5.30.2011

Same financial crisis, another chapter

“Are the derivatives regulated? No. Are you still getting growth in derivatives? Yes.”

Via Financial Post

Lightning strike hits CN Tower

on May 29, 2011.

Asus EeePC X101 with MeeGo netbook hands-on

Will it be a competitor to ChromeOS and Chromebooks? It's slower than Chrome OS...well, to be honest, Chromebooks have better specs...



More about MeeGo here.

5.28.2011

University of Alberta: dichloroacetate is effective in curing cancer

Researchers at the University of Alberta believe Dichloroacetate may soon be used as an effective treatment for many forms of cancer.

Here.

Sócrates e a Escola Pública

José Sócrates tem os dois filhos, Eduardo e José Miguel, em colégios privados de elite: Colégio Moderno e Colégio Alemão.

Pedro Passos Coelho, ao invés, tem as duas filhas, Joana e Catarina, em escolas públicas.

Fiquemos por aqui.

5.27.2011

Spanish Ghost Towns

Real estate collapse in Spain. Astonishing!

VALDELUZ: 700 people live in a town planned for 30,000


SESENA: 10,500 houses sit empty. Commercial real estate is bricked up


More here.

Better Life Index: a comparison between Canada, Portugal, Ireland and Greece

Here's an interesting compilation of data of four countries. Canada topped the ranking, only behind Australia.

Remind yourself that Portugal, Ireland and Greece were intervened by IMF/ECB/EC with bailout programs and that these findings are based on data from 2008 or later. So, they don't account for the latest and very significant changes that occurred lately in these 3 countries.

Maybe this could help someone decide which country he or she would prefer to live in. Maybe not. Well, at least has some really interesting figures.

Note:

- Red is the worst, yellow the best.

Enjoy and discuss!



Full document here.

5.25.2011

Chromebook or Asus notebook with Windows

Which one would you choose considering the following daily tasks:

- browse the web with Chrome (e.g., feeding the blog, posting to twitter, reading the news, etc);
- work with Google Apps (Gmail, Docs, Reader, Calendar, Picasa Web);

and

- occasional work with Libreoffice;
- occasional connection to Samsung Lcd to watch movies from external storage hard drive (I appreciate that "connect projector" option in Windows 7).

One important issue: I need a pc where I can have installed some vocational training windows only applications. If I buy the Chromebook I will have to ditch those apps to another computer. And I only want one notebook. ;)

I have my laptop with dual boot - Ubuntu 11.04 and Windows 7. But this isn't a decisive issue. I have both because I love Ubuntu and I need Windows 7 for the apps that were referred previously.

I have some pros and cons for each solution but which one would you choose considering all the aspects that were mentioned?

Asus Eee pc 1215b

499€

Specifications

Operating System: Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium
Display: 12.1" LED Backlight WXGA (1366x768) Screen
CPU: AMD Fusion APU E350 1.6GHz (dual core)/C30 1.2GHz (single core)/C50 1.0GHz (dual core) Processor
Graphic: AMD® Radeon HD 6250/AMD® Radeon HD 6310
Memory DDR3, 2 x SO-DIMM, 2GB/4GB
Storage: 2.5" 500GB HDD
Wireless Data Network: WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n@2.4GHz
Bluetooth V3.0+HS(Optional)
Camera: 0.3 M Pixel Camera
Audio: Hi-Definition Audio CODEC
Stereo Speakers
High Quality Mic
1 x VGA Connector
3 x USB 2.0
1 x USB 3.0 *1
1 x LAN RJ-45
1 x HDMI
2 x Audio Jack (Headphone/Mic-In)
1 x Card Reader : SD/ SDHC/ SDXC/ MMC

Battery 8 hrs*, 6-Cell 56Wh Li-ion Battery

Or

Samsung Series 5 Chromebook Wi-Fi

Unknown price in euros and availability in Portugal. Probably the equivalent in dollars, i.e., 429€; availability: July? September? I could also try to buy the Chromebook in Spain on June 15.

Specifications

Processor: Intel® ATOM Processor N570 1.66Ghz Speed
Memory: 2GB Standard System Memory DDR3 Memory Type Onboard 2GB Maximum System Memory
Storage: 16GB SSD (mSATA)
Display: 12.1" Screen Size LED (WXGA) Display 1280x800 Resolution, Non-Gloss, 16:10 Aspect Ratio 300 nits Brightness
Design: Arctic White
Graphics: NM10 Graphics, Chipset Integrated Graphics, Shared Graphics Memory
Multimedia: Stereo Speakers ALC272 Integrated Audio Controller
1MP HD Webcam
Internal Mic
Communication:
802.11 b/g/n Wireless LAN
I/O Ports
VGA via dongle adapter
Headphone/MIC combo
2 USB Ports
4-in-1 Memory Card Reader that supports
SD / SDHC / SDXC / MMC
Input
Touch Pad
Buttonless type, Gesture Support Touch Pad Function
Keyboard
74 Keys
Full-size (island style)
Google Chrome Keyboard
Power
40W AC Adapter
6 Cell
8280 mAh
61Watt Hours
Up to 8.5 hours (Google Chrome Battery Test)
Dimensions
Product Dimensions: 8.6" (W) x .08" (H) x 11.6" (D)

Google's Hamina Data Center



Via 9to5Google

O Jornal de Notícias cheira a PS, sabe a PS


"O povo não vai em debates". Curiosa afirmação. Será por o Passos Coelho ter tido um óptimo desempenho no debate com Sócrates e esta sondagem referir um aumento da votação no PS?

Até quando é que o Jornal de Notícias continuará a fazer a esta porcaria de jornalismo?

Este jornal começa a parecer uma qualquer publicação de propaganda socialista!

Um património jornalístico de tanta qualidade vilipendiado por afirmações dignas de um qualquer apoiante do PS...Vergonha.

5.24.2011

Ria de Aveiro, Portugal

Region: Ria de Aveiro


Ver mapa maior

The pictures speak for themselves.








