Monday, 17 September 2007

Filling out the facebook profile for a UWC classmate

I've been adding a lot of my fellow UWCers to my facebook, it's been somewhat of a fad. The circle enlarges and more people who touched my life but fell of my radar screen appear. Today Agnieszka, the first UWCer I met became a Facebook friend.

Facebook offered for me to fill in how I knew Agnieszka and honesty about my AHUWC experience made me check that we:
lived together (we did, in Lanham house),
were in a group together (an outdoor orientation group, I think), took a course together (the IB although that may be a slight stretch as Agnieszka was my second-year), attended a program (numerous, for sure), traveled together (she and Demet from Turkey were the first UWCers I actually met, while changing planes at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport), went to high school with Agnieszka, met randomly (in an airport), are Facebook friends (as of today) and finally, I know Agnieszka through a friend (or several friends).


Saturday, 8 September 2007

My Prediction: 2008 will be the year of Kosice

I am extremely bullish on Kosice - have been for years. The Google Trends screenshot shows clearly what's going on - more and more people are looking for info on Kosice on Google.

If I had the cash to spare or goodwill to borrow I would buy a nice place in the centre of Kosice, banking on its finiteness and the Skyeurope flight from London. My guess would be about 50% appreciation over the next two years.

There are real estate investment opportunities galore right now. The market is somewhat illiquid, I believe, but that may open opportunities for a buyer ready to pay in cash.

It wasn't easy to find English-language blogs in Kosice but in the end I came across a fellow internet entrepreneur, a Peter Soltes.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Are you clever enough to pull a 419?

I don't know if Nigerian scammers read blogs but if they do I have an idea for a scenario for them:
1. send one of the usual spam letters (late widow of Sani Abacha, wife of Rwandan farmer),
2. send another letter signed by a Nigerian official (or even a UN official of another nationality) requesting cooperation with the authorities in uncovering the scammer from no. 1 above, earning a hefty reward in the process,
3. if anyone catches on, make them actually send money to no. 1 while delaying payment from no. 2.

Or maybe I can send the idea to this guy although he obviously does not need it.

My feeling is that if the other things reaching my mailbox work this one would, too.

$10 Threadless sale rocks!

I love Threadless. Threadless has rocking great t-shirts and they ship to Slovakia.
Threadless T-Shirt We're Not Savages by Philip Tseng
One of the most frustrating things about many US-based e-commerce websites is that they do not ship to Europe. There is no directory of US internet stores that ship internationally, that I would be aware of. Even at this day and age in a lot of websites you have to dig deep for info whether they will ship to you or not.

I am surprised the math doesn't work out favourably at least for the big stores that do not bother to ship throughout the EU (J. Crew, to name a few). They must have sufficient ability to learn on the internet that Poland, Slovakia or Estonia let alone Austria or Sweden are not Nigeria (not to mention the fact that there must be lots of nice, regular people in Nigeria who cannot order anything at all from anyone because noone will ship to them).

The flipside is that any parcel worth more than EUR 22 must clear customs and in my case is subject to 19% VAT and 10 or so % customs duty. But that's a whole another story (and a sad one of utter ignorance of essential civic dignity).

Anyway, what spurred this post was the current $10 Threadless sale. Needless to say that because they are among the few who will ship to me (and without extorting me with incredible postage just for not being from the US of A) I am a loyal repeat customer.