Friday 28 December 2012

Microsoft's broken compass

I used to be a Microsoft's software user, dating back from the 80's. One of those that would prefer a Microsoft software tool over a more powerful one from the competition. The reason was simple: I relied on Microsoft to keep improving. I knew that the next version would be better, and that the user interface would always be more logical and productive (usability efficiency). But this is on the past, a distant past.

Back then, the Microsoft's compass pointed at the right direction: productivity. Each product iteration would assure more productivity for the user than the previous iteration.

This compass got broken in the beginning of the XXI century, when Ballmer replaced Gates. Since then, marketing and eye-candy is taking over user productivity concerns.
This was bad, but it got worse. The bearing got erratic. Nowadays no one can be sure for how long a given Microsoft technology bearing will keep on the same direction.

Many examples of this erratic bearing are available.
Let's remember a few of them.

Database access is one of those erratic bearing. We had/have ODBC, ADO, ADO.NET, OLE DB, DAO, RDO, SQLXML, MSDASQL, JRO, and so on. Really?! Really!

Another erratic bearing is the mobile platform. Windows CE/Mobile was killed without a proper burial. Was left to die. Windows Phone 7 was born as a new mobile operating system. Microsoft then criticized Android as being a fragmented mobile platform. Windows Mobile was no better. Windows Phone 7 was made as a promise of being an always up to date platform. Yet, this turned out to be even worse than Windows Mobile. Windows Phone 8 came along. WP7 devices cannot be upgraded to WP8, and WP8 apps can't be used on WP7. Worse than that, the WP8 has an entirely different way for developing apps (Silverlight was used on WP7 apps development,  which is currently dead, killed by Microsoft). This means that existing WP7 apps must be recoded for WP8. And it's even worse, as this effort must also be made for Windows RT (and on Windows 8 for the "metro" UI), as WP7 and WP8 apps can't be run on Windows RT. So, if a developer wants to develop an app for WP7, WP8 and WRT it will have to code three different apps, using three different technologies. WP7 users will pretty soon lose new apps and/or updates for their WP7 platform, being forced to buy a new device and new apps. WP7 is dead, less than 2 years after its birth. How long until WP8 death?

Microsoft Silverlight is an even better example for this erratic bearing. Silverlight was launched by Microsoft in 2007 as an alternative to Adobe Flash. At this time Flash was under severe criticism, as it was for many years, and was regarded as being evil. Seven years earlier, in the year 2000, usability guru Jakob Nielsen wrote "Flash: 99% Bad". Of course, all criticism on Flash also applies to Silverlight. For five years Microsoft pushed this future-less technology, and many naïf professionals embraced it. It was the main technology for apps development on the Windows Phone 7, and it's now dead on Windows Phone 8 (and everywhere else, for that matter). Also many customers allowed it to be pushed down their throats, and in the end they choked on it. Microsoft ended Silverlight abruptly, leaving all projects based on it without any future... and present. Those that still embrace Microsoft technologies were left alone without any kind of warning. We can see how Microsoft dealt with this on "Microsoft pulls the plug on its Silverlight.Net site". Yet, even with a ten year support, the death of Silverlight means that newer platforms won't bother implementing a client for it (most wouldn't bother even before Silverlight's death). This forces current implementations to shift, spending even more funds immediately after an investment on projects based on a future less Silverlight technology, as it happened to my Spanish neighbours on "The death of Microsoft’s Silverlight and the Spanish SIGPAC".

Silverlight also had some criticism for not implementing some Open Standards, like SVG. This is consistent with Microsoft's other problem: "relationship" with standards. Ever since Microsoft's market dominance that it uses standards as a weapon to enforce its monopoly strategy. Microsoft uses its dominance to enforce on the market some proprietary standards, and then these are used to support the monopoly. Users are lead into adopting a format, and then they can't abandon Microsoft technologies and products, because they have a huge amount of contents and data on this format. This became so important to Microsoft that they even felt the need to play Open Standards on their behalf, which led to the concept and practice of "embrace, extend and extinguish". Finally, they keep this going by dropping old standards in favour of new ones, on more of the same erratic bearing.

