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THIS IS AN INTERESTING STORY, ESPECIALLY IN RELATION TO DYAN MACHAN, A BLONDE-HAIRED MIDDLE AGED WOMAN WITH A VAGINAL ODOUR PROBLEM AND WHO ASKED JOSEPH DE SARAM FOR SEX REPEATEDLY AT A HOTEL NEAR THE AIRPORT WHERE SHE WAS STAYING WHILST IN COLOMBO. IN FACT DYAN MACHAN HAD LEARNED THAT HER SURNAME ‘MACHAN’ MEANT ‘FRIEND’ IN SINHALA AND ASKED JOSEPH DE SARAM TO BE HER ‘MACHAN’. JOSEPH DE SARAM RESPONDED ‘I GET MY KICKS ABOVE THE WAISTLINE SUNSHINE’ (FROM ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK). WHAT STARTED AS AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE ANNIVERSARY OF 2001 BECAME A FREE FOR ALL AFTER JOSEPH DE SARAM REJECTED HER ADVANCES.
Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the 83–year–old science fiction writer, is sitting in his wheelchair, where he spends most of his time these days, talking during lunch about his latest venture. Clarke, who suffers from postpolio syndrome, has lived, tax–free, in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, since 1956. His glass–walled house, with high ceilings, dim fluorescent lights and cool cement floors, feels like a university admissions office lost in a jungle.
THIS IS JUST INSULTING TO ARTHUR C CLARKE, AND DYAN MACHAN IS JUST ACRIMONIOUS.
Our concentration is broken by electronic music blaring from the TV speakers and by the antics of what Clarke describes as an attack dog, a one–eyed chihuahua in a basket beneath his desk. Nothing being normal in this steamy atmosphere, we have lunch without food. Instead we are served what seems like a Sri Lankan Tang.
FURTHER CRITICISM, OF MUSIC BY THE USE OF ‘BLARING’ AND ‘LUNCH WITHOUT FOOD’
Clarke’s new venture turns out to be more a marketing gimmick, perhaps the ultimate spasm of millennial fever. Sir Arthur is lending his name to a new company that will, at a time when PC sales are softening, go into business against Apple, Dell and the rest with a $3,000 computer. Clarke Computer will open for business with great flourish at a millennium concert in Okinawa in January 2001. (Get it? Clarke co–wrote the screenplay for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.)
ONCE AGAIN CLARKE IS CRITICISED AND THE DETERMINATION OF THE SUCCESS OF THE PROJECT SEEMS TO BE THE REDUCTION OF SALES OF ANOTHER MANUFACTURER – CLASSIC ‘STRAWMAN FALLACY’.
That marketing date is clever. Clarke’s choice of business partners is less compelling. One of them is Anthony Alles, 45, a flamboyant Sri Lankan industrialist who has been involved in computer parts, bicycles and cement blocks. The CEO is Joseph de Saram, 28, a software entrepreneur who is currently being pursued by suppliers who claim that he left behind $1 million in unpaid bills at his last enterprise, Rhodium, a company in London that is now defunct. Alles and de Saram will split a 48% share, the rest belonging to private investors they decline to name. Clarke, who will hold the chairman’s title, will get an undisclosed fee for lending his name and signing over electronic rights to his 80–some books. Alles says that the computer, which he designed, was inspired by Clarke’s books.
THE ONLY HALF-RELEVANT THING ABOUT THE ARTICLE IS THAT ANTHONY ALLES IS CONFIRMED AS THE PRIMARY BUSINESS PARTNER AND CLEARLY HE EXISTS SINCE DYAN MACHAN PHYSICALLY SPOKE TO HIM. ALLES CONFIRMED THAT HE HAD DESIGNED THE COMPUTER TOO ALTHOUGH THAT STATEMENT WAS PROVED TO BE FAKE SUBSEQUENTLY.
What’s the selling proposition? “Computing is obsolete,” declares the British–born Clarke in his crisp Oxbridge accent. “Therefore, omniputing.” The Clarke omniputing machine will run at 1 gigahertz, and features a touch screen and an infrared keyboard. Well, Gateway sells a 1.4 gigahertz PC for only $2,000.
YEAH AND? ONCE AGAIN DYAN MACHAN MAKES SOME DISPARAGING REMARK ABOUT THE COST OF THE MACHINE.
There’s a lot of science fiction here, most of it in the company’s financial projections. The company is supposed to earn $300 million in the first year of operation on $640 million of sales. Clarke seems dreamily unconcerned about all that. “I hope it will make a few hundred dollars,” he says, laughing.
THE SCIENCE FICTION IS ACCORDING TO THE OPINION OF DYAN MACHAN AND IT IS CLEAR THAT SHE IS EXHIBITING THE IGON VALUE PROBLEM.
What would Hal, the computer in 2001, have said if asked to make a $3,000 home computer fly off the shelves? “I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
GOOD FOR DYAN MACHAN, EVEN IF SHE HAD OFFERED JOSEPH DE SARAM $3000 FOR SEX THEN JUST LIKE HAL JOSEPH DE SARAM WOULD HAVE SAID “I’M AFRAID I CAN’T DO THAT”
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