Of Trump and Trust

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A key aspect of Trumps administration is uncertainty. He hires and fires ‘supporters’ at will. He changes his mind on an hourly basis and risks political ties. He uses his new found power for personal gain and to increase the wealth of the 1%. As The New Yorker points out: “Donald Trump will go down in history as the troll-in-chief” (Cassidy, 2017). And you never know what to expect from a troll.

This all leads to a steep decline in trust – in the administration, in politics, in the economy and in people and institutions across the country. And trust, or a change in trust, has impact on how people interact with each other. How business is done. If everybody is under investigation and nothing is certain, people will most likely hold back (crucial) information. This decreases transparency and hinders people from making certain choices. People want some sort of security – in personal life as in business.

Hence, unsurprisingly, this fall in trust stemming from Trump’s administration can already be felt, drastically. Read More

Culture Politics

Not so great, Britain

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Obelix & Brexit

Well, this is awkward. #Brexit is happening. In other words, the UK has voted to leave the EU in yesterday’s EU referendum. History is happening today. The future, uncertain.

Since I consider myself a European, in popular start-up terms an enthusiast, I am very sad about the result. However, I am actually not particularly worried about visa requirements, the economy or some other prominent issue. Those things will be sorted out – sooner or later – through agreements or deals. I am more concerned about the symbolism. Nationalism, xenophobia, and populism is on the rise, so the democratic powers have to find a way to overcome this troublesome time. Problems can only be solved through collaboration and mutual understanding. And I believe only a few want to see another major conflict. Read More

Culture Digital

One Messenger To Rule Them All

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Franz Messenger

Currently, I think I have around nine messenger installed on my smartphone alone, not included apps that could technically also be considered messengers – like Snapchat or Twitter. On my laptop it’s pretty much the same picture. Hence, I always wanted one messenger – to rule them all. Well, not exactly. One messenger would mean a monopoly*, which, for the sake of security, control and user experience, I simply would prefer to avoid. But the internet of Facebook and Google might get us there.

Anyway, switching between different messengers is a pain in the back. A while back I stumbled upon Franz, an application that combines different messenger services. Pretty much what I am looking for. Read More

Culture Digital

Netflix vs the User: Going Backwards

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Netflix vs User

A couple of days ago I wanted to watch a movie on Netflix. Like I do on a regular basis. And I like the service – mostly. This time I was shown an error message. Something with a proxy service.
After a few tries it worked again, but the error messages kept popping up every know and then. Now it seems I cannot access Netflix through VPNs at all. In other words, Netflix is trying to shut down people that access its service through VPNs and/or proxies.
The company has long threatened to fight this. They probably have tolerated it long enough to gain market share. Now that they have expended into so many countries / markets, they are acting on it. I guess. And they probably have to. After all, they mostly do not own the rights to the movies.

Some claim it is only for popular movies, but I have not found an exception. I am not actually pissed that they are doing it. After all, Netflix is the service provider.
However, I am disappointed, as I was hoping Netflix would revolutionize the TV/film market. Ok, revolutionize is a tad strong, but make it a bit better – at least. Read More