A world without Google, Facebook and Twitter?

We are so used and dependent for our communications on the products and services these 3 companies offer to us, mostly for free ( not considering value of our Data, advertising, etc.) , that it would be difficult to imaging what would happen if you end up without been able to use them ?

Last week I flew back to China after too many years of have been living here, a time where we use the WEB mostly for email and research… some of us were at that time pioneering the voice over IP, that kept us from spending all our budgets in calls and the result increase in communication flow due to low cost of “just call them and find out…”

Then I am back in China for 11 days and find myself trying to tell everybody if we could be friends in Facebook or i tried to follow them in Twitter.  Last resource, exchange emails that I ws not able to access for all those days since all my personal and work emails are Gmail backend.

One of the young entrepreneurs I met in the second day told me to sign for an application that I could barely remember : WeCHAT.  He also suggested to tell my friends to write me to my Yahoo account, that work at light speed and deploys all my mail and attachments like I was inside my office on a VPN..

So I did those two things… Nothing for me to say about Yahoo.  I am an investor, and I believe in what Marissa Meyer has done. She may have service the company if she had focused her marketing efforts OUTSIDE the US where Yahoo seems so strong and has been loosing market share form being #1 to second and third places.  If I was her would listen more to my consumers, let her tech abilities drive the rest but work with those that really like Yahoo.

WeCHAT is totally a new experience for me.. simple to use, I am told it has around 700 million users but very few in the US.. so few that when I do a search ABOUT.com doesn’t even mention it among the top 25 ( it may seem that people outside the US may no the that important even if they are in larger number and pass by far the consumption capacity of the so called “american middle class”).

 

WeChat is owned by a chinese company, it surpasses the use of FB and Google in almost every country where they are present .  I was impressed by the way the use of the QR Code has expanded all over in china that even TV will leave at the end of advertising or a TV Program the QR Code so you can suscribe to news about that or receive in a @qq.cn email ( probably larger than Gmail and many others ) all kind of info related to that specific subject.  They have taken extended reality to a new level.

I was also told that more and more teenagers around the world are leaving FB and starting to use WeChat, not just to be cool and exchange photos with people around the world, also running away from their Facebook Parents and since the photo and video capabilities are much better, there you are…

WeCHAT has a discovery tool that is much more fun and better ” shake it” is called, initially i didn’t understand the concept, but once you got the magic of it it is really impressive, non intrusive and even fun.

Last is that I saw so many people using it for business purposes, saw people during meetings going down their time line looking at all the “official photos of ceremonies, public acts, etc” with a functionality that Facebook doesn’t have : I can just click to save any image I see to my own device, or the WeChat gallery…

Back in the US, I will keep using WeChat with my new friends in China and other Asian Countries ( i found that in LATAM is becoming very strong ).

Now I found that I can get my Buzzfeed directly to my WeChat and be able to translate it to Mandarin, or any other language in Asia and comment , share the original article.  It is a NEWS reader, a news distribution system and it has 700 news hungry million people.

And I was not going to end here.. so i went just after coming back, into analyzing the whole phenomenon of Social Media and why the differences between the Western and Asian Worlds. I really recommend what Donovan Rose wrote in his Blog NEXMO about this.  I was impressed by the numbers and as usual since US Media just ignores the fact that there is a much larger country with an economy that is about to get near the US, with a per capita consumption at its middle class similar to that of Europe or NorthAmerica ( USA and Canada.  BTW  China Middle Class may be only 20% of the population but that is in real numbers larger than the so called and now almost inexistent AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS) .

Social Media penetration 2015article by Donovan Rose

 

Lots to talk about what you can see while you are there, how malls are much larger than NYC 5th. Avenue or Rodeo Drive.  Smaller cities, what they call the secondary tier, are much more vibrant, and looks just like the US 25 years ago.

They must be doing something right that we are not.

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Is the USA becoming a POLICE STATE?

 Police state is a term denoting government that exercises power arbitrarily through the police.” wikipedia

I remember the times when people around the world used to admire how American will respect and trust their Police. when I was a kid, growing up in Mexico City and traveling around the country and Central America, my Father will always remind us to be careful specially with the Police and to never approach them unless there was an adult with me. Police in many countries around the world is perceived as “Pirates with the King’s license”… For many years

We used to fight against ANY State where police could detain you for any reason, that will hit you and beat you for just watching them the wrong way.

