Monthly Archives: February 2012

los derechos de autor y la sociedad de la pataleta

que la ley este mal es verdad, y que las penas son un sinsentido, también. pero el tema de los derechos de autor y la propiedad intelectual es complicado, y usar la torpeza de las leyes para evadir discutirlo de manera profunda es hacer demagogia. pero aquí no se discuten las cosas, sólo se protesta por ellas.

el caso es que casi parece de sentido común que un autor que se curra una obra debería tener el derecho a sacarle rendimiento económico si lo desea, en igual de condiciones y protecciones que el pastelero que se curra su pastel o el médico que se curra sus 8 horas de consulta.

por supuesto, el cobro preventivo (el canon), que equivale al “ya te pego ahora por lo que puedas hacer en el futuro” no es la solución, ni lo es la censura indiscriminada (que camufla un intento de control del contenido de la red), ni lo son las sanciones estúpidas disparatadas que dispone el código penal actual.

lo peor es que la polémica está aderezada con compañías y sociedades que quieren seguir cobrando lo que en primer lugar nunca deberían haber cobrado, páginas de descargas ilegales y la cultura de la trampa, y otros temas que son colaterales que enturbian el problema real, y que alimentan el discurso simplista y de superficie en vez de la discusión verdadera. como siempre, parece que nadie quiere hablar de los fundamentos, sino sólo de la fachada de las cosas.

me sigo preguntando el porqué. ¿será que a nadie le importan lo que es la cultura y las implicaciones filosóficas? ¿de verdad que todo se reduce a querer bajarse contenido gratis, o a hacer dinero con ello? ¿de verdad que es todo por las pelas (en ambas direcciones) o el control de los medios? no, me lo creo, aún confío en una sociedda un poco menos superficial que eso.

el caso es que entre pataleta y pataleta, mientras todos lloriquean por sus derechos (¿”derechos”?, ¿de verdad?), y sin nadie quererlo, todo se solucionará de forma natural en menos de lo que canta un gallo. al final el capitalismo llegará y desenrredará el caos: la llegada de servicios/negocios como pandora, netflix, spotify y demás hacen que el pirateo ya no compense ni tenga sentido. así que antes de que los españolitos indignados y los españolitos encorbatados se hayan puesto de acuerdo en nada, todo volverá a su curso natural (el que surge del “yo produczco y te lo vendo, tú me lo compras y lo consumes”) gracias a la iniciativa de los que mueven el cotarro de verdad.

meeting the present

speaking of the structure of culture and the way it changes, i recently got to get my first e-book ever.

first, that will surprise those that know that i actually never read. for example, i didn’t read a single book in the last 5 years, and i explained why many times before, here at this blog. however, yep, i recently got interested in giving a read to one particular book.

secondly, fewer of you might be surprised perhaps to note that i said an e-book… indeed, i’m a late technology adopter and an oldschooler in many ways (at least for the silicon valley standards). so not surprisingly, when i thought of reading this particular book, my first reaction was to think “ok, i’ll buy it online and read it on the train while commuting to work”, visualizing myself seating in the couch, getting my book out of my bag, holding it my hands and turning the pages. the association of “reading” and all of this physical ritual that i just described is so strong in me, that i didn’t think of an electronic reading. my brain just didn’t even consider an electronic “reading” in any way. so interesting!

fortunately for me, i didn’t have to buy the book in the end, but i was given it as a present instead. in ebook format, as said. in fact, this was not only my first ebook, but also my very first electronic gift ever! so, besides learning from the book and having received the gift (thanks thanks thanks!), i’ve to be grateful too for making me get rid of an old cultural artifact and habit, and adopt a new more in-sync-with-times one. cause it’s not that i am a dinosaur that misses or likes the retro-crap or anything; it’s just that i’m too lazy to invest time to meet the present.

apples don’t have worms anymore

i was thinking apples don’t have worms anymore. this is not just a metaphor, i’m talking about real apples and real worms too.

i remember when i was a kid. when grabbing an apple for desert or snack, you had to be careful and watch out for wholes in the apple. if one was found, you could still eat most of the apple but the area with the whole and warm. it was infrequent, but sometimes you could see those little cute white translucent worms there, doing their wormy stuff.

