Charges on services as Whatsapp, no charges, and then again, charges. What about the end user?
By Kees Winkel on 31 May 2011
Last Tuesday, secretary of state Verhagen (economic affairs) decided that carriers may not charge consumers for the use of certain Internet services on their mobile phones. Originally, the purpose for these charges was that it would guarantee ‘net neutrality’. Effectively, this means that consumers would not be allowed to decide what Internet services to use or not use.
› Continue reading Charges on services as Whatsapp, no charges, and then again, charges. What about the end user?
If someone told me five years ago that my data, my precious data, would be in the hands of a third party such as Dropbox I would have never believed him. The same matter for not owning a MP3 collection anymore, but streaming it for 10 euros each month using Spotify. In an information-centered society the data one owns becomes crucial for survival. Work, photo’s, bank account information, contact details, email correspondence, and other relevant information are neatly stored in folders on hard drives and (if someone is smart enough to back up) external hard disks. The thought of my data leaving the room would have frightened me five years ago.
› Continue reading Help I’m in the Cloud!
In front of the Golden Wall where people are teeming in the raucous chaos of everyday life, it is all messy improvisation. That not everything runs afoul is due to the mysterious world behind the Golden Wall. There lies the world of power, like the eye of the hurricane, in mysterious silence. Restrained, reliable, as meticulously organized as a chess board, it is like a purified world of platonic ideas. At least, such is the impression of the powerless. It is reinforced by the black suites, the noiseless limousines, the guards, the protocol, the perfect organization, and the velvety quietness in the palaces and ministries. […] Once you break through the Golden Wall, what do you see? Nothing special: the ado of ordinary people, neither more interesting, nor qualitatively different from the practices of the powerless. Unlike what the powerless think, they do not yield their power in “powerful”, inescapable ways as if proceeding with mathematical certainty, but just as messy and improvised as the powerless mind their own business. Mildred and Guy, formed a cabinet over dinner, Churchill and Stalin divided up the Balkans with a stiff drink.
› Continue reading Wikileaks and Cablegate
Pandora’s Neocracy #5: Give back the Internet to the people
By Kees Winkel on 16 May 2010
A couple of weeks ago NOS (Dutch Broadcasting Corporation) announced that they would focus on Internet applications solely instead of forcing themselves into complicated and expensive different apps for different operating systems. At the first glimpse one may think that to be a sort of strange decision. One would expect this mastodon of digital innovation to serve as many people as possible. With all those different OS’s in the market of smart phones and other either mobile or portable devices, has NOS gone silly? Don’t they want to reach all capita? Have they no obligation to offer content to all in The Netherlands? The answer is: YES, they do. And that’s exactly why they chose to develop Internet applications instead of bringing all those different apps to all those different operating systems. And that’s smart, as far as I’m concerned. From now on everybody can obtain the contents NOS produces, aggregates and distributes, regardless of what type of OS one may have embedded in one’s smart phone. Thank God for that. Dutch public broadcaster is bringing Internet to the people – free Internet content – instead of supporting the original device and software makers. Now that’s what I call a true neocracy.
› Continue reading Pandora’s Neocracy #5: Give back the Internet to the people
According to the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) 97% of the population of men and women between 12 and 75 years have used the Internet in 2008. That is an amazing number, I’d say. 20% uses the Internet at somebody else’s place, like at a friend’s place, 47% uses the Internet at work and 18 % in school. 6% uses the Internet somewhere else, meaning in an Internet café, hotel, etc. So, what do these figures tell us? To be frank, I wouldn’t know.
› Continue reading A literate paradox
In the American science fiction show Star Trek there is a species called the Borg. The Borg manifest as cybernetically enhanced humanoid drones of multiple species, organized as an interconnected collective. Within the interconnected collective, every drone shares what it sees and does and decisions are made by a hive mind. They operate solely toward the fulfilling of one purpose: to “add the biological and technological distinctiveness of other species to their own” in pursuit of perfection. This is achieved through forced assimilation, a process which transforms individuals and technology into Borg, enhancing, and simultaneously controlling, individuals by implanting or appending synthetic components. In Star Trek, attempts to resist the Borg became one of the central themes, with many examples of successful resistance to the collective. Every now and then drones can escape the collective (most notably Seven of Nine), and become individuals once again.
› Continue reading Just call me 3,141,592,653 of 7,851,455,000