Google led the creation of Open Handset Alliance, a consortium involving a number of telco and manufacturers . As its first act the Alliance released Android, an open source operating system for mobiles complete of SDK and API. The SDK includes a working emulator and half a dozen example applications. The idea to establish an open platform for mobile developers is very good but not particularly new: project Openmoko has been working to a similar concept for several months and went as far as to release a developer version of the handset. Read the rest of this entry »
Last night I wanted to go to the movies, even if unfortunately in August you take what is available. The only open-air theater in town ran Borat. I knew I wasn’t going to like it, but I thought I had to see in order to better criticize… Read the rest of this entry »
In 2004 a new European Commission had to be nominated. José Manuel Barroso was going to be the President while Italian Government (back then ruled by President Berlusconi) proposed Rocco Buttiglione for the Justice, Freedom and Security portfolio. Unfortunately, Buttiglione’s view on sex, family and homosexuality was so fundamentalist conservative that after just a couple hearings the Parliament was totally upset with him and the entire Commission was at risk of a rejection (something unheard of). Read the rest of this entry »
After reading this post I went further investigating this matter and discovered there are western countries that declare themselves secular and yet fail to stick to it, to the point that in some cases religion is more or less mandated by law! Read the rest of this entry »
Say you are a journalist, one working in a famous and heralded newspaper. You have been assigned to write an interview about an hostess who enjoys selling her body as a second job. Now, your article would surely attract more attention if you add a nice picture, wouldn’t it? Too bad you forgot to take a photo of your interviewee and to ask her permission for publishing. Read the rest of this entry »
Nearly half (48 percent) of the public rejects the scientific theory of evolution; one-third (34 percent) of college graduates say they accept the Biblical account of creation as fact.
This incredible statement comes from this article on Newsweek talking about American beliefs and no, unfortunately it’s not April fools yet.
So here I am again, bashing Apple. In the last few days everybody and his brother was talking about how cool the iPhone is and how they can’t wait to buy one because it’s sooo hi-tech and yadda yadda yadda. Actually, you just have to look at the specs to be deluded:
Ok, there are nice sensors, a multi-touch screen and a neat user interface, but at the end of the day who cares? Since I have a phone in my pocket 16hours a day the most important features are small size, light weight, battery life, audio quality. I’m sorry I can’t trade my own comfort for any UI, however cool it is.
This device is going to be sub-optimal both as a phone and as a computer (no QWERTY, 3.5″ screen). It’s like a tablet: that useless mid-size that makes everybody unhappy.
My mother is a self-employed artisan 56 years old and happy Linux user. She pays taxes in multiple tranches every year and so far never had problems, but this year is different.
Italian Minister Bersani recently issued a decree mandating use of on line tools to pay social security taxes (F24 form). This means, starting from Oct 1st you either go to very expensive authorized 3rd party tax professional accountants, or you buy a very expensive on line bank account from one a few authorized banks, or you go to the ministry web site and download an application they provide for free.
She asked to her bank, but they said they’re not authorized. Of course nobody wants to waste lots of money in accountants (their services cost typically around €1000/yr) or in additional bank accounts (€200/yr), therefore she tried to download the on-line software. Problem is, the ministry web site says this application is only available for Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac. What if you run Linux or any other operating system of your choice? Well, you are on your own, you moron, just waste your money buying a copy of Windows and shut up. At this point, my mother was desperate and asked for my help.
After a good kickstart, lately our government has been busy at creating laws that make me uneasy. First they cut three years jailtime to almost everybody who committed crime before May 6th, including killers. They made instantly free about 13k people, one third of the jailed population. This is supposed to make us save a lot of money (they say billions, but there’s no account for the added expenses on social security) but frankly speaking I saw no urgency for this act, I felt like we’re already tolerant enough, expecially after the last government ruled by Berlusconi almost legalized financial crimes.
Now, they want legal immigrants to be allowed to bring their relatives in Italy and to apply for citizenship after just five years they lived here. Apparently this is strongly pushed by the catholic movement. Now I’m OK with this, I love melting pots, I think italian culture is more in danger because of mcdonalds and american movies than because of immigration, but I don’t see what the hell they’re trying to achive. Don’t they have anything more urgent and useful to work on? Can they please explain what’s the deal? And what impresses me the most is that people most upset by immigration are also the most integralist catholics. Totally schizophrenic.