Thursday, July 31, 2008

world's most expensive food

1. Gold

If you thought an expensive commodity like gold is in vogue only for its use in jewellery and investment purposes, think again. It is also the most expensive food in the world!
According to a list of the world's priciest foods, compiled by Fortune Small Business, a group magazine of business publication Fortune, edible gold leaf is the most expensive, at a price tag of a stunning $15,000 per pound. According to Fortune Small Business, a part of global media conglomerate CNN-Time Warner group, gold is a mineral that is safe to eat, although it is not an essential part of the human diet. On edible gold leaf, the report quoting a store owner said, "Bakers and bartenders use the precious metal to make dazzling treats for holidays and other special occasions. . . For elaborate parties, people add gold sprinkles to glasses of champagne or signature martinis."
2. Truffles
Edible gold leaf is followed by white truffles as the second costliest food with a price tag of $6,000 and above, per pound. A truffle is a valuable fruit of a group subterranean ascomycete fungi of the genus tuber. Once considered an aphrodisiac by the ancient Greeks and Romans, the high price of truffles is 'due to their unpredictable growth habits.'
The report further added, ". . . no one has been able to domesticate them, relying instead on trained dogs and pigs to sniff them out. . . . Truffle hunters, known as truffeculteurs, work alone; their proven locations are closely guarded secrets."
"White winter truffles, also called Alba truffles after their region of origin, are the priciest, commanding $6,000 to $10,000 per pound (prices vary year-to-year based on availability and quality)," the magazine noted.
3. Caviar
Caviar is the third most expensive food at $1,550 and above, per pound. Caviar or the salted fish roe is 'synonymous with luxury.' Beluga caviar is considered to be the best and is priced at around $4,000 a pound.
The highest prices paid are for the Beluga, Ossetra, and Sevruga varieties. The Caspian Sea is considered the source of the finest caviar in the world.
4. Saffron
India has a place in the world's most expensive food list. Saffron, the most expensive spice which comes mainly from India, is named as the fourth priciest food in the world. It's a spice from the flower of the saffron crocus.
Saffron has a bitter taste and a hay-like fragrance. It also has medicinal properties. Saffron is also grown in Spain, Iran and Greece. It takes about an acre of land and "hundreds of thousands of flowers to produce one pound of saffron threads." It is priced at $1,500 per pound.
5. Kobe beef
At $150 per pound, Kobe beef is the fifth most expensive food in the world. Kobe beef is made from the black Tajima-ushi breed of Wagyu cattle, raised according to strict tradition in Japan. Kobe beef is known for its flavour and tenderness.

6. Civet
Civet coffee is the sixth most expensive food. Rare and exclusive, Sumatran civet cats eat the finest beans at the Sumatran coffee plantations. The beans are collected from the cats' droppings by the natives.
Also known as Kopi Luwak, it is considered to be the world's finest coffee. It has a delicate flavour as it has been partially fermented by passing through the digestive system of the Civet. About 500 kg this coffee is made each year. It is priced at $110 per pound.
7. Vanilla
Vanilla, most commonly used in ice-creams, is the world's 7th most expensive food. Madagascar and Indonesia are the largest producers. Vanilla is expensive as its cultivation requires extensive labour.
Vanilla, the magazine says is second only to saffron in terms of the priciest spices. Vanilla is used in both commercial and domestic purposes including baking, perfumes and aroma therapy. The price per gallon of vanilla extract starts from $260.
8. Foie
Foie gras, the 8th most expensive food, is a non-vegetarian delicacy. A duck or goose liver is fattened by force-feeding. Animal rights activists strongly protest against this practice, as geese and ducks are force-fed corn through feeding tubes. The food is considered to be rich, buttery, and delicate.
The French are the biggest connoisseurs of this delicacy. In France, it is a traditional dish for festive occasions, particularly around Christmas and the New Year. Its price starts at $50 per pound.

9. Tigerfish
The ninth most expensive food, the tigerfish, is quite popular in China. In 2007, a restaurant in China bought a rare giant golden tigerfish for $75,000, believing the fish to be an omen of good luck! The fish is priced at $714 per pound.

