Solipsism Gradient

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Browsing Posts tagged Brasil

Re: Off we go…

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Here we are at the Arraial Canabrava Resort Hotel, which seems to be the official name. They’re just installing Internet access, in a month or two guests should have a separate room for getting on, but for now I’m sitting in a little back room next to the reception. It was down when we arrived, but was fixed today; so I’m downloading e-mail and whatnot while I type this.

The flight from Belo Horizonte to Ilhéus took about 90 minutes. Here’s a photo of Ilhéus during the final approach:

The landing strip is the dark (nearly horizontal) band near the wingtip, and the paintbrush-shaped peninsula with beaches at the lower end (where the paint would be) is a local landmark.

Off we go…

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We’re packed to leave very early in the morning for the Cana Brava Resort, near Ilhéus (Bahia). It’s located at a beach where a small river flows into the sea, and it has a swimming pool – three types of water to choose from, but I’ll probably try to stay out of the sun as much as possible.

The hotel is supposed to have a modern convention center, so there’s a small chance that I may be able to get on the Internet. I’m taking my PowerBook anyway, and hope to get some serious work done, away from distractions. 😆

So, expect very light to zero blogging here until Dec. 28th… happy holidays for everybody!

Aurélio 1.05

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Acabo de publicar um update para o Aurélio Século XXI para Mac.

A versão 1.05 agora roda sob o Classic do Mac OS X 10.1.5 em diante. Detalhes aqui

Saving daylight?

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(Um resumo, em português, deste post está na minha página principal)

It’s that time of the year again when the Brazilian government decides, by decree, when and where Daylight Savings Time begins. Last year Mac OS X users in Brazil had serious problems with that, as Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) had the wrong dates inside the Unix tables that most of the system uses, and another (different!) wrong date inside a legacy table embedded into one of the frameworks, which was used by the Finder and some other applications.

In 2002 I published a patch to fix the Unix tables but couldn’t change the framework table. In addition, some – though not all – users reported a problem with their system snapping back to normal time on New Year’s eve. So this year, I’m waiting until someone else publishes the correction…

At this time, I haven’t got a system running Jaguar in order to test what will happen this year. The legacy table was finally removed in Mac OS 10.3 (Panther), so at least it will act consistently for all system calls and applications. However, it seems that Panther is considering DST as starting on Oct. 12 instead of the decreed date of Oct. 19.

Mac OS 9 users will have no problems, as there is a convenient double checkbox in the Date & Time Control Panel to allow the user to set DST manually. I’ve filed an enhancement request with Apple to put a similar checkbox into Mac OS X, but there’s little or no hope of this being done anytime soon (if ever).

The problem in Brazil is even more complicated, as DST is observed only by certain states in a manner not consistent with the timezones used when DST is not in effect. Additionally, the government may decide to extend or abbreviate the DST period at any time. So a manual checkbox would certainly be the easiest way around the problem.

…or perhaps a GUI viewer/editor for the timezone files… if only I had the time…

Young coconuts!

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The ever-interesting J-Walk Blog writes about a site which features, you guessed it, Young Coconuts:

I guess all of the coconuts I’ve eaten have been old coconuts.

Indeed, all coconuts I’ve seen in the US are old (ripe) coconuts – they’re usually sold with the hard brown shell exposed, have relatively little milky-white water, and the white flesh inside is about 10 mm thick. The site talks at some length about the superior virtues of “young” coconuts and then directs you to look for them at an Asian or Mexican market. Failing that, they offer to ship coconuts in from Thailand.

Here’s a picture from the site:

They apparently whittle the coconut down to a candle-like shape before shipping. Here in Brazil you usually buy what they call “green” coconuts, as shown in the background above. Also, from the picture I deduce that their coconuts are older than we’re used to here; green coconuts have even less flesh than those, often it’s just a millimeter-thick layer of transparent jelly. But the water is very abundant and completely transparent.

Their prices are of course outrageous: US$7.99 for one, US$46.99 for a case of nine… we pay between US$0.17 and US$0.30 each at the local fruit market. This already has a few thousand Km shipping (by truck) built in, as they usually come from the north-east coast.

