Saturday, April 23, 2011

why facebook sucks, and I am using it

ok here i am writing about facebook (again)
Everybody knows (at least 640 million jerks around the world using it at time of writing) what facebook is. they call it social network. But actually it is a sneaky way to collect information without exagerating with paranoid behaviour.
Mark Zuckerberg (who coded the facebook on the internet) is not a genius. actually he's known to be a lame student without a life who didn't even "invent" the facebook.  He's more a thief than a genius, later supported by investors who saw in facebook a powerful idea for the market. They then protected him. Of course they didn't do that because of the poor Mark. But just to protect their business. ok stop with obvious. you need to read something cool.
The thing is that as a computer scientist (wait what?) I totally agree with the fact that facebook is not a technology carrier. There's nothing technologically amazing in a Javascript/HTML web page served by a PHP/Mysql server.
From a social point of view it is strong, indeed. As i wrote in a previous post facebook is the mirror of modern society. I mean, everybody wants to see what others are doing. When the others are her friends, bingo! This is the social dilemma: "am i interested in what my friends are doing, what do they think about something, where are they going next week?" And the answer is yes! If you add their relationship status, political and religious view, photos and messages etcetera etcetera, it's over. They just created what they needed to survive indefinitely.
I am always scared with things that last indefinitely. I am also scared when users become product. There's a kind of conflict of interests in this. But it seems that nobody cares and, you know, the junkie is drug addicted and doesn't care that much that he's going to die soon. He doesn't see it as a problem.
Facebook stores all your data and God knows what they will do with that. Google does that too. But at least it's not that sneaky, plus it provides a service which, you like it or not, is useful. I don't think that knowing the religious belief or the political view of a member on facebook is a positive thing.

An interesting post gives an analysis of the privacy policy used at facebook from 2005 to 2010. Basically they are giving the user much less control on his own information in order to allow their advertising and business partners to get, consult and use more and more information about users. How they use this information? If you were a computer engineer you would know how powerful this is and the amount of things you could do.
Market analysis, becomes a lot easier when you can access the database of 500+ million users talking about almost everything. Data mining is the regular tool they use to inspect data and extract non trivial information and sell it to other companies (apparently very interested).

Moreover social networks are sad. And the "inventor", who didn't invent it, is sad too. He really thinks that facebook is making a better world. Or maybe he's just playing his role to make investors happy of their new toy.
If they really care about communication...why they don't just keep users' data encrypted on their servers?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Are we making it good?

I don't consider myself a pioneer of Information Technology. But I used the Internet the first time in 1993. Damn! I am really old, am I? Well, at that time everything was just new, and slow, and a lot of things didn't even exist, as you may know.
Basically, they were building the Internet. They were inventing new ways to allow people to communicate with each other. New solutions at the very low level were studied in order to keep the bottleneck "of the network" as much low as possible. At a first sight, and maybe deeper, those studies look lot more genuine than current ones.
This new generation is used to consider the Internet as part of their life. They don't care about multitasking, TCP headers, protocols or even bits. Because they were born when all these things already existed and worked greatly.
What is the contribute of the new generations to the IT world? Facebook? Twitter? Friendster? Myspace? I can go on indefinitely... and you know that.
I have the impression to have so much technology availability and we have to justify this somehow. We have so many Giga and Tera available we have to use. This justifies the growth of web services like the ones above, at least from a technological point of view. They couldn't have even thought before because there were no resources. But now resources are cheap and they'll get cheaper and cheaper. Does this mean that a lot many silly services will be created?
We don't have to forget that next to the technological impact there's always a social one. There are millions (no joke!) of tweets out there where people claim they "just woke up" and some other millions that "today it is sunny".
Justifying the excess of technology with such things is cruel and crazy at the same time. I feel raped as a computer scientist. But first as a rational human being.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The dilemma of academic research

Since I was a child I got to know that research is or should have been a way to improve something, create something new and make others' life better. A cooperation is very much welcome and in some cases it is the very first requirement.
Things get more and more complex and a researcher working hard in the lab can do a lot less than a team of researchers who could share ideas and results all over the planet. This is a fact.
Another fact is that publications should be available to the community. But in practice there are researchers who think that their work is more valuable if printed on hard paper. Or maybe editors think this since they have to keep the interest of their customers.
So also in the academic world it seems that the producer-consumer relationship is making things harder then it should be. It seems (to me of course) that the academia doesn't want to speak Internettish.
Otherwise we wouldn't have had all those paid databases only capable (and I would add rich) Universities  can access.
Last but not least if I could have downloaded a stupid paper and realize that what I was working on *already* existed I would have spent the last month of my life doing something better!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Google is not awesome anymore

Yes indeed. I think (and the stock market too) that Google is going down. At least it is standing, which is like a loss for a company who keeps people from the balls and has access to such an amount of information.
Who's fault is this? No clue. Probably the social network effect which is taking all it can (maybe also ads), more importantly users. I am not saying that a user who wastes his time with a social network do not use google anymore but... something is happening.
I also think that Google is in a sleepy mood. No cool projects, no cool news nor campaigns. Ok, you can't be awesome anytime. You need to be DOWN for a while in order to experience an UP later. That's the rule.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Does somebody care about security?

Short answer: no.
Wait. I m talking about computer security. I really can't understand these universities and research centers investing money into privacy and security research. It will never solve anything. We are living the era of Facebook (there he goes again..) where privacy has been reconsidered (let's say ignored) and mobile phones can be lost anytime with 100 times the amount of data they could store years ago.
The answer is well known to my granpa and some good terrorists who decided to go for cryptography.
Emails and many other types of communication might be sent around the internet safely and confidentially. But, no! they decided to keep it only for online credit card transactions (and very few operations) because that's the most obvious reason to use it.
Controlling information for them (google, facebook, microsoft, etc...) would have been a lot harder with cryptography.
That would keep user data on *their* servers, encrypted. Then they can't send users' data or run their bloody data mining engines. Useless!
What is missing is the culture of encryption. A lot of operations we do every day are so normal that we do them without thinking anymore. But when it comes to encryption... nobody knows.

Keeping the user ignorant is the solution to F**k him.

Facebook sucks. index this google!

yeah right! index this google.
facebook needs to be crushed. It's evil. although it is the mirror of our society it needs to be destroyed in a smart way.
writing "facebook is bad" is just pointless. we should do something impressing that leads to clean the internet from this sneaky boy. i will write my point of view later on. i have to go to work now.
yes... i do have a job :)

Here I am

hello hello.
2011 here and i am opening a blog. i need to do this because i think the world is taking weird directions and maybe in ten years time i could just write "hey i said it!"
i m not a pioneer of anything, just a computer enthusiast and technology friendly. i am also another bunch of things but this is not the place where i wanna talk about.