Posts Tagged ‘brazil’

Notes from Sao Paulo, Brazil

This is my first time in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In fact, it is my first time in Brazil. Why not throw in the fact that it is my first time on the continent of South America? Some quick notes/observations:

  • The people are toothsome. I’m told that lots of Miss Universe/World’s come from Brazil, and its possibly quite true. You’re also told to explore areas like bars/clubs and drop in “where the beautiful people are”.
  • Sao Paulo is very multi-cultural. Its very easy to blend in, till someone speaks to you in Brazilian-Portuguese.
  • In this market, you need Brazilian-Portuguese. The bookstores are filled with titles. Going to large malls and speaking to wait staff is a challenge if you only speak English. Taxi drivers speak no English, so be prepared ahead of time.
  • The language is important, so there are always simultaneous translators when you give presentations.
  • Traffic jams are redefined here. Sitting in a car for two hours, when the journey really should take fourty-five minutes is quite common. Helicopters are generally available (as are helipads), and there are plenty of options for getting armored cars are.
  • There’s plenty of Brazilian fashion brands that we never see overseas.
  • I had a meal at Bob’s. It reminded me of a local McDonalds. Their website points to Twitter, Facebook and Orkut. Yes, Orkut is still a fairly used social network in Brazil. Only in Brazil (previously also in India, but I think Facebook has killed it there).
  • Nokia’s are big in Sao Paulo. Followed by Android-based devices. There are plenty of accessories for iOS devices (iPhones/iPads) in higher end malls (I noticed 2 push carts in one mall, for example), but they don’t seem as prevalent in terms of usage. There are Apple Premium Resellers as well.
  • K-POP videos are being used to sell TVs here in Sao Paulo.
  • There are really good concert acts happening in Sao Paulo (via Time Out Sao Paulo). Cities like Kuala Lumpur/Singapore can learn a lot from them.
  • HSBC is really here.
  • The Interlagos F1 Grand Prix happens here too. It is a pity I’m here a week earlier and won’t get to catch the F1.
  • Sao Paulo will be one of the host cities for the World Cup 2012 while Rio gets the Olympics in 2016 (save for some soccer matches which will also be in Sao Paulo). Infrastructure and language is going to be interesting for this.
  • People are very civic conscious and clean up after themselves (in fast food joints, after their dog poos, etc.).
  • Jardines area is definitely very pet friendly — see plenty of dogs walking around. It is also human friendly, less cars on the street. However it is hilly, so if you have a pram, it is not impossible but you have to be careful with negotiating the sidewalks.
  • Cycle friendly Sao Paulo is.

Free and Open Source Software: Use and Production by the Brazilian Government

First up, I want to say, I’m truly impressed with Brazil. One day I will visit this amazing place, and spread the good word of open source with projects that are close to my heart: MySQL,, Fedora, and in due time, a lot more. This is a live-blog, from a most interesting talk, at JavaOne 2008. As I wrote on Twitter, “Brazil, simply impresses me. Their use of open source in government, makes me think that the rest of the world has a lot to learn from them”.

Free and Open Source Software: Use and Production by the Brazilian Government
Rogerio Santana <> +55 61 313 1400, Logistics and Information Technology Secretariat
Planning, Budget and Management Ministry
Brazilian Government

Households with Internet access: 70% in the US4k household income range. 70% of households have mobile phones (even when total revenue is USD$2k). Middle and upper class are all, generally on the Internet.

In 2007, 98% of Income Tax has been sent by the Internet. By 2009, there’s only going to be use of a Java application for this. About 17.5 million people filed via the Internet. Impressive.

Brazil has 142k public schools – 26k are connected to the Internet now (18%), and 92% are connected at low speed, while 8% have 512kbps connections.

Plan? Free Internet for schools, from 2008-2025. 1mbps for each connection, growth plans in the next 3 years.

There exists Computer Reconditioning Centres (CRCs) for recycling PCs. (e-PING: e-Government Interoperability Standards) (e-MAG: e-Government Accessibility Model)

Brazil has been using electronic voting since 1995. 136.8 million people voted in 2006 election. Next version of vote machines will use GNU/Linux!

Open Standards. Interoperability. Free Software. Free License. Community.

e-PING: uses XML, browser compliant, they have metadata standards

Many organisations of the Brazilian Government use Java as a primary development platform. Remember, Java is important because its the first that allowed even Linux users to interact with government applications.

Brazilian Digital Television? Middle-ware responsible for the interactive process of digital TV also developed in Java. (Ginga is the name of the application).

In education? Enrolment is done via the Internet for universities. e-Proinfo is an e-learning project that has already trained 50k students.

Developing clusters and grids, with focus on high availability, load balancing, database replication, distributed mass storage, and virtualization. The government is backing this, since 2006.