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Showing posts from October, 2005
Black Hawk Down - those Sympathetic US Army Soldiers

I got to make my first impressions about the 1992-93 war in Somalia through Black Hawk Down last night; and came out saying - What a typical Hollywood war piece!

Since Vietnam and probably even WW-2 Hollywood has been doing the biggest recruitment campaigns for the US military by protraying the men in combat as pure heros fighting pure evil in places like Vietnam, Iraq, Somalia and Serbia. Most of those men might well be heros, but I can't help asking what happened at Abu Ghraib!

After finishing up with the movie I went into the Internet out of curiosity to "check on the facts". Indeed the top 3-5 results (on Yahoo!) were accounts that described this particular battle in not such pleasant words. It was reported that about a 1000 people were killed by US weaponary, a significant number being civilians.

I also found noteworthy that General's plan was to penetrate deep into enemy territory in Mogadishu and take top politi…
Euro-English

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German,
which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-
year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like
fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage t…
No to Software Patents

We bought a 300MHz PC for $45 - 80GB HD for $100, paid nothing for software and setup a mail-server for 15 of our users in 4 hours (including webmail, Anti-spam, Anti-virus and IMAP). And my stomach cringes each time my staffers sit waste during morning hours rebooting their XP laptops multiple times because it froze when connecting with the file-server.Big Software Corporations didn't Deliver InnovationAs most of us who have something to do with software over the years have witnessed, the industry has suffered in the trade-off between profit maximization by big companies (some monopolistic) and innovation.

In 10 years the non-profit Linux, GNU, *BSD and other Open Source groups have produced better and faster innovation than what establishment-type companies have in some 20 (most started in period of 1975 to 1985).

I sympathise with Gordon Moore's recent statement on his disappointment with software companies which have lagged miserably in delivering inno…

Paypal's Ridiculous Business Practices

In Q3-2005 we discovered the power of online sales and started to market Wapsol's products extensively online. Just as importantly we decided to get into the trading business for WLAN accessories (antennae, cable, connectors etc) which entails buying from manufacturers and selling on online-retail. Needless to say ebay's 26 worldwide markets were lucrative points of sales.

We used Paypal for collecting most of payments from customers outside Germany. The numbers ticked up fast and we were hecticly building up infrastructure for shipping, online-support, product-portfolio and payment-systems.

One morning as I woke up in Germany I found that Paypal decided to lock up our account without any specific reason. There were no disputes or complaints from buyers or anything that suggested provocation. They just locked it. In it a few thousands of dollars of cash-flow and the account was listed as a favored payment option for some 100 pending auctions - now customers couldn't pay for …