Monthly Archives: December 2007
Dec 27 2007
In Oregon
 

We are in Oregon for the next few days and the weather has been something to write about.

We have seen hail, snow, rain and sun. Cold! In the 30’s at night and daytime maybe 40.

Today we had breakfast in Cannon Beach, a lovely place.

We then went on to Tilamook to see our Uncle and his new wife. Manolo and Sheila Garcia. They live on 3rd Street near the town center. They have a beautiful home that and she is a great cook. She didn’t stop feeding us. What a great host and Manolo can carry a discussion on any topic. Today we discussed a book my Carroll Quigley, who carries many credentials and tells the histor of events. Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time (1966) ISBN 094500110X

More to follow on our trip. Stay tuned.

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Dec 27 2007
Apple’s Stock
 

Apple is doing an amazing job of exceeding investor expectations as illustrated by the performance of the stock. In one year the stock is approaching almost 300% growth. Many speculate that it will continue.

52 – Week Range
76.77 – 200.96
12/27/06 – 12/26/07

The iPod has become an integrated instrument of life for many of us. The iPhone is the latest introduction making great headway into that area as well. If the price comes down and the phone is sold unlocked to work on any network, WOW, that would be a major score for Apple!

Nokia is doing this and people are responding very favorably to this.

More to follow.

Victor Caballero

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Dec 25 2007
Leaving for Astoria
 

We are leaving for Astoria, OR in the morning.
Merry Christmas to everyone!

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Dec 25 2007
2007 Holiday Shopping Season
 

Reports are coming in that sales in 2007 are up only 19% over 2006 and that this year is one of the worse in the past five years.

December 26, the day after Christmas should offer some good sales as retailers attempt to make up some sales.

More details are coming in.

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Dec 24 2007
Bible on a pinhead!!!
 

Wow now this is pretty impressive.

Technion researchers have succeeded in putting a full version of the Hebrew Bible, with vowel points, on 0.5 square millimeters – an area smaller than the size of a pinhead.
The nano-Bible was written as part of an educational program developed by the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute. The program aims to increase interest, on the part of youth, in nanoscience and nanotechnology. The idea to write the entire Bible on an area smaller than a pinhead was conceived of by Prof. Uri Sivan, head of the Nanotechnology Institute. The project was managed by physics’ doctoral student Ohad Zohar, the institute’s scientific advisor for educational programs, together with Dr. Alex Lahav, former head of the FIB laboratory in the Wolfson Microelectronics Research and Teaching Center.
The nano-Bible was written using a scientific device called FIB – Focused Ion Beam. With the aid of this device, it was possible to send focused beams of tiny particles (gallium ions) towards a specific object. When the particles hit the object, they cause the atoms of that object to bounce off of it, thus etching it. This is similar to digging a small hole in the earth using a water jet from a hose.
The nano-Bible was written on a silicon surface covered with a thin layer of gold (20 nanometers thick). “When we send the particle beam toward a point on the surface, the gold atoms bounce off of this point, thus exposing the silicon layer underneath. The diameter of the exposed point is about 40 nanometers. When we look at the written example using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), the exposed silicon point looks darker than the gold surrounding it. By sending a particle beam towards various points on the substrate, we can etch any pattern of points, especially one that represents text,” explains Ohad Zohar.
The structure of the nano-Bible was built using a special software developed in the project’s framework, which enables etching text on the surface layer.
The nano-Bible project is part of an educational program that asks the following question: “How small can the Bible be?” The program uses this intriguing question in order to investigate modern methods of creating miniature structures and imaging on a nanometric scale, to present advanced technology for high-density information storage and to discuss future topics such as information storage using DNA molecules or other bio-molecules.
“The fact that the Bible contains a lot of information (some 10 million bits) – is the main thing. We are aware of many ideas for high-density information storage, but almost always, an attempt to apply these ideas for large quantities of information exposes new challenges and, in the end, leads to deeper understanding of the proposed method and its limitations,” say the Technion researchers.
“The nano-Bible project demonstrates the ability of miniaturization at our disposal. We are working hard at present on photographing the nano-Bible using the SEM, with the aim of enlarging the photo by 10,000 times and displaying it on a giant wall in the Technion’s Faculty of Physics. In this picture, which will be 7 meters by 7 meters, it will be possible to read the entire Bible with the naked eye (the height of each letter will be some 3 millimeters. Near this picture, the original – the nano-Bible itself, which is the size a grain of sugar – will be displayed,” explains Ohad Zohar.
Source: Technion

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Dec 24 2007
Happy Holidays
 

Want to wish everyone Happy Holidays!

