# So the semester’s over…

Yes! It's all over now. And it’s the start of something else, too.

This is the time and place where I would want to talk about my experience on this course, #TC1019. Having Ken as our teacher taught me a lot of things about myself, and made me see things I considered normal and standard in a whole different scope. For all right and wrong, here’s my attempt at expressing all of it in video format:

Ken, thanks for everything. May our paths meet again someday.

I wish I knew as many song lyrics as you do so I could somehow make a pun out of this, but I just don’t. But as my last post this semester, I’ll just leave here a song I like very much that may fit this all… “The Last Song”:

# So the semester’s over…

Yes! It's all over now. And it’s the start of something else, too.

This is the time and place where I would want to talk about my experience on this course, #TC1019. Having Ken as our teacher taught me a lot of things about myself, and made me see things I considered normal and standard in a whole different scope. For all right and wrong, here’s my attempt at expressing all of it in video format:

Ken, thanks for everything. May our paths meet again someday.

I wish I knew as many song lyrics as you do so I could somehow make a pun out of this, but I just don’t. But as my last post this semester, I’ll just leave here a song I like very much that may fit this all… “The Last Song”:

# Hmmm it’s complicated…

Ugh, but why? Why is everything so complicated?

Well… entropy is always increasing. Have you heard that before? 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. I like how Samuel Arbesman says it here: “everything is getting more complex and you can't get a handle on it. None of us can! Basically, no one knows what's going on”. He’s a complexity scientist, by the way.

You might consider yourself a pretty disordered person already, and let me tell you, you kind of have the Universe to thank for that! Let me try to explain…
Back to thermodynamics. Its 2nd law makes a very strong statement, but let me tell you: entropy refers to the number of combinations you can arrange small-scale particles and still have the same large-scale properties. Like trying to think of a tall brown dog that pees on the living room. There are lots of dogs (# combinations) like this, but they all have the same large-scale properties. Now, another important term: complexity. This refers to how hard it is to describe some set of large-scale properties.

The thing is, there comes a point in all systems in the Universe where both entropy and complexity go so high that things get so mixed together that it suddenly just doesn’t make sense to differentiate one part from the other. Therefore, its large-scale properties become easier to describe and complexity goes down. Entropy, however, continues going up. Always...
Graphs, please! It looks something like this:

So what does this all have to do with you and me? Everything. In fact, it’s only because of the point at which the Universe is currently in that you and me exist. How, you might wonder? Because you and me are living at the most exciting time of the Universe’s history, at the point of

# Hmmm it’s complicated…

Ugh, but why? Why is everything so complicated?

Well… entropy is always increasing. Have you heard that before? 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. I like how Samuel Arbesman says it here: “everything is getting more complex and you can't get a handle on it. None of us can! Basically, no one knows what's going on”. He’s a complexity scientist, by the way.

You might consider yourself a pretty disordered person already, and let me tell you, you kind of have the Universe to thank for that! Let me try to explain…
Back to thermodynamics. Its 2nd law makes a very strong statement, but let me tell you: entropy refers to the number of combinations you can arrange small-scale particles and still have the same large-scale properties. Like trying to think of a tall brown dog that pees on the living room. There are lots of dogs (# combinations) like this, but they all have the same large-scale properties. Now, another important term: complexity. This refers to how hard it is to describe some set of large-scale properties.

The thing is, there comes a point in all systems in the Universe where both entropy and complexity go so high that things get so mixed together that it suddenly just doesn’t make sense to differentiate one part from the other. Therefore, its large-scale properties become easier to describe and complexity goes down. Entropy, however, continues going up. Always...
Graphs, please! It looks something like this:

So what does this all have to do with you and me? Everything. In fact, it’s only because of the point at which the Universe is currently in that you and me exist. How, you might wonder? Because you and me are living at the most exciting time of the Universe’s history, at the point of

# Who owns the Internet?

Let me go off topic here… Or maybe not so much.

First, perhaps the reason you came here for: who owns the Internet? NOBODY. Or rather,  all of us...

Internet. We’re never away from it, not anymore. How else could you be reading this? Well, for that to be possible, a lot, a LOT of things have to happen. It’s really not just paying your bills to your Internet Service Provider (ISP. Oh, acronyms!).