This standards manipulation was pretty obvious on Internet Explorer and IIS. And here is where it started to went wrong for Microsoft. Web developers were not keen on the need to develop browser-aware web sites. A succession of events lead to the demise of Internet Explorer. The Microsoft's browser engine (Trident) suffered from many bugs, security exploits, and poor performance, which lead to some successful browser projects, notoriously Gecko (Mozilla's Firefox) and Webkit (used by Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome), which are faster, more reliable, and stable. Along with that, European Union required that the Windows OS should present the user with a browser choice. Currently, Internet Explorer is no longer the most used browser. All other browsers were committed to the development of the new HTML5 standard, which Microsoft had to comply after losing its dominance (which also lead to Silverlight's death).

Microsoft stepped on too many toes for too long, and it's starting to pay the bill. Other suppliers became more attractive for their reliability. Together with a set of other contributing factors, the Windows Phone flagged the general feeling towards Microsoft's years of abusing its users. Adopters of the former Windows Mobile suffered for years the general instability of that platform, and the nuisance of warm boots and hard resets. Also, Apple and Google reached critical mass for the network effect of their platforms (iOS and Android), long before Microsoft's Windows Phone launch. WP7, also based on Windows CE as Windows Mobile, managed to stay more stable at the cost of restricting apps to fully multi-task. There were also many other missing features at launch. As expected, as new features were introduced by updates, the system became more unstable. To make matters worse, Microsoft decided to step on some more toes, and launched the Windows Phone 8 not making it available as an update for WP7 users. On top of that, Windows Phone users lack many apps available for iOS and Android, as many developers don't even bother to develop for Windows Phone.

Microsoft might have also wasted a chance on tablets. Apple and Google haven't yet reached the required critical mass for the network effect on tablets, so Microsoft had a chance here. Basically, it's making the same mistake it did with the Tablet PC. On top of that, it launched its own hardware line with a set of fatal design faults. We'll take a look on the Tablet PC mistake further on, for now let's deal with the hardware design faults. There are two major versions of the Surface tablet, the RT and the Pro. The Pro version uses an INTEL processor and is able to run Windows 8 (and regular Windows applications), while the RT uses an ARM processor (as do iOS and Android tablets) and runs Windows RT (being only able to run RT apps available trough the apps store). The major design faults on the RT versions is that the battery capacity is lower than the equivalent competition (less autonomy), and the OS and installed apps takes up too much of the available storage space. Common to both RT and Pro versions is the fact that these are being marketed as being able to use the MS Office, and thus the available keyboards (Touch and Type). The problem is that these keyboards have a very floppy connection to the tablet (and also peel off there), not being able to support the tablet, hence the stand on the tablet (which doesn't allow for any kind of tilt adjustment), making these tablets usable only as tablets (without keyboard) or as desktops (sitting on a table), being very awkward to use as a laptop (if usable at all). On top of these, the Pro versions have even worse design problems. The battery capacity is on par with the competition that uses ARM processors, but using an INTEL processor the battery life is reduced to half or less. This processor and consumption also means heat, thus the venting grille. This means two problems: uncomfortable to held as a tablet because of the heat (might be a plus for the winter days), and might be noisy due to the venting fans.

UPDATE on April 4th 2013:
Surface Pro owners experiencing overheating issues(an "I told you so" is in order)

The Tablet PC mistake is called Windows 8. Windows RT should be the only touch interface operating system for tablets. Windows 8 should have remained a desktop/laptop only OS, without the touch interface component. What Microsoft failed to understand (or it didn't, but wants to trick its users) is that it failed on the Tablet PC, and Apple succeeded on the iPad, because Microsoft tried to use a desktop OS and applications on a touch interface, where Apple designed a touch interface specific OS and applications (apps). The touch interface is more capable (than a keyboard/mouse combination) for a set of operations, usage and purpose, but it's worse for other types of usage. So, there are a set of applications that don't work well on a touch environment, like word processing, spread sheets, programming, and everything that requires a keyboard and/or a pinpoint and steady pointing device like a mouse. This type of applications are desktop/laptop applications, and require a good (productive, efficient, usable) desktop OS. Apple realized that, and didn't make the same mistake that Microsoft did with the Tablet PC. Apple maintained it desktop OS (OS X) and developed a new one specifically for touch interface and applications (iOS). Two different operating systems (interfaces and applications) for two different purposes and usages. Microsoft should have learned this from Apple. Worse, should also have learned this from two Linux projects that pissed off users: Gnome 3 and Unity. The result was the loss of leadership, where Ubuntu and Fedora were in the lead when using Gnome 2, they now have fallen to 3rd and 4th place (Ubuntu gone from 1st to 4th place, 1st before switching to Unity, and 4th on December 2012 behind 3rd Fedora, 2nd Mageia and 1st Mint). On a side-note: many articles suggest that these interfaces are better because they have less criticism... the reality is that users are gone for good to other interfaces, therefore they just don't bother any more. The Windows 8 can even be worse than this, as Jakob Nielsen puts it on "Windows 8 — Disappointing Usability for Both Novice and Power Users". Microsoft should have never scrapped the Windows desktop OS usability to use it as a weapon on the touch interface war. Microsoft has no chance on winning this war, and might have just killed its golden eggs goose. Corporations will take a pass on this OS has they passed on Vista, and many didn't even bothered to switch to Windows 7 and still use XP. When XP support ends for good, corporations will move to Windows 7 instead. Worse than that, non-corporate users aren't buying/using it either.

