Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower

February 17th, 2009

Coming soon to Dubai: the Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower

LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture) unveiled the design of the Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower in Dubai, the first project of a series of branded towers, a new concept by PNYG:COMPANY, a company focused on branding. […]

According to the architects, the design of the 59 storey luxury tower is abstracted from the geometric laws of snowflakes and Formula 1 aerodynamics, in order to obtain an effficient/minimal structure, maximum views and optimal light and air distribution. […]

Three observations:

  1. Catchy name.
  2. Abstracted from the geometric laws of snowflakes and Formula 1 aerodynamics, eh? I just hope they're taking the Pepsi Gravitational Field into account.
  3. In the next plot along: the Damon Hill Memorial Bungalow.

[Via Smashing Telly, via Qwghlm]

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Outsource yourself

February 7th, 2009

IBM is offering American-based staff an alternative to being laid off: moving to another country and working for IBM there instead:

Big Blue is offering its outgoing workers in the United States and Canada a chance to take an IBM job in India, Nigeria, Russia or other countries.

Through a program dubbed Project Match, IBM will help interested workers whose jobs are on the chopping block to identify potential opportunities in growth markets and facilitate consideration by hiring managers in those markets, according to an internal company document obtained by CNN.

The company also will help with moving costs and provide visa assistance, it says.

Other countries with IBM opportunities include Argentina, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates, according to the document.

Only satisfactory performers who are willing to work on local terms and conditions should pursue the jobs, the document says. IBM would not immediately confirm if it means that the workers would be paid local wages and would be subject to local labor laws. [Emphasis added]

IBM may not be willing to confirm that local wages would be paid to workers who move abroad, but it's hard to imagine that they'd move an American manager overseas and then negate the cost savings they're looking to make by continuing to pay that manager their US salary and benefits package. Come to that, I can't see bringing in managers on US-level salaries being a terribly popular notion among IBM's local staff in those countries, who would presumably continue to work to local terms and conditions.1

So, to sum up: IBM are saying to staff that they might be able to continue working for IBM if they're willing to uproot themselves and their families and move to [India|Nigeria|Russia|insert country of choice] and then find a project willing to take them on in that country.

It's almost as if IBM is trying to provoke a socialist revolution…

[Via MetaFilter]

  1. Which, for them, doubtless would include levels of salary/pension/social security/health insurance.

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Network power

May 25th, 2008

Christopher Caldwell reviews David Singh Grewal's Network Power: The Social Dynamics of Globalization, and I add another book to my to-read list:

Here is how it works. Networks tend to grow. As time passes, one of the most attractive things about a network will be simply that a large number of people have already chosen it. This is network power. Once a network reaches "critical mass", Mr Grewal says, the incentives to join it can become irresistible. Certainly some standards are intrinsically better than others. "But as the network power of a standard grows," Mr Grewal writes, "the intrinsic reasons why it should be adopted become less important relative to the extrinsic benefits of co-ordination that the standard can provide." People defect from alternative networks. Eventually those alternatives disappear altogether. The choice of networks becomes a Hobson’s choice. You remain free to choose your network, but the distinction between choosing to join a network and being forced to join one is less evident.

[Via Memex 1.1]

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