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Chris Lynch: Technologist

Chris Lynch has worked in technology for over 20 years as a developer, system architect, project manager, digital marketer, CTO, and now IT Director for InsureTech business Source Insurance.

Chris considers himself a bit of an old war horse now and says he's seen a few things.

"I remember a time when Google wasn’t the biggest search engine on the planet, people still believed that fax machines wouldn’t be replaced by email, having a smart-phone meant you’d bought a leather case for your Nokia 3210, and a “Face Book” was something serial killers kept under their beds. Although the landscape around me has changed almost constantly, my love for technology has never waned."

Since Chris' early days working for the NHS, he has been a huge advocate of open source technologies. Chris is currently fascinated by containers, nodeJS and the npm ecosystem, and building microservices. Chris is also still enjoying working with the LAMP stack and recently converted this website from Wordpress to Kirby (running in a container, of course!).

Chris Lynch has created several open-source projects of his own, including:

  • Bubble: A web based editor for comic book scripts
  • Return: An SEO auditing utility

and a range of technology demonstrations/shared scripts.

I’ve come to the conclusion that how impressive you think a piece of AI is directly correlates to your level of expertise in the skill that the AI is emulating (AIs don’t have skills, in my opinion – they emulate them by shredding, blending, and regurgitating the work of others).

Once upon a time, three witches sat around a cauldron. Their names were Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish. They were the three merry witches of Microsoft and under the silvery light of a crescent moon, they were casting a spell to rid the world of their mortal foe – open-source software.

I’ve had my eye on Mastodon for a while. When I was last revamping my website, there was a time when I was considering running a Mastodon server as a place to host my own “microblog”. I love microblogs but I’m always wary of putting all my content on someone else’s platform – so over-investing in Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram has never sat well with me. With my fellow writers running around like people looking for lifeboats off the Titanic as Twitter threatens to sink (either offline or into some kind of terrifying hellscape), I’m feeling a little vindicated that I’ve always tried to keep my audience on platforms where I have a degree of control.

I saved this image when I first saw it back in October. Since then, Elon Musk has bought Twitter, and in the days and weeks that have followed the acquisition, there has been a crash in advertising revenue, mass layoffs, and an exodus of users. Amongst those losing their jobs are content moderators who have been at the forefront of the battle to keep misinformation and hate speech off Twitter.

"Our belief is that this device [the smartphone] will be overtaken by a metaverse experience in the second half of the decade" - Nishant Batra

We take Open Source software for-granted today. Statistically, there's a good chance that you are reading this article in a web browser based on Chromium, the open source browser that Google markets as Chrome, or that uses Webkit, connected to this website using security powered by SSL, transported over HTTPS and TCP/IP, using DNS to translate a domain name into an IP Address. The page is written in HTML and uses CSS and Javascript, all open standards.

Cyber-criminals are increasingly using Web Assembly (WASM) to deploy malicious code, raising serious questions about the security model around Web Assembly and its future.

Throughout my career in digital marketing, there were a few rules that I always held to be immutable. One of them was this - If you can automate it, it's probably SPAM. This rule steered me the right way on many occasions when tempting shortcuts were offered to me. I'd lived through the dark times of SEO, you see, times when Google was more easily fooled than it is today and SEO forums were awash with hacks, grifts, and ways to "trick" Google.

If you haven't discovered WebAssembly yet, it's a pretty exciting technology that allows you to code in a range of languages (C++, Rust, and Typescript most notably) then compile your code into a WASM file that can run in all popular web browsers. Because the code is compiled it runs quickly and consistently across all devices. WebAssembly can't render directly and has to rely on being called by and emitting Javascript to manipulate the DOM, but it still opens up some exciting options and introduces the potential to do things in the browser that we just can't do right now like 3D games, heavy image manipulation, cryptography, etc.

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