With Google, There Will Be Bad Blood →

August 08, 2011 |


But why? Why is Google now a villain to many in the industry? I don’t believe it’s because they’re evil, I believe it simply relates to the Plainview quote. Increasingly, Google is trying to do everything. And they have the arrogance to think that they can. And it’s pissing people off.

MG Siegler at his best. Google may be biting more than they can chew, and no company is invincible. Besides, you gotta love how he picks the images and headlines for his articles.

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Quote of the Day →

August 08, 2011 |

The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.

Mark Twain (1835 - 1910), in Christian Science.

__US humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit.

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Packing Light and Going Fast

July 30, 2011

For the past few months, I have been following Pack Light. Go Fast. with great enthusiasm. It’s a blog about the art of packing light and traveling with just the essentials, so you can worry less about what you’re carrying and focus on enjoying your trip instead. The advantages are many: you can move faster through security in airports, you don’t need to check in any luggage (which can save you quite some money), and if you’re carrying only one bag, you can keep everything with you at all times so you don’t need to worry about leaving something behind… you get the idea.

If this sounds like something you’d like to try, you should spend some time browsing through the archives. The work that Uri is doing over there is phenomenal, and there is some solid advice for everyone.

Personally, I like to pack light when preparing for an upcoming trip. I always try to take as few items as possible to avoid checking any bags if I have to catch a plane. In Europe we often fly with low-cost airlines, which are great, but have very restrictive policies in place when it comes to baggage fees. In most cases you’re only allowed to carry one bag with you onboard, and if you want to check anything it usually comes at a steep price per bag. It is in part thanks to these airlines that I’ve gotten better at packing light over the years.

Right now I’m in my home town, Plasencia, visiting my parents. Since it’s August and most people are on vacation, I decided to take a couple days off work to be with them. Besides, next Tuesday is my town’s official holiday and I didn’t want to miss it. It’s a great chance to catch up with some old friends and have a nice day. I also wanted to bring some nice clothes in case we went out for dinner or something like that. In the end I was able to pack everything using only my backpack. I didn’t want to bring a trolley (which is considerably bigger) because I knew I would have to go straight from work to the train station, and I’d have to walk quite a bit through the city and take the Metro to get there. If you’ve ever moved across a big city like Madrid with a trolley, then you know what I’m talking about. It’s a pain.

I’m also lucky because I keep some of my clothes at my parents’, so that I don’t need to bring everything with me every time. However, this time around I brought everything I’ll use, with the only exception of a pair of dress shoes. Everything else was conveniently packed as you can see in the images below.

Everything for 5 days away

Here’s the checklist:

1 pair of shorts 1 pair of pants 3 T-shirts 2 dress shirts 4 pairs of underwear 4 pairs of socks Swimsuit 1 pair of flip-flops for the pool 1 pair of flip-flops to wear on the street Toiletries bag Apple Wireless Keyboard iPad 2 Amazon Kindle Glasses Belt Keys iPad charger and cable

Ready to go.

And here’s everything packed up in my 25-liter Nike Hayward Medium backpack (which has sadly been discontinued). There’s actually plenty of room left. I could have easily fit another pair of jeans, an extra pair of shoes and even my MacBook Pro, but by bringing only the essentials, my backpack feels lighter, and I can go faster. As you can see, carrying only one bag means you can move better, and you have less things to worry about. It feels great.

After seeing so many great examples of people using the GORUCK rucks, I’m eager to get one and see for myself. My current backpack is similar to the GR1 in size, so I guess I’ll go for the GR2 following Uri’s advice. This way I’m covered for both short and long trips, and I can forget about trolleys for good.

For more details, you can browse through the whole set of images on Flickr.

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13 →

July 29, 2011 |

I just couldn’t decide which lines of this wonderful piece I should quote. They’re all that good. Each and every single one of them.

Via Daring Fireball.