The Windows 8 touch interface has yet another problem known for decades. Touch screen interfaces are not to be used on desktops / laptops. It's due to the so called Gorilla Arm syndrome. The touch screen (capacitive) concept  was developed on 1965, and touch screens are available since 1973. There is a good reason for these not to be used on a desktop / laptop productive environment (except for applications that require little user interaction, like Points of Sale), humans aren't built to have their arms extended horizontally in mid-air. For the same reason, light-pens also didn't replace the mouse and keyboard. There are a few articles on the subject that are worth reading.
Why Touch Screens Will Not Take Over
Tetris, Torture, and the Gorilla-Arm Problem
Or you can Google about it.

The mistake on crippling Windows 8 usability, to favour Microsoft on the touch interface war, might kill Microsoft's golden eggs goose. There is a set of circumstances that might make this small bet a high stake gamble. From the top, we have the economical and financial crisis, and this affects budgets for corporate, non-corporate and public sector customers. From one side, the public sector and governments are counting pennies to reduce budget and deficit. Measures are being taken by the EU governments to adopt Open Standards, opening the path to Open Source software solutions. While some, like the UK and Portugal, have recently made legislation towards Open Standards adoption, others already have switched to Open Source solutions, like it happens in Munich and Extremadura. From another side, the Open Standards adoption by governments will add pressure (to the pressure of reducing IT costs) on corporations, that have contracts with the public sector, to make the switch sooner. From the bottom, Microsoft itself assured its own pressure to corporations to move away from Windows by changing its desktop OS to favour a touch interface (not usable, inefficient and/or unproductive for the majority of corporations).

Microsoft has lost its bearing ever since Steve Ballmer stepped in as CEO. Many mistakes were made by Microsoft in the last 10 years, but this one might reveal itself as the biggest one. Shareholders have seen no growth on their shares value on the last decade, and they urged Ballmer to step down. Ballmer as already been dubbed as the worst CEO, and some say he should be fired. By the flat line on the stock market, Microsoft's seems dead since Ballmer took over as CEO, and someone says that Microsoft is dead since 2005. Depending on what death means to a corporation, one fact is quite obvious: Microsoft is no longer a leader, it became a follower.

Using Microsoft's technologies is no longer an asset or assurance, it's a risk and liability.

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Como poupar milhares de Euros

Depois de ter escrito sobre o Acordo Ortográfico:
AO90: é só vantagens...

Decidi fazer efectivamente algumas contas.
As contas não incluem tudo, mas já dá para ter uma ideia.

  • Deco-ProTeste: Por mês eram cerca de 10€. Vai fazer dois anos que deixei de ser associado (por terem aderido ao AO90 em Janeiro de 2011). Portanto, temos 10x24 = 240€.
  • Publicações do Grupo Impresa: Por mês gastava cerca de 6€ na revista Visão, mais 6€ no Expresso, 3€ na Exame, e 5€ na Exame Informática. Em 30 meses (desde que a Impresa aderiu ao AO90) dá cerca de 600€.
  • Compras regulares: Por razões directas e indirectas, deixei de comprar as revistas de informática (PCGuia, Bit) e outras (Marketeer, National Geographic, etc.) que normalmente comprava. Ou seja, comecei a deixar de frequentar as tabacarias à procura de leitura. Portanto, quer tenham aderido ao AO90 ou não, deixei de comprar uns adicionais 10€ (para mais) mensais. Vamos contabilizar em dois anos, o que totalizará uns adicionais 240€.
  • Compras esporádicas: Adicionalmente era "levado" a comprar uns filmes em DVD que via nas tabacarias, ou uns filmes em BLU-RAY que via durante as visitas à FNAC. Por outro lado, o simples pânico de me ver confrontado com legendas segundo o AO90 depois de pagar por um bilhete de cinema, é razão para não ir ao cinema há mais de 2 anos.
Consequentemente, em dois anos a dois anos e meio, poupei mais de 1.100€ graças ao Acordo Ortográfico. Mas não acaba aqui.

