Archive for July, 2006

Digital Imaging

Categories: WPF
Comments: No

I’ve been keeping an eye on the Panoramic Stitching research program of Microsoft Research for quite some time now, but I haven’t heard anything on Microsoft Live Labs Photosynth till today. I was left with my mouth open, to say the least. I just wish Michael had included more info for the project (like maybe a project link) in his post.

No I haven’t left for vacation yet but I am this weekend. It’s my first real vacation for over two years now since I’ll be gone for three whole weeks.

So I’ve started thinking on what to pack and I have to admit that I’d almost forgotten how hard it is to prioritize and pack all the things you need on a family vacation. Beyond the clothes, which you need if you don’t plan on running around naked 😉  my laptop, Qtek pocket pc (with  egress installed to keep up with my feeds), PSP , Digital Camera and a couple of books on .Net Framework 3.0 come top on my pack list. Of course none of these gizmos work without power so I’ll have to pack their chargers too. Now add to that my wife’s and 13 months old son’s things [which by the way are a lot] and I think that you’ll agree with me when I say that going on vacation with your family requires a lot of patience (and a truck 😉 when packing.

Aside that I’m extremely happy that I’ll have the chance to rest and relax for three weeks. My plan is to spend two weeks on Nafplion and one on Pilio. I will try [as humanly possible] to keep you updated with photos from the places I visit [internet connections outside Athens are rare and slow and I don’t intend to spend a fortune on mobile GPRS connections], as well as post my impressions on this blog.

Another study regarding the growth of internet in Greece was recently published. The results are once again depressing, only a 32,4% uses internet with a main reason being email correspondence, another 19.6% is willing to use internet but hasn’t  yet, a 30,8% is considering the risks and choose not to use it and finally 17,2% don’t want to use internet at all.
The most important reasons – issues, that were mentioned in the study, and prevent users from using Internet are :
Security and lack of confidence:
This issue is mainly addressed to us developers, we need to make better and more reliable software! We need to follow patterns and practices that have proven secure and reliable and stop the “Do it Myself” syndrome! The IT industry has to contribute too, many companies (
Microsoft as an example) have already realized the effect this issue has on their sales (market) and have begun investing major funds on Security (it hasn’t been long since Microsoft invited hackers to hack into their systems in an effort to find their security vulnerabilities) . More have to follow.
It’s a fact that Greece has the most expensive and at the same time slowest internet access in Europe, well this have to change if  we want these figures to change. O.T.E. (the government’s telecommunication organization) has to stop its monopolistic tactics and let other private sector companies compete over the telecommunications market thus resulting in lower prizes and faster connections. It would be nice to be able
to reduce internet cost by half by just making a call to change provider.
Last but not least internet services and content have to increase. In other countries most of the government services (if not all) are also offered through the internet, here in Greece a new internet service has been recently created where you can get a digital certificate that you’ve paid your taxes (needed in many financial transactions)  but no one accepts this certificate as a legal document. Things have to change, the government should take this new medium seriously and not only be the first to  implement and offer  public services through the internet but support the private sector to do the same. Private companies should also invest in internet, a nice example of an effort to enrich Greek Internet with new and innovating ideas is the
50000€ competition sponsored by Otenet.
It would be nice to see the
Internet Users figure go over 50% but we all have to try …