Archiv der Kategorie: Reading List

Die zentrale Sammelstelle für die Crème de la Crème des WWWs

Dystopie: Eine Welt ohne Netzneutralität

The Verge zeigt eindrucksvoll, wie eine Welt ohne Netzneutralität* aussehen würde:

You’re most excited about AT&T Platinum 4G, its new super-fast data service. It’s basically the same 4G that you’ve had for years, but you get to listen to AT&T Music and watch AT&T News and use AT&T Video Chat and download apps from the AT&T App Store without eating up any of your data. The plan only costs $100 a month, but you get the unlimited text-message package for an extra $20 since AT&T Instant Chat isn’t available for your friends on Verizon.

Everything in Comcast Country is fast. Yahoo is fast. Facebook is fast. You don’t know how much Rupert Murdoch paid for his fast lane, but it must be a lot: nothing loads as quickly as Fox News. Microsoft made a deal for its new console, so the Xbox lives in Comcast Country. You’d honestly rather play Killzone 7 than Titanfall: Black Ops, but PlayStation multiplayer costs extra. Everything outside of Comcast Country is slow, and you have to look at Comcast’s ads before you leave the border.

Reading List: „Your corporate internet nightmare starts now„, The Verge

*Was ist Netzneutralität? Netzneutralität bedeutet, dass die Internetgeschwindigkeit unabhängig vom übermittelten Inhalt ist. Jede Seite lädt gleich schnell. Es ist das Grundprinzip des Internets. Ohne Netzneutralität könnten Provider z.B. Geld von Amazon verlangen, dass Amazon in ihrem Netzwerk schneller lädt als eBay. Dagegen hätten Start-Ups überhaupt keine Chance und wir würden heute ohne Tumblr, Uber, YouTube oder Netflix leben. Ohne Facebook, Twitter oder WhatsApp. Stattdessen müssten wir Joyn benutzen.

Genau diese Netzneutralität ist zur Zeit in Amerika gefährdet, während das EU-Parlament sich mehrheitlich dafür einsetzt. Doch auch in Deutschland ist nicht alles perfekt: Während die Telekom zum Glück vor Gericht mit ihren gedrosselten und prioritisierenden Internetplänen gescheitert ist, wird Spotify Premium bei T-Mobile immer noch nicht dem Datenvolumen angerechnet. Eine Unverschämtheit.

Wolfram Language: „Insanely Ambitious“

Stephen Wolfram hat sicherlich kein unerfolgreiches Leben hinter sich. Sein Computerprogramm Mathematica ist die Adobe Creative Suite der Naturwissenschaften und die Internetseite Wolfram|Alpha ist für viele Probleme die erste Anlaufstelle. Doch Wolfram Language, eine Art Kombination aus Mathematica und Wolfram|Alpha war schon immer das Ziel. Wolfram macht Computer und Programme intelligent – und das ist faszinierend:

“In general, what we’re trying to do is so that as long as a person can describe what they want, our goal is to get that done. A human defines what the goal should be, and a computer does its best to figure out what that means, and does its best to do it,” Wolfram says.

In 30 seconds, Wolfram built a code snippet that defined the countries in South America and displayed their flags. Then he called up a map of Europe and highlighted Germany and France in different colors computationally, in seconds.

Bild: VentureBeat

This is only possible because the new Wolfram computational framework includes the complex and precise algorithms developed in over 20 years of Mathematica development, plus the knowledge engine built up inside WolframAlpha.

And the results are shocking.

Reading List: „Sentient code: An inside look at Stephen Wolfram’s utterly new, insanely ambitious computational paradigm„, VentureBeat

The Triumph And Tragedy Of OS/2

ibm-ps2-ad-mashMan kann es sich heute schwer vorstellen, aber Microsoft Windows hatte früher einen ernst zu nehmenden Konkurrenten: IBM’s OS/2. Tatsächlich hat Microsoft selbst seinen eigenen Konkurrenten erschaffen, denn OS/2 wurde von Microsoft programmiert, im Auftrag von IBM. Wie es Microsoft schaffte, IBM hinter sich zu lassen, erzählt Jeremy Reimer für Ars Technica in einem spannenden Rückblick auf alte Zeiten.

