Sunday, October 30, 2005

No margin, no mission

So like, in the middle of an Accounting class, when lots of people were walking in and out, Smith actually said, "Is this Churchgate station, I ask you?! I don't think so!" Too funny.

Over two hundred of Hollywood’s top animation experts are moving to Dubai, in an attempt to develop the world’s biggest outsourcing centre for movie animations.

"We will bring in talent from the US for this — we're talking about Oscar-winning animators — who will relocate to Dubai and be able to produce 3-D animations. These will be of movie quality — so, for example, a lot of the production for a movie like Star Wars could be outsourced."
Read more here...

Nakheel boss Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, and flamboyant real estate mogul Donald Trump are pouring millions into a massive joint development.

Two weeks ago, Nakheel, developer of more than US$30 billion in real estate in Dubai, and The Trump Organisation stunned the region, revealing plans to invest US$400 million into a tulip-shaped hotel on The Palm man-made island development in Jumeirah.
Read more here...

Here is an excellent article written by Walid Akawi about the Mehlis Report on the assasination of Rafik Hariri. Akawi raises some very vital questions which reinforce the feeling that there is a conspiracy to bury the consipiracy. I wonder if the UN will commission more investigations or if this is it. Admittedly there are no legal implications but is Syria truly responsible?

Front-end margins vs. back-end rebates? Dubai has been a haven for back-end rebates for as far back as I can remember. Stuart Wilson does a good job of discecting this model.
This is still a problem for the majority of vendors in the Middle East. They will talk until their blue in the face about the importance of channel support and development, and then implement a financial model that completely undermines these lofty ambitions. Unless the fundamentals of the financial model underpinning the Middle East channel are addressed soon, the market is going to face a credit crunch.
It snowed yesterday. The first snow is always so very nice. I also found a Reef restaurant close to home with excellent baba gannouj and grape leaves. Methinks dinner tonight shall be Lebanese. Ooooo... kahweh...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

We're no better than monkeys

The basic economic theory that people work harder to avoid losing money than they do to make money is shared by monkeys, suggesting this trait has a long evolutionary history, according to a study conducted by M. Keith Chen, Venkat Lakshminaryanan, and Laurie Santos.

This phenomenon, known as "loss aversion," refers to the tendency for people to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. In this study, tufted capuchin monkeys were given small disks to trade for rewards—apples, grapes or gelatin cubes. The monkeys were given a budget of disks and asked to decide how much to spend on apples, and how much to spend on the gelatin cubes, even as the prices of these goods and the size of their budgets fluctuated. Capuchins performed much like humans do. Capuchins, like humans, react rationally to these fluctuations.

"The economic view says people are aware, rational and in control of their major decisions," said Chen. "Social psychology cuts in the opposite direction, maintaining that people are often unaware of the forces that dictate their behavior. We wanted to understand the interactions of these two things. What we’ve shown is that capuchin monkeys look remarkably like us; making rational decisions in many of the same settings that humans get right, but also make many of the same mistakes we make."

Their work provides an evolutionary spin on the current debate about why Americans do not save enough for retirement or put enough of their savings into the stock market. "We are fighting tendencies that may be biologically hard-wired," said Chen.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

United States Patent Application - Adding and removing white space
from a document

A method, a computer system and a computer-readable medium having instructions for a processor stored thereon are provided for growing a page on a display. Input indicating a first position or designation of content on a page of an electronic document and an amount of white space to be inserted in the page is received. Responsive to the received input, at least some of the content of the page of the electronic document is moved to insert white space. The moving starts from a point based on the first position. The portion of the content being moved is moved a distance based on the amount of white space indicated in the received input. The page is grown by an amount based on the amount of the white space indicated in the received input. A respective size of other pages of the electronic document remains unchanged. Also provided are a method, a computer system and a computer-readable medium having instructions for a processor stored thereon for deleting a portion of a page and reducing a size of the page.

Guess who? Microsoft!

Seuss-isms for Success

For all dem harried MBA students -

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose."

If you want to buy me this book, I wouldn't mind.

