Thursday, June 30, 2011

Britain strike and anarchists

Britain strike: Britain's government workers in mass strike - "The demonstration here in the capital was mostly a peaceful affair, although a few scuffles broke out between police and suspected anarchists in hooded shirts."

What could be less anarchic than public sector unions? One would expect them to be working with the police to minimize the impact of the strike. Not really, because we all know that most of the Anarchists are just malcontents looking for the next focal point where to party, destroy stuff, and hopefully get laid.

Where The Gay Families Are - The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan - The Daily Beast

Where The Gay Families Are - The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan - The Daily Beast

Why these places rather than San Francisco and New York?

1. Lower opportunity cost of time. If there's always a great party kids are less tempting.
2. The gays with which interests they attract. If you are gay and want to party, rather than raise a family, then go to SF and NY.
3. If you gay and want to raise a family then why deal with the expense of SF or NY, especially if you are not from there originally. Better to save money for the family.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Former Mavericks center Dampier disputes report that he partied with old team | Mavericks/NBA...

And if he was, so what. The series was over and he spent six years in Dallas. I'd respect him for going and congratulating his former foes. It's just basketball. They did not rape his sister, but rather shot well from 3 point range. No, celebrating with Dallas would not even indicate a lack of competitive spirit, merely a good nature and perspective. Anyone blessed with the physical ability to make millions in the NBA should feel able to party with anyone at just about any time.

I'm getting a possum

possum+%281%29.jpg (1024×768)

She doesn't think that's fair. Neither the roach or worm farms. Double standards...

Flying rat!

NFSquir.jpg (622×570)

I don't want a dog. Now she's arguing for one of these flying rats. Might make a single satay. But the wing skin fries up all melt-in-your-mouth crispy. Yum!

Coming out at work - Companies should provide an atmosphere where it is safe

Why gays should come out at work - CNN: "This is important, especially since the study showed that 40% of closeted gay employees are less likely to trust their employer than those gay employees who are out. That lack of trust comes into play in their productivity."

I don't know if any of our employees are gay, but we surely try to keep the environment friendly to all sorts. My co-founder and I have discussed how neither of us care AT ALL about the sexual proclivities of employees (so long as consensual of course).

Standing Firm: First novel exercise in a while

Standing Firm Trains Athletes’ Weak Points | Playbook

Maybe this could strengthen my knee following lateral meniscus debridement.

Google Circles, why if I were to do social networking it would be on Goolge+

Google Circles: The Dumbest Thing About Google+ | Peter Pachal | "And of all the things that have turned people off of Facebook over the years, the lack of focus on friend-organizing tools isn't one of them."

I disagree. I don't use any social networks because I don't trust companies with my social network data. Another reason is that my social spectrum spans a 14 year old who asked for my exercise and diet advice at the basketball court, to a twenty something year old at the same court who describes himself as a "businessman" who must go to many nightclubs in one night to make his paper, to long time close confidants, to business contacts in the upper ranks of financial services, to professors, and more. No, I don't want these widely varied connections to know of each other, let alone to interact. Circles allows those with a similar social graph but who are slightly less paranoid to get social. After Buzz, I don't trust Google, so no social networking for me. Plus, there are only about a dozen people I care to talk to anyways, and I prefer to hear their voices.

North Korea Shuts Down Universities a tribute to Mancur Olson

North Korea Shuts Down Universities to Send Students to Work -

Good to see that dictators understand that dispersed interest groups have a harder time organizing. I'd expect that they are the first to understand this because they have a unique and private interest in knowing it.

HomeAway Prices IPO: buy or sell short?

HomeAway Prices IPO At $27 Per Share With A Market Cap Of $2 Billion

Price/Earnings: 118.3
Price/Revenue: 11.9

How will and HomeAway collide? What differentiates them is a filter for whether you want a room or an entire residence, if that. Or are they going to try to split the market in a "gentlemen's deal"?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

And these kids got into Cornell?

Cornell Hazing Victim's Family Files $25 Million Lawsuit - ABC News

Forcing him to drink, accelerating absorption with exercise, keeping him tied down he could not urinate or vomit. Maybe education about what kind of hazing is particularly dangerous would help prevent such death, but maybe such instruction would be used to increase the fear factor.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Most annoying people on the planet

Ex-Illinois Governor Blagojevich guilty of corruption | Reuters: "After exhaustive testimony, Judge James Zagel finally instructed defense lawyers to get their client to shut up."

He must be one of them.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

ID age with saliva

The Body Odd - Spit test reveals your age, study shows: "The weirdest part about this very weird research: 'It was an accidental finding,' admits Vilain. He and a team of researchers rounded up 34 pairs of identical, male twins, ages 21 to 55, for a study on differences in methylation when it comes to predicting a person's sexual orientation."

