Thursday, September 28, 2006

The true cost of residential fiber deployment

Fios Spending: $9,650 for Each Home?

Light Reading editor Phil Harvey e-mailed BroadbandReports to let them know he's crunched some numbers based on Verizon's Fios statements (discussed in full this morning), and has come to some interesting conclusions. According to Harvey, it's costing Verizon over $9,000 to wire each home (at least at first), with his math worked out as such:

"Verizon also says it will cost only about $650 to connect a "passed" home to its network by 2010. So what does it cost to hook up a neighborhood? These aren't absolute figures, mind you, but let's assume that Verizon passes each home in a 400-home neighborhood, then nabs 10 percent of the homes (40 homes) as customers. Take $950 and multiply it by 400 homes. That's $360,000.

Now let's hook up those 40 homes. That's 40 multiplied by $650. That's $26,000 added back to the cost to pass the homes, which was $360,000. So now we have a figure of $386,000 spent in just one neighborhood. But what has Verizon spent per customer? Take $386,000 and divide it by the 40 homes and you get $9,650."

He notes that Millennium Marketing analyst Kermit Ross came to some similar figures last week. Despite this, Verizon this morning stated they should see profitability by sometime in 2009.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Three month's til Christmas

Yep... Today is September 25th... that means it's offically 3 months til Christmas. Consider this your 90 day warning!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

White & Nerdy

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Only in California can they be so intolerant in their tolerance

There's a little PBS station in Orange County, California --KOCE. For years it has been run by the Orange Coast Community College District, but the expenses became too great, and the Trustees of the District resolved to sell it. Bids arrived, and a religious broadcaster, Daystar, bid far and away the most money.

The Trustees chose to accept a significantly smaller bid (*millions* smaller), and that one mostly paper, not cash. Daystar was offering all CASH. But the bid that was accepted was Seller Financing for 30 years w/ NO INTEREST! Not surprisingly, the California courts overturned the ridiculous deal - not once, but twice.

So did the Trustees do the right thing and gain the most cash for the district? No, they tromped off to the Sacramento based legislature to get special legislation allowing them to sell the station for far less than it was worth to their pals. Read More.

Now I'm a self-acknowledged rabid Dem... but a charismatic conservative liberal instead of a faithless radical liberal. In this case I thank God that not a single Republican voted for the legislation. It was carried solely by the Democrats.

Can someone PLEASE buy them a clue about religious intolerance? And remind them about the principles of separation of church and state. That principle cuts both ways... the state can't promote a certain religion... it also can't demote/stand against a certain one either! It will come back to bite them in the butt when they need ministers to perform civil union ceremonies! Would they have made the same choice if a Muslim Emon had been the highest bidder?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Rosie was historically accurate


Since the American Family Association is being trite with their campaign and apparently didn't study history, let me fill you in on some history. Radical Christianity WAS responsible for more murders than all the non-Christian, Muslim, etc. groups we have today put together. Here are 3 examples:

Remember that thing called the "crusades"? The Christian church from 1095 AD to 1300 AD killed anyone they could get their hands on who didn't bow down the Pope.

Remember that guy named Hitler? He wanted to wipe out anyone who didn't fit his particular mold of radical Christianity called "Positive Christianity" which included a Jesus who was recast as a killer of the Jews.

Remember that guy named Moses? During the trip out of Egypt into the promised land (in Exodus), after the incident with the Golden Calf, he told the men in the group who were Levites "27 Then he said to them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.' " 28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. Exodus 27-28. 3000 of Moses own brothers and sisters died that day!

Take a little time to learn history before you reprimand someone for their comments. Lessons not learned are repeated until comprehension - including the lesson of following the uninformed leader of some right wing conservative group off the face of cliff like a lemming b/c you didn't bother to educate yourself.

Even though I don't like Rosie's personal life choices and her severe liberalism, she IS historically correct in her statement. To complain about it indicates not only historical ignorance but also a lack of American pride. America is a place where we ALL are supposed to be able to express ourselves - whether the person sitting beside you - in your opinion - is right or wrong.


