Today we paid a visit to the New Museum. Among the different exhibits I was impressed by one that takes place in 2048 the year in which the Jews are thrown out of Israel by the Palestinians. I was not allowed to take pictures of the exhibit but I found this link. What the exhibits captures is a small portion of this imaginary event that takes place in the Netherlands as some refuges arrive there. On my part I sincerely hope that way before 2048 Israel has its country, the Palestinians their country along the lines of the Oslo treaty and both nations live in peace.

In the meantime here are some pictures that I took in the last 24 hours. In them you see a part of the exchibit in the New Museum that I was allowed to photograph, a very ironic exhibit on Urban China. I did find the condom underwear particularly clever.

If Jesus died for everyone sins…why is there still sin?
If heaven is so great… is suicide a sin because it’s like…you are cutting the cue?

As FON continues to grow in size, now with well over 300,000 FON Spots and thousands of partner hotspots, we also continue to improve in quality and pricing.

Yesterday, FON launched several new access products and features designed to greatly improve the user experience of people accessing the FON network. Based on feedback from dedicated Foneros, we now offer an access portal with a different look and feel, a simplified lay-out and purchase flow, and two new ways to connect: 25 Minutes by SMS, and 1 Hour by credit card, SMS or PayPal.

We are also testing prices in some areas to find the right price to satisfy all members of our FON Community: Linus’s, who want Aliens to test the network so they would buy a La Fonera and grow the FON network, Bills who want to make money from Aliens connecting, and Aliens who want to surf the internet and test the FON network before purchasing a La Fonera. And, we launched the Alien access in Japan where so far the FON network was limited only to Linus and Bills.

Also we implemented that Bills will be able to transfer the money they make to their Prepaid WiFi account. They can use the Prepaid WiFi account to surf at the commercial hotspots of BT Openzone in the UK.

These are just the latest examples of how we are continuing to innovate and improve the FON experience for all our customers. More exciting product launches, like Prepaid WiFi for FON network, our pay-per-minute access product, and the La Fonera 2.0, our best WiFi router yet, are to come soon.

Last night in NYC I had dinner with people from the financial world who corroborated what I am experiencing myself and that is that while governments around the world are pumping money into banks, banks are not lending it or are lending it at shark loan rates. I heard stories of well leased real estate properties with great cash flow in Manhattan that can´t be financed for rates lower than 6.5%. This is the same thing that is happening to me and my partners in a 120,000 square feet building we own in Tribeca and are trying to refinance. Banks are asking for draconian spreads in order to rebuild their inefficient structures. In the meantime cheap government funds are not passed on to the economy and the economy is starving for credit. Given this situation I think that governments around the world, and I say around the world because this is not only a US government problem, should disintermidiate banks and start lending directly to corporate borrowers. Only faced with this competition I believe that banks will change their predatory behavior and adjust. Lowering the salaries of the top bankers it´s not enough. Banks have to reestablish credit.

Image representing Fon as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

In this video I show how the Fonera 2.0 works. We are still working on it but the product is getting to be ready to be launched. In life I have always try to make products or offer services that I would like to use. This Fonera, other than the normal Fonera functions does a lot of cool things like connecting 3G to WiFi, offering you a WiFi hard drive, upload videos to Youtube, download torrents (always download content whose rights you own por favor) and many other functions.

Perito Moreno Glacier
Image by Marina & Enrique via Flickr

I visited the Perito Moreno glacier in the Argentine Patagonia in 1987 and was shocked at the beauty of the place. As I frequently read that glaciers were disappearing I thought that I could tell my kids as they grow up “I was around when glaciers still existed”. But now I see that I OD on Gore cause the story seems to be more complicated than this. According to a recent study Perito Moreno is not only shrinking but it´s growing at a rate of 3 meters a day! Knowing that my rabid eco readers cannot spit at me as they did to Arrington , at least not as they read this, I am going to risk a comment here. I travel the world and the only places that I have seen that humanity had made quasi inhabitable where Kathmandu and Beijing and that was because of the worst pollution that I have ever experienced. I don´t doubt that we are throwing the most pollution to the atmosphere than we ever did. What I doubt is that we truly know what the consequences of doing this are and especially if they are all bad. Since most land mass is in cold places namely Canada, Greenland and Russia, is it all bad if we do experience some global warming? Can´t biomass increase? Can´t we migrate as we have historically done to formerly colder places should sea level rise? I have no doubt that some consequences of global warming will be bad, but maybe because I am an absurdly optimistic person I can also see how some maybe good.

