Monthly Archives

February 2011

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ESPN.com: 2012 London logo draws ire of Iran

ESPN.com: 2012 London logo draws ire of Iran

Iran objects to the logo for the 2012 London Olympics, contending it is racist because it resembles the word “Zion” and warning of a possible boycott of the Games.

ESPN - Photos - 2012 London logo draws ire of Iran.jpg

Don’t the Iranians ever think about anything else but Israel?  It’s 24-7, Zion this, Zion that.  The 2012 London Olympics logo sucks, but not because it says “Zion” in it.  And even if it did, do you think anyone would miss the Iranians at the Olympics?
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AppleInsider.com: Federal rules ensure Apple’s iTunes has right to Comcast’s NBC content

AppleInsider.com: Federal rules ensure Apple’s iTunes has right to Comcast’s NBC content

Products like iTunes are sometimes used by customers to “cut the cord” and cancel their cable subscription. There’s also the possibility that Comcast could “throttle” bandwidth for services like Netflix and iTunes, making downloads slower or streaming content stutter and become unwatchable.

Just the threat of throttling based on type of data is the reason why Net Neutrality is necessary.
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CNN.com: China floods Beijing with security before planned protest

CNN.com: China floods Beijing with security before planned protest

When protests were slated to begin, two large street-washing trucks began slowly driving through the main thoroughfare, blocking pedestrian traffic and spraying water. Plainclothes police sat in restaurants and storefront windows for hours, observing the surroundings, while uniformed police officers forced journalists and onlookers out of the vicinity.

Lessons learned from the democracy protests in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya: Don’t let the people assemble and at the first sign of a protest, quickly crackdown with overwhelming force.

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District B13- some of the best action scenes I’ve seen

I saw District B13 on Netflix Instant streaming last night and it has some of the best action scenes that I’ve seen in some time.  District B13 is a french film written by Luc Besson (director/writer of The Fifth Element and Nikita).  Many of the action sequences were built around Parkour, the art of climbing and jumping through an environment.  One of the main actors in the movie, David Belle is one of the co-founders of the sport.  Here is one of the best scenes in the film:
 

District B13 is an action film that surpasses most American action films with its high level of energy and incredible stunts.

Technology

Internal Hard Drives and USB Hard Drive Docks for Backup

Just a few years ago, next to my desk you’d find a stack of CD-R’s or DVD-R’s that I would use for backup  Today, it’s a stack of Internal hard drives.  I initially purchased internal hard drives’s for use inside my Mac Pro, but since I’ve discovered USB drive docks, I’ve been using them to back up all the computers in my office.  They’re not ideal for long term archiving since every hard drive will eventually fail, but right now nothing matches the cost, storage size, and convenience of hard drives. 

Because hard drives are relatively cheap, I keep two backups of my most valuable data- things that can not be replaced, pictures, home videos, important documents etc.

HardDrives.jpg

Right now at Amazon, you can pick up a 2 Terrabyte drive for about $80.

I’d recommend either the:

Seagate Barracuda LP 2 TB 5900RPM SATA 3 GB/s 32 MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Hard Drive $79.99
or
Western Digital 2 TB Caviar Green SATA Intellipower 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive $79.99

Use the a drives with a dock like this:

Thermaltake Sata HDD USB Docking Station $29.50

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NYTimes.com: Hahn-Bin Straddles Classical Music and Fashion

NYTimes.com: Hahn-Bin Straddles Classical Music and Fashion

WHEN the young violinist Hahn-Bin appeared onstage for a recent matinee at the Morgan Library and Museum, a gasp trickled through the audience, which consisted mostly of silver-haired classical-music enthusiasts. Clad in a black sleeveless kimono, dark raccoon-eye makeup and a high mohawk, the soloist resembled an apocalyptic Kewpie doll.

Google Images of Hahn-Bihn

You really have to check out the images to understand.  Somehow I don’t think this is the way to draw new fans to classical music.

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NYTimes.com: Inmates Help States Fill Budget Gaps

NYTimes.com: Inmates Help States Fill Budget Gaps

No inmates have escaped, and sometimes, Mr. Mullahey said, their criminal backgrounds are assets. Inmates with drug offenses already know how to grow plants, and when a university employee lost the key to a file cabinet, a prisoner with lock-picking experience helped him break in.

I wonder what other inmate skills have yet to be tapped.  Perhaps a ponzi scheme to save our economy?

Seriously, it seems to make sense to have prisoners as cheap labor for governments, but how does this help by taking jobs that would have gone to the private sector?

Books

Seth Godin’s new book Poke the Box Kindle Edition for only $1.00!

Pre-order Seth Godin’s new book Poke the Box Kindle Edition for only $1.00!

I have read nearly all of Seth Godin’s books.  For anyone interested in marketing or business, I always find Godin’s books to be both insightful and entertaining.  They’re an easy read but I really do end up learning quite a bit.

If you don’t have an iPad or a Kindle, the regular print edition of Poke the Box is only $9.50 at Amazon.  It’s due to be released March 1st.

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How do you compete with this?

I’ve been running my own business since 1993 and I still can’t figure out how companies can make money selling products this cheaply. 

On slickdeals.net, I saw a deal from Mertiline.com- an 11-LED Adjustable Camping Light Lantern.  Listed at $5.14, the price dropped to $1.99 shipped with a coupon code.   Meritline.com is always on slickdeals.net, with incredible deals for cables and small electronic items.  I placed the order for the light on February 11 and it arrived eleven days later- from Singapore!
LEDLight1.jpgInside the padded yellow envelope was a small box that contained lamp.  The lamp was a little smaller than I had envisioned- not quite pocket sized, but not much bigger than my iPhone as shown in the picture below.

LEDLight2.jpgThe lamp body has a slightly rubbery plastic construction that is not excessively cheap feeling, but probably wouldn’t survive a drop on a hard surface.  But most importantly the lamp works with decent brightness and is a nice little lamp for power outages, keeping in the glove compartment, or camping trips.  It definitely exceeds my expectations for a $1.99 product.

This lamp has to be a loss leader for Meritline, but it seems like their entire catalog is full of loss leaders.  With free shipping it almost begs someone to buy just this one item.  And how can you make money just shipping this one item from Singapore for only $1.99?  I weighed the lamp with packaging and it would cost around $2.70 just to ship it anywhere in the U.S.  Shipping from Singapore has to cost nearly nothing since there has to be at least some cost for making the item.  In my mind, it really doesn’t add up. 

Since Meritline has been around for 16 years, they must have figured out a way to make it work.  That this is not just a case of losing money on every product, but making it up in volume.

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ESPN.com: Caltech ends 26-year conference skid

ESPN.com: Caltech ends 26-year conference skid

The Caltech men’s basketball team ended a 26-year conference losing streak Tuesday night after posting a 46-45 victory over Occidental in the team’s regular-season finale on senior night.

It was the first victory for the Division III Beavers since beating the University of La Verne 48-47 on Jan. 23, 1985, a span of 310 games in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.

Wow.