27.2.06

Google Pages

So, Google created Google Pages, the easiest way to create an website. I've tried it, and here's the result/review.

Choosing a cellphone (Part III and Final)

So, after parts I and II, here's my final decision. I read some stuff on E1 and I liked what I've read. But, just to be sure, I've seen some stuff on the other (more expensive) Motorola's. None had such a good mp3 player but, perheaps, the two of those which are SmartPhones. Those two are running Windows, so NO, thanks.

I've decided now, and I'm going to order my Motorola E1 ROKR now.

23.2.06

Choosing a cellphone (Part II)

Following the previous article:

* Motorola E1000

For this phone, I wrote: "Now, E1000 is a phone that I already know, and when I got my C650 I said "my next phone will be an E1000". Well, I didn't knew that it would be this soon, and the price of E1000 may be too expensive for me to choose it." But I started to hear (and then Google confirmed) that this cellphone has lot's of battery problems, so I'll probably skip this one and check some of those others more expensive ones...

* Motorola V620
* Motorola V400p
* Motorola V3 Black

This three cellphones don't have an mp3 player. Goodbye.

* Motorola E1

Now, when I heard that this cellphone was going to exist I was thrilled. When it started to be selled on Portugal I war more thrilled. Most reviews on it are bad, but they all fail to realise that this is a cellphone. The reviews tend to compare the mp3 funcionality of E1 (ROKR) with an iPod. And, of course, this is NOT an iPod and isn't as good as an iPod to play mp3. On the other hand, it has the best mp3 player I've seen in a cellphone that isn't a smartphone, and it is a good cellphone in the other aspects. So. what's it's problem? It's expensive.

The decision is not made yet, so "Choosing a cellphone" saga may have a Part III.

22.2.06

Bloody red

Fred wrote something interesting:


Red means danger, in traffic lights and brake lights. Animals use red to issue warnings and announce their mating season. Red is used to provoke erotic feelings. Red is the color of your blood. Most of all, red means STOP or ERROR.

One example of bad use of the red color is seen in Replicon Web TimeSheet:


The fist impulse we get when we see this is "there's something wrong with those weeks". As a matter of fact that red only means "this week is already filled in".

17.2.06

Mindless Self Indulgence

I've got some feedback on my posts about Mindless Self Indulgence, but today I got one asking me for more stuff from Mindless Self Indulgence. Since he's not yet willing to buy one CD from them, here's some more teasers:

Bring the Pain (mp3)
Bitches (mp3)

Straight to Video live:

16.2.06

Tech giants' 'nauseating collaboration' in China

In a House subcommittee hearing for global human rights, Rep. Tom Lantos accuses four major U.S. technology companies of "complete compliance" with Chinese repression of civil rights and political dissent. Their actions are, he says, "a disgrace."

Watch the video here.

Ten Times

If you're Portuguese, you MUST listen to this.

Don't forget Talkers

Joey has written "Don't forget MOO's", in response to "Towards a Free Metaverse". I agrree with what he said, but I must add "don't forget talkers". As a matter of fact, I would only change "Long ago we had MOOs, MUDs, etc," with "Long ago we had Talkers, MOOs, MUDs, etc,".

(Disclaimer: I write text based Talkers, and have never used Second Life, though I'm willing to try it.)

15.2.06

.bashrc on Fedora

This is the default .bashrc on Fedora:


[root@noori ~]# cat /etc/skel/.bashrc
# .bashrc

# User specific aliases and functions

# Source global definitions
if [ -f /etc/bashrc ]; then
. /etc/bashrc
fi
[root@noori ~]#

I have three questions on this:
  • Why do the global definitions run in .bashrc? Shouldn't bash source /etc/bashrc and only then ~/.bashrc, or at least run /etc/bashrc if .bashrc wasn't defined?
  • Being sourced, why are global definitions sourced after the user specific aliases and functions? That should be otherwise, because, in this setup, if I, for instance, setup an umask here, it is going to be overriden anyway bt the global bashrc...
  • What are Fedora people thinking when they package stuff like this?

StickAM

StickAM is an Web 2.0 application that launched today. For the last days I've seen lot's of new Web 2.0 Apps starting up, and none of them innovative or interesting. This one is the difference.

