Monday, June 30, 2008
"Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has denied accusations he sodomized a male aide in a politically explosive scandal, which he blamed on a government conspiracy to thwart his rising clout."
"The accusations revived memories of a similar sex scandal a decade ago that led to his imprisonment and ouster as deputy prime minister.
Hours after the aide filed the complaint, Anwar, 60, took refuge at the Turkish Embassy, claiming his life was in danger. Anwar, 60, dismissed the accusation as "a complete fabrication."(CNN)
The last time he was thrown in jail after going against his former mentor Mahatir Mohammed (Sodomy !!)
and now that he threaten the establishment, the "sodomizer" accusation comes back alive.
"A three-party opposition coalition led by Anwar made spectacular gains, winning an unprecedented 82 seats in the 222-member Parliament and the legislatures of five states. Anwar has threatened to engineer defections from the National Front -- which has ruled continuously since 1957 -- to bring down the government by September."
Jezz folks, get a fuckin' grip.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Official results show Mr Mugabe won all 10 provinces, with 85.5% of the vote, but there were many spoiled ballots.He was the only candidate to run after the opposition boycotted the vote amid claims of state-sponsored violence. (BBC News)
It's up to the neighboring countries and the international community to decide whether to accept him as a true leader of Zimbabwe. The opinions are clear, but the outcome is not.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I heard that this book is super bloody awesome.
Friday, June 27, 2008
It's Bill's last day on the job - BBC News has a retrospective of Microsoft's ups and downs.
It mentions that he received an honorary degree from Harvard last year, leading to him joking about "finally [having] a college degree on my resume" - what does Bill Gates' resume even look like? Is it just a piece of A4 with "Microsoft, y'all" written in big Times New Roman in the middle?
(left) A car that runs on compressed air (like a scuba tank) available this summer, from 12,700 USD in taxi form in India. Includes an on board air compressor so you can charge it from the mains in 4 hrs, or from a custom air compressor at a 'gas' station in 3 minutes, and it will go for 125 miles. Well, why not? TATA is the conglomerate behind it. (right) This car has Solar panels on the roof, pedals in the front seats, is made of carbon fiber and does 150 miles to the gallon (because it is so light). Available from 2012, for 20,000 USD.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I was wondering if any of you is planning to attend the EuroScience Open Forum 2008 in Barcelona, July 18th-22nd, 2008.
It would be awesome to meet up with AIESECers or Nomadlifers in Barcelona either at this conference or not. If you are attending please leave a comment and we can start communication that way.
Religious leader • Turkey
An Islamic scholar with a global network of millions of followers, Gülen is both revered and reviled in his native Turkey. To members of the Gülen movement, he is an inspirational leader who encourages a life guided by moderate Islamic principles. To his detractors, he represents a threat to Turkey’s secular order. He has kept a relatively low profile since settling in the United States in 1999, having fled Turkey after being accused of undermining secularism.
It's a good read. I don't know half of those people listed (ignorant !)
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The combined wealth of the globe's millionaires grew to nearly $41 trillion last year, an increase of 9 percent from a year before, Merrill Lynch & Co. and consulting firm Capgemini Group said Tuesday.
That means their average wealth was more than $4 million, the highest it's ever been. Home values were not included in asset totals." (CNN)UPDATE: (Tom G) And they're getting rich faster in the Middle East than anywhere else in the world...
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
2. The smoking of cannabis and hashish, however, will be allowed, at least in licensed cafes.
3. The regulation will be that adding tobacco to the smoke (a popular practice) will be forbidden and that only "pure pot" will be allowed." (Marginal Revolution)
After several good years, entertainment companies in India are finding that they have plenty of money but not enough places to spend it." (NY Times)
When Hugh Hefner quit his job at Esquire to start a magazine called Playboy, he didn't just want to make money. He wanted to make dreams come true. The first issue of Playboy had a Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, an article on the Dorsey brothers, and a feature on desk design for the modern office, called "Gentlemen, Be Seated." Hefner wrote much of the copy himself and drew all the cartoons. But the most memorable part by far was the set of pictures he bought from a local calendar printer of a scantily clad Marilyn Monroe.
In this wise and penetrating biography, intellectual historian Steven Watts looks at what Hugh Hefner went onto become, and how he took America with him. Hefner became one of the most hated and envied celebrities in America, dating a long list of his magazine's beauties and always standing just barely on the wrong side of decency and moral uprightness. He also, at one time, had 7 million subscribers to his magazine. Though in time he would lose readers to more explicit magazines on one side and "lad" magazines on the other, the Playboy brand never lost its luster."
