this is the real life

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

BILL GATES

Wow! I was touched by the video we watched in class today about Bill gates. I always thought Bill Gates was the typical rich guy who only cared about increasing his wealth. Well, I was wrong. Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have been given away a big part of their wealth for years. According to the video we watched in class, they give away $20 million per week. Bill has given away billions of dollars to global health organizations, to improve educational opportunities, and to make the Internet accessible to everyone. Bill Gates is a philanthropist who wants to keep his world of giving away much of his wealth before his passing away. He does not want his children to be burdened with tremendous wealth (I would actually like to hear his children’s opinion about this. Personally, I would not care being burdened by wealth, but that’s just me.) Bill Gates wants his children to be responsible for themselves. However, there are many people out there who still hate Bill. Some say that Bill just wants to be remembered as a nice guy, a kind of a modern Samaritan. Also, there are others who say he is giving his money away to expand Microsoft’s market. Honestly, I do not care. I think Bill is doing all this because he actually cares. Bill Gates is committed to his foundation, he is committed to learn what the needs of this world are, and he is committed to help. Not everyone is willing to do this. I mean, nobody forces Bill Gates to give away billions of dollars. He is doing it because he feels he has a duty with society; the duty of giving back. Therefore, next time I need to make a software buying decision, Microsoft will be the first in my list, not only because it is the best vendor out there, but also because Bill Gates is a good guy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Authors Guild Sues Google

The Authors Guild has sued Google over Google’s Library Project. Apparently, The Authors Guild, which represents more than 8,000 authors and is the largest society of published writers in the U.S, believes that Google’s project is an infringement of copyright laws. The Google Print Library Project intends to scan the book collections of major universities and other institutions, make those texts searchable on Google, and sell ads that would appear on the search results pages. By doing this, Google will be given free access to thousands of books to the public. This has infuriated The Authors Guild who fears people will go to Google to download books for free instead of buying them in bookstores. Now, I think The Authors Guild is missing the big picture here. I don’t know anyone who is up to the task of reading a 200 or 300 pages book on the internet. I also think it is very unlikely people will go to Google to print entire books. What I think will happen is that people will visit Google’s Library Project to search for books they are interested in, read the first pages of the book, and then go to a bookstore and buy the book. The Authors Guild is so afraid of losing business to Google that it fails to see the big picture; Google’s Library Project may become The Authors Guild’s best marketing tool.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Españoles en Utah

Con motivo de la celebración del Día de la Hispanidad, el Consulado Honorario de España y la Casa de España en Utah les invitan a una reunión social de la colectividad española en Utah.
El evento tendrá lugar el sábado 8 de octubre de 2005 de 19:00 a 21:00 horas en la universidad de Brigham Young “Centro Cultural’ segunda planta—UPC (University Parkway Center)
El edificio UPC se encuentra al oeste del estadio de fútbol Lavel Edwards esquina University Avenue y University Parkway.
En la reunión se tratarán temas consulares, inscripción matricular y electrónica y futuros eventos.
Se invita a los participantes que traigan algo para comer y/o beber para compartir. Gracias.

Espero veros allí.

Un saludo.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Tobacco regulation in Europe

The tobacco industry is under fire in Europe. In my native country, Spain, the government requires tobacco companies to include warnings to the consumer covering at least 15 percent of the front of the pack. Now under new regulations coming from the European Union, tobacco companies will be forced to include a health warning to consumers covering at least 35 percent of the front of the pack. In addition to this the use of terms like “mild” or “light” will be banned. As you can imagine, these proposals have infuriated tobacco industry bosses. Still, there are many who think regulations should be even stronger. In my opinion, it is good to force tobacco companies to advise the consumers of the dangers of consuming tobacco products. Nevertheless, I also believe that businesses operating in free countries, like Spain, should be allowed some margin of market freedom. Although we know tobacco kills, so do hamburgers and a sedentary life. Should we force the fast food and furniture industries to include in their hamburgers and sofas labels warning the consumers that eating too much meat or becoming a couch potato may eventually kill you? I don’t think so. I don’t smoke, and I never will. I took this wise decision many years ago. Nonetheless, let us not forget that many others have taken the decision to smoke, and they have the right to do so. One last thing, if we force tobacco companies to shut down due to excessive regulations, who is going to take care of all the people who would become unemployed? That is something we have to take into consideration.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

