In this video shot at my home I show the new Apple TV and explain why the product falls so short of expectations. Apple TV is not TV. It is just a way of connecting your PC to your TV to listen to music (but sounds systems on TV are generally very poor) to see movies (but you have to transform all movies to formats compatible with iTunes which is a lot of work). The hard drive is pathetic, only 30 something GB. Frankly if you are going to get an Apple TV better get a cheap PC and leave it always connected to your TV. You will be able to do many more things.

I am an investor in Technorati and I am sorry to see that Dave Sifry left the day to day management of the company.  I am also sorry to see that now “authority” as a concept has been taken out from the home page of Technorati and relegated to a hack that few know.  Now if I was advising Technorati this is what I would say.
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El Mundo, Spain´s largest news web site, announces today that Chueca, Madrid´s gay neighborhood is 90% cover by Fon WiFi signal.  I personally want to thank the leaders of the Gay Community of Madrid and the Gay Press Zero for believing in Fon and making this a reality.  Moreover I would like to invite all of those who visit Madrid to hang out at the Fon WiFi HQ in Chueca and enjoy the neighborhood with their laptops, PSPs, DS, iPhones, Nokias, Sony Ericsson´s, HP´s, HTC´s or whatever WiFi gadgets they may have!

On the way back from Beijing I had a chance to fly with Neil Goldman, a co founder of Capital IQ who is now both a fund manager and a philanthropist.  Neil shared with me that he supports of Hatzalah.   Coming from Fon a global WiFi network built by the people and interested in all efforts that involved citizen participation (see my previous article on Couchsurfing) I thought that the idea of training regular citizens to save lives was quite powerful.  The basic idea of Haftzalah is that without much training all of us can save lives and while it would be ideal of course that only very well trained medical personnel saves lives it so happens that many times by the time qualified medical personnel arrives it is just too late.  So Haftzalah trains anyone in Israel, say a marketing manager at a tech company, to save lives.  And she may be at a meeting explaining how to launch the latest Web 2.0 service but when her phone rings, she drops everything a la Superman and goes to save lives, at least until the MDs arrive.  One of the biggest life savers is in the use of defibrillators.  As the Hatzalah web site describes:

These machines automatically detect heart rhythms and can shock a patients heart back into beating.

My father died of a heart attack when he was only 49 in an intercontinental flight and I certainly wish that there had been a defibrillator on board and regular citizens trained to deal with them.  I was also pleased to see that this concept was extended to the US and it is somewhat similar to that of being a Red Cross Volunteer but even more grassroots.

Nina who works with me pointed out this site called Couchsurfing. Its like a Fon but of couches. With Fon you share a little WiFi out of your window with those who pass by and then they share with you when you go by their home. With Couchsurfing it gets more intimate. You share your couch with those who pass by and they share their couch with you when you travel. Even though I am not sure I am ready to share my couch(es) with those who pass by my home I loved the idea.

In this video I speak about how gadgets are made and sold in China and the attitudes of the Chinese vis a vis global brands.

I am not a US citizen but I lived in the US for 18 years. I now live in Spain. As CEO of Fon, the largest WiFi network in the world, I frequently travel around Europe, Asia, and America. In my travels I have had a chance to compare countries along a lot of different categories. Indeed during long international flights I started a comparison chart between Europe and USA along around 50 different categories that were meant to define which part of the world had better quality of life. These included issues such as access to education, quality of health care, criminality, unemployment, level of red tape, income per capita, job opportunities, innovation rates, tolerance and other random categories. Interestingly the result was pretty even between Europe and USA: there were around 25 categories that USA scored better and a similar number for the EU. My conclusion was not that the EU was better than USA or viceversa but depending on what is important to you you would choose one over the other. And I chose Europe. Now having said this there was one issue in which Europe had the upper hand and that was the quality of the Police Forces and the justice system in general. For reasons that are not clear to me USA has much higher incarceration rates than Europe. Indeed USA has more people behind bars than Madrid has inhabitants, about 4.4 million vs 5.7 million. But not only USA has abnormally crowded prisons (if incarcerated people were included in unemployment statistics USA would lose its advantage in employment vis a vis Europe), but USA has a Police Force that is particularly rude in the treatment of its citizens. During a visit to Southampton, Long Island I was shouted at by a policeman for a minor traffic violation (driving at 42 miles an hour in a 30 mile zone). When I got off the car to apologize I was almost handcuffed. The “hands on the wheel” diatribe was so bad that it made me wonder how US citizens put up with Police Forces that so frequently abuse individuals. I don´t mind getting a fine but I do mind being treated like a dangerous suspect when any security officer with common sense would not consider me in a bathing suit a real threat. Moreover not only are US Police Forces rude but they are corrupt as well. When I was telling a friend how I was shouted at in Southampton she metioned that there is a well know way to be treated well by US Police Forces and that is to pay them off. But as opposed to giving them cash on the spot the system, and it seems to be a very well accepted system nationwide, consists in making significant payments to the Police Charities and obtaining badges that say that one is a contributor to the Police Forces. Indeed so interested are US citizens in trying to get a better treatment from their police forces that many fall into various scams. My take as a frequent visitor to the States is that this system is shameful and that Police should both stop being rude to average citizens and certainly stop taking what in other countries would clearly be called a bribe in the form of charitable donations.

China calling itself Communist is like Latin countries calling themselves Catholic. The Communist Chinese seem to like money as much as the Catholic Latinos like sex and yet both have “ideologies” whose main principles are based around repression of what those cultures like the most. Maybe it is unsuccessfully trying to fight these “excessive” desires that makes these cultures come up with ideologies that are so far from their own reality of life. You are as unlikely to find a Chinese who believes in sharing his wealth as you are to find a Brazilian who practices abstinence. But there you go.

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Tonight, Lars Hinrichs, from Xing, and I went out for a walk. We wanted to go from the Grand Hyatt hotel to Tianmen Square. The walk was dissapointing. Not only were we approached by many women who were offering their services to us, but as the video that I include here shows, we also saw many homeless people sleeping on the street right outside the fanciest shops in Beijing. I should say though that during the 18 years I lived in NYC I also saw tremendous poverty coupled with extreme wealth, something less common in Europe. I guess by now the most socialist region left in the world is Europe, and curiously Japan. The rest of the world has a worse distribution of income. China which has no socialism left really, it is going for the extreme capitalist model. I wish it moderated it. China should adopt a European or Japanese model of development that balances capitalism with the welfare state. I do not believe that extreme poverty is necessary to generate growth. Korea is also another country that proves that enormous income differentials are not needed for a country to grow out of poverty.

In this video I show the home of Zhang Rui, one of China´s top art collectors. The video was filmed yesterday at the inauguration party of Zang Rui´s Guggenheimesque home. The collection is amazing. It does contain some art that may offend Christians. My apologies in advance for this.

You can also watch this video in Youtube or in Sevenload

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