Expect the unexpected, follow the lovers lost in this blog.

A blog to cater your mind,body,and soul as you drink Turkish Coffee. We are proud to present our new storyline called Cafe's search for his "Zahir". Everyday is a new day for the "Cafe" (from Istanbul) & his journey for "Zahir" (from Baku). Don't expect extraordinary drama from the narrator, me. Still, this is a drama (maybe real!), and have better impact on you than watching a soap opera. Guaranteed. There is genuine feelings within inspirational periods. Cross your fingers for this story to end with happy marriage :-) All rights are reserved.

EDIT (01 July 2009) - She is engaged with another man, and I finally made my marriage proposal bringing my family to Baku. The result: She stays engaged and will have her wedding, so called "toy", with that another man.

Rest in peace Ms. Zahir.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Meetups - Whatever Your Interest, Wherever You Are

Yes, it is true. There is a website called Meetups. You can start a group, or join a group of friends meeting up to enjoy their hobbies. I signed up for Spanish and French meetups. It is a shame that they do not meet every week, or twice a week. But, I am hoping to find French and Spanish speaking people so that I can gain some more fluency in these languages. I guess, this is a great savings from going to a language course and pay around $50 per hour. I am a true believer for learning a language through speaking it. Grammar is also important, but it is alright!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Daddy Yankee - Rompe vs. Burak Kut - Komple

Hopefully, two stars negotiated with each other, so the song is not stolen by another. Listen to each one and hear the similar sound. Apparently, Turkish pop singer purchased the rights of the song from Daddy Yankee. First video from the original, second one by Burak Kut.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Teenage hacker unlocks the iPhone (BBC News)

You can further read about this news, but I want to point out one quote from the article. The hacker's name is George Hotz, a native of New Jersey,
"collaborated online with four other people, two of them in Russia, to develop the unlocking process and he spent about 500 hours on the project since the launch on 29 June. 'Some of my friends think I wasted my summer but I think it was worth it,' he told. "
Wanna learn how he uncover the mystery behind iPhone lock. Check out George Hotz blog.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hurricane vs. Drought - A Short Analysis of Americas and Turkey

The continents of Americas is experiencing hurricane season, while Turkey is craving for a single drop of rain. Hopefully, Turkey will receive some help from the sky and fill its dams. A discussion can be posted here about the situation with dams and ecology, drought, hurricane, insurance, food, drinking water, etc. Though, I just want to side note this Tuesday when Philadelphia has been praising rain for two days, while Turkey is still in need. Is there anyway to transport excess amount of water to other places in need. Can we modify the rain drops, shrink them into little atomic particles, and then ship them to those places where these little atomic particles will re-energize as a second rain.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Would You Flickr, YouTube or Sit Down and Read a Blog?

Visuals are sometimes more thought-provoking than literature. Just like this cat, walking to the neverland (as the photographer calls it). Deep thoughts may be directed towards where we are going in this rush life? Would you mind sipping your Turkish Coffee and look at this picture and think?

Yahoo Answers - "What do the letters in a Radio Stations & TV name stand for? Who picks the letters?"

After Yahoo mentioned this issue on their home page, and after I admit that I was looking for the answer of this question, we clicked on this yet-to-be a trivial question's answer.

According to the answer posted, people are free to choose whatever combination they want to choose and also they need to stay with the rule of:
"in the 1930's, the US established W stations on the East Coast and K on the West Coast (divided roughly at the Mississippi River.)"

I could not find an answer for this question in Wikipedia, but Yahoo "answers," indeed.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Chain Reaction Occurs In This Ad

Not a Fan of Galatasaray Soccer Club, Appreciated This Goal!

by Cevat Prekazi

Just In-Teresting - Child Care and Love

Bionade - Not Simply a Drink from Germany

Reading the news article at BusinessWeek about these guys, I want to point out a couple of highlights about their success in re-modeling their marketing for the product of Bionade.1- "transforming the drink into a must-have with its retro yet enviro-friendly appeal. The flavors—elderberry, lychee, herb, ginger-orange and the new, sporty "forte"—likewise have a cool, "you're drinking what?" sensibility. And the broadly-striped label, bulls-eye cap and 1920s-style font exude sophistication."

