The truth about my life

Wed, 14 May 2008

Daha önce İngiliz hükümetinin aldığı Dumansız İngiltere kararı ve bununla ilgili yasayı aktarmıştım. Bildiğiniz gibi artık Türkiye'de de kapalı alanlarda sigara içmek yasak. LKD seminerleri sayesinde Türkiye'deki üniversitelerin önemli bir bölümünü ve bazı liseleri dolaşma fırsatım oldu; içim acıyarak gördüm ki özellikle üniversite kampüslerinde sigara tüketimi akıl almaz boyutlarda. Metnin hazırlanmasından yasanın mecliste kabulüne kadar emeği geçen herkese çok teşekkür ediyorum. Yasanın yürürlüğe gireceği tarihin de sembolik önemi var, 19 Mayıs'dan itibaren en az bir duvarı olan ve üstü kapalı, kamuya açık herhangi bir yerde sigara içilemeyecek.

Daha sağlıklı bir topluma sahip olmanın benim görebildiğim en önemli yan etkisi sosyal güvenlik maliyetlerinin orta ve uzun vadede azalacak olması; bu sayede daha sürdürülebilir bir sosyal güvenlik sistemine erişilmesi.

Dumansız günler dilerim.

Fri, 09 May 2008

Mankind invested a lot in Internal Combustion Engines, possibly more so than they deserve. Watch this:

  • They're inefficient. Even when turbocharged, an average ICE will achieve about 25% efficiency when converting fuel to kinetic energy.
  • They're noisy. Fuel burns, potential energy of the fuel is converted to kinetic energy but you can only utilize 25% at best. So where does the rest of the energy go? Simple, some of it becomes noise.
  • They heat up. Well, some more of the wasted energy is also released as heat.
  • They pollute. In many different ways. An ICE can't possibly burn all of the fuel, that would require enormous amounts of oxygen and air, so they only burn it partially. A good wealth of fuel pass out (either intact or as a result of many chemical reactions) from the exhaust, even when turbocharged. Released waste is hazardous to plants, animals and man.
  • There's more crap. An ICE requires quite a bit more of complicated machinery to be useful on small cars: The Transmission System. Quite a lot of the kinetic energy generated by the engine after burning fuel is once again lost somewhere in this machinery.
  • They are heavy. ICE and the machinery it comes attached with has to be made of strong and heavy metal like steel to survive the load. Lets face it: a 4-people car, 100kg for each person and 50kg for the luggage makes 450kg. But an average car weight today is about 1200kg. This is, in my humble opinion, ridiculous at best.
  • They are dangerous, because you carry very flammable fuel with you. Well, diesels are slightly less dangerous, I must admit.
  • Initial, operational and maintenance costs are incredible. These giant waste-generating monsters require that several parts changed with new ones frequently.

So it looks like mankind found another way of screwing each other and himself, not long ago. Boy, compare that to the old way now. Harnessed horses are efficient, relatively fast, comfortable, quiet and environment friendly. Even the waste is utilized somewhere in agriculture industry.

Yes, I drove the car this morning to come to work. And yes again, it has an internal combustion engine and a total weight of about 1200kg.

Soon I will write about the realistic alternatives.

Tue, 06 May 2008

That's what I have become. Speaking of energy efficiency and cars I'd like to post my personal quick-and-dirty efficiency-focused market review about cars due to popular demand.

We own a 2007 Renault Megane II 1.5 DCI Expression 80hp. We did some 20000 kilometers in the last 6 months and I've collected some statistics about efficiency. I'm not really happy to drive an internal combustion engine but this ~1200kg device proved to be somewhat efficient:

More than 1250 kilometers per 60-litres-tank (and still going, will probably do about 1300) is not so bad if you're patient enough to cruise around 100km/h. More than half of this was done on city traffic, which means the engine consumes 4.3lt/100kms and according to Renault its CO2 emission is something like 117g/km and 91% of the mass can be recycled. Interior quality is not so good compared to a BMW, but it has relatively good price/performance ratio.

