Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

This week I bought a new 500GB hard drive for my Macbook and experienced how easy and quick it is to clone your old smaller hard drive into what is a gigantic hard drive for a laptop in an incredibly short amount of time. The HUGE difference between Macs and Windows machines is the concept of cloning. While Windows does not allow you to clone itself Mac does just that. And cloning means tremendous savings in both time and money. It means new hardware with all your stuff already in it. It is interestingly that the company that makes it so hard to clone an iPod makes it so easy to clone a Mac.

To change my hard drive all I did is buy a new one for only $110 in Amazon enclosed it and cloned it using a free program called Super Duper. I then replace the hard disk opening the compartment that seats behind the battery using a special mini screw driver that came with the hard drive. True, there are cloning tools for Windows too, but on Mac it’s just super easy to change, both the hardware and the software. I used Microsoft from 20 years and changed to Apple two years ago. During all my time with Microsoft I thought that Apple was better but harder. Now I see that Apple is better because it is easier, much easier. Microsoft made me feel like an idiot. Apple makes me feel smart. I still don´t know if I am smart or an idiot overall but I certainly prefer the Apple feeling.

And what really puts Mac on another level of simplicity is what happens when you buy a new laptop. On Windows you need to install all your applications and manually recover your documents from your backups, while loosing most of your settings and preferences. On Mac, thanks to its UNIX style “everything is a file” approach, migrating your documents, applications and application settings is as easy as copying your files from your backup to your new computer. With Leopard it’s now even easier: as soon as you boot up your new Mac, Apple’s Migration Assistant lets you copy all your files from your old computer (over WiFi or ethernet) or from a backup. And if you want to go insane with memory here´s a hack that will give you a Tera Macbook.

Russia suffers from Islamic terrorism. China suffers from Islamic terrorism. The USA is involved in two lethal and expensive wars against Islamic terrorism. It seems that the Obama administration is connecting the dots and beginning to deal with China on this matter. I think the same should be done with Russia. If the most destabilizing threat to our security is Osama Bin Laden´s successors armed with nuclear devices why not collaborate with nations with whom we have much more in common, than say with the Taliban, to avoid this threat. Moreover these nations are geographically much closer to the epicenter of Islamic violence than USA and in the case of Russia have fought the same enemies as the USA. And there many other reasons to collaborate beyond the real, yet not probable threat, of massive nuclear terrorism. Russia and China were communist dictatorships. Now they are capitalist and autocratic – not yet democracies in our sense of the word, but certainly much closer to us than in the 70s. This evolution alone seems to be a move in the right direction and reason enough for closer ties. With Bush, I had the feeling that the old hawks running foreign policy just could not accept that Russia and China had greatly changed for the better. With Obama and Clinton, we may realize that the era of forcing others to be like you is over and a new year of “we both have our flaws but we can still be friends” is here. Moreover, in the “terrible abuses” competition, the USA is up there as well. As far as human rights are concerned, with the death penalty, Guantanamo, Abu Gharb and air bombings of civilian populations, there´s more harm that has been done by the USA than Russia and China combined in the last 20 years. So let´s be friends.

The following photowalk took place yesterday around the area of my apartment in NYC where we are visiting for a week in which I am combining work and family time with Nina and my four children. I chose to mainly photograph luxury brands as I consider them endangered species. I am not saying that all luxury brands will disappear. Many endangered species do not become extinct. But the total revenues collected by luxury brands, after decades of enormous growth is shrinking rapidly and many of these brands will either go or be a fraction of what they were. So here´s a picture collection of these brands as I found them along Park Ave and 5th Ave that can serve as one more testimonial so in 2012 you can say, remember how the world of luxury was like?

I must say that personally, regardless of how I have done as an entrepreneur, I have always avoided luxury brands. I shop at Zara and H&M, Diesel, Pepe Jeans, Replay are already an extravagance for me, and from there on I show no interest. No matter how well I do as an entrepreneur I will never part with thousands of dollars to buy shoes, suits or other clothing. I do however admire the mostly Italian, French and American entrepreneurs who manage to cash in on people insecurities and pay them 10 times cost for perceived brand value. The combination of original design, exhaustive PR and ubiquitous advertising that creates a luxury brand is something, I admit, I will never be able to create as an entrepreneur. Now I am a sucker for Apple products and that is the closest thing to a luxury brand shopping experience that I will go for.

Thanks to Gabriel Gruber, I’ve just found out about Xoopit, a cool Firefox extension that lets you quickly navigate the images, videos and files you get via email, directly from your Gmail inbox.

This add-on scans your Gmail account looking for files, pictures and videos and shows them in a nice interface that lets you quickly find what you’re looking for, or what you didn’t even notice you had received, hidden between hundreds of emails. At Fon, we own Gspace that is also an alternative way of getting more juice out of Gmail, but I liked Xoopit cause it basically finds the needles in the haystack.

