The Fourth Estate is under construction

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

To every bell its own clapper Welcome to en.red.ando editorial number 100, the last one of l997. If I’d worked it out in advance, I wouldn’t have let the last one of the year be such a round number. Having a month’s summer holidays this year – the only time the magazine didn’t change its weekly content […]


Obligatory Solidarity (Christmas Tale)

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Spare the rod and spoil the child “You are on *Standby* mode. Please wait. New instructions will arrive soon. Signed: OS”. Juan looked quizzically at the screen of his electronic notepad. The message had popped up all of a sudden in a jolly Christmas frame. The navigator had been brought to a standstill in the […]


Digital sorcerers

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Word and stone, once released never come back The ancient Greeks will never know what they missed by being on the scene too soon in a world that has given birth to the Net. Fond as they were of auguries and sorcerers, dedicating the best technology of their era to the unravelling of the thoughts […]


Digital literacy

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

What you learn in the cradle lasts Recently I gave a series of talks at different universities, all of them on various aspects of the Information Society. The audience, as has become the norm in the last few years, was made up mainly of students from various disciplines, some teachers, members of non-governmental organisations working […]


May ’98 in Barcelona

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

A word spoken is just recalling Almost a year has passed since the Grup de Periodistes Digitals (Group of Digital Journalists or GPD) was formed. At the end of November last year, the III Congress of Journalists was held in Barcelona and its highpoint (without any doubt for us) was the opening speech on Digital Jounalism. Debates during the Congress […]


Suffer the little children to come unto Negroponte

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

The person who gives, sells well, if the person who receives understands it A Negroponte on the point of sinking under the weight of his fame arrived in Madrid last week. The director of MIT’s famous MediaLab (Boston, US) gave a talk, not unfamiliar to those of us who have seen him do so a couple of […]


Iraq: menu of one single dish

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Going against the tide is not the way of a prudent person At the same time as both inside and outside the Net the debate rages about how to distinguish reliable information from false, the genuine from the fake, the person you really want to talk to from intrusive impostors, once again we have the […]


The newsagent´s syndrome

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

While some drink up, others pay up Let’s swim against the current a little. One of the accepted ways of calculating the success of pages and systems on the WWW is by measuring the number of users that visit it. We’re continually hearing that 30.OOO, 80.000, 150.000 people visited such and such a web page […]


Of explorers and cartographers

Rafael Martín

The hand that gives, gathers The new wave of information systems appearing in the Net — and the maturation process of existing ones — is shedding more light than ever before on the new profile of journalists in the Net or, what amounts to the same thing, how information is dealt with in cyberspace. This […]


The toy is ours

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

No invention, good or bad, is the work of one person So, we have been allowed to enjoy ourselves for a while, but any time now they’re going to snatch our toy away from us. From us all, because in no time it will be in the hands of the rich and powerful alone. And […]


Alphabet soup

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

That which hasn’t happened in a year, can suddenly happen in an hour In less than a year our dictionary of acronyms has been enriched at a speed worthy of the digital age. Having grown up with Telefonica, we knew that somewhere nearby there was FT (France Telecom), DT (Deutsche Telecom) and BT (British Telecom) […]


The student that read newspapers

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

In doing we learn 3rd in a series of articles on education in cyberspace. Last week the Internet made one of its still rather rare appearances on the front pages of (some) newspapers and (fewer) TV channels and for once it didn’t have anything to do with gruesome crimes, transnational fraud by one of the […]


Net culture in the newsroom

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

No pain, no gain The printed press brings four very valuable assets to the electronic press which belong to them for reasons of trade and which, in this particular case, give them, in principle, the advantage over competitors that have arisen in the Net. However, it is becoming more apparent daily, that the printed press […]


The wedding of the century

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Fortune is blind In four days’ time we celebrate an event of global importance. No, don’t worry, I am not talking about the royal wedding in the Cathedral in Barcelona, although in many ways they are related. On the morning of the 4 October, forty years ago, the inhabitants of this planet awoke with the […]


Educating the Educators

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

We don’t want to know what they taught you, but what you found out for yourself (El Roto) 2nd in a series of articles on education in cyberspace. The school year has only just begun, but there is already the feeling that we have missed the bus. While in classrooms the traditional ritual of teachers […]


The classrooms of the Global Village are not in the country

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

When the going gets tough, the tough get going 1st in a series of articles on education in cyberspace. 7.2 million pupils and 480,000 teachers are going back to school this week in Spain. The winds of change are blowing through the classrooms, but these winds are not yet digital despite promises from both central […]



Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

7th in a series of articles on the impact of telecommunications on developing countries Night is the mother of counsel At the end of July a group of countries signed their first memorandum of understanding (MoU) on global mobile personal communication by satellite.(GMPCS). These systems represent the new wave in personal telephone systems and promise […]


