On “Inception” and Programming

After watching Inception I think I have an easy way to explain what complex object oriented programming can be like.

Next time someone asks “What is Programming like?” I’ll say something along these lines:

“Did you watch that movie “Inception”? Programming is similar, you build your own worlds, with your own rules (and worlds that can only exist in the abstract, sometimes very hard to explain in words), but now imagine that instead of dreaming in 4 levels (dreams inside dreams) you could be dreaming in about 12 levels down, but not only that, you could be having several dreams at once (each with several levels down), and most of the times some of these dreams have to share things with one another in order to make sense or they break.

So Programming is like Inception, but Deeper, In Parallel and Synchronized.”

Photo by Smif

Facebook brings me 12 times more visits than Twitter

Last night I saw this on my blog and other pages where I have Google Analytics installed to be let down by the amount of visitors that come from links seeded in Twitter feeds. The graphics above represent the amount of visits sent to my blog during the last 12 months from Facebook.com and Twitter.com.

What’s surprising is that I consider myself a Twitter addict (15,647 updates, 1500+ followers) and I hardly post updates on Facebook, however I’m getting 12 times more visits a year from Facebook. This has me thinking about how I should market my products and services on the social web.

Today, a reaffirming headline comes from the folks at Mashable “Facebook Now Commands 41% of Social Media Traffic”. Their numbers make sense against mine, Twitter only commands 8% of the Social Media Traffic.

I’m a heavy twitter user, I’m not spamming everyone, I try to tweet to be re-tweeted when it comes to links. I will only mention my products or services when I’m really proud of something or when I think something truly deserves to be shared because it’s cool.

However I think what’s obviously happenning when you look at Twitter vs Facebook is the following: In Twitter Nobody Is Listening, Everybody is Talking. In Facebook (at least someone like me) I have a circle of people that I actually know in real life, and they do care about what I say. I’ve a real life reputation and life track record in front of my peers, family and friends, and If I say something, they know I’m not spamming them, so they’re more likely to click, and recommend what I say.

The other thing that’s happening I think is that Twitter is still a small niche compared to Facebook. That 40% of the Social Media traffic means your mom and dad are on Facebook, and if they’re on Twitter they probably signed up and never used it again, they care more about their Facebook daily Gossip Dose or FarmVille addiction, which will eventually lead them to your wall, and to your links.

However, Twitter does prove to have a lot of mention to my products and services everyday (search.twitter.com), sometimes many times a day your brand could be mentioned, the question is, is anybody listening? is this bringing direct traffic that can’t be tracked? I’d like to pick your brains on the subject, I invite you to run the same reports on your Google Analytics, tell us what you find.

VIZIO Forge TV Superbowl ad. Starting the race for Internet TVs and slow death of cable channels

Not only this ad makes a stand in front of Sony and other big TV brands out there telling them “We have just advertised an Internet TV in front of 100 million viewers, you better get something out there soon or we’ll crush you”, but it also should tick you as a software developer. Now you’ll be able write software for the living room.

“VIZIO’s platform also includes support for the Adobe(R) Flash(R) Platform for the Digital Home, an optimized implementation of Flash technology that enables developers and content providers to deliver HD video, rich applications and other Web content to Internet-connected televisions, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and other devices in the digital home.”

VIZIO Internet Apps (VIA(TM)) — Connecting to the Future of Television

(Good luck on killing Flash Steve Jobs)

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Re: YouTube Users Pass on Paying for Movies

Dear Ryan here’s my response to your piece on YouTube Users Passing on movie rentals

It’s been only 48 hours and you’re already killing it?
I didn’t even know this was up already.

You have to let the service up for a little longer to make any judgments of these sorts.

However… being Devil’s advocate I’m with you on this one, it’s not gonna fly far, not even with cool blockbuster movies.

You don’t have to be a genius to understand that $3.99 seems a little too high for “renting” a movie to watch it on your computer, specially for a crowd that’s used to come to youtube for a bunch of short free video fixes.