2- "Instead of selling it as an 'ecological' drink based on ideology, we appealed to a certain lifestyle."

And the American dream is present for these guys, as well.
"now Bionade is expanding internationally. It is already present in Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia, the Benelux countries, Italy, Spain and Portugal, and is just now hitting the shelves in Ireland. But the company has its eyes set on a much larger prize: the US. The search is already on for a suitable American distribution partner."

And at one point, they argue that
"organic doesn't necessarily mean small." Of course, organic is getting so big in the last few months that Whole Foods Store chain bought out Wild Oats. (well, is it a valid argument:)

By the way, I learned that, in UK, TXT service is offered to order pizza.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My Skype Is Down, and Sorry, I Cannot Take Any Message!

Yes, finally we see Skype had an error. Indeed, the most reliable and affordable peer-to-peer phone service on internet, they are still unsure about the cause of the problem.
"Skype executives said they still did not know why the error, sitting dormant for four years, suddenly crashed the network. They cited problems with the Internet backbone in some parts of the world as a possible contributing factor."
Right now, we have GTalk which is not comparable, but still acceptable for computer-to-computer talks.
Hopefully, skype will pe back in the sky.
If you want to read more, Cnet Crave Blog, and Forbes have some more information.

Added on August, 18:
Slashdot provides some information that Skype crash was due by a Russian hacker.

Added on August 19:
NYT writes the bottom line for this issue. By the way, this is the third time I heard about their HeartBeat blog. It is an awesome service to check how good Skype is operating.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Les Cordiers, Juge et Flic" - Judge and Cop TV Series in France

Being addicted to this detective series, nowadays broadcasted on Turkish national TV Channel, TRT, everyday around 1am. Each episode lasts about 90 minutes. I really liked this TV series in French (translated to Turkish on TRT). I wouldn't mind the French version, but I am confused if they sell all episodes in the two volumes of DVD available. (read this current post further to see what I found out later in my research, I only saw two DVDs available.)

French TV anectode:
"Chief Cordier, an efficient cop of 50, cooperates with his son Bruno, a newly appointed judge and also with his daughter Myriam, a skilful reporter, in thrilling criminal cases based upon true facts of nowdays . This detective series is family oriented and one of the Top Rated Prime Time programs in France ."

All episodes were mentioned on French Wikipedia. Also available, detailed information in French. A group of pictures from the series are provided in this website. And, if I am right, I found all episodes available in DVD at Polygram Collection. There are 30 DVDs (for the total of 60 episodes) and each one costs around 13 euros. Begin to save money for "Les Cordiers?"

Pierre Mondy & Bruno Madinier

© TF1
Galerie complète sur AlloCiné

Could only paste them here through the website's smart way of sharing pictures through sharing the code for blogs.


Pilote (1992)

1 (Pilote) : Peinture au pistolet

Bruno Madinier, Pierre Mondy & Francois Marthouret

© TF1
Galerie complète sur AlloCiné

Première saison (1994)

2 (1- 1) : L'assassin des beaux quartiers
3 (1- 2) : L'argent des passes
4 (1- 3) : 3615 pretty doll
5 (1- 4) : Combinaison mortelle

Deuxième saison (1995)

6 (2- 1) : Une associée en trop
7 (2- 2) : Une mort programmée
8 (2- 3) : Bébé en cavale
9 (2- 4) : Un si joli témoin
10 (2- 5) : Cécile mon enfant

Pierre Mondy & Antonella Lualdi

© TF1
Galerie complète sur AlloCiné

Troisième saison (1995-1996)

11 (3- 1) : Une voix dans la nuit
12 (3- 2) : Refaire sa vie
13 (3- 3) : La mémoire blessée
14 (3- 4) : Affaires de femmes
15 (3- 5) : Le petit juge

Quatrième saison (1997)

16 (4- 1) : Cathy
17 (4- 2) : Comité d'accueil
18 (4- 3) : Le crime d'à coté
19 (4- 4) : L'adieu au drapeau
20 (4- 5) : La tour de jade
21 (4- 6) : Le petit frère
22 (4- 7) : Boulot de flic
23 (4- 8) : L'œil du cyclope

Cinquième saison (1998)

24 (5- 1) : Rangée des voitures
25 (5- 2) : L'étoile filante
26 (5- 3) : Un garçon mystérieux

