Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mercer Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2009

Mercer’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey covers 143 cities across 6 continents and measures against New York on the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

The resulting Cost of Living Information Report (non-free) is considered as the world's most comprehensive survey of its kind and is intended to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees.

The report includes comprehensive information such as city-to-city index comparison, expatriate accommodation costs, education costs, business travel expenses, actual price list, and the list of stores and sources.

Based on the latest report dated March 2009, Tokyo is the most expensive city to live in, while Johannesburg is the cheapest. It is observed that cities in the US, China, Japan and the Middle East have surged in the ranking.

The top 20 expensive cities ranked in 2009 are:

  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Osaka, Japan
  • Moscow, Russia
  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Zurich, Switzerland
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • New York, US
  • Beijing, China
  • Singapore, Singapore
  • Milan, Italy
  • Shanghai, China
  • Paris, France
  • Oslo, Norway
  • Caracas, Venezuela
  • London, UK
  • Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Rome, Italy
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • Dubai, UAE

Click here for the top 50 cities ranking in the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2009.

You might also be interested to read about:

UBS Price and Earnings Report 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Understanding the thinking of Gen-X and Gen-Y in your organization

Today's workforce is mainly formed by the following 3 generations of workers:

  • Baby boomers: typically refers to those born between 1946 to 1964, after World War II and before the age of Internet.
  • Gen-X: typically refers to those born between 1965 and 1977.
  • Gen-Y: also known as the millennials, typically refers to those born between 1978 and 1997, who have been brought up by technology.
The Malaysian Human Resource Advisory team of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has done a survey among the Gen-Y employees of today. The result of their survey is an interesting study of a group of employees which is both vastly different from their managers, and which brings unique skills and perspectives to the table.

PwC found out that the Gen-Y forms approximately 62% of our workforce today, so it is important for managers and business owners to plug into their frame of mind and understand their thinking.

Click here to download the full 40-pages report on "Malaysia’s Gen Y unplugged - A 2009 PricewaterhouseCoopers survey on millennials at work".

Friday, July 3, 2009

New generation web servers - lighttpd, nginx, Cherokee

New generation web servers have evolved recently, and gradually taken up the market share from Apache and IIS, which still dominate the web server market nowadays.

Of course, there are always many brands of web server made available to the market, but so far they haven't managed to make some major impact to the market share of Apache and IIS, until the emergence of these new generation web servers - lighttpd, nginx and Cherokee.

These 3 web servers have some common similarities which form the key factors for their successful breakthrough in the web server market.

  • They are all in the open source world. lighttpd and nginx are distributed under BSD license while Cherokee is distributed under GPL Version 2 license.
  • They are all developed in C Language and designed for Linux/FreeBSD/Unix platform. They can also run in Windows (although it is really a bad idea to use Windows as Windows OS itself is a major source of performance issue for multiuser network server applications) by riding on Cygwin. With some minor porting, Cherokee can run in Windows by itself without any Cygwin component.
  • They are all designed to be lightweight, which consume as little CPU and memory resource as possible. This make them a good choice for virtualized server environment and also for use in embeded systems.
  • They are all designed with high performance to be able to handle large amount of traffic with fast respond time. They make good use of the Linux kernel’s fast, state-of-art interfaces to accelerate request handling. Benchmarking tests show that they can easily perform twice faster than Apache and many times faster than IIS.
  • They are all modular, which is highly configurable for required features and options based on actual need.
  • They can all work with PHP and MySQL, which is the current major trend for web applications.
  • They all support virtual hosting, which is a basic feature that must exist in any web server application nowadays.
  • They all support modern features such as load balancing, video streaming, etc.
Among the 3 of them, lighttpd (a.k.a. Lighty) first came into attention a few years back, and is now in used by popular websites such as YouTube, SourceForge, Meebo, Wikimedia, Flickr, Imageshack, Sendspace, The Pirate Bay, Mininova, etc.

Now, lighttpd is overtaken by nginx (pronounced as Engine-X) to become the current favourite, which powers popular websites such as Rambler,, Yellow Pages, Hulu, Zimbra, etc.

Cherokee came into picture around 2006, and has quickly gained popularity with massive development and extensive features. One thing to make it stand out from the rest is a very user friendly web-based administration interface called cherokee-admin. Following its development trend, it has the potential to overtake the rest and become the most preferred web server of choice.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.