Sunday, June 25, 2006

Messi-ah !

Soccer fever is everywhere. I, myself, am not an ardent supporter of any one team. I simply love watching the game, the players and taking in the excitement of a FIFA World Cup. Speaking of players, young talent has always enthralled me. Yes, there are the Beckhams, the Ronaldinhos, the Ronaldos and I will always love watching them. Btw, did you guys see Beckham bending it in today's match up against Ecuador. Twas priceless.

Coming back to young talent, if there is one player to watch for, its 18 year old Lionel Messi from Argentina. One look at him playing and you know Messi is special, very special. He walked away with both the Golden Shoe -AND- the Golden Ball awards in last years FIFA World Youth Championships. In the pre- Round of 16 matches, specifically the match against Serbia and Montenegro, Messi was substituted in with 4 minutes to spare and he pulls off 2 assists and 1 goal. Admittedly, S&M were worn out, were already 4 goals down and Messi was all fresh legs, but you can just look at Messi on the field and feel the goose pimples on your back.

Argentine Tevez and Brazilian Rubinho are a few other players (amongst several others) who are on my FIFA 2006 watchlist. Enjoy the rest of the games, Messi fans !!

Warren Buffet Charity

As many of you might have heard by now, Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway has decided to donate almost 85% of his fortune to charity. The bulk of the contributions is going to an organization for whom I have the utmost respect for (and have talked about often in many of my previous posts), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The contribution is going to be staggered over the next several years, but will almost double the current asset value of the Foundation. This is a big boost to current and all future efforts that will be undertaken by the Foundation, which will obviously translate to greater outreach.

You can read all about the article here.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Mirror, mirror on the wall ... who is the best lenscrafter of them all?

I own a Canon DRebel with the 70-200 f/4L, 50 f/1.4 and the 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 EF-S. I will vouch for the Canon 'L' lens series with my blood. They are pure gems, all of them. The clarity and the tack sharpness that these lenses offer leave me failing for words.

But having said that, I was at Ritz Camera yesterday trying to find a place to print my Crater Lake Panoramic, and noticed a series of Sigma lenses which looked really impressive and probably 1/3X cheaper than the Canon L's.

I have heard a lot about the Sigma lenses, but havent found the courage to experiment by buying one. My philosophy so far has been: save up money and invest in the best (Canon L's).

Anybody out there care to share with me their first-hand Sigma experience and do a similar vouch? ... save me some serious $$ :)

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Who is the true superhero?

Cartoon book superhero fanatics are always at loggerheads. Is Spiderman a more larger than life hero as opposed to Batman, or is it Superman? ... I was always a big fan of both spiderman and batman as a kid, and enjoy watching/reading the cartoon strips even now. But as far as I am concerned, the late Bob Kane, created what I believe to be the ultimate super-hero. Bruce Wayne, the man behind the bat mask is your regular city lad, not endowed with any superhero like powers unlike his contemporaries, which makes it that much more believable. His elevated status to a superhero is all credit to himself, undergoing years of rigorous training. But, what makes Batman extra-special as a superhero is his heart. He is a freakin billionaire for all practical purposes & the sole heir to all of the Wayne empire, and if he wanted could have led a regular, filthy-rich lad, dont-care-whether-rest-of-the-city-rots lifestyle.
But Batman has the heart to give it all away for the good of Gotham City, the will to make a difference. Nobility runs in his blood, his father's true son.

If you havent watched Batman Begins yet, you are losing out on a lot. Its by far the best batman movie made till date, it has a strong storyline and is just plain splendid.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

N. Korea,US and non-proliferation

I seriously do not know where the Non-Proliferation Treaty is heading ... maybe I do know and I guess that would be downhill. Its a perfect stalemate situation now with all the nuclear-power wannabes asking the US & co to strip. I see no reason why Iran and the rest of the wannabes should concede when the US is not. Mind you, I am not taking sides here ... all I am saying is, if you to choose to clap, you do so with two hands and unless both sides decide to budge and eventually compromise, I see no light at the end of the tunnel.

And in the meanwhile whats Uncle Sam doing parking 15 F-117s in S. Korea. Yes, I agree, North Korea needs to be dealt with ... but since when did individual nations start taking matters in their own hands and putting into action, their own private policing groups. OK, someone please slap me and ask me to wake up and smell the coffee, or should you make that 'oil'?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Does Microsoft subscribe to true & fair capitalism?

The answer to that question, as it stands today, is a big NO!. Lets see how Merriam Webster defines 'capitalism' as:

Main Entry: cap·i·tal·ism
Pronunciation: 'ka-p&-t&l-"iz-&m, 'kap-t&l-, British also k&-'pi-t&l-
Function: noun
: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.

The less said about Microsoft's monopolistic pratices the better. I think most of us who have spent a decent amount of time in the tech sector or even otherwise know how M$ ties their customers down to Windows and associated Microsoft products like Office, Outlook, Exchange and otherwise. Until a few years back, all of their products were proprietary and to say that they were closed and uninteropable was an understatement. Its only recently, after receiving endless flak from competitors and the government alike, that Mr. Gates has decided to let go of his highly inequitable ways, to a certain extent ... M$ seems to be on the right track now, but I would not go so far as saying they have betrothed a true capitalistic attitude (as defined by Websters) ... that is yet be proven beyond reasonable doubt, as one would say in legal jargon.

Bill Gates has built a great empire in Microsoft and they do have some kick-ass products (as an aside, I personally truly admire & highly commend all the philanthropic work that is being done via the Gates foundation), but I am sure Gates would want to be remembered as not the richest man in the world, but as the richest man who built an empire and succeeded by subscribing to true & fair capitalism. Steps are being taken by M$ in the right direction and I hope they keep at it ... if that means looking up and taking stock of defines in every so often, then so be it!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

friedman forever!

Read Thomas Friedman's latest article on NY times. The last line of his article is not a punch, its a killer blow.

The more you think about it, the more profound it is - "Implementing a big idea, worthy of a presidency could mean a lot, it could mean asking your people to do something hard"

Here is the link to his article.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Airbus A380 is here to stay ....

The Airbus A380 is here folks, long awaited. The Frankfurt airport has a model for display, btw. Hats off to Airbus for all their investment in the A380 technology, design ... but whats something to think about, no, be concerned about, is logistics when it comes to the airports handling the load that the A380's are going to dump on them. Imagine 4 A380's going thru Frankfurt on transit, and 1000 passengers wanting to drink coffee at the only 2 Starbuck's locations. Great opportunity for a lot of businesses to cash in on this, but before that the airports that have committed to change have a crapload of investment to do as far as revamp of the present infrastructure.

Cannot wait to make first A380 trip ... maybe go all out and do business class, if my employer agrees to pay for it ;)