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Charles Schwab, the dyslexic who parlayed his discount
brokerage firm into a personal net worth of over
$3 billion, gives this advice to those who share his
disability: "Find out what you can do well, focus on
it and work double hard." Smart words for anyone in
the workplace -- dyslexic or not.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Dyslexia in the Workplace

Get the Tools and Support You Need
by Dan Woog, Monster Contributing Writer

As youngsters, Thomas Edison, Ted Turner and Charles Schwab felt frustrated. They had difficulty deciphering letters and numbers, and were labeled "stupid." Of course, they were bright enough to invent the light bulb, revolutionize television news and found a groundbreaking brokerage firm. Today, we know their problem was dyslexia, not stupidity.

Today's Edisons, Turners and Schwabs are being identified early with the disorder, which includes problems reading and writing, and poor short-term memory for sequences. Specialists provide coping mechanisms, and dyslexics -- whose learning differences vary from slight to severe -- receive support throughout the educational process. But what happens when they move into the workplace?

"For anyone who wants to be successful, dyslexia is definitely an obstacle," says Debra Brooks, a dyslexic who graduated from Columbia University and now works as a consultant on dyslexia in the workplace. "You have to find ways to do what successful people do."

The first step is "accepting that you'll work differently than most people," says Brooks. She recently fielded a call from an engineer who, despite hours of study, had failed a test to advance in his company three times. He wanted to learn how to pass the test, but Brooks told him not to take it the same way again. Instead, she advised him to ask to take it orally or write a paper on the subject. Both accommodations are valid under the Americans with Disabilities Act, she says.

Similarly, the Dyslexic Reader suggests requesting that instructions for tasks be provided orally, either in person, on tape, via voicemail or through a computerized voice synthesizer. Alternatively, because many dyslexics read a computer screen more easily than paper, instructions can be emailed, rather than written down.

Dyslexics often find it difficult to fill out forms. The Reader's answer: Dyslexics can answer questions orally or dictate their responses to a colleague who can fill out the form for them. offers other suggestions. Dyslexics should break large tasks into small, manageable chunks. The verbal and aural reinforcement of a small tape recorder or dictating machine can help you remember what needs to be done. Additionally, dyslexics should keep a "jobs to-do list" close at hand. They should cross off each task as it's accomplished, and check the list often.

Voice recognition software is improving rapidly. Speaking into a computer is a great boon for dyslexics, whose fear of writing may become paralyzing.

Spell-checkers also help. Programs like Texthelp can help with recalling words that dyslexics frequently misspell and add them to lists for auto-correction. A reading pen (available from can be run over a word that's difficult to decipher. The pen "says" the word out loud or through a small earpiece -- it does not speak entire sentences, however.

Low-tech solutions work too. Examples include highlighters for keywords or rulers to separate lines of figures. suggests tackling paperwork early in the day. Fatigue adversely affects dyslexics' ability to read, spell and work with numbers. Also helpful: Take short breaks throughout the workday to refresh concentration.

From the time of diagnosis, dyslexics should "learn what you can and can't do," says Brooks. "Be honest and upfront with the people you work with. Let them know you work differently -- but you work hard." In fact, she adds, employers and colleagues soon learn that dyslexics are intensely loyal. "We work like dogs."

"These are not ways of hiding behind dyslexia, or making life hard for coworkers," Brooks notes. "The work standards are the same. Dyslexics are just changing the way they meet them."

Schwab, the dyslexic who parlayed his discount brokerage firm into a personal net worth of over $3 billion, gives this advice to those who share his disability: "Find out what you can do well, focus on it and work double hard." Smart words for anyone in the workplace -- dyslexic or not.

The Best Time to Buy Everything

By Kelli B. Grant
September 5, 2006

AT 50 CENTS a roll — instead of the regular retail price of $4 — buying wrapping paper after New Year's is an easy way to save. The same holds true for buying half-price inflatable pool loungers and patio furniture after Labor Day weekend.

In fact, bargain lovers know that there's a smart time to buy just about anything. For example, those looking for a great deal on a car should shop on weekday mornings in September. Groceries are cheapest on Sunday evenings.

We talked to the experts, and found the best time to buy everything from wine to wedding dresses.

Airplane Tickets

When to buy: On a Wednesday, 21 days (or a couple of days earlier) before your flight.
Why: Airlines make major pricing changes (and run fare sales) every week, typically on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings. About 21 days out from your flight, you'll see plenty of deals out there as airlines scramble to fill seats. Don't wait much longer, she cautions; prices jump significantly from 14 to seven days ahead of departure.

