Rio de Janeiro as a smart city

The New York Times has a longish article portraying the Operations Center of the City of Rio that has been build by IBM’s smarter cities unit. In the article both the city of Rio de Janeiro and IBM portray the operations center as some kind of magic wand that enables the benevolent city government to steer the daily life of the city’s population using video feeds and text messages: City employees in white jumpsuits work quietly in front of a giant wall of screens — a sort of virtual Rio, rendere…

Looking at the crisis from inside the belly of the beast

One of the more notorious/famous places in São Paulo is the boutique department store (Villa) Daslu. According to wikipedia ‘the boutique is known as the ‘fashion designers mecca’ of Brazil as it houses more than 60 labels plus 30 store-in-stores and is the place where Brazilian socialites, ranging from multi-millionaire soccer players to conglomerate bigwigs shop for the latest accessories and clothing’. Leged has it that Daslu is the only department store in the world where you can also buy he…

Boom!!!

Love this picture which i found when i was going through reports from the submidalogia#2 conference this morning: Picture by criscabello From what i can make up from his tags the picture was taken in Olinda in Brazil and shows a mobile sound system used to campaign in the presidential elections (see the ‘Lula e Eduardo’ sticker on the car door).Ii particularly like the mixing panel build into the ceiling of the drivers cabin and the serious expression of the driver.…

Schlechte stimmung again

This time in Rio de Janeiro but as much connected to football (or ‘futchibol’ – as the locals pronounce it, but the also call Michael Ballack ‘Ballaki’) as last time. Brazil just lots the quarter final match against france and that led to an atmosphere of intense sadness in the streets (against the backdrop of lots of firecrackers exploding in the streets but i guess these have to be used anyway). People are crying, some of them are dancing and i have seen the first Portuguese flags hanging out…

A2K make it happen

One of the strange things here at the iSummit 2006 in Rio de Janeiro are the excessive amounts of hotel staff that seem to have no other function than to stand around and smile. seems like that after 2 days of conference somebody finally found something more useful for them to do and made them attach ‘a2k – make it happen’ stickers to their dresses: Aren’t they looking absolutely fabulous like this?…

When i am dead....

… i want to be buried here: Walked past the catholic (this might constitute a ideological problem) graveyard on Consolação today and to my immense joy realized the paranoid citizens of this fine city have had the ingenious idea to put razor wire on top of the sky blue walls that surround it. Until now i have never really known where i would want to be buried but now i am sure (other places i have briefly considered can be seen here and here). I will feel much safer here than on any other graveya…

Submidialogia

Right now I am at the submidialogia event in Campinas organized as part of the Waag Sarai Exchange Platform on the campus of the local university Unicamp. It is a pretty impressive gathering of all sorts of Brazilian media / open access practitioners ranging from free radio activists to government officials involved in the digital culture projects the Brazilian government is deploying throughout this vast country. Parts of the event are streamd live although without the marvelous simultaneous tr…

On cities and villages

We went on top of the Edificio Italia building yesterday afternoon. It is one of the tallest buildings in the city and located smack in the middle of it. They have a ridiculously overpriced executive bar on the 41st floor with the worst piano player i ever had to listen to. The whole thing feels distinctly 80-ties, but if you want to have access to the outside gallery you have to order drinks in this bar. The view from the bar an the gallery is absolutely breathtaking. Tthe Sao Paulo metropolita…

Guard in a box

Did ii mention that the people over here are paranoid (or to put it more mildly: security obsessed)? I have never seen so many armed security guards in my life. and then there are the (electrical) fences around apartment buildings in the better-off neighborhoods and zillions of police agents who drive around in their cars with their guns on their laps (i have been too scared to snap a picture of this particular behavior until now). Anyway i went to the bank today and there they had a security gu…