Archive for the ‘IT Guruer’ Category

Snowden II

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Press release from the office of POTUS

Washington January 21st 2017

As outlined in the inaugural speech January 20th 2017 by POTUS, the POTUS would, as one of the first actions, work to bring U.S. Citizen, cyber terrorist, Edward Joseph Snowden to justice.

This early morning Russian police arrested Mr. Snowden and deported him to his last country of origin, Hong Kong, where a US. airplane waited for him. In the airport Mr. Snowden brandished something that looked like a knife, and he was fatally injured in the head by Hong Kong police, Mr. Snowden died 30 minutes later from his injuries.

The funeral took place at sea from USS Enterprise.

In the investigation ordered by Congress, it was revealed that Mr. Snowden wasn’t brandishing a knife but a plastic toy called a Rubik’s cube, that he was holding behind his back.

WIRED - Edward Snowden

Forget this world and all its troubles and if possible its multitudinous Charlatans… – Celebrating women in tech

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

March the 24th 2009 is Ada Lovelace Day, the brainchild of Suw Charman-Anderson. Suw pledged to write a blog-post about a woman in tech that she admired, if at least 1,000 would make the same pledge, and since I’ve admired and been fascinated by Ada Lovelace since childhood, and especially after I read the wonderful book The Difference Engine, so I embraced the project, but at the same time I knew that it would be difficult for me to find just a woman in tech that I admire, that is because the list is long, and I’m happy to say that it’s actually getting longer.

In the end it turned out to be quite simple to name one single woman in “tech” that I admire, a woman that I’ve admired for 2,5 years since I met her at the wonderful BlogForum 2 – an initiative that we really need to revive – and almost did at Copenhagen Twitterfestival.

Since 2006 the woman I have in mind has become quite the celebrity, due to her uncompromising and relentless pursuit of the truth in the murky waters of the Danish tech-business, and this year she’s the natural selection, she’s the woman behind the mainstream breakthrough of the blog-media in Denmark, she is – of course – Bizzen/Toften: the journalist and blogger par excellence Dorte Toft.

Love/hate relationship with “tech”
I have a love/hate relationship with my field, the field known as “tech”. Tech is definitely one of the places where change is happening today, and I feel blessed that I’m involved in bringing this change.

But “Tech” is a field that is riddled by paradox. On one hand it’s crawling with greedy snake-oil salesmen, on the other it’s home to the most revolutionary, idealistic and altruistic people ever as well as some of the most wonderful concepts that humankind has ever come up with.

The problem with the snake-oil salesmen, is that, until now, they’ve pretty much got away with cheating their customers, the authorities, the business community and worst, their employees, and a lot of the snake-oil has been sold under the heading that Denmark is number one in tech.

It’s been a constant embarrassment to me, and I actually left the business four years ago, and it took me two years of “repenting” before I felt that could return to “tech”, and today I’m luckily to be employed by a tech-company that doesn’t carry any snake-oil.

Emperor’s new clothes
I’m just going to, briefly, mention the fact that Dorte Toft was the woman that noticed that Stein Bagger and IT Factory didn’t wear any clothes, thus exposing one of the biggest scams the Danish tech-sector has seen to date, but thank you Dorte for exposing these people, so that we can be protected against these predators and making it possible to feel proud about working in “tech” again.

Feminism isn’t “low-status”
What I’d rather celebrate today is that Dorte Toft is a self-proclaimed feminist, even though it’s – in her own words – a field that is “low-status”, and her labour of love “Nærmest Lykkelig I Nørdland” (“Almost happy in Geekland” – something got lost in translation sorry about that), where Dorte Toft has been writing and writing and writing about the benefits young women would have if the choose to join the so-called “though” fields, technology and science, a very noble cause.

I noticed that Dorte Toft also wrote a blog-post in observation of Ada Lovelace Day today. In this blog-post Dorte is pledging to return to “Nærmest Lykkelig I Nørdland”, I’m so, so happy to hear that, Dorte Toft has been toiling away, trying to ease young women into the fields of tech and science, and her work deserves so much more attention than the perpetual Stein Bagger saga.

To all the wonderful women that I’ve worked with, am working with and will work with in the future, thank you so, so much for putting up with us, we need you, and remember how far you’ve come.

When I mentioned to my father how much I loved having female managers, he simply said that he could never ever imagine have a female manager, I was appalled.

Women, “tech” is too important to be left to men
Women please don’t stop now, so that next time I’m in a position where I’m hiring tech-staff, I hope that I’ll receive applications from women. Looking at the number of students at the IT University in Copenhagen I’m quite optimistic that that would be the case.

