Posts Tagged La Provincia

Netcafé interview subtitled, Creative Commons and Firefox

Netcafe InterviewThis is another thing I had to do since a long time of which I underestimated the importance, at least from a marketing point of view: I mean adding subtitles to the Netcafé TV interview. 🙂

Technically they’re captions, since I added them using Windows Media Encoder 9 tools. For the occasion I even re-encoded the videos at a higher quality.

I had the chance to show it to some friends on the Pocket PC, but the occasional visitor may easily miss it because he has to browse the site to find it and once found he can’t understand the language if it doesn’t know italian. That explains the work on the english subtitles and that hint to the visitor in a hurry at the top of the page. 😉

While transcribing the interview I liked in particular the questions at the end of the last part of the interview, when Gabriele asked me about the prices and the diffusion of PDAs with a bit of skepticism. Well, we are the country of mobile phones after all, as he often says, and we still have much difficulty to understand the true potential of PDAs not only as personal organizers but also as mini computers, at least compared to other countries. That may change quickly as PDAs with phone capabilities and new Smartphones will start to spread out.

I think my last answers will hold some true even for the next Christmases, who knows?

You may also notice on the left column of this page I adopted the Creative Commons license model for the contents of the website and the link to Firefox, the only browser I’m using.

I even ordered a custom CC shirt from Ken Mickles at I’ll take a picture of it once it’ll be here.

Watch the videos and stay tuned for more news about Ecpc. 8)

Update: we’re almost there, Ecpc 1.4 will be released in a few days. In the meantime you can read my latest articles about the Loox 720 and the Microsoft Genuine Advantage anti-piracy program published here on the local daily newspaper La Provincia.


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Il Sole and his Planiverso

Il SoleJust before Christmas I decided to make myself a special gift, obviously ignoring what would have happened a few days later in South East Asia.

I became a member of Il Sole, a charity organization active with distance adoption and abused women recovery programs in countries such as Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and India.

Thanks to my Uncles who are members since a long time I had the pleasure to get in touch with this organization a bit at a time and to appreciate the work and the outstanding results of its staff and the genuine dedication of his president and founder Olivia Piro.

So in the end this appreciation naturally turned into my decision to support them once I was able to do it. Then the deadly Tsunami stroke and brought his waves of destruction up to India including Pallepalem, a village in the Nellore district where Il Sole operates. It’s a village of fishers (Pallekars) and the 394 families living there lost all their mud-huts and their boats, so Il Sole immediately decided to act in two phases, a first emergency one in which they provided rice, medicines, water and sheets, now concluded, and a more financially demanding second phase aiming at rebuilding the fishing activity to gradually overcome the damages caused by the Tsunami. You can visit their website and read this article published by the local daily newspaper La Provincia and decide to give your help in their project.

This is a real way to help the Tsunami victims in my opinion, not by SMS. 😉

When I became a member I also purchased some of their merchandise I’m proud to wear, but there was a really original thing I couldn’t miss: the Planiverso.

As you can read in the description it’s actually a big poster showing the world upside down with the meaning to give back dignity to the so called third world. I like it because it’s cool and with a serious meaning at the same time, but now that it’s hanging on the wall of my room I can’t but notice the area around the Indian Ocean every time I look at it.

It’s as if the Tsunami did really put the world upside down…


Update: Mrs. Piro wrote a touching letter to La Provincia about the Tsunami tragedy. After some days of thinking I wrote my reply which you can read here. They cut it a bit, but they did it perfectly since you can read here on the blog what’s missing.


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The Incredible Tide

ConanThis is the original title of the book by Alexander Key which inspired the japanese anime of my childhood, Future Boy Conan (Mirai Shounen Konan) by Hayao Miyazaki.

Finding that book and purchasing the DVDs of the anime was on my to do list since a very long time. Then suddenly on december 26th a real incredible tide stroke South East Asia, a world tragedy I think will remain impressed in our memory like a few others. The reference to the anime came immediately to my mind, since the tide which changed the world of Conan impressed me a lot when I was a child.

Well, now watching those terrible videos as well as the astonishing satellite images of the areas involved by the real tsunami made me feel breathless and almost as without the earth under my feet, although I watched it from a warm home.

It will take time to fully understand the real proportions of this tragedy, but by finally being able to read the book by Alexander Key I’d like to close with a quote by Hayao Miyazaki, which sums up the meaning of the book and gives a hint of hope to the people involved in the tragedy, both those who faced the tide in first person and those who watched it from a safe distance and are now willing to help:

“What fascinated me about the book was its main meaning: at the fall of any ‘great civilization’ some ‘primitives’ always take the lead, not to be intended in negative terms, but as people with a great vital strength, full of vitality and willing to rebuild a new world. It’s their vital pulse which captured me.”

I think you’ll agree these are wise and current words. I’ll write again about this event in one of the next updates.

Update: speaking about satellites, on December 23rd the local daily newspaper La Provincia published my full page article about GPS and TomTom Go.


