Tag Archives: Technology

ICTs and urban life

In a couple of days, I’ll be attending the Cognitive Cities Conference in Berlin. I’m looking forward to this event since it gives an opportunity to pick up a topic again that I had to neglect for a while: urban communication. I’ve just added a question on Quora that sums up my interest in this subject – In what ways do ICTs influence our experience of urban life? Continue reading

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Metropolis – 83 years later and we’re still afraid of machines

Yesterday, I watched Metropolis, one of the most influential German silent films of all times. To be honest, I had hardly ever heard about it until recently, when an almost original version of the 1927 film was discovered in Argentina. Having seen it now, I can now understand why there’s been so much fuzz about it. With its special effects and high production cost, it must have been the equivalent of today’s Hollywood blockbusters. But more importantly, it’s a historical artifact that reflects an aspect of the modern Zeitgeist that is still with us today – the paradox of technology as progress and technology as enslavement. Continue reading

Privacy and innovation – two parts of the same story

The information society has given birth to a popular new German word – “gläserner Mensch”, meaning a human being made of glass or simply “transparent individual”. It encapsulates Germans’ widespread fears that Google, Facebook, the state and others record every bit of information about them. Unfortunately, this disproportionate emphasis on privacy and data protection threatens to suppress innovation. A call for a more balanced discourse. Continue reading

Extremely Green and Incredibly Remote

I’m back – have been for a while, but settling into a new life with a new job is taking up a lot of time. As promised, I will try to continue this blog. And after one month in Peru and Bolivia there are some stories to tell. One is about our stay with an indigenous community in the Bolivian jungle, where a solar-powered radio was the only link to the outside world. Continue reading

A cell phone for each stage of my life

cellphones

In the summer of 2007, me and my cell phone were thrown into a Spanish swimming pool. We managed to reach the shore, but my cell phone died a few hours later from the damages it had suffered to some of its vital number keys. I was generously provided with exactly the same type of cell phone shortly after, which wasn’t a particularly modern device even back then. By now, it comes across as medieval. But it works. I’m not sure when I’ll purchase a new smart phone, but before I do, I’ll quickly remember some of its predecessors in this post. Continue reading

Illegal file sharing in the UK – Three strikes and you’re out

strike

The Phillies have just won the fifth game of this year’s World Series against the Yankees and people in the UK couldn’t care less. They prefer the more gentlemanly version of the game called cricket. Only when it comes to combating illegal file sharing do UK lawmakers borrow a bit of baseball terminology (the author apologizes for such a sleazy introduction). A “three-strike” policy will soon be rolled out, which may lead to offenders’ Internet connections being cut in 2011. But is that gonna help? Continue reading

The file vision

vision

As I may have mentioned before, I’m working in the broadcasting industry at the moment. The broadcasting industry is changing. Everybody tries to get rid of those good old tapes and do everything with digital files. But why? I know this sounds like a funny question. But when you think about it, it’s a bit puzzling. Why do computer files appear so much more appealing than videocassettes? We may immediately think of reduced costs, efficiencies, platform convergence and other ready-at-hand business phrases. Ultimately, however, we should look at the people in and around broadcasting and how they chat amongst each other. Continue reading