sefsar

by Youssef Sarhan

Page 3


Are you doing what you really wish you were doing today?

There was an explosion at a fertiliser plant in Texas during the night. Firefighters were in the process of battling the fire of a smaller explosion, when a huge explosion took out blocks of surrounding homes. The injury and fatality numbers are still unknown, but it looks grim. I don’t believe it’s being treated as suspicious, but those details won’t surface until later. I hope for the best, and the people affected are in my prayers.

We, the people of the developed world, have a tendency to take for granted the peace of our existence. That is not to belittle our struggle, but rather to recognise that we live in an environment of bounty and freedom, devoid of the persistent terror of war.

This presents a question. Are you doing what you really wish you were doing today? If not, then why not? You have the option to change and adapt the world to match your mode of living. You can morph

Continue reading →


We need a new kind of city

The City is an imprint of a decision made hundreds, if not thousands of years ago. Someone arrived on a piece of land and figured it would meet their needs. They setup shop on that plot — perhaps there was a river nearby. They stayed there for weeks, and so others came to visit. They would stay up all night, lighting fires, chatting and hanging out. They liked the freedom of their own territory, so they decided to make it permanent. And so the story went, until they had a village and then a town. They added features to the village as needed. They build houses and between them paths which would in turn become roads for cars.

The City is the largest, most persistent form of technology ever devised by humans. The City, or rather The Settlement as it were, is the original startup.

We built roads to cater for horses and carts. We built cities on rivers because there was no easy way to

Continue reading →


The bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress

I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black men, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others’ happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge as made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need

Continue reading →


LEAKED: Twitter’s Music App will integrate Spotify, Rdio, iTunes, Soundcloud, Vevo and Youtube

Today, I came across http://music.twitter.com. Naturally, I inspected the HTML source just to see if there were any :hidden gems. There were none, bar one curious line of code that caught my eye. The image for the ‘Sign In’ button linked to the /_login/ directory — and so my journey began.

background: url(/_login/btn-login-states.png) no-repeat 0 0;

When I visited /_login/ I was presented with a page that looks something like a 404.

Following my curiosity, I inspected the source of this new page. This time, the CSS document was a lot different. It contained the entirety of the App’s UI. A quick scan revealed a whole lot of words that implicate a very clear picture of what Twitter intends to do with this new Music product.

First, it’s an App, which I guess was obvious; but it seems there will be a mobile app and desktop app (web), as indicated in the page footer.

<!--a

Continue reading →


We are The Singularity

We’ve all had the urge to ‘undo’ a real life moment, to somehow view an ‘instant replay’ at a sports event or to ‘search’ a paper book. These are all testaments to the path we are on. We wear glasses to improve our vision. We use fire to keep us warm. Every human function that can be improved by technology will be improved by technology. The machine is already so deeply integrated into humanity, that without it we wouldn’t survive. It doesn’t exist as a selfish existential entity, but as a part of us. We are the ever improving, replicating and surviving machine.

If you liked this, you may like or totally disagree with this.

Continue reading →


“But I don’t have enough time…”

There are 168 hours in a week.

Typically, we spend:

40 hours working.

56 hours sleeping.

35 hours eating, showering, traveling, etc.

This adds up to 131 hours of our week locked-up in overheads.

This still leaves you with 37 hours a week to pursue your dream or hone your craft. Time is on your side whether you like it or not, stop making excuses.

Continue reading →


A note on the near future of computing

In the near future, as is already the case for a lot of software we use, our devices will function as not much more than an interaction terminal. The local processor will handle caching and drawing but not the intensive process of calculating and rendering.

The notion of a powerful computer situated in our home is becoming less and less relevant each day. By offsetting the processor to a dedicated server cluster, it grants us access to computing that would otherwise be unachievable locally. It makes no sense to rely on a lesser processor running within the limitations of its barely functional and hazardous environment. A present day analogy being, we have access to tremendous electrical power because we’ve offset the generators to a centralised plant. Following the same logic, it’s reasonable to suggest that gasoline or diesel powered vehicles are entirely ridiculous as it makes little

Continue reading →


Global Internet penetration and ongoing conflicts around the world

Correlation does not imply causation, yet in this instance I believe there is value to the observation. Clear communication is the most important factor of conflict resolution, no matter how grand or small the problem. The Internet, and perhaps more accurately The Web, is the most powerful mode of communication on Earth. Without it, your worldview is shackled by ignorance, and in our age, there is no room for ignorance.

For instance, in Finland broadband access is considered a basic legal right that the government must uphold and from experience, they take this very seriously — this is a good thing. I wish more countries were like this.


Map Data:

List of ongoing military conflicts

Global Internet usage

Continue reading →


Xbox 1440

Convergence is inevitable, and Microsoft would be wise to acknowledge this. Microsoft should combine the Xbox console and screen. Consoles are at the mercy of the screens we plug them into. Most screens destroy the grade, the textures look terrible. If you value your developers, customers and the experience you’re building, you should value all aspects of it. Without knowing exactly what device the user is using, you’re designing for the lowest common denominator. Anyway, that’s not the real opportunity.

They should call it Xbox 1440, it should have a 2560-by-1440 resolution display (hat-tip to Sean for that idea), it should be super simple to set up, and it should just work. One plug for power, and the rest is wireless. Controllers, internet, all wireless. They should call Netflix and Spotify, get them in as launch partners. If they’re even smarter they’ll start building something

Continue reading →


An observation on the 2nd Amendment and gun ownership

There has been quite a lot of debate surrounding the notion of gun control, particularly as we move into an age of 3D printed guns. Some find the notion of strong gun control unruly, while others believe it is critical. The debate is engaging, with both sides presenting coercive arguments. Yet, I have to wonder if the issue is more seminal than that.

The sorts of weapons available at the time of the 2nd Amendment’s adaptation (1791) were modest in their capabilities. Like a pirate’s cannon, the 18th century handgun required the owner to push a bullet down a barrel before each shot was fired — even then it was rarely fatal, if it even hit it’s intended target at all. The first successful semiautomatic pistols didn’t exist until over one hundred years after the 2nd Amendment was instated.

Whereas nowadays, weapons are so incomprehensibly powerful that we don’t grasp the damage they’re

Continue reading →