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Earned Value Analysis

May 31, 2006 Leave a comment

Taken from Cert-CAPM
Related Exam: PMI Cert-CAPM PMCert: Certified Associate in Project Management

A status review of all the projects being managed by you shows the figures in the exhibit (Click the Exhibit(s) button.). Which of these projects are performing the best on schedule and cost, respectively?

Project A
Project C
Project A and Project C, respectively
Project C and Project A, respectively

Exhibits:

Project C and Project A are performing the best on schedule and cost, respectively. We can use the following Earned Value Analysis calculations for all four projects:
CV or Cost Variance = EV – AC
SV or Schedule Variance = EV – PV
CPI or Cost Performance Index = EV / AC
SPI or Schedule Performance Index = EV / PV
The values can be summarized in the table provided in the tutorial graphic. The project with the highest values of CPI and SPI is performing the best on both cost and schedule factors. From the information in the given table, Project C has the best schedule performance because its SPI has the highest value of 0.93. Project A has the best cost performance because its CPI has the highest value of 0.96.
Note that all projects have identical values for CV and SV, but they are not performing equally on both cost and schedule factors.

References:

1. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge – PMBOK Guide 2000 Edition – Project Communications Management
– 10.3.2.4 Tools and Techniques for Performance Reporting – Earned Value Analysis

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New & Notable Books by Kizhakku Publishers

May 26, 2006 1 comment
பின் கதைச் சுருக்கம் பா.ராகவன் 50
மிட்டாய் கதைகள்
என்.சொக்கன் 40
கிருஷ்ணா கிருஷ்ணா
இந்திரா பார்த்தசாரதி 90
கரைந்த நிழல்கள்
அசோகமித்திரன் 60
கிச்சு கிச்சு
ஜே. எஸ். ராகவன் 60
பரமஹம்ஸர்: பொழியும் கருணை மழை
பா.தீனதயாளன் 60
தேகம் யாவும்
ஜி.எஸ்.எஸ். 50
வேதபுரத்து வியாபாரிகள்
இந்திரா பார்த்தசாரதி 85
தண்ணீர்
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மார்க்ஸ் எனும் மனிதர்
என். ராமகிருஷ்ணன் 60
ஆல்ஃபா
மலையாள மூலம்: டி.டி. ராமகிருஷ்ணன், தமிழில்: குறிஞ்சிவேலன் 50
அசோகமித்திரனின் கட்டுரைகள் – 1
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ஆதவன் 350
ஹஜ்
அபுல் கலாம் ஆசாத் 35
அயோத்தி – நேற்றுவரை
என்.சொக்கன் 90
ஆப்கனிஸ்தான் : அழிவிலிருந்து வாழ்வுக்கு
ஜி.எஸ்.எஸ் 60
கண்ணீரும் புன்னகையும்
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மதுரபாரதி 90
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அல் காயிதா
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என்.சொக்கன் 60
ஜப்பான்-ஒரு ஃபீனிக்சின் கதை
சந்திரமௌலி 50
மார்க்கெட்டிங் மாயாஜாலம்
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ஹாலிவுட் அழைக்கிறது!
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18வது அட்சக்கோடு
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அசோகமித்திரன் 90
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இந்திரா பார்த்தசாரதி 90
சல்மான் ரஷ்டி: ஃபத்வா முதல் பத்மா வரை
என்.சொக்கன் 60
காபிரியேல் கார்ஸியா மார்குவேஸ்: மாயமில்லே, மந்திரமில்லே
ஆர். வெங்கடேஷ் 60
அடுத்த விநாடி
நாகூர் ரூமி 70
தேங்கா மாங்கா பட்டாணி கிண்டல்
ஜே.எஸ்.ராகவன் 40
தேடு:கூகுளின் வெற்றிக் கதை
என்.சொக்கன் 75
லாலு
ஆர்.முத்துக்குமார் 50
அமெரிக்காவில் கிச்சா
கிரேஸி மோகன் 60
சிரிப்பு டாக்டர்
முத்துராமன் 70
சூஃபி சொன்ன கதை
மலையாள மூலம்: கே.பி.ராமனுண்ணி, தமிழில்: குறிஞ்சிவேலன் 75
பாண்டவபுரம்
மலையாள மூலம்: சேது, தமிழில்: குறிஞ்சிவேலன் 75
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அஜிதன் 50
குதி
ச.ந.கண்ணன் 60
தாவூத்
D.ஈ.ரவீந்திரன் 50
கி.மு.கி.பி
மதன் 100
சிவாஜி: நடிகர் முதல் திலகம் வரை
பா.தீனதயாளன் 60
இன்று
அசோகமித்திரன் 50
வால்கள்
ராஜேந்திரகுமார் 50
சுதந்தர பூமி
இந்திரா பார்த்தசாரதி 100
புத்தகம் வாங்கினால் புன்னகை இலவசம்
வாசுதேவ் 50
ஃபிடல் காஸ்ட்ரோ: சிம்ம சொப்பனம்
மருதன் 90
நாடு கட்டிய நாயகன்
முகில் 75
24 கேரட்
பா.ராகவன் 90
வைக்கம் முகமது பஷீர்
மலையாள மூலம்: ஈ.எம்.அஷ்ரஃப், தமிழில்: குறிஞ்சிவேலன் 75

