You cannot miss something that you never had

Last December I spent with my family a week in Cuba, in the Havana area. Of course 7 days are not enough to understand a country, especially one like Cuba that has a very complicated modern history that is still unfolding. However, because of the peculiarity of the political system, one of the few Communist states remained somewhat intact after the fall of Berlin’s wall, I thought I would write down a few points outlining my first impressions and some interesting tidbits I noticed during my stay on the island. It is also important to remember that I stayed in the richest and most connected part of Cuba and I personally can’t comment on more remote areas, even though I was told there are big differences.

Moments before landing in Havana

Continue reading “You cannot miss something that you never had”

Solar System sticker pack for iMessage

When back in June Apple announced sticker packs for iMessage at the WWDC as part of iOS 10, I was immediately fascinated by the idea of trying to release one.

The Solar System sticker pack for iMessage in its entirety

I really wanted to create my first sticker pack themed around the thing I’m most passionate about: astronomy. I’m currently studying astronomy and wanted to share my passion with fellow iMessage users! It’s a great way to interact with friends and it also has educational potential.

The pack contains the main bodies of the solar system: the Sun, the Moon, and all the planets (sorry Pluto!).

The sticker pack can be downloaded on the App Store from here.
Continue reading “Solar System sticker pack for iMessage”

The Turkish military coup has failed: what should the West do now?

My simple, short answer: I don’t know.

However, I constantly see online many people—from friends on Facebook to strangers on Twitter, all with the best intentions—asking the West (more precisely, the EU and the US) to do more to ensure that a democratic process is followed in Turkey.

But what should the West do? That they fail to say.
All the major European leaders as well as Obama’s administration have already, in multiple occasions, and immediately in the few days following the coup, called for the Turkish government to not stray from constitutional law. The EU has even threatened Erdoğan to cancel all the Union entry negotiations developed so far if the Turkish government won’t respect the democratic principles.

Back to the original question, what should the West do? I’m sure more can be done, even starting from simple economic sanctions, but many people fail to realise the difficulty of the situation and why each decision towards Turkey needs to be pondered carefully. Continue reading “The Turkish military coup has failed: what should the West do now?”

A week in the Bay Area: some sparse thoughts

Just over a month ago I spent a week in the Bay Area. For the first five days I resided in Palo Alto (I attended an astronomy conference at Stanford) and then I spent the weekend in San Francisco. It wasn’t obviously enough time to get a real idea of the place and to understand how it would be to live there (also, this piece won’t take into consideration the big variations that must exist from place to place in the Bay). However, I wanted to write down some initial personal contrasting impressions and sentiments regarding the region in the world that most contributes to bring forward the tech sector . My thoughts below will be mostly sparse and limited (thus mainly a bullet point list), and possibly incorrect, but definitely honest and genuine—I recorded them in my Notes app as they came to mind (some editing and details were applied at a later stage; some points were also discussed with a couple of other British researchers who stayed with me during my time in the Bay). I will try to read more about the area in the future to correct the likely misconceptions, but I thought it was interesting to put down in writing the initial impressions that a European visitor may get.
Continue reading “A week in the Bay Area: some sparse thoughts”

Apple should buy Twitter

I generally don’t like this kind of post, but it’s been quite a while since people have been discussing whether Twitter has a prosperous future ahead. Now I have come to think that Apple should buy it in order to make it an exciting product that doesn’t need to please Wall Street investors. I believe there are at least two good reasons for this acquisition to take place.

The first one is that Apple has the resources to build a media team around the social network to both curate content and work along with Apple engineers to create new generation publishing tools. Continue reading “Apple should buy Twitter”