Archive for July, 2006

New Site is up

July 30, 2006

The new site is finally up. HujoBlogger has moved to hujoblogger.com

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Misleading Reputations

July 28, 2006

My favorite thing about working in New York this summer is getting the opportunity to visit different cities. Every city I go to I have a preconceived idea of what its like. What its going to look like, what the people are like, what the weather is like, etc. Reflecting back in the past year I have travelled quite a bit. I have visited ten different states and driven through another nine. I road tripped from Texas to California and back, Texas to Colorado and back, and Texas to New York and I’m not looking forward to the driving back part. Other trips include Ohio, Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, Florida, New Orleans, Las Vegas twice, and Annapolis twice. The point of me telling you all of this is because what I expected to find in all of these travels was different then what I actually found.

Geographic reputations commonly lead to misperceptions. I will focus on two and touch on another. Before my trip to California I felt like I had heard every bitch as to why Cali, Southern California, in particular was such a disaster of a place to live. I had this stuck in my head that it would never be a place that I could picture myself living. It’s overcrowded, there’s forest fires, blackouts, earthquakes, landslides, liberal protestors, taxes are out of control, cost of living is insane, there’s smog, traffic, crime, and in general the people are too Hollywood, superficial, and materialistic. After I got there I realized this reputation was wholly unwarranted. Maybe not wholly but it wasn’t near as bad as it was made out to be. In fact it was pretty damn cool. Lush valleys, the ocean, palm trees, sunny 70 degree weather in January. None of the natural disasters hit when I was that wasn’t an issue. And last, in general, I didn’t notice that the people were that much different.

When I would tell people I was moving to New York for the summer to work for GE almost automatically people wished me “Good Luck with that”. Not a good luck with that in terms of I hope the job goes well, but good like with that as in good luck with everything that comes with moving to New York. I think the reputation that was in other people’s minds were more extreme than the one I had but I had my expectations none the less. What I found again was that these reputations are completely overrated. Very few New Yorkers actually talk like New Yorkers, and thank God for that. I’ve come to discover that the New York accent is more of a NYC thing and even then its blown out of proportion. On the subject of NYC I have to admit I was a little bit intimidated before my first trip down. I envisioned this filthy, dangerous place with prostitutes and homeless people everywhere. I envisioned chaos with ultra busy indescent assholish people flying around looking out only for themselves. I have only been to Manhattan so I can’t speak for the other burroughs but for the most part NYC was pretty freaking cool. It was a ton cleaner than I expected and there are ten times more homeless people in Austin then there are in NYC. I guess I never put together how incredibly expensive it is to live in Manhattan and how that would affect things. Once I got there I didn’t feel like it was dangerous at all and the intimidation factor quickly wilted away.

On my trip to Colorado over Spring Break I saw the same thing with Denver. When I thought of Denver I envisioned this Coors Light commercial with pure white snow-covered mountains, fresh mountain streams, and horses running free. No doubt there are parts of Colorado like that and it is a very beautiful place but I came to find out that Denver is a very industrial town which is not at all what I was expecting. I did not at all expect to see smoke stacks, factories, and rusted out anything that was metal.

My point is reputations are usually not all they are made out to be. Things are usually more normal than they are made out to be. I run into reputations and expectations that people have for me just being from Texas. Everyone expects that I love hunting, country music, George W Bush, football, and BBQ.  For me only about half of those things are true which surprises people. When I am introduced to a co-worker 90% of the time the first thing they tell me is “You don’t sound like you are from Texas.” I’ve never said it but everytime I think ‘Yea, most people don’t, just like you don’t talk like you are from New York.’

-hj

The Ultimate Guide to Fantasy Football

July 25, 2006

We are entering the dog days of summer which means two things: NFL Training Camps are about to start and Fantasy Football drafts are right around the corner. I had been making some notes for a FF blog but Bill Simmon’s latest article inspired me to bite the bullet and crank one out. Seriously, who has a cooler job than this guy? His proclamation that we are “not allowed to complain about four things in life: nudity, free food, free drinks and fantasy football” literally had me laughing out loud alone in an empty house.

