I would like my twitter client to come with twitter speed numbers. I would like to know how fast my Timeline is moving in terms of tweets per hour. How fast my @mentions are moving. So then people would recommend say to get an ex number of people you follow until you reach a certain Twitter speed and then stop because otherwise you can’t possibly keep up. @mentions feed speeds would also be a measure of relevance of whatever it is you are tweeting.
Talking to my friend, a military expert, I learned that fighters with real pilots will be rare in the future. That most air battles will be fought with drones. So instead of “the best pilots”, in the future what the air force will need, is amazing video game players to guide drones. Indeed use of drones is already common in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. Now what surprised me was to find out that drone operators are suffering from more war stress syndrome than real pilots, a lot of it is from the thought of killing innocent people. As bad as it sounds I think this is good news. It shows humanity in them. I think that pilots are stressed enough but when they kill they are also at risk, so maybe they have less remorse. Pilots are like toreros, they have the upper hand, but they can also die. Drone operators are like toreros outside the arena. They just zap the bull.
Personally I don’t share other people’s fascination with high tech war. I know there are bad people out there, Osama Bin Laden and others who want us dead and if they could they would nuke us. But I also know that in the last 10 years we have lost the moral high ground that we had after 9-11, we have committed a lot of atrocities, and if anything there are more terrorists now than there were 10 years ago. And as excited as some people may be with drones I think they make us in USA and EU look like terrorists. Moreover we armed Osama with Sting missiles and we suffer for it. These drones will sooner or later be used by Hamas, Hezbollah, and war will escalate much further.
- In Pakistan, drone strike kills 4 (cnn.com)
- Drone strike kills six in Pakistan (cnn.com)
- Deadly robots in the sky (theglobeandmail.com)
When I write articles like this I feel sorry for the people involved. I love Endomondo, the sports app for Android, Blackberry and iPhone and had been using it for 2 months. But then all my friends are in Runkeeper. A competitor which for some reason is much more popular. So yesterday I chose to leave Endomondo and go for Runkeeper. Unfortunately I don’t see a Blackberry application for Runkeeper. This could sometimes be a problem. I generally work out with a Blackberry and either an Android or iPhone and Runkeeper is in the latter two. But if I only have a Blackberry then I have to use Endomondo and export to Runkeeper.
Personally I like Endomondo better. I like how it either shows you the map or the work out on different screens, your fastest and slowest lap and other features I do not see in Runkeeper. But with Runkeeper I get to share and compete with all my friends and even people I don’t know my workouts and as we all know working out has to do with competition, even if Runkeepers calls it a “street team”.
The OS world can be a bit daunting and confusing. Most people use Windows because it’s the only OS they know, but there are alternatives like Mac OSx or Linux that work better and are easier to use. The problem is people don’t know about them.
Another one of these great alternatives is Jolicloud, an OS for netbooks. Jolicloud was created by my friend Tariq Krim, who is also the founder of Netvibes. Jolicloud is free, and because it’s Linux-based there’s no need for an antivirus! It’s a social OS with more than 300 free open source applications, created and shared by the Jolicloud community. All your data gets stored in the cloud so you can access it from any computer connected to the Internet. The very best thing about this OS is its speed; does your netbook draaaag trying to run Windows? Try Jolicloud and watch it fly!
In fact, it works so well in netbooks that the British IB School in Costa del Sol, Spain, installed Jolicloud in the 400 EEEpcs they bought for their students. Initially, the kids were confused with the new enviroment, but as soon as they learned to use it, they realized that it was easier, better and more versatile than Windows in most aspects.
I’m really happy for Tariq, and I hope Jolicloud continues to grow!
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the current President of Iran. Benjamin Netanyahu is the Prime Minister from Israel. Both leaders are disliked by many of their own citizens and people around the world. But then very much liked by some as well. What follows is a poll focused on their image outside of their countries. The question is which leader do you trust more or dislike least for the region.
Based on what you have seen on the press, blogs, TV… everything you know about these leaders, if you had to choose between them, who would you like more or dislike least?
Polldaddy seems to be working poorly right now but votes are being counted.
What follows is a story of death and rebirth.
Ever since the Internet exploded there has been a fear of printed magazines and newspapers becoming obsolete in favor of the new media. And that has been mostly true. But now the iPad with its magazine format, has given out of print publications a new opportunity. Gourmet Live is one of these.
