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Monday, 23 December 2013

Google is the Brazil of customer service

And anyone who's read this blog will know that's not meant as a compliment. This post could ramble on for ages so I'll try to keep it short and to the point.
1. This blog comes courtesy of Google as well as myself, showing that I am still a Google junkie and will require much effort if I am to wean myself off it.
2. Years ago I was evangelistic about Google and would happily have paid an annual fee just for using its magical search engine. I began to drool about Google taking over my life. Just imagine: Google email, a Google calendar, a Google computer, a Google phone !

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Memory lane ?

It's easy to be neutral about a place when you don't live there. But rants such as this, followed by endless pages of comment and debate, do tend to make me shiver with recollection. 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

What do you do ?

Next time someone tells you they are "in property," remember what that notorious anarchist Winston Churchill said:

"Roads are made, streets are made, services are improved, electric light turns night into day, water is brought from reservoirs a hundred miles off in the mountains -- and all the while the landlord sits still. Every one of those improvements is effected by the labour and cost of other people and the taxpayers. To not one of those improvements does the land monopolist, as a land monopolist, contribute, and yet by every one of them the value of his land is enhanced. He renders no service to the community, he contributes nothing to the general welfare, he contributes nothing to the process from which his own enrichment is derived."

Read the whole piece here.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Little local difficulties

"But at least tourists and foreign football fans are going to 'suffer' with such high prices just for one month. Brazilians will have to wait a long time before all these problems can be solved and we can get our prices right."

Where were these kind of articles when I lived in Brazil 2.5 years ago ? Only to be found on a few invisible blogs. Such realism didn't seem relevant to the bandwagon of foreign "investors" in Brazil.
(HT: Jonathan E)

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Friday, 4 October 2013

"They don't have any humanity. They are not humans."

Another day in China, another forced abortion of the most horrifying nature. Thanks to global news, the woman and her husband were somehow able to get their story out to the wider world. The words I have quoted are from the mother. Just as significant are the words of a nurse in the hospital which committed the crime. When asked about it by a Sky News reporter, she replied: "I don't know the specific reason for this case and it's not my place to care."

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Brazilian car crash

The news has been full of appalling train and bus crashes in Europe, but my eye was drawn once more to a Brazilian car crash: the revelation that former squillionnaire Eike Batista is now almost wiped out because of his massive debts. Only a year or so ago Batista had claimed to be within a whisker of becoming the world's richest man. His conglomerate was supposed to exemplify the new BRIC powerhouse that was Brazil.