Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rights to a name, Lotus-gate

If you follow f1, you would realize that 2010 was a radical year, 2008 and 2007 were pretty cool but not the same. The addition of the three new teams and cosworth engines, five championship contenders till the last race, The rise of the red bull team, the various innovations like the f-duct, double diffuser, pull-rod suspension e.t.c. made this season one to remember.
Already though, there is a scandal that is of interest in the 2011; The Lotus-gate. There will be a new name on the grid, Lotus-Renault GP which will give F1, two lotus teams since last years lotus entry will be renamed Team Lotus Racing. A good article on this is to be foun

The Lotus-Lotus situation

This is essentially because of a marketing dispute. Tony Fernandes,Malaysian Entrepreneur and Director of Air Asia through a series of succesful business moves was able to acquire the lotus name and an entry into F1( very hard things to come by). He has succesfully contested the 2010 season and is now going on into the next season with a bootfull of money, new engine manufacturer(Renault) and a mission to rank higher.

Lotus was founded by Colin chapman, A genius car designer, Seen in this picture sporting a super awsome mustache. He founded two SEPARATE divisions. The Racing division and the Car division. Each an independent corporate identity only sharing a name and a legacy. Tony Fernandes obtained the rights to the name of the racing division.

Lotus Cars, the car manufacturer underwent a series of buyouts and is now controlled and wholly owned by Proton, a malaysian car company. The company has invested heavily in lotus, It is now revamping the whole product lineup, a process that is expected to cost about 480 billion. It is kinda mad about how this Tony Fernandes guy is hogging up all the fame and glory associated with the Lotus name all to himself, and it also wants to advertise its product in the light of f1. So using a ton of money, it has acquired 25% of the Renault GP team and has
planned its entry into F1

Proton’s subsidiary, Group Lotus plc has bought a major equity stake in the Renault F1 team which will be renamed Lotus Renault GP team from the start of the 2011 Formula season onwards. With the acquisition, Group Lotus will become the title sponsor over the next several years. Picture shows a model of the Lotus Renault GP racing car. — Bernama

Lotus cars concept of it's new Espirit.

So now there will be two lotus names in f1 next year, and that is about the gist of it. This fight has dragged on to other aspects. They were fighting for color,and by declaring their 2011 livery almost a week after the final 2010 race, Lotus-Renault won that getting the black and yellow livery associated with the successful ground-effect cars of Colin Chapman. They are fighting for engine power, with Lotus cars reportedly wanting to cutoff Renault power from Tony Fenarndes's Team Lotus. They are having a huge propaganda war, with proton-owned lotus seemingly belligerent about Team Lotus and with Tony Fernandes's team under attack trying to do all it could to fight back, check out the cheeky Save Team Lotus site they created.The fight goes on and on.

Question is, which entity is the rightful owner of the colin chapman legacy in F1, Which is the real Lotus in F1 and with Team Lotus using red bull transmission and consequentially a pull-rod suspension next year, which will be the faster one?

Its like the return of the white lotus, except with F1

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wikileaks cable; Kenyan corruption

A cursory look at wiki-leaks yielded this report.

US embassy cables: US pushes for political reform in Kenya [2]

Tuesday, 12 January 2010, 15:13
EO 12958 DECL: 2020/01/12
REF: 09 NAIROBI 1811; 10 NAIROBI 31; 10 NAIROBI 50; 10 NAIROBI 11 09 NAIROBI 2485; 09 NAIROBI 2483; 09 NAIROBI 2475; 09 NAIROBI 2401
CLASSIFIED BY: Michael E. Ranneberger, Ambassador, DOS, EXEC; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (C) Summary: Our highest priority efforts are focused on advancing implementation of the reform agenda, which is key to the future democratic stability and prosperity of Kenya. While some positive reform steps have been taken, the old guard associated with the culture of impunity continues to resist fundamental change. Most key reforms are yet to be carried out, and the future of the constitutional review process is uncertain. We are employing public and private pressure, engaging broadly with the senior-most levels of the government and other political actors, and reaching out extensively to the Kenyan people, youth, civil society, the media, the private sector, and religious groups. We also laying out incentives for positive action on reforms and supporting significant steps when they are taken. Continued intensive U.S. efforts - using our unique influence in Kenya - is essential to propel implementation of the reform agenda. U.S. efforts are viewed very favorably by the Kenyan people and are helping generate increased domestic-driven pressure for reforms. This message discusses the current state of play, the dynamics affecting the reform agenda, and U.S. policy and actions. End summary.

2. (C) Advancing implementation of the reform agenda is the central objective of U.S. policy in Kenya. Achieving this is key to ensure the future democratic stability and prosperity of Kenya, a strategically important partner of the United States. Failure to implement significant reforms will greatly enhance prospects for a violent crisis in 2012 or before - which might well prove much worse than the last post-election crisis. Bringing about implementation of the reform agenda poses a large challenge because doing so threatens the culture of impunity and the entrenched political class that has existed in Kenya since independence. Most of the political and economic elite (to greater and lesser extents) compose the vested interests that benefit from and support impunity and the lack of accountability with respect to governance, state resources, and the rule of law. This includes President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga, who signed the coalition agreement, as well as most of the members of the Cabinet and leaders of the political parties.

The report then goes on to talk of the whole Wako scandal, "kwe kwe" death squads, the joke that is Police reform and their heavy lobbying in kenyan politics

This was in between the leak on Moi's alledged corruption leak in 2007, An American Cable from Shell 's VP reporting of Shell's complete domination of the Nigerian government to the US Government and a report on the complete mutual understanding between the Ugandan dictatorship and USA Intelligence with regard to war crimes.

This report even seems to imply that the US is willing to help museveni with "problems" in his cabinet


WikiRebels: The Documentary | WikiLeaks & Julian Assange

Skip to 7:50 on the video to hear about the initial corruption leak on Moi.

C'etait Rendezvous

C'├ętait un Rendezvous ("It was a date") is a short film (under 10 minutes) made in 1976 by Claude Lelouch, showing a high speed drive through Paris.