Thursday, November 19, 2009

Amazing Amazon

I'm very interested in the Kindle since it first appearance for several reasons. First: I buy a lot of books, most of them from Amazon. Second: You can carry a lot of books with you with less weight than just two of them. Third: Is a new gadget, do you really need any other reason?
I was then very disappointed when I learnt it was only available in US. Now you can choose between the small and the new big one. I was able to play a little bit a big one (called DX) some weeks ago in US and I'm quite impressed, the weight is reasonable, the quality of the screen is very good and the selection of titles available more than enough for one life.
Good news: now the Kindle is available outside of US with free 3G connection, but so far it's only the small one, although the price is more than reasonable: 259$
I was reviewing again the options when I've seen the Kindle for PC link. It's an interesting application that you can install in your PC to see the same books that you buy for the Kindle. Well, that makes sense, so far nothing special.
But suddenly, an idea: can I buy books for the Kindle although I (still) don't have one and read them in the PC? And can I buy at
I usually buy at to receive the books in Spain because from UK I don't have to pay customs and the final price is similar to US, but if I can buy a book in, paying in dollars (with the very nice exchange rate that we have these days) and without customs and delivery expenses suddenly this looks like the best deal. And I can!!
I already have my first book in my Kindle for PC, 5 euros + transportation (another 6 or so) cheaper than from UK in just one book.

Next step: de-activate the one-click shopping or I'll block my credit card.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The new city

Do you remember Sim-City? It's a very old PC game from the late eighties. I think there are newer version, but I mainly remember this one, in black an white, you could copy it in a 5 1/4 inches floppy disk (do you remember floppy disks?).
Well, apart from the fact that I'm quite old, one the upsetting things of that game was that there was no way of getting rid of the traffic jams. No matter how many streets or how many lanes wide sooner or later traffic jams was one of the biggest problems for your popularity.

So it was upsetting but probably quite realistic if you see our cities today. What the governments can do to improve traffic and at the same time comply with Kioto protocol?Simcity already told us: there's no way.

So, let's going to think for a second out of the box (in the case of the government let's just think, I don't think they do it at all): let's get rid of the cars. If you do not have the cars there are no traffic jams and Kioto is possible. How? Very easy: promote remote working (working from home, tele-working, as you wanna call it). Invest the money in information highways instead of physical highways and keep people at home. It should be easy for the government to incentive the companies to offer this possibility to their employees. We are in the knowledge society, less and less jobs need the physical presence to be done effectively.

You can tell me that you'll still have the traffic jams around the schools, with all the parents dropping kids. I see a future with the kids at home studying through tele-presence inside an augmented reality environment.
You see traffic jams around the malls during weekends, I see all the people buying in Internet.

To not make this too long I think that the point is clear, invest in communications and keep people at home whenever possible, our planet will like this model much more.