Archive for August, 2009

I like this pic!

August 31st, 2009 No comments

A short hello and LOOK AT THIS!!!  What a great piccie of the BMW monster trimaran!

How small is that guy on the helm?   BMW Oracle Racing © Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

How small is that guy on the helm? BMW Oracle Racing © Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

There is a nice video with footage of the beast sailing on Youtube here.

What is even more awesome is that the rig cants.  Now – you dont have to understand the benefits of this to see the rather obvious issues associated with canting an 18 story high mast into the wind!  Some serious engineering challenges there.  Here is a pic with the rig canted…

BMW ORACLE Racing with rig canted -  BMW Oracle Racing © Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

BMW ORACLE Racing with rig canted - BMW Oracle Racing © Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

Surfing Kids

August 24th, 2009 No comments

Kids at an event at Marbella Golf and Country Club.

Daniel Surfs the machine

Daniel Surfs the machine

Oliver - cool as can be

Oliver - cool as can be

Categories: Family Tags: ,

Oman Sail Trimaran

August 24th, 2009 No comments

It seems a trendy thing to do.  It’s certainly a fun thing!  Yet another maxi tri takes to the seas this week as the Oman Sail team launches their 105 foot monster offshore trimaran.

Oman Sail trimaran emerges from the build shed

Oman Sail trimaran emerges from the build shed

Named “Arabian 100” the boat was partly built in Australia from the Sodebo moulds before being shipped to the gulf for completion.

I look forward to seeing its exploits in round the world racing and record setting!  Thanks to “The Daily Sail” for the story.

A big boat!

A big boat!

Apple Computer and secrecy

August 18th, 2009 No comments

An interesting piece appeared in the Sunday Times on the weekend – you can read it here.  It talks about Apple’s culture of secrecy and Steve Jobs’ illness.  Some very interesting bits and pieces.

It seems that Apple has such a strong culture of secrecy that they still (after 4 years) wont stock any books in their stores published by Wiley (who do the “.. for Dummies” series) because of  book written in 2005 – “iCon: Steve Jobs – The Greatest Second Act in The History of Business” which they tried to suppress publication of.

The secrecy extends beyond suppressing stories and draconian employee secrecy rules, to what migh well be regarded as deliberately misleading shareholders. Should Jobs (who, as far as the world is concerned, is Apple) have been allowed to conceal the seriousness of his illness? Warren Buffett, the greatest investor alive, doesn’t think so. “Whether [Steve Jobs] is facing serious surgery or not is a material fact.”

Another sign of secrecy gone too far might be the death of Sun Danyong, a 25-year-old employee of Foxconn, a Chinese manufacturer of Apple machines. He was given 16 prototypes of new iPhones. One disappeared. Facts beyond that get hazy, but what is clear is that Sun committed suicide by jumping from a 12th-storey apartment. Some say he killed himself because of the vanished prototype and, therefore, because of Apple’s obsessive secrecy.

Discussing the future of Apple without Jobs there is a feeling that it will not be as strong. “Apple will keep executing its current business plan,” says Philip Elmer-DeWitt, “which could go on for years. But it will be different in one key respect: with Jobs there was a guy at the beginning and end of every project who had the authority to say, ‘This sucks. Start over.’ Whoever replaces him may share his vision and job title, but he or she will not be the co-founder of Apple and won’t have the same authority.” I would have to agree with this.  Every technology project, in order to be successful, needs to have ultimate authorities to take the hard decisions.

The Times article goes on to speculate that Google and Apple could merge – a view that is not hard to share.  They are rapidly converging in a number of spaces. The key areas of convergence are, first, mobile phones. There is Apple’s iPhone and there is Google’s Android, not a phone in itself, but an operating system that can be used by other companies. Google also produce a web browser called Chrome, which competes with Apple’s Safari. And, most importantly, Google is working on a computer operating system, also called Chrome, which may well be a very serious competitor for Mac OS X.

Anyway – the article is well worth a read.

The future of Newspapers

August 16th, 2009 No comments

I read an interesting piece on Mashable about what Newspapers should do to survive.  Amongst other things the debate seems to be whether the paper in newspaper is to become a thing of the past.  I think the article misses a basic point about how I read a newspaper.

