Monthly Archives: February 2006

Coding with non-coders

Via Slashdot: Let Joe Average Help You Code

You know, come to think about it, this is a good idea. The way a programmer thinks is very different than the way a “Joe Average” thinks, and this could actually be a good thing. The end-user may notice/suggest features that the programmer wouldn’t think of–as it may be something they take for granted. Or vice versa.

At the same time, there are the obvious caveats.

What about this kind of approach in other areas besides programming? It sounds somewhat like OpenSource Economic Development (e.g. I-Open).

Paging Captain Obvious

UPI:

Fires in New York City’s subway system increased nearly 40 percent last year, delaying an average of 363 trains a month…..
….Most of the fires broke out in tunnels or along elevated tracks

This is a subway system…where else would these things occur?

Fat Thursday?

(file this under the “you learn something new every day file”)

Move over Fat Tuesday…for all the donut lovers out there (mmm…donuts….)…there’s the Polish celebration of Fat Thursday

Fat Tuesday + Fat Thursday = A deal for the diet companies?

One of those days

Oh man was today a rough/bad day. Not only did I start a new task at work–which coincidentally involved me getting dumped on. Not to mention the fact that we were short staffed this morning, and the phones started ringing like crazy at 8:59am (and we don’t open til 9).

Needless to say, things pretty much went downhill from there…to the point where Murphy’s law was in total control and I virtually lost my head.

Ah, it was one of those types of days.

Alas, tomorrow is a new day

Er..Not much of a flash

Drudge is boasting abouthis latest flash which he says is gleaned from Bill Sammon’s new book Strategery

Smalll problem. I saw this book last week in two seperate Barnes and Noble locations here in New York City.

So if the book is already on the shelves…how can this be such a major story?

[As for the book itself, I like the title, but I don't think I'll get around to reading it. I'm just not that interested in the content matter; same goes for Fred Barnes' new book]

On Wal-mart and Corporate Welfare

Originally via BFD I heard about the following Plain Dealer article:

Ohio workers depend on public benefits
Wal-Mart, McDonald’s employees top list

The PD article is based on the folloowing report (study?) released by the [Ohio] State Welfare Department. The study was commissioned apparently fo find the number of employers who have employees on Medicaid and/or Food Stamps (or other state welfare rolls).

Naturally, the anti-Wal-Mart crowd, is using this report to support their claims. For example see clevelandhomeless
and the Upper Arlington Progressive Action blog

However, a few days ago, I’d recalled reading a post over at the Q and O blog the topic of Walmart and Medicaid. The post at Q and O titled: “And your point is?” In this post, Dale (the poster) poses the question:

Just out of curiousity, why should taxpayers be outraged? This is after all, precisely what the Democratic party has been arguing for for decades. For a half-century, Democrats have been arguing that what America really needs is a universal health-care system, funded by taxes…

I’m also skepticla of some of the claims being advanced in light of the study. For example, some of the employers listed are temp agencies (e.g. Manpower, Kelly Svcs), and those companies don’t usually offer benefits to temps; or if they do, the benefits only kick in after a certain duration of work (60-90 days).

What do you make of all this? Is the gov’t at fault for enabling employers to fall aback on the Medicaid system?

Slow day…several thoughts

Rathering slow and boring day on my part. Nevertheless, here are some thoights:

*On the port deal kerfuffle–(I’m still undecided on it)–what about ports in our countr currently being run by foreign companies? For example the ones on Staten Island

*Steinbrenner is wrong again in his annual prediction

*Currently reading: Nothings Sacred by Lewis Black
Though I’ve just started it, I’m enjoying it immensly.

Me thinks it’s time for a trip on the subway….destination to be decided!

It’s a tax if you ask me

(From the Sun Press)

Officials may add a new water user fee of $100 a year to help fund maintenance and improvement of the city’s buildings, roads, waterlines and recreational facilities.

And what are the local politicos saying?

This is not a tax increase,” Finance Director Frank Brichacek emphatically told the city’s finance committee Monday. It’s a user fee, so people can (control the amount by deciding) how much water to use.”

Uh, wouldn’t that be called a consumption tax?

And the timing couldn’t be better…

And it’s coming on top of the levy (the schools are seeking a 9.9-mill tax increase in May.)”

I’d personally suggest voting against the latter levy for a whole host of reasons (but that’s another discussion for another day).

It’s a tax if you ask me

(From the Sun Press)

Officials may add a new water user fee of $100 a year to help fund maintenance and improvement of the city’s buildings, roads, waterlines and recreational facilities.

And what are the local politicos saying?

This is not a tax increase,” Finance Director Frank Brichacek emphatically told the city’s finance committee Monday. It’s a user fee, so people can (control the amount by deciding) how much water to use.”

Uh, wouldn’t that be called a consumption tax?

And the timing couldn’t be better…

And it’s coming on top of the levy (the schools are seeking a 9.9-mill tax increase in May.)”

I’d personally suggest voting against the latter levy for a whole host of reasons (but that’s another discussion for another day).

The Mystery of Duane Reade

I just came across this article about the NYC drug store equivlent to Starbucks, at least in terms to the number of locations which it operates throughout the city. The article is from back in 6/05 but it’s new to me.

Their prices aren’t often that great, nor is their store organization (in certain stores), and the staff sometimes leaves things to be desired (don’t even start me about the pharmacy clerk yesterday) but they are conveniently located…and are often open 24 hrs.

The Mystery of Duane Reade

Are there any other stores/chains that are significant to NYC?

On the ports deal

I know it’s the big todo in most circles, and I’ve been busy recently so I’m playing catch up on everything that’s going on.

As for Dubai controling the ports….isn’t Dubai the same country that recently welcomed Michael Jackson to live there? That could indicate some judgement questions.