Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Review of Locked On by Tom Clancy, and Mark Greaney

This is a review of the book "Locked On" by Tom Clancy, and Mark Greaney; released Dec.13. 2011.

Locked On was somewhat of a letdown; first of all it was way too short, the buildup was too fast and you struggle to keep up with the story. Secondly, there is too few unnamed characters, a classic Tom Clancy take is to include characters that are only known by their job titles and only appear in that chapter to
follow the progress of one item whose relevance to the story arc is only revealed later.

However the story in itself is amazing; it has plenty of action and it still has me yelling at my MP3-player. (I love audible) I'm not going to give away too much story, but the book ends very suddenly, when there was 15 minutes left I was scrambling through my audible library to find the last part, it's not there, the story wraps up to fast and too abruptly, it feels like there's missing a chapter in there somewhere. Then it stops on a open ending just right out of the blue; even Debt of Honor had a buildup throughout the book, and through Executive Orders and up to The bear and the dragon, the reader saw it coming.

As for Lou Diamond Phillips, he is an amazing reader and I really wish somebody could have him retroactively narrate the rest of the Jack Ryan series. (I'd pay to receive new versions)

Quick summary:
The book has an amazing story, but it is told too quickly and too chaotically, I'll write a post at a later time that outlines what I miss from the classic Clancy writing style and what, that one will have a MAJOR spoiler alert on it (regarding the entire series)

5/6 for the book
6/6 for the story
4/6 for the presentation
6/6 for the narration

Purchase options:

Monday, 12 December 2011

War between religions... Really?

Religions; that is the most outrageous joke ever. Listen why is it that everybody (in countries with a christian majority) seems to fear muslims. I'm just asking because this really sounds f***ed up.
Can't we just start calling, the christians, jews and muslims (alphabetically) for Abrahamic religions?
Trust me, there is less difference between jews and muslims than there is between the two most different christian branches? The diference would be in taxonomy only, but by forcing everyone to address them as branches of the abrahamic religion someone might realize that they are in fact worshiping the same god; just in different ways; not that that has stopped branches of the same religion from hating each others guts as it is.
I'll just end this rant by saying that I am an atheist and I RESPECT just about every religion. And I am all for the choice of your own religion.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Plus One

It is probably way to late to comment on this but I’ll do it anyway. I love the concept of the +1 button, and the brand. An unfortunate problem with Facebook’s “like” branding is in stories as this one Thailand flood death toll passes 500 (CBS News) followed by “x people ‘like’ this”. The intention is and has always been “this is worth reading”, but the double entendre is that it feels too much like “this is good news”. This has lead to the requests for the “dislike” button. But at the same time, this would be a button used for signaling “this article is a piece of crap” not what most requesters from my point of view seem to actually want “This is terrible news, read it”.

The +1 button on the other hand is brilliant in that respect. There is no emotions associated with +1, it says exactly what it should say: “I found this worthwhile reading”. Good job google!

Digg: You are doomed!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Freedom to the Internet

The Internet is the new frontier, it develops faster than any anion or state is able to keep up with. Inspired by Jeff Jarvis’ book “Public Parts” I hereby want to lie out a basis for the independence of the Internet, for real this time.

Introducing the “nation of the Internet, an independent and sovereign state, corporations can register and incorporate in this nation-state to receive it’s legal protection. This means that any state that acknowledges the Nation of the Internet in essence has agreed to contract that protects the corporations from any legal proceedings in that country. Just to clarify here, the corporation as a whole, not the individuals that work there. On the other hand they need to be protected too, if you can’t sue the company you could just sue the CEO; to fix this loophole the employees, and former employees are protected against any Common or Civil lawsuit regarding any actions under name of this corporation, these lawsuits have to be directed towards the corporation, not the individuals. The Nation of the Internet would in itself have a legal system that I will discuss later on.

To give nations an incentive to acknowledge the independence of the Internet would have a tax code that is simple and impossible to game; and by constitution tax cuts are banned. Any transaction are geographically bound (billing address) and uniformly taxed, I’ll give details on how later. These taxes are then forwarded to the state that originated the transaction, as long as that state acknowledges the Nation of the Internet. Tax rates would be low for high-taxed countries, but high for low taxed countries, but tax-avoidance in this state would be literally impossible.

Why would a corporation choose to incorporate in the Nation of the Internet? The answer is obvious: Legal protection; any corporation incorporated in the Nation of the Internet only needs to comply with the laws of the Internet, not every single law in every country in the world. The corporations are protected from cases like the YouTube Italy case where three Google executives where sentenced to six months in jail because of privacy violations. The law in the Nation of the Internet would be simple, and include a constitutional ban on special interests.

