Around the Dot

30 April 2006

Jokes of Mine
Well, I always like a good laugh and I always like to make people laugh. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes I’m funny on purpose and well, sometimes I just make a fool of myself. Over the last couple of week, I came up with two jokes that I’d like to share with you. I promise I won’t do that again.

Joke #1

The Queen has just turned 80. So has oil.

Joke #2

(I said that one in French…it’s funnier in French of course)

What’s the difference between a duckling and a chick?

Answer: the chick sinks.

I must be nuts to post these pictures of me...
Well, I got a bit overexcited after having seen Ice Age 2. SCRATCH RULES!

Scratch, of Ice Age fame   Me impersonating Scratch #1   Me impersonating Scratch #2

The worse part is that I also imitate the noises he makes... I'm hopeless.

And interestingly, the school has just asked me if I'd accept them linking to my blog - to which I said yes of course. Hi, new London Business School recruit? Wanna talk finance or world economics? O! an acorn!

Heels Movies

Heels Movies
Originally uploaded by Guillaume Rigal.
I was amused by that juxtaposition of posters when going to the AMC Century City in LA in March and luckily, I had my camera with me.

Well... it just took me 5 weeks to post... :)

Media is a small World
I worked for EMAP in London for my second year project and I just learned through my FT RSS feed that they are selling their magazines in France. Funnily, one of their latest launches in our lovely country was Closer which I could have for free at Mindshare where I worked during the summer. Closer is a gossip/celebrity magazine and they launched it during the summer because that’s when this kind of press sales most (what do YOU read on the beach?). And Mindshare being one of the largest media agencies in Paris, they sent us a big pile of magazine every week. Raquel was quite happy about that aspect of my job ;)

2 Ways to build a $2.5bn Company
A – you start a VoIP company, take it to $60m in sales and sell it to eBay (that’s Skype)

B – you start a VoIP company, take it to $270m in sales and go public (that’s Vonage)

Note: I know, Skype got $4bn, but that's taking upfront and on-success fees.

Microsoft Lost
Everybody is bashing Microsoft about their lack of strategy vs. Google & Yahoo. The FT is reporting that “Wall Street on Friday wiped more than $30bn from Microsoft’s stock market value after the software company revealed a dramatic shift in strategy to boost its investment in the internet and other new markets.” Ouch, that’s half Bill’s current fortune or some like that (funny, I just watched Kill Bill on DVD yesterday).

Meanwhile, Paul Kedrosky reports what he calls the Google line in Microsoft accounts, a $2 billion expense anticipated for next year to fight back its main competitor.

Business as usual
Three weeks of complete silence on my blog…ouch. One week travelling and saying bye-bye to California with Raquel (more on that later), one week in London for a Business to Bussines Marketing class with Prof. Walfried Lassar (and catching up with jetlag), one week in Paris writing my second year project report and one week to bind them all (just kidding).

So, now my report is almost done, I authorise myself to write something else. And I will try to blog all I have been wanting to blog in that time span in the coming days!

08 April 2006

The Difference between Yahoo and Google
I surprised myself reading the Yahoo! Buzz quite extensively in the last couple of days - hey, it's hard to stay focus on writing the academic (yerk!) report for my second year project.

And it is a perfect example of the difference between media-driven Yahoo and Stanford geeks Google. Yep, here lies the difference: while the Google zeitgeist is just a page of data in which YOU have to find anything amusing, Yahoo goes the extra mile(s) and makes something funny of it, a nice entertaining article. This is the way I prefer to have it and certainly the way that might have me coming again for more - even without a 2nd year project to escape from.

On the side, just the name, 'Buzz', is also much more media than 'Zeitgeist'. Two different visions...which I guess are complementary - though it's Yahoo 1 - Google 0 on that one.

Funny pieces in the Buzz as of today: 1, 2, 3.

06 April 2006

Weather Empathy again?
Of course, after my last post, I have to comment on the Gators defeating the mighty Bruins of UCLA.

You have to grasp "What it means to be a Bruins fan" (by UCLA TV) to understand why I got caught into the spirit after just 3 months here (especially as I never follow sports) and why even the weather (3 days of rains) seemed saddened.

