Google hates apple

OK, the demos of chrome look pretty cool. But why aren’t they releasing a version for the mac?
Hmm … is it possibly the same reason that Google STILL (after 3 years) hasn’t released a Gtalk client for the mac? Does Google see Apple as it’s biggest potential competitor for the operating system throne?
I’m betting that Chrome for the mac will be a long time in coming, if it ever ships at all. Hoping to be proved wrong though!

Blogging from 30,000 ft

It is human nature to be unsatisfied. When we get a new technology, it may initially impresses us a lot. But we habituate extremely rapidly to whatever the new norm is and start complaining again.
Case in point: my flight to Delhi is on Lufthansa, and Lufthansa planes now are wifi-enabled. Holy cow! OK, for 20 minutes I was impressed. But now I’m complaining to my seatmates about the download speed (162.1 kilobits per second? pathetic!), and the fact that not all ports are open (no skype? WTF?).
I’m sure 20 minutes after they develop cold fusion, we’ll find some reason to complain about that.

Accounting-friendly Investing

I just wrapped up my taxes for the year. It was a hassle, but it was a lot easier than last year, and MUCH easier than four years ago. Over the years I’ve realized that a lot of the accounting pain associated with stock investing is actually avoidable. Below are some tips and tricks to minimize your tax-time blues:
1)Dollar-cost averaging sucks! Sure it works great as a strategy(you buy more when things are less expensive), but all those small transactions are difficult to account for. They make calculating your cost basis a lot harder. This insight leads to three sub-rules.
a)Never buy the same stock or mutual fund twice
b)Never select the “reinvest dividends” option when buying a mutual fund.
c)If you want to buy the same thing, just settle for a “similar” thing instead. For example, instead of buying an S&P 500 mutual fund, buy a DOW mutual fund. Then buy a DIFFERENT S&P fund. Then buy a DIFFERENT DOW fund.

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Going to Delhi this week

I’m going to Delhi this week for a three-week stint. I’ll be working with the rest of the Uzanto engineering team on the next version of our awesome MindCanvas service, as well as doing some recruiting, interviewing, and general schmoozing.
It’ll be interesting to see how the tech scene in Delhi has changed in the last twelve months. When I was last there, the tech start-up scene was still a small community, relative to the insanity that is Bangalore. But I’m getting the sense that things are starting to change …

DesignJet 130 review

Uzanto just bought a bad-ass large-format printer for printing the data visualizations that come out of MindCanvas. When I say large-format, I mean large-format: the Designjet 130 we bought can print on paper that’s 24″ by 64″. It’s a beast! I guess I hadn’t really realized how big the printer would be until it arrived in the mail. This isn’t the kind of printer you have at your desk. This is the kind of printer that has it’s own desk.
The printer was expensive ($1300), but it’s already paid for itself in terms of results: for exploring large, interrelated data sets, there’s nothing better than a really big piece of paper that you can tack up on a wall. The visualizations that we print have thousands of datapoints and are in various colors (very Tufte, actually). Printing the deliverables using a print shop isn’t an option: it takes too long. Our goal with the MindCanvas service is to do an entire research project in 7 days, so we don’t have time to wait for proofs at Kinkos!

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Blackjack Spreadsheet

I’m going to Vegas this weekend. Not really my favorite place, but this time I’m determined to actually try to have a good time. Therefore I will have to gamble. Blackjack seems fun, and at least has an element of skill, so I’m deep in study mode. The amount of preparation required is modest: three spreadsheets must be committed to memory. Fun! I feel like I’m back in third grade, learning my times tables again.

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Here comes the chinese internet!

Yesterday at the BayCHI Web 2.0 panel, David Sifry said that 2/3 of blog content is not in English, and that the biggest changes he’s noticed in the last couple of months is that the Chinese have discovered tagging. The other day the hottest post on was about using Chinese google to find and download warez. My biggest referrer right now is this guy (note: not sure if this guy is chinese, japanese, or korean: preliminary research revealed nothing more than the fact I don’t know squat about asian languages). My bloglines searches on AJAX and Web 2.0 are full of Chinese postings. Slowly but surely, the Chinese (and Japanese, and Korean) internet is creeping into our conciousness. The internet is changing again!