Archive for August, 2005


Toyota launches Lexus in Japan

Posted by on Wednesday, 31 August, 2005

Toyota Motor Corporation introduced its top-of-the-line luxury Lexus brand cars on Tuesday across Japan after their successful launch in more than 60 countries.

Opening over 140 showrooms at once (another 40 are already planned), especially designed for the Lexus, it is anticipated to intensify the competition in the luxury car segment, previously dominated by imported brands like BMW and Mercedes Benz.

The product lineup will initially consist of the GS, SC and IS models, with the LS model to be available from next summer.

Lexus SC 430


Tokyo is beautiful

Posted by on Tuesday, 30 August, 2005

I think Tokyo is beautiful. In a certain idiosyncratic way which only really works for Tokyo.

Some people say that the mega-city if cluttered and lacks an overall design and has no architechtural guidelines – ‘everything goes’ as one could say. While it is true, it also gives Tokyo a unique feeling. Nowhere else can you see sights like the one below (I snapped it with my cellphone, the large building with the round platform is TV-channel TBS’ headquarters) with a mix of small tiny winding roads, old residential homes and modern skyscrapers within the same viewframe. Sure, some areas of Tokyo (especially if you leave the absolute center) are not as nice, and it’s just stretches of low residential and old apartment buildings, but I nice the interesting and beautiful areas still make up for this. Now I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder, but this is at least my two cents.



Forbes Celebrity Ranking Deluxe

Posted by on Friday, 26 August, 2005

Well it’s been about two months since Forbes presented their Celebrity Top 100 list for 2005, but I really didn’t notice until a few days ago. A simple blog-post about it would not do, so I decided to get out my statistical gloves and do some calculations!

First of all, what I did was take all Top 10-ranked celebrities from the lists 1999-2005 (and check where they were ranked in all the other years, when they might not have made the top 10). This I entered into a list and calculated average ranking, number of top ten placements etc. The graph you see below (click on it so zoom in) shows the Top 10 celebrities on this year’s list with their rankings from 1999-2004 shown as well, plus average ranking.

A note about the methodology I used when calculated what I call “adjusted average ranking” : For the years that the person in question did not make the Top 100-list, I gave them a ranking of (100 + 10 * n), where n is the number of years outside the list. For example, Celine Dion has missed the Top 100 on 3 occasions, so when calculating the average ranking, I gave her a ranking of 110 the first missed year, 120 the second, and 130 the third. Perhaps not a perfectly fair methodology, as it favors consistency over peaks; but I didn’t really have a better idea.

Forbes Celebrity Ranking 1999-2005

Some more (useless) stats for your enjoyment:

Celebrities who have been on the Top 100 every year:
Oprah Winfrey
Tiger Woods
Shaquille O’Neill
Steven Spielberg
Michael Jordan

Number of Top 10-placements:
Oprah Winfrey : 7
Tiger Woods, Steven Spielberg : 6
Michael Jordan : 5
Rolling Stones : 4
Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks : 3
Britney Spears, Madonna : 2

Biggest gainers:
Mel Gibson (Not ranked in 2003, No.1 in 2004)
Julia Roberts (Not ranked in 1999, No.1 in 2000)
Eminem & Dr.Dre (Not ranked in 2002, No.2 in 2003)
George Lucas (Not ranked in 1999, No.2 in 2000)

Biggest losers:
Britney Spears (No.1 in 2002, Not ranked in 2003)
Tom Cruise (No.1 in 2001, Not ranked in 2002)
Eminem & Dr.Dre (No.2 in 2003, Not ranked in 2004)
Beatles (No.3 in 2001, Not ranked in 2002)


Google Talk!?

Posted by on Wednesday, 24 August, 2005

Well I first heard about Google Talk here and then I did some searching and found this which pretty much sums up my first impression too!

Do we really need another instant-messaging client? Yep, according to Google we do. This is the big hush-hush secret the Internet has been buzzing about for the last few weeks. Big friggin non-event if you ask me.

I’m not going to criticize the actual client yet, as I haven’t tried it, but WHY, for God’s sake WHY? I only use MSN, and barely for that matter. The idea of having four or five different IM clients just to satisfy your friends’ needs is just inconceivable to me.

Lockergnome (see above link) drums home his point well with the following:

Remember how you couldn’t send emails to your friends who used Eudora, because you were using Pine? That’s because it never happened. That shortcoming would never fly, yet we put up with these exact bugaboos on a regular basis.


More about Playlouder

Posted by on Wednesday, 24 August, 2005

Well I have been reading the Boing Boing article (see below), the original Guardian article and also the Fact Sheet and FAQ over at Playlouder, and there are some things I don’t understand:

1. It says that the users will be able to share files freely between each others; however it also says that all files will be supplied by Playlouder (who digitizes and fingerprints the files so they can’t leak outside the ISP’s network). Nowhere does it say that the users themselves are allowed to rip their own CDs and share. Further, since the songs ripped by the users themselves are not fingerprinted, these can leak out. So in relation to this, where did Boing Boing get this from :

PlayLouder MSP’s customers’ license includes Sony music sourced from P2P networks, ripped from CDs, or digitized from vinyl, cassettes, or radio broadcasts.

2. This statement in the Playlouder FAQ worries me:

We aim to prevent close to 100% of P2P traffic from going outside the MSP “walled garden”.

This is a very vague statement to me – do they mean their fingerprinted files only, or EVERYTHING?

So apart from these two things I think it’s a good idea. But I’d really like to see some clarification on them, because right now it’s somewhat of a blurry concept.