Stephen King and eBooks

"I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts, I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book."

After Stephen King made that announced all the news sites when crazy to report it. I got the news pretty fast since my Twitter feed got flooded with the news coming from the most varied sources. When I started reading the articles about it I got shocked, how someone can do such thing in the middle of the eBook revolution? A lot of people, like me, prefer to read on eReaders than on the actual book, also there are a lot of people that prefer because it’s easier and more convenient to buy and digest the content of the eBooks.

I know that Mr. King (and Mrs. Rowling in the past too) is extremely famous and has the power to decide such thing, but letting a entire segment of the market, which was already used to your eBooks, without your new piece is just unfair. Many authors make this move because of disagreements with online stores, but those usually don’t affect well-known authors, usually just the small ones that really need to generate some revenue from their eBook sales.

eBooks seriously revolutionized the 600 years old industry. For the first time in the history we can buy books on affordable prices and with extreme comfort, this made the reading habits of many grow, which contributes to this generation to have more access to culture. Denying or delaying too much the release of an eBook is an act of denying knowledge and culture. The eBook revolution is future and in the future there is no place for paper.

Sources (to read more about the news): The Verge, BBC, LitReactor, Revolução eBook

Do We Really Need Choices?

My daily use gadgets + my iPhone that was used to take this photo

Disclaimer: If you’re a Android fan boy close this window right now.

I’ve been a truly Android fan boy for 2 years and a Apple hater for 5 years, but this year I did the impossible: Bought an iPad, a Macbook Pro and an iPhone. This acquisitions really changed the way that I saw Android and all the other platforms that I loved. On this article I’ll be talking a bit about the most used argument by Android users to say that their platform is better: Choice. They say that you there are a variety of devices on the market that runs their OS so you can choose the one you like most, also that you can customize Android, flash new ROMs and tweak everything you want of it. While Apple… Yeah, you know how closed they are.

I want to start this sentence by making you deeply think “Do we really need choices?”, I’m sure that if you think really deep on this you will end up in the same point I had. We don’t really need to have choices, all we need is a smartphone that has apps, games, email, phone, etc. (the same principles as the first generation smartphones like my old Nokia E61).

After thinking about this I realized that this got dramatically stronger with tablets. People are buying tablets and don’t even know what they will do with them. When someone asks me which is the best tablet from them I ask “What are you going to use it for?” and everyone is like “Really… I don’t know”. This happens on phones too, people just buy a new phone for no reason. And all this non-sense arrives at choices. No one really want a “different phone”, people just buy the phone that looks cool, don’t matter if it has a 5″ or a 3.5″ screen, if it runs Android, Symbian, Blackberry OS or iOS, they will buy it anyway. Do you really think that “normal persons” (which means people that aren’t tech savvy) will customize their Android phones? Of course not, they won’t install a new launcher, they will only change the wallpaper and add some widgets to the home screen and that’s all!

Apple is doing it right by restricting the users to the same screen size/ratio and keeping the design of their hardware and software almost the same since the first generations of their devices (this includes iPods, iPhones and Macs) is the best way to go. A great example of this on Android is the Nexus lineup, the “pure Google experience”. Those devices get the updates first and have the interface that Google originally made (which means no skins on top of it, just pure vanilla), just because they “locked” the user options into one line of (geeky) products that they can easily manage, which leads to the biggest problem that Android has today: Fragmentation.

All these “choices” are leading to awful experience on the software side and on the developer side. An example of the user experience side is that Dead Space works on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, but it won’t on the GSM version, don’t forget that we are talking about a Nexus phone, which should be the less-fragmented experience possible. On the developer side it’s very very awful because you must design your app to work on all the different screen sizes/ratios, hardware and also skins that companies love to put on their devices.

If you’re a gadget freak, like me, that buys a lot of devices, you might have already felt the same as I’ve described on this article. We don’t need more choices, we need more standards.

This is an old article from my old blog that I moved to here

The Raspberry Pi Will Bring Fun To Computers Again

I was browsing the Raspberry Pi forums these days and I came across a very interesting thread titled PC’s Are Boring. I read all the posts until that moment and started reflecting about that statement. The thread starter was completely right about this, PC’s (which I understand for computers that run Windows or Linux, excluding Macs) are really boring, that’s why the mobile industry is so amazing these days, because people stopped changing their computers every 1/2 years and started changing their mobiles.

A lot of the users on the forum were talking about “the old times” of the Commodore and Atari when you felt like you had power over the machine and today you’re just part of a mainstream movement. Also they were talking about how “normal people” are discouraged to program because are afraid they can break the computer (which isn’t true of course, but that’s what the average user thinks) and how the price of the Raspberry Pi could help people to get into Linux or programming. They are completely right, as soon as the Pi comes out a lot of programmers are going to rush to get their hands on one (I am very excited to get my hands on one too) and possibly a lot of people that want to start programming will get it too.