A surprising number of inventions and discoveries are by "mistake". The most famous might be penicillin. Others?

ID dog poo with DNA

Weekly weird news | The News-Sentinel - Fort Wayne IN

I wish they'd do this is Sobe; we call is Shit Beach.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Professor tapped for key Somali post - Amherst - The Buffalo News

Professor tapped for key Somali post - Amherst - The Buffalo News: "His wife, Hodan Isse, is a University at Buffalo finance professor."

Very amusing. I gave Hodan a recommendation when I resigned from UB and she took over some of my teaching. I remember both her and Mohamed fondly from graduate school at GMU as humble, polite, intelligent, and thoughtful. Best of luck to them in getting the rest of Somalia in line with their cell phone efficiency.

FTC wasting Google's time

Google Responds To FTC Inquiry: “Using Google Is A Choice”

Google has essentially no search lockin and competitors are easily accessible and provide results of similar quality. Bing has been my default search for several months now just as a test. Specific vertical searches and socially enabled search are also nipping at Google's heels. is boldly eliminating web-spam from their results putting additional pressure on Google's search quality and revenue simultaneously. By the time this case could be over the landscape will have changed and is changing so fast discovery would be a never ending process if the verdict is going to be current.

Just a funny list

Talking Points | About Ron Artest and name changes -

What would I change my name to?

Maybe I could be the first white Tyrone Jackson, Jose Martinez, or Pragnesh Patel.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Obama's bet

AFP: Commanders say Obama overruled them on Afghanistan

He wins if the popularity but from initiating the withdrawal outlasts the likely decline in popularity from the chaos caused by the power vacuum created by the lack of US presence.

I hope that I'm wrong but think that the withdrawal will be interpreted as near victory by our opponents. Obama might win the battle (election) by I'm afraid we'll lose the war and the last 10 years will be for naught.

Lytro light field cameras are ultra-cool

Lytro Launches to Transform Photography with $50M in Venture Funds (TCTV)

Just in case you were feeling sorry for yourself today, watch this

Double prick gum add?

After Seven Years, The Winklevosses Give Up On Battle With Facebook

Possibly and end to feds up in the pot

New bill would end federal marijuana prohibition - San Jose Mercury News

The war on drugs has failed, especially is the case of pot which while widely used is hard to ague caused more damage than alcohol. The time has come to "legalize it, don't criticize it."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Keen On… James Gleick: Why We Are Information (TCTV)

Keen On… James Gleick: Why We Are Information (TCTV)

He basically explains that invention of spoken language, hieroglyphs, the alphabet, printing, typewriters, floppy disks, optical disks, hard disks, solid state drives, etc. are all part of the same progression of increasing the amount of information we can store. Similar analogies can be drawn regarding how information is moved: showing, telling, sending a letter, telegraph, phone call, email, text message, conference call, file sharing, Netflix...

A bit of a new perspective for me. You?

I don't know what to think

Bank robber planned crime and punishment | bank, richard, hailed - Gaston Gazette

I like his out of the box thinking. The irony of health care for criminals but not law abiding citizens is clear. I'm not sure how to resolve the inconsistency. I'm generally libertarian leaning, but also have sympathy for veil of ignorance arguments and fully believe that our health care system is wasteful, often ineffective, over regulated, over insured, super-confusing etc. I recently has knee surgery and have a hard time figuring out what to pay to who. I'm no genius, but imagine that I have an easier time than the average person, who must be befuddled.

Which nations health care system in the most enviable and potentially practical for the USA?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Modern Catch 22

The Body Odd - Teen's strange dilemma: Botox broke her texting thumbs

Without texting she can't get a date. With sweaty palms she can't keep a date.

She just has to find guys who like well lubed hand jobs.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

“Mommy Tummy” Suit Gives Men a Chance to Feel Pregnant | Discoblog | Discover Magazine

“Mommy Tummy” Suit Gives Men a Chance to Feel Pregnant | Discoblog | Discover Magazine

If I ever have a kid I will simply empathize with the mom by getting self imposed morning sickness (hangover).

Hyperbolic discounting in action

News of the Weird for June 19: "Questionable judgments
Oklahoma inmate Eric Torpy has served only six years of his 33-year sentence for armed robbery, but already he is looking ahead to the years 2035-2038. His original sentence was 30 years, but he challenged the judge that if he was “going down,” it would be in “Larry Bird’s jersey” — the number 33 worn by the basketball player. Judge Ray Elliott then accommodated Torpy by adding three years. Said Torpy, in May, “Recently, I’ve wisened up.” “I’m pretty sure [Bird] thinks I’m an idiot. Truthfully, most people do. My own family does, so I’m pretty sure he does, too.”"

