Saturday, December 27, 2008

Embracing constraints and an awesome little ride ...

It seems that the instrumentation needed to fly on a sunny day is quite easy to comprehend. So to keep the cost low and expand the market to those that aren't licensed pilots, they simply restricted the usage to flying on sunny days. The cockpit now looks like a sports car instead of an airplane. Pretty cool ... and of course I want one!

The Ultimate Flying Machine: Sexy as a Sports Car, Portable as a Jet Ski

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Patented DNA

Michael Crichton warned about this sort of thing in "Next".

When sick children are denied anything because a corporation wants to make more money, we're sliding down a slippery slope.

Sick babies denied treatment in DNA row

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The other half of "Artists Ship"

I hate responding to RFP's and do my best to avoid them altogether. I completely agree with the article below. Although he doesn't mention RFP's directly, the cost of various corporate policies are the same.

Paul Graham - Artists Ship

These checks have started popping up in security reviews as well. We recently had one prospect suggest that the owner of the company should not publish code that he wrote directly to the production servers out of fear he might introduce malicious code. Really?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

U.S. Agrees to Citigroup Bailout

WASHINGTON – The federal government agreed Sunday to take unprecedented steps to stabilize Citigroup Inc. by moving to guarantee close to $300 billion in troubled assets weighing on the bank's books, according to people familiar with details of the plan.

The full article is here but you may need to subscribe.

WSJ - U.S. Agrees to Citigroup Bailout

At the end of 2006, Citigroup was the fourth-largest company in the S&P's 500 Index with a market value of $274 billion. This was near the height of the bubble. Not sure where I'm going with this but the government still has not done anything to help the ailing real estate market and we continue to pour insane amounts of money into financial institutions that knowingly undertook massive risks.

Every one of them should fail and the money should be injected into the consumer segment through extended unemployment benefits and mortgage relief.

Ouch ....

Friday, November 21, 2008

What is it about babies ...

You simply can't help but laugh with them ...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I hope they are all electric ...

The worldwide fleet of cars is estimated at 700 million today and is expected to be 3 billion by 2050 with China producing almost 1 billion of those by then.

I certainly hope they are all electric or that we have figured out the pollution thing by then.

Economist - The Art of the Possible - A special report on cars

Makers ...

Ideas like FabLab at MIT, eMachineShop, and the TechShop keep me optimistic that the tinkerers and makers out there will keep churning out really cool stuff.

Some enterprising people turn these ideas into great business concepts like Squid Labs

I remember reading an article a while back about a professor at MIT that took $10,000 worth of equipment into various economically depressed areas around the world and the children in those areas would create really interesting things. Some developed tools to make farming easier ...why were these tools never conceived by the brains at the corporations around the world?

I'll see if I can find that and post as well.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Great Bailout

I heard on NPR that GM has over 7,000 dealers throughout the US and Toyota has 1,500.

So Toyota is able to take marketshare from GM with less than 25% of it's distribution channel?

The discussion also mentioned that the auto dealers association lobbied state lawmakers to make it virtually impossible to renegotiate the contracts once they were in place.

They UAW also has a Jobs Bank where more than 12,000 are paid to do nothing. Jobs bank programs -- 12,000 paid not to work

Should we hand an industry that simply does not understand how to compete more money to burn? Of course not ... let the market work its course. Those that can compete and whose theory of business is sound will survive, others should perish.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Significant Swings

I'm not entirely sure what all this means but whenever charts move like the ones included in this article are doing, it can't be good.

Two signs that something is seriously wrong

Monday, November 3, 2008

Denny Crane

Do I really need to say anything more?

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Saw news about this a few times but I think this was the first with pics. These printers can now be found in TechShops around the country and will soon be available for almost anyone to purchase. This is cool stuff ...

10 Things 3D Printers can do now

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sons of Anarchy, Episode 6

Struck me as a very interesting point of view ..

"The older I get the more I realize that age doesn't bring wisdom
it only brings weary.  I'm not any smarter than I was 30 years ago,
I've just grown too tired to juggle the lies and hide the fears.
Self-awareness doesn't reveal my indiscretions, exhaustion does."

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Two great conversations on the current economic crisis

The following two conversations discuss the current economic crisis and compare to the S&L crisis in the 80's. Very insightful. Isaac was head of the FDIC during the S&L crisis and he says that no one contacted him to discuss the current situation. Astounding!

Wallison Says `Fair Value' Accounting a Cause of Crisis
Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Peter Wallison, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, talks with Bloomberg's Tom Keene about the outlook for the proposed $700 billion bailout of financial institutions, the role accounting rules played in the credit crisis and the risks facing financial markets and the economy.
Isaac Doubts Bailout Plan Will Work in Current Form
Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- William Isaac, former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., talks with Bloomberg's Tom Keene from Sarasota, Florida, about the U.S. financial crisis, fair-value accounting rules and the government's proposed $700 bailout of financial institutions.