David Crew is a gamer and web lover. Read my blog or else I'll throw a Bomb-Omb at you. Lighted. :)

Tech

Read Wall Street Journal Online for Free


Hey Everyone,

Being a business student, I am always subjected to professors asking to find and regularly read various articles from the Wall Street Journal. Being also a poor business student, this can be very difficult because the business school I attend provides relatively no subscriber passes to its students unlike other competing colleges and universities. So if you need an article for a class, or even want to browse the Wall Street Journal Online without much hassle, just follow the guide below:

Follow these Steps:

  • Download Firefox and install it.
  • Then proceed to the add-ons section and find the Javascript powerhouse, Greasemonkey
  • Next, proceed to http://userscripts.org/ where there is a whole variety of various scripts to download for Greasemonkey. Search through and get the script WSJ Paywall Bypass
  • Install the script, make sure your little monkey icon at the bottom of Firefox is colored and go and visit WSJ Online to view articles.
  • Enjoy!

Note:

There are other ways to get around the paywall of WSJ online, such as using Google News and Firebug, or even finding different browsers like Chrome that can run Javascript add-ons. If you are a heavy reader of the WSJ, I highly suggest getting a subscription if you can afford one. I’m actually more of a fan of Reuters, the Economist, and other sources, but it’s really up to you.

I only use this workaround because we have archives of the paper editions at our school, but instead of sprinting to the library and spending hours searching through it all, this is a much quicker way to find articles for assignments.

Happy Reading!

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How Much Does an Electric Car Really Cost?


Hey Everyone,

I’ve just been reading up on the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, and other electric based vehicles that are going to be rolling out soon. Since I recently got rid of my car and currently am car-less, I’ve been curious about the cost differences between gas based cars and electric cars in regards to many things, such as how many miles can I go on the warranty, how many leisure miles do they give me, are the gas savings worth the premium on electric cars, and much more.

First, I used these as my values going in:

For this, Nissan says it will cost on average about $2.75 to charge the Leaf’s batteries to full. This is of course a big difference to gasoline where if we assume gas costs $3.00 a gallon, then to fill a 12 gallon car to full will run you $36. For the miles can travel before you get to empty, I assumed you run until you can’t move anymore, but obviously you won’t go 360 miles before you fuel up.

Nissan also gives a range on its miles it can go from 138 miles to 63 miles, I decided to take a really conservative look since 138 miles before needing to recharge is under super ideal conditions, and as you discharge and charge a battery multiple times, it will not hold as full a charge as when you first started driving. Also, when I was doing the calculations, I assumed New England weather, which has 4 seasons where with the Leaf, you would be using the air conditioner and heater during its life frequently.

Nothing too surprising there, of course electricity is cheaper than gasoline.

Fuel Savings?

Getting back to the actual money you save by using electricity to power your car rather than gasoline, I broke it down this way by using the values found in the first table I posted:

Using the same restrictions of refueling a gas car each every 360 miles for $36 and refueling the leaf for $2.75 every 75 miles for a total of 160,000 miles, you end up saving $10,133.33 on fuel costs. It is definitely evident that there are cost savings associated with driving an electric car vs driving a gas car.

Now let’s look at the cost of buying the car:

Nissan states that you can get a maximum $7,500 worth of rebates by buying an electric car. Using that as comparison to an average price of two 30+ mpg gas cars, the Ford Fiesta and the Honda CR-Z, you find that the base price for the most basic model of the Leaf is $9,635 more than the cost of the average price of the two 30+ mpg cars. Going back to the assumption that you’re driving the car for 160,000 miles, and you save $10,133.33 over using electricity rather than gasoline, we find that the net of the premium of buying electric and the fuel cost savings only net you $498.33 in savings.

This calculation surprised me the most. I thought the premium cost of buying a hybrid, electric, or other kind of non-gasoline consuming vehicle was offset by the fuel consumption savings. I was expecting this value to be much higher than the low $500.

The next calculation I did assumed that there was no tax rebate whatsoever:

This one again returned a surprising value to me. It turns out that the fuel savings of buying an electric car did not offset the premium of buying electric rather than buying a gasoline powered car. Buy choosing electric, you actually lose $7,001.67 on your decision (Again, assume driving 160,000 miles).

