Scoble and other sites I conclude that Apple has missed to boat.

  • Durability
    If haven’t used that many models of phones in the last couple of years. My first requirement is that a phone is durable as I have to use it for work. I don’t think the iPhone is a sturdy model. If I drop my Nokia it still works, I don’t think the Apple screen will survive such a treatment.
  • Battery power
    I need battery power because I don’t want to charge my phone every 3 hours. That’s why I have been using the boring and reliant models like Nokia 6110, 6310i and the 6630. Up to five hours of battery power (is that using the phone constantly?) is good.
  • Size matters
    The trend in phone is that they are getting smaller and lighter. The iPhone looks more like a big box to me.
  • Interface
    I love the tablet PC like interface. From experience I can say that it not as effective as the normal keypad.
  • Price
    A price of $600 is way to steep.

No, I think I will stick with my real phones.