The RPi will make the feeling of having power over the machine come back again. The best example I can give is my own. I’ve never been so excited for a “computer” since the first dual cores came out, I’m thinking about the awesome things that I could do with it like: Making my own Linux-powered tablet (which is completely possible), porting new Linux distros to it, porting other OSes to it and even making my own distro only for the Raspberry Pi.

I’m sure all the geeks are very excited waiting for the release and wondering all they could do as soon as they get their hands on it. Leave a comment below with your opinion or ideas. If you want to keep in touch to the latest news about the board just visit their blog and don’t forget to contribute on the forums.

This is an old article from my old blog that I moved to here

My Dream Reading Device

My dream device

Today I was reading some of the 109 articles saved on my Pocket account and I thought about something that I would love: A tablet running a fully customized (for stability and lightness) version of Android sporting a awesome e-ink display. As soon as possible I posted it on Google+, since I really wanted to philosophize more on this idea I’ve wrote this article.

Why e-ink?

First of all, if you’re going to read for long periods of time the LCD screen is just going to burn your eyes, that’s why e-ink is the best alternative. Second, if you ever owned a Kindle (I own the DX, and the new non touch screen version), or any other e-ink device, you know that the experience is incredibly great. I know the refresh rate is a con, but seriously there are a lot more pros and also this technology is still evolving.

What about a touch screen?

Maybe, but I would buy the non-touch screen version because on a reading device I prefer to navigate and switch pages using physical buttons, also be able to holding it anyway I want without worrying about touching the screen by accident.

Why not just root a Nook Simple Touch?

Yeah, the Nook Simple Touch can be rooted and turn into a “fully functional” e-ink Android tablet, the problem is fairly simple: The lack of Android e-ink optimized apps. That’s why if a startup start this trend and it gets some attraction of reading addicts I’m sure developers of big reading apps for Android will optimize their applications for this new category. Also the interface isn’t actually optimized, it’s just a lighter version of ADW Launcher with some tweaks, nothing drastically changed from stock Android, and for this kind of screen a UI with more contrast and less mid-tones is a must.

What’s your proposed interface for this device?

This is my sketch of the perfect UI for it, made with Paper (sorry for my terrible drawing skills):

UI Sketch

The interface is pretty clean and extremely usable (also it looks a bit with the Kindle interface). The status bar will only show the name of the user and a clock. Below the status bar is the app drawer, I thought about it as just a simple collection of the application names (scrollable if you have more applications than it can fit on the screen). The last piece is the actual running application itself.

There is market for such product?

That’s a difficult question to answer, but as far as everyone can see the eReader/eBook market is growing exponentially and I think a lot of customers would give it a try if it was presented to them.

What you might end up doing?

As I wait until this dream reading device becomes true I’ll buy a Nook Simple Touch, root it, customize the OS to make everything with high contrast, and start developing that launcher from scratch.

What are your thoughts about this dream device? Any suggestions about it? Leave a comment.

Interpreted is The Future

Interpreted languages are pretty popular since 2005. Ruby with the Rails framework (or API), Python with Django, Javascript with Node.js. These are just some examples of interpreted languages that became extremely popular, mostly because of frameworks, but the main thing that will make the future be ruled by interpreted languages aren’t frameworks. Instead the best feature of these languages are the fact that you can easily test or debug your code on-the-fly, without having to worry about compiling a test source code to see if it works.

The Node.js console for example: I can run my server script on the test machine, then I type node and I can debug/test the code I just wrote, sending GET/POST requests, doing simple database queries (MongoDB of course) and testing code I might add to the main script. A lot of people complain that they are slow because of the way they “read” your code, but seriously I never had any problem with slowness on my code, so I think this isn’t an issue.

Of course languages like C/C++ (I hope Go can kill them because they are completely outdated and there is no more reason to continue using them) or Java will continue to exist for a long time because there are some things, like bootloaders, security systems, OSes, that can only be written in code that can be compiled.

I hope the future gets even brighter for interpreted languages, that’s why I’m trying to give them all a try before choosing the one I’ll stay. At the time Node.js is the best for me because I really love Javascript, but I might get into Ruby too, I like the syntax and the community is really great too.

I Don’t Want an iPad Running Android

The tablet market went crazy since the launch of the original iPad. A lot of tablets running Android came to the market between 2010 and this year, I bought the original iPad, the original Galaxy Tab and recently I got a ASUS Eee Pad Slider. That’s the main reason I’m writing this. All the 10” tablets that went on the market, running Android, since the original iPad were just mere copies of Apple’s concept, just a big version of the phone, but running a tablet-optimized OS.

The beauty of Android is that it started as a mobile OS project that OEMs and developers could change, improve and was possible to run on any kind of hardware. Android tablets are just like iPads, but without tablet-optimized apps, and most of them aren’t running Ice Cream Sandwich, which is a lot more stable and better than Honeycomb. So what can make a Android tablet differ from an iPad? The answer is hardware.

