Business and Tech Links and Notes #6

January 11, 2010

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1. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ah8p5De56NvE&pos=5

“Rice Export Prices to Remain Around $600 a Ton, Economist Says”

I guess it is safe to assume this is good news for anyone with rice futures, and it is bad news for anyone who actually needs to consume said rice. It is good that India is stockpiling significantly more rice than is required, considering anything can happen. Hopefully, weather conditions will improve, so there will be a bumper crop next year. I wish I had something more profound to say, but I know virtually nothing about the Asian grain market.

2. http://www.forbes.com/2010/01/06/rfd-cable-gottsch-business-media-farm-tv.html

“The Ted Turner Of Rural TV”

Although RFD-TV is not a new venture, it is still one that innovates in a society that otherwise has overwhelming focus on urban life. I think it is good that such a network exists that allows many people who live in rural areas to have programming that is more meaningful to them than what other networks provide. Of course, some people would say that it would be a generalization that people in rural areas would necessarily enjoy this network, and that is true. Obviously, not everyone watches this network, but many do.

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3. http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/personal-finance/financial-planning/money-tree-mistake-avoid-saving-retirement/

“Money Tree: Could You Be Saving TOO MUCH for Retirement?”

I generally agree with the idea behind the article, although there are some semantics I do not quite agree with. In my opinion, it seems contradictory that people could retire too early and be saving too much in their retirement funds. Does it not make sense that someone can retire earlier if he or she has saved the money to do so? Beyond that, I think the ideas are generally sound investment tips that could be used in other forms of investing. Obviously, for instance, having a diversified portfolio is never a bad thing, and one should always consider inflation whenever one invests long-term.

4. http://www.cnbc.com/id/34754063/

“Going Gaga For Lady Gaga At CES”

I hope Polaroid uses the current popularity of Lady Gaga as a steppingstone to a bigger plan, perhaps with more endorsements from other celebrities or other signature lines. Polaroid has really lost its relevance in the past decade, and it desperately needs to find a way to catch up with other similar companies. Although the idea of bringing back a camera similar to the vintage instant photo camera is a nice novelty, it is merely a trinket that will bring in a few quick pennies, without so much as even putting a bandage on the company’s problems, let alone solve them. Polaroid needs to find a way to innovate with consumer electronics and become a reputable brand again.

5. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a4TwfiSIfjdM

“Dubai’s First Foreclosure May Open Floodgates in Worst Market”

I did not know that property was never foreclosed upon in Dubai, but it makes sense, considering investors do not take on the banks’ loan risk like investors do in many other countries. For a while, Dubai was supposed to be this financial promised land, but like the rest of the world, it has taken its share of the beating. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of Dubai’s populations come from places outside of the UAE on work visas, so Dubai’s problems become everyone else’s.

6. http://blogs.zdnet.com/Burnette/?p=1614&tag=wrapper;col1

“Are SSDs too fast?”

I have to agree with all the people who say that developers need to create programs on the best machines the company can provide, and then the software needs to be tested on many different machines of various capabilities. Moreover, I believe that more software needs to be made like computer games, particularly when it comes to system use. The end user can decide how much performance he or she wants from the game, ultimately deciding the level of resources the program uses. All programs need to be like this. If the end user could decide just how much functionality he or she wants from a particular program, he or she can dictate exactly how well the program performs.

7. http://www.informationweek.com/news/global-cio/security/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=222300303

“Global CIO: 5 Points To Make When Your CEO Cries Cloud”

I think it is safe to assume that most people who are not heavily into IT or computer science have a relatively limited understanding of cloud computer. This includes many CEOs. This article is fantastic in that it explains how to not put the cart ahead of the horse. Cloud computing is still in its novelty phase, and it will take a few more years before it becomes the general norm for all software. I think one of the most important issues, like the author said, is mobility. Just because cloud computing is the big thing now does not mean that everyone will buy into it full force. Companies may need to go back to putting their programs and information on their own servers for any reason at any time. Once the information is in the cloud, how easy will it be to take it off, if it comes to that?