Another great feature is search. When you search in your Gmail account (one of the key strengths of Gmail is you can keep gigabytes of emails and easily search your archive), Xoopit displays a sidebar showing the attachments that match your search, saving you the time of going through each email to find a specific document or picture.

Xoopit now also allows you to update your Facebook status clicking on a small button at the top of your Gmail window. It also lets you see your friends’ status from a little box inside their emails, letting you know what they are up to at that moment.

After you’ve installed the extension, you can also visit the Xoopit website and get a nice feed view of all your incoming emails and attachments.

We have all been through the same thing. We can connect a computer via WiFi, we can obtain Internet around the home and on the street via WiFi but we can hardly ever link a display, a monitor or a flat TV to a computer via WiFi. As we at Fon prepare to launch the Fonera 2.0, I have started doing research with the help of Jordi and Pietro on the subject of how to move HD Video around via WiFi or WiFi like technologies and this is what I found.

High Definition Video has become an increasingly common feature of our TVs, video cameras, and game consoles. The consumer electronics industry has made great steps ahead in delivering high quality video, but our gadgets, set top boxes and large flat displays still require us to fill our living rooms with cables. Wireless technologies like WiFi and Bluetooth can give us high speed Internet and easy file transfers between portable devices, but the promise of wireless HD video remains largely unfulfilled.

The basic issue with wireless delivery of high definition video is of course the high speed rate required to transmit high quality video streams. The consumer electronics industry has been working on different solutions for a few years and the first wireless HD transmission devices are now coming to the consumer market. The main advantage of wireless HD video is not only getting rid of cables, but also and more importantly, moving your TV set away from your set-top-boxes, consoles and HD-DVD/Bluray readers, an attractive idea, especially for users with a wall-mounted flat-panel TV or a ceiling-mounted projector.

Like for most innovations in consumer electronics, different standards are being developed by different groups of manufacturers. Broadcom, Intel, LG, Panasonic, NEC, SAMSUNG, Sony and Toshiba have joined to form the WirelessHD Consortium. The WirelessHD standard is based on the 7GHz bandwidth around the 60GHz radio frequency and allows for uncompressed, digital transmission of full HD video and audio and data signals, with theoretical data rates as high as 25 Gbit/s (check Wikipedia for more details). WHDI (Wireless High-definition Interface) is a competing standard, supported by Motorola, Sharp, Hitachi (recently joined by Sony and Samsung, spreading the risk supporting both technologies). WHDI provides a high-quality, uncompressed wireless link which can support delivery of video data rates of up to 3Gbit/s. Ultra-wideband (UWB) is another competing technology that uses a large portion of the radio spectrum for short-range high-bandwidth communications. Products based on UWB are often labeled as Wireless HDMI.

A few products have already made their appearance on the market. Avocent’s Extenders and Converters have been on the market for a while. These products are based on WiFi technology (802.11a/g or 802.11n) and JPEG2000 compression and can’t provide full quality uncompressed streams as the throughput is  limited to WiFi’s 100 Mbit/s to 300 Mbit/s maximum.

The Sony KDL-40ZX1 is a 40-inch display that is only 9.9mm thick. A wireless box can send 1080i images over a 5GHz wireless channel. The price is around $4,100.

Samsung’s FP-T5094W Wireless Plasma is a wireless HDTV plasma TV set. According to reviews on Amazon the use of WiFi technology means there’s a slight delay between the source and the display. Bad for gamers. Price? Around $1,900.

Belkin’s FlyWire is a device (two actually, a transmitter and a receiver) that wirelessly connects video devices to your TV set transmitting at 1080p high-definition, using radio signals in the 5GHz band. Price? $700 for the basic version, available in Q1 09.

Some interesting articles on the topic are those from Ars Technica and CNET.

I would like to congratulate Elisabet De Los Pinos, President & CEO of Aura Biosciences and an ex-student of mine, on raising $3.7 million from experienced biotech investors in these tough markets. Aura Biosciences is a US/Spanish biotech company that is developing groundbreaking nanotechnology for the targeted delivery of drugs. Last December the company moved to the offices of Jazzya, my holding company.

Aura Biosciences developed Nanosmart, a technology that uses the advantage of viruses to cross the membrane and deliver drugs into the cells. Unlike other technologies, the Nanosmart structure is a hollow nanoparticle that resembles the viral shell but does not carry any viral genome making it a safe technology for the delivery of a wide array of drugs.

…is that many times they show you how the tech world should be. And, if you love Mac, but sometimes need other operating systems, you will love this hack. It´s an MSI Wind Netbook U100 with 1GB of RAM and 160GB hard drive that has 40GB devoted to Ubuntu, 40GB devoted to Windows and 80GB devoted to Leopard (MAC). In this video, I show how easy it is to change from operating system to operating system all in this $390 wonder that beats many computers at some pretty useful measures as portability and battery life. Enjoy, and build your own!