Small Common-rail Diesel engines are relatively efficient, but Renault-Nissan is after something better: Project Better Place. Apparently Renault will supply 100% electric cars and help build the infrastructure in Israel and Denmark to support usage of electric cars. The project is supported by the government in a usual way: reduced taxes.

If you're interested in hybrids, which I'm not really into: there's Honda Civic Sedan Hybrid. And for god's sake, please, no SUVs.

We use public transport when possible, I'll buy a bike for the summer, and we just walk when time permits. Safe and healthy, highly recommended. Human body is 9th Symphony of the nature, the most efficient food-to-you-know-what converter ever.

Enjoy.

Mon, 05 May 2008

Az önce Microsoft Türkiye Genel Müdürü Çağlayan Arkan'ın web günlüğündeki haberi gördüm, kısmen aktarıyorum:

Microsoft İnovasyon Merkezi Kuruluyor...

Beni son derece heyecanlandıran, hem bilişim sektörü, hem de Türkiye için çok güzel bir yatırım haberini burada sizlerle paylaşmak istiyorum. Microsoft Türkiye olarak, iş ortaklarımızı ve üniversiteleri de yanımıza alarak Ankara’da Microsoft İnovasyon Merkezi’ni kurma kararı aldık. Amacımız iş ortaklarımız ve üniversitelerle birlikte ortak bir çatı altında teknoloji geliştirmeye uygun bir ortam sağlamak. Kısaca, Ankara'da bir ar-ge yatırımı yapıyoruz. Uygulamalı Araştırma, Uygulama Geliştirme, Test bu merkezdeki 3 ana faaliyet alanımız olacak.

buna göre 28 Şubat'da mecliste kabul edilerek 13 Mart'da yürürlüğe giren Araştırma ve Geliştirme Faaliyetlerinin Desteklenmesi Hakkında Kanun ile sağlanan vergi avantajlarından Microsoft da faydalanabilir hale mi gelecek acaba? Asıl amaç Türkiye'de araştırma ve geliştirme yapmak yerine devlete ödenen vergiyi azaltarak kârı artırmak mıdır? Bunları gerçekten merak ediyorum.

Yasanın içeriğine bakınca, Ulaştırma Bakanı Binali Yıldırım'ın Nortel Netaş'da bu yasayı tanıtmak üzere yaptığı konuşmada kendisinin de belirttiği üzere, amaç yerli ve münferit girişimi desteklemek değil yabancı yatırımcıların (muhtemelen yasa tarafından AR-GE zannedilen, ama aslında tam olarak AR-GE olmayan) faaliyetlerini Türkiye'ye kaydırarak maliyetlerini azaltmalarını sağlamak. Memleketi bir başka yoldan daha satıyoruz, üstelik oldukça ucuza.

Fri, 02 May 2008

It's a big shame that one has to dig deep through the Business category in their site to find out such big news. Obviously making it a headline hurts interests of some big fat guys, so they're carefully hidden apparently. Straight from the BBC Business:

The Bolivian government has continued its nationalisation of key industries by taking controlling stakes in oil, gas and telecoms companies.

President Evo Morales wants to increase the revenue his country receives from its industries. Parts of Bolivia's energy industry was privatised in the 1990s, with foreign companies taking 50% stakes. In an announcement on the 1 May workers' holiday, President Morales said: "Basic services - call them energy, water or communications - cannot be in the hands of private business," he said. "They are public services."

I feel the hope. There are good people in the world, doing good things for the people.

Compare that to what we have been doing, back in 2001 when the late Bulent Ecevit was the Prime Minister, again straight from BBC Business:

Turkish shares fell almost 15% on Monday.

Investors feared that a political row between the Turkish president and Prime Minister would block $7.7bn of emergency aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF has agreed to release the money on the condition that Turkey speeds up the privatisation of its energy and telecoms sectors, and reforms its banking sector.

"We will take every possible measure to avoid an economic crisis", said Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

It's real, it's not a nightmare. And it's getting worse.

About me

I'm Enver ALTIN. I'm from the other side of the river.

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