UN goes green cuts on air-conditioning

The culture of stiff collar and smart suits in summer might be over at the United Nations as it ratchets up thermostat on weeks days and completely shuts down the air-conditioning during weekends to help reduce greenhouse gas emission and save $1 million.
Unveiling the 'Cool UN' initiative, the world body advised diplomats, staff and journalist to wear lighter clothes as the air conditioning temperature would be raised from 22 to 25 degrees centigrade from August 1. The UN could save $1 million annually if the experiment is successful.

No air-conditioning in UN on weekends
If the one month trial is successful, the United Nations intends to reduce the heating temperature also which would make the headquarters comparatively cooler in winter. Asked for their comment, diplomats demurred but said they would accept the higher temperature. "We have succeeded in moving climate change to the top of the international agenda for action, and this means that the UN must take action itself," said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The one-month-long trial during August is expected to cut the UN's carbon dioxide emissions by 300 tons, a 10 per cent reduction in energy consumption for the air conditioning systems. This will also result in savings of more than $100,000 by cutting back on the use of steam by over 4,000 million pounds. The headquarters system uses steam provided by local energy company for both air-conditioning in summer and heating in winter.
As part of 'Cool UN,' the Secretary-General is encouraging both personnel and delegates to dress less formally, including by having men leave their ties off.
"Let us have some fun while at the same time we make a contribution to reducing global emissions," Ban said.
Officials said Ban too would wear lighter clothes to give a lead to his staff . "We estimate that the monthly winter reduction would be somewhat larger than the monthly summer reduction," Michael Adlerstein, executive director of the capital master plan, told reporters. He said that the initiative 'Cool UN' will only go into effect in New York, given that climate conditions vary from duty station to duty station, according to Janos Pasztor, Director of Ban's Climate Change Support Team.
The UN's Nairobi offices are not air-conditioned, while Geneva's offices are cooled for only a few days out of the year, he said.
Pasztor said that negotiations to conclude a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol must continue, "but we also need to reflect on our lifestyles and the way we live and the way we work."

work up a sweat to 'praise the Lord'

Fires were burning in the abdominal muscles of a dozen women as they slowly raised and lowered their legs and praised the Lord in a church hall near Washington, while an uplifting gospel recording sang of how awesome God is. "We almost done, y'all praise God,"gospel aerobics instructor Melanie Kelly shouted over the music to the group of African-American women as they struggled to control the trembling legs they were lowering to the floor for the umpteenth time. Gospel aerobics blends spirituality and sport, adulation and adductors, praise and press-ups. It takes an arduous workout out of the gym and lifts it to a higher plane. "Gospel aerobics is where we come together and exercise to present our bodies as temples to God,"said Dawn Harvey, pastor at the church and founder of Embrace your Greatness, which aims to empower women. "Our bodies house the Holy Spirit, so we want to take very good care of our temples so we can live long, prosperous and healthy lives,"she said, citing from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. Kelly has been leading the weekly gospel aerobics class in the carpeted meeting room with deep maroon walls at the Dawn Harvey Ministries church just outside Washington since April, when she said she acted on a vision she had been sent from on high. After a 10-minute warm-up, Kelly and her charges moved on to arm exercises as a CD-player in the corner belted out the lyrics: "Ever since the day you claimed me, I've never been the same." "Grab yourself back from the devil,"Kelly exhorted the women as they snatched at the air with outstretched hands and moved from side to side. "Lift him up, higher, higher,"the lithe instructor bellowed, as the music shifted to "My God is an awesome God"and the class began doing press-ups. Flagging bi- and triceps were buoyed by words of encouragement from others and by the music. "When we push ourselves, having music that actually fulfills the spirit and doesn't just move the body, helps,"said Harvey, who has dropped a dress size since she started taking the hour-long class. "No harm will come to these vessels... no pain... we ask you to remove it in the name of Jesus,"Kelly said, drawing approving 'Amens' from the sweaty class. And unlike the local gym, which one of the women described as a "meat market"where scantily clad men ogle just as scantily clad women, gospel aerobics classes are held in an environment where the only one watching is the instructor - and, of course, God

