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Showing posts from July, 2013

Why I won't be supporting Ubuntu Edge on Indiegogo

Ubuntu has launched a crowd-funding campaign for its phone, the Edge. I'm not supporting this campaign.The campaign seems to be extremely successful, they raised over two million dollars on the first day which is rather mind-boggling. At this pace, I think that they should have little trouble in reaching their 32 million goal, which means that we should be seeing Ubuntu Edge in a year.For me, pledging $830 for a phone that does not even exist --- something with undecided specs --- is unthinkable. I don't have that kind of money to blow: I'm a grad student after all. I support open source, and I'm looking forward to the Ubuntu phone as a means to get away from Android and the Google ecosystem (more on that in a later post); however, $830 on a phone is a ridiculous bet, given that a netbook costs half as much.I really don't get the rationale behind ever increasing compute power in our phones and tablets. Come on, the average phone today has much more power than NASA …

Thoughts on Security, Surveillance, and Trusted Computing

Last week, a Dutch artist decided to celebrate Eric Arthur Blair's birthday by placing party hats on all the CCTV cameras on the street. Wikipedia describes 1984 as a dystopian novel; yet the constant surveillance described as a work of fiction in that novel now is a reality. If anything, we've become so accustomed to cameras keeping an eye on every move; we've learnt to ignore them. Cameras decorated with party hats should definitely remind us of the surveillance states we live in. With this, I don't mean that the surveillance is necessarily malign; it can be benign, almost innocuous, that we submit to such surveillance willingly, and appreciate the results that such surveillance presents.In fact, everything that we do is tracked and studied. Go to a grocery store and buy stuff using a credit card, and the store tracks exactly what you buy, and knows with great certainty what you'll buy next. Search for something on the net, and Google will hound you with ads for s…