Monday, January 31, 2005

How to control Firefox memory usage ?

This link has the mozilla forum discussion on FF memory usage.

Agreed, this is an issue - in *theory*, Firefox is supposed to use as much RAM as you have available, but let it go when another application needs it. In practice, I find FF is not too great about being well behaved - when memory usage gets too large, it seems to sluggify things a bit. Luckily, the fix is trivial and after doing this, I have had no more problems with FF eating up RAM.

If you are looking for a simple solution :

type about:config into the location bar, press enter, right click any line, choose "new">"integer", paste this into the dialogue that appears:


click okay, specify the amount in kb in the next dialogue that appears, restart firefox.

What you are doing here is not restricting the memory footprint of the FireFox application. This just restricts the "memory cache" (which sometimes gets unruly) used by FF.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Everyone thinks they're hiring the top 1%

on Joel on Software

I hear this from almost every software company. "We hire the top 1% or less," they all say.

Could they all be hiring the top 1%? Where are all the other 99%? General Motors?

Quiz: If you get 200 resumes, and you hire 1 person, are you hiring the top 0.5% of software developers?

"No," you say, "your screening process is unlikely to find the best person out of 200."

Friday, January 28, 2005

IIMC ian Conquers Mount Kilimanjaro

Mr. Malli Mastan Babu, alumnus IIMC and Adventure club founder succesfuly started his campaign of climbing the 7 Summits in 7 continents by conquering Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Currently he is on his way to Argentina, where he is planning to climb Mt. Aconcagua

This guy is crazy. He did not sit for placements after his MBA. He started his own adventure firm, Mast Adventures.

His aim is to be "The first person in the world to conquer the highest peak in each continent"

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The war on tort

on Economist

According to figures from Tillinghast-Towers Perrin, an insurance consultancy, tort-system costs amounted to $246 billion in 2003—excluding vast settlements agreed by tobacco companies (see chart). That represented 2.2% of GDP, compared with just 0.6% in 1950 and 1.3% by 1970

Businesses suffer indirect costs too. The threat of lawsuits often causes financial markets to overreact. Credit-rating agencies are likely to downgrade firms that face litigation, increasing the cost of financing.

It is hoped that the proposed $140 billion fund will convince all parties—on the one side businesses and insurers, and on the other victims and trade unions—to end a series of legal battles that has been running since the first asbestos-related claim was filed in 1966.

In the case of asbestos, many of those included in the class actions are not even ill, but merely worried that past exposure might make them sick in the future.

China's Reheated Economy

on Economist

the Chinese authorities sheepishly confessed that the economy beat expectations last year, growing by 9.5%. It finished the year particularly strongly, growing at an annual pace of almost 13% in the last three months ... Anywhere else, this would be cause for celebration. But in China, the firecrackers remain unlit. Instead, analysts and investors are trying to reassure themselves that this is not bad news.

Since China embraced market economics in 1978, its average rate of growth has been 9.4%. By its own standards, then, last year’s pace of expansion was nothing out of the ordinary.

In the year to the first quarter of 2004, spending on fixed assets—plant, property and infrastructure—grew by 43%. Investment accounted for 42% of GDP in 2003, and perhaps a still greater share last year. No economy can sustain such a colossal rate of capital accumulation.

Chinese households still save about 45% of their income. They deposit about two-thirds of these savings in China’s four big state-owned banks, which lend about two-thirds of these deposits to state-run firms. The banks pay little attention to risk and do not expect much of a return: perhaps 40-50% of loans are non-performing.

Economists, who freely mix their metaphors, have spent the past year worrying that China is “overheating” and hoping that it will make a “soft landing”.

Using Forex reserves for Infrastructure development

Putting forex reserves to good use By M K VENU (ET)

The government is looking at earmarking about $10 billion of RBI’s forex reserves for investment in various infrastructure sectors over a period of time. It is safe to assume that India’s reserves will cross $150 billion in the near term.

So setting aside 6-7% of the reserves for investment in infrastructure seems reasonable. Earlier this year, China also decided to use up about $15 billion of its reserves ($470 billion) to recapitalise its banks.