To put it graphically, these are the two options showing with or without the tax savings:

Driving Less than 160,000 Miles:

That case was with driving a hefty 160,000 miles over the life of a car. Let’s say you just drive the car 100,000 miles, how do the charts play out?:

What does it all mean and other notes:

Do not buy an electric car to save money on fuel costs. The premiums on buying an electric car over a regular gasoline powered car are simply not worth it unless you are planning on driving the car many miles (160,000+). Government rebates may not always be there for electrical cars, so that’s why I did the two extremes. Rebates help out immensely with the premium of an electric car, but still the premiums are very high. The calculations did not take into account switching from an SUV or other low MPG vehicle to an electric vehicle. A lower MPG vehicle would result in more savings from the fuel efficiency.

Also, there are other costs associated with running an electric car and running a gasoline car besides simply fuel costs. Gas powered vehicles have intake, exhaust, and engine systems which all have their associated maintenance and upkeep costs. An electric-powered car is not without its costs either. You have to recharge more frequently, may have charges associated with installing a charging station in your home (Nissan estimates it at least at a cost of $2000), possible premiums if you plan on using a charge station rather than using a home charge station ($2.75 to fuel up full at home compared to a higher price at a charge station), and battery replacement costs (How much will Nissan sell replacement batteries?).

The costs associated with having an electric car vs a gas-powered car also did not take into account resale value. Obviously you can recoup some of the premium you paid on an electric car by how much you resell, but there is no data on how much you can actually get on an electric car after x number of years. Just remember that it is a depreciating asset like all other cars and you should never buy a car thinking it is an “investment” of any kind.

Thanks for reading! I also posted the excel spreadsheet I used for your own purposes. If you see any mistakes, just let me know. I made the spreadsheet in about 15-20 minutes so I may have skipped on using the best cell references, etc.


.co Domain Extension


Hey Everyone,

I don’t consider myself a genius when it comes to the process of purchasing domains and the entire handling of websites and such (if you talk servers, python, and other things I’ll just ask for a CMS), but haven’t we all seen this kind of process before?

I bought your website domain, nude.

Every couple of years we get another top level domain extension added to the registrar where you can register your long awaited, unique domain name to a less-than-the-infinitely-better-in-every-way .com extension since a bunch of schmucks all over the Internet with an average weight of 300 lbs. all purchased them long ago in 1996. There’s a whole slue “top level domains” out there for the GoDaddy power user:

  1. .coop – for the websites that don’t do single player.
  2. .tel – the extension for the nonexistent, long-since deleted word for “telephone”.
  3. .gg – the domain for internet websites with good sportsmanship tendencies.
  4. .arpa – the evil, malicious domain twin of the .sherpa domains.
  5. .museum – for the stupid intellectual who decided to throw as many syllables as possible into a domain. Oh yeah, and help museums.

But that doesn’t really matter because the process remains the same. Come out with a new domain, auction off the really awesome ones, then leave the rest of them to be picked up by the same 300 lbs people as some kind of Internet investment (people, Zecco is right around the corner if you want to do investments, ffs.). Then within a few months, everyone realizes how idiotic it is to have anything but a .com, tries to resell their “investments” that they paid a premium for through hyping, then the Internet quietly awaits domain transfers of .com’s again.

Seriously, the only domains that should be considered are .com, .org, and only if super duper necessary, .net. Otherwise, if I visit a site that has any other extension, I’m gettin’ out of there.


Facebook Sued for Massive Majority Ownership Stake


Wow, what an interesting read. Check out this legal action brought against Facebook by web designer, Paul Ceglia. I wonder what will happen to Facebook if Ceglia wins this contract dispute. Article from Information Week:

Facebook Sued For 84% Ownership Stake

Web designer Paul Ceglia says a 2003 contract entitles him to majority ownership of the social networking site.

By

Alison Diana

InformationWeek
July 13, 2010 11:43 AM

Facebook has moved to overturn a recent temporary restraining order won by New York web designer Paul Ceglia, who filed suit against Facebook and company CEO Mark Zuckerberg, claiming an April 2003 contract now entitles him to an 84% ownership stake in Facebook.

“We believe this suit is completely frivolous and we will fight it vigorously,” a Facebook spokesman said in a statement. Facebook and Zuckerberg have 30 days to respond, according to court documents.

