Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Two new Libervis articles.

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

After nearly a year of pause (at least in terms of new articles as I’ve still been publishing some references/links), I’ve published two new articles on Libervis.com. This follows after a redesign and a revision that was done recently which is meant to revive this long standing project as one of the key components in my web publishing “agenda”.

Here are the new articles:

1. How phishing scams show the need to evolve with technology

2. “Intellectual Property” a Violation of Real Property

The first reflects one of the basic issues that the site’s content is and will be tackling, which is the issue of our mental, cultural and social preparedness for the power of new technologies. Since it gives power to its user which can be both negative and positive technology changes the potential of certain mental, cultural and social norms to affect the society.

Second article is more philosophical, but mainly pertains to the issue we’ve been addressing since the founding of Libervis.com, which is the issue of proprietary software and Free Software and the currently believed paradigm that copyright law operates on. Software is a type of technology whereas copyright law and this “intellectual property” paradigm reflects some social and cultural norms. This has consequences some of which have been outlined in that article.

Libervis.com will continue to actively be used to address issues all across the spectrum that lies between society and culture as we know it and the technology that we use from such a perspective. I think it’s a set of issues which is going to tremendously increase in importance as the accelerating technological evolution continue in face of all the social, cultural and economic turmoil and shifting.

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Exploring the power of technology at Libervis.com

Monday, July 21st, 2008

This is the basic tenet behind modern Libervis.com, a site which is dedicated to gathering people to explore technology and the powers that it gives us, particularly with regards to ways in which this power can be used in favor or to detriment of individual freedoms.

The official announcement of the new and most dramatic revision of the site has been made, designed to encourage people to come in and explore. Please see the and also help spread the word about the site by digging the story.

Thank you!

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Star Trek comeback

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

As seen on digg.com, Paramount Pictures has released a high definition video trailer of the next Star Trek movie: Star Trek XI.

Get it here!
It is to be released exactly on Christmas 2008. This choice of a date obviously signifies a desire to make a spectacle out of its release, because Christmas is among the most expected and valued days in the western world today. While I can be wary of hype, I think hype around Star Trek is well deserved. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If there was ever a time the world needed Star Trek it is today, when we are just about to make the first steps towards making space routinely accessible to the masses, when we are developing technology faster than ever, when we are facing paradigm shifts more often and more significant than ever.With all of this comes an enormous opportunity to screw up as well as an enormous opportunity to evolve as a humanity and create an incredible new world. Star Trek is among rare of the cultural phenomenons which at its core promotes positive and responsible use of technology – one which results in a truly better world. It may sound like an utopia, but what else is an utopia than a world gone right? Isn’t that what we should believe in? Isn’t that what we should strive for?

The new movie, directed by a very talented producer J. J. Abrams, is to lead us to the beginnings – to where it all started – the time when legends such as Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock were still kids growing up to become heroes that they were. By placing the drama so much closer to the real world time we are living in we are capable of making more parallels to reality of our own.

I think that the world today is more susceptible to taking what Star Trek presented more seriously, if nothing than for all of the incredible technologies which were literally realized yet were first seen in Star Trek, from ubiquitous mobile communications, multi touch screen equipped devices (datapadds in trek — iPhone, Nokia N800, Neo1973 and many others) to holograms and androids (albeit still fairly AI-primitive). And the more of such technologies emerge the less far fetched more impressive things like replicators, teleportation (of at least dead objects) and even ultimately warp engines will seem. And as humans believe that something is possible, it usually, sooner or later, becomes possible.

Indeed, nanotechnology is a big field nowadays, and advanced nanotechnology seems closer and closer, and it is exactly it which will lead to replicators as we know them from Star Trek and objects-teleportation which will mark probably the most significant paradigm shift in all history – because it will render physical objects, not just digital matter (as information) copyable (replicable) at a very low cost.

Positively minded science fiction, like Star Trek, is necessary to guide the people’s imagination of technology use in a positive, constructive rather than destructive direction. It is also among the most powerful of driving forces towards exploration of space, which is in my opinion becoming absolutely essential, not just because of the technologies whose development it inspires, but because of a mental shift in human minds which happens as they experience Earth from space, as fragile and beautiful as it is. I heard that most people who visit space come back as renewed environmentalists, simply because the really experience what a treasure this planet is.

But when it comes to space exploration, list of benefits will never stop at technological development and renewed environmentalism. It is in human nature to go beyond – and space IS the final frontier, or the biggest container of “new frontiers”, the unknown and unexplored, not just places, but visions and new ways of thinking Have you noticed how space exploration in Star Trek always coincides with exploration of human condition? That’s what I mean, as we explore more of the universe around us we end up learning more about ourselves, for it is in the experience of the new that we find something new about ourselves, through our reactions to the new.

Star Trek may not be the only science fiction series with a space theme, but as far as I am aware it still remains unique in the way it describes humans in the future and in space. It is the only one which promotes something more than some fantastic plot in space (star wars, fighting with some weird monsters, saving the Earth countless of times.. whatever). It is a consistent theme of exploring space and ourselves as we strive to evolve and better ourselves.

This is all why I am glad Star Trek as a phenomenon and as a meme is still so very much alive, and will get an additional boost by the end of this year (and throughout this year as the hype for the new movie continues to propagate).

Cheers

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Pledge: I wont buy a car until I can buy a “green” one

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

And no, 50/50 sort of hybrids like those available today (even here in Croatia) don’t count. I don’t want a car that is still largely dependent on oil. I want a car that is, ideally, 100% driven by a clean fuel with no bad emissions. I can tolerate a tiny teeny amount of oil necessary as nothing but just a helper if there’s no better way, but that’s as far as I’m gonna go with oil.

And what makes me quite bold in this pledge, aside from the fact that I can’t afford buying a car anyway (I can barely afford getting a license), is that it seems rather likely that the green cars I’m talking about will be available on the market fairly soon, certainly sooner than I realistically planned to get rich. ;)

Even today, some people are already driving some electric cars (battery powered I assume, which you charge on your home plug). I mean, Tesla Motors must have had some customers already. So that’s one nice option to look forward to. But there is another very nice green option: Air Cars, apparently done by french and coming to market by next year (yes, 2009). In fact they already seem to have a whole bunch of them produced and here you can see a video of them in action. It is incredible how small, light and in fact simple-looking an engine is.

Air cars use compressed air, and when you see the animation of how it happens it actually becomes quickly quite clear. It seems that this technology can be called advanced not so much because of the ingenuity of the theoretical concept itself as much as for the artistry of its engineering implementation – putting this concept of turning the cylinders by the energy of air pressure into reality. I suppose compressed air is needed because it has a higher density and hence can apply higher force.

Air car can be fueled on a service station which would be providing nothing else than compressed air, something that I believe many existing fuel stations already have. But the beauty of this is that you don’t even need to go to a fuel station and pay for a dose of compressed air. You can run a compressor at home yourself – just plug it in. In fact, from what I hear the car itself has a compressor. Next step may be to put a solar panel on the cars top to generate electricity needed to power the compressor that feeds the engine with compressed air.

This way, your can basically say that your car is running in a 100% clean and environment friendly fashion because you aren’t even spending grid electricity (for which sometimes coal and other dirty fossils are needed to produce, albeit not always like in nuclear and hydro plants). To me this just about sounds like a nirvana of personal transportation! :)

It is interesting how much green technologies are being talked about and pushed these days. The dam created by the old energy and related industries can’t hold this innovation and pressure for much longer. I expect it to burst and for green cars, independent of now just too expensive oil, will become an every day reality. And it was about freaking time! Even this recent reaction is one too late! Did you feel the burn of Summer 2007? I feel just about anyone did! You just need to remember the last summer and look at the current oil prices to gain an insight, from two directions, into just how darn screwed we are if we don’t radically change something. And guess what, green tech will actually allow for easier and simpler lives than dealing with those ugly, dirty, unhealthy crap we’ve been dealing with so far. There is just no reason not to embrace it.

Perhaps at first there may be some inconveniences at first, but I am hard pressed at finding real ones.. I mean, what will be an inconvenience of an air car really that is more inconvenient than a standard oil car? That it doesn’t run faster than 120km/h? It better not to!!! With all of the killing that happens on the roads these days we ought to slow down a bit, and 120km/h is MORE than plenty if you ask me! There should be no complaints about that! Period.

So.. if you don’t have a car right now, either because you are young and still didn’t get around to it or just sold or crashed your old one – I encourage you to consider making your next car a green-tech powered one. If you can’t get it right now then if you anyhow can please wait until it becomes available or affordable enough. Heck if you never owned a car and used public transportation so far, you don’t have anything much to miss just yet – be patient for a year or few – perhaps try investing into some other big things if you can and then, when it becomes available get a green car.

Cheers!

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First report from Open Translation Tools ’07 conference

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Open Translation Tools 2007 tools conference is being held these days in Zagreb, Croatia, where I live. So naturally I attended, and it was also a good opportunity for Taco to attend as well because I could host him, to demonstrate Passiflora and gain new interesting contacts.

My main purpose is to scoop up information and ideas on available tools and concepts that could potentially help GNU/Linux Matter’s non-profit’s web projects as well as current and future Libervis Network projects.

While I’m actually quite a beginner in the realm of content translation and tools used for it, the nature of this conference is quite open ended and inclusive so it allows anyone, even with least experience on the issue to pull something useful out of it, at least learn about the various related issues as well as practical solutions to those issues.

Today was quite a day. I have to say that only today I talked with a lot more people than I talked to through the whole iCommons conference. This is just what OTT is. There are no keynotes and presentations. There are only collective discussions in groups and the atmosphere being strived for is such that really encourages participants to “boldly go” to meet who they didn’t meet before and hence find out about something or someone new..

One particular thing was especially fun and interesting, a so called “spectrogram” of people’s opinions where when a particular (usually controversial) statement is made people express their agreement or disagreement with that statement by physically standing on one or the other end of a line being drawn on the floor. Standing in the middle is basically being undecided or neutral. Then they are being asked to explain why is it that they are standing where they are standing.

All in all, in just one day I’ve learned quite a bit, experienced quite a bit and also gotten slightly surprised by the way things are going. Considering that I didn’t really came to this conference with a big plan or agenda of my own, but merely to use an excellent opportunity to participate on a FOSS related conference and just “scoop up information and ideas”, it’s proving to be more productive than I would have expected.

So, well, that’s about it from me for now.. Taco wrote a nice scoop about the first day as well so I refer you to check it out if you’re curious. :)

Cheers!

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