Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn’t seen it)

For the Star Wars fans out there… this has got to be one of the funniest videos ever:


Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn’t seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.

Found via http://chiliconcarne.fractura.net/

New year new resolutions

First of all I hope you all had a great Christmas and an even better New Year’s Eve!

I’ve been around this holiday season going to Albufeira for Christmas and Madeira for the New Year’s Eve.

New years seem to be that time where we all look back and try and make a few changes in our lives. It’s when we see what we accomplished and where we failed and try and make a list of what to change the coming year. So if you relate to this, please read on…

So I failed in going to the Gym, in learning how to dance Salsa and a few other things. But one thing I realized this year is that I don’t really look at some of these objectives like pressing ones (except the do more sports/go to the gym more often one) but more like things I would like to do one day.

A few months ago, though some friends project, I found “Move to Portugal”. It’s a blog around organizing your life but something instantly caught my eye: they have a plan to pay the morgage until 2012 and then move to Portugal.

This particular idea has got stuck in my mind since then.

I’ve been wanting to go to Madeira for the New Year’s Eve for ages now and this year I finally did it (in the following posts I’ll talk more about it).

I did it but it wasn’t one of my objectives for the passing year. Instead it was one of many objectives I decided long ago I’d do someday. I have many of these but nevertheless it’s something I always wanted to do and now I did it.

This wasn’t one of those “this year I’ll do this” but more one of those “someday I’ll do this”.

So instead of simply having objectives for this year I’m also going to do a list of things I want to achieve in my lifetime.

So this was my first resolution: I’ll create a page where I’ll be putting my objectives and perhaps even an indicator of how far I am to achieve them.

Why don’t you try it yourself? :)

Yes we can!

Barack Obama already made history winning an election against all odds.
I can only wonder where he’ll end up with the power of a nation behind.

Every since the very first day I heard Barack Obama speak that I believed in him. It’s just one of those things,  he has that special something that I can’t explain. He’s a gifted charismatic speaker, with the right words at the right time. I’m so far away and even I believe in him and every single speach seems to bring a tear to my eyes.

And the funny thing is that as I heard CNN yesterday the commentators were all saying “it will look very strange to our european friends how we could change so dramatically from republicans to democrats” and as they said that I could only think “how the hell did you allow Bush to do another 4 years?”

I stayed awake until 6am because I wanted to hear both speeches live.
John McCain is a very honorable man and he gave a beautiful defeat speech. Even in defeat he was calling all to forget about the losing and to help rebuild the nation. It takes a lot to do that in a time like that and for that he has my unconditional respect.

The victory speech of Obama said it all. Instead of “thank you all” it seemed that he was already working on rebuilding the nation. I almost forgot he’s only taking office on January the 20th.

So this European is very happy and I believe that the vast majority of the world population is and should be very happy. I think that if there was something like a World leader this would be the guy I would vote for.

And as I think about it I can’t help to think that this will be a good thing. He can be the world healer and represent a real change in the way we look at politicians, America and the world itself.

He seems to have all that it takes, a little bit of JF Kennedy with a bit of Martin Luther King.

So mark my words: this guy can very well be “the guy who changed the world”.

Barack Obama… make us proud.

PS: Some amazing pictures of the next president of United States of America can be seen here.

Dear IMBD

This is a little advice I would like to give to you.

You are, by my standards, the “best” movie site/aplication on-line.
For me you are as good for static movie info as google is for searching stuff.

And although you have a pretty rudimentary voting system it does the trick for me. And as I don’t have that much time to go to the cinema, my decision process usually takes me there to check “scores” and then deciding which movie to go. And I’ve also done this by mobile while buying movies I’ve never heard of.

Nevertheless, there are a few things you’re just missing.
I’m not an actor, I don’t aspire to be one nor I care about having my resume there (I have Linkedin for that).