nasa's Moon experience on Earth

Two Nasa astronauts in spacesuits drove their lunar truck up a steep sand dune in a barren, wind-swept landscape so forbidding it was reminiscent of the surface of the Moon.
Space agency officials certainly think so. Nasa scientists and contractors recently spent two weeks here field-testing some of the vehicles and robots that will be used when humans return to the Moon later this century.
"Believe it or not, this place has a lot in common with the Moon,"Robert Ambrose, deputy division chief for Nasa, said of the unusual sand dunes in central Washington.
The key element is the soft, powdery soil that is mixed with volcanic ash and similar to lunar dust, he said. The soil forms high, slippery dunes similar to the lunar hills the vehicles will have to climb.
"Mainly we've got slopes, soft soils and wide open spaces,"Ambrose said. "That's what we needed to test our machines." The big drawback? Moses Lake has normal gravity, while the Moon has about one-sixth of Earth's gravity, he said.
Moses Lake is a town of about 17,000 located 275 kilometres east of Seattle along Interstate 90 in the arid Columbia Basin. Many french fries served at restaurants nationwide are grown and processed here, but Moses Lake is otherwise a synonym in much of Washington for the middle of nowhere.
Nasa is no stranger here, said Bill Bluethmann of the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The giant runways at a closed B-52 base serve as an emergency alternative landing site for the space shuttle. And Moses Lake was considered as a home for the planned X-33 spaceplane that was supposed to replace the space shuttle, but Nasa canceled that program, he said.
The space agency has been tasked to return to the Moon by 2020, and the tests in Moses Lake brought together numerous prototypes from laboratories nationwide to see how they worked in the field and how they worked together.
The tests started in late May in the Moses Lake Sand Dunes, a 3,000-acre off-road vehicle park.
Nasa intends to collect buckets of the powdery soil, much of it blown here from volcanic eruptions in the nearby Cascade Range, so astronauts who have already walked on the moon can determine how closely the soil resembles lunar dust, said Lucien Junkin, director of the lunar truck project.
The lunar truck is a 12-wheeled, gold-colored vehicle that weighs 4,500 pounds and can carry four astronauts in spacesuits. With a top speed of 10 mph and the ability to attach various implements, it is designed to perform civil engineering on the moon, Junkin said.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

0 to 100 Gift

Wife mentioned to her husband that for her birthday, she would like something that accelerates from 0 to 100 in four seconds.
She was expecting something like this…

But her husband presented her with something very different...

The husband is in a critical but stable condition in ICU!

Living on the Edge

The photos are of a tiny town by the name of castellfollit de la roca in Spain, an incredible looking stretch of houses that all seem to be resting on a single ridge of rock.

Welcome to ronda , a beautiful city in southern Spain which is split in two by el tajo gorge. As a result, certain buildings have been perched on the edge of the gorge's verticall walls, enormous cliffs bridged by the 200 year old peunte neuvo. Now, although living on the edge of that gigantic 130m crack would give me the shakes, i'd much rather live there than bonifacio…

This is bonifacio in Corsica. This fragile looking citadel sits precariously above limestone cliffs which over the years have been battered by the Mediterranean sea, a process which is apparent by both the piles of eroded stone at the base and the overhang of the cliff walls. How long before the next building gets swallowed?
No idea, but from the look of the first photo it can't be long.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How to boost your PC speed

Frustrated with slow computer speed? Hate it when your computer slows down while you access the Internet.
And you simply bang your head when your computer takes ages to search your files. You desperately wish that your PC could gain some speed. Don't worry. You can easily overcome this.

Here are some easy-to-do tips which can boost up your PC speed.
1. Clean up disk errors

Whenever a programme crashes or you experience some power outage, your PC may create some errors on hard disk. This slows down computer speed.
For this, check and clean any errors on the computer hard disk.
To run Disk Check go to My Computer. Now, right-click on the drive you want to check for errors and click Properties. In Properties dialogue box, click on the Tools tab. In the Error-Checking section, press the Check Now button. Access Check Disk to check for errors on your computer.
Depending on the errors, it may take up to an hour to check and clean. This must be followed at least once a week.
2. Automate Microsoft updates

For Windows users, Microsoft frequently release updates which may help boost up your PC speed. For this activate automate Microsoft Update so that your computer downloads and installs all the latest updates without giving you any trouble of finding any new releases.
Go to Start menu and click Control Panel. In the Automatic Updates dialog box, check the Automatic check box. If your PC finds any new updates, it will automatically download and install them. This will help you keep your computer up to date.
3. Organise your data

