A a passionate German philologist and historian, Sven Krumrey, born 1973, was introduced to the computer age early by his Commodore C64 and later turned his hobby into a profession. He is equally intrigued by gadgets, good software, hypes surrounding the Internet and the contradictions of the digital age.
Meta, formerly Facebook and still a genuine tech giant, has recently made a scary threat: Either we (EU) allow the company to process our data the same way it did for years, or Facebook, WhatsApp, and even Instagram have no future in Europe. The threat literally took our breath away–never before had we laughed so hard! It's difficult to imagine a company would kill its golden goose without a fight, after all. But what caused this hilarity and what are the opposing views exactly?
It's now been two years since I wrote my last Christmas blog. As we all know by now, many things were bound to change–not necessarily for the better. So this is another year I find myself struggling to get into the Christmas spirit, despite the neat decorations on our tree in the foyer, and the Christmas balls and elves lining our window sills. For quite a while, I was in a rather sullen mood and mostly ignored the lights, after all, deadlines were rushing up fast and work makes no allowances for Christmas sentimentalities. And thus, December seemed gray and and full of business as usual–until Christmas finally caught up with me. It was because of a little tree, and old German Christmas song, and an American who sang it.
Judd Heape, vice president of product management at Qualcomm Technologies, bravely smiled through the demo of the new "always on" camera feature of their new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. “Your phone’s front camera is always securely looking for your face, even if you don’t touch it or raise to wake it, ” he said. This (and more) is what's in store for you once the new processors make it into the flagships of various cellphone manufacturers. But why is the camera supposed to be always on and what about privacy? Or more generally put: Is convenience the one argument that trumps everything else? Am I just a little too oversensitive when I find this development rather alienating?
With unusually peskiness, Microsoft is currently trying to establish its Edge as the browser of choice in Windows 11. Unless you agree (which seems to be a minority), you'll now have to wrestle with checkboxes and frequent popups. Changing the default setting has been deliberately made harder for users. While Windows 10 had begging-like notifications to switch to the allegedly much faster and safer Edge, the thumb screws have been tightened in Windows 11. Naturally, you can still install alternative browsers and make minor adjustments, but Edge has now become the only choice in some scenarios!
When it comes to viewership, YouTube still rules the roost in the streaming world, far ahead of Netflix or Spotify–and still free. I had a strange feeling when advertising segments were starting to pile up in their videos last year. Who wants to view a four-minute video when they first have to go through two minutes of ads? Was this a deliberate attempt to annoy their users? Unless you were using ad blockers, you were literally flooded–and it felt like an obvious attempt to drive users towards a paid offer.