FirstLink Technology Blog 101.01 (rc2)

Jan 25, 2011   //   by Jon VonSeggen   //   Technology Blog  //  No Comments

A FirstLink technology blog? What could be more exciting?!!! WOO HOO!!!!! OK, so maybe that’s a little bit over the top, but I for one am a little bit stoked to have a creative outlet to document my (and my colleages’ here at FirstLink) thoughts and reactions to developments in technology and Internet standards and practices and the whole bag of tricks, balls of wax, and yards-o-nine.

Tron

I begged my mom for a light cycle to no avail...

Ok, so maybe I didn’t graduate magna cum laude from MIT, and I didn’t invent the microprocessor, and my theories have got nothing on those of Albert Einstein, but I HAVE been neck-deep in the Internet industry for over 15 years and have developed my own fair share of nifty hacks. I’ve been doing this long enough to remember when Mosaic was my favorite browser and Lycos and AltaVista gave me the best search results.

My first computer used a tape cassette recorder to load and store programs. My first external hard drive was 30 megabytes and weighed about 20 pounds. In third grade I thought that TRON was the most amazing thing I had ever seen (the 1982 one). I’m a long time, proud, card carrying member of the nerd/geek community, so I feel that my commentary might carry at least a little bit of weight.

But what is commentary and opinion without a subject to be discussed? Opinion can’t exist in a vacuum. Discussion can’t begin without a topic. Is the blogosphere devoid of actual valuable, original, and important content, or does the commentary itself somehow enhance or handicap the original event or topic. What is the impact of our incessant typing about technology? Does it really matter?  Whatever the answers, a commentary by very definition requires a topic on which to comment, and there’s always plenty of topics out there…

com·men·tar·y [kom-uhn-ter-ee] –noun, plural -tar·ies.
via Commentary | Define Commentary at Dictionary.com.

1. a series of comments, explanations, or annotations: a commentary on the Bible; news followed by a commentary.
2. an explanatory essay or treatise: a commentary on a play; Blackstone’s commentaries on law.
3. anything serving to illustrate a point, prompt a realization, or exemplify, esp. in the case of something unfortunate: The dropout rate is a sad commentary on our school system.
4. Usually, commentaries. records of facts or events: Commentaries written by Roman lawyers give us information on how their courts functioned.

For this first installment of the FirstLink Tech blog, let’s just take quick aim at some of the headlines out there in our industry this week:

Will Steve Jobs Return From His Leave Of Absence?
It is extremely unfortunate for Apple, and the rest of the world for that matter, that Steve Jobs has taken a leave of absence from Apple and that it might be unlikely that he will return in the future to helm the company that he created in 1976. Steve Jobs IS Apple Computer, and the last time he took an extended leave of absence the company suffered greatly. I may not be the biggest Apple devotee, I’ve been primarily a Windows and Linux guy for most of my career, but when I first laid hands on an Apple II when I was a kid, I fell in love with computers, and I used Apples from childhood all the way through college (even though my very first computer was a Commodore 64). Not to mention that I still use iPhone and iPod every day, and there’s more than a couple iPads floating around the office. I hope that this is not the beginning of the end for Apple as they’ve been a great innovative company, fighting the good fight for almost 35 years. I hope that if Steve can’t come back that they’ll find someone with the same creative energy and drive to move the company forward. Here’s wishing Steve all the best and hopefully a full recovery.

Joomla 1.6 is released!
It’s been a long three years in the making, but Joomla has finally completed it’s latest major upgrade to the Joomla Content Management System. Joomla is one of the big three open source Content Management Applications in general use (including WordPress and Drupal) and had been lagging behind competitors in some major features, even if it’s still one of the easiest CMS’s to use. With both WordPress and Drupal recently releasing major upgrades to their codebase, it’s a good thing Joomla decided to join the party. New features are aimed at making Joomla a more viable alternative for enterprise level websites. I plan to write a much more comprehensive commentary on this topic in the near future.

Google to hire more than 6,000 in 2011
Google announced that it was planning on hiring more than 6,000 people in the coming year, more people than it has ever hired before. Many of their hires are expected to be in Boulder, Colorado as they are planning on expanding their campus there. This is great news for the tech industry in Colorado, but I have a few concerns about what this means for Google in the coming years. If they continue their white hat success and continue to help make technologies free and open then I’m rooting for them, but power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. If Google continues to grow into the massive company it looks like it will be, then it’s possible that they will control too much mind share and power of the Internet. If they grow too powerful and lose sight of their core values in the future, then everyone might suffer. On the other hand, some great companies have also grown too large in the past and become unwieldy, slow, and unresponsive. Ripe for a fall. We’ll see what happens as the days pass and Google’s size increases steadily.

and finally, the last topic for this installment:

Bill to Give Obama Internet ‘Kill Switch’ Returns
Not to get all political and preachy in a technology blog, but as an Internet devotee from the days of its infancy, I believe in freedom of information, freedom of speech, and above all else, the freedom of the Internet. I do not want any government whatsoever involved in the critical systems that make the Internet work, there are too many things that can go wrong and I don’t trust that governments will voluntarily limit their power once they get their tentacles into the system. The Internet should remain a public resource at all costs. If governments want control over a world wide network, they should build their own. Read the story and decide for yourself.

thanks for reading everybody, it was a pleasure kicking off the Firstlink Technology Blog. Stay tuned for more updates in the very near future.

- Jon VonSeggen, Senior Web Developer

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