O facto de o Samsung Galaxy SIII (com Android) vir já com o Acordo Ortográfico fez com que eu não quisesse trocar de telemóvel. Pressupondo que, com a troca de pontos da Optimus, o SIII de 600€ custaria apenas €400, são uns adicionais 400€ poupados.

Portanto, já poupei mais de 1.500€.

E continua...
Primeiro, porque acabei por usar os pontos da Optimus num desconto em factura (em lugar de numa troca de equipamento). Ou seja, passo a pagar menos 20€ por mês na factura durante 20 meses.
Segundo, porque a próxima vítima será a ZON. Já que não se vê nada de jeito na TV, muda-se para o rádio. É à borla, e não tem Acordo Ortográfico. Não sei quanto será o aumento planeado para o serviço da ZON, mas vamos assumir que será uma poupança adicional de 30€ mensais.

Refazendo as contas para a poupança total a mais dois anos (final de 2014, início de 2015), dará:

valor meses total
Deco 10€ 48 480€
Impresa 20€ 54 1080€
regulares 10€ 48 480€
Optimus 20€ 20 400€
S3 400€ 1 400€
ZON 30€ 24 720€

Ora, uma bela soma graças ao Acordo Ortográfico.
Uma poupança superior a 3.500€ com contas feitas por baixo. Talvez 4.000€ ou mais (com futuras poupanças) seja uma perspectiva mais realista.

Obrigado AO90!

Friday 7 December 2012

The best tablet: Luflée review

The best tablet on sale for 2013:
Milka Luflée
With this tablet, it's you who sucks.

Technical specifications
  • Brand: Milka
  • Model: Luflée
  • Screen Size: 7" Full-HD
  • Processor: Multi-Cow @ 1.6Klbs each
  • Memory: 32 Giga-Bites
  • Operating System: Chocolate Aero Cocoa
  • Autonomy: Up to 7 days (depends on usage speed)
  • Included applications: Pure-Pleasure, Stress, Bitterness, Heartbreaks, and many more

O filho do Pente e da Escova

O PENTE teve uma relação sexual com a ESCOVA.
Nove meses depois nasceu o PENTIUM...

Thursday 29 November 2012

Acordo Ortográfico: Como usar?

Acordo Ortográfico: Como usar?

É bastante simples, só existem duas soluções.
Qualquer pessoa erudita, conhecedora, esclarecida, e inteligente sabe que o Acordo Ortográfico de 1990 (AO90) é uma merda.

  • Se quer usá-lo, enfie-o no local onde pertence, e de onde nunca deveria ter saído.
  • Se não o quiser usar, faça como eu: sempre que o vir, puxe o autoclismo com a maior brevidade possível, para evitar que o cheiro se espalhe.

ILC contra o Acordo Ortográfico
No Facebook

Lição do Dia: Silogismo

Lição do dia:

Significado de Silogismo

s. m.
Argumento formado de três proposições; a maior, a menor (premissas) e a conclusão deduzida da maior, por intermédio da menor.

Um exemplo:

  1. Governo de Portugal
  2. Portugal é uma merda
  3. Governo de merda

Friday 19 October 2012



Todos os meses recebo correspondência que diz: "FATURA".

Fico na dúvida se deverei pagar porque falta um "C", ou se haverei de comer porque falta um "R".

Seja como for, dá-me sempre fome... e nostalgia da velha Feira Popular.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

A propósito de backups...

Ter a informação guardada é uma questão de previdência, ao fazer cópias de segurança, ou é realmente apenas uma questão de sorte?
No fim, mesmo no fim, é sempre uma questão de sorte...

