Sunday, August 27, 2006

For Casual Sudoku

For casual Sudoku, this is the place to be.

American Venture Magazine

American Venture Magazine is another nice place to learn about the world of venture capital.

Venture Capital Business Grows in India

Venture capital business keeps growing in India as is observed by many while venture capital business in Canada takes a tumble in 2006.

Funding a Business

Venture firms play a key role to fund businesses. However, they do not always select the best or the most important opportunities on an individual basis. What works is that because there are multiple VCs, eventually one of the sees and grasps the opportunity that might be out there.

Some time ago, some friends of mine and I were tossing around ideas about a mobile service. Today, after about two years, I see these ideas having been funded and getting into servicability. Two years ago, when we were looking around, it was hard to find any one working on them.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Here, is an interesting quote form Thomas Schelling, winner of 2005 Nobel prize in Economics about "salami tacics."

Online Discussion on Iran and Nuclear Technology

Here is an interesting Post Global online discussion held by Ali Ettefagh.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Commercial Space Travel

Check this out on commercial space travel.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Correctness or Honor

If you wonder whether correctness or honor should matter to a mathematician, and whether for a mathematician there's an honor greater than being beautifully correct, you should take a look at this report on how Grigory "Grisha" Perelman has refused a price and focused on the degree of conviction in the correctness of his solution to the 100-year-old Poincaré Conjecture on the properties of spheres.

Let it rain potatoes!

Genetically modified (GM) potatoes are to be planted in Britain, reports Guardian.

The Picture

Another one in the series of this picture was also published by Financial Times on page 2 of its Thursday, August 10, 2006.

I found the story told by these pictures very moving when I first saw the one in Financial Times.

In Financial Times, the picture has a smaller frame and all you see is the fingers of a soothing hand on Fadi's right sholder. His left cheek rests on the head of of the body of his son, whose body has been wrapped in a shroud. (See below for the picture.)

The Financial Times caption for the photo says this:
Fadi Dahaineh holds the body yesterday of his 20-month-old son Mohammed, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike on Beirut.

Other reports, like the one by Britain's Guardian (see below), indicate that Fadi's wife was killed in the same strike.

CNN has also published the photo.

Another in the series has been published by Seattle Post-Intelligencer.


Norman Finkelstein has blogged about the photo.

The BBC published the picture at the bottom of this report.

The Guardian gives the story behind the picture a more prominent place in this report. It carries the following caption for the following picture:

Fadi Dahaineh mourns over the bodies of his wife and son killed in an Israeli air strike. Photograph: Hussein Malla/AP

Fadi Dahaineh mourns over the bodies of his wife and son killed in an Israeli air strike.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Any Surprise in the Tube

Should there be any surprise that YouTube has gone commercial?

Video ads was a natural extention to support the service.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Scientist Talks to Hark Talk

BBC's Hard Talk is in the habit of hard talk with people in politics.

Now, Hard Talk talks to Michio Kaku about the end of the world and cosmology.

Kaku gives a taste of his examination of the limitations of the idea of the uni-verse and advances the concept of multi-verse. (Multi-verse is a great concept and matches very well with incompleteness theorem in logic, where multiple models support the same "facts" but each also facts that are in contradiction with innumerable number of facts in innumerable other models.)

Kaku also resolves various imaginary contradictions some people insist exist between modern cosmology and traditional religious accounts, or I should have liked to say theosophy.

However, he ends with some questionable categorization of civilizations. That's where he talks beyond his expertise. For he seems to claim he knows what he does not and cannot know in the created world.

In general, his future-telling about human civilization is the weakest point of his arguments.

The Inconvenient Truth

The Inconvenient Truth does best in showing how human beings become comfortable with what exists. Their will for change seems to have atrophied tremendously.

Hybrid Cars

There was a time when there was a great deal of debate on whether hybrid cars would ever pay for the premium on their price through savings in gas prices.

Hybrid cars are expected to pay for themselves, one reads in recent reports.

Rule on Unconstitutionality of Wiretapping

With Judge Anna Diggs Taylor's ruling, unconstitutionality of wiretapping gets a lot more attention.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Ian Williams' Blog

Ian Williams, The Nation's U.N. correspondent, writes a blog worth reading.

I do wish he also included shorter pieces which could better reach the blog-reading public!

Ian Williams also has a number of interesting books, including The U.N. For Beginners.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

What is Easier?

What is easier?

  1. To gain market share in a market when there's already a leader, a second and a third player.
  2. To create innovation in a new, unaddressed market segment.

None might be easier than the other but every company should know enough about itself to decide which of these two approaches it is pursuing as a part of its company culture.


Check out the Washington Post's online Sudoku game.

It has everything you might want in the game when played on a paper sheet plus the bells and drums of victory ;-)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Main Reason People Fight

For centuries, while some fight to gain more power, most fight simply to defend themselves against aggression. (See my note on the Peloponnesian wars.)

This basic fact escapes the writers of a recent Washington Post article filled with interesting speculations about the fighting tactics of Hizballah (some use the word Hezbollah).

The speculations gathered in this article draw mostly from Israeli prespectives and unknown and unnamed "Lebanese sources".

While the Washington Post article by Molly Moore and Edward Cody ("The Best Guerilla Force in the World") has a Beirut byline, according to the endnote "Moore reported from Jerusalem" while "[c]orrespondent Jonathan Finer....contributed to this report" from Gosherim.

So, is bylining the article from Beirut an editorial technique to make the sources and perspectives appear to be rooted in Lebanon? To be more honest, the editors should have probably bylined the article from Jerusalem or Gosherim.

And does the headline want to imply that the resistance is simply some rebel force in the tradition of Latin American guerillas and not in the tradition of the Vietcong army, which would give a resistance force greater credibility for its efforts? A more accurate headline would have probably been "Hizbollah's Military Discipline Frustrates IDF on Lebanese Soil."

Headlines and bylines--these are the simplest and yet most important choices made by editors, and in this case, they were made by Washington Post's Foreign Service editor. (I'm assuming there is such a person working at The Washington Post.)

These choices frame the mind of the reader because they are the first things the reader notices about an article. The editor needs to make unbiased choices. That's not too much to expect from The Washington Post which carries a great mission.

Finally, I should add that the issue of how mental frames can be used to gain an advantage has been discussed thoroughly by Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer in his Managing with Power: Politics and Influence in Organizations.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

One Man Who Knows How to Speak

A colleague just pointed me to this Sky interview with George Galloway.

While many have been side-stepped, silenced or intimidated by the war rhetoric in the Western media, George Galloway proves himself daring enough not to shy away from speaking his mind on the war.

Here's another Galloway speech on the Middle East linked from the Respect Unity Coalition.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Turkey Speaks on the War

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks on the war.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Video Historiography of The Occupation

You can see it on this video which shows how the media covers the longest running occupation of a people in mondern history.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Some See It This Way

And this is how some Iranian anti-war activists in the U.K. and U.S. see the war in the Middle East and its consequences.