April 30, 2008
reposting Prosper loan with higher rate
April 21, 2008
China Energy Recovery raises money
Thanks Sean for the link. CER Financing - Final Draft
Seems like if you have the words China and Energy in your name you can get money. This financing is about the size of a normal venture financing in the States, but it is notable in that it is the first outside China financing for this company. I also like the idea that China is the "saudi arabia of waste energy". There has got to be lots of opportunity to gain effeciencies in a country where it has been more important to build coal plants and grow than think about effeciency. I hope CER uses the money well.
Dubai group buys into biodiesel
April 18, 2008
Invest in Clean Tech Businesses with me through Prosper
Buy my syndicated Loan through Prosper
April 17, 2008
All the best utilities from LifeHacker
Looking for new tools to make my life more productive, i clicked over to LifeHacker. Their LifeHacker Pack has all the essentials. Happilly I was already using most of them. Installed Trillian again for another go and am trying out SyncBack paired with my Drobo.
April 16, 2008
A story about "The Shack"
I was in the airport two weeks ago (big surprise). Was looking for plane reading. Saw The Shack along side the usual mystery and thriller best sellers. Picked it up thinking it was regular old escapist fiction. It is written as such, but is actually very meaty in philosophy. Some heavy subjects are handled in a very available, accessible way. Like, “If there is a God, how can he (or she) let murder happen?” As a Catholic, much of the proposed “theology” is more “modern church” than I am used to, the basics are pretty sound. I especially like how the guy figures out the essential mystery of the Catholic church, the Trinity. How can God have three beings and all be the same and different at the same time? That is the key actually and the hardest part for most people to get. I rate 5 of 5 stars. A must read for anyone on a faith journey of any kind. I am going to send a copy to Bill Maher.
magnetic bike led night lights
Obama thinks hunting and god are disorders brought about by poverty...
I know it sounds unbelievable, but I am not making this stuff up.
One minute Obama was bowling in Pennsylvania with nice, ordinary people wearing "Beer Hunter" T-shirts, and the next thing you know, he was issuing a report on the psychological traits of normal Americans to rich liberals in San Francisco.
Obama informed the San Francisco plutocrats that these crazy working-class people are so bitter, they actually believe in God! And not just the 12-step meeting, higher power, "as you conceive him or her to be" kind of God. The regular, old-fashioned, almighty sort of "God."
As Obama put it: "(T)hey get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
The rich liberals must have nearly fainted at the revelation that the denizens of small towns in Pennsylvania have absolutely no concern for the rich's ability to acquire servants from Mexico at a reasonable price.
It's going to take a lot of "framing" for Democrats to recast Obama's explanation to San Francisco cafe society that gun ownership and a belief in God are the byproducts of a psychological disorder brought on by economic hardship.
don't blame biofuels for food price increases...
biofuels and government policies that support them are easy whipping boys for recent increases in food prices. The Oil companies have been happilly fueling the cries for reduced biofuel mandates because of increased food prices. But wait. Ethanol is made from Corn. Biodiesel is made from soy and other veg oils. The food stables the world's poor rely on are rice and wheat. There was a drought in the world's wheat basket, Australia this year. Humm, is something else going on? And now even the New York Times agrees that biofuels are only partially to blame:
"Work by the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington suggests that biofuel production accounts for a quarter to a third of the recent increase in global commodity prices. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicted late last year that biofuel production, assuming that current mandates continue, would increase food costs by 10 to 15 percent."
wow, didn't think I would be agreeing with the NYT today.
April 14, 2008
Drobo First Impressions
Ok, last week I got my Drobo. got the USB attached one. Maybe should have gotten the NAS version with the 1gb ethernet card as I think that is faster than USB, but that wasn't at NewEgg when I ordered. The thing was dead easy to set up. Just stick the drives in, plug in the power, plug in the usb and put in the CD. A bit confusing was that it asked me what format to use formatting the drives, FAT32 or NTFS. As a geek I appreciate the choice and chose FAT32 as I am using Vista. But not sure even this choice is in the purview of most of the target audience. It formatted the drives. One confusing thing is that the format offered me to make two partitions since I had 4 750Gig drives and the NT limit is a 2TB partition. Of course it said it in more user friendly manner, but I know what was behind it. So I said, ok, two partitions and gave them two different drive letters. Then after the formatting was done, I looked for two new attached drives. There was only one, H:. That was 2TB. Hummmm. Looks like it didn't format two partitions and somehow I lost 1TB. So over to the Drobo Dashboard. It said 3TB of drives, but (2.72TB actual*). I never found in the help or anywhere what the "*" refers to. Somehow I am guessing Windows overhead, I loose 280GBof storage. Then Drobo says I hve 2.03 TB "avaiable for data" and 704.2GB "used for protection" and "overhead" of 2.23GB. I am confused about all the different numbers and why it takes 25.8% for mirroring/protection. That is less than typical RAID so I am happy, but I just hope it works when a drive fails.