Das Einzige, was heute noch von IBM und OS/2 übrig blieb, ist die PS/2-Schnittstelle mit den legendären grünen und violetten Anschlüssen für Tastatur und Maus, welche an sich zwar identisch waren, aber dennoch nicht vertauscht werden durften. Das ist eine Geschichte für sich.

Reading List: „The triumph and tragedy of OS/2„, Ars Technica

Giftgas in Syrien: Obama lügt

Seymour Hersh, bekannter Enthüllungsjournalist, berichtet:

Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports […] citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.

Wieso landete dieser Artikel in der London Review of Books und nicht in der New York Times? Wieso zitiert ihn keine amerikanische Zeitung? Wo bleibt der internationale Aufschrei? Fragen, auf die wir alle die Antwort wissen. Aber wir wollen sie einfach nicht glauben.

Reading List: „Whose Sarin?„, Seymour M. Hersh (via Fefes Blog)

‚Auto Correct‘ – Inside Google X

Ein toller Bericht im New Yorker über Googles ambitioniertes Google-X-Projekt, selbstfahrende Autos zur Serienreife zu bringen. Das Fazit: Wir sind noch eine gute Weile vom Ziel entfernt, aber Google hat Geduld:

“Every year that we delay this, more people die.”

Bild: Motortrend
Bild: Motortrend

[The car is in] the dog-food stage: not quite fit for human consumption. “The risk is too high,” Thrun says. “You would never accept it.” The car has trouble in the rain, for instance, when its lasers bounce off shiny surfaces. (The first drops call forth a small icon of a cloud onscreen and a voice warning that auto-drive will soon disengage.) It can’t tell wet concrete from dry or fresh asphalt from firm. It can’t hear a traffic cop’s whistle or follow hand signals.

And yet, for each of its failings, the car has a corresponding strength. It never gets drowsy or distracted, never wonders who has the right-of-way. It knows every turn, tree, and streetlight ahead in precise, three-dimensional detail. Dolgov was riding through a wooded area one night when the car suddenly slowed to a crawl. “I was thinking, What the hell? It must be a bug,” he told me. “Then we noticed the deer walking along the shoulder.” The car, unlike its riders, could see in the dark. Within a year, Thrun added, it should be safe for a hundred thousand miles.

Reading List: „Auto Correct„, The New Yorker

Machtkampf an der Spitze von AOL

AOL existiert noch. Doch dafür musste CEO Tim Armstrong einen hohen Preis zahlen…

tim armstrong aolArmstrong would not have been able to achieve that success without paying a price. In trying to turn around a huge, collapsing company, Armstrong has had to make many hard, sometimes deeply unpopular, decisions. It was one of the hardest of these that put him in the front of that room last August.

In drastically cutting back Patch, Armstrong wasn’t just letting hundreds of loyal employees go. He was killing the AOL project that he had been most devoted to, a company that he himself had created. Decisions like these are hard, especially for a highly likable executive who has built his career on his ability to inspire people and build relationships. That Friday in August, Armstrong was finally making a decision that he had needed to make for a long time. And it was killing him.

Armstrong was, in that moment, paying the cost of winning. For so long, it was a price he had never had to pay.

Reading List: „The Cost of Winning„, Business Insider

The story of Everpix

Bild: The Verge
Bild: The Verge

Everpix schließt. Leider. Casey Newton möchte uns eine rührende Geschichte erzählen:

But as time ran out, hopes diminished. „It succeeded in every possible way,“ said Jason Eberle, who built the web version of Everpix, „except for the only way that matters.“
Meanwhile, someone had to write the shutdown letter. The task fell to Fan. He was struggling with the words, but knew what he hoped to get across. He wanted to let the users of Everpix know: “We tried.”

Reading List: „Out of the picture: why the world’s best photo startup is going out of business„, The Verge