Let's start for the bad part: I'm still waiting for my confirmation e-mail, and their service is slow. I suppose that they weren't expecting the exposure they're getting, and that these two latency problems will soon be fixed. Another bad thing, they use Flash. If they do that, they have an innovatite service that gives you an easy way to stream videos or audio in your website or blog in a couple of clicks.

I have to try it myself to draw a final oppinion, but for the stuff I've already checked, and comments on the web, I think this is a good webapp.

Read more about StickAM here.

Gentoo Founder Quits Microsoft

I've just won a bet.

HCL 2.1.0 Beta 1 and WinApp 2.1.0 Beta 1 Released

The beta versions have been released. To upgrade your HCL from 2.1.0 alpha or 2.0.6, simply upload and overwrite your existing files, then run the setup script and choose upgrade when prompted.

Download

For those that still don't know, HCL is Help Center Live, and WinApp is a desktop client for it (to Windows sistems).

Saturated 2.0

Following my set of rants on the way Web 2.0 world is getting saturated, you may want to read this post that shows my point of view in a more polite way...

14.2.06

Privacy and Google

Google Inc. is offering a new tool that will automatically transfer information from one personal computer to another, but anyone wanting that convenience must authorize the Internet search leader to store the material for up to 30 days.

That compromise, sought as part of a free software upgrade to Google Desktop and released Thursday, might be more difficult to swallow now that the Bush administration is demanding to know what kind of information people have been trying to find through Google's search engine.

Google is fighting the Justice Department's subpoena in a federal court battle that's focusing more attention on the risks of personal information held by Internet companies being turned over to outside sources, including the government.

Now, I wouldn't risk my privacy on this one, not just because you have better alternatives to Google Desktop but because doing that would be... exactly what most people will do, because of this cartoon that I've posted earlier:



Read here more about this topic.

13.2.06

Choosing a cellphone

This post was messing up with my blog's CSS. I'll get it back ASAP.

Like I did last year, I'm starting (exactly at this instant) to choose what will be my next cellphone. As for it's brand, and for the the same reasons as before, I'll choose a Motorola.

Now, I have a C650 and I like it, and I obviously want to have an equal or better cellphone. The choices:

  • C650
  • E1
  • E1000
  • E1070
  • E398
  • L 6
  • MPX200
  • MPX220
  • U 6
  • V3 Black
  • V3 Silver
  • V3 X
  • V360
  • V400p
  • V545
  • V600
  • V620
  • V975
Since I'm wanting to get one of those toys only if they cost less than "x" (being "x" a value yet to be defined), I'll start by ordering them by price. The prices table I have has some silly stuff (better cellphones cheaper than worse ones), so in those cases I'll just eliminate the worse ones (in the cases I know they're worse).

  • Motorola C650
  • Motorola V545
  • Motorola L 6
  • Motorola V360
  • Motorola V975
  • Motorola E1000
  • Motorola V620
  • Motorola V400p
  • Motorola V3 Black
  • Motorola E1
  • Motorola MPX220
  • Motorola U 6
  • Motorola V600
  • Motorola E1070
  • Motorola V3 Silver
  • Motorola V3 X
  • Motorola MPX200

V545 is better than C650 but is quite ugly, so I think I'll discard that one... Let's see.

I would prefer a cellphone that would allow video recording and that had mp3 playing capabilities. L3
captures up to 15 seconds of video, but has no mp3 player.

Motorola V360, not being ugly as hell like V545, isn't exactly preety, but has an mp3 player along with the video recording software.

V975 as ugly as V360, is more expensive and has more capabilities that I won't use.

Now, E1000 is a phone that I already know, and when I got my C650 I said "my next phone will be an E1000". Well, I didn't knew that it would be this soon, and the price of E1000 may be too expensive for me to choose it.

What about the others? I don't know, they're too expensive for a mobile phone. I don't need more than what mine does nowadays. Having the possibility to make small video recordings is something I would like to have, tho, and I already have one mp3 player, having it on the cellphone is just to avoid being with two gadgets instead of one. Everything above E1000 are features that I won't use. So why bother? I don't know, when I get myself decided I'll post here...

Crap 2.0

Following my rants on Web 2.0 and all the hype around it, here's another post.

