Business, Technology, News, and Noise

World of Warcraft Grinding, Addiction, and You

August 4th, 2008
I spent this afternoon looking over some wired articles from last week and found one in particular that made me smirk a bit.
My experience in MMORPG gaming is pretty extensive and one common annoyance that is a mainstay in modern day gaming is the what I like to call the donkey-carrot element. It is this element that drives addiction and is necessary in order to keep people playing games indefinitely.
Getting into World of Warcraft for the first time means hours of grinding: performing the same tasks over and over to “level up” a character. But far from being boring, grinding is one of the great unsung joys of gaming.

Last week, I finally decided to start

Business Fashion Sense

August 1st, 2008

This morning I read an article that borders on the ridiculous. According to experts at the NY Times, designers are trying to make a statement this summer by pushing the idea of suits with shorts, no-socks and penny loafers. If I hadn’t seen the insanity for myself, I probably wouldn’t believe it.. I most certainly wouldn’t be able to conceptualize the horrid style.

When the hockey star Sean Avery took an internship at Vogue earlier this summer, the work uniform that the fashion-besotted left wing chose included a shorts suit that showcased his athletic calves.

“Why go to work and be hot?” he asked last week, adding that there was no

Entrepreneurs Continue To Make Big Bucks

June 19th, 2008

Just over one year ago, I remember a casual dialog I had with the founder of LinkedIn.  He was a really nice guy, was trying to market his new linked in site and sent me an invitation to create a profile.  When I saw it, I thought it would be a winner and I liked most aspects of the design.  Now, the NY Times is reporting that a round of funding generated well over fifty million dollars and the latest valuation of the business puts LinkedIN at over one billion dollars.  That is almost double that paid for myspace by News Corp.

On Wednesday, LinkedIn will announce that it has raised $53 million in

Aluminums Boost Immune System

May 22nd, 2008

Have you ever taken a vaccine and been advised

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to take some aluminum concoctions to help the process along? Interestingly enough, this is a common method of helping to raise the efficacy of vaccines, but until recently it was never understood why it worked so well. It is astonishing how much medical science can advance without having a clear understanding of the process, but it has.

According to Science Now,

Many vaccines contain adjuvants, nonspecific agents that help jolt the immune system into action. “Alum,” a term referring broadly to aluminum hydroxide and several aluminum salts, has this

Consumer Confidence Sinks To New Low

April 11th, 2008

Americans are becoming less confident in the economy and more concerned about the mounting job losses, energy costs and record-high home foreclosures.  The RBC Cash Index suggests a lowly 29.5 mark in April, down from 33.1 in March.  This was the worst reading since the index first started measuring economic indicators in 2002.  This is the fourth month where consumer confidence has dropped to a new low.

Boeing Sabotages Opposition

April 11th, 2008

In the court of public opinion, all that matters is where the buzz goes and who believes the hype generated by various PR firms and media conglomerates. Boeing claims that is competition makes air

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NSA Can Eavesdrop If It Wants To

April 3rd, 2008

Hackers and nerds have talked about this issue for years. The idea that there is no such thing as real security so long as corporations put in back doors for agencies like the NSA to have access to people’s information at will.

Cryptome reports that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has remote administrative access to several of the most popular Windows PC firewalls, and that it has also taken control of a number of supposedly “secure ” email services within the past few months.

The article contends that personal computer firewall software products from MacAfee, Symantec, Zone Alarm all help Microsoft’s NSA-controlled remote admin access via ports

Firefox Gaining on IE in Business

April 2nd, 2008

Internet Explorer has had a good run, all things considered. They were the choice of consumers and professionals everywhere in the 90s, in large part because Microsoft engaged in anti-competitive practices that promoted its product at the expense of the industry. Now, businesses are catching up to technology, but they are not as interested in upgrading IE6.

From Information Week: “Firefox gains on internet explorer in business

If IE7 isn’t taking off in enterprises, it’s questionable whether Microsoft should expect any better in IE8. Analyst firm Gartner cautioned last month that IE8′s default standards mode could break enterprise applications. Apps might not render properly if they’ve been

AT&T Predatory Practices Aggravate Consumers

April 1st, 2008

The consumerist is a great website that often shares stories by people like you and me who struggle with corporate policies that are meant to put the squeeze on the little guy.  Corporate motivations have one thought in mind, profit!   One particular customer had a chat with customer service and was informed that collection agencies are informed a mere 10 days after the original bail is mailed if payment is not received.  

