Facebook.com and Classmates.com – Not Good vs. Evil but Useful vs. utterly Worthless

Blogged under Technology,mashup,web 2.0 by tejot on Monday 30 July 2007 at 15:04

thomasjankowski.com: Classmates giving way to Facebook.com I am not trying to contend that Facebook is superior to anything in any way. While it’s a highly useful tool, it’s had its problems, and it still lacks some basic features (which would make it more useful but less of an addiction, which is supposedly bad for business). But while that may be a wonderful topic for another day, today I’d like to focus on why classmates.com is so much worse than facebook.com.

Some years ago, when classmates.com first came into existence, I’d like to think that it was one of the first splogs I’ve ever seen. It was impossible to surf the web for more than five minutes before walking into one of their annoying advertisements. And no, they weren’t the calm, serene, 200x200px adsense boxes. They were huge banners, oftentimes popups or interstatial popunders. I think I actually had a windows service running that was specifically devoted to blocking their ads. Not to say that I haven’t signed up for an account. The idea was good and I was in high school at the time. It all would have been wonderful, except that a) the website never got any major traction, and b) I think it became so synonymous with spam that the very idea of using it as a service caused an involuntary acid reflux.

Wireless LANs and Neo-Nomads / Feasibility of Virtual Work

Blogged under Technology,internet,mobile,technomads,web 2.0 by tejot on Wednesday 13 June 2007 at 10:57

While the current 11n protocol may prove quite an obstacle for wide-scale deployment in corporate environments, most notably because of the prohibitive costs associated with purchasing gigabit switches and 10-gigabit uplinks, as well as due to the problems currently present in the 11n protocol, those very same issues can provide a robust environment for a casual, working neo-nomad.

In a home/cafe/neighborhood environment, 11n access points can be a heaven in disguise. Usually strong enough to not have to rely on Power over Ethernet (POE) circuitry (which currently at 15.4 watts is often not strong enough for 11n devices), they also operate in the 5 GHz band, which is vastly preferable in places where the 2.4 GHz band is already crowded with other consumer electronics that contribute to the interference we have all seen in homes where sometimes even in the same room as the wireless A/P, the Signal-to-Noise ratio makes regular WiFi almost unusable. And in most cafes, currently covered by 1-3 11g routers, one 11n A/P will be more than sufficient – thanks to its increased speed and range.

Neonomads, or how travels, collaboration, virtualization and motivation are entering a new era

Blogged under Musings,Technology,World,digital bedouins,homeless,internet,technomads,virtualization,vmware by tejot on Friday 20 April 2007 at 16:56

The term neo-nomad (aka neonomad, digital bedouin) is rather new. In fact, it still lacks a formal definition although the neologism itself is simple enough to understand. A new type of a nomad; a wanderer, someone without a fixed sense of belonging… The way it has been used thus far refers, very generally, to people who take their work with them. In America, this usually applies to the vast amount of web 2.0 startup execs and other self-employed tech workers roaming around in the Bay area. They are sometimes referred to as the Starbucks society, since that is the preferred meeting place of the neo-nomads. Quite aptly so – all major Starbucks locations have excellent wi-fi through a partnership with T-Mobile, and have a corporate feel to them – it is here that one can run into execs from Google, Flickr, or a dozen other hot, new startups.

Google learning from Microsoft

Blogged under Google,Illuminations,Microsoft,Technology,internet,l'Informatique,web 2.0 by tejot on Saturday 10 March 2007 at 17:14

In a recent story, Google has been praised for offering terabytes of free storage (along with the hardware and the support) needed for scientists to transport large amounts of data between various teams. Up to 120 TB in fact, if we look at the example of data received from Hubble.

This sounds almost too good to be true, but I’m an optimist and a believer in most of Google’s endeavours (though I choose to not hold any of their stock if only to be able to claim objectivity). This move makes sense from a business perspective when one considers Google’s mission, its business goals, its evangelical R/D approach and its sheer data-storing ability.

resurrecting Asimov: robotic laws

Blogged under Universe,World,internet,politics,robotics by tejot on Thursday 8 March 2007 at 00:40

It’s been a while, but I shall make no excuses – I’ve been reading about 10x more than usual, leaving very little time for any writing, and well, my academic writing takes priority when push comes to shove.

Anyway, I’ve come across this wonderful article from the BBC. I must say that since I’m a technocrat, a futurist, and a science-fiction lover myself, in principle I agree with Asimov’s laws. Even more so since those laws are quite minimal – they simply protect people and robots (in that order). They do not implement a higher order of ethics, which eventually would be bound to result in something as ridiculous as human laws. And by ridiculous I mean any and all cases where discrepancies between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law exist (also known as the law vs justice debate), or situations where the judicial system is used/abused to pass judgment in cases which are the responsibility of the legislative arm of the government.

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