Today I've heard of Yet Another Web2.0App, Zoomr. Yes, the name couldn't be a more shameless plug, Zoomr is another WebApp that does the same as another existent one, Flickr, which almost everyone knows now, it's used by everyone, and nobody will use another one unless it's really really better, preetier and innovative. Well, this one ISN'T. I think that creating one webapp like this (when there's already others) is filling Internet with garbage, even if Melo points out something good on this webapp. Now, I totally agree with Melo: distributed authentication is a really nice thing to have, and I think that every webapp would be better if it had it. I just don't think that Zoomr is worth shit just because it has it.

Lesson of today: if you want to create an web application, try to implement a distributed authentication system, since that's a nice to have, and do something INNOVATIVE unless you're doing it just to piss me off.

Yes, I also think that the future of the desktop is the Web, but it can only happen if you innovate.

10.2.06

Excelent outdoor

outdoor

There's a comment in Portuguese on this, in the image, but for those that don't know Portuguese, here's a translation:

You didn't get it? Don't worry.
Electronic Arts is one of the biggest companies in the world that produce and distribute game classics like Simcity and The Sims. In this picture we can see an outdoor in Canada from EA. If you use that piece of code in a C program, the output will be "Now Hiring". That's their way of letting only programmers to know that they want to hire... A nice way of filtering the people interested in the job!

8.2.06

Bubble 2.0

OK, I know and understand the concepts behind Web 2.0, I like the concepts behind AJAX, I think Ruby on Rails is cool, and I really really think that the short future on computer applications are on web applications. Furthermore, I believe that creating nowadays a "web site" instead of a webapp, or ding a webapp that isn't Web 2.0 is certain ruin and misery. So no, I don't agree with Russell Shaw when he says that "Web 2.0 does not exist". But even the Webbies out there must agree that there's a ridiculous "Web Bubble" going on... again. How many startup based on Web 2.0 applications do you know? Reading your daily news you'll figure that there are dozens being created per day! I'm not as skeptical about this as Kevin Cornell, but when was the last time that you head about a new Web 2.0 app, and when I mean new I mean an application doing something new or better than the applications available before? I don't care to read about Yahoo Photos migrating to Web 2.0: after all they bought Flikr and will probably want to turn their two webapps into one without loosing users. But I couldn't care less about Feedster having new features, since after all they are nothing more than a news reading site like their competitors Google News, that make you able to get a feed for the search you want, and have more cantent than Feedster could ever have. But it's not the existence of alternatives like Feedster that bother me, no, I actually enjoy the existence of competition. But, PLEASE, do you know how many feedster-exactly-like new startup's with no-user-base-yet I knew TODAY? SEVEN! 7! Sorry, but that is just ridicculous.

Do you want to create a Web 2.0 startup? Then, PLEASE, do this five steps:

  • Think first if you're really sure you want to bet in such a risky ride;
  • Have a fucking business plan, damn!;
  • Study the market, the alternatives, and try to find all possible webapps that do similar things than yourse;
  • Do an heavy study of all the previous applications and find its strongs and weaknesses;
  • Think in what could make your webapp PERFECT, and see how would it cost.
If you notice some similarities on this and in "how to create a business" it's because you're creating an application, an information system and a business, all three in one. And what to know more? It isn't hard at all! Look, for instance, social communities. How many do you know of? I could list ten in less than 30 seconds. Which ones are "heavily used"? You can list two or three, no more or you are completely clueless on the issue. Now, When did social communities first appeared on the web? Are they still profitable? The final pair of questions: why is it that the most-used one is the most-used? Is it good? I'll make some homework for you: the two final questions are answered by "because it's the best one" and "no". So, why aren't there better alternatives? Because we're on the "Bubble 2.0", and you care more on being a webbie than doing something good and profitable.

6.2.06

Software: do Caos à Agilidade

"Software: do Caos à Agilidade" is an article (in Portuguese) written by me and that was published on the 5th DEInix 'zine. This article was written almost an year ago, but feel free to read it and comment here.

Don't!

DO NOT go to "Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics High Energy Astrophysics Division" http://hea-www.harvard.edu/home.html#search and type the word "teen" in the search box, and if you have actually not listened to me so far, DO NOT click on the links it presents, because they redirect in a flash to various Not Safe For Browsing sites.

Ok, you can't blame me now.