The legacy of apartheid

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

6th in a series of articles on the impact of telecommunications on developing countries. When two parties fight, a third party is often the winner One’s professional interests weigh heavily. Despite the fact that I promised myself a relaxing holiday, I couldn’t help taking a peek at the virtual part of South Africa even though […]


Algae in cyberspace

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

The bait hides the hook — Like an algae that tends to take over all available space, Telefonica has now firmly set foot on the so-called digital platforms in Spain, the one backed by the Government and the one designed by the private group PRISA (publisher of El Pais newspaper), which other companies joined, in particular […]


Censorship apprentices

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Who spits against the wind, finds it falls in his face The assassination of Miguel Angel Blanco by ETA has had widespread repercussions which have gone way beyond the streets of Spanish cities. A section of the Net has been shaken by the genuine anger of many Spanish internauts. Events, nevertheless, moved at a vertiginous […]


Your telecom provider is watching

Rafael Martín

Date of publication 15/07/1997. Editorial 80. The tailwind of spectacular development in telecommunications in the USA, Europe and Japan at the end of this century has come about as a result of the fact that transporting voice has been considered a social right. Meteorological conditions were, nonetheless, different in each case. In the USA, the […]


Teledensity, a new criteria for measuring wealth

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication 8/07/1997. Editorial 79. Conscience is made up of non-computable ingredients Despite the fact that telecommunications bring obvious benefits to all the countries in the world, the poorer countries are caught in the dilemma of deciding whether to invest in this sector or focus on other priorities such as health, food and education. […]


Of peaks and valley

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication 01/07/1997. Editorial 78. Lots of a little makes a lot The 2nd Earth Summit in New York ended up as a gentle slope. Five years of globalisation at the hands of the liberal economy has done away with the globalisation of the environmental problem. The meeting at the UN, which was attended […]


Sustainable networks

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication 24/06/1997. Editorial 77. He who gives fair words feeds you with an empty spoon Five years ago, around this time, I was on my way back from Rio de Janeiro where I had been attending the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, better known as the Earth Summit. Although this meeting […]


Rich telephone, poor telephone

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication 17/06/1997. Editorial 76. To sleep is to forget the world Jorge Luís Borges The relationship between telecommunications and economic development is an obvious one, and should there have been any doubt on this score, various studies on the subject –despite their different approaches– have come to the same conclusion, namely, that without […]


The Soviet Cable

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication 10/06/1997. Editorial 75. A person’s home is his castle An exclusive pilot test of the Internet by cable promoted by Cable y Television de Catalunya (CTC) starts in Barcelona this week. It is exclusive for many reasons: it is one of the few (there are just five) of its kind in the world and […]


Father proposes and…

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication 3/06/1997. Editorial 74. Mourning is less painful when there is bread to be eaten (Don Quixote, xiii, part II) The new generation of web media products are just coming out of their incubators and some of them have already got strong little legs . They are known as “push” technology, a term […]


Internet at different speeds

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication 27/05/1997. Editorial 73. You can’t make an omelette without breaking an egg Last week I spoke at a debate at a centre of higher education. The other speakers were a senior official from Telefonica and a representative of a cable network operating company. The audience consisted of young graduates in technical professions […]


The Third Connection

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication 20/05/1997. Editorial 72. Every little bit helps From the time of the Industrial Revolution, two services have entered most homes in the world forming part of them in the same way as windows and doors do. The presence of both of them clearly marks the division between pre-capitalist and industrial societies. Yet, […]


We beat Kasparov

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication 13/05/1997. Editorial 71. Wonder is the daughter of ignorance So, Deep Blue has given Kasparov a good thrashing. For many of us who are keen on chess (I’m one of them) it’s as if the the machine’s victory were our own. Let’s face it, that’s what it was like. We gave the champion of […]


Debatable futures

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 6/5/1997. Editorial 70. Every cock crows on his own dunghill As the furore caused by the Internet increases, it appears that a whole lot of dormice (and I say this with all the affection that this species inspires) are starting to rouse themselves and look around with surprise at surroundings which are […]


The bridge from Sega to Microsoft

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 29/04/1997. Editorial 69. Where there is gossiping, there is lying 90% claimed they know a foreign language (English in 94% of cases), 28% access Internet and 37% read a daily newspaper every day. These figures from a survey conducted by El Pais among university students were published last week. Well, we already know that […]


As if there weren’t enough of us, Telefónica gave birth

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 22/4/1997. Editorial 068. One must draw back in order to leap better Well, well, well, our only transnational is rubbing shoulders with the big ones! Telefonica (along with Portugal Telecom) has got its foot in the door of the Concert consortium, where British Telecom and MCI already share 27,3 million telephone lines with a […]


News from Zacatecas

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 15/4/1997. Editorial 67. Words fly, writing remains Experts, literati and academics attending the Ist International Congress on the Spanish Language in the Mexican town of Zacatecas, missed out on an important piece of news. It was not, of course, the existence of cyberspace. In fact, they took advantage of the high-profile occasion to issue […]


Dreams cost money

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 8/4/1997. Editorial 66. You can’t burn the candle at both ends Intellectual property rights (1), large industry vs. SMEs (2) (small and medium enterprises), loss of expertise (3) and time wastage (4) are Europe’s Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the age of the Information Society. The promise of the future which […]


Recyclable Junk

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 1/4/1997. Editorial 65. With Latin, a horse, and money, you may travel the world Before you read any further, I’d like to ask anyone who intends to commit suicide, go out and rape someone, cohabit sexually or spiritually with aliens or just give their parents a dirty look, to kindly write to […]


The night of the webteorite

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 25/3/97 Everything comes to an end Info-saturation, info-depression, info-anxiety, info-stress, info-dementia, info-suicide. We are on the brink of solving one of the great mysteries of the end of the century: where do info-highways lead? To info-cemeteries. The first thing that all self-respecting internauts find themselves obliged to say, when faced with a […]


A tale of Two Cities

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 18/3/1997. Editorial 63. A friend in need is a friend indeed The debate over exactly what type of media Internet will gel into i.e. whether the “push” (looking for information oneself with the aid of browsers) or the “pull” (information distributed by agents, e-mail or other means) will prevail, or whether it […]


The Lord’s Library

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 11/3/1997. Editorial 62. Losing I learned: what I learned was more valuable than what I lost “I only buy books on the Internet now, I don’t go to bookshops any more”, is what a friend, an inveterate reader, told me the other day. Five months ago he had asked me to pronounce […]


The electric Neolithic

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 4/3/1997. Editorial 61. Time and tide wait for no man “We are still in the neolithic era of the digital age”‘ has been one of the phrases most bandied about when referring to cyberspace. Nevertheless, the difference between the two, ours and the real one, is appreciable, and by that I don’t […]


Dolly – the wolf in sheep’s clothing

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 25/02/1997. Editorial 60. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride “Mythology is replete with hybrid creatures, like the Sphinx, the Minotaur or the Chimera; but the real world is not. It is not populated by organisms the sum of whose parts have been cobbled together from bits and pieces of different species, […]


The bossy babysitter

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 18/02/1997. Editorial 59. If you don’t keep on your toes, you’ll get hit When Clinton whipped out his digital pen to sign the Internet censorship law, in February last year, the movement in favour of freedom of expression in the Net responded to the Administration’s spirit of vigilance by arguing in favour […]


The Andalucian Cortijo*

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 11/02/1997. Editorial 58. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear Just in case there is someone out there who still doesn’t know, William Henry Gates III, Bill to his friends, visited Spain last week. He was that guy with the glasses who appeared in a couple of pictures […]


The digital hubbub

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 04/02/1997. Editorial 57. In the house of the blacksmith knives are made of wood There might be people in Spain who still don’t know the name of the Minister of the Interior or Agriculture, or who the most important scientist in the country is, or how many member states of the European […]


The Net Society

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 28/1/1997. Editorial 56. Let sleeping dogs lie Last year, the World Economic Forum in Davos, already institutionalised as the annual summit of the most powerful businessmen on the planet, paid tribute to one of the golden calves presently in vogue: globalisation of commercial and business activities. To mark the occasion, they invited […]


The loneliness of the citizen in search of in-depth information

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 21/1/1997. Editorial 55. Closed book imparts no wisdom An interesting debate called “Barcelona: A Sustainable, Vital, Healthy City” was held here last week. It was organised by the Civic Forum for a Sustainable Barcelona, an umbrella organisation in the making which has brought together a wide range of the city’s social collectives […]


HAL lives amongst us

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 14/01/1997. Editorial 054. Three may keep a secret if one of them is dead The fictional birthday of HAL 9000, the machine conceived of by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrik to control the spaceship Discovery in 2001: A Space Odyssey and which “should be functional by 12 January 1997”, has sparked off a […]


The Digital Watchtower

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Date of publication: 7/1/1997. Editorial 53. Not knowing is like not seeing This issue of en.red.ando marks the first year of its existence. The equivalent in a cat’s life is about 10 years, and in cyberspace, at least 20. Bits have the unusual characteristic of making us grow old at extraordinary speed while at the […]