So here’s what I see from my perspective…

Your (lousy) Interface

Your interface just plain sucks. There you have it. It’s so fuc*ing useless.
Whenever I go to your site I totally ignore the top, left and right content of your site.
I’ve been using it for years and the only things I really use are the search and the movie info.
So why don’t you invest a little on making this a better experience for me?
Am I the only one that sees this?

Someday and just for kicks I’ll make you a drawing on how it could be.
(Hint: I go there to see movie info)

Let’s get Social already

This one is getting so fuc*ing obvious that it almost pains me to have to say it. Why … oh why don’t you have a social network?
And I don’t mean to your main core business (?) of movie professionals but to the average John Doe like me.

You could help create a community instead of simply have unrelated registered users.
I would like to see what movies my friends rate and who hasn’t still seen “that” movie instead of calling all of them to see who want’s to go see it. I would also like to see who has the movie on dvd that I haven’t seen. And I would like to see it on the movie page.

(Hint: how long will you stay in web 1.0?)

My movie list

Why in the hell would I lose my time and add my 724+ dvd movie list one by one?
Is it that hard allow me to upload somehow my movie list?

And then, even if I did, having seen hundreds of movies … How am I or anyone supposed to find them on “MyMovies” without a search function? And what’s up with that interface?

How about some degree of integration with your mommy Amazon? If I buy it there… couldn’t I import it somehow? And since we’re on it … why can’t I import my Amazon movie listings?

I don’t really see where you’re trying to go with this.

(Hint: ever heard of Ajax? Web 2.0?)

Blog integration tools

This is another one. You really could lose those horrible flash blog integration tools and do something better. Really: they … suck … big … time!

I’m sorry to say it but for me…  you really don’t get it. And it’s not like there aren’t good examples out there.

(Hint: ever heard of javacript? php? whatever?)

One aditional feature

One thing that I really think that is overlooked are actors roles. Why? Well there simply isn’t any rating system out there. So why don’t you help us out and create an individual actor ratings movie by movie? Now there’s something that would be very cool.

A movie can be bad and still have an amazing performance.

(Hint: Are the oscars fair? IMDb awards?)

Open up and let me in baby

Well … if you don’t wanna do it then at least let us John Does do it.
Why don’t you provide us with an API? Haven’t you seen it?
Everyone else is doing it and the world instead of stopping … it evolved further.

Bottom line

You are already a big company and a reference online … but you could be so much more.

(Hint: The day you decide to create an API will be a memorable one.)

Reboot, Shift and a 20% discount!

SHiFT 2008

I went to Reboot in Copenhagen …
You should come to SHiFT in Lisbon!
And I have a 20% discount code to make it easier for you to decide.

So what was Reboot?

Reboot was a like a “broaden your horizon” kind of experience.

It had amazing speakers, amazing talks and I met a lot of interesting people.

I had lots of feedback on my projects, gave lots of feedback on other projects and most of all I fell in love by the city, its people and for the kind of conference Reboot was and is.

The whole spirit of the conference and its attendees is nothing like I’ve ever had experienced before.

And it’s always hard to return from a place were like minded people mingle, co-exist, discuss and help each other without asking for nothing in return. I’m not only talking about the average John Doe like me but also all the speakers and the organizers were at the reach of a “hi”.

All in all, everybody was in the spirit and when that happens in a conference, it can only be a success.

All of that made such a huge and positive impact in my personal and professional life that I’m still digesting it.

And what is SHiFT?

It’s just around the corner, as it will be on the 15th, 16th and 17th of October and I’ll present it like a “small” Reboot in Portugal with a lot of juicy stuff.

First of all, I am lucky enough to be part of the organization and as such I know that we’re doing the possible and the impossible to make it a memorable event.

Then, and for the first time ever in SHiFT’s history, we’re going to have a full day of FREE workshops.

So instead of having to pay for each workshop individually and also pay for the conference, you’ll be able to come to the conference and choose and see all the workshops for free.

