Sunday, December 17, 2006

The return of bad call quality

I remember when I got my first GSM mobile phone. Back then I accepted the low call quality and the occasional fall outs, and almost every call would have the following dialog at some point:

Hello... HelloOOoo... can you hear me? I hear you fine, can you hear me? Hello, Helloooo

Those days are over. The mobile is always excellent even if you are in different countries. But now Skype has started the next revolution in phone call flexibility and functionality, and now I find my self again:

Hello... HelloOOoo... can you hear me? I hear you fine, can you hear me? Hello, Helloooo... Wait, just a sec, I'll hang up and call you back... or maybe you should try calling me up, OK? OK? HelloooOOOooo!

By the way, I LOVE Skype. I spend more money on Skype now, than I do on landlines and mobiles!

Cooperate Cocktail Menu

At yesterdays Christmas party, the girls from HR had been really creative. That's a pretty cool menu for a party with 250 engineers. The prices were: $2 for a cocktail and $1 for a shot - pretty good!

And by the way, I won an award :-) I'm still not completely sure why, since everything was happening in Russian (really fast Russian), but my best guess is that the award was for being the biggest pain in the ass!

Later last night I found myself in an alley catching some fresh air. Then these Ukrainian guys offered me this:

JESUS CHRIST!!!!! I don't smoke weed, and even if I did, what makes you think I would put my lips on a burning peace of plastic and inhale???

I know who you are guys, but don't worry - your secret is safe with me! But seriously, I think they should use another pipe for their weed. Inhaling from a plastic container HAS to be toxic!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Ukrainians are RICH

I just walked through Pushkiskaya Street. I counted 2 Bentleys, 3 Hummers, 1 Masarati, about 10 Mercedes, maybe 5 BMW's, 4 Range Rovers, 4 Porsches and 1 flat red Ferrari. All cars were pretty new, and all in the same street.
I've been here too long to still notice the Ukrainians impressive cars. I heard Ukraine is the 11th biggest car market in Europe, and the number of sold Porsches has exceeded Poland. It is true that many people will choose to live in a tent and drive a Porsche, but the purchasing power is impressive. And it's mainly cash funded - not credit funded like in the West.

On Friday I was told by a Danish official, that what business forget about Ukraine, is the 2 million EXTREMELY rich and the 8 million with the same living standard and purchasing power as the Danes. Most people (me incl.) mainly thinks about the 37 million poor people.

But all this is about to change. Not by the government, not by the foreigners - but by the banks.

Many banks are beginning to give their customers credit lines without security for a fair interest (not Western fair, but Eastern fair).

This could be a breakthrough. Giving people the opportunity to consume their way out of poverty. I think it's plausible. I think it might be a great solution. The politicians are crooks anyway.

But thinking about what the Ukrainians have been able to do with their cash in 10 years, it's scary what they'll be able to with a credit line :-)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Danish inovation

Here's a new product that might be a clue about nothing is left to be invented:

The most famous Dane!

A few months ago I argued in this post that most people outside Europe don't know any Danes. They know about LEGO, but they don't know it's Danish. They know some of H.C. Andersens fairy tales, but they don't know he was Danish (or gay).

But I finally found a famous Dane who is VERY famous in the U.S general public. His name is Morten Andersen and he plays football (american football). Aperantly,he is about to break the all time record of scoring points. That's pretty cool, to have a Dane holding that record. Then we would be known for something else besides cartoons.

The ironic part is, that nobody in Denmark knows who he is.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Santa Claus Union of Kiev

I KNEW it wasn't over! A few weeks ago I posted this information about Santa Claus's retirement. At the time, I thought only the children would hurt from this event, but today I saw these guys demonstrating in downtown Kiev.

It seems the Santa Claus Labor Union Of Ukraine (SCLU) is performing a legal demonstration against missing paychecks from the last five months.