I have one caveat with this post, if you compete in ANY of my fantasy leagues this Blog is NOT for your eyes. Divert your eyes immediately and if you read this just know that you can forget about Purgatory your soul is going straight to Hell. Good, now that that’s out there lets lighten the mood and get on with it.

My first year playing FF was my senior year of high school during the 2001 season. I finished 3rd that year in a season scared by a scandal in which the best players on one guy’s team were systemically distributed to two other player’s teams. That’s my side of the story anyways. Scandals like this, one-sided trades, and message board boasts are what makes FF so exciting. These things are inevitable. If you are thinking about taking up FF know this: Nobody makes friends playing FF.

So why in the hell would I be any kind of authority on FF? I, aka Cowboys4Ever, have had my fair share of success in the FF world. My first year I finished 3rd. Then I went three straight years winning FF championships. According to Yahoo I have earned trophies in 7 of my 10 seasons in various leagues. My streak ended last year with another 3rd place finish. I decided to give everyone else a break to keep them interested. Yes that is me talking smack, more on this later.

If you are going to play FF do it right. First things first, a live draft is crucial. The draft is the most exciting thing in fantasy football and a computer automated draft of preselected draft sheets takes away all the fun. If you absolutely cannot get everyone together because of geographic reasons instant messaging is a good substitutde. Absolute worst case scenario email but this is very slow and I’ve only done this once. No Individual Defensive Players(IDPs). Definetely go with Team Defenses but if you must go with IDPs IDPBlitz.com is what you are looking for. Play your championship in Week 16. There is nothing worse than riding Curtis Martin to a breakout season only to have him sit in Week 17 because it is a meaningless game for the Jets. People who don’t keep up with their teams make no fun and are usually the source of scandal bc they don’t take it seriously. I suggest not inviting these people back or employing a 3 Strikes and You’re Out rule.
The two league setups that I like break down like this. The best setup is to have 8 teams, you play everybody exactly twice, no byes, top 4 make the playoffs which you play in Weeks 15 and 16. The next best setup is to have 14 teams, you play everybody exactly once, top 6 make the playoffs, top two get first round byes, the playoffs last Weeks 14-16.

Okay now that you have your league set up for a great season here is a guide to the Top 10 things to do to win your league.

10 Dont draft a kicker. Every year I see people draft Venatari, Vanderjagt, or Elam is the 10th round and you want to say something but you don’t. Kicker is the most unusual position because the best player rarely gets the most points. How do you predict if a team is going to be settling for a ton of FGs instead of TDs? Last year the top 3 kickers in our league were Neil Rackers, Jay Feely, and Shayne Graham. How many of you drafted them? How many had even heard of Rackers of Graham? They are too unpredictable and the point differential, atleast in our league ,is too narrow to waste a draft pick.

9 Be conscience of bye weeks but dont let it make your decision. If you can pick up Drew Brees as a starter regardless if he has the same bye week as your starter you never know when your starter is going to go down and worst case scenario you have some good trade bait.

8 Look for reasons why a player can be stopped and leave yourself outs. In poker they always talk about leaving yourself outs i.e. don’t put all your stock in one idea that has a possibility of failig. Here is a freebie that breaks Rule #7 but hey I am a nice guy. Most people are trying to decide who is the top 2006 FF player between Shaun Alexander, Ladanian Tomlinson, and Larry Johnson with about 90% going the way of Larry Johnson. LJ will fall off in his encore to maybe the most amazing 7 game stretch in history. You will realize this when you ask what is preventing a defense from stacking up and taking him out of the game? Gonzo coming off the worst season of his career? If KC picks up Ashley Lelie then maybe but until then I want a guy with some outs.

7 Don’t tip your hand on anything. Draft and free agent pickups are a chess game. The more you talk about who you like and who you are watching the more you show. (Unless of course you are using reverse psychology and you intentionally put info out there bc you have the #3 pick and you want Larry Johnson to fall to you at #3 ;-).)

