Tag Archives: literature

Finished My First Kindle Book

Recently I finished my first Kindle book. Now, I can tell you that the full experience is very close to reading a real book. Not the same, but better. 🙂 I decided that my first Kindle experience must be a light book, small, easy to read and useful. This way, I would avoid any frustration with Kindle at the beginning.

Fortunately, I found an excellent book, that fitted very well in my criteria and it ended up being more useful than I would possibly expect. Actually, this book changed the way I used to think about work and business. In my opinion, it is supposed to be a milestone in the history of administration, without any exaggeration. The change was not more dramatic because I didn’t implement it yet. My thesis is not allowing me to, but I will as soon as I can.

If you plan to open a new business or simply run an idea smoothly, it is a “must have” book. I highlighted some interesting sentences just to give you an initial idea. The book and its website give you several others.

To keep your momentum and motivation up, get in the habit of accomplishing small victories along the way. Even a tiny improvement can give you a good jolt of momentum.

Competitors can never copy the ‘you’ in your product.

If you build software, every error message is marketing.

Never hire anyone to do a job until you’ve tried to do it yourself first. That way, you’ll understand the nature of the work.

It’s crazy not to hire the best people just because they live far away. Specially now that there’s so much technology out there making it easier to bring everyone together online.

Write to be read, don’t write just to write.

Amazon has recently announced that “over the past three months, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 143 Kindle books. Over the past month, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 180 Kindle books.“. I attribute this to the incredible simplicity of buying and getting access to the book in seconds. A closer friend bought the hardcover and he had to wait several days to receive it. I got Rework instantly. That’s the difference.

The Hug

I was visiting the blog of a friend, when I read a very touching story that he was sharing in his last post. The story was originally published in a newspaper in my hometown. So, I decided to translate the story and publish it here because I believe it’s good to spread this kind of message.

According to him, in the country side of Brazil, a redneck was talking so calmly that he seemed to measure, analyze and meditate about every word he was saying…

“Yeah… of all men’s inventions, the one that makes sense the most is the hug. There is no way of not enjoying a hug! Everybody, during a hug, participates a little bit…

When you are missing someone, the hug of someone else relieves you. When you are angry and receive a hug, you even feel ashamed of that bad feeling. If you are happy and hugs someone else, this person will get a little bit of your happiness. If someone is ill and you hug her/him, she/he starts getting better and you get better as well.

A lot of important and cult people have tried to understand why the hug is so ‘hightech’, but nobody has figured it out yet.

I have no clue too either! I would say that it was a nice spirit from God who told me that and I’m going to tell you what he told me: The hug is good because of the heart. When you hug someone you do a massage on your heart and the heart of the other one is massaged too. But this isn’t all. The real key of the biggest secret is:

When we hug someone, both get two hearts on the chest. So, sending a big and warming hug for you.”

Definitely e-Books

I have a lot of books. Really! I love books. I buy them because I need but sometimes just for the pleasure of having them. They are interesting but they are also so beautifully organized on my bookshelf. 8) But I feel deep inside that there is something wrong with it.

What am I gonna do when the time to leave Belgium comes? I’m inclined to donate most of my books, but how? to whom? I will think about it, but you can also suggest something on the comments below. By the way, one thing that I’ve learned was: before buying something, consider when the time to discard it finally comes. Might it be some sort of headache for you in the future?

Besides the space and weight issues, there is also the ecological one. Books are made of paper, paper is made of cellulose, cellulose is mostly extracted from the wood, wood is synonymous of tree and trees are one of the main agents of carbon absorption, besides their role on the soil stability and humidity control.

Considering these important reasons, I decided to prioritize the acquisition of eBooks (eletronic books) because they don’t have weight, don’t require physical space, the unitary impact on the nature is not so relevant, and the facility to transport, browse and search information makes it worth.

Leaving aside the physical beauty, I bought some technical eBooks from O’Reilly , Apress and Packt Publishing, but there are also The Pragmatic Bookshelf and the Amazon collection for the Kindle device. Many other publishers didn’t start offering eBooks yet but it is a matter of time.

Buying eBooks directly from the publisher seems to be a good deal. I bought the book Restful Java with JAX-RS for $31.99 while the printed copy costs $39.99, saving $8. But the saving amount would be even higher when considering the shipping cost. On the other hand, the Kindle store doesn’t offer a big discount on the Kindle version of a book. For instance, the paper version of the book Effective Java is sold for $35.11 and the Kindle version is offered for 38.64, a surprising higher price for a digital version, but still better due to the shipping cost.

I don’t have a Kindle yet, but I’m planning to buy one or any other similar product. My main concern today is to buy books that can be used in my future book reader. For that, I’m avoiding to buy books with password protection. For instance, when opening books from Apress, the Acrobat Reader asks for a password key, which is provided at the moment of the acquisition. Better not forget this key, otherwise… 😀

Two Sentences about Advices

This week two sentences about “advices” called my attention:

People who ask our advice almost never take it. Yet we should never refuse to give it, upon request, for it often helps us to see our own way more clearly.” – Brendan Francis

The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right.” – Hannah Whitall Smith

My understanding is that we have to be good people to give good advices and do not expect that people will follow them. It sounds like the principle of forgiveness and generosity, which we can give and do not expect anything in return.

To conclude, a sentence extracted from the book of Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture:

Almost every day I mention my dad. I do this because when you try to teach something new, most people tend not to pay attention. But if you refer to the experience of someone else, everything seems less arrogant and more acceptable.” – Randy Pausch

The “I Feel Funny!” Effect

Some time ago a little boy went to the dentist with his father to do a surgery in one of his teeth. The dentist gave him an extra dosage of medicine and the boy became dizzy. His father took a camera and filmed his child in that situation, doing and saying funny things. The video was published on YouTube and it had a great audience. However, the video was polemic because it gave the impression the father was exploring a worse image of his son. Thousands of people produced content on the web about this episode, good and bad, mainly emphasizing the sentences said by the little boy, like: “Why is this happening to me?”, “Is this real life?”, “Is it going to be forever?” and the remarkable one: “I feel funny!”.

This last sentence makes me remember about a research carried out by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar. I initially found them in Vasco’s blog. They created the website wefeelfine.org that aims to explore blog contents all over the world extracting sentences that contain “I feel” or “I’m feeling”. They try to extract meanings from those sentences, combine with the user profile (age, sex, location, etc) and deduce the user mood. They actually combine elements of computer science, anthropology, visual art and storytelling to infer the user mood.

The problem of this mining is contents on the web that fulfill their queries but are not really useful. This post, for example, mentions “I feel” many times but it doesn’t actually manifest my feelings. If they find my blog, this content would be a “pollution” for their database. They have to check it times to times removing inconsistencies. Or course, my blog is not that representative enough to cause a big problem for them, but if we take into consideration all contents produced by people commenting the boy’s sentence “I feel funny!’, then they will really have a problem.

This kind of challenge has been investigated nowadays by many researchers. It is classified in the field of Web Intelligence that is managing a revolution called Web 3.0. It is indeed a hot topic to be explored and many scientists are producing good content about it, as the Journal below:

The Journal of Emerging Technologies in Web Intelligence (JETWI) (ISSN 1798-0461). This is a journal created to respond to the emerging research needs in the evolving are of web intelligence and related technologies. There are editors from many parts of the world and one of them, Olga Vybornova, works with cognitive science in my lab.

If you are not a researcher but want to get involved, implementing practical things based on existing technologies, I recommend the book below: “Algorithms of the Intelligent Web“.