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Archive for December, 2007

Finger Food (23)

December 21, 2007 Leave a comment

Jingle bells, jingle bells….. The Christmas feeling permeates everything, people rush around with massive presents, ribbons and wrapping papers are defining the color palette of the city, the sky is ready to cover all with a fluffy white cover christmas_new%20year_0135.jpgof snow… apart form the latest, since Milan is quite warm today and inundated by a glorious sunshine, the rest is pretty accurate so far… to add to the glory of this moment, there are my Xmas Finger Food in all its luxurious display!!!!

Whilst we are all with our noses up to see the first glimpse of Rudolf heading the reindeer pack, the sky give us a naughty galaxy, check the NASA!! Damn… anyway, Xmas time allows dreams to come true, and you may have Gheddafi, the Lybia’s heart and soul leader, sitting in the old Franco’s mansion in Spain and listen to some flamenco.. how weird you can get? You don’t care?? Me neither, and yet building bridges across the Med is not such a bad idea, particularly when considering that the Maghreb is swiftly becoming a massive exporter of gas, and may substitute Russia as the EU gas darling, despite Putin’s Time award as Man of the Year (after Bush a couple of years ago..), is then that the reason behind the flamenco dances mentioned before???

Santa should also uses a bridge over Rio de Janeiro, instead of flying over the city, which seems to be a rough ride given the arsenal amassed by drug dealers and their attitude towards hitting any potential Police helicopter!! What a life, mate, what a life… sometimes it yields nice surprises, such as this Physics professor from MIT, 71 years old, as the next Web star!!

When back from holidays, you may find a new Internet Explorer into your inbox, the IE8 version has just passed a strong Acid2 test..or you rather have a peek at Firefox 3 Beta??? No problems, best served hot!

And more, Xmas recipes from NY East Side, a Nordic retreat for a white atmosphere, London’s lighting up its streets and cobbled alleys, the Christmas jewelery madness in Dubai……

I trust this may actually be enough talk, I may be back before New Year….

I have spent these last few months enjoying this blog initiative to the full, it has been exciting, hopefully interesting but most definitely rewarding in terms of relationships I have been able to build up with some of you, all around the World.

For these, and other reasons I would keep private for avoiding an easy emotional drift, I thank you all and wish you a truly magic Christmas and a magnificent New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peace!

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Categories: Finger Food

Want to party in Second Life??? Go to Rome universities!!!

December 21, 2007 Leave a comment

Second Life is a plethora of different things, depending on your perspective, your attitude and will to explore… it is, as previously said, a spectacular ecosystem to foster communication, collaboration of some sort, and occasionally it is a learning platform…

If you put all these things together, and add some festive atmosphere, there you are: two Rome’s universities are having their Xmas and New Year’s party together in Second Life!! Università di Roma Tre and UniNettuno, a distant learning leading university, will launch the party at 5pm CET, both at the Roman premises of the URT and on line, on a Second Life space… the RL (real life!) event will be broadcasted onto the island’s screens, there will be DJ sets, dancers and the whole paraphernalia!!! The entire event will be streamed over satellite channels Dec. 31st.

It is designed to be an opportunity for those international students of UniNettuno that want to keep in touch with fellows, it is an opportunity to ignite a cross-fertilisation program between universities and foster collaboration!!  Meanwhile, get your flurry sorted out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Categories: 2.0, 2.0 or Something, eWorld

Death penalty moratorium at UN and nobody cares????

December 19, 2007 Leave a comment

I am slightly concerned… yesterday the UN assembly voted a moratorium on death penalty, 104 nations wanted it to stop, 54 are still believing in death sentence as a deterrent or a solution… seemingly, the Italian diplomacy played a significant role in aggregating consensus, for once it actually did something valuable..

Problem is: I have found no mention of the event (’cause it is an event…) in the Web sites of international newspapers around the globe… from Australia to USA, travelling with the Sun, I have not encountered one mention of it…

Now, I trust that things like “what’s wrong with Hillary’s wardrobe” may be utterly interesting, a massive robbery at Cartier it is also a hit, Amy Winehouse being released will finally let me have a decent night’ sleep, and forth, but I personally believe that communicating a decision like starting to stop killing people by law, on a global basis, is sort of relevant to mankind…

Unless, and this is the scary thought, it is all a fad by the Italian press and politicians, given the present gloomy atmosphere around the political enclave inhabiting Rome it could well be a childish attempt to reinvigorate the national love for the ruling caste!!  (Obviously joking… obviously..)