We have some pretty amazing speakers lined up: Andy Budd, Brian Suda, Tara Hunt, Manuel Lima, Joshua Kaufman, Julian Bleecker, Tijmen Schep, Leonel Moura, Felix Petersen, Stowe Boyd, and the list goes on.

And if you don’t know any of this names then I must tell you that you really need to come to SHiFT (or choose to go see them somewhere abroad like I did in Copenhagen). These guys are top notch in their areas and it was really a privilege to hear some of them in Reboot.

So I’m really excited that we are able to have them here in our backyard talking about such diverse and amazing stuff as “Artificial Creativity“, “Designing the User Experience Curve“, “VisualComplexity: A visual exploration on mapping complex networks“, “Transient Semantics and Microformats” and so much more.

The 20% discount

The “yorray!” factor: We’re a non profit organization but we pretty much have secured enough sponsorships to support the whole conference.

So as a way to help all of you guys that haven’t decided yet to come to the conference, we’re giving away 20% discounts. To use the discount simply use this code when registering: shift08t60dd6539

What more can I tell you?

Since I’ve been to Reboot 10, my only regret was that I didn’t went to all of the other 9 before.

Don’t let this happen to you and don’t miss this great opportunity to see and network with some amazing, like minded, interesting people. It’s gonna be a heck of an experience and you can be a part of it.

Will you?

3G iPhone – why is it a good thing?

Everyone is talking about it and so am I. Why?

For once it just might achieve one thing that few thought possible: “world domination”. (yeah … go ahead and laugh… we’ll see).

If the first iPhone did set a turning point in history when it arrived, the 3G iPhone in July 11 will make, in my opinion, another one. It’s all about the features, the $199 price tag and so much more.

The features

3G + GPS

First the features: 3G + GPS. A few years back when I bought my HTC P3300 I had to decide if I wanted a 3G phone or a GPS enabled one. As a user I was frustrated to learn that there wasn’t any mobile in the market with both technologies.

One of the worst things about my GPS program NDrive is how fuc*ing long it takes to find the satellites. It’s sooo fuc*ing frustating.

So when I hear from Apple that they have solved it I tend to believe it. Specially when they explain it so well:

In addition to A-GPS, iPhone 3G uses signals from GPS satellites, Wi-Fi hot spots, and cellular towers to get the most accurate location fast. If GPS is available, iPhone displays a blue GPS indicator. But if you’re inside — without a clear line of sight to a GPS satellite — iPhone finds you via Wi-Fi. If you’re not in range of a Wi-Fi hot spot, iPhone finds you using cellular towers. And the size of a location circle tells you how accurately iPhone is able to calculate that location: The smaller the circle, the more accurate the location.

Another important thing is the Maps thing. It was only a question of time before someone took a GPS enabled phone and do something with it. And they are doing it.

Maps on iPhone 3G use GPS to help you get from point A to point B. Find a location, get directions, and, if you like, follow your progress along a highlighted route with live GPS tracking

No more NDrive for me. Thank you.

Multi Touch

Multi Touch has to be experienced for you to truly understand it’s true power. I can’t even begin to explain how good it is until you have tried it.

Accelerometer

Accelerometer, as they put it: When you rotate iPhone from portrait to landscape, the accelerometer detects the movement and changes the display accordingly. Now this may seem like a small thing but it’s one of the features I just love in my Canon S3.

Smart Sensors

Smart Sensors are one of my favorites. If I have something that I really dislike in my phone it is looking at it and don’t see nothing due to the sun’s position. So then I’ll have to make some awkward movements with my mobile to check the hours (yes … I don’t use a watch). It’s sooo fuc*ing annoying. iPhone brings the ambient light sensor that fixes this.

The other sensor fixes something I really hate on my mobile. Whenever I take a call my ear does funny stuff to my mobile. So when I finish the call I usually have about 2 to 5 apps running and a lot of stuff mixed up. Of course I can take a call, turn off the display and the lift the phone and talk but hey I’m lazy and as strange as it may seem, when I take a call I’m not thinking about my phone problems. So iPhone solves this by turning off display automatically when you lift the phone.