Now I dont claim to speak for anyone else with this – one’s reading style is inherently personal – but I would doubt that I am alone.  Fundamentally when I read a paper newspaper I browse.  On the other hand when I read online (which I tend to do more because there are less newspapers available where I live) I focus on stories that are of interest and, usually using email notifications as an index, only read these.  Now the latter is undoubtably more efficient, but I question whether it is a better way to read a newspaper!

There is something precious about a lazy sunday reading the newspaper cover to cover, including all those stories and sections that you probably wouldn’t touch if you had gone in via an index.  It provides a broader and more generalistic reading experience and on the balance contributes to a more thorough picture of the world as it is (at least in the eyes of that journal).  I remember many years ago a friend and business colleague who had many years experience in the city regularly read the “Sun” on the way in to work in preference to the more accepted august journals such as the FT.  When asked why he favoured what is in the UK considered a “working man”‘s paper he replied “How else would I understand how the working man thinks”.

The internet has done much to change the way we think.  Social networking has revolutionised the way we do things – take a look at this video for some astonishing figures on the growth and speed of growth in these new technologies.

But – on the whole – I do hope it doesn’t lead to the demise of the paper newspaper.  You can keep your Kindle, iPhone and PC based news – I want my sunday fix on paper please!

Rugby (and golf) in the Olympics

August 13th, 2009 No comments

Having been a supporter of the movement to put Rugby in the Olympics I am encouraged to read today on that august website BBC that rugby and golf are on the list for potentlal inclusion.

Golf is set to return to the Olympics after a 112-year absence in 2016, and rugby sevens will also be recommended to be part of that year’s Games.

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board voted to include both at its Berlin executive board meeting.

The recommendation must be rubber-stamped by a full meeting of the IOC congress in Copenhagen in October.”

Golf was played in 1900, and again in 1904, but not since.  Now – I am a bigger player (and in a way fan) of golf nowadays than I am rugby, but I wonder if that is the right sport for the olympics. It has such a huge circuit outside the olympic movement.  Then you have the nanas at ISAF dropping arguably the most entertaining sailing discipline – multihulls (yes – I am rather keen on them) and one has to wonder where sanity lies.

The 15-member board selected the proposed sports for 2016 by secret ballot over several rounds, with the sport receiving the fewest votes eliminated each time. Rogge, who chairs the board, did not vote.

Rugby was the clear winner overall, getting seven votes in the first round and a majority of nine in the second. In a separate ensuing vote, golf needed four rounds to get through.

Anyway – i think 7s will make a tremendous Olypmpic sport and urge those of you that care to visit and cast your vote.

Categories: Arthur Tags: , , ,

BMW Oracle Racing Trimaran

August 10th, 2009 No comments

Never let it be said that your scribe is biased!  Here are some latest shots of the BMW Oracle trimaran with a bit of breeze.

BMW Oracle Trimaran (c) Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

BMW Oracle Trimaran (c) Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

This crazy race is going to be very interesting if this is in fact the boat that will contest the Alingho monster cat.  Two very different boats!  Here we have a boat that clearly likes a bit more wind, with the winches powered by muscle rather than a motor.  Alinghi have now announced the venue for the race in February next year as a part of the United Arab Emirates – very close in fact to Iran!

BMW Oracle Trimaran - (c) Photo Gilles Martin Raget

BMW Oracle Trimaran - (c) Photo Gilles Martin Raget

The UAE will probably have less sea state and wind than was expected in Valencia, and I would not be surprised to see BWM Oracle either go back to the drawing board for a new, lighter design for the lighter air or radically revise this boat.

Ahh – to have money to throw at toys like this!  What fun!

Transatlantic Record Smashed!

August 2nd, 2009 No comments

Banque Populaire crossed the Lizard-Ushant finish line of their west to east transatlantic record attempt at 14:13:30 GMT today demolishing the existing record, set by Franck Cammas’ Groupama 3 in 2007.

Celebrating the achievement

Celebrating the achievement

Having passed the Ambrose Light, start mark off New York Harbour on 29 July at 22:47:42 GMT, the blue 40m long trimaran completed the 2,925 mile long atlantic passage in the outrageously fast time of 3 days 15 hours 25 minutes and 48 seconds at an average speed of 32.94 knots. An absolutely amazing achievement! During the voyage her maximum peak speed was 47.15 knots.

It’s worth pointing out the world sailing speed record stands at just north of 50 Knots, so these boats are close to that in the most demanding of conditions.