Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Facebook vs the Web, part Deux

" Google and some of the Web’s leading social networks are teaming up to take on the new kid on the block — Facebook.

On Thursday, an alliance of companies led by Google plans to begin introducing a common set of standards to allow software developers to write programs for Google’s social network, Orkut, as well as others, including LinkedIn, hi5, Friendster, Plaxo and Ning.

The strategy is aimed at one-upping Facebook, which last spring opened its service to outside developers. Since then, more than 5,000 small programs have been built to run on the Facebook site, and some have been adopted by millions of the site’s users. Most of those programs tap into connections among Facebook friends and spread themselves through those connections, as well as through a “news feed” that alerts Facebook users about what their friends are doing.

The New York Times learned of the alliance’s plan from people briefed on the matter. Google, which had planned to introduce the alliance at a party on Thursday evening, later confirmed the plan." (NY Times)

It's an amazing accomplishment for Facebook to have the giants of the industry team up against it. But this is what I was talking about, what will Facebook do to deal with the 'wild web'.

And in another continuing salvo to the online marketing, Microsoft reveals its 'google analytics' kille yesterday.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

10th Anniversary

AIESEC in El Salvador is Celebrating its 10th Annyversary this year.
We organize a Global Village for the ocation

Here is the post, and don't forget to leave a message in our blog!


women, business, emerging economies

"In the interviews collected in the book, there is a little of everything: from young girls who fling themselves at the chance of being the traffickers' lovers to prostitutes who confess that sleeping with a young trafficker carrying an assault rifle makes them sexually excited. There are those who afirm that they do it because they want to seem touch, confronting the police like the men do: "We need to show that we are equal to men," says one of the young women interviewed, who insists that she doesn't take drugs to be more alert. And there are those who say they do it to guarantee their childrens' food.

"One of the most alarming things, and one that reflects the fascination that the traffickers exercise over women is that there exist middle class girls from comfortable neighborhoods in the city who end up moving to the favelas so that they can be closer to one of the traffickers, even though they know that they all end up dying young."

Book review for Falção, mulheres e o tráfico, about the role of women in drug trade of Brazil's favelas

Monday, October 29, 2007

Foreign Policy on the Bejing Olympics

Moises Naim, FP's ed-in-chief writes about China, the olympics and the spectacle it will most surely be...

It's good to be CEOs

Merril Lynch did a $8.4 billion write down last week. OK, so what a good board to do? They are in the process of kicking the CEO out, but not without his golden parachute estimated at $195 million dollars.

That's pretty awesome isn't it. You can screw up pretty badly and still be 'rewarded' for getting things so wrong.

IHT has more information on this.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Nymex Crude Future - 91.86 (Bloomberg Energy)

That's 91.86 dollars a barrel. Whoops.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Happy Flying Folks

"Northwest Airlines, for example, flies 109 of the oldest jetliners in the country, DC-9s, with an average age of 35 years. Northwest has yet to decide how to replace the DC-9s, which could remain in service another five years or more.

American Airlines operates a fleet of 300 older MD-80s, a model that guzzles fuel and lacks the latest in passenger comforts. And American has only a handful of replacement planes coming in the next couple of years.

The fleet of big jets operated by nine major domestic airlines has aged steadily since 2002, according to Airline Monitor, an aviation research firm. The average age was 10.6 years at the end of 2002, and it has risen each year, hitting 12.2 years at the end of 2006. Domestic airlines largely stopped ordering new planes after Sept. 11, 2001, shrinking their fleets to adjust to a drop in demand. Travel has rebounded strongly, but airlines are, for the most part, years away from taking delivery on large numbers of new planes. A big reason is that Boeing and Airbus have committed most of their airliner production capacity in coming years to carriers outside the United States." (NY Times)


Trade you some grains of knowledge, for grains of rice?

For each word you get right, they donate 10 grains of rice through the United Nations to help end world hunger. It's paid for by the advertisers, but you can check the FAQ to get answers on the nitty gritty.

Post your totals and vocab level in the thread.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Facebook worth $15 billion

Microsoft have paid $240 million for an unbelievably tiny 1.6% stake in facebook, valuing the whole site at over $15 billion.

Either or both of the following statements are true:

- Microsoft have just got royally ripped off in the old-timey dotcom sense of the word


- News Corp got the world's biggest bargain when they bought ALL of myspace for $580 million just a few years ago.

