Steve Jobs | Here's To The Crazy Ones

iPhone 4S | The little things that matter

I am just coming to terms with how masterful and brilliant Apple is with their marketing.

Since last night (UK Time) everyone knows that specs upgrade isn’t radical, that the design hasn’t change at all (same old iPhone 4), or that the new IOS5 may not be as special as everyone wants it to be (mostly the disappointed one). But one thing that Apple realizes is that Android is like a spider web flooding the smartphone market every week with a new device to increase their market share. The hardware is totally awesome (as usual) but it will be out-dated in a few months.

So Apple goes ahead and takes the exact opposite approach. They give you something that may not be the pinnacle of cutting edge tech, but it still comes close. It is unique, comes from one source, and it isn’t a clone with different skins running on a various scale of hardware sets. All of these things may have value for many people, but there is absolutely nothing to differentiate itself from the next “Droid phones” that comes down the pipe, except for minors variations.

The people at Cupertino have opted to take a more practical approach to their product cycles while capitalizing on their unique branding which can’t be found anywhere else (that’s a fact). Call it pulling a rabbit out of the hat, but they give you ultimate magic.

Reading and listening to business and technology analysts today on those nasty Wall Street programs and others blogs, I was pleasantly surprised to hear or read that most of them (if not all) are quite happy with what the iPhone 4S will offer.

Surprise!!! Not really, just keep in mind that Apple has just barely caught up with the huge demand for the iPhone 4 in the past few weeks, in a market where they’re currently selling it… And the demand, following the iPhone 4S release next week, will just grow to another level with Christmas just around the corner…

But more importantly, from a business point of view, they can now continue to add markets shares (NEERG will disagree on that), increase production to catch up with demand from existing and new markets, that they will continue to add at a faster pace than if they had gone with a complete new hardware refresh (iPhone 5)...

Makes sense to me.

More important, the new features (iCloud | iCards | iTunes Match | Siri | IOS 5 | A5 Chip) will have everyone buzzing about it and the competition racing to try to copy it or develop something similar.  Sales will continue well beyond the estimates of the two or three thousands Writers-Bloggers-Geeks-Idiots who are disappointed today.

But Bloggers and analysts alike may be reminded that they are as wrong about the iPhone 4S as they were about the iPad and the iPad 2 and the iPhone 3GS and the MacBook Air…..


I Am Troy Davis, and so Are You...

My son and I watched  The Green Mile  the other night. You may know the story: An African-American man is falsely accused of murder, and, despite their conviction that he is innocent; his jailers are required to execute him. You see, he was given the death penalty for a crime he didn’t commit.

After the movie ended, my son shook his head and said, “That just isn’t right.”

No. It’s not. But that is just what may have happened this week in Atlanta when  Troy Davis  was put to death after being convicted of murdering a police officer in 1989. When my son asks me about it, and he will, how do I tell him injustice doesn’t only happen in the movies, that truth often resembles fiction, and sometimes it is?
According to the Innocence Project, the case against Troy Davis consisted entirely of witness testimony that contained inconsistencies, even at the time of the trial. Many of the original witnesses have since stated they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements against Davis. I wonder what his executioners were thinking in the last moments of Troy Davis life. Perhaps they didn’t doubt his guilt, but I do.

For me, the tragedy and turmoil of his state-sanctioned killing is a reflection of the deep flaws in United States capital punishment system.

But, as people would say, violent criminals are still out there, and they need to be punished. Perhaps, if we could be sure of the criminal's guilt, one could argue there are certain instances in which the death penalty is merited. But can we ever be fully sure?
Unlike the case against Troy Davis, we don’t rely on the questionable testimony of coerced witness these days. We have DNA. Sadly, as we look to DNA to match a violent criminal with a violent crime, we must remember that even this latest of solutions is riddled with problems.

We have someone we think is guilty and we ignore the evidence that might reveal another narrative, one not so neatly solved. And, as any lover of  TheWire  knows, solving cases is critical for police departments and for the careers of police officials. The crime lab scandal in San Francisco shows us that just as eye-witness testimony can be flawed, so can DNA testing. In other words, we simply can’t be sure.

