Category Technology

One IOTA worth a lot

An Internet of Things and Animals

Animals appear to have a sixth sense. For example, they appear to exhibit unusual behavior before a natural disaster, such as an earthquake.

If we could connect animals to the IOT, we would have a global network of sensors that could be used to anticipate natural disasters and mitigate the impact.

But how would we do this?

Read more

Google breakup? Now Europe gets it wrong

On the Internet four years behind USA as usual

Now the European Parliament has weighed into the battle, four years behind the US Consumer Watchdog, calling for a resolution that Google be broken up.

See this NYTimes blog article, for example.

This is going over old ground … very old ground.

We discussed it here.

Four and a half years later our opinion is Read more

Ten years of whitespace

Recycling unused parts of screens and paper

Ten years ago, Slate announced the introduction of whitespace, a language designed to compensate for the “white-space doesn’t count” culture of contemporary programming languages.

Whitespace uses spaces and tabs to code in the whitespace that surrounds text. The great advantage with this approach is that your documentation can be right in the middle of your code and yet not interfere with it.

You can see the slashdot article here.

Just be careful that you don’t use GZIP, Winzip, 7-zip or any other similar utility to package your whitespace program or you may find that it is rendered unexecutable. Read more

The Internet Age Emperor’s New Clothes

A Bit of a long shot

The BitCoin bubble is in full swing. But this bubble started a lot longer ago than most commentators report, and is much bigger than most commentators report.

The main reason is that most commentators give credence to BitCoin, and treat it like a respectable currency. Even laying aside the Silk Road connections, here at Vox Sapiens we have no confidence in BitCoin (or in its cousins such as LiteCoin and NameCoin). Here’s why. Read more

onlycoin – only ten years too late

PINning your hopes on an unCHIPped picture of the future

A new startup, onlycoin.com, is attempting crowdfunding for a new credit card wallet. This product, called coin, is the same size as a credit card and stores the details of up to eight other credit cards (or debit cards, or any similar card with a magnetic strip). The onlycoin.com card runs an application that allows you to select which of these eight cards the onlycoin.com card should emulate. This allows you to leave your other cards at home and carry just the onlycoin.com card.

Many people’s physical wallets are bursting with multiple cards, and the onlycoin.com card helps address this problem. But it has a major drawback. The onlycoin.com card does not Read more

Nok-nok-nokiaing on heaven’s door

Oh, oh, oh-oh-oh

Nokia and Microsoft have announced an alliance whereby Nokia will use Microsoft Windows on its new models of smartphones, beginning in 2013.

Will that save Nokia?

At Vox Sapiens we think Read more

Paybox.me is not a competitor for Paypal

Beware this one.

This blog is not usually concerned with warning people about websites that show similarities with scams. But this post breaks with tradition because the website in question has been mentioned in the comments to a previous post: Google breakup? Wrong target again.

In that post I discussed why Paypal was far more dangerous than Google, with respect to consumer choice and other monopolistic matters.

Earlier today “Al” commented that Paybox (http://www.paybox.me/r/signuppage) was emerging as a potential competitor to Paypal.

I don’t think this is the case. For several reasons I think that the business is a l-o-n-g way from competing with Paypal. Read more

Juvenile crash test dummies

Where is the legislation that requires rear crumple zones?

When a car driver drives into the car in front, he or she has a fair chance of survival – because the law requires a crumple zone in the front of the vehicle to absorb the energy dissipated by the rapid deceleration.

But what of the passengers in the rear seats of that car that was hit from behind? Read more

Simple defense to reduce email risks

Why don’t major webmail providers support this?

We have all been subject to spam. And most of us to malicious emails too. Particularly annoying are emails that present a threat simply by being read, even if no links are clicked. But there is a way to substantially reduce the risk that people will open dangerous emails. But for some reason none of the major webmail providers support a mechanism to enable this.

Why? I have no idea.

The simple solution is to Read more

Apotheker to run SAP again?

What are HP’s strategic plans?

So Leo Apotheker, former head of SAP AG, replaces Mark Hurd at HP. Mr Apotheker has a background in software, but was chosen over a large number of candidates with far more relevant experience and caught many observers on the back foot.

But here at Vox Sapiens we were not at all surprised. In fact, we half suspected it because Read more

The end of Open Source ?

The GPL debate will run and run

Over the last few days a debate has flared up over the GPL (the GNU General Public License). Specifically, the debate relates to the refusal of DIYThemes to release its WordPress Thesis theme under the GPL.

The details of the debate encapsulate a major nerdfest, with legal and technical nerds crawling out of their boxes and greeting the world. But beyond this, the debate has much wider implications.

In fact, at Vox Sapiens we wonder whether this debate will be seen as the tipping point that identifies the crest of the Open Source wave. We think that, maybe, the strength of the Open Source movement will wane from this moment because Read more

Has SAP missed a trick?

Sybase may be a costly mistake

So it looks like SAP is going to buy Sybase, database vendor. But SAP is paying a lot of money for the company placed fourth in its main market. The price per share, at USD65 and a 44% premium to the pre-announcement price, hearkens back to the mid-1990’s when Sybase was still considered a serious competitor to Oracle, IBM, Ingres (another decliner), and Microsoft was not taken seriously as an enterprise computing vendor.

Here at Vox Sapiens we are not sure this is the right move for SAP. Firstly, Sybase is probably a poor choice at virtually any price. But there is plenty of commentary available on this elsewhere on the web.

So instead, here at Vox Sapiens we will discuss the company that SAP should have bought. And that company is Read more

Google breakup? Wrong target again

Consumer Watchdog misses the biggest threat

The Consumer Watchdog April 21 asked the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch an antitrust action against Google. In its request it suggested that Google might be broken up.

While there is the potential for Google to develop into something that needs to be broken up, right now there is a candidate that is way higher in priority. And that is Read more

From petrolhead to chiphead

The future of the automotive industry is more than the new powertrain

Powertrain 2020! The EV vision! The lust for lithium! The fuss about fuel cells! The automotive industry is alive with a debate over the replacement of the gasoline powertrain.

This is an extremely important debate, and will have major impacts on the strategic positioning of the OEMs. For example, what would happen if the future is rechargeble batteries and in the future the electricity supply companies give away vehicles in exchange for exclusive recharging contracts? Don’t believe it could happen? Look at the mobile phone handset industry.

But creeping up quietly is another technological shift that could have even more impact Read more

Lawyers and the real world again

Why can’t they see the bigger picture?

So Microsoft (presumably on the advice of lawyers) used the DCMA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) to force Cryptome.org’s hosting provider, Network Solutions, to close down the website and keep a lock on the domain name to prevent the site being relocated. Then a day later the complaint was rescinded, allowing the site to be restored.

This was a bad thing to do? Why?

OK, where should I start? Read more

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