Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

note: if you haven’t watched the Zeitgeist documentaries or aren’t aware of the conundrums it addresses, you should watch at least ‘Zeitgeist Addendum‘ before reading on.

Ideas, suggestions and opinions presented in this article aren’t necessarily the views of the Zeitgeist movement. The article isn’t meant to attack anyone, nor does it mean to offend anyone. It simply reflects the thoughts of the author, as to how a resource-based economy could be introduced — inevitably, this does require some strategic action, that could be understood as conspiracy or the likes, which it is not.

As an avid member of the Zeitgeist movement, I have been pondering possible solutions. What would make an ideal first step toward a resource-based economy (RBE)? I’ll put forth some suggestions, but no definite solution, and I’d love to hear your opinion and suggestions as well.

We are all dependent on the established monetary system, so we cannot simply deny participating in it. It seems almost impossible to fight a system which you are a part of and dependent on. You can of course raise your hand and state your case, but the only ones that can actually make changes to the system doesn’t feel the effects of its flaws, so they have no reason to do so — some may even see it as absurd and will disregard the issue, simply because they already have what they need.

Are we just going to give up then?
Certainly not, we just need to devise an approach which introduces the concept to people unaware of the issue it attempts to resolve, in such a way that it appeals to them. It would be a long hard road, if we are to convince all governments, companies, etc. that we need to make a move into resource-based economy — I’m sure the banks and wealthy people would object to this. So let’s focus on a more strategic method. As a programmer, I like solving problems, it’s pretty much what programming is all about. Programmers design and build systems from the ground up, but some also do the opposite of that — hacking. Hackers take systems apart, learn how it works and make it do things it isn’t supposed to do. What I am getting at is that a hacker’s approach would be the most efficient way of tackling the problem — break the system where it is most vulnerable and exploit it.

Alright, so how do we do that?
Let’s say we were to analyze the monetary-system, and we are looking for vulnerabilities. We need to make sure of a few things when choosing the vulnerability and exploit;

  1. Nobody should suffer financially from the ‘attack’ — you cannot change the system suddenly like that.

Taking these things into account, we look at the most vulnerable part of the monetary-system, the consumption cycle. This is the three-part wheel that makes the whole system work; the consumer, employee and employer. We know that we cannot have one of these fail completely, but we can weaken its life-blood, money. Money and resources are exchanged in this cycle, and if money were to be slowly phased out of the equation, you’d be left with resource exchange only — this is the ultimate goal, right? Right. What we need now is, citing The Godfather; “an offer you can’t refuse”.

Employers will be the tool of the exploit and the consumer will be the target. The concept needs to be derived from something they are familiar and comfortable with, and that presents a good deal for any person looking to acquire something. This is very familiar ground for most consumers; whether you are buying groceries in the mall or looking to buy a laptop computer, you are looking for the best deal available.

We have the best deal, for anyone — ever!
Since the consumer is always looking for the best deal, supporters of a move toward a resource-based economy would be able to take advantage of the system in a way that not only cripples it, but also exposes how irrelevant money really is — thus if followed through, not only introduces the idea to the public, but proves its function and allow for comparison with the monetary-system. The general purpose of this is to gain trust in the proposed RBE-system by way of example, and make it difficult for monetary-based companies to compete.

The following would require a group of creative individuals, developers, and the likes — people who enjoy creating something out of nothing, not needing to charge money for what they do. Just to clarify, I would volunteer to this group myself. This group will “sell” its products with a set conditions, which allows for both systems to operate on, but promotes the RBE-system. Of course, the exact declaration and definition these conditions would have to be discussed among those who are in favor of taking action on this approach, but this is a rough outline of what I’m thinking it could sound like;

Products are given free of charge if;

  1. You are RBE-supporting company — this means you offer some or all of your product resources with this same license.
  2. You need it for any reason other than commercial (eg. study, research, etc.) — this means you do not seek monetary gain from usage of this product.

Should you not meet any of the above, you are subject to pay for the service or product. — Any payments under this license goes mainly to sustain the product and its vendor as long as the monetary-system is in effect and to help RBE develop further.

What good does this do?
Marketing with this ‘licence’ would effectively pull money out of the supply from those who seek monetary  gain from their products, and makes the RBE model compete directly with the monetary-system. Granted, the idea is a bit sketchy at this point, and a whole concept on this idea would be a very long article, so has of course been made quite a bit simpler.

Your move!
If you are like me, creating stuff all the time anyway, why not jump in and let’s have a go at it? Although I am studying at this time, and may not have a whole lot of time to develop products, I do want to see any idea through if the community agrees that it could yield results. Have your say, I leave the word up to you!

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UPDATE: The event will be streamed live by Apple on their website. A link has not been released yet, but this has been confirmed by italian Apple PR — we will probably see it on Apple’s site within an hour or two before the event begins. My educated guess, judging from the previous stream they provided and the archived event footage page links, is that it will probably get streamed from http://www.apple.com/apple-events/october-2010/.

