Paulo Pilotti Duarte

Inspired by this post from Rodrigo Ghedin on Manual do Usuário, I’ll provide an overview of my perception of the BR tech scene. I’m not a YouTube guy, so I’ll focus on the blog aspects of each one.

First, I have to say that in my youth, when Carlos Cardoso began to establish himself as the country’s first “Problogger,” I followed various technology sites and engaged with their communities, so I can say I have a lot of expertise with the “nerd herd” in Brazil. The list below summarizes my experience with these sites from the early 2000s until 2018/19 (more or less).

  • Tecnoblog: was not a welcoming environment, despite having good articles. Upon closer examination with more maturity, I realize Mobilon is a subpar editor, and Paulo Higa has always been arrogant and pretentious. There was no gratuitous violence, but these were toxic environments.
  • MeioBit: always fell short, with writers like Nick Ellis and Gogoni. Over time, everyone followed Carlos Cardoso’s lead, becoming aggressive and spoiled.
  • Canaltech: was never strictly a technology site, always focusing on reviews and buying recommendations. I don’t believe it lost this approach; it just became more aggressive in that regard.
  • Olhar Digital is a confusing site based on clippings and comparisons. Belonging to a large publisher (Abril/UOL Tech), it remains as expected.
  • Contraditorium: I’m unsure if it still exists, but it was Carlos Cardoso’s bread and butter. I admit it had interesting chronicles about people and technology. However, the aggressive persona, whether a character or not, took over the site long ago, essentially turning it into an AdSense repository.

Note: All these sites had or have their associated “nerd” podcast. For me, this goes beyond quality (they cater to an audience); it’s a matter of maturity. After 35/40 years, one expects more depth and a less frantic pace of reading and consumption. This reflects my relationship with almost all Brazilian internet places (Jovem Nerd, RapaduraCast, B9, Tecnoblog, ½ bit, etc.). Sometimes, we get older and more demanding.

Sometimes, we just get older and more demanding =P

  • P

The ascension of Brazil as a regional power marks the culmination of a long-sought historical process, albeit one confronted by Hispanic America. Sources such as compilations of correspondence from the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs illustrate this trajectory. Since its independence, Brazil inherited the rivalry between Portugal and Spain, a dynamic that influenced its relationships with neighboring countries.

Frequently, the interests of Brazil and Hispanic America have been conflicting. Brazil benefited from the disintegration of the Spanish empire, fostering the formation of several surrounding republics, maintaining itself as a united and powerful nation. Historically, it thwarted regional integration initiatives that didn't guarantee its prominence, such as non-participation in Bolivar's Panama Congress and its role in the War of the Plate, where it prevented the reunification of the Vice-Royalty of the Plate (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and possibly Bolivia).

Reciprocally, neighboring countries have always regarded Brazil with suspicion, seeing it as a power that expanded its dominion at the expense of Hispanic America. While acknowledging its influence, they also highlight its cultural isolation, allowing smaller nations like Mexico, Argentina, or Colombia greater influence due to linguistic and cultural proximity to other countries.

It's a scenario of realpolitik: Brazil aims to consolidate itself as the internationally recognized Latin American power, aspiring to a seat at the UN. However, for other countries, this would imply Brazilian hegemony in the region, granting it carte blanche to represent Latin interests and eliminating potential threats to its hegemony.

  • P

Why? Because an artificial intelligence cannot write an article? Because it cannot capture (yet?) how fluent and natural human writing is. Perhaps we're facing a scenario where AI is still not good enough to be threatening but useful as a tool. Maybe. However, reading the text below, for which I requested a summary of the article “The End of Retirement,” you can perceive that the writing is mechanical. Perhaps this may serve for writing technical articles, documentation, low-budget marketing pieces, or articles crafted to please Google's SEO. It's possible. But to be read by a human, it's not possible. Not yet.


I read a very interesting article on The Walrus website discussing the challenges of retirement in Canada amid economic, social, and demographic changes. The article, authored by journalist Cathrin Bradbury, who retired after forty years in the profession, found herself facing uncertain and stressful financial circumstances.

