Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sharing or stealing music?

An interesting video/site here that I am confused by. I understand their point, but i do not understand their argument or concept. Maybe i am convinced by the PR machines, but i can see that if someone works very hard to do something and only wishes to sell it; and you take it but do not pay of it, isn't that the concept of stealing?

I can see that the fact that movies/music costs so much money is ridiculous since so little money goes to the maker; but a) that is a fact of life (spending money on distribution, marketing etc as well as pure old capitalism allowing people to make a high a profit that they can) and b) someone has to get some income somehow to create the content.

The Smashing Pumpkins experiment seems to have been 'quite successful (it is free to download, but you can donate if you want to) as the average downloader paid 5 USD. Is this a good model for the future?

As most people will agree, i believe the problem is just the current business plan is now not functioning and newer ones are necessary such as Qtrax which is an advertising based model. There has to be a way of generating income, somehow, for the artists. Ultimately the media companies are going to have to totally change the way they work, their overheads, their marketing costs, distribution models etc. What is the future of the music/movie industry's business plan -either of these 2 models or a third model?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Paddy's Day


Dudes and dudettes,

There is talk all over the universe of all AIESEC fellows coming to Ireland for Paddy's, in which weekend is also @IE 50th! Something was organized last year as far as I know. As a Dublin resident I ask: So... who is in? What was the deal? Has anyone a structured idea already? Post! Answer!
Slainte - Maria

The Future of Learning...

It's got all the (old) wisdom about learning and education. I wish more people would pay attention to how technology is shaping human society.

horresco referens II


(i couldn't fit this in comments because it has a picture)

in the post about the matter of the nomadlife mainpage, people mentioned the growth of the community.

while the number of blogs has grown, the number of posts per day to the mainpage (for each set of 100 posts) has decreased from what it was a year ago.

it would be interesting to see similar data for all blog posts on all blogs in the system.

Monday, January 28, 2008

In your face, Amsterdam!



Marijuana vending machines in US

"Eleven US states allow medical marijuana on doctors' orders. Vending machines distributing the drug marijuana are to begin operating in the US state of California." (BBC)

If you haven't done so already

http://www.votefromabroad.org

horresco referens

from the blog "MixMaster"

I'd always envisioned nomadlife acting as a coffee shop, where people could sit around and discuss whatever topics arouse them. With a common set of interests, a megaphone for your voice (your blog), and a connector (nomadlife.org), I had thought everything in place to develop one continuous, amorphous, evolving conversation.

I will opine that this has not happened. Instead, it's been a lot of 1-way talking. Few posts actually build on each other.

Additionally, many of the big voices within my circle have fallen rather silent lately, and a few others I think would be of value have failed to find their tune. This is not judgmental, but rather observational and worth noting. These voices often act as water coolers around which many others stand.


Why do you think it turned out this way? Do you think it could be different? What environment is optimal to you?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Suharto is dead.



10 years after he resigned from the Presidency of Indonesia amid the Asian financial crisis and extraordinary demand for reform and democracy by the people of Indonesia, Suharto is dead.

He's done a lot for the country, good and bad. I think he did good in the first half of his long rule and then overstayed his welcome by actively participate in corruptions and scandals that engulf the country.

One big difference between Suharto and other strong dictator type presidents is that he actually resigned. That was the last good act he did for the country.

He is for all his merit and fault is a product of Indonesia, a complex and very diverse mix of people, cultures and religions living across an archipelago of 17,000 islands. Now we will bury him and deal with his legacy as we fight onward for a better country.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nick Nelsson Deja Vu

"The French bank Société Générale said Thursday that it had uncovered "an exceptional fraud" by a trader that would cost it €4.9 billion, or about $7.1 billion, and that it would seek new capital of about $8 billion.

The company, the second-largest listed bank in France, said in a statement that the fraud had been committed by a trader in charge of "plain vanilla" hedging on European index futures.

The trader, who was not identified, "had taken massive fraudulent directional positions in 2007 and 2008 far beyond his limited authority," the bank said. "Aided by his in-depth knowledge of the control procedures resulting from his former employment in the middle-office, he managed to conceal these positions through a scheme of elaborate fictitious transactions." (NY Times)

Barings Bank collapsed under similar circumstances in which they have a rouge trader that cost them 1.1 billion dollars. This current event is worse.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger is dead

" Heath Ledger, who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in the critically-acclaimed movie "Brokeback Mountain," was found dead -- possibly from a drug overdose -- Tuesday afternoon in a New York City apartment.

