27 year old dream comes true today.

I remember learning about the USA when I first watched the Summer Olympics in L.A. in 1984.

I remember asking my dad, why did that country get all the gold medals
and then my dad explaining why the supremacy of this nation, and then me asking more and more questions.

Ever since then I admired this country like no other and I wanted to be part of it. I didn’t set foot in it for the first time until 1995 and when I did I loved this place even more.

The attached picture was what my room looked like (when clean) right after I graduated, you can see where/what my mind was set to (the flags I got on my 1995 trip and they were always on display in my room as a way to visualize my goal of coming here). At the time I was being outsourced to code for Pocket PCs, and that was my entry ticket to the US to become a special H1B worker.

Today the dream of becoming an American will come true.

I’ll be on my way to take my oath in a few minutes. Wish me luck.

UPDATE: As of 08:26:56 on 10/26/2011 you’re all stuck with me for good. Howdy fellow Americans, I’m finally a sworn (registered to vote) citizen of the United States of America.

Thoughts during my first hours in London

I’ve finally taken a week off from work, and I decided to go to one of the must-visit cities on my list while my wife does her Indian journey with her sister. I’m in London, and I must say I’m not that thrilled yet (I haven’t seen anything so far), maybe it’s cause I’m alone, maybe it’s the weather, maybe I’m tired, or maybe I’m too cheap for the freaking prices so far in this city. Here are some of the thoughts I’ve had so far during the trip:

  • American Airlines for the first time had really good food during the flight. Also the movies on demand rocked, I could watch Valkyrie and Yes Man.
  • As we started to descend I realized I would not see the sun again during the whole vacation. Anywhere from 10,000 meters to like 100mts from the ground there were layers and layeres of clouds and fog.
  • Subway cars are tiny
  • DSC00041

  • The subway system is a piece of cake
  • Every thing is twice as expensive as in New York, and it pisses me off
  • There’s a never ending drizzle
  • At first I thought the whole place would sound like I was in a harry potter movie, so far I’ve only heard Polish, German, Portuguese, Italian, and very little English with British Accent
  • Everything reminds me of my wife, traveling with her is 10 times more fun than traveling alone
  • It’s been only a few hours, hopefully I’ll get used in a couple of days on how crossing the street works, even though there’s signs in most places “Look right!” “Look Left”, I still have to think hard to figure out where cars are coming from on some streets. It’s all so crazy, they should switch.
  • DSC00043

  • I forgot my power adapter
  • Everything is too expensive, 20 pounds for the internet connection on the hotel is not good at all, that’s like $30 usd. In 2 days I’d pay my monthly ISP with that amount of money back home
  • I still think the US is the best fucking country in the world, no matter how much people hate it, I find everything in america so convenient it’s hard to change it for any other country, at least for me

In the afternoon after I walked more then I got more excited after I went to a few landmarks like the London Eye, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Picadilli Circus (below). I finally got some sleep, but I still feel that I’ve some jetlag on me, so I’ll take more of this sunday to sleep it off, that’s what vacation is for, resting.
Me at Picadilli Circus

The conclusion of the first day, most things in this country are backwards. I’ll try to make a list of them, it’s not only the driving. The bread toaster this morning was backwards, you’d get the bread down by pulling a lever up… wtf.

Monetizing Free Video works better in the Living Room

Well over a year ago I asked a Joost executive why not use some of that money they recently had gotten in funding into going for the living room via Xbox or PS3. I got a politically correct answer about yes, we’ll do it eventually, but that’s not our focus right now.

In the meantime, Hulu was building their platform for the web, and 4 months later it was king of the hill. Joost then had to rethink their distribution and ditched their p2p client for an all Flash streaming based approach, which seems to start picking up traffic but the differences in the audience sizes are ridiculous. A tip for your current approach, and it has to be done a month ago: Allow non-signed users to watch your some of your content (short-clips), and allow for embedding, worked wonders for YouTube, it’d be awesome for all that niche oriented content you have. (Update Nov 22 2008: Joost has just released video embedding!)

But even though Hulu has almost 10 times more traffic now than Joost, it’s earnings are still a joke compared to the advertising earnings of Broadcast and Cable, it’s just peanuts. With Ad Spending going down, it would make sense to me as an advertiser to somehow stay in the living room, with cheaper CPM, and better targeting. Hulu & Joost on the Xbox could do that for me, if only they were available in the living room.

Netflix on the other hand, monetizes month to month, and they also saw the opportunity of getting to your living room in different ways. They’ve tried with their own $100 box, but I find the most interesting and convenient way to get an audience of at least 15 million people that spend hours and hours wasting their time in front of their TV playing video games (with barely any ads) in the Xbox console.
They give me as an Xbox Live customer yet another option to keep my Xbox Live subscription and think twice about getting the PS3 and ditching the Xbox live payments since my Netflix subscription gains added value cause I don’t have to plug my laptop anymore to the tv. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have all those Hulu and Joost shows there too?

Netflix has released their stream service this week via Xbox, and it’s exactly the way I suggested to Joost, make it a free download, negotiate with Microsoft an ad revenue agreement, I can think up so many business models from this partnership… I wish I had super powers.

In any case, pictures speak louder than words some times. I hope bizdevs at Hulu & Joost take a look at this and remotely consider this as a probably great channel for content distribution. This could be your chance to grow your audience several orders of magnite, just become a Microsoft Live developer and port your technology (wish it was as easily done as said, I know), Internet Video needs to compete in the living room, forget about mobile for now, the living room is here now.

