Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Toyota Overtakes General Motors 

This is a piece of news that's been in the works for a couple of years now, i.e. when will Toyota finally takeover from General Motors as the world's largest car company. BBC World is reporting that Toyota sold 2.34 million cars in the first three months of 2007, compared to 2.26 million cars sold by General Motors in the same period. Whether this is just a one-off business story or the start of a more long-term trend in U.S. industry remains to be seen.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Wolfowitz Conundrum 

I presume all of you have been following the drama surrounding Paul Wolfowitz. It was only a matter of time before the bungler-in-chief in Mesopotamia managed to pull off yet another disaster, even if not at the same scale. For those who came in late, Wolfowitz managed to get his girlfriend a new job at the State Dept for a highly inflated salary, completely out of line with World Bank policies. What's interesting is that his girlfriend's boss at State for a while was his former boss Dick Cheney's daughter, Liz Cheney. Of course, not being part of the reality-based community, none of these people would ever admit there might be a touch of nepotism to this whole affair.

What is going unreported for the most part is the deep irony embedded in this episode. Wolfowitz's organizing theme at the World Bank was combating corruption. Congo had its debt relief postponed, Kenya had loans frozen, India has health funds frozen, all in the name of preventing corruption. A tad bit hypocritical, don't you think?

Monday, April 09, 2007

BW Profile of the Mittals 

One more filter post for you. Over at Businessweek, Stanley Reed has an interesting cover story/profile of L.N.Mittal and Aditya Mittal. Anyone who keeps up with Indian business knows everything there is to know about Mittal Sr, but this story has some interesting insights about Aditya Mittal, especially his skills as an aggressive deal-maker.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

In the Lounge with Bill Emmott 

Niranjan Rajadhyaksha of Mint meets Bill Emmott, the former editor of the Economist for a drink. An interesting conversation evolves on the rise of Asia, journalism, and the reasons for the success of the Economist.

For those of you who haven't picked up Mint yet, I would strongly recommend it. Mint is easily the finest newspaper in the country today, business or otherwise, and the only one you can actually read and enjoy without having to be on the lookout for outrageous errors. Too bad they haven't figured a way for those of us living outside Delhi and Bombay to read it daily, without having to trawl the online version.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Comic Strip du Jour 

The latest Arlo & Janis strip struck a chord, even though I don't really get to watch much U.S. TV anymore.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Google Outdoes Itself Overdoes It! 

First, some of my buddies pointed me to Google Maps' poker-faced directions from New York to London (or any other place across the Atlantic Ocean, for that matter). If you haven't got the joke yet, look at Step 23 in the directions. Now it seemed like Google was determined to take this stuff over the top. Today, I happened to be on their home-page, which I typically avoid thanks to Firefox's in-built search. I noticed they had begun to advertise Google TiSP, Google's free, in-home, wireless broadband service. I was intrigued enough to try and understand it better, and boy, you can't stop laughing once you start reading the crap they have put on there.

And then I realized what day it was. I had been had!

PS: AC points out that Google also introduced Gmail Paper (made out of 96% post-consumer organic soybean sputum, no less) for mass consumption yesterday.