Eram 3 funcionários públicos, que tinham sido requisitados pelo Parlamento Europeu (PE):
- 1 grego
- 1 alemão
- 1 português
Passado um mês de estarem a trabalhar no PE, ocorreu um incêndio no edifício. Os computadores arderam totalmente no incêndio.
O grego estava inconsolável...
Todos os dias fazia backups, conforme ditam as regras BS 7799 do BSI Group. Mas não seguia as regras à risca, e por isso não guardava os backups em locais diversos em cofres à prova de fogo, porque achava pouco provável que ocorresse uma situação em que tal fosse necessário.
O alemão estava eufórico...
Guardava os backups no apartamento de renda controlada que o PE lhe tinha atribuído, a uns meros 120Km de distância do PE, que tinha de percorrer todos os dias em transportes públicos. Apanhou o autocarro, o comboio, e passadas 3 horas estava de volta com os backups.
Foi recuperar o backup para o novo computador de trabalho... ERRO DE LEITURA. Todos os backups estavam em branco. Nunca tinha verificado nenhum.
Ficou mais inconsolável que o grego.
O português estava calmo...
Grego e alemão viram-se para o português:
- Então, como é que podes estar assim tão calmo? Os teus backups estão bem?
- Não fiz backups.
- NÃO FIZESTE BACKUPS E ESTÁS ASSIM TÃO CALMO?! Não perdeste o trabalho todo?!
- Não. Eu ainda me estava a adaptar ao sistema, ainda não tinha feito nada.
(c) Nuno 2012.10.10

Tuesday 25 September 2012

AO90: é só vantagens...

(Actualizado a 21/11/2012)

Acabou de me telefonar o meu agente da Optimus, para efectuar a troca de pontos.
Simplesmente disse-lhe que não ia mais vez nenhuma trocar pontos por equipamentos (telemóveis), porque agora todos os telemóveis vêm com o Acordo Ortográfico (AO90).
Prefiro continuar com o Samsung Galaxy SII (sem AO90), em lugar de trocar pelo Samsung Galaxy SIII (com AO90).
Portanto, a alternativa é trocar os pontos por desconto em factura.
São cerca de 10€ a menos por mês na factura.
ACTUALIZAÇÃO: Chegou a documentação. Não são 10€. São 16€. Na factura com IVA traduz-se numa poupança de quase 20€ mensais (19.68€).

  • Pago menos na factura.
  • Pago menos IVA.
  • A Samsung vende menos umas centenas de Euros.
  • O Governo recebe menos IVA e menos IRC.

Tendo em conta tudo o que já deixei de comprar e consumir à conta do AO90, posso dizer que o AO90 se revelou um excelente negócio para mim, e um negócio desastroso para o Governo e para quem decidiu adoptar o AO90.
Façam as contas ao que já poupei, ao deixar de comprar e consumir:

  • Assinatura da DECO-PROTESTE
  • Semanário Expresso
  • Revista Visão
  • Revista Exame
  • Revista Exame Informática
  • Outras revistas portuguesas de informática
  • Outras publicações (como a National Geographic e outras)
  • Cinema
  • DVD's e Blu-Ray's
  • Software Microsoft
  • etc.

Estou a poupar largas dezenas de Euros por mês.
Obrigado AO90.

Friday 14 September 2012

Combater o Acordo Ortográfico

São muitos os que pretendem travar o Acordo Ortográfico de 1990 (AO90). No entanto, até ao momento, a palhaçada do AO90 continua.

Existiram, e continuam a existir, várias tentativas de travar esta aberração. Uma delas é bastante conhecida:
ILC contra o Acordo Ortográfico

Acontece que, o peso político individual dos muitos que pretendem travar o AO90 não é suficiente.
O verdadeiro motivo que moveu a criação do AO90 é, e sempre foi, económico. Os "lobbies" - os interesses - económicos que são subjacentes ao AO90 conseguem efectuar uma maior pressão política para a manutenção do Acordo Ortográfico.

Mas, neste instante, esses interesses já são menores.
Vejamos alguns:

  • Os novos dicionários que eram esperados vender já foram quase todos vendidos.
  • A legislação que impede a mudança de manuais escolares a cada ano lectivo já foi subvertida através da inclusão do AO90.
  • Os tradutores que tinham a expectativa de conseguir mais trabalho já verificaram que o tiro saiu pela culatra.
  • Quem ia lucrar com a formação profissional já lucrou o que tinha a lucrar.
  • Etc.