See More pictures of my Xbox Live update experience.

My Calculus II Cheat Sheet (1997)

This piece of paper is about 11 years old, I created it as (non-permitted during exam) reference to all those formulas I couldn’t remember a 100% or to which I could doubt in a moment of stress so I could double check.

It’s been kept on the pouch of my HP 48G calculator for all this time, today I thought it’d be probably a good idea to scan it and upload it.

Click on the images to see in high resolution, maybe one they they’ll be worth something and they’ll lay on a museum, or at least, a family vault.

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Birthday Trackback (29yrs old – 2008)

So today is my birthday and I want to thank everyone who sent out a shout for me in chronological order.
I also want to mention that it was interesting to see a few things:

  • As my friend Daniel Chang pointed out, it seems that regular people are finally catching up to the internet, I didn’t receive a phone call the whole day, expect from my closest family members. I personally think it’s a pain in the ass getting so many phone calls for the same reason the same day, everybody has finally seen the beauty of digital messaging, and its awesome that everybody seems to have a facebook account nowadays, they just post to the wall and done deal.
  • There’s some clever Facebook app developers, maybe a little to evil, but I received several “birthday cards”, which in fact were Facebook apps, I didn’t bother to open them as soon as the first one said it was an application which needed access to all my contact info and friend info… bastards. But this makes me think that birthday related functionality is a must, specially if there’s friendship functionality already available to your site. You’ll always have clusters of users interacting with each other thanks to many birthdays a day
  • So, here it goes, thanks a lot for taking the time to send a shout, pretty cool to know there’s so many people that did so:

    – My wife
    – My wife’s parents, who came before midnight and gave me a drill for my tool-set as a birthday gift.
    – My mom
    – My dad
    – My sisters
    – The Swaman
    – La Tati (via SMS)
    – Raul Hernandez, now in UK
    – Fitim Blaku
    Hugo Londono
    Guillermo Amador
    – Rhona Bucarito and Luis Ramirez
    – Laura Borman, now in UK aswell
    Felix Rios
    – Eduardo Torres
    Javier Chauran
    – Marcelina Knitter, my sister in law
    Nacarid Lopez
    – Honack Villanueva, the most responsible team mate when I was in school
    – Gabriela Noriega, it seems now all over the place (CCS/CDG/MAD/LUX/CDG)
    – Adelaida Moubayyed, now in Spain
    – Felix Berger
    – Jose Lopez Brett, aka Nosgoth
    – Gabriela
    – Adriana Fulchini
    – Daibory Trujillo
    – Sue Geissenberger
    – Maria Cione
    – Roger Kapsi
    – Ale Penichet
    – Cristian Radu
    – Angel Eloy, who wrote me a very nice email
    – Antonio Jordana
    – Gabe Perez
    – Stephanie Alvarez
    – Katay Santos (before in China, now in CCS)

    Biking Route, Spring is here

    Bike trip from Brooklyn to Manhattan

    White tree at Sheep's Meadow in Central Park, one of my favorite spots to relax in the city for freeWhenever I see the temperature go above 65F I feel a sudden urge to leave the house. Yesterday I decided to take a bike trip to the city and back.

    On the way there, my ipod blasted two prodigy records, then while in Central Park I listened to a wonderful podcast called E01 (spanish) which judges TV shows based on their first aired episode, the E01.

    Resting while listening to E01 podcast

    After the trip I have one request for Mayor Bloomberg, please add bike lanes in midtown on 2nd Av. it’s really scary to bike anywhere up above 34th st, definitively lot better once you ride south of 14th st.

    My next trip will be to Park Slope right here in Brooklyn.

    Do you have any favorite bike routes in your city? Please share

    Field trip to the Yankee Stadium

    Click here for all the pictures.

    We went yesterday on a school field trip to the Yankee stadium for a tour. The stadium is being torn down
    they will open a New One next year (right across the street).

    If you’re in New York and have the time, be sure to visit the stadium before its gone, its a great piece of history of this city and of this country’s culture, it’s awesome being there, a truly magical place where unbelievable things always happen, go soon if you haven’t done it before.

    Bjarne Stroustrup at Google NY, July 31st 2007

    Tonight, July 31st of 2007 I had the privilege of attending a talk by the man himself, the creator of the C++ language, Bjarne Stroustrup.

    He was sharing with us how things are going for the next version of C++0x – The 0x stands for a possible year of this decade where it will be released.

    One of the interesting things that happened to me at this meeting was to finally have the honor of meeting Sebastian Delmont, and oh, those 3 geeky Red Hat guys, wonder if they were actually part of Red Hat or just hardcore fans, good thing I was wearing my Ubuntu shirt to represent for the Ubunteros.

    As for C++0x, I guess my thoughts aren’t that deep, I honestly don’t care much about C++ at this point in my life, and it seems it’s an old language striving hard to keep the pace with newer features found in new languages. It seems its very hard to reach consensus on the C++ board, and its very hard to accept new features given the language is already too big, its also funny to see that everything that gets hughe (millions of people use it), will always have problems in terms of adapting to new conditions or injecting innovation to itself. Bjarne created the language around 25 years ago, and there are features that only now he’s finally been able to get accepted for this version. C++ however, we must admit is a language that’s heavily used, (but I think by end users, not the software engineering community), on software like Photoshop, Google search engine, and the Mars rovers (these were the examples Bjarnes kept bringing again and again, I would also be proud of course).

    For me, I’ll stick to Python, Nasa’s been using it too for quite a while, the same with Google and many other applications, hey, YouTube’s backend runs in python.