Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Colbert is absolute gold

You must check out this video of Stephen Colbert boxing newly elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi -- using custom Mii avatars on Nintendo's Wii Sports boxing:

If for some reason the YouTube video does not show up, click here. Colbert puts more thought and effort into his show than almost anyone I've seen.

Monday, November 13, 2006

For a moment there...

I thought Google was forcing Blogger users to switch to "the new version of Blogger." The above image is what I saw at 6:51p tonight when I tried to view my blog. I saw the same error message for my friend Chad's blog, also on Blogger. All seems ok now, but Google sure does want us to switch as the first thing a user sees in the current Blogger dashboard is a "Your new version of Blogger is ready!" message and a prompt to make the switch.

I haven't done it yet because there were issues with the new version such as not being able to edit the HTML code, but apparently all of the original features of the old Blogger are now included plus some new ones like labels for posts, dynamic serving (no more "republishing" for each new post and pages are dynamically served from a database instead of a static HTML page) and more site feed options like the ability to have RSS feeds for comments. Cool stuff for sure, but for now I'll keep up with the Known Issues for Blogger in Beta blog and stay where I am.

UPDATE: Well, there's the answer, straight from the Blogger Status page:

No details, but it has been fixed. Apparently if I had been using the new version of Blogger I would have been unaffected.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Amazing argument for not going in to work

The cost of driving to and from work can be measured by more than just dollars per gallon. Until I saw this post on the blog of an attorney who works from home I had not seen just why it can make so much sense to work from home. The key concept here is opportunity cost, the value of the next most valuable alternative forgone in favor of the choice made. After computing the formula there really is no argument.

In the example the author references, a couple has bought a house that requires a 1.5 hour commute each way and being skilled technology workers they earn $100 per hour. From his post, here's the formula and how it works out:

(Commute time * Productivity per hour) * Days Commuting per year

(3 * 100) * 230 = 69K

Based on similar formulas I calculated the following numbers:

  • Yearly opportunity cost - $69,000
  • Lifetime (30 years) opportunity Cost - $2,070,000
  • 8-hour work days spent commuting per year - 86.25
  • Lifetime (30 years) work days commuting - 2587.5
  • Number of work years spent commuting - 11.25

That’s right! They will spend the equivalent of 11.25 work years driving to and from work. I defined a work year as 230 8-hour days.

Even if you're just one person earning $50 per hour and commuting only half an hour each way, that's (1*50)230 = $11,500 per year, $345,000 over your work lifetime! I don't know about you, but that would give a tremendous boost to my IRA/401k/life insurance.

Plus, the person in my example with a more modest commute would have the equivalent of an extra 28.75 eight-hour work days each year and 862.5 eight-hour work days over 30 years, adding a total of 3.75 work years if commuting was eliminated from the day. If nothing else such a reclaimed opportunity cost could help relieve some billable-hour pressure. Pretty cool.

This one's for you, Eric.

Yes, you.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Voting Accomplished

Remember to vote today, if you haven't already. Polls are open until 8p.

For those who want a quick reference for the Sacramento area:

Sacramento News & Review's recommendations; and

Sacramento Bee's endorsements.