Here’s more from John Perry Barlow, talking at ilaw in Rio:

It’s time to re-envision how we should get paid for the works of our minds. I believe that Brazil has a unique opportunity to help us all re-imagine this. I’ve observed that Brazilians have a strong sense that music is shared property… It is the joint property of Brazilian society. So I propose that this is a good place to take a stand against the corporate copyright holders.

…Giving music away does work… I have suggested to Minister [Gilberto] Gil that Brazilian music be put on the Internet; this would create a worldwide flowering of creatvity inspired by this music.

And earlier, talking about the Digital Divide:

Brazil is the greatest inside joke that I’ve ever seen. This creates a kind of digital divide between Brazil and the rest of the world. This is a unique problem that has to be addressed.

I used to think that the use of English on the Internet was no big deal; after my experiences here, especially, I’ve changed my mind. I spent a month here feeling like a stroke victim. It’s a good thing that many of you are very good at communicating with body language.

An interchange with Charles Nesson and an audience member:

Charlie: Audience–why isn’t deregulating telecom more important to this audience than other things on the list?

Audience: It’s funny when we talk about IP and protection–the fight against piracy. This is the view of the company, of the US. We are a poor country; our priorities are different. It surprises me that the US is surprised that we have a problem with piracy. Of course we do: people want access to the software; they simply cannot buy it.

The discussion of this piracy is therefore empty, useless.

Curiously enough, the cost of participating in the next ILAW at Stanford makes it so no one from Brazil will come.

I’m following Donna Wentworth’s reports from the conference, at Copyfight, with great interest. Let’s hope that full transcripts will be available later.

Update: Here’s Lawrence Lessig‘s comment on the encounter between Barlow and Gilberto Gil.

Catching up…

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Still catching up to e-mail and unread RSS items. Here are some that look interesting and/or important:

The ever-interesting and well-informed folks at Boing Boing alert me to John Perry Barlow‘s post about his month in Brazil:

Brazil is the world’s largest Inside Joke. It is, to those who get it, sufficiently involving to render even such external considerations as the possible outbreak of Armageddon slightly irrelevant.

Besides, it seems to have an instinct for peace that runs the length of its history and is wisely aware that even opposing the bellicose behavior of less enlightened cultures adds energy to the cyclone of war. Brazil doesn’t study war no more. The only organized conflict Brazil is likely to enter involves no weapon more lethal than a soccer ball.

…As you might expect, I have much more to report from down here, where I’ve now spent an utterly transforming month. Until now, I’ve been having too much fun having adventures to spend my energies on turning them into information.

Extremely well put, and a must read. I’m looking forward to his forthcoming reports.

Still on Boing Boing, a link to an extremely interesting NYTimes article about inventor Woody Norris. Apparently, Norris invented the medical ultrasonogram, the Jabra earphone, a soon-to-be-available personal helicopter, and countless other things – among which the focused loudspeaker which is the article’s theme is one of the most interesting.

Mark Pilgrim admits to being the Raging Platypus. Hopefully he’ll continue posting platypus stuff… I’m searching in my stored books for Arthur Byron Cover‘s 1976 story collection “The Platypus of Doom and Other Nihilists” (sadly out of print). The book’s cover should be a nice addition to the site… IIRC, the title story involved the protagonist playing table tennis for his life with the P.o.D. Other stories are called “The Aardvark of Despair”, “The Clam of Catastrophe”, and “The Armadillo of Destruction”; perhaps someone will put up a “Raging Aardvark” site? icon_biggrin.gif

Folha de São Paulo, one of Brazil’s top daily newspapers, today had several articles about weblogs (all in Portuguese):

All in all, it’s good to have weblogging noticed by mainstream news. The articles linked above are short and somewhat simplistic, practically ignoring non-hosted publishing methods. The Brazilian weblogging community is surprisingly large but somewhat insular, and the percentage of computer geeks seems to be lower than in the US; many webloggers are students or have advertising or publishing backgrounds. Most webloggers here can read English but few write it well enough to contribute effectively to the international community.

A disparity can be noted in some weblog indexes. There are no Brazilian webloggers in TechnoRati’s Top 100. On the other hand, although many of the BlogStreet’s Top 100 are found in the TechnoRati list, about 20 Brazilians are there too…

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