Archive for September, 2008

MacBook Pro Battery Update

September 30, 2008

Jamie wrote a piece today about his anemic battery life on his MacBook Pro. It’s been quite awhile since I tested mine, on my 23 month old machine, but suffice it to say, I travel nowhere without my power supply. My biggest problem isn’t the amount of time that appears in the calculated time left area. It will tell me I have nearly two hours when I disconnect the power. My problem manifests itself when it hits about 50 minutes left. It shuts off. No warning, no sleep, just death.

This is not a “good” problem.

Here’s what coconutBattery tells me:

It looks healthier than Jamie’s with a similar amount of wear, but I need to figure out this “shut down” issue.

Anyone else seeing this?

Palin to “be withdrawn” as VP?

September 30, 2008

According to the Prediction Market, Intrade, the odds that Palin will “be withdrawn” as the VP candidate are rising — dramatically. Before you poo poo this, consider that this is people putting real dollars behind these “bets”, and they are often correct. Still a long shot, but not as long.

I predict this will rise on Thursday night. confirms that I kick ass.

September 30, 2008

Featured in Alltop

Got the nod from today on the GlassyEyes site. They added a “Frugality” topic and included GlassyEyes. I’m thrilled. It’s a great site.

Alltop was started by¬†Guy Kawasaki (former marketing wizard behind the Macintosh at Apple, and who wrote the most excellent book, “Art of the Start“), and a couple of his closest friends (Will Mayall and Kathryn Henkens). Lots of great topics that allow me to find the best stuff quickly. Simple idea, done right.

Check it out.

Dollar Not Worth Much? Buy Some. Get cash back?

September 26, 2008

The US Treasury is selling the “golden” $1 Presidential coins at face value, with free standard shipping. That’s a great deal if you get cash back or points on a debit or credit card.

You’re going to need heavy-duty pockets to carry these around with you, and you’ll get some serious Susan B. Anthony face from cashiers, but screw ’em. You just earned a few bucks, some street cred, and you’re eccentric anyways, right?

Here’s a link to the U.S. Mint Online Product Catalog.

A Bailout Plan that Looks Really Well Thought Out (from a small-town attorney)

September 25, 2008

I was listening to the radio this morning as I drank my espresso and heard an interview with a guy named Kim Shaffer, an attorney in Fairmont, MN. He wrote a letter to the editor of the Star Tribune yesterday that made too much sense. It had the following main points:

  1. Bankruptcy courts should have the power to restructure home mortgages as they do in Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code for farmers. They could impose new payment terms with a present value equal to the fair market value of the house. The homeowner gets payments similar to those a new buyer would get, and the lender gets a performing loan at the same value as if they foreclosed and resold the house.
  2. Don’t put other restrictions on the foreclosure process (especially on the loans that the government buys from financial institutions). Doing so would slow the process of restructuring the loans and put the taxpayers at risk of not getting their money back from the bailout. Focus on the bankruptcy change, and the market and courts will take care of the rest.
  3. Don’t restrict the pay of corporate CEOs as part of this process. This is not a time for class warfare, it’s a time to keep our financial system working and to prevent future problems. Focus on future regulation and buying the securities at a discount to limit the taxpayer’s exposure.
  4. Do regulate the financial industry (appraisers, mortgage brokers, investment banks, financial rating companies).
  5. Don’t mandate or encourage loans to unqualified buyers (no more $0 downpayment or no-documentation loans).

I started reading this as I listened and the third point made me do a double take. What? Certainly these CEOs are making a ton of money (many, many millions) for the shoddy oversight they’ve provided. This is true, but restricting the pay of these CEOs is short-sighted. With no limits on CEO salaries in any other businesses, you’re going to attract a lower-end, less experienced brand of CEO for these firms.

The most interesting point to me, not being a farmer, was the item on Chapter 12 bankruptcy. Create a chapter that allows this with non-farming folk and you’re well on your way to cleaning up this mess from the bottom up.

That looks like a win/win to me.