Archive for January, 2005

Truth hurts

Management consultant William Fried told eighth-graders at Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School on Tuesday that stripping and exotic dancing can pay $250,000 or more per year, depending on their bust size. The principal of a Palo Alto middle school may not invite the popular speaker back to an annual career day again after this.

Are teachers and families still that dumb? The guy didn’t lie. Stripping might indeed bring more money than a top of the line engineer. Surely, it’s not the kind of profession you want to brag about, neither it will make sosiety better. But it surely brings a lot of money in, with fewer risks than being a drug dealer or a gun seller and fewer economic risks than becoming an enterpreuner.

So, the guy is being bullied for telling the truth… If these pouritan people want to bully someone, then they should educate kids to never go to strip clubs when they are older. Then, there would not be a need for strip dancers. But today, it seems there is and the guy did a good job telling these kids that stripping can bring lots of money in.

Why don’t I do it then? Because it’s not in my character and because I don’t have the body for it. But there are women who don’t mind doing it and so if that’s ok with them, it’s ok with me too. I don’t approve of the profession, but I don’t disapprove either as long as it is safe, clean, strictly professional and it doesn’t involve prostitution.

Prince Harry Shows a Previously Secret Part of Himself

Didn’t I tell you?

This guy is dangerous. Not because he wore that Nazi outfit, but simply because –I can clearly now feel– that the guy has a SERIOUS problem with his status in the world. Hopefully, he will never a be king.

Mac Mini: even more affordable?

I still like the Mac Mini, even if there are no mic/line-in connectors (misjudgement on Apple’s part IMHO). Anyways, there could have been an even cheaper model. Here are the difference for this cheaper model I thought of in comparison to the existing models:

* 1.0 GHz G4
* 30 GB hard drive
* VGA-only connector
* No bundled iLife

Price: $399 USD (349 EUR)

Now, two things to consider here:

1. There are people (e.g. my cousins) who simply need some basic internet connection, do some basic photo stuff and watch DVDs. They don’t need to burn data CDs (USB keys are cooler) and they don’t need all this hard space as they don’t have a camcorder. And by not bundling iLife, it will save money to Apple, as the basic versions of iMovie, iPhoto and iTunes are already included in Mac OS X anyway, so the kind of user I am talking about won’t miss much! Additionally, people who would opt for such a cheap machine wouldn’t need a DVI connector as they would never afford to buy a good LCD monitor. And so Apple, could save a few more bucks on the connector and the external vga adapter found on the current mac minis. I am leaving unchanged the Firewire connector and Radeon9200 card to this cheaper Mac Mini, even if an even cheaper gfx card or no firewire connector could save a few more bucks to Apple, because it’s much more expensive to create another factory line for a different case and even more for a different motherboard.

2. Apple’s policy is to always have the same price in regards to Dollars and Euros for all products. That is, a $999 USD product, also costs 999 Euros in Europe, no matter if the Euro costs $1.4 US dollars! Here, I suggest that this imaginary low-low-end Mac Mini costs a bit less in Europe just for a strategic reason: Apple’s presence in Europe is WEAK. I showed up with my Powerbook in Preveza, Greece and people were looking at it like it was from space! Apple needs that “lower price” strategy EVEN more in Europe than in America! And don’t forget, people are getting paid less in Europe in their jobs. Therefore, having this particular entry level Mac a bit cheaper in Europe, could help Apple in the long run to make a bigger stronghold in Europe. In fact, an idea would be to make such a product available everywhere except in the US, UK and Japan (so this model wouldn’t cannibalize the higher-end Macs in these richer countries). There are many products by other companies that are strictly non-US products for similar strategic reasons. Apple could play that game too, just like Microsoft did with the “Windows Starter Edition” for poorer countries!

Some people who read this blog will say such a low-low-end Mac is not modern or fast enough. But thing is, people who read my blog are actually big tech heads and they would never buy such a low end machine indeed (I know I wouldn’t). But there are many people, who definetely would, because they don’t need much more and because, well, they are poorer, or simply, they just want to quickly “try out the Mac”, having being PC users all their lives.

On the downside, a full $100 off for this imaginary Mac Mini is probably not realistic for Apple at this point. Objectively speaking, Apple is probably getting the 1 Ghz and 1.25 Ghz G4s with no more price difference than just a few dollars, the DVD-ROM with a combo drive is less than $5 these days in the OEM circles, the 30/40 GBs of hard drive are also less than $6 and iLife costs practically nothing for Apple to include it for free. So overall, such a suggested machine would never cost less than $460 USD (trying to keep the same profit margins as the real Mac Minis, about 20%). And so, for $40 bucks, you are better off to get the $499 model anyway and forget this blog entry as it is nothing but a moot point. But we can still dream, can’t we?

