Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Here are some links of note:
New Media Musings: Citizen journalism storm chasers
links to amateur videos of the hurricane aftermath.
Craigs List has special help for people affected.
One ambitious blogger is posting a collection of other good links.
Monday, August 29, 2005
This article notes that Snapfish is the largest online photo printer, with something like 700,000 users per month. I'm impressed that they're bigger than Kodak's Ofoto (now called Easysomething).
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Saturday, August 27, 2005
The frenzy over ever-higher oil prices is approaching a bubble, and I bet it is time to consider shorting energy prices. New substitutes will start emerging, people will conserve more, and oil will no longer be king.
Here’s a summary from Slate’s Today’s Blogs (Monday, Aug 22, 2005)
Levitt gets plenty of cheers from peak-oil skeptics. "I think I probably agree with Levitt that the big effect of peak oil will be to simply cut the fat … out of oil consumption," writes Snarkmarket's Robin Sloan. "This will probably not involve roaming bands of petro-pirates in wind-powered gun-skiffs." At Reason's in-house blog Hit & Run, Jesse Walker commends Levitt's critique and compares peak oil hysteria to apocalyptic, Left Behind eschatology.
Not everybody pooh-poohs the article's alarmism. "[A]n excellent article. Well researched. Balanced. Thoughtful," praises Cultural Economist Ronald R. Cooke. "Bravo." At blip.tv's Pokkari Blog, Mike stakes out a middle ground. "I think the market is already correcting, and that the introduction of alternative fuel vehicles will only accelerate," he writes. "The electricity sector will compensate, too, and we'll end up using oil mostly for plastics."
Friday, August 26, 2005
The Freakonomics Blog continues to dissect the Peak Oil arguments:
John Tierney wrote a great New York Times column in response
to the Maass article on Peak Oil in the Sunday NY Times Magazine
that I criticized. Tierney and Matthew Simmons, who is the point man for the Peak Oil team, made a $10,000 bet as to whether in 2010 oil would be above or below $200 a barrel (adjusted for inflation to be in 2005 dollars). The bet was designed in the spirit of the famous bet between Julian Simon and Paul Ehrlich, which the economist Simon won when the five commodities Ehrlich said would rise in price, actually fell substantially.
I made an similar bet with a guy at work, though on a smaller scale. After some studying of the Peak Oil arguments, I am convinced that this whole “we’re running out of oil” argument is just another example of an irrational panic meme that will end in tons of even cheaper energy.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Here’s another test of BlogJet, which I am trying to try as a new offline blog editor.
I already tested it on my .Text Blog, so now I’m trying it on Blogger. It appears to have a few advantages over what I’ve used previously:
- It’s truly WYSIWYG, including things like support for bullets.
- Apparently can easily be configured to upload directly from an FTP server (but I don’t have that part working yet).
- It’s paid software, so presumably you get better support than from freeware.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Here's a summary of what Hindus think: How India Reconciles Hindu Values and Biotech - New York Times
(basically, Hinduism thinks life begins at conception but it's okay to experiment because it's not possible for science to manipulate what is fundamentally a spiritual existence).
I wonder what other religions think? Islam? Shinto? Buddhism?
Saturday, August 20, 2005
The now-famous "Tar-zhay" pun, emphasizing Target's exalted place in the discount world, dates back to the store's founding in 1962.
As Target prepared to open its first store in metro New York in 1997, its image became synonymous with inexpensive indulgence. In a Christmas photo op, Michael Bloomberg was seen exiting a local Target clutching a George Foreman grill and a cheese grater, gifts that would surely please one of the gardeners at Gracie Mansion.
The rich (at least in Manhattan) profess to visit Target because of its social progressivism. Target, they insist, is a more enlightened corporate behemoth. Viewed through the Upper West Side prism in which "enlightened" equals "liberal," there is some truth to this contention. Sam Walton's heirs donate to the GOP, while Target scion Mark Dayton serves as a Democrat in the U.S. Senate.
The Brooklyn Target has an in-store Starbucks.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Concord 3-dimensionalizes the idea to allow for fads, like Rocky Horror, that are popular but never really mainstream.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Friday, August 12, 2005
"'The problem with a McDonald’s-only diet isn’t what’s on the menu, but the choices made from it,' she said."
Sunday, August 07, 2005
It's an active account of how a normal guy is trying to pursue his financial goals, including his thoughts on ways to save money (this this review of Vonage phone service). The real interesting part, to me, is that he is apparently a Microsoft employee living in Sammamish. He posts his thoughts on changes to benefits programs, ESPP, etc. It's just like talking to somebody in my hallway at work, only better because it's confidential: he doesn't reveal his actual identity (come to think of it, who knows, maybe he really is in my hallway).
Saturday, August 06, 2005
PFBlog.com - The Unique Personal Finance Weblog is a site run by a guy who tells you his exact financial situation, including the amount he spends on various purchases and the return on his various portfolio investments. He is also apparently a Microsoft employee, since he mentions that in his 401(k) and stock options summaries.
Consumerism Commentary is a similar site, though with lower assets.
(found via FreeMoneyFinance)
You enter 3D design information from any popular CAD application and it produces lines on paper that you can print and assemble. The makers of the software provide lots of samples on their web site including racecars, Godzilla figures, houses, and more. Anything you can model, you can build!
Thursday, August 04, 2005
In an upscale grocery story, researchers set up a tasting booth first with 6 jars of jams, and later with 24 jars. In the first case, 40 percent of the customers stopped to taste and 30 percent bought; in the second, 60 percent tasted but only 3 percent bought. The point is that too many options can flummox a consumer - and if 24 jars of jam pose a problem, imagine what 8,000 mutual funds can do.
This seems understandable to me, but it can't be the whole story. If people want fewer choices, then why do grocery stores stock more items now than they did 20 years ago? Why do megastores like Home Depot or Wal-Mart crush their local competitors? If it were all about restricting the number of options, you'd think the world would settle on something that offers fewer choices. Wait a minute, maybe it has: CostCo is successful partly because they stock only one choice in each product category.
MIT has been running a project called "D Space" that stores tons of digital material, and the "Lockss" open source software that can harvest electronic journals from the web.
My blogspot homepage now includes a graphical listing of my Amazon wish list.
(unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an easy way to include it in a blog post, but you can view it by going directly to my Blog site).