Muddled on forex for infrastructure By ARVIND PANAGARIYA (ET)

Infrastructure hawks would respond that the return on the infrastructure projects is higher so that the future income streams from them can more than compensate for the extra interest on the RBI-held securities.

Fiscal fundamentalists would counter that the increase in the GoI debt, which is already large, would make the financial markets within and outside India jittery: the latter may judge the return from infrastructure projects to be lower and more uncertain.

As a last point, it is puzzling why, at a time when the RBI is rapidly accumulating reserves to avoid a large appreciation of the rupee, the government continues to borrow large sums abroad.

Powering projects with forex reserves By S. Padmanabhan (BusinessLine)

In the power sector, the equity investment climate has always been buoyant. But the expected investment has not flowed into this area because of viability and bankability issues. Once deficit financing reaches out to strengthen these areas, equity and debt investments will start, says S. Padmanabhan.

The reform paradox By S. Balakrishnan (BusinessLine)

These calculations are naturally not in the domain of investors and bankers. Their concerns are returns of equity and safety of funds of lenders. And structuring infrastructure projects that satisfy these tests has proved challenging and, in most cases, impossible. Where Governments took these responsibilities on themselves, the results have been disastrous, as has been clearly established in the case of the ill-fated Enron-promoted Dabhol Power Company.

That, in essence, is the paradox. If you can reform the system, incentives are not necessary. If you cannot reform, even God cannot help you.

Articles on CAC

A few Businessline articles on CAC

Capital Account Convertibility — Right road, but best with speed-breakers by Bharat Jhunjhunwala Tuesday, Mar 30, 2004

Should India pursue capital account convertibility? By Pradyumna Dash Saturday, Mar 27, 2004

Say no to capital account convertibility Prabhat Kumar Tuesday, Mar 19, 2002

Monday, January 24, 2005

Cold Technology

First two parts of a three part series on Rediff

Rajesh Jain is managing director of Netcore Solutions Pvt Ltd.

Part I: Cold technology? What's that?

Part II: Why cold technology is vital

Coburn wrote in a research note in early 2003: "A cold technology issue is one that commands a major portion of the agenda while having neutral revenue or even anti revenue attributes.

The Bells have lost some 28 million local phone lines since the end of 2000 -- a drop of more than 18 per cent. This is the first time since the Great Depression that phone companies have seen their lines decline.

Wi-Fi Networking News puts this in perspective: "If users get hooked on Wi-Fi networks that are free to access, they may decide to go out of their way to find a free hotspot rather than pay for the cellular access which at least these days is far more expensive. However, it's likely that a certain market segment will pay for the convenience of having the higher speed wireless data from the cellular operators in more locations."

Google Phone ?

on InsideGoogle

In what would be its most ambitious move ever, Google is rumored to be getting into the Voice Over IP internet phone market. Is it possible ?

As evidence, they note a recent job description on the Google website that called for a "strategic negotiatior" to help the company provide a "global backbone network". They are talking about a single job description which has been much speculated around the blogosphere, the "dark fiber" position

Interview with Ramadorai

on Rediff

S Ramadorai
, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, TCS, was Business India Businessman of the Year 2004.

If there is one thing young people need to do, it is do better than you did yesterday.

Business operates at the speed at which you can run after learning, and learning never stops.

All of us will become obsolete and irrelevant if people do not embrace learning. People relate to what the market forces are and enable institutions to do things differently everyday on an ongoing basis.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Haloscan Commenting and Trackback added

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


by SEYMOUR M. HERSH on NewYorker

George W. Bush’s reĆ«lection was not his only victory last fall. The President and his national-security advisers have consolidated control over the military and intelligence communities’ strategic analyses and covert operations to a degree unmatched since the rise of the post-Second World War national-security state.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Harvard Chief Defends His Talk on Women

NYTimes January 18, 2005

The president of Harvard University, Lawrence H. Summers, who offended some women at an academic conference last week by suggesting that innate differences in sex may explain why fewer women succeed in science and math careers, stood by his comments yesterday but said he regretted if they were misunderstood.

