My thoughts on Glass, integrity and the free flow of information

Today, I received this e-mail from my Macroeconomics Professor at +The George Washington University: "That means that Google glass and similar devices are NOT allowed during assignments..." 

I am happy that my Professor is starting this type of conversation about +Google Glass  nd new technologies so swiftly and transparently.

Certainly, as an Explorer, these situations where Glass is singled out, are expected, just like +Cecilia Abadie fighting her traffic ticket today ( or those told to leave restaurants ( I agree Glass should not be used during exams. Yet, it is utterly irresponsible for those in authority to single new devices like Glass, which functions just as smartphones and tablets do, in this manner. Certainly, this period of testing is where society is educating itself and distinguishing what is real and what is exaggerated by the media, both its features and limitations. For example, having Glass rest on top your head like sunglasses indoors will not enable a student to cheat and is not a qualification of cheating, just like having a phone in your pocket. However, this type of conversation is good to start.

While I don't know if this e-mail is directed to me currently, I do feel the need to share this information clearly and openly. Your feedback, both in agreement or disagreement, is encouraged.

We should embrace technology, especially with the potentials it offers education. More importantly, we should not create hysteria and spread misinformation. Finally, integrity, including in academics, is one of my core values and I believe a society well-educated in not only knowledge but also morals and values will not have these problems.

As C.S. Lewis once said, “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”

From this point forward, I am reaffirming my commitment to act with integrity in an ethical and moral manner that takes into account my strict moral discipline, just like I did in 8th grade when I created study guides from public class notes and let information flow freely (allowing others to collaborate, build on top and download those guides at their own discretion) even after one teacher, with a complete opposite view than all the other parents, students and teachers, labeled it as a form of cheating.

You can learn more about my mission statement, vision and values here: 

Ballmer, don't be the jealous goat.

Microsoft's CEO, Steve Ballmer, is at it again, complaining about +Google and blaming its dooms on Google's success ( via +ReadWrite). In the past years, Microsoft has gotten so jealous that it has practically forgotten all that's good with itself. And so, a short story...

"A farmer in a village had a goat and a donkey. The farmer used to make the donkey work hard and fed him good food - carrots, radish, corn, etc. The goat was very unhappy since it had to find food on it's own and eat grass. It became very jealous of the donkey.

The goat thought of a plan. The goat thought that if the donkey stopped working, it would get the good food the donkey got from the farmer. So the goat pushed the donkey into a large hole. The donkey was badly hurt and it could not walk.

The farmer became very sad seeing the donkey's bad health condition. He wanted the donkey to recover soon from illness since he had to get work from the donkey. The farmer thought that feeding the donkey with goat's soup might make the donkey recover from illness soon. Hence, the farmer killed the goat and gave the donkey it's soup.

So instead of getting the donkey's food, the goat itself became food for the donkey."

Microsoft is a strong company. With lots of potential. But instead of focusing on how it can fulfill its potential, it has entered an endless cycle, twisting itself into a windsor knot, to try to take out Google. To try and use taxpayer's dollars against a company which individuals choose to use at his or her discretion. To try and get governments to "control" Google, even after the Federal Trade Commission found no wrongdoing.

Ballmer, stop with the fabricated claims Microsoft and continually create, especially when Microsoft does the same thing. Stop being a company so jealous of another that you forget all that's good with yourself. Stop getting so hell-bent at destroying Google because you think their success has led to your doom. Stop yourself from deteriorating, caused by your laser focus on Google. Stop being the goat.

Or else one day, Microsoft will vanish into the state of nothing. Don't Scroogle yourself.

Ballmer, you're leaving soon. Stand for something. Leave a legacy of morality at Microsoft. Of instilling values that were lost in the past decade. Of humility. Of innovation. Of truthfulness. Because Microsoft can achieve so much, if it focused on what mattered, itself.

Courtesy of:
Look at +T-Mobile. Look at +Yahoo! These companies were perceived to be doomed. Yet, in the past months, they have refocused on themselves and they're becoming the underdog that people are starting to take seriously again. T-Mobile, whose focus on innovative plans and programs, and not its CEO's harsh criticisms of other carriers, is now a beacon of hope for many people who are fed up with traditional mobile carriers. Yahoo!, whose focus on recreating a gorgeous experience, has attracted back both users and employees.

Microsoft. You can do it. I want a day when I can't wait to get my hands on a Microsoft product. A day when I am excited about Microsoft's releases. But that will not happen when all you do is steer me in the direction of looking at Google.

(short story: via Kuttees) 

A free Windows 8 is the best strategy for Microsoft

To consumers, Microsoft has claimed that Windows 8, released in October 2012, is beautiful, fast and flexible. In the business world, Microsoft knows that its newest operating system is critical for its future and the entire Windows 8 lineup, if it succeeds, will allow Microsoft to stay competitive and relevant in the technology industry crowded by younger companies. That's true, and that is exactly why Microsoft should have launched Windows 8 at the price of "free."

Paid Upgrade, No Thanks.
Currently, Microsoft advertises an upgrade to Windows 8 on the PC to start at $39.99. That price is too steep for the typical PC user, without even mentioning the $69.99 base price for the Pro version at Best Buy. For many who are running Windows 7 or earlier, and are content with their system, Windows 8 will just be another cycle that's insignificant to them.

Instead, back in October, and even now, Microsoft should have sold a Windows 8 upgrade for $0.00. They have the resources to do so. It might make me look crazy, but think about it this way: it's a gateway to other Microsoft products (the rest of the Windows 8 lineup, RT and Phone) and a true introduction to the new Microsoft.

Windows 8 boasts "Live Tiles."

Incentive Needed for Learning Curve.
Technology enthusiasts may understand that Windows 8 actually consists of a traditional PC and mobile ecosystem, all wrapped into one. It may be clear to them that Windows 8 is built for laptops and PC's, Windows 8 RT is built for tablets and Windows Phone is built for smartphones. All three versions have Live Tiles and similar features that show all are truly from one family.

But what about the general public? Many people have no clue, and could care less, what Windows 8 is, much less Windows 8 RT (Surface) and Windows Phone 8. The market is filled with Android and iOS devices that are much more familiar than the Windows 8 interface.

How do Live Tiles even help keep track of what's important in life? How is Windows 8, along with the RT and Phone version, "reinvented around the user?" The new interface scares many people. And, those same people will not want to pay fo something just to have to learn how to do the simplest tasks all over again, especially if nothing is broken the way it is now.

The word "free" speaks volumes. No one likes change, but everyone likes free and new things. The confusion and nerves would disappear if they were somehow exposed to Windows 8, and that's the best way. If Microsoft pushed a free upgrade to existing PC users, who then became accustomed to Windows 8, Live Tiles and all the features that come with it, guess what will happen when they see a Surface tablet or a Windows Phone 8 with Live Tiles the next time they're at an electronic store looking for a tablet or smartphone?

By introducing people to Windows 8 in the PC environment, which Microsoft undoubtedly dominates, more and more people will understand the new Windows brand and interface, in turn spurring sales of the mobile versions of Windows (RT and Phone) because they've been familiarized with it. Microsoft could even have given away free SkyDrive storage, and required download by way of signing up for an Outlook address, further tying in all of Microsoft's properties, in a full-throttle marketing ploy.

This would have done more for Microsoft than what the $39.99 for a Windows 8 upgrade ever will.