Friday, December 30, 2011

Why Europe is failing and America may be next.

There are fundamental laws that rule everything and everyone.

- One, the strongest will prevail.
This is fundamentally true and most importantly, fair. The idea of taking from them to give to those who struggle just decreases the motivation, the quality, the work and the contribution of the succeeders.

- Second, the path of least resistance.
Anyone who gets stuff for free, will not want to work for it in the future. This is valid not (just) for welfare and social aids, but also to "acquired rights" of some working classes that are now (over the years) just attributed benefits automatically, without merit (despite it's existence in previous generations).

I believe it is not fair to take (1/3 is the current approximate rate) from those who work, to give to the (able) ones that do not.

I believe it accomplishes nothing, since there is no merit, no incentive to work, quite the opposite.

Actually, the very reason you think there is a need for a system that takes form those that have, is that people don't want to just "give". So why would someone that gets something for free, give it away to work instead?

Do you believe those that work and pay taxes are "bad people" that do not want to help, so you think the government must force them, and poor people are "nice people" that would work if they could? Are you that naive?

What is worst, is that this system creates grounds for freeloaders, leachers and opportunists that work the system to their profit. Both by not being active and productive (working) or by the corruption and "high level" lobbying. And no, more courts, rules or policing are not the solution. It only adds more unnecessary jobs, paid by the government, more lobbying, more... you get the picture.

"The second you have a government which concerns itself with wealth redistribution is the second your government turns into a tool of corporate conquest and privilege, whoever can game the system best gets all the stolen loot which is supposed to 'help the poor' or whatever other excuse they give. It doesn't work, it never will, and it never has."

You're shocked? This is not "politically correct" and you feel this is "just wrong" and selfish. I understand. I really do.

Facts, life and reality are hard. Made from a very different stuff than ideals and "feelings".

So tell me, even if overtaxing the hard working population to compensate and redistribute wealth to those that "need it" is all very well and nice, and may make you feel all good and warm inside, in reality (as in your Country/community):

- does the help get to the needy?
- to how many "really" needy?
- at what cost, how much is "wasted", "lost", "miss-assigned" or spent in "the process" on the way?

And now I ask you, how many times did you give anything to the needy? And I mean YOU, think about it. When or how frequently do you go out of your way to help someone in need?

When you find you have no use for something, do you give it away, or do you sell it on e-Bay or even trash it?

When there are campaigns to gather food for the (really) needy, do you contribute? Or do you dismiss the volunteers lying about already having given?

Do you do pro-bono or volunteer work anywhere?

Well that is where people should give back, voluntarily, and not vote for liars that say that they'll do it for you and everyone else, in a fair proportioned way.

Because "ideals" make you feel warm inside, you vote for people that say they will take from the rich who have too much, to give to the poor that have little. Because that "feels" fair. But it ist'n really. You're just voting out of guilt of being / living as capitalist.

And by promising (and actually doing) that, is how you win elections (and stay in power) in Europe. And screw the left wing, right wing. Every non-socialist party has a "social agenda" these days. And it's not because it's fair or "right" or "honorable" or "humain", it's because it wins elections.

Current european governments were elected mostly by people who vote for humanitarian social programs while bitching about the ills of capitalism. That feels and makes them feel better, while they actually do nothing or close to nothing "socially" to actually help those in need, or stop acting as capitalist jerks. "You" are basically (though many naively) being hypocrites. Or you just don't vote and complain, and that's pure hypocrisy right there.

And for what do you want to win? Well, democracy in Europe is so roten that in the best case scenario, anyone just wants to win and do good in government, to look good, have a career, be reelected, and/or thrive in the private sector after leaving the government. In the worst case scenario, to freeload, work the system and get rich (or their families, friends and partners, so they don't get caught).

"Socialism is not a way to help the poor, that's just a front they use to get the poor to go along with the government robbing everyone. The poor actually get hurt the most under socialism because goods are drastically more expensive (due to the "rich" being taxed 50%+ on all their income) and all the subsidized industries keeping prices high"

So do I believe in "Libertarianism" (anarcho-capitalism) instead? No. The rich will never voluntarily care for the handicapped, the old, the sick (even their own sometimes). That's the whole point, that's why communism and socialism emerged.

I do believe "public" institutions should care for the handicapped, the old, the sick. Pensions, health and education. And for free, not by paid administrators, secretaries, and other elected or assigned position.

But I do not condone with the path the world is following. Providing for social aids or social housing, or any free stuff to those who are physical and mentally able to WORK FOR A LIVING will be the death of society as we know it.

And yes, unemployment is a problem. But it would be a small(er) one if people would have motivation to work, instead of being paid to stay home.

As in having to work in SOMETHING (even if it's not what you trained for, or if it gets you callous in your hands...) instead of staying home living off of the money of those who actually work for it. And that includes your parents. And here I mean direct leaching, not by taxes.

The cosy feeling of "socialism" and "do-gooding" has fed public institutions and governments to the point they have become a slow, sick, giant "monster" that has to be killed off, the sooner the better.

Either that or one of these days the hardworking, stronger, "rich" libertarian anarcho-capitalists will join up in a New Country of their own. And then, there will be now one to leech take from to give to the needy, and the "not so needy".

There are fundamental laws that rule everything and everyone. Believing that beautiful ideals (any thing ending in "ism") will prevail over those and make things better for everyone is naive.

And even if it makes things better for some for a while, it will eventually fail and make things worst for everyone, for a long time.

And I'm not just saying that, it is actually happening... right?

Quotes are from a comment of Chris from infolib :

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Recebido por e-Mail, de autor desconhecido. Eu assino por baixo...

(Versões alemã e portuguesa)

Versão alemã
A formiga trabalha durante todo o Verão debaixo de Sol. Constrói a sua casa e enche-a de provisões para o Inverno. A cigarra acha que a formiga é burra, ri, vai para a praia, bebe umas bejecas, dá umas quecas, vai ao Rock in Rio e deixa o tempo passar. Quando chega o Inverno a formiga está quentinha e bem alimentada. A cigarra está cheia de frio, não tem casa nem comida e morre de fome.