"When he started talking about innate differences in aptitude between men and women, I just couldn't breathe because this kind of bias makes me physically ill," Dr. Hopkins said. "Let's not forget that people used to say that women couldn't drive an automobile."

Dr. Summers said, "I was trying to provoke discussion, and I certainly believe that there's been some move in the research away from believing that all these things are shaped only by socialization."

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Why Stock Markets Stayed Calm in Southern Asia

NYTimes January 16, 2005

..... there was no widespread selling because the tsunami damage, though extending for thousands of miles along the Indian Ocean's rim, had negligible impact on industrial capacity. It may seem perverse when juxtaposed with the immense loss of life, analysts say, but the disaster may even produce economic and commercial benefits as rebuilding begins.

Filangy: PersonalWeb Search Engine

Filangy is a new way to manage and share Web information. You’ll never have to go hunting for an article you read online last week or search over and over again. Filangy will create a personal web space for you and make it fully searchable.

China Promotes Another Boom: Nuclear Power

On NYTimes January 15, 2005

Current plans - conservative ones, in the estimation of some people involved in China's nuclear energy program - call for new reactors to be commissioned at a rate of nearly two a year between now and 2020, a pace that experts say is comparable to the peak of the United States' nuclear energy push in the 1970's.

By 2010, planners predict a quadrupling of nuclear output to 16 billion kilowatt-hours and a doubling of that figure by 2015. And with commercial nuclear energy programs dead or stagnant in the United States and most of Europe, Western and other developers of nuclear plant technology are lining up to sell reactors and other equipment to the Chinese ....

Japan derives about 10 percent of its energy from nuclear sources and was once among the most favorably disposed toward nuclear energy. But a string of scandals involving comically shoddy practices, like mixing radioactive materials in a bucket, and near accidents have turned public opinion in many areas strongly antinuclear.

China's eight nuclear reactors in operation today supply less than 2 percent of current demand. By 2020, assuming the national plan is fulfilled, nuclear energy would still constitute under 4 percent of demand.

"With wind power, you can go bankrupt. With a dam burst, lives can and have been lost, but it's fairly localized. The cost of cleaning up after Chernobyl, though, is greater than all of the benefits of the entire Soviet nuclear power industry combined, and it could have been worse."

Tort Reform in USA

Jan 6th 2005 From The Economist print edition

The president's plan focuses on three things: limiting the amount of money that victims of medical malpractice can win for “non-economic” damages such as pain and suffering (he made his Madison speech surrounded by wounded-looking doctors); restricting the use of class-action suits (where large groups of people are pulled together by lawyers to sue companies); and curbing lawsuits against asbestos firms.

“Mad County” judges are famous for taking on cases other courts refuse, and not holding back when it comes to the penalties. In March 2003 one judge awarded $10.1 billion to the plaintiffs in a class-action suit against Philip Morris on the basis that “light” cigarettes had been misleadingly labelled. Like many other Madison awards, the appeal is now being heard in the Illinois Supreme Court.

But there is a limit to how much Washington can dictate in a system where so much power lies with the states and those elected judges. And the trial lawyers are not about to give in easily.

An act of God?

By Hasan Suroor in The Hindu Friday, Jan 14, 2005

Similarly Jonathan Sacks, head of Britain's Jewish community, admitted that it was a "question of questions" for believers to answer the question: "How does God permit a tragedy such as the Indian Ocean tidal wave? How does he allow the innocent to suffer?"

Dr. Sacks says that by placing man in a "physical world," God set human life "within the parameters of the physical" — subjecting it to both physical pain and pleasures. In a physical world, "planets are formed, tectonic plates shift, earthquakes occur, and sometimes innocent people die." "To wish it otherwise is in essence to wish that we were not physical beings at all. Then we would not know pleasure, desire, achievement, freedom, virtue, creativity, vulnerability and love," he wrote in The Times.

There is a greater acceptance of "fate" among Hindus and Muslims than their Christian peers. "To blame God is infantile... We have chosen to enter a realm in which suffering exists. We are doomed to suffering and death," said Shaunaka Rishi Das of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies echoing a Muslim scholar, who said, "None of us is going to live for an indefinite period... what form it [death] takes is always beyond us."

