Today I read on an Italian newspaper that Apple Italy (finally) opened its iTunes store to books!

This is really a great news for me for many reasons:

  1. I read books mostly in Italian and I cannot find good ones here in the US
  2. I hate to have books that I have already read and that I don’t know where to put in my apartment
  3. the books are cheaper (on average) than the equivalent paper version
  4. I have an iPad

First of all let me explain why I don’t read in English! 

For me reading is a hobby and if I have to read in English, I’ll lose the fun I have in the reading itself, because I have to be much more concentrated! So, no… I tried but I don’t like it!

Now everything seems to be in favor of buying my first Italian book on the iTunes store, but I’m not really sure…

You know… my first concern is: “What if a friend wants to read the same book?” I couldn’t lend him/her my book, because it means that I have to lend him/her my iPad (and there is no way I give someone else my iPad) or authorize my book on someone else iPad/iPhone!

In other words, it’s not simple to lend an electronic book!

Despite this, probably my biggest doubt is that I really like to have a real book in my hands, feel the paper under my fingers and I even like the smell of the paper while I read the book!

I don’t know… probably I’ll give a try to the electronic version, but I’m not sure I’ll like it!

Probably I’ll keep buying tons of books when I am in Italy 🙂

Is talking about WordPress inside a WordPress website “meta-talking”?

No, the point of this post is not answer the previous question…. that one just came out because I just finished to submit my first WordPress plugin in their website and right now I’m pretty tired!

The plugin I wrote is for the service I work for (ADS ) and probably will be useful for few people only!

But who cares! It has been a wonderful experience and I learned how to write these kind of small web applications: I’m extremely satisfied!

Anyway, if you want to give a look you can read something more HERE.


BTW… I’m still thinking that  talking about WordPress inside a WordPress website is “meta-talking” 🙂

Several years ago, when I was working in my own company, I went to a server farm to install a couple of servers.

If you don’t know what a server farm is, let’s say that it is a place where to put your servers and where everything is optimized to avoid problems, including the temperature!

The heat is probably the biggest problem for a server, so in these places they keep the temperature so low that you need a coat if you don’t want to freeze!

Now do you know what is the only other place that gives me the same sensation of cold? A real American restaurant!

Last week I went with my wife to a nice restaurant (one of the best in Cambridge, according to TripAdvisor) and as soon as we entered in that place a polar wind attacked us and since we didn’t have clothes warm enough, we had to leave!

Now the funny thing was that it was not that hot outside.

Anyway… I realized that to go in a restaurant sometimes I need the same coat I used to wear in the server farm!

Did you see the new interface of Facebook?

Ok… I have to be more specific 🙂 : did you see the new interface that Facebook released few days ago (September 21 2011)?

New features, new filters, new cool stuff! Moreover I just read that they are going to introduce a new interface for the user page.

The problem? I don’t want them because I don’t need them! 

Now, as a computer scientist I understand the need of improving a service. I also understand that there is a competition between Facebook, Google+ and Twitter and that Facebook and Google+ are copying each other.

What I really don’t understand is: why don’t they hire some experts in usability?  

My question comes from the fact that every new feature they introduce in Facebook is against any concept of good usability about interfaces! Now they want their users to learn how to use their service, and I’m fine with that (even if I have some different point of view), but they cannot change completely in one day the way the users have to do the same basic things! 

An example? If I’m used to have the list of the posts in chronological order (most recent first), it’s ok to introduce new filters and new ways to view the same posts, but WHY THERE IS NOT “View the posts in chronological order” any more?

So my only complain is: why cannot I give up on the new stuff and have my old simple functional interface?

The Bostonians (the Americans?!?!) have a weird approach with driving.

I mean… I come from Italy and I really know what “driving crazy” is!

Here in the Boston area people are much more polite when they drive. Also the traffic is much less intense than Europe!

People are usually not aggressive at all and also I started to loose my Italian attitude when I am behind the wheel: last summer in Sicily I was honestly scared sometimes!

So where is the weird stuff here?
Well… The problem is that here getting a driving license is perhaps too easy!

The consequence is that people don’t learn how to behave on the road and they don’t understand one basic rule: you are never alone!

Now the fact that they are extremely polite avoids most of the car accidents! I don’t want to think what can happen if a bunch of Italians start to drive like the people here but without any sense of respect like they do down there in Europe!

But there is one important exception: the roundabouts!
I totally understand that there are only few of them here in Massachusetts and probably even less in other states in the US, but I honestly don’t understand why so many people don’t know how to drive around them!

Come on! Don’t tell me that the problem is that there are no lights so people don’t have a clear idea of what to do! I refuse to believe it!

Guys, what there is of mysterious in a circular road with several other roads connected?

So I would like to ask the Massachusetts RMV to change the description of the roundabouts in the book they provide and to put the following simple two rules:

1- always yield cars already inside the roundabout
2- go around the roundabout counterclockwise!

That’s it! With this post I probably made many people avoid a car accident like the one I was almost involved tonight coming from the supermarket!

I’ll become a national hero! 🙂