This business model down the line won’t be a significant source of revenue for youtube, they’ll have to revisit their strategy and copy the Netflix flat rate model; Pay every month a flat fee and stream all you want from the ever growing catalog.

The Netflix flat fee model is the best available and the markets also like it; Netflix’s market cap ($NFLX) is now over $3 billion and Blockbuster’s has been reduced to a mere ($BBI) $70 million.

From a customer’s perspective I would never rent “on demand” films at $3.99 each, not even from my cable company and I’d be watching it on a big screen sitting comfy in my living room couch.

I rather stream to my heart’s contempt all I want without having to take my wallet out every time.

Flat Rates FTW.

iPad, iPass

Beautiful device, beautiful looking software but way too expensive for the minimum storage capabilities that a multimedia/gaming device should have.

If you’re giving me a great screen for video, powerful graphic processing capabilities and only WiFI connectivity you must think I will want to have a few movies, pictures and music stored in the device for offline use. WiFI is everywhere right? Wrong, most networks out there are password protected by the owners, so the only places where you’ll have WiFI access for free will be at home, at the office, maybe at your friends or a library. In most of those cases you will have a real laptop with you, or you won’t really be there to use the device.
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Las Mentiras sobre la Marihuana

Si te criaste en Latino América probablemente eres victima de las mentiras que rodean a la marihuana y probablemente tienes el cerebro híper lavado en su contra, lo cual te hace ver esta planta como algo que jamás tocaras en tu vida.

Si no has probado la marihuana (después de los 21) por miedo a todo lo que has escuchado y creído, deberías estar tan súper molesto o molesta como yo porque hemos sido victimas de viles mentiras para privarnos de uno de los placeres mas sanos de la vida.
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The Internet is becoming The Googlenet

Am I the only one that’s scared? Am I the only one that’s not eating the “Google Blue Pill”?

If you’re not scared it’s my intention to shake you up a little bit. Let’s see what Google has done and what it’s trying to do.

Google controls over %70 of the Web Search Traffic, and over 57% of all advertising on the internet

Google started as a Search company and they’re supposedly great at it (until someone else can show us better) so everyone uses their search and that means Google knows what everyone wants on the internet, therefore giving it one hell of an advantage over everyone else when it comes to decision making of any kind. What technologies to build, What websites are successful (which services should they buy or compete against). They know about all trends of all kinds. From lottery ticket search, to medicine search, to what new website is being searched for.

Their great search capabilities made them hit gold when they started advertising next to search results. They made so much money that they were able to buy lots of ad networks including very powerful ones like DoubleClick ($3 billion, April 13 2007) which together with Adsense control 57% of the market share of Internet advertising.

Just know that pretty much almost every ad printed on the web puts money in Google’s Pockets, the company that controls search. I wonder if their PageRank algorithm also includes the eCPM of the ads shown on the target sites, if not, it’s a direct consequence of being on the top search results that you’ll get more visitors thus making your CPM pay higher… it’s all a little fucked up the amount of control they have.

And let’s not to forget that the little publisher on Adsense Gets Pwned with probably less than 10% of the cost of the click (Google gets $2 a click, you get less than $0.20 for that click), a percentage that is never shown to the publisher, a percentage that Google can adjust to their liking however they want. If you can sell your own ads, do so (and then tell me how).

On top of that, there’s tons of money to make on statistics for all of that search data. You may want to read about a company called DemandMedia.com , in short they buy a lot of search engine data (probably Google’s included in there) so that they can generate a list of the things people want to know about every day, then they match that data to marketing databases (to see what the highest priced keywords are, data which may come from Google Adsense statistics) and they make a list of about 4,000 video titles, which they shoot and distribute EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Internet Video

YouTube… owned by Google, gets close to 100 million unique visitors every month. They’re the most influential video service on the internet. There are companies that exist and thrive (making millions a year) only because youtube is there (think again if you believe youtube is not making money). Oh and they know what you’re watching.

