Monday, November 27, 2006

Halfway to Hawaii Time Calculation

"I've always come within a minute of the half-way point on the Hawaii game. I ignore everything except flight plan time and the time we took off. We have pretty sophisticated flight planning software used by Dispatch, and the flight plan time already takes all of the other variables into account.

From experience, I know that we generally run about 2-5 minutes ahead of flight plan (although we can certainly be behind), so I subtract out a couple of minutes and divide by half, guessing a number for the seconds. I've never been very far off."
--Mark Rogers

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

SOX Revisions in Prospect

The Securities and Exchange Commission conceded earlier this year that the provision [Section 404] wasn't working as intended. In May, it said it would rework the rule so that companies -- and their auditors -- aren't engaging in "overly conservative" audits and are instead focused on areas that present a risk to the company and its investors. The agency also said it hoped to tailor the rule to companies of all sizes, so that small businesses, in particular, weren't overburdened.

The SEC says it will unveil its changes next month. The agency, along with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the auditing industry's overseer, said it will propose a revision to the auditing standard known as AS2 that auditors follow when testing management's assessment of company controls.

SEC Chairman Christopher Cox wrote to the oversight board this week, urging it to include in its changes some of the recommendations made by the SEC's small-business advisory group, including one that the auditing rule be adapted to companies based on their size. In his Nov. 6 letter, Mr. Cox said the SEC agreed that the standard needed to be focused on matters that are material, or relevant, to a company's financial results.

It isn't clear how far the SEC might be willing to go in making it easier and less costly for businesses to comply with Section 404. And some observers are skeptical that the problems can be fixed.

"This may be a bell that can't be un-rung," says Joe Grundfest, a former SEC commissioner and co-director of the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University. "The audit firms have already incorporated a lot of the inefficient 404 process into their integrated audits, and once audit firms have processes in place, it's very hard to persuade them to back off and ease up on those processes."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


David Carnoy, CNET:
we agree with the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF), a group that consults for home-theater manufacturers and trains professional video calibrators, when it says that the most important aspect of picture quality is contrast ratio, the second-most important is color saturation, and the third is color accuracy. Though resolution may be the most talked-about spec these days, it comes in fourth on the ISF list,

TrixBox - VoIP Asterix PBX

The asterisk-based solution, TrixBox, enables the home or small business user to quickly set up a VOIP Asterisk PBX. A web GUI makes configuration and operation easy. We also provide an xPL (home automation) interface for easy interaction with other devices in the home.

Mobile phone roaming opinion

Extracted from a post on the FlyerTalk Travel Technology forum:
I have a Nokia E61 sect-band (800/900/1800/1900/2100mhz) phone with wifi. On the wifi side, I signed up for a free account with which has free calls to the US until the end of the year. Where I am on wifi, I'll call free. Where I am off wifi, I can pretty much roam anywhere. Underneath the dashes is a solution I am using when I am in Europe or most of Asia. I originally posted it to a different thread so it might seem a little non-responsive.


I have skimmed through the past eleven pages of the forum post, but if I am hitting things previously covered please excuse me. I travel a great deal and just wanted to share my solutions.

I have a Cingular with their Global Blackberry plan which gives me unlimited Blackberry data access all around the world. I also pay Cingular $2.99 a month for a feature called fast forward which gives me unlimited domestic call forwarding. When I jump on a plane, I literally forward my calls just before the cabin doors shut.

When I get on a European bound plane, I pack a second phone which is basic quad band unlocked phone. I have a Riiing SIM like the prior posters. I purchased for $1 a month a US 800 number from that forwards to my Riiing SIM at US$0.14 a minute. I also normally use their callback service. I trigger their callback service using my Cingular phone. This permits me to make outgoing calls to the States at $0.14 a minute.

Something prior posters have not focused on is the cost of voicemail when abroad. There is a little covered “gotcha” here. When you are standing in Europe and miss a call or are on the phone, the call gets routed back to the US on a conditional call divert. This means that you are billed for a call to Europe and back again or double the roaming rates. Most people don’t want to turn off their voicemail which means that the carrier charges you at least double for these calls. When I was in Africa, I once got nailed with $15 voicemails -- $5 to call Africa, $5 to forward the call back to the States, and $5 to retrieve the message. I was hit with these charges even when my phone was shut off because I had registered on the Tanzania network and carriers generally hold on to your registration.

Riiing coupled with callbackworld has changed my roaming rates hugely. I used to buy prepaid SIMs for the major countries I visited. I found that despite the slight inconvenience of the callback, this approach is worth it.

