Sunday, September 30, 2007

Italy Part II: Milan, San Siro (Updated)

I had a second opportunity to visit Italy, only Milan this time though for a week for some training.
Not too happy about staying slightly out of the City Centre, but hotels over this period have been really packed in the centre of the city unless of course one opts for executive suites et al. I figure it must be due to the just concluded Milan Fashion Week.
I had only one day this time to do some sight seeing and top on my list was the San Siro. :). I'm a soccer fan, and AC Milan is my #1 Italian team, with Kaka one of my favourite players.

I was initially planning to do a visit of the Museum and the Stadium - costs about 12.40 euros. But when I got onto the metro, I began to notice lots of AC Milan fan gear, scarves, caps etc. I had checked the stadium's website the day before and there was no mention of a game today.

Finally got to the stadium after a short bus ride from the Metro Station (I walked on the way back - just too much jam). I was very pleased to find tickets being sold for the game, affordable - compared to tickets prices in the UK. The cheapest at 10 euros for 3rd floor terrace seats to the east and west of the stadium. I opted for a 2nd floor terrace seat to the south of the stadium (above the tunnel) since I wanted to take some photos and my camera really needs an upgrade.

Due the number of people watching the game, I got delayed while entering the stadium and found the game 10 minutes old. It was an exhilarating experience - I only get to watch European soccer in the tube back home.

About the game:
Milan dominated it, but Catania took the lead against the run of play from a counter attack. Kaka levelled it early in the second half from a penalty (video!):
More pictures here

Monday, September 17, 2007

IEEE exhibition

I managed to visit the just concluded IEEE exhibition on 14th and 15th at the Sarit Centre, and was amazed at how this annual event has grown over the last few years. When I was in University, it was much smaller and only had participants from about 3-5 institutions in Kenya. This year's event had participants from Sudan and Uganda among others.

My favourite presentation was MPAWA, an online payment gateway built on MPESA, done by Martin Kasomo. I'm eagerly waiting to see it fully implemented, as it is something I have always wanted to see out in the market and have not had much time to work on :).

It's also something close to that Whiteafrican has talked about, only that it is not operator agnostic..

All in all, there is a lot of interest from large players (Microsoft, Oracle, Celtel, Safaricom, Google had representatives) in what is happening in universities, which can only be a good thing.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Kenyan Guy 20-Fair Index

Interesting read on what the Kenyan guy is looking for in a woman:

'a chocolate brown complexion, is of medium build, works part-time and has no children.'

Read more on the from the Nation online.

To me the scary stat is that the chances of a lady landing a dude with the tendency to 'randa randa' is up to 40%.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Software Freedom Day

Software Freedom Day Symposium - KICC Sept. 14 & 15th

The Linux Professionals Association (Kenya) will be holding this Symposium on Friday and Saturday this coming week. This is the first time I know of that Kenya is marking the SFD.

Theme is Empowering all people to freely connect, create and share in a digital world that is participatory, transparent, and sustainable. (Quite a mouthful! Everyone in ICT should show up for this event. It will be worthwhile)

New Kenyan Capital City

Seems that Mayor Dick Wathika would not mind a new capital city.

About 2-3 years while visiting Nanyuki, and having some serious nyama, I looked around at the lay of the land, and thought that it would be quite suitable for a Capital City. Lots of 'idle' land owned by ranchers.

Nairobi could remain as commercial capital. The new city should be planned properly from scratch, hopefully with provision for urban railroads and adequate utilities (water and electricity). 2030 ought to include this?

Personally I would not mind moving out of Nairobi (just that everything now is centered and focussed on Nairobi - e.g. Internet Traffic from Nairobi accounts for about 80% of Kenyan traffic).

Lets not rush into this. A proper plan, a proper and timely execution and an absence of corruption is what is needed.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

OOXML document format WILL NOT be fast tracked!

Microsoft has failed in its attempt to have its Office Open XML document format fast-tracked.,136711-c,techindustrytrends/article.html

Microsoft stumbles in Open XML standards vote



Now the real lobbying begins.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Italy: Milan and Rome

Milan - fashion capital of the world. I got to see an alligator skin handbag (handapaga for some people :) ) from Dolce and Gabbana, for 36 500 euros (yes even KSHS would be rather pricey)

Rome - lots of history here. The Pantheon, the Colosseum and the St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City - I wonder how the Swiss guard at the Vatican manage to survive in summer with their rather heavy and elaborate costume.
I thought Kenya had bad driving. Italians have this craze for speed; taking a ride on a taxi can be a scary/thrilling experience especially if the road is somewhat clear. Powerful motorbikes and scooters that seem to be turbo charged seem the order of the day. Not many people ride bikes like in other cities in Europe.

The pizza is great :) after all this is the home of pizza. And the ice cream is top notch. (especially from Blue Ice)