Good news from Cyta

Cyta – Cyprus Telecommunications Authority – has updated its website.   First time in years you can visit it without having 20,000 animated banners thrown in your face from the front page.  In fact, the new site looks pretty good.  And it’s easy to navigate around as well, which is not so common for sites with a lot of information.

cyta website

 

And these aren’t even all the news.  They’ve also reduced the prices of the mobile internet.  How often does that happen?  Exactly, never!

Good job, guys.

Losing Cyprus Mail trust over FXTM

Disclaimer #1: For the last few years I’ve worked in the Forex industry. I worked for a number of companies – FxPro, Traders Trust, FXCC, and, currently, Easy Forex.  I was also involved with a few others.  But I’ve always worked in the IT and web development part of those companies – never in marketing, or “anti-marketing”, sales, or any other business unit.

Disclaimer #2: A few of my friends – close and otherwise – work for FXTM.  Even though, FXTM is a new company, and it is a direct competitor of the company I work for, this rant is not so much against FXTM, who are simply looking for exposure anywhere they can find, but rather against Cyprus Mail, which is a well established mass media entity with a long history.

Disclaimer #3: Purely for legal reasons, pretty much everything in this post is my personal opinion, which might or might not coincide with my current employer.

Now, to the business.  A couple of days ago, my eye caught this article in Cyprus Mail.

FXTM will be marking a strong presence at this year’s iFXEXPO, promoting their innovative partnership programs and in particular the FXTM Introducer Programme.

The FXTM team can be found at the  expo’s Stand 16, eager to welcome visitors and explain the unique features of the company’s all-new partnership programmes.

That was my first “oh, really?”.  If you are not living in Limassol, you might not be familiar with the fact, that it is somewhat of a “Forex capital”.  There plenty of Forex companies based here. There are plenty of local offices for Forex companies based outside. Heck, there are even plenty of companies who are not directly Forex brokers, but who are based around Forex industry.

So, what’s the problem? – you ask.  I’ll tell you.  Pretty much every single one of those companies are taking part in the iFXEXPO.  This year and years before.  What is so special about FXTM taking part in it?  Absolutely nothing.  That’s just one of those companies participating in something that everybody else is participating.  Hardly any news.  But.  For one reason or another, Cyprus Mail decides to cover just this company.

What’s that?  An advertising?  I don’t mind that too much.  Try to stay away from them, or clearly mark one as such, and I don’t have any problem at all.  After all, everybody needs to make a living.

My second “oh, really?” comes from a bit of censorship.  Obviously, I wasn’t happy with such blatant advertising in a newspaper.  So, I wrote a very polite (in my humble opinion) comment, pointing out the article being a blatant advertising.  Expressed opinion, nothing more.  Guess what happened to that comment? It got deleted.  Oops.

I’ve been online for a few years now, and I completely understand that Cyprus Mail has the full right to control the content, including the comments, of their site.  But, to me personally, it looked weird.  After all, there was no hate or anything like that in the comment (again, IMHO).  And, I’ve seen Cyprus Mail keeping criticizing comments before.  It’s feedback, isn’t it?  We all have opinions, we all make mistakes, and we all disagree with each other.  The world would be a boring place if everybody agreed on every point.  But, they chose to remove it.

Fine! I’m not gonna whine and complain more about it.  It is their right to do so.  But it is also, I believe so, my right to express my opinion.  And, gladly, I have my own place where I can express it.  So, even if it’s gone from the Cyprus Mail site and Facebook comments that they are currently using, it’s still gonna be here.

So, in summary, here it goes.

  1. I think publishing the FXTM article without clearly marking it as an ad was a mistake on behalf of Cyprus Mail.
  2. I think removing a criticizing comment without any sort of notification to the author was a mistake on behalf of Cyprus Mail.
  3. We all make mistakes (we are mere humans after all).  But I believe that we are capable of learning from mistakes.  So, even when one is done, or even if someone just thinks that ones  is done, I think it is important to have this feedback, understand it, and figure out if the mistake was actually made or not, and, furthermore, figure out how to fix it.

P.S.: And this is not the only FXTM-related article in Cyprus Mail either.  Here are another two that I’ve managed to find with a quick seach – one and two.

Update (May 31, 2013): there appears to be a bit of confusion over the deleted comment.  It might be a malfunction on the side of the Cyprus Mail’s website.  Or it might be my own stupidity.  If that’s the latter, I sincerely apologize to everyone.  I can see two different URLs to the same story.  One is on Cyprus Mail Beta site, which has my comment.  And another one is on Cyprus Mail WWW site, which doesn’t.  I have no clue why both of these exist and why they are different.

Friendship of nations through notable statues

This heavily edited image found its way into my Facebook stream (sorry, don’t know who’s the author of the image):

friendship of nations

 

These are, of course, three iconic statues photoshopped together (left to right): The Motherland Calls, Christ the Redeemer, and the Statue of Liberty.  Each one has interesting stories and unique value to the nation of its people.

My interest was more in the relative sizes of one to another.  On the edited images, all three appear somewhat the same.  But is it true in real life?  Wikipedia (links above) shows that they are not.

  • The Motherland Calls was the tallest statue at the time of construction, in 1967.  It measures 87 meters from the tip of the sword to the base of the platform on which it stands.
  • The Statue of Liberty was constructed in 1886 and measures 46 meters.  It does appear much higher, because of the pedestal on which it stands.  With the one it goes as high as 93 meters.
  • Christ the Redeemer was built in 1931 and is only 30 meters tall.  Together with the pedestal it’s 38 meters high.

There is another metric that escaped the generalization – The Motherland Calls’ sword is 33 meters long.  Look at the numbers above.  It’s actually longer than the whole statue of Christ the Redeemer (without the pedestal).  Wow!  That’s a lot of scaling for the image of friendship.

While reading up on these statues, I found another image, which actually puts them together on a scale.

Height comparison of notable statues

 

Oops!  So much for the friendship of nations.  There’s a the Spring Temple Buddha, built in 2002, rising up 128 meters.  I guess nobody wants to be friends with him.  Or any of those smaller statues to the right of Jesus the Redeemer.

VaultPress Lite

VaultPress Lite

VaultPress, “the world’s best WordPress security, backup and support”, has recently introduced a Lite plan.  It’s only $5 per month and it covers most of the essentials:

  • Daily backups that happen automatically, so you can focus on creating, not logistics.
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It’s cheap enough for small, personal blogs, and it’s more than perfect for start-ups and small businesses too.  $60 per year for healthy full night sleep is nothing in my book.