Ramblings Of a Madman

Yeah, like i would know a good description…

Posts for Tag: revelations

The iPad2 - or rethinking my android tablet purchase

So here's the deal: I had planned to purchase a honeycomb-based tablet as my sabbatical leave of absence going away present to myself. I was carefully considering all the pros and cons of both the Motorola Xoom and the new 10" Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Between the two of them discovered the latter has a better general body finish, as well as slightly better front camera. Besides, Samsung has had the first tab out there for some time now, which means they have some more experience in regards to what works and what doesn't, as building tablets goes.

The problem is that I just tried an ipad2 for the first time. And, besides feeling super snappy and slick, it's so shinny :). I might have fallen for this thing already.

The price is more appealing as well: 549 euro for the 32GB wifi version. I can't imagine either the galaxy or the xoom matching this anytime soon. Not before the ipad3 comes out anyway ;)

UPDATE: Alright, i sold my soul to the devil: Ordered an iPad2, arriving at the end of the month :)

Idea for a better customer satisfaction/feedback service

Recently i had to fill one of those client/customer satisfaction surveys. Endless pages of "how well do you grade feature X" questions that frustrate you beyond the point of killing yourself and your colleagues.

And that got me thinking: how about a simple form that asks "Are you happy? Yes/No"? If you answer "yes", case closed. And some people are just plainly happy with the service/product/job so this is definitely a time saver. If you answer "no", you are presented with a text field where you can start typing what you are not happy about and, as you do, it queries for responses from other people to suggest you with stuff that might be a problem to you. If you find one that applies to what you are trying to complain about, you choose it and another text field presents itself to complain about something else. If you don't find one previous reply, yours is added. Repeat until done.

How's that for simplicity?

And while we're are it, why not make it an online survey service and make tons of cash?

Who's your friend? Now start coding! ;)

How to beat a nail into a hard wall

This is probably the first useful mass email that my mother sent me in a long, long time :)

In any case, it shows how to put a nail into a really hard wall without ending up bending the nail. I know i had this problem before in more than one occasion.

Can't touch this (iphone) nah, nah nah nah

Ok, this is so freaking hilarious that i cannot help it but sharing. It seems that, when faced with the impossibility of using their iPhones with gloves on, some Koreans have started using miniature sausages (yes, sausages) for that effect. It seems that the composition of the sausage is similar enough to a human finger for the touch screen to work.

I wonder what someone in the 80s would say if you told them that - in the future - people will use sausages as a way to interact with computers...

Can we finally get rid of oil?

The other day I watched a movie entitled "the age of stupid". Long story short, it shows the point of view of someone who, around 2055, survived a human species near eradication and built a tower with all the digital records of mankind and a bunch of other stuff too, like frozen animals, art pieces, etc. Just imagine a Noah's arc on steroids - except for the fact that it's not an arc, it's a tower.

Anyways, he basically spends the entire movie preaching about our inability to be smart about the environment and supporting his words with snippets of TV news (actual footage from our times) about the environment, what oil companies are doing in developing countries, what we do with our cars and our planes, and so forth. This made me realize that I'm probably not doing enough for the environment and should start doing something about that fact.

In any case, today I just read about a new breakthrough in solar energy harnessing. Scientists made a discovery that allows a new type of solar panel to be 6x more efficient than traditional zync panels (the ones typically used today in solar power installations). It can even work underground! Can we ditch oil once we figure out how to replace plastics, now? :)

SWIFT transfers are monitored by US authorities (even European transfers)

I was really in shock when I went with my mother to the bank the other day: There was a small sheet of paper stating that bank transfers done via the SWIFT network are prone to have its details shared with US authorities. The network currently has two nodes working with the same data in almost real time, one in the Netherlands and one in the US, and the latter is - well - under US jurisdiction.

From the wikipedia:

Operations centers

SWIFT operates two data centers, one in the US and one in the Netherlands. These centers share information in near real-time. In case of a failure in one of the data centers, the other is able to handle the traffic of the complete network. Currently SWIFT is building a third data center in Switzerland, which is scheduled to start operating in the second half of 2009.[4] Once this is completed, data from European SWIFT members will no longer be mirrored to the US data center. Also called Distributed Architecture will partition messaging into two zones, the European messaging zone and the Trans-Atlantic messaging zone.[5] European Zone messages will be stored in the Netherlands and in a part of the Switzerland operating center, Trans-Atlantic Zone messages will be stored in the US and in a part of the Switzerland operating center that is segregated from the European Zone messages. Countries outside of Europe were by default allocated to the Trans-Atlantic Zone but could choose to have their messages stored in the European Zone. Apparently there was a big fuss about this in 2006 and the SWIFT organization agreed to make changes to its server infrastructure so that the European transfer data would remain in Europe and not be accessible to the US government. I don't know the current status of the subject but, according to that warning from the bank in Portugal, seems that the data is still shared and accessible. There was a vote for this information sharing to go forward in end of the July 2009 and it was supposed to be accepted, though I don't know for sure the result.

Anyone with a financial background has more insight on this?

Derren Brown gets money from losing tickets at dog tracks

This is absolutely amazing. I can imagine that it will not work with every single person, but even if it works with only half a con artist can make a lot of money with these techniques:

Checkout this and more videos of Derren Brown in action here.

Happiness hat

Holly crap, just when you think every weird thing has been invented here comes a new one to blow your mind.

Introducing the happiness hat, the clothing accessory that makes sure you always have a smile on your face. Either that or you will experience intense pain until you do. From their website: "Frowning creates intense pain but a full smile leaves you pain free!".

Wasn't this you were always looking for to make your life happier? :)

Friendfeed youtube favorites integration

Awesome stuff. I had no idea that friendfeed also picked up stuff that you favorited on youtube. I just added this incredible BASE jumping video and saw this on my stream. Pretty cool:

It's too bad that facebook apparently is not planning to continue developing this awesome service. One can only hope they will at least integrate it well into FB.