[the iPhone] is the best telephone I have ever used, light years away from the Nokias, Sonys, Samsungs, and other junk. That is exactly what those telephones look like after trying the iPhone: junk.
So let me explain, Jesús, my experience with the iPhone. I was just as enthused when I started to use the iPhone, but within a month I had already gone back to the old combo of the Blackberry and a Nokia that I’ve been using for the past few years. I know that carrying around two phones, one of work and one for pleasure, sounds absurd, but I get around with the Blackberry 8800 and the Nokia N95. During the month I used the iPhone, I carried around all three phones, until my iPhone was stolen at a party in Mallorca. I am sorry but could never get by on the iPhone alone. Actually, it got to the point where I only used my iPhone to look cool whereas I used the other phones to do things. When my iPhone was robbed, many of my commentators asked me why I was carrying it around with me if it didn’t even have service Spain. Well the iPhone did have roaming service from AT&T in Spain but the roaming fees were so high that I only carried it around to show it off and occasionally to see things as the iPhone´s forte is that it is the world´s best spectator phone, great to see what others did (Youtube button) extremely poor when you want to be the protagonist (does not allow you to shoot your own video). In any case here´s a list of reasons as to why I am not replacing my iPhone. Read More
Here´s a wonderfully written article from the New York Times on how China´s environmental policies are a disaster for the Chinese people, and for the world as a whole. The story explains, in detail, how while other industrialized countries only saw the consequences of pollution once they were rich that China is still far from being rich and is already incredibly polluted. This is summarized in a great metaphor as China is described as a smoking teenager with emphysema. I can personally testify that my family cut short our latest visit to Beijing last year because two of my children started having respiratory problems and we ended up mostly locked in our rooms at the Hyatt Hotel. Fon´s offices in China are in Hong Kong, by the sea. We considered having them in Beijing but high pollution was a factor in our decision. While Hong Kong is also polluted it is not as bad. I can imagine that American companies sending employees to work in Beijing could eventually be sued in the same way they were sued in the 80s when they had employees working in buildings with asbestos. By now we have enough information to know that a person who moves to Beijing for a few years from say San Francisco is likely to suffer health damage akin to starting to smoke.
What should China do? In my view there are two simple steps to take. One is to steadily increase taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels so as to encourage people to get small cars and use public transportation. This is what also USA should do, to bring gasoline prices to European levels. The second one, and I know that I will be criticized for this, is to go nuclear “a la France”. France derives 2/3 of its electricity from nuclear plants. China should replace coal burning for nuclear energy. Of course solar and wind energy should also be widely adopted but with the energy intensive developmental model that China is pursuing I don´t see another possibility than going nuclear. Nuclear energy has its risks but I think that at this point with all we know about global warming it´s the lesser of two evils.
This is the liberator limo, it goes around Madrid promoting the services of Liberalia, a company that unlocks all the phones that operators provide lock so you don´t go to their competition. Personally, I am happy that this has not been made ilegal in Spain. I believe that handset subsidies distort the mobile market and lead to a lack of competition.
Same happens in the States. For example, when I bought my iPhone, one of the things I criticized the most was that it is locked to use it only with AT&T. That is why I am happy to find out that George Hotz (17 years old from New Jersey) figured out how to unlock the iPhone and use it with other companies. The hack seems to be complicated though, and requires techie skills since missteps may result in the iPhone becoming useless.
