Friday, March 31, 2006

Quotes From "Rich Dad, Poor Dad"

1- "A true luxury is a reward for investing in and developing a real asset." Robert Kiyosaki

2- "The only way to get out of the "Rat Race" is to prove your proficiency at both accounting and investing, arguably two of the most difficult subjects to master." Robert Kiyosaki

3- "I have mentioned before that financial intelligence is a synergy of accounting, investing, marketing and law. Combine those four technical skills and making money with money is easier." Robert Kiyosaki

4- "Most people are poor because when it comes to investing, the world is filled with Chicken Littles running around yelling, "The sky is falling. The sky is falling." Robert Kiyosaki

5-"Many of today's youth have credit cards before they leave high school, yet they have never had a course in money or how to invest it, let alone understand how compound interest works on credit cards." Robert Kiyosaki

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Achieve More In Less Time

Time is the most important commodity. Once it is lost, it is gone for ever. You cannot recoup it and there is no substitute for it.

In order to best use your time, you need to plan ahead. You need to set your priorities and focus your attention to achieve your goals.

By adopting these tactics, you can achieve more and enhance your relationships. You can transform your life. Put it differently, your idle time will be reduced and you will become a more productive person.

When you adopt this state of mind. you'll learn to live in the present. Give yourself time to slow down, and notice all the details of your day-to-day life. You can then take advantage of what goes around you.

When you start paying more attention to your world and adopt an open and receptive state of mind, you'll gain inspiration, insight and fresh perspectives on things.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


by Steven D. Levitt and
Stephen J. Dubner (nonfiction)

Published by William Morrow
An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 006073132X
Copyright (c) 2005 by Steven D. Levitt
and Stephen J. Dubner

I have started reading this book from the email book club:

The authors website gives a short write up on what this Freakonomics is about.

One interesting review of this book is given by Mr.Orson Scott Card and makes you feel that this book would cover areas that go well beyond "traditional" economics.

The authors say, "Freakonomics establishes an unconventional premise: if morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world. "

The part cited below, however, comes out as pure economics.

An incentive is simply a means of urging people to do more of a good thing and less of a bad thing. But most incentives don't come about organically. Someone--an economist or a politician or a parent--has to invent them. Your three-year-old eats all her vegetables for a week? She wins a trip to the toy store. A big steelmaker belches too much smoke into the air? The company is fined for each cubic foot of pollutants over the legal limit. Too many Americans aren't paying their share of income tax? It was the economist Milton Friedman who helped come up with a solution to this one: automatic tax with-holding from employees' paychecks.

There are three basic flavors of incentive: economic, social, and moral. Very often a single incentive scheme will include all three varieties. Think about the anti-smoking campaign of recent years. The addition of a $3-per-pack "sin tax" is a strong economic incentive against buying cigarettes. The banning of cigarettes in restaurants and bars is a powerful social incentive. And when theU.S. government asserts that terrorists raise money by selling black-market cigarettes, that acts as a rather jarring moral incentive.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Lance Armstrong Among Forbes Best Paid Athletes

Lance Armstrong
Age: 34
Sport: Cycling
Earnings: $28 million

Lance Armstrong won the coveted Tour de France for a record seven times, winning the last of this feat after he battled and overcame cancer. This is an amazing story of inspiration showing the power of conviction, dedication and training.

Armstrong's mother Kelly was a strong person. In a talk about her illustreous son she said:
"Early on, I taught Lance that it’s really important to set goals," Kelly said. "I don’t believe it’s what we give our kids but what we show them."

After recently retiring from the game that has made him rich and famous, he now spends much of his time on philanthropic pursuits mainly through his foundation to raise money for cancer research.

His mother Kelly said after a lifetime of teaching her son, he taught her something when starting the foundation.

"The most important thing I learned is how important it is to get involved in a cause that’s really important to you," Kelly said. "

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Melbourne Bids Farewell To Commonwealth Games

Melbourne's Commonwealth Games came to a sparkling close tonight. Earlier the Melbourne Cricket Ground had pulsed to music from Australia and India, the next host country of the Games in 2010. Bhangra and Bollywood were on show at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in a traditional preview for the next host of the Games, and it was presented in magnificent style. Aound 800 Indian performers, including former Miss World and now movie star Aishwarya Rai, fellow silver screen studs Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukherjee, and cricket great Sunhil Gavaskar were on hand to mark the hand over of the Games to New Delhi. Gavaskar, earlier in the week called for cricket to be included as a Commonwealth Games sport.

The Commonwealth Games is a unique, friendly, world class, multi-sports Games, which is held once every four years.

Singapore, Malaysia and India added five more gold medals to the Asian haul Sunday, making the Melbourne Commonwealth Games a glittering success for regional nations.

Singapore ended the Games with 18 medals, including five gold. In table tennis singles, the Singapore women had a clean sweep adding gold, silver and bronze to the city state's medal count.

Final medals table at the end of the Commonwealth Games on Sunday: (Tabulate under: Gold, Silver, Bronze, Total)

Top 11:

Australia - 83 67 67 217
England - 35 40 34 109
Canada - 26 29 31 86

India - 22 17 11 50
South Africa - 12 12 13 37
Scotland - 11 7 11 29

Jamaica - 10 4 8 22
Malaysia - 7 12 10 29
Kenya - 6 5 7 18

New Zealand - 5 12 13 30
Singapore - 5 6 7 18

Melbourne has upped the bar in hosting excellence and now it is New Delhi's turn to do even better.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

A New Web Portal For Singapore Job Seekers

Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) new job-matching website, ST701, was launced on 24th March 2006, with the first job seekers registering as early as 2am to browse through career opportunities. Over 1,000 job postings and 500 job seekers registered on the first day

The website, is pitched as an e-marketplace that leverages on the popularity of The Straits Times newspaper.

ST701 lets job seekers create multiple resumes aimed at different employers and to receive alerts about new job postings.

