Windows Phone 7 and Android 2.3: a quick note

Microsoft has done a tremendously good job with WP7. The UI is very pleasant and fluid, something rather contrasting with Google's Android 2.3 UI. Microsoft has done it right. Google set the right features but neglected the design details and the aesthetics of the whole platform.

This is really striking when you compare, for example, the WP7 Twitter app and the Android's version. Note the detail of the fonts and the beautiful transitions. They created an amazing experience.

Two random pictures of both OS's:

Windows Phone 7

Android 2.3

But Google isn't sleeping over its success. A new design or aesthetics paradigm is showing up in their work. Take the example of the new look of Google Maps:

This is good! This very good! I think it's part of the new and whole transformation of Google's positioning as a company. You can take the example of the new Google Plus. It's not just a shift in design; it's probably a core change in the way they will approach their product development.


Entrevista de Passos Coelho ao Financial Times

Portugal is warned of two ‘terrible years’

By Peter Wise and Jonathan Ford in Lisbon
Published: June 15 2011 18:17 | Last updated: June 15 2011 18:17

Pedro Passos Coelho has no plans to leave his modest fifth-floor flat in an unfashionable dormitory suburb of Lisbon for the plush official residence he is entitled to use after he is sworn in next week as Portugal’s new prime minister.

Noted for his thrift, the 46-year-old leader of the centre-right Social Democrats (PSD) is temperamentally well prepared for the formidable task of implementing the tough €78bn rescue programme the country has agreed with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Portugal faces two “terrible years” of deep recession and record unemployment, he acknowledged in an interview with the Financial Times, before the country can return to growth and regain the confidence of international investors.

This will involve “a very rigorous programme of austerity and structural reforms” covering everything from slashing public deficits and extensive privatisations to shake-ups of justice and education.

“There is no alternative,” he says, the adjustment programme “cannot fail”. Failure, he says, would prevent Portugal from returning to the financial markets in 2013 and leave it in a similar predicament to Greece, which has had to ask for a second bail-out. The Portuguese economy would be trapped in a recessionary spiral after a projected 2 per cent contraction both this year and next.

After winning a decisive election victory on June 5, Mr Passos Coelho will take office at the head of a majority government coalition between the PSD and the smaller conservative Popular party (CDS-PP). He has inherited a daunting programme, agreed with the EU and the IMF, that requires his government to cut the budget deficit from 9 per cent of gross domestic product last year to 3 per cent in 2013 and to implement structural reforms that no previous government has attempted.

Not content with this challenge, he aims to go beyond the requirements of the rescue agreement, promising, for example, to accelerate and expand the privatisation programme. The state-owned broadcasting media is to be sold off, leaving only one non-commercial public service channel. He will also privatise up to 49 per cent of water utilities.

Privatisation is not just a question of raising revenue, Mr Passos Coelho says. Portugal needs foreign investment to support growth, which will have to be led by the export sector. The government will throw open the doors to non-Portuguese investors.

“We will be absolutely transparent and rigorous,” he says. “There will be no hidden agenda.”

He would also like to meet deficit-reduction targets ahead of schedule, although he fears the previous Socialist government may have left some “surprises” on the books.

Economists do not doubt Mr Passos Coelho’s commitment to spending cuts, but worry austerity will choke off growth. While structural reforms in areas such as education, labour legislation and justice should ultimately bear fruit, this will take time to ripen. Mr Passos Coelho has less than three years to turn the economy round.

Mr Passos Coelho is staking his hopes for growth on a sharp “fiscal devaluation” — a sharp cut in company contributions to employees’ social security payments — which should cut labour costs and make exporters more competitive. But he says it is too early to determine the scale of the cut, which will have to be revenue-neutral because of the country’s deficit.

There is no doubt that Mr Passos Coelho believes in what he is doing. He sees the rescue programme as a unique opportunity to implement essential reforms that previous governments have avoided for the past 30 years. He is convinced that he is the right man to do the job. The “serious difference” between his party and the Socialists of José Sócrates, the outgoing prime minister, he says, is that the PSD “believes in the changes we have to make”.

Mr Sócrates, on the other hand, was forced into a rescue package with the EU, IMF and European Central Bank “because there was no other way to get the money”.

Mr Sócrates has accused Mr Passos Coelho of using the EU-IMF agreement as a pretext for “the most radical rightwing programme ever proposed in Portugal”.

But Mr Passos Coelho says 80 per cent of voters backed the three parties who signed up to rescue agreement — the PSD, the CDS-PP and the Socialists. This, he says, is an important difference between Portugal and Greece, where larger sections of society are strongly opposed to the bail-out package.

One of his first initiatives will be a new agency to monitor public accounts. This will be “completely independent of the government and parliament” and include at least two foreign experts. His finance minister will also be an independent with no party affiliations.

Born in 1964; son of a doctor. Childhood spent in former Portuguese colony of Angola.
Politics: Joined the Social Democrats aged 16. Has served as an MP and mayor. Became party leader in March 2010.
Education: Degree in economics.
Business experience: consultant, chief executive.
Family: Married to a physiotherapist from Guinea-Bissau, they have a four-year-old daughter. Has two daughters by his first wife.

Financial Times


Google Docs improvements

- A much better Android app with native editing - great! This is great news given that it doesn't make any sense that you can't currently fully edit google docs on your Honeycomb browser. At last!
- Offline support - as expected!
- Cloud Print - also expected!
- A better version of the Cloud Connect plug-in - not important to me. Next.
- Preview of .txt files.

Via BusinessInsider

A lei de Portugal

Apenas um detalhe. A lei em Portugal é compreendida por uma grande parte da população como algo que tem uma interpretação singular, quase sempre entendida à luz dos caprichos de cada um.

