Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Peggy grows up and buys an apartment

Lots of discussions about Mad Men and New York's favorite past time...real estate property from last nights show where Peggy was looking to purchase an UES 2br apt on 88th ...near the river but with balcony.....for the princely sum of $28,000

lol you could hear all of New York laugh when the broker mentioned about how much of a steal it would be when the 2nd avenue subway was completed (still under construction now in 2013....)

It did bring up some interesting points


Cost Of Living 1968 to Now.
http://gothamist.com/2013/04/29/real_estate_1968.php
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 4.27%


Depending on costs of renovations etc  here is a quick comp at $1.6m though its a fair bit nicer than what we saw in the episode
- http://streeteasy.com/nyc/sale/841887-condo-455-east-86th-street-yorkville-new-york

This is a closer example features/fixtures wise and is $749,000
- http://streeteasy.com/nyc/sale/853429-coop-301-east-87th-street-yorkville-new-york


So for the quick calculation check out the tables above, basically based on comps it looks like this apartment price doubled every 11 years in this example.

Or look for your own comps here;
http://streeteasy.com/nyc/sales/yorkville-manhattan/status:open%7Cbeds:2%7Cdescription:balcony

Tmobile major screwup

So Frank the CFO of Verizon said recently …”We don’t think people really want unlimited data” so Verizon made a commercial decision no one on a grandfathered unlimited data plan could sign up for a new subsidized handset on a new 24 month plan eg. If you had unlimited you had to pay for your phone outright in order to continue with your plan (in effect paying for the phone twice in both cash upfront and on a higher plan cost per month).

My first response was….either bite your tongue and bend over or show them that customers will walk…..so yesterday I signed up online with Tmobile for the S4 and thought I’ll show you…..

Wow….I haven’t even made my first call on Tmobile and already pining for Verizon.

Ok so this morning I received a “order processed” email from Tmobile to say thanks for your order, and here is the UPS expected arrival date…. WTF?? The 6th of May…..hmmm so much for overnight shipping but sure I can live with it.

The real issue is this, I went to make a call on my Verizon cell phone this afternoon…..wtf….it's dead.

Call Verizon thinking they screwed up and maliciously disconnected the handset they are saying that no….Tmobile have screwed up 100,000 orders and ALL Tmobile ports yesterday went immediately rather than on demand when the sim card gets put in when you receive the handset.

Verizon even offered to make a “port back request so my Verizon handset would work again” temporarily.

Called Tmobile and they are all like oh I’m sorry anyone who purchases their handsets online this is the ways its configured for online orders and “have a nice day”……and I’m like ….wtf??

Friday, April 26, 2013

TicketMaster you suck!!



Seriously TicketMaster.... not only do you want to charge me a $9.40 convenience fee (x 2 for two tickets) but now you want to charge a $5.65 "processing fee" as well.

So Ticket Master you make $23.45 for a 3 minute transaction and the band makes $55.00 for a 2 hour show.

This is getting ridiculous !!


Cheers,
Dean
(btw for those of you not familiar with Cat Empire I put some of the tracks into the Mood Music Box.....cant wait).

Asus Cube.... anyone thinking of buying this?


Asus Cube announced yesterday, watching the unboxing/demo video on YouTube now - https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UzzsLVSBGdU


 
Amazon have them on sale now at only $139  - http://bit.ly/AsusCube . For me the Touchpad Remote alone makes it worth it.

Looks pretty comprehensive, if you’ve got one on order this weekend please post your thoughts on Monday with what your first reactions are and if you are using the hdmi in then out function with your cable box.

Also curious what information the hdmi in/out feature is passing to the box when you use it between your cable tv set top from time warner etc.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Verizon tiered data plans...uhm just say NO!

About 6 weeks ago my Motorola Droid 3 with Verizon just stopped working after 20 months....uhm disappointing as my Verizon Droid 1 lasted about the same time but shit happens as they say (which tells me we shouldnt be forced to sign 2 year contracts) and the new Samsung S4 was coming up so I purchased a run around replacement 2nd hand off ebay to use for a few months while waiting while my 2 year contract ran out.

The Samsung S4 pre-order email came in today so I was off like a shot online to order it in black.

Uhm hang on..... erk problem with the ordering saying my plan isn't valid

Get onto the Live Chat  auto reply says sorry but we don't give a shit about our existing customers and yes your plan is not grandfathered in as we are forcing ALL our Samsung S4 upgrades to move to tiered data.

I ask please check with your supervisor as otherwise i'll be moving my plan.

Live Chat auto reply is "sir if you check your data you'll find you don't use enough for it to matter".......uhm sorry but I WANT unlimited data.