Versão portuguesa
A formiga trabalha durante todo o Verão debaixo de Sol. Constrói a sua casa e enche-a de provisões para o Inverno. A cigarra acha que a formiga é burra, ri, vai para a praia, bebe umas bejecas, dá umas quecas, vai ao Rock in Rio e deixa o tempo passar. Quando chega o Inverno a formiga está quentinha e bem alimentada. A cigarra, cheia de frio, organiza uma conferência de imprensa e pergunta porque é que a formiga tem o direito de estar quentinha e bem alimentada enquanto as pobres cigarras, que não tiveram sorte na vida, têm fome e frio.

A televisão organiza emissões em directo que mostram a cigarra a tremer de frio e esfomeada ao mesmo tempo que exibem vídeos da formiga em casa, toda quentinha, a comer o seu jantar com uma mesa cheia de coisas boas à sua frente.

A opinião pública tuga escandaliza-se porque não é justo que uns passem fome enquanto outros vivem no bem bom. As associações anti pobreza manifestam-se diante da casa da formiga. Os jornalistas organizam entrevistas e mesas redondas com montes de comentadores que comentam a forma injusta como a formiga enriqueceu à custa da cigarra e exigem ao Governo que aumente os impostos da formiga para contribuir para a solidariedade social.

A CGTP, o PCP, o BE, os Verdes, a Geração à Rasca, os Indignados e a ala esquerda do PS com a Helena Roseta e a Ana Gomes à frente e o apoio implícito do Mário Soares organizam manifestações diante da casa da formiga.

Os funcionários públicos e os transportes decidem fazer uma greve de solidariedade de uma hora por dia (os transportes à hora de ponta) de duração ilimitada.

Fernando Rosas escreve um livro que demonstra as ligações da formiga com os nazis de Auschwitz.

Para responder às sondagens o Governo faz passar uma lei sobre a igualdade económica e outra de anti descriminação (esta com efeitos retroactivos ao princípio do Verão).

Os impostos da formiga são aumentados sete vezes e simultaneamente é multada por não ter dado emprego à cigarra. A casa da formiga é confiscada pelas Finanças porque a formiga não tem dinheiro que chegue para pagar os impostos e a multa.

A formiga abandona Portugal e vai-se instalar na Suíça onde, passado pouco tempo, começa a contribuir para o desenvolvimento da economia local.

A televisão faz uma reportagem sobre a cigarra, agora instalada na casa da formiga e a comer os bens que aquela teve de deixar para trás.

Embora a Primavera ainda venha longe já conseguiu dar cabo das provisões todas organizando umas "parties" com os amigos e umas "raves" com os artistas e escritores progressistas que duram até de madrugada. Sérgio Godinho compõe a canção de protesto "Formiga fascista, inimiga do artista...".

A antiga casa da formiga deteriora-se rapidamente porque a cigarra está-se cagando para a sua conservação. Em vez disso queixa-se que o Governo não faz nada para manter a casa como deve de ser. É nomeada uma comissão de inquérito para averiguar as causas da decrepitude da casa da formiga. O custo da comissão (interpartidária mais parceiros sociais) vai para o Orçamento de Estado: são 3 milhões de euros por ano.

Enquanto a comissão prepara a primeira reunião para daí a três meses, a cigarra morre de overdose.
Rui Tavares comenta no Público a incapacidade do Governo para corrigir o problema da desigualdade social e para evitar as causas que levaram a cigarra à depressão e ao suicídio.

A casa da formiga, ao abandono, é ocupada por um bando de baratas, imigrantes ilegais, que há já dois anos que foram intimadas a sair do País mas que decidiram cá ficar, dedicando-se ao tráfego da droga e a aterrorizar a vizinhança.

Ana Gomes um pouco a despropósito afirma que as carências da integração social se devem à compra dos submarinos, faz uma relação que só ela entende entre as baratas ilegais e os voos da CIA e aproveita para insultar Paulo Portas.

Entretanto o Governo felicita-se pela diversidade cultural do País e pela sua aptidão para integrar harmoniosamente as diferenças sociais e as contribuições das diversas comunidades que nele encontraram uma vida melhor.

A formiga, entretanto, refez a vida na Suíça e está quase milionária...


Monday, December 12, 2011

The Nokia N9 rant / review...

Ok, so I've been using a Nokia N9 for quite a while now. Long enough to form a well based opinion and to let the "new toy" effect wear off. Time to get down with it's faults and marvels.

1 - Software. 

Let me get this out of the way right now. About the MeeGo platform:

1st - I'm not an Android hater. It's just that, ironically, I haven't found a single device sporting the Android OS that made me lust for it. And having Huawei Ice Cream Sandwich devices coming is really a turn off for me...

2nd - I'm not an Apple hater, nor a fanboy. Proof of that is I went from "can't be bothered with it" on the 1st iPhone, to adopting the iPhone 4 as personal phone. And now left it for the N9. (Although it remains to be seen if it's a permanent or temporary situation).

3rd - I believe MeeGo is not a dead platform. The sentence is still pending, and a "pardon" from "Governor" Eloop may (and I believe, will) come at the last moment. Nokia needs to be selling Windows Phone and can't be seen as distracted with other projects. But there is no reason this project can't be pursued as a pet project in the future. A nursery to test out new things and get a feel for the public opinion on them before going mainstream. And there are many out there that will love to be on the front row, experimenting new things. Many like me.

As for the OS itself and it's features, in one word, it's refreshing.

I'm seriously tired of the hype around another iOS release and how many features from android will be "finally" implemented/copied, or a new Android release and how much more fragmented or closer to the iPhone the platform becomes.

This, is "think different". Betting on the simplicity Apple has lost some iOS releases ago, maintaining core functionality "taken" from the best (including from Nokia past, like the "beep" mode), and adding new concepts like swiping and real, proper multitasking. With a "close all" option.