In a presumably unintended aside, a television channel replayed a film, The Man Who Sued God, in which a lawyer exposes a powerful cartel of churchmen and insurance companies who refuse to pay up claims relating to natural disasters describing them as "acts of God." The lawyer argues that if, indeed, these are acts of God as claimed both by religious leaders and insurance salesmen then the Church, as the representative of God, should cough up the money. Faced with the choice between losing money and compromising faith, Churchmen end up denying that disasters such as storms, floods and earthquakes are "acts of God"!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The super-jumbo era arrives

Jan 13th 2005 From The Economist Global Agenda

Airbus is set to unveil a double-decker passenger jet that it hopes will repeat the success of a vehicle that is every bit as iconic: Boeing’s 747. The European consortium’s A380 super-jumbo, which is to be formally unveiled at a lavish ceremony on Tuesday January 18th, will break the 747’s longstanding monopoly of the big-jet market when it enters service in 2006. Everything about the new plane is big, from its capacity of 555 paying customers and range of 15,000km

Airbus thinks an extra 16,600 new large planes (over 100 seats)—a doubling of the number of passenger aircraft currently flying—will do the trick, and expects that the average number of seats in aircraft will increase by 20%, to 215. By contrast, Boeing expects sales of 18,600 slightly smaller planes.

Airbus is hoping that the A380 will help it retain the lead it gained over Boeing in 2003, when, for the first time since the European consortium emerged as a rival to Boeing in the early 1970s, it delivered more aircraft than its American competitor. Airbus, to Boeing’s extreme displeasure, kept the number-one slot in 2004 by delivering 320 planes compared with 285 from its rival

Some 1,400 747s have been sold to date. However, only 15 were delivered last year. And as the jumbo has aged, Boeing’s domination of the commercial airways has foundered.

Boeing’s latest attempt to put things right, the 250-seat 7E7 “Dreamliner”, is born out of a belief that passengers will demand, and future deregulation allow, a big increase in “point-to-point” travel: direct flights between small and medium-sized cities .... The A380, by contrast, is designed to fly between big hubs.

A Chinese Revaluation May Not Help U.S.

NYTimes January 14, 2005

Basic arguments :
  1. The US imports a lot more than it exports to China. The costs of many US companies might actually go up
  2. Some Chinese companies will actually become more competitive, for example those who buy compnents from US
  3. The costs in China are so low that a small revaluation might not effect a big change. Not only the cheap labour, China has superior technology to build things cheaply
  4. US and Chinese companies in most cases do compete directly for the same products
  5. Even if China becomes unattractive, production would just move some other country closer to the US like Mexico
  6. The revaluation should be atleast 25% to have a significant effect. But it is unlikely that Beijing would let it increase beyond 10%

B-school ready for fest blast

Of course !!!

KOLKATA: Future business wizards are all geared up to blast off a two-day cultural fiesta from Friday. Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, is hosting its first cultural extravaganza, titled Carpe Diem.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Oil as weapon of mass corruption

Businessline Friday, Oct 15, 2004

The Iraq Survey Group has stumbled on a shocking collusion among the Iraqi regime, UN officials, and contractors in more than 40 countries, including the permanent members of the Security Council, in subverting the UN-administered Oil-for-Food Programme into the biggest and the most extensive international racket of modern times. The ISG has compiled a catalogue of the high-profile operators of the spoils system, naming all the names and mentioning specific figures. Where will the chips fall, wonders B. S. Raghavan.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

20 Year Usenet Timeline

This is old news but I happened to read through some of the threads. Here are are some interesting and innocent looking messages that started off great threads.


I have a friend that raised an interesting question that I immediately tried to prove wrong. He is a programmer and has this notion that when we reach the year 2000, computers will not accept the new date. Will the computers assume that it is 1900, or will it even cause a problem? ......


Last I heard, the cause or means of transmission of AIDS was not known. I would appreciate any pointers to well-documented claims to the contrary.

Microsoft !!!