She explains that the social contract ensuring a comfortable and deserved retirement for previous generations is unraveling due to declining birth rates, increased life expectancy, market instability, job precarity, and inadequate pension plans. Quoting experts, she highlights that the concept of retirement as a period of leisure and rest after a working life is relatively recent and might be becoming outdated. Many retirees, she reports, are returning to work either out of financial necessity or to seek purpose and identity. She questions whether retirement is truly a right or a privilege and whether people are prepared to face the challenges of a longer and uncertain life. She concludes that retirement is no longer a guaranteed dream but a personal and risky choice, dependent on various factors and requiring planning and adaptation.

I found the article enlightening and thought-provoking, prompting me to contemplate my own future. What about you? What are your thoughts on retirement? Do you have any plans or expectations? Do you believe the current model is fair and sustainable? Share your comments, and let's discuss this crucial topic.

Source: The End of Retirement

  • P

Reading is crucial for cognitive development, justifying the inclusion of classics in education, despite the resistance from some non-educators who seek content more geared towards “high fantasy” for young audiences.

Additionally, the absorption of knowledge varies widely from person to person – be it through images, text, or writing. There is extensive research on this. Learning is an individual and diverse process, aligned with the theory of “multiple intelligences,” where each individual has their own learning style. Contemporary pedagogical approaches emphasize the “proximal zone,” which implies learning by teaching. Hence, the proliferation of educational videos on YouTube.

Reading is an active act that enhances not only written communication but also expands vocabulary, enabling clearer and more structured communication. The ability to organize thoughts is scarce, reflected in the number of confusing texts on the internet.

The crux is the supposed quality of what is read. I have a personal scale of quality, ranging from Brazilian classics such as “Grande Sertão: Veredas,” “Água Viva,” “Hora da Estrela,” “Rosa do Povo,” “Caminhando na Chuva,” “Contos Gaúchescos,” “Os Sertões,” “Lavoura Arcaica,” “Torto Arado,” “Avesso da Pele,” “Casa de Despejo”, among others, to international classics like Kafka, Dostoievski, Jack London, Flaubert, and an extensive list. These works are fundamental in human formation. Non-fiction books, such as “Raízes do Brasil,” “Formação Econômica do Brasil,” “Casa Grande e Senzala,” “Balas de Washington,” “O Estado Empreendedor,” “Luta de Classes na Alemanha,” “Programa de Gotha,” “O Capital,” “Máscaras Negras,” significantly contribute to empathy, especially in South America.

Some films and documentaries may offer similar perspectives, but achieving the same depth of a subject through television media is challenging, considering the competition with different genres.

On the other hand, fantasy books, such as “The Lord of the Rings” and works by Brandon Sanderson, despite being beloved, are primarily for entertainment. Although not less important, they differ in this aspect. Entertainment is vital – leisure, distraction are essential elements for personal and professional enhancement, keeping our critical capacity sharp. These books are the equivalent, in the literary world, of action and horror movies in streaming.

In conclusion, reading, video games, and television (streaming) complement each other in cognitive development, each contributing in a distinct way. All these works shape our worldview, influencing behaviors and reactions to our surroundings.

  • P

This is the title of the Brice Wray author, thinking about a possible collapse of the Mozilla Firefox. You can read the full article by accessing Firefox on the brink? The Big Three may effectively be down to a Big Two, and right quick. Also, you can engage in the Hacker News discussion about it.


To claim this allegation, Brice bases it on several factors, including:

  1. There has been a steady decline in Firefox's market share, which has fallen from 31.82% in November 2009 to just 3.17% in November 2023.
  2. The rise of Google Chrome, now the most popular browser in the world, with a market share of 62.85%.
  3. A new US government guideline requires government websites to be compatible with Chrome and Edge, but not with Firefox.

The main reason for this title is that Wray believes that the US government guidelines are a significant blow to Firefox, as they will make it more difficult for Firefox developers and users to access government websites. He also argues that the decline of Firefox is making it more difficult for Mozilla to attract new resources and funding.

It's difficult to say whether Firefox is on the verge of collapse. However, the browser is facing significant challenges. If Mozilla cannot find a way to reverse the decline of Firefox, the browser may disappear soon.

