Mukesh Ambani Becomes World

Mukesh AmbaniIndian billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani, 50, became the world’s richest man yesterday, overtaking Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu, as the value of his stake in refinery-to-textiles giant Reliance Industries and two other group companies swelled, a direct result of the strong performance witnessed in the Indian stock markets recently.

Only last month, he overtook steel czar Lakshmi Mittal to become the richest Indian in the world.

The list of the five richest people in the world and their net worths is as follows now:

1. Mukesh Ambani ($63.2 billion)
2. Carlos Slim Helu ($62.2993 billion)
3. Bill Gates ($62.29 billion)
4. Warren Buffett ($55.9 billion)
5. Lakshmi Mittal ($50.9 billion)

How long he’ll be able to hold onto the title of ‘Richest man in the world’ is another matter that remains to be seen. Poor Carlos Slim didn’t hold on to it for too long.

Brijit: Good Content Boiled Down To 100 Words

BrijitBrijit is a pretty interesting new service that takes long-form content and boils it down to 100 words or less, giving users abstracts that attempt to summarize, review and rate the original content, passing along the basic necessary information to the user and making it easier for them to choose what to dive deeper into by going back to the original content.

The abstracts are written by freelancers, with the possibility for anyone to join in, and these freelancers get paid $5 for every published abstract. It’s also possible for others to leave comments/other takes on an abstract.

The abstracts come with a rating system, from zero dots (not a priority read) to three dots (a must-read.)

There are RSS feeds you can subscribe to all over the site, per source, per subject, Brijit’s recommended reads, most popular reads, …etc.
Plus, you can save your favourite reads on the site.

The site’s design is really neat, nice and usable; pretty well organized and straight to the point.

Personally, I think this is quite an interesting service and approach, very useful for people who quickly want to browse news and content in search of things they might find interesting and that they could delve deeper into later on, by reading them online, buying a magazine or watching them on TV.

Tunisian Film Gets Best Arab Film Award

Good news related to Tunisian cinema…

The Tunisian film “Tender is the Wolf” (Ors El Dhib) received best Arab film Award at the 11 th edition of the San Francisco Arab Film Festival. The Festival aims at featuring alternative representations of Arabs that contradict the current stereotyped pictures of Arabs frequently encountered in the American media.

The film which was directed and written by Jilani Saadi, a young Tunisian film maker, is an unsettling, gritty representation of urban life, exploring issues such as the “sexualization” of women, poverty, unemployment and aimlessness.

The film also received a number of distinctions at several festivals throughout the world, including a special distinction at the latest Carthage Film Festival.

The young Anissa Daoud starring in the film, plays the role of Aziza, a young prostitute who is gang raped by a group of outcasts. The other main role in the film, namely that of ‘Stoufa’, is played by Hassine Graya.

“Tender is the wolf” is not the only Tunisian film to take part in this festival. Nouri Bouzid’ s post 9/11movie , “Making Of” was shown at the opening of the festival- a distinction in itself- eliciting much praise and sparking an intense debate.

[Source: Tunisie Online News]

So there’s one other must-see Tunisian movie on my list…

Personally, I haven’t had the chance to watch as much as I’d like of our Tunisian movies, just the more famous ones, and those I really liked.
So I’d be really grateful to whoever can suggest their favourite Tunisian movies for me to check out.

Which other Tunisian movies do you think are a must-see?

Knowledge Building: The Internet vs. Television

Sometime ago, I remember a friend and I were talking about the internet and television as sources of information, which one is more useful, which one gives us more knowledge and generally comparing the two mediums.

At the end of the discussion we reached the conclusion that the main difference between the internet and TV is that one, the internet, is a “Pull” medium, while the other, TV, is a “Push” one.

Online, you generally know what you’re looking for or you have a little idea about it, so you search for it and go to places where you can find it, something you can do pretty easily; which means that it’s you who is pulling the information, seeking it, finding it and using it.

As for television, you don’t have much control over what’s on, you get a series for example, then the news, then some documentary, then some music, …etc. Information is pushed your way, some of it you were looking for, some other stuff you weren’t necessarily seeking but that gains your interest anyway, and other stuff you just ignore.

Even though sometimes the dividing line isn’t as clear, if we try to look a little closer, we can more or less find it in most cases.