So what’s missing?

It’s really hard to find something that iPhone doesn’t have. It has an iPod for audio, YouTube integration for video, a 2.0 megapixel camera with photo geotagging, 3G, Wireless, Bluetooth, GPS, Multi Touch screen, Accelerometer, Smart Sensors for daylight and taking calls and so much more cool stuff.

What’s missing then? Well I would love to see Flickr integration out-of-the-box, more space and more battery. I would also like to see some more sensors.

I would also like to make it “safer”. Geotagging is cool but also dangerous.

The so much more

Those features are all cool for the end user but in the first iPhone they lacked a major issue: Enterprise support.

Exchange Server integration and Cisco IPSec VPN

Apple licensed Microsoft ActiveSync and now supports Cisco IPSec VPN. For me this is going to be one of the killer features on the new iPhone. This is more than a blink of an eye to the corporate world. This will please many, if not all, corporations and IT Managers.

In the near future I can see corporations leveraging phones as they did with computers. Corporations don’t need to have a promiscuous computer base so they try to leverage their servers and computers in one or two brands because they get better support and homogenization. I can see this happening with the iPhone and more: Imagine sales teams with an Iphone in its hand, nurses and doctors taking notes on hospitals and so much more possibilities. That’s where I’m heading.

More information about this on the Apple page here.

For developers

The iPhone with all the features, but specially with the Multi Touch, brings a whole new level of interaction and possibilities.

As a developer whenever I think about mobile development I get the same “oh! oh!” from my brain. Why? Well there are a few things that pop into mind: Each mobile has a different OS, I’ll have to go with M$ or J2ME, screen sizes, (my brain just got tired…). And everything seems so much harder to do on mobile than everywhere else.

Another other problem is commercialization. You have to create, distribute, do the marketing and sell your product.

And so they created an SDK and a commom marketplace: the App Store. So now everyone can develop and sell globally. Sweet!

They take 30% from your price (if I heard it right) but they give you a global marketplace and the same fighting chance as everyone else. And, if you check what happened with iTunes with 4 billion songs sold until mid January accounting for 70% of worldwide online musical sales, well you’ll see that it’s a good trade off. One other thing … they won’t charge you anything if you do a free app. Cool.

Buying it

It will be released in 73 countries (yes that’s right … 73!).

On July 11th the first batch of 25 countries will receive it including our very own little place planted by the seaside: Portugal!

In Portugal it will be available through Vodafone and Optimus (wth? shame on you TMN!). And you can even pre-order it from Optimus here and from Vodafone here.

Bottom line: It’s all about the experience

For me as a consumer of something all I’m interested is the experience. If I have a good experience I’ll like it if I don’t I’ll ignore it. I can apply this to everything in my life and get away with it.

Until I had an iPod I didn’t understand all the fuzz around it. That didn’t happen with the iPhone. I don’t have one but I’ll buy an 3G iPhone and I’ll retire my HTC.

And as Apple sends neat stuff to us humans, I can only wonder how much longer will everyone else stand by. Microsoft seems to be hiding on a corner and mobile corporations seem to rely on the same old stuff of blindly adding hundreds of features. Apple also does it… but it does it with style. I can only hope that everyone else follows.

Apple totally got it. More than a user issue, it’s a lifestyle issue. Not only is it cool to have Apple products it is also very rewarding on the experience level.

And this time they did it at a killer price: $199 (about 130€). For what’s being offered? It’s almost a joke.

A mobile this affordable with all it’s amazing features will change the way everyone lives and organizes their lives and it might very well leverage/standardize technology for both developers and users alike. And that’s why I say that this might very well be a defining moment on the History of our little planet. We’ll see in a few years about that “world domination” that I speak about. Until then… you just keep on laughing.

One thing’s for sure … opinions apart we live in very interesting times and I want my 3G iPhone!
;)

update: Vodafone launched the pre-order page here.

1st Webtrip – Aveiro City

Last saturday I went to the very first Web Trip. Another cool event.