6 Talk trash. Talk lots of trash. This will make things much more fun and interesting. Even if you are playing for a pot, in the end bragging rights are what matters most. FF will be more enjoyable if you don’t let yourself realize that there is a significant amont of luck involved and this is actually probably a huge waste of time. Don’t be that guy who rationalizes his failures with “Hey I have a life” or “Some of us have a job”. Just take it on the chin and fire back on the message board.    

5 Contract year players. “Rule #1 Never underestimate the other guys greed”. Last year the discussion for the #1 pick was between Shaun Alexander and LT. The deciding factor for me in putting Alexander at the top of my board was that he was in the last year of his contract and he was teething to get paid. The result? An NFL record 27 TDs and a throw back FF type season ala Priest Holmes and Marshall Faulk of yesteryear. Contract year guys can backfire if you end up with a weenie who is more concerned with staying healthy then putting up sic numbers. The magic formula is a cocksure blinged out ex-Miami player. These guys are the Tony Montanas of the FF world. Two Scarface references in one bullet, wow.

4 Build with Running Backs, Running Backs, and more Running Backs. They are the most consistent, most predictable, and in 90% of leagues they will score the most points.

3 Draft and build your team for the FF playoffs. Last year was the first year I looked at a player’s schedule for Weeks 14, 15, and 16. If you are thinking about gearing your team around Peyton Manning and in December he is playing on the road, in the cold, against hard-nosed, rough-and-tumble, 3-4 blitz-crazy defenses like Pittsburgh or New England then stop.

2 Don’t take advice 99% of the guys on TV and the magazines are trash. They either are toeing the line and not providing any value that differentiates them or they are making wreckless predictions with no rhyme or reason to get their name out there. How can you advise me if you don’t know A) How points are allotted in my league B) How many teams are in my league and C) What depth I already have at that position.

1 Understand the concept of value When I started using this philsophy is when I started drafting smart and winning. Lets say you are ready to pick Peyton #1 and you predict he will pull down 100 pts this year. LT is second on your list but you only expect him to pull down 85 pts. Do not make a decision based on this alone! Numerically determine every player’s value. Lets say there are 8 people in your league. You expect the 8th best QB to be Michael Vick with 90 pts. You expect the 8th best RB to be Warrick Dunn with 45 pts. Passing on Manning you potentially give up 10 points of value but passing on LT you potentially give up 40 points of value. In short if a position has depth fill another position before there is that huge drop off.

-hj

I Own MySpace

July 23, 2006

Last fall I took a night Finance class through the University Extension program. The program is intended for young professionals who want some kind of continued business education. Most of the people in the class worked at Dell or Freescale or some place like that. The class had a stock investing project that has now led me to believe that I know enough to be dangerous.

Everyone in the class got an account with Investopedia.com and we were given $100k in Investopedia play-dollars with which to invest. Market orders were $20 and limit orders were $30. We were ranked in the class based on how much we grew our portfolio. In the end I finished second in the class growing my portfolio $16k in a little over 3 months time. The math is easy, that comes out to 16% growth. I became pretty fanatical about the project, checking my account everytime I got on a computer, DVRing and watching MadMoney religously, and setting up alerts to send text messages to my cell when stocks hit certain prices.

I made a good chunk of my change riding the Google wave but the rest was predominantly made short-selling which automatically classifies me as an AntiChrist in the eyes of many investors. Short selling is the opposite of long selling in that your are betting the stock will go down. For me it was easier to identify a shitty company than to identify a good company that will also be seen as a good company by other investors. So off I went short selling Blockbuster, GM, Ford, Dell, and a couple weird companies that nobody has heard of.