The first issue of Gourmet came out in 1941, and up until it closed in November of 2009 due to losses, “Gourmet was to food what Vogue is to fashion”, as the New York Times put it. But when we thought Gourmet was lost forever… it reappeared on the 22nd of September as an iPad mag.
So, what is Gourmet Live? In Anil Dash’s (one of the minds behind the launch along with Michael Wolf) words, it’s a “new iPad app that reimagines Gourmet as a sort of massively multiplayer magazine”. While other magazines try to use the same content and the same format for two very different mediums, Gourmet has re-invented itself to make the most of the iPad’s features. They wanted it to look like a native iPad app, not just a cheap imitation of it’s printed version. For example, every time you finish reading an article, you get a “reward”, which is access to more content on the same topic. These rewards are all collected on some “shelves” (similar to iBooks), so you can go back to your old articles whenever you want.
The new Gourmet only 24 hours after it’s launch was already the top Lifestyle applications on iPad. If you want to know more about Gourmet Live, go and read Gizmodo’s review, or better yet, download the application. It’s free!
How can a country obsessed with privacy as Germany come up with a national identity card system with RFIDs? One of the only ways to preserve privacy is anonymity but with a requirement to go anywhere with these new IDs it is very difficult to be anonymous. This is not just a German problem by the way. Same is the case in other European countries including Spain. An employee of mine spent 3 days in jail for not having her ID in Madrid. I interview her in this video. In any case, the same country that comes up with that national ID also has leading magazine, Stern, writing extremely negative articles about how Google invades privacy. I chose Stern as an example but when I ran companies in Germany for example we could not outsource our customer care because we were not allowed to pass customer information to the customer care centers if we did not own them. This added a lot of costs to our operations all for the sake of privacy. And this was not telemarketing, this was technical support. Privacy concerns in Europe many times clash with the normal functioning of the Internet and technology business. I guess the main difference between Continental Europe and USA in this matter is that Europeans have tremendous faith in government and do not consider their actions as invasive of privacy. For Americans government is one more potential invader privacy. Personally I think that there are more people now who prefer to share than to be private but if you do want privacy it is better not to be online and to be out and about in places where people do not know who you are. In my case I am just the opposite. From this blog on I sign everything I do online and in real life.
I wonder if languages that are hard in certain ways, for example French for spelling, German in terms of grammar or Chinese in terms of writing, end up creating a special difficulty for social mobility. All languages have a class distinction in terms of the ability of different individuals to master them. But those that are especially hard, create an additional obstacle for class mobility. People who don’t master their own language in all cultures are poorly regarded by the elites, but if the language they speak are very hard to improve as an adult, then language can be an obstacle for social mobility. Individuals can suffer discrimination in jobs and their social standing can be diminished just because of not mastering the idiosincracies of their language. Is it a coincidence that English is associated with democracy and social mobility?
Argentina has had the biggest default known in history. Yet when you look at Argentina before it blew up, it was in much better shape than Greece is today. Argentina had a deficit that was 3% of GDP, Greece 13.6%. Argentina had debt to GDP ratio of 50%, Greece of 115%. Argentina had a foreign trade deficit of 2%, Greece of 10%. Even if it all goes well for Greece, debt will be 150% of GDP in 2016. Two lessons on this: One is that Argentina could have paid without defaulting. The other one is that Greece probably has to go bankrupt. There has to be a mechanism for countries to go bankrupt. How will a new generation of Greeks grow with so much debt and few growth prospects?
I have flown jets with WiFi before. Lufthansa used to have a great WiFi service that Boeing managed, but with poor timing, they disconnected the service just as WiFi became popular. But in the U.S., WiFi on airplanes is back. I am now on a Delta flight JFK – Miami and find myself blogging at 30,000 ft. I love it. But for my friends in old media, WiFi on planes may become the straw that broke the camel’s back. Airplanes, precisely because they had no connection, were the last place where print publications thrived. Indeed, just today, before boarding, and not knowing that there was WiFi on the plane, I spent $45 dollars including over $7 just for the Economist. But with WiFi at $10 per flight, I will just not buy magazines and papers anymore. Nor will millions of people. Print is heavy, bad for the planet, and with tablets becoming commonplace few will continue to consume it.