asian new zealand IT


Court rules that Google breaches copyright with news service

, posted: 14-Feb-2007 09:39

Ok, and I first read the news from ... Google News!




U.S. senator, Barack Obama has launched his own social network website

, posted: 13-Feb-2007 12:45

Obama Hussein Barack, a junior U.S. senator from Illinois, the only African American currently serving in the U.S. Senate, and a candidate for the Democratic Party's 2008 presidential nomination (who could potentially be the first ever U.S. "black" President) has launched his own social network website, http://www.barackobama.com/.

Good use of current technology I'd say! BTW, the front page of the website did not validate, this isn't going to be popular with html geeks LOL.

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Kiva.org fighting loan sharks in poor countries?

, posted: 12-Feb-2007 14:57

It's a non-profit version of Prosper.com (although it seems Kiva.org started first). Basically people can loan money to other people without charging interest, mainly to start business although some borrow for better standard of living (e.g.: healthier house/hutt). Apparently, these poor people will have to pay 30%-300% interest borrowing from for-profit lenders (wow! talking about exploiting the poor!).

This is loan, not donation, so lender can expect to get 100% of their money back, and most of them did. Kiva.org claimed to have 100% rate of repayment (means that no body has fraud the system, yet?). At the moment it is funded through donation from big companies (Microsoft, Google, Paypal), but Kiva aimed to be self-funded in the future, by charging small fees to both borrowers and lenders. Transaction can be done using Paypal with no transaction fee. The highest loan that I've found so far was USD$2000 (many of which have been paid back in full). The smallest amount people can lend using Paypal is USD$25.

At the moment, the lenders are generally from wealthy countries like U.S., and the borrowers are from poor countries like Afghanistan. But, I don't see why we shouldn't have this sort of service in NZ, just because NZ isn't a poor country. It could be a good way to raise fund for non-profit cause in NZ.

I hope to see in the future is the borrowers becoming lenders as their lives are improved. Kind of like that movie 'pay it forward'.

Afterall, it's about giving other people chance to better their lives.



Prosper.com, better than Lotto and the banks

, posted: 12-Feb-2007 08:00

It was in the news last night, Prosper.com, the Ebay of loan, where people microlend and borrow of each other. Ebay is for buyers and sellers, while Prosper.com is for borrowers and lenders.

I think this is how it works for the lenders: for example if I have $1000 that I want to loan to people through Prosper.com, I could loan the money to five people, $200 each, and earn different amount of interest rates depending on each borrower's credit rating. For a borrower, Prosper.com says they will do some checking to filter possible fraud.

Apparently, some say the idea isn't new, nothing is new under the sun? I still think it's very exciting. I can't wait for something like this in New Zealand. At the moment Prosper.com is only for U.S. residents with U.S. bank accounts.

New Zealand bank interest rates are rather sad (7.5% is the highest at the moment). The highest interest rate I've seen of Prosper.com is 28%! Ok, so you get that sort of returns from people with rather risky credit ratings (like D or DD), but it's still better than buying Lotto I'd say. And I think their fees aren't that greedy either (lenders pay 0.5% yearly, borrowers pay 1% one off of amount borrowed).

I don't know how this kind of service will work in New Zealand since we don't have 'social security number' (perhaps I'm wrong here?). So will we have a trademe of New Zealand lending and borrowing anytime soon? Only time will tell.

Links:



The Bachelor

, posted: 10-Feb-2007 15:42

Oh wow, here I am, Saturday afternoon, sipping a glass of cold coke, minding my own business, switching one TV channel to another, and there they are, The Bachelor in one channel and Joe Millionaire in another.

Nothing in interesting in Joe Millionaire, the show is so boring (and has silly ending). The Bachelor on the other hand, was pretty interesting since it is the first of the season, interesting to see all the 25 social experiment bunnies ... I mean women.

In the first night, the bachelor (a doctor working in real ER, not the TV series) had to send 13-14 women home. One woman wasn't happy about not receiving a flower (a flower means she get to stay). She confronted the bachelor asking why she didn't get a flower. She wondered whether because she's short/not pretty/small boobs (with a lot of beeps in the process - I'm guessing some swearing, but I'm no lips reader). The bachelor then revealed his reason and it was because earlier she said to him that she's there because she wanted to "reproduce" (smart reply bachelor dude, you could just say she's creepy).


Oh well, you gotta love how you just can't escape these reality TV shows. Next show? Survivor! Yep, another reality TV show. I hope someone will do something stupid on TV soon or I'll get bored.

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