Granted, there isn't much on the Ovi Store to choose from. And if a play-phone is what you want, steer away from this. This is a "serious" phone, that addresses all basic and essential "serious" needs. That is why it has "Drive" for free, and native support for mostly any serious service out there:

It is not a "super-feature phone" as some say. It's as good as a feature phone, as a mobile phone. It has brilliant radio performance. Better than any smartphone, and especially better than an iPhone, which remais very poor in that regard. On the other extreme, it can be "rooted" simply (as in: turn developer mode on), it runs linux, and you can do virtually anything you want with it, if you know how. It is truly open. Jumping on the lack of apps from the Ovi Store to say it's not a smartphone is plain dumb. It's like saying that you're gay cause you don't have enough kids.

As a N900 user, I never missed any core app on it. This N9 is an even better device, and has plenty more stuff available. The few games out there free, freemium, payed, or "cracked" are awesome. There are however no "how many times can you fart in a minute" game/apps.

So, this is enough for me IF (and it's a big if), I get to keep my iPad. Cause if you wanna play games or novelty "fart" apps, this is not it. So to have it all, I'd still choose the iPhone 4.

2 - Hardware.

The N9 design is excellent. I never thought any iPhone looked particularly pretty, and Android devices mostly just lack personality (droid RAZR appart), let alone have any "esthetically pleasing" lines.

So this is pretty, besides functional and original. But it does have some faults.

Lets first address what I've been reading and what "others" mostly complain about:

a) the top micro-USB connector lid having a bad design and being prone to breaking:
The flip-lid is an obvious risk, granted. But that only means you should be especially careful with it. Complaining about it is like complaining about your car's fuel tank lid. If you drive off with it open or with "something" still attached to it,  you screwed up. It could be avoided if the device was thought to be manhandled like a cheap feature phone? Yes. But this isn't one...

b) the lack of a camera (hard) button:
The "camera hard key" deserves a rant of it's own... Seriously. Apple has even conceded in adding camera shutter functionality to one of the volume buttons on the iPhone just to shut some rather annoying whiners.

1st: Pressing a button produces movement. FACT.
That is why in low light conditions without flash, there is a photo technique where you use the timer and wait (or use a remote trigger) instead of jerking the camera with a button push. Like I did with a Canon 400D on this blog's background picture.

2nd: If you're holding a smartphone with one hand and literally hitting it with a finger on the opposite side to snap pictures, then I'm sorry but you are doing it wrong. 

Free lesson: keep both hands on the phone, and use only the thumb to touch. Wait, and when your sure its focused and are ready for it, lift your finger. You're welcome...

This causes little or no jerking, and if not better, it's surely not worse than the movement the button always causes. Thus there is now dire "need" for a camera hard key, nor it's absence is a "major drawback" or a "design fault". Having one only means the device is meant to be used by, or the manufacturer has caved to the whining of, the "masses". Which again, it's not this phone's purpose, is it?

c) notification bar:
The whine: "There's an icon for missed calls, e-mail, sms or updates, but when you touch the bar, there is nothing there."
Again, you are doing it wrong. This is not the Android (or the Apple conceded iOS 5) notification center. If there's a notification up there, swipe right. Don't touch the bar. It's different, it has personality, it works and at the very least, it's not worst than said notification centers.

Would it be easier for Joe Six-Pack to use it? Yes. But is this a "Joe Six-Pack phone"? No.

d) the display:
I can't see where people put this display in order to find any faults in it. It has one of, if not the most perfect display I've seen on a mobile. And trust me, I've seen plenty... If you know anything about image quality, this will suffice: The N9 is a Panasonic VT30 Plasma. Contrast, black levels, definition, colors: stunning. There is really no contest.

Now for "my" complaints...

a) The case.
After some usage, it's slightly scratched on top and bottom, right after the display ends. Ironically, from the usage of the standard included silicone case. It's also starting to make some plastic creaky noises.

b) The camera.
It's not bad. Still could be better. I can easily reproduce distorted pictures with just a bit of movement, some vignetting, etc but not bad at all for a phone camera. (And no, that photo isn't mine.)

c) Audio/Music
It's poor. It's just like any other average phone. You stuff music inside it and it plays it with average quality and low power. The iPhone, which is ill-equalized and has a predominance of high frequencies that annoys me and thus has room to improve, is still the best Audio/Music phone. "In the world..."

Which may come from the fact that it's an iPod with added smartphone features. Still, there's room here to improve and beat Apple but no one can seam to do it, and the N9 is certainly no audiophile device.

So again, if I can complement this device with a quality sound source on-the-go, it's enough. If not, I'll take the iPhone 4.

In conclusion:

Yes, this has some faults. Some more serious than other and always subjective to the user or usage. But mostly, these faults are not what's being picked on out there.

People are finding faults in pre-commercial hardware, and are taking their inability to adjust or comprehend the new design/features/device as faults.

That, done just for the sake of publishing a quick review is... Well, actually it's just what so called "analysts" do best.

Keep in mind this is no iPhone killer, no Android wannabe, and no Windows Phone 7 reject. This is a serious smartphone with strong character. If it matches your character and needs, then you'll be more than happy with one. Just don't expect and don't criticize what it's not.

Friday, October 28, 2011

iPhone... a history of hate and love. And hate again, soon...

If you think you know me, you'd say I'm an iPhone lover. Or an Apple fanboy. If you do know me, you'll now I try (and am very fortunate to be able to) use the best possible device(s) to suit my needs.

So when I first used an iPhone (the original), without MMS, 3G, copy/paste and whatever else it was missing as a phone, my verdict was simple. This is not a phone, even less a smartphone, it's an iPod touch that can send/receive calls, sms and some mail... And I really couldn't be bothered with it.

Then the 3G came along with iOS 3.0 and it was... meh. Better but uglier.