As I kiss my children in bed at night, I try to ignore the horrors that swirl outside our front door: kidnapping, rape, murder. I know they exist; the headlines remind me every day. I choose not to imagine how I might feel if someone, anyone, hurt my beloveds. Perhaps an eye for an eye would be a welcome relief to something so necessarily unimaginable. I don’t know what is right, but I do know what is wrong.

Killing a man who just might be innocent is wrong.

If there was a fool-proof solution, an iron-clad answer, a truth so crystalline nothing murky could mar its clarity, then and maybe only then, an eye for an eye could be justified. But this issue is as gray as the fog that hangs over Our Fair City these recent mornings. I don’t have an answer for my children. Do you?

Is speaking French Posh? [PART 2]

In 2008, I wrote a post about the perception people in England have about speaking French and what, for some of them,  it means in term of standard, status or just "class".

At the time, I was working for IBM UK as an analyst in a busy work place surrender by managers, consultants, software and hardware sales people, who on average were making roughly over £85K a year. One of the think I learned during my time at IGF (IBM Global Finance) was that people who know that they earn way more money than you are, drive an expensive car and own a bigger house than you, look at themselves as superior as you and more educated that you will never be (how could they know that...), and can be really offended (or shocked) when they found out that you have a skill they don't have, specially when the skill I'm talking about (speaking French fluently) is about knowledge and culture...
Believe me I had some funny time, some of the conversation I had were just surreal...

Anyway, 3 years later and I now work for a different company, in a different place. Much smaller, less people around me, a better view from my wide windows (view on the parking lot) and a kitchen fully equipped in the corner.
The big difference, other than the fact that nobody earn a salary close to £85K, is that the perception of people about speaking French or France is still the same.

Nothing make me laugh more than the typical english "dude" trying to tell me "in French" (I mean something they call French...) the name of his favourite cheese or the bottle of red wine he or she has share with his or her partner the night before, then start to explain me how knowledgeable she or he is in French...
Sometime someone will attempt to teach me something about French culture or say to me something like :

" Oh I have been in France before, Oh no, I go in France every weekend to enjoy the food and the forecast and my French is getting better..." ok cool, happy for you but....
" No no wait, you're not the only one to know about France, or French, I do too, I do my shopping at Waitrose..." Ok wait a minute... I don't care where you do you shopping Lol...
"Hey listen I can speak French too, you're not the only one...I know too..." Lol this is not a contest ok, calm down please, we're cool...
"No who do you think you are...speaking French doesn't make you better than me ok.... me too I..." STOP...PLEASE

Then sometime you will have the awkward moment of someone laughing during a conversation I have on the phone with a French client, pretending that "I do understand too" but asking me a few day later to translate something or call for help to deal with French documents....
Then you have the "Google effect", which for some people is like speaking or understanding French or even a good way to learn French and obviously making sure that I know that "now" you too speak the "Chosen Language"

"I can do your job...why are you earning more than me....I know French too..." .....

Pathetic but highly funny... Welcome to my world

Hope you enjoy it.

My Sneakers Collection

A few months ago I received an email from the Careers in Fashion website, to let me know that my Blog (The Peace Blogger) was part of their Top 80 Sneakers Aficionado websites List, and that some of my excellent post about my sneakers collection earned me a place on this list.

I was quite happy about it and still are, I just forgot, at the time, to share that with all of you.

Anyway, for those of you who love Sneakers, Fashion and Life, just have a look at the list itself and take the time to surf on their website...

Careers in Fashion

Something to READ : Joann's Story []

I am a cancer survivor.
My story is about Attitude.

To me, live strong means not living weakly. In order to thrive I must be my own best ally. I can't do that if I'm living weakly, so I must live strong.
I've worn the yellow wristband because It represents victory and the ability to restore happiness in my life after the effects of a disease that has often covered it with clouds of sadness

There have been many moments along this journey where all I can do to soothe my spirit is to retreat into the comfort of my own arms. At times like this, I lay down on my bed with my arms clutched firmly around a pillow and shed tears I don't want others to see, meanwhile my heart aches for the confidence I once had in life. 

I allow myself to experience these moments of weakness, but I don't allow them to consume me. I always wipe away the tears, subdue the weakness, and remind myself that breast cancer has not obliterated the essence of who I am. I derive strength from my own experience as a three-time survivor.