Portanto, esta é a altura certa para mostrar o contrário. Mostrar o que têm a perder.

O combate contra o Acordo Ortográfico é uma luta constante, e assinar uma petição não basta. É necessário pressionar os agentes económicos de modo a que transfiram essa pressão para o poder político.

Se querem efectivamente travar o AO90, pressionem os vossos fornecedores de bens e serviços. Deixem de comprar, deixem de ler, deixem de subscrever, etc. tudo o que use o Acordo Ortográfico. E façam com que eles saibam a razão da vossa recusa.

Dou alguns exemplos:

DECO, cancelamento de assinatura [Ana Isabel Buescu]
«(...) Decidi há algum tempo deixar de ser sócia da v/ Associação, precisamente no momento em que recebi o primeiro número da Revista em que esta passou a apresentar-se escrita de acordo com as regras do “Acordo” Ortográfico. (...)»

Cancelamento de Assinatura da DECO ProTeste
«(...) Bem, a DECO adoptou o Acordo Ortográfico... nada como aproveitar a oportunidade para fazer algo que já desejava fazer há muito: deixar de ser associado da DECO ProTeste. (...)»

(Des)Acordo Ortográfico separa os "maquisards" dos "vende-pátrias"?

«(...) um leitor a solicitar o cancelamento imediato, a partir de 1 de [J]aneiro, da sua assinatura ele[c]trónica e a devolução do montante referente aos números que não serão usufruídos. Mais grave do que isso, o leitor despedia-se do DN, deixando de o ler - até que o Acordo Ortográfico de 1990 seja extinto. (...)»
(NOTA: a bem dos leitores deste blog, foram eliminados os erros ortográficos da citação)
E o resultado está à vista de todos:
PÚBLICO bate recorde de pageviews a menos de um mês do lançamento do novo site
Um dos poucos jornais que não adoptou o AO90 ganha leitores. Uma vez que os restantes se queixam da perda de leitores, não deverá ser apenas coincidência.
Vejamos se esse tal "novo site" não se traduzirá numa adopção do AO90. Se tal acontecer, prevejo uma súbita perda de leitores.

Pessoalmente, tenho feito o seguinte:

  • Sempre que leio algo escrito segundo o AO90, mudo de canal. Qualquer dia, deixo de subscrever o serviço da ZON, e passo a ouvir rádio em lugar de ver TV.
  • Deixei de comprar revistas e jornais que escrevam segundo o AO90. Nomeadamente, pois foram pioneiros, as publicações do grupo Impresa.
  • Deixei de ir ao cinema (há cerca de dois anos que não ponho lá os pés).
  • Nunca mais comprei DVD's nem BLU-RAY's de filmes.
  • Passei a usar as versões em inglês dos sites, incluindo HOMEBANKING!
  • Solicitei que todas as comunicações, das empresas das quais sou cliente e que aderiram ao AO90, fossem feitas em inglês.
  • Já não vou trocar mais de telemóvel, porque os mais recentes já vêm com o AO90.
  • Deixei de subscrever todas as newsletters por e-mail que viessem em português com o AO90.
  • No Facebook removi tudo o que use AO90.
  • Mudei para OPEN/LIBREOFFICE, pois continuam a ter dicionários em português sem AO90 (Pré-AO90).
  • Etc.

Se alguém pensar que é difícil, ou exagerado, fazer este tipo de combate, então posso assegurar que traz vantagens fantásticas:

  • A vida fica mais fácil. Um dos problemas actuais é o enorme volume de informação a que somos sujeitos diariamente. Ao rejeitar todas as fontes que usem o AO90 reduzimos o volume de informação, e assim simplificamos a nossa vida.
  • A crise económica fica mais suportável. Ao longo de todo este tempo, em que deixei de consumir tudo o que tenha AO90, poupei muito dinheiro. Façam as contas às revistas e jornais que comprava, e que deixei de comprar. Acrescentem os bilhetes de cinema, DVD's e BLU-RAY's. Acrescentem as mensalidades dos serviços que cancelei. E sem falar nas trocas de telemóvel que vou deixar de fazer.
Façam a experiência.
Depois, tal como eu, agradeçam ao Acordo Ortográfico.

Actualização com testemunhos:
Toodle-oo, Portuguese - Vais mal, Portugal

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Obrigado pelo Acordo Ortográfico (AO90) II

Como já devem ter reparado, os meus últimos posts têm sido todos em inglês.