Time went by... and the 3Gs came. That was about when it became more than a decent smartphone or a simple matter of preference. It was the best UX (user experience) and the most complete device for me. And I did adopted it. But barely... the only things that had me using it were the UX, and especially the audio quality. The excellent and loud iPod was, is, and probably will always be a winner for the iPhone. No one has done it better in my opinion. And even if on par, not by using as little power, and not as 100% reliable without hiccups as an iPod/iPhone does. So this, and only this, made me use my awesome and beloved Nokia N900 less and less. Even got a dock to connect to my wi-fi and a car radio with iPod/iPhone support. And that is pretty awesome. iPod high quality music, transported in one device inside the phone, connectable "anywhere". It actually made me start using the "iPod" with a phone.

Then the 4. Well... New hardware, more capacity and new OS with even more improvements or, granted, more "corrections". It was just a "no brainer". Best thing out there. Period. Still is, for me and my needs. Despite still uglier than the original, slippery, uneven and uncomfortable around the edges and with one of the worst radio performances (especially moving) I've ever seen on a mobile phone.

However, there is a thorn, a pet hate, an asinine stupid emasculating frustrating piece of the puzzle that still bugs me and ultimately will see me dropping the use of an iPhone, or any Apple device even. i-freakin-Tunes.

I've written before on the subject and... well, it's just that it still sucks! It has not improved one bit in the way I'd like it to. Worst even, with iOS5 I can now live without iTunes. Except for music and video. For that, I still have to sync with a computer. And that's the problem right there. A computer. Seriously... still? Stuck with one machine, user and operating system? Not acceptable. I run multi OS machines and VM's across different locations and machines. Work, home, laptop, netbook and for that I store my music on an external drive. Which is a useless solution with iTunes.

Fortunately I've been lucky to be able to start using the awesome Google Music Service. Not only I could load all my stuff into it, it also provides me with new stuff to satisfy my constant need to discover new music. And I can access it from ANYWHERE and ANYTHING.

This has started to shift my needs. More specifically, my need to have my music "with me". I mean, it's still valid when "on the move". But I don't do buses or other means of mass transportation, and my car radio has a neat hidden USB port that plays music with very high quality as well. From a USB thumb drive I can manage ANYWHERE. And add files. And delete. And no software needed. And create my "mixes", and playlists, and don't see them disappear on yet another software upgrade. Gaaaah.....!


So, since I seriously expect Music Match not to have any sort of free "basic" subscription to allow me to synch without iTunes and without paying for my own music(!), I believe that this moment - when I do not need and won't miss the iPhone - is very close.

Because if I stop needing an iPhone for "musical" reasons, then I'm only left with the (now) superior UX. Which won't be the best for long... And I do not mean the Android 4,0 crap stuff that's coming.

I'll go back to a Nokia. If not the N900 now, then the new N9 MeeGo with the best UI (user interface) out there. Or the Lumia 800 with WP7 and fantastic Office and windows (home and work) network integration, and the most complete and therefor best UX for me. And you can play Angry Birds as well.

They even have a shiny new free music service...

And free GPS Navigation...

And the ability to hold a call from work to home, without dropping the connection 4 or 5 times. Also included, for free...

And the Ipad may soon follow... if "someone" and Microsoft get the Win8 tablet thing right.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

So... Tablets!

Where to start? Well, actually the tablet (PC) was created quite a while back. It was however rather limited by hardware, and also by software not being thought for that kind of use. So it just plain sucked.

Then, the "modern age" Tablet came along. Revolutionary as you'd expect from Apple, it took every negative aspect of the tablet and turned it around.

High battery life time. Because stand-by uses almost no energy, which lead to the lack of need to shut it down.
No boot time. Because you don't need to shut it down, it's always ready.
Simple, effective design. Not the clumsiness of clunky folding contraptions and peripherals.
Magical and fast - usability. No "login", no profiles, no delays.

That was possible due to (new) hardware availability (flash storage, capacitive touch and more) and to the genius of one (now departed) man, Steve Jobs.

So this is the iPad. The reinvention of tablets, so revolutionary people commonly say it was the first.

Phase III, was the copycats. And I really mean that. I'm not using the word competition simply because there is none.

I don't mean: "the industry reacted", I mean "everyone wanted a piece of the action, so they copied it as best they could". And... they failed. Quite miserably in my opinion.

Everyone joined what seamed the most promising, but also the easiest path. Android. "It's linux based, it's open, it's free, it's backed by Google, there is no limit, we can do anything." Ironically it was (and still is) true, but they didn't. They didn't try do "make" anything, only to catch-up by copying.

Maemo and MeeGo, a true open platform with the potential to actually build something new, was discarded. Everyone believed in the Android miracle. And the believers become haters (of Apple, the iPad, the iPhone and iOS in general) kept trying to do "almost" the same as the iPad, and a few "allegedly" new things. But eventually in every argument, Android real innovations and advantages fall back to the Google services being as awesome as they are.

Now, there will be a new player in town soon. And it will not go for the high end, trendy, not so tech savvy Apple fanboy. And it can't care less about the cheapskate geek wannabees that are now the majority of the Android user base. They are going for the big bucks.

Microsoft is entering the tablet business by readdressing the old Tablet-PC project. Minimizing it's faults, while delivering PC like functionality. This is not the post-PC world. Tablets will be the new-PC world and Microsoft can kick some serious ass in that department.

Many laughed a couple of days when I plugged a mouse into a Win8 tablet, like: "ha ha, you need a mouse!?!?". No, I don't need one, but I can use one. And any old mouse will do. Can you do that with your iPads and Galaxy tabs? No.

So yes. Many, attached to old tablet-PC concept, will make fun of a "normal" Windows with a pretty touch skin on top. Minimizing the fact that you have:
 - full access to your file system behind that screen, no rooting or jailbreak needed
 - full access to you network, behind that pretty skin, no DLNA or AirPlay bs or app needed
 - a terminal window and access to basically any internet connected device over any protocol you choose, no pretty little lame app needed

All that, without having to painfully go through a million crap apps on Android Market, or having to pay for one on the App Store. It's right there, if you can and know how to use it. If you don't, stick to the pretty skin bit. So "many" will be wrong in discarding it.

