Monday, January 29, 2007
Saturday, January 27, 2007
(TI CEO) Templeton also announced a change in TI's product development strategy. Instead of creating its own core technology, TI will work with foundry partners to specify and drive the next generations of digital process technology, he said.
...TI expects to save about $200 million through this strategy, Templeton said, and the company will eliminate about 500 jobs by the end of the year.
Translation: we're going to outsource some of our R&D to our partners' engineers overseas.
Friday: TI CEO Lauds Engineering Studies
In a speech Thursday evening at the University of Texas at Austin's college of engineering, TI President and CEO Rich Templeton praised a group of students for "choosing wisely" and entering the engineering field.
Hypocritical? Maybe not since most of the engineering students he was addressing were foreign anyway.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
A moderate earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 jolted central Japan on Tuesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The quake, at 3:18 a.m. (1818 GMT), was also felt in Tokyo.
Couldn't it have waited just a couple more hours? Now I'm awake.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
The best of times was during the height of the tech boom when I saw the B-52s live; Mrs. Director and I danced in the mosh-pit just a few feet from the lead singer. These days the best I could do was stand in front of a giant, strange statue of an Airborne mascot. How the mighty have fallen.
But I don't go to these shows for the entertainment. Okay, I am there a little for the entertainment. But I am also there for
So what did I see in terms of technology? There wasn't a whole lot new in my opinion. The iPhone was at MacWorld, not CES, and actually that is more a design triumph than a technical one (all the features in the iPhone can be found in other personal electronics). What I did see was the following:
- · The biggest emphasis at the show was on flat panel technology, something of a constant for the past three years. The latest push is now 1080p (progressive), which all the manufacturers had prominently displayed. All of the manufacturers also had 100” or slightly larger screens on display in their booth, all of which were quite impressive (imagine a single monitor that is nearly as tall as you and twice as long).
- Games were also a big deal a the show. After all, once you have your huge hi res TV, this is one of the things you can do on it. The graphics of the latest Xbox and Sony systems are jaw dropping they are so close to reality. The Wii, however, is a lot more fun with the action controller and is now on my shopping list (more so since I think it is something my five-year old will really enjoy).
- Blu-Ray was probably the third largest theme, with all sorts of DVD players and recorders on the floor. There is a big push with the hi-res TVs, and I have to admit seeing hi-res DVD on a giant hi-def TV is great experience. HD-DVD was also around, but it seemed dwarfed by Blu-Ray.
- The only thing “new” in cellphones was video/TV. However, most of the demos showed very short clips of 10-15 seconds; the memory just isn’t there yet in the cellphone and real-time over-the-air transmission is still in development.
- I thought it was interesting that interiors of both an airplane and a subway car were in competing booths at show. Personal technology is being used in more places and integration of your personal communicator/communication device into places you visit and travel is going to become more common
- There were the usual booth babes (mainly in the automotive area) and entertainment (the "Blu-Ray Brothers", sang songs almost as good as the Blues Brothers - and they looked EXACTLY like Jake and Elwood). But the most clever "entertainment" in my opinion was at the Qualcomm booth where "archaeologists" were digging up "ancient technology".
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
This finally puts me on mobile email, plus I will now have cellphone coverage in Korea.
Of course this coolness is majorly trumped by the new iPhone.
The only good part is that the iPhone won't ship until June, giving me a window of coolness before I am put to shame.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
- Toys R Us runs a contest clearly stating contestants, expectant mothers, must be women (you never know these days) and "legal residents of the 50 United States or Washington D.C."
- Contest winner was NOT a legal resident of the 50 States or D.C.
- So Toys R Us gives prize to someone else
- Ethnic Chinese groups whine about "discrimination"
- Toys R Us caves and gives prize to illegal immigrant
Companies and organizations keep falling over backwards to reward people who break the law to get here. Is there any wonder that we have an illegal immigrant problem?
I was thinking that what we really need is a change of "any person born here is automatically a citizen" to discourage some of this illegal immigration. However, with various states offering free education, special college tuition rates, or even planning to offer free health care to illegal aliens, the difference between being a citizen and being an illegal immigrant is becoming smaller and smaller every day..
Saturday, January 06, 2007
"Tsrutua-san," I exclaimed, "I thought you were dead!"