DORTE TOFT: Please go work on “Nærmest Lykkelig I Nørdland”, I’m waiting for it, unlike the book about “Banditterne i habitterne” (“The Bandits In Suits”) – and remember feminism isn’t “low-status”!

YOUNG WOMEN: We really, really need you in the tech-sector. Tech is far too important to leave to us men, and listen to, and get inspired by Dorte Toft!

Celebrating the Enchantress of Numbers
I’ll close this post with these wonderful quotes.

We may see aptly that the Analytical Engine weaves algebraic patterns just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves
Lady Ada Lovelace

Forget this world and all its troubles and if possible its multitudinous Charlatans – everything in short but the Enchantress of Numbers
Charles Babagge, inventor of the Analytical and Difference engines

Notes
If you want to learn more about the fascinating life of Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, by many considered the inventor of programming languages, I’d strongly recommend “The Bride of Science: Romance, Reason, and Byron’s Daughter“, “Zeroes and Ones: Digital Women and the New Technoculture” and “The Difference Engine“.

I’m also building a “shrine” to Ada Lovelace on Algorim.dk, a result of “mellemrumssingulariteten” which was inspired by a young woman I know, this woman is, BTW., working in the purest field of them all 😉

Passion for industrial design: The spotlight turns to…Jonathan “Jony” Ive

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Jony Ive - Apple Senior Vice President - Design

Yesterday, the 14th of October 2008, Apple had an event titled “The spotlight turns to notebooks”, where they unveiled a refresh of the MacBook Pro, a new version of the MacBook in aluminium and a new Cinema Display.

Clever spin
All of these announcements were already confirmed and leaked days before the event, Apple can’t or won’t, contain the leaks, and the new strategy seems to be to use the leaks to drive the hype.

Remembering how secretive Apple events used to be, I sort of, expected Steve Jobs to pull something out of the sleeves of his turtleneck, “one more thing”, but he didn’t, or did he?

One more “thing”
One notable thing about the event was that Steve shared the stage to such a high degree. This is a trend that has been going for some time, especially when it comes to events that focus on the Mac, it’s a bit like Steve isn’t that passionate about computers.

Luckily others are, and at this event Jonathan “Jony” Ive shined – and I’m not referring to the reflections from his shaved head.

It was simply a thrill to see this low-key, soft-spoken, man talk about the manufacturing process involved in producing the new MacBooks, the attention to detail, the months spend refining the new trackpad etc. etc.

Over the years, speculation as to who might take over the position as CEO of Apple after Steve Jobs, has been growing, and my first reaction was that I’d love to see Ive in that position, he’d be a natural.

But really that would be such a shame, so I’m convinced that Ive will stay in his current position, and there’s many more iconic designs hidden in that shiny bald head of his.

So watch the video where Ive talks us through the manufacturing process of the new MacBooks, it’s simply breathtaking.

Risky strategy?
The MacBooks themselves? To me they ooze quality. Apple has obviously decided that they will not address the current trend towards cheap notebooks, aka. netbooks, when asked Steve called it a “developing market”.

The strategy is risky, it defies the market, but I welcome it, and it will only mean that Apple will grow it’s market share in terms of revenue, instead of units moved. With these new notebooks, there’s no doubt that Apple owns the high-end market, and that’s where it’s the most fun, and profitable, to be.

The old MacBook product line has been plagued by quality problems, hopefully the new MacBooks addresses this, I’ll bet that this is the case, these are, to me, the first true Intel based notebooks, designed from the ground up for the Intel chips.

I’m tempted by Ive’s new industrial sculpture

The picture of Jonathan “Jony” Ive, that accompanies this article, is a frame from the video issued by Apple for the launch of the MacBook Aluminium, it’s Copyright Apple Inc. I hope that my use here is considered “Fair Use”.

Currently the video is available on the Apple Website here, it’s likely to be moved, and it’s a good guess that it’s already on YouTube. The video is produced much like a documentary, really professional marketing on Apple’s part.

sIFR inside: mourning the loss of a friend, with a tribute to Mark Wubben

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Logo Sifr2Yesterday I had the, unexpected, pleasure of meeting Mark Wubben in person, and it was great.

The reason: yesterday we had a meeting in relation to a project, and webgrl extraordinarie, Henriette Weber asked if she could bring a guest. Sure! His name is Mark Wubben, do you knew who he is? No, not really!…Well it turned out that I did, he’s the man behind the incredible piece of code known as sIFR.

In case you don’t know what sIFR is – chances are that you don’t – it’s a method to display rich typography on the web, using Flash, but in a completely transparent, and accesible way.

