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10/26/2005

Coolest Blog Entry Ever

Filed under: — 12:18 am

Oh how I love Scott Adams.

http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/2005/10/dangerous_donut.html

Subscribed!

Scott also mentions the 4th Annual Weasel Poll: “At first glance, there seems to be an imbalance of Republicans on the list. That’s because you usually have to do something to be nominated. And Democrats haven’t done much this year…”

PS: Three jobs + school = less blogging. Sorry…

10/20/2005

Google Reports Earnings: Six Fold Increase

Filed under: — 9:29 pm

Google reported third-quarter net income rose to $381.2 million, or $1.32 per diluted share, more than six times higher than the year-ago quarter’s $52.0 million, or 19 cents a share. InsideGoogle has the details but, to no one’s surprise, Google has done pretty well this quarter.

Source: InsideGoogle

Tip: PowerPoint to Black Screen

Filed under: — 1:09 pm

If only more professors (or presenters) utalized this nifty function (and by more I mean any): Pressing ‘B’ while in a PowerPoint presentation will make the screen go blank (black) and pressing it again will restore it back to where you were. This is perfect for bringing people’s attention back to you! I often find myself just gazing and re-reading whatever is put in front of me. I don’t retain it… I don’t listen to what’s being said… it’s lose-lose (and I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this).

Source: Lifehacker via Travis Hudson

10/19/2005

Lesson from Run DMC

Filed under: — 6:09 pm

I had no idea he was so profound:

I’m reminded of a fundamental rule of the ways thing work in this world. If you work hard in life, you’ll be rewarded. If you take shortcuts, you get cut short. Your reward may be financial or it may be spiritual but it will most definitely be in direct proportion to the effort you make in life.

The Future of Golf

Filed under: — 5:23 pm

To the left, “a practice golf putter currently being commercialized by Infics Inc. of South Korea. A small attachment with an LCD screen is fitted to the putter. It accurately measures the trajectory and speed of the swing, as well as impact data. The golfer is then able to view this information on a color LCD screen fitted to the non-contact side of the putter”. It’s certainly a way to impress your friends but doubtfully going to do anything for your swing!

Source: Ceatec via Engadget

10/18/2005

Web-Based Applications Are A Bad Idea

Filed under: — 10:44 pm

“We’ve all heard the hype about how Sun and Google may someday, somehow, produce a version of StarOffice or OpenOffice.org that you’ll access online through your browser instead of installing an office suite on your hard drive.” But apparently this is a bad idea for three reasons: “until our Internet connections become a lot more reliable than they are now, I expect we will all go on using local applications instead of Net-based ones…” says Robin Miller of NewsForge. Robin says there are three reasons as to why the web-based applications are a bad idea. I’ll just save you time and tell you that somehow Robin turned one reason turned into three: no internet access, no vital applications.

Point taken but I can’t really think of a time when I don’t have internet access and if I don’t have internet access I rarely have a reason to be doing anything! If it’s school-work I typically need the internet to reaseach or download instructions, etc. If it’s anything work-related… well, I do that at work and again, a lot of that stuff is heavily dependant on the internet already… heck, if were to loose email there’s not much else I would be able to accomplish. I don’t just sit around typing up documents all day.

I think if we depend so heavily on the internet already it’s not like another application or two are going to make much of a difference. In fact, it’ll make the ISP’s accountable for so much more they’ll be forced to deliver a higher quality service…

…right?

Source: NewsForge via Memeorandum

Gates Encourages Computer Science Majors

Filed under: — 11:34 am

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates hit the road last week to urge college students to pursue degrees in computer science. The three-day, six-college tour was the second such pilgrimage made by Gates in two years to emphasize the potential of technology careers and to dispel concerns about outsourcing. He said that in the new few years he (Microsoft) will need a lot more software engineers. Coming from a guy who didn’t finish college? Coming from a guy who started his own company? He may be right, college advisors and the BLS agree, but the article makes a good point: is he the most appropriate messenger?

Source: Yahoo News

Toyota Recalls 1.27 Million Vehicles

Filed under: — 11:26 am

Toyota Motor is recalling about 1.27 million cars in Japan, the largest single recall of vehicles in Japan, in order to repair defective headlight switches, a government official said Tuesday. The recall affects 17 different models but shouldn’t affect Toyota’s bottom line: “The part to be replaced, the headlight switch, is not that expensive,” the spokesman said. “So we don’t expect any major impact on our earnings.”

Source: USAToday

Customer Service Hardly Consistent

Filed under: — 11:22 am

It really irritates me when I call a company and they ask me something different every time. For example, the other day I called Adobe to get an activation code for a product (it was an upgrade, I had to verify it). The first time I was asked for the serial number of the upgrade and then I realized I didn’t have the serial for the product being upgraded. I found it and came back later. This time when I called they asked for all the registration information for the product. I had to verify the street address and everything… and then I was transferred? Once transferred I was asked for the customer ID which pulled up everything. This time I didn’t even need to really tell them anything (except the fact that, yes, I had a good weekend, thanks!). I was quickly given my code and sent on my way.