Sixième saison (1999)

27 (6- 1) : Trahie par les siens
28 (6- 2) : Née en prison
29 (6- 3) : Piège à minuit
30 (6- 4) : L'honneur d'un homme
31 (6- 5) : Le deuxième fils

Septième saison (2000)

32 (7- 1) : Crimes de cœur
33 (7- 2) : Les tables de la loi
34 (7- 3) : Le diable au cœur
35 (7- 4) : Lames de fond

Pierre Mondy, Antonella Lualdi, Estelle Caumartin & Bruno Madinier

© TF1
Galerie complète sur AlloCiné

Huitième saison (2001)

36 (8- 1) : Faux-semblants
37 (8- 2) : Menace sur la ville
38 (8- 3) : Saut périlleux
39 (8- 4) : Portrait au scalpel
40 (8- 5) : Sang-froid

Neuvième saison (2002)

41 (9- 1) : Dette mortelle
42 (9- 2) : Otages
43 (9- 3) : Mensonges et vérité

Dixième saison (2003)

44 (10- 1) : Adieu mulet
45 (10- 2) : Mort d'un avocat
46 (10- 3) : Cours du soir
47 (10- 4) : Fausses notes
48 (10- 5) : La sorcière

Stéphanie Vicat, Pierre Mondy & Pierre-Arnaud Juin

© TF1
Galerie complète sur AlloCiné

Onzième saison (2004)

49 (11- 1) : La rançon
50 (11- 2) : Liens de sang
51 (11- 3) : Temps mort
52 (11- 4) : Choc en retour
53 (11- 5) : Faux départ
54 (11- 6) : Raison d'état

Douzième saison (2005)

55 (12- 1) : Silences coupables
56 (12- 2) : Délit de fuite
57 (12- 3) : La Nuit du sacrifice
58 (12- 4) : Copie conforme
59 (12- 5) : Cas d’école

D'accord, j'aime Les Cordiers. Was it correct? I love Les Cordiers. For now, Ciao! Leave your comment here, if you enjoyed this post :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Google Desktop Is Improved

Another day begins. Turn on the computer. Then, see what? Your Google Desktop is revolutionized! Yes, now you can add RSS URLs and get immediate news from your favorite sites, on the sidebar (my preference). Thanks Google, we keep praising you. As a side note, Yahoo Mail beta version is quite slow, relative to Gmail, but we will watch their improvements soon, I guess.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rick Gunn Photography Album - Bike Around The World

Came across this journal.
Interesting picture.
He visited Turkey, as well.
I am sharing one of his pictures from Turkey.
It is a nice profile picture to my guess.
(Warning: The website takes a long time to load, due to high number of images.)

Mercedes Car Airbag - Funny Real Life Experience

Monday, August 13, 2007

Amazon Daily

I am concerned for this RSS Feeds. They even use these feeds for shopping. Well, here is Amazon, one example. I don't know which other shopping website utilize this tool, but we might have these feeds wake us up from our sleep and tell us "a new item is on sale, don't miss it." Amazon Daily RSS Feeds are something to take a look. Maybe you will like it if you read your feeds everyday, and want to shop everyday. Sounds weird, but true. By the way, I am concerned about cafealaturca posting everyday. Like, I missed two days in the last two weeks. So, maybe acting like a journalist is not for me, but still cafe will be brewing :-)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bed Bugs

When the exterminator came to the house to clean up, he said NYC was infested with bed bugs. They suck human blood, and as my friend heard from one of the Cash Cab episodes on TV, they can live up to 18 months without any food. They can jump, they can infest your clothing, and especially mattress. They are very skilled to do whatever you can expect from a bug, plus the blood. Read what Harvard published about these lovely bugs. And, this story from MSNBC (originally from Dateline) sounds scary. Some stories were mentioned about NYC in the past. Though, the blood is still flesh for bed bugs in Philadelphia. You may want to check out Bed Bug Fact Sheet, as well.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

What Does a College Dorm Look Like?

Amazon.com expects an ultimate dormitory room like this one below. Sponsored by Chase. Still, it costs money if you want to design your or your loved one's dorm similar to this one. Personalizing the dorm room is always big in college!