Often when you search files your PC takes a lot of time to track them. This is because computer breaks files into pieces to increase the speed of access and retrieval.
However, once updated, computer saves these files on the space available on the hard drive, which results in fragmented files. This makes your PC go slow because it then searches for all of the file's parts. You need a Disk Defragmenter programme to needle all your files back together.
For this, go to My Computer and right click on the drive you want to check for error and click Properties. In the Properties dialogue box, click the Tools tab, and then in the Defragmentation section, click Defragment. In the Disk Defragmenter dialog box, select the disk and then click Analyse.
After analysing your PC, the Disk Defragmenter pops up a message asking whether you need to defragment your computer or not. Once you defragement your PC, it will reorganise files by programme and size.
4. Reduce page history
Is your PC giving you trouble while accessing the Internet? Don't worry. For Internet Explorer users, Microsoft has some rescue options for faster Web browsing.
To improve your PC speed, first reduce the size of your Web page history. For this go to Internet Explorer, and on the Tools menu click on Internet Options. Then go to the History section and type in the number of days you want to keep pages in history. Preferably reduce the number of days as this will reduce the size of your Web page history.

5. Remove temporary files
Your PC stores temporary files whenever you browse through the Web. Also, your PC stores temporary files when you work on programmes like Microsoft Word or Excel.
This ends up slowing down your PC speed. To overcome it you can use the Windows Disk Cleanup screen to rid your PC of these dead files.
To run Disk Cleanup go to My Computer. Right click on the drive you wish to check for errors and click Properties. In the Properties dialogue box, click Disk Cleanup. You can also use Disk Cleanup to clear unused files from your PC. After scanning, the Disk Cleanup dialogue box lists the files you can remove from your computer.

World’s biggest search engine

Welcome to Cuil—the world’s biggest search engine.
The Internet has grown exponentially in the last fifteen years but search engines have not kept up—until now. Cuil searches more pages on the Web than anyone else—three times as many as Google and ten times as many as Microsoft.
Rather than rely on superficial popularity metrics, Cuil searches for and ranks pages based on their content and relevance. When we find a page with your keywords, we stay on that page and analyze the rest of its content, its concepts, their inter-relationships and the page’s coherency.
Then we offer you helpful choices and suggestions until you find the page you want and that you know is out there. We believe that analyzing the Web rather than our users is a more useful approach, so we don’t collect data about you and your habits, lest we are tempted to peek. With Cuil, your search history is always private.

Fishy diet

A diet rich in oily fish, which contains omega 3 fatty acids, may be why middle-aged men in Japan have fewer problems with clogged arteries than white men and men of Japanese descent in the United States, a study has found.
The research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that Japanese men living in Japan had twice the blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and lower levels of atherosclerosis compared to middle-aged white men or Japanese-American men living in the United States,
Atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaque inside the arteries. Over time, they harden and narrow the arteries and can lead to serious problems like heart attacks and stroke.
"The death rate from coronary heart disease in Japan has always been puzzlingly low," said Akira Sekikawa, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, in a statement.
"Our study suggests that the very low rates of coronary heart disease among Japanese living in Japan may be due to their lifelong high consumption of fish."
Japanese eat about 3 ounces (85 grams) of fish a day on average, while Americans eat fish perhaps twice a week. Nutritional studies show that intake of omega-3 fatty acids from fish averages 1.3 grams per day in Japan, compared to 0.2 grams per day in the United States.
Earlier studies by Sekikawa's team showed that Japanese men had significantly less cholesterol build-up in their arteries despite similar blood cholesterol and blood pressure readings, similar rates of diabetes and much higher rates of smoking.
But it was unclear whether Japanese men were protected by strong genes, a high-fish diet or some other factor.

