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Save me; then I’ll try to kill you again September 23, 2008

Posted by CK in Miscellaneous.
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Although I am not into economic science, and admittedly I am not too aware of the factors that affect global markets and economy, I am monitoring the current financial crisis closely trying to understand the situation. Independently of the technical aspects of this crisis, I honestly do not know how to react to the fact that the states are coming to the rescue of private financial institutions.

On one hand, I do understand that if this was not the case, then the lives of billions of people would be affected negatively. On the other hand, however, the inherent paradox is short-circuiting me: Capitalism is the theory that pushes for smaller, more flexible, less powerful central administrations (i.e., states); banks are maybe the most vocal proponents of capitalism; banks fail, in a way capitalism itself fails, and the states (one would argue, the “victim” of capitalism) jumps in and saves the banks with tax payers’ money.

Is it me, or do we have to re-think the world?

Safari sweetness September 20, 2008

Posted by CK in Design, Software.
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One more reason to salute MacOS UI designers: Today I found out, accidentally, the very useful menu that popups when cmd-clicking (“right-clicking”, if you prefer) on Safari windows’ title. For example, let’s assume the following URL and window title bar:

When cmd-clicking anywhere on “TU Dortmund – International”, the following popup menu appears:

It is simple things like that, which set apart (at least for me) the MacOS interface from anything else I have seen so far.

On EU’s ICT research agenda September 16, 2008

Posted by CK in IT, Research.
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Diomidis Spinellis is an associate professor at the Athens University of Economics and Business, and a globally respected hacker. His blog is always interesting to read, and today’s post deserves to be mentioned. Diomidis argues that the central planning of ICT research in the European space delivers sub-optimal results, as the researchers participating in FP ICT efforts chase delivery dates for “micromanaged research projects planned to address yesterday’s needs in a 24 month timeframe” (sic). In contrast, he refers to Bell Labs and the unrestricted work carried out there in past decades, effectively resulting in six Nobel prizes. A short post worth your time.