Could you please help me out on this, and drag me out of embarrassment?? Any news??? Something I have missed???

Ah, yep, merry Xmas…..

Categories: For thoughts..

Finger Food (22)

December 14, 2007 Leave a comment

Hey there!!! Here we are, again…

It has been a hell of a week, lots of Xmas events including a PR and Communication agency event (nice eve, Grandangolo!! Tks a lot!!!!), party with my kickboxing team, a DJ set from Gotan Project courtesy of American Express…plus a couple of dreadful projects to finish off before, largely before Xmas…

So, your weekly helpings of Finger Food is on the dietetic side, but will replenish next Friday, just before you all leave!!!

Here it is… back to some financial data I have to gather before five o’clock and off to Tuscany to celebrate my dad’s birthday. Have a nice weekend you all, catch you next week!!!

Categories: Finger Food

Iran, Sinopec and how to shift the World’s axis..

December 10, 2007 Leave a comment

Since long time we have been commenting on how the “nouveau riches” in the World, from a country perspective, are interested in closing up deals and put the flag over unchartered territories, troublesome areas and unwanted pile of sand and rocks, which are nonetheless a hefty deposit of natural resources, brand new marketplaces to pump up or good-for-all reservoirs.

Cash-piled countries or aggressive economic systems are making the press thanks to injection of fresh funds into Africa, economic agreements with rising South American oil power-house (or, quite simply, geopolitical pawns..), in a word there is a sort of Robin Hood economic syndrome that may actually lead to a significant shift in global powers. Oil and recipient markets are setting the agenda on “what is important” in the planetary chess game we are all witnessing.

To add to the series of smart moves, those with the notation “!!”, is the agreement between Chinese Sinopec and the Iranian government for a $2billion oil contract.

To my very humble and potentially limited analysis, this move yields a number of advantages to China and Iran and complicates “the life and history of G. Bush position over Iran”.

First, from now on, Iran is no longer a World thug, but a strategic commercial partner of one of the largest (if not THE largest) economy on the Planet which has actually fed the US public debt with inflows of fresh cash since … ever, to add to complexity. Claims over invading the Middle East country now are no longer an option, or at least the negotiation price to “buy” a World-wide accepted entrance into Iranian territory is most definitely on the “XXXXXXL” side, particularly when considering that all Intelligence reports denies Iran has got, as of today, an uranium enrichment program to sustain belligerent plans. China is booming, economic growth needs to be fuelled, oil is there and it has been bought. China is shopping for energy independence and pawns. And it will be putting all its weight when defending vital interests… you do the math.

Second, this move is a roundhouse kick to the US claims of Middle East politics thought leadership, since it is putting a strain over one of the most sensitive topics ever: money! The message is clear: do you like to have hefty contracts over the second largest oil reserve on the Planet and get your hands dripping with it? Most welcome, but leave alone some silly claims brought over with the Western winds. It is very much like an open invitation to a going-to-be exclusive club. Again, at least someone will have to counterweight this sort of offer, it won’t be enough to pledge an Atlantic alliance, some lukewarm feeling of Western togetherness, particularly when oil is lurking at $100 a-barrel…. economics need to be fed, words are not enough energy..

So, slipping through US fingers may actually be the ever-so-preposterous idea of invading someone else’s country, some sort of links with a few of Western allies (France, the Netherlands and Spain are already in talks with Tehran..) and to top it up all the global dominance as the World’s spinning axis… I trust we will see more of this, the game is far from over, and some diplomacies are more than able to respond accordingly. But beware, whilst we are here talking about ourselves, the rest of the World is piling up forces to keep growing despite the help (as if…) of those bloated and decadent Western economies.

I would go shopping for large suitcases, this xMas season, you never know where life will take you to…

Categories: GeoIdeas

Finger Food (21)

December 6, 2007 Leave a comment

I am so terribly sorry, I have not posted during this week, work has been quite frantic, as always before xMas time, everybody seems to be needing to complete some absurd projects, just in time to go off on holiday and leave everything behind, so to warm it up allover again in January, in a silly waste of time and energy! However, I did not forget to put together your weekly helping of Finger Food and singing carols in the background!!!

