Archive for March, 2008

Digital Amway

Friday, March 28th, 2008

A few years ago, I was accused of using the word “interesting” in subtle ways.  Sometimes it means a truly novel idea that I would like to learn more about, other times, it’s a novel idea of which I’m more than a little skeptical.  In both cases, I stand by the description, to me, both […]

Beat up the economists

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

It’s apparently “beat up the economists” week and no one thought to tell me in advance.  Over at Crooked Timber, Daniel Davies posts about Greg Mankiw’s recent NY Times editorial and suggests that the reason economists are so patronizing is bitterness over being stuck in a low paying academic job whose sole purpose is to […]

Pros and Cons of VoIP

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

We’ve got voice over IP phones at the office.  For the most part, they are a very smart way to handle our communications.  We’re too large to want to use individual analog lines through the local telephone company – their rates would be prohibitively expensive.  We’re too small to make a private branch exchange (PBX) […]

Power company balanced bill plans – banned

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

As mentioned last month, the North Carolina Utilities Commission has banned the expansion of Progress Energy’s Balanced Billing Plan and Duke Power’s Fixed Payment Plan. These are the plans that charge you roughly 11% in order to have a guaranteed power bill. Unfortunately, it’s not a full ban, it’s just a prohibition against enrolling any […]

Welcome to your crappy low-rent future

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Last week I was having lunch with a colleague (of sorts) and we were on the topic of the economy, outsourcing of jobs, etc. I mentioned that we were living in, what I’ve taken to calling, a crappy low-rent future*. He pointed out, and I agree, that this is largely because corporations have broken the […]

Who could have guessed?

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Gee, nobody could have predicted this I suppose: The FBI improperly used national security letters in 2006 to obtain personal data on Americans during terror and spy investigations, Director Robert Mueller said Wednesday. Admittedly, Mueller goes on to say that the reports were prior to new policies being put into place, but somehow that doesn’t […]

Lessons learned

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

For the most part, the old roof has been ripped off and we’re looking to start laying down the new roofing on Thursday. Several lessons learned so far in getting the roof replaced: all contractors have different prices, shop around drought is bad for roofers (and for that matter gravel driveway repair folks) having your […]