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Well we all got a bit of a scare after we got drubbed by Spain 4 - 1 in the opening match but I think the boys were just a bit unsettled by the level of competition. But we're back baby. After 1 - 0 and 2 - 0 victories against Greece and Sweden respectively we now have a 3 - 1 demolition of the perpetually disappointing Dutch to add to our records. We dominated the entire match against a team that beat Italy 3 - 0, France 4 - 1 and who's B team beat Romania 2 - 0. We're back baby. Euro Championship semi-finals, here we come.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
"In Russia, the American Internet giants appear to have run into cultural and linguistic barriers. When Google failed to take off here, its designers pointed to its lack of “understanding of Russian.” And social networking sites must master informal slang and local culture to succeed. Anton Nossik, who is widely considered one of the gurus of the Russian Internet as an executive at the Internet company SUP, said that Yandex works better than Google Russia, even for basic searches. Mr. Nossik noted that a search for the Kremlin on Google Maps using the Cyrillic alphabet (“Кремль”) returns with, “We could not understand the location Кремль." (Google)
The cool thing about natural diamond is, if you get lucky, you get the ones washed with human blood (snicker).
Buy the lab grown diamonds instead.
They cover various risks including skiboarding accidents and iPod theft! Claims are a breeze, I've processed claims online in four continents .. never had a problem. Its a fair process that cuts out the hassle and inconvenience one usually faces with insurance. This is insurance 2.0
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thailand used to fit the the classic 'virtuous girls, philandering boys' model. At the start of the 1990s, 57 percent of twenty-one-year-old men in Northern Thailand trooped off to the brothel to do their philandering. More than half the sex workers who soaked up their excess energy were HIV-infected....
Then...the Thai economy boomed. Girls were getting better educations than ever before...Educated girls were waiting longer before getting married, but not before having sex. By the end of the 1990s, 45 percent of girls aged 15-21 in northern Thailand admitted to having sex with boyfriends before marriage, compared to less than a tenth of that in a nationwide survey in 1993.
...So at the end of the decade, we have a lot more premarital sex and not all that much condom use with girlfriends. But now that these young, cash-strapped guys can have sex without paying, they've stopped handing over cash for sex. By the end of the 1990s, only 7 percent of young men were paying for sex, and HIV prevalence in sex workers had come down too.
....In short, more women having premarital sex equals less HIV." (from Marginal Revolution)
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Relief workers here continue to criticize the government’s secretive posture and obsession with security, its restrictions on foreign aid experts and the weeks of dawdling that left bloated bodies befouling waterways and survivors marooned with little food. But the specific character of Cyclone Nargis, the hardiness of villagers and aid efforts by private citizens helped prevent further death and sickness, aid workers say.
The storm that struck May 2 and 3 killed probably upward of 130,000, drowning most in a tidal surge. But those who survived were not likely to need urgent medical attention, doctors say.
“We saw very, very few serious injuries,” said Frank Smithuis, head of the substantial mission in Myanmar for Doctors Without Borders. “You were dead or you were in O.K. shape.”" (NY Times)
Or maybe the reviled Military Junta's response has been effective.
"Rejecting old customs as well as the modern reliance on genetic engineering, Dr. Uphoff, 67, an emeritus professor of government and international agriculture with a trim white beard and a tidy office, advocates a management revolt.
Harvests typically double, he says, if farmers plant early, give seedlings more room to grow and stop flooding fields. That cuts water and seed costs while promoting root and leaf growth." (NY Times)
Some are calling them Tokens of Doom
The five Olympic mascots are Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, Nini and Beibei.
- Jingjing, a panda, Sichuan earthquake
- Huanhuan, a cartoon character with flame-red hair, Olympic torch debacle
- Yingying, an antelope, is an animal confined to the borders of Tibet, Tibet riot.
- Nini, represented by a kite, is being viewed as a reference to the "kite city" of Weifang, in Shandong, train crash
- Beibei, represented by a sturgeon fish, not disaster yet.
Now maybe now we can all appreciate the London Olympic logo, where it's a disaster to itself and no one else.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Those that disregard the guidelines risk being sued by the A.P., despite the fact that such use may fall under the concept of fair use.
The A.P. doesn’t get to make it’s own rules around how its content is used, if those rules are stricter than the law allows. So even thought they say they are making these new guidelines in the spirit of cooperation, it’s clear that, like the RIAA and MPAA, they are trying to claw their way to a set of property rights that don’t exist today and that they are not legally entitled to. And like the RIAA and MPAA, this is done to protect a dying business model - paid content.
So here’s our new policy on A.P. stories: they don’t exist. We don’t see them, we don’t quote them, we don’t link to them. They’re banned until they abandon this new strategy, and I encourage others to do the same until they back down from these ridiculous attempts to stop the spread of information around the Internet." (Techcrunch)
Associate Press is pissing a lot of people on the blogosphere.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Voters in Ireland have rejected the European Union's Lisbon reform treaty in a referendum by 53.4% to 46.6%.
The vote is a major blow to leaders in the 27-nation EU, which requires all its members to ratify the treaty. Only Ireland has held a public vote.
The European Commission says nations should continue to ratify the treaty, designed to streamline decision-making.
Full story HERE
This is a continuation on her discussion about evil.
It's an issue worth pondering about. What makes formerly good neighbors of 20 years in Rwanda start killing each other? What enables some of the most horrific killings in the 20th century where killings goes up to the millions?