So as a tribute to Mark and the fantastic work he’s done with SiFR, I’ve switched my sites theme to the sIFR experiment, I never got quite finished with last year – it’s based on the standard template.

I got to look at some of the work he’s done at his company, and it’s SUPER cool.

Mark is also finding time – which is amazing – to work on sIFR, and I got a sneak-view of version 3.0 of sIFR, and it’s going API, will be fully scalable etc.

The main reason I stopped my experimentation with sIFR, was because it didn’t support Danish characters, but Mark would LOVE to hear from you, so I’ll ask him for advice – really it’s “just” a matter of providing the correct Flash files. Another reason I stopped using sIFR, was that I didn’t have the energy to chase down nicer fonts, the defaults aren’t exactly the nicest.

Wondering what Mark is up to these days? You’ll better watch it!

If you’re using sIFR, do give Mark a shout, he’d appreciate it, and his work deserves ALL the recognition in the world!

ps. Incidentally I just lost a good friend, due to COMPLETE stupidity on my part, I guees that I’m an a**hole, and the irony is that, he was the one, who drew my attention to sIFR. So long buddy 🙁

Happy birthday dear Sputnik, Space Ship One, FSF, Russian democracy and brother dearest

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

The famous Earthrise pictureI’m so envious my dear brother, this day October 4th – your birthday – seems to coincide with one of the most important days in modern civilisation, a day that has importance for exploration of space, as well as important steps in the history of human thought and the move towards true democracy.

Today, October 4th 2007, it’s 50 years since the first man made satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched, and the world was changed almost overnight. 12 years later man had already walked on the moon

The first stage of the race towards space, has to be one of the single most impressive feats of human kind in history, really on a par with the building of the Pyramids.

Building of Pyramids was, like the space program, put on hold – it was just not efficient, even though the monument still stand, in the form of immense launch facilities at Kennedy Space Centre, it was only really a demonstration of power, and funding had to be cut, or else it could have ruined the economy, like continued pyramid building could have done to Egypt

Flash forward 47 years, three years ago, the era of real space exploration of space was ushered in, with the successful flight of SpaceShipOne, the first commercially developed vehicle, capable of reaching space.

So happy birthday to you all, and humanity for giving us the inspiration to do the impossible, which is escaping this cosy spaceship we’re all living in, or should I say on, the spaceship called Earth.

ps. I also found out that today marks the 23rd anniversary of establishment of The Free Software Foundation (FSF) by Richard Stallman. FSF and the thoughts behind it is slowly changing the mindset of people, and is the foundation of the current explosion in true knowledge sharing. Today also marks the 14 anniversary of the failed attempt by the Soviet military to stop the move towards democracy – October 4th truly is a historic day.

pps. If I had the energy to do so, I’d love to have made a picture showing the faces of Sergei Korolev, Burt Rutan, Paul Allen, Richard Branson, Richard Stallman, Boris Yeltsin and my brother René, to accompany this article – sorry but you have to make that – mentally – yourself.

Instead I’m showing one of the most important pictures of mankind, the “Earthrise” picture taken by Apollo 8, just a little over 11 years after the Sputnik 1 launch.

“We close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you — all of you on the good Earth.”

John Perry Barlow: The Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace – Amen

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

John Perry Barlow - from the Wikipeida articleListening to an old issue of one of the best technology podcasts Go Digital from the BBC, I was reminded of John Perry Barlow ((born October 3, 1947) is an American poet, essayist, retired Wyoming cattle rancher, political activist and former lyricist for the Grateful Dead (source Wikipeida)).

In 1996 he formulated a Decaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, and after listening to the BBC, I’m focusing on this quote!

We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.

We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here.

Amen!

“Weapon of choice”: What is the best device for basic Internet access on a public hotspot?

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

It should not come as a big surprise that I’m a serious gadget junkie, it’s probably easier to list the gadgets I don’t have.

For the last two days, I’ve been “packing serious heat”, being equipped with 4 devices capable of accessing the Internet, so I decided to do a field test of the devices, focusing on determining which device of the four, is the best suited for basic Internet browsing of a public Wi-Fi hotspot.

Let’s find the “weapon of choice for the road warrior”.

The Fantastic 4

The Fantastic 4• Apple PowerBook G4 12″
• Nokia N800 Internet Tablet
• Nintendo DS with the Opera browser
• Nokia 6070 GSM phone with the Opera Mini browser

The test was performed at the Café High-Q, on Sønder Boulevard, Vesterbro, Copenhagen, Denmark. High-Q has a WEP encrypted network, just ask for the WEP keyphrase in the bar.

Internet access wants to be free

Nokia 6070 isn’t capable of using Wi-Fi, and since I’m charged serious green for accessing the Internet using my phone, and Internet access wants to be free, it’s bye bye to the GSM/GPRS/EDGE device, even though it’s probably the most high-tech of the devices, and the only one of the four devices that offers true roaming.

For pure simplicity, it’s actually the best device. You can for instance do microblogging on Jaiku, since you can send a blog-entry by simply TEXT-ing the Jaiku server. Hey my 70-year old mother and my 14-year old niece could even do that! And I’ve given up trying to get them to do regular blogging 🙁

How do you like them Apples?

Since High-Q is a café, and you’re in a social setting in the IRL sense, the Apple PowerBook was the next device to get delegated to it’s bag. Even though the form-factor of the PowerBook 12″ is nice, it’s simply too big, bulky and since I can write a lot of text, and it offers a full browsing experience, I tend to “disappear” into cyberspace when using it in public, much like Jeff Bridges in Tron, so no more Apples for me, it’s too annoying for basic browsing and presence updating.

For full Internet access and serious writing, however, the PowerBook 12″ rocks – and I still consider it to be the nicest computer I’ve ever used – and for updating a web-site or writing a blog-entry I would not choose any of the other devices. I’m actually happy that Apple’s current offerings are so unsuitable for me, it’s healthy for my economy.

Halfway mark

Next up was the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet, my newest “computer” – and that’s what it should be considered.

The N800 was made for Internet accees and it’s a great device for just that, being one of the first devices to offer an always-on experience of the Internet if you’re doing limited roaming.

The N800, is a new class of device, consider it a PDA on steroids. It runs a version of Linux called Maemo, and it is full of open source thinking, sponsored by Nokia. It has a nice touch screen, that works well without the pen, and it automagically detects if you used the finger to press the screen, offering a bigger onscreen keyboard and menu system. On top of that, the N800 also does handwriting recognition.

N800 has a nice big widescreen, exactly the size of a standard business card, and the webcam cleverly pops out, and auto-launches the video chat application, when you press it. The video chat application seems to be using a protocol build on top of Jabber (Gtalk uses Jabber). I’ve yet to use it, because I don’t know anybody else that has a N800, and I don’t know what standard PC software that might work with it, iChat maybe?

The buttons on the N800 works great, and it’s a major improvement on the classical PDA, that offers quick-launch buttons for applications.

The N800 has a cell-phone like navigation joystick, a back-key, a context menu key, a task-bar key, that lists all open windows. On top it has three keys for zooming the UI, and a button to put it in full screen mode, hiding the menu and status bars.

You quickly learn to navigate it using a combination of the keys, the pen and your index-finger, and you can hook it up to any Bluetooth keyboard, I’ve used my Apple Wireless Keyboard with no problems at all.

The N800 would do better if I could use the video-chat for anything, had better battery life and was slightly smaller and lighter. The list of applications is huge, mostly due to the Linux heritage, hey it even runs VNC, making it the KEWLest remote control EVER!

My favourite feature is the task-switcher, it’s fast, and since the N800 runs offers true multitasking – I don’t like to close anything – the list of open windows and application quickly gets extensive.

The bundled RSS-reader is quite good, and the way that visual and audible notifcations you get when a new Gtalk IM arrives or you leave/enter a hotspot, simply works, making it an always-on Wi-Fi device with roaming support.

I only miss a bundled calendar application with support for the iCal format – but you can get that from Maemo.

The most ground-breaking feature of the N800 is that it shows, that Linux really does have the potential to become the last OS you’ll ever “wear” – Linux is ACTUALLY happening and Maemo and Ubuntu is paving the road. Poor, poor Apple and Microsoft: software wants to be free. The N800 also made me think of the Alan Kay quote Steve Jobs used during the MacWorld 2007 keynote:

“People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.” Alan Kay

With the N800 Nokia has realised the potential of the community process, so I’ll try to improve on Alan Kay:

“People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware, but stop re-inventing the wheel.” Kim Bach (*blush*) AND Alan Kay

I find it so strange that Nokia isn’t doing more to promote the N800, you can’t get a real live demo anywhere in Copenhagen, unless you run into me – it’s actually not that difficult, if I remember to update my Jaiku presence ;-). The N800 also wins on the RSS-reader, making it extremely well-suited for “presence checking”.

