An explanation of open source phobia in the public sector and large corporations

Bulgaria recently adopted a law stating that software developed for the public sector should be open source (techcrunch.com). That got me thinking: open source adoption in the public sector is extremely slow in general. Decision makers seem to show signs of a phobia when it comes to using open source or encouraging their suppliers to develop open source solutions. Here is a subjective and cynical explanation of where I think this phobia comes from.
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Canon Pixma MX 925 cannot scan to email, to cloud or to a Chromebook

While setting up my newly acquired Pixma MX 925 I came across a requirement it cannot handle: Scan to email or scan to cloud. – The MX 925 does not support this functionality. You can output your scans to a PC or Mac, to a Android or iOS device or (old school) USB stick. But you cannot not directly send your scan to an email address or save it to the cloud. Bummer! Continue reading

Dirty Bomb – an unexpected love story

One year ago Dirty Bomb launched on Steam and I did not expect to play it for such a long time. Most online multiplayer shooter are not able to keep their player base over a longer period of time. But to my surprise Dirty Bomb did. After twelve months it has more concurrent players than Battleborn merely weeks after its launch. And a game that has been around for such a long time and that has been giving me countless of hours of fun deserves a detailed review. Continue reading

How to check for the gem replacement vulnerability

Recent news about the gem replacement vulnerability made want to check all installed gems on my systems. The news states that gems that have not been updated since 8 February 2015 could possible be maninpulated. Keep in mind that this is a theoretical attack vector. As far as I understand no attack making use of this approach has occured.

As there is no onboard way to check which currently used gems have not been updated since Feb 8th, 2015 you need a small script for checking. I found one called check_gems.rb from David Cuadrado. It checks all gems installed on the system. Continue reading

The sad truth behind disruptive innovation

Everything in our modern western society is software based. What seemed impossible only 20 years ago is currently a part of our everyday lives. Software has taken over taxi services, classifieds, news consumption, movie and tv consumption, book delivery, cars, energy distribution, warfare, and many more.

A new term has emerged in software-based innovation that has transformed our western life style significantly: disruptive innovation. Disruptive innovation refers to situations where established businesses have been hit hard or completely destroyed by a new software driven solution. Common examples include Uber, Craigslist or Netflix.

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The misconception that software has become simpler

Software becoming simpler is just an illusion. The opposite is true: software itself has become even more complicated over the past 20 years. Software nowadays consists of layer upon layer of software applications. Some of those layers are located in other geographical locations; and in those locations even more layers of the software exists. The main reason why most people think software has become simpler is because they only see the final layer on the top of all of the other layers. It is the shiny layer that has been created by skilled artists and polished by countless tests and interviews with target audiences. What people see when they start an app on their phone or tablet is just a tiny fraction of what this software actually consists of.
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