 Factoring in two or three days for the bill to arrive, two or three days for the check to get back to AT&T, and a Sunday or two, that leaves three to five days for customers to pay their bills before the

Razor Sharp Design Meets Google Android

March 13th, 2008

Predicting the Future of Cell Phone Technology and Design

Over the years, the Blackberry has set the standard for business cell phones and now the iPhone has set the standard for media enriched cell phones for higher class consumers. The question that remains to be answered is, “Will these ambitious super-gadgets go mainstream?” To Apple enthusiasts and Silicon Valley nerds, the answer is obvious. Over a million iPhones sold within months after release, are you kidding? It’ll absolutely be mainstream in a few years!

Consider design, consumption and use

I might have given the answer above without hesitation last fall, but then it occurred to me that these phones are highly targeted pieces of equipment. Take the Blackberry for example,

Wii Crossbow, hot new Wii Accessory?

March 10th, 2008

If any other company had

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released a similar concept, I think it would have been laughed off of the gaming stage. Nintendo Wii, however, it seems nothing can go wrong if it has the Wii trademark associated with it. First came the Wii Zapper, it basically turns

World’s Top 20 Billionaires

March 6th, 2008

We apologize for not updating this blog recently, some new web developments in the works and time is scarce.  Hopefully that trend changes.  Here is a cool article from  Yahoo Finance, listing the top 20 billionaires.

The article is “World Billionaires – 2008” – here’s the list:

1. Warren Buffett
2. Helú Slim & Family
3. William Gates III
4. Lakshmi Mittal
5. Mukesh Ambani
6. Anil Ambani
7. Ingvar Kamprad & Family
8. KP Singh
9. Oleg Deripaska

Pakistan’s War On Youtube

February 25th, 2008

By now, you’re probably aware that Pakistan’s government banned youtube because of depictions that were being spread on Mohammad, a taboo in the Muslim world.

ArsTechnica had the lowdown on some of the odd packet routing issues that resulted on Sunday, here’s an excerpt:

On Sunday, YouTube became unreachable from most, if not all, of the Internet. No “sorry we’re down” or cutesy kitten-with-screwdriver page, nothing. What happened was that packets sent to YouTube were flowing to Pakistan. Which was curious, because the Pakistan government had just instituted a ban on the popular video sharing site. What apparently happened is that Pakistan Telecom routed the address block that YouTube’s servers

Would today or

Microsoft Changes Stance On Interoperability

February 21st, 2008

There’s a lot of online buzz about Microsoft’s recent decision to open up the books to help simplify interoperability standards.  Microsoft critics have long complained about Microsoft’s lack of cooperating with industry leaders and participating in open standards.  Microsoft Internet Explorer is a good example of their stubborn lack of cooperation over the years as the Microsoft browser generally renders pages unlike most other browsers.  Web professionals that want to create media rich sites with the latest advancements in technology are often forced to jump various hoops just to remain compatible with IE 5, 6, and 7 all versions of IE that render certain CSS elements differently.


Steve Jobs - Microsoft Open standards

Hello Listener…Pseudo-criminal

February 20th, 2008

So begins the read-me of an album downloaded via p2p networks. Wait! Put the gun down; the words aren’t accusing, if potentially accurate. CEO Benn Jordan of Alphabasic Records expresses his feelings on the music industry on this unlikely podium. Apparently frustrated with all the pitfalls of typical distrunbution methods, the experimental rocker under his bandname The Flashbulb has released the latest album, Soundtrack to a Vacant Life, into the wilds of the p2p world before the official release. He continues;

“If you can read this, then you’ve more than likely downloaded this album from a peer to peer network or torrent. You probably expect the rest of this message to tell you that you’re

Angry Sellers Boycotting Ebay

February 18th, 2008

I’m always intrigued by the direction of online politics and how far activists are willing to go to support their cause. eBay recently announced that it would do away with negative ratings for buyers. Some sellers are up in arms over this act, but in a way it kind of makes sense. In the “real world”, when do consumers get labeled with negative feedback from merchants or blacklisted for acting in bad faith? Online, this can be a handy tool for Seller’s to know whether or not they should do business with your average consumer, but it can also be used to manipulate users into action or inaction by threat of negative feedback.

Here are