📅 March 18 - March 24 | Coffee, reading and Internet Governance

It was another one of those weeks that seemed to come and pass without much particularly standing out, but when I looked back, I found that I had completed a lot of things that I hadn’t registered.

I finally got around to roasting the coffee beans I had prepared from the fruit to the bean. It was something I really wanted to do, and I really appreciated the effort involved. For the first coffee of Sunday morning, I made an espresso from those beans and thoroughly enjoyed it. Such fresh coffee has a much fruitier flavour and a strong and layered texture.

I decided to put the foot to the floor and finish the Virtual School of Internet Governance training. With only two modules left out of ten, I decided it was a good time to put in a little effort to finish them before the deadline. The materials are really good, and there is much to read and take on board. The questions for the test are not so hard, but that’s not really the point of these kinds of courses. The access to people, materials and discussion forums makes it interesting. Despite finishing the course, I have a pile of unread supplementary documentation to read. I’ll be going over them during the following months. I have an upcoming overseas voyage, so I’ll take advantage to read much of it then.

I ran one of my GenAI training courses last week with a small group of managers and directors. The idea behind these courses is to expose the people responsible for their companies to the capabilities, but importantly, to the risks and limitations of the tools. I don’t take a binary position in that these tools are either all good or all bad. I can see that they are a bit of both and need to be used responsibly, so I based my training on that premise. So far, it has been very successful, and I am happy to contribute.


Reading

I’ve not been reading novels as much as I would have hoped, but I think there’s something to be said for doing other things now and again and not getting saturated doing the same thing over and over. Again, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. Like last week, I have been reading a lot, just not the things I had set out to read. For professional reasons, I had to concentrate on other texts rather than the books I had planned to read.

One of my favourite reads is The Internet Protocol Journal. The latest issue has a very interesting article about Ethernet. It covers the beginnings of the latest developments of one of the single most important technical protocols ever invented. It reminded me of a couple of books about TCP/IP that changed my life that I have lying around somewhere in the house. I can’t remember the exact title, but they influenced my understanding of networks, networking, and the infrastructure behind it.


Of note

I’ve been working with a couple of clients on aspects of digitalisation. It’s clear that there is a huge opportunity out there to help clients with the basics of digital organisation, document management, administration of systems, and, of course, compliance.

This was another big week for regulation news, with Apple being the subject of much scrutiny. There seems to have been a lot of cognitive dissonance amongst the pro-Apple media, with many journalists too young to remember what happened in the years of IBM, or later, Microsoft, when it came to regulation and compliance. There is a lot of misplaced attribution to the “genius” of Apple versus the reality of a market that allowed Apple to grow into the giant it is now.

I have two comments on Apple’s current attitude. Apple is a giant, and its priorities have changed. It is no longer as interested in serving its clients in the best way possible. It is now mainly interested in resting on the laurels of an admittedly hard-won position and extracting rents without doing the work it used to. Secondly, the pro-Apple press/bloggers and other commentators are mostly US-based and have shown absolutely no understanding of the reasoning and aims of EU regulation. This will bite them in the arse soon as the investigations play out. I’m getting the popcorn ready.


Have a great week.

Matthew Cowen @matthewcowen