In 2005 around 2000 different people per day read my blogs in Spanish and English.  Now around 15000 people do.  In 2005 everyone who read my blog, actually read my blog.  Now around 5000 really read my blog, around 10,000 get the feeds of different kind that I supply and I don´t really know if they read my blog.  Also my new blog design and all the new features I have are lost to all on RSS readers.  These visitors probably only read a portion of what I write highlighting it in their Netvibes or iGoogle.  Now how can I complain if I do the same with other blogs in my favorite RSS reader?

In the future, should us bloggers just write feeds, forget about design and not even bother writing beyond the portion of the article that normally gets highlighted by a cursor?  Is our attention span going down to that?  I know mine is, and I am worried.

Here´s the latest Pew Institute global poll on what people think about USA.

Many paradoxes come out of it. Here´s a few that stand out.

People like USA more in Lebanon and Pakistan than in Germany or Spain.

People like USA more in Russia than in France.

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The Israelis and the Americans have women soldiers fighting their wars. They fight against men. What I wonder is this. If men beat women on the average at any sport including cycling, tennis, football, basketball, golf, rugby, boxing, karate, foil, and others. Is it fair to send women to fight men in the close combat type of warfare that goes on in the Middle East?

Two days ago 6 Spanish soldiers were attacked and killed in Lebanon. This is an excerpt from the Spanish newspaper El Pais that shows that half of them were Colombians fighting in the Spanish Army.

Los fallecidos son: Jefferson Vargas Moya, de 21 años; Jeyson Alejandro Castaño Abadía, de 20; y Yhon Edisson Posada Valencia, de 20; todos de nacionalidad colombiana; y Jonathan Galea García, de 18 años, de Madrid; Juan Carlos Villora Díaz, de 20, de Ávila; y Manuel David Portas Ruiz, de 20, de Sevilla.

Joining the Spanish army is a way to immigrate to Spain. Foreigners can join the Spanish Army and after serving for a certain number of years they can gain Spanish citizenship. The Spanish Army did this because Spain has a very difficult time convincing Spaniards born in a now very successful consumer society to die trying to promote peace in the Middle East. I am not surprised that very few Spaniards would want to enlist. Personally I am troubled by this recruiting practice. I am a Latin American myself (Argentine) and I don´t see why Latin Americans should die fighting in the Middle East.

I have received comments on the post about the 15 m in which people who criticize Fon’s 15 minute registration trial as hackable, write under the names of Fon employees who supposedly criticize Fon’s policy. We did not publish these comments, of course, as they are fake.

I am sorry to see an organized attempt here, perhaps financed by 3G operators, whose intention is to discredit WiFi in general, and Fon in particular, as unsafe. This has traditionally been the attack of Microsoft on all open source (Fon is open source), namely that if you want to be safe you should use their products. As an Ubuntu user I can tell you that the opposite is true. If you want to be safe use Linux, or the Linux we embrace, which is

Some people say that Fon´s 15 minute free surfing is easy to hack by using fake e mails, validating fake e mails, spoofing macs.  Well a lot of systems on the internet are easy to hack in that way.  Facebook for example removes thousands of people per week who sign up with fake identities.  But why would an “evil” person do all this and in any case watch a wifiad every 15 minutes when there´s so many open wifi hotspots in the world?  Why bother realy.  The 15 minutes generate money for bills, and it makes everyone aware of Fon.  Before we introduced the free 15 minutes very few people knew about Fon and this is a way to at least test the community.  Foneros want more coverage and the 15 minutes trial is increasing registrations and coverage.  And on top of this we are monitoring closely for this type of abuse and we have not seen it.  Plus all foneros are protected cause they enter Fon through a WPA key and the public Fon network is monitored as used by others.

There are many reasons why I believe that Facebook will be worth over $10bn, maybe as much as $20bn but I will focus on one, its open immigration policy. Joanna Rees (CEO of FON USA) and I went to see the folks at Facebook in order to make a deal on how Fon could appear in Facebook. The visit was amazing in the sense that we basically learned that we could do whatever we wanted at Facebook. All our ideas were greeted with a yes, yes and yes.

Basically, the Facebook system resembles a country with open immigration in which the best are allowed to thrive, kind of like USA who manages to attract the best of the best…and thrives. But of course you have to live by certain rules like for example disclosing who you are, a rule that we also have at Fon and that while potentially hackable Facebook told us that they frequently delete accounts of people they believe are not disclosing their true identity. Interestingly Second Life has the opposite principle, namely that people would like to live in an imaginary world of second identities, and some do, but most like to have a real relationship with real friends.

To me there´s no doubt that Facebook will be hugely popular and will overtake Myspace sometime during 2008 and become the largest social network in the world. The only lingering doubts center around monetization but with Google nearby and with the famous Myspace Google deal as a starting point I see that selling ads to people who disclose their identity and so much about themselves will be like shooting fish in a barrel.

We should bring this to Europe!

I am staying at the very fashionable Clift Hotel in San Francisco. But as I come out of this hotel I find hundreds of homeless people, many of them begging and I have a hard time enjoying my walks. I lived in NYC for many years and there were as many beggars in NYC as they are here or more but now that I have spent 12 years in Madrid where I am hardly every approached by a beggar I cannot but wonder why begging is so common in the large cities of America. Think of it. This is a country who spent half a trillion dollars invading Iraq, some say with the best of intentions, others are not so sure. But even if the intentions were good I find it very hard to understand how the people who run this country do not see more fit spending half a trillion dollars providing health care and in general treating the bottom 20% of the population better.  To me the richest countries in the world are not the countries in which the rich live better but the countries in which the bottom 20% lives better as if the botton 20% is not doing that badly then everyone else is doing very well.  Many people in America and some in Europe criticize taxation in Europe but taxation in Spain is similar to that of USA and because we don´t spend so much money in the military we have so much more to spend in more reasonable endeavors.

I am at Supernova and as I watch almost all attendees work on the Internet while they “listen” to the speakers, I conclude that “undivided attention” is a thing of the past.

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