But no. A Win8 tablet it will never be as pretty and simple as an iPad. Or magically fast. But it comes just as close as "anything else" ever did or will be. Accompanied by the immense immediate power of having a full windows machine in your hands. What can Android offer? Oh, right. Google services...

The (fragmented and almost, but less than) perfect Google services integration. Well, if I were a manufacturer, I wouldn't get to comfortable with that. Google services tend to be standardized, very web browser friendly and meant to be accessed anywhere. You do not need very specific hardware for that. You can even use an iPad, or say a Win8.

In terms of sales, considering the markets as they are divided into MAC and Windows with a side of Linux, Windows users will adopt Win8 tablets as effortlessly and willingly as MAC users do iPads. And no, you can't compare tablets with phones because tablets are a lot closer to work and to computers than phones are. So Android tablets? I honestly don't know what they could be good for in the near future, and Chrome OS is... well, little more than nothing, on a cloud. Android tablets survive as the only "alternative" (if you can use that word) to the iPad. I fear MS competition will blow them out of the water.

A while ago everyone said Elop was mad going with WP7. I said he was right. Then everyone started to come to their senses. But now they are starting to think he was wrong again. Well, despite the MS pachyderm taking forever to do anything with WP7, I still think he was and is right (that doesn't mean I think he was right about killing MeeGo too, or that I believe he actually did/wants to). Win8 will not take as long. Tablets will be coming out and selling more and faster than any Android tablet ever did.

The Windows network compatibly, SharePoint support and absolutely excellent Office integration will make WP7 and Win8 tablets a real win (pun intended) in the corporate market, and in the working man world. That is what I meant by going for the big bucks.

Oh and RIM as a hardware manufacturer is dead. Either they just don't know it yet, or they do and this new path of integrating blackberry services in other platforms is their - very wise - escape route.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Google MVNO and 4G

Is everyone so focused on the next iPhone launch that they missed what could be the beginning of "real" 4G?

You see, HSPA+, WiMax or LTE are not 4G. In fact, no single radio technology will be. 4G will be the ability to have 1 service provider of communication services, over any high speed data connection.

The 4G concept clearly separates the service provider from the radio carrier. And no. None of the current mobile operators "allegedly" providing 4G data services over a 4G radio network is either a 4G service provider or 4G carrier.

Google, setting themselves up with multiple carriers in a country, and with it's current GoogleVoice working over whatever radio connection is available, is on it's way to becoming the 1st 4G service provider. A provider of multiple communication services (GTalk, Hangouts, Voice), bundled with many extra services (search, music, docs, wallet and even a social network), on a line of Smartphones on a platform built just for it (and also working on other platforms), over a seamless, high speed, universal data connection. Which the user won't care who it belongs to, or what radio tech it's using.

All this off course based on add revenue, and the lack of a huge infrastructure a current mobile operator has to support, will come at very low (and global) prices, if not free.

But obviously, this will take some time to become a reality. But not that much... We all know after internal trials come the Beta versions. And google Beta versions have a tendency to be more real services than actual trials.

Apple's ideas of a "SIM-less" phone are/were aiming in the same direction.

Current Mobile Operators will survive by increasingly "selling" data traffic to 4G operators, as they themselves become one and turn their infrastructures into added value as "Premium support" for high value Costumers. Because the "leachers" will all soon have androids and move to "Google 4G". Even if they don't use data. At least now. But that's a different rant.

Or... I could be just nuts, so back to reading the next iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 or iPad 3 rumors, "this will never happen"...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Desresponsabilização eleitoral.

Existem duas formas de auto-desresposabilização numas eleições.

A primeira é a habitual abstenção. Não o voto em branco, mas a atitude "são todos o mesmo, quero lá saber", e não por lá os pés. Depois acham-se no direito de dizer mal de quem para lá vai, porque não votaram nele. Errado. Não tem direito de reclamar porque não participaram no processo.

Depois temos a segunda forma que é, em caso de dúvida, votar em alguém que se sabe não ir ser eleito. Inconscientemente fazendo o mesmo que quem se abstem. É que depois, quando as coisas começam a correr mal (como invariavelmente acontece em democracia, mas isso é outro assunto), fica mais fácil dizer (e convencer-se) que "por isso é que eu não votei nele". E sentem-se confortavelmente desresponsabilizados de tudo.

Notem que não falo de quem vota em outros partidos que não os dois com eleitorado suficiente para formar governo por questões ideológicas. Esses eleitores têm personalidade, convicções.

Falo de alguém que diz: "O Sócrates é um mentiroso, nele não voto, mas o Passos Coelho... tenho medo" e vai votar... outra coisa qualquer. Que, sinceramente, não interessa, porque não vai fazer nada.

Isto é alguém que quer mudança (que não ganhe o PS, ou especificamente o Sócrates), mas não tem coragem de a assumir.

Sim porque a mudança, o factor novo, alguém que ainda não governou Portugal, chamam inexperiente. A quem já lá esteve (pelo menos dos submarinos devem-se lembrar) apelidam de "factor novo" ou alternativa.

Sinceramente, se não votam num partido por convicção ideológica ou por acreditarem num programa, não dispersem. Tenham coragem... não se desresponsabilizem do acto eleitoral, votando em quem sabem à partida que não irá formar governo.

Pelo menos quem vota Sócrates é coerente, e vota para ganhar.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Working in an "Open Space"

So I work in an "open space"... And I'm surrounded by many people. But most importantly, by some people that unfortunately have no respect for others, and that are incapable of grasping the notion that a "work" open space is not the same as a "leisure" open space.

In other words, people around me act as if they are on some coffee shop, some lounge or other big room with lots of people, and "happen" to be doing some work between personal conversations, good laughs, loud phone calls and facebooking.

