Monday, February 22, 2010

7 more Dubai Metro stations to open, but only seven

Why not open all the Dubai Metro stations? »: "Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Saturday that work on all the remaining 18 stations on the Dubai Metro’s Red Line will be complete by April 25 2010.
However, the actual opening of the stations will be staggered in phases. The Emirates, Airport Terminal 1, GGICO, Al Karama, World Trade Center, Marina, and Ibn Battuta stations will open on April 25 - but the remaining 11 stations “will be operated over the following months of 2010,” Mattar al-Tayer, the chairman and executive director of RTA said in a release."

Now to me that does not seem reasonable, or logical. I understand that having more metro stations open means more electricity bill for the a/c, more security people (which I think there's too many anyways as the tracks are protected by glass so noone can jump on the tracks anyways), more people selling tickets, etc. but building them and just keeping them close does not make much sense; at least to me.

Would it have to do with the pending payments as reported by arabian Business where there has been disputes over payments of about $2-3 billion and the fact that building costs are almost double of the original plans? who knows! So far I can say that the metro has still a long way to be fully utilized and become a really good alternative to taking your car to work, and I have been taking the metro everyday for almost 1 month, but I will tell my impressions of it in another post.

Monday, February 15, 2010

South Korean iPhone users turn to sausages as a cold weather 'meat stylus

This is a very interesting piece of news that I saw through Engadget, knowing how uncomfortable it should be to use your iPhone when it's really cold I can understand the solution, but it has to be incredibly funny to see people typing on their phones and then eating their "stylus".

Apple and HTC might each be trying to patent a fancy capacitive stylus, but it looks like the good people of South Korea have stumbled on a decidedly more low-tech (and delicious) solution to using their phones in the winter: sausages. Apparently snack sausages from the CJ Corporation are electrostatically compatible with the iPhone's capacitive touchscreen, leading many to use them as a 'meat stylus' in the cold weather, rather than remove a glove.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Venezuela seeks God's help amid energy crisis

Venezuela seeks God's help amid energy crisis: "A state-run power company is urging its employees to seek divine intervention to help Venezuela resolve severe electricity shortages that prompted President Hugo Chavez to declare an energy emergency.
Edelca, one of the country's state power companies, called on its workers to attend a prayer meeting this week titled: 'Clamor to God for the National Electricity Sector.' The invitation, which includes a quote from the Bible, was sent to all the company's employees Monday in a letter signed by Edelca's president, Igor Gavidia Leon

This is just amazing, the country is having the worst ever electricity issues and they are now sending requests to Cuba for expertize and for the employees to go to church to see whether the problems will get solved. They started to rationalize the electricity in the whole country and the people in Caracas complained so much about it, that they are now exempted, how logical is that?

"Under the plan, large businesses and factories must cut electricity consumption 20 percent or face sanctions, including 24- to 48-hour shutdowns and hefty increases in electricity rates. Starting Wednesday, the government also prohibited illuminated billboards on city streets and highways.
The energy-saving initiative also targets ordinary Venezuelans who use more than 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month — an estimated 24 percent of all residential consumers, according to Chavez.

They fail to invest in the electricity grid and systems, so that when a drought hits the country it all goes down the drain, and now besides everything else that has been done to the private sector and individuals, they want to cripple it more by requiring all companies to cut their electricty consumption by 20%, would you like the supermarket to stop freezing the meat to save on electricity? Or hospitals/clinics to stop A/C so that they can save as well? Where will this end and when will they take owndership of this issue?

As far as I can see it the proposed solutions are not solving it even mid-term, and the only ones that are happy I am sure of it are the people in the government, because they now get out of work earlier in order to "save electricity", instead of working longer hours to solve this issue!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

World's tallest tower closed a month after opening

World's tallest tower closed a month after opening - Yahoo! News: "The world's tallest skyscraper has unexpectedly closed to the public a month after its lavish opening, disappointing tourists headed for the observation deck and casting doubt over plans to welcome its first permanent occupants in the coming weeks.
Electrical problems are at least partly to blame for the closure of the Burj Khalifa's viewing platform — the only part of the half-mile high tower open yet. But a lack of information from the spire's owner left it unclear whether the rest of the largely empty building — including dozens of elevators meant to whisk visitors to the tower's more than 160 floors — was affected by the shutdown
I think they are setting new records with the Burj Khalifa all along, tallest tower, tallest observation deck, shortest operating time, faster change of name (even today the name of the metro station continues to be Burj Dubai and some of the signs still say Burj Dubai ha, ha, ha)