It also promises to better match job seekers and employers by sieving through details such as employment history with a new online classified technology built by Redmatch, a firm that has supported more than 500 newspapers globally.

Dazzling Singapore

Singapore is going to light up the night skyline, and you'll be able to see a glittering city in the darkness of night like what you see in London or New York.

Business people are already calculating whether this new lighting scheme can really enhance the value of their property. Looking at the rising energy cost, some would be asking, in the long term, if this is something that is sustainable.

The government is rolling out incentives to offset some of the cost to building owners and developers. S$10 million has been set aside over five years to fund their lighting proposals. Owners also can claim upto $500,000 to cover part of the lighting installation cost.

The decorative features of this glitter will certainly add glow to multi-racial Singapore's traditional aesthetic beauty , taking this city state into the league of the brightest and best.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Throw Away This Reebok Bracelet, If You Own One

Reebok is recalling 300,000 silver-colored, heart-shaped charm bracelets.

The recalled jewelry contains high levels of lead, posing a risk of lead poisoning and adverse health effects to young children.

A four-year-old in the United States died of lead poisoning after swallowing one of the bracelets.

The recall involves this 8-inch long metal bracelet with a heart-shaped charm that has the name “Reebok” is engraved on the one side of the charm.

More information about this recall is available on Reebok website.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

How To Find A Million Dollar Idea.

Last week I posted about how a British unversity student raised one million dollars with his Milliondollar homepage.

Just copying this idea may not be the answer to get another million to someone else.

A common thread among entrepreneurs is that realizing once they had the idea, the real work was just beginning. Having a million dollar idea is only part of the equation for business success.

Entrepreneurs ask what makes one successful? Are you passionate enough? Can you persevere enough to make it happen? It demands a certain determination and willingness to stay focused.

The best advice for those wanting a million dollar idea is to forget about the million dollar idea. The money winning idea is born out of a want for something more than money. The money is the means not the end.

So commit yourself to doing what you are good at and enjoy the process of doing it.

Business Quotes by- Tony Robbins - American Motivational Expert

How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I'm committed to?
Anthony Robbins - Goals - Life

Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant.
Anthony Robbins - Decisions - Change - Power

The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.
Anthony Robbins - Commitment

Remember, a real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken new action. If there's no action, you haven't truly decided.
Anthony Robbins - Decisions - Action

Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.
Anthony Robbins - Success - Questions

Can you exercise too much?

Medical experts warn that compulsive exercising can be just as bad for a person as no exercise at all.

The human body needs 24 hours without exercise about once a week in order to cleanse itself of lactic acid and other waste products of strenuous activity.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Fashion Designers Turning To Cyber Sales

To keep sales churning, upscale department stores are expanding their selection online as they try to attract new and younger customers. And Internet-only global luxury players like and are offering more cutting-edge designer labels and special services aimed at their biggest spenders.

It "looks like right now everyone is winning" in the online luxury business, said Sucharita Mulpuru, a luxury analyst at Forrester Research, a Cambridge, Mass.-based Internet research company.

Resistance from designers is subsiding, and as more designer brands sell online, luxury sales are expected to grow even further. Mulpuru forecast that about 14 percent of all luxury merchandise sales will be sold online by 2010, up from 8 percent last year. Mulpuru estimated that the compound annual growth rate for luxury sales from 2005 to 2010 will be 13 percent, compared to 14 percent for overall online sales.

Singapore Robotic Games kicks off at Nanyang Polytechnic

The 13th Singapore Robotic Games saw many smart and quirky robotic creations battling it out in a series of competitions.

Hosted for the first time by Nanyang Polytechnic, the four-day event which displays original creations by contestants of all ages kicked off on Tuesday. Students from tertiary institutions took part in the open category.

The event is jointly organised by various tertiary institutions, Singapore Science Centre and the Robotic Games Society in Singapore. It will end with a robotics workshop for the public this Friday.

India Determined To Lead The 'Asian Century'

In a keynote address on 'A look at India's trade partnerships' at the Asia Society Corporate conference being held in Mumbai, the Minister of State for Industry Ashwani Kumar declared that India will lead the 'Asian Century.'

"As we enter the 21st century, a confident India, seeks, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated, a 'new paradigm of international cooperation relevant to an emerging multipolar world," said Kumar, a lawyer and former additional solicitor general.

China and India are the economic powerhouses in Asia. The size of populations in both these countries coupled with their rapid economic growth makes the Indian Minister's statement credible.

According to a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the "Indian economy is expected to be the second largest in the world by 2050 in purchasing power parity terms, after China. According to another forecast, India could achieve a per capita income of $30,000 by 2047 assuming a dollar-rupee exchange rate based on purchasing power parity.

But, the Minister also warned, "while we bask in glory of our national accomplishments, we must not allow our the 'frenzy of the forces of change' to distract us from a vision centered on those who live on the margins, nor must we fail to cherish diversity in our unity."

Monday, March 20, 2006

Should Anyone Do Ethical Hacking?

Before I answer the question let us understand hacking.

Hacking, according to my understanding, is the process of gaining access to another person's computer or network illegally.

According to The Economic Times, "We are talking about ethical hacking, which is the need of the hour, to protect all online transactions from the wrath of viruses. Here’s on the potential of the career Ethical hacking is different - in terms that it is not about randomly downloading ready-made tools from the internet and using them to attack computer systems. Ethical hacking is a scientific approach of understanding the tools, techniques and methodologies used by malicious hackers, thereby evaluating and mitigating the enormous threat posed by them. In other words, it is studying the vulnerability of a computer system and designing a security system, which is non-hackable."

My first impression of the term 'ethical hacking' is like setting a thief to catch another thief. But I suppose there is more to it than meets the eye. We live in a complex world and money is the supreme driving force of life. Without technology that has created this intense competition, our frantic lives would come to a stand still.