What we'd expect is something completely different. That people would act with RESPECT and CONSIDERATION for others, placing collective comfort above their own personal "needs".

I'd expect people to follow some simple rules:

1 - mute or silence the mobile phone.
Difficulty? This is quite simple. Many phones have dedicated keys or shortcuts to do it in under a second.

Positive Impact: A phone ringing once is not annoying. Ringing 5 times a day, is bearable... 50 phones ringing 5 times a day is freaking driving me insane!

Negative impact: If you have a phone on your desk, it vibrating, or even just it lighting up with a call is enough to see it's "ringing". No need for actual ringing sound. And if you're gone form your desk, be that for a minute or for lunch, it won't bother anyone.

If it does ring, ANSWER it or at least MUTE it immediately.

You're ringtone may be the simplest, or the funniest, or the hippest, or the coolest, but NOT IN THE WORK PLACE. In there it's just annoying.

2 - When speaking to someone next to you, use low tone AND volume. Only with both you can avoid being overheard be people in the other end of the room. TIP: Regard any conversation as "confidential", and consider that no one should be able to listen to it. Private conversations should be the most discrete.

3 - Do NOT speak to someone more that ONE desk away from you. The other person will respond and the whole floor will hear the conversation, which is unnecessary, disrupting, and only contributes to make other people speak louder, just to be heard by their next desk neighbor. Private conversations should be completely left out of this, or there will be always someone that has something to comment or share on the subject.

4 - Do not start greeting and talking to someone as you enter the floor. Wait 'till you're close.

5 - Do not speak to the crowd. Even if it's work related and you're talking to your team. Keep collective communication to meeting rooms, e-mails and paper.

6 - Phone calls: keep them civil, low tone, and short. If you need to up the discussion, FIND A ROOM, or at least a far corner where you can bother others the least possible. And do keep private phone calls out of the open space.

7 - Music. Very important aspect.
a) PLAY IT FOR YOURSELF, via headphone, preferably ear bud plugins, and keep a volume that can't be heard by others.
b) KEEP IT FOR YOURSELF, and do not share, show, and most importantly:
d) when speaking to others, remove the headphones and PAUSE the music, or you'll be speaking louder because of it.

8 - Keep your desk tidy. Just because. Visually, it's not just your desk, it represents the whole space, the team, the department, the company.

9 - Within open work spaces, there will be designated aisles or walking routes to use. Use them and don’t be tempted to take short cuts across other people’s work spaces. Passing by is disrupting. Tripping over their chair, table, bag, power cable, etc... is extremely annoying and disrespectful. EVEN if you apologize.

10 - Never use anything which might cause disruption to others, e.g. a speaker phone, radio or Tv. Unless you’ve got express permission from fellow work colleagues that this is acceptable, and for a good EXCEPTIONAL reason (news crisis, important sports match, etc)

11 - Smells.
a) do not put on perfume or deodorant in the open work space. Seriously. Do NOT.
b) do not eat "warm" food in the open space. Your soup may be great, but maybe, just maybe, you'll be bothering at least ONE person that doesn't like the smell of it.
c) do not eat out of crackling bags. Chips are great. They don't smell, and as long as you chew with your mouth closed, they're not loud. But the crackling bag is a no no.

12 - Humor. A Good joke is a nice ice breaker, a good escape to release tension, pressure and reduce stress. As long as it does not turn into a loud discussion, fight, or stand-up comedy act. A good joke is also short, and not very frequent.

But no... in here people have to:

Speak loudly. Like louder is righter.

Show off their new sexy ring tone. Or geeky text messaging sound.

Ignore a phone ringing loudly in front of them, while they finish a conversation to someone 2 lanes away, or finish typing on facebook.

Have group conversations about underwear and personal hygiene that the whole freaking floor can't help but hearing.

Take 15 minutess to make verbal lunch arrangements with people from all corners of the floor.

Actually put on deodorant/perfume and stare at mirrors.

Singalong the cheesiest music you can think of, and make funny remarks about it, because it's funny to annoy and disturb others with... well, CRAP.

Really people... have some respect!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Desta vez em Português, acerca de Português

Dizem que os brasileiros e outros PALOP assassinam o Português. Ok... mas sinceramente acho que não deviamos levar a mal, porque eles não o fazem por mal. É a evolução fonética da língua... e nalguns casos estou convencido a ignorância aliada ao sentido de improvisação. Por exemplo, há alguns tempos atrás alguém queria referir-se a um natural da Polónia. Mas como não sabia como se chamava, nasceu o "Polones". Que para nós, é Polaco. Só pode ter sido assim... Aliás, se assim não foi, agradeço a quem saiba a origem da palavra que ma explique, estou sempre pronto a aprender e reconhecer os meus erros.

E não... "brasileiro" não é neste momento nem língua nem dialecto. Caipira, Nordestino, Carioca, Sertanejo são dialectos. Português do Brasil é uma variante.

O que eu digo é, dêm-lhes a "independência". Assumam que existe PT-PT e PT-PALOP ou PT-BR. Qualquer aplicação que se preze com opção multiligue apresenta essas duas "línguas" diferentes PT (PT) e PT (BR). Que tal acabarmos com acordos parvos que impõem regras a ambos com as quais ninguém concorda?

Nós mantinhamo-nos fiéis à nossa tradicional língua, e eles ficavam livres para "evoluir" a deles.


..."tugas" a assassinar o Português também há muitos. Uma fonte enorme de exemplos deles são os anúncios OLX. Exemplo fornecido pelo "Glícido":

Passo a citar:
"vendo rover coupe metor honda 1800 euros neguciaveis"

E continua:
"é o 1600 de celindrada

Posto isto, e a foto do carro abaixo, são compreensíveis os comentários:
"Arrancava-te a asa e dava-te com ela nos cornos! Está aí um bonito serviço. Já agora, volta de novo à primária já que não sabes escrever."