Categories: Uncategorized

Politics this week: 20th – 26th May 2006

May 26, 2006 Leave a comment

Politics this week

May 25th 2006
From The Economist print edition

AP
AP

After six months of negotiation, Iraq’s parliament endorsed a united government of Shias, Sunni Arabs and Kurds, led by Nuri al-Maliki, an Islamist from the dominant Shia alliance. The main Sunni Arab party has a clutch of ministries, raising hopes that it will persuade at least some of the insurgents to negotiate. The crucial defence and interior ministries are still waiting to be filled. See articleE+

Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, met President George Bush in Washington, where they agreed that Iran should be prevented from getting nuclear weapons. Mr Bush said America would “come to Israel’s aid” if Iran attacked, and he praised Mr Olmert’s “bold” plan to adjust Israel’s borders unilaterally if attempts to agree them with the Palestinians failed. See articleE+

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said he would call a referendum unless Hamas agreed to accept the pre-1967 borders of Israel. This came after violence between his Fatah faction and Hamas cost several lives in the Gaza Strip.

Lakhdar Brahimi, a UN official, went to Sudan to try to persuade the government in Khartoum to let a UN peacekeeping force into its western Darfur region. Violence has persisted there since a peace deal between the main rebel group and the government was signed three weeks ago.

In a tense run-up to elections due on July 30th, the government has told politicians in the Democratic Republic of Congo that they should not have more than 25 bodyguards each.

Zimbabwe’s inflation rate exceeded 1,000%. When Robert Mugabe came to power in 1980, Zimbabwe’s dollar was worth $1.60; an American dollar is now officially worth 100,000 Zimbabwean dollars. See articleE+

The World Health Organisation expressed concern about a cluster of recent human deaths from the H5N1 strain of bird flu. Seven people from the same Indonesian family have died from the disease with no apparent sign of animal infection, raising the possibility of human-to-human transmission. See articleE+

Australia is deploying troops to calm Timor-Leste, where violence has erupted in the capital, Dili. The unrest started with the sacking of soldiers, who had gone on strike. The president, Xanana Gusmao, said that security was now his personal responsibility.

Thaksin Shinawatra, chaired his first cabinet meeting since stepping aside as prime minister of Thailand seven weeks ago. Fresh elections have been ordered since a poll on April 2nd was annulled, but no date has yet been set. It is unclear who exactly is running the country at present.

Afghanistan’s government claimed to have killed up to 60 Taliban militants in a battle in the central province of Uruzgan. Fighting has intensified recently in many parts of the country, reaching levels not seen since the American-led invasion of 2001.

China completed work on the main wall of the Three Gorges dam. A vast feat of engineering, the dam has caused much environmental controversy. See articleE+

In Colombia, an army patrol killed ten members of an elite police drug squad and their civilian informant in what officials said was an accident. The incident was a blow to the government of Álvaro Uribe, who was expected to win a second term in a presidential election on May 28th. See articleE+

Vladimiro Montesinos, Peru’s jailed former spy chief, told a court that Ollanta Humala, a candidate in next month’s presidential run-off, helped him escape from the country six years ago by staging a fake military rebellion. Opinion polls give Alan García, a former president, a 15-point lead over Mr Humala.

René Préval, Haiti’s new president, appointed Jacques Edouard Alexis as his prime minister. Mr Alexis, formerly a university rector, held the same post from 1999 to 2001 during Mr Préval’s previous presidency.

EPA
EPA

Despite strong criticism of his handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Ray Nagin was narrowly re-elected as mayor of New Orleans. He won 80% of the black vote.

American congressmen bridled over an FBI search—the first in history—of the office of a sitting congressman, who had been taped accepting a $100,000 bribe. They claimed it was a breach of separation of powers and of congressional prerogatives. William Jefferson, a Democrat from Louisiana, had stored most of the cash in his freezer. See articleE+

America’s Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal against the combination of drugs used to execute criminals by injection, thereby allowing the practice to continue. A prisoner in Tennessee had claimed that one of the drugs caused such intense pain that it amounted to “cruel and unusual punishment”, which is banned by the constitution.

AFP
AFP

In Montenegro, 55.4% of those who voted supported independence from Serbia. Theirs will be the first new country in Europe since Slovakia in 1993. Both Montenegro and Serbia want to join the European Union as soon as they can. See article

Spain’s prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, declared that he was preparing for talks with ETA, a Basque separatist group. ETA, which has killed more than 800 people in the past three decades, declared a permanent ceasefire in March.