I go with the former - this is a desperate move by a desperate company. Microsoft couldn't have made something more valuable than 1.6% of facebook with $240 million dollars worth of the world's best engineers? That is lame if true....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

ex tenebris ad lucem

If you're making a porno, that is, you've got to make photocopies of your stars' IDs and then keep diligent records of these documents, which are subject to inspection at any time by the government.

That might sound a reasonable regulation of adult material. Trouble is, as the court points out, the law does not cover only traditional producers of adult material. The text of the statute defines a "producer" of porn as anyone who makes sexually explicit material -- even people who create images for themselves, without publishing or distributing them to anyone else. link

Add Your Voice to End Youth Homelessness in the U.S.

Sorry for posting something so US-specific on an international community blog, but this is very near and dear to my heart since I've been working this issue very closely over the past year or so. For the U.S. citizens reading, we're trying to collect the names of 1 million people to get Congress to take notice and support legislation affecting the homeless youth living on our streets. 13 kids die on the streets in the U.S. every day. Please add your name to the list we take to Congress in 2008 and help us spread the word by sharing the widget above. THANK YOU!!!


"You can post, deliver or fling your panties at the closest Burmese Embassy any day from today. Send early, send often!" the Lanna Action for Burma Web site urges.

"So far we have had no response from Burmese officials," Hilton said. link

Another invasion of Iraq ?

"As Turkey sends military convoys to its southeast border with Iraq, diplomatic efforts are intensifying to head off a cross-border incursion aimed at crushing the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

On Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan traveled to Baghdad and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in London to increase pressure on US and Iraqi forces in northern Iraq to halt a surge of attacks that peaked Sunday with the most lethal guerrilla strike in a decade. Twelve soldiers were killed and eight went missing. " (CSM)

Life is never boring in this part of the world.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Is China jacking Western search companies?

There are reports that in china URL requests for Google, Yahoo! Search, and Live Search are being redirected to Baidu. Can any of the China nomads comment on this?

the new status symbol...

these days, it seems you haven't really made it unless you have that most prized of status symbols : your very own page on Wikipedia.

I think it's about time we got dody one....what say?

Monday, October 22, 2007


Marijuana is now by far California's most valuable agricultural crop. Assuming, very optimistically, that the cops are finding every other plant, it is worth even more than the state's famous wine industry. the economist

World's oldest blogger is an Australian woman

who turned 108 a few days ago. Check her blog out here.

Time is worth more than money

if you paid hourly wages as opposed to salaries, according to new research.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Race and Intelligence

"Dr Watson, who helped unravel the structure of DNA with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, was roundly condemned for saying he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really”. The eminent American, currently in Britain to promote a new book, also said the assumption that different racial groups shared “equal powers of reason” was backed by “no firm reason”
And last November Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics, published a paper claiming African states were poor because their populations were less intelligent than Europeans and Asians.
"(The Telegraph)

Ok, the racism charge is an easy one. But let's talk about an alternative point. Can you actually measure intelligence across distinct and stark environment? Does it matter?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More than Sheep

"New Zealand women have the most sexual partners in the world, according to a global sex survey reported on Saturday.

They have an average of 20.4 sexual partners, according to a survey by condom-maker Durex - well above the global average of 7.3.

The Durex Sexual Wellbeing Global survey, which questioned 26,000 people in 26 countries, found that Austrians topped the male list with 29.3 sexual partners, more than twice the global average of 13.2.

New Zealand was the only country where women were more promiscuous than their men, who averaged 16.8 sexual partners, The Press newspaper said, reporting the survey." (Via Andrew Sullivan)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

i saw the way you were looking at that toaster......

.....At first, sex with robots might be considered geeky, "but once you have a story like 'I had sex with a robot, and it was great!' appear someplace like Cosmo magazine, I'd expect many people to jump on the bandwagon,"......


Mt. Discovery at sunset

I'm back on the Ice for another season. Check out my weblog for (at least) weekly updates!

dancing naked

This news article, like many others, ignores the true source of this optical illusion and instead claims it is a quick test to see if you use more of your right brain or left brain. This is utter nonsense, but the “right-brain/left brain” thing is in the public consciousness and won’t be going away anytime soon. Sure, we have two hemispheres that operate fine independently and have different abilities, but they are massively interconnected and work together as a seamless whole (providing you have never had surgery to cut your corpus callosum).

some more shade cast upon thissordid affair

Saturday, October 13, 2007

How long do you Facebook each day?