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John Siracusa's Epic OS X Lion Review →

July 20, 2011 |

The favorite moment of every Mac geek has finally arrived: John Siracusa’s Epic-length review of the next major version of Mac OS X is now up over at Ars Technica.

Grab something to drink, find a nice, comfy couch and treat yourself, it only happens every two years or so. With a bit of luck, you’ll have finished this one by the time the next one is published.

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The New MacBook Air is finally here →

July 20, 2011 |

As widely anticipated, the new configurations are impressive, packing considerably more power while maintaining prices across the board. The Thunderbolt addition is also very much appreciated.

One interesting detail: the high-end stock configuration of the 11” Air is now a better deal than ever: just $200 will get you 4GB of RAM AND double the storage to 128GB of SSD goodness. Previously these were two separate upgrades.

Actually, the two highest-end configurations (the BTO options) of the 13” and the 11” have exactly the same specs now (1.8 GHZ Intel Core i7, 256GB SSD and 4GB RAM). Besides, they are only separated by $46, which leaves only the screen size to decide. Pair the top of the line 11” Air with one of the brand-new Thunderbolt Displays, and you have the perfect setup.

If you were waiting to get your hands on one of these, I’d say they were well worth the wait.

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In the Event of Moon Disaster | Letters Of Note →

July 20, 2011 |

Incredibly emotional memo prepared to be used in case the Apollo 11 didn’t make it safely onto the Moon:

In ancient days, men looked at the stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Today marks the 42nd anniversary of its landing: the first time a human being set foot on our only satellite. A great, inspiring story for all mankind that thankfully had a well-deserved happy ending.

Thank you, gentlemen. You made us believe that anything is possible.

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Hello America. Spotify here. →

July 14, 2011 |

Simple and effective webpage to announce Spotify’s immediate availability in the US. From the video:

All your favorite music. All your friends. All in one place. It’s how music was meant to be enjoyed.

I can’t help but agree. You can request an invite for Spotify Free, or sign up for Spotify Premium & Unlimited now.

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US labels finally embrace music streaming

July 14, 2011

This morning I woke up to read one of the most exciting news of the past few months. As being reported by Paul Miller over at This is my next…, it looks like Spotify is finally launching in the US:

We can hardly believe it ourselves, but we just spoke to someone from Spotify with a totally American accent and confirmed that the unlimited music service is indeed launching tomorrow at 8AM ET.

This is fantastic news for all of you living in the US. I know there have been several subscription-based music services available for a while, including Rdio and Rhapsody, but to me Spotify is the one. This is when music streaming goes mainstream. I’ll never understand what took them so long. It seems to me that acquiring licenses to operate in the US should have been their No. 1 priority since day one. I guess American labels were even more skeptical about music streaming than their European counterparts, but I always assumed that once Spotify managed to acquire licenses in several European countries, the rest of the world would have followed soon. The real story, of course, was a lot more complicated than that.

Maybe the recent streaming services launched by Amazon and Google have finally awakened the labels and made them take another look at Spotify’s licensing model. Remember, the labels are not making any profits from either Amazon’s or Google’s services, since both companies have decided they don’t need to acquire licenses, maintaining they’re only acting as storage lockers for their users’ already purchased music. In contrast, Spotify’s model is already proven to be working elsewhere, and it’s a small-but-consistent revenue stream that the labels can’t afford to ignore.

All in all, it seems that this story will finally have a happy ending for music lovers all around the world. Spotify is a terrific service, a huge value for the money. The client applications are awesome, it’s cross-platform, it works incredibly well, and it syncs your playlists across all your devices. Besides, if you’ve never seen a collaborative playlist in action, you’re about to get your mind completely blown away: it’s the ultimate party-preparing tool. Take it from a long-time Premium subscriber, those are the best 10 bucks I spend every month.

Spotify is a perfect example of how technology can make our lives easier. At its best, it is transparent, almost invisible. The only thing we should ever have to worry about is what song we want to play next. Now, if only the rest of the world would also wake up and join in, who knows what could happen. The music industry might even become interesting and exciting once again.

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