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End of the Year Thought

WaiterPCI know that with this post I’m breaking the promise I made in the last one, but it was planned to be posted as an end of the year thought since a long time. After all this might be an example of the good and bad of being an independent software developer following the motto “it’s ready when it’s ready”. 😉

The 2004 has been a particular year, with some changes in my private life and pretty different from what I planned at the beginning, so it couldn’t end without some thoughts about the hard work as a waiter during the last months. I benefited from this experience in many ways, well beyond what people could think, especially the ones who don’t read the blog. 😉

This was an article published on the local daily newspaper La Provincia about a charity dinner held at Villa d’Este the last November. I worked voluntarily for that dinner but I didn’t like at all some of the things I saw there and the tone of the article, so I wrote a first letter to the director of the newspaper published in the feature with the same name. The letter was ironical and meant to propose a thought to the readers, but it wasn’t appreciated, to say the least, by some colleagues, who felt involved in some way, so I had to write a second letter to clarify my point of view. Fortunately someone caught the point and the discussion went on with a letter by Luciano Forni, a former senator, and with others from some readers here, and here.

I got compliments for the courage of writing something like that, but I’ve been also surprised by the venom tongues of some colleagues, people who are used to accept compromises to be able to work, think always about money (or the lack of it) or haven’t enough neurons to distinguish irony from charge. My letter was a general thought about the hypocrisy in the modern world, which is even more actual if you consider what’s happened with the Incredible Tide in South East Asia, the so called third world…

I close this post with a sentence inspired by the director of a restaurant I worked for during this summer, a long time friend, brilliant and always busy in keeping his old habits and his life style: in his opinion italians should return doing humble works like in the past, in particular young ones with a degree and the “stench under their nose”.

How true I can say and I appreciated his words even more since he was referring to me as an example of a good worker.

So let’s close with the sentence I remember from the movie Life is Beautiful by Roberto Benigni, said to the waiter-Guido (Benigni) by his Uncle: “You’re serving, but you’re not a servant. Serving is a supreme art, God is the first servant. God serves men, but he’s not a servant to men!

Back to work now, “le grand cirque” of the world must go on! 🙂

Update: irony inside irony, if you’ll have the patience to read my two letters, just take a look at the horoscope at the bottom of the page, I’m a Leo. 😉

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BatteryLife Activator Test

BatterylifeWhen I first read about the BatteryLife Activator I got immediately curious, although I admit I was pretty skeptic about its real capabilities until I read positive comments on some german websites. This mysterious black foil appeared to keep its promises of increasing the charge of a common lithium ion battery by up to 30%, which was pretty amazing actually.

But it wasn’t enough for me and I asked for a sample to make some tests. The guys at BatteryLife sent me the samples and then I’ve been able to use them on the batteries of my Axim X3 and of my Motorola MPx200. On the Axim I run the Spb Benchmark with the option “Max backlight, standard using” several times and if I got 3:05 hours without the Activator, once I applied it on the battery I got results up to about 3:35, which is exactly the increment the Activator promised to provide.

On the MPx200 I did a different test by playing the default video sample at full volume with the Media Player and I got the same percentage increase from about 4:00 to 4:35 hours until the device went off automatically. I’m very satisfied of this product and I hope it will be commercialized and promoted even in Italy. I also wrote an article about it for the local daily newspaper La Provincia, which you can find it here in PDF format.

The advantages of the Activator extend beyond increasing the standby and the talk times by even shortening the battery charging time up to 40%, something I’m glad to confirm, and providing a longer lifetime for the battery itself. Very interesting improvements especially considering a street price of only 9.90 Euro per foil.

Now that I’m fully back to my development schedule with the new workstation, I really hope to make old and new Ecpc users a nice Christmas present with the release of version 1.4.

The next update will be the one they’re waiting for! 😉

No Comments on Il Mio Palmare and article about QQAAXX

IlMioPalmareWhen I got a copy of the issue number 13 of the italian magazine Il Mio Palmare, I was surprised and pleased to see my website mentioned in the overview about the scene of italian mobile application development! 🙂

This is the third time in a row, as you can read in the Magazine Reviews section I just updated, so I can’t but be grateful to them.

Since this issue they added a section, both on the CD and the magazine, about software for Smartphones to the usual ones about Palm OS, Pocket PC and Psion. A good move, in my opinion.

Also, Dario, CEO of QQAAXX, was glad of the article I wrote about QQAAXX’s product line for the local daily newspaper La Provincia.

You can read the article at this link in PDF format where you can notice this is the first time they wrote the address of the website below the sign, WOW! 🙂

Il Mio Palmare

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Ecpc review on Il Mio Palmare and article about Wise-lab

IlMioPalmareAs Christmas is getting closer, thanks to the staff of the italian magazine Il Mio Palmare, their readers can find a review of Ecpc on the december issue and even a little present: they can buy the software with a 20% discount. How? By reading the review on the magazine of course! 😉

During the last week I also wrote an article for the local daily newspaper La Provincia about my friends at Wise-lab, a new promising web-company based in Como.

You can read the article at this link in PDF format or at this one in RepliGo format. They have been so glad about it that they promptly added a link to Ecpc on their website. 🙂

A Merry Christmas to them, to all Ecpc users and to anyone reading the weBlog!

Il Mio Palmare

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Ecpc on the local newspaper La Provincia

LaProvinciaI was really waiting for this day since Euro coins pocket collector has appeared in a full page article in the weekly feature the local daily newspaper La Provincia dedicates to news about Internet and new technologies.

La Provincia is an important newspaper not only for the Como province but also for the Lombardia and it’s mentioned in the press preview of some national TV channels.

They print about 45.000 copies daily for a total of 300.000 potential readers! :mrgreen:

At this link you can find the page in PDF format, while you can read the whole newspaper on their website.

Thanks to Simone, the Internet feature editor, who granted me this great opportunity. 😉

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