Monday, July 28, 2008

World's 5 busiest ports

The world's largest container transshipment hub, Singapore, handles about one-fifth of the world's total container shipment. In 2007, Singapore Terminals handled 27.1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUS) of containers.
The port of Singapore operates 4 container terminals and 2 multi-purpose terminals in Singapore, and links shippers to an excellent network of 200 shipping lines with connections
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Rotterdam is Europe's largest logistic hub. The port is the gateway to a European market of 450 million consumers. More than 500 scheduled services link Rotterdam with over 1000 ports worldwide. The port has a depth of 24 metres (75 feet). The port and industrial area stretches over a length of 40 kilometres and covers 10,000 hectares. Rotterdam is also Europe's cheapest bunker port. One of the main advantages of Rotterdam is its location on the estuary of the rivers Rhine and Maas. This helps to transport goods economically to other regions in Europe.
South Louisiana
The Port of South Louisiana, which stretches 54 miles along the Mississippi River, is the largest tonnage port district in the western hemisphere. Over 4,000 vessels and 55,000 barges call at the Port of South Louisiana each year, making it the top ranked port in the US in terms of total tonnage.
The Port of Shanghai, located in the vicinity of Shanghai, comprises a deep-sea port and a river port. In 2006, with a total of 537 million tonnes of cargo transported, it became the world's busiest port by cargo tonnage for the first time. The Port of Shanghai is situated at the middle of the 18,000km-long Chinese coastline and is an important gateway for foreign trade. The Port enjoys a good geographical location, modern infrastructure and facilities.
Hong Kong
The port of Hong Kong, located by the South China Sea, is a deepwater seaport dominated containerised products' trade. The natural shelter and deep waters of Victoria Harbour provide ideal conditions for berthing and handling all types of vessels. It is one of the most busiest ports in the world, in terms of cargo handled and passengers carried.

Funny Asian Game

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why do men snore ?

