Exploring some Internet Explorer stories

If you are on the interwebitubes – and, reading a blog, I presume you are – you are likely already aware that Microsoft is taking some serious steps to prevent browsers other than Internet Explorer from their Windows 8 devices running on the ARM platform.

Do we really want to re-visit the browser wars of the 1990’s?

‘”They’re trying to make a new version of their operating system which denies their users choice, competition, and innovation,” said Harvey Anderson, Mozilla’s general counsel. “Making IE the only browser on that platform is a complete return to the digital dark ages when there was only one browser on the Windows platform.” ‘

(Check out the article:  it explains the issues well – plus it has graphs!)

So, what does it look like when a whole society is locked in to using Internet Explorer (IE)?

Look no further than South Korea:  there, through a well-meaning but misguided legislation (!!!) in the 1990’s, all e-commerce was effectively locked into using IE.  Even though the legal situation has been remedied, the lock it had created  in practice seems unbreakable.

Results?

No consumer choice and business stagnation…

 

 

 

 

Apocalypse has been cancelled

I am, of course, speaking of the dreaded 21st of December, 2012, when the world is going to end because the wise old Mayans chose to end their calendar on that day.

This is a sad day for all us fans of conspiracy theories….

Another, even older ancient Mayan calendar has been found.  And, this one continues way past 21.12.2012:

 

‘The Maya recorded time in a series of cycles, including 400-year chunks called baktuns. It’s these baktuns that have led to rumors of an end-of-the-world catastrophe on Dec. 21, 2012 — on that date, a cycle of 13 baktuns will be complete. But the idea that this means the end of the world is a misconception, Stuart said. In fact, Maya experts have known for a long time that the calendar doesn’t end after the 13th baktun. It simply begins a new cycle. And the calendar encompasses much larger units than the baktun.’

‘In one column, the ancient scribe even worked out a cycle of time recording 17 baktuns, the researchers found. In another spot, someone etched a “ring number” into the wall. These notations were used to record time in a previous cycle, thousands of years into the past. The calendar also appears to note the cycles of Mars and Venus, the researchers said. Symbols of gods head the top of each lunar cycle, suggesting that each cycle had its own patron deity.’

I am not certain from reading the article that my understanding of the length of the newly found calendar is correct, but it seems to imply that it goes on for at least 1,600 more years than the ‘apocalypse in 2012’ one.

The article itself states that

“The Mayan calendar is going to keep going for billions, trillions, octillions of years into the future,” said archaeologist David Stuart of the University of Texas, who worked to decipher the glyphs. “Numbers we can’t even wrap our heads around.”

But, I think they are discussing the system itself, not the particular notation they found, which, I think, they say encompasses 17 cycles of 400 years, continuing well past 2012.

Here is a link to neat photos of the discovery.