Arquivo da categoria: sociedade

Why I blog less

Today I was playing with a plugin/theme for wordpress that allows for mobile browsers to view the site with a simpler look when I started thinking:
“Why am I loosing time with this when I just post some 20-30 times a year?”
And that took me to my second tought:
“Why do I blog so little? I used to blog 4 to 5 times more.”

It’s not the twitter effect. I just use twitter for light stuff. It has to be something else. I guess it’s the pressure of the post. When you blog you have to open yourself. You have to open your ideas to others, and have to open for critics.

I have been looking at the Archives that date back to 2003 and found many occasions where we get rude and offensive reply’s. I guess many bloggers are just getting tired of being abused on their own house.

This does not mean that I’ll blog more or less from now on. It’s just a thought I had.

Will 2nd life die?

A few weeks ago I attended some presentations about social 3d worlds. Two of the four presentations were about what can be done on Second Life and how to do it, another was about E-Learning and Virtual Worlds and the last one (actually it was the third) was by Marcos Marado and was a very nice retrospective about virtual worlds dating back to 1968. His presentation showed that many of these virtual worlds was eventually taken over my something newer. Surely many are still used today, but the user base dropped to a shadow of what was before.

My feeling is that the same will happen to second life. And why will that happen? Today I see two classes of problems with second life that need addressing:
Technical Problems
It is a very slow engine! It is open source code so the community should be able to fix it right? Wrong!! The problem is at a level that I do not believe a fix can be produced by changing the client code. As I saw last Saturday most of the performance issues come from the fact that the engine was designed to parse user produced content.

Economical Problems
Second Life is not a game. It does not aim to be a game. It aims to be a simulation of the real world, and it wants to be as perfect as possible. So good a simulation that money inside the virtual world is bought with real €€ and can be converted back.

Second life is an emerging platform for content production and distribution, just like the web was in 95. The main difference is the cost involved in a web presence versus a second life presence. Also back in 95/96 it was easy to imagine why should company A or B be in the web. With second life it is not that easy.

Money makes the world go around…

Hoje tive contacto com uma face menos agradável da América.

Um americano explicava-me que tinha comprado várias casas que arrendava. Já ia em sete casas, mas esperava chegar às dez antes dos 4o anos para poder viver dos rendimentos sem ter de trabalhar. Quando lhe perguntei se não tinha problemas com os inquilinos, por exemplo não pagarem as rendas, explicou-me que não havia problema pois a lei Americana impunha que quem não pagasse era liminarmente despejado (cinco dias). Mais, explicou-me com um sorriso de satisfação, o senhorio podia vender o que estivesse dentro da casa para pagar a renda em dívida.

Finalmente, quando lhe perguntei se teria coragem de despejar uma família em dificuldades, inclusive com crianças, ele olhou para mim com espanto e comentou “Of course, it’s my money!“.

Sei que poderia encontrar alguém com a mesma postura na Europa ou em qualquer sitio do mundo (a ganância é um atributo humano, não tem nacionalidade). Na verdade, o que mais me impressionou foi que esta pessoa é uma das mais inteligentes que já conheci, alguém que tem um espírito aberto, fresco, inovador, uma criatividade como raras vezes vi. E no entanto…

two faces of the american dream

Há claramente dois tipos de Americanos: aqueles que vivem confortavelmente dentro do sistema e a que associamos o sonho Americano (a casa de madeira com o relvado em frente, o(s) carro(s), as compras abundantes nos malls, as férias na Florida) e aqueles que vivem em permanente luta com a tirania do cartão de crédito.
Para estes últimos cada fim de semana (muitos Americanos são pagos à semana) é um martírio e uma salvação: pagam as contas atrasadas e vão gastar para a seguinte. E desengane-se quem pensa ser fácil fugir à escravatura do cartão de crédito: o sistema está tão ‘bem’ feito que não ter cartão de crédito é **pior** do que ter ‘bad credit’. Por exemplo, se alguém se recusa a usar cartão de crédito, e paga as suas continhas em cash, certinho, quando vai contratar o seguro automóvel obrigatório apanha com um prémio altíssimo. E este não é o único exemplo: aplica-se ao seguro de saúde (indispensável), ao contrato de água, luz, gás, telefone e internet. Aparentemente o credit-score determina as cauções que se é obrigado a pagar.

Optimus Tricked Me

Some 5 years ago I contacted my mobile operator (Optimus) and using the bonus points I had i got myself a new telephone. At that time the Siemens S45 seemed a good choice and I was informed that after a 2 year contract I could request the unlocking code for the phone. Now after 5 years I contacted their client support line to request the code as I needed to use the phone in a new operator. The person who answered my request now told me the full sentence:

After the 2 year period you can request the unlocking code IF you pay an additional 75€.

5 years ago there was no information on such a payment. I was tricked.

On top of that to request 75€ for unlocking a phone that was no commercial value is pure madness.