Nuclear Agreement between India - USA

Nuclear Agreement between India - USA
There are lot of talks about 1 2 3 Agreement between India & USA and it almost led to the topple of Central Government. I am trying to explain the commercial & technical aspects relating to this Agreement which I have read and sharing with you.
What is 123 Agreement?
This is called 123 Agreement because this comes under USA's Atomic PowerAct Section 123.Let's see how India's (Indians?) Sovereignty & Independence are pledged...
(1) After this Agreement USA will supply all fuel, machinery / equipment& technology to India for producing Nuclear Power.
(2) All these days from about 22 Nuclear Power Plants, India isproducing power as well as Atom. It's a high security / secret that from where which is produced, how much is produced, where it issupplied, what research is being done with that, etc. to anybody. Butif we sign this Agreement, we have to disclose these secrets and alsoagree to 14 of our Nuclear Power Plants to be under the scanner of International Atomic Power Organization.
(3) The fuel utilized to produce Atomic Power can be recycled for reuseand this plant will be under direct supervision of IAPO.
If India does nuclear test, this agreement gets cancelled. But
(1) USA will take back all the machinery / equipments / technology
Supplied to India thus far.
(2) Those 14 plants will continue to be under scanner irrespective of the status of the agreement.
On the other hand, if any of the commitments given by USA is breached by them, then there is no clause for cancelling this agreement.
The agreement is apparently like this... USA can either hug India or slap India. India will not ask why are we hugged or why are we slapped. On the other hand, India cannot hug or slap USA for breach of agreement. This is only capsule so that easy to read and digest.
Subject: India Pledged.... Part 2
Requirement of Power
The most important requirement for India's Economic Growth in the coming years will be the power & infrastructure. The argument put forth favouring the 123 Agreement says that we need Nuclear Power Production to be increased to meet the demand.
Power Production in India
Presently following are the figures:
Thermal Power 66%
Hydel Power 26%
Solar & Wind Power 5% - Presently Rs.600 Crores are spent for producing this power.
Nuclear Power 3% - If this is to be increased to 6%, it requires additional Rs.50,000 Crores. Naturally it will be wise to increase other 3 modes of power production rather than the expensive & dangerous Nuclear Power. Isn't??
We used to import Uranium from various other countries. After the Pokran Test, we are not getting it. To augment the supply, we need to sign the 123 Agreement to get Uranium from USA. But we will have to declare to USA from which power plant India takes raw material for
producing Atom Bomb. Why should we disclose our internal secrets to those rascals ? Will any one allow an outsider to continuously monitor what's happening in your Hall & Kitchen of your house? Other study reveals that Uranium is available in India aplenty. Only hurdle is the
acquisition of land. To produce Atomic Power & Bomb in the next 40 years, the requirement of Uranium is 25,000 MT whereas the availability is 78,000 MT across India.
Presently 35% of Plutonium is used to produce Atomic Bombs. After signing the Agreement, we will be allowed to use only 10%. Who are those rascals to restrict the usage of our natural resource ? That is though you are capable of cooking & eating 10 idlis as your breakfast, you are
allowed only 3 idlis henceforth. How can it be? Why should we accept this?
As told by Dr.APJ, we have abundant Thorium. In fact we are the 2nd largest producer of Thorium next only to Australia. India has to explore this further for producing power. For your information, in South India - particularly around Kanyakumari, the availability of Thorium is abundant.
USA does not like the amicable relationship between India-Iran and also India-China. If India-China relationship gets stronger, then both these can rule the Eastern Part of the Globe which USA wants to break as per their divide & rule.
By signing this agreement, USA wants India to depend on it for producing power which is going to be a crucial factor in future. There is a talk of bringing Natural Gas from Iran to India with a big pipeline project. USA doesn't like this proposal.
Atomic Power Technology
Whether power is produced or Bomb is produced, using Atomic power without spoiling the infrastructure and without allowing the radiation is always under threat. Moreover preserving the wastes coming out of
Atomic Power Plants is expensive & unsafe.
There was an accident in Three Miles Island in USA. To close this plant nearly USD 200 Crores spent with tons & tons of concrete but yet to be fully closed. In an another accident at Soviet Union's Serbia Plant, even the next generation child are affected due to the radiation.
It will be very very expensive to defuse & close down an Atomic Power Plant than its construction cost.
France has got 56 Nuclear Power stations producing 73% of the country's total power requirement. They are catching up the problem of eliminating the wastes / emissions from out of those plants at the same time increase the power production capacity. Government of France is now thinking how to reduce the power consumption in the country.
In view of the above danger, rather than signing the agreement and pledging India to USA, it will be prudent to increase the Solar & Wind Energy and more importantly Hyder Power Production can be increased by linking all rivers across India and by constructing DAMS. (Ofcourse Dam
construction projects can be given to L&T's B&F Sector :-)
The whole process of this Agreement started in the year 2005 when Manmohan visited USA. In a span of just 2 years a major decision of signing this agreement has taken place with political motive. On the contrary, neither this Government nor any other earlier Central Government could not amend the Constitution thereby nationalise the rivers across the country thereby effectively utilise the water resources for both Agriculture purpose and producing Hydel Power. What an irony? Whenever someone is helping the needy, you can't expect the TERMS AND
CONDITIONS BETWEEN THE needy and the helper to be EQUAL??? BUT
(1) the helper's ulterior motive should be seen with broad eye because he is capable of digging a grave behind you and
(2) better to be self-sufficient and explore new avenues with available resources.
India is very rich in Culture, follow Religions, Value Ethics, Level of Education is Very Good.
China is also rich in Culture, follow Religion, better disciplined. USA does not have Culture, does not have Ethics, only want power over others. Particularly wants a firm footing in South Asia. Remember the introduction EURO by European Countries and it is stronger than Dollar?
So their "DAL" cannot be boiled at "EUROPE". They are trying in India as already Pakistan is in their clutches.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Amazing Cockpit