Thanks to Pablo of Fon for helping me. Here´s his cooking recipe.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

… is that half an hour from the city you have wilderness. That you don´t have in Milano, Paris, London, Barcelona and other cities. Madrid is an island of people in a sea of nature. Population density around Madrid is the lowest of the big cities in Europe. These pictures were taken today as I left work for 3 hours to go riding.

Madrid has another advantage that it is better known. While London has 65 sunny days per year, we have 290. And I don´t know about you but I never get tired of sunny days.

Thomas Friedman, American journalist, columnis...
Image via Wikipedia

Nice to see Thomas Friedman the concept that I proposed in the Huffington Post in September of last year that immigration can be the solution to the real estate equity problem than USA faces. And in my view you will never solve the debt problem USA faces without solving the underlying equity problem first. Tom Friedman is not as precise as I am and I have to reword my concept not to sound that USA is “selling” passports but I still believe my idea is a good one. Especially considering that for decades USA has been selling entry to the country in exchange for money in the format of investor´s visas.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

As a blogger, whether you want to or not, people’s comments influence you. I spent years taking photos on phones like the N95 or simple cameras, but received many complaints from readers saying it was time to step up a level. That my photography just could not compare to what was around the blogosphere these days. And they were right.

Blogger friends like Joichi Ito, started posting incredible photos. The same thing happened with David Sifry, Rodrigo Sepúlveda and Eduardo Arcos, all great photographers. Finally, suffering from peer pressure and healthy competitiveness, I decided to scrap the phones and easy cameras and learn the basics.

Rodrigo Sepúlveda gave me my first one hour lesson and concluded that I should use Canon. According to him, if I’m a Mac user, I’m a Canon user. But since I already had some Nikon lenses from a reflex camera that I bought a few years ago, I decided to stick to Nikon. Especially after reading Ken Rockwell’s–a great blogger who writes on photography— review on the Nikon D90. So I bought one.

The way I see it, there are two big problems with photography: money and weight. It all boils down to how much money you would like to spend and how much weight you are willing to carry around. Yes, I know it may sound absurd to speak about money while buying a camera owning a yatch and an airplane, but regardless of my success as an entrepreneur, I still don’t feel comfortable carrying around 15K worth of equipment, as my friends do. Rodrigo, Joichi and David use a Canon 5D Mark II and this camera alone costs around $3000. And we need to add taxes and lenses (they have about 4 each) that cost between  $1000 and $10.000 dollars to that price.

Maybe I’ll do the same in the future, but right now my limit is set at $3000. I don´t want to walk around with more than $3000 around my neck. But even more important than money is weight. Right now, I decided to set that limit at 2 kilos. Yes, I am beginning to enjoy photography, but good lenses are incredibly large and heavy. This tele, for example, weights 2.5kg. And, as I already mentioned, my friends don’t carry just one, they have at least 4. So they walk around with 10 to 15 kilos in equipment, and sometimes tripods and other stuff.

So, taking in mind these limits, I bought a Nikon D90 for approx $1000 (plus tax) that weighs 620 grams. And I also bought two lenses, a special one for portraits that weights 500 grams, costs some $1000 and takes incredible photographs without flash (that ruins everything) called 85mm F1,4 and a Sigma 18-200 that weighs 310 grams and costs some $500. This is the only one I carry with me on the street.

I also bought a Canon G10. This is an incredible camera both for pictures and videos. It weighs only 350 grams and fits in my pocket, but not a jeans pocket, as it is slightly large for that. But it is a great camera which takes very good pictures. Almost every pictures from my last weekend’s New York collection that I share below were taken with this camera. I carry it with me because I believe that spontaneity and practicality are essential in photography.  Not only you don’t want to carry a suitcase full of cameras and lenses, but also the subject you want to photograph shall loose patience if you change lenses and positions to get the best light all the time.

In conclusion, now I walk around with two cameras in my backpack: my Nikon D90 with the Sigma lens (the 1.4 Nikkor lens is better for night portraits and not very versatile) and the Canon G10. That means I carry around $2000 of equipment that weights less than 2 kilos. I’m not Joichi, Rodrigo, or David, and the truth is that right now I only know about 10% of what they do, but since I started with this in Morrocco, i made lots of improvements.

Let me conclude with some photos from my NYC department, where I tried the different lenses. And before my readers start asking, I will clarify the story of the picture with the two penises. This was made by a well known American pop artist called Larry Rivers and it criticizes American society and their obsession with “who’s got a bigger one” in the sense that people in America are always measuring their “success”.

Español / English

Subscribe to e-mail bulletin:
Recent Tweets