Microsoft's New Direction Is Not Surprising

Microsoft’s New Direction Is Not Surprising

Together with its new CEO, the software giant is embracing the inevitable: transforming its users into a data product.

What worries me the most is the fact that Microsoft is moving towards transforming Windows into a closed ecosystem, emulating the model established by Apple and, later, Google.

With the upcoming Universal Windows Platform, Microsoft is taking its first steps into placing itself as a leech between developers and customers, charging not only for the operating system but also taking a profit share from producers.

Panama Papers

Why the Panama Papers Are a Big Deal

Last week, the first results of a masterpiece in investigative journalism, civic attitude and international collaboration started to show up. Lots of people owning great fortunes ran into the misfortune of having not only their hidden wealth, but also their tax-avoiding ways exposed to the world at large, thanks to a massive document leak.

The Panama Papers consist of 11.5 million confidential documents that provide detailed information about more than 214,000 offshore companies listed by the Panamanian corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca, including the identities of shareholders and directors of the companies.

Oculus Rift

Ready or Not, Here Comes Virtual Reality!

Finally, the first Virtual Reality HMD (Head Mounted Display) – the Oculus Rift – has reached retail availability. The first reviews have started pouring in. Things are pretty much as I expected, with the majority of reviews being positive and the rest being rather neutral. So far I haven’t read anything seriously bad and although this is very encouraging, it is not a surprise given the fact that all companies involved have been preparing for this launch for plenty of time.

The Intellectual Diet

The Intellectual Diet

Just like the body is what it eats, the mind is what it experiences. This is a truth with vast and grave implications when it comes to the types of entertainment we invest our time in. Entertainment is a highly efficient social programming tool because when entertained the mind is open and relaxed. While in this state, it is easier for toxic messages to escape our scrutiny and infiltrate our thoughts.

A simple example about how entertainment has negatively affected our society is the impressive range of stereotypes it helped create. We need to look no further than the objectification of both women and men. The silent enforcement of ideal body types starts as early as the first cartoons kids watch and continues throughout the adult life, slowly dripping into our minds from movies to magazine covers and commercials.

Duality

Not the Usual Sermon Against Terrorism

Of all the things I’ve learned throughout my life, I think nothing is more important than starting to have an understanding about the meaning of duality. For me, the very challenge of life is to reconcile the duality I observe with the oneness I strive for. Duality is not only about good and evil or about life and death. Duality is also about us and the others, and it is this aspect that I’d like to write a few words about.