Monday, November 26, 2007

Plasma or LCD?

Plasma or LCD?

Panasonic or Samsung? (Sony's too expensive)

What about Philips?

Need to buy two, one for the living room, probably 50", and one for the bedroom.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Currency speculation

People have been buying UAE Dirhams like crazy. Deposits are being converted from rials and dollars into dirhams. The dollar is being dumped.

The UAE's central bank governor has gone on the record their intention to consider a revaluation of their currency, preferably in a joint move with the other GCC states, but that they will act on their own if the other states don't come into an agreement with them. [link]

Oman's silence on the issue is hitting a nerve with people and they are reflecting it by shifting their deposits into dirhams. This is a clear signal that the lack of transparency is leading to a loss of trust. They're afraid of losing out if our neighbors revalue their currencies and we get left out with a lower valued currency leaving us with a rial that buys us less of everything. Additionally, should the UAE revalue and Oman doesn't, there's an arbitrage opportunity. Even if Oman follows up with a revaluation of its own, the shift to dirhams is still a hedge because at least they (the UAE) are telling us that it might be coming while we (Oman) are totally silent about it.

Earlier this year: Currency revaluation talks

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Back from Dubai

I've just got back from Dubai where I spent the past three days attending the Leaders in Dubai business forum. My original plan was to blog from the forum but unfortunately this was not to happen. I stayed at the Novotel which is attached to the convention center. Unlike most hotels in Dubai which offer free WiFi in their lobbies, the Novotel only offers an Etisalat iZone hotspot but, get this, they don't sell the prepaid cards which you need to access this hotspot. You, the hotel resident, should know to get one with you if you want to use thia hotspot. Where is this mysterious card sold? At any Etisalat shop. I visited 3 Etisalat stores while I was in Dubai and not one of them had a supply of iZone cards because as one store manager told me "they sell very fast". One thing I learned from this experience is that Etisalat stores in Dubai have horrible customer service. (Etisalat's website says you can buy iZone time online, but I couldn't figure how to do it, and one of their store managers told me that it can't be done.)

The business forum was mostly very good. I got to see some impressive speakers such as Prof. Mohammad Yunus, Richard Branson, Malcolm Gladwell, and Kofi Annan. I might post later about my impression of some of them and particularly what they had to say.

Friday, November 16, 2007


My geekdom is now is certified. had a sale and I managed to get Star Trek: The Next Generation box sets at 55% off. All 7 seasons together came out to about £110. For some reason, they upgraded my shipping to DHL at no extra charge and I had the package with me two days later.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Carpenter's logic: If we had delivered on time you wouldn't have liked the work because it would have been a rushed job and the quality wouldn't be the same.

Wife's logic: Going by his own twisted logic, we should delay his payments or else he won't appreciate the value of the money.