Oh, don't forget the Easy Mac!
Then, let's google some other decent and acceptable dorm room examples..
1) from zackhample.com

2) Georgetown College - a typical dorm room

3) And, let's conclude with an ultimate evolution of a dorm room by two students from MIT. Checking their site is highly recommended. They have videos, as well. Here is the fully automated dorm room. OK, I could not resist and I am sharing one of their videos. Check the other two from their post.

Los Angeles Galaxy - David Beckham - Theme Park

Every LA Galaxy is like an experience in a theme park from now on. Since they transfered Sir David Beckham from Real Madrid, Fox Soccer Channel has been paying more attention to their games. Every time Beckham (if he gets to play) touches the soccer ball, the crowd cheers up big time. It is like one of those roller coaster experiences. Going up and down, Beckham passes the ball and receives a pass. LA Galaxy is not the best team in the Major League, though they will have their games full of supporters, I guess. He will get $250 million for a 5-year contract.

Again, while searching for a Beckham pic with his new jersey, I came across this blog. An interesting one that I yet to explore more.

I really liked one of the comments made on this blog. It is from undergroundbto:

There are most certainly at least 35-40 players out there who are better / more integral to their team than Beckham. He is just a nancy-boy who became a national (and then international) phenomenon based on the fact that:(1) he is handsome; (2) he is not ugly; (3) he married Posh Spice; and (4) he has a fantastic free kick (yes, one of the best in the world, but that is the only thing that he does on the pitch that could be considered such)"

And, Beckham does not forget to praise US Soccer. He says US Soccer has "huge potential."
The news about Beckham just goes on, and here is another interesting one from Reuters.
"Beckham sells 250,000 Galaxy shirts before he gets to LA." Want to buy one for $80

Enjoy one of his freekick goals in the past. Is it going to happen in LA, again?

I was not in the mood for writing today, though Beckham wave caught cafealaturca in. So, I learned some facts about this world famous transfer. I hope you enjoyed the post. Take care for now. And, alsooooo.....Don't forget to check out Victoria Beckham's blog on her official website.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Free Your Mind, Free Your Soul. Drink Turkish Coffee

Some days, cafe doesn't seem to brew and so no creative posts happening here. It wasn't a promise to write this blog everyday, but I guess cafe has something to say everyday, whether one sentence long, or 10 paragraphs of research. Today, cafe motto is free your mind, free your soul and drink your Turkish Coffee with pleasure. Just drink, and sit back, relax. 10 minutes out of your rush-hour life may recharge you for 10 hours of rush.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Monday, August 6, 2007

Logitech, Wikiversity, Google Cell Phone, UPS 100th Anniversary, and eBay Seller Tools

What is the best thing to do when your mind is full of thoughts but nothing to write about. Recently exploring the wireless keyboard of Logitech, seem to be satisfied with it. Decent deal from buy.com

Let's talk about my recent acquisitions (on my bookmark toolbar:)
I read the whole article, and wanted to point out some of the discussions.

1) Wikiversity: Word comes from PC World, again.
"Coordinators of Wikiversity, one of the major projects of the Wikimedia Foundation Inc.

Wikiversity is a free learning community, and aims to provide free educational materials and courses online.

Type just about any subject into Google's search engine, including how to do needlework, or build a Web site, and then add the word 'tutorial' and up pop several Web sites offering guides on the subject.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's MIT OpenCourseWare project, for example, offers over 1000 free courses."

By the way, MIT spotlights this news on their website on 6th August, 2007:
"MIT neuroscientists exploring how memory formation differs between children and adults have found that although the two groups have much in common, maturity brings richer memories."

2) Check out Feed The Pig website for some easy solutions how to resolve debt. Some interesting ideas, though not a blast of amazement.

3) Google bringing cell phone to the table.
PC World reports the story from a WSJ article:
"listening to advertisements before being able to make phone calls"
That sounds irritating. Suppose you need to make an emergency call, but you need to listen to one of those GEICO advertisements, telling you '15 minutes can save you 15% on your car insurance.' Can't believe this, it is hilarious!
"Google announced in July it was willing to spend $4.6 billion to buy wireless spectrum in a U.S. Federal Communications Commission auction."
Speaking about Google's rival iPhone, "Apple iPhone was a brand new category in wireless, and it wasn't from a handset vendor and wasn't from a network."