The June issue of BYTE magazine has a fairly long article on XENIX by Microsoft's XENIX product manager. Mostly, it's a standard "What's a UNIX" paper, but it also describes some of the enhancements they are adding to V7........

Tinanmen Square

The situation is Beijing is MUCH WORSE that what is reported by the media. A friend of mine just made a phone call to her brother at Beijing Normal Univ. Her brother said that thousands have been killed, many of them run over by tanks. .....


The WWW project merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to make an easy but powerful global information system.

First arboreal genome

From The Economist print edition Jan 6th 2005

Lofty mission statements aside, the principal commercial goals of arboreal genome research are faster growth and more useful wood. The advantage of the former is obvious: more timber more quickly. More useful wood, in this context, mainly means wood that is more useful to the paper industry, an enormous consumer of trees. In particular, this industry wants to reduce the amount of lignin in the wood it uses.

Genetic modifications based on Bt are environmentally controversial. On the one hand, they reduce the amount of pesticide needed. On the other, there is a fear that the gene might “escape” from crops into wild plants that form the foodstuffs of benign insects. In the case of trees it might not even be necessary for the gene to jump species. GM trees, with immunity to insect pests and faster growth rates than their unmodified competitors, might simply spread by the normal processes of natural selection. That really would be survival of the fittest.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

China's champions

Economist Jan 6th 2005

Huawei's astonishing campus on the outskirts of the southern city of Shenzhen is straight out of the technology bubble too, with four football fields, swimming pools, apartments for 3,000 families and a fantastical Disney-esque research centre with doric pillars and marbled interior.


Hu Yong, a vice-president, is proud of being in more than 70 countries, that over 3,000 of the group's 24,000 employees are overseas nationals and that two-fifths of its more than $5 billion revenues in 2004 will be made outside China.

Ren Zhengfei, one of its founders, was an officer in the People's Liberation Army. The company denies, but admits it cannot shake, speculation that it is really controlled by the military. It denies even more hotly rumours that its overseas offices, some run from Chinese consulates, spy for China.

Yet its multi-billion-yuan campus, lavish marketing and relentless expansion overseas are hard to square with it being a private company that made just $300m of profits last year.


China's top steel producer, already sits on the Fortune 500 list of the largest global companies by sales. It will more than double capacity by 2010 to become the world's number three producer.

China Minmetals

China Minmetals, the biggest base metals company, has gone further with its recent approach to buy Noranda, a Canadian copper and nickel miner, for a reported $7 billion.


... an auto parts group started by a farmer's son as a bicycle repair shop, has $2 billion of annual sales in 40 countries and owns research assets in America.


In China, Lenovo's profits from PCs are rising by just 1% per year and its market share is being squeezed as Dell makes inroads in expensive computers and private-label firms undercut prices on basic machines. Far from being world-class, Lenovo is less efficient than its domestic peers


Having built up commanding domestic market shares of 20-70% for most home appliances, the group has offices in more than 100 countries and overseas revenues of over $1 billion. However, most of its international sales are in niche markets, and Haier lacks the cost control, production discipline, market dominance and sales support

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC)
.. aims to be among the world's top six car companies by 2020. In October it trumped a domestic rival to buy Ssangyong Motors, South Korea's fourth largest carmaker, and it is also in talks to rescue MG Rover in Britain.


At home it remains the most profitable TV producer. Internationally, buying the TV business of France's Thomson in early 2004 turned it into the world's biggest volume TV maker.

Chinese FDI

But the global footprint of Chinese companies is still rather faint. Their outward foreign direct investment was just $2.9 billion in 2003, compared with the more than $50 billion that flowed into the mainland. China's stock of outward FDI amounts to $33 billion, less than half a percent of accumulated world FDI.

If anything, the gap between Chinese and foreign firms is widening, as the latter merge, reinvest the profits yielded by their scale economies and continually hone their management systems.

These companies all had access to capital, cheap labour and a big domestic market..... they failed not because of poor products, but because of organisation and business strategy

China has so far failed to build world-class companies. Even the natural monopolies and resources companies are mostly just big rather than particularly efficient. In manufacturing, technology and consumer areas, a few companies are groping towards international competitiveness, but none are there yet.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

VisitorVille Intelligence : Big Brother is watching !!