Live Chat sir this decision was made some time ago and we will let you continue with your current plan on your current handset but to move to faster 4G you MUST upgrade to a new tiered data.


Uhm no sorry I don't.....my plan is finished I can take my business to either Sprint or to Tmobile

I'm outta here.

So folks in the words of Nancy Regan ...."Just say NO"




Friday, April 19, 2013

Google Earth

Any aussie who hasn't spent more than a few hours using google earth looking around at the photos is a fool

 
                                    142.534278542248
                                    -32.3738781731026

Sorry I cant attach a KMZ file to this post but here is the google maps link - https://maps.google.com/?ll=-32.360243,142.439804&spn=0.486047,0.617294&t=h&z=11 -though you should really do yourself a favor and download Google Earth and spend some time checking places out using the panoramio photo feature.

Just follow one of the eastern divide rivers to Adelaide and its as refreshing as taking a holiday and will leave you in awe.
 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pew Pew Pew....blasters set to stun

The U.S. Navy released video of a test firing of a laser shooting down a drone in July 2012 from the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey in San Diego

We've finally crossed the Star Wars rubicon........now if only drone builders learn to design so that thermal exhaust ports are smaller than womp rats.


http://live.wsj.com/video/us-navy-zaps-drone-with-laser/E90F0CB8-9CE4-4E49-BF28-7BD2225CA4DF.html?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

NYC Bike share

Cool, just saw a NYC bike share terminal being installed today on the corner of Clark and Henry right near our apartment in Brooklyn heights.
Still not sure i'd shell out $95 a year for membership but neat that its there to buy a 24hr $10 membership.
When I was in Paris I was really surprised how it seemed like all locals were using it but Montreal it seemed to be only tourists using the share-bikes.

- http://a841-tfpweb.nyc.gov/bikeshare/


Cheers,
Dean
p.S. seems not everyone is happy.... http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/57852

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston bombings

So folks....probably too soon to ask this but.....here goes.
 I'm wondering why Americans are so appalled about Boston when the exact same thing happens many times a day in other countries around the world.....often caused by USA funded political issues.

 How many people were blown up in Syria yesterday (USA funded)
 How many people were blown up in Iraq yesterday (USA prolonged)
 How many people were blown up in Afghanistan yesterday (lol lets face it UK,Russian,USA supported/paid for/prolonged).

Is it because they are brown people? Don't they count too?

What would you say to Obama if you had 5 minutes to discuss with him today?

Where is the outrage in the street about what has been committed in your name overseas? Where are the protests on Pennsylvania avenue? When are we going to evolve?

Next time you see a report on PBS or CNN about something happening....somewhere, will you take to Twitter and Facebook in droves, or will you change the channel on your big screen and sit comfortable and ensconced in your sofa.

Probably too soon, but if not now-when?

Hunger striking in Guantanamo Bay

Do you think this is fair? and if you are an American are you ok with this continuing to be done in your name?
- https://www.facebook.com/LivePoliticalChat/posts/293969567402954



Without a doubt I think this quote ringers truer than ever before.  
"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi

I think Bush/Obama will be viewed in the same way Goering and Goebbels are 50 years later. Personally I think its a sad sad day in the history of the idea that is America.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Neat tips




eg
ctrl+L to access url in browser
or
ctrl+enter types into a url bar the www and .com automatically eg type "streeteasy" then Ctrl+enter

Nope sorry...the bitcoin bubble hasnt burst

Reading this
- http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/12/investing/bitcoin-bubble/index.html?source=cnn_bin  

Nope sorry to burst your bubble…but the bubble hasn’t burst (pun).

Basically there is "intrinsic value" in having non trackable currency, as such there will always be some value in bitcoins (same reason why USA $100 notes get printed and “traded” by the pallet load between certain people.

You know its been interesting to watch the whole Cyprus and bitcoin discussion going around in a twin helix eg. ever since the days of tradable “shells” the value of money is in the belief you can buy something with it, there was a great editorial a few weeks back about how people have woken up to the fact that holding raw cash had intrinsic value over having it "in a bank" at 0.75% interest.

Lol at this article last year about aussies pensioners hoarding cash - http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-grey-economy-how-retirees-rort-the-pension-20120924-26hku.html

When you consider that both the USA and Australia have changed the rules in the last year about how 401k (superanuation in Australia) and how both governments 20 years in have now decided to ooops we changed our minds and will now be taxing funds you've locked away until 65......