My initial diagnosis in 1998 was surprising. I found the lump myself at age 32. My second diagnosis in 2004 was disappointing. My doctor had told me for two years that the lump I could feel was scar tissue. My third diagnosis in 2005 was inspirational. My plastic surgeon noticed a suspicious lymph node during reconstructive surgery and removed it. He had found another malignancy.

Over the years, I've endured all the requisite treatments and their interesting side effects. I am still learning to accept the scars that trace my history with this disease. I realize I wouldn't be here without them. Like many others, I believe cancer has given me a new life. My priorities have changed. I feel as though my heart beats with more meaning. 

Now, I try not to squander away my heart beats on frustration and anger, but instead to spend them on happiness and laughter.


What caused these riots and why did the police lose control? Some commentators think the disorder was understandable and justified; some say the police “had it coming”; others that the violence was only to be expected given the unemployment and poverty in the area.
Some local people told journalists of their resentment towards the police. One student said: “The police never talk to us, they ignore us, they don’t think we’re human in this area.” A youth worker claimed: “The way the police treat black people is like we’re nothing.” And a retired accountant who has lived locally for 30 years reported that some of the police “behave in an arrogant manner that puts people’s backs up”.
Other residents who witnessed people carrying off carpets, trainers and watches noticed that they included individuals of all “colours and creeds”, suggesting an outburst of sheer lawlessness rather than righteous retaliation for past racial slights.
Senior officers were accused of failing to respond to the family and friends of Mark Duggan when they marched to Tottenham police station on Saturday evening. And they were also accused of standing back and allowing rioters to cause havoc in the hours after.
 Police had questions to answer about how the chaos could have spread, said Tottenham MP David Lammy.

Mr Lammy raised concerns after Mr Duggan’s death that tensions were rising between residents and the police. As he spoke in the High Road yesterday, some in the crowd shouted: ‘The police want to see the place burn.’
Scott, one of the demonstrators on Saturday, said trouble flared only after four hours of waiting for a senior police officer to discuss Mr Duggan’s death. He added: ‘The reason I believe this happened is because police have paid disregard to the family. Had they dealt with us earlier in the day, we would have removed ourselves.’ 

He described the violence as an ‘explosion’ of anger over widespread unemployment, frequent stop-and-search checks by police and expulsions from schools.

Metropolitan Police commander Adrian Hanstock insisted there had been ‘no indication’ that trouble would flare as it did. 
He said: ‘Saturday’s peaceful demonstration was hijacked by a small number of criminal elements, who used that for their own gain. 
‘The looting, the damage, the concern that has been caused to businesses and people who have lost their homes and their livelihoods is absolutely unacceptable.’


For years, the staff of People magazine had been trying to publish a piece on AIDS, without success. It was a real travesty that we hadn’t done a story much earlier. But it was finally decided, in the summer of ’87, that we were going to do a 24-hour look at people with AIDS. (People, August 3, 1987.) Photographer-reporter teams were dispatched across the country, and writer Bill Shaw and I were assigned to spend a day with Ryan White. His family had recently been hounded out of Kokomo, Indiana, because Ryan, a hemophiliac, had contracted this new, dread disease. He had been expelled from school. He fought it in court. He won. He was allowed back in. And he would walk down a totally crowded hallway in the school and people would run and hug the opposite wall. He would have horrible things written on his locker. Kids would move their desks away from his. 

He finally decided that he did not want to die in Kokomo. He couldn’t bear the idea of being buried there. So he moved to Cicero, a much more tolerant town in the same state. I believe that Elton John helped his family with the down payment for the new house.

We met Ryan, then 15, right after he moved in. It was a very humid, 90-degree day in July. We walked into Ryan’s house and it was stifling. He was 55 pounds or so, this tiny person whose growth had been stunted by the hemophilia and then by the AIDS. And he had a blanket over him. He’d go over to the stove, turn it on and warm his hands.

He was very, very shy and very suspicious of us. He had had many unpleasant dealings with the media. He felt like he had been at the center of a freak show. On the other hand, he felt that it was important for people to start learning what AIDS was really about - - how you got it and how you didn’t.

We were low key. I didn’t even take my cameras out for the first four hours. We weren’t going to do anything that made him uncomfortable. We ending up spending the whole day, and Ryan ended up being on People’s cover.

