Archives for: 2005


Permalink 11:05:30 am, Categories: Economics, rant, 116 words   English (US)

Irrational Actors

''I heard it was going to go up to $4 a gallon tomorrow and there were going to be shortages, so when I got home from work I kissed my wife goodbye and said I was going out to find gas,'' he said.

And the Environmental Protection Agency said it would temporarily allow gasoline retailers nationwide to sell fuel that does not meet stringent summer air-quality standards.

At least we'll have fewer New Yorkers driving up around here...

Matt McKenzie, spokesman for from AAA-Northern New England, predicted gas prices would hit $3.70 to $3.80 by month's end in that region of the country, causing frugal motorists to begin carpooling, curbing errands and maybe even scaling back fall leaf-viewing trips.


Permalink 11:09:43 am, Categories: Economics, null, 20 words   English (US)

All things are impermanent

Perhaps one day even the butterflies will make it to the top of Samanala Kanda.

BTW. He'll get to appoint 2.


Permalink 07:31:42 am, Categories: Engineering, null, 19 words   English (US)

Classic SOM Design

Now this is an excellent design. Clean lines, tall, elegant. (Contrast with the previous Superman II Ice-fortress design).



Permalink 03:46:48 pm, Categories: Economics, null, 29 words   English (US)

The secret word is "Asinine"

Apparently this group pickets the funerals of soldiers (chosen at random?) in protest of the tolerance of homosexuality (that is tolerance by American culture, not the particular dead soldier).

Permalink 03:46:09 pm, Categories: Economics, 29 words   English (US)

The secret word is "Asinine"

Apparently this group pickets the funerals of soldiers (chosen at random?) in protest of the tolerance of homosexuality (that is tolerance by American culture, not the particular dead soldier).


Permalink 07:27:05 am, Categories: Engineering, null, 48 words   English (US)

What Underemployed Engineers do for fun...

(Shamelessly stolen from boingboing)

Sunnyvale traffic signal prankster on the loose

Police in Sunnyvale are keeping an eye out for a highly skilled and frustratingly elusive prankster who has been tampering with the city's traffic lights...


Permalink 12:28:19 pm, Categories: Engineering, null, 19 words   English (US)

Industry Standards

I went to see the office pranks page and noticed sadly that all office cube farms are identical, everywhere.


Permalink 06:12:58 am, Categories: Economics, null, 12 words   English (US)

I don't need no stinkin' gubmint.

...because I pulled myself up by my bootstraps (all by myself).



Permalink 09:16:00 am, Categories: Economics, null, 70 words   English (US)

...but some do it better than others

After $1.3 billion in subsidies, about 160,000 homes have solar power systems. Solar power remains two to three times as expensive as the electricity supplied to households. But homeowners say that with time, the "free" electricity pays for the high installation costs. And the government is willing to devote taxes to the effort, preferring to spur rural employment through solar power installations to help reduce payments for foreign oil, coal and gas.


Permalink 08:36:17 am, Categories: Economics, null, 158 words   English (US)

Governments shape behavior

This is exactly the kind of forward thinking civic policy we need in today's world! Oil is plentiful, energy is cheap, and no link has been found to prove human activity influences large scale climate change. w00t!

Shanghai, home to about 9m ordinary bikes, aroused a flurry of media criticism last year by banning them from main roads in the centre. But they are less and less used these days.

Since the late 1990s, however, housing has been largely privatised. Many state-owned factories have closed down or been shifted to suburban areas to reduce pollution in the cities and make way for new development. The economic boom has been spurred by a building frenzy, which itself has been fuelled by reckless bank lending and by the government's readiness to allow developers to bulldoze the inner cities. Close-knit communities have been scattered, often to the suburbs, to places ill-served by public transport and far from places of work.


Permalink 07:33:17 am, Categories: Economics, politics, 186 words   English (US)

If Burns Ran an airline...(with Federal Money)

US Airways Managers

Well, that's odd ... I've just robbed a man of his livelihood, and yet I feel strangely empty. Tell you what, Smithers - have him beaten to a pulp.

When the airline needed about $1 billion annually in labor cuts, the AFA filing said, the airline had argued that "in light of management's sacrifices, it would be 'inequitable' for labor not to take commensurate reductions."

The objections they have raised in bankruptcy court surround the company's request for up to $55 million to hand out in bonuses and severance pay to executives, managers and salaried workers.

The money essentially would wipe out the $56 million in concessions given by management and salaried employees, according to an objection filed in bankruptcy court Wednesday by the Association of Flight Attendants, which represents mainline and regional workers in the airline.

Smithers, for attempting to kill me, I'm giving you a five percent pay cut!

The AFA filing pointed to the different treatment in union workers, who were saddled with court-imposed 21 percent pay cuts for four months, while management saw only a 5 percent pay cut, "on the heels of a nearly commensurate prebankruptcy pay increase."