Microsoft's Earth deletes Apple HQ

...have a look at Apple's Cupertino headquarters from Google and MSN's rival map sites. Both sites offer aerial photos alongside maps.

...Google shows the Apple Cupertino HQ - a lovely, shiny building probably full of iPods. MSN on the other hand shows an apparently empty field. Not as much as a black turtle-necked jumper remains of Apple's headquarters. This could be no more than an old picture taken before Cupertino was built or a glimpse of an imagined future.

How this terrible error came about is not yet clear. Nor can we be certain who else has been removed from Bill's upgraded planet.


GE went green!

So like have you seen GE's ads for ecomagination? They're brilliant. Take a look.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Benefit concert for Pakistan

Saturday, Oct. 22
7:30 p.m.
Todd Wehr Auditorium

MSOE is organizing and hosting a concert to benefit victims of the recent earthquake in Pakistan, featuring Midwestern-based, seven-piece outfit, Eastern Passions. The band comprises artists who are originally from Pakistan (including MSOE associate professor Gul Afshan), United States and India. They play rich songs evoking life in South Asia, sung in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi and Siraiki. The group has a devoted following throughout the Midwest.

Rounding out the program will be musicians from MSOE’s student body including the MSOE Symphony Orchestra, String Quartet and The Sound Engineers pep band.

Free parking is available in the MSOE lot at Broadway and Highland; admission donation is $8 per person.

In memory

MSOE was saddened to learn of the death of Ray W. Palmer ’68 on Oct. 5, a long-time professor and administrator at MSOE, including chairman of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, and two-time interim vice president of academics before retiring in 2004.

Throughout his career Palmer received many awards and honors, including MSOE’s Oscar Werwath Distinguished Teacher Award, the 2004 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award, MSOE Professor Emeritus status and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Memorial Award. He also was a consultant to numerous companies and had industrial experience with Allen-Bradley/Rockwell. He held a patent for a digital alarm system. We extend our condolences to his wife, Sharon, son, Mark (Dawn) Palmer, daughter, Nicole (Paul) Schmitt, and other family and friends. Memorials are being accepted for the Ray Palmer Endowed Scholarship Fund at MSOE (MSOE Development Office, 1025 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202).

Click here for more information.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Things his girlfriend and he have argued about

For those of you who were asking for the link - here it is. For those of you who weren't - click and read anyway. It's bloody hilarious.

Elephant Love

Somewhere out there is a land many have only heard of or seen in their dreams, a place called the "the world's largest factory." A nation of manufacturers, a country spread out from one corner to the other, filled with factories, run by dynamic people engrossed in taking care of the world's supply of everything, from the smallest items to the biggest, from good quality products to best, from low cost to almost free.

Entrepreneur no more

Use of the word entrepreneur has been trademarked by the Los Angeles-based parent company of Entrepreneur Magazine. Entrepreneur Media Inc. (EMI) claims exclusive rights to use the word. Nobody can use it as apart of a domain name, a publication name, for entertainment purposes, or for radio and TV programs.

Desperate branding

Branding is often presented as a culturally, emotional or lifestyle crazy, sugarcoated packaging process. Sometimes it is like rap music, with spinning colors or psychedelic pastel overtones accompanied with hip-hop idea drivers.

Tommy Thompson to get RFID implant

Tommy Thompson distinguished himself as the first Wisconsin governor elected to four consecutive terms, and he has now set a new precedent: the first Wisconsin governor to be tagged with radio frequency identification for digital access to his medical records.

"The company manufactures passive RFID tags which store a unique 16-digit identification number that provides access to a user's healthcare records. The tags are about the size of a grain of rice and in human users are injected into the fatty tissue of the tricep muscle."

Are entrepreneurs crazy?

