Aquarium Blog

Saturday, November 20, 2004

LiveMessage

I have been wondering for some time about the service that Scoble uses for notifying his blog updates trough Messenger Alerts. Today I finally saw they had an open beta for blogs, and decided to create notifications for my blog feed. You have to click on the LiveMessage orange box to try it. You will probably see how useful this can be, although it is not very interesting for a blog that nobody reads :)

Friday, November 19, 2004

David Byrne has a blog... well, kind of

And it is good! Look here. By the way, I am enjoying his Grown Backwards a lot. Thinking a little bit about this, it is completely natural, taking in account all I know about him, that he has a blog. He seems to have arrived to it intuitively, because he calls it a Tour Journal, and it currently lacks a syndication feed. I will be reading it the next days.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

My next notebook computer, hopefully

The next to be ready Hewlett-Packard zd8000 seems to be what I am looking for. However, it is still unclear if it will fulfill all my wishes. For instance, I think the mention of "plain" Firewire means it will not have Firewire 800. Also, there is no mention of Bluetooth. PCI Express is great to have, though. I hope the double layer DVD burners will be of the fastest when available. I also want it to be compatible with the new xb2000 expansion base.

Can I also ask for a reasonable price?

UPDATE: In the 3D demo in the store, it says optional Bluetooth and included Wireless b/g. It also says it comes with Expansion Port 2, so I guess it is compabible with the new dockstation. Nice.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Apologies accepted?

Pablo from USA sent me the link to the new (now old) ApologiesAccepted.com, which is an
answer to SorryEverybody.com.

On one side, there is still some confusion about the elections. Some say there is going to be a recount in Ohio, and that perhaps they will find some proof of manipulation. Whatever the outcome is, I doubt we will see the extreme right out of the power in USA for the next four years.

If you are a liberal American reading this, let me say that apologies are both too much, and not enough at the same time.

In any civilized country people have the right to give themselves a government. In any civilized country in which a party wins 51% vs. 48%, that winning party is not allowed to do whatever it wants. Any civilized country knows that its laws only apply inside its territory, and the government is not over the law. Outside its territories other countries laws apply, and when law doesn't cut it, you have to do what the United Nations say. Otherwise it is illegal. Any civilized country knows that its real wealth resides in the well informed minds of its people. In any civilized country all people can vote regardless of color, genre, cultural background or geography.

So if you want to look for once like a civilized country you know where to go: You fight for direct democracy. You make a formidable opposition in Congress and retake the power Congress has given up, and the more. You watch against brain washing in the media, and against violence in Hollywood movies that are supposedly for children. You apologize to the United Nations and help re-strength the effective power of the Security Council. You hand Iraq to the United Nations. You abolish electronic vote until it is really safe. You give national vote to Puerto Ricans.

And yes, you need to do most of it during the next four years, while the extreme right is in power. Otherwise, it is to your children that you will probably need to apologize.

Thanks to the other Pablo in Argentina for the Iraq In Pictures link.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Self-organizing empathy

Thanks to my friend Pablo who sent me this link to Sorry Everybody, from the States. I find it a comforting collective excersie of empathy. Since the people that manage the site are nerds, it also shows how cool geeks can get sometimes!

Some of us - hopefully most of us - are trying to understand and appreciate the effect our recent election will have on you, the citizens of the rest of the world. As our so-called leaders redouble their efforts to screw you over, please remember that some of us - hopefully most of us - are truly, truly sorry. And we'll say we're sorry, even on the behalf of the ones who aren't.


I hope Russell found the site already.

Looking at the galleries, some pictures made me break in tears. LOL, I need some sleep.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Stupid Geeks

If you want to experience how stupid and arrogant some geeks can be, I recommend this thread on Joel Spolsky's discussion forum.

Lack of empathy again? I think yes, and if one thinks that the less sophisticated are sometimes even worse, one begins to understand how some things are so wrong and not getting better in this world.

Philo, keep it coming!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Waiting for The Incredibles

My son and I have been Pixar fans from the very beginning. For me it started when I saw "Jr." around twelve years ago. For my son it came later... Well, maybe a short time after he was born three and a half years ago.

Add to this that Brad Bird is the writer and director of The Incredibles. We love The Iron Giant! I have always wanted to see something more from the people that made it.

For sure, my son and I have all the Pixar movies and The Iron Giant. By any chance, did you see who my son's favorite toys are?

We went today to the mall and asked at the cinemas when is the movie arriving to this country. They said on December! Darn!

DON'T YOU SEE WE CANNOT WAIT ANYMORE!!!

Friday, November 05, 2004

The Amazing Andrew Tanenbaum

I had no idea that the VoteMaster of Electoral Vote was Andrew Tanenbaum. I learned it yesterday via Tim Bray (one of my favorite bloggers lately).

Like many in this business, I have also learned a lot thanks to Tanenbaum's Computer Networks. Reading the content of Electoral Vote, I find myself enjoying once again his very personal style. This site is just proof of Tanenbaum's infinite curiosity.