this would happen both when you went for a hike or visiting a small village and grabbed apples right from the tree, cleaned them up with your t-shirt and started eating them straight away, as when buying them from the regular supermarket back when the distribution channels where more local than they are today.

i’m sure most kids don’t have that strong mental association between worm and apple that i have, anymore. furthermore, perhaps they don’t even know that apples are as much of a food item to humans as they actually are living habitats for worms? will they ever get to learn that, or will they grow adult without ever knowing about it? the worm-apple association, which is a strong cultural artifact for my generation and all preceding ones will probably get lost soon.

so, i wonder, which are the bits of cultural information that got lost with MY OWN generation? i’d love to know what things where vivid and present for my parents that were never for me. in fact, perhaps somebody should write a book with the history of all the cultural waste and scraps that becomes anecdotal or even gets lost and forgotten forever as we progress. mainly because it’s easier to forget the old than to adapt to the new. and because that would be a fun read too.

not every day is a day for a deep thought

ok, i too vote for Tau

i had already heard some of the arguments in favor of the use of Tau as fundamental constant in mathematics instead of Pi. i thought that besides providing some simplification to many common formulas (fourier, gauss, cauchy, etc), it wasn’t much more than just a mere matter of solving the inconvenient problem of mapping fractions of a circle (like a quarter circle) to an angle that was twice that fraction of Pi (like a half Pi). so i never got convinced it was a change worth adopting.

but then i was exposed to this powerful idea, which elevates the celebrated euler’s formula into an ever higher level: taking one full circle brings you to the same point, or in other words, one turn equals identity, or even in other words:

this idea is so elegant, beautiful and so much powerful than euler’s orignal formula that when i saw it i was immediately sold.

so, from now on, i’ll be using Tau, not Pi.

cross-language rhymes

here, hidden in your garden
donde los deseos arden
nobody can see us
y sé lo que más ansías

so i’ll touch you here, and press
bajo la sombra del ciprés

just testing. it turns out it’s not that easy to cross the musical boundaries of language. different rhythms, different sounds, different accents. but that won’t stop me from trying again.

inidan rocks

all sunsets look beautiful. equally beautiful, i dare to say, for they are all pretty much the same to each other. yet, we never stop getting pictures of sunsets, even looking at them, and honestly believing this one is the most beautiful sunset i’ve ever seen.

probably, it doesn’t mean that particular sunset is in itself prettier than any other, but just (just?) that our feelings at that very moment are more beautiful than usual, or intense or inspiring. of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder, no in the thing we are seeing. i know that. and yet, this one sunset really was more beautiful than usual…

too close

i was thinking on the reason some people systematically mistype “you’re” for “your”, or “than” for “then”.

i mean, “then” is an adverb, “than” a conjunction. “you’re” is a verb, “your” an adjective. i don’t see how one could ever confuse them. the ironical part here is that i have serious difficulties to articulate two words in a row myself when speaking English, yet (or rather because of that) i’d never get confused in the choice of those words. of course, and to be fair, similar errors are made too in other languages by their native speakers.

so, does this mean that some people really detach themselves so much from the structure of language? or from its semantics? then, in which terms/way/metaphors do they think? visual, physical, musical?

demasiado cerca

estaba pensando en el porqué de los errores sistemáticos de alguna gente a la hora de escribir “a ver” y “haber”. a ver, uno indica “descubrimiento” (vamos a ver si nos entendemos) y el otro existencia (de haber algo, habria agua). suenan igual, pero significan cosas completamente diferentes.

por tanto, supongo que el hecho de que sean confudidas indica que muchas personas piensan de una manera totalmente desconexa de la estructura del lenguage, o cuanto menos del significado de las palabras y frases que estan de hecho diciendo. así a botepronto se me ocurre especular que se deben de expresar basándose más en memorización y repetición de… ¿sonitos? hm, muy extraño… pero por otro lado, ¿cómo puede alguien transcribir sus pensamientos y confundir el verbo ver con el verbo haber?

la otra explicación que se me ocurre es que cuando aprendieron la coletilla por primera vez, en ese momento de tabula rasa, momento en que no hay interpretacion correcta sino que todo es aún arbitrario, eligieron el verbo “equivocado” y construyeron su interpretacion particular de la expresion; interpretació a la que sigen recurriendo de forma sincera cuando escriben…

better and cheaper

$1300 (less than 1000 euro) = 16 GB of RAM + 17.3″ native 1920×1080 HD screen + 8 cores (i7) + 3 GB video memory (GL 4.2, DX11) + 750 GB Disk + Windows 7.

