Sade – Soldier Of Love – The new album – Worldwide release February 8th 2010

Nice.  Finally after nine years a new Sade CD.  Comes out on Feb 8, 2010.

Sade – Soldier Of Love – The new album – Worldwide release February 8th 2010.

I know I will like it based on the first cut being available on net.  Unmistakable groove with solid drum and bass.  I hope the original band members on playing too.

Already remixed

Update: 15 Mar 2010 –
I got the CD. At first I thought it was not up to par with the older Sade work, especially something like “Is it a crime?”. Yet, as I continued to listen to it after a few days, I started to appreciate it for what it is. Now I love the CD. The band pulled through and Sade’s voice and style remains.

Next on my list is brandi carlile’s new release. What a voice she has! Afterward will of course be Ralph Towner’s new CD “Chiaroscuro“.

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Can’t add a network shared printer to new Windows 7?

I had a problem installing my old HP Laserjet 4P printer that I can only access thru an old laptop’s parallel port (remember those giant cables!).   Could not do it.  Luckily Google search is so powerful, found help right away.   However, the page is on a Microsoft help forum.    I can certainly understand the page, but how can the “normal” end user do so?   I don’t think most can.  In fact, the page doesn’t really spell out how to perform the alternative process.  It’s an arcane ‘trick’ to install the correct 64bit driver, which then allows the network printer (32 bit driver?) to be installed.

With the billions Microsoft makes you’d think someone could take that information on the page and generate a solutions page, giving step by step instructions.  Or what ever happened to all that Bayesian Help System super technology?   Anytime I use the troubleshooter, its helpless.

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New Underlying Cause Of Multiple Sclerosis?

Neurologists Investigate Possible New Underlying Cause Of Multiple Sclerosis.

Now this would be a great breakthrough.  Even if only a small percentage of MS is due to this “chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency,” or CCSVI.  There is even a FaceBook page on it:  CCSVI

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Delta Faucet, a product that actually works!

The Delta Faucet is a great and affordable showerhead.

This page, Smart Solutions : Delta Faucet, describes the technology behind the H2OKinectic Technology in this shower head.  Don’t know if its bogus or not, but I do like the shower head.  The first time I tried it I was very surprised.   The shower experience did feel “wetter”.   I felt warmer and the spray was really intense.   This is from someone that used a waterpick type shower head.

I think this is the model I have:  http://www.deltafaucet.com/bath/details/75152.html   And, here are some customer reviews at Amazon.  I agree with one reviewer, one drawback is that people want to stay in the shower longer.   Note one reviewer wrote that the Fluidics technology really comes from Alsons.

Nope, this is not a bogus review of this product.  I got no compensation for posting this (I wish).

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Declutter Your Workstation Desk

If you have a bunch of wires, cables, and power bricks around your desk at home you will one day want to organize it.  I finally decided to do something when I couldn’t trace a line from a USB drive to its power source.

For do-it-yourself people this site,Declutter Your Desk, presents a very practical method.  He used a Pegboard mounted underneath the desk so that everything could be under the table but off the floor.  The site has great pictures of some arrangements and the feedback from visitors give even more ideas.  For example, instead of the original hasp and dowel connection, I used the Hanger Bolt and Wing Nut alternative.  So my parts list was:

  • 5 each 10-24 X 2″ Hanger Bolts, $0.99
  • 5 each #10-24 Wing Nuts,  0.99
  • Bunch of Zip Ties, 3.95
  • Bunch of Twist ties (for wire neatness)
  • 1 Pegboard , 5.99

For a total of $11.92.  Not too bad.  Below is the layout I used.  I still have to add my network switch and cable modem.   One thing that would have helped is a hinge on one edge of the pegboard so that changes could be made easier.   I don’t like the use of zipties, hard to remove, but Velcro straps don’t fit in the Pegboard holes.  BTW, how do you screw in a Hanger Bolt?  I found the answer here.

Line drawing of my arrangement of components on pegboard
hidden pegboard

Maybe I’ll post a photo of the finished project later…..

Some links

Examples of workspaces:

 

 

 

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Tech Made in America?

An article had an intriguing subject, what if we only bought American Technology.  Yet, as the comments on that page made clear, the article was superficial and did not distinguish between companies who really make stuff and those that just repackage them.  Further, as one commenter, Codesmith, made clear:

“There are very few products that can be truly said to be made in any single country. The raw materials and component parts are likely to be sourced from dozens of countries.
You could do a % break down on where the money goes. What country gets what % of taxes, % of profits, % of wages.
I really don’t think Made in X has much meaning anymore in today’s global economy.”

I have a slight different concern that has nothing to do with protectionism.  What if our OEM suppliers become our enemy one day?    Where will we get our parts then?  Lets say we get all our motherboards from China and one day we go to war with them or very close to war wherein we halt trade (yeah, I know they own most of America anyway)?  Where will our businesses get their equipment for IT concerns.  And, what about our technical support infrastructure even within our military?  That fancy Network Analyzer probably has about twenty five percent of its components built overseas.  How much of our military capital has a “Made in China” label?  Of course, this, perhaps cynical, line of thought leads to even questioning overseas service providers.  Imagine if India gets pissed at us.   Will we get a busy signal when we call and ask how to remove that annoying horizontal line in MS Word?  Will the outsourced software development halt?  Will Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer stop threatening to move Microsoft jobs overseas?

I don’t know.  My gut feel is that we should be self-sufficient yet still be fully committed to  the global economy.  We see how dependency on foreign energy is detrimental,  allegedly a cause of our military campaigns.  Is dependency on resources and services the next leverage that will make America jump through hoops?

