Hashemian Blog
Web, Finance, Technology, Running

Lima, Peru

by @ 9:54 am
Filed under: social — Tags: ,

A couple of photos from Lima, Peru where I visited earlier this year. Google's Picasa did a good job stitching a few photo fragments to make panoramic views. Click to see full size.

The first one is right off the Lima coast in the Mira Flores district. Surfers are visible in the Pacific.

The second, a shot from the historic Pachacamac. A village is visible beyond the ruins. I suspect some of the people there work in the ruins.

lima, peru

pachacamac, peru

The Rio, Las Vegas

by @ 10:37 pm
Filed under: social — Tags:

A few shots of Las Vegas from the top of the Rio hotel where I rode their newly opened Voodoo zip line.

The Rio

therio2

therio3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon and Walmart

by @ 10:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: ,

amazonI don't know what the traders were really expecting when Amazon reported losses two weeks ago. It's the same broken record for the past 20 years. Trust us, we are investing in the future. The future is an awesome alibi because it's always in the, well, future. It'll never come.

So the stock has been sliding since the earnings (or lack thereof) release. Still Amazon's valuation is sky-high with no discernible timeline on when investors will finally see at least an evidence of an earnings turnaround. One must wonder where Amazon gets its money to fund its operations and fill the financial holes quarter after quarter. Perhaps that comes from selling bonds, a cheap way to raise money these days and it does have its own cash reserves.

Now comes the news of Walmart renovating its web site to better compete with Amazon. Walmart is going to have a tough fight on its hands. They can personalize and optimize and modernize their site all they want, but how can one defeat a behemoth that doesn't care about how much money it loses quarter after quarter, year after year?

If only Walmart could convince its investors that losing money is sound business. It's a skill Amazon has polished and perfected since its inception. No doubt Amazon will lose more money in the next quarter and investors will flock back to the stock, bowing and worshiping.

Microsoft Wants 20,000 More But 18,000 Less

by @ 9:07 pm
Filed under: microsoft

windows-logoCan anyone speculate what Microsoft is doing these days? Never mind the lack of focus that is so obvious in their products and strategies, but apparently dementia has hit the core of the company as well.

It wasn't even 2 years ago that  Microsoft was throwing fits like a child to raise the H1B visa limits because it so desperately needed 20,000 more people. Fast-forward a few months and boat-loads of people are getting summarily fired because, well, they have 18,000 too many employees.

So which is it Microsoft, 20,000 vacant positions or 18,000 surplus positions? It's the new fuzzy logic by the company that has brought you the <sarcasm>amazing</sarcasm> Windows 8.

The Web (Google) Fear

by @ 1:53 pm
Filed under: google — Tags:

Gmail is having intermittent outages today but when i saw the below page my heart sank thinking they had suspended my account. The message is so personal:

We're sorry but your Gmail account is temporarily unavailable.

Seems innocent enough until you start thinking, what if it is my account only? Have I been banned, am I being penalized for some unknown behaviour, or just my technical issue number was up? What then, who'll help me?

Pretty scary when most of life is lived online where it can be yanked away from one in a moment with no recourse.

Fortunately, judging by the tweets, I wasn't a lone target today. I still belong 🙂

gmail-outage

Stack Overflow on stackoverflow.com

by @ 5:40 pm
Filed under: web — Tags:

Ok, they're down for maintenance but for a second I thought their site had really blown the stack 🙂

stackoverflow

YouTube Disable-Annotation Broken

by @ 9:59 pm
Filed under: google — Tags: ,

I've never liked annotations on YouTube videos. They are more annoying than useful, so I had my account configured to never show them by unchecking the box as shown below.

But recently YouTube has been ignoring this setting and the only way to shut off annotations is from the Settings icon on every playback, Quite annoying!

youtube permanent annotation setting

Outlook is Private - Really!

by @ 12:12 pm
Filed under: email,google,microsoft — Tags: ,

Logging into my Hotmail/Outlook account this morning I was greeted with this message touting the benefits of Outlook. They saved the best for last, claiming that "Outlook is private". Talk about false advertising.

outlook is private?

 

It was barely a week ago when news leaked that Microsoft had snooped on an employee's Hotmail account while investigating a hacking incident. And before that there were news of Hotmail snooping on inboxes on behalf of the NSA.

If you are going to make a false statement, at least wait for a period of time for the negative news to fade. Taking veiled pot-shots at Google for showing related advertising on Gmail is easy enough. But I'd much rather have a computer algorithm display related ads while reading emails, than have a forensic team at Microsoft read and analyze my emails or send them to some government agency to be collected and mined unconstitutionally. And then to have the gall to make the phony privacy-abiding statement in the face of their blatant disregard for privacy?

Amazon FireTV

by @ 6:10 pm
Filed under: internet,technology — Tags: ,

amazon-live-tvSo we have wireless-ready TVs, wireless-ready DVD players, Roku, Chromecast, game consoles, and who knows how many other devices attached to our TVs.

Now here comes Amazon with its amazingly innovative Fire TV that does incredible things such as, wait a second, stream videos to your TV just like any other device.

Why again do we need this device? Must be the cool logo 🙂

NCAA basketball Brackets on Google

by @ 6:04 pm
Filed under: google — Tags: , ,

Kind of late to mention this as we get close to the end of the 2014 NCAA men's college basketball championship games, but Google has made it easy to check on the games in progress and their results. Just type in bracket in Google and get the info at the top of the results page.

Best wishes to my alma mater, University of Connecticut. Go UConn Huskies !

uconn-ncaa-bracket

 

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