I am hoping to launch two new ventures in 2008.

One is sure to be a hit with everyone who drives a car, especially in LA.

Wishing you the best 2008.

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Dec 24 2007
McDonalds Wi-Fi
 

A while back McDonalds started to offer wi-fi in their restaurants. I have yet to try it. I am going to try it on my trip to Oregon. Apparently if you are an AT&T DSL Pro subscriber you can use the service for no additional charge. We will find out how that works!

McDonald’s – More Than 15, 000 Wi-Fi Enabled Restaurants Around the Globe!

We believe in bringing you innovative and convenient services that enhance your McDonald’s restaurant visit, and Wi-Fi is a perfect example. As McDonald’s continues to deliver fast and friendly food service at more than 30,000 convenient locations around the world, you can now enjoy the possibility of staying connected with friends, family and co-workers. Just find a Wi-Fi ready Golden Arches (click here for Wi-Fi enabled locations in your area) and you can check e-mail or chat with your friends while your kids are having fun in the Playplace.

To access the Wi-Fi services in a restaurant, you need a Wi-Fi enabled device, such as a laptop or PDA. If you are unsure whether your laptop or PDA is Wi-Fi enabled, click here to determine what hardware is required.

Our local service providers provide high-quality Wi-Fi service through several convenient connection options: on-line credit card payment, subscriptions, prepaid cards, or (sometimes) promotional coupons. If you have questions or need technical help, the Wi-Fi provider’s customer support number should be handy in the restaurant.

Please note that currently there are no roaming capabilities between different countries, neither for customers nor McDonald’s employees. You will have to connect separately with the respective Wi-Fi service provider.

Enjoy surfing and working in your local McDonald’s!

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Dec 24 2007
t-mobile wireless
 


T-Mobile.com Logo

T-Mobile USA, Inc. is a leading global provider for mobile communications services across America. T-Mobile offers the best in wireless price plans that give customers big buckets of minutes that can be used anytime during the day, nights and weekends.

Additionally, our nationwide rate plans feature free nationwide long distance and free nationwide digital GSM roaming.

T-Mobile services and technology and how it’s changing the mobile communications industry while providing consumers nationwide coverage and rates for their mobile devices.


T-Mobile.com Logo

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Dec 24 2007
Toothbrush Sanitizer Germs: Germ Terminator Steam & Dry Heat Toothbrush Sanitizer
 

Now here’s a product that has some uses in todays time of people being so concerned with germs.


Germ Terminator Toothbrush Sanitizer

The Germ Terminator Steam & Dry Heat Toothbrush Sanitizer and Clean Storage System (GT100 System) is the only FDA 510(k) cleared medical device of its kind designed for household use that kills greater than 99.9999% of all germs tested. After killing the germs on toothbrushes the system stores toothbrushes in a germ-free environment.

Here are the major bullet points regarding this fantastic, patented and revolutionary health-care system:

The GT100 System has been tested at three major independent laboratories.

Total kill rate against E. coli, staphylococcus aureus, salmonella, listeria, gingivalis, meningitidis, candida, herpes, HIV, flu virus, cold virus, hepatitis, and s. mutans.

The system is recommended by dentists, doctors, and dental hygienists.
Invented by James Song, author of the book “Why Your Toothbrush May Be Killing You Slowly

– How chronic, silent infections from toothbrush germs cause damaging, long-term and silent inflammation throughout the body.”

Seen on TV by over 30 million people worldwide on PrimeTime Live with Diane Sawyer.
Approaching nearly one million units sold worldwide.

In a recent consumer study, over 92% of current GT100 customers would recommend the product to a family or friend.


Germ Terminator Toothbrush Sanitizer

When you hear it steam, you know it’s clean. Finally, there is a safe, simple and completely effective solution to the dirty problem of toothbrush germs, and it makes perfect sense. There are actually a few methods floating around out there, but only one is the safest, most reliable, and most effective: the Germ Terminator Toothbrush Sanitizer. Using the Germ Terminator Toothbrush Sanitizer is hands-down the best way to make sure that your toothbrush is completely germ free. The Germ Terminator Toothbrush Sanitizer uses the proven power of steam to kill all germs, bacteria, viruses, fungi (molds and yeasts) and any other disgusting microbes that may have collected on your toothbrush. Most importantly, the Germ Terminator Toothbrush Sanitizer also provides a clean, germ-free environment where your toothbrush can be safely stored until the next time you use it.