Permalink 06:13:36 am, Categories: Engineering, null, 46 words   English (US)

Ah, so much professionalism!

The following is excerpted from the end of long thread about a proposed bugfix/feature...

I agree with "Joe". "Mike" will agree too, once I explain to him the alternative. Consider his mail a random grenade lob without first checking to see what's in the foxhole. :-)


Permalink 06:59:29 am, Categories: Engineering, null, 132 words   English (US)

Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators

Another item in the list of "Things that are HOT"

There have been five known accidents involving RTG powered spacecraft. The first two were launch failures involving U.S. Transit and Nimbus satellites. Two more were failures of Soviet Cosmos missions containing RTG-powered lunar rovers. Finally, the failure of the Apollo 13 mission meant that the Lunar Module which carried the RTG reentered the atmosphere and burnt up over Fiji. The RTG itself survived reentry of the Earth's atmosphere intact, plunging into the Tonga trench in the Pacific Ocean. The US Department of Energy has conducted seawater tests and determined that the graphite casing, which was designed to withstand reentry, is stable and no release of Plutonium will occur. Subsequent investigations have found no increase in the natural background radiation in the area.


Permalink 09:15:06 am, Categories: Economics, null, 36 words   English (US)

Global supply chains

Here's a very interesting article that describes the nitty-gritty details of how Dell manufactures computer systems and who their suppliers are, followed by some unsolicited political commentary about how Dell is responsible for preserving world peace.

Permalink 07:25:16 am, Categories: Engineering, Papers, math, 143 words   English (US)

Dr. Feynman would be proud: HOT chips!

These IBM guys have some wicked good material-science kung-fu. They've figured out how to reliably integrate PFETs (on 1-1-0 silicon) and NFETs (on 1-0-0 silicon)

Its amazing how on the ball Dr. Feynman was about the angstrom-scale world...

"I would like to describe a field, in which little has been done, but in which an enormous amount can be done in principle. This field is not quite the same as the others in that it will not tell us much of fundamental physics (in the sense of, ``What are the strange particles?'') but it is more like solid-state physics in the sense that it might tell us much of great interest about the strange phenomena that occur in complex situations. Furthermore, a point that is most important is that it would have an enormous number of technical applications."


Permalink 07:07:31 am, Categories: Economics, null, 57 words   English (US)

Cuba, US, Health

Collin's post about Cuba got me thinking about health care...

..if you don't like these measures for health care, which ones do you propose we should use for comparisons?

From the CIA World Factbook:

Infant Mortality Rate (deaths/1000 live births)
-World 50.31
-USA 6.63
-Cuba 6.45
-EU 5.3
-Canada 4.82
-Japan 3.28

Avg. Life Expectancy at Birth
-World 64.05
-Cuba 77.04
-USA 77.43
-EU 78.1
-Canada 79.96
-Japan 81.04


Permalink 04:04:24 pm, Categories: Economics, 180 words   English (US)

The Car Matrix...

So here I am -- about to buy another car. What car will he buy, he's not going to buy another Civic is he? Well no.

The car matrix has been narrowed down to three choices: Honda Civic Coupe, Scion tC (non-customized), and the Mazda 3.

Yes, they are japanese-econo-boxes. (The estimated TCO @150Kmi of these cars is more than only two cars: Toyota Echo, Corolla)

If these cars were OSes they might be VMS boxen (or maybe its cheaper even uglier cousin, FreeBSD). Ugly, but with ridiculous uptimes. And that matters.

As someone who relies on my car to get me to work 100+ working days a year (2-person carpool), I can't really afford to get in the car and have it not work. Depending on what you currently do for a living, this may or may not make sense to you.

Sure I'd like a Porsche, maybe as a second pleasure car. But until I move out to car heaven, where parking is free, the roads have wonderful s-curves and are impeccably dry and paved - I'll stick to the econo box.


Permalink 10:37:28 pm, Categories: Engineering, null, 129 words   English (US)

The dangerous world of pioneering...

Looks like the end of days for transmeta. They had a nifty idea with the realtime dynamic binary translation, but in the end - it didn't save them enough transistors to make a difference.

It will be sad to see them go-- they did the industry a great favor by showing consumers (and chip architects) that power mattered. Its too bad they didn't get more $monetary$ benefit from their efforts, before the mighty manufacturing machine at Intel turned a couple knobs and dusted off an old design and built it in the new process (Ah! The miracles of voltage scaling).

But then again, I'd rather be the lead dog any day of the week, he's the only one with the great view.


Permalink 12:08:30 pm, Categories: Do It Yourself, null, 33 words   English (US)

For those of us lacking fine motor control...

Now we can use surface mount (and otherwise hard to solder) parts in our prototype boards...Yea!

Soldering with your toaster-oven

Design your own PCBs

Note to self: buy a *spare* toaster oven.


<<     >>
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec



Recent Referers

  • more...

Top Referers

  • more...


Syndicate this blog XML

What is RSS?

powered by