Horse riding surrounded by parks

As we imagined, the highlight of moving to Wimbledon is being surrounded by nature.

On one side, 0.3 miles to the East, we have the family-friendly and very civilized Wimbledon Park, with its swans and ducks, water sports, minigolf, tennis courts… even beach volleyball!

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On the other side, 0.3 miles to the West, we have the wild and lush dense forest of Wimbledon Common:

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Adjacent to Wimbledon Common we have Richmond Park, with its live and free roaming deer. An excellent choice for horse riding:

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Moving to a castle

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After a year living by London Bridge, we have decided to move out. Our apartment was nice, and the location quite convenient, but the constant flood of tourists to the Borough Market and the Bridge made me feel just like I did when I lived in Mid-Town/5th Avenue Manhattan (New York) a few years ago. Back then, just like now, I decided to move to an area that felt more “neighborhood” and less “tourist landmark” (in that case it was Chelsea), and it proved to be the right choice. We were quite happy living there until we moved to London.

This time we have decided to move to Wimbledon, and although our new place is definitely a landmark (a castle, right across from Wimbledon’s practice tennis courts), it costs less than living next to London Bridge in a loft apartment! Besides, we are told the only tourists that show up in the area are those arriving for the famous tennis tournament in the summer, and that only lasts a few days.

After our first night in the new place we enjoyed the birds chirping in the morning, the architectural accents that remind you that you are living inside a castle (and, honestly, who hasn’t had that fantasy at least as a child?), and even the unexpected visit of a fox in the backyard!

Easy access to nature is one of the advantages of our new place: we live between Wimbledon Park, and Wimbledon Commons, which along with the adjacent Richmond Park, is the largest park in London, a true forest with all kinds of plants and animals, including plenty of wild deer.

We’re surely going to enjoy the experience!

Setting up my first art exhibit

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The weekend of February 27 and 28 I set up my first art exhibition as Independent International Art Curator.

In collaboration with the Internet Freedom Festival, held in Las Naves (Valencia) from 2 to 6 March, Net Freedom Art Show is an international, itinerant, collective and multidisciplinary contemporary art show. After its debut in Valencia, it will be exhibited in galleries around the world (New York, London, Santiago de Chile, and Kaunas).

In this exhibition, I have collected works by Carlos Motta (Colombia), Pawel Althamer (Poland), Osamu Tezuka (Japan), Dave Cicirelli (USA), Patricija Gilyte (Lithuania), Claudio Zirotti (Italy), Mery (Spain), and Paulina Vassileva (Bulgary).

Most of the works come from private collections, acquired in museums like the Guggenheim and the New Museum in New York. Others have been donated by the artists, having been exhibited in places like the Tate Modern in London, MoMA in New York, or Art Basel.

With this provocative, irreverent, atypical exhibition I intend to provoke the viewer to think about some of the focal points of the struggle for freedom online, such as Community, Gender, Diversity, Media, Technology, Best Practices, Design, and Politics. In this sense, all the works integrate multiple messages, including the heterogeneous group of selected artists representing the diverse nature of the Internet.

Hope you like it.

The White House Chief Data Scientist assures me the White House strongly supports encryption and opposes back doors

Tuesday March 1 I had a conversation with Dr. DJ Patil, the First White House Chief Data Scientist, at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

He was interested in discussing ways in which the White House can help healthcare technology companies like mine. The first issue I raised was my concern over the FBI’s request for Apple to decrypt a suspected criminal’s iPhone.

My position in this issue is well known: weak encryption means weak security for ALL of us, so nobody can request weak security for security’s sake.

As I told Dr. Patil that built in encryption is not something that can be made weaker or stronger on a per-case basis. We either all get strong encryption or we do not. If back doors are forced onto technology products, and strong encryption is restricted, we will all suffer from it, not just the healthcare industry. Besides, expecting the user to trust a central authority is not a good idea either, as we found out from the US Government’s recent failures preventing cyber criminals from accessing confidential and private data.

To my delighted surprise, Dr. Patil completely agreed with me and assured me that the White House strongly supports encryption and opposes back doors.

He apologized for not being able to elaborate much more, since this was an ongoing court process, but I did not need any more elaboration. His words were crystal clear. Let’s hope the Obama administration remains so and actively helps us lobby against diminished security and rights.

In Las Vegas for a few days

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March 1-4 I traveled to Las Vegas to exhibit at the largest healthcare IT trade show in the world: HIMSS.

Hitachi, one of our partners, asked my company to be part of their booth for the second year in a row, and I was very glad to share the booth with them and another open source company they recently acquired: Pentaho.