Need company-specific market information (instead of generalized statistics)? VisitorVille Intelligence (VI) reports how employees from 200,000 of the world's top companies, universities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies use the Web. We collect detailed referrer data on company-level visitors from thousands of web sites in the VisitorVille network, and from this data create 5,000,000 market intelligence reports that you cannot find anywhere else.

This entry on Inside Google has some interesting stats :
What Search Engines Do Search Engine Companies Use?

And, here we go : Some stats on Trilogy offices :

Trilogy Austin

Trilogy Bangalore

Google: 'Do no good ?'

OK. This time around, it is time for Google to answer some questions !!

Google Under Fire for Open Source Greed

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Where O Where Have My Results Gone, Google?

on SearchEngineWatch

But c'mon -- out of 278 million matches for a search on Yahoo, only 38 unique documents are found? That's what our forum members are discussing over here: Only 31 results shown for Yahoo. I say 38 because when I searched for yahoo today, that's how far I got before getting the "pages omitted" message.

Defining Google

on CBS 60 Minutes

And if that’s not science-fiction enough, Battelle describes another advance potentially on the not-so-distant horizon. Users would, he says, "have a device which is in your pocket, which looks like a phone, and you go to a supermarket and you see a potentially overpriced box of pasta. And you take that device and you wand it over the product code, and you see comparison prices from Google of three other stores that are within a mile, OK? That’s power. That’s search. But no one has quite figured out that. That’s also the future.

Brin won’t say if it's something in Google’s future. But there is one ambition he admits to: finishing his Ph.D. "My mom asks me every week," he says. "I actually do keep meaning to finish it. But I haven’t found quite the slot of time."

A New Idea for Publishing

On Technology Review By John Battelle

A system of Internet-based marketing, which I’ll call Publisher-Driven Advertising, or PDA, may be soon possible. In this system, publishers would pick and choose from a vast supply of advertisers.

Once these tagged ads are let loose, publishers could simply copy and paste them into their own websites. Through connections to their home sites, the ads would report which publishers have pasted them where, how many clicks they’ve received, and how much money is left in the advertiser’s bank account. The ad propagates until it runs out of money. If it is working, the advertiser simply fills up the tank with more money.

Why is this model better than the current one? Because publishers know their audiences best. There’s no incentive for publishers to place ads that don’t perform or that offend their readers.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Reacting to a Dollar With No Muscle

NYTimes January 3, 2005

The big rises in gold and oil seemed larger when measured in dollars than they did when calculated in euros or yen.

But the most important fact about currency markets in 2004 was that the dollar did not budge against the Chinese yuan, or against other Asian currencies that are effectively tied to the dollar. The big issue this year will be whether those ties are broken, and, if so, how markets and economies will react.

Barring a dollar crisis, the economy seems likely to keep growing, and that should support share prices in 2005. For numerologists, there is the Rule of Five, which holds that the market always goes up in years ending in 5. The Dow industrials have risen more than 20 percent in every such year since the index began in 1896, with the exception of 1965, when the rise was a still respectable 10.9 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average was the laggard, rising only 3.15 percent. It was held back by four of its members, which lost more than 20 percent of their values. Two were drug stocks, Merck and Pfizer, whose painkillers were linked to heart problems. The others were Intel, which seemed to stumble while rivals prospered, and General Motors, which continues to lose market share and faces huge bills for health care costs for retirees.

Some of those gains are reduced or even eliminated if an investor's holdings are converted from dollars into measures of value. The 9 percent gain for the S.& P. 500 would be just 4.3 percent computed in Japanese yen, or 1.3 percent in euros. And measured in the amount of gold needed to buy a basket of stocks, the gain was only 3.4 percent.

Even so, American investors were less interested in European stocks in the past year than in Chinese ones - or at least in companies that could claim to benefit from the Chinese boom.

Short-term interest rates are higher now, but long-term rates are nearly the same. Now, points out Kerry Reilly of Bridgewater Associates, traders are expecting long-term rates to rise in 2005, but not nearly so much as they had wrongly forecast for 2004.