In a parliamentary election in (Greek) Cyprus, voters strongly backed parties hostile to the idea of reviving the UN unification plan that was rejected in 2004. A solution to the Cyprus problem looks as far off as ever.

Italy’s new government said that the country’s budget deficit was worse than it had feared. A deputy economics minister suggested that it might be over 4.5% of GDP this year. The chances of getting it below 3% by 2007, as promised, now look remote.

In two unrelated but worrying accidents in the Aegean region, a Turkish and a Greek fighter plane collided in mid-air, killing the Greek pilot, and a huge fire engulfed the cargo terminal at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, injuring three workers.

Categories: Uncategorized

Politics this week: 20th – 26th May 2006

May 26, 2006 Leave a comment

Politics this week

May 25th 2006
From The Economist print edition

AP
AP

After six months of negotiation, Iraq’s parliament endorsed a united government of Shias, Sunni Arabs and Kurds, led by Nuri al-Maliki, an Islamist from the dominant Shia alliance. The main Sunni Arab party has a clutch of ministries, raising hopes that it will persuade at least some of the insurgents to negotiate. The crucial defence and interior ministries are still waiting to be filled. See articleE+

Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, met President George Bush in Washington, where they agreed that Iran should be prevented from getting nuclear weapons. Mr Bush said America would “come to Israel’s aid” if Iran attacked, and he praised Mr Olmert’s “bold” plan to adjust Israel’s borders unilaterally if attempts to agree them with the Palestinians failed. See articleE+

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said he would call a referendum unless Hamas agreed to accept the pre-1967 borders of Israel. This came after violence between his Fatah faction and Hamas cost several lives in the Gaza Strip.

Lakhdar Brahimi, a UN official, went to Sudan to try to persuade the government in Khartoum to let a UN peacekeeping force into its western Darfur region. Violence has persisted there since a peace deal between the main rebel group and the government was signed three weeks ago.

In a tense run-up to elections due on July 30th, the government has told politicians in the Democratic Republic of Congo that they should not have more than 25 bodyguards each.

Zimbabwe’s inflation rate exceeded 1,000%. When Robert Mugabe came to power in 1980, Zimbabwe’s dollar was worth $1.60; an American dollar is now officially worth 100,000 Zimbabwean dollars. See articleE+

The World Health Organisation expressed concern about a cluster of recent human deaths from the H5N1 strain of bird flu. Seven people from the same Indonesian family have died from the disease with no apparent sign of animal infection, raising the possibility of human-to-human transmission. See articleE+

Australia is deploying troops to calm Timor-Leste, where violence has erupted in the capital, Dili. The unrest started with the sacking of soldiers, who had gone on strike. The president, Xanana Gusmao, said that security was now his personal responsibility.

Thaksin Shinawatra, chaired his first cabinet meeting since stepping aside as prime minister of Thailand seven weeks ago. Fresh elections have been ordered since a poll on April 2nd was annulled, but no date has yet been set. It is unclear who exactly is running the country at present.

Afghanistan’s government claimed to have killed up to 60 Taliban militants in a battle in the central province of Uruzgan. Fighting has intensified recently in many parts of the country, reaching levels not seen since the American-led invasion of 2001.

China completed work on the main wall of the Three Gorges dam. A vast feat of engineering, the dam has caused much environmental controversy. See articleE+

In Colombia, an army patrol killed ten members of an elite police drug squad and their civilian informant in what officials said was an accident. The incident was a blow to the government of Álvaro Uribe, who was expected to win a second term in a presidential election on May 28th. See articleE+

Vladimiro Montesinos, Peru’s jailed former spy chief, told a court that Ollanta Humala, a candidate in next month’s presidential run-off, helped him escape from the country six years ago by staging a fake military rebellion. Opinion polls give Alan García, a former president, a 15-point lead over Mr Humala.

René Préval, Haiti’s new president, appointed Jacques Edouard Alexis as his prime minister. Mr Alexis, formerly a university rector, held the same post from 1999 to 2001 during Mr Préval’s previous presidency.

EPA
EPA

Despite strong criticism of his handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Ray Nagin was narrowly re-elected as mayor of New Orleans. He won 80% of the black vote.

American congressmen bridled over an FBI search—the first in history—of the office of a sitting congressman, who had been taped accepting a $100,000 bribe. They claimed it was a breach of separation of powers and of congressional prerogatives. William Jefferson, a Democrat from Louisiana, had stored most of the cash in his freezer. See articleE+

America’s Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal against the combination of drugs used to execute criminals by injection, thereby allowing the practice to continue. A prisoner in Tennessee had claimed that one of the drugs caused such intense pain that it amounted to “cruel and unusual punishment”, which is banned by the constitution.