You may wonder why I don’t try to make real money trading stock. The majority of the money I have invested from my internships and what not are in a Mutual Fund. There are three reasons for this. 1) It takes a lot of work to buy and sell individual stock and to constantly monitor things 2) I am not convinced that the project wasn’t luck and 3) the fees are too high for my means. $20 and $30 fees for a $100k account is nothing. Fidelity charges me a $30 fee per transaction so a $300 purchase would have to grow 10% just to overcome the fee. The magnitude of the Investopedia account helped to dilute the fees on every transaction which was good bc I made tons and tons of transactions.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago (I tried to find a more confusing way to word that but I couldn’t). I was in the airport flying back from my Florida vacation and I saw a Wired Magazine with Rupert Murdoch on the cover. I had heard the name but I really didn’t know who the guy was. I picked up the mag and read the article right there in the store, I know a pretty schiesty thing to do, shoot me.
In short Rupert Murdoch is the man. He runs News Corp which owns Fox, Fox News, Fox Sports Net, the New York Post, and as of late MySpace. I was immediately a fan bc as most people know the reason Fox News and blogs are blowing up is because they provide an alternative to traditional liberal biased media. If you don’t believe in media bias whether it by East Coast bias or Liberal bias you really are just choicing what you want to believe.

When I got back to New York after looking into it a little bit more I bought some News Corp (NYSE: NWS). So now I can legitamately say I own MySpace granted I am in for a couple hundred bucks in a company that has a Market Cap of $18.3 Billion.

I decided News Corp has a bright future for a few reasons:

Fox News went from nonexistent to #1 in cable news in 5 years. You always got to love a good underdog overthrows the evil empire story ala Dell v IBM, Fox News v CNN, and about to be Google v Microsoft.

Fox has all 5 BCS bowl games this year. They have every World Series and All Star game through 2013. They’ll have the 2008 Super Bowl. They have the world’s most popular TV show in American Idol and above all they have atleast three more seasons of the greatness that is 24.

But the most important piece of their portfolio that sold me was the MySpace piece. Traditional media is at a crossroads although those selling points for Fox and FoxNews are better than what most have to offer. The marketing value in controlling MySpace will be huge. Lets say one company had the sole rights to sell advertising space on every roadway in the US? Well one company is approaching having something analogous to that in the virtual social networking world. And on top of that they have a real good idea, better than anyone else atleast, what types of cars are on those roads, who is driving, where they are driving, why they are driving, etc. You think companies would love to tap into that marketing knowledge? I do too.

This week I open a package from my dad. In it, a few cut out newspaper articles and a copy of the Rupert Murdoch Wired magazine. Again, great minds think alike.

-hj

How Google stole the show

July 22, 2006

My last post got me thinking about the evolution of technology, the Internet, and how Google came to steal the whole show. What follows, in short, is a history of the digital age as told by Hujo Blogger. I don’t know if it is perfectly accurate but I promise to at
least make an interesting argument.


While looking at my list of digital age technologies I realized that 10 years ago the only ones I used were a computer, the word processor, and the instant messenger. A lot has happened in the past decade and here is my explanation of what happened. There were three metrics that defined what we could and couldn’t accomplish with our computing: Processor speed, RAM, and Hard Drive. Hard drive was the one that would determine off the bat if you could or couldn’t use an application. RAM and processors determined how fast you could use something but ultimately the bottleneck was in the amount of hard drive space. Keep that thought.

The Internet hits with AOL. Eventually we realize web browsers, instant messaging, email, and ISPs are four separate things. Google comes along and makes the whole Internet thing make sense with their search. Their AdWords advertising program makes the business part make sense.

Now, in the past couple of years Google, the Internet, and the hard drive bottleneck issue came together to result in a handful of products. Because hard drive space was always the limiting factor people were always conscious of that. Hard drives were not cheap once upon a time. As a result of that, I assume companies invested a ton of R&D into creating cheap hard drives. Now desktops come standard with 100 gigs like its no problem. Nevertheless that mindset is ingrained in us. If you are a pack rat like me you cringe at the idea of having to delete pictures, papers, presentations, music, email, etc because you have to make room on your hard drive. Last November when I clicked the wrong thing in Outlook and virtually a lifetime supply of my email was deleted, I thought I was going to cry.