It´s ok if you spit at your screen now, I know my comments can be disgusting to some. And btw, do visit Perito Moreno, who knows, maybe this magnificent glacier first grows first and then disappears.

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The country that has produced the world’s cheapest car is now saying that it will produce the world´s cheapest computer. Now, being familiar with the OLPC project, and knowing how hard it is to produce a $100 computer, I can´t believe that anything other than a calculator can be made for $10.

This is a very interesting video of a TV news show filmed in 1981 that predicted that some day we would get our newspapers and magazines online. We are still not there yet and it´s 28 years later. I find it interesting that the commentator says that the newspapers are doing this without any idea of how they could make money with it and this became the biggest problem for newspapers. In Spain, last week alone, 2 newspapers closed down: Metro and ADN, and two others, ABC and El Mundo, laid off around 500 journalists.

I found out about this video thanks to my friend Jack Hidary via his Facebook post.

This picture as shown by CNN was taken yesterday. It shows a jubilant Hamas leader Khaled Mashal thanking President Ahmadinejad for his help in the Hamas victory over Israel. Now what worries me about this picture is the following. I saw the pictures of the dead Palestinian children and I am horrified. Yes I do believe that Israel has the right to defend itself from the frequent Hamas attacks over its civilian population but the 1300 casualties on the Hamas side, many of them children were in my opinion a horrifying response to the rocket attacks. Probably you were also horrified at the disproportionate death toll of the Hamas Israel war with only 10 casualties on the Israeli side. It did look like a war that should make Hamas rethink its strategy of fighting with Israel as it sees the horror that its current attempt to make Israel disappear and replace it for an Islamic state, has brought to the people of Gaza. But my concern when I look at the picture and read Mashal´s statement is that Mashal is not at all horrified. Instead that he seems to want more fighting after what he considers a victory and ordered 10 more rockets to be fired yesterday after making this comments to the press.

“The victory of the people of Gaza was a miracle of God and the Islamic Republic definitely has a share in this victory,” Meshaal said after meeting with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency.

Now this statement comes from a man whose life was paradoxically saved by the intervention of President Clinton. I recommend that you read the fascinating story of how Meshaal was saved from an assassination attempt by the intervention of the Jordanians and President Clinton himself. This comes straight from the Wikipedia.

Assassination attempt

On September 25, 1997, Mashal was the target of an assassination attempt carried out by the Israeli Mossad under orders from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his security cabinet. Ten Mossad agents carrying Canadian passports entered Jordan, where Mashal was living. They broke into a home where he was sleeping and then applied a deadly poison to his neck.[6] At the time of the assassination attempt Mashal was considered Hamas’ Jordanian branch chief. He told Third Way Magazine: “Israeli threats have one of two effects: some people are intimidated, but others become more defiant and determined. I am one of the latter.”[7]

Jordanian authorities discovered the assassination attempt and arrested two Mossad agents who had engaged in the attempt. Jordan’s King Hussein then demanded that Benjamin Netanyahu turn over the poison antidote, and at first Netanyahu refused. As the incident began to grow in political significance, however, American President Bill Clinton intervened and forced Netanyahu to turn over the antidote.[8]

Jordanian authorities later released the Mossad agents in exchange for the release of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, who was serving a life sentence in an Israeli prison for his part in inciting violence against Israeli soldiers and founding the military wing of Hamas.[9]

I understand that Israel cannot send agents to another country to murder people and that is wrong. But I also believe that if Jordan had extradited Mashal this would not have happened. In any case the story itself is worth knowing and knowing how he is ever more defiant and determined.

I also think it´s important for the rest of us watching the situation in Israel and Palestine to side with those who want to implement the Oslo treaty as soon as possible but not with those who want the destruction either of Israel nor of Palestine.


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