John D. Rockefeller

I admire John D. Rockefeller and respect his ways of conducting business. He was a self-made man who, through his career, changed and improved the lives of many people. John D. Rockefeller never sought fame. Although he contributed to charity during all his life, he never put his name on companies or charities. His great ambition was to mind his own business as well as he could, which was very well. John D. Rockefeller brought to reality the American dream. He sprang from one of those migrating families coming to this country seeking a betterment of condition. To some people John. D Rockefeller appeared to be a man of glaring contradictions. He eagerly crushed his competitors, ruining hundreds in his pursuit of profit. Yet, he was a deeply religious man; he became a Baptist, was active in church affairs for many years and was a generous financial supporter of the church. In my opinion, John D. Rockefeller was a man who took clear advantage of the opportunities life put on his way. He was given the chance to do something great and he did it. John D. Rockefeller was a man who lived his religion and was convinced God had given him the gift of making money. He sure shared this gift with the needy throughout all his life. One of my goals in life is to learn something positive from all great men who have lived before me and apply what I learn in to my own life. From John D. Rockefeller I have learned that by working hard and believing in what one is doing, one can accomplish all goals.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Business Power

Business has the power to shape or even change societies. The railroad and the car are two valid examples that show how society was transformed from the introduction of these products in the market. As we discussed in class today, C. Wright Mills and Thomas R. Dye asserted that America was controlled by a small group of people who held elite positions. While I do not disagree with them, I believe these people’s powers are somehow limited. They as managers, owners, or members of the board of directors, depend upon the workers to become part of the elite. The working class is the most important because we live in a society where Capitalism reigns. Capitalism is a system based on an unequal distribution of wealth and power whose heart is profit. A way to define profit is the difference between what a worker gets paid for his work and what his work is really worth. This profit goes directly to the pockets of managers and owners incrementing the gap between the rich and the poor. Nevertheless, it is the workers who ultimately have the power to change society because Capitalism depends on them to support it. Whenever workers take actions to increase wages or improve working conditions they cut into the profit of their bosses reducing their power.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Gandhi

As Dr. Martin Luther said “We may ignore Gandhi at our own risk.” Gandhi was one of those few people who taught mankind by example. His politic of nonviolence changed the history of his native India.
Gandhi described nonviolence as the greatest force at the disposal of mankind; the mightiest weapon ever devised by humans. A person may ask; how is nonviolence even mightier than a nuclear bomb? Well, as powerful as the nuclear bomb might be, it only has the power to kill people. On the other hand, nonviolence has the power to change hearts; the power to eradicate prejudice; the power to destroy evil from its roots.
The world needs more leaders like Gandhi. With people like Gandhi governing the world, most of today’s problems would be solved. However, we all know that the world is not ready to be governed by saints. For some reason, humans prefer evil minds taking care of their country’s affairs and the future of their children.
People like Gandhi will always be remembered as relics from the past. We may praise their teachings, but the majority of us will never follow their examples. It is easier to kill people than to change their hearts.
In conclusion, Gandhi’s teachings are a great topic to be discussed in schools and symposiums; nevertheless, Gandhi’s teachings will have little repercussion in the overall history of mankind. The wisdom and example of this man became obsolete the same very moment his innocent blood was shed on the streets of his beloved country. We ignore Gandhi at our own risk.




Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Housing Katrina Survivors

Today in class we had the opportunity to hear from the creators of katrinahousing.org. The goal of this site is to find a way to easily, rapidly, and powerfully setup a complete system for organizing the kindness of American citizens due to Katrina. The site was launched on September 1st, and since then about 5,000 survivors have been placed. The site has a nice and easy to understand design that allows survivors and those who want to help find information rapidly.