Google came along with GMail with three differentiating features. First it had by far and away the best user interface. Second, it was web-based so you could access email from anywhere without having to download it. Third, and what hooked us because of the mindset was the promise of 1 GB of hard drive space which within months became 2 GB.

By this time hard drives were already a relatively cheap commodity but I think that because of that mindset we were trained to jump at the chance to live as an uninhibited email pack rat. So what does Google do? They roll out web-based products (email, calendar, spreadsheets, Writely is still to come) that promise you virtually unlimited hard drive space, access from anywhere, and a friendly user interface in exchange for selling advertising around the periphery. Their bet is the cost of the physical servers that store the data will be less than the revenue they bring in from selling digital advertising.

This is exactly why I think Google will beat Microsoft. Microsoft was king of desktop based software. Google is the king of web based software. What direction do you think we are heading?

-hj

Digital Age Technologies

July 20, 2006

Mark Cuban recently blogged that the Internet is boring. His point was that people always talk about how the Internet changes the world but its not actually the Internet its the applications and services the Internet made possible. The actual innovation in terms of the Internet has been limited as he claims there has been less than 5 mbps added in the past 5 years.

I became interested in this concept and made a list of all the technologies I use in this digital age.

Web Browser Mozilla FireFox Once you dump IE and get hooked on tabs and all the keyboard shortcuts you will never go back
Email Client Gmail I can access it from anywhere, the keyboard shortcuts make it lightening quick, and the storage the allot is virtually unlimited
Cell phone/Text BlackBerry One of the few technologies on this list I actually had to pay for. Only had it for a couple weeks but I love always being connected.
Feed Reader Google Feed Reader I admittedly have not tried any of the others. Google’s seems to work well enough.
Blog WordPress I used Google’s Blogger for the first year but I like the added features in WordPress like the ability to tag posts by category
Search Google I remember using Dogpile in my MIS class senior year of HS. I don’t remember why or when I started using Google but it’s instinct now.
Photo Album Picasa One of the few desktop based software products I like. I’m not sure that it’s any better than say Flikr but it’s nice to just watch it find all the pictures I have stored on my hard drive and see them come organized to one place.
Desktop Search Google Desktop Search We have been using Windows for how long and they never thought to make something like this?
OS Windows XP although I am considering buying a Mac before Vista comes out and blows everyone’s minds
Music Player iTunes/Pandora Winamp is quicker bc its a much smaller program but Apple just figured out music software and marketing
P2P File Sharing Shareza (no illegal downloading here 😉
Instant Messaging AIM/Google Talk Google Talk is tons better, it’s web based but Instant Messaging services are only as good as the network of people that use them and right now not enough people have left the dark side.
Social Network Facebook I exist on MySpace and Friendster but I don’t use either
Web-based bookmarking del.icio.us I still admitedly don’t fully understand how to use this but I like the idea
Encyclopedia Wikipedia I find myself going more and more to Wikipedia before I go to Google because I know if the search finds a result the info is going to be much more clean and in a format that I know I can understand. Wikipedia will eventually steal a huge chunk of Google’s search.
Computer Dell Latitude Laptop considering Mac see above
Spreadsheet Excel/Google Spreadsheets Google allows me to store everything on their servers and access it from anywhere but Excel’s functionality still has it beat
Wordprocessing, Powerpoint Microsoft Office boring
Podcast Feeds iTunes
CD burning iTunes
Fantasy Sports Yahoo! altho thinking we might should check out ESPN’s this year guys, maybe draft in both leagues and get in and get a feel for ESPN then make a decision
Mapping Google Maps Until other services align with search engines and make their maps dragable there will be no competition
Calendar Google Calendar Very user friendly, Text Message alerts are great as are daily emails with that day’s agenda
Mobile MP3 player Rio Nitrus Very, very old school but for whatever reason the iPod doesn’t excite me. Mostly because its not free.
Can you think of any that I missed or are there technologies that I don’t use that I am missing out on?

