Sunday, September 21, 2008

Running against Nabil

I had a dramatic 20 minutes run against Nabil today at the Genforeningspladsen stadium.
The game is simple: the winner is the guy in the lead after 20 minutes on the stadium clock.

Nabil took the lead with high speed in the first round. I kept his speed which gave me some serious side stitches. The next 4 rounds he lost speed while I had a hard time with my stomach's muscle spasms. Eventually they disappeared.

Fight of the lead
So at the sixth round I took the lead and got a good 30 meters gap on Nab. I thought this would break him. But I couldn't keep the speed and after some rounds he was back behind me. Then I had my worse rounds and now he won some meters on me. I really felt like giving in.
With 3 minutes left I had lost 50 meters. I had to escalate the speed but he still kept his lead over me.

I really wanted to win this one and I knew from the Water Run last Sunday that I had a 400 meter sprint in me. So I started giving it everything with one minute to go and before running into the last curve I had minimized the gap to 20 meters. I guess there was about 30 seconds to go. In the curve I was at a Usain Bolt-like ravaging speed and even though Nabil was sprinting too I passed him by like he wasn't moving. He was so surprised to see me that it took away his power and his body terminated while I tried to keep the speed to avoid him getting back in the last seconds. Legendary - muhahaha!

4900 meter in 20 minutes. Close to my initial target of 5 km.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Become Legendary

Voice of Jordan - the almighty MJ. He sure still got game!
But I'm a bit confused on the message here - what I gotta do to become legendary?
Work hard in the gym everyday or buy a pair of Air Jordans?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Are they educated because they search or do they search because they are educated?

A survey conducted in May 2008 by Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that twice as many college graduates than high school graduates perform online search on a typical day:

College graduate 66%
Some college 49%
High school graduate 32%

Also differences in income affects the likelihood to use search on a typical day:

$75,000 + 62%
$50,000 – 74,999 56%
$30,000 – 49,999 34%
<$30,000 36%

The question is, do you become educated from searching or do you search because you are educated?

The genders also show different search behaviours:

Men 53%
Women 45%

Do men search more because they get better returns on searches or because they need more information to find their answers?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

China in Africa - examples to follow?

Since my last post on China in Africa, the comments kept me investigating the development of Africa. My practical experiences on African development is from the project Bongo Camping.

So this week I went to a guest lecture at Africa Studies at Copenhagen University with Fantu Cheru, Professor and Research Director at The Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala.

Fantu Cheru has a pro-active, but not naive, perspective on the development of Africa. This lecture was on the potential benefits and risks of the evolving China-Africa relations, and what Africa could learn from the Chinese development since 1980.
I just like to submit my notes on Cheru's findings:

China in a new global system
There has been a fundamental shift in the configuration of global power. The world is upside-down and talking about first, second and third world nations no longer make sense. China was once part of the periphery but is now driving changes in the center and turning globalization in its favor by governing the market and controlling the transition to a new system. China has developed through a strategic integration between experimenting and finding unorthodox solutions and still preserving national security and independence – for instance on subjects like the interest rate and the political space. China brings about an example to rethink the way of development studies.

China in Africa
China has always been in Africa but with the the rise of the east their level of engagement has grown widely - also as part of the wider globalization plan for China.
The research on China in Africa is divided between paranoia:
The Chinese are coming! (taking Africa's oil that the West needs)
and naivety:
China is going to save Africa! (the next sexy thing after democracy and development).
But what is actually going on in the relations between China and Africa?

The Chinese Africa-strategy

China has an African policy while Africa does not have a Chinese policy. So it is a big challenge for the African countries to come together and formulate a regional approach through NEPAD.
The Chinese government strategy supports investment in Africa with:
investment promotion: offices helping Chinese investments all over Africa
bilateral agreements: double taxation treaty
interest free loans: little conditions, debt relief
intense diplomatic efforts: China-Africa cooperation forum

The tensions between the Chinese and the Africans
China has a supply chain cost advantage because of cooperation between Chinese firms (insourcing). But there is an unwillingness to subcontract to African companies which is bringing tension to the relationship between China and Africa. Also the dumping of cheap Chinese products on the African market is hard competition for the African manufacturing sector. Also culturally, the Chinese establishment of sub-societies and resistance to integration is bringing out angry African voices.
Nevertheless China has brought an opportunity and a threat to Africa – and Africa has an active role in deciding the outcome.

The hope for Africa
The African economies are too small to control international relations on their own which is why the avenue to a sustainable African growth lies in the regional integration. The African countries simply have too little negotiation power when doing bilateral agreements.

NEPAD can provide a way to deal with the world giving Africa:
- a stronger platform
- a common regional framework on industrialization
- a common framework on resource exploration
- a regional strategy
- common regulations on investment
- trade as opposed to bilateral agreements

The African leaders must push and be pushed towards these goals by a major mobilization of the people and the private sector in Africa.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Google Chrome enters the battle of the browsers... a clumsy way, but with a faster and cooler browser than Firefox and Explorer. (Actually Chrome has some baby flaws - it is really only a beta version!)
(Update: check the comments)

It seems like a very nice browser and when Chrome was launched yesterday two of my Messenger buddies instantly recommended it. I was very impressed and considered making it my standard browser, but now I am glad I didn't.

Some guy actually read and understood the Terms of Service (sic!!) which basically gives Google every rights to use and monetize anything you post through their browser.

The text goes under paragraph 11. Content license from you: “By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.”

Google hasn't yet responded to the worrying critics of their Terms of Service.

Until they change it I won't use the Chrome browser any more after this post, which google can happily distribute if they wish...