I am still trying to understand what made over one third of my Spanish readers believe that the CIA and not Al Qaida was responsible for the 9 11 attacks. As you can see in this poll 38% of my Spanish readers believe that was the case. Another 7 percent believed that it was the Mosad who was responsible for the attack. Overall less than half of my Spanish readers believed that Al Qaida was responsible for 9 11. I was shocked as to me there is really no doubt as to who carried the 9 11 attacks and it was clearly Al Qaida led by Osama Bin Laden. But trying to find an explanation for such unusual views coming from highly educated, sophisticated readers and commentators in my Spanish blog I think I can venture a theory. What I think has happened here is that because the Bush Aministration lied about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction and so badly mismanaged the invasion of Iraq many Spanish have basically lost trust in American Foreign Policy to the point that they find it easier to believe that the CIA would inflict so much damage on the American People so the Bush administration could invade Irak. Personally while I think there´s no ground to believe that the CIA itself attacked the WTC and the Pentagon I do believe that the CIA and other American agencies were partly responsible for arming and training the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden against the Russians. I also think that the general going alone policy of the Bush administration has created enormous mistrust in anything that the American government says.
These days there was a little war on the Internet in Spain when the leading TV chain in Spain, TVE, ran a show in which they showed how easy it was to vandalize Wikipedia. And what´s worse, after vandalizing some articles, the producers of the show did not even bother to correct the changes. As Microsoft likes to point out that Open Source is not safe to use traditional media´s attack on the Internet generally centers around proving that the Internet is not a trustworthy source of information. In the meantime the value of “reliable” traditional media companies keeps shrinking. Personally I think that the world needs both, professional journalists with great integrity and the user generated content of blogs and Wikipedia. But I can understand why as journalists start feeling that their jobs are being taken by bloggers who compete with their readers attention and do not demand payment other than the occasional Google Ad would react violently and attack the Internet. In the end, this is a foolish strategy. The internet is more reliable than traditional media not because it can´t be wrong (it frequently is) but because it is self correcting. Needless to say the articles that were vandalized have by now been fixed.
Crisis guide 2: Part 1 of our feature looked at why the markets got into a mess. Part 2 looks at how contagion could spread and whether the central banks’ rescue packages will work.
I normally don´t do this but I got an explanation of the current debt crisis that was so well written that I will publish it in my blog. As soon as I know who the author is I will give her/him credit. In the meantime my general comment is that this crisis reminds me of the Drexel collapse in the 80s when people realize that there was such as poor quality debt. But what we also know of that collapse is that investors panicked and sold debt too cheaply. Read More
The major software companies including Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Dell, Symantec, HP, IBM, Intel and McAfee, founded a group called the BSA (Business Software Alliance). They define themselves as “the voice of the world’s commercial software industry and its hardware partners before governments and in the international marketplace”. BSA programs foster technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade, and e-commerce”. In fact, one of their campaigns they run worldwide is to encouraged employees to denounce their companies and employers that use piracy software, such as copies of microsoft, antiviruses and other privative software. and they have become quite succesful in their task in places such as Germany, where quite a few employees contacted them.
This is not a problem we have at FON since last May we decided to drop Microsoft and adopt Ubuntu. We did this to save time, maintenance costs, license costs, to be able to use hardware for a longer time, to have access to quick updates, to operate in a secure, virus free environment. But now that I know that Microsoft and others were asking employees to denounce Fon, I feel even happier that we are using open source software.
Today the New York Times publishes an article that estimates that is critical of the use of air power in Afghanistan as it results in a high number of civilian deaths. I agree with this. It is very difficult to make the case that car bombs is terrorism but plane bombs aren´t.
You may have heard this. You ask someone, so where do you live, and they answer, on a plane. Well as absurd as this sounds I know more and more people who live like that. I call them the new homeless. They work for global companies or are entrepreneurs themselves, sometimes intellectual entrepreneurs, regular speakers at conferences for example, lecturers, itinerant professors. These people have a hard time establishing roots somewhere and many of them tend not to come from anywhere in particular. Instead they were already roamers as kids thanks to their parents who may have been diplomats, executives at multinationals, or global hippies. The problem with the new homeless is that they are mostly unable to develop functional relationships, or friendships and thus the booming field of internet relationships where friendship knows no boundaries. Unfortunately nobody has invented the internet hug yet and all those emoticons cannot replace a caress or a falling tear.