In this fast-changing times any company, big or small , has vast streams of information flooding each day. Your company can only survive by creating distinctive value; i.e, by generating new possibilities for customers. You live or die by your ability to uncover new possiblities. When you are in the grip of unrelenting competition, especially in the virtual world dominated by computers and their software, law enforcement agencies are having to grapple with more sophisticated forms of skullduggery.

According to The Economic Times article, an Ethical hacker is a person who has to ‘hack’ into the mind of malevolent hackers and identify vulnerabilities that they can exploit. Ethical hackers use the same tools, techniques and methodologies that a typical hacker will employ in, but there is one big difference, an ethical hacker is paid by an organisation to break into its systems, with its permission.

An ethical hacker does not break into anyone’s systems without authorisation. This is the only good news that emerges from this contradicting profile; ethical hacker. Ethics meaning right coduct and hacking refering to unauthorised entry into computers. It seems to me that some where down the line we have now glamourised the term 'hacking' and I'll have to sign off for now without having a conclusive answer to the question that I posed.

Indian Govt. To Announce Full Float Of The Rupee

According to this article, full float of the rupee would facilitate conversion of the Indian currency into foreign currency and vice versa -- a move that would help attract greater investments. At present, the rupee is convertible on current account, basically for trade purposes.

We will have to see what steps are involved in the covertibility and how it helps the business sector.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

A TV Show To Seek Out American Inventors

ABC is going to put up a reality type of TV Show like the hugely popular "the Amecican Idol". This show is to be called American Inventor.

American Inventor follows the American Idol formula. The premiere episode, and next week's as well, focuses on the highs and lows of the audition process: seven cities, hundreds of applicants, four judges, two minutes to pitch, and three "yes" votes to move on to the next round. Twelve final contestants will receive $50,000 each to develop their inventions, and the audience will get to cast votes for the final winner, who'll receive a $1 million prize.

Simon Cowell, the sharp tongued 'American Idol' judge is the producer of 'American Inventor', will be operating behind the camera and will not sit as a judge. But you can bet, there will be a judge who'll perhaps be equal to Simon in dishing out cutting remarks on to the folks; just normal people who will come up innovative and even weird ideas to pull off an invention.

Oatmeal and tofu as good as pills

.A small study suggests that a rigid diet is as effective as pills in lowering cholesterol, although sticking to it may not be easy.

Those interested in lowering their cholesterol should probably acquire a taste for tofu and oatmeal, said study co-author David Jenkins of the University of Toronto.
The study was published this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

How To Make A Million By Selling Pixels.

Online marketing is booming. 'Pixel advertising,' is emerging as a very lucrative medium for people across the globe.

All you need to do is start a Web site and sell 'pixels' to companies for online advertising or marketing campaigns.

Here's proof that it can be done.

Pixel advertising gained popularity in the last quarter of 2005 when Alex Tew, a British student, created a Website called The Million Dollar Homepage, and solicited advertisers to buy ad space measured in pixels on the homepage.

The price was set at $1 per pixel, and there were 1 million pixels of space available. In about four months all the ad space was sold out.

In order to succeed you need to create the awareness of your marketing campaign and make it worth for companies to advertise on your site.

Here Is What A Simple Idea Achieved


We are just beginning to understand the mysterious ways in which the mind works, but successful people have long known how to use the power of creative vision to their advantage. Many "new" ideas are really nothing more than a new combination of two well-known products or ideas. Nevertheless, great fortunes have been built upon such combinations when they are supported by a clever name and marketing campaign. There is a definite process that you can use to tap into your imagination. In his book A Technique for Producing Ideas, James Webb Young identified five steps: 1. Gather the appropriate information. 2. Work the information over in your mind. 3. Incubate the idea in your subconscious. 4. Recognize the "Eureka!" stage when the idea is born. 5. Shape and develop the idea for practical application. The technique works. Give it a try the next time you’re searching for a creative solution to an old problem.

This positive message is brought to you by the Napoleon Hill Foundation.

Water Woes

A tap drips in England, despite most of England and Wales receiving only a third of their average rainfalll, which has kept reservoirs in Sussex and Kent especially low.

Welcoming some 11,000 participants from 120 nations to the 4th World Water Forum, the Mexican President Vincente Fox said that urgent actions are needed to guarantee the present and future supply of water for all humanity.

Water usage has increased six fold during the 20th century, twice the rate of population growth.

According to WHO/UNICEF 1.1 billion people do not have access to adequate supply of drinking water and 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation. In addition, seven million people die every year due to water borne diseases.

These are apalling statistics not acceptable when we know that the world has sufficient drinking water.

More needs to be done at national and interantional levels to overcome this problem which is affecting the poorest of the poor.

According to a water progress report at this forum, it seems that in some parts of the world 30 to 40 percent or more of water goes unaccounted for, through water leakages in pipes and canals and illegal connections.

The picture above does speak loud.

Queen Elizabeth Pays A Visit To Singapore Family After 34 Years

Queen Elizabeth II, who is in Singapore for a three-day state visit, has been given a ceremonial welcome at the Istana.

Here at the invitation of President SR Nathan, the Queen is visiting Singapore following her trip to Australia, where she opened the 18th Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

One family in Singapore is especially excited to see her. When Queen Elizabeth II visited Mr Thomas Pung in 1972, she was offered a drink in a glass. That glass is now a priceless family heirloom for his family. Then a bachelor, Pung and his mother greeted the monarch in their one-room flat in Toa Payoh 34 years ago.

Mr. Pung represent the typical Housing Development Board upgrader, who moved from a rented flat to a flat of their own. This time the Queen was met by Mr. Pung , his wife and children.

According to organisers, the Queen is interested to see Singapore's development over the years, especially in the area of public housing.

The neighbourhood was abuzz with excitemnet with young and old flocking out to get a glimpse of the queen. They were not disappointed as she stopped by and many of them took pictures. The Queen made their day.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Psychics try to contact Lennon

Ex-Beatle John Lennon, who was murdered over 25 years ago, is the latest subject of a pay-per-view seance in the US, arranged by the producers of a 2003 attempt to contact the dead Princess Diana.