When to buy: During a holiday weekend.
Why: You'll find sales on select models all year long, but retailers bring out the big guns for holiday weekends, says Carolyn Forte, homecare director for the Good Housekeeping Institute. But don't worry about spending your Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends shopping for a new fridge — smaller holidays like Columbus Day and President's Day have their share of sales, too.

Baby Clothes
When to buy: During your pregnancy.
Why: Once you know your due date, keep an eye out for end-of-season clearances, recommends Alan Fields, co-author of "Baby Bargains." "If you're [newly] pregnant now, you know you'll be having a baby next summer," he says. "Well, right now, stores are closing out all the summer clothes." You can pick up newborn essentials like onesies for less than half price. (For more ways to save, see our column Oh Baby!1)

Broadway Tickets
When to buy: Hours before the curtain rises.
Why: How does a $25 front-row seat to the smash musical "Wicked" sound? Several musicals offer same-day ticket lotteries that offer up orchestra seats at inexpensive prices. If you'd rather not gamble on getting a seat, wait in line at the famous TKTS booth2 in Times Square. There, you can get tickets for hit musicals for up to 50% off. On a recent night, prime seats were available for "Hairspray," "Rent," "Sweeney Todd" and "Beauty & the Beast." (For the right times to drop by TKTS, and other ways to save, see our column A Midsummer Night's Dream3.)

When to buy: Weekday mornings in September.
Why: By September, all the next year's models have arrived at the lot, and dealers are desperate to get rid of the current year's leftovers, says Phil Reed, consumer advice editor for It's the prime time of year for incentives and sales, not to mention bargaining. "Any car that's been on the lot for a long time loses its value in the eyes of the car salesman," he says.

Heading to the dealership on a weekday morning also helps because there's low foot traffic, meaning you'll have ample time to negotiate and fewer people trying to buy the same car. The more demand, the less willing a salesman is to go down on price, says Reed. (For more, see our column Summer Car Savings4.)

When to buy: December
Why: Most people assume that because everyone wants a good bottle of Champagne for New Year's Eve that prices go up during the holidays, says Sharon Castillo, director of the Office of Champagne, USA, which represents the trade association of growers in the Champagne region. But due to fierce competition among the Champagne houses, prices are actually lower during the holidays than they are at any other time of year. (For more on picking the right bottle, see our column Break Out the Bubbly5.)

When to buy: Thursday evenings, six to eight weeks after an item arrives in stores.
Why: After an item lingers in stores a month or more, retailers start dropping its price to get it out the door, says Kathryn Finney, author of "How to Be a Budget Fashionista." These season-end clearances tend to be the same month that designers host fashion weeks (February and September) to preview the next fall or spring collections. So smart buyers can check the catwalk to see if any of this season's trends — say, leggings or military-style jackets — will still be hot next year, and then scoop them up on clearance.

Hitting the mall on a weekday ensures you'll get a good selection. "On the weekend, you'll only get picked-over stuff because the stores don't have time to restock," she says. By Thursday, most of the weekend sales have begun, but everything available is on the floor.

Computers and electronics
When to buy: Just after a new model is launched.
Why: When the latest and greatest of a product is released, you'll often see prices drop on what had previously been the best thing out there, says Tom Merritt, executive editor for CNET, an electronics review web site. Case in point: When Apple released the Nano last September, prices for the now-discontinued Mini dropped 12%, from $199 for a 4GB to about $175. So keep your eyes open for announcements from major manufacturers. Want a little less work? Time your purchases for after big annual technology show like MacWorld6 (next held Jan. 8-12, 2007) and the International Consumer Electronics Show7 (next held Jan. 8-11, 2007).

When to buy: Early morning or late evening on a weekday.
Why: Time your trip based on whether prices are rising or falling, advises Marshall Brain, founder of HowStuffWorks8, a consumer guide. Gas stations tend to change their prices between 10 a.m. and noon, so hit the pump in the early morning if gas prices are on the rise. Go later in the day if prices are falling. Tipsters on reported that on Sept. 3, a WaWa gas station in Lanoka Harbor, N.J., was offering regular gas for $2.85 a gallon. One day later the station's price had dropped to $2.65. In that case, going early would have cost you 20 cents more per gallon.

