The news isn’t that fresh, and the topic doesn’t get attention in this period of holidays, presents and thoughtless spending by whom can still afford them (with debts). Nevertheless it’s a problem that everybody, sooner or later, will have to deal with in the upcoming future. Fresh water supplies are, already today, inadequate to satisfy the demand, and in future it will be worse and worse considering the growing needs of those real demographic atomic bombs generally listed under the “developing countries” definition.
One year ago, a month more or a month less, Sir Arthur’s Den was born. At that time I wasn’t fully aware of what could mean to manage a blog in two languages, to have to update the back end code every few months and to deal with DDoS-alike traffic peaks on an hosting service sold as a “premium” one but that clearly is worth just the few bucks it costs. The webmastering experience was zero but the desire to manage a personal project largely compensated the lack of familiarity with WordPress and its issues.
One thing I have learnt in the last years is that there is no meaning in being amazed for what happens in your life, because if you change perspective once this doesn’t mean you won’t have to do so again in the future. After having spent the last two years in Bologna, the past Saturday I’ve relocated once again in my parents’ house in Montesarchio, a pleasant little town in Campania that I have never particularly liked and in which I had already spent the previous 30 years.
During the first week of July, the Interplanetary Internet conceived by Vint Cerf (formerly co-creator of the TCP/IP protocol at the foundations of “terrestrial” Internet) and by NASA engineers earned what should be its first permanent node in the outer space. During the second of a long series of tests to verify the reliability of the Delay-Tolerant Networking (also known as Disruption-Tolerant Networking) protocol, the software needed for its functioning was transferred aboard the International Space Station orbiting at 350 kilometers above the Earth.
One of the most interesting aspects highlighted by the worldwide recession is the fact that the economic standards of the past aren’t valid anymore, and in a not so distant future what many today describe as the slavery of a secure job will be remembered instead as a golden period, a privileged phase and life style that will never return.
Home of the Underdogs is dead, long live to vintage videogaming. It’s unlikely that memorial words will be wasted in the IT industry for the occasion, nevertheless the event is worth highlighting: founded by the Thai woman Sarinee Achavanuntakul in September 1998, HotU eventually became the largest historic videogames archive (mostly) for DOS and Windows platforms, representing one of the major landfall points of the phenomenon at the boundary between illegality and collective cognizance better known as abandonware.
It’s a New Year, the perfect occasion to begin a new series entitled “Made in Italy”. Which however won’t talk about fashion, pizza or Ferrari but more practically about the true exclusive products of the current “Italy system”, that is organized crime, corruption, mental degeneration conveyed by television and genetic tendency to support fascism disguised as well-being or its illusion.
Next December 9 will mark the 40th year since, for the first time in computer history, public saw a mouse at work. Four decades later, in the Memorial Auditorium of that same Stanford University where one of the most important inventions of the then-germinal information society was born, the academy and the industry will celebrate the “mother of all demos“, the start of a new era for the interaction between man and machine.
Space, final network frontier: the Disruption-Tolerant Networking protocol (DTN, previously known as Delay Tolerant Networking) has sent out its first wails the last weeks when the NASA engineers have tested the first interplanetary-class network communication. It’s an historic step that opens novel opportunities to communicate in space, remote-control probes and eventually to liaise with the future human outposts in the Solar System.
While the humorists are discussing about comedy in the age of Barack Obama, the senator elected as an Internet star even before that 44th President of the United States hasn’t took long to become the subject of a good number of quality strips available on the web. Waiting for January 20, the fatal date in which the new commander in chief of the USA declining superpower will move to the White House, Obama is being busy by opening his direct line with the netizens thanks to the weekly address posted on YouTube, writing back (or letting the others do it for him) to an 8 years old teenager letter, coming to the nanometric scale and by obtaining even the Homer Simpson’s endorsement in the most pert American tv show.
When, in the night between the 4th and 5th of November, Barack Hussein Obama II has been elected the 44th President of the United States of America, the world has suddenly stopped. It has been crystallized in the thing by itself, feeling the whole gravity and the importance of an historic moment, and then it has started over to whirling run accelerating and burning down lives and stock markets. What remains is the hope that the promises by Mr.President haven’t been useful only to harangue the crowd, and looking at the matter from the poor Italy in ruin I can’t help to make some considerations also and above all in regard of technology and computing.
It is in Bradford, Middle England, held by the National Media Museum, that one of the first preservation institutions for videogaming culture in the world will sprout. An offspring of the collaboration between the Nottingham Trent University and the Media Museum, the archive will keep everything is related to electronic games from Pong to nowadays, offering a view of how much videogames have contributed and contribute to the pop culture as much and even more of other entertainment media.
Blu-ray, the optical format for high definition that won the commercial and technology war against Toshiba HD DVD, continues to be the great question mark of the multimedia market. If the inquiries highlight how consumers aren’t presently interested to the new technology, the disk “in blue” brings controversy also and foremost among the giants of consumer electronics, alternatingly foreseeing for Blu-ray the perspective of a bright future or a short run which soon will take it into oblivion, replaced by more advanced contents delivery channels.
The most important cultural institute of the USA returns to deal with two of the hot topics of archiving and preservation of contents in digital format, namely the anti-copy and anti-user technologies best known as Digital Rights Management (DRM) measures and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the States law on copyright that makes illegal the circumvention technologies of the above said DRM.
It’s the same old story: when a technology can offer one more dimension to entertainment, information and fruition of assorted services to citizens this suddenly becomes the arch-enemy of the status quo, an element potentially capable of destabilizing a cultural tradition, or perhaps a simple habit, which was lasting for years, decades or centuries.