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

When people ask me what I am...

The Jewish Contribution to World Civilization

I will begin by saying that I don't affiliate with any religion or nationality, but if pressed label myself as a Jew. My mom's dad is a thoroughbred and mom's mom converted. My dad's side is protestant. Why do I choose so? Because I prefer being associated with the best and the massive positive impact on the human knowledge is testament to the quality of this persecuted 0.2% of the global population.

Ever notice how pant height and perceived intelligence correlate?

New Mexico football player thrown off plane, arrested over sagging pants - College Football News | FOX Sports on MSN

I find it interesting how people prefer for most to think they are morons in return for a few to perceive them as "in". I guess it's the first rule of marketing, you have to repel to attract.

Buy long or sell short Pandora analysis

Pandora Opens At $20 Per Share With A Market Cap Of $3.2 Billion

Here are their economics at a glance as detemined in my simple spreadsheet found in this google sheet.

Their fixed costs other than bandwidth and licensing music are about $20 million per year. Their band width costs are about $0.01 per hour streamed. Licensing costs are about 2/3 of a cent per hour. The average user listens for about 40 hours per year.  If users would pay $0.10 per hour then Pandora would likely earn about $200 million based on current usage, which is increasing.  I love the service and paying that amount would not reduce my use but might that of others.  Many of their hours might be from high volume users who pay $36 per year, meaning that there are fewer hours to charge the $0.10.  My conclusion is that the $4 billion valuation is high based on current revenue, but not unattainable.  What is the cost of creating a copy cat?  What would motivate switching.  Stations are customized over time, creating weak lock in.  I would rather own Pandora than Groupon shares.

Anthony Weiner dog is out in the cold

Anthony Weiner plans to step down, New York press conference scheduled - Political Hotsheet - CBS News: "The scandal got even stranger Wednesday, when a stripper who exchanged emails and messages with Weiner said he asked her to lie about their interactions and called for him to step down."

He's a shame to politicians, and that's impressive.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Detroit of Canada?

Vancouver Fans Light Fires and Break Windows After Game 7 Loss -

Chinese Children Denied Care Despite Massive Lead Poisoning

Chinese Children Denied Care Despite Massive Lead Poisoning, Report Says | FairWarning: "Yet, according to Human Rights Watch, authorities in China often suggest that children be treated with home remedies, such as eating apples, garlic, milk and eggs."

I wonder how this is calculated into GDP?

And cops suck even more

Steve Rothaus' Gay South Florida

What's worse, a basketball player saying "fag" or cops yelling it at someone while beating him? And the basketball player gets more punishment.

Weiner is a dumb ass

Porn star says Representative Weiner asked her to lie | Reuters

He really must have a self destructive streak. Did he not think that a porn star would like some publicity? Nothing against the porn star, she's just getting press to advertise her work. If I were Weiner I'd be more ashamed of my stupidity than the sexual aspects of my behavior.

Why looking like a raccoon?

Spelling Mansion Sells to Racing Heiress -

Do people think that owning such a place makes them look cool rather than needy and insecure? What I pain in the ass it would be to get from the bedroom to the kitchen. I like that my bed in only 20 feet from the stove so I can easily carry my dinner to my pillow. Yes, I usually eat in bed while on my computer.

Maybe the first time Kucinich and Paul sign together

10 U.S. lawmakers sue Obama over Libya strikes - CBS News: "The plaintiffs are Democratic Reps. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, John Conyers of Michigan and Michael Capuano of Massachusetts and Republican Reps. Walter Jones and Howard Coble of North Carolina, Tim Johnson and Dan Burton of Indiana, Jimmy Duncan of Tennessee, Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland and Ron Paul of Texas."

Wave of anger blankets Athens as Greece weighs new austerity measures -

Wave of anger blankets Athens as Greece weighs new austerity measures -

Does anyone ever report what the hooligans think is the solution to the problem?

What are their likely answers? Tax the rich. Take back what the US has taken from them. Pray. I'm out of even ridiculous options.

More on cops sucking

A history of cops vs. cameras in Miami Beach - Miami Beach -

Potential solution: Allow cops to compel people with video of a crime to email or text photos and video to a central repository. Then the cops have no excuse for taking cameras and phones for longer than it takes to send the footage.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Keen On… Why a Squirrel Dying on Your Front Lawn Isn’t More Important Than Somebody Starving in Africa (TCTV)

Keen On… Why a Squirrel Dying on Your Front Lawn Isn’t More Important Than Somebody Starving in Africa (TCTV): "Pariser, who is the President of the Board of is concerned that the Internet isn’t living up to its original promise. And the Filter Bubble is a passionate polemic against Facebook and Google algorithms that simply serves up information that it believes the user wants to see. For Pariser, this is creating a less and less well informed public and compounding the ghettoization of contemporary intellectual and political life."