The show made money, but was slammed by critics as hitting a new low in television tastelessness.

"People say this is disgusting, and I accept that criticism, but we're making a serious attempt to do something that many, many millions of people around the world think is possible," said Paul Sharratt, who heads Starcast Productions.

The Diana show drew over half a million US viewers willing to pay $20.27 to watch it.
The Lennon show would air on April 24, on a pay-per-view channel, and cost $13.49.

Even sceptics and unbelievers of this psychic phenomenan will find it fascinating to have a group of psychics sitting in trance-like silence around a table waiting for their connection to the spirit world. For me, I would not pay to watch such a show but still wonder how in the world do these people do it.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Robot Fishes Are Making Waves

People who know real fish can smell something fishy here. The fish with blue dots on white body was designed and developed by computer scientists in UK. The fish's battery lasts for up to five hours.

Presently these guys are swimming alongside their living counterparts in aquariums while scientists are exploring about their real-life applications.

Japanese scientists have modelled the Koi and unveiled a robotic fish that can manoeuvre its way around a fish pond with a realistic flick of its tail.

These robots can fool the fish and be put to several uses that we humans desire, but is unlikey to be available for our consumption anytime soon because it comes with a very heavy price tag; it cost 30 million yen ($250,000) to develop from a previous prototype.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Learn To Trust Your Instincts

My intention to write this piece is not to rant and rave about what is good or evil ; be it pot smoking of the younger generation or the insatiable apetite for others to make money and yet for others who believe that they only know the true path to God.

In order to be true to youself, you have to trust your instincts. Being true to yourself primarily means being totally honest with yourself.

Here is what Ralph Waldo Emerson , one of America's best loved 19th century writers had to say about trusting your instincts.

"All our progress is unfolding like the vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge, as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason."

What are instincts?

Instincts are responses to environmental or external stimuli that are heriditary and unalterable, and do not involve reason. For example, if someone throws a punch at you, you arm will fly out to block it without your having to think about it.

Learning to trust your instincts does not start with trying to do anything. All you have to do is to get in touch with your instincts without repressing them. Without forcing you to do things, you have to allow your inborn instincts to guide you through life with a maximum of pleasure and a minimum of pain and suffering.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ronaldo Blasts Pele and Platini

World Cup winning Brazilian Star Ronaldo launched an astonishing attack on two of football's legends, Pele and Michel Platini in Sunday's edition of Brazilian newspaper O Globo.

The overweight and under-fire Real Madrid galactico branded Pele, commonly regarded as the greatest player ever, as an “ opportunist” and hit out at European legend Platini as “jealous”.

Ronaldo's outburst comes after his latest failing on the football field. He started Saturday's vital league match at Valencia on the bench but came on in the second half only to have a penalty saved.

After a scathing attack on the world's soccer greats, Ronaldo somewhat ironically added: "“All I want is for people to treat me with respect and that is not what is happening."

Ronaldo perhaps doesn't realize his fame and money wouldn't buy him the respect that he so desparately craves . He is in the public eye and is a role model for hundreds of thousands of young people. So he has got to live up to it. He should be grateful for any sincere advice that he gets instead of shooting the messenger. He has got to work both in training and off the field to regain his lost form. For the love of the game that has made him famous and successful and for the millions of soccer fans, we hope he does the right thing. It would be better if he can keep his mouth shut and let his boots do the talking.

Singapore on track to be Asia's infocomm industry leader

The Infomm Development Authority (IDA) is the heart of the new econmoy. It's vision and ideas for using knowledge, technology and communication is poised to make Singapore an innovation hub.

The IDA's International Advisory Panel says Singapore is well positioned to become Asia's infocomm industry leader.

Mr N.R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman and Chief Mentor of Infosys Technologies, says: "Singapore is in a unique place to leverage the hardware strength of China, and the software strength of India whereby Singapore can be the system integrator, and thereby enhance its per capita revenue productivity."

The other key advice that panel members highlighted is for Singapore to concentrate on core technologies instead of diversifying in too many areas, and for Singapore to upgrade its education system and create a business environment suited for start-ups.

The International experts identified three areas that can help Singapore create a competitive edge over its competitors. They are:
1- Exporter of technology
2- Trusted secure hub for regional disaster recovery
3- Outsourcing

Monday, March 13, 2006

Business From The Dead

A graveyard in the Afghan city of Khost, where the bodies of Taleban and foreign Arab fighters killed by US bombing in 2001 were laid to rest has become a shrine to local people.

Sick people come to the shrine and pray and they feel better. Some people pay a tribute by leaving money to their fallen heroes who died while praying. People are flocking here from different parts of Afghanistan and even from Pakistan.

A trader in the top photo sells salt at the graveyard, which some people believe will cure them of their illnesses.

Diamonds Are Forever

The diamonds on the left are the types of diamond that has made Antwerp in Belgium, the largest diamond trading centre in the world.

The Surat City in India is also famous for diamonds. Nearly a third of the Surat population of 3.5 million work as diamond-cutters and polishers.

Diamonds have taken such a hold over this city's imagination that even potato chips (seen on top right) are sold here under the brand name Diamonds.

In the world of fashion, ceremonies and functions, diamonds will remain one of the most sought after items. So would would the humble potato chips. Just as you would choose your diamond ring, you can choose the type of chips that you want; plain salted, lime or spicy and even in packs of your favourite colours .

Singapore Is Building S$92M Airport Hotel

According to a statement from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore last Friday, it has awarded a Changi Airport site for lease to L.C. Development Ltd. to build and operate the city-state's first airport hotel.

The airport hotel will be a 9-storey building with up to 350 guest rooms. It will be equipped with amenities and facilities such as a swimming pool, restaurants, meeting and conference rooms, spa lounges as well as a health and fitness club. The airport hotel will be physically linked to the new Terminal 3 which is expected to open in 2008. Hotel guests will also be able to reach Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 via an elevated People Mover System that will link all the three passenger terminals. In addition, there will be easy access from the hotel to the Changi Airport Mass Rapid Transit station, to facilitate guests heading to other parts of Singapore.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

World's Largest Crossword Puzzle

Breaking the 1996 Guinness record, this crossword hangs on a full seven feet by seven feet of wall space and has 28,000 clues for over 91,000 squares. Its a challenge that can take months, even up to a year, to complete. A 100-page clue book, with no repeats, provides the hints. For the lone wordsmith, it folds for lap or tabletop solving. The puzzle grid and 4- by 4-foot answer grid are printed on sturdy paper stock. Crossword can be tacked or taped to the wall. Comes with a storage box. (2 lbs.)

The price USD 29.95 on Hammacher Schlemmer.

Oprah Winfrey Reveals Secrets of her Success

Newsweek has profiled twelve women, looking at the influence of the growing number of women rising to the top in the 21st century.

Winfrey Oprah is on top of the list.

Born into a poor Mississippi family in America, she has become one of the most successful women in the world.
In an article "How I Got There"she decsribes her passion that has made her one of the most successful media entrepreneurs.

Oprah is most famously known for her award-winning-talkshow. She is much more than a talk-show host. She is also a successful journalist, actress, producer, magazine founder, philantropist and more as you will see on her website.

In an interview Oprah said:

"I grew up with the American public, and everybody knows I worked hard for my success. When I started, my goal was just to have a job. I was 19 and I couldn't believe I was on TV. My first job paid $10,000 a year. I wanted to "make my age," and when I was 22, I was making $22,000."

She went on to say:

"I think that the show's been successful because I'm always aiming for the truth. I relate to the core of everyone's pain and promise because I've known pain and promise. I understand that the common denominator in the human experience from the thousands of people that I've talked to is that everybody just wants to be heard. Having that understanding and that connection has really given me wings to fly because I know that I can talk about anything to anybody with a sense of respect and integrity.

I'm very conscious and cautious about what I do in my personal life and what I put out into the universe through the airwaves because I realize I'm speaking to millions of people in 118 countries who all have their varying ways of interpreting what I have said."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Microsoft Unveils a Mini Laptop

Microsoft's origami project after months of abuzz has unveiled the ultra mobile PC at the CeBIT technology trade show in Hanover, Germany.

The Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) is a cross between a multi-function mobile phone and a lightweight tablet computer and features a touch-sensitive screen. Lighter than two pounds with a seven-inch touch-screen, the new "ultra-mobile" PCs (UMPCs) use microprocessors and run a modified version of Microsoft's Windows XP Tablet PC edition.

"We believe that (ultra-mobile PCs) will eventually become as indispensable and ubiquitous as the mobile phone today," Microsoft vice president Bill Mitchell said at CeBIT.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Advice From Two Lifetime Entrepreneurs

Here are words of wisdom given by two successful entrepreneurs in an interview at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai; Sabeer Bhatia and Yogesh Patel who were both in town to announce the formation of VoiFi Technologies Corp., a company they have set up jointly.

Yogesh Patel:
"My advice to young Indian entrepreneurs who want to get ahead would be: Make sure, first of all, that the team is good. Without that, nothing is going to happen. Make sure they follow through and not give up the first time they see a sense of failure, because that will come along. If you look at all the things that failed in 2002, the companies that survived are the ones that are shining right now. You need to make sure you have lasting power and the markets will change."

Sabeer Bhatia:
"Entrepreneurship is about making a difference. It's not only about making money. There are lots of ways to make money – you could go buy land, building apartments, open coffee stores -- all legitimate businesses. Those are interesting, but it's not what a hi-tech entrepreneur does. A hi-tech entrepreneur thinks of creating products that have never been created before. Of offering a combination of services to the end user in such a manner that, over time, there is a potential to make profit.

I have been a lifetime entrepreneur. The advice I would give them, first of all, is believe in yourself. Hire the best quality people. They cannot do it on their own. No one can win a war on one's own; a general is only as effective as his army. So, make sure you build a great army. It needn't be the largest army in the world, but it has to be the most effective army. Find people who believe in what you're doing."

Singapore To Open School For Dropouts

A new school to cater to dropout students will open in Singapore by January next year.

The new school named NorthLight School will enhance vocational programme with a strong emphasis on social emotional needs.

Every year, there are about 1,200 students who drop out of school, or about 2.6% of the cohort. The NorthLight School will provide a useful learning experince for these kids over a 3-year vocational programme.

The school will place a strong emphasis on socio-emotional needs and character development to avoid the high drop out rate of 60 percent that vocational centres currently experience.

Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said: "It will place emphasis on developing emotional resilience and instilling essential life-skills such as taking responsibility and managing relationships. These will take up a greater share of curriculum time."

At NorthLight parents will be more involved in the students learning process that is designed more to day-to-day life activities. Students can also look forward to a 10 week-long industrial attachment .

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Singapore Company Charged With Copyright Violation

PDM International Pte LTD, a design consultancy company was charged in court on Thursday with three counts of copyright infringement.

This is the first private company to be charged under the amended Copyright Act since it came into force on January 1, 2005.

This company is alleged to have used 51 copies of unlicensed software to gain a commercial advantage.

The total market value of the illegal software programs, which include works belonging to Adobe, Autodesk and Microsoft, is estimated to be worth $50,000.

This case came to light through the efforts of the Business Software Alliance.

"We continue to run a hotline where we receive information, and we also have a web reporting facility where informants can contact us about the use of unlicensed software at the workplace. We are getting a steady stream of such information, and there are a number of cases presently under investigation. Whether they will go through to a court case or not, we'll have to wait and see," said Tarun Sawney with Business Software Alliance's Anti-Piracy.

An Undersea Walk in Goa, India

This is a picture taken by the undersea walkers at Baina Beach Goa.

Here are the two undersea walkers. A weighted belt is put on each so as to help balance underwater, and once you are neck-deep in the water, a helmet weighing 40 kg is lowered on to your head.

This is the offshore platform from where you'll be lowered into the 3 metre deep sea to experience the 20 minute muddy-water-walk and it will cost you Indian Rupees 1500.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Nintendo Makes Gaming For Oldies

HAAAA! This is welcome news for us, the oldies club.

A new brain-training game from Nintendo will help retirees like Isamu Shishido from Japan who sometimes forgets names and even his own telephone number. But now the 67-year-old says he's found a product that could sharpen his thinking: the new brain-training game from Nintendo.

The ailing maker of Super Mario and Pokemon games has scored a hit by courting Japan's burgeoning grey market with "Brain Training for Adults" - a number and puzzles game that Nintendo says can stimulate the brain.

The game, played on the company's hand-held DS console, is part of an effort by Nintendo to broaden its customer base amid falling profits.

Brain Training puts players on a daily regimen of number games, word puzzles and reading exercises.

Nintendo spokesman says that they are surprised people who never liked computer games are getting hooked.

This is a good strategy to revive a business and create additional growth in a country that has a huge greying population.

Lead Without Selling Your Soul

Says former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. She says leadership comes with a price, which is why it is so important to have a strong internal compass.

In a candid address at the Global Business Forum in Sydney this week, Fiorina talked about the principles of leadership.

Claiming leaders are made, not born, she said there is nothing more draining than witnessing a person compromise to achieve a goal.

"Principles are important. When you come to those moments and you are about to compromise - don't," Fiorina said.

"Do not sell your soul. There are plenty of opportunities to sell your soul in life and if you do, nobody will ever pay you back.

"Keep your soul and be in control of your own choices, that is what life is about."

More on Fiorina's interview here.

Widow Of Christopher Reeve Passes Away

Dana Reeve, the widow of the late "Superman" actor Christopher Reeve, died Monday of lung cancer at the age of 44, seven months after being diagnosed .

Dana Reeve was a celebrated singer and actress.

She won worldwide admiration for the support of her late actor-husband, who was paralyzed in a horse-riding accident in 1996 and died in 2004.

She became the Chairperson for The Christopher Reeve Foundation after her husband's death and she fought for better treatments and possible cures for paralysis.

Dana Reeve said in November that she was able to keep her spirits up because she "had a great model. … I was married to a man who never gave up."

A statement from the Board of Directors of Christopher Reeve Foundation read:
"We are extremely saddened by the death of Dana Reeve, whose grace and courage under the most difficult of circumstances was a source of comfort and inspiration to all of us.

Dana will always be remembered for her passion, strength and ceaseless courage that became her hallmark. Along with her husband Christopher, she faced adversity with grace and determination, bringing hope to millions around the world."

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton described Reeve as "a model of tenacity and grace" and an "inspiration to us."

"Despite the adversity that she faced, Dana bravely met these challenges and was always an extremely devoted wife, mother and advocate," they said in a statement Tuesday.

She was a woman with an incredible heart, a woman with a strong passion to help in the causes she believed and an unflinching optimist.

Her lung cancer and now her departure has brought the issues of cancer to the American radar screen, seeking answers. She never smoked in her life. As we know, passive smoking, i.e., inhaling other peoples smoke can be equally as dangerous as far as the risk of leading to disease is concerned.

The world needs more good people to step out and help in such causes as what the Reeves have done, to fight against disease, and make the world a safer place to live in.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

How A Minister Converted An Atheist

The following conversation between a student and a religious minister shows how by removing the cobwebs in our thinking, by proper communication and clear thinking, we can reach the right conclusion.

Student: I am an atheist. I don't believe in God.
Minister: Alright. So you are an atheist. Can you explain to me the God that you do not believe in.

Now the student has to think as he cannot give a reflex 'yes' or 'no' answer. After a little while the student began to describe the God he did not belive in. He gave the minister a very clear picture of the God he rejected.

When he finished, the minister replied: If that is the God you don't believe, I don't believe in him either. So we are both atheists.

The minister continued: But we live in this universe- what do you make of it, its formation, its meaning?

Before the student left, he discovered that he was not an atheist at all, but a very good theist.
He did believe in a God.

The Artistic Use Of Language

The artistic use of language depends upon the ' fertililty of ambiguity'- so writes Dr. Wayne Dyer in his book "The Sky's The Limit." The fertility of ambiguity is the abilty to reveal some truth, show some beauty, in lots of different ways to all kinds of different people.

The same is true of a great painting, photograph or any other work of art.

Describing the thought process, philosopher Martin Heidegger wrote :
muliplicity of thought is the element in which all thought must move in order to be strict thought. He used this image to illustrate the point. To a fish, the depths and expanses of its waters, the currents and quiet pools, warm and cold waters are the elements of mutiple mobility. If the fish is deprived of the fullness of its element, if it is dragged on dry land, then it can only wriggle, twitch, and die.

Therefore, we must always seek out thinking, and its burden of thought, in the element of its multiple meanings, else everything will remain closed to us.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Singapore Investors Increase US Patents

The number of US patents granted to Singapore ivestors has almost tripled in the past five years to 3,913 at end-2005 - up from just 1,370 at end-2000 and a meagre 427 at end-1995.

These figures were taken from the US Patents and Trademarks Office by NUS Entrepreneurship Centre.

In South-east Asia, Singapore has almost 28 times more patents per 10,000 people than Malaysia, with 0.04, and about 15 per cent more than South Korea with 0.96. But Singapore still lags research giants such as the US, with 3.18 patents per 10,000 people, and Japan with 2.91.

In sheer numbers of patents held, the US and Japan are way ahead of the rest of the world. US-based inventors were granted 96,394 US patents in 2004 alone, while those in Japan received 37,616 patents.

Family Of Separated Twins To Help Another Twin

This family from South Korea whose conjoined daughters have been separated through surgery, now want to help another conjoined twin in Russia to achieve the same happy outcome.

The Russian twins, Veronica and Christina, were born last year with the lower parts of their torsos joined. They live with their mother in a small town, Chernogorsk, in the Siberian republic of Khakasia. Doctors have concluded that the twins are joined only by skin and muscle and do not share spines or internal organs. That makes surgical separation a relatively easy possibility.

Mr. Min, the father of the separated Korean Twins, plans to travel to Russia with his wife, Jang Yun-kyung, and their daughters in April to deliver money to help the children's 18-year-old single mother pay for the surgery, which will probably be done in Moscow. He said he has contributed 4 million won ($4,120), and hopes to collect 20 million won in total through a Web site, Pure Sarang Jihye, which he set up in December to publicize the Russian twins' plight. He said that amount would pay for the surgery and a year of care for the children after they are separated, but he admits donations have been slow so far.

One problem is Mr. Min has not been able to establish contact with the Russian mother to render his help. Hopefully he can get it done soon. It is admirable for a person to go out of his way to help a needy family, giving hopes for a promising future to two young children.

The Future Of Work

How the New Order of Business
Will Shape Your Organization,
Your Management Style, and Your Life
by Thomas W. Malone (nonfiction)

Published by Harvard Business School Press
ISBN: 1591391253
Copyright (c) 2004 Thomas W. Malone

In "The Future of the Work"renowned organizational theorist Thomas W. Malone, codirector of MIT’s landmark initiative “Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century,” shows where these things are already happening today and how—if we choose—they can happen much more in the future. Malone argues that a convergence of technological and economic factors—particularly the rapidly falling cost of communication—is enabling a change in business organizations as profound as the shift to democracy in governments. For the first time in history, says Malone, it will be possible to have the best of both worlds—the economic and scale efficiencies of large organizations, and the human benefits of small ones: freedom, motivation, and flexibility.

I have read parts of this book in an email book club. The book is about new ways of organizing work and how technology is making it possible. Mr. Malone talks about a business revolution that is taking place now. The new revolution promises to lead to a
further transformation in our thinking about control: Where does
power come from? Who should wield it? Who is responsible? Once
again, the result will be a world in which people have more freedom.
A world in which power and control in business are spread more
widely than our industrial-age ancestors would have ever thought
possible. A world in which more and more people are at the center of
their own organizations.

Imagine organizations in which bosses give employees
enormous freedom to decide what to do and when to do it.
Imagine electing your own bosses and voting directly on
important company decisions. Imagine organizations in
which most workers aren't employees at all, but
electronically connected freelancers living wherever they
want to. And imagine that all this freedom in business
lets people get more of whatever they really want in
life--money, interesting work, the chance to help others,
or time with their families.

This is a very interesting book worth exploring in greater detail.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Singapore To Develop A New Digital Superhighway

By 2015 Singapore will be transformed into the first totally wireless and wired country in the world . The ultra fast network is to provide speeds of 100 megabytes to 1 gigabyte per second when surfing the Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure, dubbed the new digital superhighway.

This was disclosed by the Information, Communications and the Arts Minister Lee Boon Yang when he told the Parliament, "The new network will change the way we work, live and learn. It'll sharpen our business efficiency and spark off many new opportunities for entrepreneurs.

With this ambitious project Singapore will compete with Japan and South Korea who have also undertaken similar projects to become a global hub and a knowledge city.

Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition

The Singapore Management University has launched its third biennial Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition, named after Singapore 's Minister Mentor, acknowledged as a thinker and a global visionary.

This competition provides a platform for undergraduates and students from universities across the world, to pit their business acumen against each other vying for a total of US$69,000 worth of cash prizes. Participants have to convince the judging panel that they are committed and have the resources to achieve their business ideas and turn them into reality in the business world.

This is an excellent opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to try out sound business ideas. They can also network with potential investors and venture capitalists to secure funding.

Rosa Parks Death Drives Up Prices At Cemetry

Rosa Parks who fought against racial bias by refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus to a white person, is a civil rights icon in US history.

She was an ordinary person and lived and ordinary life, but had the conviction of an extraordinary character to stand stand upto to what she belived was wrong in her society. Her simple act of defiance has left an enduring legacy for civil rights movements worldwide.

The civil rights pioneer died on October 24, 2005 and was buried in Detroit Cemetry on October 31, 2005.

The price to get a spot in Detroit’s Woodlawn cemetery has jumped thousands of dollars since civil rights icon Rosa Parks was entombed there , angering some relatives who say it cheapens her legacy.

The idea of exploring a person's death is disturbing, but it also raises compelling questions on how society persues materialistic ends relentlessly. Instead of exploring the human potential to live the most productive life, it now looks like some of the living are providing to get a close up with Rosa Parks in death at a price which probably would deprive her to rest in peace.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Mr. Bush Visits Farm University in Hydrabad

According to the Indian online news service The Hindhu , The US President was treated to a slice of the Indian rural life when he visited the Ancharya N G Ranga Agriculture University in Hydrabad. Hydrabad is historically famous for its rice cultivation.

Mr. Bush accompanied by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajashekhar Reddy was shown an exhibition of a wide variety of friuts, vegetables, pulses and organic crops. The President spoke with farmers who were delighted to have the world's most powerful person in their midst.

With the rapid development of Information technology, maufacturing and service industries , India has shed much it's historical dependence on agriculture. But still most of the important industries are centred around the cities and about two-thirds of the Indian workforce is in agriculture in the vast landscape of rural India.

Farming is the primary activity in much of the rural areas and villages and high level visits from world leaders draws attention and focus on intiatives of coorperation to boost agricultural exchanges and lift more people out of the poverty trap.

Friday, March 03, 2006

US Probes Into Online Music Pricing

The US Justice Department has opened an investigation into possible collusion by four global music companies over the setting of online music prices, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The companies involved are EMI, Universal Music, Sony BMG and Warner Music, according to the Journal. The investigations come as the music industry grapples with how to compete in online music sales as sales of CDs decline.