There was this dream among many around the Globe that now they all became corrupt, the typical first step for any “Police State” that we talk and hated so much about Communism. Our US scholars used to call the regimes of URSS, China, Cuba, Yugoslavia, etc. the “POLICE STATES”.

USA history of intervention to bring down so many governments because they have NO respect for the locals and the heads of those States have decided that they were THE LAW. In must cases POLICE or ARMY was not worried about the safety of society but they were defending a condition that allows them to become above the LAW.

Some will say that this POLICE or ARMIES acquired a life of their own imposing their own laws and became a rogue body inside those countries.

“Because there is nothing proportionate between the armed and the unarmed…” Machiavelli

We seem to be heading the same way.

Once again, our best and finest NYPD – the way Giuliani, Bloomberg, Bush, etc. called the best int eh country- have attacked again. Like a POLICE MOB, they move and beat the hell out of a single person. How are we supposed to trust the efficiency and training of our Police if they can not deal with ONE single person ? This finest POLICE men and women – video is clear both participate equally – are the same that are not able to find those in motorcycles ( some of them police on their free day) attacking and scaring a little girl when they hit his father and his mother. Of course that will be too much to ask, they are not going after their own. That is exactly the definition of the MOB or a POLICE STATE.

Ironic, as these “brave” men and women were piled on top of one man, pummeling him into the ground, the brave and finest NYPD look nervous and concerned about being surrounded and outnumbered by an angry (but non-violent) crowd.

The video is very clear, when our Police have to beat people, outnumber the citizens instead of doing their job and control the situation, we should all be concerned.  When our children look at this, what is going to be their reaction when a member of the Police Department in an y City in the US , ask them to stop ? If it was me I will be running…

I remember how many bystanders were beaten by the NYPD during Mr. Bloomberg Dictatorship ( yes, he was that at the helm of NYC, he modified the local laws so he can reelect himself an extra period, just like the same people the US fights around the world, Chavez or Maduro in Venezuela, La Junta in Argentina, Pinochet in Chile, Mao in China, Stalin and Lenin in the USSR) just because they were in the wrong place, during the Occupy Wall Street movement?   The Police didn’t came as Heroes except for the Bankers and the Wall Street Tycoons – useless leaders at running their own companies that the Government had to intervene and save them – that sounds to me like so much government intervention, but of course our friends at Fox News won’t see it that way.  Government, too much of it, is ok as long as it defend the CAPITAL, not the SOCIETY.

I was reminded by so many people that in the US you can NOT demonstrate freely, you need a permit, but we think that the Chinese Government is wrong because one guy started a demonstration in front of the Tanks in Tiananmen or because a large number of people in HongKong decided to demonstrate and were taken out of a Park – sounds familiar Mr. Bloomberg?- or we decide to bomb a whole country because the local government decides to “control popular demonstrations”… of course as long as it happens in other places is wrong but we will NOT accept people demonstrating against ANYTHING popular in the US without beaten them and making sure they are hospitalized or even dead by choking.

We are in the brink of a revolution : REMEMBER THAT THE WOLF LIVES UNTIL WE THE PEOPLE HAVE ENOUGH OF IT… The Police is to serve Society, to protect, not to beat the hell out of us…  This are not POLICE , they a GANG, a bunch of outcast, protecting themselves, NOT looking after WE the PEOPLE that pay their salaries, their uniforms, their nice way of living.

But let’s make sure that we understand that NOT all the Police are good people and NOT all the Blacks, Latinos, immigrants are good people.  What can not happen is that our Police becomes a power in itself.

When our Social Fabric has so many holes, it is time to rethink what we are doing, I have been saying for some time now our Society needs a new Social Contract..

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Facebook vs Google : Who controls the DATA generated by the Internet of Things (IoT)

Beacons are capable of transmiting and activate functions on your smart phone.... creating DATA

Beacons are capable of transmiting and activate functions on your smart phone…. creating DATA