Privacy Stuff
Let’s forget about Search and Ad Monopoly, that’s their money maker, let’s start thinking about the creepier stuff, power.

GMail alone as of July 2009 had an approximate of 146 million unique users during one month. That’s a lot of conversations being tracked in one way or the other. Can’t imagine all the money they make on Gmail alone, since it’s one of the applications that people keep open most of the day, and that’s a lot of contextual ads right there, plus a lot of tracking on clicks to external sites linked inside the emails you read.

So they did Email great, you gotta give them that, but then they also have Groups, GTalk (instant messaging) and more recently they were talking about redefining email with Google Wave (which has been in my perspective a total failure, nobody is ever logged in or replying to the waves, it needs to integrate with email in order to replace it, maybe that’ll be the key and since they’re smart they should know this but they’re waiting for the right time…)

This year Google has gotten super scary with all the announcements they’ve made, one of the scariest is Google Public DNS, the service that converts a domain name like “google.com”, into an IP address so that your computer can connect to it.

Boasting on their excellence and good performance they’re trying to convince system administrators to switch over to Google Public DNS.
What do we know if already our local ISPs have turned off their own DNS servers and just redirected all requests to (Google’s DNS) to save on costs and to have one less thing to manage?.

This is pretty scary because Google now would know where you go, even if you don’t use Google.com

Another really scary thing is having this company also build for you the web browser. Not only they control all the traffic, but they want to control the application that you use to browse the web. They already own Firefox (a nice +$50 million dollar/year tax deduction) whose default search is, you guessed it… Google, and now they even want to make an Operating System that runs only their browser with the purpose of having you log in with your Google Account every time you turn on your computer (currently aimed at Netbooks, please install Ubuntu Netbook Remix and be safe)

If their plans go accordingly, they’d be controlling everything, from every request that comes out of your internet connection (DNS), to the kernel and browser in your computer, to your email, to your documents (Google Apps), to where you go (Google Maps), to where you are (Google Latitude).

And if that’s not enough, they want to give you a phone number (Google Voice) and transcribe your conversations and voice messages… but wait I forgot they’ve also built an operating system for your phone, Android, and next month they will sell their own phone.

Are you scared yet?

Other Services:
Google Healthcare (They want your medical records too)
Google URL Shortener (They want to track all the clicks inside Twitter and Facebook, they couldn’t let other companies deal with this, bit.ly FTW!)
Google Finance (They also know what stock quotes a lot of people are looking for)
Google Reader (They know what news and feeds you’re reading)
Google News (They want to control what news are read)
Google Blogger (They know what you write about, and bank on you)
Picassa (They want your pictures)
Google Maps and Driving Directions on Android (They want to know where you’re going)
Google Product Search (They wanna know what you’re shopping for)
Google Checkout (Do they have your credit card number yet?)
GMail (They know your contact list, who you talk to, who you do business with, what you want, what you hate, everything)
and so many other scary things… they must be so pissed they don’t own Facebook. Way to go Mark.
Google Buzz (They want to know conversational trends and what people are linking to amongst themselves, They couldn’t let Twitter take that piece of the cake)

The scariest part however is that everyone is just looking at how convenient all this free services are, praising Google but not thinking if there’s a hidden agenda, it’s like nobody could ever suspect the real intentions. At least with Microsoft you knew what to expect. Doesn’t it all sound like an internet monopoly? It’s becoming impossible to compete with such a big monster… however like a friend said “History repeats, all Giants fall eventually”

Google wants every byte coming in and out of you, they own every major piece of the action, it’s all becoming like big media and newspapers, like the food industry which is controlled by only a handful of corporations and we really have no choice in what we eat because everything is so cheap and convenient.

Google at this pace will own the internet, or should we call it The Googlenet.