4) UPS Birthday after 100 years. BusinessWeek reports:
"It started out in 1907 as the brainchild of two teenagers in a Seattle basement, whose fledgling messenger service made deliveries on foot or on bicycle. It now is the world's largest shipping carrier -- a $47 billion business with a fleet of trucks, an airline and operations in 200 countries.

Increasing competition for delivery of goods has meant the company has had to broaden its global reach and expand its business beyond small package delivery to shipping heavy freight and providing logistics services for companies.

But even as the Internet has made it easier to send, receive or download items electronically instead of paying a service to deliver them, the breaking down of trade barriers has given shippers like UPS overseas opportunities they haven't had in the past.

Edward Jones analyst Dan Ortwerth described UPS as the "oil that makes the gears go" in the global economy.

"Regardless of whether I want a leather jacket sent to me by UPS because I bought it online, or a factory in any country you'd like to name needs a sprocket to make its machine go, UPS is there to deliver," Ortwerth said.

These days, the U.S. small package delivery market has slowed along with the economy. As a result, UPS has been increasingly looking beyond U.S. borders for business, offering faster delivery to worldwide destinations. International growth has helped the company's bottom line.

A century from now, Chief Executive Mike Eskew expects that delivering small packages will still be an important part of the Atlanta-based company's business, but he isn't sure it will be the largest part. In 2001, the company expanded its services by acquiring the Mail Boxes Etc. chain. Most of the stores were later renamed The UPS Store.

"We're going to transform as the world changes and our customers tell us to change," Eskew said.

Recognized by its brown trucks and uniforms, UPS' lifeblood is its 427,700 employees, who will play a big role in future growth. UPS, also known as United Parcel Service, said that's because customer service -- particularly drivers having contact with customers everyday -- will always be the area that keeps customers coming back.

Contract negotiations between UPS and the Teamsters union, which represents 238,000 UPS drivers and sorters, are currently ongoing. That contract expires July 31, 2008. Pension and health care benefits are major issues.

Linc Dalimonte, a UPS driver from Grand Rapids, Mich., said he recognizes the importance in a highly competitive industry of controlling costs. Dalimonte, who has been with the company since he finished college 15 years ago, said he believes UPS can do that by continuing to emphasize safety, which would decrease accidents and the costs associated with them.

Technology improvements, meanwhile, have led to greater efficiencies.

UPS uses technology to map out the shortest routes for its trucks to reach their destinations. The technology and greater use of alternative fuel trucks have allowed UPS to save on fuel, according to Robert Hall, director of ground fleet engineering at UPS.

In 2006, package flow technology, the software that among other things designs routes with right-hand turns, allowed UPS to save 28.5 million miles of driving off its U.S. fleet.

According to the company, the average UPS driver has been with the company for 16 years. Management turnover runs 5 percent to 7 percent per year. The company says its average driver is paid $75,000 a year, while its average pilot salary is $200,000 a year.


There was competition even in 1907, when 18-year-old Claude Ryan and 19-year-old Jim Casey opened the American Messenger Company with a $100 loan from a friend of Casey. Working out of their basement headquarters in Seattle, employees -- Casey's brother and a handful of other teenagers -- ran errands and carried notes on foot or on bicycle.

In 1913, the company acquired its first delivery car, a Model T Ford, renamed itself Merchants Parcel Delivery and shifted its primary focus from messages to packages. Six years later, the company expanded beyond Seattle and renamed itself United Parcel Service.

The company, which moved into its Atlanta headquarters in 1994, went public in 1999. It rebranded itself as just UPS in 2003.

"At some point you think, we all think, it's time to let somebody else do this," said the 58-year-old. "Somebody else might have a different, fresher approach."

As UPS looks forward, Ortwerth, the analyst, said he doesn't believe competition and changing ways of sending goods and services will hurt UPS' growth as long as the company continues to adapt."

5) Vendio Gallery is a free seller tool for eBay sellers. Good service!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Italian Gelato vs. Turkish Ice-Cream (called Maras Dondurmasi)

Today's guest speakers are Gelato and Maras Dondurmasi. It will be the most unforgettable battle after the Italian espresso vs. Turkish coffee :-) First, we are unpacking the secrets of Italian Gelato. I purchased one from Trader Joe's for 2.99$, it is generic brand, or Trader Joe's brand. Tasted good to me. But, what is beneath the mystery of this kind of ice cream?