While Gartner doesn't actually call entrepreneurs crazy, he does say they’re not entirely normal. He says that entrepreneurs – especially serial entrepreneurs – have a specific psychiatric disorder known as hypomania, which may be the wellspring for the talent it takes to be an entrepreneur:

He added: "Hypomanics are brimming with infectious energy, irrational confidence and really big ideas. They think, talk, move and make decisions quickly. Anyone who slows them down with questions 'just doesn't get it'. While hypomanics aren't mental cases, 'normal' isn't the first word that comes to mind when describing them. Hypomanics live on the edge between normal and abnormal."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"The iPod has become more a fabric of fashion than an accessory
to it"

The state Assembly on Thursday passed AB 499, a proposed ban on all forms of human cloning in Wisconsin.
The bill would outlaw the cloning of embryos both for reproductive purposes and for what practitioners have called research or therapeutic cloning, the making of a cloned embryo for the purpose of extracting stem cells. Penalties for violating the bill if it were to become law would go up to ten years in prison and $1 million in fines.
Doyle pledges veto - read it here.
destroying a cloned embryo to obtain its cells for research is morally wrong. It may be just a microscopic blob of undifferentiated stem cells, opponents argue, but it’s still human life.
Because, you know, we'd rather send thousands of kids into war for a pointless argument over which country gets more oil. Read it all here. That's ok. At least the British have their head screwed on straight.
All is not lost however -
A research team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has succeeded in enticing human embryonic stem cells to become spinal motor neurons, the cells that transmit messages from the brain to the rest of the body.
I need to get me a wired swimsuit.
Externally, the bridge looks identical to its adjacent twin. However, internally, the concrete deck reinforced with a novel fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) grid system that could replace conventional epoxy-coated reinforcing bars (rebars) inside future bridges.
Bridges go hi-tech - read it here.

Wonder wot the nature of pollution will be in the future?
The Wisconsin Department of Administration announced on Monday a $15,000 technological feasibility grant will be awarded to the Madison Environmental Group consulting firm to develop cars operating on vegetable oil. Madison Environmental will be working with the restaurant chain Culver's, which has successfully modified two diesel engine cars to use filtered oil from the fryers.
Back to work.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The stench is rather overbearing

So this is your assignment for the day - how do you tell a housemate and a classmate that she stinks? That sitting next to her makes people's eyes water and leaves a foul taste in their mouth? That one other classmate described being around her less pleasurable than gouging one's own eyes out?

Yes, I'm talking about stinky Lil. She hasn't showered in a week. I don't think she's washed her clothes since she got here. She eats a lot of dumplings.

I so need to get her out of the apartment.

This post reads like it was written by a 5-yr old.

So like, I just had lunch with the Dean, Lou Lataif. It was very interesting. The lunch was pretty crappy but the conversations made up. I really like my class. I must now go read for tomorrow's organizational behaviour class.

I need a nap.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Ramadan mubarak

Ramadan - "The Astronomical New Moon is on Monday October 3, 2005 at 10:28 Universal Time. Looking at the visibilty curve one can understand that the moon is in the Southern Hemisphere. The moon is about 15 hours old and being too low on the horizon for North America will set in 14 min. after sunset on west coast. It cannot be seen in North America nor anywhere East of USA October 3. On October 4, it will be visible in most of the world except most of Asia and Europe, where it will be 24 to 31 hours old and less than 2 degrees above the horizon, still not visible. In Europe and most of Asia, it cannot be seen until October 5, when it will be 48 to 55 hours old. Accordingly, the first day of Ramadan will be on Wednesday, October 5, 2005 for North America and most of the world, except most of Asia and Europe, Insha-Allah."

Eid-al-Fitr - "The Astronomical New Moon is on Wednesday, November 2, 2005, at 1:25 Universal Time, i.e. November 1, 8:25pm Eastern Standard Time - or 5:25pm Pacific Standard Time. On November 2, the moon would be about 24 hours old on West Coast of USA and still could not be seen, because the moon will be in Southern Hemisphere. It could be seen in South America and possibly with aided eye (Binocular/telescope) in South Africa. So, Eid in South America and possibly, South Africa could be on Thursday, November 3, 2005. But in North America it is expected that Eid will be on Friday, November 4, 2005. Similarly, in Europe, Asia, Middle East and Australia, Eid is expected to be on Friday, November 4, 2005, Insha'Allah."