Soon, we found ourselves invited to document Ryan and his family, off and on. Within months, his life would be totally transformed. His doctor said it was not because of the medicine but possibly because of the love he was given. His neighbors started knocking on his door, saying, ‘’Welcome to Cicero.’’ The superintendent held an all school assembly before Ryan arrived, insisting, ‘’We will not treat Ryan White like the people of Kokomo did.’’ The everyday contact of his peers was now supportive. People readers wrote to him, saying how much they admired what he was doing. When writer Bill Shaw and I went back again, eight months after our first story, Ryan had become much less guarded. He had gone from being the outcast to being someone who was respected had made a tremendous difference in his life.

The impact of that first story was significant. A major magazine was addressing the topic of AIDS head on. The pictures showed really sick people. It was not reassuring. But it came across in an open, sympathetic and honest way. The pictures said that people with AIDS were human beings. And one of the reasons I work for People magazine is because if there is any segment of the country that need to know about these issues - - Middle America, the audience that People hits. Anyone, gay or straight, rich or poor, of color or not, could look at those pictures, feel what Ryan was going through, and make that jump, that this could be my kid, my brother, my sister, my parent.

After our second story, Ryan and his mom, who had been extremely reluctant the summer before, said that they felt happy with their decision to open up and be in People. It had made a tremendous difference in their lives because it helped others see them as they were, rather than as pariahs. And you could see that in the pictures. Ryan playing with his dog. Ryan with his good friends playing pool. Ryan hugging his mom. The two of them praying at bedtime.

We did a story on his mother Jeanne’s trials. We spent a lot of with Ryan. We traveled with him to Omaha, where he got the keys to the city. We were getting to be friends, all of us. Ryan was named one of People’s 50 most beautiful people. But his health, by 1990, was getting progressively worse. And I got a call from Jeanne. ‘Ryan‘s dying. You and Bill are the only journalists who are going to be in the intensive care unit with us. Please come as soon as possible.’’ We rushed to Indiana.

There must have been 75 journalists downstairs in one of the waiting rooms. Ryan was a huge story by then. Ryan was in a coma when I got there. He never regained consciousness. Jeanne said, ‘’Please don’t photograph Ryan’s face, I don’t want to remember him like this.’’ He was very swollen. And that’s why the photograph you see of Jeanne and Elton John, at Ryan’s bedside, does not include Ryan from the neck up. We were there for maybe nine days and Elton John was there the entire time. Elton was really taking care of the family. He was sorting the mail. He’d come in with a sack full of toys he would distribute to other kids in the intensive care unit.

That entire week was pretty remarkable for me. I wasn’t just a photographer, but a friend caught up in a story. When Ryan died, everybody went into his room and held hands around the bed. I was in there with a camera. And Jeanne said, ‘’Taro, you can take the picture or you can join us.’’ And I put my camera down and I joined the circle. I knew that was an important picture. I knew that it was a moment I should ‘get.’ But I also knew that the reason I was in there in the first place was that they were not thinking about me as a photographer and I was not relating to them as a photographer. I knew I was going to wish I had taken that picture on some level but I just felt like I had to join that circle.

The experience really made me think a lot about my humanity, the importance of the pictures I take, the role photographers can play as educators. That’s basically what photojournalists do: They experience something and then they communicate it, in still images, to a larger audience. But I really believe that I’m also educating myself. And I guess there are certain things more important than ‘getting the picture.’ There’s a relationship with the circumstances and the individuals and their interplay around you. And it became very clear to me that there are certain things that I can’t photograph. I don’t have that killer instinct. Yes, I’ve gone through hell to get some pictures. But on the other hand, this is a picture I passed up. And I would do it again.

I was just in Croatia last summer doing a story on this summer camp for kids in war zones that brings Croatians, Serbians and Bosnians children together. Volunteers from all over the world were there. And there was a teacher from Connecticut. She heard I was from People magazine. She met me and she asked, ‘’What is the most important story you’ve ever done? What hit you the hardest on a personal level?’’ I thought a while and answered, ‘’The stories I did on Ryan White.’’

Taro Yamasaki

My Lovely wife role models...

I'm gone take a risk today and share with you " my Wife 3 Role Models". Seriously...

We had a deep discussion last night about role model or people that inspire you in your own life, yesterday her team at work had a type of building spirit task stuff... and one of the questions to answer (in front of everyone) was : "who is (are) your role model?"