Copyright is the greatest dispute on the Internet. How is this solved? First of all: Disney, you are going down. Copyright would remain for 20 years for creative works (movies, photos, recordings etc.) 50 years for one copy original creative works (i.e. Paintings, songs (not the recordings)) No software patents are granted, there is no need for hardware patents, more on why in “limitations of legal protection”, styles and feels can be protected if the intentions of the second party is to trick the user into believing it is using the first party’s service, but a strong application of “similar services may employ similar interfaces” must be done in process of deciding weather it is infringement or not. One last concern I would like to voice on copyright is the right to parody and to link: granted! Fair use should be legislation.

No law can be written to apply to one technology; we don’t want to get stuck in a legacy system. Laws should be guidelines, and its application to the specific technologies should be decided in case law, not in legislation. We cannot predict the future; therefore you don’t want law to be locked-in to a legacy system.

Who would be eligible for a membership in the Nation of the Internet? Internet business, that means that at least 60% of their revenue comes from Internet sources. And they need enough size to have their own datacenters. This includes ISPs, cell phone operators (smartphones and data plans), and hosting providers. Datacenter providers would provide a blanket protection to all of their customers, but the customers would pay taxes as a local corporation.

What would receive legal protection? The companies servers, and internet service; anything said or done by any employee of the company, for the company, the company are eligible for, but only by Nation of the Internet law. A police raid (or any raid by a governmental agency) of a Nation of the Internet datacenter would be considered an act of war; the exception may be environmental issues. (I.e. FCC and RF noise)

I’ll finish off with the things I see as a minimum requirement to include in the constitution.

  • Freedom of speech
  • The user controls their information (subpoenas may override) this includes everything! The company has access to everything by default; outsiders need to be opted in.
  • An IP address is not a person! If anyone presents IP addresses as “firm evidence” in a court of any kind that corporation of nation/state would be denied inquiries for such information in a limited future.
  • A service is not responsible for it’s users actions, but ay be expected to make an attempt to control them.
  • If you lie about your age, and the age given seems reasonable you are treated that age until a reasonable doubt of your real age has been raised. If doubts about your age are raised you bay be queried for proof; upon receiving the proof the service in question must remember that it has ben provided.
  • If any users real name are questioned (I.E. persons with similar names to celebrities) the user must be given a chance to prove their real name, and the service in question must remember that proof has ben provided.

I seriously doubt this is going to be my last post on this subject.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

First look at Apache Cassandra

I just did the 10000m review of Cassandra, and it is impressive.
The fact that it scales natively is great.
What I don't understand is why they say it is so different from table-based databases.
Sure, it is non-relational, but so what, you can get used to that.

OK, I am actually used to the AppEngine Datastore, that helps a lot; but still, for being so "non table" it is very table like.

I'm going to give you the quick overview of how i visualize the cassandra structure.

- Keyspace
Think of them as "databases" in MySQL
- Column Family
Works almost like a table in MySQL
- Super Column
Works almost like a row in MySQL
- Column
Like a field in MySQL

Now the cool stuff starts arriving.
- Super Column Family
This is like a table, but every field is a new table. You can add a super column family in Cassandra instead of a column family, then have it contain a number of column families.
- Keys
In cassandra everything is about keys. you can not retrieve anything without a key. Every (super) column family has a name, and every entry has an index (that is a name too); in essence the columns has a key too (names).
So if I had a user named CVi (Me) stored in the database as a user it would be located in the Column Family "users", under the key "CVi". And it would have a number of Columns like email, phone number, real name, etc.
        "name":"Christoffer Viken",
        "Phone number":"..."
In MySQL terms, think of a table, with one entry, Primary key on that entry is "CVi"; now remember that the only way to access that row is by using the primary key.
Now to really mess things up, let us introduce the Super Column Family. now the data looks something like this:
             "name":"Christoffer Viken",
            "email":"Contact Email"
Super Column Family: users
Column Family: CVi
Super Columns: profile, contact, logon
Columns(profile): Name, email

Now remember this is schemaless. There is no structure what so ever. You need to enforce that yourself. That is what is the hardest thing to wrap your head around.

Anyway, I'm having fun playing and I'm looking forward to to playing some more, i'll check back to you later.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Vikenpedia at blogger

As a college student I need to prioritize my cash and time, so vikenpedia has been moved to blogger.
Vikenpedia is going to end up as a photoblog-ish blog, and is where I'll send everyone.