July 28, 2007 by

Proto-poema visual


Canned messages, is this Web 2.0?

July 28, 2007 by

The other day I added a link to a Wikipedia article anonymously.
A few days later while browsing the place, I “got a message” from a wikipedian. It was one of those bureaucratic canned messages the wikipedians love to use like Magic the Gathering cards:

“Welcome to Wikipedia. We invite everyone to contribute constructively to the encyclopedia.[Say two positive things, before the negative thing. Have these people been taking hints from those CEO-Howtos so popular nowadays?] However, the external links you added to the page Constructionism (learning theory) do not comply with our guidelines for external links. Wikipedia is not a mere directory of links; nor should it be used for advertising or promotion. Since Wikipedia uses nofollow tags, external links do not alter search engine rankings. If you feel the link should be added to the article, then please discuss it on the article’s talk page before reinserting it. Please take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. Thank you”

So I wanted to write this on the talk page, but I removed parts of it, toning it down (this would only aggravate the poor guys), so I’m placing it here to fully vent out.

“Concerning the [http://pienetwork.com pienetwork link] that I added the other day, in its about page says:
“PIE (Playful Invention and Exploration) is an approach to using new technologies that integrates art, science, music, and engineering.
The main goal of PIE is to enable and inspire more people to create, invent, and explore — using a combination of traditional craft materials and new digital technologies.

PIE projects and workshops make use of Crickets, small programmable devices you can use to create your own musical sculptures, interactive jewelry, communicating creatures, and other playful inventions.

The PIE approach was developed through a collaboration of six museums with MIT Media Lab, with support from the National Science Foundation. (For background on the project, see the PIE Network grant proposal.)”
I understand that Wikipedia pages should not become an ever-increasing list of links, but just some small research, it would be easy to see the real ties this project has with Constructionism pratice, Mitchel Resnick and the MIT media labs.
I added it in a hurry, and would mean the same to me if it stayed or removed, with the assumption that a human being minimally knowledgeable on the matter was involved in that decision. But getting a canned message referring to my small contribution as advertising, seemed to make me ask “why do I care for wikipedia?”.
So I’m dropping the link for some wikipedian to pick it up and store in it’s proper shelf.

P.S.-I am not nor have ever been part of the MIT media labs.”

Scratch – Multimedia Programming for everyone

June 23, 2007 by

Scratch – Multimedia Programming for everyone

Here is the video introducing Scratch, an easy to use multimedia programming environment developed at MIT, which you can download for free from its homepage.
Checkout the above site if you want to see what kind of programs people are making with scratch. There’s a bit of everything (you’ll need Java installed to view this projects on the browser. If you don’t have it, your browser should give an option to install it):

There are people using it to try out new ways of interacting with music;
Kids working out how gravity works;
A group of people developing together a Tetris game;
Funny interactive movies;
Commented slideshows of a person’s drawings;
Humour (well, if you get hooked into it, you’ll find this funny;
Strangely mesmerizing projects;
Highly graphically sofisticated games, likes this archer game.

And best of all, you can look at the code of all these projects, and learn from them.

But don’t let the sophistication of some of these projects put you back. The point is that you find out your own uses of the program!

Some tips:
1 – Take a look at http://scratch.mit.edu/howto . It contains Starting Guides and Video Tutorials of Scratch. If you ever get stumped, here is a good place to learn a bit more on how to use it.
2 – Don’t give up on the 1st, 2nd, and 3 try. Maybe on the 4th try you’ll make some progress! Just remember to start simple!
3 – Get friends to join you in this trip. It’s always more fun to have someone in the flesh around to talk about what you both are doing, and exchange ideas and tips.

If you are interested on some of the views which led these people make Scratch (and other things), you might find this talk interesting, done by its main designer:

Sowing the Seed for a more Creative Society – Mitchel Resnick

P.S.- If you want to use Scratch in linux, either download the windows version and use WINE (your distro should have it), or follow these instructions.

Gnome demands conformity of the user, KDE potenciates creativity

May 25, 2007 by

I have switched fully to KDE, and I am delighted. anoying kde mascot.

