Categories
Digital rights Law & Freedom

Software Patents and Innovation stimulation

Ford Model T, 1926

In Mexico, we don’t have software patents and recently, New Zealand has also banned software patents in an effort to get rid of patent trolls.

A few days ago while talking with a book author and lawyer, I mentioned my interest in copyright and patent law, as they affect my field of work constantly, even though I’m not living in the US. I mentioned that in Mexico we don’t have software patents. That you cannot patent an idea, only inventions. And she asked: “what’s the incentive to create something, if when you do, others can come by and steal your work? That doesn’t seem like a good idea”. I answered that you could copyright software, but not patent it. This way we don’t have patent trolls in Mexico, who only patent an idea but never do anything practical with it, and make it hard for anyone who tries.

Henry Ford revolutionized the car industry, but first he had to fight the patent on the automobile to sell his affordable cars. The owners of the patent were not granting him a license because they didn’t want common people to buy cars. The car patent owners didn’t built any cars, their only business was charging for licenses on every car built by manufacturers, raising the final cost of the car to the customer. If its innovation what we want, patent monopolies are not the answer.

After thinking some more on that conversation, my answer would be: “then I would make it better”. Free use of ideas are a better fuel for innovation, and a constant threat to your business is a great motivation to improve yourself. Market protection will only make it very comfortable to sit on an idea an do nothing to continuously improve and get creative.

New Zealand has also joined this mindset banning software patents by declaring that software is not a patentable invention.

Ford Model T Grille

As a side note, Ford’s Model-T was almost entirely made of hemp (marijuana) resin and initially ran on hemp ethanol, not gasoline. Later Rockefeller’s oil companies changed that.

Categories
Photography

Intermoda Trends Runway photos

Small silver purse - Intermoda Trends

More photos of the runway events at Intermoda Trends fashion event 2013 in Guadalajara. This event had many more runway activity than the previous one, so expect some more fashion posts because I have many.

Since I was unable to get a press pass, getting good shots at this event was hard because all the good photography spots were hard to get. This runway was at ground level and the photography booth was on an elevated box. So I had to squeeze myself between the standing crowd and when I finally got near the press area there was a small spot I could climb into. So I did, being very careful not to get in the way of anyone else and got my shots. Also, this secondary runway there was not very good lighting, so I had to struggle with that a bit in post editing.

A good recommendation for these situations is to get a vertical battery grip. It helps a lot to take those vertical shots in a crowded space without putting your elbow in front of guy next to you.

On the fashion appreciation side, I liked most of what was presented in this runway session. There was not many experimental or crazy clothes that are not usable. I enjoy more the practical “real” clothes than the crazy experiments that most times are just ridiculous.

Gray short dress - Intermoda Trends Animal print long dress - Intermoda Trends

Gray see-through short dress  - Intermoda Trends

Black short dress with sleeves - Intermoda Trends See through blouse - Intermoda Trends

See through red long skirt - Intermoda Trends

Erika Servin - Intermoda Trends

Blue shirt and jeans  - Intermoda Trends Dark blue shirt, washed jeans and red shoes  - Intermoda Trends

Dark blue short dress  - Intermoda Trends

Short dress with long sleeves  - Intermoda Trends See through black blouse and mini skirt  - Intermoda Trends

Texturized black mini skirt and sleeveless blouse - Intermoda Trends Golden short dress  - Intermoda Trends

Kühl at Intermoda Trends

Colorful small hand bag  - Intermoda Trends Black leather medium sized hand bag  - Intermoda Trends

Shuvi - Luna at Intermoda Trends

Categories
Digital rights Law & Freedom GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source

10 apps for privacy and secure communication

Mobile security

With all the recent news about privacy violations, user data requests, gag orders and the like, it is useful to know that there are tools to communicate in safer ways. I can’t say that they are bullet-proof, as I’m not a security analyst, but at least you can add an extra layer of complexity to those trying to tap into your communications.

  1. Redphone – allows you to have encrypted phone calls
  2. TextSecure – for secure SMS/MMS communication
  3. Gibberbot – for encrtypted chat over Jabber (XMPP) or Google Talk (Hangouts), Facebook Chat, VKontakte, Yandex, Hyves, Odnoklassniki, StudiVZ, Livejournal, and more
  4. OscuraCam – helps you censor out parts of an image like a phone number, license plate, a face…or body part
  5. NoteCipher – stores encrypted notes on your mobile device
  6. GNU Privacy Guard for Android – to encrypt anything, from notes, photos.. any file and emails
  7. K-9 Mail – an open source email client with PGP support for sending and receiving encrypted emails
  8. Orbot – a free proxy app for your mobile device that encrypts your traffic using the TOR network.

    On the browser you can use:

  9. Mailvelope – for encrypting your emails through webmail.
  10. Cryptocat – for private chats within the web browser using OTR encryption

As I mentioned before in my encryption tutorial, having your privacy is not about having something to hide, it’s more about protecting yourself.

In the words of author Ayn Rand:

Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.

Categories
Photography

Intermoda Trends 2013 Guadalajara fashion photography

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For the second time in the year, the Intermoda Fashion event took place in Guadalajara. This time called IM Trends, had more runway activity than the previous. It featured autumn and winter collections from several designers.

I could not miss this opportunity once again to do some runway fashion photography and polish my skills at it.

Here are some shots for you to enjoy of the IM Trends main runway with these artistic designs, nice colorful dresses and winter clothes.

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Categories
Photography

Ballet class

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I had the opportunity to photograph a warm-up ballet class for the little girls at the National Dance Contest in Mexico city. This event is done yearly with students of many ages from all around the country from private and public dance schools.

In all the years we’ve been together, this was the first time I was able to photograph her at work through a complete class. I’ve taken pictures before on pre-show warm-ups, but never at a classroom, a full class.

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It was interesting to watch her work with the kids. I’ve witnessed Ada’s teaching career since before she started professionally training for it. She’s very good at talking with kids, directing them and having fun while at the same time not loosing control and respect of the group. A very hard task to accomplish if you’ve ever worked with children.

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Categories
Photography

Martini recipe: shaken, not stirred

Martini for two

Some shots of a weekend together with my girlfriend making some martinis at home. It was my first time making them so I had to practice a little. We also had some fun while making them.

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I searched for the martini recipe online and every one I found was in ounces and I don’t have a measuring glass. Damn these people, join the rest of the world and use the international system! Digging for some quick way to measure, I found somewhere that one ounce was about the size of a tequila shot glass. And of course I do have those! So after a few tries, I think I got the recipe in balance:

  1. put ice in shaker
  2. add 1 2/3 oz of gin
  3. add 1/3 oz vermouth
  4. shake well
  5. drop an olive in a toothpick
  6. drink and enjoy

Gabriel Saldana making martinis

Now, why shaken vs stirred? There are sources that say that shaking a martini causes it to break down and contain more antioxidants than a stirred one. So, in a way, we can conclude that it’s healthier.

Martini olive kiss

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Discreet smile

Do you have other recipes for martinis? Please share in the comments below