AFP
AFP

In Montenegro, 55.4% of those who voted supported independence from Serbia. Theirs will be the first new country in Europe since Slovakia in 1993. Both Montenegro and Serbia want to join the European Union as soon as they can. See article

Spain’s prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, declared that he was preparing for talks with ETA, a Basque separatist group. ETA, which has killed more than 800 people in the past three decades, declared a permanent ceasefire in March.

In a parliamentary election in (Greek) Cyprus, voters strongly backed parties hostile to the idea of reviving the UN unification plan that was rejected in 2004. A solution to the Cyprus problem looks as far off as ever.

Italy’s new government said that the country’s budget deficit was worse than it had feared. A deputy economics minister suggested that it might be over 4.5% of GDP this year. The chances of getting it below 3% by 2007, as promised, now look remote.

In two unrelated but worrying accidents in the Aegean region, a Turkish and a Greek fighter plane collided in mid-air, killing the Greek pilot, and a huge fire engulfed the cargo terminal at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, injuring three workers.

Categories: Uncategorized

Business this week: 20th – 26th May 2006

May 26, 2006 Leave a comment

Business this week

May 25th 2006
From The Economist print edition

Stockmarkets endured another uneasy week. Shares in Britain and mainland Europe were volatile, and fell heavily in emerging markets such as Russia, India, Turkey and Indonesia. Investors sought refuge in American Treasury bonds, which strengthened over the week, not least because figures showing weak April orders for durable goods raised the chances that the Federal Reserve will pause before lifting interest rates again. See article

Euronext’s managers and shareholders weighed rival bids for the company, which runs stockmarkets across Europe and a derivatives exchange in London. The managers endorsed an offer from the New York Stock Exchange in preference to the Deutsche Börse, another big European exchange. The shareholders remained non-committal, hoping for sweetened offers. See articleE+

After a three-year investigation, regulators concluded that Fannie Mae, which underwrites American mortgages, had indulged in “fraudulent accounting”. It will pay $400m to settle the case, but its former executives may still face charges for misreporting profits so as to fatten their bonuses. These ill-gotten gains should be reclaimed by the company, its federal regulator said. Its mortgage holdings will also be frozen at $727 billion, their December 2005 level, until it cleans up its act. See articleE+

Sir Ken Morrison agreed to step aside as chairman of Wm Morrison, ending a boardroom battle that followed the British retailer’s purchase of Safeway in 2004.

Bank of China, China’s second-largest bank, raised $9.7 billion from its initial public offering, the biggest in the country’s short experience of financial markets. If demand is strong enough, the bank may offer more shares, to raise another $1.5 billion. In London, however, two other listings were postponed amid the markets’ jitters.

Bertelsmann agreed to pay €4.5 billion ($5.75 billion) for a 25.1% stake owned by Groupe Bruxelles Lambert. The Belgian investment house had threatened to list its holding in the German media group. See articleE+

The World Bank decided it still has a role to play in China, a country with dollars aplenty, but also with more impoverished people than any other country except India. The bank will lend up to $1.5 billion a year over the next five years.

Rosneft, an oil company the Russian government wants to sell, reported profits of $4.2 billion for 2005. Its revenues flowed largely from its Yuganskneftegaz production arm, which belonged to Yukos, a private company dismembered by the tax authorities. See articleE+

OMV, central Europe’s biggest oil and gas company, caved in to political resistance over its proposed merger with Verbund, Austria’s largest electricity supplier. The sale of the company, controlled by the government, would not have been “meaningful and just” (ie, politically palatable), said Austria’s economics minister.

A Dutch court passed verdict on “Europe’s Enron”, the 2003 accounting scandal at Ahold, a huge food retailer. Its former boss, Cees van der Hoeven, and his finance director were convicted of fraud. Each now faces a fine of €225,000 ($287,400) and a nine-month suspended sentence.

Babcock & Brown, an Australian investment company, agreed to buy Eircom, Ireland’s biggest telecoms company, for $3.1 billion. The Australians will be the former state monopoly’s fifth owner since it was privatised in 1999.

Valcon Acquisition, a group of six private-equity companies, triumphed at last in its three-month campaign to buy VNU, a Dutch market-research company. Valcon said it now has 78.7% of the company’s shares, and gave remaining shareholders until June 9th to sell the rest.

Vonage, an internet-based phone company, raised $531m in its initial public offering, charging $17 a share, only to see its stock end the first day of trading worth only $14.85. See articleE+

In testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, admitted that he had suffered a “lapse of judgment” when he told a journalist at the White House correspondents’ dinner last month that he was not as doveish on inflation as financial markets thought.

In its twice-yearly economic outlook, the OECD forecast that growth this year would be 3.6% in America, 2.2% in the euro area and 2.8% in Japan. Growth in all three areas is expected to slow slightly in 2007. Remaining slack in the American and Japanese economies is forecast to disappear by the end of next year, but “ample excess supply” will remain in Europe.

