These are YOUR Places

Paolo Coelho has written in his last book, "The Zahir":
"[…] One day, I am going to write a travel guide containing only maps, addresses of hotels, and with the rest of the pages blank. That way people will have to make their own itinerary, to discover for themselves restaurants, monuments, and all the magnificent things that every city has, but which are never mentioned because 'the history we have been taught' does not include them under the heading 'Things you must see'. I have been to Zagreb before. And this fountain does not appear in any of the local tourist guides, but it is far more important to me than anything else I saw here – because it is pretty, because I discovered it by chance, and because it is linked to a story in my life […]".

When reading this last night I have been thinking that he does not need to write such a guide: this is already happening on the web these days. Right now. You don't just buy a tourist guide anymore. The Internet can act as a guide. Other people's comment about places, and their stories, can guide you.
It's not anymore just buying a guide from some publisher, it is being part of the publication as well. And contributing back what you discover.

This is what happens on 43places, for example. See what the are saying over there: http://www.43places.com/entries/view/1239344 – "These are YOUR places" – "If youโ€™re new to 43 Places you may not realize that all the places on this website have been added by users. Once upon a time, all we had were country names and a few major cities. 43 Places is a community effort where users are actively filling up the site with their favorite spots and the places they want to visit.

Along these lines all of us users can also correct and enhance data on 43 Places […]"

43Places fits perfectly with the example of the tourist guide. But there is more than just a tourist guide. The great news is that the web is becoming an immense platform for sharing stories, experiences, feelings.

Hugh MacLeod describes this aspect (that is: the evolution of the web in the way it lets people and companies interact) on his famous blog: http://www.gapingvoid.com/Moveable_Type/archives/003358.html
"[…] Dotcom basically built glorified Yellow Pages. You go, you get the info you need, hopefully you buy something en route. The relationship between the user and the website is impersonal, not unlike the realtionship between the Yellow Pages and its readers. They show, you select. They give, you take.

The architecture of Web 2.0, however, is about people giving away their stuff i.e. "sharing". Whether its a well-written blog post, or photos uploaded onto Flickr, or videos uploaded onto YouTube, the act of you giving is every bit as important as people other people receiving. This is why the number of blog readers isn't that much larger than the number of blog writers. Writing is as important as reading. Giving is as important as taking.

Suddenly for the first time in history, the world's most powerful form of media is about giving, not taking. The implications are vast.[…]"

Amma @ Heathrow airport

Amma @ Heathrow airport

Amma @ Heathrow airport, uploaded by Daniele Muscetta on Flickr.

A coincindence meeting?

I don't know, but I'll tell you a story:
I have been in england all week for a training: I left on monday and I came back yesterday (friday).
When I booked my flight to go to england I should have come back with the flight that takes off at 8:00pm. It would have been late (coming back home to midnight) but there was no place in the earlier one (4:40pm). Then my ticket was disappeared. Not "physically", because it was an electronic ticket. Just its presence in the computer system of Alitalia was vanished. The booking on my name appeared strangely "cancelled", and both Alitalia and the American Express agency that had booked that for me could not explain me WHAT actually went wrong with my ticket.
It looked like it had been requested, but the process stopped half-way through and never ended, it never spat out my ticket (don't remind me of the concept of TRANSACTION, please).

So, at the last minute, in order to leave on monday (I *really* wanted to attend this training, and furthermore the hotel WAS booked and I could not cancel it anymore without paying a penalty), I had to buy another ticket at the airport. But at that point there was not place anymore on the evening flight for the return. So I had to take place in the 4:40pm one (hey, wait a minute: wasn't THAT FULL as well, when I tried to book it myself, earlier ??).

So when I came back, look who's at the airport.
I was not even sure it was Her, and I did not really dare come much closer. Both because I was afraid I could disturb, and also because I was scared of airport security (you are not supposed to take pictures in airports, I have already been told off other times, and with the current paranoia in London I really did not want to take the chance…).
She was about to travel, and was writing down the text of some bhajan with her followers and her singers and all the other people who travel with Her.
Also a woman, who was working in a shop just in front of this scene, not having any customer in at that moment, was looking at the scene with curiosity but (or at least I thought I could read that in her eyes) without prejudice.
Nice surprise.

PS – If you don't know who Amma is, please visit www.amma.org or en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mata_Amritanandamayi

The theater of terrorism

"[…] not giving the terrorists extended ovations for their performances is an important part of the solution. […]"
So writes Adam. Right. I agree completely.
In fact I am not scared, I am never been scared, and to be honest I am REALLY annoyed by the security measures – in airports and elsewhere. I think THAT is actually more "theatre" than the attacks themselves….