A PSP e a GNR dizem que o imposto único de circulação deve acompanhar os carros? Não, vários vendedores de automóveis dizem que não. E dizem que não porque eles é que sabem. A lei, essa coisa em putrefacção, é apenas lama no tapete. Tira-se a lama, surge o brilho da verdade individual.

É visceralmente frustrante perceber que os mitos desejados são muito piores que os mitos da ignorância ou da cultura popular. A sensação de muitos indivíduos, cientes da sua sapiência infinita, é usurpadora de qualquer racionalidade.

O Português típico é chico esperto e tem uma forte inclinação para a aldrabice e para a má educação. E isto não melhora com o crescimento da economia.

Portugal está em agonia porque o seu povo não é suficientemente capaz de assumir comportamentos/valores típicos de uma sociedade educada: trabalho intenso, rigor, respeito pelo bem público e pelo Outro, solidariedade sincera, civismo.

Portugal envergonha-se perante os portugueses. Nós, como um povo, como um grande grupo, não somos tão educados como eu gostaria. Não somos suficientemente bons para vencer. Ainda não.


Chrome OS Beginner's Guide

Perter Mugi of Cloudhighclub.com released an interesting guide for those who want to learn more about Chrome OS. Grab it here!



Válega, Ovar, Portugal.

Apple - Introducing OS X Lion

Looks interesting and I would certainly buy a Macbook air with Osx Lion but as always with Apple, it's tremendously overrated. The issue here is that they take advantage of Microsoft's slowness in innovation and product release cycles. If you think for a minute, MS has been late to the game in last 10+ years (e.g., Windows Phone 7, Windows 7).

Apple has Osx Lion, Google has ChromeOS, Microsoft will have Windows 8 in 2012. Windows 8 looks promising but I have some doubts about that hybrid shell and windows traditional desktop. Yes, Apple also keeps the same traditional desktop but it has improved some features in the OS and also mouse gestures.

Samsung Chromebook Series 5

Via 9to5google

O Pós-troika de Portugal


Google crazy roll out of features

One thing that pisses me off about Google is that the roll out of new features is random and, therefore, unpredictable.

I've seen a black menu bar in Gmail coming and going, the same with the blue bar in Docs and Reader and other services. Now, it's the people widget in Gmail that rolled out to only some accounts with unknown criteria and same is happening with the new Blogger interface.

I admit that the process is complicated but it would be great to have at least some kind of public roadmap to ensure that users know when they're getting improvements or new futures in their accounts.


Stephen Elop's Nokia Adventure

Great article about Canadian Stephen Elop enormous challenge at Nokia.

Children of Divorce Fall Behind Peers in Math, Social Skills


- "Children of divorce experience setbacks in math test scores and show problems with interpersonal skills and internalizing behavior during the divorce period"

- No significant negative effects in children on pre-divorce period because "the results here support the idea that not all divorces are plagued by harmful parental conflict in the pre-divorce period"


"If a teacher is aware of a student experiencing a divorce situation, it may be in the student's interest that the teachers intervene by adjusting as early as possible to prevent that student from falling behind"

Via Science Daily

Google Docs Product Ideas

Share yours!

Global Competitiveness Index 2010–2011




Once again, Portugal and Greece fall behind Ireland. It's important to note that the current problems in Ireland are financial and not economical. And this is very important because the problems in Portugal and Greece are mostly structural, i.e., economy, justice, labor market.

Unfortunately, this makes believe that Portugal and Greece will have to make a substantial adjustment in the next decade or so.

Full report.

The Globe and Mail: Denmark is not the new Portugal

We, Portuguese, already knew that.

A dose of schadenfreude (delight in the misfortune of others) may have brightened the mood in Portugal this week.

Really? Not at all!

Via The Globe And Mail

Lighter warm up, better sprint?

I always had this doubt and a very good friend of mine who is a basketball coach and physical education teacher, told me exactly the same thing. I guess he's right. :)


Marc Andreessen on Apps vs Browsers

Via AllThingsD

Building "Windows 8" - Video #1

This is the first of some videos about the upcoming Windows 8. This one is particularly about user interface. And uouuuuuuuuuu! This is cool stuff!

It's great to see Microsoft betting their neck on something! This is a bold move! Innovation on the Windows interface! This will be a great change from the Windows 95 user interface that stands until today. We see Windows Phone 7 ideas all over the place and that's pretty cool because I think Microsoft did a great job overall with their latest mobile OS.

Let's wait and see which other features will be announced. Exciting times at Microsoft!


Kids who bully have greater tendency to show sleep problems

"Our schools do push the importance of healthy eating and exercise, but this study highlights that good sleep is just as essential to a healthy lifestyle."

Sleep is always considered the weakest link when we think about kids' health. Most of the times kids have this bad habit and attitude of thinking about few hours of sleep as something cool and that one must be proud of. On the contrary, good sleep is mandatory.

I found that sleep (or the lack of sleep) is a very important issue among the kids that have behavioral problems here at the school where I work. Most of them have a terrible sleep hygiene, with few hours sleep, long hours of TV before going to sleep, etc.

Interesting piece. Here.

Weird bug on Chrome

Yesterday I using Chrome, version 11.0.696.71, when it...puff! A bright blue page appeared and nothing more. Tried CTRL+ALT+DELETE and Windows 7 was also dead. I thought that it could be a Windows problem but I wasn't sure..

I hit the turn off button and then started the pc. Opened up Chrome and guess what happened? Chrome sync was gone! No sync! Disappeared! What happened? This was the first time in years that I've experienced something like this...

Have you experienced this weird bug?