As president of he likely thinks that if everyone just read more of what he likes we'd agree with him and since we are not he's not happy.

Google and Facebook let us see what we want, and this leads to ghettoization? So he likes the lack of choice imposed by the past. Ghettoization is also an interesting choice of words because is means both separate and inferior. But if we are each reading what we want aren't those demanding higher intellect content getting it while those who only want to sports and hooters get exactly that?

I think he wishing the NYT still controlled more of the national conversation, because he agreed more with them. To paraphrase Janet, "Freedom's just another word for what librals want you to do..."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Labron is criticized for a triple double

17 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds is a great game. He also missed all four 3-pointers--bad luck. Dallas won because they shot 13 for 19 from 3. Heat hit 8 of 20. If heat had hit the same number as Dallas, hear winds by 6 and Labron is celebrated as a great team player. I suggest always recognizing that the guys talking are professional talkers, not professional analysts. And most talkers in my experience tend towards that emotive rather than analytic and vice versa. It's amazing how many basketball games hinge on the 3 point percentage. Closing out on 3s helps more than many plays likely acknowledge with their effort in doing so.

I think people don't realize the degree to which randomness determines the outcome of a close 7 gave basketball series. In game 6 the heat were out-shot at the line and beyond the arc. That's all it took. Everything else was essentially a tie, but somehow now people say labron is a born loser.

I would like to see him work on some post moves to force defenses to guard him with a 4 or 5 who would not be as able to stop dribble penetration. Also, lifting his 3 point percentage above .330 would help, but this OK percentage might be due to taking 3s off the dribble or under pressure rather than clean corner looks that are easiest.

Not even by a piece of steak?

For the Executive With Everything, a $230,000 Dog to Protect It -

“And the dog, unlike the bodyguard, can’t be bought off.”

Friday, June 10, 2011

I ??? Google Offers Is A Cheap Knockoff

Google Offers Is A Cheap Knockoff

Google iterates. They are starting by doing close to what has worked and then advance. I think it will succeed because the deals may become ongoing, will be integrated with maps, and Android, with location based alarms available.

Why is CA broke?

Meet The 10 Highest Paid Government Employees In New York State

CA has Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Napa, beaches, skiing, weather, aerospace...and they just can't manage money.

Gates rebukes European allies in farewell speech - The Washington Post

Gates rebukes European allies in farewell speech - The Washington Post: "“The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress, and in the American body politic writ large, to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources ... to be serious and capable partners in their own defense,”"

Odd that the US is the most hated nation when we provide the public good of stable borders through military strength. Of course being number 1 creates haters and war is ugly so being number 1 at war makes you especially hated. I wonder how much France and Germany will like it if we pull out of the middle east meaning they have to either allow Iran to progress towards nuclear armament or stop them? Because their populations are so heavily Muslim any conflict with Iran will cause domestic problems. In addition, Europe is much closer than is the US to Iran, so their nuclear arms are might hit there first. Europe has enjoyed free-riding on the US while scapegoating us as war mongers, but maybe the party will end.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Funny but hated

Americans rated most hilarious in global poll | Reuters


Strange combination, unless one separates government from private enterprise. Though Obama did have some good rips on Trump.

Weird Al Yankovic: just fun to read

Weird Al Yankovic’s Album ‘Alpocalypse’ -

How can one not be glad he was born?

Progress! But in this century?

The Associated Press: Death penalty for 10 for 'honor killings' in India

I wonder of honor killings typically decrease as wealth increases. I would expect so, because honor might become less important as mobility and other opportunities for status become available.

Miss USA Contestants: could we care less about what they think

Prejean Panic: Miss USA Contestants 'Scared to Death' About Evolution, Nudity Questions -

What are the organizers maximizing? If revenues, then wouldn't more skin be more profitable? Maybe not, because skin is easily available now as it was not when people gave a crap about pageants. Are these shows for men with innocence fetishes? Or women looking for makeup tips. Really, who watches them?

What are the limits of price discrimination and artificial lockin

Next Jump Introduces Local Deals Powered By LivingSocial, Plus Points

Will retailers begin offering discounts to those who can verify low credit scores?

Or maybe discounts for first time customers who can prove that they spent $X at competitors in the previous year. A good way to provide a free taste to potential repeat customers. This might have been one of's marketing strategies.

