reportr – Show your Flickrness!

reportr - Show your Flickrness!

How many times you have gone somewhere (public demonstration, event, concert, etc) where yo saw other people shooting photos and you though "some of them MUST be flickr'ers"…. but you never had the guts to go and introduce yourself?

Now it's time to show off that you are a Flickr'er, and let other people figure it out.

Polo:

www.cafepress.com/cp/customize/product.aspx?clear=true&am…

Cap:

www.cafepress.com/cp/customize/product.aspx?clear=true&am…
NOTE:

This is just an idea and it is NOT endorsed by Flickr itself.

Also, I do not get any money for it – those are just the prices imposed by the online shop used to create them. I just thought it was a funny idea and I wanted to share it.

Birth of Rome Celebrations

Natale di Roma

Every year proud Romans celebrate the birth of the Eternal City (21 April), founded by Romulus in 753BC, with a series of events at venues throughout Rome, including the Roman Forum and the Campidoglio.

Celebrations include parades, gladiator shows, traditional Roman banquets and public speeches galore from local historical societies.

See the complete set of picture I took this time.

Conversation about Blogs with a customer

I usually don't like mentioning specific facts that happened to me at work. But work is part of life, so even if this is mostly a personal blog, I cannot help myself but write about certain things that make me think when they happen.

When I end up having conversations such as this, I get really sad: I thought we had finally passed the arrogant period where we had to spoon-feed customers, and I thought we were now mature enough to consider them smart people and providing cool, empowering technologies for them to use. I also thought that pretty much everybody liked Microsoft finally opening up and actually talking TO people… not only talking them INTO buying something, something – but having real conversations.

I get sad when I find that people still don't seem to be accepting that, and wanting back the old model, instead. Kinda weird.

 

The conversation goes as follows (words are not exactly those – we were speaking Italian and I sort of reconstructed the conversation – you should get the sense of it anyway):

 

[…]

Me: "The SDK service allows you to do quite a lot of cool stuff. Unfortunately not all of that functionality is completely or always easily exposed in the GUI. That is, for example: it is very EASY to define overrides, but it can get very tricky to find them back once set. That's why you can use this little useful tool that the developer of that SDK service has posted on his blog…"

Cust: "…but we can't just read blogs here and there!"

Me: "Well, I mean, then you may have to wait for the normal release cycle. It might be that those improvements will make it in to the product. That might happen in months, if you are lucky, or maybe never. What's wrong if he publishes that on his blog, bypassing the bureaucracy crap, and makes your life easier with it RIGHT NOW?"

Cust: "It is not official, I want it in the product!"

Me: "I see, and even understand that. But right now that feature just isn't there. But you can use this tool to have it. Don't worry: it is not made by some random guy who wants to trojan your server! It is made by the very same developer who wrote the product itself…"

Cust: "It is not supported, what if it breaks something?"

Me: "So are all resource kit tools, in general. written by some dev guy in his free five minutes, and usually unsupported. Still very useful, though. Most of them. And they usually do work, you know that much, don't you?"

Cust: "But why on a blog?"

Me: "What's wrong with this? People are just trying to make customer's life easier by being transparent and open and direct in their communication, just talking RIGHT to the customers. People talking to people, bypassing the prehistoric bureaucracy structure of companies… the same happens on many other sites, just think isatools.org for example… those are just tools that a support guy like me has written and wants to share because they might be useful…"

Cust: "But I can't follow/read all the blogs out there! I don't have time for it"

Me: "Why not? I have thousands of feeds in my aggregator and…"

Cust: "I don't have time and I don't want to read them, because I pay for support, so I don't expect this stuff to be in blogs"

Me: "Well, I see, since you pay for support, you are paying ME – in fact I am working with you on this product precisely as part of that paid support. That's why I am here to tell you that this tool exists, in case you had not heard of it, so you actually know about it without having to read that yourself on any blog… does that sound like a deal? Where's the issue?"

Cust: "Sgrunt. I want something official, I don't like this blog stuff"

[…]

 

I thought this was particularly interesting, not because I want to make fun of this person. I do respect him and I think he just has a different point of view. But in my opinion this conversation shows (and made me think about) an aspect of that "generation gap" inside Microsoft that Hugh talks about here:

"[…]4.30 Hugh talks about a conversation he had with a few people inside Microsoft- how there’s a generation gap growing within the company, between the Old Guard, and the new generation of Microsofties, who see their company in much more open, organic terms.[…]"

Basically this tells me that the generation gap is not happening only INSIDE Microsoft: it invests our customers too. Which makes it even more difficult to talk to some of them, as we change. Traditions are hard to change.