…but I talked to three people to accomplish this.

…each one beginning the conversation with different questions.

I’ve run into this problem at T-Mobile, Comcast, you name it. Why are these supposed “scripts” so inconsistent? One time at Comcast I only need to provide an account number, the second time I need to verify the account with the last four of my roommate’s SSN (name on the bill). What a pain!

10/15/2005

Privitization of Public Universities?

Filed under: — 11:41 am

“Taxpayer support for public universities, measured per student, has plunged more precipitously since 2001 than at any time in two decades, and several university presidents are calling the decline a de facto privatization of the institutions that played a crucial role in the creation of the American middle class.”

With more and more private donors some universities may see adgendas that may or may not align with the public’s. Some people fear privitization, others are trying to dispell those beliefs. “Let’s just say that these cycles happen, and get back to work to restore the funding” says Paul E. Lingenfelter, president of State Higher Education Executive Officers. Patrick M. Callan, president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education also says that “The air is filled with this rhetoric about privatization, but the evidence doesn’t support it”. There other issues, though:

Across the nation, educators said, public anger is rising not only about tuition but about the increasing numbers of faculty members who focus on research rather than on teaching undergraduates, and about the time that university presidents spend hobnobbing with billionaires. University administrators say all three phenomena are related to the transformation of revenues.

With pressure from the east it seems like the perfect time to do something crazy like improve our education system. But, as always, it’s all about money:

“The higher education budget serves as the default place to make the cut,” says Stanley O. Ikenberry, a president emeritus of the University of Illinois.

Source: NY Times

Apple Names New COO

Filed under: — 9:51 am

Apple Computer Inc. on Friday named Tim Cook chief operating officer, and said that iPod division head Jon Rubinstein would retire. Tim Cook was head of worldwide sales and “had been effectively doing the job of COO for two years”. Apple also said that this move is not about Steve Jobs “pulling back, this is about recognizing Tim for the job he is doing”.

For those who don’t know, Cook took over for a short period last year while Steve Jobs went through surgery.

Source: CNN Money

Social Security Increase For Next Year

Filed under: — 9:44 am

The Social Security Administration announced Friday that their cost of living adjustment, or COLA, for more than 50 million beneficiaries would increase 4.1% in January. The average Social Security check will increase from $963 to $1,002. Of course, this is driven by the CPI increase (aka inflation); more specifically: energy prices. The average recipient will see a $39 increase in their monthly check.

Source: USAToday

CPI Illustrates Plenty of Inflation

Filed under: — 9:41 am

“So let me make sure I understand this: U.S. consumer prices rose at the fastest pace in 25 years, and that is somehow a positive for the economy and/or the markets?” Barry Ritholtz points out that despite what the BLS says, there certainly is inflation. He takes a lookat the core commodities price increase, core services, increase and decrease in worker earnings related to inflation. Put simply: “So the only place where there is no inflation is in the pocketbooks of the consumer, whom I must remind you accounts for 70% of the economy”.

Barry is a must-read.

Source: The Big Picture

10/14/2005

More AOL Rumors: Yahoo to Buy a Stake

Filed under: — 4:07 pm

Yahoo Inc. is considering buying a stake in America Online Inc., joining other Internet powerhouses interested in the company’s Web portal, a person close to the talks said Friday. They say the talks are not as “advanced” as Google, Comcast, and Microsoft’s… whatever that means. In any case, why on earth is this media company now so popular? What changed in the last month? They’ve always had a huge userbase! It must be Web.20 fever…

The WSJ says, though, that a partnership between AOL and Yahoo would face antitrust issues. Basically combining the two largest web audiences is somewhat unfair.

Source: Forbes, WSJ

US-China Textile Deal Fails to Build Relationship

Filed under: — 1:37 pm

In business, as life, it can be said that the most important skills to have are people skills. Here’s a textbook example of how U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman fails to understand that. Reuters reports that “U.S. and Chinese negotiators failed to reach an agreement in a fourth round of talks on Wednesday and Thursday in Beijing”. After those talks Portman has this to say:

“We had a very generous proposal for the Chinese but it was not generous enough for them,” Portman told reporters. “Frankly, I’m disappointed. I was ready and willing to fly the 22 hours to Beijing, and the 22 hours back, in order to finalize” a deal.

Classic. Portman assumes that by talking to China a mere four times they’re ready to do anything with you? Where is the trust? Where’s the relationship? His only concern is jumping into China and closing a deal… I’m sorry Mr. Portman but traveling seems to come with the job.

…I swear we had a case study identical to this in an Introduction to Management course.

Source: Reuters

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