Location and price

Search Engine Room 77 Raises $10.5M For Personalized Hotel Room Recommendations

How many people are so picky that they will spend much extra to get away from the elevator or have a better view? I'm either on my computer, sleeping, or outside. If the info came as bonus info, like does on sites like, then I'd look, but the next step is hotels pricing rooms more precisely as airlines are now doing for seats.

See the Sea floor as never before

Google Earth, Columbia University Map Seafloor Area Bigger Than North America

Too bad we can't see the fish.

More on Flo Rida

Flo Rida - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "However, he was rejected by several of the major labels, so he sought many other jobs outside of music."

Take this as another lesson that the so called experts don't know that much and not to give us because a few tell you know.

Here is the story of some very successful books' roads to publication.

Three blocks from my crib

Flo Rida arrested on DUI and suspended license charges - Miami Beach -

Just funny all the bad behavior that surrounds me. The recent shooting was about 10 block away. A couple of months ago another shooting was about 6 blocks away and the perp was hiding in a building as we walked by.

Think Flo Rida could afford a cab? Why do people take the risk of driving drunk when money is no object?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Apple and Microsoft stock price relationship

AAPL Basic Chart | Apple Inc. Stock - Yahoo! Finance

From about 1987 to 2008 MS grew rapidly and Apple stagnated.

Both fell between 2000 and 2001.

From 2001 to 2011 Apple grew as MS stagnated.

What next? I think that Apple innovates and skims the high margin cream then MS brings more open systems mass market. Google is now the wildcard, especially in mobile with Android, but I still think MS is going to capture more of the mobile market than pundits expect because they will and are integrating desktop and mobile experiences quickly in a way that no other company can without controlling the desktop on most computers. Few people want to abandon the do everything platform of Windows for the mystery of Chrome OS. And I am a Chrome browser user, just bought a Nexus S 4G, love gmail, use Google docs, and blog on Blogger. I like Google products (ironically except search now). But MS knows how to manage an operating system platform and community and will prevent Android like fragmentation. Think spreadsheet, word processor,browser, etc. all over again.

Which Hot Tech Companies Are Winning the Fight for Top Coders? | Epicenter |

Which Hot Tech Companies Are Winning the Fight for Top Coders? | Epicenter |

This graphic while being a good idea is very misleading because it shows gross numbers rather than %s. Facebook appears to be the big winning and Microsoft a pretty big looser, but considering Facebook has about 2000 and MS 89000 employees, the victory is not so clear. The ration of employees gained/lost between the two is 30.5 and the ratio of number of employees is 44.5, meaning that adjusted for the number of employees (in percentage terms) MS is taking from Facebook. Its so chic to count out MS that I think that Window Phone 7 and Window 8 are going to be huge successes.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

One for the little guys

Bank of America Gets Pad Locked After Homeowner Forecloses On It |

Funny rap video, especially for techies

Jawbone Makes A Promo Music Video That Isn’t Horribly Embarrassing, Hides A (Ridiculous) New Product Within

Want Kids to Win the Future? Turn Them Into Makers — and Sci-Fi Fans | Underwire |

Want Kids to Win the Future? Turn Them Into Makers — and Sci-Fi Fans | Underwire | "Kids, when they make, are actually preparing themselves better for the jobs they’ll have in the future than [they are by] getting straight A’s.”"


"Teachers" should be "make" facilitators and the kahnacademy should be the teacher of standard knowledge. Replace the books with raw materials: paint, wood, computers, solder, Legos, whatever kids need to pursue projects passionately.

Your One-Stop Shop for Hidden Stairways and Secret Crypts | Magazine

Your One-Stop Shop for Hidden Stairways and Secret Crypts | Magazine

I like the fifth from the left, the simple mirror. I hope never to need such a contraption though but remaining anonymous and not owning anything able to be stolen and worth the effort.

Update the law to use the average rather than max volume?

Why Blaring TV Ads Drive You Insane | Magazine

I'm not so uniquely intelligent that that lobbyests and lawmakers didn't think of this alternative. I am willing to bet that a bargain was stuck to set the max because this allowed the lawmakers to saw "Hey we tried," while gathering even more contributions from the pro-ad interest groups.

Patents: Get Rid Of Them (Video)

Investors Fred Wilson, Chris Dixon, And David Lee On Software Patents: Get Rid Of Them (Video)

New, non-obvious, useful are the common standards for an idea to be patentable.

But more fundamental is understanding the purpose of patents: to provide inventors the incentive to invent. Most patented software, I think, would have been invented regardless of whether patent protection existed because it was a standard iteration in the course of business that provided a competitive advantage. Would Amazon not have implemented one click buying if not for patent protection. Would another company not have done it within a year. Whether to offer patents on software is not an issue of whether one is for or against property rights, but rather a question of what bargain the government wants to make with inventors who documents their invention in exchange for temporary protection from competition. In the case of most software inventions the the public is likely better off not offering patent protection. If an invention is particularly complex or unique, copyright and trade secret protection can be used rather than patents, thereby eliminating companies risk of getting sued despite never encountering the prior art.