Glider being towed out over Crystal lake, Michigan

KC-135A Stratotanker aircraft preparing to refuel an F-15 Eagle aircraft

Saturday, July 19, 2008

World's biggest casino bets on Macau

MACAU — Thousands streamed into the world's biggest casino, which opened here Tuesday. It's the most daring move yet in a $24 billion bid to build a Las Vegas style "neon alley" in this once-sleazy Chinese gambling enclave.The hopes of more than a dozen hotel, casino and retail operators building on the Cotai Strip — 1.5 square miles of reclaimed land fusing two islands — are pinned on the Venetian Macao, built by U.S. operator Las Vegas Sands.
"Even if they open 10 more casinos, it's still not enough," said Charles Zhao, a resident of Zhuhai, a Chinese city close to Macau. He lined up for hours with hundreds of others, to try his luck on the new gaming tables and slot machines. "These days, you can see all the (Macau) casinos are always full."
Macau is the only place in gambling-mad China where casinos are legal. Such zeal helped gaming revenue in Macau, on the southern tip of China, overtake those of the iconic Las Vegas Strip last year.
If the Venetian succeeds, according to analyst estimates, it will help double Macau's annual gaming income to $13.7 billion by 2010.
Changing face of Macau A day before its opening, some of the casino's 16,000 employees were practicing dealing cards in the echoing halls.
The Venetian boasts 3,000 hotel suites, 1,150 gaming tables, 7,000 slot machines, 350 shops, an 1,800-seat conference center and a 15,000-seat entertainment arena.
"It's changing the face of Macau," said Adelson, the 75-year-old son of a Boston taxi driver.
The Macau government and casino operators hope the Cotai Strip will persuade gamblers, mainly from China, to stay a couple of days and spend more money. Many of the 20 million visitors who visit the former Portuguese colony each year do not book into a hotel, preferring to gamble until dawn or visit massage parlors.
The Cotai Strip has drawn investment from a raft of casino and hotel operators, including Nasdaq-listed Melco PBL Entertainment, (MPEL) MGM Mirage (MGM) and Macao Studio City — a venture involving eSun Holdings.
"The Venetian is a very important event, because it marks the beginning of the diversification process in Macau," said David Friedman, chief executive of Macao Studio City. "It may take time for the full extent of success to kick in, but there's no doubt in my mind it will be very successful."
Some analysts see the huge new supply of hotels, shops and gaming tables cutting profit margins in the short term. Daily revenue per gaming table in Macau has already dropped to around $12,000 from $22,382 in 2002, when a four-decade monopoly owned by casino mogul Stanley Ho expired and other players, including U.S. operators, were allowed in.
In a sign of concern about mounting competition, Wynn Resorts (WYNN) has toned down plans for major expansion in Macau.
The firm run by Steve Wynn, a fierce rival of Adelson, plans to open another 25,000 square-foot gaming space at its Wynn Macau casino this year instead of the planned 123,000 square feet.
In the last couple of weeks, the global credit crunch sparked by the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis has also raised questions about funding for casino operators. Bankers have said Melco PBL Entertainment will restructure a $2.75 billion loan deal because of problems with a $1.5 billion offering aimed at U.S. investors.
Gaming analyst Gavin Ho of Asia-Pacific specialist CLSA thinks the Venetian's opening will lift gaming revenue in Macau in the same way the Sands and the Wynn casinos have. But because it is remote from other casinos, and the first on Cotai, it is likely to take market share from incumbents.

i - Phone with new features

Introducing iPhone 3G. With fast 3G wireless technology, GPS mapping, support for enterprise features like Microsoft Exchange, and the new App Store, iPhone 3G puts even more features at your fingertips. And like the original iPhone, it combines three products in one — a revolutionary phone, a widescreen iPod, and a breakthrough Internet device with rich HTML email and a desktop-class web browser. iPhone 3G. It redefines what a mobile phone can do — again.

3G Speed

Surf the web and download email over fast 3G cellular networks. Learn more

App Store

Browse games and applications, then download and install them directly onto your iPhone. Learn more

Maps with GPS

Find your location, get directions, and track progress along your route. Learn more

iPhone in Enterprise

Get push email, calendar, and contacts with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync.

Is Google losing its edge?

Google Inc's share of the global Web search market dipped in February from January, even as its US share rose, Internet financial analysts said citing market research data.
Analysts view the monthly comScore search market data as an indicator on growth trends in Web search. Several recent monthly reports have sparked debate on Wall Street over whether the market is maturing, even though year-to-year growth rates remain high.
The volume of US searches done through Google dropped to 5.86 billion from 6.14 billion in February, and the worldwide volume of searches also declined, comScore said.
"We are continuing to see deceleration in growth in Web search," said Jefferies & Co analyst Youssef Squali. "Google's month-over-month 5 per cent decline is a little surprising, but all of the major Web search names were down."
The drop was partly due to February being two days shorter than January, a comScore spokesman said. However, several analysts said it may also reflect a maturing market. By contrast, searches rose 9 per cent in January over December.
Investors cull comScore's monthly search data for clues to growth trends in Google's core business of online advertising tied to such Web searches, and to watch if any rivals slow the Google juggernaut. ComScore released summary data on US search market trends, but worldwide data is only available to paid subscribers.
With search statistics becoming more unpredictable month to month, investors have begun to focus on how well Google is converting Web searches into ad viewership.