Posts

Is the Metaverse a future we want or a construct of commercial interest?

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(Picture source: Beacon Venture Capital) Quo Vadis, Metaverse? If you read popular Science Fiction, then you probably already have an idea of what the Metaverse is or at least how it is portrayed. Basically, we would be immersed in a virtual reality world with the idea of meeting, playing and working together in a fantastic setting while remaining physically separated. If you look at the difference in vision between Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg (who thinks we could all have meetings virtually or at least augmented) and Epic’s Tim Sweeny (Who believes the Metaverse should be a world for games and interaction), then you will see these visions are somewhat different. My ideal Metaverse is a global, immersive, digitally created computer environment that is accessible via the Internet, is open to everyone (and is governed by both commercial and non-commercial interests), may require devices that can translate between the virtual world and human senses, and allows for interoperability with other

My adventures in computer restoration

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I am writing these lines on a computer system that has been in storage for almost 30 years. To be concrete, I am writing this on a NeXT cube with WordPerfect. Welcome to the world of vintage computing!   Goethe, the giant of German literature, concluded his experiences by bringing them to paper. I have taken that wisdom for myself on previous occasions and thus see this as essential to conclude not just a fun project but also something that has been nagging me for over 20 years. I started to collect computers around 1988. First, as a way to make some money (buying and selling) but it became clear to me that personal computer technology would represent an era in human development that would be akin to the most important developments of human achievements; so I started collecting computers that I thought would be a relevant representation of this era. Some of these computers I have used personally and, in my work, and are thus “sacred” to me. My collection efforts stopped abruptly when I

Information technology is no more

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(Image source: datwyler.com)  As many have during the summer, I have taken a break and did some reading. To my amazement, I have seen the term of “IT” or information technology in much of the literature that I read over the summer. And I started to wonder if we’re doing ourselves any favors by still insisting on using this term. I tried to answer that question for myself, and have come to the following realization:  The term information technology has its origin in a world where computers were largely absent – it was first mentioned in a 1958 Harvard Business Review  article . The article singled out three distinct elements: “technique of processing large amounts of information rapidly”, “statistical and mathematical methods to decision-making problems” and finally, “the simulation of higher-order thinking through computer programs”. The article further explained that information technology would have its greatest impact on middle- and top management. To be very clear, the article was

Apple is Arming itself

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(source: Thenextweb.com) I’m still following Apple and developments in hardware and software in general as it is still somewhat of a hobby of mine (having started my professional career developing on NeXT). Even after I have given Apple bad grades here and here , I think yesterday’s announcement that Apple is moving to their own Arm chips, is something that had long been coming and I think it will potentially alter the computing landscape. While I’m certainly no longer able to have insight knowledge or even be able to follow the last development in chip design, I do believe in phases or cycles of evolution and revolution in technology and I think that’s true for information technology as it is for cars or anything else for that matter. Apple just started to ramp up on a revolution cycle.   Reading the opinion of analysts regarding Apple’s risky move from Intel to their own Chips left me bewildered. After all, this is Apple’s third processor architecture change – from the Motor
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I have seen the future of VR and it is Alyxellent! We have been toying with VR for like the last two years. And we got some interesting experiences out of VR, for example, BeatSaber has become my exercise routine. However, so far, I have not seen anything that would have given me this “wow” experience that VR had always promised. BeatSaber is great, I absolutely love it, but it is a one-dimensional experience that is akin to something you would play at Arcades. In short, not unlike Space Invaders, just a lot more physically demanding. So here comes Alyx – Alyx is a prequel or sequel (I am not sure) to the Half-life game series that have been popular in the early 2000s. Now for full disclosure: I have always been a fan of half-live and I could have written the same article 17 or so years ago by pointing out how half-live has changed the game industry (literally). So, it is with some excitement that I can proclaim that another title of the half-life series is changing the

Make no mistake, we’re not going back to “normal”

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Yes, there’s so much speculation as to what our medium- and long-term future might look like in a post-COVID19 world. If you read the newspapers and magazines ( here , here , and here ) you will have noticed that most reports talk about a delay of 18 months until we have a working vaccine. You can probably add another six months to that number until the production and distribution have scaled up; and then of course there are still question marks around herd-immunity and how long one stays immune after having built-up antibodies. In summary: we’ll be wearing masks for at least another two years. But you might also have read about accelerating the digital transformation of our lives and that we have significantly advanced topics that have lingered for 20 years, within the span of a month. For example, online grocery shopping and remote health care. Given that we now have a good two years to ease into a new reality, I have tried to think about what all this means for us as a specie