First an introduction… what is Web Trip? Well Web Trip is about networking in Portugal. You don’t have the resources to come to Lisbon? Everything happens in Lisbon (or in Coimbra?) Vote on a location and we’ll go there.

The way up

I went to Aveiro with Bruno Pedro of Tarpipe. It was a nice oportunity to get to know him better and change a few ideas about php frameworks, smarty templates, scalability issues, my project, his project, integrations etc.

It was a 2 hour cool smooth ride.

Aveiro City

We arrived in Aveiro at about 12:40pm and learned that the 4th exit in the roundabout was really the third for us (c’mon … the hospital is a private entrace … not really an exit :) )

So after we got our path straight (after some cruising along the river and the center of the city) we finally got to the restaurant where we met Sergio Veiga and Alexandre Solleiro.

The restaurant was Monte Velho (unrelated with the wine). Nice food, a little bit noisy but cheap (in comparison to Lisbon). No matter. As we all knew each other we really didn’t need no introductions and started away discussing stuff. Celso Pinto came by motorcycle and was late so by the time he arrived we already had talked a lot about tarpipe and we were finishing eating. (pt warning: Bacalhau com natas e carne de porco à alentejana … cool) . We continued to talk about Pedro and Sergio’s project. Afterwards we went to a nearby cafe: Cafe Convivio.

So the Cafe had … free wireless. How cool is that? We went on and on about our projects, had a glimpse of tarpipe and erlang and the very first prototype of Pedro and Alex’s DataHub. We spoke about my project on ways to improve it and ideas on how to market it. Soon it was 5pm and as we all had stuff to do in Lisbon we had to say goodbye to Aveiro. Quick stop to buy Ovos Moles (local delicatessen) and a few more words between myself, Bruno and Celso about sharing ideas, designers and handivi.

The return trip and the vanishing act

The return trip was as enjoyable as the one before with a lot of conversations about sharing ideas and projects.

One small catch though. Celso was following us and after a few K’s we just lost him. As we couldn’t turn around our only idea was to call him. Celso’s byke had a few problems on the way up and eventually he had to stop and call a tow. Thankfully nothing more happened! :(

As for me and Bruno we went on and on until Lisbon and got here about 9pm. I still had time to see the last goal of Portugal at a friend’s anniversary. (Happy Birthday Verinha! :) )

Bottom line

The first Web Trip, as we all more or less knew each other, was all about sharing ideas, projects, looking at source code, debugging, hacking and brainstorming.

Nice discussions regarding tarpipe, the DataHub project from Sergio Veiga and Alexandre Solleiro (tip: it has a black box) and my unnamed restaurant project (tip: to answer the question “where will I eat today?”). Nice conversation later about handivi from 7sintax (tip: it’s not vaporware).

Cool trip. Cool people. Cool projects. A few but great people!

When is the next one and where? I’ll definitely try to be there.

Related:

Celso Pinto

Flickr

WebTrip

image originally from 2.0 webmania related post

1st Twittlis – Hardrock Cafe

thx to @armandoalves

So I went to twittlis yesterday. Not the very best day for me as I was very tired but nevertheless it was a very cool event.

Some very interesting people there and my guess is that it’s going to get bigger:

@ppinheiro76 – Pedro Pinheiro, @als – Alexandre Solleiro, @jneves – João Neves, @armandoalves – Armando Alves, @dbar – Daniel Barradas, @mca – Luis Amaral, @jnogueira – João Nogueira, @vd – Vitor Domingos, @guillaume7 – Guillaume Riflet, @alexandrariflet – Alexandra Riflet, @olifante – Tiago Henriques, @miguels – Miguel Santos, @bpedro – Bruno Pedro, @rifkind – Nuno and Rita Pedrosa

Amongst many others I had a very nice discussion with Armando Alves and João Nogueira about spheres of influence and the ripples we project amongst each other. Is it true that important people influence more people than you and I? This gap is getting smaller by the minute.