The Germ Terminator Toothbrush Sanitizer is entirely unique with its patented steam-sanitization and germ-free storage system. Using the pre-measured Germ Terminator Toothbrush Sanitizer cup, you just add a little water to the sanitizing unit. The Germ Terminator Toothbrush Sanitizer generates a burst of continuous germ killing steam that safely, efficiently, and effectively wipes out greater than 99.9999% of all germs tested in major laboratory testing with absolutely no germs detected after any test! Again, all you need to do is add water!

You may have heard about other methods for cleaning your toothbrush, like soaking it in bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or mouthwash, boiling it, placing it in the dishwasher, exposing it to ultra-violet light radiation or ozone, or simply leaving it out to dry to get rid of the germs. A few of these techniques might work to kill some of the germs, but they are either essentially ineffective and/or potentially hazardous to your health.

With numerous worldwide patents and patents pending, the Germ Terminator Toothbrush Sanitizer is the most effective, natural, simplest to use and safest device ever created to sanitize your toothbrush. It takes only seconds of your time and it might be one of the most significant health decisions you can make for you and your family. It just makes sense. When it comes to something you put in your mouth, the bottom line is “CLEAN has got to be better than DIRTY”. How can anyone argue with that logic?

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Dec 24 2007
Visa Gift Cards
 

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Dec 24 2007
Claremont Farmer’s Market
 

December 23, 2007
Jennifer and I went to the Claremont Farmer’s Market. It was a beautiful day. They weather was great. Some areas got into the mid 70’s. After the market we walked around a bit.

Here’s some info on the Claremont Farmer’s Market:

Name: Claremont Farmers & Artisans Market
Day: Sunday
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Indian Hill and 2nd Street
City: Claremont
County: Los Angeles
Manager: Oscar de Leon
Office Address: 111 S. College Avenue, Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: (714) 345-3087

Printable Map

Then we headed back to Monrovia and had breakfast at the Peach Cafe with my brother Dan Caballero and our nephew Justin Caballero. We ate on the patio. The Peach Cafe is a pretty good place. It took a while to get seated, about 20min. Which was fine as my Dan was driving over from Whittier. The water the server brought was frozen, I showed it to them and they said they use a fork to poke it….. go figure…. we did have a little sun and it started to melt. The only complaint I had about the food was that the potatoes in the skillet I had did not appear to be cooked, only boiled and then cut up. It would have been nice if they would have been fried, or heated on the “skillet”. The pancakes here are really good. I think they use real buttermilk.

If you want to the Peach Cafe:
Peach Cafe
https://www.thepeachcafe.com/
141 E Colorado Blvd
Monrovia, CA 91016
(626) 599-9092

After breakfast we went to visit my folks, Victor Caballero and Margarita Caballero. We also saw my uncle and his wife. Fernando Caballero and Elva Caballero.

We had a nice visit outside in the patio.

After our visit with my folks we came home and fixed up a few things. I made another attempt to fix the leaking valve going into the new refrigerator we bought from Sears(I’ll have more to say about it in another post).

Before dinner we decided to take a drive up to see the lights in the UHRA(Upper Hastings Ranch Association) lights on the streets. There are so many streets with lights. It is really one of the most organized lighting events around.
Then we went to the Balian home in Altadena, at Mendocino and Altadena. Every year there are so many people driving and walking around this mansion. This year we even saw vendors(3 of them) selling santa hats and various toys. It is really a pretty amazing display of lights.

We then came home and ate a bowl of sourdough clam chowder and salmon(from our Dream Dinners) and a salad.

It was a pretty busy day!

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Dec 21 2007
The Biggest Potluck in the Nation
 
The Biggest Potluck in the Nation

Union Station Foundation’s Annual Christmas Dinner-in-the-Park Brings 3, 500 meals and holiday cheer to Pasadena’s homeless community members.

Pasadena, CA, December 21, 2007 –(PR.com)– This Christmas, those with no place to call home are invited to eat at the nation’s largest holiday potluck. Union Station Foundation, the San Gabriel Valley’s largest social service agency serving homeless adults and families, will hold its Annual Christmas Dinner-in-the-Park on December 25 from 12-2 pm in Pasadena’s Central Park.

This community event brings bountiful meals and holiday cheer to 3,500 people, many of whom are homeless, senior citizens, alone at the holidays or unable to afford a holiday meal.

“Our supporters bring donated turkeys, hams, side dishes and desserts to the park,” said Marvin Gross, Executive Director of Union Station Foundation. Community members will drop-off home cooked food at Fair Oaks/Del Mar from 9am -12pm.

Volunteers work together to accept drive-up food donations, decorate the park, set-up food stations, and serve more than 3,500 meals. Ten buffet lines, staffed with hundreds of volunteers of all ages, serving food to our homeless and low-income community members. The outdoor dining in the park will seat hundreds, and will have special areas designated for handicapped and senior citizens. In Santa’s Village, children will receive holiday gifts, donated by the Foy Foundation, Children’s Hunger Fund and Platte College.

Call (626) 240-4550 or visit www.unionstationfoundation.org to donate or learn about volunteer opportunities.

###

Union Station Foundation is the largest, most comprehensive social service agency assisting homeless and very low-income people in the Pasadena and West San Gabriel Valley area. Their mission is to offer homeless individuals and families the resources they need to transform their lives and become productive, stable, and self-supporting. Their programs are based on a belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every individual and they strive to provide the highest quality of services based on a foundation of respect for all people.

To accomplish their mission, they operate Passageways intake and assessment center, the 56-bed Adult Center, the 50-bed Family Center, Euclid Villa transitional housing apartments, and SOURCES career development program. Their team of skilled professional staff and volunteers provide homeless men, women, and children with the services they need to permanently escape homelessness and achieve self-sufficiency. With the exception of their transitional housing facility, all programs and services are provided free of charge.

Contact Information
Union Station Foundation
Dana Bean
626 240 4550
[email protected]
www.unionstationfoundation.org
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Dec 21 2007
IMEEM and Universal Music – the state of labels and new media
 

There’s been a lot of articles on how companies like IMEEM, SpiralFrog, and others are able to make deals with the major distribution labels. From everything I have been reading the labels are requiring a big upfront commitment with cash. This appears to be the only way the record companies will do deals. Money upfront.

I will write more about this in the next few days.

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Dec 21 2007
United Online postpones IPO
 

United Online postpones the ClassMates IPO, stating the climate for an IPO is not favorable.

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Dec 21 2007
Microsoft goes after pirates
 

According to the LA Business Journal, Microsoft has been actively taking tips from consumers about illegal copies of software being available from on ebay and Craig’s List.

I have posted requests for software on CraigsList.org and have received several people offering copies. Even after I stated that I am only interested in original software NOT copies.
Sometimes I don’t think people can read. Anyway, apparently Microsoft is hammering down further on the illegal copying of software.

More to follow.

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Dec 21 2007
TicketMaster and Live Nation
 

In an interesting move things are moving forward with Live Nation controlling its ticketing and disolving the TicketMaster partnership according to this story in the Wall St. Journal today.

Live Nation to Drop TicketMaster for German Rival
By ETHAN SMITH
December 21, 2007; Wall St. journal Page B5

Moving to take control of a key part of its business, concert-promotion
giant Live Nation Inc. said it plans to sell tickets to most of its
events with the help of Germany-based CTS Eventim AG when its agreement
with TicketMaster expires at the end of next year.

The announcement comes four months after TicketMaster said that it and
Live Nation had reached an impasse in talks to extend their 10-year
contract.

Details of the new arrangement have yet to be worked out, but its broad
strokes appear to offer Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Live Nation
important logistical and financial concessions it couldn’t get from
TicketMaster. Under the new agreement, Live Nation’s tickets are to be
sold primarily through LiveNation.com, and Live Nation will have control
over customer data. Live Nation said it also plans to sell tickets to
events being staged by third parties — positioning itself as a direct
competitor to TicketMaster. It also is likely to give up less money in
transaction fees than it does under its deal with TicketMaster, which
typically takes half the “convenience charge” assessed on each ticket sale.

“We will provide the infrastructure and technology required to reshape
how Live Nation consumers access ticket inventory.” CTS Eventim Chief
Executive Officer Klaus-Peter Schulenberg said in a statement.

It is unclear whether service fees are to be levied on tickets sold
under the new Live Nation-CTS Eventim regime, and how any fees would be
divided.

Such issues were the main stumbling block in Live Nation’s talks with
TicketMaster. Live Nation wanted to change the system so that people
attending the company’s events would buy tickets primarily through
LiveNation.com, rather than through TicketMaster’s Web site. Live Nation
also wanted to control data about customers’ buying habits and other
information. TicketMaster didn’t want to cede that control.

The development comes as Live Nation has been trying to reposition
itself as a player with broader ambitions than promoting concerts, which
is minimally profitable. It recently struck a 10-year, $120 million deal
to represent pop star Madonna in nearly every aspect of her professional
life, including sale of recorded music and licensing of her image.

Live Nation has said it plans to sign as many as three dozen other
artists to similarly wide-ranging contracts. It also has acquired
companies that run online fan clubs and manufacture and sell merchandise
such as T-shirts.

Selling tickets is an important piece of what Live Nation Chief
Executive Michael Rapino recently described as a three-year
transformation of his company, whose stock price has sunk since the
October announcement of the Madonna pact, amid broader market problems
and concerns the deal is overpriced. The shares rose 10 cents to $14.12
in 4 p.m. composite trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Write to Ethan Smith at [email protected]

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Dec 21 2007
iPhone Observations
 

A couple items I thought I would share about the iPhone after having some friends and people at the office buy them and helping them set them up.

1. There is no voice recognition option. Many users have really become accustomed to using this feature on many other phones. Apparently this will soon be available, but having released a product without this feature was somewhat of a mistake.

2. The screen typing is somewhat difficult to use. I know there are options to adjust, but it is a little frustrating trying to type in a character and the wrong character comes up, the one next to the one you wanted. Maybe in the setup there could be something to help learn from the users point characteristics how to center better.

3. The screen does get dirty easily, looks like it does scratch as well. Apple should have included a couple of those screen guards with the iPhone.

4. Make it available to any carrier’s network.

I love the iPhone, don’t get me wrong.

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Dec 21 2007
Nanosolar and Solar Future
 

I am a firm believe in solar power and how solar will become a large part of our energy production in the this country. As more all electric cars start to hit the street, we are going to need more sources of energy for the electric grid. Solar is going to become one of those growing sources.

This week Nanosolar started to roll out their first panels. Nanosolar is backed by Google.

The quote the NYT from CEO Martin Roscheisen is that “with #1-per watt panels, it is possible to build $2-per-watt systems.”

Here’s some more info from the blog:

Our product is defining in more ways I can enumerate here but includes:

– the world’s first printed thin-film solar cell in a commercial panel product;

– the world’s first thin-film solar cell with a low-cost back-contact capability;

– the world’s lowest-cost solar panel – which we believe will make us the first solar manufacturer capable of profitably selling solar panels at as little as $.99/Watt;

– the world’s highest-current thin-film solar panel – delivering five times the current of any other thin-film panel on the market today and thus simplifying system deployment;

– an intensely systems-optimized product with the lowest balance-of-system cost of any thin-film panel – due to innovations in design we have included.

Today we are announcing that we have begun shipping panels for freefield deployment in Eastern Germany and that the first Megawatt of our panels will go into a power plant installation there.

As far as the first three of our commercial panels are concerned:

Panel #1 will remain at Nanosolar for exhibit.

Panel #2 can be purchased by you in an auction on eBay starting today.

Panel #3 has been donated to the Tech Museum in San Jose.

[These are obviously not the first three we ever produced – we have produced loads for testing – but these are the first three of what we consider our commercial panels.]

I think we will be hearing more about Nanosolar. I image that as Google is a big consumer of electricity with their datacenters they will invest in finding more cost effect forms of power. Solar on the buildings in Mountain View and various data centers around the world is going to grow!

I attended the first annual open house in LA for Solar and I was impressed. Sweatwater Digital in the San Fernando Valley was in the process of installing a solar power system comprised of 600 panels. One of the largest in the city.

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Dec 21 2007
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8
 

Word is that Microsoft is preparing to release IE 8 Beta 1 in first half of 2008.

According to the IE blog, IE 8 has been in development for the past year and now renders the Acid2 Face in IE8 standards mode.

This according to Dean Hachamovitch – General Manager – Internet Explorer for Microsoft
https://blogs.msdn.com/ie/

There have been many updates to Windows and IE this past year. It appears that Microsoft is doing everything they can to make Internet Explorer the best product it can be.

I am still open to using IE but have also been using Firefox and the latest beta is impressive. We will see how it shakes down and what program becomes the preferred browser. It’s also interesting to mention Safari as it is now available in version 3 for Mac and Windows.

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Dec 20 2007
Google and Doubleclick Deal gets ok
 

Today we receive word that the Google – Doubleclick acquisition is has received the green light from the FTC, at least the FTC is not going to attempt to stop it.

This deal earlier this year and several groups attempted to prevent the deal from happening.

At the same time we hear Microsoft and Viacom have signed a $250 million deal.

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