Would You Buy a Used Web Conference from These Folks?

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

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Banded Geese

Monday, October 30th, 2006

It was a nice day, so I took a quick spin around Prospect Park at lunch time. I picked up 34 total species including two American Wigeons, a Belted Kingfisher, and a record high 40+ American Coots. However, the highlight of the day was not one, not two, not three, but four banded geese:

Canada Geese NA23, NA27

The Economics of Plush Carpet at the Head Office

Monday, October 30th, 2006

It always amuses me when economists go out of their way to claim that economics is a science (more or less true) and that they base what they say on purely on the scientific principles and not value judgments (very often false). It’s especially amusing when they blow the science to get the value judgment they’re looking for. Here’s the latest example I’ve seen. George Mason economics professor Walter E. Williams attempts to explain why for-profit entities sometimes spend on unnecessary luxuries:

You say, “Professor Williams, for-profit entities sometimes have plush carpets, have juicy expense accounts, and behave in ways not unlike non-profits.” You’re right, and again, it’s a property-rights issue. Taxes change the property-rights structure of earnings. If there’s a tax on profits, then taking profits in a money form becomes more costly. It becomes relatively less costly to take some of the gains in non-money forms.

Actually taxes have little to nothing to do with this. There is a real economic reason for this behavior (as well as several psychological and sociological ones, but economists like to ignore those factors so let’s stick to the purely economic for the moment) and it has nothing to do with taxes. (more…)

Wireless Monitor: Not Yet, Maybe Soon

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

If only we could remove the cable connecting our monitor to a computer, then we’d really be in a wireless world. The necessary bandwidth and speed hasn’t been there to support this yet, but some people are trying. TeqGear has released the Wid 101. It’s a big chunky box, it costs $995, and its maximum resolution is 1366 by 768 pixels, below what I’ve been using on my monitors for half a decade or more. However, it’s the first product of its type I’ve seen. Wait a couple of years and maybe we’ll finally be ready to break the wired chains that bind us.

Upgrading The DVD Burner

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

I’m thinking about upgrading my DVD burner to use dual layer discs. The prices have dropped to about $2 a disc, and are likely to fall fast throughout the next year. Maybe I’ll wait till I’m about to the bottom of my current spindle of 4 Gig DVDs, and then upgrade.

The LaCie d2 DVD+/-RW with LightScribe looks like a good deal at $175. Burning labels right onto the disc would be cool, and this model includes a full version of Toast 7 Titanium which I could use. I’ve been limping along with Toast 6 for the time being, since I totally don’t trust Roxio’s upgrade rebates. (They’ve cheated me on those before.)

Anyone have any experience with this drive?

Winter Birds Arrive

Friday, October 27th, 2006

The last couple of weeks have seen the an influx of New York’s winter residents like this Winter Wren:

Winter Wren

Most birds fly south for the Winter, but for some species New York City is far enough south. Temperature doesn’t really bother them. As long as they can find food, they’re happy.