Let's start off with Trader Joe's Fans website, talking about Ginger Flavor Gelato Classico. Unfortunately, they say the ginger flavor is not available anymore. I never had a chance to try it, and would like to try it, but cannot try it now! What type of marketing is this? Fanny from France is speaking the language of gelato in her Food Beam blog. She is really putting a lot of effort in her blog, a nice job, delicious recipes, and all that. Highly recommended. I am kindly sharing this gelato image on the left with her permission. I hope she won't say no:)

OK, from another highly recommended one, but this one is a food brand, Gelato Classico. They describe the history of Gelato as:

"Legend has it that the Roman emperor Nero invented Italian ice cream, or gelato, by mixing milk with ice brought from the mountains. While it is impossible to pin down the exact origins of this dessert, the oldest known recipe was written by a Roman general in the first Century B.C. By the 16th century, Sorbetto and Gelato had become mainstays of the Italian diet, and the frozen treats quickly spread to the rest of Europe."

Then, what a about the brand, Gelato Classico? Here it is:

"Flash forward to 1976. Starting with a single shop on a San Francisco side street, Gelato Classico quickly became renowned for its dazzling array of flavors. The smooth, silky texture is unlike anything you've ever experienced, and the intense flavors will dazzle your palate. Gelato Classico is truly in a class by itself. Just one taste will prove it. Irresistibly creamy, delicious – and downright decadent – the recipe is a well-guarded secret."

And now, as we have a battle between Italian espresso and Turkish coffee. We have another friendly, delicious battle between Italian gelato and Turkish ice-cream. Oh, it is so yummy even to think about this Turkish ice-cream, Maras Dondurmasi. Although it is from one city of Turkey, called Kahramanmaras, it spread out around the world carrying our flag with it.

Even my friend in Japan said they have stores selling this awesome ice-cream. It has a very nice gummy flavor that it doesn't melt right away, you can actually bite it and chew it. Credits given to Chow, who described Maras Dondurmasi very fine. He says, "it's ice-cream, it's taffy, it is Maras Dondurmasi!" Better article was linked in this Chow post that comes originally from the magazine of Saveur. As Chow blogger says, "Saveur blows the lid off of this exotic sweet by sending one of its writers on a 24-hour journey from San Francisco to Maras, where she hangs out in a dondurmasi shop and proclaims the stuff dense, silky, and subtle."

OK, here I am sharing a nice video show about Turkish ice-cream. See, it is not only served on a plate. You eat it with a waffer cone. And, the ice-cream vendor is supposed to do some tricks while handing in the cone to you. A genuine Turkish vendor is making a show to the local Taiwanese people. The flavor, the show, the taste, and all experience. Now decide, is it gelato or Turkish ice-cream?

According to an article I read in one of the finest ice-cream makers in Turkey, Yasar Dondurmasi, Maras Dondurmasi has a history of 300 years. During the foundation of Maras Dondurmas, Roman Ice-Cream has already been known, and have been reproduced (faked) at many places. However, Maras Dondurmasi cannot be reproduced anywhere else around the world. The main ingredients come from the finely fed local goats' milk and local orchids. Then here comes the unbeatable flavor and aroma.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Welcome to Europe 12.36am Friday Midnight, Counts as Saturday

OK, I told you, though I was late to post this earlier. Still, 40 minutes is not a long time to cross from one country to another.

If you prefer to take the ferry, it might take you less than half an hour.

If you prefer to swim (not allowed, special permit required:)), then it might take I don't know, an 45 minutes?

Welcome to Europe.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Welcome to Asia 11.40pm Friday Night

In 20 minutes, we will be crossing the bridge and step in to the continent of Europe. Where in the world is this possible?
Well, not in 20 minutes, even 1 minute by car. It is only happening in Istanbul, Turkey through the bridges of Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet, either one is fine. Let's take a look at one traveler's blog. He covered a nice array of idea about crossing from one continent to another. I came across to one more traveler's blog who shared this picture on the left. It is the Bosphorus Bridge.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

What Would Happen If Everyone In China Drinks Milk?