At issue is the pricing levels charged for music downloads and, specifically, whether the labels have colluded over price fixing. Related to this are the licensing renegotiations with Apple. While Apple has favoured a fixed 99 cent charge per track, the labels have been keen to pursue variable pricing, charging as little as 19 cents for some songs but more than 99 cents for new releases by major artists.

What Draws US Presidents To Hydrabad, India

Apart from New Delhi, the seat of the Indian government, Hydrabad is the only other city that has drawn in two US Presidents in six years. Three south Indian cities were hoping to host President Bush , but it was Hydrabad that became second time lucky. President Clinton visited Hydrabad in 2000.

The pace of economic growth especially in the fields of IT may be the reason attracting global leaders to Hyderabad. Hyerabad is the new face of India. It is the face of India's globalisation. It is the face of modernity. President Bush may have chosen to visit Hyderabad because America regards Hyderabad as an emerging global city. The state has been also an ideal investment destination for many global companies, especially from the US.

Hydrabad is also known for its pearls, palaces and mouth-watering cuisine. And of course the city excels in IT, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. So it is the most happening place in India.

After President Bush's visit, it has been announced that United States is opening a consulate in Hyderabad. This will be the fourth US consulate in India, after Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. Thousands of young people from Hydrabad are going to the United States every year on job and student visas. They have to go to Chennai to get the visas. Now, it will be possible for the people of this state to get the US visas from the consulate in Hyderabad.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Digitizing A Million Books?

Information age will take a huge leap forward when Google completes the scanning of biblical proprtions according to this article. It is an effort to digitize the entire book collections of the New York Public Library and Harvard University libraries, among others.

The goal of Google Book Search is to make all offline books -- currently invisible to Google's eye -- searchable. This means physically scanning hundreds of millions of pages bound between the covers of an estimated 18 million books, recognizing around 430 languages and all sorts of fonts, making the results available for text searches, and replicating the traditional library browsing experience when it's all done.

A similar but smaller project is the Million Book Project by the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Expectations are that the Million Book Project will accomplish its goal of digitizing one million books by 2007.

As of November 2005 -

Over 600,000 books have been scanned: 170,000 in India, 420,000 in China, and 20,000 in Egypt. Roughly 135,000 of the books are in English; the others are in Indian, Chinese, Arabic, French, or other languages. Most of the books are in the public domain, but permission has been acquired to include over 60,000 copyrighted books (about 53,000 in English and 7,000 in Indian languages).

This mammoth effort is going to create an 'online book lovers paradise.' Greater access to information will truely realize the knowledge economy and bring tremendous benifits to the lower societal levels trapped in poverty. Democracy will take new new meaning when an informed electorate can exercise the peoples will in countries that are struggling to bring about such change.

Internet Giants Boosting The Mobile Data Market

Google and Yahoo are on the run to add internet search and data services to cell phones. The mobile market is growing and analysts predict there is huge potential to expand business in the mobile space.

SonyEricsson, the world’s No. 5 mobile phone maker, is arranging to pre-install Google’s search features and blogging software on three new phone models.There have been several major deals. Last week, Yahoo and AT&T launched a Nokia phone with Yahoo Go Mobile, a service that gives users the ability to access their Yahoo mail, photos, address book, calendar, and Yahoo Messenger instant messages. Motorola said it was putting Google’s search bar in a visible position on its mobile phones.

Web access via cellphones has not been a relatively easy experience upto now, but with Yahoo and Google making ambitious efforts in the mobile market, things will be different. We can check and reply email, find out directions and places and much more. How much better will be the new mobiles than the BlackBerrys, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Qatar Tennis Open: Tradition Wins in Tennis

When you look at the images from the Qatar Total Open
it is heart warming to see sports not only take the biting fierce competive spirit but the competitors are also able to soak in the more relaxed feeling of the country's culture as seen from the photos below.

Social Networks: Profit and Risk

Social networks like MySpace is a huge attraction for all sorts of people to meet, chat, share photos, exchange intimate information and become firends. The risks of of putting out your personal info and losing your privacy is also been realised with phony characters taking advantage of unsuspecting youth. These days social networks are taking action to protect their clients pivacy from predators and scam artists.

With millions of users connecting with each other, social networks is an good opportunity for business marketing.

The popular website of fashion DailyCandy was founded in 2000 at the height of the internet bubble. There are many others that have followed suit and the trend seems to be growing just like the explosive growth of internet companies before the bubble burst in 2000.

DailyCandy, which describes itsef as "the ultimate insider guide to what's new, hot, and undiscovered," is the brainchild of Dany Levy, a 33-year-old onetime New York magazine editor. It has 11 daily city editions and a vibrant e-mail newsletter, and its trend-setting editors have steady gigs on the Today show to talk about the next hot sneaker or spa service.

Buzz machines like DailyCandy have become all the rage among corporate buyers looking to connect with the hordes of young people living and spending online.

Web entrepreneurs and teen portals are aplenty now and buyer loyalty is a very fleeting experince. But this should not discourage good businesses to be born in the web and millionaires to be made provided there online business is always value-adding and interesting to a generation of customers seeking beauty and gratification instantly. Online shopping will pick up to be a revolutionary trend.

Singapore scientist elected to US National Academy of Engineering

A Singapore scientist has been named as a Foreign Associate to the prestigious US National Academy of Engineering.

Professor Miranda Yap was elected for her outstanding achievements in education, research and management in the field of mammalian cell culture.

She is the Executive Director of A*STAR Bioprocessing Technology Institute, as well as a Professor at the National University of Singapore's Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department.

It is an honour for Professor Miranda and a proud achievement for Singapore. She is the first female elected to the academy and worthy role model for young researchers in Singapore, making Singapore a R&D hub and a knowledge-based industry centre.

Congratulations to Professor Miranda.