Categories: Uncategorized

Google Video Ads; 63.4M Votes

May 26, 2006 Leave a comment

Get ready for a noisier Web. Google’s adding video ads, and they’ll work like text ads: Advertisers get charged when someone watches the ad and clicks through to their site (via Google Blogoscoped). TV advertisers may test different cuts of a commercial to decide which to air, says Lost Remote, but Publishing 2.0 thinks all Google video ads do is spotlight the fact that most ads have no value—in fact, they suck. Maybe a Google music service will perk things up; rumor has it Google is set to battle iTunes, writes CNET. Meanwhile, Yahoo and eBay are teaming up on ecommerce to fight back.

Are we witnessing the final days of Microsoft employee #24? That’s right: Redmond may oust CEO Steve Ballmer as part of its new Google-centric strategy—and because MSFT stock has been shaky says M-Dollar. That and Vista may slip—yet again.

In Web 2.0 news, the online map wars continue, blogs TechCrunch, who thought Yahoo Maps was the best—until Microsoft sneaked in upgrades to its Live.com Local maps product, including “Bird’s Eye” views from low-flying aircraft and on-the-ground “Street Side” views. Speaking of street level, Apple and Nike have teamed up to create tools for your feet: Nike+iPod, a line of products starting with a kit that will transmit pace, calories burned, and time and distance from Nike running shoes to an iPod Nano (via iPod Hacks). Boing Boing’s just waiting to see what hackers can do with a wireless sensor that attaches to the most popular player on the market. Another popular new startup: WineLog which offers user-generated information on wines, including tags, ratings and comments.

And in the shameless self-promotion dept: the Wall Street Journal revisited RSS readers and singled out Rojo for the way it recommends stories. After using it for a week, Jason Calcanis posts that he’s falling in love with Rojo. Aw, shucks.

Martha Stewart wants to start a MySpace for older women (via FishBowlNY), but it won’t launch until the end of next year—and by then the game will have changed says MicroPersuasion. Om Malik says there are too many social networks already—they’re the new black—and mentions other new ones like Bebo and aSmallworld.net, a Harvey Weinstein-funded, invite-only network for the rich. Bebo, which is huge in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, just bagged $15 million from Benchmark Capital partly so it can, ah, open an office in the UK (via PaidContent.org). And business2blog reports that even Friendster is making a comeback—at least in the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

 In politics, Al Gore flogged his new movie, An Inconvenient Truth, which comes out this week. He exposed himself to Katie Couric’s megawatt smile on the Today show and Couric proceeded to agree with his alarmist views on global warming, blogs NewsBusters. Gore may be a tree-hugger, but it was shameless for an opponent to compare him with Joseph Goebbels, blogs Crooks and Liars. Watch Gore’s appearance on YouTube, courtesy of Eschaton.

Finally, 63.4 million votes were cast in this season of American Idol–more than any US president in history has ever received says the Huffington Post. But two hours, a night of a thousand Crest WhiteStrips, and a hundred costume-changes to declare Taylor Hicks the official winner made for a supersize letdown says the NY Times.

Categories: Uncategorized

May 15 – May 19, 2006

May 19, 2006 Leave a comment

The patent system got a little less evil this week as the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of eBay. It said a lower court was wrong to prevent the online auctioneer from providing the “Buy It Now” button simply because MercExchange LLC alleged it violated its patent. It’s a TKO for eBay, blogs Paidcontent.org. eBay is using the breathing space to crack down on a potential competitor: It has banned links to Rapleaf, an open version of eBay’s feedback-and-reputation feature.

New products: Google launched Google Notebook, a place to put anything you find on the Web—but it’s a lot like the Scrapbook extension for Firefox, says Lifehacker. TechCrunch calls it ho-hum and it doesn’t do tagging. AOL Released a YouTube clone called UnCut Video but it’s a long shot, says SiliconBeat. Apple announced the MacBook, an iBook replacment will come in iPod colors, black and white, and start at $1,099. Yahoo redesigned it’s home page and BuzzMachine says it’s no longer the last old-media company—it’s the last portal. While Skype says its calls will be 100 percent free through the end of the year in the U.S. and Canada, though Om Malik says it’s basically a stunt to penetrate the North American market.

In Web 2.0 news, Michael Arrington has problems—mostly that he’s this week’s Silicon Valley Whipping Boy. Bad enough that insider-y public squabbles over the TechCrunch redesign were aired (Valleywag has a timeline here), but now the site has become a Silicon Valley Geek Echo Chamber. Philly-based Redeye VC writes too many companies are targeting an audience of 53,651. Om Malik rounds up assorted harrumphing from several of the 53,651. Of course the number’s already a trivia question on Supr.c.ilio.us.