Heard this question on radio this morning. A funny question right! Well, the answer is provided, thanks to Guardian from the UK. A couple of quotes from the article.

"Because China has no tradition of dairy farming, there is a shortage of home-produced milk. A third of all the milk produced worldwide is now being transported to China, much of it from the EU and a significant amount from Germany, which produces 27bn litres a year."

"A litre of milk in Germany, currently around 64 cents (40p), is due to go up by 50% in the next few weeks. Other products, such as butter, quark and yoghurt, are expected to rise accordingly. Across Europe the prices of dairy products are rising for the same reasons, but not so dramatically as in Germany, where cheap groceries are seen as a basic right.

Thanks to the lobbying power of Germany's huge number of discount supermarkets, groceries cost around 63% less than in Iceland and 15% less than in Britain.

Now outraged consumer groups and politicians have called for the government to raise unemployment benefit to cover the rise.

Yesterday supermarkets across the country reported that shoppers were panic buying dairy products in an attempt to beat the price increase.

The only effective way to increase global milk yields without breaking the milk quotas, according to experts, is to encourage the breeding of cows outside the EU. German dairy farmers have duly been selling their best high-performance milk cows to Chinese farmers, who are receiving government subsidies if they switch to dairy farming."

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A Customer Service Experience - Samsung "Imagine"

I needed to call Samsung customer service twice. First time, I needed to confirm their 3-year manufacturer's warranty for Samsung Digimax i6 Camera (purchased from JR.com, but now unavailable) [I would suggest the new model Samsung NV3 available from JR.com with a good price.]
A very dedicated customer service told me that the warranty was valid and all I need to do is to send them the camera with the receipt, and they would fix it. But, their warranty will expire after 1 year if you need to use it in another country. Like Turkey, the warranty is valid only for one year. Still, three year warranty counts for the US, if you are able to ship it to them within the US. Right now, they do not have this 3-year warranty available anymore. By the way, where do we go for digital camera reviews? The address is Digital Photography Review.

Another experience - Samsung SGH-t509 Phone
T-Mobile technical service was unable to solve my question about the bluetooth compatibility of my phone with the Powerbook G4 Mac Laptop. So, they gave me the Samsung customer service number:

So far so good, well, Samsung needed to create a business partner file for me. It was my first time coming up with a question about a mobile phone, or maybe they changed the overall customer service rules. Still, it is a good practice, so they can pull up for folder and technical problem history very easily. In short, they give you a reference number, so you are "numbered."

Tips from my conversation with the tech service rep.:
- Cell phone service providers (carriers) ask the manufacturers like Samsung to create a software to transfer your files from your handset (phone) to a computer. T-Mobile did not ask Samsung to offer a software for SGH-t509 model phone. So, Samsung does not offer one.
They do offer a free software for SGH-t519, and all other models, but not t509!!! Perhaps, T-Mobile wants to charge you for their MyAlbums service which is about sending your files to a "special, personal" album they create for you on their website.

Does it mean t509 is not a good phone? No, not really, I am very happy, and I read a lot of satisfied customer reviews.

- Most of all, t509 is not compatible to work with Mac computer's bluetooth device. So, your best bet would be to use a bluetooth embedded in a PC or use a USB-Bluetooth device and plug it in to a PC and then transfer your files from t509 to your PC.

After all, I hope t509 clients will find this information useful. Also, if you need to use your t509 in another country, you should check if any one of these frequencies available:

Not sure about the frequencies of the country you will go - Check travelinsider's site for more information.











Antigua & Barbuda

















Bosnia & Herzegovina



British Virgin Islands


Burma/Myanmar - 900 planned




Cayman Islands






Congo, Democratic Rep of

Costa Rica

Côte d'Ivoire




Czech Republic



Dominican Republic



El Salvador







French Polynesia

French West Indies (incl St Barts)












Hong Kong












No GSM service in Japan




Korea (South) - CDMA not GSM

No GSM service in South Korea












Macedonia (former Yugoslav rep)














Myanmar - 900 planned




Netherland Antilles

New Zealand







Papua New Guinea










Samoa - no service

Saudi Arabia




Sierra Leone




South Africa


Sri Lanka

St Lucia

St Kitts & Nevis

St Vincent / Grenadines











Trinidad & Tobago




Turks & Caicos



United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom