Friday, July 28, 2006

Cube Door

Get some time to concentrate at work: Cube Door.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Actually interesting SEO study

There are many articles claiming to have valuable insight for webmasters trying to understand how search engine's rank there sites. This study actually is pretty interesting. They claim inbound link quality (not quantity) is the most important "off-page" factor (factors other than the page itself). And in, fact inbound link quality is 42 times more important than link quantity.

Inbound link relevance is next at 11.6 times more important than link quantity (which shows how important link quality is).

via: searchblog

Friday, July 07, 2006

Ticketing corruption

Ticketing corruption

The paper ranks country corruption according to the number of parking violations per country diplomat, and finds that the results match up remarkably well with findings from rough survey-based estimates on the topic. Who are the worst violators? Kuwait blew away the competition with a whopping average of 246 unpaid parking tickets per diplomat over a 5 year period. Diplomats from countries famed for their good political behavior like Canada, Sweden, and Norway didn't have any unpaid tickets.

Interesting data on who would break the law if they could get away with it. Diplomats are granted immunity from prosecution so therefore can break the law without being punished. This isn't actual true as I imagine most countries that respect the rule of law do not tolerate diplomats that flaunt laws of the countries they visit.

I believe in addition to having ethical diplomats the countries that are behaving well have senior government officials that would not allow such poor behavior from their representatives. Which explains why Foreign Policy magazine found such a correlation between corruption and those diplomats behaving irresponsibly.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Social Isolation Growing in USA

Social Isolation Growing in U.S., Study Says by Shankar Vedantam:

A quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom they can discuss personal troubles, more than double the number who were similarly isolated in 1985. Overall, the number of people Americans have in their closest circle of confidants has dropped from around three to about two.

The comprehensive new study paints a sobering picture of an increasingly fragmented America, where intimate social ties -- once seen as an integral part of daily life and associated with a host of psychological and civic benefits -- are shrinking or nonexistent.

Social Isolation in America
(pdf) - full report by Miller McPherson, Lynn Smith-Lovin, and Matthew E. Brashears.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Connect to IT Experts

Qunu is a new service to connect you to an IT expert to answer your questions now. It is free and uses any jabber enabled IM client to enable you and the expert to communicate. I have not used it yet but it looks promising.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

More Government Giveaways

Farm Program Pays $1.3 Billion to People Who Don't Farm

The checks to Matthews and other landowners were intended 10 years ago as a first step toward eventually eliminating costly, decades-old farm subsidies. Instead, the payments have grown into an even larger subsidy that benefits millionaire landowners, foreign speculators and absentee landlords, as well as farmers.

Politicians claim to support capitalism and then create these anti-capitalist socialist policies. Then then vote to eliminate tax on the mega rich inheritances... No wonder they spend more than $1,000 more than they collect in taxes for every single person in the United States every year. Capitalism is not against government regulation, there are many cases when regulation is needed (natural monopolies, public safety, anti-trust, taxation, child labor laws, environmental protection [and other negative externality related regulation]...). But farm subsidies to political friends is just about taxing some citizens (and currently taxing those in the future since the politicians don't pay for what they spend with current money) and giving it to others for political gain - not capitalism.

What began in the 1930s as a limited safety net for working farmers has swollen into a far-flung infrastructure of entitlements that has cost $172 billion over the past decade. In 2005 alone, when pretax farm profits were at a near-record $72 billion, the federal government handed out more than $25 billion in aid, almost 50 percent more than the amount it pays to families receiving welfare.

What an idiotic policy.

USA Government Debt Updated Daily:

Federal Debt $8,340,008,565,191 $8,340 Billion or ($8.340 Trillion)

or for every one of the 300 million people in the country $27,800.

For more on the huge debt see the Concord Coalition site.