Britons spend an average of 5.8 hours a month on social networking sites — nearly twice that of any other European country.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Netherlands bans magic mushrooms

Users of fresh mushrooms experience effects ranging from giggling fits and intensification of colours, lights and sounds to, more rarely, hallucinations. Negative effects can include vomiting, and anxiety. (BBC)

Al Gore and IPCC win Nobel Peace Price

Gore for President....

online test for vice and idleness

spinning naked woman silhouette!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo

Despite years of stern warnings about the pitfalls of seeking love in the shadow of the water cooler- touched off by the heightened consciousness of sexual harassment in the 1990s- more workers think dating a colleague is not only acceptable, but logical. Those who follow the evolution of the workplace romance say the stigma may be fading because the line between business and personal life is blurring among younger workers. They are working longer hours. Their workplaces encourage collaboration. And, of course, most single people are in the work force. link

European low-cost airlines

Here's the list of European low-cost airlines operating within and outside of Europe.
(Notes in italic show details for those flying from/to Prague.)
------------------------------- - Bratislava based (main HQ) low-cost airline.
From Prague to Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Birmingham, Bratislava, Brussels, Bucharest, Burgas, Catania, Copenhagen, Dubrovnik, kosice, Lisbon, London, Manchester, Milan, Naples, Paris, Rome, Rimini, Thessaloniki, Split, Torino, Venice, Vienna - England based low-cost airline
From Prague to Basel, Belfast, Bristol, Dortmund, East Midlands, Geneva, London, Milan, Newcastle

EasyJet Switzerland ( - Geneva based low-cost airline. It operates scheduled services as an easyJet franchise from Geneva and Basel. Many destinations from Switzerland including Turkey and Prague. - Czech Republic based low-cost airline.
From Prague to Barcelona, Budapest, Chania, Dubai(!), Heraklion, Larnaca, Las Palmas, Madrid, Mallorca, Paris, Rodes, Rome, Tenerife - Barcelona based low-cost airline
From Prague only to Barcelona - the UK’s fastest growing low-cost airline, operating services within the UK and Europe
From Prague to UK (Birmingham, Manchester, East Midlands) - Czech Republic based new type of low-stable-cost airline which offers tickets to many destinations in Europe for 1990 CZK only! (1 Euro ~ 28 CZK) I heard that CZE is selling out its unsold tickets this way. Smart approach. - Dublin based low-cost airline.
From Prague only to dublin - Hannover based low-cost airline
No flights to Prague - Berlin based low-cost airline (early bookers could book everything for 29 euros). Flights to major cities in Europe plus some destinations in the Mediterranean, on the Canary Islands and in North Africa.
No flights to Prague - Germany based low-cost airline. offers the especially inexpensive City Flights service from Munich to the most beautiful cities in Europe. Condor City Flights start as low as €29 one way including all surcharges. - Düsseldorf based low-cost airline. Main bases are Düsseldorf, Munich and Berlin Tegel airports. Cheap flights to USA and Canada. Flights to all the continents. From October 2007 flights from Berlin-Tegel to Bangkok, Melbourne, Punta Cana and Varadero.
From Prague to Toronto, Fort Myers, Miami, New York

See the full list here.

In Rainbows

The new album from the band Radiohead is out. You can get it here. In an attempt to break away from the big music labels and to a certain extent itunes too, Radiohead is offering this album as a digital download and you can set the price for the album too. Pay whatever you want or don't pay anything at all.

I love these guys and would go halfway around the world to see them perform.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Who's going to win the Nobel Peace Prize ?

Broadband TV

It works really well - from Skype dudes.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The God Helmet: Prescribing Soma

In a series of studies conducted over the past several decades, Persinger and his team have trained their device on the temporal lobes of hundreds of people. In doing so, the researchers induced in most of them the experience of a sensed presence—a feeling that someone (or a spirit) is in the room when no one, in fact, is—or of a profound state of cosmic bliss that reveals a universal truth. During the three-minute bursts of stimulation, the affected subjects translated this perception of the divine into their own cultural and religious language—terming it God, Buddha, a benevolent presence or the wonder of the universe.

