Archive for August 2nd, 2006

I want my data

Tim O’Reilly, Tony Coates and Havoc Pennington, all tackled a very important issue recently: data Freedom (which apparently is more important than software Freedom). They all try to come up with a definition that can be legally valid, so a new license, regarding Open Data Services, can exist in the near future.

There is not a day passing by without thinking what will I do if Blogsome goes busted. What will happen to my data? All these hours filling up these entries! Currently — like at my old Slashdot blog –, there is no way to take my data out from their mySQL database and move them to another server (if needed).

Blogsome is a Closed Services web site (like most others are too), even if it’s operating through Open Source Software. I hope Blogsome becomes one of the first sites that offers Open Data Services and allows their users to download SQL+data tarballs from their Admin pages. Think of it as “backup” if you like…

iChat Mobile?

So, if the rumor and picture are true, it seems that the iPhone is a VoIP/IM phone and not a cellular one… That’s exactly what I had blogged about a few months ago, suggesting that playing around iChat has a better chance to succeed than when competing against Nokia or Motorola.

Even if this might be just a VoIp/WiFi version, there is no doubt in mind — not a single one — that eventually Apple will move to GSM at some point, because more and more smartphones will be incorporating VoIP soon enough. Apple will have no alternative but to offer a more full cell solution eventually. But for starters — when thinking how HARD is to write an OS from scratch to do phone stuff –, this is indeed a great start. Assuming that Engadget is right on the rumor, that is.

Thinking business…

Remember when I was writing a few months ago that if I get to work again it would be by opening a restaurant or something, instead of going back to the damned IT? Well, running a restaurant (and cooking) is something I really love doing, but I believe that what America needs is lose some weight rather than giving them one more way to eat more. It would be progress to start a company about dieting foods rather than opening yet another restaurant in the Bay Area.

Yes, there are many brands that offer low-calorie foods, like SmartOnes, WeightWatchers, HealthyEating and more. But there is a problem with these brands: their food is between 225 and 240 grams and their calories are usually over 200 calories. When you put side by side the diet food I cook at home with one of these purchased frozen foods, you will see that you will get 1/3 more quantity if you pick my home cooked recipes instead. And quantity is a mighty important feature when you are on a diet, because it’s the only way to “lie” to your brain and stomach that you had enough to eat. My point is that many of the existing products are not as “optimized” as they could in terms of calories. Also, by removing most of the MSG and sodium would be a good selling point — many people seek a healthier meal.

So, yeah, I would like to see a range of low-cal products (with enough quantity in them) hitting the market. Some ideas:
– 100 calorie snack meals (5 products)
– 150 calorie meals (5 products)
– 200 calorie meals (10 products)
– 250 calorie meals (2 products: lasagna, moussaka with bessamel)
– 100 calorie soups in a can (10 products)
– 5 dessert products
– other…

The main idea is that these products must sell on their own aisle. Placing, for example, the soup cans with the other soups and the frozen meals with the other frozen meals won’t work. For this business idea to work the stores that will carry these products must have a small special aisle about dieting food. Americans are so fat today, that this is not an irrational thing to ask from the stores when you sign a contract.

Also, creating a good relationship with other companies that sell dieting food that you don’t want to sell yourself is a plus: e.g. Dannon’s 60 calorie yoghurts, Splenta’s sweeteners, local veal and poultry houses, Kraft’s low-fat cheese etc. Adding these brands next to yours (on the same aisle), it would only help the cause of the producers and the stores’ because it would create an enlightenment to consumers who pass by. Having low-cal/low-fat products spread around throughout the store is not optimal for dieters. And dieters (occassional or not) in this country is a large population.

Besides, hopefully in a few months I will be the living proof that (healthy) low-calorie diets work. I have a mind for business, but soon enough I will have a body for… sin. There is no more effective marketing than marketing yourself, because you know yourself better than any product. ;-)

Diet update: very satisfactory results

I am now 2 months in my VLC Diet and I have lost 22 lbs (10 kg). Still, I won’t hit my target by Christmas (105 lbs), because the weight loss naturally slows down as the body needs less and less energy as it shrinks. So while I am losing 6-8 lbs per month in the beginning, at the end it will slow down to 4 lbs of loss per month or so. I estimate to be about 115 lbs by Christmas (52 kg), which was my weight when I was in college, 12 years ago. Not bad…

My weight in the first two months of the diet