Posts Tagged ‘data’

Many Happy Returns Webby!

Posted: May 10, 2014 in bankers, Business, Computers, Current Events
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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World-Wide-Web

The World Wide Web, created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, turned 25 years old this year, 2014.

There has never been anything like it before, certainly not as regards the impact it has made on society and the way we live our lives. Many of those changes are good, many are not so good and a few are downright annoying.

Here’s my take on some of them.

To concentrate on the good parts first, the one thing the www has done, for those who can use it effectively, is to give access to information that was previously only available to the elite few who managed to claw their way into the lofty heights of academia, or who worked in places where information was readily available. Now the same information is accessible at the touch of a button to anyone and everyone with a smart phone, tablet or computer.

Another benefit, in my view anyway, is that is has sent a massive wake-up call to telephone providers world wide, many of whom were fast asleep, content to rake in healthy profits from antiquated systems. No longer do we have to settle for slow and temperamental data transfer lines. Nowadays, particularly in the last few years, people are demanding systems that can cope with download streams in the gigabyte range. If you are old enough to remember the first modems you will know you wasted too much of your life trying to download at 12Kb/sec., sometimes less.

Freedom is also a welcome by-product of the World Wide Web.

The freedom to work in any country in the world, from virtually any country in the world is one big plus – it is for me anyhow. Another one I particularly like is the freedom to watch TV programs that I like, when I like, no longer tied to the schedules of some brainless bean-counter working for a broadcasting company. And the freedom to have your say on things as and when the mood takes you – they call that blogging don’t you know! – is also a great advantage to the ordinary person.

www words

As is the freedom to disseminate information across the globe instantly, as Mr Snowden ably demonstrated, although I would hazard a guess that the powers that be would not agree with me on that one.

Indeed, this is the one aspect of the www that really bothers big brother.

China for example is one country where access is controlled by the state. Coincidentally this year also marks the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, you’ll find articles about that if you do a search, but probably not in China. They get away with it because they are not a democracy and do not pretend to be one.

In other countries, like the good old Land Of The (Not So) Free (Anymore)), the powers still like to con their people into believing that they are living in a democratic nation and that the people have the power to vote for this or that. But think for a moment, when was the last time you got to vote on whether to start a war, or whether to give $billions of your money to the greedy banksters to pay themselves huge bonuses and gamble away the rest?

It is because they need to keep the pretence of democracy going, that they do not yet have the confidence to start overtly censoring the internet. But they do all they can to snoop on what people are reading, or writing, or looking at.

This is where the freedom the www and associated technology provides can also be a negative, when it is used by governments to surveil us and record every piece of data they can. If they were doing this selectively and targeting terrorists and criminals no one would be too worried. But they are doing it to all of us, guilty and innocent alike.

big brother is watching

They are also doing everything they can think of to impose taxes on internet commerce – of course they have to coz they’re stoney broke.

The www has revolutionized business practices and created all sorts of new commerce opportunities, Amazon perhaps being the best example of a company that has gone from nothing to a multi-billion dollar business in just a few years.

Communication and social interaction are also areas where the www has liberated the ordinary person – first with email and more recently with social media. In the near future expect to see social media expanding to become much more than individual platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. We are already seeing many new applications that are allowing people to communicate more widely, more easily and more often.

social media

Another negative is that the World Wide Web has unwittingly facilitated the proliferation of pornography and violence, and is teaching a generation of morons all the wrong things. Things that will ensure they become a burden on society, not an asset.

And it has also opened a whole new environment in which criminals can operate. Millions of dollars are being stolen every day through scams, confidence tricks and outright theft.

You could say (and I frequently do) that people dumb enough to fall for these scams deserve all they get, or all they lose, is perhaps a better way of putting it. You know, the idiots who believe they really have won a lottery they didn’t buy a ticket for, or who think that Dr Umbungo Watanga from Nigeria is being truthful when he tells them that someone they never heard of has left them $25 million and all they need to do is send all their personal details and a few thousand dollars to unlock the fortune that awaits them. There really is one born every minute it seems!

All that said, and twenty-five years on, the www is still in its infancy. We have come a long way in the past 25 years, but we have really only scratched the surface as regards what the web has the potential to do to further improve our daily lives.

Where the vision to develop the www will come from in anyone’s guess. The only thing we know for sure is that the initiative won’t come from governments or their bureaucratic servants, simply because the people we elect to those positions do not have the required intelligence.

So its up to you. If you have any great ideas you want to share, send me an email.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Welcome to another selection of random facts and the chance to prepare yourself for questions that you may never be asked.

Enjoy.

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did you know4

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While in Alcatraz, Al Capone was inmate 85.

Alcatraz

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The airport scene at the end of classic movie “Casablanca”

was produced using a cardboard model of a plane

and little people actors in the background!!

casablanca5

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Donkeys kill more people than plane crashes.

donkey-kick

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The White House has 32 bathrooms,

and 6 levels to accommodate all the people

who live in, work in, and visit the White House.

There are also 412 doors, 147 windows,

28 fireplaces, 7 staircases, and 3 elevators.

white house

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Hummingbirds are the only animals that can fly backwards.

hummingbird

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In the great fire of London in 1666 half of London was burnt down

but only 6 people were injured.

Great Fire Of London

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Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

woman eye

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Each year there is one ton of cement poured

for each man woman and child in the world.

pouring concrete

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The most common name in Italy is Mario Rossi.

Mario Rossi

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Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails!

fingernails

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Rugby, North Dakota is the geographical center of North America.

Rugby, North Dakota

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Butte County, South Dakota is the geographical center of the U.S.

Geographic-Center-of-the-US-Speafish-SD

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No matter where you stand in Michigan,

you are never more than 85 miles from a Great Lake.

michigan map

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The number “four” is considered unlucky in Japan

because it is pronounced the same as “death”.

4

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Sylvia Miles had the shortest performance

ever nominated for an Oscar with “Midnight Cowboy.”

Her entire role lasted only six minutes.

Sylvia-Miles

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You’re more likely to get stung by a bee

on a windy day than in any other weather.

CARTOON_Bee-full

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The world’s deepest hole is the Sakhali I oil well in Russia

(part owned by Exxon Mobil) which is 12.345 Km. deep (7.67 miles).

Previously to this the Al Shaheen oil well (12.29km or 7.64 miles)

dug in Qatar was the deepest oil well.

kola2

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Spain leads the world in cork production

wine-cork

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A jail in Brazil allows its inmates to pedal exercise bikes

to power lights in a nearby town in exchange for reduced sentences.

bike charger

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The Boston University Bridge

(on Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts)

is the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train

driving under a car driving under an airplane.

Boston University Bridge

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