-hj

TXDOT is underappreciated

July 18, 2006

I am usually pretty good with directions. I am usually pretty good with directions while driving in Texas I should say. Since I have moved to New York I have been getting lost like its my job. I feel like everytime with out fail that I try to drive to someplace new I get lost. I usually can committ a map to memory and just go but that does not work at all up here. I think part of the reason is that i am not familiar with the area and part of the reason is the signage on the highways suck. But the biggest reason is the absense of feeder roads.

Feeder roads I have decided are greatness. I never appreciated them like I should have and when I get back to Texas I am going to write a big thank you letter to TXDOT. Things you take for granted are just not so without feeders. Take for instance last weekend I was in Boston and I was on a road heading north. I knew I was heading north. I knew 495 runs North-South and was about a mile to the west of me. So easy enough, I’ll just take the next road I see west and it will hit the highway no problem, right? Wrong. Not when you are living in a world absent of feeder roads.

Under normal circumstances that road heading west would lead to an entry ramp to the highway or atleast to a feeder that would lead to an entry ramp. When you live in a world absent of feeders you have to realize that you only get access on or off the highway about once every 3-5 miles and because there are no feeders you have to hit it EXACTLY. In my case the west bound road went right over 495 and the next thing I know I am in the middle of nowhere. 20 minutes later and I am on dirt roads surrounded by farms in the middle of nowhere. And I don’t even want to hear the “Stupid-Male-pull-over-for-directions” line. There was no where to pull over unless I wanted to hop a fence and hike up to a random farm house. So eventually I come across a major road at which point I notice that nearly every car on the road has Rhode Island plates. Not a good sign. Maybe its just me or maybe its a Texas thing but I seem to notice license plates like crazy now I assume because they all look foreign.

I will spare my friends who did not know what state Boston was in the embarassment by not mentioning their names but I will remind them that Boston is not in Rhode Island. Thats another concept that is hard to grasp being a Texan: getting lost and ending up in another state. If that happens in Texas for the most part you screwed up pretty bad. Luckily they mistakenly labeled the counties in the northeast as states and I was only 20 minutes out of the way although the adventure in all was about a two and a half hour affair.

A similar problem occurred about a month ago during exiting. I GMapped Hooters and found that it was over on the othre side of Albany by Crossgates Mall. I see it is right off I-95 and the mall is surrounded by a few major roads. I figure I’ll get on I-90, see the mall, pick an exit and find my way over. Easy enough right? Ofcourse not. There were no exits and I ended up swooping back all the way around downtown basically to where I started. About 20 miles in total and I was back to where I started. How stupid is that, why could I not get off when I wanted to or atleast soon there after. I never ever remember having these kinds of incidents in Texas.

Yea I could print off maps everytime I go some place new but that kills trees and kills principles. Why should I change? Why don’t these states just make a highway system that works. No wonder they all put in subways, atleast then you know when you can get on and when you can get off.

God Bless Texas

-hj

Things to do list

July 16, 2006

A couple of years ago I watched an interview with Charles Barkley and he said something to the effect that if he would have written down everything he wanted to accomplish in life he wouldn’t have dreamed up the list that he ended up living. I am not a Charles Barkley fan by any stretch of the imagination but it inspired me to make a list of things wanted to do before I died.
The List

I recently went back to that list to see how much (or little) progress I had made in the past two years. I can now cross the following things off that list.

Go Scuba Diving……. Cozumel
Sing a song at the top of my lungs with some friends at a bar……. 21st birthday
Take a picture with a longhorn……. Halftime of a football game
Go to a football game at Kyle Field……. 40-29W!
Go to an Army-Navy football game……. 42-23 Navy, Lincoln Financial, Philadelphia, PA
Go Skiing in shorts……. actually boxers Spring Break 2004
Go to a College Football National Championship game(Hopefully a UT win)……. Hit this one on the head
Grow a beard……. Spring Break 2006, close enough…

-hj

Pet Peeves

July 12, 2006

While at a bar my last night in Austin a buddy of mine told me about a blog that has become one of my favorite. The blog is written by Scott Adams who is the cartoonist who draws the Dilbert cartoon. He is quite possibly the wittiest person I have ever read. I highly suggested bookmarking his blog or adding the RSS feed to your reader.