The main problem with the N800 is that it, like the PowerBook, delivers a full Internet experience, sending me too far into cyberspace, and I think that battery life is too low, offering only 2-3 hours of continous browsing, at least if you have both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled. Stand-by time is pretty impressive however, and if you’re roaming, it is great at connecting to the network automagically.

Nintendo DS

The Nintendo DS is a portable gaming console, but it’s different. First and foremost it features a dual-screen layout, and one of the screens is a touch screen. I love the Brain Training Games for the DS, but the greatest thing is that Opera has developed a browser for the DS, and it has a lot of optimisation tricks up it’s sleeves, that enhances the browsing experience.

Innovative use of the dual screens. In the standard mode the page is optimised for the strange 4:3*2 formfactor, and an awesome overview mode, where a full version of the websites is rendered on the bottom screen, and a zoomed view is presented on the top screen.

My favourite feature is the fast scrolling that happens when you combine pressing the top buttons and using the “joystick”.

It’s also very nice that the top screen is used to advertise some of the more advanced features, like the screen-shot feature where you can take a “screenshot”, and have it display on the top-screen.

On the hardware side, I love that it’s so easy to switch between online and offline. If you want to go offline, you simple close the screen, and you flip it open when you want to go online again, it’s instantaneous.

The DS is the perfect device if you are doing limited roaming and browsing. The DS offers great browsing experience of basic XHTML standards compliant web-sites like Google, Wikipedia, Gmail, Flickr and Jaiku.

I think that a lot of intelligent choices has been made by Nintendo.

You can only configure 3 different hotspots, but that reflects a lot of real world scenarios – @home, @work and @ “favourite watering hole”.

Battery life is amazing. I need to measure it, but it feels like it’s close to 10 hours, Nintendo must have some very clever power management tricks up their sleeves.

The DS is quite rugged, and that’s great when you’re in public.

On the downside, the Opera browser only “talks” English, and some Danish letter are strangely missing from the onscreen keyboard. The lack of WPA support is OK, since you’ll most likely be using it to access an open hotspot.

...weapon of choice…

…the Nintendo DS…

My Jaiku on the Nintendo DSFor basic browsing, that doesn’t send you too far into cyberspace, the Nintendo DS with the Opera browser, is a surprising capable device for Internet browsing and simple TEXT style messages, like “Jaikus”, and the rendering tricks are quite simply amazing. The Nintendo DS is more than a toy, and it’s the least annoying of the devices, and it offers hours and hours of Internet browsing, I’ve been using it for 2 days without charging it, and the battery indicator still flashes green, indicating that the power-adapter can stay put. The DS is also much cheaper than the N800.

The N800 is a close contender however. Any talk about Linux being too difficult to use must cease, and the open source philosophy of Maemo is right up my alley

Another big plus is the fact that the UI, and the applications, all are translated to Danish.

The N800 would win the test if Nokia improved battery-life – I’d like 10-12 hours of modest use, if they shrunk the device just a little, and maybe adopted the intuitive way of “hanging-up”, like on the DS, by closing the lid. As it is designed right now, you have to push a button and select “off-line”, followed by another key-press and the selection of “lock” – I have to add that you could skip locking the device manually, since it locks automatically after a set interval.

For now, however, I’ll be getting this take on a classic Mae West quote:

“Is that a DS in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?”

Reboot9 (un)conference “spinoff”: the conversation continues @ the “rebooters” mailing list

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

The great reboot 9.0 Jaiku backchannel posterI just joined the new google groups (e.g. mailinglist), called rebooters.

The purpose of the group, is to have a “permanent backchannel” for the reboot (un)conference, since backchannels, like the Jaiku backchannel from reboot9, has a tendency to “die”.

The mailing list has the following description:

Missing the brainshift experienced from talking to all the brilliant rebooters? Keep the conversation going between reboots here…

It’s a good idea – that would have been even better, if it was set up, officially, through the reboot website, but because website technologies change all the time, the use of a relatively low-tech solution, like a mailing-list, is a not as bad an idea as it sounds – e-mail still is “the lowest common denominator”.

This might help to avoid the frustrations I experienced, when I learned that the “reboot 8” site had it’s URLs changed, making it appear that a lot of information from 2006, had either been lost, or, at best, made (too) difficult to locate.

“I want my Permalinks”, and I’m looking forward to the continued discussions and next year, where I suggest that the organisers make away with the “Wired style dot-oh-NO” numbering scheme, and just calls the event “reboot”!

Some background

“Reboot” is, according to the website:

[…]a community event for the practical visionaries who are at the intersection of digital technology and change all around us[…]

Reboot usually takes place end May/start June, in Copenhagen Denmark.