I also use a Nokia E61 (not an E62) as my Blackberry (connect) device. It has built in wifi and a voip client. Where I am in a wifi zone, I can make free calls. It is also possible to receive free calls, but that requires more tinkering if you want to always be reached at one number.

By the way, checkout It is a forum which specializes in roaming on the cheap. Prepaidgsm was favorably cited in a recent EU report criticizing the rates charged for international roaming.
--Dubai Stu

Friday, November 10, 2006

CNET: Top 6 phones for business users

» What are the top 6 phones for business users? | The Mobile Gadgeteer | " the editors posted their Top 6 phones for business users. The top 6 candidates are the Palm Treo 700p, Cingular 8525, T-Mobile Dash, Nextel i930 by Motorola, Sprint PPC-6700, and the Nokia E62."

Duracell all charged up to juice the Nano | CRAVE : The CNET Gadget Blog

Duracell all charged up to juice the Nano | CRAVE : The CNET Gadget Blog: "The company says PowerFM is the only iPod accessory that will provide extra juice for your iPod, allow you to transmit your tunes to any FM radio, and protect your Nano with the included silicone case (it fits over both the accessory and your Nano). According to the manufacturer, it 'more than doubles' the run-time of the Nano. Unfortunately, it only fits first-generation Nanos.

Duracell's triple-threat accessory is supposed to be a bargain at $79.99, but when you figure that the silicone case probably costs about 50 cents to make, we think $50 is what the thing should cost"

Review: Linksys CIT310 Phone for Yahoo Messenger

Review: Linksys CIT310 Phone for Yahoo Messenger: "This dual-mode cordless phone provides Yahoo! Messenger fans with the ability to make free PC-to-PC calls to other Yahoo! Messenger users, low-cost PSTN dialing when subscribing to Yahoo! Phone Out (PC-to-Phone calling) service, as well as inbound dialing for a monthly fee of around $2.49/month. Add in the fact that this is a multi-handset DECT phone with excellent standby & talk time (better than WiFi) plus you can connect it to your home PSTN -- then certainly the Linksys CIT310 is a tempting home phone system replacement.

Inevitably, the comparisons will be made with similar dual-mode Skype phone products such as the RTX DualPhone, Linksys CIT300, and others. Skype certainly is the top dog in consumer VoIP, however there are millions of Yahoo Messenger IM users that could be converted to VoIP. This phone bundles some cool Yahoo-specific features (weather, local listings), but really if Yahoo wants to take on the top dog Skype in VoIP, then Yahoo needs to add their strength - namely IM into the CIT310's feature-set. Without it, users may decide to go with a Skype phone simply because of Skype's dominance in VoIP even if Yahoo's CIT310 has equal if not better voice quality and even a few extra features thrown in. "

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Cloudveil :: Neve Pullover

Cloudveil :: Neve Pullover: "Polartec Thermal Pro® fabric traps heat, dries quickly and presents a distinguished impression in mixed company. Power Stretch® binding trues the fit, while a pullover style reflects a purist approach to morning layering. A deep reverso zip and a single chest pocket add an extra element of good alpine style."

HTC Hermes TyTN - Cingular 8525

>Cingular MediaRoom - News Releases: "first UMTS/HSDPA-enabled PDA in North America -- the Cingular 8525 Pocket PC"

HTC Hermes / HTC TyTN / O2 XDA trion / T-Mobile MDA Vario II / Vodafone 1605 VPA Compact III / Orange SPV M3100 / Dopod CHT 9000 / Dopod 838 Pro / hTc Z / Qtek 9600 / iMate JasJam / Cingular 8525 / Swissom XPA v1605 / SoftBank X01HT / UTStarcom 6800 / Vodafone PDA 1605

"Cingular's UMTS/HSDPA-enabled BroadbandConnect service is based on the global standard and natural 3G evolutionary path for GSM providers. BroadbandConnect is currently available in the U.S. in 134 markets (with populations of more than 100,000 surrounding more than 50 major metropolitan cities. The company said it will continue to expand coverage to additional markets in and around major metropolitan cities in the coming months. Internationally, there are currently 142 UMTS networks in 61 countries and 72 HSDPA networks.

BroadbandConnect provides average downlink data speeds between 400-700Kbps (kilobits per second) with bursts to more than a Mbps (megabit per second) and uplink speeds to 384Kbps. When traveling outside the BroadbandConnect coverage area, the Cingular 8525 seamlessly enables service on Cingular's EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) network, available in more than 13,000 cities and towns and in areas along more than 40,000 miles of highways."

GSSFAQ - Google Spreadsheets FAQ

GSSFAQ - Google Spreadsheets FAQ : "unofficial Google Spreadsheets frequently asked questions site"
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