Why would you pay twice as much to get one third of the power? Perhaps to get a fruit logo in the back of the screen? To make it lighter so you can have its companion while in bed or in the toilet? Well, this is no toy, kid, but a working machine.

So, lets the coding and mathemagics begin!

polytonos para coches

hay un problema de diseño bastante importante con las alarmas de los coches. cuando el coche detecta alguna actividad extraña y lanza la alarm, ¿cómo sabe el dueño que es su coche el que esta dando la vara con el puñetero zumbido, y que no es el de otra persona? (y si existe otro mecanismo del que no soy consciente, ¿entonces para qué queremos la jodida alarma?).

aparte hay otro problema, que a diferencia del primero, me incumbe personalmente: el pitido de la alarma se hace bastante inaguantable después de, digamos, un minuto de tabarra. sobre todo cuando estás durmiendo, o intentandolo…

así que lanzo la siguiente recomendación: que las alarmas de los coches sean configurables y permitan polytonos, como los teléfonos móviles antiguos. por un lado, cada propietario de coche podrá elegir su melodía favorita y podrá así reconocer si es su coche el que está siendo atacado o no. por otro lado, ya que la alarma me va a fastidiar mi sueño igualmente, si en vez de despertarme con un taladrante pitido repetitivo ¿que tal si me despertase con algo aún más odiable en lo que proyectar mi cabreo, algo como la Macarena?


polytones for cars

there is an important design problem with the alarms on the cars that i want to address.

when a car detects some unusual activity and alarm triggers, how do the car owner know it is their car the annoying beeping/buzzing one (as opposed to just somebody else’s car)? (if there was a mechanism that i am unaware of by which the oenwer knows, then the alarm is unneceesary in the first place).

besides, there is a second problem that, unlike the first, directly affects me: the buzzing soon becomes very annoying for everyone around the car after, say, after one minute. especially for those who were sleeping and were suddenly woke up…

i thereby propose the following recommendation to the car manufacturers: let the car alarm systems support customizable polytones, like the old phone rings. for one hand, users will be able to choose their very own alarm song and so recognize if the fucking beeping car is theirs or not. for the other, next time i involuntarily wake up this early i will be able to project my anger into something more hate-able than just a stupid monotone beep, something like Macarena perhaps?


impossible codification

when somebody sends you this / cuando alguien te manda esto

int t[] = {0x4845A956, 0x586DEE32, 0x7E6B9933, 0x0D059D58, 0};
int ch = t[0] + t[1] + t[2] + t[3];
char *str = (char*)t;

you answer this / tú le contestas con esto

int t[] = {0x151ba3a, 0x10abc1a, 0x118a113, 0x1e08bc0b, 0 };

poseer la verdad

últimamente me da mucha perecita escribir la misma cosa en dos idiomas. y aunque mi inglés de indio me da para comunicar algo pero, desgraciadamente, no para maquillar una idea, aun así prefiero por lo general escribir sólo una vez, en inglés, y llegar así a más gente con el mismo esfuerzo. como digo, es pura holgazanería. ¡lo sientorrrrrr!

pero para compensar, hoy cambio un poco los planes, y reescribo lo de hace un rato de ahí abajo en cervantino vulgar:

siempre asumí que la superstición daba al gato siete vidas. pues bien, se ve que estaba equivado; acabo de enterarme de que la mayoría de las culturas anglo-sajonas creen por lo contrario que los gatos disfrutan de nueve vidas.

pero todos sabemos que, a diferencia del nueve, el siete es un número mágico… es primo, el arcoiris tiene siete colores, los enanitos de blancanieves eran siete, como siete son los libros de harry potter o los días de la semana, etc etc

por tanto, una vez provado que nosotros los siete-ístas conocemos la verdad, y que los nueve-ístas están equivocados, declaro la guerra abierta, la enemistad, la destrucción y el asesinato, legítimos. y también cualquier otras cosa necesaria para evitar que la falsa superstición se extienda.