Ca(p)tching Cats and Dogs

I read on Jeff Atwood's blog about most strong Captcha having been defeated. Also, on top of visitors getting annoyed by it, the Captcha plugin I am using has gone unmantained lately. And, one way or another, I am getting comment spam again. Which is something I really hate as you know what I would love to do to spammers

I am seriously considering giving Asirra a try. It is an interesting project from Microsoft Research for an HIP (Human Interaction Proof) that uses info from petfinder.com to let users set apart pictures of dogs from those of cats. There is also a WordPress plugin, in the best and newest "we want to interoperate" fashion that we are finally getting at Microsoft (this has always been the way to go, IMHO, and BTW).

Anyway, what do you think ?

Cum grano salis

Cum grano salis

Cum grano salis, uploaded by Daniele Muscetta on Flickr.

I like salt. I don't usually cook with a lot of it, and I don't particularly like very salty food. But I really like salt on its own.
When I was a child, I used to go to the kitchen, at my granny's home, and steal a grasp of salt from its jar, and I went hiding under a bed. Once hidden, I ate my trasure.
An homeopaths once asked me (among the whole lot of strange question they ask you) if I did, indeed, eat raw, uncooked salt, just like I told you I did as a kid. At that time I got impressed and surprised by the thing.
Now I realize he was trying to figure out if I was a person of the NATRUM MURIATICUM type.
I am not sure I am one of that kind, maybe partially. Actually I am more towards the SILICEA type.
At least, that remedy (silicea) has worked with me a bunch of times.
Probably, even in homeopathy, I don't fit exactly in one classification.
Salt was also used in the ancient times as money.
The modern term "salary" (wage, payment) comes from this use that was done of it, from its value back then.

Luca | in the Wind

Luca | in the Wind

Luca | in the Wind, uploaded by Daniele Muscetta on Flickr.

One of the best portraits I took lately.
On Flickr it has been on Explore: flickr.com/explore/interesting/2007/8/31/page12

Who said the Sigma 28-300 is crap ? You need to know how to use it 🙂

per incollare carte, stoffe, fotografie, etc…

per incollare carte, stoffe, fotografie, etc...

Coccoina, a piece of Italian history.

"Italy, for example, is a puzzle […]. Family businesses, therefore, form the backbone of the Italian economy. There are businesses which grow rich by doing small things very well. […] "Better not bigger" is their preferred route to to wealth because bigger inevitably means the eventual sharing of power with people you cannot know well enough to trust." – quote: Charles Handy – "Beyond Certainty"

Searching for myself on various search engines

Searching for myself on Yahoo Image Search

Searching for myself on Yahoo Image Search, uploaded by Daniele Muscetta on Flickr.

Here I start a quick comparison of what search engines actually find about me.
I am glad to read that Live Search can find Jimi Hendrix's face, and Google can spot those portraits of Paris Hilton.
Unfortunately I am not as famous as them, so not enough people have tagged me. Not on "normal" web pages or newspaper.

Yahoo did a great/smart thing buying Flickr.
It gets people doing the TAGGING for them.
So the results are accurate for pretty much everything.

Ok granted. All of these pictures are coming out of Flickr.
But while that is a limitation, it is also its power.

This is also why I was able to search for "blackberries" the other day and find the thing I was searching for, that is FRUIT that grows spontaneously in the woods, rather than a bunch of stupid mobile telephones.
try: images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?p=blackberry+OR+fruit

Doing the same search on Google:

Searching for myself on Google Image Search

Ok this is not all from flickr anymore, they actually have the rest of the web in their database. Most of them are pictures I made – granted. But only one OF me, and definitely not the first one. Ninth position.

try the blackberry serch images.google.com/images?svnum=10&q=blackberry+OR+fruit

And now Live Search:

Searching for myself on Live Image Search

Same as Google: images from everywhere. Less images than Google. Most of them made by me (not all). An actual picture of myself is in 9th position.

my blackberry search here finds a lot of fruit…

blackberry_live

strangely enough, there's an IPhone among them!!!!

Don't touch the Surface!

I am sorry I only read this blog post by Eileen Brown today, not when she posted it. It got lost somewhere among loads of other feeds. Anyway I am sorry I read it so late, because, by now, commenting on that post is not possible anymore. Hope she does get the pingback at least…

Anyway, the post goes about Microsoft Surface. Which is something really cool. Eileen goes saying that she's worried if her cat would jump on the touch-screen table doing some damage to her information / data /accounts…. when I first saw the technology presented, I actually thought sort of the same thing…. what about my son going to the table with his hands dirty of chocolate paste ?? I have blogged in the past about the danger he poses…

Since kids these days do use the computers, having to replace keyboards because they are full of biscuits'crumbles or because they spilled fruit juice on them is quite common. Just less expensive than the special touch-screen, at the moment….