Overall, Wray's article is an important warning about the future of Firefox. The browser is facing significant challenges, and it may disappear soon. Of course, it's challenging to look at Firefox as a threat to browsers from large companies, such as Microsoft, Google, and Apple, mainly because the first has embedded ChatGPT in everything, especially in Edge; the second has a broad dominance in the mobile market (Android) and the PC market (Chromebooks, desktops, and notebooks); and the third has, in the US, a gigantic installed mobile base (which should be the justification for the +30% using Safari) which still adds up to, probably, the most extensive Mac base in the world.

The situation of Firefox is VERY complicated. And I am pretty worried – to the extent that is possible – because FF is my default browser, and I think it is our best alternative to the walls of Big Techs.hs.

  • P

I do not know we wrote this.


I need you to do something for me I need you to let me go You have to let me let you go In another life Maybe it was you and me Maybe there we loved each other right And we were happy together Maybe in that life we did all the things we said we would But we got this one instead You were my friend, my love and now a stranger But you always be my favorite memory In this life


  • P

Using the comment I made on Órbita, the Manual do Usuário's Hacker News, discussing Gabriel Fernandes' text about not having to combat AI but rather combat work, I reproduce the comment here.

Using the comment I made on Órbita, the Manual do Usuário's Hacker News, discussing Gabriel Fernandes' text about not having to combat AI but rather combat work, I reproduce the comment here.

We should have already been working 6 hours or less since the proliferation of the internet. We should have had 90 days of vacation since the popularization of computers in companies. We should have had 1 year of maternity leave (or more). We should have had salaries adjusted according to the profits of the companies we work for. We should have had a lot of things already, but “late capitalism” is cunning, and it has been discovered that it is much simpler to individualize problems and people than to generate improvements in well-being.

One of the most evident symptoms that the capitalist system is very efficient in creating new ways to exploit workers is precisely the platformization of jobs. We took a recurring problem (CLT workers or equivalents fighting for more rights and unionizing) and turned it into an individual problem (now each person is an “entrepreneur”).

What does this platformization sell? You receive a fair value for your work without the government taking a bite out of your salary, and you have the freedom to work whenever and however much you want. What is the reality? The delivery driver, the app-based driver, the freelance programmer, and many others need to work +12 hours a day to achieve the same level of job security they had with CLT/contract/employment bonds.

From time to time, something happens in the world of work and forces companies to tighten their belts even more. The pandemic showed that remote work can be the reality for most professions. What did this generate in companies? Mass layoffs to create a state of terror among workers and force them to accept returning to an excruciating 3-hour public transport routine.

In addition, the LLMs put on the table that technology already has the potential to significantly improve our lives, to the point where most jobs can be done automatically, requiring only human review afterward. This should lead to fewer working hours and more leisure hours, but the opposite will happen (and is happening): more working hours, more freelancing, more platformization, and more terror, because, once again, companies have realized that it is simpler to create a terror environment that “you will be fired if you don't give 150% of yourself at work” and still profit even more, paying even less.

The problem is not AI, it's not the invasion of personal data, it's not company X or Y. The problem is capitalism. Until we (workers) realize this and think that we can patch up this system with a failed social democracy or mitigate the problem by choosing the companies we consume, we will only be sweeping the problem under the rug.

  • P made a post about this. I recommend it.

The main point is as follows:

Apple has continued to update and evolve the Shot on iPhone campaign as the iPhone itself has evolved. They have held competitions to showcase new features like night mode and macro. As the iPhone gained professional features, Apple has been demonstrating how people are using iPhones in professional shoots. The film introducing the iPhone 15 Pro was filled with professional video shoots.

The question of whether a smartphone can be a good everyday camera has already been answered. Shot on iPhone no longer needs to convince consumers that the iPhone is a great pocket camera.

The new message is for professionals: the iPhone can replace a professional camera that costs as much as a luxury car. It's not the only equipment you'll need, but you already knew that.