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Executive Pay As Maximum of Proportion

When the controversy over executive pay erupted and some talking heads considering this one of the instigating factors in the financial disaster, I pondered on it a few days.   Suddenly a simple solution came to me.  Just allow the executive compensation level be related to other compensations in the same company.   The easiest formula is to allow executive pay to be a maximum multiple of the lowest earning pay level in the company.  Thus, C = bL, where C is maximum compensation, L is lowest level, and b is a scale factor.  This applies to bonuses, stock options, and free saunas in the company jet.  This factor can be fixed, per industry, or legislated.

How would this work compared to the current ratios?  The table below shows a best case scenario (from the standpoint of the CEO).  I got the pay values from this article, “Top Five Highest-Paid, Worst-Performing CEOs” that has data for 2008.  I used $15K as the lowest pay rate.  See how the multiplier is now in the thousands!  But, in the fifth column I put in what the other employees should have made at a more sane multiplier of 40.

Company Employee CEO Multiplier If multiplier were 40
Oracle $15,000 $557M 37133 $600,000
Blackstone Group $15,000 $702M 46800 $600,000

If we were using a multiplier of 40x, then each employee should have minimally made $14 million so that the CEO was justified in his salary. Obviously each wage or salaried employee cannot each make 14 million; what if there are thousands of them, as in multinational companies.  Thus, starting the other way, using the lowest wage, the CEO would be capped at $600,000, as shown in column 5.

That is a big problem with such simplistic approaches as mine.   What happens to the other levels of compensation, the middle managers?  Seems that to re-balance the low/high compensation proportion all pay “grades” must be adjusted.  How?  Also, if CEO have an effective cap, does that reduce CEO effort? On the other hand, just thinking of the problems on how to balance such a high executive pay is itself an indication of how unreal corporate capitalism has become and the size of companies has become behemoths.

Any advantages to this alternative?

  • No cap on pay.  Want to earn more, pay the ones who do the real work more.
  • Not based on financial voodoo such as stock ownership timing and recalls.
  • Would even satisfy some pinko leftist extremists.
  • Sounds moral.  Even Jesus would run his conglomerate this way.
  • If the robber baron at the top makes a killing so do the people stoking the steam furnaces in the basement.
  • Etc.

Of course, what the heck do I know.   If I was CEO of a company I would want big bucks too.  So, I was reluctant to post this on my blog.  Then this morning while listening to the radio on this topic, somebody in Canada, Michael, called in to give just this very idea.  He sounded like he knew a thing or two.  He said that thirty years ago, the multiple was like 40 times minimum wage.  The radio show was:  On Point with Tom Ashbrook.

In a free capitalist economy should government have a say in big pay?  Well, we have laws against child labor, have a minimum wage, and plenty of laws to safeguard employees.  If you don’t think there should be limits, just read “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair or many of Charles Dickins’ books,  or visit a  sweatshop in any big city.   We may not have many inhumane deplorable work conditions, but normal people are not living large; some may see the income extremes as another form of exploitation.

Some links I found easily.  I notice most references talk of income caps.  That’s not what I advocated above.

Disclaimer:  None of the above represents the views of current or future employers of mine or my attitudes about employers.  It won’t represent my view either in a few days.  Live and learn.

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Medical marijuana clinics? We don’t have aspirin clinics.

This article irked me: Civic activists in L.A. have growing appetite to curb medical marijuana clinics — latimes.com.

It sort of made plain some of the trepidation I feel about this new grassroots effort.   To me it seems like a new effort to quasi-legalize drugs.  Sure there may be legitimate medical benefits to many natural substances, but we already have  distribution channels for legal drugs: pharmacies.   And, these channels can accommodate this “new” drug.  There is no issue with freshness or packaging; our supermarkets distribute perishable produce daily.

In fact, these clinics are nothing more then today’s speakeasys.  In the past, you just got a prescription by asking the local bookie or wiseguy, now you’ll just complain to your doctor, “Doc, my vision is not too good lately, I think to avoid glaucoma later I should get a prescription for some devil weed.” As I read the news article I cringe at the “connoisseur quality” selections, the menu, and the photo showing young ‘sufferers, “oh, can’t sleep, the boogie man scares me”.

Well, I’m sure this is a losing battle.  If some can say that the constitution guarantees the right to bear high caliber assault weapons, I’m sure some will find justification for being stoned and getting the munchies.  So lets get the unintended consequences out of the way.  Such as, are these legally stoned on pot people allowed to drive?  Its bad enough some drunk can decimate my family on the road, now I have to worry about pot heads too.  Can we dispense with the years of medical studies and jawboning that will inevitably follow and just determine right now if it causes cancer, makes you stupid, or really does lead to dangerous drugs like discount wine?

Ok, some psychologists have found that certain psychoactive drugs are beneficial for psychological issues.  Here come the Psych Joints!  On the menu: Mushrooms (no trans-fats), LSD, Angel Dust, hashish, and Shaman juju dust.  Would you like to try our new hookah, we are running a sale today?

P.S.  Of course, I respect the needs of people with health issues and that must give alternative treatments a fair trial.

P.P.S.  Further evidence of shadiness of this is the news that in Colorado a place has a want ad out for a “Pot Critic”!  I have never heard of a ‘Pharmacy Critic’.

Stuff

  • “Long-term cannabis use can double risk of psychosis”, link
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The celebrated man in the street

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