  • We are heading, no, better still, we are deep into the xMas frenzy and New Year’s resolutions, so here it is, a first ranking of media predictions for 2008
  • There is always a dark side in the force, and thus with the good come also the bad news.. particularly when discussing about next security threats, we get a chill down the spine… almost…maybe not.. just in case, Microsoft has got its own bug hunters!
  • Spain is heating up to DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) broadcasting, and it boasts double digit growth rate for flat-panel TV sets with integrated DTT decoders…
  • eBay plans a Japanese comeback in style!! That meaning it will partner Yahoo Japan to avoid the pitfalls of five years ago.. two of the largest eCommerce markets will be able to leverage each other’s pluses and combine attention..meaning a US customer can buy in Japan and viceversa, translation is included into the package.. there will be a cosplay generation in US as well!?!?!? Pokemons allover the place?!?!? Seriously, this is a nice global act we are witnessing!
  • Alliances are fashionable these days, and to add to the frenzy TomTom and Google decided to make the most of planet-wide coverage and hit the market with new services … a bit cumbersome to work out, I dare say, still champions are fencing off competition, if possible.. you never know..
  • Everybody goes green, these days, and so Greenpeace has set up the new “toxic tech” ranking…how bad the company is in “being green”.. Nintendo got smashed, Microsoft is along the same line, whilst kudos to SonyEricsson and Samsung… but do we really care?!?! xMas sales will tell..sort of…
  • iPhone frenzy does not stop, no boundaries or veto shall stop its spreading.. and China got the Apple bug as well, and regardless Cupertino stated that China is not on the lucky few lists, hacking has got its meaning.. and there you are, a Mandarine version of the Apple!!! Nice one… provided you always have a tight grip on the thingy, no scratches and no slipping, China is not in the Apple radar as yet, you know, and there is no assistance for the iPhone (as if a real fan would care less)..
  • Don’t Twitter from Dubai… you couldn’t anyway!!! Site blocked….
  • Instead of twittering, or playing nice movies on your fancy iPhone, or listening to music or whatever else you enjoy doing with Apple’s iconic phone, why not a bit of SAP running on it???? Guess IT directors are already crying for voodoo rituals… no further comments..
  • Digging for metals other than gold seems to be a pretty rewarding activity since, as for other basics, demand from the East accelerate… again, it will be fundamental to analyse China’s interest in regions such as Western and South Africa, and the load of cash would ignite new blood into an industry that seemingly lacks of qualified and un-skilled manpower and it is in dare need of technology upgrade. Are we all going to benefit of the above??? Not the miners, as it seems from the latest disaster and massive killings… long way to go before some countries may stand up proudly..
  • The sub-prime crisis is still on the tarmac and yet Royal Bank of Scotland managed to surprise analysts with an above expectation financial results, profits “could now exceed £10bn for the first time”. So much for the global Cassandras..
  • To put it all in context, OECD stated the growth of the 30 largest World economy should slow down from previous forecast by some 0.4% (from 2.7% in May to the actual 2,3% growth forecast), which incidentally is the lowest rate in five years and still “actually not that bad in view of the recent shocks”, said Jørgen Elmeskov, head of economic department… we are all happy to know that..
  • Whilst you can actually celebrate Father Winter on a magnificent SL event!!! One-of-a-kind festival, days of utter maddness, nothing to compare with!!!!!!!! Seemingly…. I personally will head over Italian Alps to snowboard and enjoy the SB WorldCup… and Yahoo doesn’t care about the entire metaverse stuff… as if…

Also, Facebook still makes the press, thanks to a blast in unique visitors in November (+20%), and Dubai is soooo packed with cell phones that Etisalat is launching a new dial code (market growing for mobile services in a while??!?!), and from OPEC there are no signal of augmenting the oil production and ease the pressure on pricing (exactly…)… USA and Georgie are putting pressure on Iran from multiple attack angles, including complicating Ahmadinejad relationship with China.

End of the year’s rankings???? Cool, get over to the Top 10 cheapest and yet fancy ski resorts!!! You may know already I do love London, so here it is, the Christmas Guide to London, courtesy of Time Out!! Pictures from worldwide location about xMas lights, events, decorations, whatever are most, most welcome… if aplenty, we may run a little contest!!!

Whilst waiting, I will be off since tomorrow is bank holiday in Milan, outside is quite sunny, so my idea of going over to the Western Alps for the first snowboarding weekend may be either terrific or a total disaster served with melting snow… nevertheless, have a nice weekend you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UPDATE: 2007 is almost closing its curtains, and pictures are a nice way to remember events, people and our World as it was during the past 12 months. Thanks to Corriere della Sera and Reuters!!

Categories: Finger Food