Over the past decade, we have seen a shift that caught many long-time computer users and developers off-guard: The advent of apps. Up to ten years ago, there was a clear trend of distributed applications becoming webapps, and the browser was seen as the new universal program delivery interface. And, as I will explain, we now see yet another quite popular webapp, Slack, closing their interoperable, standards-adhering interface to further trap users into their controlled ecosystem. Continue reading
Due to my involvement in the UNAM/DGAPA/PAPIME PE102718 project on the ”creation of teaching materials regarding privacy and anonymity mechanisms”, as the Southern half of the world gets ready for the warm season, I was invited to participate during the first weekend of December in Primavera Hacker 17. With around 350 participants spanning a good chunk of Latin America, this was a most interesting experience.
I live in Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world. As all large cities, it has its ghastly demons. I am willing to argue that the one lying below it makes it unique in the world — We live atop what remains of a lake. Of course, it is not visible at plain sight (I would not surround it in this mystery setting otherwise): Our city is not Amsterdam or Venice, embracing the water, but we seem to hide it as if we were ashamed of it — there is a small surviving fraction of the once great Texcoco lake in the city’s South East, in the touristic Xochimilco borough, plus a wider region in the North East that just refused to go away, but has been historically shunned by everybody.
The lake, however invisible, is far from dry: Although it is mostly mud, it does contain some water pockets that are harvested to help our 22 million people have running water. That, of course, together with an impressive set of aqueducts bringing water from over 400Km away.
New blogger in XRDS!
I should introduce myself before jumping in with my first post here in the XRDS blog. I am a long time Free Software enthusiast and developer, and that might be the single item that has most influenced my professional life. I am 41 years old, and have been a systems and network administrator for over half of my life.
As a consequence of my job, I have always been interested in information security. Particularly I’ve interested in the question “how the end user perceives security?” This fragments into more detailed questions such as: How can I implement services securely without it being a major inconvenience for my users? How can I help my users adopt reasonable practices security-wise? How can we as computing professionals influence our societies so that their expectations on security, privacy and reliability are met?
That prompted me into starting a Masters degree on Information Security at ESIME Culhuacán, Instituto Politécnico Nacional. And, in turn, being a graduate student led me to XRDS. So it’s all connected in the end.
Having said that, lets get this blog started!
DebConf: A community-run free software conference
I have recently arrived back home after attending DebConf17 — The Debian Conference, which was held this year in Montreal, Canada. For many of the regulars to DebConf, this is the high point of the year, the two weeks of high bandwidth communications with our online colleagues we eagerly look forward to, and its nearness is easily felt in the different communication channels the project uses for its day-to-day development.