After Newtown, a proposal on dealing with guns without imposing more gun controls.
Since September 11th, life hasn’t been the same. At the final count, I’ve lost 7 close friends and another 5 acquaintances. This has shaken me and I have felt a little helpless since. However, in my sorrow, I have found a new need for action. Beyond giving money, blood and supplies, I’ve been talking to people about what to do to avoid a repeat of those events. While I usually cover technology in this newsletter, I believe that the following is important because it does require technology but also goes beyond that. Here are my thoughts on how we might be able to eradicate terrorism in the long run. Why did it happen? Like many, I’ve been left to wonder why terrorism happens. Is it because of our lifestyle? Is it because they consider us “corrupt”? Is it because we are different? Or is international terrorism inherent to globalization? As it stands, I’ve concluded that the best way to fight terrorism is to force people to question the motives of madmen like Osama Bin Laden. How do you do this? By giving people support. By helping raise them out of poverty. By showing them that we are not barbarians. By…Read More
With Linux becoming a strong alternative to Microsoft’s operating system, some members of the open source community are setting their sights on a new target: the music industry. The group has introduced a new sound format called Ogg Vorbis, which promises to deliver better sound quality or smaller digital music files than the popular MP3 file format. Ogg Vorbis is a fully open, non-proprietary, patent-and-royalty-free, general-purpose compressed audio format for high quality (44.1-48.0kHz, 16+ bit, polyphonic) audio and music at fixed and variable bitrates from 16 to 128 kbps per channel according to a statement on the official Ogg Vorbis site. MP3 was designed by committees so it ended up with a bunch of useless junk in it says Jack Moffitt, project manager on Ogg Vorbis. Because we designed Vorbis from the ground up, we have streamlined a lot of the technology and created better algorithms for encoding and decoding. The new format, which uses the extension .OGG, was developed as an alternative to MP3 and already has a long history. Seven years ago, Chris Montgomery, now one of the leaders on the Ogg Vorbis project, wanted to burn his CD collection to his computer. However, the hard drive he…Read More
“For sale, Internet historical documents and legal trouble. Call Deja.com for details.” This is not exactly the way Deja.com presented themselves but ultimately, this may be what transpires from their recent attempt to put the Usenet archives on sale. Usenet History For those of you who have never heard of Usenet, here’s a quick definition from the Usenet FAQ: Usenet is a world-wide distributed discussion system. It consists of a set of “newsgroups” with names that are classified hierarchically by subject. “Articles” or “messages” are “posted” to these newsgroups by people on computers with the appropriate software — these articles are then broadcast to other interconnected computer systems via a wide variety of networks.Some newsgroups are “moderated”; in these newsgroups, the articles are first sent to a moderator for approval before appearing in the newsgroup. Usenet is available on a wide variety of computer systems and networks, but the bulk of modern Usenet traffic is transported over either the Internet or UUCP. To put it simply, prior to the web, Usenet was what defined the Internet as a community. It covers subjects ranging from politics to computing, arts to news, and everything in between. Usenet, to the old timers was…Read More
I was recently speaking at a conference called Escandinavia 2000, which covered the state of the Internet in Scandinavia. During that conference, I had a chance to speak to a number of people about the state of wireless in the Scandinavian countries. Here’s what I’ve learned and how it can help those of you who are working in the wireless space in the United States. The Hybrid World Lives! Many of you may remember the February 10th issue about Hybrid Computing. While talking with Birger Steen, CEO of Scandinavia Online, I discovered that the concept is not that far off the market. It is his contention that WAP-enabled phones are largely a pain in the back when it comes to interface. Having to key in every letter on the small phone keyboard is far from the easiest thing in the world. As a result, Scandinavia Online has developed a set of services that allows users of their portal jump on their site and configure their WAP view on the web. From his point of view, this is the best service he can offer now to wireless users. The point was reiterated by a few people around the conference that told…Read More