A race between @Facebook & @Google is happening without too many noticing. The Internet of Things ( IoT ) needs tone able to communicate among them and with devices that actually control their functions or use their services for some linear activity ( from opening a door, control temperature, assigning you a table at a restaurant, pointing you to where to find products displayed in your shopping list, instant coupons, etc.) that interacts with smarter devices, some mobile and some other at a distance. These devices also “take info from humans” as they walk and their smart phones are connected to the WEB using so many applications that we all leave open all the time. Think if you enter a restaurant or a store, and your phone has the Facebook app open or the Google+ or even just Gmail or Gtalk open, the beacon can activate it, letting know your app that you just enter this area. That information is delivered through your PHONE, not through the beacon (remember i is for now a single way communication) to whoever control the application ( Facebook or Google in this specific case I am talking about). Then the app creates a notification into your phone and ask you ” do you want to become a FAN of this XYZ Restaurant, click here” or “add Restaurant XYZ to your Google+ Circles?”
Well while you walk, your apps start collecting data from all those beacons and that info related to your Journey is conveyed to the app owners. The Wireless Registry ( TWR) is in the process of launching a large initiative so all those beacons are forced to have an ID and we can control the use of that DATA. In the meantime Facebook and Google already started controlling the access.
So FB started a program to flood retailers, service providers, any place where humans tend to congregate with these BEACONS “Facebook Bluetooth® beacons are devices that businesses receive from Facebook. These beacons use Bluetooth® technology to send a signal to the Facebook app on your phone…”
So Google launched “set out to build a new class of beacons that addresses real-life use-cases, cross-platform support, and security.” So just like they did with Droid OS, they created an open format for BLE beacons that anyone can use: Eddystone. This programming platform has some very amazing capabilities: supports versioning so you can start small in functionality and suddenly grow as much as you want and it’s cross-platform, capable of supporting Android, iOS or any platform that supports BLE beacons. And it’s available on GitHub under the open-source Apache v2.0 license,
Of course the Facebook and Google solutions that are FREE come with caveats : each one of them control who has access to the DATA collection format and function. This is the main reason why we need a 3rd. party body that controls the famous ID’s of each IoT device, the beacons and the wireless devices.
Remember that a beacon is meant to be discoverable by any nearby Bluetooth Smart device. What makes it possible for you to stop or give access to the signal is via its identifier. Google has built a feature called Ephemeral Identifiers (EIDs), which change frequently, and allow only authorized clients to decode them. EIDs will enable you to securely do things like find your luggage once you get off the plane or find your lost keys. Google has promised to publish the technical specs of this design soon.
For some people these events are finally building a map of what is the next generation of deployments over the WEB, the so called “micro-web”, that of the IoT talking among themselves, and exchanging data that is supposed to enhance our quality of life. Until somebody starts using it for the wrong purposes….

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High Speed Trains, Modernization and Economic Recovery

Four years ago, when we all realized that we were deepening into one of the worst economic crisis the USA has ever been through (not that we are out of it yet, or that there is a sign that we will be out of it very soon) I was having a conversation with several friends, all like me, optimist people, thinking that there had to be a better way to get America out of the landslide and find a way to convert all that “energy going down” into something we could use to go back upwards… Yes, we are all lovers of vectorial analysis and we think you have to use the forces you can’t control in your favor.  That day the Government decided to “save” GM from going bankrupt and de-facto became (following the rationale, WE the People ) the owner of the largest Auto Manufacturer in the World.  WE then thought this was the signal to create something so unique, using resources inside the country, and get our technological strength

We are very proud of what we accomplished during WWII when many parts of the Auto Industry were converted in a matter of days, weeks, months to become producers of motorized vehicles, guns, cannons, ammunition,  to be used by our Armed Forces joining into the fight against the Germans.

So my thought was:  What if we could start a very large project, that involved local workers (not able to “outsource it”),  use of US Technology ( think of Silicon Valley, from Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, MIT, CalTech, Boulder Tech Start ups…), our just acquired Auto Manufacturers (GM and Chrysler), extensive experience in how to create large scale transportation systems ( Boeing, Aerospace industry), Renewable Energy that takes us out of OIL dependency and at the same time put ecology in a first plane of our agenda (all forms of Clean Energy using Wind Farms, Sun Panels, etc.) ?

Could we take all this and at the same time create the future mass transportation ?

Let’s define what am I talking about.  Wikipedia defines High-speed rail as a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than traditional rail traffic. As of 2012 the maximum commercial speed was about 300 km/h (185 mph) for the majority of installed systems (China, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, UK), 310 km/h (195 mph) in Spain and 320 km/h (200 mph) in France. The Shanghai Maglev Train reaches 431 km/h (268 mph).

