Thursday, November 8, 2012

Obama bad for stock prices?

I was thinking about why the stock market would take a dive on the day after Obama's re-election, then I started thinking about some of the things he has promised, and some of the consequences of the upcoming "fiscal cliff". Obama believes in raising corporate tax rates. That affects stock prices directly, by definition. stock value = discounted future cash flows of a company's after tax earnings. If corporate taxes go up, stocks get marked down because taxes are part of the earnings formula. As investors pull their money out, companies with less capital will eliminate jobs and cannot fund as much (any?) growth. I think that means it's time to get out of US stocks and invest somewhere else until the threat of higher corporate tax rates subsides.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The height of technological advancement

I got a hot, new, tiny, 64GB HD video camera, which is disguised as a working iPod Nano. I was reading the instructions to set the time and date, expecting to have to press one of the five buttons 2,012 times to set the year or somesuch nonsense, but I was surprised. Attach it to the PC USB port. Create a text file in its root directory named TIME containing the YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss and press the record button once. Voila. I set the clock on my video camera using Notepad. Freaking Notepad! Of all the wonderful technology I use each day, this impresses me. It's probably because over the years I've set the clocks on the most obtuse of embedded systems in VCRs, alarm clocks, answering machines, point and shoot cameras, ovens, and the dreaded programmable thermostat. This one was actually easy. I call that progress.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A fun little PSA.

This public service announcement brought to you by the Centers for Disease Control... because I like this one. If you're ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you're ready for any emergency. emergency.cdc.gov

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Via Twitter: Brian Koppelman @briankoppelman : People keep asking David Levien and me to do Rounders 2. We want to. So do Matt and Edward. If you want it, RT with hashtag #rounders2. https://twitter.com/#!/briankoppelman/status/194806605336948736 I'd watch it... probably more than once.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Measure twice, cut once.

I'm working with an on-site IT guy in another state. We did some troubleshooting and determined that the optics on the switch were bad. I took him at his word that the fibers were tested. The new optics arrived yesterday. This morning, we're back at square one. When he ordered the new SFP, I told him to also get an optical power meter so we can ensure that the loss budget of the optics match the characteristics the fiber. A light meter isn't the kind of item you buy from CDW for quadruple the price you can find elsewhere. Here's a good one for less than $150 shipped. http://www.computercablestore.com/Silicon_ZOOM_2_Optical_Po_PID48433.aspx I know the value of the time I've wasted on this effort is worth way more than this thing. He needs to measure the optical loss (dBmv) before I can help him further. Instead of taking a measurement, he is ordering new fiber which might match the optical characteristics of the optics he ordered before without knowing the loss levels on the fibers he already has. My sympathy levels are waning.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Blogging, cardio fun, and Phylo

There was a recent spike in traffic to my blog, so I decided to start paying more attention to it. The items getting the most clicks are technical. I generally forget that it's useful to others when I post odd technical tricks I learn, so others may stumble upon them. I did absolutely nothing technical today. I played drop-in hockey for the most fun possible morning cardio. I had a cheese omelet with chili on it for brunch. I relaxed and read email. Ooh, and I played some Phylo. Phylo is a pattern matching game, but the patterns are actually genome fragments of different mammal species. I'll tell ya, you have more in common with a bat than you do a horse or a dog. I would rather look for similarities among humans and mice than horses and dogs. http://phylo.cs.mcgill.ca/