Now that he has mastered RSS (thanks to Tim Bray), I hope to see him blogging soon. He is the kind of guy that needs to write his own engine in order to blog.

Speaking of the elections outcome and its effects on liberal techies, look at this little invitation:

Having dealt with political science, now computer science. If you are a senior majoring in computer science and are seriously thinking of leaving the country due to the election results, you might be interested in my international English-language masters program in parallel and distributed computer systems. If you are a faculty member in computer science, I would be very grateful if you would go to that Website and download and print the poster (a PDF file) and pin it to a bulletin board where potential students might see it and mention it in any classes you teach to CS seniors. Thank you.

Add a Ph.D. and you could get four full years offshore ;)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Tim Bray tells how it is to live and code in Canada

He says one techie from the US asked him for some information about working and living in Canada. Maybe it is happening? American people that are too angry with Bush are thinking about moving north. At least, this is the second time I read about this in the last two days.

I think it is not a good idea, but for egoist reasons. Well, personally, I don't want americans to saturate the canadian job market (I happen to be interested in eventually moving there). Again, I urge you to consider this idea instead ;)

A9 uninstalled

It really got impossible to use. There was no way for the toolbar to get notified that I was logged in, so no history, no bookmarks, no diary, etc. As a user, I qualify myself from average to bad. I really don't want to troubleshoot their piece of software. Enough I have with troubleshooting development tools and frameworks.

Then I went back to Google's toolbar, which is nice because of the BlogThis button. But after a while, I decided to disable browser enhancements altogether. No toolbars, no BHOs, no acrobat in a browser, but it makes Internet Explorer fly on startup, and it crashes way less also. No need for FireFox! Windows Explorer becomes very fast too, which was expected because of the way browser enhancements work.

I switched my home page to Google, after a couple of years of using "about:blank".

My first conversion

Finally I got one of my friends to blog. Before this, I helped other friend to create his photoblog, and another nice acquaintance to start. But now this is someone whose writing (in Spanish) I am sure many would enjoy: http://atormentario.blogspot.com/

I still have many friends that I would like to covert. Unfortunately, they don't even read my blog.

What I mean by empathy

I already mentioned the word empathy twice in references to the american elections. First it was on Scoble comments and second on my post for Russell Beattie.

I think I should try to make it clearer because this is something I have been thinking a lot lately: That by the way of certain cultural patterns, or because of lack of education and misinformation, people get deprived of their natural ability for empathy. That is, their ability to put theirselves in other people's place.

Here is an interesting link: http://samvak.tripod.com/empathy.html. From there I got this:

Empathy is predicated upon and must, therefore, incorporate the following elements:

  • Imagination which is dependent on the ability to imagine;
  • The existence of an accessible Self (self-awareness or self-consciousness);
  • The existence of an available other (other-awareness, recognizing the outside world);
  • The existence of accessible feelings, desires, ideas and representations of actions or their outcomes both in the empathizing Self ("Empathor") and in the Other, the object of empathy ("Empathee");
  • The availability of an aesthetic frame of reference;
  • The availability of a moral frame of reference.

I have the theory that the ultimate goal of human development is for everybody to be free of all kind of slavery (economical dependency, political and religious domination, race or gender discrimination, plain slavery, etc), and that the lack of empathy is the humanity first handicap to achieve this goal.

So for me, I don't care if you are rigth lending or a leftist, a liberal, libertarian, a vagabond or a mogul, American, Indian, Russian, Cuban, Italian, Argentinean, Arab or Jew. If you lack empathy you are not in my club (this is just a joke! as you know, empathic people always want everybody else to be able to join their club!).

Had I finished studying social sciences, I would like to do more research and perhaps write a paper about this. I will google it more tomorrow, maybe somebody already published it.

For Russell and other Americans that feel very disappointed today

In one of his recent posts, Russell writes:


Regardless, I just don't understand how so many people in the U.S. could vote for such an ignorant, cowardly, lying, close-minded, intolerant, wicked person. They voted for the worst in humanity: fear and war.

Well Russell, can't you see it? Your mind is working after hours, still trying to understand the other side.

The problem is precisely that most in the other side are not trying to understand you, or to understand the rest of the world, or anything else. Their minds don't work like this. They lack empathy.

I think I can express it better this way: Today I want to send you a big hug, and another for every other American that feels disappointed for the election outcome.

Keep going. The world needs you more than ever.

Electoral map joke, only for Democrats and Canadians

A friend sent me this yesterday:

So, before somebody comes chasing me, this is only a joke, ok? I am trying to have fun about the elections, and it is not easy.

I didn't have a vote in this election, as I am not american. Kerry didn't inspire me too much awe, but I would have voted him if I had a chance.

Even if I don't like Bush (who likes him outside Jesusland?), I don't blame him completely. His people (well, 51% of his people) will get the exact government they choosed on 11/03. I had my doubts about it on 2000, but now they have really made their choice.

I only wonder what is the other 48% of americans going to do for the next 4 years? United States of Canada doesn't look that bad.