In politics, one of the most linked to posts this week was the hilarious SNL Video: If Al Gore Were President. Gore let it rip in this satirical state of the union from the presidency-that-wasn’t and completed his transformation, says Ted Blog. The real president hasn’t gotten such enthusiastic reviews. A lot of Bush-supporting bloggers are going silent and Andrew Sullivan speculates it’s because the classic conservatives (small-government, anti-corruption, anti-budget deficit types) have figured out he’s not one of them. But Blogs for Bush is still in business and passes on Iraq the Model’s report that Iran is selling high-end anti-aircraft missiles to Al-Qa’ida in Iraq, plus machine guns and new, improved IEDs.

Bloggers are also still ticked about the NSA spying on Americans and the telcos are denying they turned over phone records to the NSA, and Think Progress sees just three possibilities: USA Today was inaccurate, the telcos gave out statements with wiggle room in them, or the telco statements are inaccurate—because Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte told them it was legal to lie. Talking Points Memo thinks it might have been a vendor or subcontractor that turned the records over, while Eric Umansky speculates maybe it was tight-lipped AT&T.

 There was also Tony Snow’s first formal press briefing—and he cried. Not everyone bought the crying jag, says Wonkette, but it was the only bit of entertainment at the whole thing.

ImageAnd finally, the secret’s out: Critics hate the The Da Vinci Code. The controversial movie hits theaters everywhere May 19 but critics are already snickering. British Catholics published a survey claiming Code undermines the faith (via MSNBC.com). BBC News reports that Christians and allies in India, Thailand and South Korea are calling for a ban on the film or engaging in hunger strikes against it. Worst of all, anyone with a crush on France’s Audrey Tautou will have to just deal with her speaking English, blogs Syntax of Things. The silver lining: Some Hollywood celebs could be lured from Scientology to Opus Dei.

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Politics this week: 13th – 19th May 2006

May 18, 2006 Leave a comment

Politics this week

May 18th 2006
From The Economist print edition

EPA
EPA

The sectarian carnage in Iraq continued, especially in Baghdad. The prime minister-designate, Nouri al-Maliki, promised to unveil a national unity government, with top jobs shared out among the country’s three main groups, before the constitutional deadline of May 22nd.

Clashes between Islamist gunmen and the warlords’ Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism continued in Somalia‘s capital, Mogadishu, despite a ceasefire that was signed on May 14th.

Israel’s Supreme Court narrowly rejected petitions from two human-rights groups to overturn a law that stops Arab residents of the West Bank and Gaza who marry Israelis from getting Israeli citizenship, residency or entry permits. See article

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, sent thousands of police to the Gaza Strip after the new Hamas government challenged his authority by deploying its own armed militias.

The United States resumed full diplomatic relations with Libya, once one of its most virulent critics, as a reward for helping America in its war against terrorism and for abandoning plans to acquire weapons of mass destruction. See articleE+

The UN Security Council endorsed a peace accord in Sudan’s troubled western province, Darfur, and called for a UN peacekeeping force to replace the struggling African Union force as fast as possible.

Nigeria’s president, Olusegun Obasanjo, accepted the verdict of the Senate after it defeated a bill that would have let him run for a third term of office. See articleE+

Some 150 people were killed, a quarter of them policemen, after a criminal gang, based in the prison system, launched attacks on police stations, buses and bank branches in and around São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city. The gang’s leaders opposed their imminent transfer to a maximum-security jail, and wanted televisions to watch the soccer World Cup. See articleE+

Ecuador’s government joined the wave of oil nationalism sweeping Latin America, ending a contract with Occidental, an American oil company that is the largest foreign investor in the country. The government said it would not pay any compensation. See articleE+

Bolivia’s leftist government outlined plans to redistribute idle agricultural land. Officials said this would not involve expropriation, but landowners expressed concern. The government also said that it would take control of private pension funds’ shares in the state-owned oil company and review the contracts under which private firms run the country’s airports. See articleE+

Reuters
Reuters

The United States’ government said that it would ban arms sales to Venezuela. It said that Hugo Chávez’s government was not co-operating in fighting terrorism. Mr Chávez brushed off the announcement, saying: “it’s the empire”.

The Dominican Liberation Party of Leonel Fernández, the reforming president of the Dominican Republic, seemed to have won a majority in a congressional election. Officials said that turnout was low. See article

President George Bush announced a plan to send up to 6,000 members of the National Guard to the Mexican border for at least a year. At the same time he repeated his desire for a guest-worker programme to allow illegal immigrants to work legally and, eventually, become citizens. See article

Anxious to energise the Republican base before November’s mid-term elections, Mr Bush signed into law $70 billion in tax cuts. They included a two-year extension of the reduced 15% tax rate for capital gains and dividends, which Democrats had condemned as a sop to the rich.

