Travis's lame ol' blog

yay, Travis finally changed his blog!

- Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Homo Sapien 1.0

Channel 9 launched today and the first post I read was kinda interesting (in a geeky sort of way): The most important operating system is not Windows. Here's the video[asx].

Playing Mario Bros

gamez | KS | music | tech

"Made in the USA" my ass

A recent Wired article talks briefly about outsourcing and "American" goods. During a 5 hour oil change I got last week I had time to read every magazine and newspaper in Van Bortel's customer service area. One of the articles talked about the new Chevy Aveo. It's basically a cheap little Korean-made econo-box sold under Chevy's name. What bugs me is that Chevy's new ad campaign is "An American Revolution", America [this], American [that]. The Ford Focus is considered "American" by most. I guess you could say that is true, Mexico is in North America. The entire car used to be assembled in Mexico, but now just the engines are. Calling VW's Jetta "German" would just be a lie IMHO since it is also made in Mexico. Saturns are "American", right? Well assuming that you count their Canadian parts as American, and you don't buy one with an automatic, since their automatic transmissions are made in Japan. (I got most of my facts from usstuff.com)

I think that as more and more communication barriers are broken, more and more trade barriers will be broken, we will see more and more companies using parts from all kinds of different countries. Financially it makes sense. If you can find a better price on a comparable product elsewhere, why not buy it? I just find it irritating when companies advertise themselves as being "American Made", "Made in the USA", or even "German" or "Japanese" when they aren't 100%. They could at least include a disclaimer that says that they're mostly [insert nationality here], and list the parts, processes, or ownerships that aren't. If businesses continue to mislead the public, it will only lead to their miserable failure.

Personally I don't shop for things that are "Made in the USA", I just try to find a reliable product that performs well for the price. My Subaru Outback is probably considered "Japanese" by most, even though it was put together by US workers in Indiana, and even though GM owns 20% of Subaru's parent company Fuji Heavy Industries. I consider myself American because I was born and raised here, even though my roots are Irish, German, Polish, French-Canadian, English, and more - of course before all of these I am first human.

NPR's Car Talk lets me down

I was so happy to see NPR switch from Real to Microsoft. Now the jerks have switched back. I wonder if the files play with the Real Alternative?

- Monday, April 05, 2004

Fake Nigerian (419) Banks

The Reg has a story about a site that has a list of the fake banks that the Nigerian Nigerian 419 scammers use. The sad thing is that people are still falling for these pathetic scam emails.
KS | politix | tech

- Friday, April 02, 2004

greed vs. long term stability vs. laziness

Before commissions, my current stock portfolio ranges from -0.12% to +384.28% (as of today's green market). I've been lucky this time around, the last time I invested my portfolio ranged from -99.5% to -75%. 3 of the stocks that I have right now would have a substantial profit if I sold them today, even after the commissions. Should I go by the "sell at +20% and -10%" rule, or should I continue holding on until the economy gets back into full swing? If I sold these 3 stocks today after commissions I'd have about $900. Nothing to retire over, but for me that's a good sized chunk of change. I'll most likely hold them for now, but I wonder what it would take for me to actually sell them? Will it take a huge loss to inspire me to sell, or will I hold until they recover (yeah right)? Will it take a huge growth, or will I hold out for even more growth? In recent times past it has greatly benefitted me to continue holding them. My portfolio is on it's third year in age. The entire first year it was all red, the second year it was mixed, and now it's mostly green. Will it get greener? I'm guessing I'll be inspired to sell when I just need the money - which will probably be soon anyways since I'll be buying a house. [Update] The lower end of the range is 0.03% BUT the upper end is now only 228%, damn market.

- Thursday, April 01, 2004

peeps

blue peeps

Time to move to Canada...

The Reg says file sharers are not guilty of copyright infringement under Canadian law. "I cannot see a real difference between a library that places a photocopy machine in a room full of copyrighted material and a computer user that places a personal copy on a shared directory linked to a P2P service," said the Canadian judge. This is just another reason to move to Canada. They have free health care, cuban cigars, their president isn't a miserable failure, US currency is worth more over there, they have the better side of Niagara Falls, they use the metric system, the list could go on and on. Maybe when the fast ferry gets here I'll commute (not for $80/day though).
local | music | politix | quote | tech

- Wednesday, March 31, 2004

So I bought a house...

Check it out! My offer was accepted, I can't wait to move in!

Notable features:
- plywood windows
- plastic covered floors
- free garbage bags
- blood-colored wallpaper
- only 4,584sq-ft to heat
- only 14 rooms to dust

I know, it sounds too good to be true! (april fools)
KS | local

BitTornado

I've been using an experimental version of TheSHAD0W's BitTorrent client for awhile, but I switched back to the default BitTorrent client when the latest version came out. After getting sick of the stupid alerts that come up when you get server errors I found BitTornado 0.1.1 when trying to find TheSHAD0W's version. So far it's worked great and has a few minor improvements over previous versions of TheSHAD0W's client.