A couple months ago he wrote a blog about his pet peeves. I thought the post was hilarious and I have been thinking what funny personal pet peeves do I have? Well I have come up with the list.

“I never watch TV”
This one was parodied in Pulp Fiction when Samuel Jackson asks ‘You know the shows on TV?’ and John Travolta boasts ‘I don’t watch TV’ as if they makes him cool. Jackson then burns him with ‘Yeah, but you are aware there is an invention called television and on this invention they show shows, right?’ Why do people believe that their not watching TV is such a bragable quality?

Miss use of Literally
For some reason it completely whips me when people use the word literally in the exact wrong way. For instance if someone is talking about a comedian and how well they did. “The comedian was great. He literally was killing everyone”. No! You use the word literally to convey that you are not speaking metaphorically that you actually mean something is happening. For instance. “He literally kicked his ass” when you are trying to tell someone that he didn’t just beat somebody up but he actually kicked the guy in the butt.

The term 9-to-5
How did the phrase 9-to-5 come to be? Most everybody who does not work a shift job works 8-to-5. I have never worked a job that was 9-to-5 and on top of that I have never even heard of someone who works 9-to-5. I’ll admit this one is a pet peeve mostly because I am jealous.

People who ask a waiter/waitress if food is good
Asking a waiter if a certain dish is good is a completely subjective question. What they may like you may not like, the question only puts the wait staff in an awkward situation. Better questions are is it salty, is it spicy, how big is the portion. If you ask a subjective question like is this good then don’t get mad if it isn’t. To me thats the real peeve not just asking the question.

“I never invite people to be my Facebook friend”
This is similar to the I don’t watch TV thing. So its cool to have a Facebook profile but not cool to use it or add to it? Honestly who came up with these rules?

When people, inparticularly Spanish speakers,”pronounce” things in Spanish.
If we are speaking English lets pronounce things in English. For instance when someone pronounces the name Maria and the r sounds more like a d if you can imagine that. When you says Mexico you don’t pronounce the x like an h. Why do you switch languages mid sentence. I could pronounce Spanish words in Spanish if I wanted to, anyone could. But we don’t bc its goofy. I never hear people get all puffy sounding and try to pronounce entrepreneur like they speak French. Thank God too how annoying would that be.

People who are overly paranoid
People who are scared of using a cell phone at a gas station. People who are overly scared of getting struck by lightening. People who are obsessive about locking the door. Freaking chill out, the world is not out to get you. News flash the planets revolve around the Sun contrary to the impression you give.

Laws to protect people from themselves
If a persons decisions or mistakes can hurt or even just affect someone else then okay pass the law if you absolutely have to. But laws that protect people from themselves when there is no chance they could hurt someone else. As long as the person is 18 and deemed old enough to make a decision let them live with their mistake. (motorcycle helmets, seat belts)

What pet peeves do you have?

-hj

GE is my kind of company

July 10, 2006

I’ve been an intern at GE for almost two months now. I’ve met some great people, had some meaningful projects, and gotten to experience an area of the country that I hardly knew.

GE is my kind of company because they have a culture that embraces innovation, embraces change, embraces globalization, embraces Indian engineering, embraces Chinese manufacturing, embraces a coming of age 2 billion person customer base, embraces the digital age, embraces open source type technologies creating platforms for employee blogs, wikis, and forums, embraces DVR technologies creating advertising value that can only be experienced by those with DVRs (onesecondtheater.com), embraces the world’s toughest challenges being energy efficiency(turbines, wind power, and coal gassification), emissions reductions, and potable water creation(desalination plants).

GE embraces engineers which is good because they are going to be the ones that are going to solve global problems. The World is Flat discusses the ineffectiveness and lack of visionary US politicians because they are mostly lawyers and career politicians that don’t understand the problems and they certainly don’t understand how to solve them. They just know how to create laws that get in the way. Indian and Chinese governments are all engineers and that’s why they have accelerated so quickly through the industrialization process and thats why they will continue to do so. Just 4% of US college graduates walk away with engineering degrees as opposed to 20% in China. And thats 20% of a very large number compared to 4% of a relatively small number.