You'd think somebody would say, stop, we can't do this. Human in a herd seems to have lost its free will.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Oh, and based on an average $1.42 per gallon wholesale cost for the ethanol used as its feedstock, SwiftFuel costs $1.80 per gallon to produce, meaning that it ought to be able to sell for $3 per gallon or less no matter what happens in the Middle East.
Heck of a deal.
The ethanol used to make SwiftFuel can be any type, according to Mary Rusek, president of Swift Enterprises. The pilot plant they are building in Indiana will, interestingly, make ethanol from sorghum, not corn. The Ruseks claim that sorghum, which isn't a typical U.S. crop, can produce six times the ethanol per acre of corn, turning on its head the argument that ethanol production consumes more energy than it produces. China, the third largest producer of ethanol after Brazil and the U.S., is switching entirely to sorghum for its ethanol production.
The FAA is already testing SwiftFuel with the goal of approving it for use without modification in all aircraft, leaving the platform unchanged while improving its impact on almost any scale. Hopefully by the 2010 cutoff for tetraethyl lead SwiftFuel will replace the 1.8 million gallons of 100LL aviation fuel used every day." (PBS)
This is very promising in a small scale only. Nothing beats oil for global energy fulfillment.
"It's hate speech!" yelled one man.
"It’s free speech!" yelled another.
In the United States, that debate has been settled. Under the First Amendment, newspapers and magazines can say what they like about minorities and religions — even false, provocative or hateful things — without legal consequence." (NY Times)
I prefer the US approach to free speech. In certain countries in Europe, Nazi related symbols and speech are banned. In a lot of countries, religious insults or article critical to religions are banned. More than enough countries also ban "insulting the government".
I prefer the approach of "the answer to hate speech is more speech" that the US takes. I think the only type of speech prosecuted in the US is the one that invite imminent violence.
"In much of the developed world, one uses racial epithets at one’s legal peril, one displays Nazi regalia and the other trappings of ethnic hatred at significant legal risk, and one urges discrimination against religious minorities under threat of fine or imprisonment," Frederick Schauer, a professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, wrote in a recent essay called “The Exceptional First Amendment."
"But in the United States," Professor Schauer continued, "all such speech remains constitutionally protected."
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
(more on macrumors.com)
|11:45 am||$299 for the 16GB -- a white version of this size will be available too.|
|11:45 am||Now on to the final challenge -- affordability. Started at $599 for an 8GB iPhone, now $399. The iPhone 3G 8GB will sell for... $199.|
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Mozilla says that v3 has "more than 14,000 improvements"....! If that wasn't incentive enough, you'll even get a personalised certificate if the record is official...
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Relatives revealed yesterday they honored Fredric Baur's bizarre last wish and buried part of his cremated remains in a Pringles can.
There you go. Barack Hussein Obama, the first black nominee for US major party in a presidential election. More.
Black Kenyan father, White Kansas mother, Indonesian step father and sister, grew up in Jakarta and Hawaii, the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, a constitutional law professor at University of Chicago, State Senator of Illinois, US Senator and most likely the next President of the United States.
And he will get there by transforming the way political campaign are done. He raises the largest amount of money of any delegates with half of it from the Internet (over 1.5 million donors). He has the most decentralized and effective grass root campaign ever. The turnout of the Democratic primary this year is the largest ever. An unknown senator just a few years ago, he has managed to out-execute one of the most formidable political couple in history, Hillary and Bill Clinton, with all their years of accumulated political machinery supporters and experience.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
"The new law requires people in the country to comply with requests to assist the agencies, secret police or community activist groups loyal to Mr. Chávez. Refusal can result in prison terms of two to four years for most people and four to six years for government employees." mentioned the New York Times
The new law for instance authorizes his new intelligence agencies to use “any special or technically designed method” to intercept and obtain information.
Ramón Rodríguez Chacín mentioned "Basically, we are talking about secret organizations. If someone is part of the intelligence agency, well nobody should know it. On another topic, it also means high level of academic and ideological education is required for those involved" (Read here in Spanish)
Chavez has already talked about the resistance showed by the opposition and media, saying that the media has tried to sabotage the law, and that they are under the influence North American Empire (as he calls the US). That the Empire has a plan "a good strategy, let's not underestimate the Empire, US has experts in psychological war, several centers for psychological operations working 24/7" (Read more here in Spanish)
Wonderful right? I wonder if we will soon go back to the time of the "Seguridad Nacional" secret police, used by Marcos Perez Jimenez during his dictatorship.
Monday, June 02, 2008
At 39 years of age, Warne endeared himself yet again not only to the Jaipur team franchise he was the captain & coach of, but to all of India and I am sure cricket lovers around the world. Already, there is talk of this tournament changing Cricket completely but that remains to be seen.
For now, its enough that we celebrate the fact that a retired (and at times much maligned) Australian led a team from the city of Jaipur comprising 7 Indians, 1 South African, 1 Pakistani & 1 other Australian to victory in Mumbai, scoring the winning runs in the final few seconds of the game with a Pakistani fast bowler as his partner. Simply fantastic stuff.