Have I sparked a bit of curiosity in you yet? I hope, because it was that same curiosity spark that recently got me to enroll in a course on Internet Governance. Have you ever heard those 2 words together? I certainly hadn’t. I took this course for free thanks to www.internetsociety.org, I just had to create an account!

So, what did I learn from this course? First off, the term governance here doesn’t mean government(s) or the private sector. Not necessarily. To put it simply, let me list some of the things Internet Governance stands for:
• Technical Infrastructure: protocol numbers, domain names, root servers…
• Public Politics: content control, cybersecurity, cybercrime, intellectual property…
• Standards
• Principles, norms, procedures…

That sure sounds interesting, right? Oh, for me it sure does! I dove deep into this course and I took a lot from it. The Internet’s an enormous, open, accessible platform. There are international associations and groups working day and night to make it possible for the Internet to be better than it is; international associations paying attention to all opinions from governments, companies, academies and of course, us! the civil society.

Not excited yet? Here’s the awesome part, then: I got a scholarship from Internet Society to attend this year’s Internet Governance Forum! An United Nations international multistakeholder event where issues pertaining
Continue reading "Who owns the Internet?"

# Who owns the Internet?

Let me go off topic here… Or maybe not so much.

First, perhaps the reason you came here for: who owns the Internet? NOBODY. Or rather,  all of us...

Internet. We’re never away from it, not anymore. How else could you be reading this? Well, for that to be possible, a lot, a LOT of things have to happen. It’s really not just paying your bills to your Internet Service Provider (ISP. Oh, acronyms!).

Have I sparked a bit of curiosity in you yet? I hope, because it was that same curiosity spark that recently got me to enroll in a course on Internet Governance. Have you ever heard those 2 words together? I certainly hadn’t. I took this course for free thanks to www.internetsociety.org, I just had to create an account!

So, what did I learn from this course? First off, the term governance here doesn’t mean government(s) or the private sector. Not necessarily. To put it simply, let me list some of the things Internet Governance stands for:
• Technical Infrastructure: protocol numbers, domain names, root servers…
• Public Politics: content control, cybersecurity, cybercrime, intellectual property…
• Standards
• Principles, norms, procedures…

That sure sounds interesting, right? Oh, for me it sure does! I dove deep into this course and I took a lot from it. The Internet’s an enormous, open, accessible platform. There are international associations and groups working day and night to make it possible for the Internet to be better than it is; international associations paying attention to all opinions from governments, companies, academies and of course, us! the civil society.

Not excited yet? Here’s the awesome part, then: I got a scholarship from Internet Society to attend this year’s Internet Governance Forum! An United Nations international multistakeholder event where issues pertaining
Continue reading "Who owns the Internet?"

# Who owns the Internet?

Let me go off topic here… Or maybe not so much.

First, perhaps the reason you came here for: who owns the Internet? NOBODY. Or rather,  all of us...

Internet. We’re never away from it, not anymore. How else could you be reading this? Well, for that to be possible, a lot, a LOT of things have to happen. It’s really not just paying your bills to your Internet Service Provider (ISP. Oh, acronyms!).

Have I sparked a bit of curiosity in you yet? I hope, because it was that same curiosity spark that recently got me to enroll in a course on Internet Governance. Have you ever heard those 2 words together? I certainly hadn’t. I took this course for free thanks to www.internetsociety.org, I just had to create an account!

So, what did I learn from this course? First off, the term governance here doesn’t mean government(s) or the private sector. Not necessarily. To put it simply, let me list some of the things Internet Governance stands for:
• Technical Infrastructure: protocol numbers, domain names, root servers…
• Public Politics: content control, cybersecurity, cybercrime, intellectual property…
• Standards
• Principles, norms, procedures…

That sure sounds interesting, right? Oh, for me it sure does! I dove deep into this course and I took a lot from it. The Internet’s an enormous, open, accessible platform. There are international associations and groups working day and night to make it possible for the Internet to be better than it is; international associations paying attention to all opinions from governments, companies, academies and of course, us! the civil society.