It's curtains for you, Elizabeth my dear

"As they emerge on the global stage, Chinese companies will need 75,000 world-class managers during the next 10 to 15 years, according to commercial intelligence firm Asia Pulse. Today, there are only an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 such executives, it said last month."
"IBM is planning to hire more than 14,000 new workers in India this year, even as the company proceeds with layoffs of up to 13,000 workers in Europe and the United States, the New York Times reported Friday, citing an internal company document."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Stupid TAs aren't in during office hours

"POLITICAL leaders in the Arab world are seen as ‘mostly corrupt’, according to 55% of respondents to a recently conducted survey by Arabian Business and respected opinion pollsters YouGov. Just 1% considered all Arab leaders ‘honest’."
"THE HIV virus is losing it killer potency, according to a leading research team that claim it is showing the effects of old age and beginning to weaken. The startling news emerged after experts examined the current day virus and compared it with a sample of the fatal germ taken some 15 years ago."
"THE MIDDLE EAST ECONOMY IS to continue soaring as cash-rich customers are set to fuel the retail boom for years to come, according to one of the region’s leading industry analysts."

Finance boo

So like I think I bombed my Financial Management midterm this morning. I would love to blame it on not being prepared for it because Dad and Black Cobra were up every bloody hour to clomp to the bathroom. But that's not true! I WAS prepared! I studied! I did! I read both chapters, made notes, did all the examples, did all the problems at the back, read the class notes, compiled a very sexy cheat sheet and then did last year's midterm for practice! I was prepared! I was confident! I was aiming for an A-/B+.

C is prolly wot I'm going to end up with. Everybody else's exam wasn't so hot either so I'm banking on the curve for this one. This bites.

Just got done with another excellent lunch whilst learning about careers in marketing. I shall now try and get unbummed and do Stats homework.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that I now have furniture?! I have furniture! Real honest-to-goodness furniture! The same Walmart black metal futon that I've bought and rebought and rebought for years but it's still furniture! (with an impossibly thick mattress) Bless the parents and Black Cobra for it. Now if I could only get rid of the mouse in the kitchen, life would be good.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

iPod Subway maps!

So very cool.

Black Cobra Hello!

My mother and my sisTER!
are here to visit ME!
now I have a lot of stu-UFF!
blessed blessed BE!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Gitex Dubai 2005 came and went...

... and I'm still here. Check out AME Info's excellent coverage. A few pictures below - courtsey

Silly rabbit. Dreams don't come true.

I'm sorry I left like that. I didn't want to go. I didn't want to stay there feeling sad. I thought if I left and started my day, the sadness would go away. If I left your world that smelt of you. A little musky. Looked like you. A little messy and not all quite there at times. Your world positively rings of you. There's a whistling in the air that lulls me to sleep. Shoulders that cradle my chin. I thought that the sadness would go away if I removed myself from your world. It didn't. I walked into my room and had this overwhelming desire to curl up in the fireplace and evaporate. Maybe then the sadness will go away. It won't. I can't make it. It keeps coming back. My hair, my skin, my lips, my eyes... they all remind me of you. I had to shower to scrub you out of me. I saw you standing there. Looking so lost and a little angry. I had to wait to leave. I didn't want to see you looking lost and a little angry. I didn't want you to see me. But you have to understand. I was incapable. I couldn't do it on my own. For a little while, I couldn't even breathe on my own. I couldn't get out of bed much less face the world. Go about life. I would drown. You weren't meant to let me fall. But then again, you never did say you'd hold me up.

My head won't stop. It won't let it go. We need to let it go. Maybe tomorrow the sadness will go away. Or the day after that. Or the week after that. Or the next year. Or another nine years from now.

Has it been that long already? Why does it still seem like it's happening now? That I'm in the middle of it. At this very point in time. Sitting here in a cool, calm, silent library surrounded by the sound of my own screaming. And those vacant eyes looking up at me. Those eyes cried before they closed. I think they didn't want to. I think that's why they cried. I think that's why I cry too.

It's the wrong time to be thinking like this. Life's too short. Gotta move on. Crying is for wimps.

That's ok. You never did say you'd stay. I shouldn't have asked.