And all these came back to me as I listen to the news that the world’s longest line opened in China on 25 December 2012. It runs 2,298 kilometers (1,428 miles) from the country’s capital in the north to Guangzhou.  It required less than a year in planning and 3 years to build. It also come clear that they thought that this investment will bring much needed “economic stimulus” outside the largest cities where Public Infrastructure can be deployed faster and then creates migration of large numbers of population to those already overcrowded cities.

Let’s see how I arrived to this.

1./ Build two lines simultaneously, one from Boston, MA to Los Angeles, CA and another from Seattle, WA to Jacksonville, FL.  Create 120 different points where the construction starts simultaneously.

2./ The estimated cost per mile considering construction and all the necessary technology that goes into it es $2.5Million dollars per mile, so the total cost for the construction for 9 thousand miles, a great way to spend $22.5B  instead of just giving tax rebates, help financial institutions, save insurance companies, etc.

3./ This will create direct jobs, just in construction at a very local level, for 190,000 people for 2 full years with average annual salary of $50-$60k (well above National average and double the local average in many of the 120 starting points for construction.

4./ It will create  at least 3 extra jobs per direct position created, that means at least another 600,000 jobs related just to the construction.

5./ It will create also a several billion dollar splash into the software, electromechanical controls, computer and general IT industry.  Plus it will create a totally new industry around transportation, communications, just to keep the trains running and all the security and controls that will be needed. Estimate this will create at least 10 to 15k very well paid jobs, coders, programmers, systems engineers, designers, etc.

6./ Of course, a BIG push was to happen to the Auto makers, one of them, will convert all or most of their facilities into manufacturing the cars, luxury cars, economy cars, Dinner cars, etc. that will be needed to expand the service.  Parts and of course with time new designed vehicles, maybe even freight attachments, etc.  This by itself would have saved more than 200k jobs in the Auto industry and created another similar number in the secondary industries, ie textiles, special parts, plastic injection moulding, etc.

7./ Engines design.  The best part of this is that companies like GE, Boeing, could design and create the perfect engine for exceeding the current performance of French, Chinese, Japanese or Russian fast train engines.  This could create a full new industry, with very well paid jobs, and of course the secondary industries.  Estimated more than 20k jobs, all at high level pay.

8./ Energy supply.  This is where a fundamental change will be made with this plan.  The Fast trains have a need for a lot of energy, electricity at high level.  By doing this “Fast Train” prpject, we will give a push into creating the largest grid of “clean energy projects” with their first permanent client.  Then the economic impulse to each location will bring more revenue to those projects.

9./ RealEstate.  Not all land in this plan is owned by Government (local, State or Federal) so it will mean that there will have to buy land in different points, that money will go into those local economies in most cases and it will also create opportunities for local developers to bring more people to won second homes, vacation homes, since it will be easy to get far away just for the weekend. People with resources that live in small apartments in big cities, suddenly could have a way to escape for the weekend (buy monthly passes? when no business people is riding the train it could be a way to keep it going at full capacity).

FastTrain_Map2

If we can bring technology even more advanced to the actual fast speed train systems in the world, better design, and we get all the government levels agreeing to make this happen, we could build new tracks for fast trains between Boston and Los Angeles (Route 1) ; between Seattle and Miami.  We could promote the use of renewable energy along the tracks and we could have used General Motors to transform themselves into a large manufacturer of “electric transportation systems” from the engines, to passenger cars. We also have Boeing and other very smart companies designing aerospace, less frictional models for planes, cars, etc.     We have intelligence, resources, at that moment in time, the President had the ability to bring economic development to a large part of the country by starting a totally new way of transportation for Americans : Fast Speed Trains.  And I meant real fast : The current fastest Train in the US, operated by Amtrak goes at an astonishing speed of 95 MPH for about 25 minutes between Boston and New York City, but the total trip takes 4 hours to do the 220 miles between those two cities, distance that in many other countries in the world already takes less than 45 mins to an hour by Fast Speed train.  Plus today’s cost of the Acela Train between NY and Boston or NY and Washington DC is already very high, so keeping that price or even a price near a plane ticket will make this a profitable project in the near future.

As you can see, this was just a thought back then, four years ago. Then I read that China got it figured out.  We are again left behind.  We need to get out of the box, executing the same old policies, expecting different results every time is just a sign of how insane are our Policies (and our politicians).

Chinatraingraphic

(from the South China Morning Post http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1113165/high-speed-train-route-beijing-guangzhou-ease-economic-slowdown ?