Throughout the duration of the show I had numerous business breakfasts (including a very early one with IBM and their new CEO of Watson Health, who until recently was CEO of Philips Healthcare), lunches and dinners, and was invited to several events, like Microsoft’s party at the Bodies exhibition in the Luxor Hotel, and Lexmark’s party.

The event was very very successful for my company, with lots of interest from potential customers, analysts, and other technology companies. One of the key reasons for this success was that we recently hired our new President & CCO, John Memarian, who was President of Merge (company acquired by IBM for $1B). The other key is the fact that my lovely wife helped us man the booth 😉

Microsoft comes to Valencia to meet with my team, collaborate on medical technology research, and discuss a Term Sheet

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On February 25 a group of medical imaging researchers from Microsoft came to our company’s headquarters in Valencia (Spain) for a day-long workshop on bleeding edge medical image software.

I must admit that just a few years ago I would have laughed at the idea of such an occurrence for many reasons. But things change, and now Microsoft is much more open (and convinced) about Open Source software, their researchers have demonstrated exceptional ability in advanced medical imaging analysis algorithms (unlike their failed business strategy around Amalga), and my company has grown and innovated to the point where it captures the interest and even enthusiasm of some of the largest technology companies in the world.

It was a full day of technological immersion, talking about computer code, software architecture, advanced machine learning, medical imaging analysis algorithms… my definition of fun! We also talked about ethics, industry regulatory landscape and commercial strategies.

While the contents of the discussions, including the Term Sheet, are under an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement), the one thing I can talk about is the delicious paella we all enjoyed for lunch in the country club across from our office, next to the 5 swimming pools and the tennis courts 😉

Microsoft event at Sushi Samba London

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On February 23 Microsoft invited me to an industry event at Sushi Samba, which is located on the 39th floor of the Heron Tower in London.

I have never given a standing presentation right next to a floor to ceiling window with the clouds closer to me than the ground!

The event was nice, as it was the venue. Thank you for inviting me, Microsoft.

Let’s pretend none of this ever happened

Walking towards my London Shoreditch office
to meet the Swiss investor and his impeccable suit,
leaving the City bankers’s coffee-holding fast pace behind,
I notice the absence nobody seems to
Where did he go?
His sleeping sack and pillow still on the sidewalk
as annoyingly positioned in the corner as always
But he’s gone
I wonder and I worry
his failing body, almost as absent as his lost gaze
with nobody to return it,
had been a constant and silent companion of my daily walk
We never spoke, but we connected
He needed help that I did not offer
but he was also longing for a contact that I did accept
with my eyes and my smile
He fed on that with desperate hunger
but I fear that could not keep his body alive
I look for him
Did he finally manage to gather enough crumbs in the form of coins
to enter the new temple of exclusive abundance
and be able to reach for an edible item that might keep him going for one more day?
Or did he perish, vanish, and was removed out of our sight and our path?
In that case they did not remove him from my life, from my heart,
where you all live, far away from me
As my gaze, still in the lookout, turns the corner
in the hopes that he’s defacing the wall with his urine,
I see the ultimate social irony:
inside the Bloomberg Space
a neon sign
someone most definitely put up for me today
“Let’s pretend none of this ever happened”

The romantic poet in me stops there
no more words, no more thoughts,
the insulting irony has spoken, in obvious terms, to nobody
But I can not
let it go
and enraged with fury and disbelief
I go on
determined as I always was
to subvert the system
to penetrate it, hack it, and milk it
for then I will have the dirty tools the system uses to turn our alienation against us
And then the day will come when we will see each other as one, and the world will be full of “us”,
as there will no more “them”,
and then I will be gone
for my job will be done
I see you
open your eyes
35000 decisions a day
this is the one
I’m not hiding
Hello Mr. Banker
here’s my soul
give me the tools
to obliterate your world
and free you all

Invited to the Mayor’s International Programme launch at London City Hall

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Yesterday I was invited to attend the official launch of the Mayor’s International Programme at City Hall, London, where I met some of London’s top entrepreneurs, mentors, and the Mayor (who gave a short speech using 007 as a reference).

One of my companies (Kanteron Systems) has been selected as one of the 35 companies forming the initial cohort.

The programme will support high growth businesses from London’s Technology, Life Sciences and Urban sectors to expand their businesses internationally. It is run by London & Partners (supported by the Mayor), partly funded by the European Development Fund and partly by five private sector delivery partners: BDO, Benoy, KPMG, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry & PA Consulting. As members, we will select mentoring, business opportunities, workshops and overseas missions.