Saturday, September 15, 2012

Coming back to changes

‘Being out of touch last week means a few surprises this week, good and bad.

New currency valuations: euros What happened to the Euro?  A 5% move in a week that significantly raises the cost of our Dutch engineering group for our US investors.  Analysts credit US economic weakness,  German court approval of the European Stability Mechanism, and a bullish speech by EU President Barroso, but it’s remarkable given the euro’s weakness  for most of this year.

Absent Photographs:  zangzingI recommended photo-sharing site ZangZing last year for creating group photo a albums, and our China tour group created a wonderful archive.  Without warning, the site went dark at the end of August, permanently deleting all content.  This follows on Microsoft’s takedown of it’s Small Business web servers, deleting my Stone Bridge web pages and email accounts.  This is always my fear with trusting cloud services to manage my data: I’m totally at the mercy of their decision to maintain the servers.  Providers say they will always be there for users, but business is business if their model fails.

New Netherlands Government: Dutch election The Dutch gathered in the lobby trying to get some internet access to pick up the election results Wednesday night.   It felt like a balanced result, with center-left and center-right parties winning the most seats. From the European standpoint, it was majority support for the Union although Dutch commentators said that’s a misinterpretation of the results.  Lots of skepticism of bailouts remains.

Another Amazing Race:AR 21  Sept 30, twelve teams, pairs with a special relationship, go head-to-head in one lap round the world for $ 1 million.  I always enjoy both the travelogue and the psychology of this reality show, matching my experiences and my destinations.  ‘Blocked in Europe by CBS, unfortunately: I pick up episodes by installing a proxy or torrent server.

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