In 1990, I invented Call Back, a means of routing telephone calls through the United States who at the time was the only country who had liberalized its telecom sector and its long distance rates where a third of those overseas.
Here’s the article.
I am very sad to report that two female students who collaborate in my foundation were attacked by Spanish Neo Nazis this weekend in the Madrid metro station of Bernabeu. One of them is badly injured with a broken jaw. They are in their mid 20’s and were identified as foreigners by the skinhead gang because of their accent (they were both speaking in Spanish).
We are all extremely concerned about this xenofobic anti American incident. One of the victims is of Mexican origin and lives and studies now in Madrid. The other one lives in the States, studies at Syracuse, and is currently studying for 5 months in Madrid. Police reported that skin heads attacks on foreigners is becoming more and more common.
Yes, at FON we know that many ISPs contracts don´t allow users to share WiFi. And I managed three ISPs, Viatel, Ya.com and Jazztel and used to offer similar contracts for users. The intention of these terms and conditions is for ISPs not to lose money with customers who don´t buy new connections. Now when FON started I made it very clear to all ISPs that FON was a big plus to ISPs and that is why so many are or are in the process of becoming our partners.
I grew up in Argentina in the 70s. At that time the military had staged a military coup and committed tremendous atrocities, including killing my cousin David Varsavsky and nearly killing my father, a Harvard trained physicist whose only crime was to stand for democracy.
FON doubled in size in the last 90 days and customer care is swamped. We have 4000 unanswered requests. I know this is going to sound crazy to Americans, but one of the reasons why we have such a backlog is that in Europe there are this extremely unusual data protection laws that make it hard (not impossible, but hard) to outsource customer care. This laws don´t allow a company to share its confidential data with another company who may, for example, provide customer care.
In the meantime I designed this little poll to understand the main problems that people who have not connected the Foneras are having around the world. A more formal e mail survey will be conducted by FON as the vast majority of the FONeros don´t know my blog.
There are many services to help you discover music on the internet. I really got to appreciate Jamendo because it is the first site I see where musicians invite you to download their music for free. This is cool because with Jamendo I discover new music and don´t feel guilty downloading it. I say “don´t feel guilty” and not “commit a crime” because in Spain it is not illegal to download music and movies from the internet for personal use.
Now one thing Jamendo needs to improve is its music rating system. Yahoo Music is much better at that. So is Last FM. And Jamendo is more for people who are interested in new music rather than established music.
In a way Jamendo is like the open source movement, brought to the music world. We like that at Fon as we are also open source.
My dream pocket gadget would be something like a Nokia N80 with a Blackberry software and keyboard. Until that comes out I will carry two gadgets. The Blackberry 8800 and the N80. But yesterday I heard that Blackberry is addressing one of the major shortcomings of the 8800 and adding WiFi to it. That’s a great move because WiFi is faster than 3G or GPRS and is free.
Still my biggest consumption of bandwidth does not come from email, because Blackberry is very efficient at compressing email. My heavy usage of bandwidth comes from pictures and videos some of which end up in this blog. A video weighs around 20 megs, and 3G is too expensive and slow for that. I now use a tool provided by Vpod to upload videos from my N80 over WiFi and upload them to my blog that works very well.
The new Blackberry with WiFi does not have a camera and the Blackberry Pearl does, but its camera is very poor compared to that of the N80 and does not have video capability.
Thanks Business 2.0!