Back from vacations

Finally, back to USA, after a month of vacations. I am feeling very tired and I am jetlagged. We slept at 7 PM, woke up at 3 AM. Great…

Three stories from Greece

So, vacations went well, except my final day in Greece, today (jan 04 2005).

I woke up at 6:30 AM to catch my flight to Athens, from Ioannina. We called to the Ioannina airport and they told us that the flight will happen as scheduled. We arrived there with my brother, mother and our friend Alex, I checked in, only to hear the cancelation of the flight in the speakers, 30 minutes before boarding.

So, I take back my suitcase, and we drive like crazy to Athens, about 460 Khm away. Of course, I lost my connection flight for Paris, France at 3 PM, and the Olympic Airlines flight to Paris at 4 PM, as I managed to get to Athens at 5:30 PM.

I waited to the waiting list of Air France’s evening flight until the last moment, and I managed to get a seat as the last person to board! Holly shit, I say. JBQ is waiting for me at CDG in Paris, dunno where we will be sleeping tonight, as because I am arriving late we have already lost our train tickets to Nancy…

Now, the really shitty thing is, that Olympic Airlines don’t want to give me my money back from the canceled Ioannina-Athens flight! I went to their counter, and they told me that they can’t give me money back because the ticket was booked via the Internet! They in fact told me “the weather was bad, what should we have done?” and they tried to justify my non-refund to the weather. But the point of the matter is:
1. They sell a service. If the service can’t happen for *any* reason, they should refund. They didn’t. And because of them, I lost my connection for Paris!
2. We called 4 times to Ioannina to confirm that the flight will happen. They told us that there is no fog today, and so the flight will happen. It didn’t.
3. Indeed, there wasn’t even a single cloud in the sky in Ioannina this morning. There was some wind indeed, but nothing a modern plane couldn’t handle.
4. The Olympic Airlines web site LIED. They wrote on the net that they would put a bigger plane for Ioannina today, because the flights of Sunday and Monday didn’t happen either because of fog. Today, there was no fog, and so I guess Olympic changed their freaking mind and so they put a small plane again! But really small proppella-planes can’t handle big wind indeed, and so Olympic fucked us up again today, third day in the row!

Funny thing was, one of the people who was waiting to get the plane was also Vana Barba, a pretty well known actress in Greece, with her little girl. She couldn’t fly either of course…

Right now that I write this, I am on the evening flight to Paris with Air France, hopefully, my suitcase made it too…

Now, the second thing I wanted to discuss, it’s completely different.

I heard the Greek Orthodox archbishop Christodoulos in the Greek TV yesterday. He pissed me off that guy. Well, he was discussing that “Santa Claus/St Nicholas” is not the same as Greek’s own “Agios Vassilis”. I fully agree with that part. The Santa Claus myth happens on the 24th of December, while Saint Vassilis of Kaisarreia, Turkey, is celebrated by Orthodox’s on January 1st. Now, the thing is, that CULTURES are mixed, and the media market needs to have a unified CULTURE, and so Greeks have made equal SantaClaus and SaintVassilis. So, that part is true that the archbishop.

Where he actually lied is when he said that Santa Claus is a saint of the vikings (god “Chronos” or something) and that people in the western countries are considering the Christmas trees sacred and they pray upon and that the whole thing is paganistic. Sorry, but that ain’t true. What Christodoulos wanted to do here was PROPAGANDA for the Orthodox Church and to further fuck up the relations of the Greek people and the western Europe Christians. Sorry Mr Christodoulos, but I won’t let you do that. Go and become a bit more OBJECTIVE and then go on to the TV and talk your crap.

That’s all I had to report. Nothing much happened during my Greek vacations, I stayed home most of the time… Highlights were the meeting with my brother’s fiance and the unfortunate loss of my mother’s job. She is now jobless, my father doesn’t have much work to do (especially in the winter, you can’t build roofs) and my brother doesn’t have a steady job (he works in 2-3 different jobs to get him going). I am APPALLED by the job situation in Greece in general, there are really no jobs there. And the ones that they are, are mostly consumed by very cheap workers, Albanians for the most part (they are now 1 million Albanians in Greece, while there are about 10 million Greeks).