Windows Phone 7: Mango Update

I have to confess that I really appreciate the looks of Windows Phone 7. It's a lot more elegant than Android or iOS. They have truly made an excellent work around the OS although I don't like the deep integration of Facebook and some other minor things. Overall, looks great.

Here's a video about the new features in the Mango Update.



Via Engadget

New Nook

Here's the new Nook from Barnes & Noble.

It comes with Android 2.1. I'm wondering if we will see Honeycomb on this beauty... ;)

Microsoft says Chromebooks don't change the game

Really? Having a new player with the name Google isn't important and doesn't change the game? Hum...Are you really sure? Aren't you afraid of losing your rings? Hum, Microsoft?

Chromebooks don’t change the game at all from a productivity standpoint. Excel is just a million years ahead of what Google Docs provides.

Do the majority of companies really need all the features of Excel? Could it be that Google Spreadsheets can get a great percentage of the work done? And remind yourself that Google is working hard on Google Apps...Evolution comes quickly here...

Exciting times, that's for sure. Chrome OS is just a v1.0.

Via 9to5Google

O relatório da UTAO a tal que o Governo quis calar

Gamado sem pudor do Blasfémias.

A autora é a Helena Matos.

Hoje o “Diário Económico” escreve que o Governo adiou despesa pública durante o primeiro trimestre para melhorar o défice do Estado em mais de 200 milhões de euros. 
A conclusão decorre do mesmo relatório da UTAO: “A melhor execução na óptica de caixa beneficiou de um crescimento das dívidas dos Serviços Integrados [do Estado], cuja variação mais do que duplicou face ao período homólogo”, mediante “um acréscimo de 205,9 milhões de euros”. 
“Administração Interna, Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros e Ministério das Obras Públicas, Transportes e Comunicações foram os principais responsáveis pelo aumento de dívidas neste subsector, sendo as despesas com pessoal, aquisição de bens e serviços e transferências correntes, os agrupamentos de despesa que mais contribuíram para o acréscimo de dívidas neste período”, acrescenta o relatório. 
O “Diário Económico” avança, por seu turno, que em causa estarão atrasos nos descontos de IRS referentes aos funcionários da GNR e PSP, na tutela da Administração Interna, e também o adiamento do pagamento das contribuições e quotas devidas a instituições internacionais, cujo pagamento está a cargo dos Negócios Estrangeiros.»

Ah, maledicência de um raio! 

5.23.2011

Sócrates e o optimismo

Optimism, unaccompanied by personal effort, is merely a state of mind and not fruitful.

Here

A Google Phone Not Based on Android?

Anton Wahlman has the answer, i.e., Google will deliver in 2012 a Chrome OS optimized version for smartphones.

Feasible? Likely? Necessary? Wise? With Android ruling smartphones, would it be wise for its own creator to battle it? Where would Chrome OS for smartphones fit in? How would it emerge "against" Android? How would Google preserve Android and Chrome OS as competitors?

Well, Google's first goal is to have as many people as possible surfing the web, living the web. Only that goal will allow them to maximize their profits, by extending their audience for their clients' adds. They are still an advertising company and I don't see it changing in a foreseeable future. And I'm not sure if they want to control the entire process (software, hardware, selling, etc).

Interesting article but I'm still waiting for my Chromebook, Google. :)

5.21.2011

Less clutter on Firefox interface: add-on

Mozilla Labs have come out with an interesting approach to Firefox browsing experience and interface.


You can try it now with Firefox 4. All you have to do is download the Mozilla Labs: Prospector - LessChrome HD add-on.

Remember that the latest Chromium 13 build was heading the same way?


Well, the omnipresent url bar is coming to an end. I personally like what both Firefox and Google are doing. Less clutter, more web. Doesn't that sound familiar? Hum...ChromeOS, anyone?

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 - Video



Via CrunchGear

32 ways to use Google Apps in the classroom

5.20.2011

The Matrix runs on Windows XP

What about trying Ubuntu? Hear at the end... ;)




Via Omg!Ubuntu!

Google wants to be your personal financial adviser

Google Advisor aim is to help make financial decisions. It also makes it easy to find financial offers from multiple providers, compare them side by side, and apply online.

Taxa de poupança bruta em Portugal

Eis o valor bruto da taxa de poupança desde 1998. Reparem na vertiginosa diminuição. Em 12 anos desceu 11.7%! E em que contexto surge esta descida abrupta? Exactamente, a entrada em circulação do euro! E quem disse que com o euro o pessoal podia fazer FESTA? Ví...to..r....Cons....tân....cio. Pois é...

1998 20.1
1999 19.3
2000 17.4
2001 17.2
2002 17.1
2003 16.7
2004 15.5
2005 13.0
2006 12.2
2007 12.9
2008 10.7
2009 8.9
2010 8.4

Por comparação, acção do Governador do Banco do Canadá tem sido sempre muito mais realista. Bem sei que são tempos diferentes, mas a questão aqui é avaliar as repercussões das políticas actuais na futura situação financeira do país. Nesse aspecto, o Governador do Banco do Portugal falou e falhou muito, assim como o Estado e uma grande parte das famílias, iludidas por incentivos de riqueza fácil. O problema agora é iniciar um novo ciclo de poupança com uma economia a decrescer e o desemprego a aumentar. É bem mais difícil!


Via Desmitos

Sócrates e a má educação

Hoje, na conferência do Diário Económico, José Sócrates revelou toda a sua podridão moral. Revelou todo o esplendor da sua decadência de princípios e a sua imensa arrogância. Ao ser interpelado por Peter Villax com a afirmação "Eu tenho um problema essencial consigo, os seus actos não reflectem as suas palavras", o mal educado José Sócrates disse "Não gostei do que disse. Eu faço o meu melhor para que as minhas palavras respondam sempre aos meus actos (...) não lhe reconheço nenhuma autoridade moral para me dizer que as suas palavras correspondem melhor aos seus actos do que as minhas".

Bravo Sócrates!

5.19.2011

Improved UI in Chrome OS

Getting ready for Chrome OS v1.0. Things are looking good! :)






Credits to Dinu, Chrome Story blogger.