I also got to know a little bit of Pedro Pinheiro’s photography work (loved the ufo series). Two words: Kick Ass! ;) He’s a mean Photoshop master also. Props!

Later I stayed for dinner with Pedro Pinheiro, João Nogueira, Tiago Henriques and Miguel Santos. It was a cool dinner with lots of different discussions that went from Chernobyl to Darwin and Evolution, from Arthur Conan Doyle to human traits. I was astonished to discover how intelligent some of this guys really are (as I only knew them online – its not the same) and I was very much impressed with some of the views and arguments about humanity, survival and evolution. Made me want to put my biology/physics/etc up to date. And if only I could find the time…

All in all it was a very cool evening to repeat in July.

Thanks to @armandoalves for the banner and to @ppinheiro76 for organizing it! ;)

How it feels to have a stroke

I’m a huge fan of TED and if time weren’t a factor on our lives I would probably had seen all of the presentations.

Having said that, I came across this while twitting and I recommend it to everyone. Right now I believe that you won’t ever get a better and more informed description on what happens when you have a stroke.

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened — as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding — she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.

Embrace yourself for a very powerful and emotional talk:

Truly inspirational.

We have the power to choose moment by moment who and how we wanna be in the world.

Who and what do you wanna be in the world?

Original here.

Barcamp FCT 2008

Barcamp FCT

So … I went to Barcamp.

There were a few presentations some nice others so so. By order:

  • Carlos Rodrigues (FireHOL)
  • João Rico (Técnicas de Apresentação)
  • Victor Domingos (service/product/platform comparison)
  • Halfbaked.com
  • Wizi (www.wizi.com)
  • Bruno Pedro
  • Guillaume (point.pt)
  • Guillaume (bookmarklets)
  • Joao Rico (6 meses numa presidencia)
  • Victor Domingues (co-working)
  • Joao Rico (empreendedorismo nas universidades)

Ignite was fun but as we are not used to present stuff in 5 minutes it quickly became presentations as usual.

Half Baked is always a LOT of fun with some crazy ideas.

Lunch was awesome! And as I sponsor it … I’m truly happy about it ;)

All in all it was time well spent.

A few personal thoughts on how I would have organized it (and I did talk about it with Pedro Custódio but we’re also organizing Shift and time is scarce) :

Although Barcamp is a non-conference supposedly without any order at all, it is my experience that there should be an “order” of some kind and rules must be “enforced”. Example: ignite, halfbaked

There should be zones and certain conditions:

  • two rooms, full works (mic, projector, wireless, etc), simultaneous
  • one chill out/networking area
  • Blackboards/paper/pens/pencils/whatever
  • food (morning and afternoon/codebits style/coffee breaks)
  • open area (a garden for instance and if possible it should be an active area with presentations)
  • lunch
  • one day ain’t enough. It should be a two day event and it should be on a conference-free weekend.
  • dinner & night out (helps bonding)
  • at the beginning there should be a meet & greet (as in barcamp coimbra)
  • it should be easy to get to
  • it should be near hotels (couch surfing/hostels are options)

Barcamp 2007 at Coimbra had most of this. FCT‘s missed a few things namely the two rooms for presentations, a two day event and the meet & greet. One other important factor is who goes there and some of the big players couldn’t be there … that didn’t help also.

Later I’ll post an extended article on my way of doing a barcamp to explain why I think all that stuff is really important.

Nevertheless, organizing something like this ain’t easy and it should be always encouraged. I think overall João Moreno and João Rico did a great job and the glory of organizing the first one in Lisbon goes out to them. I’m sure that next one will be better. (Btw … anyone want to co-organize? drop me a line…)

You can check the official site here: http://fct.enses.org/barcamp/app/

You can also check other people’s opinion here (I’ll add as I found them around):

Guillaume Riflet

Vitor Domingos

Celso Pinto

Carlos Rodrigues

Ruben Fonseca

Media:

Flickr