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The Week in Review 43W2008

/wir | edited on 2008/10/27 -- permalink, click to comment

The Week in Review 42W2008

  • Luckily a TSA screener was stupid enough to steal a CNN camera and sell it off on eBay otherwise he’d still be lawfully opening people’s bags and then (less lawfully) going ahead and helping himself to whatever looked like sellable for a pretty penny. C’mon TSA, you give these guys a license to go through people’s belongings in a private room and expect not to attract some crooks ?

  • The new Macbooks are out and they sure look shinny. On a sadder note, Firewire seems to be going the way of the dodo. Kind of like SCSI, Firewire is too good to exist in consumer electronics. You know you can actually boot any Firewire enabled Mac in target mode and have it act as an external disk. How often do you need that you ask ? Well, you need it when you really really need it. That’s when!

  • People were still busy getting worked up about the iGoogle canvas when Yahoo when ahead and gave everybody something to get really upset about by apparently killing everybody’s profiles. I don’t use iGoogle all that much so the canvas things doesn’t annoy me that much, nor do I feel threatened by evil canvas stealing applets anyway. On the other hand, if I actually used Yahoo I’d be pretty upset about losing my profiles. Oh well.

/wir | edited on 2008/10/19 -- permalink, click to comment

New MacBooks

new macbook 13 Apple launched new MacBooks that make the MBP I’m using look and feel like a toshiba.


/tech | edited on 2008/10/15 -- permalink, click to comment

O triunfo do comunismo

Parece que Marx tinha razão. O mundo convergiu natural para o comunismo.
O presidente dos USA é comunista, a FED é comunista, os chefes de estado europeus são comunistas. Depois desta onda de nacionalizações restam poucas bolsas de resistência capitalista no hemisfério ocidental.

Esperamos que o PREC seja calmo e sereno.

/politik | edited on 2008/10/12 -- permalink, click to comment

two neil gaiman books

It’s pretty obvious by now Neil Gaiman only has one story. It goes like this, a quite normal person, preferably a child, somehow falls through a crack in space-time and finds herself in a strange, magical, parallel world. She procedes to become a hero in that world, defeating a great evil and managing to make it back to her own reality.
It’s also pretty obvious every single time Neil Gaiman tells it, he manages to spin a wonderful tale. All the versions are special, delightful and new. And he’s a really good reader too so go listen to Neil reading The Graveyard Book and pre-order The Graveyard Book from

That reminds me of The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish which is as close as Neil Gaiman can come to a children’s book. It’s a much lighter story than The Story but it’s highly fun and not childish at all. Why does The Graveyard Book reminds me of The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish ? Because the edition I have is not only beautifully illustrated but also comes with a bonus audio cd with Neil reading. That, I believe, is well worth buying The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish even if you don’t have children.

/books | edited on 2008/10/08 -- permalink, click to comment

Damn It Feels Good To Be a Banksta

Sinfest++ Sinfest comic, follow the link

/politik | edited on 2008/10/06 -- permalink, click to comment

Nokia 5800 “Tube”

Today Nokia presented their first S60 touchscreen phone, the 5800 “Tube”. As usual there wasn’t a lot of surprise on account of the leaked photos. Being a MusicXpress instead of a N or E I was a bit uneasy about the specs as 5000 phones don’t usually pack a lot of punch. Nokia however threw in the usual goodies this days including WiFi and A-GPS (fairly surprising) and a not so hot 3.2Mpx camera (take that iPhone!). The punchline of the specs is obviously the 3.2” screen with a wopin 640x360 pixels which pretty much tramples the iPhone’s and G1’s 480x320. On the other hand the iPhone’s capacitive touchscreen wins hands down against the 5800’s resistive touchscreen and Nokia signalled defeat there by including a pen and a fashion guitar pick. The 81M “internal memory” should be enough for the job.

The S60v5 UI isn’t revolutionary, big thumbable buttons and making things slide across the screen. The onscreen keyboard looks decent (I’m holding out till I see the localized keyboards) and it include handwriting recognition (decent enough excuse for the pen) which brings a joyful tear to PalmIII affictionados like myself.

Nokia did a steady job on the connectors with a 3.5mm headset connector, micro-usb and TV-out as opposed to HTC’s extUSB brainfart for instance. We really should congratulate makers for not succumbing to fake shine of the crappy accessory’s revenue stream. Surprisingly we get WiFi b/g and unsurprisingly we get HSDPA. The 1.3Ah battery should up for the job and Nokia claims it’s good for a bit over 5h of 640x360 “nHD” (eheh) MPEG4, which means MPEG4-SP which is not h.264 but more like xvid/divx so get ready to transcode your stuff if you want it to play on the 5800 (or any other mobile anyway …).

Media claims it will show up on the street unlocked under 300 EUR so Nokia is really taking the iPhone serious and pulling no punches. For that price I’m sure to retire my N80 as soon as the 5800 is available.


/mobile | edited on 2008/10/03 -- permalink, click to comment

Magalhães, o pedagogico

O Magalhães vai ser distribuído gratuitamente aos alunos 1o ciclo como parte do plano tecnológico. Excelente medida para as nossas crianças aprenderem a usar computadores ? Hum … não.

O Magalhães, para quem estado debaixo de uma pedra, é uma espécie de sub-netbook desenhado pela Intel como resposta ao OLPC e a sua característica principal é ser barato. Vai ser disponibilizado às crianças pelo Governo pré configurado em paralelo com CaixaMagica na opção de boot por omissão e com Microsoft Windows XP, uma pseudoshell lúdica e Microsoft Office em alternativa como ambiente pedagógico. Para quem não tem experiência com estas coisas, Windows+Office é um ambiente desenhado e estruturado para o Sr. Fagundes, escriturário da 4a repartição pública, 42 anos, calvo e ligeiramente barrigudo. O Sr. Fagundes foi aprender a mexer em computadores num curso de formação profissional, voltou a saber escrever uma carta a duplo espaço mas o “guardar” ainda lhe causa alguma incerteza. O ambiente Caixa Mágica tem um menu simples tipo netbook com acesso a jogos (bons, giros mas jogos) e OpenOffice, a versão OSS do ambiente do Sr. Fagundes.
Parece-vos o ambiente correcto para um aluno da 1a classe ?

Quem respondeu sim nunca encontrou uma criança da 1a classe. As crianças do 1o ciclo não aprendem a usar em computadores, simplesmente usam. Experimentam, descobrem, percebem o potencial e procuram o que imaginam. Não precisam de “instrução”, especialmente não precisam de ser ensinadas a “mexer” em computadores por professores largamente desmotivados e infelizmente ignorantes no tema.
Em vez do ambiente do Sr. Fagundes os alunos do 1o ciclo necessitam de um ambiente que lhes permita descobrir e organizarem-se de acordo com os seus modelos da realidade. Esse ambiente chama-se Sugar e existe e pode fazer parte do verdadeiro choque tecnologico, que cria competencias de desenvolvimento nos engenheiros, gera conhecimento nos investigadores e gera criança que sabem computadores.
Em vez disso estamos estamos a criar Sr.s Fagundes que só vão conseguir usar produtos pré-empacotados na Irlanda para criar a ilusão da produtividade.

/portugal | edited on 2008/10/03 -- permalink, click to comment
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