Not only I have a fully working password manager (kwallet), many aplications have notifications, which you can use to automate the system your way (say, you want to ktorrent to launch when knetworkmanager logs to the net, etc.), and the system alltogether feels faster (a big part must have been just the switch from firefox to konqueror), smoother, with no crashes.

Some applications of choice:

Webbrowser – Konqueror

To hide most corporate propaganda, you go to this place and download the latest filter text file (today it’s 2007-02-02a.txt).
Then in Konqueror, go to the menu Configuration->Configure Konqueror->Adblock Filters. Choose to import, and choose the above text file.

torrent app – ktorrent

To avoid nasty corporate drones, go to the menu Configuration->Configure Ktorrent->Plugins.
Activate the ipfilter plugin. In the ipfilter plugin window, use this adress for the ips: http://www.bluetack.co.uk/config/splist.zip

I’m already salivating for kde4 (will release later this year).

Oh, and kde has a nice developer website at

A televisão em Portugal fez 50 anos!

March 8, 2007 by

A televisão em Portugal fez 50 anos!

Está de Parabéns! Que conte com longa vida e mais 50
anos! Disto:

(English readers)
Portuguese Television just turned 50 years old!

Congratulations, and may it go for 50 more years! Of

LiveWiki done with Squeak

November 5, 2006 by

Here’s the Post detailing it, and here’s the Screencast . It’s  done in Squeak.
I think gnu/linux and free software in general could only gain if it adopted this kind of advanced, object-oriented, programmer and user friendly language, or if it improved on it to create a new one.

Howto to start liferea in the system tray

November 5, 2006 by

How to make liferea start hidden in the system tray?

Use :

liferea –mainwindow-state=hidden

I’ve added this command in the Startup Applications tab in System->Preferences->Sessions (or Dekstop->Preferences->Sessions if you’re using an older Gnome) so it automatically starts up hidden when I log-in.

You can see other options liferea accepts with:

liferea –help

as is common with all gnu/linux applications.

June 24, 2006 by

The Satanic Elements of Scientology

I've known about Scientology from some years, so I thought that it mostly was a dollar-making corporation/cult. After a friend told me about L.R.Hubard's affinity with Satanism, and Aleister Crowley, I decided to put these two simple keywords in the popular search engine: scientology satanism.

Bang! On the first link found this very interesting article, called:

The Satanic Elements of Scientology

I'm posting it in full bellow: 

Read the rest of this entry »

Graphical Debian Installer interface, and me

June 20, 2006 by

A while ago I presented some ideas, and graphics for Debian's graphical Installer which will be released for Etch. Actually, that page reflects the final graphics I presented to the debian-installer guys, with most being used. I quieted down as I became a bit confused on the entire thing, because it involved some constraints (either technical, or otherwise) which I didn't foresee, and couldn't work them out on my head. Also, at the time I didn't have a clear head for it, for various other reasons.

So time passed, and last night I decided to continue this. I had re-started thinking about it before, but never with the same commitment as now. So I think I've managed to work out some sketches of how would a perfect interface for D-I, within its constraints, be.

Constraints which I agree should stay, since, for instance, the graphical D-I will just be a different fronted to the installer. Another debian developer has also started making a web interface for d-i!).

Read the rest of this entry »

Panel discussion at WSIS is a good overview of free software and open source today

June 4, 2006 by

Found this video, which you'll find interesting. Both old and new people coming to free software can learn with this, I think.

It's a panel discussion that happened at the World Summit for the Information Society last year (the one where Richard Stallman wrapped his RFID badge with aluminum foil as a protest).

Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, a guy from Intel (lobbyist for "freedom of choice"), a UN person and Mark Shuttleworth speak and debate. Richard's talk was very powerfull! Also interesting was the UN person, which came just after the Intel guy, and smashed his arguments about proprietary software increasing the wealth of developing countries, with his own reports and came to a different conclusion: "Is free software the answer for development? In one word, yes!".


And yes, I see the irony of having to install non-free software to view this video …. But you can click the download link on the right bar, and download it.