My wife answer was :


What do you think about that? And who is (are) your role model...

Can we stop the HATE...Please... [Rick Reilly | ESPN]

It tastes like Drano in my mouth, but I've got to say it: The Miami Heat are pulling off one of the greatest I Told You So's in the history of American sports.
I hate how they conspired. Hate how they manipulated. Hate how they went behind the backs of the GMs and the league and their own teammates to pull off something so audacious it threatens to ruin the very fabric of the league.
And yet they're doing the single hardest thing in sports. They're living up to the hype.
Remember how they preened and pranced at that preseason throw-up-on-your-back-teeth debutante party in July as if they were the second coming of the 1991 Chicago Bulls?
Well, so far, aren't they?
Remember how Dwyane Wade said he and LeBron James and Chris Bosh would wind up in the discussion of the "best threesome" to ever play?
Well, won't they?
Remember when Wade said we should feel "sorry" for the other teams because they'd have to guard him and James at the same time?

I'd rather see Donald Trump on the $5 bill than see the Miami Heat win this championship.

Well, don't we?
Look, I'd rather see Donald Trump on the $5 bill than see the Miami Heat win this championship. Three superstars colluding to win a ring would be the worst thing to happen to the NBA since The Gold Club.
But you have to admit: They've been as good as they said they were going to be. Hubris 1, Humility 0.
From the moment James took what seemed like 11 cheese-filled hours to say, "I'm taking my talents to South Beach," the mocking began from Celtic Nation to Laker Land and everywhere in between.
Remember Orlando Magic president Otis Smith saying, "I thought he was more of a competitor"?
Well, James is 10-3 in these playoffs. Is that competitive enough for you?
Remember how the critics chirped that the only way the Heat can win is if there were three balls? That NBA superstars might be able to share groupies, but not limelight?
Well James, Wade and Bosh have led the team in scoring five, five and three times, respectively, in the playoffs so far. Is that sharing enough for you?
Remember Crygate?
Remember the five-game losing streak when everybody outside the 305 area code wrung their hands with glee and kept saying, "See? See? Greed kills!"?
Well, it doesn't.
Remember when writers wailed that Erik Spoelstra, the Heat head coach who looks like he's in his first year of divinity school, was too much of a milquetoast for the Threegos and should be replaced?
Well, Spoelstra weathered it with patience and guts.
You think James was under the gun? Can you imagine the vise Spoelstra's noggin was in? With Pat Riley and his six rings two rows behind him? But he hung in, stuck with his "Trust each other" mantra and now you wonder if they named the wrong guy Coach of the Year.
Remember the James jabbing? Remember "Witless," the beer brewed to mock LeBron and his Nike "Witness" campaign?
Remember when people were saying he failed more in crunch time than soggy corn flakes? When James had to apologize to his teammates for "failing them late in games" and promised, "I won't continue to do that"?
Well, he delivered. Game 5 in the Celtics series: scored the last 10 points. Game 2 versus Chicago: nine of the Heat's last 12. Game 3 versus Chicago: two daggers late.
Remember the Bosh bashing? Remember pundits saying the former Toronto Raptors superstar would simmer and then boil over at suddenly being a third wheel? Two and a Half Men? The Third Heatle? Remember when he said he needed to start getting the rock more often and where and when he liked it?
Well, Wade and James started giving it to him and now George Harrison has two 30-point games in these playoffs alone.
So, yes, it goes down my throat like tumbleweed, but I have to eat it: The Heat were right. They've been as good as advertised.
Actually, they've been better.
You knew Miami was getting three mega-scorers on one team who were going to wear out a lot of scoreboard operators' thumbs. But what's happened instead? They've been winning it with great passing, teamwork and suffocating, selfless, you-cover-my-butt-while-I-cover-yours defense. The Psychic Helpline couldn't have predicted that.
I want to hate the Heat, want it like my next breath, but Wade is nice, James is fun, Bosh is sincere, Spoelstra is cool, Riley is brilliant, and the way they all play is so damn selfless, I can't.
I'm pissed that I can't be pissed.
And it makes me think.
Remember when James said they might win seven titles before their own personal Dream Team's days were through?
Well, that's still stupid.

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