Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Turbo tax… god! why cant they do “stock plan” related things properly?

February 8, 2007

I thought buying Turbotax Premier would help me with the ESOP and ESPP sales. Alas, it almost looks like they have no idea what kind of hell it is to enter information. (Which almost makes me think that they dont use their software)

– It does pull all the sale information from the financial institutions (like Etrade), but everything is considered as stock, I cannot pull that information into Stock plan section.. yikes!!
– Now, I want to delete these information that are downloaded.
– I try using keyboard “delete” button, no it does not work. I need to click on the button on the screen.
– OK, let me at least do a bulk delete, NO! you cannot do multi-select each item has to be selected and then you have to confirm in another screen.
– Now, once you delete a transaction, at least you think that cursor is moves to next entry (or around the same place). Oh no #@$##$#, it selects the first one in the list!!!

OK, I searched the help and found that you can delete the whole set of things by using File menu!! Some relief at last (even though it did delete some other information I wanted it to be retained, but what can you do, something is better than nothing 😦 )

The new, old alternative fuel — Algae?

January 24, 2007

Venutre beat has this article by a biotech-entrepreneur Rich Hilt, who runs Menlo Park, Calif. company, LiveFuels, which is interesting if you are following the alternate energy area.

The real question is: should ethanol be the focus or will other sources be ignored in doing so. Right now, ethanol produced from only the kernels of corn yield about 370 gals/acre/yr. Diesel produced from soybeans produces 50 gals/acre/yr. Biodiesel from Palm Oil beats both with yields of 600 gals/acre/yr.
The promise of using the entire corn plant – which is referred to as “stover” and involves a more complex process in turning the cellulosic materials into ethanol – could produce 1,000 gals/acre/yr. Brazil is currently using sugar cane for its ethanol and produces about 650 gals/acre/yr. They are working on a “Super” cane that could produce 3,200 gals/acre/yr. So there is a range today of 50 to 600 gal/acre/yr for ethanol and diesel from biomass and the promise of 1,000 to 3,200 gal/acre/yr in the next 5 to 10 years for some of the other newer varieties of crops.

People in the energy business are looking for an oil that can be used to provide a feedstock to existing oil refineries. It might come from corn, oil crops, or algae. Don Paul, Chevron’s Chief Technology Officer, has referred to this as “super” crude, and should be viewed as an important goal of the biofuels industry. The advantage that biologists have in working on algae is that they can literally look for the right algae with oils that have carbon molecules with chains of 5 or 6 carbon atoms rather than the 12 – 15 carbons in most of the exiting biofuels. This would take advantage of the entire infrastructure already in place.


How much would it cost to manufacture an iPhone (apple’s cell phone)

January 18, 2007

Business week has this interesting article, where a silicon valley marketing research firm iSuppli makes a guess about the cost.

Adding up the cost of all the parts that Apple is expected to use in the device suggests it will cost about $230 to build the 4GB version that will sell for $499 and about $265 to build the 8GB version that will sell for $599.
The single most expensive part will be the 3.5-inch touch-sensitive display, which iSuppli says will cost $33.50, while the combined cost of the NAND-type flash memory chips—probably supplied by Samsung—will run $35 to $70, depending on the model.

AT&T to baby bells and back to AT&T

January 18, 2007

Pretty funny. Hats off to Colbert

Netflix tries _online_ rental

January 16, 2007

I understand, they always had the online model. But, now they are trying out their hand in the download… sorry stream mode of delivery for rentals.

Well, there are conditions, you got to have real high speed internet, only 1000 titles are available for now, there is only ‘n’ hours available per customer.

They do want to go one-up against Blockbusters Total Access, which is a great service for consumers. My son loves to browse in the store and I usually get confused in store because I forget what I am looking for. So, I have gotten their minimum subscription ($10 per month + tax) and I get a dvd for myself online and when my son wants (he is just a kid, he just wants some cartoon), I just use the returns to get one in-store rental free.

Anyway, even with my high speed internet online video is not that great so far. I doubt if Netflix has mastered that technology. But we never know till some one tries it and reviews it. For me, it is not impressive, as I am more comfortable watching from a DVD player than hooking my laptop into TV. (I dont know how to get a good quality with that)

Till that time, I feel the same way as OmMalik feels…. “Return to the sender

Hottest year and religion of global warming

January 10, 2007

There is lot of press on 2007 is supposed be a hottest year ever recorded because of El nino, you can read about it here, here and here.

But interesting thing or discussion is about if it is related to global warming or just natural cyclic phenomena we have not recorded before. You never know, it is all about relativeness in science/ truth (anekantavada). As it stands, it seems like there is a notable temperature increase in recent years. Everyone, depending on where they stand (or how they make their living) provide an analysis, twist, quirk on the news, observation etc. Some people are equating the fear on global warming to religion, saying what Gore’s preaching is not exactly science and people are blindly following him.

For me, who cares? if global warming is the magic mantra that makes people to think twice about their everyday consumption of natural resources, that is good enough. Even if it is totally farce, just does not matter as long as people start to drive fuel efficient cars, forces the factories to emit less green house gases, that is good enough. (Aparigraha)

Of course, religion also supposed to make people better with blind faith, alas some hijacked it and made it a cause for more destruction. Hope environmentalism does not lead to similar things.

About me

December 6, 2006

Well… thats the question that bothered me while creating the blog. Should it be a full disclosure or hide under some screen name? I preferred the latter because it allows me to say what I like without really thinking about it’s repercussions. I am still nobody in this world, wanting to become somebody, but I don’t believe that I have the writing skills to get recognized through what I write in blog. So, till that time I will remain anonymous 😉