The pleasure of vinyl

This weekend I got the most beautiful vinyls you can get:

This is a pink opaque vinyl (that's right, pink!), preety cool... See it spinning:

But THIS is the most beautiful vinyl I've ever seen, and I'm proud to be owner of one:

Unfortunately my cellphone camera isn't good enough to show you how preety this is... a bood-red translucid vinyl! Here is is, spinning:

The Portuguese way

I took this picture a long time ago, but uploaded it only today. I can see this every day from my window, and kind of shocks me... After all both the company who's doing the publicity and the one who did the printing don't know that, in Portuguese, there's no "á", but "à"...

3.2.06

FEDORA SUCKS

I shouldn't be so harsh on Fedora. I know. I shouldn't, because then they revenge themselves on me and make me hate them more... and suffer. With the latest Fedora Core 4 updates, I suddenly lost my keyboard on KDE. That's right, I'm using Gnome (which I don't like) because my KDE on Fedora has no fucking keyboard. People continue to say that I'm too harsh on them, that "shit happens" but I can't just believe how moronic can someone be to push such unstable updates to an self-proclaimed "stable" distribution release. I'm using Fedora Core 4 on this machine, Fedora guys tell that this is a stable version, and then, out of the blue, in the middle of one day of work, I suddenly loose my keyboard on KDE, loose all my produtivity because I'm used to KDE and not to Gnome, have to configure Gnome my way, and... ARGH!

I officially HATE Fedora.

Rant on Fedora

Can somebody please give me a good reason on why KWord and Scribus packages on Fedora exclude the options of importing PDF? That sucks! How is someone expected to edit a PDF on Fedora? To download KOffice source and compile it? Bah!

2.2.06

Google denies Goobuntu rumors

I said yesterday that there were rumors on Google making a Linux distro. Despite today being earnings release day, presumably a very busy time at the Google press relations office, technology spokeswoman Sonya Borälv said that "[w]e use Ubuntu internally but have no plans to distribute it outside of the company."

The fine folks behind Ubuntu will be happy with this indirect endorsement by one of the biggest names in technology, but there won't be any Goobuntu PCs on the shelves of your local Best Buy for the foreseeable future.

You may want to read more on the issue here.

The end of the Wishlist

Since I only had musical items on my wishlist and I was too lazy to get it updated as it should, I've decided to end with it. It was usefull for a while, but it just isn't anymore. Besides, I don't have problems in knowing stuff I want to order, even when I forget some stuff I really want but never hear of it again: there's allways more music I want than the music I can afford to order per month...

The end of the world

Ever wondered how is world going to end?

Watch it here (Flash needed):




Imbolc

I wish, today, a merry Imbolc to all those Pagans out there who celebrate it.

1.2.06

Google Future

This compiles four predictions on how will be Google in the future...

Optimus mini three keyboard

Remember when I talked about the Optimus Keyboard? Well, while you wait for it, they're now acception pre-orders for the Optimus Mini-Keyboard: a similar idea but with only three buttons. Interesting enough...

Pandora bug

As some of you know, I'm a Pandora heavy user, I think it is better than Last.fm, and I think it will get a lot better. Of course it still has lot's of problems, and I know some of them... But now I've just stumbled upon a curious one.
I indicated to Pandora some weeks ago that I like Steve Roach. Now, I've started a new "session" on Pandora and this has been the songs it gave me:

  • Steve Roach - Flatlands
  • Steve Roach & Vir Unis - Born of Fire
  • Byron Metcalf featuring Steve Roach - Raven Medicine
  • Steve Roach & Robert Rich - Soma
OK, now, I'm not complaining - I'm liking to listen to them, but Pandora algorithm gave me this four tracks as something like "similar tracks from different artists". OK, the "Artist name" on the track is different, but the Artist itself is the same.

Why is relying on Microsoft so bad

Since Bill Gates is Portugal spreading the M$ desease, and since most Portuguese people are seeing this as good, I think that this is a good time to point to you this page that shows what's so bad about Microsoft. It quickly explains that it's not a problem with their success, but with how they achieve it...

KDE 3.5.1 released

KDE 3.5.1 has been released!

KDE 3.5.1 is a maintenance release which provides corrections of problems reported using the KDE bug tracking system and greatly enhanced support for existing translations and new translations. Surprisingly, from all the changes, the ones I eager most are those related to KPDF.