Friendster – are you a friend of my friend?

Networking sites are very popular at the moment and are one of the very few types of online activity that are attracting VC investment. Friendster is no exception and has already attracted around $25 million while still being in beta mode.
The growth of its user base has been amazing: from 0 users in March this year to over 2.3 million users at the moment and growing fast. See Stefan’s article for a deeper analysis of the service.

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Old colleagues meet new colleagues

To celebrate Henricos new position we gathered at the Glassblower, London. This get together was also a kind of reunion for old colleagues from Dooyoo.
It was a funny mix of old and new colleagues and Henriks new mates passed with flying colours, he is in good hands for sure.
The beverages were a lethal mix of lager, aftershock and Sambuca. Besides being bit heavy headed today, I am alive and kicking. One lesson learned, make sure to blow out the flames of flaming Sambuca before drinking.

Cafe Pacifico – London

chili.gifA great spot to meet up with friends and have some enchiladas and a Corona or two. The fun factor is high but the drawback of this is that the place is loud. No venue for romantic dinners for sure.
The menu is bog standard Mexican food. You have your tortillas, enchiladas, nachos, sizzling fajitas and what not.
Watch out for high prices on drinks. The bill can easily spin out of control once you stop counting the margarita jugs and Coronas. Once we were 3 people eating and drinking and another 2 friends joined us for drinks and the bill was close to £90. One nice spin on the prices is their 80’s prices during lunch; up to 50% of the regular prices!
This place is very lively and Thu – Sat it can be hard to get a table. We have had to wait for 1 hour in the worst case but on the other hand, another Saturday and we were able to get a table right away. Call before hand in order not to be disappointed.

Public inquiry

Last night I attended the evening session of the public inquiry against proposed St. George development of Olympia Carpark.
The turnout was very good, around 300 people. During the 2 hours, 7-9pm, the inspector was told of around 30 arguments against the proposed development and, of course, non for.

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VeriSign high-jacks Internet traffic with SiteFinder

The last week or so I noticed that sometimes when I typed in an incorrect address, instead of getting the usual 404 Not Found, my browser was redirected to a page owned by VeriSign.
What VeriSign has done with their so called service SiteFinder is to redirect all traffic from unregistered .net and .com to their SiteFinder. While other companies have done that before (Microsoft and AOL), it has always been on an application level and thus you as a user had the choice to turn it off.

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An Expensive Investment

Back in 1998 I was tempted (lured) by an investment form that promised a tax free return. By paying a small percentage each year, when I later chose to cash in it would be tax free.
There was a choice of switching between funds and it seemed reasonable to get an average annual return of 10%.
Then the problems started. Being 1998 I invested mostly in tech funds. Fast-forward to 2003 and only 30% of my investment remains.
When I called my fund manager to see what the status was I was explained that not only had the fund decreased in value due to bad world economy (fair enough) but that there is also a minimum fee that I am paying each year to the fund manager. This irrespectively of whether the fund has positive or negative track record (not fair enough).
Even worse, because my humble investment had decreased a lot in value, the minimum annual fee was around 10% of my investment and increasing. When I questioned whether this was reasonable, that the fund needed an annual return of 10% in order for me not to loose any money, I was told a confident yes.
I disagree and will be taking out any pennies left and rather spend them on lollipops and bubble gums.
On the other hand, Kina is an upcoming investment possibility.

Weekend come, weekend go

The wait for the weekend is so long yet it passes so quickly.
I was mostly lazing this weekend. Simply couldn’t force my self to the office on Saturday. I wanted to go on Sunday but nobody was there (I tried Nathan).
Visited our old favourites Vama and Nam Long on Friday. Once again I avoided the Flaming Ferraris as they do too much damage to the system.
Some more volunteer work for SRRA. I have not been distributing flyers in a long time. What a rush having a pit-bull snatching after your fingers when you are pushing the flyer through the letter box. One dog projectiled itself into the door like there was no tomorrow, poor little thing.
Thanx for the dinner invitation Frida, hoping to make it next time!
Leaving a friend at Heathrow. Meltdown in the BA queue, it was spiralling almost all the way out again. Why is it that BA chooses to serve passengers for 5+ flights with 4 staff at the check-in desks? 65 minutes later friend was checked in.
Witnessed a (big fat) Greek wedding outside a Greek restaurant on the way home. Good stuff, the bride had a cute little white hat on.