Le problème avec l’argent

Le problème avec l’argent

Si tout le monde rêve d’avoir de l’argent, force est de constater que le mot a pris une connotation très péjorative dans notre société. Est-il pire insulte que « riche » alors que « pauvre » porte la compassion ? Pourtant, l’argent est un outil particulièrement utile. C’est une manière très efficace de rétribuer ou de récompenser quelqu’un […]

A Google’s world

A Google’s world

Ce texte est également disponible en français. What would you do if you had access to a virtually unlimited wealth and to all the greatest technology? The opportunity to hire the greatest geniuses of your time? For most of the large companies at the end of the industrial era, the answer was « make more money, […]

Le monde selon Google

Le monde selon Google

This post is also available in English. Que feriez-vous si vous aviez à votre disposition des ressources et une richesse pratiquement illimitée ? La possibilité d’embaucher les plus grands génies de votre temps, de disposer de toute la technologie imaginable ? Pour une majorité des grandes entreprises de la fin de la période industrielle, la réponse fut […]

On usability, free software and perfection

For centuries, progress was about to make possible what was not. All the technologies, all the inventions were done with the very idea of « Make something that was never done before, that was considered as impossible ». It worked so well in the last decades that we faced an new challenge: things were now possible but incredibly hard to do. Only a few educated minority was able to use the technology.

Yes, this is a doorbell

One of the solution to that problem is to train people. That’s the solution we choose for cars. Driving a car is incredibly complex and dangerous. Yet, most of us manage to learn the basis in a few months. Some kill themselves (and sometimes innocent beings). But we don’t mind and don’t even consider it as a technical challenge, merely an educational one.

Another solution is making the technology easier, requiring less training. This is the path we are following with electronic devices. This became a brand new field of engineering: usability. Ten years ago, a three buttons dishwasher came with a hundred pages manual. Now, your full fledged computer come without any manual at all.

Google moins, web et vie privée

Vous en avez certainement entendu parler: Google change ses conditions de service. En gros, toutes les données que Google possède sur vous vont être centralisées. C’est énorme : chacune de vos recherches, chacun des sites que vous visitez et qui utilise Google Analytics, chacun de vos emails et de vos messages instantanés si vous êtes sur GMail, […]

The End of the Revolution

Traduction en français disponible

Lot of people think that we are on the verge of a revolution, that the foundation of the society will be shaken. I don’t think so.

Random coloured lines

For me, the revolution has already happened, we are at the end of a transition period. We need time to realize it but the changes are there, unavoidable.

La fin de la révolution

English translation available

Beaucoup pensent que nous sommes à la veille d’une révolution, que des bouleversements vont secouer notre société. Je ne le pense pas.

Random coloured lines

À mes yeux, la révolution est terminée, nous sommes à la fin de la période de transition. Il faut juste un peu de temps pour nous en rendre compte mais le changement est déjà présent, irrémédiable.

Proposal for a decentralized and open online payment protocol

During the year 2005-2006, I became a decentralization whore. I realized that, with XMPP, nearly anything could be decentralized. With one exception: online payment. Paypal was highly successful but also highly centralized. Was it possible to build a decentralized version of Paypal? I came with a solution which involved web of trust and shared debts around a virtual currency, which is more or less a kind of solution that the Ripple project is exploring. I thought that it was too impractical and not really appealing. I forgot that solution and the problem stayed in some obscure part of my brain.

Un bitcoin dans la tête

Un bitcoin dans la tête

Le bitcoin fait pour le moment beaucoup de bruit. Certains y voient une révolution planétaire, d’autres une arnaque comme une autre. Nombreux sont ceux qui l’appellent une pyramide de Ponzi, un terme que tout le monde se targue d’utiliser mais que personne ne se serait attendu à trouver en dehors du menu d’une pizzeria avant […]

Open Discussion Day 2011 : Why Decentralization Matters

Traduction française disponible

A boy that was just discovering Internet once asked me: “I’m wondering, where is located the content of Internet?”. I considered it as a silly question but, in fact, it is the most crucial question about the Internet.

And to answer it, why not celebrate the Open Discussion Day this Thursday like every May 19th since 2006?

Decentralized energy

Some people say that Internet was made to be able to sustain an atomic bombing. I find the solution incredibly beautiful: decentralization. Internet doesn’t have a center or a major node. It is only a lot of interconnected computers. A bomb could destroy some of them, the network would still be there. Of course, some website would be offline but without major impact on the others.

One of the key aspect of a decentralized network is an open protocol. Indeed, you want to allow anyone to join the network without any prerequisite. We need a language that anyone is able to learn.

Today, we fear a bit less a nuclear attack. But should we care less about decentralization?