Jeff Sexton

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New TV/PC

http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/01/30/asus_announces_eee_tv/

A digital TV merged with a computer in one low cost consumer product...

I don't know if this will be a good product at a good price or not, but it goes to show what sort of innovation Publish Postcan occur in a tech world becoming less hindered by Microsoft all the time.

I Didn't Know that...

http://io9.com/349988/whats-wrong-with-this-philip-k-dick-book-cover

Philip K. Dick's The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and Frank Herbert's Dune, two well known science fiction works, one cover art.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Internet Phones Invented

Good news! Someone has just now invented a phone with a camera, internet connectivity, and the ability to download and play media! Wow! I can't believe no one thought of this before, but there it is. The US Patent and trademark Office, in its wisdom, has awarded a patent for just such a phone.

The "company" that was awarded the patent prompted filed legal actions against Apple, Nokia, RIM, Sprint, AT&T, HP, Motorola, Sony and others.

More here:

http://techdirt.com/articles/20080124/16382062.shtml

And here is the patent itself, awarded January 22 2008:

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=7,321,783&OS=7,321,783&RS=7,321,783

Another triumph of American innovation...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

At Work

http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20080122/cm_csm/ykjerulf;_ylt=AtdOz_34uAtB.dd4L9skV_Ilr7sF

"The concept of happiness at work is alien to most American workplaces."

* * *

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120104351064608025.html

"In the real world, banks are reeling from the subprime-mortgage mess. In the online game Second Life, a shutdown of the make-believe banking system is causing real-life havoc for thousands of people."

* * *

http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/080123/20080123006177.html

It's official - Meg Whitman will step down as CEO of eBay.

* * *

Three Little Pigs book deemed offensive to Muslims

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/23/pigs_book_rumpus/

The panel also suggested the book might be offensive to builders, what with it being entitled The Three Little Cowboy Builders. Becta asked: "Is it true that all builders are cowboys, builders get their work blown down, and builders are like pigs?"

Google News

There's a couple of interesting bits in the news today about Google. This piece, "Life after Google, with millions"

http://www.news.com/2100-1030_3-6226900.html

and this, "Google Drops More Than 160 Points":

http://battellemedia.com/archives/004227.php

I do feel sorry for people, Google employees, that were just hired and handed stock options at $750. On the other hand, reports of Google's demise are greatly exaggerated. Google is company with great ideas that's doing everything right. The mindless sell off of the past couple of days changes nothing. It's a great opportunity. Google shares are on sale. 2008 looks good for Google, and the skies the limit.

Today's DOW?

Up? Down? Nothing?
It's not a good time to be making predictions, especially about the future.

This article sums it up pretty well:

http://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingnews/2008/01/dont_freak_out_portland_advise.html

Particularly this bit:

"The contradiction here, the irony, is that now is a great time to be buying. The market's on sale today. When Nordstrom's has a sale, do people stay away? The market's having a 20% sale after the last two weeks. It's a great time to buy. That's premised on the fact that you have a long-term time horizon. If it goes down another 5%, so what? We looked at recessions going back to '69 and '70, tracking market returns in the months before, during and after each recession. Within six months of most recessions, the markets had wiped out all the losses and were ahead slightly. People need to be patient, to plan their finances. If you have a need for cash in a year or two years, you should be cautious. It's all driven by your time horizon. But if you're 10 years from retirement, you really have a 40-year time horizon.

"Based on life expectancy rather than retirement date?

"Yes. Those people, 10 years from retirement, should be pouring money into their 401(k) right now."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Whitman

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/22/ebay_whitman_retiring/

Meg Whitman is leaving eBay? FINALLY!

Maybe eBay will move forward now. Update it's web site, get a search engine that works the way we have come to expect search engines to work, stop trying to be a retail store (we already have those), stop doing bizarre things like buying Skype, add rather obvious features buyers want but that maybe aren't so popular with sellers, and maybe, finally eBay will grow.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Market Suspense

This is one of those days that will be fun to watch. There's no particular reason for anything to happen one way or the other, so far. Bush is going to give a speech about economic stimulus, but there will be no surprises in it, probably. Anything could happen - even a big move up or down. On a day like this it's all imagination and emotions without connection to reality. It's days like this that keep people in money market accounts.

There will likely be more down days and weeks in the near future, including some more plummeting like yesterday. But by the end of the third quarter, those that kept their heads and dollar cost averaged their way through it will be glad they did.

Things are looking up. The housing/credit problem is ultimately a good thing, Bush has stopped threatening to start another war, and soon there will be a new President. The economy is, and has been, actually pretty good under the covers. The falling dollar and inflation due to energy costs are a risk, but there's plenty of room for that to change (oil is not actually in short supply, in reality, for example). Emerging markets that do not depend on the US are still doing well. The stock markets will get run up in '08 in anticipation of economic growth in '09.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laland/2008/01/mozilo-severanc.html

"As the mortgage industry went into a nose dive in late 2006 and 2007, Mozilo [of Countrywide Financial] cashed out about $140 million in stock options, becoming one of the highest-paid executives in the country."

It's hard to believe this could happen without law breaking.

Mozilo was guaranteed three times his base salary, plus a cash payment equal to three times the greater of his average bonus or the incentive bonus paid the previous year: $87.8 million.

There's also two pensions that were worth $24 million as of December 2006, lump sums. And "continuing health benefits for life for himself and his spouse, three years of life and financial planning benefits, and "tax-gross-up payments" to compensate him for any penalties he'd have to pay for receiving payments the IRS might consider excessive."

Astonishing. How's your 401k this this afternoon?

Friday, January 04, 2008

NCAA

I heard on the radio yesterday that the NCAA is considering a rules change that would allow NCAA payers (and other images) to appear in commercial advertising. Someone, not players, could get paid for this - although players would obviously benefit personally in many ways also.

I've got a simple idea for fixing every problem with money and college sports. Here it is...

Make the college leagues completely private corperations. Allow players to form unions, and be paid, for both playing and for ads, both as players and as private individuals. Allow players that are not students. Remove all school funding for the teams. The teams would then have to pay the schools for use of the schools' logos and copyrights.

There, simple. It's what everyone wants. It's the way it will get to be anyway. Any argument against doing this, can also be applied against current NCAA policies that allow the college sports money machine as we know it. So just do it.

College sports tick me off.

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