El Presidente

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About El Presidente

  • Rank
    El Presidente
  • Birthday 02/12/1965

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    http://www.friendsofhabanos.com
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  • Location
    The Throne
  • Interests
    Slow horses, irrational women, fly fishing, wine, friends and family.

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  1. Most of us use relatively inexpensive lighters on a regular basis. I will use a FOH travel lighter 99% of the time these days However I have a huge appreciation of a great lighter. I love the intricate design, weight and tactile feel in the hand. In terms of style, my dream lighter would be a ST Dupont Art & Technique. There are more expensive lighters but it just does it for me. Post up your dream lighter....."the lighter that makes you go hmmm"
  2. Excellent article spotlighting Cuban ingenuity https://slate.com/technology/2020/06/cuba-internet-quarantine-coronavirus.html Cuba’s Offline Quarantine By MÓNICA RIVERO Young Cubans connect to the internet from their mobile phones in Havana on June 6. Yamil Lage/Getty Images Alex, 28, rides his bike all over a neighborhood in Havana delivering el paquete. It doesn’t matter that there’s a “stay home” order in place—he goes out wearing a mask and carrying a chloride solution. His delivery is now more precious than ever precisely because of the quarantine: Alex provides his customers with information and entertainment. He delivers the Cuban “offline internet.” “I have almost doubled my clients since the lockdown started,” he says. El paquete (“the package”) began around 2008. Today, it’s a hard drive with nearly a terabyte of downloaded magazines, films, music, games, and soap operas (even from Turkey). Most clients pay about $2 or $3 for the whole thing. You can find there the latest Hollywood releases, Jimmy Fallon’s show, Rachel Maddow’s, Korean dramas, and any popular Hispanic or American TV show you can think of. It’s digital content managed through human infrastructure. If you don’t want to buy everything on the drive, you can even pay for a certain amount of episodes by unit or data weight, as if you were buying apples, cash only. Then someone like Alex transfers the content to your own devices. Hence el paquete. Here’s how the distribution network works. There are at least three places where the content is selected and downloaded; we don’t know much about where this happens, but they seem to be locations with internet bandwidth unheard of in Cuba. Two of the main roots are known as Omega and Crazy Boy. They supply intermediaries, who in turn sell the content to deliverers like Alex. Then, this last link of the chain will bring their drives around for clients to choose what they want and then transfer the content for their personal use. Sometimes they meet at a delivery point in public, and sometimes they go to clients’ homes. The collections travel the whole 777-mile- long island, from east to west, through a hand-to-hand network, with the help of bus drivers who carry the content spread beyond Havana. At least, until the virus hit and the inter-province transportation was suspended. Some of the deliverers also stopped working after late March, when most of the measures were enacted in Cuba. Those who kept going out have seen a surge in demand. Despite the economic uncertainty, more people are buying entertainment content, and many of those who already bought it before, have now more time to watch it. This unofficial system is particularly important now that the country is in lockdown. As of late May, Cuba has seen about 2,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 83 deaths.* The government says that the pandemic is “controlled” on the island. But lockdown measures have not yet been lifted, out of fear of a worse outbreak. El paquete is necessary because streaming is far too expensive for the vast majority of people in Cuba. In 2016, about a year and a half after the thaw between the U.S. and Cuba began, Netflix launched service on the island for $7.99 a month. At that time, the internet was available in Cuba—but regular citizens (meaning those who don’t have a position that provides with online access) had to go to a public Wi-Fi hot spot and pay $2 per hour—a lot of money in a country where the average monthly salary is $30. Most public Wi-Fi hot spots are located in parks or street corners, full of people seeking good signals for their phones, talking to relatives abroad in messy and loud video calls. It’s not exactly the finest place to read, let alone watch something. The bandwidth would not allow it anyway. Today, there are more internet options—but they remain too expensive for most people and don’t provide great service. The price of these public Wi-Fi hot spots has now dropped to 70 cents an hour, but that is still out of reach for too many. In 2017, the country saw the debut of Nauta Hogar, Cubans’ first broadband service. Its cheapest plan is $15 for 30 hours a month (during the pandemic it’s 40 hours), but it’s available in only a few specific areas. Mobile data was also expanded beginning in December 2018. So far, the cheapest plan is $5 per 400 MB of data