Suggested Reads

Google Hypocritical on the Importance of Privacy (Superb read)

Why I couldn’t go back once I had a Mac

Whenever I try to explain why I’m now a Mac user and why I certainly don’t intend to buy anything different than a Mac (unless something really superior comes along) and even though you could probably get a super duper machine with cheaper parts, I always say that it’s all in the details, and they’re so many that I can’t really answer people which are.

The purpose of this post, is to keep track of those “a-ha” details as I come across them. I’ll update this post as more details come along on my day to day.

  • The Power Adapter of the Mac is magnetically shielded. You can put it on top of your computer while it’s still on and you won’t be afraid of loosing data. Not IBM’s Thinkpad’s power adapters are magnetically shielded
  • The Ethernet port on the Macbook PRO makes regular ethernet cables work like Cross-over ethernet cables. This really comes in handy if you have another computer next to you and there’s not an ethernet switch nearby. You can just connect directly to that machine, share your internet, transfer files, no need to ask anybody for a cross over cable. This has been this way for years (at least since 2006), I’m not sure if HP or other laptops have these super duper ethernet cards in them.
  • Back-lit keyboard. A blessing when coding in the darkness for those of us that sometimes need to look down for a special key. Oh and it will light up when it’s actually dark, freaking awesome.
  • Multi touch touchpad (way before many other laptops started implementing it). Double finger tap for right click? can’t live without it
  • Awesome battery life, and this is a pretty known fact about macbooks
  • I haven’t had my OS crash in … I can’t remember last time it crashed fully
  • Very quiet fan
  • The power adapter connector has that little magnet, people can trip over it and it won’t pull your laptop to the floor

  • The power adapter is modular, basically you can decide whether or not to carry with you a long ass cable or keep the adapter with the smaller patch cord that goes to your computer. Also you can switch it’s connector to the European style connector which comes with the computer. It seems apple knows its user base might travel abroad sometime

  • The power adapter has these two ears which can open and close. Their purpose is to let you wrap the thinner cable that goes to the computer. It’s great if you don’t want to have too much cable laying around or when you’re on the go and you need to wrap up things inside your bag. Kudos to the designers of the Power Adapter

  • As for the OS goes, I consider it a Linux where everything works right off
  • In Mac OSX everything just works as expected or better. Some good examples of things that work better than in other OSes are Wireless configuration, Internet Sharing, Multiple Display configuration is amazingly intuitive to set up
  • My last Macbook PRO I’ve been using it for almost 3 years and there’s no real need to get a new one, it’s still pretty fast after 2 major Mac OSX upgrades
  • The Sleep and Wake up functionality actually work, I can’t say the same for my Alienware and Vista, where sometimes it will never wake up, or it won’t really be sleeping and it’ll get all hot and kill the battery
  • If you ever open the Macbook, it’s a like a “work of art” inside. The way they’ve arranged everything, changing a hardrive or the keyboard is very easy and quite fun
  • The native tool for screen shots is really convenient, not only for all the different ways in which you can snap your screen, but it’s also a nice pixel measuring tool for web developers and graphic designers
  • Having a console, which comes with all the standard linux tool makes you remember windows and it’s cmd.exe and laugh about how arcaic it is
  • Being able to have the Automator to Visually Script things like Resizing a Bunch of Pictures and copying them somewhere else once you’ve downloaded big resolution images from your camera and you want to upload them to flickr… priceless
  • /Applications/Utilities/Console.app – a debugging blessing to find out why things might be going wrong with a specific process. I should probably not brag about the software since that’s getting into Mac OSX realm and that’s a whole different subject of why you can’t go back, again Linux that works right off, or Linux for Dummies.
  • Pressing Space bar over files on the Finder brings that super fast preview for Images, PDFs, Videos and even audio files
  • Being able to Customize the Finder adding and removing buttons to simplify or specialize it (equivalent of Windows Explorer)
  • Burning CD/DVDs is amazingly simple, no need for 3rd party software
  • Typing on a Mac keyboard is addicting, feels really good on the finger tips, the sound of it is music to my ears
  • No more viruses to fear, or antiviruses to slow you down

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