On a related note, I discovered that one of the best Gators' player was the son of French celebrity Yannick Noah (of Roland Garros and music fame). Also interesting is that Yannick Noah was not the only native of Cameroon for which this game mattered: two talented Freshmen of the UCLA team are from there too. I guess Olivier will appreciate. :) Speaking of LBS bloggers, I wasn't the only one supporting the Bruins. ;))

03 April 2006

Go Bruins!
The basketball March Madness (the US college tournament) is coming to a close tonight with (lucky for me) theUCLA Bruins facing the Florida Gators for the title.

I have my UCLA hat and I am ready to watch the game on campus tonight. GO BRUINS!

Grand Canyon Sunrise
I travelled with my parents around California, Nevada and Arizona last week, discovering Grand Canyon, the Colorado River and the Hoover Dam and re-discovering Las Vegas, San Francisco and the coastal highway 1.

I have to share with you some of the (too numerous) shots from the Grand Canyon that I took freezing my ass off at sunrise - which with sunset gives the best lights and produces greats contrasts and colours (that's a tip for Death Valley or Joshua Tree parks too).

Grand Canyon Sunrise      Grand Canyon Sunrise

The Grand Canyon at Dawn      Me in front of the Grand Canyon after Sunrise

And you can see I tried to keep it consistent with my other National Park shots. :)

The Beast beneath?
In the “catching up with the small things I wanted to blog” series, here comes yet another link from the Re-Imagineering blog. THERE IS A DRAGON UNDERNEATH THE CASTLE OF DISNEYLAND PARIS AND I HAVE NEVER SEEN IT. So, that’s a new good reason to go back to the park (it might well be my 6th or 7th time yet).

Another good reason is that I have to play the tourist in Paris before I move out completely in July (more on that later). I wanted to do this before I started my MBA in London but never did because I was not really quitting (Raquel stayed in our flat in Paris) and I guess I ran out of time. So Eiffel tower, here I come. :)

Apple’s Family Reunion
Apple was celebrating its 30th birthday on April 1st but the reunion is not as fun as expected:

Runaway kids – “Avadis ‘Avie’ Tevanian, its chief technology officer and the brains behind its OS X operating system” and “Jon Rubinstein, the head of Apple’s iPod division” (1)

Grumpy grand uncle – “The long-running legal tussle between The Beatles' company, Apple Corp, and technology giant Apple Computer returned to London's High Court on Wednesday - this time, focused on the latter's move into music services through its iPod player and iTunes download system.” (2)

Sources: 1. FT, Apple Computer loses technology chief, by Kevin Allison 2. FT, Beatles take Apple to court over iPod dispute, by Nikki Tait

Update: I couldn't post this while I was on the road (hence the sources above being from last week), but there is a new article from the FT today on the subject. Was Jobs "inspired"?

02 April 2006

The Wild is Out
When being wild n’ out can be good, I have sufficient reasons to believe that Disney new CG animated movie the Wild is going to be out before it actually gets out.

I have not seen the movie but my first encounter with it, its poster, made me wonder whether Dreamworks is going to sue Disney for copying Madagascar. Come on! A lion and a (suffering) giraffe going crazy after running out of the New York zoo!

Then, I had a look at the movie’s page on Yahoo! Movies and just by looking at the still pictures, you know the graphics are hideous (and not in line with the poster!). It looks like the guys at Disney who created the lion for Narnia thought it could be reused. I watched the scene available (a curling game) and it wasn’t even funny and reinforced my opinion on the graphics.

That and the competition of the sequel of the Ice Age coming out now lead to believe that this will be a flop. Disney took the right – and only possible – decision in buying Pixar. People have been saying that Pixar has been lucky rolling out only successful movies but I think that the problems Dreamworks Animation and Disney CG unit have been facing only exemplifies that it is as hard to do good CG animated movies as other type of movies. I was doubtful of the next Pixar film (Cars) but having seen the trailer I think they have another winner in their hands.

So, I can’t wait to go watch Ice Age 2, the Meltdown with Raquel next week-end once she joins me here for my last week in the US – that’s what caring husbands do I guess. And for now, I’ll keep myself entertained (hopefully) with the Inside Man this evening before really getting things going on my second year project report tonight (Steve, if your read me…). Got to go now!