Friday, 25 November 2011

Mondego, the silent river.

This is a very nice short documentary by Daniel Pinheiro about a river that I'm very well acquainted with: The Mondego. I was born in Lisbon actually, but I grew up in Coimbra city where this river is the main reason of its existence. It is also part of me, as I got its water running in my veins, and that, was not an option! My parents are originally from a village in the valley of Serra da Estrela, very close to where this river knows its begin: The Mondeguinho (The little Mondego). As kayaking was my sport activity during my student times, I have indeed paddled many exciting sections of its silent course. I'm really thankful to this piece of nature! Its harmony and beauty has provided me with a great joy and has made my youth much happier. Now, and because I'm living at 2500 Km away, to watch to a doc like this one, memories of unforgettable times are brought to present!

"Mondego" by Daniel Pinheiro from Daniel Pinheiro on Vimeo.

The Mondego, Coimbra and my children by @flashopen
Sets on Flickr:
Serra da Estrela

Portuguese is the 3rd most tweeted language

More then 21 million tweets are sent in Portuguese via Twitter on a daily basis. That ranks Portuguese to the 3rd most tweeted language, and about as much as Spanish, Korean, Arabic & Thai together. These numbers come out from a study developed by the Paris-based agency Semiocast for October 2011. Semiocast has analysed a sample of 5.6 billion tweets dated from July 2010 to October 2011 revealing the top 10 languages used on Twitter.
Some other rankings could fairly assume for instance that Spanish speakers don't have so much to say on Twitter, Dutch are completely addicted to it and the Japanese don't do anything else.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

FN Minimi

by Flashopen

E-learning tool I have developed back in 2001 with Macromedia Flash 5 for the Dutch Royal Army Forces.

More info:

Monday, 14 November 2011

Google X

by Alex Chitu
Google X: New York Times has an interesting article about Google X, a secret lab where Sergey Brin and other Google employees tackle important projects that aren't yet ready for primetime.
In a top-secret lab in an undisclosed Bay Area location where robots run free, the future is being imagined. It's a place where your refrigerator could be connected to the Internet, so it could order groceries when they ran low. Your dinner plate could post to a social network what you’re eating. Your robot could go to the office while you stay home in your pajamas. And you could, perhaps, take an elevator to outer space.

Google X is the place where Google works on the driverless car and New York Times reports that Google is considering manufacturing the cars in the US. Many projects are related to Android @ Home, an initiative announced this year that tries to make everyday objects smarter. "We want to think of every appliance in your home as a potential I/O device," said Google's Joe Britt. Google tries to build the "Web of things" by connecting home accessories, wearable objects to the Internet.

Most of the ideas tackled at Google X involve robots. "Fleets of robots could assist Google with collecting information, replacing the humans that photograph streets for Google Maps, say people with knowledge of Google X. Robots born in the lab could be destined for homes and offices, where they could assist with mundane tasks or allow people to work remotely".

It's interesting to note that one of the Google X projects could be released by the end of the year, although it's not clear what it does. At the I/O conference, Google announced that it will introduce "a Web-connected light bulb that could communicate wirelessly with Android devices," so this might be the product that will be released.

Google has always tried to solve big problems, even if many people think that it should focus on improving search results and ad quality. "Larry and Sergey founded Google because they wanted to help solve really big problems using technology," said Sebastian Thrun, a robotics expert who invented the first self-driving car and now works at Google.

Google X could be the next Xerox PARC or it could fail, but it's important to think big and take risks. "I just feel like people aren't working enough on impactful things. People are really afraid of failure on things, and so it's hard for them to do ambitious stuff. And also, they don't realize the power of technological solutions to things, especially computers," complained Larry Page in Steven Levy's "In the Plex".

Hopefully, MG Siegler is right when he says that "whatever is going on inside of Google X, I'm fairly certain it's filled to the brim with the kind of stuff that made us all fall in love with Google in the first place".

{ Thanks, Venkat. }

Monday, 7 November 2011