At the end of September I'll have to go to England for work. Not being able anymore to carry a hand luggage, I think I will have to leave my camera home. I cannot afford to get that stolen or broken by sending it as luggage. I'll have finished paying that in 2008… you can imagine I am worried…

I am actually tempted to show up in this T-Shirt to be honest…

Some people are doing new things

Playing in a band in Rome ? Want to get the best people to help you record your music ? Some friends of mine have opened a recording studio: Monkey Studio.
Monkey Studio

Also, my dad started leading some turistic trips and excursions with an association of friends. If you want to visit Rome and have a great turist guide who knows what he talks about, give them a try! The association also leads some trips in the countryside, to enjoy the nature.

Dusting my feeds

For easter I have been going around in nice places, seen historical buildings in Rome that have just been restructured, and visited some archeological etrurian sites.

Today, for the first time in months, I had some time to go through several unread posts in several of the blogs and sites that I keep in my aggregator.
Some random things I found interesting (not all, just some – maybe I should consider sharing links with stuff like delicious os similar….):

Dare's comment of simplicity (I oversimplify it now, but I really like his comments: this is not the first, won't be the last, good good, I enjoy them, I really do). Here is the part I liked most:
"[…] how one should build RESTful applications is actually different from how the Web works. Few web applications support HTTP methods other than GET and POST, few web applications send out the correct MIME types when sending data to clients, many Web applications use cookies for storing application state instead of allowing hypermedia to be the engine of application state (i.e. keeping the state in the URL)
and in a suprisingly large number of cases the markup in documents being transmitted is invalid or malformed in some ways. However the Web still works. […]"

Scoble (and others) talking of relaxing, simplyfying your life, taking it easy, disconnect, unsubscribe from mailing lists, etc.
Sure, I know what it means. The problem for me is that information IS addictive, so even if I leave the
information flow go for a while (because I'm too busy actually *working*, for example), after a while I feel the urge to catch up. Like today.

Another interesting thing I read today is Jesper Johansson blog post about a discussion on risk management with his son.
Quite amusing, it happens to do some of those discussions with my kids as well, sometimes.
Well, really, so far only with the older one of my two kids, of course, since the younger one IS THE threat/risk himself ๐Ÿ™‚

Another useful thing I found out today is that some VB.Net books are available for download in PDF format. Nice.

Then I figured out my most excellent colleague Luca Bandinelli had been mentioned by Arpan Shah, so I told him that, and he asked me "why are you looking for my name on the Internet?". No, really, the honest answer to this is that I was already subscribed to Arpan's blog, again.

Coming back home I saw a wonderful rainbow on top of Albano's lake, ranging from one side to the other, but of course I did not have my camera with me ๐Ÿ™
I've heard once in India that seeing a rainbow has to be considered a blessing. Well, in this case this was a HUGE one ๐Ÿ™‚

On a side note, while dusting my feeds I also found out why I could not get updates on my beloved "Calvin & Hobbes" strip.
Since the original site has apparently asked not to redistribute those strips, I suspect I will have to set up my own copy of phpGrabComics to get that. I probably will.

Well, now I am going to watch this video on MOM, then collapse ๐Ÿ™‚ Night!

Roma Wireless

Roma wireless

Seems like the Rome council is setting up public wifi hotspots in parks!
I haven't personally tried if they actually even *work* but nonethless this is cool ๐Ÿ™‚
I even found official information about this:
www.comune.roma.it/was/repository/ContentManagement/infor…

Befana

Befana

La Befana vien di notte
con le calze tutte rotte
con le toppe alla sottana
viva viva la Befana!

We have been spending the "Befana" holiday of the 6th of January in the area "pigneto" where the people of the cafeteria/bookshop "lo Yeti" were doing a nice initiative for kids and for the people of the area.

Happy New Year ! ( + Lazio Picture)

Happy New Year everybody!!!!!
I hope this will bring everybody what they want and what they deserve, I really do hope so. Those I know, those I don't know, just everybody.
Most people usually wish all the best things to all the people they know and care about, but I don't think this is enough.
There's too many people in the world who are wonderful people even if I don't and of course CAN'T know all of them, some (many) of which might be suffering. And they should get what's best for them too! The entire world is our family.

Now I am usually not very good in this kind of things, so I'll leave it here and won't try to make it longer. But those who know me will know that I am sincere in writing this.

Now there is one more thing I wanted to blog about but I forgot to do it some time ago, and it came to mind now, so I'll do it now:
This photo I made of Villa Adriana in Tivoli

Villa Adriana

has been sent by my wife to Italie.nl, a dutch site that talks about Italy (for turists, or for people who want to come live here in Italy, or who are Ital-crazy in general…) and they republished that photo of mine on this page about the region LAZIO. Cool, nice ! I like that ๐Ÿ™‚

Last weekend in Veneto, B&B and SSH

We have been guests of some very nice friends who have a nice "Bed and Breakfast" in Veneto (btw if you want to visit them, you'll find them at www.il-tulipano.it).

Good that they had a computer, because while I was away the Apache server onย my server (the one hosting this blog you are reading)ย decided it had to continuosly crash those two days I was there.
In fact from that Mac I could SSH and pull it back up….