Monday, November 24, 2008

Islamic Finance

Because I am too lazy to do any research, how does Saudi Arabia have a benchmark interest rate? I thought sharia law did not permit interest?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Internet Pizza

Why is it that every time a new networked gizmo or feature is introduced, they include the feature - often standalone or dedicated - to order pizza? Related to this, if pizza is the best feature/killer app, the product is pretty much doomed.


Awesome word. As a potential deduction from a bonus, UBS executives may get a "malus". But, of course, I don't think it can result in a number lower than zero.

Monday, November 10, 2008

TiVo this

Why don’t broadcasters include a link on their program websites to “TiVo this”? I understand that they would prefer not to have viewers skip through commercials. But, at the same time, I think they would prefer that: (i) it be their shows that are skipped and (ii) make the televisions automatically tune into the show on the chance that the viewer is watching live. And, perhaps, they could embed in the privacy policy something that allows them to get more finegrained insights into the viewer’s habits (but still not disclosing identity, etc.).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

honey pots

How do unprotected PCs get infected by viruses "mere seconds" after being connected to the internet? Are there computers just shooting around the internet looking for open ports? Isn't this flood somewhat obvious (and shouldn't identification of the source allow at least the zombie computer to be disconnected)? And, finally, when my firewall is down for a second (switching, as it often seems to, between Norton and Windows firewall), is my machine getting zapped?

Monday, November 3, 2008

school buses and voting machines

Just noting that both are generally of poor quality in the U.S. because both are chosen and paid for by governmental units that are often small and not professionalized (school districts and municipalities). It's a testament to the generally high level of ethics and quality in the U.S. that either of these things work at all given the handicaps in the selection process.