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The end of the world 21-12-2012

I have been reading so much about all the Mayan and of course so many other cultures that predicted the end of the world or at least a major change in the way we live by the Winter (for Northern hemisphere inhabitants – Summer for Southern hemisphere people) Solstice this year.

The best probably i have seen is this one that my daughter Cecilia posted on her FB  that says  “I have no fear that the world will end in 2012 … I have panic that remains the same” (in spanish “No tengo miedo que se acabe el mundo en el 2012, tengo pånico de que siga igual”)

My Daughter sent me this from Mexico City : "I have no fear that the world will end in 2012 ... I have panic that remains the same"

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No respect for women, no respect for citizens, where are our values?

What happen when we became one of those countries that we “Free” from their Police states oppressor system ? When a body of our Society believes that they are above the LAW we are in trouble as a whole society, when Citizens are treated in a way that is against what we fought and keep fighting for around the world, something is really wrong. Cases that depict acts of armed kidnapping, assault, battery, menacing and official misconduct by our own POLICE departments we just became another rogue state.

Reading all what happen in NYC during the Occupy Wall Street One year PACIFIC demonstration, it amazed me the number of women that were brutally beaten by the honorable police of that city.  I was going through the TV channels seeing how people demonstrated in the so called 3rd. world countries, the middle East, and how women and young men were there, even throwing stones to the Police, and couldn’t see a SINGLE one where several policemen took a single woman to the floor and beat her like a criminal, just for not agreeing with bank’s greed and exercising the right that we have in this country to speak and show our point of view.  It seems the NYPD thinks otherwise, they even went after the so called “legal observers”… and then we complaint why in other places of the world, a “pacific demonstration is brought down by Police” … Even the US Media, will see this perfectly ok, except if it happens in another country, then they will cry that they are barbarians and we should bring their governments downs for NOT allowing free speech and freedom to demonstrate publicly.

Something that is tough for me to understand.  It seems they have a bipolar vision of reality.

Then this morning I am watching and then reading about the Police in Aurora, CO stopping cars in the middle of the street, then at gun point bring all passengers out of their vehicles, women, kids, teenagers, older citizens, under the assumption that one of them is a criminal.  Probable cause they are arguing, so it always poses the question if they were just “fishing” or they had a description of the bank robber, then why not only take men that had a similarity to the description. Or in this case they have no description of the bank robber ? This means they could have stop anybody ? Just like in any of those countries that we so much criticize becasue they have no freedom and there are NO laws to protect citizens?  When I was much younger we used to say that in the US the rule was that it was better to leave a criminal in the loose than to EVER bring an innocent into the Police ordeal… it seems now that we are all under a “police state” just like the one we all fight so much when the Soviet Union was a super power.  Where are our values ?

When the Chief of Police of Aurora, CO., say that removing 40 people from their cars at gunpoint, handcuffing and detaining them it is not extreme. Chief Police of Aurora, Oates went on to state to a local newspaper, that although he was sorry for detaining innocent people, he felt the ends justified the means… I wonder if that is true, then anything is now valid under the assumption that we are protecting society.  But isn’t this same Chief of Police the one that couldn’t, wouldn’t, didn’t stop a massacre at a movie theater ? Where was he at that time? why he was not “vigilant” of the safety of Aurora’s citizens ? Maybe because there was no “money” involved?  Police seem to be eager to defend anything related to money : Bank money in exchange for 2 hours of having a teenager handcuffed? If this teenager had been my son, I dont know where all that would have ended.  Just think that because of the Colorado laws, some of those citizens actually have the right to “bear arms”, so this could have ended in a battle between Police endangering my family and me defending it….

Dave Perry, Editor at the Aurora Sentinel, writes :  “We cannot, under any circumstances, allow the police or military to round people up, detain and handcuff them, unless cops have a valid and compelling reason to suspect they’ve committed a crime. This kind of policing is what the Fourth Amendment was created to prevent”. I recommend reading his article.

peace officers don’t conduct themselves this way; gang members do.

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
— Thomas Jefferson, Memoirs of the life and writings of Benjamin Franklin, (1818)

@beck “… isn’t it up to us the citizens to temper the actions of our city officials.  As a community our apathy is the real crime here.

Somehow we have come to believe that monetary damages from lawsuits
is the way to communicate our disapproval.  This approach only seems to
sting their ego’s since they seem to have unlimited supplies of our
money.

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