The Republican governor of Kentucky, Ernie Fletcher, was indicted on charges of handing out government jobs as political favours. He is the third governor to be indicted in the state’s history. See articleE+

The European Commission recommended that a decision on whether Bulgaria and Romania should join the European Union on January 1st 2007 should be postponed until the autumn. It also recommended that Slovenia, but not Lithuania, should be allowed to join the euro. See articleE+

The new Italian prime minister, Romano Prodi, announced his government. The finance minister will be Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, a former central banker; the foreign minister will be Massimo D’Alema, who was prime minister in the late 1990s. See articleE+

A prominent Somali-turned-Dutch critic of Islam, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, said she was leaving the Netherlands for America after she was found to have falsified her asylum application. She was also stripped of her Dutch citizenship. Ms Hirsi Ali wrote the script for a controversial film attacking Islam made by Theo van Gogh, who was murdered two years ago by a radical Islamist. She has since been living under police protection. See articleE+

A gunman shot dead one judge and wounded four others in a senior court in Turkey. The motives for the attack were unclear, but one of the wounded judges had ruled last year against teachers wearing the Muslim headscarf. Some reports said the gunman shouted “I am the soldier of God” as he fired.

AP
AP

Almost a million people were evacuated as Typhoon Chanchu hit southern China. At least eight people were killed and dozens of Vietnamese fishermen were reported missing at sea.

About 60 people were reported killed in a clash between Taliban fighters and the police in the Helmand province of southern Afghanistan where thousands of British troops are currently deployed.

Five people died of bird flu in Indonesia, bringing the death toll there to 30. The government said there was no evidence of transmission between humans.

Vietnam’s prime minister, Phan Van Khai, announced that he is to step down after serving two five-year terms. He nominated Nguyen Tan Dung, his 56-year-old deputy, to succeed him.

The chairman of Hyundai Motor was indicted in South Korea for his alleged role in a bribery and embezzlement scandal. Chung Mong-koo is accused of creating funds that were used to bribe politicians and officials.

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Business this week: 13th – 19th May 2006

May 18, 2006 Leave a comment

Business this week

May 18th 2006
From The Economist print edition

Financial markets had a nervous week. Higher-than-expected inflation numbers in America, released on May 17th, led to expectations that the Federal Reserve would continue raising interest rates. Soaring petrol prices contributed to consumer-price inflation of 0.6% in April. Equities and government bonds fell in turn. The dollar wobbled amid expectations that it may need to fall further because of global economic imbalances. Gold and oil prices tumbled. Metals prices, hit earlier in the week, later recovered. See articleE+

Vivendi rejected an informal bid approach of more than euro40 billion ($51.4 billion) from Sebastian Holdings, a private-equity group. Vivendi denied that an actual approach was made, but it has voiced concerns that a takeover of the company would possibly mean breaking it up.

Xstrata bid C$16.1 billion ($14.5 billion) for Falconbridge, a Canadian mining company, in an effort to thwart a merger between two rivals. The Swiss firm offered C$52.50 a share in cash for the 80% of Falconbridge it does not already own. The bid tops an earlier offer from Inco, another Canadian mining firm. The deal would create one of the world’s biggest mining companies. Analysts predicted that Inco would raise its offer, potentially leading to a takeover battle.

Amid a flurry of speculation about consolidation among financial exchanges, shareholders at Borsa Italiana met in Milan to consider the prospect of going public, a move its chief executive favours. Shareholders at the Spanish markets operator, BME, will consider a similar move on June 5th. Meanwhile, the London Metal Exchange is planning a review that could lead to a change in its ownership structure and, potentially, a future listing. See articleE+

Standard & Poor’s, a rating agency, downgraded NASDAQ, a big American financial exchange, to junk-bond status. The agency cited NASDAQ‘s debt, part of which is due to its 24% stake in the London Stock Exchange.

Some of Europe’s biggest energy groups were raided by EU competition regulators. Brussels is intensifying an antitrust investigation into alleged competition abuses in the electricity and gas industries. Co-ordinated raids were held at more than 20 sites in six countries. The raids targeted offices of e.ON, RWE, Gaz de France, Eni and OMV.

Wal-Mart said its profit rose by 6.3% in the first quarter, driven by the biggest sales gain in two years. The result exceeded analysts’ expectations, with same-store sales rising by 3.8%. But the big retailer’s chief executive, Lee Scott, gave warning that rising petrol prices could affect this quarter’s sales. Wal-Mart’s international sales rose by 23%, but profit and same sales fell at Asda, its supermarket chain.

Target, another big retailer, said first-quarter earnings rose by 12%, to $554m. Despite this, it reported the first decline in profit in the past two years. Home Depot, a big home-improvement retailer, said first-quarter profit rose by 19% from a year earlier. The result failed to meet analysts’ expectations, and Home Depot’s shares fell. See articleE+

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it will not exempt small companies from investor-protection rules in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. It will, however, postpone implementation for them. The decision was a disappointment for business groups.

