Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Something that I have started to really enjoy are the free Podcasts offered on iTunes.

Now I know there are alot of options for MP3 players but what sets iPods apart from music players is additional media value aside from listening to music. Now that I'm a subway commuter I have to find ways of isolating myself from the miseries of crowded public transportation. Listening and viewing Podcasts accomplishes that, and is also educational at the same time. I also get to catch up on some TV I've missed.

Currently on my list are (no specific order):

CBC National and Local news
Discovery Channel
How Stuff Works (Really cool!)
TV's Best Ads
Grammar Girl

If you have an iPod , check it out. Really cool stuff online.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Virgin Atlantic - coolest ad

Congratulations to Virgin Atlantic for doing it right for 25 years!

Check out their ad that commemorates their achievement. C'mon Air Canada, stop being a corpse.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Coming home to roost

In yet another example of corporate and personal greed, India's fourth largest outsourcer of computer services has fallen. It's CEO, B Ramalinga Raju admitted to cooking the books for years. To the tune of over $1 billion USD. As a result Saytam has lost over 97% of it's share price on NYSE and on the Bombay Exchange.  Many including myself are left wondering how such a blatant fraud could have gone undetected for so many years, especially as Price Waterhouse as it's auditor.

India's security exchange board (SEBI) immediately launched an investigation, but one has to wonder if this is all posturing to stop the bleeding as investors pull back on Asia Pacific. There is lots of criticism about the effectiveness our own SEC. 

Some of my colleagues are employees are Satyam and are some of the most honest, upstanding, intelligent and hard working people I have known. I know they have made family and personal sacrifices to build the reputation of Satyam. The actions of at least one bad apple does not reflect the rest of the 50K employees that are partnered at 30% of the Fortune 500 corporations of which Satyam supports. I wish the best of luck to anyone affected.

Unfortunately, the timing of world events will undoubtedly make it's corporate clients think twice about the risks of association. The reputational risk and the risks to business continuity is too high with a partner whose future is uncertain at best. I cannot see a take over by any of it's competitors like Infosys or IBM, the liability is too high.

As the financial crisis continues, the misdeeds of the likes of Madoff and Raju are coming to light. There will be more to come.  To quote Warren Buffet, "When tide goes out you'll discover whose been swimming naked".

Thursday, January 01, 2009

CNN and Velshi, what a joke

Tonight I was watching Ali Velshi on CNN interviewing "experts" and also giving advice on investing. I usually cringe when watching this doofus because it brings back annoying memories of him in grade 12 math class, but his self absorbed and bullshit advice tonight was really bad even for CNN standards.

So tonight they're all talking about how to get back into the stock market and making sure we "diversify". One piece of advice is to buy indexed funds, i.e. to the S&P or Nasdaq. Hello? If anyone happened to notice lately, the entire planet of investors got creamed regardless of what index or diversification strategy was used.   The only guy I know that made out okay was my younger  brother who for years was too lazy to get a financial advisor and ended up putting it all in GICs and cash.

Velshi ends the segment by plugging his new book, twice. What kind of journalistic conflict of interest crap is that about? Don't even get me started on Larry King or Anderson Cooper.

On a side note,  I heard from some folks living in the US that they received a couple of stimulus cheques in the mail from Uncle Sam.  Around $1,200 bucks tax free, more expected.  What a great country the US of A is, free money. I'm sure iPods and t-shirts that will be purchased with these cheques is really going to pull them out.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone.

Whew, wasn't 2008 the pits? Admit it.

Some things I am looking forward for in 2009 (not in any particular order):

- Peace on Earth, or at least some signs of peace
- Summer
- Less time working, (but still employed hopefully)
- World financial recovery, or at least some signs of it
- Opportunities
- Barack Obama
- Vacations
- Aidan going to school

My resolutions:

- Loose 10 lbs and keep it off. For the record I am 179 right now so hold me to it.
- Exercise regularly (at least 4 times a week)
- Organize garage and closets, and keep organized
- Learn something significantly new
- Volunteer for 1 thing
- Don't put up with stupid and/or lazy people (usually the same anyways)
- Stop wasting my money (includes me and anyone else)

That's probably  good enough for now.