Archives for the month of: September, 2009

alfredeneumanii Starting issue # 500 (due out in May 09) MAD  magazine will be published only quarterly. An official statement from the magazine by the Editor John Ficarra, said that readers feedback received showed that only every 3rd issue was really funny and so they decided to print only that. Moreover, subscribers will now find that their subscriptions last longer…

Mad started out as an 8 issue per year publication, then went on to 12 and is now scaling back to 4. Initially, they didn’t accept advertisements and ran on the steam of their humor, but later started accepting advertisements though on a very minimum level

The number of pages have been increased. Mad kids and Mad Classics will be stopped completely. MAD which is owned by DC Comics run by Warner Bros. has effected a cost cutting program which could see staff reduced by 10%.

When humor is affected by cutbacks, we must be in real trouble.

Well that explains the missing issues.


I must have gotten caught in the mall culture, when I made 3 trips to Abyat and Platform when the Jig Saw that I wanted4323_l was just across the street in the smaller shops. After being told it is out of stock 3 times and to expect it this week, I finally kicked into “find it now” mode and made a trip to the hardware stores on the other side of Canada Dry St, in Shuwaikh.

And there it was, in stock with this nondescript little hardware shop which seems small from the outside, but had a lot of stuff in it inside. The Makita 4323 Jig Saw came with 4 free blades (2 wood, 1 metal and 1 plastic). Costing just under 20 KD, and though made in China, without any warranty, its still a Makita. My drilling machine is a Makita, my father swore by it and so shall I. There are more powerful models, and ones with LED lights and even a lighter hand held model.

Installing the blade is quite easy, cutting even more so. It comes with variable speed control and accessories (to be bought separately) like a rip guide and anti-splintering device are optional.

Things I learnt over the last week:

  • Abyat pips Platfrom in customer interaction
  • Abyat not so good when it comes to having information on when their next delivery is due
  • Across the street, where the old hardware shops are, you are bound to find what you want, after going to a couple of shops.
  • To cut a 45 degree angle without a square, measure the width of the piece and cut from the corner
  • use proper lighting
  • Cheaper Chinese versions…not so good!! Avoid if you can…
  • You cant cut wood with an angle grinder , because they don’t have wood cutting blades in 115mm
  • Diamond blades can smoke wood, without cutting it!! – don’t ask

It’s a great buy for a hobby carpenter.

One of the best things about Firefox and what separates the men from the boys, are the apps or add-ons a user can add to the browser, to get the best out of it without opening too many windows or pressing too many buttons.

I was on the look out for a good news ticker, but that meant downloading multiple ticker programs, as there wasn’t a single one which could provide personalized news items. Well, there wasn’t until I came across this nifty add-on from Christopher Finke. This software developer, has build an add-on which lets use add your favorite RSS links using live bookmarks  and then scrolls them across your screen. Click on a news item and it opens in a new tab, and disappears from the ticker to be replaced by the next item as and when it comes. Lots of options and a truly great add-on. 

Other add-ons I user are Twitter Fox, which lets me tweet from the browser and Sensex Ticker which updates stock prices.

20081211152202984H Samsung proudly announced that they were the first in the market with their LED TV. It was supposed to give us brighter pictures and more contrast. The competition LG called their bluff, by announcing their LED TV which was FULL LED, also known as DIRECT BACKLIGHTING as opposed to EDGE BACKLIGHTING, offered by Samsung, with LEDs on the edges of the screen only. This led to the two companies, complaining against each other to advertising watchdogs, and subsequent bans on ads and such.

SONY had come out with this technology, way back then, when they offered the Bravia range, but were nice enough not to mislead customers by saying it was an LED TV.

LEDs are bulky and are used only in commercial applications where they have outdoor display screens and such. They are not small enough to be used all across Flat screen TVs as pixels, replacing the current fluorescent tubes. All said, these LEDs allow them to manufacture TVs which are as thin as a magazine and cost 3+ times that of an ordinary LCD but are more greener.

Sangria made from Old wine in Old bottle!!! Sony is still the best, and plasma beats them all…!!!

State run Indian telecom major  BSNL, is reportedly backing out of the deal with the Vavasi group to accquire shares in Zain. Though cash rich, with about 10 Billion dollars in its coffers, the operator is looking at growth in India with expected out flows for 3G spectrum, WiMax licenses and a growing wage bill.

While it may be interested in parts of the deal, it does not see Zain as a feasible buy. Recently the operator hired BCG (the Boston Consulting Group) to help it devise strategies to compete with home grown private operators like Airtel and Reliance.