"apenas por curiosidade, por quanto é que está a vender SÓ a tábua de passar a ferro? o resto do carro não me faz falta. "

"precisava do "spoiler" para estender a roupa. pode vendê-lo à parte? "

Muitos desses comentários são igualmente assassinos da língua de camões, mesmo que em menor medida:

"ho caralho aprende a escrever!!! fodeste essa traineira toda santo deus... a pintura parece que foi lambida por uma vaca... esse spoiler é um rebenta gafanhotos... as ponteiras devem ter sido marteladas com os cornos... so falta espetares ai um mata bacas pa te pertir a cremalheira duss "

Posto isto... não podemos criticar os outros por assassinar a nossa lígua, ou podemos???

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


This is a topic I hold very dear. There are things you just should not do, that are rude on inconsiderate in any form of communication, even "electronic" and "faceless" ones.

And I'm not even talking about abbreviations, e-mails without a subject, abusive caps-lock or not using BCC to broadcast lovely_kitten.pps or loving_cougars.pps.

I'm talking about new ways people found to spam, to be generally annoying, inconsiderate or simply going "look at me, I'm so funny!" over social networks.

a) A forum is a social network. But not that kind of social network. If you want to gossip, blab about the news just to try to look smart and funny, as opposed to have a discussion and even (God forbid) learn something or change your mind, then stay off forums. Use Facebook for that.     Please???

b) I DO NOT CARE how many points, kills or other achievement you got on "COMMAND OF DUTY 35" or WTF is the name of the game you are currently playing. But if you must spam, do this on facebook (mainly because I don't use it...). Because that's where <strike>crap</strike> gratuitous and frivolous information should go.

c) It may come as a surprise, but NOT EVERYONE that sees your posts or tweets CAN HAVE LUNCH OR COFFEE with you. If you really need some company, use Instant Messaging (IM) for it (and I don't use it much, so...), and bother that guy you can see is doing nothing, right next to you. Yes, that one, drooling of boredom and about to fall from his chair.

d) Instant Messaging (IM) is not where you go to bother your co-workers to do your job for you, or compromise/agree to something, with the plausible deniability of never having put that on an e-mail. Want something work related from me? Send me an e-mail (now you know why I don't use IM much...) THAT is what it's for, nor for porn. Or kittens either.

e) MOST PEOPLE DON'T CARE about where your are, were or are going to. Unless they are stalkers. Or robbers looking for an empty house. But, if you must then use Gowalla or Foursquare (wich... you guessed it, I don't use).

f) Finally, but most importantly, DO NOT aggregate social networks in to one neat little app that is "just great" because it "posts on all your networks, simultaneously!". You're not being effective or smart. YOU ARE SPAMMING.

That's it, for now... Going for lunch... anyone?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The "android fragmentation" rant

Ok, so I'm not an Android fan. Granted. 

But also am not an iPhone fanboy. Or anything else. I do not believe there is one better computer operating system, or mobile platform or whatever. Every solution has it's upsides and downsides. 

Now when we say "Android", some other mobile platform fanboy (many known as "analysts") will immediately cry out "fragmentation" and nod with a "smart" grin in their face. But they don't even know what fragmentation is! 

"Hun... it's like they have all these devices, and they are all different and stuff". WRONG. That's DIVERSITY. Freedom to choose different devices with different specs that suit your needs. That, is GOOD. Not like being stuck with a crappy camera from the only model available (iPhone).

But what fragmentation really is, is why I really can't find myself to use an Android device more than just the enough time necessary to review it, and to confirm it's still there, and is getting worst.

That the "Home" button has been, once more, moved. That the thing that looks like a back arrow, and lies where on previous devices the "Back" function was, is the f* "Menu"!

That there are now 200 ways to do something I'd like to do with an app from the market, but they all suck big time. Even, or especially the paid ones... And that they mostly look like crap. And crash on low-end devices. Or older software versions. 

And new versions that are slower (!) than older ones because of the hardware... Take a lesson from Microsoft and set mandatory minimum hardware specs for each new software release, AND make no exceptions...

Like "special" features as the "HTC Sense", only available on selected devices/countries/carriers. It's a mess. It makes other people mad they can't have it, and it's not even that big of a deal! (it's not like a full Office Suite is it?).

And about software versions... They are country and operator dependent. I can't upgrade it because I live in a specific country or bought it from a specific operator? It's like a f* Nokia S60 phone all over again!

And on the software. Why does it get slower and more sluggish every day? Even if you don't install stuff, and just use it as a mobile. It gets slower, and slower and eventually e-mail and other stuff stops working, and it will take 20 seconds to open the camera app, and it will need a master reset. Again the S60 haunting the Android... As for the mobile platform itself, I even like it. I just can't use a device more than a couple of days.

So that is what fragmentation really means. Too many apps/options/features/problems, depending of software version, hardware version, device capabilities, country, operator and what not.

Woa! the Xperia X10 just got pinch to zoom! Somewhere... else. Some time. Maybe. This is just stupid. Take a lesson from Apple on this one. The new software just gets released. Period. Anyone can get to it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The "bad things people do, allegedly driving" rant

The freeway, or any other multilane road:

- Driving on the left lane with no reason whatsoever.
And f someone comes... tough. Because if you need to overtake, you are already there. Smart hun? NO, you are not smart, you are a selfish idiot.

- Driving on the middle lane with no reason whatsoever.
These people are also selfish idiots. And slow ones. And self righteous ones that actually think you/me/others are wrong to complain about them being a "moving chicane" to those that drive on the right and have to overtake their slow ass (left if in UK, JP and... you get it) by going across 3 or more lanes.
They do so because it is more comfortable for them. "I'm just fine here, go around... you have room".
And if you do the safest thing, keep in your lane and just drive through, obviously on the right, instead of slalom around, they complain and high beam you. Because they are ok... really?

- People that veer to the left lane real fast, without warning or turning signal. And then they take forever to overtake, move away very slowly and then using the turning signal. Again, these people are selfish idiots. What was the sudden rush? And did it end suddenly as well?