Not excited yet? Here’s the awesome part, then: I got a scholarship from Internet Society to attend this year’s Internet Governance Forum! An United Nations international multistakeholder event where issues pertaining
Continue reading "Who owns the Internet?"

# Its source, it’s open! 24/7

What is open source, really? You might have heard it once or twice, but trust me: you’ve used open source software before (or at least I hope so). Let me dig a little deeper into this…

“Open source” means something that is modifiable by the people, something they can share with one another because its source design is publicly available. Doesn’t this sound awesome? It sure does for me. This whole term was born out of needs for software development, as an approach to creating computer programs. However, today we call projects done “the open source way” those that satisfy all following characteristics:
• collaborative participation
• rapid prototyping
• transparency
• meritocracy
• community-oriented development

The SOURCE term we’ve been using refers to the part of the software that most users don’t see. It’s what a programmer can manipulate to make tangible changes on how a software works. This makes it possible to add new features or fix something! Who could be better testers, than your everyday users?

So, what do I call all the other software I’ve been using my whole life? Most certainly, you should be calling it “proprietary”, or “closed” software. With these types of software, only their authors can legally copy, inspect and alter it. You know all those terms and conditions you’ve agreed before? Those enormous texts you surely haven’t read… Well, that’s what you have to do when you use proprietary software; you agree to not doing anythings with the software that isn’t expressly permitted by their authors. You don’t need to go too far, do you recognize anny of these logos?
Yeah… Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop are just perfect examples of proprietary software!

Are you wishing there existed some open source version of these types of software? Well wish no mre! Here’s one I found: LibreOffice

# Its source, it’s open! 24/7

What is open source, really? You might have heard it once or twice, but trust me: you’ve used open source software before (or at least I hope so). Let me dig a little deeper into this…

“Open source” means something that is modifiable by the people, something they can share with one another because its source design is publicly available. Doesn’t this sound awesome? It sure does for me. This whole term was born out of needs for software development, as an approach to creating computer programs. However, today we call projects done “the open source way” those that satisfy all following characteristics:
• collaborative participation
• rapid prototyping
• transparency
• meritocracy
• community-oriented development

The SOURCE term we’ve been using refers to the part of the software that most users don’t see. It’s what a programmer can manipulate to make tangible changes on how a software works. This makes it possible to add new features or fix something! Who could be better testers, than your everyday users?

So, what do I call all the other software I’ve been using my whole life? Most certainly, you should be calling it “proprietary”, or “closed” software. With these types of software, only their authors can legally copy, inspect and alter it. You know all those terms and conditions you’ve agreed before? Those enormous texts you surely haven’t read… Well, that’s what you have to do when you use proprietary software; you agree to not doing anythings with the software that isn’t expressly permitted by their authors. You don’t need to go too far, do you recognize anny of these logos?
Yeah… Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop are just perfect examples of proprietary software!

Are you wishing there existed some open source version of these types of software? Well wish no mre! Here’s one I found: LibreOffice

# Implementing Software

Well, just implement it! Right?
Title might seem too self explanatory (I thought that too), but no. Not necessarily. There’s more to this than what you might assume by just knowing what it’s called.

For what I’ve come to learn, correct me if I’m wrong, when you talk about software implementation you’re talking about the challenges a development team faces when implementing software. This, in terms of making the team work as one and that all code seems to have been written by the same person. This makes it a whole easier to understand what another member of your team is doing, how you can contribute, and measure the overall progress of your team because you all basically have the same way of organizing yourselves.
Let me go deeper into this…

These challenges I mentioned before are among these classifications:
• code-reuse: a lot of problems arise when you’re faced with compatibility issues when trying to re-use code from somewhere else. And when trying to solve this, you’ll then have to think: HOW MUCH actual code should I re-use?
• Version Management: It doesn’t matter if a new version of your software is released, you should never throw away all documentation you have on previous versions and configurations! You’ll want to go back at some point and check for something, you never know… That’s why you need your documentation to be highly accurate and descriptive.
• Target-host: Yes. At times it’s going to be impossible to design a single piece of software that runs flawlessly on every user machine, but your design should still aim for that! The way you implement software should consider the multiple environments in which your software will exist.

Hopefully, you’re seeing the connection this all has with previous blog I’ve written Continue reading "Implementing Software"