I’m a little late on this one, but I’m gonna give my thoughts on it anyway! Last Wednesday Apple sent out invitations for an event, taglined it ‘Back to the Mac’ and it comes with a pretty picture with a lion peeking out from behind a cut-out of an Apple logo. Now, while the picture speaks for itself, some people have speculated that we’re going to see some hardware updates, I’m not entirely convinced of that just yet. I firmly believe that this event is focused on software, and software only. However, one could imagine they’d throw in a new MacBook Air for kicks, but I doubt it.

    My Expectations
  • A preview of Mac OS 10.7 — supposedly code-named ‘Lion’ by the looks of the invitation.

    The invitation banner isn’t very subtle on this, now is it. We’re talking big cats again, and my expectations are high for this major iteration of Mac OS X. I think this one will be focusing mainly on the graphical user interface, possibly borrowing a few concepts from the iOS platform, as suggested by others — I believe this will be the ‘wow-factor’ of the presentation, discarding the ‘Aqua’ interface with a more minimal look and unified user interface [insert some random code-name for it here]. Other than that, we can only imagine what Apple has decided to implement into the ‘Lion’, since the last iteration of Mac OS X was heavily focused on improving the very foundations of the system, this one will probably be very feature-rich. Lastly, with the support by Steam that we saw earlier this year, Apple really needs to see the opportunity in this and embrace it by making gaming on the Mac a major focus for them — possibly by writing a few helpful API’s for gaming specifically, or their very own OpenGL engine?

  • A preview of iLife ’11

    iLife is getting old. The last iteration done on it, was ’09 which definitely could use some love from Apple. I see more social network integration in it, a few ‘wow-features’ and probably a major overhaul of the entire suite, with the exclusion of some of the products it currently has, like iDVD. In terms of specific feature I won’t even try to guess at it, because knowing Apple I’m probably going to be wrong about most of it — they usually top anything I can think of. Wishful thinking would include a complete rework of iWeb that doesn’t just have the ‘push-a-button-to-make-a-website’, but the option to get more involved with the actual code.

We probably won’t see an immediate release of Mac OS X, however we might get a release date on it. I don’t think they’re going to wait until WWDC 2011 to release it, simply because Apple has so much to show off at WWDC now that iOS devices are becoming an increasing focus for Apple —which I don’t like one bit at all—, and showing a Mac OS X release usually takes the bulk part of a keynote presentation — but then again, that might be why Steve is going to show it to us now.

I think we’re in for a nice long presentation of Mac OS 10.7 Lion with ‘one more thing’, which is the iLife ’11 suite and the possibility of a new MacBook Air. The event takes place today at 10am Pacific Time.

Retina Display

Posted: August 22, 2010 in Thoughts

With the incredibly dense ppi of the new iPhone 4, will we we this filter through to the Mac? — I definitely think so.

Sooner or later, we will see an industry-wide transition from standard ppi to “HD-ppi”. However, there are a few technical issues with handling the transition, the most prominent of them being the content that already exists. If the ‘Retina Display’ pixel density of the iPhone 4 were to be applied to say a Macbook Pro 15.3” screen, like the one I have, I would probably not be able to see what is going on — everything would become very tiny, the resolution would have gone up by over a factor of 2. This means that whenever this is going to happen, the transition won’t be easy in comparison to the HDTV transition, as the entire web would have to account for this change.

Adobe makes great products, and Flash is definitely one of them. I used Flash back in the day when it was very popular on the internet and I loved using it, web-content became an interactive experience with very little effort. However, my vote is not for dying technologies and Flash is indeed living its lasts days.

I can understand why Adobe is struggling to keep Flash alive as it has been playing such a major role in the industry — and for so long that this may have come as a shock for Adobe. And while they probably won’t let Flash die without a fight, I do not think they will succeed in keeping it alive for much longer.

The Apple Issue
On this matter, we supposedly have two sides of story to worry about; the end user and the ethical aspect of Apple not implementing Adobe’s technologies.

Besides the drastic movement by Apple to simply cut out Flash from its iDevices, I don’t think the average end user will ever really notice the transition, as long as the content they enjoy is still available to them. Flash is easily substitutable by several other —and newer— technologies, and as Apple points out, HTML5 is indeed a great substitute. In the end, transitions usually pave the way for new exciting things and the battle of who takes over the main stage when Flash dies is on — my bets are placed on HTML5 and WebGL.

I do think Apple could have handled this with a little more professional courtesy, however I understand and appreciate their move, even though it was a little out of line. Adobe provides some of the most important applications for the Macintosh platform and Apple needs to recognize and cherish that, so this was a very bold move to make as it could potentially hurt a great partner.

All in all, Adobe I’m sorry for your loss and Apple … behave!

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