One simple proposal for the Chrome Team

Please, consider the attribution of a number to each tab for the first 9 tabs. It would be great to know instantly what's the number of the tab without having to count the tabs in order to use the CTRL + number keyboard shortcut.

5.18.2011

Google Chromebook Commercial - live from Google I/O



Pretty funny commercial! Ehehehe

Some thoughts on grade retention

Interesting reading on grade retention. Article published by the American National Association of School Psychologists.

Grade retention, also known as nonpromotion, flunking, failing, being held back, or the gift of time, refers to a child repeating his or her current grade level again the following year. Whether used to address low performance and/or behavior problems, research generally has not found favorable achievement or adjustment outcomes for students who are retained.
Nevertheless, retention rates have been rising. This trend appears to be heavily influenced by the recent “reform” movement emphasizing national or state-wide educational grade-level standards and accountability (the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001) and the accompanying grade-level tests to determine which students are promoted to the next grade. Whatever the reason, if retention is suggested for your child, it is vital that you as a parent make sure you know what options are available and are involved in making decisions about his or her education. By working together, parents and educators can discuss and identify specific strategies to help ensure the educational success of your child.

The Retention Dilemma
Sometimes children are recommended for retention when their academic performance is low or if they fail to meet grade-level performance standards established by the district or state. Some children may be recommended for retention if they seem socially immature, display behavior problems, or are just beginning to learn English. Occasionally, students who have missed many school daysbecause they were ill or because of frequent moves are recommended for retention. Research indicates that neither grade retention nor social promotion (the practice of promoting students with their same age-peers although they have not mastered current grade level content) is likely to enhance a child’s learning. Research and common sense both indicate that simply having a child repeat a grade is unlikely to address the problems a child is experiencing. Likewise, simply promoting a student who is experiencing academic or behavioral problems to the next grade without additional support is not likely to be an
effective solution either.

When faced with a recommendation to retain a child, the real task is not to decide to retain or not to retain but, rather, to identify specific intervention strategies to enhance the cognitive and social development of the child and promote his or her learning and success at school. Given the evidence indicating that grade retention, when compared with social promotion of similar children, is an ineffective and possibly harmful intervention, “promotion plus” (i.e., combining grade promotion and effective, evidence-based interventions) is most likely to benefit children with low achievement or behavior problems. Too often, anecdotal evidence, clinical experience, and folklore overshadow the results of empirical research. But what does research show? Is retention effective? The following information, taken from research during the last 100 years, can help parents better understand the possible effects of retention on their child and advocate for effective intervention strategies.

Effects of grade retention. The body of research on retention indicates that:

• Initial academic improvements may occur during the year the student is retained. However, many research studies show that achievement gains decline within 2–3 years of retention. This means that over time, children who were retained either do not show higher achievement, or sometimes show lower achievement than similar groups of children who were not retained. Without specific interventions, most retained students do not catch up.

• In adolescence, retained students are more likely to experience problems such as poor interactions with peers, disliking school, behavior problems, and lower self-esteem.

• Students who were retained are 5–11 times more likely to drop out of school. The probability is even higher for students who are retained more than once. Actually, grade retention is one of the most powerful predictors of high school drop out.

• For most students, grade retention had a negative impact on all areas of achievement (e.g., reading, math, and oral and written language) and social and emotional adjustment (e.g., peer relationships, self-esteem, problem behaviors, and attendance).

• A study of sixth graders’ perceptions indicated that they consider retention as one of the most stressful life events.

• Retention may help students who have missed many days of school, but only if their attendance improves and if the child will not be considerably older than the other students. At this time, however, there are no specific indicators that predict which children could benefit from retention.

Alternative strategies. However, research does provide evidence that supports the effectiveness of other educational interventions. The following are evidence-based alternatives to grade retention and social promotion that better address academic and behavior problems:

• Parental involvement in children’s schools and education through frequent contact with teachers, supervision of homework, and ongoing communication about school activities.

• Age-appropriate and culturally sensitive instructional strategies to accelerate progress in all classrooms.

• Early developmental programs and preschool programs to enhance language and social skills.

• Systematic methods to monitor progress, identify strengths and weaknesses, and identify the most effective methods of instruction.

• Early reading programs; that is, many low performing students have reading problems, and it has been found that developmentally appropriate, intensive, direct instruction strategies have been effective in promoting reading skills of at-risk students.

• School-based mental health programs to promote the social and emotional adjustment of children; for instance, addressing behavior problems has been found to be effective in improving academic performance.

• Student support teams with appropriate professionals to assess and identify specific learning or behavior problems, design interventions to address those problems, and evaluate the efficacy of those interventions.

• Behavior management and cognitive-behavior modification strategies to reduce classroom behavior problems that interfere with learning.

• Extended year, extended day, and summer school programs that focus on improving the development of academic skills.

• Tutoring and mentoring programs with peer, cross-age, or adult tutors who focus on promoting specific academic or social skills.

• Comprehensive school-wide programs to promote the social and academic skills of all students. Considering their diverse needs, there is no single intervention that will effectively address the specific needs oflow achieving students. Rather, systematic evidence-based interventions should be selected to facilitate the academic and socioemotional development of students at risk of school failure.

What Parents Can Do to Help

Parents know their children well and can provide much needed insight into their children’s learning. Therefore, it is important for parents, teachers, and other educational professionals to work together. Finding out about school problems early can help parents and teachers to collaborate to spare children the feelings of failure. Addressing problems early improves chances for success. Parents can help by:

• Discussing concerns as they arise with the teacher. It is important to know what assignments your child isexpected to do and what type of work is difficult for your child to understand and complete.

• Asking your child’s teacher what help is being provided to your child and what you can do at home to help him or her succeed.

• Helping your child with homework by asking to see his or her assignments and creating a quiet time and place tostudy.

• Making sure your child is rested and ready for school each day. It is important that your child gets plenty of sleep,eats a nutritious breakfast, comes to school on time, and receives appropriate medical care.

Via Christine Eagan

A minha crise internacional

Dentro da minha vida populam várias dificuldades. Nada de especialmente relevante quando todos nós as temos. Particularmente significativa, no entanto, é a descoberta que eu fiz hoje.