The Australian-born actor was just 28.
"(wsbtv)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Legitimidad a cambio de rehenes maltratados

Cuando comenc� a conocer el conflicto colombiano me cost� creer que los jefes de las FARC viajaban en veh�culos con aire acondicionado y que sus campamentos ten�an muchas comodidades; igual me sorprendi� el evidente sobrepeso de algunos de sus comandantes. La guerra civil salvadore�a se explicaba por el exceso de poder del Estado, contrariamente, el conflicto colombiano se explica esencialmente por la debilidad del Estado en el control de su propio territorio. Colombia tiene lugares donde no hubo gobierno durante m�s de 40 a�os. Este vac�o lo llenaron paramilitares, guerrilleros, narcotraficantes y bandidos que se convert�an autom�ticamente en autoridad, bajo la indiferencia o anuencia de los gobiernos.

Click here for the full (Spanish-language) article

EL SECUESTRO: UNA LE...

The Hologram Prince attends Energy Summit

From teleconference to videoconference to Telepresence/Video collaboration and Hologram messages. If prices fall, will business users really start to fly less and use this technology? Or will super cheap Instant Messaging take over the world!

Easy as you like it

One cool thing about Ubuntu is that they give you a "live cd" to try out the OS. Burn, pop in computer, boot, and play. Like it, and install.

Now there's Wubi. (I caught the link from BoingBoing)

I haven't tried it, but it sounds cool. The basic premise with Wubi is that you can install Ubuntu in Windows. You'll choose which OS you want to use at the time of boot. Don't like Ubuntu? You can use Windows to uninstall it if you don't like it.

There's no foolishness like partitioning or any fancy nerd junk.

So... stop wasting time, and try it. Tell me what you think of Wubi and by extension... Ubuntu.

If you're not sure why Ubuntu is such a good idea... try checking out the Ubuntu Philosophy page. The short version is that it's open - free for all to use, and improve.

From the What is Ubuntu page:

What does Ubuntu mean?

Ubuntu is an African word meaning 'Humanity to others', or 'I am what I am because of who we all are'. The Ubuntu distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software world.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Independent-type tour groups

Does anyone know the name of the tour company that caters toward more independent travelers? They usually just organize the transportation, and let you go off on your own during the day. Smaller groups - 7 to 8 max. Trying to do some organization to Tanzania in the spring.

Friday, January 18, 2008

the sixth extinction

"We live in a human-dominated world, they say, and virtually no habitat is untouched by our presence. Yet we are hardly the infallible masters of that universe. Instead, we are rather uneasy regents, a fragile and dysfunctional royal family holding back a revolution." (Washington Post)

Yes, you.

There is a slew of these old adverts in this digital collection.



I am particularly fond of the following French ad. I don't know where this can be found in any online collection, but it makes me think of this.

Dancing prisoners

1,500 prisoners are being rehabilitated through Dance. Check them out performing Thriller, on youtube. More information here.

If Dance works for AIESEC, who says it can't work for the prison system?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

pranksters

dody, will a war between the US and Iran be started by a practical joke?

The threatening radio transmission heard at the end of a video showing harassing maneuvers by Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz may have come from a locally famous heckler known among ship drivers as the “Filipino Monkey.”


Navy Times

This is what happen when a Black Swan bite your ass

"Merrill Lynch on Thursday reported a $9.8 billion loss for the fourth quarter, the largest quarterly loss in its 93-year-history, as troubles in the subprime mortgage market took another big bite out of its balance sheet.

Merrill, one of the Wall Street firms that has been hardest hit by the subprime hurricane, said Thursday that it recorded more than $14 billion in write-downs and “credit valuation adjustments” in the fourth quarter related to subprime mortgages and collateralized debt obligations, which are complex debt securities often linked to subprime mortgages. That is on top of $7.9 billion in write-downs at Merrill in the third quarter." (NY Times)

Global Facebook

It was only a matter of time before this happened. Send me your email if you want in:
http://www.internations.org.

Community for Global Minds!

Sounds familiar to me somehow...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

76 cool optical illusions

Go get psychedelic.

Why we travel...

In the new ABC DVD, English philosopher and writer Alain De Botton, known for his essayistic books, launches an inquiry into the reasons behind travel. Why do we travel? What are we looking for? Do the dreams match up to the realities?

"Everyone goes on holiday, but how often do we stop to think about the very nature of travel itself?" he asks.

Holidays are the surest keys to unlock our ideas about happiness, he points out.

But they can often be disappointing. While few things are as exciting as the idea of travelling somewhere else, the reality of travel seldom matches our daydreams.

