Archive for ◊ April, 2006 ◊

Microsoft’s $32 Billion Stock Plunge
Sunday, April 30th, 2006 | Author:

For those of you that don’t watch the stock market or follow computer companies, I’ll give you a quick summary: Microsoft’s stock took its biggest one-day fall in more than five years Friday, shaving about $32 billion off the company’s market value.  This drop in value is a response to Microsoft management telling the world that it’s going to have to spend more money to compete with Google, Yahoo, etc.

If you’re interested in further details, you can read the article in the Seattle Times

Category: Business  | One Comment
Are Software Vendors Trustworthy?
Friday, April 28th, 2006 | Author:

In an interesting article in the Sterling-Hoffman newsletter, Olin Thompson indicates that US corporations have changed their methods in buying software technology: “Buyers are skeptical of technology investments.  Buyers remember late 90’s and early 2000’s when they heard a roar of outlandish vendor claims… Many software buyers recognize that the same people that were exaggerating software benefits with unsupported claims are many of the same people in the industry today, just working for different companies. Vendor claims are now met with a spoken or unspoken reaction of ‘Prove it!’”

He also notes that following statistics on software technology projects:
31% of IT projects are canceled before completion
53% of IT projects cost 189% of their original estimates

After reading the article, Chris Lininger commented that Mr. Thompson doesn’t have a complete picture: “IT is typically a barrier of incompetence that lies between business units and the vendors who can help them.  CIOs should be scared.  If IT orgs don’t learn how to get projects done, CEOs will learn how to outsource IT.”

Category: Business, Engineering  | One Comment
Market-Driven Gasoline Prices
Friday, April 28th, 2006 | Author:

In a recent issue of American Spectator, R. Emmett Tyrrell, writes a lucid analysis of energy usage and oil consumption: “The world can pump 85 million barrels a day. The world consumes 30 billion annually and will thirst for more as the years go on. That means prices will go up.”  Get used to paying higher at the pump…

Category: Business  | Leave a Comment
Why Do So Many Jews Vote Democrat?
Friday, April 28th, 2006 | Author:

The most frequent question that my non-Jewish friends ask me is: ‘why are Jews so liberal?’ The question is entirely legitimate since Jews (outside of Israel) are indeed overwhelmingly liberal and disproportionately left of liberal as well. For example, other than blacks, no American group votes so lopsidedly for the Democratic Party. 

Dennis Prager has a nice concise article that provides what he considers to be the six top reasons.

Category: Politics  | Leave a Comment
George Bush the Dissident
Monday, April 24th, 2006 | Author:

Natan Sharansky writes in today’s Wall Street Journal, that President Bush is indeed a dissident that is fired by a deep belief in the universal appeal of freedom, its transformative power, and its critical connection to international peace and stability.  However, he also believes that the President has missed some of the other important elements of instilling liberty…

“I agree with the president that promoting democracy is critical for international security. But I believe that too much focus has been placed on holding quick elections, while too little attention has been paid to help build free societies by protecting those freedoms–of conscience, speech, press, religion, etc.–that lie at democracy’s core. I believe that such a mistaken approach is one of the reasons why a terrorist organization such as Hamas could come to power through ostensibly democratic means in a Palestinian society long ruled by fear and intimidation.”

Category: Politics  | Leave a Comment
War on Terrorism
Saturday, April 22nd, 2006 | Author:

The so-called War on Terrorism, as defined by President Bush, is having mixed results.  One of the problems appears to be that the war planners have dedicated a major portion of their resources to fight the insurgency in Iraq and have ignored the other power centers of Moslem terror — namely, the Palestinian Territories.

Tashbih Sayyed, the editor-in-chief of Pakistan Today, provides an interesting perspective on the fact that Bush is ignoring the heart of Moslem terrorism. “The creation of a Palestinian State run by terrorists will undo everything that has been achieved by demolishing Taliban’s government. Al-Qaeda will gain in Palestine what it has lost in Afghanistan. Iran will have another base and Syria’s influence will be further extended. That is why Iran and Syria are harboring and financing Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group.”

Read the whole story

Category: Politics  | Leave a Comment
More on the Senile Old Man from Georgia
Thursday, April 20th, 2006 | Author:

If you read this blog, you know by now how I feel about former US President, Jimmy Carter…  Michael Reagan writes today about the source of many of our problems:  “…south of our borders we have a nut job running oil-rich Venezuela and threatening to do all kinds of nasty things to us. In North Korea we have another nut job building nukes and rattling sabers, and in Iran there’s still another whacked-out leader threatening to blow Israel off the map… If you’re looking for someone to point the finger at, look no further than James Earl Carter. Every one of these problems can be laid at the door of the Georgia peanut farmer and self-anointed evangelist for world peace, understanding, good-will, and promoter of universal love-ins with dictators who hate us.”

Read the whole story…

Category: Politics  | Leave a Comment
European Sophistry
Wednesday, April 19th, 2006 | Author:

The Europeans never cease to amaze you with their inability to recognize simple facts (I won’t bore you with the Neville Chamberlain analogy)… A recent article in the Economist notes that “there will be no peace in Palestine until the problem of Jerusalem is solved.  Together with the fate of the Palestinian refuges of 1948, it is rightly called the heart of conflict.”

Perhaps I’m slow on the uptake of facts… but haven’t the intentions of the Moslem world become more obvious?  Isn’t it crystal clear with the Hamas folks shepherding the wayward Palestinians with the vision that “By God, we will not leave one Jew in Palestine.”  Or the crazy Iranian President Ahmadinejad who called Israel a “permanent threat to the Middle East that will soon be liberated”.

Do the Europeans really feel that dividing Jerusalem would change this outlook?  Is this sophistry a genetic defect in Europeans?

Category: Politics  | Leave a Comment
U.S. Military Tactics in the Middle East
Monday, April 17th, 2006 | Author:

In Iraq, American troops no longer try to flee the attackers when ambushed.  Most troops have been instructed to stop and engage the attackers in a decisive battle.

Previously, the attackers often got encouraged when American troops sped away from an ambush, taking this as a victory and as a good reason to try again.  Now, the word is getting around that ambushing U.S. troops is very dangerous.

You can read more details in Strategy Page

Category: Politics  | Leave a Comment
Engineering Humor
Monday, April 17th, 2006 | Author:

1. Optimism

To the optimist, the glass is half full.
To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

2. Occupations

The graduate with a science degree asks, “Why does it work?”
The graduate with an engineering degree asks, “How does it work?”
The graduate with an accounting degree asks, “How much will it cost?”
The graduate with an fine arts degree asks, “Do you want fries with that?”

Category: Humor  | Leave a Comment