Ora bem, hoje descobri que todos os meus problemas, menores por sinal, tem uma causa principal. A origem que congrega a energia que por sua vez causa toda disrupção na minha vida tem uma explicação.

A causa de todos os problemas é...a crise internacional. Nem mais. A crise internacional é o motivo pelo qual sinto um lastro de incomodidade relativamente: a esta sociedade ignorante, mesquinha e provinciana; aos políticos vendedores de ilusões; à falta de oportunidades para aqueles que se esforçam; a ausência de incentivos relevantes e duradouros que premeiem o esforço, a dedicação e a inovação; aos meus compatriotas que preferem ver o estado como uma vaca leiteira e não como um tesouro a respeitar e preservar; à demagogia do estado social; aos anacronismos regionais e nacionais, entre muitos outros problemas.

Aqui está. Finalmente percebi. Finalmente.

Comentários aos debates eleitorais

Comentário X: "O candidato Y não falou da questão mais importante, que era..."

Comentário X1: "O candidato Z esteve sempre na defensiva..."

Comentário X2: "Não foram abordadas as questões relativas a..."

Comentário X3: "O candidato W utilizou uma linguagem muito fechada..."

Parece-me que os comentadores têm uma tendência analítica que não se desprende do acessório. Confudem o conteúdo com o contentor, o significado com o significante, o fulcral com o banal.

Percebemos todos que a acção do último governo e a vacuidade discursiva e tautológica de Sócrates tem uma razão credível no seio da mente colectiva portuguesa. Basta ouvir os comentários.

Pentelhos de ouro são frases de areia.

5.17.2011

Bakhtin's on mind's innovate potential

Bakhtin’s (1929/1973) dialogical approach states that in each individual speech act the real or imaginal presence of another person is reflected. It is on the interface between self and other, as opposite positions in a spatialized structure, that innovation emerges.

Dear 16-year-old Me

Melanoma awareness.

Some Chromebook Screenshots

As you might expect, there will not be many differences between Chromebooks in terms of software, since they will all run ChromeOS. I think that each vendor could probably choose a different color of the icons and install different web apps according to their preferences. I'm not expecting much more than that in terms of visual and software tweaks.
For instance, it wouldn't be unexpected that Samsung could install some sort of Android web app to manage their Android devices, like Galaxy S & S II. It's just an example and something that I would love to have on my future Chromebook.

Here are some screenshots of ChromeOS on the Samsung Series 5










5.16.2011

Five Reasons why Google's Linux Chromebook is a Windows killer

  • Attractive business packaging and pricing
  • Ease of use
  • Lots of Applications
  • Security
  • Google Brand Recognition
Full text here

Why Windows security is awful

A simple analysis done by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.

Conclusion: it's flawed by design.

Here.

Samsung Chromebook Serie 5 Teaser

Samsung Chromebook Series 5 Hands On

Samsung News Release About the New Chromebook

You can read it here.

Índice de protecção no mercado de trabalho - OCDE


0 - menos protecção; 4.5 - mais protecção

Muito bem, agora reflictamos muito simplisticamente:

- será linear que o factor "direitos adquiridos" seja fundamental para o sucesso da economia e felicidade dos trabalhadores?

- será a maior protecçao no emprego o factor essencial para o sucesso da economia?

- será a maior protecção no emprego a garantia de um estado social com sucesso?

- será a maior protecção no emprego condição para reduzir o desemprego?

- será a maior protecção no emprego a garantia de mais oportunidades de emprego para todos?

- o que dizer da comparação com a Suiça, Canadá, Austrália, Nova Zelândia, Irlanda e Dinamarca, todos países mais desenvolvimentos que Portugal? O que dizer da Suécia?

- e qual será a relação com os recibos verdes?

As diferenças são abismais. Não se deve comer o pão bolorento que muitos partidos (Bloco de Esquerda e Partido Comunista, por exemplo) nos querem impingir.

Boas análises!

Via Desmitos

Yale Digital Commons

As on their website,

...search across Yale's collections of art, natural history, books, and maps, as well as photos, audio, and video documenting people, places, and events that form part of Yale's institutional identity and contribution to scholarship.

Enjoy!

5.15.2011

Google I/O 2011 Web Fonts are changing the Web

Google I/O 2011 Chrome Fireside Chat

Free movies on YouTube

Google has now some interesting and free movies that you can watch or show to your family, friends or students, if you are a teacher.

All you have to do is click and watch it.

I would recommend Home, The End of Poverty and The Battle of Britain, all documentaries. Other genres are available as well.

Other movies are also available, some in others channels like OpenFlix´s channel.

5.14.2011

Pérolas para porcos - As escolas do parque escolar

Apreciem a megalomania bacoca e saloia do PM em funções. Não seria necessário ver este video, para ser sincero.

Parece que não aprenderam nada na Finlândia. Talvez esteja na altura da Finlândia fazer um pequeno video sobre a Educação e Gestão Financeira. Talvez isso ajudasse à auto estima dos Portugueses.

Autism and Technology

Gregory Abowd on Computing & Autism

Interactive Teaching Methods Double Learning in Undergraduate Physics Class

The study

It compared the amount of learning students experienced when taught -- in three hours over one week -- by traditional lecture and by using interactive activities based on research in cognitive psychology and physics education.

Methodology

In the study, two classes of an undergraduate physics course with approximately 270 students each were taught by highly-rated, professors with decades of experience. In the second-to-last week of the second semester, the instructor of one of the classes was replaced by Deslauriers and Ellen Schelew, a master's student in the Department of Physics at UBC. Deslauriers and Schelew had been trained by Wieman and other CWSEI researchers in interactive, evidence-based teaching methods but otherwise had little teaching experience beyond serving as teaching assistants.

Conclusions

The [interactive teaching methods] activities require more work from the students, but the students report that they feel they are learning more and are more vested in their own learning.

Here

5.11.2011

Chromebooks - Samsung and Acer

You can find all the information on Google's official Chromebook website.