A few years ago, foreigners were happy to buy American stocks, but that demand has almost vanished. In 2000, foreigners were net buyers of $458 billion of American securities, with 38 percent of that amount going into stocks. In the first 10 months of 2004, they put $746 billion into American securities, but less than one-half of 1 percent of that went into stocks.

Contrarians could argue that is a positive indicator: foreign investors rarely show good market timing in most parts of the world, presumably for want of local knowledge. So foreigners' lack of interest in American stocks could be a sign that the stock market is not near a peak.

Joel's Advice for Computer Science College Students

By Joel Spolsky Sunday, January 02, 2005

....... here are Joel's Seven Pieces of Free Advice for Computer Science College Students (worth what you paid for them):
  1. Learn how to write before graduating.
  2. Learn C before graduating.
  3. Learn microeconomics before graduating.
  4. Don't blow off non-CS classes just because they're boring.
  5. Take programming-intensive courses.
  6. Stop worrying about all the jobs going to India.
  7. No matter what you do, get a good summer internship.

Now for the explanations, unless you're gullible enough to do all that stuff just because I tell you to, in which case add: 8. Seek professional help for that self-esteem thing.

Microsoft loses again

Dec 29th 2004 From The Economist print edition

First, it must provide in European markets a stripped-down version of its Windows operating system without a media player (the software that plays music and video on a PC). This is to prevent Microsoft's media format becoming the de facto industry standard by dint of the firm's operating system monopoly.

Second, Microsoft must license technical information to rivals so their products can interface with its server software as efficiently as Microsoft's own products do.

Making Microsoft “unbundle” its media player is a symbolic victory: it is not certain that PC-makers will actually offer PCs with the stripped-down version of Windows. Yet it could set a precedent that will force Microsoft to unbundle other bits of Windows in future. That is why the firm was so keen to reach a settlement with the commission.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

From The Wilderness

Mike Ruppert, 53, is the Publisher/Editor of From the Wilderness or FTW, a newsletter he founded in March 1998 by mailing out 68 copies to friends and researchers. FTW is now read by more than 20,000 subscribers in 40 countries including 40 members of the US Congress, the intelligence committees of both houses, and professors at 30 universities around the world. Through the newsletter and his website at, Mike has pioneered innovative analysis and groundbreaking original stories on the impact of $5-600 billion per year in drug money moving through the US economy and the illegal covert operations which maintain control of that cash flow for US economic interests.

"This is the man who cost CIA Director Deutch his guaranteed appointment as Secretary of Defense after confronting him at Locke High School with hard facts about CIA dealing drugs." - Dick Gregory

" the course of investigations in the mid 70's he came across information that the CIA was trading drugs in order to fund covert operations in the Middle East...Perot called him back to offer encouragement...Ruppert says that his main objective is to see that the country gets a leader worthy of its people. Even for Ross Perot those will be tough shoes to fill." - PEOPLE MAGAZINE 6/22/92

From The Wilderness has been as much as a year ahead of the mainstream media on major stories. Now, as the world is undergoing one of the biggest changes in human history we find that attitudes and positions we have been writing about for five years like the dependence of the global economy and financial markets on laundered drug money are finding their way into mainstream press reports and academic circles. The events since September 11, 2001 have shown that FTW has been ahead of the curve in predicting the current crisis.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Turkey drops 6 zeros from national currency

At midnight on New Year’s eve, Turkey will cease to be the land of millionaires and billionaires.

That is when the government drops six zeroes from the national currency and Turkey loses the dubious distinction of being the country with the largest denomination in circulation, the 20,000,000 lira, worth only about $15.

The zeroes are the result of decades of double-digit inflation that has taken the currency from 2.8 to the dollar throughout the 1950s to 1,350,0000 per dollar today.

For many Turks, the new money will simply end the confusion of dealing in a currency in which the smallest coin in general circulation is the 50,000 and a short taxi ride can set you back 5-10m.

Bigger purchases can be measured in the billions and the Turkish gross national product is a mind-bending 424 quadrillion or 424,000,000,000,000,000.