"Oh, come on, Meetch," he replied in his heavily accented English. "So how is everyone?"
I gave him an update on everyone I saw over the holiday season, and added "Everyone will be so happy to hear that you aren't dead!"
He nodded absently as the cab pulled up and deposited us in front of a hotel in Roppongi. We went into the lobby where Tsuruta-san introduced me to a gaggle of Japanese men in business suits. Some were from Matsushita, some from Sanyo, some from Sharp, and a few were from companies I wasn't familiar with. As I did the American bow-and-shake I thought how unusual it was to find a mixed crowd. That sort of thing just doesn't happen in Japan.
After introductions were made Tsuruta-san turned to me, "Okay, Meetch, now we leave. You must stay here."
"I can't go drinking with you?"
"No. You must stay here."
Tsuruta-san and the men receded further into the hotel. He turned one last time to wave at me, looking noticeably younger as he got further away.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
But my situation is something of an anomaly since my company has only a couple hundred people, nearly all whom have college degrees, and a huge percentage with PhDs (including the CEO himself). For attracting and retaining this kind of talent the same sort of package that motivates the CEO has to motivate everyone else.
The same can't be said of the recently departed CEO of Home Depot. In a company where tens of thousands work for an hourly wage, he was taking home pay packages totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars ("$123.7 million in compensation excluding certain stock option grants"). That might be okay for someone who started what became a large company like Jobs or Gates and created thousands of new jobs and generated billions of dollars of new wealth. But we're talking about a professional manager recruited from GE in 2000 when the stock was about 40 and who saw it go up no more than 10 points during his tenure. In fact, from 2002 to today the stock has been below or equal to where it was when he started (source: the new toy-size WSJ). And for that he was granted a guaranteed $3 million dollar annual cash bonus?
To add insult to injury, his exit package is ridiculous: $210 million dollars. That is ten times Carly's exit package, which I thought was insane when it was announced.
It's people like this who give capitalism and business a bad name, and the reason it angers me so much. They become poster children for anti-business crusades and bad legislation that does nothing to reign in excesses.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
"Ah ha," I thought to myself, "this was a clever marketing ploy." Now wanting to get rid of them as soon as possible, I duly informed them that I subscribed to the Wall Street Journal and wasn't interested in the "Comical".
"But, but," one of them replied in a deep Texas drawl, "that paper doesn't even have PICTURES!"
I shut the door in their faces - and on their other physical features. I assumed they would have no difficulty getting other men in the complex to subscribe.
The Wall Street Journal did add pictures a few years later, taking away that sales tactic, and more recently came out with the "Weekend Journal". I have generally liked these changes and thought they added to the paper.
Today, however, they came one step closer to the Comical and other mainstream papers, by coming out with a new physical format and editorial changes. The worst part is the new format - the dreaded 48" broadsheet - that reduced the number of columns from six to five, making it look like a toy newspaper:
The other changes are in content. They promise more "analysis" of the news
A cornerstone of the new Journal will be an increased focus on unique, differentiated content, with 80% of the news content focusing on "what the news means" not just "what happened."
Great. So they are becoming more like a blog? I dunno, I read blogs and newspapers for different reasons. I don't WANT Instapundit to be like the WSJ or the WSJ to become more like a blog. They each give me a different kind of information, and I like it that way.
So I will have to think long and hard about whether I re-subscribe. Of course if I don't, I might get the harassing mail campaign like I did the last time I let my subscription expire.
Update: A different perspective from Business Pundit.
First, their food already sucks. Their muffins are tasteless, their cakes are crumbly, and their danishes are stale. I stopped eating their fare a long time ago. Taking out the transfat will only make their bad food worse.
But this sort of thing is ridiculous for another reason: the fat that is already in many of their drinks (grande latte has 14 grams) and the calories of their blended drinks (up to 420 calories - the same as a McDonalds Quarter Pounder). Not to mention the heavy cream that people seem to add to their coffee by the pint. If Starbucks really wanted to help American health, they do more than cutting "evil" transfats.
In the end, this whole ban bandwagon is just ridiculous. It is not going to make Americans healthier - it will only make consumers feel better that they stuffing their face with "good" fat. And that is what companies like Starbucks really want.