Samsung specifications

12.1" (1280x800) 300 nit Display
3.26 lbs / 1.48 kg
8.5 hours of continuous usage 1
Intel® AtomTM Dual-Core Processor
Built in dual-band Wi-Fi and World-mode 3G (optional)
HD Webcam with noise cancelling microphone
2 USB 2.0 ports
4-in-1 memory card slot
Mini-VGA port
Fullsize Chrome keyboard
Oversize fully-clickable trackpad

$429 for wi-fi version; 499$ for wi-fi and 3g version

Acer specifications

11.6" HD Widescreen CineCrystalTM LED-backlit LCD
2.95 lbs. | 1.34 kg.
6 hours of continuous usage 1
Intel® AtomTM Dual-Core Processor
Built in dual-band Wi-Fi and World-mode 3G (optional)
HD Webcam with noise cancelling microphone
High-Definition Audio Support
2 USB 2.0 ports
4-in-1 memory card slot
HDMI port
Fullsize Chrome keyboard
Oversize fully-clickable trackpad

Prices start at $349.

Available on June 15 in the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and the U.K.

I'm wondering about the prices in Europe and particularly in Portugal.

I don't know which one I'm getting...

Chromebook - nothing better than some videos

Chromebook



Some features of Chromebooks

Instant Web


Always Connected


Same Experience Everywhere


Amazing Web Apps


Forever Fresh


Security Built In


Chromebooks for Business and Education



Chrome OS for Business - Jason’s Deli, a Restaurant Chain



Chrome OS For Education - KIPP Schools LA

Google I/O 2011: Keynote Day One

Samsung Galaxy S II Official Live Demo

Pérolas para porcos - versão delicodoce

Dinheiro atirado (por um Governo de um estado sem capital) para a economia sem regra nem pudor, na sequência da crise internacional;

Subida de salários na administração pública em 2009;

Corte de 5% média nos salários na administração pública decididos em 2010;

No início do ano de 2011 o PM de então, José Sócrates, dizia que Portugal era o campeão do crescimento económico;

Em Maio do mesmo ano a CE, FMI e BCE emprestam 78 mil milhões de euros a Portugal.

Nem vou pormenorizar mais. Dói-me aqui dentro, acima da barriga e abaixo do pescoço.

Pérolas para porcos. Quem quer?

Sobre os debates eleitorais 2011

Perante a vacuidade, obscuridade e deturpação que o candidato José Sócrates apresenta no diálogo (?) eleitoral, relembro um texto escrito em Julho de 2008.

Reproduzo uma citação desse texto:

Indexicality of voice means a turning toward the heard speaker with a “physiognomic gaze”: recognizing him/her as him/her in this specific time and place, at this certain position. Voice directs the other to an individual which is to cognize and recognize. The very possibility of understanding uttered words is related to the positioning of the person.

Já chega de nevoeiro artificial, soprado por entranhas rasgadas, sustentadas por uma ignominiosa irresponsabilidade.

Quero debate e não embate.

5.09.2011

Google News as of May 9

Google I/O: countdown to the keynote kickoff

In less than 24 hours, we’ll be kicking off Google I/O 2011, our annual developer conference here in San Francisco.

...for the first time in Google I/O history, you’ll be able to join us throughout the two days at I/O Live.

Recorded videos from all sessions across eight product tracks will be available within 24 hours after the conference. Whether you’ll be joining us in San Francisco or from the farthest corner of the world, bookmark www.google.com/io and check back on May 10 at 9:00 a.m. PDT for a fun treat as we count down to 00:00:00:00.

Welcome to the future of video. Please stay a while.

Today, we’re adding around 3,000 new movie titles for rent available to users in the U.S. (more on this in a post later today) that will be accompanied by reviews and behind-the-scenes movie extras. Whether it’s short movie trailers, funny movie parodies or full-length blockbuster films, we encourage you to sit back and settle in to the YouTube movies experience.

In addition to expanding our movie offerings, we’re also bolstering our investment in the content that’s already being viewed by hundred of millions of people on YouTube.

...we’ll ensure that YouTube remains the best place for the world to see and discover rich talent. So stay tuned—there’s much more to come.

Color code your Google Calendar events

If your calendar ends up full of many different types of events (film nights, lunch dates, and doctor appointments, for example), there’s now an easy way to categorize them using colors.

Chrome Beta Update

Chrome 12.0.742.30 includes a number of new features and updates, including:

Hardware accelerated 3D CSS
New Safe Browsing protection against downloading malicious files
Ability to delete Flash cookies from inside Chrome
Launch Apps by name from the Omnibox
Integrated Sync into new settings pages
Improved screen reader support
New warning when hitting Command-Q on Mac
Removal of Google Gears

and

Fancier graphics, safer downloads, and more privacy controls

Today’s beta channel release includes a number of additions, as well as one subtraction!

First, we’ve made Chrome’s graphics snazzier. We’ve finished implementing support for hardware-accelerated 3D CSS, which allows web developers to apply slick 3D effects to web page content using CSS.

Second, we’ve taken Safe Browsing a step further. In addition to protecting you against malware and phishing websites, Chrome now warns you before downloading some types of malicious files.

Third, you now have more control over your online privacy. Many websites store information on your computer using forms of local data storage such as Flash Local Shared Objects (LSOs).

Fourth, we’ve improved screen reader support in Chrome. Many people who are blind or visually impaired use a screen reader, a special type of software that describes the contents of the screen using synthesized speech or braille.

Finally, the subtraction: In this beta release, we’ve removed the Google Gears plug-in, as promised on the Google Gears blog in March. We’re excited about the potential of HTML5 to enable powerful web applications, and we hope that Google Gears rests in peace. - Google Docs offline capable? ;)

[OBSOLETE?] New news or no news? Google Docs Offline suit will roll out soon!

Google Docs will get offline support really soon. So you will be able to have a fully featured office-suite on your computer/laptop you can use offline.

Netflix Plug-in for Chrome and Chrome OS is on the Way

A Netflix plugin for Chrome and Chrome OS is ready to be released. This is based on the reports that are coming in over at the Chromium site.

This upcoming Netflix plugin will enable the streaming of movies via HTML5 technology...