If you would like to donate your home to survivors, please visit the site and post your housing information. There are many who still need help. If you want to help, but don’t have housing to provide, don’t worry katrinahousing.org needs people to answer calls directed to their survivor hotline.

I personally wanted to thank you guys for donating so much of your time to help people in need. You are an example to the community. Keep on the good work

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Power Battle in Spain

Endesa SA (a Spanish power utility) rejected yesterday the unsolicited bid of 22.55 billion euros ($28.27 Billion) from Gas Natural SDG SA. According to Endesa’s CEO “The bid is hostile and does not reflect the real value of the company. In response of Endesa’s negative response, Rafael Villaseca, Gas Natural’s CEO, said that “It didn’t come as a surprise to us. In any event, it will be up to the shareholders to decide.” But, why is Gas Natural trying to acquire Endesa anyway? Well, the EU has begun opening its gas and power markets to competition and European energy companies are seeking more size. Gas Natural’s intention to acquire Endesa indicates that Gas Natural is seeking vertical integration in order to be able to control its own supply of raw materials. Gas Natural insists that by acquiring Endesa Spanish consumers would be better off as it would spur competition and gas prices will go down.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Want StatCounter.com? You got it.

Hello Classmates!! To get this reliable and FREE web tracker, just click HERE. And since you are already here, why don’t take a look around and leave a comment? Thank you. You all have a great day.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The financial impact of Hurricane Katrina may not be as bad as US officials feared.


Treasury Secretary John Snow and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in a recent interview that the impact of Hurricane Katrina would not have a significant long-term effect on the US economy, although growth would be slowed for a short period.
Much of the pressure on oil supplies has been relieved by the release of 60m barrels from emergency supplies.
Major towns and cities in the Mississippi area lie in ruins, dozens of oil rigs and refineries have been damaged, and some experts have put a price tag of $100 billion on the hurricane.
Hurricane Katrina has been one of the major natural disasters the United States of America has faced in its recent history. Thousands of people are feared dead and entire cities have been completely destroyed.

Victims of the hurricane are clearly unhappy about the way President Bush has handled the situation. It took several days for the first relief troops to arrive to the area. Many believe the wars going on overseas have obviously debilitated the army’s capacity to respond to this kind of emergencies. Where was the National Guard? The National Guard was off in Iraq protecting the precious oil that will be exported to the US later at gold prices.

As I recall the day of the hurricane President Bush was still making speeches about Iraq and added some reference to Katrina as a sort of footnote.

But, after all, who cares about the dead? They were poor. The country has obviously more important problems to deal with, like oil prices.

Well done President Bush, you who spent millions of dollars in the search of inexistent weapons of mass destruction wouldn’t take appropriate measures to save the people who voted for you.

El huracán 'Katrina' sacude Nueva Orleans y se debilita mientras avanza hacia el Norte