Persinger thus argues that religious experience and belief in God are merely the results of electrical anomalies in the human brain. He opines that the religious bents of even the most exalted figures—for instance, Saint Paul, Moses, Muhammad and Buddha—stem from such neural quirks. The popular notion that such experiences are good, argues Persinger in his book Neuropsychological Bases of God Beliefs (Praeger Publishers, 1987), is an outgrowth of psychological conditioning in which religious rituals are paired with enjoyable experiences. Praying before a meal, for example, links prayer with the pleasures of eating. God, he claims, is nothing more mystical than that.

Find the full article at Scientific American.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

japanese journalist murdered

here we see a burmese soldier killing the japanese journalist Kenji Nagai

Friday, October 05, 2007

Che: The icon and the ad

"There is no other image like it. What other image has been sustained in this way?" asks Trisha Ziff, the curator of a touring exhibition on the iconography of Che.

"Che Guevara has become a brand. And the brand's logo is the image, which represents change. It has becomes the icon of the outside thinker, at whatever level - whether it is anti-war, pro-green or anti-globalisation," she says.

Its presence - everywhere from walls in the Palestinian territories to Parisian boutiques - makes it an image that is "out of control", she adds.

"It has become a corporation, an empire, at this point." (BBC)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


The question I want to pose—perhaps as much to myself as to anyone else—is this: With well over a billion Muslims and extensive material resources, why is the Islamic world disengaged from science and the process of creating new knowledge? To be definite, I am here using the 57 countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) as a proxy for the Islamic world.

It was not always this way. Islam's magnificent Golden Age in the 9th–13th centuries brought about major advances in mathematics, science, and medicine. The Arabic language held sway in an age that created algebra, elucidated principles of optics, established the body's circulation of blood, named stars, and created universities. But with the end of that period, science in the Islamic world essentially collapsed. No major invention or discovery has emerged from the Muslim world for well over seven centuries now. That arrested scientific development is one important element—although by no means the only one—that contributes to the present marginalization of Muslims and a growing sense of injustice and victimhood.

Such negative feelings must be checked before the gulf widens further. A bloody clash of civilizations, should it actually transpire, will surely rank along with the two other most dangerous challenges to life on our planet—climate change and nuclear proliferation." (Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy)

Lonely Planet SOLD.... to the BBC

What an unusual story to read. A strange buyer, but lets hope the BBC does a good job

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

amigos con derechos

Yet relationships in which close friends begin having sex come with their own brand of awkwardness, according to the first study to explore the dynamics of such pairs, often called friends with benefits, or F.W.B.. (NYTimes)(study)

Fight Malaria - Spread the Net

"Spread the Net was born when Belinda Stronach and Rick Mercer traveled to Africa in 2006 with Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the UN Millennium Project and The Earth Institute at Columbia University. It was there that they saw first hand the devastating effects of Malaria, and the shockingly simple bed net solution so out-of-reach for many thousands of African families."

If you're looking for a way to fight malaria, check out this worthy cause. Rick and Belinda (two prominent Canadians) have teamed with UNICEF Canada to raise $5 million over three years. You can do your part by buying a bed net for ten bucks Canadian (now like $10.06 US). These nets will then be distributed in affected areas. It's a small price to pay to help the global fight against malaria.

Find out more info here. Buy a net here.

Monday, October 01, 2007

This is apparently how you do it

"Now comes an unconfirmed report in The Daily Mail in Britain with a staggering claim of mass slaughter. The paper quotes Hla Win, described as a Burmese general who has deserted his post in protest of the regime’s harsh tactics.

“Many more people have been killed in recent days than you’ve heard about,” Hla Win said. “The bodies can be counted in several thousand.”

Here is some additional detail from General Win, referred to in this passage by his title:

The 42-year-old chief of military intelligence in Rangoon’s northern region added: “I decided to desert when I was ordered to raid two monasteries and force several hundred monks onto trucks.

“They were to be killed and their bodies dumped deep inside the jungle. I refused to participate in this.”

The general is seeking political asylum in Norway, according to The Norway Post. A Norwegian freelance journalist told The Post that he met with General Win in a jungle hideout near the border with Thailand." (The Lede)