Category Archives: future

Durable Design

It seems like small thing, but it’s an engineering detail I’ve always had a lot of respect for. That picture is of a Flip video camera with the lid off, a product from about nine years ago. It was a decent little video camera at a time that phones weren’t up to it, storing a […]

A Security Question

To my shame, I don’t have a certificate for my blog yet, but as I was flipping through some referer logs I realized that I don’t understand something about HTTPS. I was looking into the fact that I sometimes – about 1% of the time – I see non-S HTTP referers from Twitter’s t.co URL […]

Wooden Shoes As A Service

In international trade, the practice of selling state-subsidized goods far below cost – often as a way of crushing local producers of competing goods – is called “dumping”: Under the Tariff Act of 1930, U.S. industries may petition the government for relief from imports that are sold in the United States at less than fair […]

Mechanized Capital

Elon Musk recently made the claim that humans “must merge with machines to remain relevant in an AI age”, and you can be forgiven if that doesn’t make a ton of sense to you. To fully buy into that nonsense, you need to take a step past drinking the singularity-flavored Effective Altruism kool-aid and start […]

The Scope Of The Possible

This is a rough draft; I haven’t given it much in the way of polish, and it kind of just trails off. But a friend of mine asked me what I think web browsers look like in 2025 and I promised I’d let that percolate for a bit and then tell him, so here we […]

Even the dedication to reason and truth might, for all we know, change drastically.

The following letter, written by Carl Sagan, is one of the appendices of the “Expert Judgement on Markers To Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant” document, completed in 1993. It’s on page 331, and it hurts to read. Dr. D. Richard Anderson Performance Assessment Division 6342 Sandia National Laboratories Albuquerque, New […]

Minimum Viable Basic Human Decency

I’ve been batting this around for a few weeks now, ever since I started drafting Free As In Health Care. I’m not sure where to take it at this point, so I’m going to publish it and see what happens. I’d like to thank a number of my friends and colleagues for feedback with this […]

The Planet Is Safe For Now

This is a followup to this post – The Future Of The Planet – where I said we had four choices about what to do next: Do nothing; leave Planet as is. Improve Planet as a Planet. Replace Planet with something better suited to Mozilla‚Äôs needs. Replace Planet with nothing. To give away the punchline, […]

Free As In Health Care

This is to some extent a thought experiment. The video below shows what’s called a “frontal offset crash test” – your garden variety driver-side head-on collision – between a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu and a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air. I’m about to use this video to make a protracted argument about software licenses, standards organizations, and […]

The Future Of The Planet

I’m not sure who said it first, but I’ve heard a number of people say that RSS solved too many problems to be allowed to live. I’ve recently become the module owner of Planet Mozilla, a venerable communication hub and feed aggregator here at Mozilla. Real talk here: I’m not likely to get another chance […]