Running 24Kms in Lisbon Marathon

This was a busy weekend, signed up for the half-marathon event that runs parallel to the Lisbon Marathon. Lousy traffic jams downtown due to traffic Sunday restrictions and the marathon itself made it impossible to get to the starting line on time. So, what we did (me and TC) was to stop the car near Restauradores and start running with the “marathonists” well ahead of the half start line.

The scenary was very nice, running along Lisbon main avenues, the river and plazas. So, the aftermath was 24Kms in 2h30~ the longest run i ever did, with the last uphill through Av. Almirante Reis very hard to the legs and knees. As always the time is not important at all for a weekend runner, but was very nice to make such a distance.

Note to myself: a full marathon IS VERY VERY HARD looking back to the mental finish after “only” 24kms

At end i also won two nasty blisters, one at each foot, maybe due to wrong socks or just the plain distance…  now i go bath my legs in cold water…

Nissan Leaf – Test drive

What makes one get out of bed at 9am Saturday with 6 hour worth of sleep in a very cold day? Electricity! Provided by the “Nissan LEAF Tour” in Lisbon.

I had scheduled a test drive 2 or 3 weeks ago, and today was the day to engage in a first person pure electric drive. As i was rushing to Expo in my beaten diesel i wondered how it would feel as the only previous experience was in an Altima Hybrid (full electric up to about 25k/h)…  after arriving on site, the check-in process was a breeze , just signing up a responsibility term and show the drivers license, and 5 minutes afterward i was seated up in a brand new Nissan LEAF with Gary (a very nice Nissan technician) on the passenger side.

So, how was it? In two words, very cool. The test drive was a tour around the outer perimiter of Parque das Nações, 10kms worth of urban and sub-urban routes (not the usual salesmen drive around the block / or in the parking…yes it actually happened to me once…). So, how is it? Smooth, silent, powerful, calm, relaxing. Really smooth power delivery, the 0-100K/h acceleration is pretty good (around 10s), and almost no noise, just a cool “jet like” wine at wide open throttle, you really don’t feel no lack of power and you can merge to highways pretty easy. Really didn’t push hard on corners, but the direction feels good (not the normal Nissan feather like steering), so as the suspension and brakes feel pretty competent. This IS NOT a sports car, but a perfect commuter car, very easy and relaxing to drive. Its like a magic carpet, that slides down the road. It must be driven to be sensed.

Afterward when i went back home in my 10 years old diesel, it felt more like a 100 year old car with all those nasty engine/transmission noises…. Back to the Leaf, it is a real car, a real solid product, not a gizmo with wheels, is a great accomplishment by Nissan. I believe that if Tesla Roadster showcased the electric car technology and inspired many, the Leaf can be the dawn of the electric revolution.

For the bad part, the ugly design, other bad point is the ugly design, and of course the ugly design. Did i mention the ugly design? How hard could it be to make a (much) better looking car? Well, lets just hope Leaf 2.0 gets better looks. Also the range, of course always the range, only 160kms (at highway better to expect around 100Kms) so this implies a oil burner as a backup car for that 1% big trips. The range issue is something that will remain for many years, as the battery capacity trend show small improvements over time, about the double of capacity for each ten years. So, maybe only a 2030 Leaf can have a decent +600Kms range, and by then we can finally trash the oil burners.

The good news in this range/battery/electric car business, is that the engine is +90% energy efficient (almost no margin of progress here), so the battery as the weak link, in 10 years from now a “simple” battery swap upgrades the car to the latest technology.

I also did some number crunching…

Continue reading “Nissan Leaf – Test drive”

Sapo Online Advertising Prizes 2010

Yesterday we (we as most of the good people of Waynext) went to LX Factory for the SAPO Online Advertising prizes 2010 event. These are THE prizes for the portuguese web industry. Personally for me is always a really good time, with free drinks and meeting other friends and people of the web business.

The venue was ok, not one of the best neither a bad one. As usual in the beginning of the ceremony almost impossible to get some drinks (kudos Diana for getting the drinks).  Fernando Alvim was the host of the event and with the help of some F1 girls did a pretty decent job (more about this later in the post).

For me is always strange, as the prizes are being announced and delivered there is so little cheering and clapping, its awkward, it seems that everybody is chatting with everybody else and could not care less for the prizes. Anyway, Fullsix won the agency of the year prize, next year will be other and then Fullsix again (some kind of universal law). I really disagree with Financial category where Waynext won silver with “CGD Ciclo da Poupança” and the gold prize was delivered to “BES Vou filmar com o Ronaldo” a common site with some videos with C. Ronaldo doing tricks with the ball. Maybe is the superstar effect “look what a mediocre site, hey but they have Ronaldo :)”, truth to be told we also benefit a couple of years ago of this “superstar effect” in a PT site, really common but with Gato Fedorento.