El huracán 'Katrina' ha irrumpido con vientos de 240 Km/h. sobre las islas del delta del Misisipí, tras tocar tierra en Grand Isle, al sur de Nueva Orleans. El ciclón continúa su avance hacia el norte debilitado ya hasta la categoría 1. Cientos de miles de personas permanecen evacuadas.
El huracán, cuyo vórtice evitó a última hora la populosa ciudad de Nueva Orleans registra vientos máximos de 120 kilómetros por hora y está a punto de convertirse en una tormenta tropical.
Sin embargo, las autoridades han hecho un llamamiento a la población para que no regresen aún a sus casas. Los servicios de emergencia siguen sin poder atender las llamadas de los ciudadanos.
Cuando el huracán tocó tierra en la zona de Grand Isle, en el estado de Luisiana y al sur de Nueva Orleans, sus vientos sostenidos llegaban a los 240 kilómetros por hora.
El Centro Nacional de Huracanes (CNH) calcula que la tormenta estará mañana, martes, al norte de Misisipi, donde se sentirán sus fuertes lluvias. Unas 24 horas más tarde pasará por Tennessee y Kentucky, y seguirá rumbo a Indiana y Ohio.
La entidad meteorológica de EEUU espera oleaje en las zonas costeras de entre 5,5 y siete metros, y fuertes lluvias que serán de entre 100 y 200 milímetros que causarán inundaciones.
Aunque Nueva Orleans está por debajo del nivel del mar y se han producido importantes inundaciones en algunos barrios de la ciudad, la televisión local WDSU informa de que no han sido tan graves como se había pronosticado y la mayor parte se han salvado. En otros barrios, sin embargo, sólo se ven los tejados de las casas.
Ahora que los efectos del huracán se han suavizado, las calles de Nueva Orleans han dejado de estar desiertas para dar paso a las escenas de pillaje, a pesar de la anunciada presencia de 4.000 agentes de la Guardia Nacional.
Evacuaciones
Centenares de miles de personas han sido evacuadas de Nueva Orleans, ciudad en la que se encontraban unos 1,3 millones de habitantes. Todos los españoles presentes en las zonas afectadas por 'Katrina' han sido evacuados o se encuentran a salvo en hoteles, informa el cónsul español en Nueva Orleans, Ramón Saenz de Heredia.
Sin embargo, 35.000 residentes de la ciudad que no han podido abandonarla por su estado de salud o por la falta de medios económicos se han refugiado en el gran estadio (Superdome) de Louisiana, que ha sufrido daños en el tejado.
Otros dos de los diez refugios habilitados por la ciudad para acoger a los habitantes que no pudieron huir han tenido que cerrarse por inundaciones.
Tres muertos durante la evacuación.
El diario local "The Times-Picayune" recoge en su página de Internet los mensajes de ciudadanos que solicitan ayuda y de testigos que informan de los lugares donde han visto gente subida a los tejados, ventanas rotas, árboles caídos o viviendas anegadas.
"Nuestra mayor preocupación ahora mismo es la incapacidad de ir a prestar ayuda o a confirmar lo que estamos oyendo", declaró al diario un responsable de los servicios de emergencia.
Las autoridades de Luisiana han confirmado la muerte de tres ancianos, probablemente por deshidratación, cuando estaban siendo evacuados de una residencia de Nueva Orleans. El huracán azotó el sur de Florida los pasados jueves y viernes dejando al menos nueve muertos, además de cuantiosos daños materiales.
Lo peor, por llegar
El presidente de EEUU, George W. Bush, ha declarado los estados de Luisiana y Misisipi como zonas catastróficas, lo que "permitirá que los fondos federales sean utilizados para desplegar recursos de ayuda en esos dos estados", precisó el portavoz de la Casa Blanca, Scott McClellan.
El alcalde de Nueva Orleans, Ray Nagin, insiste en que hay que estar preparados para "daños catastróficos" que "llevará semanas reconstruir".
Según la televisión WDSU, unos 770.000 clientes de la eléctrica Entergy no tienen suministro, y fuentes oficiales de la empresa afirman que la electricidad no será restablecida por completo en Nueva Orleans hasta dentro de un mes.
Más alarmante, el director del Centro de Salud Pública de la Universidad estatal de Luisiana, Ivor van Heerden, opinó que a causa de "Katrina" se puede experimentar un "equivalente al tsunami del sur de Asia en términos de daños".
La gobernadora de Luisiana, Kathleen Blanco, ha movilizado a cientos de soldados de la Guardia Nacional para que, en cuanto el huracán se mueva hacia el nordeste, comiencen de inmediato la tarea de asistencia y socorro a los damnificados, así como de limpieza.
El fiscal general, Charles Foti, atiende protestas de ciudadanos que denuncian que han sido extorsionados en establecimientos, como hoteles y gasolineras, que tratan de sacar partido de la situación.

Esta es una noticia tomeda del diario El Mundo. Por favor visite la web oficial de El Mundo para una mayor covertura.
www.elmundo.es


 

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