(Sydney Morning Herald)

So why do you travel?

eight pound burger

here is a documentary about a bar in a rural area about 50 miles away from Austin that offers a cash prize to anyone who can eat its eight pound burger. the best part is listening to the nonstandard dialect of English spoken by the two older men interviewed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ultra-Thin Lappies


The Macbook Air is quite the marvel. "The computer, which is 0.76 inches (1.93cm) at its thickest point, will be on sale in 2 weeks." (BBC News Report)

The bloodbath continues

"Citigroup announced a steep cut in its stock dividend and another big investment by foreign investors on Tuesday after taking another big write-down related to subprime securities and posting a $9.83 billion loss for the fourth quarter.

Beginning what is expected to be a grim week for financial company earnings, Citigroup said it was writing down $18.1 billion because of soured mortgage-related investments.

As part of a plan to shore up Citigroup, the chief executive, Vikram S. Pandit, said the company would eliminate 4,200 jobs and cut its dividend by 41 percent, to 32 cents from 54 cents a share.

Citigroup also turned to wealthy foreign governments again and announced the sale of a $12.5 billion stake to the Kuwait Investment Authority and several others, including Prince Walid bin Talal of Saudi Arabia. In November, the company sold a $7.5 billion stake to a Middle Eastern fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority." (NY Times)

One analyst said that Citigroup needs 20 to 30 billion dollars more this year.

i-genius world summit, Phuket, Thailand

i-genius world summit, Phuket, Thailand
March 13th - 16th 2008

Meet the most inspiring new generation of social entrepreneurs from around the world...
...working in the fields of health, film and media, education, youth, fashion, design, technology, communities, environment, transport, engineering, construction, tourism, communication, arts, entertainment, climate change, fair-trade and many more along with financial investors, NGOs and media organisations...

Showcase your work - Develop partnerships - secrue funding.

Event will be held at the stunning eco-friendly Indigo Pearl Hotel: http://www.indigo-pearl.com/

For more information about the event: www.i-genius.org
To receive a copy of the brochure please contact team@i-genius.org
If you are an AIESEC-member, please contact karman.pang@gmail.com for 'Special Offer'

Monday, January 14, 2008

Africa, Greed and Europe

"

“I could be a fisherman there,” he said. “Life is better there. There are no fish in the sea here anymore.”

Many scientists agree. A vast flotilla of industrial trawlers from the European Union, China, Russia and elsewhere, together with an abundance of local boats, have so thoroughly scoured northwest Africa’s ocean floor that major fish populations are collapsing.

That has crippled coastal economies and added to the surge of illegal migrants who brave the high seas in wooden pirogues hoping to reach Europe. While reasons for immigration are as varied as fish species, Europe’s lure has clearly intensified as northwest Africa’s fish population has dwindled.

Last year roughly 31,000 Africans tried to reach the Canary Islands, a prime transit point to Europe, in more than 900 boats. About 6,000 died or disappeared, according to one estimate cited by the United Nations.

The region’s governments bear much of the blame for their fisheries’ decline. Many have allowed a desire for money from foreign fleets to override concern about the long-term health of their fisheries. Illegal fishermen are notoriously common; efforts to control fishing, rare.

But in the view of West African fishermen, Europe is having its fish and eating them, too. Their own waters largely fished out, European nations have steered their heavily subsidized fleets to Africa.

“As Europe has sought to manage its fisheries and to limit its fishing, what we’ve done is to export the overfishing problem elsewhere, particularly to Africa,” said Steve Trent, executive director of the European Justice Foundation, a research group." (NY Times)


It's the same old fuckin' story.

It's almost English when dictionary does Australish

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Contemplating a New Year tattoo in that fashionable area above the buttocks? To help you along, Australians have given them a not-so-fashionable name: "arse antlers". Want a suntan as well? You could have "tanorexia". (read more...)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The book of Five Rings

"If you hold a sword with both hands, it is difficult to wield it freely to left and right, so my method is to carry the sword in one hand. This does not apply to large weapons such as the spear or halberd, but swords and companion swords can be carried in one hand. It is encumbering to hold a sword in both hands when you are on horseback, when running on uneven roads, on swampy ground, muddy rice fields, stony ground, or in a crowd of people. To hold the long sword in both hands is not the true Way, for if you carry a bow or spear or other arms in your left hand you have only one hand free for the long sword. However, when it is difficult to cut an enemy down eith one hand, you must use both hands. It is not difficult to wield a sword in one hand; the Way to learn this is to train with two long swords, one in each hand. It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first. Bows are difficult to draw, halberds are difficult to wield; as you become accustomed to the bow so your pull will become stronger. When you become used to wielding the long sword, you will gain the power of the Way and wield the sword well." (Miyamoto Mushashi)

He's a master Samurai from the 17th century that uses two blades at the same time to slice and dice his enemy (the technique was quite an innovation at that time). This is his strategy book.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Something to watch

BigThink - a YouTube with a focus on intellectual discussion, was just launched a few days back. The New York Times call it "a Web site that could do for intellectuals what YouTube, the popular video-sharing site, did for bulldogs on skateboards." Might be interesting...

