February 28, 2002

An reministic site. I came

An reministic site.
I came across a site that left me lingering just looking at the pictures. It is composed of wonderful photography of Paris. The Paris here is imaculately clean, which I don't think I have ever seen before.

February 26, 2002

Here is a good possible

Here is a good possible deterent against computer theft problems.

I have also written a piece at The Watercooler: "The effects of environment on productivity, part 1"

February 22, 2002

Paris by Night is happening

Paris by Night is happening this weekend in Las Vegas. For those of you who don't know what this is, "Paris by Night" is the Vietnamese musical industry equivalent to Back Street Boys, Nsync, "insert your favorite boy/girl band here". It has done well with the propagation of lip-synched videos all over the world. Well, you either love it or hate it.

I just popped down to the Strip at Aladin's last night and noticed how utterly empty the retail business have been. The museum store is going out of business and I wonder how many more are following this trend. In addition, airplane fares to and fro Vegas have been hiked by quite a bit. This comes from the airlines cutting down on the number of flights being available. The local economy is quite obviously hurting. I just don't know by how much. All this just points to a spirally downward economy.

February 11, 2002

NetFlix has a 14 day

NetFlix has a 14 day trial offer : NetFix offer. Well, I am sure most everyone is on the DVD bandwagon now. As such, you are likely to have been renting from either BlockBuster or Hollywood. If you are a frequent movie watcher, $4 a pop can really add up. That is why NetFlix seems like a good option with $20 a month for movie rentals through mail. The catch is that you can only keep 3 movies at a time and as you return them, NetFlix will send out the next movie on your queue. However, I have been noticing a couple of potential gotchas depending on your luck as a subscriber. They are as follows:

- Your turnaround may vary depending on how long the post office takes. This can be around 3-4 days if you are in San Jose. It can be as long as 7-8 days if you are across the country.
- NetFlix's check-in turnaround may be slow.
- Miscommunications and possibility of DVD loss through mail will affect your account unfavorably. Since they have your credit card number, you will be charged for the DVD and there is no way to prove to them that you DID return it. I.e. you are liable for each DVD rented.

If anyone has experience or have heard of experiences with NetFlix, please comment because I and many others would be interested.

February 09, 2002

Nelly Furtado in Sin City

Nelly played at the HardRock cafe and casino last night. Her opening act was Citizen Cope. Citizen is a two man band and played rather conservatively for 45 minutes. The audience was pretty nice considering that they had to wait 40 minutes between sets. Nelly didn't appear until 9:20 in her pink top with white sweat pants and started rocking the house.

Nelly playing with the audience

True to form, Nelly's concert was fun with lots of blasting dance energy. Quite obviously, the popular song "I'm like a bird" was the centerpiece and got played in the middle of her song set. She showed off some versatility by picking up a guitar (both acoustic and electric) and played with the band in some of her songs. Towards the end, she enlisted the crowd in audience participation by inciting them to wave their arms and to sing along with her.

Nelly with hands-in-the-air

February 06, 2002

Spiralling downward economy

The economy stimulus package got canned today. That spells bad news for everyone. Particularly bad are those local economies relying on tourism. Here, in Vegas, I talk to local folks who work in the Casinos and they are just afraid of the continuing phases of the layoffs. Visitors to the Strip are down in numbers as you can see the once busy street devoid of people.

A cousin of mine who has a sushi restaurant business in Orlando, Florida also attest that visitors coming to visit Mickey in the sunny state are also down. He is a savy businessman so he knows how to tweak efficiency to compensate for profit. I can only imagine how hard hit these local economies, so heavily weighed towards the service industry, will become.

Have we hit bottom? I fear not.

February 05, 2002

.NET - Microsoft's latest fashion

I am taking the plunge into the Microsoft .NET framework. I hope everyone likes fashion because .NET is Microsoft's latest delivery of technology fashion.
It is indeed a revamp of how programmers do things. The plethora of new languages: C#, VB.NET, C++.NET, JScript is basically an affirmation of Object Oriented programming. Ok, VB'ers, kiss your "goto" days goodbye and good riddance. C#, well, finally C++ programmers can do internet programming without grimacing with disgust by being forced to resort to VB or a scripting language. Then there is MFC being reinvented once again.... this time to look alot like OWL, which Microsoft happen to kill about 8 years ago. The revitalized OWL is now called Forms (as in WebForms or WindowsForms).
Before you jump up and start praising "Microsoft, ... microsoft", understand that all these benefits come at a cost. Just like abstractions cost, .NET is a major platform abstraction that will cost the user. What these costs will be won't be apparent until .NET is fully cooked but an initial point of view is that performance of .NET applications will suffer slightly due to the JIT (Just-in-Time compiler) overhead.

February 04, 2002

Producing Shareware

Experiences in producing Shareware

Here is an article for those of you in the software producing business or profession. It's based on a MAC shareware producer but I'm sure you can abstract and generalize the experience.

February 02, 2002

CPU roadmap

What's Inside?
For those of you shopping for a new computer, here is PCMag's latest scoop for CPU comparison shopping.

Posted by Hoang at 02:24 PM | Add the first comment | Technology

Connectivity

Here is a good article from Bob Frankston on connectivity. Connectivity: What it is and why it is so important

If we can get proper connectivity within less than a month, we might be there. You don't see companies taking a month for proper turn-around for electrical services or water services, do you. I think companies providing Internet Services have a long way to go.

February 01, 2002

Snow in Vegas

Would you believe that snow can fall in Vegas? I didn't except for the past couple of days. It has been extremely cold and you can see icecaps forming in the mountain tops. Closer to home, these fountains that are in the entry way of the apartment complex are frozen solid.
Frozen Fountain
Unfortunately the color didn't come out right in the picture because the angle of the sun wasn't quite right.