Monday, October 22, 2007

What's powering your Time Machine?

Mac OS X (pronounced 'O' 'S' 'Ten') version 10.5's Time Machine has an automatic versioned backup and recovery GUI but requires an external hard drive. While the Western Digital MyBook is the obvious choice (white or silver), I thought the Maxtor One Touch 4-Plus looked pretty stunning.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Leaving the network behind

Unlike David Pogue, who stuck with Verizon's superior network despite being impressed with the iPhone and being a Mac user, I've switched to AT&T. The only fault I could find in my old service provider was their high cost but it's arguable that it was worth it.

I found out that not only does Apple not offer any sort of corporate or educational discount on the device, AT&T does not offer anything in the way of corporate discount on the monthly service for iPhone, usually a nice 13%. This goes in line with an estimate from Morgan Stanley analyst Katiey Huberty's estimate that Apple receives a one-time payment of $150 per customer and a recurring $5 a month. That certainly leaves no room for any discounts.

Links and corrections to come.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Here I go again

If you've read this blog before, you may have been amused my disclosures of owning Apple and Google stock. For about three quarters, I've been clean and have had no financial interest in either company. The company I work for has a policy dictating that discretionary trading must be conducted with the company, so I closed my external account with TD Ameritrade and open a new one with the firm. I did that on Monday because they had a table in the cafeteria and made it very convenient and rewarding. It was convenient because I could take care of the paperwork without touching a fax machine and rewarding because I was promised a BestBuy gift card for applying on the spot.

What I've done in the past is to buy stocks in which I have blindcomplete faith. This leads to few picks and usually generously valued ones (i.e. Apple or Google). This isn't to say that I've always been successful. Asides from those two, virtually every company I've owned stock in has been de-listed, but not always for bad reasons. The most recent recently delisting was a voluntary one by Creative Technology (CREAF), but I could spend several posts talking about each of my unsuccessful picks.

One straightforward thing I might do is to try and short (or sell) companies who are grossly overvalued. I can still imagine being screwed by the strategy but it seems logical.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

iPhone tips

Some iPhone tips...

A new way to scroll

By now, almost everyone knows that you can flick your finger across an iPhone screen to scroll in Safari, but if you're lazy or if your finger is tired from that tediously repetitive motion, there is an alternative. Double-tapping the screen will zoom in on a block element such as a column of text or a picture. However, if you're already zoomed in, you can double-tap near the bottom of the page to scroll down or near the top to scroll up. To scroll all the way up, just tap the very top of the web page once.

Reduce your radiation exposure and EDGE rates

This next one you may have seen on Nate True's blog, but is worth mentioning again. As you know EDGE speeds are pretty slow, but you could be unknowingly making it worse by pressing your flesh against the black plastic-encased radio antenna with your hand. Nate says you can get 25% faster speeds by keeping your hand away from it and I've independently, but unscientifically, reproduced his results. Using 2Wire's bandwidth meter, I measured 160kbps when holding the iPhone sideways (rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise) as opposed to 128kbps when grasping my iPhone firmly upright. That's neatly 25% more bandwidth.

Music over Bluetooth

This last one is admittedly old news but I'm somewhat pissed off that Paul Miller from Engadget ignorantly posted this as a bug in 1.1.1. David Chartier from TUAW, Engadget's sister blog, posted about it a couple weeks ago before the 1.1.1 iPhone software update. Without further ado, when you have a bluetooth headset paired with your iPhone, you can have music play over it. Just pair your headset, go to visual voicemail, and you'll notice the "Speaker" button in the top right will switch to an "Audio" button and allow you to choose over which output you want to play your voicemails--iPhone, Speaker, or Headset.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

When did you get your first paycheck?

I was a pretty pathetic job-seeker back in high school. Extra-curricular after-school activities took up a a lot of my time during the school year and each summer job search was unsuccessful. I was pretty sure someone somewhere was hiring, but I was just plain bad at it. Anyhow, my first paycheck came when I worked for the computing services department during college. Eventually, my paycheck came in the form of direct deposit and I started getting pay stubs instead. No matter how late, I still experienced the satisfaction of depositing my checks into the bank.

The point is not in getting a physical paycheck or just a pay stub, but that working means you're contributing to society. In comes Austin, a friend from college, started MFP with his teenage sister Celeste to help teens and employers find each other more easily. If you know any young folks looking for a job or are looking to hire some, check that site out.