I see this as Apple's eternal return. Apple is a company that aspires to be luxurious and exclusive, to enter the homes of the wealthy as an object that is displayed, like a Patek Philippe, a Bola Valpolicella, or a Solid Gold OVO. But Apple is not that. I don't know if it will become that. It's a company that makes computers, phones, tablets, and watches inaccessible to the lower class (and to the middle class in peripheral countries); at the same time, it's not a luxury brand understood as something exclusive by the super-rich. Don't get me wrong, they have MacBooks, Studios, etc. But it's not the objects they consider complete; it's the tools (for watching videos, sending emails, taking photos on a trip). And Apple wants to be exclusive, wants to be a luxury, professional brand.

It's a repositioning compared to Apple's resurgence (with the Macs G3) and even the launch of the first iPhone.

Will it work?

I don't know. Not in less than a decade. But the truth is that Apple has a clear message: if you're the one financing your computer in 12 installments, having a friend buy it in Miami, or purchasing a used one from 4 or 5 years ago, you're not the company's target audience, and the company doesn't care if you use their brand.

Putting that aside, the event filmed with an iPhone, even with a large amount of professional equipment, is a message to the professional and high-end market: use iPhones instead of renting intermediate cameras.


  • P

Today, I make a small confession. I am 40 years old, work, and support (almost 80% of everything in my current home is paid for and maintained by me) my immediate family (mother and brother). They are great people who never complain.

But it’s not about them that I’m going to talk about. Nor about myself. It’s about the “surroundings” of society. As I mentioned in the reality check text, I always live on a tightrope where I balance life in the periphery, daily and routine, with the usual setbacks of a life of privations. Nothing that is not normal and every day for those who go through the same process. On the other hand, I have contact with people from a different social spectrum- the middle class- via the internet and because of having studied at a federal college.

Within this distinct reality, far from the majority of Brazilians, people tend to think that the fact of “not getting by” (meaning doing what everyone does in the periphery) is a reason to raise red flags. Getting by is typical of this class, mainly because their concept comes from a twisted idea of doing the basic things of daily life in a household. Cooking, cleaning, shopping. These things, which in the world of most of these people who complain about “getting by,” are just one more daily task in the world of the issues that everyone faces in the peripheries (in addition to money problems, justice, theft, housing, education, health, and many others).

So, most people who complain about others being spoiled are also. That girl who thinks every man is like her ex-boyfriend, spoiled and raised without responsibility, is also spoiled compared to a peripheral woman who worked from an early age at home, took care of siblings, and got a minimum wage job. It’s not the exchange program in Ireland that teaches you to get by; on the contrary, it only reinforces that you are spoiled.

What do I mean by all of this? Setting aside the rant, it’s that the people in the internet’s court of micro-causes (aka X/Twitter) are spoiled, foolish, and almost always incapable of understanding the material reality that surrounds them.

In other words, you are also spoiled, privileged, petty, and arrogant.


  • P

Or better said: what can ensure that companies don't have access to my data?

Short answer? Nothing.

Long answer? Nothing. But we can assume one or two things regarding the math behind this subject.

First of all, encryption is typically based on a pair of keys (one private and one public) used for data encryption/decryption. Your public key is stored on the server and is used to encrypt data on it. Your private key resides on your device and is used to decrypt content from the server. In theory, only someone with both keys can read your messages. The concern with companies is whether they can access your device to capture your private key. Ideally, this access shouldn't exist (it would be a backdoor). However, closed-source code may have mechanisms to decrypt messages with an intermediary key if necessary, but this is unlikely due to computational cost. A simple cryptographic key (RSA) uses prime numbers, and predicting/generating them is challenging (solving the Riemann Hypothesis would be worth $1 million) [1].

This is a very simplified explanation.

Regarding Apple, they have a well-documented approach to encrypting volumes on macOS. Their strong encryption is bolstered by the Secure Enclave, used in SoC chips (T1, T2, and M series). Trust in these companies not accessing your data relies on faith and their reputation in the privacy field. Currently, Apple has one of the best reputations in this regard.


[1]: In 2018, Michael Atiyah claimed to have a proof of the Riemann Hypothesis. While he was well-known in mathematics (a Fields Medal winner), the topic has since received less attention.


  • P