Despite all the amazing things we can do with electronics, and despite increases in efficiency, the physical reality is very wasteful. Computers, and other electronics use a lot of electricity, much of it is used for nothing. Discarded electronics fill landfills, and release the poisonous chemicals they are made of. During the winter, they are efficient space heaters, but during summer they make extra work for air conditioners. We would all be a lot less wasteful if we reduced how many electronic devices we buy, and if we upgraded them as rarely as possible.
If you accept that, then you must also accept that open source is the only environmentally responsible method of software and hardware development. Continue reading
Any product, especially an electronic device, has to have very strong use cases to succeed. People use a TV to view video entertainment while being comfortable in their homes. People use a mobile phone to keep in touch with others no matter where they are. People use a trash can as a place to temporarily store things they want to dispose of. But people use a tablet computer to… um… Continue reading
Many people suffer various addictions due to a lack of will power. Smoking, overeating, etc. are problems that can, and have, been defeated by force of will. Yet, there are people who try to break their habits, and fail, because they lack will power. I have come up with a mildly unrealistic solution that is absolutely guaranteed to work. Continue reading
The issue of mobile phone subsidies and early termination fees has been getting a lot of extra attention lately. The FCC has asked Verizon to explain its early termination fees, and why they are requiring higher fees for users of certain phones. Their answer is, of course, ludicrous. But the fees were ludicrous to begin with. These problems are well known even outside of tech circles, but lets examine it much closer, shall we? Continue reading
Imagine you are about to play a game of Monopoly. According to the rules, each player starts with $1500. One of the other players, however, insists that they are going to start with $2000. What is their justification for this extreme head start? Well of course, it’s a bonus they deserve because they won the last game of Monopoly they played. Continue reading
Towards the end of my previous post I began to talk about the inevitability of a techno-anarchist future. Eventually we will have such powerful technology that is so widely available to the masses that it will be impossible to enforce any laws. It will be like living in a world full of wizards. Their vast powers allow them to do great good, and great harm. Those same powers also allow them to disguise or conceal anything beyond the point of deniability. If someone can snap their fingers to affect things on the other side of the world, you live in anarchy whether you like it or not.
It has recently come to my attention that there are far too many laws which outlaw harmless activities, simply because they correlate with other harmful illegal activities. It all goes back to the day when they had to get Al Capone for tax evasion. Rather than eliminate incompetency and impotence of the law enforcement, requiring them to work harder, we pass laws to make their jobs all too easy. The side effect is that many grave injustices are allowed to pass. Continue reading