I guess what I'm saying is yes botcoins may or may not go up and down but its just as big a risk as $US.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Priorities

http://science.slashdot.org/story/13/04/11/2231225/can-nasa-air-force-and-private-industry-really-mitigate-an-asteroid-threat
Oh, and in case you wondered, a detection system would cost about $300 million to put in place over the course of about five years. Apparently the US spends (or spent) 66 times that a year (20 billion) on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Yep you have to love...blowing up rocks in the middle east....yep we've got money for that.

Blowing up rocks in space....uhm that's a tough one NASA will need to find the funds for that somewhere.
(yes yes I know we are talking about deflection and not blowing them up but some poetic license).

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hey Boardwalk Empire producers.....you left your shit out the front of my apartment today

Stay classy guys..... came home today to see that the Boardwalk Empire production team left their shit half on the footpath and half on the road out the front of my apartment today after they left from filming.




Nice move guys. Next time you want to come and film in Brooklyn heights expect someone to be out there with an air horn.

This isn't Manhattan with crap all over the place, we care about what our streets look like.

Obesity trends in the USA

Wow just wow, I felt fatter just scrolling down the page.....
- http://imgur.com/a/9UK1i


Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Fortune magazine or "whore magazine"

Am I the only one who feels that the April edition of Fortune Magazine is one PR astroturf story after another?

Basically every story from cover to cover (with the exception of the Marijuana inc story.....which was interesting) I could read between the lines and see how the writer whored themselves out to a PR spin.

I hope those dinners were worth it because to be honest I'm probably not renewing my subscription.


Fox threatens to pull FTA content.....Goodbye, free TV?

http://allthingsd.com/20130408/news-corp-threatens-to-pull-fox-off-the-airwaves-if-aereo-wins/
Goodbye, free TV?
News Corp. COO Chase Carey said his conglomerate is considering moving programming from its Fox broadcast network, which viewers can receive over the air, for free, to its pay cable networks.
Carey floated the idea during a speech at a TV industry conference today, in response to a recent court ruling that gave startup Aereo the go-ahead, at least temporarily,  to show programming from Fox and other broadcasters on its Web TV service, without paying for the shows.



is this really a viable option for Fox?  what sort of viewer numbers would they lose? more importantly.....would this mean that they could have to allow in another content provider into their OTA slots if they move to cable only.

I'm assuming its all a bluff but curious for more details about what this really means.

Personally I think this will never ever ever ever happen...so not sure why they are even making the bluff, but curious what happens if this rolls out to other countries.

Monday, April 08, 2013

The House We Live In

Watching #IndependentLens on #PBS "The house I live in", some of the best tv I've seen this week.

Detailing the drug industry in America.
http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/house-i-live-in/

How do we not hold our heads in shame each and every day i'll never know.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Allen Stern RIP

Not sure what the story is yet but just heard on Facebook that Allen Stern has passed away - https://www.facebook.com/allenstern/posts/10152715924790790

As most of you know he sold www.CenterNetworks.com  a while back and moved to Austin to get his life and body into shape and had been doing great with his new fitness focus and website http://www.letstalkfitness.com  

(I don’t know how much weight he lost but when I saw this photo of him I almost didn’t recognize him)

He was always happy to help people out in anyway he could and my last email with him was two weeks ago where I introduced an aussie startup to him to talk about his experiences with www.CloudContacts.com (another company he started and still ran) as they were in a similar field and within hours he responded to help out.

He was an asset to NY and to the startup community, maybe this is a good example that without health and love….money means nothing.

I’m heading out this morning for a jog.


Regards,
Dean Collins

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Tag you're it

Tag you're it - what a great story
- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323375204578269991660836834.html?

NBN a liability

Reading this article today

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/4/4/politics/roll-makes-nbn-liability?
The latest figures released on the national broadband network rollout offer a useful reminder to politicians seeking to form minority government – careful what you to agree to with hard-bargaining independents.
The figures, put before the joint committee set up to track the giant project's progress by 'shareholders' Penny Wong and Stephen Conroy, show where the rollout is progressing, and what kinds of data speeds customers are buying.


Makes me think

" 28.6 per cent on 25/5Mbps speeds and 20.7 per cent on 12/1 Mbps"

Still faster than most people had with DSL previously......do you really want to go back to the days of copper only?

People in Australia bitching about the NBN need to open their eyes and understand this is one of the greatest things to happen to the country.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Pennsylvania rocking it out communist Russian style

Another example of "how do i explain to my Australian friends that the USA is actually 50 different countries"
- http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21574488-prohibition-continues-play-role-pennsylvanian-politics-liquid-assets?fsrc=rss|ust
All of Pennsylvania's 600 hard liquor stores are state owned and union run.
lol seriously wtf?? is this communist russia (80's style) or is this less than 200 k's from my house.