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Brexit in One Picture


Corrupt Governments Silence Their Critics

Here is another ugly story which reminds us that suppressive regimes are far from gone.

The Russian authorities have charged opposition leader and former chess champion Garry Kasparov following clashes with police in Moscow.

All the man did was criticise the government (and rightly so).

Windows Starter Edition to Cripple Africa

Windows XP

COMPUTERS slowly penetrate the less developed nations. Only sheer ridicule can at times prevent this from happening, as Bill Gates once tactlessly demonstared. Possibly in response to the $100 Open Source laptop, Microsoft announced that they will launch Windows XP Starter Edition in Africa around July this year. Yet, do not get excited or raise your hopes prematurely. Starter Edition of Windows XP is very limited, much like the Starter Edition of Windows Vista. To quote an old writeup:

The cut-down software limits the users in a number of ways including number of applications running at once, printing and network abilities. Gartner’s research has pointed out that the lack of features and limitations with applications will be very frustrating for users who may have had access to computers before at school or in cyber-cafes.

City Without Physical Money

Money on keyboard

MORE nations than ever before are showing interest in a purely electronic system for managing people’s records, funds, and vehicles. Take, for example, this older story on the use of biometrics. Cities and individual shops can already make authentication immediate when payment are being made. More latterly, a city in France began testing the idea of cities where cash is a antiquated notion of the past.

The tourist city of Caen in Normandy is hosting a major European trial of the use of NFC (near field communication) – a mobile technology that can be used for anything from paying for groceries to finding out about your home town.

History Relived Through Films


The Movie Timeline is a nice little project which attempts to assign a film to each event since the beginning of time. To get the general idea, here is an arbitrary snippet:

1973 Bobby Darin dies (Beyond The Sea)
New York – Penny Lane becomes a regular on the tour bus (Almost Famous)
Las Vegas – Sam “Ace” Rothstein begins running a casino (Casino)

Although many of the entries are humorous, Hollywood has made it possible to watch a series of films which document Earth’s history.

Will the Internet Ever Be Privatised?

Money on keyboard

Backed by an ambitious contention, one Web site calls for the halt of Web privatisation.

You think the Internet will always be the great freewheeling information superhighway you’ve grown to love? Well, think again. Media giants want to privatize our Internet.

As one among several threats, consider Google Groups. Under the magnifying glass is accumulation of over 20 years worth of forums conversations (full names included). To make matters worse, consider the practice of appending “Copyright Google Groups” to each of these pages. Then comes the contribution (or lack therefore) from those who post from Google Groups without quoting, which merely leads to clutter in UseNet. It sometimes seems as though UseNet has evolved into ‘Google Chat’, which is worrisome.

Another matter to consider is charging for E-mail traffic, as means of crippling spam. It comes to show that corporations can instate and manipulate ‘Net politics’.

Beyond these facts, rumours are formed and echoed as regards a Google Web or even the newly-proposed ‘Chinese Web’. Then, of course, there is the issue of censorship, aimed to better suit the interest of governments– either through blocking of sites or filtering of search results.

The future of the Web looks not bright. Given present trends, the outlook is rather grim.

Europe to Compete With American ‘Elite’

EU flag

PROPOSALS have become Europe’s on-paper solution to America’s economic strength. Another proposal has been unveiled, which aims to help Europe complete with prestigious American institutions such as The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This is reminiscent of their plan to kick off a European initiative to create a powerful search engine.

The European Commission has unveiled plans for a world-class institute of technology intended to boost the EU’s economic competitiveness.

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