But what does that mean? Which is more useful?
A direct thought could be that maybe the internet is better suited for research, diving deeper into what we already know a bit about and getting the information we need; while on the other hand, TV is a better source for general knowledge and initiating us to new kinds of information, with all the different bits and pieces it pushes at us, given we’re open to all these different things.

And so, these two mediums more or less compliment each other in our knowledge-building process, filling up each other’s gaps.

For example, many times, I’d get a bit of information on TV that I didn’t know about before, that I might have never gotten otherwise, something I would find really interesting, and that I would go on to research in greater detail online.

What’s your opinion on all this?

Micro-Finance Makes Its Way Online

Over the past months more and more micro-lending solutions have been popping up online, displaying the internet’s potential as a charitable medium, enabling people to lend small amounts of money, which provide loans to those in developing countries empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty.

Among these online tools we find Kiva, Prosper, Zopa, GlobeFunder and eBay’s newly launched MicroPlace.

Kiva is one of the most successful stories among these up to now; In just 2 years, the site has funded nearly 17,000 loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries, recently reaching a total amount of loans of over $11 million.

The system is rather simple: Small entrepreneurs from the developing world go on the site and ask for a small loan to help get their businesses off the ground, then other people get to choose among these entrepreneurs and loan them small sums of money, as little as $25 for example, and when a loan is funded the money is passed on the entrepreneur by a local partner who follows up and reports back on the progress made by the entrepreneur, who starts paying back his loan once things get rolling on his side.

Simple, clear, and has the ability to help so many people in the developing world, which is great.

Some of these solutions charge some interest on their loans while others don’t. In some the money given is more of a mini-investment that the lender makes money on while in others it’s just a simple loan.

Personally, I think these solutions are a great way for people to get involved with helping people in the developing world pull themselves out of poverty and build better businesses and lives for themselves. They show that everyone one of us can make a change and play a bigger role by loaning a small amount of money, that might not mean much to us, but would mean the world to someone else.

Mr. Brooks

I just finished watching the movie Mr. Brooks, featuring Kevin Costner and Demi Moore.

The movie is a psychological thriller about a man, Mr. Brooks (played by Kevin Costner), who is addicted to and enjoys murder; he is a serial killer known by the pseudo “The Thumb Print Killer”, who continues to be tempted by his alter ego to keep on killing people even thought he wants to quit.
Demi Moore plays the role of a devoted police detective who is tracking the footsteps of the thumb print killer, earning his admiration and respect along the way.

I found the movie pretty interesting, I really liked the story and the script, and I think that Kevin Costner did a great job depicting the mixed up personality of the serial killer and all his different faces and personas.

If you’re into the whole psychological thriller genre, then I do recommend this movie; it is a good and enjoyable one that keeps you engaged throughout it all.

Overall, I think I’d give it a score of:

[Amazon: Mr. Brooks DVD]

Sarkozy In English

Sarkozy in English

No Comment…
Google Translate says it all…

[Via: Hou-Hou Blog]

Free Advertising Banner Space On Subzero Blue

In an effort to encourage Arab startups, give them a push and spread out some love: I’m offering free banner space on my blog to promote their services.

The banners will be of 125×125 size and will be shown in the ads section on the right side column of the blog; yep two spots above the fold.

Everyone interested, send me an email at: subzeroblue[AT]gmail.com

Please include the banner you want displayed, as well as the url you want it to link to in the email.

Generally speaking, this offer is open for all Arab startups; still I do reserve the right to review the banner and service behind it before accepting or refusing to display the banner.

Requests will be handled on a FIFO (first in, first out) basis, but just because you’re late doesn’t mean you’ll lose out on the offer, you’ll just be scheduled for a later date.

This is a limited time offer, so get your requests in asap if you’re interested.

Most People Are Other People…

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

Oscar Wilde

FreeRice: Learn Free Vocabulary & Give Free Rice

FreeRice“For each word you get right, we donate 10 grains of rice to a hungry person…”

A word is displayed…
Underneath it are four choices of words…
You click on the one you think best defines the first word…
If you get it right, you get a harder word. If wrong, you get an easier word…
For each word you get right, they donate 10 grains of rice to a hungry person through an international aid agency…
Finally, you get smarter and enhance your vocabulary while doing a noble thing helping poor and hungry people get food…

A very interesting approach and praiseworthy effort…

Do check it out: FreeRice.com