New home

By Cobo

New home for the blog! Although the same rate of updates... tending to zero :).




Wall Street: Rich or nothing

Posted In: . By Cobo

The other day I saw this classic movie, Wall Street. The plot is not something from the other world but I kind of liked it. You can search for a review or synopsis on the thousands of Internet sites dedicated to this.

The main characters are interpreted by Michael Douglas (the rich man) and Charlie Sheen (the wannabe). Film is co-written and directed by Oliver Stone.

I just kind of like these kind of characters that are so egoistic, that they think they're above everything and are really tough... Michael Douglas makes it believable. I don't know why but I've always enjoyed this kind of men (in movies, only!).

The movie itself is enjoying but that's it, don't expect much more than that. But I really enjoyed watching it in one of those dontwannareallydonothing days.

The sad thing is... I didn't get rich. Maybe I have to play stock exchange =).

The day after I talked about it and my father (which is economist; in fact both my parents are), started talking to me about Soros, and some of his strategies in the stock exchange an all. Seems like a pretty interesting person.

Quotes of the day:
"The richest one percent of this country owns half our country's wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It's bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it. You've got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I've still got a lot to teach you." - Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas in "Wall Street")

"The most valuable commodity I know of is information." - Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas in "Wall Street")

"There's no nobility in poverty." - Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen in "Wall Street")


Today, just navigating around, I came into Tafiti, the new search thing from Microsoft. It is indeed, no other thing than a good front-end to Microsoft's Live search engine.

The cool thing comes with the GUI. It tries to make search more natural, meaning also, more eye-candy. It still has to improve lots of things, but as a good step I think they made it pretty well. It's not that I like the Live search engine (in fact I just see it as a poor competition to Google, unfortunately), but the approach this project has taken. It makes it easier and prettier to look for things. For example, depending on what you are looking for, it displays the results in different manners:
- If you look for "news" the results will appear as if they were in a newspaper.
- General web searches appear with a different clear to read representation.
- Images are displayed iPhoto like

Also, you have what have been called "shelves" where you can group your search with little preview thumnails and maintain them organized, as easy as drag & dropping.

One bad point is it finally leads you to the usual Live search engine in some cases as when you pick an image to see.

As I said, it pretty a first step (it's in Beta phase right now), but I think it could be a good approach to a more meaningful and powerful search.

All of this uses the .Net based Silverlight techonology, which we have available in Linux thanks to Moonlight, so it's kind of accessible "everywhere".
Hope Google will do something like this, if they're not actually working on it, you never know with them. For sure they'll make it in an AJAX fashion, if they can (which may be true, as true is it would be far more complicated), but they also wouldn't depend on a plug-in (specially Microsoft, even though Mono is there). Well... just speculations.

Resuming, I see this as a good research software. We'll see if it leads to something mature.


So easy you won't have to think. In fact, you won't even have to realize their mistakes.

The other day I decided to let iTunes organize all my music which I have on a hard drive shared through my home's LAN. After almost a day doing its thing (I got a LOT of music) I could finally see the iTunes library filled with my music. "This is the thing" (I thought), "now I'm gonna beat it sorting all this stuff finally". But... wow! iTunes says it has a number of songs there which is in fact a lower number than the one I saw when I started the process with my shared hard drive. Almost 100 songs are gone! Why?
Well, I thought, those might be some songs in the f******* WMA (Windows Media Audio) format. I knew that was shit... but hey! I only had 7 songs in WMA! What's up then?
Don't know. And until now I haven't been able to discover what's wrong. I asked on forums, looked carefully the songs' names to see if iTunes had trouble with them, etc... No clue.
I just don't know also how to get which songs are missing... I think I will have to finally do some easy script in Bash (Linux) to see that.

I don't know what happened after this research, but what's worse... I wasn't even notified something had happened. Why? Why didn't iTunes just said "Huh, I had trouble with these"? I don't know, and in fact I'm not even interested anymore.
With free software you always get an "easily" traceable error. If you don't understand it, Ok, don't do anything about it, but there may be someone out there who does. At least, you're notified and you can do something about it. But what about this? I'm sure if I invested some more time I could get some information and gather why all this happened, but as I said, I'm not even interested. They didn't report anything and I have to give my time to correct something for Apple? If I'm gonna give my time working on something I'll do it for just to reasons:
1. Money
2. Personal satisfaction.
The first I won't easily get with neither iTunes or other FLOSS software, but the second is a totally different thing. If I'm gonna do something not for money, let's do it with/for people who really cares about you also.

Some would say... "If you don't like it, just don't use it", and they're right, that's what I'm gonna do. But I guess what would have it been with my literature passionate sister in this situation... She wouldn't even have noticed or, if so, she probably would have resigned to lose those songs... The other option would have been "Brother!!! What's up with this? I don't know what's happening, you got to fix it". Lovely...

Long post, boring post... I just had to tell it. Apple makes things easy, you know, always you don't try to see a little bit further.

Quote of the day: "I try not to predict the future. I'm not a big believer in fortune telling. The best way to predict the future is to implement it." - David Heinemeier Hansson


Tan real...

Posted In: . By Cobo

No lo he podido evitar...


When Rock was that MUSIC

Posted In: . By Cobo

Just looking for some U2 stuff I ran into this video of one of my favourites songs ever done. It's a live version of "Sunday Bloody Sunday". Apart from the great song itself, watching this video reminded me what music used to be: art.
It seems like there's not too much of that these days. The speech at the beginning is good, but what Bono says to the crowd just before the fourth minute is unvaluable...

I was just guessing, what would happen if a group had so much speech and politics in a concert nowadays? Probably they would be calified as "tiring", "pain in the ass" or some other delightful adjective.

Well, here it is, judge by yourself:


Long time withouth posting... I just saw something today that drove me so mad I had to tell.

Many people may have heard the song "Infinitza Tristeza" by Manu Chao. In it, there's a remixed extract of a "Metro de Madrid" informative message. It exactly is this short 3 seconds message "Próxima estación... Esperanza", as the record's title. If you know just a little bit of Spanish you might have realized what phrase it is. It's a phrase that comes out of the speakers when you're approaching the metro station called "Esperanza" (which translation to English is "hope"). It's just the same kind of phrase that all metros, undergrounds, subways (whatever is your choice) around the world have, sounding thousands of times a year throughout all this years. Just the same kind of phrase as "Next station... Grand Central Station" in NYC. That's it.

Well... not too much deal, is it? All right here it's the DEAL. As said on Barrapunto (the Spanish version of Slashdot), it turns out the people who recorded the phrase for "Metro de Madrid" sued Manu Chao for intelectual property infrigment. Not that amazing these days... many people wanna get rich doing as little as possible, and extreme intelectual property rights have enhanced that. The scary part is... the judge's ruling have given reason to the claimants oblying Manu Chao to pay an unveiled economic quantity and write a public apology saying what he did was bad... almost like if he was a little child. Amazing... just amazing how intelectual property is being treated and how law and judges are getting it free of any context and rationality. Also as scary as that is seeing possitively voted comments on Barrapunto justifying the sentence. Is it me or people is leaving their thinking to what puts on a paper? Is this really the way we wanna go? Is this the law we want to live by? I guess the answer is... it's all right for too many people, even if it's really not.
I don't have too much "esperanza" right now for this to change...

Be careful... exacerbated intelectual property is round there, keep an eye on it or you may be the next one...

Quote of the day: (this time in Spanish as I didn't find the exact quotation in English) «En todas las cosas sólo una es imposible - ¡racionalidad - Friedrich Nietzsche