Here comes a new service from Google called 'Keep'. It's basically a utility to create notes and task lists and access them from anywhere including one's smartphone. I suppose it is a reincarnation of the old Google Notebook.
Many have dubbed Keep the Evernote killer. Probably an over-reaction, but I don't use Evernote. Years ago I created a service, PADFLY, that is a basic public online notepad. Nothing fancy, but what it does, it does well and it has a decent number of users, myself included. I doubt Keep will kill PADFLY
For now Keep seems to be a no-frills but functional utility as a part of Google Drive and I'll probably use it from my computer and my Android phone. As for its longevity, one can only guess. Google hasn't exactly been reliable with its products as evident by the recent sudden decommissioning of Reader.
I'm not sure why anyone would see any reason behind Amazon's move to hoard a bunch of gTLDs (global top level domains), other than pure greed.
In a recent open letter (PDF) to ICANN, Association of American Publishers rightfully opposed granting Amazon the control of the .book gTLD. It states:
In short, Amazon makes clear that it seeks exclusive control of the “.book” string solely for its own business purposes, notwithstanding the broad range of other companies, organizations and individuals that have diverse interests in the use of this gTLD or its second-level domains by others or themselves.
Well stated, but does ICANN or anyone else really need a protest letter to recognize Amazon's true motives in hogging as many domains as it can?
The Miami Marathon was held on Sunday, Jan. 27 and I was happy to be a part of it. I have been travelling to Miami during the same dates for the past several years and always wanted to run in this event. This year I decided to fly in a couple of days early and take part.
I'm not a big fan of races. To me running is a way to relax, unwind and be with my own thoughts. Races are anything but. They're loud, crowded, with rigid start times, course clocks, pre-determined mileages, etc., not exactly relaxing. I don't train for races either. they take too much time and discipline. I just go about my own runs and then just go for the race. Not exactly a winning strategy as I have been unable to break 4 hours, but I have no plans to address that with training.
Some observations on the Miami Marathon:
- Runners were required to pick up their numbers from the convention center 1 or 2 days prior to the show. I understand that they want people to attend the expo, but that creates a bit of inconvenience for people who must travel to the event.
- The race started at 6 am with shuttle pickups at 4 am. That's way too early for me but it's probably done to get in front of the heat. Upper 70's was forecast later on the race day.
- One thing I didn't like about the event was that the half and full marathoners shared the same course for the entire half. That did create a bit of traffic jam with the 25,000 runners in some areas where the streets were narrower. Other marathons separate full and half marathoners in a mile or two after the start and that helps spread out the crowd making the courses less dense.
Overall the event was well organized with a decent number of aid stations and entertainment zones, and the course was interesting with good crowd support, and a nice finisher medal to top it off. I even got a banana from a woman handing them out from her own property. Thanks, whoever you were, it was at the perfect time. And if one was inclined, the ocean was near enough for a quick post-race dip. Who can beat that in mid-winter?
Much has been said about how Amazon's high stock price is unjustified. This morning my boss sent me a link that reminded me again how ridiculous Amazon's share price has gotten as of late. The article summed it up well by noting that if Apple were to have the same PE ratio as Amazon, its share price would be $145,000.
I suppose another way to even better demonstrate this insanity is to use the same equation on Berkshire Hathaway class A shares, which would send them to an astronomical $31 million/share.
My boss tried to justify Amazon's stock price by mentioning their high profit margins. So I decided to take a look at what Amazon's gross margins are and how they compare with some other companies. Here's a short list:
- Amazon: 25%
- Apple: 39%
- Google: 57%
- eBay: 69%
- Microsoft: 74%
- Intel: 63%
- Priceline: 82%
- Wal-Mart: 25%
- Ford: 18%
- Oracle: 80%
- GE: 26%
As you can see Amazon's gross margin is way below its peers, but in line with that of Wal-Mart's. Proof that Amazon is nothing more than a glorified, high-tech super store.
As to why its stock continues to rise despite any rational justification, another person said it well. Traders play Amazon as a momentum stock and it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Logic indicates that it should come down crashing hard, but this stock escaped logic long ago and it'll be foolhardy to bet against it now.
So the founder of Megaupload is back with another file-sharing service. Good for him and good for the millions of would be users who use such services.
Let's reserve judgement on what Megaupload is allegedly guilty of but one thing is for sure, American media is but a means to corrupt and bend minds and subdue society, and people pay for it on top of that.
In the US the media is used like a sedative To many, TV, music and movies are like candy to a kid. As long as people are provided with mindless entertainment, they remain passive and controlled. Then commercialism is introduced to sway opinions and move the herd to one direction or another, much like mass hypnosis.
Stealing copyrighted material is illegal, but for the time being we have a choice not to engage in and pay for it. In the end what Megaupload is truly guilty of is giving people a tool to fritter away time with the rubbish called entertainment.
Love this story. Software developers are certainly infamous for being lazy. Most of us are, and that drives us to write code to automate things or write utilities to give to others to perform certain tasks. It's all about finding clever ways to make things easier for us and our employers.
But one guy took it one step further and secretly outsourced his coding responsibilities to a Chinese firm paying them a fraction of his salary and spending his own days having fun. His employer was oblivious to this for years until they ran an audit and discovered the scheme.
The blog post below is really about this coder's exploits and a cautionary tale for others to keep tabs on their networks. Still a part of me wants to high-five him for his cleverness right up to the point he was caught.
Verizon Business Security Blog » Blog Archive » Case Study: Pro-active Log Review Might Be A Good Idea.
I don't like government regulation much but there are areas that concern health and safety where government regulation may not be a bad thing.
Making electric cars a bit noisier is one of those areas (Electric Cars Must Make Noises Can Hear Under U.S. Rule). As a runner and walker I have been startled by the noiseless cars a few times. No close calls for me and all my senses including hearing are unencumbered by modern gadgets. Yet I can see how the battery powered cars could pose a danger to people not hearing them or believing they are shut off and parked just before they dart out.
If this saves one life, and I'm sure it will save more, then the cost would absolutely be worth it.
25 years from now we could be dealing with an issue similar to the Y2K issue, year 2038 problem.
This problem was brought to my attention by user 'Ken' commenting on the countdown tool page on this site. Basically *nix systems keep time in 32-bit integer formats counting seconds since Jan. 1, 1970. On Jan. 19, 2038 the 32-bit integer will overflow, resetting to 0 and many systems may interpret that as year 1901.
Certainly a vexing issue, but one with some time remaining to resolve. Even better, some of us will either be retired or simply no longer around to worry about it at all.
A number of fixes and workarounds have been proposed, chiefly among them using a 64-bit integer to keep time. That will do quite nicely and we won't have to worry about the rollover issue for some 292 billions years