Archive for August, 2008


So the violence in Iraq may be abating… the Iraqi government is taking firm control and can begin planning for the future.  Rebuild the country!  Kickstart the economy!  Bring peace and order to the nation and ensure that the Iraqi people have a bright future.

With much chagrin, I read this article:
Baghdad plans to build giant Ferris wheel

“The Ferris wheel, dubbed the Baghdad Eye, will soar more than 650 feet over the city and feature air-conditioned compartments that would each carry up to 30 passengers, Baghdad municipal spokesman Adel al-Ardawi said Wednesday.”

The reasoning behind this is apparently to promote tourism.

Clearly they have not been following the first year of the Singapore Flyer… I don’t think that would be labeled a success… and it’s the world’s largest ferris wheel built in a cosmopolitan modern city.

The chances of a large ferris wheel attracting tourism (even domestic tourism) in a war-torn country seems minimal.

Shouldn’t they spend their money on something else?


The Times They Are A-Changin’

Barack Obama claims historic presidential nomination

First African-American nominee for President of the United States of America

I do like this quote from Representative John Lewis:
“Barack Obama is not an African-American nominee. He is the Democratic nominee for president of the United States,” Lewis said. “T hat’s what this struggle was all about — to create one America, one house and that is what Barack Obama represents”



Another teen makes some $$$

A 15 year old sold his discussion forum, ZuneBoards, for USD 62,000.

Typically we hear about those multimillion dollar deals from internet start-ups helmed by 20-some year olds that are sold to big companies like Microsoft, Google, etc.

I wonder how many of these smaller-transaction sales are done.  It’s heartening to see that someone who creates something as simple as a message board forum can generate enough interest to warrant a big sale, even while a teenager.

Google losing its mojo?

Interesting opinion piece on Google changing from internet darling to an older more-established company. Of course this happens with every company, but what I find interesting is the speed at which Google is transforming.

I’d like to see a case study on a company that went from tech revolutionary to established and mature and then rejuvenated itself to lead the way again. Perhaps IBM could be an example of that. At Microsoft I think we are having some fitful starts in trying to change, let’s hope that is successful…

And on another note, I wish I was still in the Maldives. I got back this morning at 7 am and am feeling disoriented. Less than 24 hours ago I was floating above a coral reef looking at an array of colorful fish swim beneath my mask. Now the closest thing I have to that is the fish screensaver on my computer.

September Travel

Last night I was booking more travel.  My 10 year university reunion is coming up, and I consider it a once-in-a-lifetime moment to go back and see the old friends.  Those who knew me when I was younger…

Plus I’ve fallen in the trap of movies dictating to me what momentous life occasions are.  They seem to hype reunions… to see who has changed, who is still fat, what happened to the class clown, who got unexpectedly rich, etc. Perhaps a reunion is a physical indicator that time has passed – looking at the friend you used to hang out with every day, years later, to see the wrinkles and lines… well, that has to be a wake-up call.

Anyway, since I will be traveling to the US, I thought I would slap a few trips around it.  So September will bring me to Florida, Washington DC, New York City, Frankfurt (debating if I want to actually get off the plane there), and one other European destination.

It’s a toss-up between Lisbon, Portugal or Llubjlana (sp?), Slovenia.  Anyone been to either place and have arguments for or against?  I figure this trip will be a birthday present to myself.  A correlation with last year’s trip to East Timor (a former Portuguese colony), I could see the true architecture and culture of Portugal…

Time for lunch.

Me and the fish

I wonder why it is that humans love being near water.  Ocean, lake, river, stream… property is most desired when it’s overlooking a body of water.

So here I am in the Maldives.  Sitting outside on the villa’s deck, looking down at squid, fish and other aqua beasties swimming below me.  Perhaps if I am not so lazy later I will don mask and fins and go snorkeling.  Stepping off the deck leads me immediately into a mass of coral.  Though the water is so clear here I don’t see a need to get wet when I can simply look down.

I’ve grown to enjoy beach vacations.  Primarily because there is nothing I must do.  A totally blank slate when it comes to activities for a day.  The most rigorous decision I need to make is whether I want to go eat or get back into the bed.

And the joys of wireless internet!  In the past I may have felt a little strange about bringing my laptop on an escape, but now… I admit to myself that I enjoy using the computer, I enjoy being connected, and it enhances my vacation when I can get online.

Look forward to more posts of me doing nothing in the Maldives…

Singtel Grid Girls / Silverlight

Well, looks like another competition has started which centers around finding an attractive girl.  We seem to have a lot of these in Singapore, don’t we?  (New Paper face, Miss Singapore Universe, Miss Singapore World, FHM Girl Next Door, etc.)

The Singtel Grid Girls‘ web site stands out.  It uses Silverlight (yes, a Microsoft technology… similar to Adobe’s Flash) and allows for some cool interactivity with videos of the girls.  Hard to explain, but check out the site.  I like that when you mouseover one girl, she gets excited and the rest start pouting.


I just have to make it 2 more days and then I will be here

Introverts and Extraverts

Good article about tendencies for introverts and extraverts (according to this article, extravert is spelled with the ‘a’ rather than extrovert).