y así es como funciona la religión, niños

por supuesto, en verdad la cosa nunca ha sido un tema de incompatiblidades de creencias tanto como de posesion de autoridad para controlar la sociedad. pero aun así, tampoco está este ejemplo muy alejado de lo que solía ser en realidad la cosa en su discruso más superficial.

y ahora es cuando me pregunto si debería cambiar el “solía” por un “suele”

owning the truth

as a spaniard, i always took for granted superstition attributed 7 lives to cats. i was wrong, i just learnt that most anglo-saxon cultures believe cats have 9 lives instead.

we all now that, unlike 9, 7 is a magic number – it’s prime, it’s the 7 colors of the rainbow, the 7 dwarfs of snowwhite, the 7 harry potter books, the 7 days of the week, etc etc.

so, since i’ve successfully proved that us, the seven-ists, are right and that them, the nine-eists, are wrong, i declare open war, anger, destruction and assassination, and anything necessary in order to avoid their superstition spreads further.

and that’s how religions work, kids.

of course it’s never been about incompatibilities of believes, but of ownership of the tools that control society. but still, that’s not too off from what it used to be in its most superficial discourse.

at this point the author is considering replacing “used to be” with “is”

sorry to disappoint you, guys!

and now, just to move away from so much complaining, and while i am at the topic of social networks, let me inform the world, as if anybody really cared, that i almost involuntarily joined twitter. i didn’t want to, but i had to, for some particular issue i wanted to address. now that the issue is resolved, i could just sign out my account and call it a day. but i’m not.

i’m not, despite i don’t understand the concept of twitter. lemme explain.

i have a blog where i can relax and through the product of my mental diarrhea without caring too much about being politically correct nor consistent or even sincere with myself. i also have a facebook account where i can post more private information and updates about my life and where i can carefully publish all the pictures that help me prove the world that i am a happy man. i also have the website where i pretend i am a generous guy who helps and gives ideas away for free. so what does twitter have to contribute with in this trendy obsession for digital talking (the web is all about talking today, not listening anymore)?

i have no idea. 140 characters are certainly not enough to develop any idea into any interesting article. i don’t think anybody gives a shit about anything i can describe in such a reduced space. i for sure don’t have any interest on describing in twitter what i see around me or i do at any moment, unless there is a story or a conclusion i can build around it. so i won’t twit anything. in the other hand, as a good child of the web 2.0, i am not interested at all about listening to others, therefore i have serious doubts i’ll follow anybody. so what’s the point about twitter for me, then?

well, i got more than 70 followers registered in just a few hours. that positively feeds my ego big time. besides, it makes me more curious than anything. like… how many people out there do actually give a shit about what i have to “tell”? not surprisingly, most of the followers i got are google engineers, video game programmers, visual effect artists or some other sort of geek/nerd, just like myself. so there we go, these are all clever people who probably expect tiny pieces of smart information from me or links to intelligent topics. well, i have such bad news for you guys 🙂 i cannot deliver that.

at this moment, for me it’s all about seeing how big that number of followers will grow. once i know how much attention my ego deserves, and i post about it here again, i’ll just shut the account down. lol.

don’t fuck it up (more)

seems like these are times of complain for me. well, i guess better get it all out of me at once than in small steps for a longer lasting period of time. yep, i think it’s best that way. just like vomiting. so, here we go:

my dear facebook folks, i hate your urge to keep changing things. oki, g+ died. well done. now you don’t need to keep changing your dress and waving your hair to grab our attention. therefore, any further meaningless user interface changes, any additional privacy control changes, any extra publishing flexibility features are only fucking it all up.

the whole thing is already pretty complex to use. i certainly cannot follow how it all works, and i lost control of what i’m doing. operations that were intuitive and easy before are now impossible (or i cannot find a way to do them). so, we got old features gone, and many new ones are of no use.

i’m sure your access-restricted-environment-trained-and-security-freak engineers might find it all natural, the concepts easy and the UI convenient. but the average Joe, i can tell you, freaks out with your new system. and i don’t speak only for myself here.

the beauty of this site when i joined it was its lack of unnecessary sophistication. don’t ruin it. you survived to g+, and i’m really happy for you (and for myself), but now, to me, you might be shooting yourselves in your own foot boys.

and that was my last complain. for a long while