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When do you read? August 29, 2008

Posted by Matsu in Education, Random, Uncategorized, Web.
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I love books. I love to read. If you are like me, you read a lot. So, how do you get all the reading in you want? I never feel like I ever get close to reading everything I want to read. 

If you know me or work with me, you know that my office (and outside my office) is full of books, magazines, printed copes of articles or blog posts I’ve found on the Internet and much more. I can’t possibly read it all, but I also can’t just get rid of it without reading it. Otherwise, I’d be giving up the opportunity to learn and grow and become better equipped to do my job.

Because of my heavy meeting schedule at work (during the day) I tend to do most of my reading after I get home — nights and weekends. Often, I find myself reading well into the night, well past what could be considered a healthy person’s bed time. 

In addition to reading a home during the evenings and on the weekends, I also like to always have something with me to read if I have to wait for something (like in the dentist office or waiting for my son’s physical therapy appointment to be over). I read anywhere and everywhere at any time. Still, it’s not enough. I just can’t obsorb all of the information I need or want.

Welcome to the information age where one can’t possibliy ready everything and learn all that is availalbe to one that tries to keep their knowledge current and relevent.

I approve of this speaker… August 27, 2008

Posted by Matsu in Music, Technology.
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Tonight is the second night of the U.S. Democratic Party’s national convention. So, in the spirit of politics and political ads, “I approve of this message.”

If you use a laptop computer and you like to play music or watch movies on the laptop, then I’ve got a portable speaker that I highly recommend. The portable external (powered) personal speaker system I recommend is the Saitek A-100 speaker.

There are several reasons I recommend it. The sound it puts out is great, the size is small, and it works well with iPods.

For such a small and relatively simple speaker system, it puts out a lot of sound. Not only do you get volume out of it, you also get a decent bass and mid-range output. For the kind of music I tend to listen to, it works very well. Of course, you don’t need a laptop to take advantage of this speaker system. Lately, I’ve been using my iPod Touch to play music while I am using a loaner computer (which doesn’t have my music library loaded on it). Most of the time, I use the external speaker with my laptop to either watch movies or play music.

The size is ideal.  This portable speaker system is very low profile and relatively small size, about the size of a flattened baked potato. Because of its size and shape, it travels very well in my laptop case, unlike many external speaker systems on the market today.

For power, this speaker will work off of batteries (4 x AAA). It also comes with a power transformer so you can plug it into a normal home AC outlet.

Finally, I need to give credit to the person who selected this speaker as I did not choose it, rather it chose me. This cool technology was a gift from a close friend (Thanks, Don!) and is one of the more practical and frequently used gifts I received this past Christmas.

If you are looking for an external speaker system that sounds good and is very portable, I suggest you puchase one of these.

Apple website outage August 1, 2008

Posted by Matsu in Apple, Web.
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This afternoon I was in a meeting when I needed to look something up on the Internet. I launched my Safari web browser, which defaults to Apple’s website, and got the above error. I immediately thought it was my laptop or the wireless network I was using, but all of the other websites (Amazon, Google, MSN, etc.) loaded just fine. I went back to the Apple webiste and it sitll wouldn’t load. The person I was meeting with is a database programmer and he was so currious he went and tried his computer, and his computer was unable to reach Apple.

So, my question is, did anyone else notice that Apple’s website was down for 15 or 20 minutes this afternoon?

Oil companies make record profits while people pay record prices August 1, 2008

Posted by Matsu in Business, News, News and politics.
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In the United States the price of a gallon (US) of gasoline has gone up about 35% in the past six months. At least, that’s what has happened where I buy my gas each week.

Many Americans have cut back on the amount of driving they do in order to reduce their costs. So, the report yesterday that Exxon has another record-breaking profit for a single quarter of gasoline sales seems to be salt in the wounds of the American public.

According to an article by MSNBC:

Exxon Mobil Corp. said Thursday it earned $11.68 billion in the second quarter, the most ever by the U.S. corporation.

“The top five oil companies are now on track to hit $160 billion in profits for the year,” said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., releasing a report that showed much of those profits are used to buy back stock and not invest in new production.

At the same time, because of reduced driving and therefore reduced gasoline sales, there is a drop in the amount of taxes collected at the pump which translates into less for the government to pay for road repairs. Maybe we should let the oil companies share their profits by paying for repairing the roads. It’s not like they don’t have the money!