Try not to buy gas on the weekends, Brain says. Gas prices are often slightly elevated, as stations try to profit from leisure travelers. (For more ways to save, see our column Save on Gas9.)

Gift Cards
When to buy: A day or two before you give it.
Why: These days, gift cards carry a plethora of hidden pitfalls, from expiration dates to dormancy fees, says Dan Horne, a professor of marketing at Providence College known as the "Gift Card Guru." That countdown to fees starts as soon as you buy the card. "You don't want to short-change the recipient," he says.

When to buy: Sunday evenings.
Why: Store sales tend to run Wednesday through Tuesday, says Teri Gault, founder of The Grocery Game10, a consumer savings program. On Sunday, you'll also have the latest round of manufacturer's coupons from your morning paper. "You can maximize your coupons available for that shopping week," she says. Heading to the store close to closing time means you'll have access to sales on fresh items that must be sold by the end of the day, such as meats and baked goods.

Of course, you'll also benefit from in-season items that can be frozen for use later in the year, says Gault. That means turkeys at Thanksgiving and hams at Christmas and Easter. During the spring and summer, buy fresh produce. Peaches bought at $1 per pound now can be kept frozen for smoothies and pies throughout the winter, she says.

Shrubs, Trees and Other Plants
When to buy: Fall
Why: Take a break from raking up leaves to purchase trees, shrubs and other perennials for your yard. Prices nosedive after midsummer, as garden supply stores and nurseries try to clear out their stock. You can also get great deals on bulbs during the fall. Just store them according to the package instructions for best planting results next spring. For more, see our column Cheap Landscaping Tricks11.)

When to buy: Six to 12 months after a particular model is launched.
Why: A new TV drops in price after a few months on the market, says CNET's Merritt. Although there will be newer models out there, it's unlikely they'll offer any significant improvements to justify that brand new price. "The technology is proceeding at such a pace that the models out there are not going to be obsolete anytime soon," he says. (For more, see our column The World Is Flat12.)

Wedding Dresses
When to buy: Between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Why: Boutiques are stocked up on dresses for the post-Christmas rush (many people get engaged over the holidays), yet traffic is low, says Fields, who also co-authored "Bridal Bargains." "It's not a busy time to buy a wedding dress because people are thinking about the holidays," he says. You'll also have room to bargain.

When to buy: Early fall.
Why: For best selection, you can't beat the fall harvest season. That's when most vineyards release their latest vintages. Buying in August and September is also your best shot at snagging so-called "cult wines" — those with limited production and high demand, says Kathleen Schumacher-Hoertkorn, CEO of New Vine Logistics, an online interstate wine retailer. (For more, see our column Buying Wine Online13.)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

10 Avoidable IT Interview Flubs

eWEEK rounds up some of the worst offenses, and while we're certain that none of you would ever make such obvious errors, it never hurts to review before your next interview.

Make sure you don't forget the Thank You note. I know I personally won't hire you if I don't get one!


Do aspects of Christianity violate the Law of Non-contradiction?

Does Christianity and its tenets violate the Law of Non-contradiction?

Use the link above to listen to the answer.

For the uninitiated, the Law of Non-contradiction states that no truth can exist when 2 central theses are in opposition to each other. How can we believe in 1 God when we are told there are "3 in 1", the Holy Trinity.


Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dyslexia is very annoying when...

  • You're trying to absorb a 700 page technical manual and your brain keeps getting full b/c it can't keep up with the pace of the alternative reading method you were taught.

  • You flip the digits of a phone number and end up calling someone you just dumped instead of the person you dumped them for.

  • Someone sends you a 700 page e-book to read and you have to pay to have it printed at Staples so you can read it.

  • You go to look up a new word in the dictionary... only to find out it's not a new word at all.

  • You keep misspelling your own name in letters and emails... and you consistently misspell it the same way every time. (Thank goodness for Word Auto-correct.)

The Banker's Sandwich

Heard of a new sandwich today... The BB&T. Hence the nickname "the banker's sandwich".

Ingredients: Bacon, Basil & Tomato.

Serve on toasted rye bread. And if you're one of those people who actually likes mayonnaise, add a good smear.

An even funnier named variation... The BB & TP. Bacon, Basil, Tomato & Provolone. Yummy.