The only reason why I bought the Eee Pad Slider was the keyboard so I won’t have to carry a tablet and a keyboard dock with it, otherwise I would just buy the keyboard dock for my iPad. So OEMs should rethink about their tablets and start to differentiate on the hardware, that’s the only way to attract people to buy Android tablets instead of iPads.

This article was written on the Eee Pad Slider.

My Opinion About The Geeklist Sexism Case

During the week the awesome social network for bad-ass programmers, Geeklist, suffered because of the video they published at the beginning of their project. Some GitHub users were discussing that the video was sexist.

My opinion is sharp and straight forward. All I see on that thread and everywhere on the internet about this case is very simple: People (not the ADA Initiative, they are a serious group of people that know what they are doing, I’m referring to random people that think they are activists by posting on their Facebook about things like this) talking shit about some shit they don’t understand pretending they give a damn, just to be politically correct and blah blah blah. I agree that a lot of things on YouTube and around the internet are very bad to women, but that video isn’t.

If you make a simple search on YouTube for brazilian commercials you will know what sexism is, and if you don’t like the video, just empty your Geeklist account and start complaining about it on Twitter (or your blog).

To test my opinion I showed the video to 6 persons (3 mens and 3 women’s) and I had this results:

  • 2 mens liked the video
  • 1 men thought it was awkward
  • All the women’s liked the video

The interesting part is that 2 women’s thought it was funny because there was a nerd with the girls.

Am I the only one that thinks this prices are insane?

In my opinion each music should cost $0.40 and a album more than $4. This way people would buy more music and more money will enter in their pockets. These prices keep me from buying music. Also Google Music is doing $3.99 for Classic Albums (which are the only kind of music I care about), the only problem is that it’s DRMed and so I can’t put them on iTunes.

I hope the music industry figures this out before its too late.

I’m Not The Only One That Hates Metro For Desktops

I’ve written a month ago I think that Windows 8 fragmentation and how the Metro interface for non-touch devices like desktops and laptops is crap. Now after the consumer preview that was released everyone is confirming my initial thought. Windows 8 won’t be a good product for desktop and laptop users, only for tablets and even on the tabletsphere there will be fragmentation issues.

Microsoft should look at things like this to get inspiration to really innovate on their desktop UI. I would definitely get a Windows 8 desktop if that was the default interface. Until then I’ll stay with my delightful MacBook Pro.

Example of what I’m talking about:

Awesome update. The only thing I’m waiting to use Instapaper full time is a official Android app, that’s why I use Read it Later Pro on my iOS and Android devices, because it’s the best one with official support for both platforms


The Instapaper “Read Later” bookmarklet is now redesigned as a faster, more compatible full-page overlay that’s easier to see.

The previous little “Saved!” frame had a great run, but its time has passed. Readers are now saving more pages than ever on tablets and phones, and the old bookmarklet…

The First Impression is The Only One That Matters

So this week while I was travelling to New York I bought a BlackBerry PlayBook because of the importance they were giving to developers. The problem is that the first thing I noticed was that the device had a lot of stability problems. Apps were constantly crashing and even the 2.0 version OS had lots of bugs and was very slow some times (for no reason).

All that wasn’t disturbing me a lot. What pissed me off a lot was the boot problems. I had to restore to factory defaults 3 times in 2 days because of OS corruption. Some times, even with the battery fully charged, I tried to turn it on and it was displaying the battery drained alert.

After 3 days with it the OS doesn’t wanted to start anymore, it was stuck on the boot screen forever. I tried rebooting, letting it a time off to calm down and restore to factory defaults (the desktop software wasn’t recognizing it so it was impossible to do something). Nothing worked.

In the 4th day with it I took it back to the store and exchanged it for a ASUS Eee Pad Slider. The PlayBook was my first BlackBerry device, and the last. The first impression is all that matters. They had their time with me and they ruined my opinion. I was really hoping that they could be back as a great tech company, but now I know why they are on this bad situation.

This article was written on the Eee Pad Slider inside an airplane.

RIM is The Only One Thinking About The Developer

Yesterday I made a decision based on how much the company cares about their developers. I bought a BlackBerry PlayBook because RIM (maybe because they are desperate for users/developers) is the only company that cares about there developers choice.

They are the only company that is really looking for and taking time to improve HTML5 app development,. Native support for Adobe AIR, so Flash games and Flex apps can be easily ported to their platform. And as usual Java and C/C++ support for existing BlackBerry developers and new developers looking forward to build fully native apps and awesome games.

Companies like Apple and Google are not thinking about letting their developers have choice, only the user can have it (usually on the Android side it’s causing fragmentation and on the iOS side is just selling older hardware for more affordable prices).

That’s why I bought a PlayBook and that’s why my choice for the next devices is going to be based on how the company cares about my hobby of developing apps for them.