Why Can't More Poor People Escape Poverty? Psychologists Have A Radical New Explanation. | The New Republic

Why Can't More Poor People Escape Poverty? Psychologists Have A Radical New Explanation. | The New Republic

I agree. Picture two students studying for the same test, one's parents asks if she can spare money to pay for her mothers medicine the other has nothing to worry about other than the text. The additional worry is constant burden and saps ones energy. Self control might be one form of mental energy that comes in limited supply but all mental energy might be at least partially fungible. I don't know how much this alters the policy debate because it is just one more way in which the financially fortunate are fortunate and is one more reason for path dependency in social status, but it does not alter the landscape we all observe. It might though make "veil or ignorance" logic a bit more compelling when considering redistribution of wealth because even those who claim to have succeeded due to their own hard work might have to give more credit than before to their environment.

The question raised, is what makes those few who persevere though poverty able to do so when so many others do not?

He’s a Pinball Wizard, Dude | GeekDad |

He’s a Pinball Wizard, Dude | GeekDad |

Not sure why this is so terrifying

Video: Terrifying ‘Shaving Helmet’ is a Skull-Scraping Hard-Hat | Gadget Lab |

I'd feel safer with this helmet on my head that I did getting a $0.50 shave with a disposable straight blade in India. The helmet might nick my head but I was as the complete mercy of complete stranger. Oddly, we are all at the mercy of complete strangers much of the time. It's likely not that hard to get away with killing a complete stranger. Dexter does it. LOL.

Cardboard Bike Helmet Better than Plastic | Gadget Lab |

Cardboard Bike Helmet Better than Plastic | Gadget Lab |

Goes to show how innovation opportunities are all around us. Simple product and simple materials yet substantial improvement.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Chubby Little Birds Make Superfast Long-Distance Flights | Wired Science |

Chubby Little Birds Make Superfast Long-Distance Flights | Wired Science |

Almost looks like a joke. Very impressive little fella.

Congressman Weiner - How is it pronounced?

Congressman Weiner admits online affairs -

Politician or playboy. You get to be one or the other, unless you are going to not use your status to get laid. But, without the benefits of status, most men wouldn't get of bed.

Exposing India’s Blood Farmers

Book Excerpt: Exposing India’s Blood Farmers | Wired Science |

Instead of asking their relations to give blood, most people rely on an informal network of professional donors who hang out in front of hospitals willing to give blood in return for a small fee.

Fifty feet outside of Parikh’s door is a string of makeshift tea shops and cigarette sellers who double as blood brokers. After a discreet inquiry with a man with paan stains across his lower teeth, I’m told to meet a man named Chunu, who is the resident professional donor. “Just be sure that you trade it in at the bank. He’s got HIV; the blood isn’t always screened,” the man warns before sending me on my way. Five minutes later I’m in an alley behind the hospital face-to-face with a small, bearded man holding a shawl over his head and ears. I tell him I need a pint of B negative blood as quickly as possible.

Apple Sounds the PC Death Rattle -

Apple Sounds the PC Death Rattle -

I will get rid of my laptop when I no longer have to create content. Jobs perceives most of his users as exclusively consumers who only have to type a domain name. Even with good voice recognition one is not going to want to write a paper without a physical keyboard. To the extent that components of a computer are modularized so that ones ID is logged into from the cloud and then devices are assembled from complementary components such as screens, keyboards, mice, touchpads, disk drives, etc., then one might not own a "laptop" but rather have a screen and keyboard that can be snapped together when desired or communicate via bluetooth. The death if the physical keyboard is still a long way off, and the keyboard is the key difference between a tablet and a laptop (even with a touch screen).

Don't mess with monopsony

BCS strips Southern California of 2004 national championship - Campus Rivalry: College Football & Basketball News, Recruiting, Game Picks, and More -

Who actually thinks that big program college football players don't deserve some money. At big football schools they fill stadiums and attract donations. Many don't graduate, don't have time to get an eduction, and after several years of use are discarded as debris. College players deserve to be paid competitively for their services like anyone else. I'm typically not a big fan of unions, but in a monopsony such as the NCAA and complicit schools some sort counterbalancing organization for players might be welcome.