Graças ao AO90, estou gradualmente a abandonar a língua portuguesa. E estou a gostar. A projecção é muito superior, e a audiência não só é maior como também é mais culta. Basta olhar para os artigos na Wikipedia e comparar os conteúdos em inglês com os conteúdos em português para um mesmo tópico científico.

Cada vez vale menos a pena escrever conteúdos em português. E com uma ortografia de merda ainda menos vale a pena.

A vantagem adicional que descobri hoje, é que posso passar a comprar ainda mais coisas lá fora, com preços mais atraentes.

Música já toda a gente sabe.

Pessoalmente, também já comprava livros técnicos em inglês, que os de autores portugueses não valem nada, mesmo sem contar com os conteúdos cientificamente incorrectos. E estou a falar de autores supostamente conhecedores (licenciados, doutorados e professores universitários). As traduções brasileiras então é melhor nem falar.

Filmes também já não vale a pena comprar cá. Aliás, deixei de ir ao cinema. Não tenho paciência para ler legendas escritas por acéfalos. A assinatura da ZON está quase a ir de carrinho, pois cada vez há menos conteúdos com legendas sem o AO90.

Mas hoje descobri: já não necessito de computadores (portáteis) com teclado em português!!!
Vou poder finalmente começar também a comprar computadores lá fora. Isto significa preços 20% mais baratos, ou ainda mais.

Obrigado Acordo Ortográfico!!!

Thursday 5 July 2012

Goodbye Nokia

UPDATE 2012-07-17: Nokia shares drop below 1.70
UPDATE 2012-07-16: Nokia WP7 has 0.3% market share in the US
UPDATE 2012-07-09: Nokia shares drop to lowest value since 1994

On February 11, 2011 a partnership between Nokia and Microsoft was announced.
The investors felt that this was not going to work for Nokia. Nokia needed to boost smartphone sales, a lot and fast. Windows Phone was too far away to accomplish both "a lot" and "fast". Share prices dropped that same day to $9.36, and kept dropping.
On June 18, 2012 Microsoft made a "major" announcement. Basically it announced more bad news for Nokia: Microsoft will produce their own hardware for tablets. This means that Nokia can't expect a privileged position for selling Windows RT/8 based tablets.
A couple of days later came the burial ceremony: current smartphones using Windows Phone 7 (including updated versions) can't be upgraded to Windows Phone 8. This means that many consumers will not buy Nokia Lumia smartphones, as they will be waiting for Windows Phone 8 capable smartphones.
If about a year ago investors felt the Microsoft partnership to be a bad omen for Nokia, now everyone knows.
And Microsoft shot its own toe. Windows Phone is not selling, and it will sell even less when Nokia is gone. The Microsoft alternatives are to drop Windows Phone, or to produce their own phones. This latter one could mean that Microsoft would have to buy Nokia before anyone else does. And it could go as wrong as the aQuantive acquisition.

Opening on 2012-07-09:

2012-07-16 = US Smartphone Market Share as of Q2 2012:
Nokia has 1.2% of the US Smartphone Market Share, being 0.9% Symbian and 0.3% Windows Phone 7, according to Nielsen's July 12th, 2012 report.
Perspectives are even worse than expected. Symbian is naturally losing market, as it was dumped in favour of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. The major problem is that the Windows Phone managed as little as 1.3% market share, and both Samsung and HTC managed a better market share than Nokia.

2012-07-17 = Shares below 1.70:
Q: How low can it get?
A: It can always get lower.
Nokia shares dropped roughly 85% since the Microsoft partnership for developing Windows Phones was announced on February 11, 2011 over an year ago.

Higgs boson

All these Higgs boson news just inspired me:

Why does a photon plays the lottery?
To become a Higgs boson.

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Who really invented the tablet...

Microsoft Surface will replace the iPad

Microsoft Surface uses a magnesium alloy for the casing and gorilla glass for the touch screen.
This will make MS Surface a serious candidate to replace the iPad... at least for this gentleman:

Microsoft Surface games

Microsoft Surface is yet to be launched, but already has three games:
Catch, fetch and debug.

  • When with a friend, one throws the tablet and the other tries to catch.
  • When with a dog, one could play fetch.
  • When alone, one can play debug to try to find out why Internet Explorer locks on Microsoft "major announcements".