Eurotunnel, the Anglo-French group that operates the cross-channel rail tunnel, held talks with creditors and banks about restructuring its ��6.2 billion ($11.7 billion) debt to avoid bankruptcy. In April Eurotunnel said it could not guarantee its survival beyond the end of 2006.

Hewlett-Packard said sales grew by 5%, to $22.6 billion, in its second quarter from a year earlier, meeting most analysts’ projections. The printer and computer maker said operating profit was $1.7 billion, on a general accounting basis. The firm plans to consolidate 85 data centres around the world into six large facilities in America, which it projects will save about $1 billion in costs per year in future.

Economic growth in Africa should reach 5.8% this year, and 5.5% in 2007, according to a report from the OECD. Oil-exporting nations are leading growth in the region. Strong global demand for other raw materials is another factor in the economic growth. But other nations in the region continue to struggle.

Global share prices tumbled. Leading share indices have sunk in America, Britain and Japan. India’s stock index had its biggest drop ever.

Categories: Uncategorized

Business this week: 13th – 19th May 2006

May 18, 2006 Leave a comment

Business this week

May 18th 2006
From The Economist print edition

Financial markets had a nervous week. Higher-than-expected inflation numbers in America, released on May 17th, led to expectations that the Federal Reserve would continue raising interest rates. Soaring petrol prices contributed to consumer-price inflation of 0.6% in April. Equities and government bonds fell in turn. The dollar wobbled amid expectations that it may need to fall further because of global economic imbalances. Gold and oil prices tumbled. Metals prices, hit earlier in the week, later recovered. See articleE+

Vivendi rejected an informal bid approach of more than euro40 billion ($51.4 billion) from Sebastian Holdings, a private-equity group. Vivendi denied that an actual approach was made, but it has voiced concerns that a takeover of the company would possibly mean breaking it up.

Xstrata bid C$16.1 billion ($14.5 billion) for Falconbridge, a Canadian mining company, in an effort to thwart a merger between two rivals. The Swiss firm offered C$52.50 a share in cash for the 80% of Falconbridge it does not already own. The bid tops an earlier offer from Inco, another Canadian mining firm. The deal would create one of the world’s biggest mining companies. Analysts predicted that Inco would raise its offer, potentially leading to a takeover battle.

Amid a flurry of speculation about consolidation among financial exchanges, shareholders at Borsa Italiana met in Milan to consider the prospect of going public, a move its chief executive favours. Shareholders at the Spanish markets operator, BME, will consider a similar move on June 5th. Meanwhile, the London Metal Exchange is planning a review that could lead to a change in its ownership structure and, potentially, a future listing. See articleE+

Standard & Poor’s, a rating agency, downgraded NASDAQ, a big American financial exchange, to junk-bond status. The agency cited NASDAQ‘s debt, part of which is due to its 24% stake in the London Stock Exchange.

Some of Europe’s biggest energy groups were raided by EU competition regulators. Brussels is intensifying an antitrust investigation into alleged competition abuses in the electricity and gas industries. Co-ordinated raids were held at more than 20 sites in six countries. The raids targeted offices of e.ON, RWE, Gaz de France, Eni and OMV.

Wal-Mart said its profit rose by 6.3% in the first quarter, driven by the biggest sales gain in two years. The result exceeded analysts’ expectations, with same-store sales rising by 3.8%. But the big retailer’s chief executive, Lee Scott, gave warning that rising petrol prices could affect this quarter’s sales. Wal-Mart’s international sales rose by 23%, but profit and same sales fell at Asda, its supermarket chain.

Target, another big retailer, said first-quarter earnings rose by 12%, to $554m. Despite this, it reported the first decline in profit in the past two years. Home Depot, a big home-improvement retailer, said first-quarter profit rose by 19% from a year earlier. The result failed to meet analysts’ expectations, and Home Depot’s shares fell. See articleE+

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it will not exempt small companies from investor-protection rules in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. It will, however, postpone implementation for them. The decision was a disappointment for business groups.

Eurotunnel, the Anglo-French group that operates the cross-channel rail tunnel, held talks with creditors and banks about restructuring its ��6.2 billion ($11.7 billion) debt to avoid bankruptcy. In April Eurotunnel said it could not guarantee its survival beyond the end of 2006.

Hewlett-Packard said sales grew by 5%, to $22.6 billion, in its second quarter from a year earlier, meeting most analysts’ projections. The printer and computer maker said operating profit was $1.7 billion, on a general accounting basis. The firm plans to consolidate 85 data centres around the world into six large facilities in America, which it projects will save about $1 billion in costs per year in future.

Economic growth in Africa should reach 5.8% this year, and 5.5% in 2007, according to a report from the OECD. Oil-exporting nations are leading growth in the region. Strong global demand for other raw materials is another factor in the economic growth. But other nations in the region continue to struggle.

Global share prices tumbled. Leading share indices have sunk in America, Britain and Japan. India’s stock index had its biggest drop ever.

Categories: Uncategorized