Wolfgang Münchau on Sócrates' Politics

Everyone outside sees it; now, everyone inside the country has to see it! Don't fool yourself! Não te deixes enganar! Não te deixes passar por parvo!


(...) The Greek government played it relatively straight but Portugal’s crisis management has been, and remains, appalling.

José Sócrates, prime minister, has chosen to delay applying for a financial rescue package until the last minute. His announcement last week was a tragi-comic highlight of the crisis. With the country on the brink of financial extinction, he gloated on national television that he had secured a better deal than Ireland and Greece. In addition, he claimed the agreement would not cause much pain. When the details emerged a few days later, we could see that none of this was true. The package contains savage spending cuts, freezes in public sector wages and pensions, tax rises and a forecast of two years’ deep recession.

You cannot run a monetary union with the likes of Mr Sócrates, or with finance ministers who spread rumours about a break-up. Europe’s political elites are afraid to tell a truth that economic historians have known forever: that a monetary union without a political union is simply not viable. This is not a debt crisis. This is a political crisis. The eurozone will soon face the choice between an unimaginable step forward to political union or an equally unimaginable step back. We know Mr Schäuble has contemplated, and rejected, the latter. We also know that he prefers the former. It is time to say so.


Full article here (you have to register or sign in to read the article).

Portugal: Memorando de Entendimento em Português

Na sequência do Memorando divulgado pela Troika relativamente ao acordo com o Governo Português para o empréstimo de 78 mil milhões de euros, os bloggers do Aventar divulgaram uma versão do documento em Português. Notável iniciativa!

Aqui.

5.08.2011

What Portuguese should know about Finland

Following the video with the title What Finland and the rest of the world needs to know about Portugal that was made in the name of Portuguese people to the Finnish (see here), some guys in Finland answered with What Portuguese should know about Finland.

Programa Eleitoral do PSD - eleições legislativas de 2011

Texto completo aqui.  

Via Económico. 

Most liveable cities in Canada 2011

MoneySense magazine published their 2011 Canada’s Best Places to Live list.

Photos of the two places that I've already visited.


1º Ottawa-Gatineau



2º Victoria, B.C.

3º Burlington, ON

4º Kingston, ON



5º St. Albert, AB

Full list here.

Expats Portugal Life

What's all about?

Expats Portugal Life is a online magazine that offers a bit of entertainment and information on life in Portugal for English speaking ex-pats.

It has great illustrations and posts about living in Portugal. It's very interesting to see Portugal through expats' lens.

Check it out!

5.07.2011

Queens University Researchers Unveiled the PaperPhone

The question is: what's a PaperPhone? :)

According to researchers, it is best described as a flexible iPhone – it does everything a smartphone does, like store books, play music or make phone calls. But its display consists of a 9.5 cm diagonal thin film flexible E Ink display. The flexible form of the display makes it much more portable that any current mobile computer: it will shape with your pocket.

Here's a video:



It looks pretty interesting but I don't see the use for it for the average consumer. But, let's wait for further developments.

Here.

Para o PM Sócrates, com amor

Pois é, o passado foi bom mas o presente dói como a porra!

Para o sr. PM José Sócrates e restantes compatriotas. Ganhem juízo se querem um país melhor!

carta aberta from lucy pepper on Vimeo.

What Finland and the rest of the world needs to know about Portugal



Let me play the devil's advocate, this is all great but it takes more than a successful history to succeed in the future. If Portugal wants to succeed it has to change the world's perception about the country and its people and that implicates changing must of the barriers that are now widely rooted in Portuguese Society.

It's great to have a brilliant past but greater would be to conquer the future. Now. The truth is that Portugal is in great decline, not only economical but mostly societal. The Portuguese are mostly uneducated, poor, frightened of taking risks and illusion driven.

Portugal was great but we aren't now. Can you be great again? Of course! Will we be great again? No one knows!

We, Portuguese, need really to change and for that to happen society needs to walk a different trail. We need real change. Not rhetorical.

5.06.2011

Resultados do Inquérito sobre o Panorama Nacional Tecnológico

Interessante relatório.

Destaco os 87% que afirmaram que não é fácil ser empreendedor em Portugal.

Possíveis razões:

- Começar é muito difícil. Não há um sistema de incentivos (impostos) adequado.
- Há poucas oportunidades de obter pequenos financiamentos para dar os primeiros passos: Seed capital e VC.
- A cultura de risco é fraca e deve ser ensinada nas Universidades. Falhar ou errar é culturalmente considerado mau e deixa sequelas na nossa sociedade.

Aqui.

Explicação do resultado no PS nas últimas sondagens

De acordo Carlos Mareco @cmmareco no twitter

Ontem no site da RTP: "Cerca de 30% dos portugueses sofrem de perturbações mentais". Sondagem divulgada: "Sócrates recolhe 30% dos votos"

Está tudo explicado. LOL

Avaliação Externa da Escola Secundária com 3º ciclo Júlio Dinis - Ovar

Avaliação

- Resultados: Muito bom
- Prestação do serviço educativo: Muito bom
- Organização e gestão escolar: Muito bom
- Liderança: Muito bom
- Capacidade de auto-regulação e melhoria da escola: Muito bom

Excelentes resultados!

Relatório completo aqui.

Graduate with Google Apps: social 2.0+

Want to know what's Social 2.0+?

Take a look!

Utilização de formatos electrónicos livres na administração pública

Ora aqui está uma boa iniciativa do Bloco de Esquerda aprovada pelo Parlamento Português.

O projecto de lei designa-se "Utilização de formatos electrónicos livres na administração pública" e pode ser lido aqui.

Mais informação:

DECRETO N.º 98/XI ESTABELECE A ADOPÇÃO DE NORMAS ABERTAS NOS SISTEMAS INFORMÁTICOS DO ESTADO

A Assembleia da República decreta, nos termos da alínea c) do artigo 161.º da Constituição, o seguinte:

Artigo 1.º Objecto

A presente lei estabelece a adopção de normas abertas para a informação em suporte digital na Administração Pública, promovendo a liberdade tecnológica dos cidadãos e organizações e a interoperabilidade dos sistemas informáticos do Estado. (podiam ter acrescentado a utilização de sistemas operativos livres ou gratuitos como é o caso de algumas distribuições Linux. Acresceria, nesse caso, uma poupança muito significativa).