or 10GB for $45. It runs out really quickly, even if you are careful to limit the time of connection and avoid videos or any other heavy content. Even so, since March 8 mobile data traffic has risen 92 percent and Nauta Hogar 96 percent, according to Cuba’s telecom company, Etecsa. It does not necessarily mean a significant increase of users, but rather the same people ending more time online. This year the Global Digital Yearbook reported Cuba as a country has above average internet penetration, according to the amount of users. But Cubans’ use of the web is intermittent and occasional. I myself created a hotspot with my phone to connect with my computer, and I am hopping online and offline while gathering information for this piece to save data. All of this has made the lockdown challenging. While philosophers in the U.S. and other wealthy countries talk about the split screen as the visual metaphor of the new era, Zoom is not available in Cuba. Even if it were, we could barely use it because of the internet´s limitations. Outside of the government, there are no virtual events, full remote working, or online teachers delivering a video class or a conference to their students. Cuban students watch classes on TV and talk to their teachers on the phone. Some of them, at least. Early on in the pandemic, there was an attempt to enable digital commerce. For the first time ever, some big stores were selling goods through a website, with delivery service. Two weeks later, the system collapsed because of the high demand and the lack of infrastructure to support it and respond. “If we had already advanced further, it would have been possible to better face the scenario that COVID-19 has imposed on us,” Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel said regarding e-commerce. In the meantime, Cubans have—again—created their own systems. For instance, people using WhatsApp and Telegram groups for sales of vegetables, oil, poultry, baked goods, etc. The providers notify the group members about the available goods. These systems—the physical delivery of digital content, the jury-rigged e-commerce—work, but they have been taped together. In the pandemic, the failures of the Cuban internet are all the more evident, and all the more limiting to the people who would use it
  3. Podcasts you are listening to? I am thoroughly enjoying "Business Wars". Brilliant and in depth accounts of great corporate hand to hand battles. Macy's s Gimbells, Th Raisin Cartels, Hershey vs Mars, Facebook vs snapchat ,WWE vs WCW etc etc etc.
  4. ........no, pictures of women are not what this thread is about You can have two picks. In other words if you think Medium Full, tick both medium and full. I have a bet on the outcome
  5. While it is fresh in your mind, let us know your best cigar experiences for MAY 2020 My Top 5 are below. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Top 5 Supply out of Havana has been at a trickle given there have been no passenger aircraft flying in. That should commence to open up throughout June but supply amy not get back to normal until August September. Of what we have seen, 2019 stock continues to cement itself as one of the best years in the last 20. Here is my top 5 for the last month. Cohiba Siglo IV LME DIC 19 I haven’t seen or smoked better Siglo IV Por Larranaga Petit Corona LGR OCT 19 Rosado wrappers abound currently. Bolivar Belicoso Finos MSU DIC 19 Some of the best sheen that I have seen on Colorado/Colorado maduro wrappers that I have seen in a long time. Cohiba Talisman Edicion Limitada 2017 ATE SEP 19 I don't agree with the re-release but has anyone else found that the 2019 version smokes far better than the 2017? Check out the video review Vegas Robaina Famosos RAG Sep 19 The Famosos are on a roll right now. Deep rich Christmas cake flavours and exceptional quality
  6. The Plugged cigar poll brought up the question of underfilling as a significant issue to many. The question What's your underfilled cigar rate? Underfilled being defined as "a cigar lacking the required amount of tobacco leading directly to an unpleasant experience (e.g. hot cigar). Use the poll for us.
  7. In what seems to be a world in turmoil........the successful launch raised the spirits Safe travels gentlemen. We toast to a magnificent achievement
  8. Few Cuban cigars are full bodied. Most are medium or a tad under. If smoking every couple of months then a box of Partagas Lusitania would be a fine choice. They are more than approachable young, construction is generally good and you will see them age beautifully over the years.
  9. Few around. I haven't seen any in a new shipment since March.
  10. Have a great weekend all! I will try and jump on Zoom later on today. WF.tif
  11. Updated about 10 days ago. I will find it for you over the weekend. This little thing called CV19 has put the kibosh on movement over the past few months
  12. Near enough 80 votes to date and it has largely played out the way I suspected. We have said on FOH before that a good box of Cubans still has on average 2-3 troublesome sticks per box. Good enough? of course not. 85% of respondents in the poll above (to date) have found this to be the case.

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