On July 9, Allegany Court judge Thomas P. Brown; Ceglia’s attorney, Paul Argentieri of Hornell, N.Y.; and Facebook attorney Lisa T. Simpson of New York, spoke via conference call, according to the local newspaper the Wellsville Daily. During that conversation, Judge Brown continued a temporary restraining order that prevents Facebook from transferring assets while the case continues.

Simpson filed a “notice of intent” to move the case away from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York in Buffalo, according to the Wellsville Daily.

Under the seven-year-old contract signed by Zuckerberg and Ceglia, the designer received $1,000 and a 50% stake in the site which eventually became Thefacebook.com, according to the suit. The lawsuit also says Ceglia is entitled to “an additional 1% interest in the business for every day after Jan. 1, 2004, until it was completed.”

Terms of the work for hire contract state, “It is agreed that Purchaser [Ceglia] will own a half interest (50%) in the software, programming language, and business interests derived from the expansion of the service to a larger audience.”

In papers filed with the Allegany, N.Y., County Court on June 30, Ceglia seeks a declaratory judgment and relief in the form of monetary damages and 84% ownership — worth between $5.6 billion and $9.24 billion — of the social networking giant, based on Facebook’s estimated value of between $6.5 billion and $11 billion. Zuckerberg’s personal fortune is worth between $4 billion and… (Full Story)


Letter to Microsoft


Hey you,

How’s it goin? You feeling alright? You sure? Well I’m not, you’re suffocating me. I just want to like you again, I really do, but you keep doing things and saying stuff that just makes me embarrassed to know you.

I fell in love with your Xbox at first glance. It’s curvaceous lines, stellar games, and online content made me enjoy many a quiet evening in a dimly lit room at home with it. My girlfriend was so jealous, she just couldn’t understand what we shared.

Your windows 7,  the version that should have been released instead of ‘the os that shall not be named’,  was amazin too. Snapping windows and having that nifty little taskbar revamped was a blast. Plus, it was actually a stable and well tested, well released product. Kudos.

But your other products and services really make me not trust you. Internet explorer is universally known to suck major ballage, your forays into the iPod dominated portable media market have been paltry at best, your windows phone os and the kin spontaneously combusted into failures, and you’re going to try to make the world buy another suite of office applications for the billionth time just so we can have a slightly newer, more confusing way to do business. And on top of all that, you canceled the last device I really thought was going to kick some major ass.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Microsoft, please stop being a follower. You were a born leader and our relationship has fallen on hard times ever since you gave up on yourself. You need to pick yourself up and experiment more and go for innovation rather than a ‘me too!’ kind of attitude. Drop the products and services that are under-performing and transfer the resources to better areas and new markets. And no, by better areas I don’t mean the kinect and that creepy kinectimals bs, i mean something we haven’t thought of before but desperately need.

If you don’t, I swear I’m going to buy a mac and do dirty things with it. And oh yeah, it’s true what they say about it’s performance. Plus with valve sending games over to mac, things are bound to get a little steamy.

D. Crew


Flash and Apple no go, Flash and Google, good to go


With the recent halt of any kind of 3rd party code compiler for software on portable Apple products, it seems Apple and Flash just will never get along, meaning Adobe’s gotta jump ship to Apple’s most direct competitor in the portable smart phone market, Google. To read more, just check out the article hurr.

And if you want to see a competitor to the Flash player that Apple may be more interested in, check out HTML5 and how it measures up to flash performance here.


Online sales up 29% over 2008 This Christmas Season


Hey Everyone,

According to Retail Decisions for IMRG, Christmas day sales were up 29% from last year. The data shows that there were bargain savvy shoppers on not just Christmas day hunting for sales but also Boxing day. Full story and results of the data here.


Amazon Kindle Outsells Actual Books for the First Time on Amazon


Wow, that’s pretty slick. I still enjoy sitting back with a good hardcover book though. What do you guys think?

Full Story


Google Top Trends – Why Wont My Parakeet Eat My Diarrhea?


Why is this a top Google search trend?

Whyy??

 

parakeet google diarrhea


Microsoft Planning a Global Retail Chain


Hey Everyone,

Apparently Microsoft will be opening up a set of stores across the globe to prep for its release of Windows 7. I guess it could be compared to the Apple store if Microsoft brings in products from Xbox, mice, keyboards, zunes, smart phones and other goods. Could be a decent venture, but somehow I bet they’ll screw it up. If they don’t, good for them, they’ll be 1 for 2345874

MORE INFO: