Oh, look at the time...

Even with the good fortune of being able to take 2 4-day weekends thanks to scrounging vacation days (and having had the forethought of booking them last March), saying I’ve been busy these days would be somewhat of an understatement. Christmas is an intense time in altogether too many ways, and you get caught up in work, last-minute issues that end up being urgent just because someone doesn’t have all the right info (and that then go into a sort of deferral-denial-urgency cycle), shopping, suppliers, partners, family arrangements and the usual need to keep (or get back) in touch with friends, usually all at once.

There’s never enough time, and I’ve pretty much stopped doing anything of substance as a hobby – coding, strategizing, trying to peer into the murky depths of the industry’s future, or even such mundane stuff as reading, watching TV and (most importantly for me), writing have fallen by the wayside as I progressively retreated a bit into my quiet little corner and tried to compensate for this constant draining of both emotional and physical stamina by either scrounging together enough minutes to watch meaningful bit of a movie or canned TV series and simply zone out, or trying to get into “the zone” and writing 3-paragraph pieces (a sort of extended haikus) while I commute.

There’s much in the news to comment upon, of course, and I can start with something that affects me both personally and professionally:

Quite honestly, I’m one of those people who find Facebook’s new “privacy” policies a sure sign of decay (and no, I couldn’t care less whether Zuckerberg has a teddy bear or not).

As if my previously covered issues with their buggy photo albums weren’t enough, their apparent obsession to become like Twitter, but high as a kite has resulted in me doing a major cleanup of my profile settings and friend lists in such a way that there are now only about 10 people (out of a hundred and a half or so I’ve allowed to link to me) who have complete access to my profile – and even then, given the way apps work and my suspicion that spam on the e-mail accounts I have registered there has seriously increased after a few new idiotic Facebook apps came along, I’m seriously considering bulk tagging everyone else as “Aliens” and becoming as invisible as possible there1.

Another thing that I’m bemusedly following are the Apple and Nokia legal spats, especially the counterclaim document. My gut feeling is that Nokia tried to twist Apple’s arm a long time ago into cross-licensing, failed, and has underestimated Apple’s drive and focus (commercially and legally), but it’s early days yet and the most likely outcome is that this will be settled quietly after enough money is sunk into the courts to make it plain that they’re not going to get what they want.

Nearly nobody in such an aggressive industry has the stomach (or the common sense) for expending funds into protracted legal action instead of actually running a business, except roadside freak shows like Arrington’s spat with JooJoo, which is clearly not going to end well either – if only because the $499 price point and technical approach makes it less useful than the €250 netbook I’m typing this on.

I suppose I could just go on and on – and eventually reach the point where I have to make parallels between the above and some of the stuff that’s been going on in the geek sphere here in Portugal, but life’s too short, I have some outstanding Christmas shopping to do, a kid to play with, and I’d really like to have time to try and read (and write) stuff with a bit more substance (or at least better form) than PRs, internal memos, Marketing briefs and blog posts.

Which reminds me, expect some stuff tagged “creative writing” in the future – It’s not that I feel that the stuff I’ve been writing in 15-minute commutes is really any good, it’s just that it ought to be archived somewhere, and the blog portion of this site is as good a place as any.

But I will keep my commitment to providing acerbic commentary of selected portions of the industry – what else would make people come back to read the site again and again?

1 Before you ask, I decided I have to stay on Facebook for both personal and professional reasons (a bunch of my friends are there, and I do have to use the service, er, professionally), so trying to remove my account there isn’t an option.