Also, about the jury selections, i really dislike the overuse of double prizes, they delivered two golds or two bronze for different agencies in the same category too many times. Fuck, a jury is supposed to decide not to stall. Maybe in some very particular situation is really too much difficult, so an ex aequo decision is fine, but the key word is “very particular situation”. They overused a lot, and for the host and agencies was strange:

Alvim – “The gold prize in X category goes to agency X. Humm. Ando also to agency Y.” ??? And there was people from both agencies in the stage, and it doesn’t really feels like a victory…. because of all that mess, as we were co-winners of Best Rich Media with View-Isobar, and were waiting for the stage to clear up of the good people of View, Alvim forgot that there was two winners and proceed to next category without the actual delivery of the trophy (we collected it later at the finish).

Other thing about the jury choices, was the no blog prize delivery, i think they simply forget to vote on it, because i can’t believe that there was not in the competition worth of the prize. Also, the “Advertiser of the Year” award presented to LG??? Ahhh, a member of the jury was the portuguese LG CEO, did the other guys get big LCD TVs or did he just sold the other votes?

Besides, some jury non-sense, a great time there, in the last half hour made a personal commitment about running and other that involves model rocketry

Mental note: Must drink less or keep mouth shut when in alcohol danger zone

I also took home some pictures, and happily re-touched them:

Lean is good, lean works

For me simply one of the worst inventions of the last years,  a 2ton+ pseudo-tank, pseudo-all terrain vehicle , pseudo-roomy/family vehicle, the SUV.

I usually don’t mind a shit to the vehicle one drives, neither alone value/rate a person for his/hers wheels, but for SUV drivers i open an exception, in my opinion all those guys/gals moving around in BMW X*, Audi Q’s, Volvo XC*, Touaregs, Cayennes and the likes are just plain retarded assholes, who should pay 10x times more road tax than the other drivers.

Why? Well, there are two main reasons, the first is that from the technical point of view they just suck, SUVs suck at off road, the ratio from total space/inner cabin space sucks, awful aerodynamics, prone to rollover due to high center of gravity, high fuel consumption, and the list goes on. So, all this sets up the other reason why i hate SUVs, because many (if not most) of SUV drivers know all these reasons but yet they choose them over better, more sensible options, because they are a status symbol. So these narrow minded people spent some tens of thousands just to show-off a status symbol… so for me is like “Hey, look at me! I drive a 40.000 euro SUV, here i am at the top of the world! Im successful!”, yet stupid enough to make a idiot choice.

Even in a collision, either with other vehicles or pedestrians, they are plain dangerous due to the oversize mass. So, this brings me closer to the post title, these vehicles should be heavily taxed (i mean really heavily), and the lighter more fuel efficient vehicles on the the other hand should be promoted with tax isentions. Also there should be a law limit to vehicle weight.

We really must be a dumb society to embrace SUVs, that are a ménace to the environment, the economy and other road users. Can really someone explain to me?

India’s environment Minister Jairam Ramesh even goes a little further and calls it (SUV driving) criminal. As the days go by i am more and more biased into his opinion.


30-12-2010: SUVs and other gas guzzlers will be forbidden in Paris –

  1. roomy

Codebits 2010

Just arrived from Codebits 2010. By far the best technology event/contest/conference/meeting/etc in Portugal.

This year i submited no project, due to a logistic problem regarding (lack of) rocket propellant. Anyway, this is a project to be pursued outside Codebits, as it is just plain fun.

I attended several talks (unfortunately is impossible to attend all), but i must highlight Spacebits by Celso Martinho – 100% pure fun, Inovation u r doin it wrong by Mario Valente – food for tougth, and Everything OAuth by Bruno Pedro – made this subject clear as water. Also, attended the soldering workshop by the Lisbon AltLab folks, made a pair of reciprocate blinking leds, with some really lame soldering (come on, no soldering experience at all). Got me a tv pong kit to try to assemble next weeks and improve my soldering skills.

For sure i couldn’t miss the Quizz Show, its too much fun. This year it was the old guys (João Pedro Gonçalves and Celso) who kicked all the competition, and showed off their geek culture.

The final stage of Codebits was also really interesting, the teams project presentation, the overall projects quality was really good, as allways some guys/apps freeze while up on stage (been there, done that) which is cruel regarding the hard work, but is always funny for the audience. Overall must agree with the selected winners, maybe except the guys that presented a earthquake data collection project, only because i didn’t actually see any prototype working just an idea presentation (a very good ideia by the way).

Thinkered a lot with node.js and (Javascript continues to build up) and eated lots off pizza, m&ms and burguers… i also took home some books, photos and videos:

For me, the only (minor) glitch in Codebits, was the very low light environment, that sometimes made difficult to work on the laptop, maybe they were just promoting Apple backlit keyboards…

Note to myself: next laptop must have a backlit keyboard

Anyway, its just plain amazing how you can compress in 3 days so much learning and fun at the same time. Ear (and sometimes talk back to)  so much talented and diversified people (from CEOs to students) . Still can’t understand how some friends and colleagues couldn’t care less about Codebits.

And the cherry in top, is that its all free. Thank you SAPO, see you next year.

ps – also lost somewhere between home and Codebits, my Saturn v 10$ model that bought at KSC, really not a big deal but had some sentimental value