Archive for the ‘Improve the World’ Category

Can I… - May 5, 2008

JA – Can I get a picture with some hot bitches?
Me – No!
JA – (taken aback..) What?
Me – Have some respect..
JA – Can I have a picture with some of these nice ladies?

Lets not even get into the conversation of “may I” vs. “can I”…

Me – Better..  It’s up to them though..
JA – Looks around..  (crickets chirping at the sudden swarm of guys that surrounded him)
Me – (waiting patiently while counting to 10..)
JA – How about these two?  (Points at 2 ladies I’ve already chatted with, neither single..)
Me – Still up to them..
JA – Proceeds to negotiate picture, with surprising success.
Me – (Takes picture, trying to minimize the “yikes” look they were giving me.)
JA – (Moves on..)
Me – (to the ladies) Sorry about that..
Ladies – No worries, he had is moment.. Most likely the best he’ll have all night!
Me – True..  True..

JA = Jackass by the way..  read this for more info..

Fairtax - December 27, 2007

Based on a comment I made to this Times article.

I’m a big fan of the FairTax proposal, my only challenge/question is around conversion.  None of what I’ve read suggested anything other than a cold turkey cut over..   Not being a big fan of such a drastic changes, I couldn’t support that.

As an alternative..  And considering FairTax is so (relatively) simple, it could be added to the existing system easily with a 1% rate to start.  Phase in the prebates as well, while reducing the legacy tax rates concurrently.

2 years at 1%, 2 years at 5%, then increase by 2.5% a year though 20%, and adjust yearly after that..

That’s roughly a 10 year phase in..  Gives all those folks currently working in the various tax related industries a bit of time to find other work.  Also gives the system some time to work itself out while the actual rate is low (1%).  Confidence in the system would also grow as lower income folks actually began to see the prebate checks come (possibly yearly at the 1% rate, quarterly at the 5% rate, and monthly at the 10% and up rates)

heck, the government could even give everyone an ATM/credit card for their respective prebate money.

Cable boxes blow - December 10, 2007

As of right now, at home we have the following:

  • HD DVR Cable Box
  • Cable modem
  • Wireless Router
  • VoIP box

All tolled, that’s 4 power connections, a cable splitter, 2 RG6 cables, and 2 ethernet cables before anything else is hooked up. Did my cable company provide a cable management solution, or even a power strip? Of course not!

So why don’t cable companies do this… ?

Imagine a “triple-play” box, that took the inbound coax, and was:

* HD Receiver
* Cable Modem
* VoIP Telephone
* Wireless router

The cable companies would only need one box, and they could remotely, instantly, turn on services the user doesn’t already have when desired. Joe Schmoe cable subscriber could call up Customer Service and ask for Internet to be Installed. Bam! Done. So fast it could give cable companies a positive customer service rep for once.

No splitters, power adapters, ethernet cables and the resulting stronger cable signal would be side benefits.

Sure, the box itself would cost a bit more, but I’d bet that increase wouldn’t be as much in quantity as the labor and other support issues cost having multiple different boxes for each service.

It’s my understanding that the HD DVR box costs something in the $300-400 range. The cable modem is probably $30 these days (the one I bought 5 years ago was $100), and similar for the VoIP router. Wireless router should be $40 in bulk. Add those 3 boxes to the HD DVR box would add 1/3 – 1/4 of it’s total cost, while reducing service calls (to add or remove service) and increasing customer service and customer satisfaction. I realize these might be foreign concepts the typical cable company, but why not give it a try?

Edit:  Additional (specific) features this box should also have:

  • 4+ Ethernet ports, 100 megabit full duplex minimum.  8 ports @ gigabit preferred.
  • The standard features of a NAT firewall
  • VLan for wireless configurable to be separate from wired ports
  • E-SATA port for adding additional storage for DVR purposes
  • Wireless IEEE802.11b/g minimum, with ‘n’ also preferred.
  • HDMI output