Friday, January 11, 2008

6 continents club

"Last fall, Emirates inaugurated service from its headquarters in Dubai to the Brazilian city of São Paulo. In doing so, it became the first airline in history to offer nonstop service between the Middle East and South America, and the first to link all six continents (Antarctica not included) with nonstop flights from a single hub. The "from a single hub" aspect might not be terribly meaningful, but either way Emirates becomes one of only a handful of airlines that currently serve at least one city on each continent. It joins Air France, British Airways, Malaysia Airlines and South African Airways." (Salon)

This is how a war between US and Iran can start

Check out this video of a pretty tense naval maneuvering in the Persian Gulf.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Tata Rs 1-lakh (2500$) car is here! And it's called the Nano!



Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata on Thursday unveiled the Tata Nano at the 9th Auto Expo in New Delhi.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Golden Globe Award show cancelled

" “We are all very disappointed that our traditional awards ceremony will not take place this year and that millions of viewers worldwide will be deprived of seeing many of their favorite stars celebrating 2007’s outstanding achievements in motion pictures and television,” said Jorge Camara, President of The Hollywood Foreign Press Association. “We take some comfort, however, in knowing that this year’s Golden Globe Award recipients will be announced on the date originally scheduled.”
" (Golden Globes)

They are just going to announce the winners of the award on a blog or something.

Monday, January 07, 2008

What's gonna be the outcome?


The last 12 hrs - non-stop flashing news on the above episode between Symonds (Australian cricketer) and Harbhajan (Indian cricketer).

The last oddly 80 hrs of cricketing down under has witnessed:

* Very very poor umpiring...
* Claim by the Australian cricket team that Harbhajan apparently made a racially abusive comment on Symonds leading to ban for Harbhajan for the next 3 matches
* India threatening to pull out of the Australian cricket tour

It might seem a trivial matter, but certainly not for India and Australia at this moment...

Wait and watch for the outcome...

Bill Gates' Last Day at Microsoft

A little prediction video, made with "a little help from his friends."

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Kenya Burning


You must have read about the post election riots in Kenya and about the incident of 50 people being burned alive in a church. Now there's a report of Ugandan militia in Kenya.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Hello Kitty products target young males

The cute cuddly white cat from Japan's Sanrio Co., usually seen on toys and jewelry for girls and young women, will soon don T-shirts, bags, watches and other products targeting young men, company spokesman Kazuo Tohmatsu said Friday.

The usual bubble-headed shape of Hello Kitty was slightly changed for a more rugged, cool look to appeal to men in their teens and early 20s.

More here.

Self Correction



I am so stoked :)

Obama won Iowa Caucusus by 8% at 38%. Hillary Clinton is third at 29%.

Iowa is the first state in the process in electing Democratic Party that will go to US election in November.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

How long will you wait?

Is it only my impression or we are becoming increasingly impatient? I remember my dad owned one of the first PCs ever... an Apple. The antique had a memory of 2MB, its screen was yellow and black and it was able to run a couple of games on those 5 1/4 inches disks. I remember I thought the thing was really fast until he brought a new one. One of the first Acers 284 with the first version of Win 3.11. I thought the Apple was now odd and slow. Same happened when dad brought an 3.84, later on a Pentium, Petium II, etc. I found them all slow when I got my laptop, with a powerful Centrino and now I find computers with Duo are becoming slow. Same thing happens if I remember the old versions of the internet and its usenet, its old chatrooms and I realize now I will wait a millisecond for a page to display before thinking it is only crap and I will close the window.

So how long will you wait for anything? And anyway... what is the rush?

90 seconds rule

While reading Paco Underhill’s Why We Buy, I was struck by his discovery of the 90 second rule:

We’ve interviewed lots of shoppers on the subject and have found this interesting result: When people wait up to about a minute and a half, their sense of how much time has elapsed is fairly accurate. Anything over ninety or so seconds, however, and their sense of time distorts—if you ask how long they’ve been waiting, their honest answer can often be a very exaggerated one. If they’ve waited two minutes, they’ll say it’s been three or four. In the shopper’s mind, the waiting period goes from being a transitional phase in a larger enterprise (purchasing goods) to being a full-fledged activity of its own. That’s when time becomes very bad. Taking care of a customer in two minutes is a success; doing it in three minutes is a failure.

The Cafes >> User Interface