Barbarian Meets Coding

WebDev, UX & a Pinch of Fantasy


Barbarian Goat-Skin Reading Digest April 2012

Hello Fellas! Looks like my goal for writing 3 blog posts a week was a big #FAIL. What the heck is wrong with time… A man just needs to blink and 2 weeks have passed! what passed… floooown by! :)

Anyhow, where was I…

Yes! I meant to talk about the nice and not so nice books (just being clear here for those of you who didn’t quite get the goat-skin reference) I’ve read this very month. First and foremost, I have to praise Audible and Leo Laporte for bringing AudioBooks into my life: never more shall I die of boredom whilst vacuum cleaning or doing the laundry, never more shall I grumble when needing to throw the recycling, or wash the dishes, never more…

Read on →

Happiness is a healthy disregard for the impossible

This morning I had the chance to read Larry Page’s 2012 letter to Google Shareholders. It was great! Particularly, this last passage resonated with me in great measure:

Happiness is a healthy disregard for the impossible

When I was a student at the University of Michigan, I went on a summer leadership course. The slogan was “a healthy disregard for the impossible,” and it’s an idea that has stayed with me ever since. It may sound nuts, but I’ve found that it’s easier to make progress on mega-ambitious goals than on less risky projects. Few people are crazy enough to try, and the best people always want to work on the biggest challenges. We've also found that “failed” ambitious projects often yield other dividends. Believe it or not, the technological innovation behind AdSense, which, as I mentioned earlier, has paid out over $30 billion to partners, was the result of a “failed” more ambitious project to understand the Web. The team failed at understanding the Web, mostly, I think, because they were distracted by their work making advertisements amazingly relevant.

Last year, the Google+ team decided to integrate multi-person video into their efforts. They had a small committed team that was crazy enough to believe this was possible, and Google+ Hangouts was born. You can now video chat with anyone, anywhere, even from the Great Barrier Reef. It was the same with driverless cars, which we started on in 2008. Today we have driven over 200,000 miles, and Steve Mahan, who is legally blind, recently took a drive in one of them. So the one-sentence summary of how to change the world… work on something that is uncomfortably exciting!

Today the opportunities are greater than ever. Things we used to think were magic, we now take for granted: the ability to get a map instantly, to find information quickly and easily, to choose any video from millions on YouTube rather than just a few TV channels. People are buying more devices and using them more because technology is playing an increasingly important role in our lives. I believe that by producing innovative technology products that touch people deeply, we will enable you to do truly amazing things that change the world. It’s a very exciting time to be at Google, and I take the responsibility I have to all of you very seriously.

So Be Awesome! Disregard the Impossible!

Isn’t that incredibly unpractical yet uber-cool or what? :) We will need to be extra careful, develop an uncanny multitasking ability… or go hitting lamposts. :)


Gmail Tap: Pure Awesomeness in April's fools day

Omfg, it was hard for Google to improve on their April’s fools day prank based on what they have been doing in the past years, but they definitely did it. Behold! Gmail Tap!

I’m amazed, petrified, shocked! How the heck were they able to make this video without laughing their asses off continuously! Check some of the quotes:

Morse code is perfect… it’s just a dot… and a dash… What’s simpler than that?

Gmail tap multitasking is an improvement over speech, you can say two things with your fingers… that your mouth can only say one of

I think the people that will be best served by Gmail Tap are people with fat fingers…

You can tap it in the morning, you can tap it at night, you can tap it in the bathroom… it’s a dot and a dash… to have a conversation with the entire world… it’s great…

Omg, and this inspirational music on the background all the time building up momemtum towards the end XDd It’s a freaking masterpiece! XD


The Hunger Games & The Art of Triggering Human Emotions

Amazing… it’s been more than a month since I started this blog and I haven’t been able to write a single good, readable post. I’ve been pretty busy as usual, that’s true… but I wonder if part of the problem is the Fear to the Blank Page (figurativelly speaking since I didn’t even get near a text editor thinking about writing a post during this time) or perhaps… my natural inclination to do/write something great, or nothing at all.

Anyhow, I am going to force myself to write something, just for the pleasure of it. Let’s start with writing at least 3 times a week, write on whichever thing comes to mind, just to get some momentum and see where all this blogging thingy goes. Sometimes you need to start doing and let the inspiration follow.

So last Friday Malin and I went to see “The Hunger Games” adaptation…

… both She and I had high hopes after reading the books and were satisfied when the movie did deliver. To tell you the truth, I was so fixated in comparing the movie with the book, so focused in contrasting my imaginary representations with those displayed on the screen, that the movie flew pass my eyes. So much so that, when watching the final scene, I though so few time had passed that I was certain they would continue with the plot from the second book.

Anyhow, I was particularly interested in several central points which had caused the greatest emotional impact in me while reading the book. I was wondering… how will they put this together in the movie, how will they construct the narrative and build up momemtum to achieve the same reaction on the watcher, Suzanne Collins achieved within the book. Is there a magic formula that you can use to trigger human emotions? Is it intuition? Is it basic human psychology? I have no clue, but they did hit the mark indeed.

But not only that, Gary Ross nails the abhorrent contrast between the subjugated districts and the capitol, and the terrible reality of “The Hunger Games”- 24 children go in, 1 scarred kid goes out - while the cast themselves do an outstanding job and share a wonderful chemistry (there’s that moment between Peeta and Caesar Ficklerman that was just awesome). Which all results in a highly entertaining movie, that will probably become, together with its future sequels, one of those unforgettable SciFi/Fantasy series like The Lord of The Rings or Harry Potter.

Katniss aiming with her bow in the forest outside district 12

Concluding: read the books, watch the movie…

…And may the odds be ever in your favor! (that was an easy one hehe)