Green is the new red, white and blue. We have to get past the unwanted labels of liberal and tree-hugger and make it American. GE is doing their part and more companies will follow not because it is the nice thing to do but because there is an economic future in it. Its the smart thing to do.

-hj

This happens all the time

July 8, 2006

I feel like this happens all the time. People don’t understand business nor do they understand the democratizing power of choice so they panic, act selfishly and hypocritically, and run to the government for help. Most recently this overblown panic has been in the form of Net Neutrality. That may or may not ring a bell but either way it is important and could DRAMATICALLY change they way you use the internet.

I went nuts on YouTube one day and watched a few dozen YouTube videos of vblogs and TV shows debating Net Neutrality. Rocketboom’s vblog breaks down the issue best. I was pretty sure where I stode on the issue but after finding out Moby was spear-heading the campaign to legislate Net Neutrality I was positive I knew where I stood. Sometimes people can do a campaign a disservice by offering their support. For instance when Democrats support the cause of gay marriage it creates a knee jerk reaction because this is the same group whose morality supports partial birth abortions and assisted suicide.

For those of you too lazy to watch the videos Net Neutrality is the concept that the internet should be a place where people are free to go wherever they want, whenever they want essentially for no added price. Sounds to good to be true right? Well thats why TelComs are attempting to stick it to people by pushing to block certain sites, align with certain sites, and create bottlenecks to tax internet users. Do they have the right to do that? ABSOLUTELY!

The Internet does not just exist, companies had to invest money to make it work. They had to take risks and lay cable under neighborhoods and across oceans and do all kinds of things that most people do not appreciate. In the end the lines that connect my computer to yours is a business. However they want to procede in their operation of that connection is their business and they should be allowed to make that connection as uncomfortable as they want, its just bad business.

People are lazy and they would rather spend energy bitching and creating media to bitch then to exercise choice. Slavery ended nearly 150 years ago and we live in a free society, ACT LIKE IT. You do not have to have the internet and you do not have to use a certain company for your ISP.

See 99% of people look at issues like this and think ‘how does this affect me’ instead of ‘what is right’? How does it affect me? It sucks. It sucks big time. But that doesn’t make it right for me to demand the government take away a company’s rights to act as stupidly as they want. See the main reason I don’t think this is really an issue at all is say Washington allows TeleComs to tax and screen the internet. All that means is someone is going to get rich. VERY RICH. Because a handful of entrepreneurs will wet their pants and will work day and night to create the newest truly neutral network that enables internet users like we are accustomed. And then the choice will not be a choice at all.

Last year I saw this very same thing happen in Austin except the government did step in and stick it to the businesses. Austin was debating passing a law to outlaw smoking in bars and restaraunts. I thought this was totally bogus. If I had invested however much money for a primo spot on Sixth Street to set up a bar and I want to allow people to perform an act that is perfectly legal as long as they are of age then I should be able to do that. What was most hypocritical was that they didn’t outlaw drinking. I am not sure that anyone has been killed by a driver under the influence of a cigarette. All of that on top of the fact that Austin is a grunge hippie city and while that is not my thing I respect that.

So the people won and smoking is out. Its weird because I hate being around smokers so in that regard it is a dream come true. But was it the right thing to do? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Why should I demand to have rights in a private establishment? If I walked in to your house and told you that I didn’t like having the TV on MTV because it was bad for my health because it makes my blood pressure rise you could/should tell me to get lost.

If you don’t like that a bar is too smokey I have a great solution for you. DON’T GO. Exercise your choice to go to bars that aren’t smokey and guess what people will recognize that. If smoking is such an issue that it drives people away then there would be a market for bars that don’t allow smoking.

Things will work out in the long run if you exercise choice but the last thing we need is more government.

-hj