Social chaos theory

A girl has forgets to click a box and 1500 people arrive on the street.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Rather touchy to call the cops

Police cite Vernal man accused of paying bill with 2,500 pennies | Deseret News

The North Korean global happiness index — Marginal Revolution

The North Korean global happiness index — Marginal Revolution

What is the point. Are people, even in North Korea or China, going to believe this? Does it not further undermine the credibility of the government? My thought is that the government must figure that it has such little credibility that "if you say it enough some will believe it" is their best strategy.

Indian police break up swami Ramdev's anti-graft fast

Indian police break up guru's anti-graft fast | Reuters

I find it amusing when the mystical meets the mundane - Swami battling corruption.

By breaking up what was apparently a peaceful demonstration, does the Congress party not look pro-corruption?

I like Zero Rupee notes.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Maradona attacks 'corrupt' FIFA chiefs -

Maradona attacks 'corrupt' FIFA chiefs -

Please hire me as FIFA's chief economist. These guys are the ultimate fat cats.

Sell short? Groupon Plans I.P.O. With $30 Billion Valuation -

Groupon Plans I.P.O. With $30 Billion Valuation -

Why so valuable? The brand means little. They have no meaningful IP. Sites with similar functionality cost a couple hundred dollars. What makes their position defensible? Their are few if any network externalities. Their is little learning curve for consumers and duplicators. They don't make money.

For some perspective, here are some other companies worth about $30 billion each: Fedex, Praxair, Panasonic, Prudential Financial, and Corning. Is it worth 10% of Apple or 75% of Ebay?

Pitney Bowes, Legg Mason, H&R Block, Advance Auto Parts, PetSmart, and Sunoco have a combined value of under $30 billion. What would you rather own, these six or Groupon?

Friday, June 3, 2011

"You Don't Get Shit You Don't Ask For" - Lifehacker

"You Don't Get Shit You Don't Ask For" - Lifehacker

My business partner lives by the mantra "If you don't ask you don't get." But it goes much deeper. You have to ask correctly (persuasively) and build relationships.

What does John Biggs think Microsoft should do?

Fly Or Die: Windows 8 Tries To Out-Touch Apple

If users have to choose between their old familiar windows and a completely new interface many will never switch. Businesses will almost certainly never switch if workers have no way to do their jobs in a familiar way on their new machines. The back to 7 functionality in 8 is necessary for a transition to 8.

Police suck II

Man Hides Urban Beach Weekend Shooting Video From Investigators in His Mouth - Miami News - Riptide 2.0: "The man, 35-year-old Narces Benoit, said police 'put guns to our heads and threw us to the ground,' told him 'you want to be [expletive] paparazzi?' then smashed the phone."

Get a life, exhibit 1

Ku Klux Klan protests Westboro Baptist Church (Video) - BlogPost - The Washington Post

Edwards questions

Former presidential candidate John Edwards indicted - The Washington Post

Could he really not keep it in his paints until the end of the campaign?

Does he really feel that invincible?

Now that the affair is public and his political career over, who cares what happens next? Men who cheat on their dying wife with a subordinate are unlikely to carry the women's vote regardless of how cute and slick.

Is it worth the resources to criminally prosecute even though the "crimes" appear to be unclear.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

About the beard

The ECB’s stealth bailout | vox - Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists

At what age does such a beard go from punk eccentric to professorial and how do the wearers know? Or do the bearded not change their shaving nor self perception, only out perception of them changes?

Good read: The Mystery of the Canadian Whiskey Fungus

The Mystery of the Canadian Whiskey Fungus | Magazine

Shows not only how a fungus can find a very specific niche but also a person. Being "the man" in a sliver of expertise can be good.

Untraceable currency and drug legalization

Underground Website Lets You Buy Any Drug Imaginable | Threat Level |

Bitcoin finally finds and anchor, and one that's not going out of style. The illicit drug trade ironically is the key to establishing an untraceable currency, one of governments' worst nightmares. Maybe now more drugs will be decriminalized, not to eliminate organized crime or tax to pay for treatment centers, but rather to prevent money laundering and protect revenues.

Billy Bob Thornton's daughter guilty of manslaughter in baby's death - Crimesider - CBS News

Billy Bob Thornton's daughter guilty of manslaughter in baby's death - Crimesider - CBS News

Strange that this was so hidden.

I guess Billy Bob is not such a big deal without Angelina. Slingblade is still one of my favorite movies.

Officially the end of my youth

NBA: Shaquille O'Neal, the Big Retiree - The Daily Fix - WSJ

First Favre now Shaq. The sports icons of my 20s and 30s are retired. No question I am now middle aged. Argh. 40 in two weeks. Anyone have an in on some Oil of Olay?