Tuesday 19 June 2012


I was looking to my latest post statistics, and this is what I got:
Where is the Internet Explorer? Is it dead?
Windows only at 49%?

I've been looking for all time statistics on my other blogs and sites, and it's tightly coupled with the content's subject and how it is being accessed.
Windows and Internet Explorer are mainly used by:

  • people searching contents
  • Portugal related subjects
  • old postings

And are not (less) being used by:

  • people on social networks (Google+, Facebook, Twitter)
  • technical related subject
  • recent postings

If this is actually a trend everywhere, and not just on my contents, then Microsoft might be in a deeper trouble than I thought it to be.

Microsoft's Major Announcement: Microsoft Surface tablet

Microsoft Surface
keyboard with actual keys

As Captain Obvious from NCIS pointed out:
- That's not Major Announcement, it's either Major Disappointment or Major Fail. We'll have to wait for the DNA results, just to be sure.

Judging from the refrigeration grille, I'd say it's Major Fail.
It's not a tablet, it's a tablet PC (remember those?).

Follow me:
Refrigeration grille -> heat
Heat -> high power consumption
High power consumption -> low autonomy

Microsoft Surface
touch "keyboard"
Yes, I know there are two versions of Microsoft Surface. But let's face it, the only one that has an initial lead over the competition it the tablet PC version (Windows 8), because it can run existing applications. The tablet version (Windows RT) has no apps (well, you know I don't mean it has zero apps, just that they are nearly non-existent when compared with the competition iOS and Android). So, it will face the same market penetration problem that Windows Phone 7 is facing.

Microsoft Surface
appalling stand
Microsoft, during the entire presentation, kept bashing Apple iPad. The problem is that Apple success is about design, and the Microsoft Surface appears to be designed by engineers, not by designers.
The stand is simply appalling. As someone said over the Internet, looks like a cheap digital photo frame. Besides, it has a major design fault: the tilt is fixed, you can't adjust it to face you, you'll have to adjust you to face it.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer
keyboard stand
This have to do with the keyboard. The cover-keyboard (or keyboard-cover) is a mixed imitation from both iPad and Asus. Asus has the cover that doubles as a keyboard, and Apple has the magnetic one. Microsoft combined the ideas, and made a mess out of it. The Asus Eee Pad Transformer uses the keyboard as a stand, and this allows screen (tablet) tilt adjustment. Microsoft, with the magnetic cover, was unable to do this, and therefore needed the appalling stand on the back.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer
adjustable screen (tablet) tilt

Back to the refrigeration grille. Microsoft said that this grille had an intelligent design, so you could never block it with your hands. This was clearly a reference to Apple iPhone antenna design problem. But Microsoft would have done better not to mention this grille.
The grille is a major issue. By making reference to the grille, we now know that the device heats to a point that it needs refrigeration. I've already addressed the autonomy problem, but there is more to it: comfort. Will the user be comfortable using it? Won't the heat make it uncomfortable to held and use?

As I said (Captain Obvious), we'll have to wait for the DNA results.
Time will tell.
But I'm betting that the corpse belongs to Major Fail.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Nokia and Windows Phone: the demise


Windows Phone:

This demise was pretty obvious, even more than one year ago. The sudden drop on stock price, on the same day Elop announced the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft, was more than a subtle sign. The gains prior to that day also shows something else: investors were hoping that Nokia would go Android. They gambled on that, and lost. The next day everyone was aware of Nokia's future demise. The final days of Nokia are here.
Nokia's mistake: Elop.
Elop's mistake: Microsoft.
Microsoft's mistake: Ballmer.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Obrigado pelo Acordo Ortográfico (AO90)

Durante algum tempo deixei de ler a trapalhada do FACEBOOK.

Hoje tenho estado divertido a fazer UNLIKE de tudo o que me esteja a aparecer segundo o AO90 (Acordo Ortográfico).

Ora, devo dizer que o FACEBOOK está a ficar mais apelativo a cada UNLIKE que faço...
Muito bom. Muito bom, mesmo.
Até já começo a vislumbrar posts interessantes que estavam perdidos no meio do lixo anterior.

Agradeço aos inventores do AO90 esta forma de simplificação da minha vida. Assim ficou bem mais fácil separar os conteúdos de lixo, dos conteúdos escritos por quem realmente tem um cérebro. Obrigado.