Artigo 2.º Âmbito de aplicação

A presente lei aplica-se a:

a) Órgãos de soberania; b) Serviços da Administração Pública central, incluindo institutos públicos e serviços desconcentrados do Estado; c) Serviços da Administração Pública regional; d) Sector empresarial do Estado.

Bom trabalho! Resta saber se a lei será cumprida. Isso já é outra história.

5.05.2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Hands On



Via Revolução Digital.

The Mom Song with lyrics

Hahahaha :)



Obrigado pelo link, Cristina!

Ulrich está agradecido a quem fez cair o Governo

A verdade é que muita gente não suporta o que é normal para uma grande parte do eleitorado.

"Estou agradecido a todos os que fizeram com que o Governo caísse e o PEC IV fosse chumbado"

"Foi comovente, ainda ontem, ver na televisão o Dr. Silva Pereira a pedir aos partidos da oposição para defender o memorando de entendimento, quando este tem pouco a ver com as ideias que levaram o Dr. Silva Pereira e Eng. José Sócrates ao poder e são muito mais próximos do que o PSD e PP defendem. Se agora estão contentes com estas medidas, melhor"

"Não me lembro de ter estado numa reunião em que estivesse o governo e o Banco de Portugal, exceptuando esta última, em que o ministro disse que com ele Portugal não entraria em 'default', mas alguém lhe disse, que não eu, que isso não chegava, que era preciso pedir ajuda externa amanhã ou de preferência hoje"

Here.

iPad Study and Academic Experience Enhancement

I have serious doubts that the iPad (and other computer devices) can be used as a fundamental instrument to promote better learning of children and young adults but I think that fully integration with learning contents can reduce the negative aspects that technology can have when disengaged from the learning process.

For those who live in Portugal and remember the introduction of computers in schools, we know that they ended up by creating no stimulus for children learning processes because not enough attention was given to content integration. Instead, they were "thrown" to schools by politicians whose main goal was to rise high the flag of education without considering scientific research on the subject.

Some remarks:

Consensus is the integration of the iPad can enhance a student’s academic experience and have a positive impact for faculty as well. We used the iPad in every aspect of our course. The most important consideration is the device must be truly integrated. Simply distributing the device without evaluation of how the course might be modified for its use limits the impact.

The description of results made by the authors seem very fragile but I don't know the specifics of the program or its implementation.

The iPad pilot program in Oklahoma State University



From here.

Collaboration in Schools for best Mental Health Programs

Schools Need Collaboration, Not Packaged Solutions, for Best Mental Health Programs

Some highlights:

many schools lack the capacity to access and fully adopt (...) programs.


the gap between research and practice in school mental health remains the primary barrier to helping schools meet the growing mental health needs of their students.


researchers have not given enough consideration to the unique context of schools, leaving many schools unable to capitalize on new ideas and scientific evidence


Too often researchers are ready with the solution before they really know what the problem is. What schools really need is help sorting through everything they're already doing to figure out what's working and what's not, and that can be difficult.


We need to start by asking schools and communities what they need from science and then partner with them to help them evaluate their innovative home-grown solutions and identify, implement, and sustain new programs

Here.

5.04.2011

Portugal: Memorandum of Understanding on Specific Economic Policy Conditionality

Here.

Via Económico.

Sócrates, o plano da troika e o meu futuro

Depois de ouvir a apresentaçao do PM demissionário resolvi tomar as seguintes decisões:

- vou comprar um carro novo;
- vou comprar roupa nova;
- vou marcar umas férias de 1 mês para os EUA;
- vou jantar fora hoje, amanhã e depois.

...ou não.

Todos nós sabemos que o lado brilhante da lua esconde um lado menos iluminado. Hoje e amanhã iremos começar a conhecer o lado que menos interessa ao PM.

Mas, mais uma vez, Sócrates quis fazer o que melhor sabe: associar a valoração daquilo que é positivo à sua imagem, deixando o negativo para colar na fronte de outrém. Muita manipulação quando haveria de existir muita responsabilidade.

O PM poderá renascer num país em que toda a gente é cega; num país de gente sábia definharia perante o escrutínio das suas políticas e das suas práticas.

Portugal e o valor do bailout: mais 20 euros

No seguimento do texto que escrevi, deixo-vos com a análise de várias fontes, num trabalho feito por Neil Hume do Financial Times.

The relatively large size of the package is probably intended chiefly to generate a substantial buffer to ensure that programme can withstand potentially adverse developments.

Pois...

Google Chrome ad: It Gets Better

A It Gets Better project video - it's Google hope that this movement will give hope to gay individuals.

Google I/O 2011 Android app by Google

App description

The official Google I/O 2011 conference application.

This application is a great resource for Google I/O 2011 conference goers.

* Look at the schedule
* Look through detailed session and speaker info
* Look through info about companies in the Developer Sandbox
* Star sessions and Sandbox companies
* Get the current buzz on I/O via real time search stream
* Guide yourself using the conference map
* Create and manage notes using Catch

Download from the Android Market.

Via TheChromeSource

Google Chrome ad: Dear Sophie



Via Chrome Story

5.03.2011

Portugal, Irlanda, Governo Português e 20 euros

Conhecida a premissa do PM demissionário José Sócrates, Portugal estava a trilhar um caminho perfeitamente normal de consolidação das finanças públicas e o chumbo do PEC IV veio impedir que esse movimento continuasse.


Notícia de hoje: Valor total do apoio é de 78 mil milhões de euros 


Bem, se estava tudo a correr bem (quem não se lembra do superavit?) porque motivo o estado Português precisará de um montante superior quase igual àquele que foi emprestado à Irlanda (85 mil milhões de euros), que teve um tsunami de perdas no seu sistema financeiro e uma bolha imobiliária enorme?


Portugal teve dois casos (BPN e BPP) de gravidade média no que se refere à injecção de capitais públicos para prevenir situações mais gravosas. Para além disso, quais foram os outros factos anormais?