- People that drive on the left lane... with the left indicator on. Why? Are you going to change another lane left? There are no more lanes! Nor crossroads. What's that you say? To let the guy know you want to overtake? Why? Isn't that the reason you are both in the most left lane? It's a given...

- People that brake when overtaking. I mean... with no reason except: they are about to pass the other car, and brake... Why? Do you wonder "will it fit"? Do you get scared? Hold your freakin' speed, or even accelerate to finish the maneuver!

- People that after doing the above, then speed up, still on the left lane, or veering slightly right and then returning, and then repeat the braking on next overtake. Usually driving a Mercedes... or a convertible. Selfish idiots, the whole lot.

- People that do not allow room for bikes, or worst, make life harder on them on purpose. Just because they feel stranded, powerless and impotent stuck in traffic, why act like selfish idiots?

- People that do not allow room for trucks (not pick-up ones... the real ones) or buses. WTF is wrong with you? They are working, and are usually 10x more skilled that you selfish idiots. Let them do their thing, slowly yes, and then they will move away. And you can speed up with no time loss. At all.

- Truckers that overtake @90k, another truck @90k... wtf is that?

Roundabouts, you are doing it wrong:

- It is wrong to cut across a roundabout through the straightest line possible. There are lanes, and they have purposes. It is even worst to do so with traffic and cars in other lanes, getting stuck on the diagonal blocking every freakin lane because you want to exit there, coming from the center of the roundabout.

- It is also wrong to drive always on the right lane of a roundabout. Again, there are lanes. They have a purpose, it's not road decorating paint! It is even worst to do so with traffic and cars wanting to enter the roundabout.

- It's utterly wrong to stop your car, because your exit is blocked, blocking the entrance or the circulation of the roundabout.

All that, is plain stupid selfish behavior that shows the utmost disrespect or how careless you are to other drivers.

Other general "I know I'm going over there, the rest is just clutter or landscape " behavior like:
- merging into a multi-lane road and cutting across all lanes in a 45º angle to go to the left. Especially if traffic is inbound, and worst if the left lane is slow or stopped.
- try to exit from the left lane...
- overtaking, changing lanes, parking or turning without using turning signals.

And to finalize... my personal favorite:
To speed up when being overtaken. I got that a lot coming from Spain last vacation, on a specific part of the country... They would speed up to prevent me from overtaking, and then hi-beam the sh* out of me because I was going faster. I don't know... maybe they are all cops there. That or they are selfish idiots.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The hastag: iparklikeanidiot

People have been finding and posting pictures of people (well, actually cars) that can't park properly.

This is usually done over Twitter with the tag #iparklikeanidiot

I will be posting some of these occasionally. Here are a few examples:

1: 2:

I told you I had no patience for people with no parking skills...

The "I hate iTunes" rant...

I, as many, utterly loath iTunes computer software.

To put it simply, it's like a chain saw that some brilliant minds decided to bundle with "fantastic" new features, like a Tv screen or a cup holder.

iTunes was and still is a good audio player/media library manager, to those on MAC OS, that chose to use it. It was a good idea to also use it to copy that library to a portable music player. And even to sell music through it.

It was not however a good idea to use it to manage the new range of touch iDevices. You now have apps, tv series (well... I don't but), movies, and then the device management (music, video, apps, photos, email, contacts, software updates, back-ups...). All "brilliantly" in one place. Where you can do ONE thing. At a time. Ok, you can listen to music while you sync... provided it's on the computer... since the device will be unavailable... and if it's a phone it means "please don't ring, or the sync will fail"... and no SMS... or mail... or... well... you get the point.

Additionally, the stitched up mess that it actually is, is now slow and is very, very stupid to use (unless you live in a world with only ONE computer, and ONE mobile device, and ONE person using your account, but for the "rest of the world" it's NOT GOOD).

I have ONE account, but 2 users, several computers and devices. So I ask you:

- Why do the apps I choose to sync with ONE device (my iPhone) _have_ to sync with my wife's? And don't give me any "different computer account" excuse because a) we share, and b) I'm the one doing all the syncing. Besides, even if it's just me. Why would I want to have the same music, video, podcasts and apps in my iPod touch, iPhone and iPad? Yes, I could create e new Library for each and alternate. But it's still wrong and stupid. 

- Why, even in the same iTunes account, but in different machines (and it's not that odd, now-a-days people have at least two of these: work pc, home desktop, laptop, netbook... no?), if I want to sync a new music (from my personal library, ripped from my legally owned CD), I can't do it without eliminating ALL tunes synced from the other machine? This is not synchronizing. Nor installing/uploading, it's a stupid concept some idiot decided to impose on us. In my personal opinion (I could be wrong...) to make us "see" how it's way more comfortable to just buy it, and _then_ it will be always "available". Even if I already bought it... on CD... and is available... in my hands!

- And finally, why does iTunes try do check, back-up and do a myriad of operations for hours (sometimes), when I just want to sync a new 200kB app?

I could go on... but I think you get the point. A chain saw was made to cut trees. Wanna add something? Add blade protection or something, not the kitchen "sync".

On this subject:
- How to share a library between machines using dropbox:
- How to manage music on PC without iTunes:


Yes. I now have a freaking blog.

It's mine to write, and for anyone who stumbles across it to read.

So yes... It is in English, not Portuguese. Because I want anyone who stumbles across it to be able to read it. And it helps me practice my English. And yes, I have little respect for Portuguese people with no language skills.
(Hint: in today's world you kinda should know some English...)

If you find it odd that the whole site is in PT and the text in EN, change your site preferences to EN.

I also have very little respect or patience for people with no tech or driving skills. Or parking skills. This will become clear in the future...

And finally, no. It is not meant for "you" or anyone in particular, so I really don't give a dam if it's "correct" or not, or if it could be funnier or in any way better for "you".

Happy New Year!
(or not... what do I care?)

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