I guess my main problem with Danny O’Brien’s thinking about running web-based services from home is a kind of category uneasiness. The kind of services Danny wants us to run belong, for me, to the same category as electricity, a working phone line, gas supply. They’re utilities and they need to work all the time.… Continue reading You want me to provide my own firewall?
Danny O’Brien’s been talking about making good use of an always-on home connection to replace all those web-based services we’ve become dependent on and that are about to start charging. I’m looking forward to seeing his conclusions. So far I’ve got that ‘Apache installed here’ screen up on the Cube in our kitchen but I’d… Continue reading Running web-based services from home
I?m not sure that I can make a meaningful connection between Groucho and Elvis (apart from the fact that they both died 25 years ago this year) but if there is one, I reckon it’s got to do with the epic generosity of the performer ? of the entertainer ? that they share and that… Continue reading Introducing the Groucho-gram
A shrinking Europe? The Economist?s cover story this week is a blockbuster (you may need to subscribe to see the story). The message is simple: the population of Europe is ? almost everywhere ? falling or about to fall, while the population of America is climbing steadily. There?s a strong likelihood that by 2050 there… Continue reading A shrinking Europe?
Hilary’s thirteen years war I tried to date Hilary Rosen?s battle with the demons of high-tech. Perhaps I shouldn?t have been surprised to find this Usenet reference to her 1989 opposition to Digital Audio Tape (DAT) ? perhaps the only real victim in recent years of the rights owners? zeal. DAT was confined to a… Continue reading Hilary’s thirteen years war
(This is a longer version of an article written for The Guardian) The music and tech industries have been locked in mortal conflict for decades with no resolution in sight. This time around, will the all-powerful rights owners snuff out innovation and consumer choice or will the maverick geeks and their friends in the tech… Continue reading Is this what they call creative destruction?
Nike ads and remixes notwithstanding, the passage of time has not been kind to Elvis. Outside of the faithful, he?s still mostly considered a mockery. The problem is that he was never really a rock star. At least not in the post-1960s sense. A crop of early sixties acts (mostly British) changed our definition of… Continue reading Elvis
Shazam So it’s here. Possibly the most hyped consumer tech product in recent history (apart from Ginger) has finally arrived and it is mindblowing. Shazam has morphed from not-here-yet near myth to jaw dropping ‘how do they do that?’ actuality over night and I am in awe. So far, it’s correctly guessed Little Johnny Taylor’s… Continue reading sufficiently advanced technology…
For people of my generation (I’ll be 40 next birthday) Bamber Gascoigne is a creature of myth. He was the cocksure big brain who grilled those terrifyingly egg-headed University students and scruffy Poly herberts on University Challenge when I was a decidedly un-egg-headed schoolboy (am I the only one who thought the teams were actually… Continue reading Bamber Gascoigne and me
GPL zealots play with fire Open source lobbyists are pushing laws through various legislatures to prohibit Governments from purchasing software from companies who won’t publish source code. Bill Gates, naturally, sees this as a threat and will roll out his biggest guns to prevent it from happening. In this scenario, pointless and destructive conflict is… Continue reading GPL zealots play with fire