Portanto, como é possível que o valor do financiamento a Portugal seja de 78 mil milhões de euros se estava tudo bem? 


Vejamos alguns dados comparativos da Irlanda e Portugal para percebermos as características dos dois países (info) e as possíveis relações com a dimensão das suas economias:


Irlanda 
Força de trabalho: 2.15 milhões (2010)
PIB: 208.3 mil milhões de dólares (2010)
PIB per capita: 37600 dólares (2010)

Portugal
Força de trabalho: 5.57 milhões (2010)
PIB: 223.7 mil milhões de dólares (2010)
PIB per capita: 23000 dólares (2010)

Apesar da Irlanda ter menos de metade da força de trabalho de Portugal, apresenta um PIB apenas inferior em 15 mil milhões. O seu PIB per capita é, por isso, muito superior ao Português, em quase 14 mil $ por habitante. 

Portanto, mais uma vez, se a Irlanda, assolada por perdas terríveis no sistema financeiro e uma bolha imobiliário, teve um financiamento de cerca de 85 mil milhões de euros, como é possível que o estado Português, que apenas teve dois casos relevantes e não teve nenhuma crise imobiliária, tenha que ser financiado com 78 mil milhões?

Isto, obviamente, no contexto da premissa do governo. Estava mesmo tudo bem? 


Quem é que querem enganar? Mais importante, quem é que ainda se quer deixar enganar? Alguém?

Google Ranks Highest on Corporate Reputation


Here.

Canada's Elections 2011 Results

Conservatives won 167 seats of the 308 seats in the House of Commons, up from 143 before their defeat in a no-confidence motion in late March that triggered the election. The Conservatives have ruled as a minority government since February 2006.

NDP won 102 seats, the Liberals 34 and the Green Party won its first ever seat. Bloc Québécois lost almost all but 4 seats of its 47 seats.

So, nothing new here.

Now, Mr. Harper, deal with the deficit and the economy.

More here.

Via Financial Times

Portugal must grow its way out of trouble by Pedro Passos Coelho

Para aqueles que não têm registo no FT, transcrevo para aqui o texto.

On June 5, Portugal holds parliamentary elections that will shape its future for years to come. If the country is to recover from its current financial crisis, these elections will have to return a government that can deliver reform and rebuild market confidence.

Recent events highlight just how crucial the need for change has become. On April 6, Portugal was forced to seek an estimated €80bn in financial aid from the European Union. This was the culmination of a long-term loss of market confidence in the government’s ability to improve external competitiveness, restore public and banking sector creditworthiness and get the economy growing again.

Turning this situation around is difficult but not impossible, if Portugal focuses its energy on growth. The country’s problems have built up over a number of years as it spent too much, and earned too little, running annual current account and budget deficits often close to 10 per cent of gross domestic product. The crucial difference with other eurozone countries is that macroeconomic imbalances were underpinned by a decade of meagre growth. The disappearance of private savings created a vicious circle between public and external debt.

Reducing costs through an austerity programme is urgently necessary. The most effective, and fairest, way to achieve this is through a leaner and more efficient public sector. Portugal needs to restructure general government, state-owned enterprises and public-private partnerships and concessions that do not provide value for money and are not economically productive. The three previous government austerity packages (not implemented as agreed) and the fourth (unanimously rejected by parliament) were focused too much on austerity for ordinary citizens, rather than reducing the size of the state.

Raising revenues is also critical, although only in the context of enabling growth. A simple example illustrates this point. Two weeks ago Portugal released first-quarter budget figures, which showed a narrowing deficit that was mostly due to earlier tax rises. Raising the tax take on the existing revenue base – rather than seeing tax income grow as a function of GDP growth – is not a sustainable strategy in the long term.

Which leads us back to growth. Fiscal consolidation, while necessary, is not enough to deliver long-term budget stability and debt reduction. In the medium to long term, economic growth is the only solution to Portugal’s fiscal problems.

The financial assistance package being negotiated with the EU, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank is a vital, if depressing, step. Portugal’s cost of borrowing, which stood at over 8 per cent on five-year bonds the day before the vote on the latest austerity package, and has since risen to more than 11 per cent, was unsustainable. The assistance package is necessary to provide the liquidity the country needs to meet short-term funding requirements.

However, it is only a short-term measure that buys some time. The money is still owed, and must be paid back. This is why growth is all. It will be achieved by lowering costs in the short-run and bringing about productivity gains in the long-run; and it must be more export-driven. This means strengthening existing export markets and expanding to new ones, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The country needs a productivity boost from lower labour and other regulated costs, such as energy, that have a direct impact on the tradable sector; and structural reform has to lead to a more qualified labour force, greater accountability and effective conflict resolution.

Underlying all of this is the matter of transparency. Markets rely on confidence and certainty, and one reason investors have been pricing in a bail-out for Portugal since 2010 has been the lack of both in budget figures. These fears have been borne out with the budget deficit twice revised upwards in recent months.

The next government has to be committed to complete transparency on the real budgetary and contingent debt situation. This is essential to ensure effective fiscal consolidation and guarantee that Portugal will not remain reliant on financial assistance from abroad. The next prime minister will need to have the determination to bring about change and the willingness to reach out across ideological divides that will allow Portugal to deliver growth while honouring its international debt commitments.



Texto: Pedro Passos Coelho, líder do PSD
Jornal: Financial Times
02/05/2011

The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats - Online Exhibition

Presented by The National Library of Ireland.




















Here.

5.02.2011

Chrome OS File Management Improvements and more

Here are some screenshots of improvements made in the last Chrome (ok, Chromium.. :D) OS build:



File Manager open as a new tab (you should use CTRL+O to open files)




New folder name pop up





Folder "Test" created





You have to hit DEL if you want to delete the file





Folder "external storage" (note the curious date...)





Folders inside "external storage"





EFI boot files





Login screen when locked




The screensaver




Chrome OS is building up to be an amazing OS! I'm very convinced that Chrome OS will mark the begining of a new phase in operating systems.

And it's only Chrome OS v1.0. The party is just starting!