Social Meals, Group Dining, Meet New People in Chicago | Grubwithus - Never Eat Alone

Social Meals, Group Dining, Meet New People in Chicago | Grubwithus - Never Eat Alone

I would actually try this. Get a bargain and meet some people who at least like the same kind of food and are looking for others to meet. Might this concept be expanded to specific interests? In some sense it has been done for singles, but this has the added bonus of a negotiated fix price menu.

Social Meals, Group Dining, Meet New People in Chicago | Grubwithus - Never Eat Alone

Social Meals, Group Dining, Meet New People in Chicago | Grubwithus - Never Eat Alone

I would actually try this. Get a bargain and meet some people who at least like the same kind of food and are looking for others to meet. Might this concept be expanded to specific interests? In some sense it has been done for singles, but this has the added bonus of a negotiated fix price menu.

Should it be illegal to park facing the wrong way? — Marginal Revolution

Should it be illegal to park facing the wrong way? — Marginal Revolution

I think paring the wrong way increases accidents by leading people to believe that traffic is in the opposite direction. It's happened to me when the only car park was pointing the wrong way.

Low Carb Diets May Not Hurt Arteries After All - ABC News

Low Carb Diets May Not Hurt Arteries After All - ABC News

Why does low carb equal high fats? Is that the only way to get enough calories? Doesn't the type of fats matter? Transfat being the worst and polyunsaturated the best. I survive well on lean chicken, beef, pork, and fish, vegetables, and about 30 ounces of 1% milk (with lots of chocolate powder and a bit of sugar). The study appears to be to non-specific and short term.

Jobs control freak?

Report: Apple Is Cracking Down on Free iPad, iPhone Giveaways | News & Opinion |

It's Now Illegal In Tennessee To Share A Netflix Login With A Friend

It's Now Illegal In Tennessee To Share A Netflix Login With A Friend

Netflix doesn't prosecute password sellers, because they know that their service is such a bargain and can be so personalized that the improved user experience from having ones own account is for many worth the subscription price. Plus the more users, paying or not, the more word of mouth and good will is created.

Microsoft gets the touch: Windows 8 sneak peak

YouTube - Windows 8 sneak peak

Looks like the most idiot proof UI ever. I like it. Especially the ability to get back to the familiar UI easily. That might seem like a contradiction, but it is not. Learning curves are real, and I don't want to be slowed during this period.

More tattoos: NBA style

NBA Finals Tattoos: From Jason Terry's Trophy Hope to Mario Chalmers's "Mister Clutch" - Miami Art - Cultist

I love basketball and am amused by tattoos. These players are blessed with incredible physical abilities and their bodies show it. I've go a great idea! Put some graffiti on myself. What's more fun is imagining what must have gone through each of their heads as they decided on their chosen designs.

7. Chinese symbols: Neither I nor any one else I do anything buy order takeout from can read this. I'm not Chinese. Maybe other players will be intimidated if they think I know Karate.

6. Miller time: I know, putting a beer slogan on my body will really impress people with my daring and creativity.

5. Only the strong survive: What's a slogan that conveys how I'm a badass? Oh, at seven feet tall I'm already pretty badass; my slogan can be lame and nobody will tell me to my face.

4. Mister clutch: I made a big shot. Yes! Everybody better remember that.

3. Dark blob: I'm a man of mystery and my tattoo should be too. Or maybe he just had a really bad artist.

2. Chosen One: I'm the best basketball player of my generation, maybe ever at my position, but nobody knows it! I don't get enough attention. What can I do to look more full of myself?

1. State of Florida map: Representin' from the pan handle to Key West. Why bother. Which state is he trying to make jealous?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cops suck

I just got back from Publix, a typical chain grocery store. After grabbing a frozen pie a 70 year old cop (no joke, seventy) told me I had to leave because I was not wearing a shirt. I looked to see what is uniform said "Miami Beach Police" and asked approximately whether the rule was a store policy or city ordinance. He then said, "I'm not going to tell you again, it's store policy" sounding as though he was readying to call backup. If a 40 year old, white guy, who speaks proper English can't get a simple question answered in the calm of a grocery store, how do you expect the typical young, black, visitor for Urban Weekend was treated by the cops?

If the police do not treat people with courtesy how does a city expect their property and businesses to be treated with respect? Surely, plenty of the Urban Week visitors we good for nothing miscreants, but I'm also certain that plenty of decent people out for a good time and not hassles got plenty hassled for no reason.

I'm with NWA on this one.

Albemarle Road church fined $100 per branch for excessive tree pruning | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

Albemarle Road church fined $100 per branch for excessive tree pruning | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

The church should claim that such pruning is a religious activity and is thereby protected.

See a map showing AIDS cases per 100,000 population. The most dramatic difference I found was the difference between black and Asian rates.