I am playing music off the Drobo drive, MP3s. Ok, now the fun part. Lets pull out a drive. Ok, the pulling was easy. Drobo is now flashing red and green and the music continues to play. The Drobo dashboard is flashing "data protection in progress" an dthe free space went down by 750GB. But the data is stil lthere and I am still streaming. Wow. While it is running, I just plugged in the 750GB drive again. Still flashing red to green lights, and still playing the music. In about 3 seconds, the "free space" goes back up to 1.44TB and actual back up to 2.72. Still flashing Data Protection in Progress, but still playing music. I don't care what it is doing. I pulled out a drive and put it back in without interruption to the music playing or loosing any data.
April 10, 2008
Here is another funny Barack site
Loving the updated BarackObamaIsYourNewNanny site
With the MSM in love with Barack Hussein Obama, it is very hard to get through the halo to what life under a Barry Presidency would actually be like. What if you could tap into The REAL Barack Obama Twitter feed that stripped away all the positioning and pandering? Well now you can. Check daily to receive the decoded spin and Hussein's actual wishes, desires and true hopes for this country.
Important Pajamas Media interview exposing Rev. Lee's antisemitic views
and Obama's complacency in the scheme to "get back at white/jewish America" for all the wrongs experienced by the black community over the years.
This is not new politics. This is old school politics of racial devide and hate. Old school politics of "now it is my turn with the spanking stick and revenge is going to be sweet". That is not what America needs nor deserves.
April 8, 2008
Alan GreenSpan has his head on straight
I usually don't crib whole posts, nor do I usually look to RedState for economic news, but this one is just too right-on. And mostly Alan Greenspan's words anyway. Basically, back off Political goons, your knee jerk kind of regulation won't help and probably will hurt more. Let the banks do what they are paid to do: manage risk.
In a period when we are beset with calls for increased regulation as a supposedly surefire way to stop any further financial rough patches like the one we are going through in the wake of the subprime mortgage mess, it is useful and encouraging to note that at least one person has kept his head about him:
Bank loan officers, in my experience, know far more about the risks and workings of their counterparties than do bank regulators. Regulators, to be effective, have to be forward-looking to anticipate the next financial malfunction. This has not proved feasible. Regulators confronting real-time uncertainty have rarely, if ever, been able to achieve the level of future clarity required to act pre-emptively. Most regulatory activity focuses on activities that precipitated previous crises.
Aside from far greater efforts to ferret out fraud (a long-time concern of mine), would a material tightening of regulation improve financial performance? I doubt it. The problem is not the lack of regulation but unrealistic expectations about what regulators are able to prevent. How can we otherwise explain how the UK's Financial Services Authority, whose effectiveness is held in such high regard, fumbled Northern Rock? Or in the US, our best examiners have repeatedly failed over the years. These are not aberrations.
[. . .]
I do have an ideology. So does each member of the forum. I trust our views are subject to the same standards of evidence that apply to all rational discourse. My view of how the efficiency of global capitalism has evolved over the decades as new evidence has appeared contradicts some earlier judgments and confirms others. I have been surprised by the fierceness of investors in retrenching from risk since August. My view of the range of dispersion of outcomes has been shaken but not my judgment that free competitive markets are the unrivalled way to organise economies. We have tried regulation ranging from heavy to central planning. None meaningfully worked. Do we wish to retest the evidence?
Well, evidently some people do. But they forget that regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley haven't exactly had a tremendously impressive track record of success. And they are forgetting the reasons why the subprime crisis reared its aesthetically displeasing head in the first place. Greenspan reminds them:
The core of the subprime problem lies with the misjudgments of the investment community. Subprime securitisation exploded because subprime mortgage-backed securities were seemingly underpriced (high-yielding) at original issuance. Subprime delinquencies and foreclosures were modest at the time, creating the illusion of great profit opportunities. Investors of all stripes pressed securitisers for more MBSs. Securitisers, in turn, pressed lenders for mortgage paper with little concern about its quality. Even with full authority to intervene, it is not credible that regulators would have been able to prevent the subprime debacle.
Read the whole thing. And as always in these circumstances, pray and hope that policymakers do so as well. It could mean the difference between a good decision and a bad one.
wow, dodged a bullet in Argentina
Last Fall, due to my increasing concerns about economic stability and sensibility of the Argentinia rulling duo (couple), I canceled Imperium's expansion to Argentina. None too soon. The socialist president raised taxes on soy bean exports AGAIN, now 44% and the middle class is rioting in the streets. Whew.
Washington State ferries back on Biodiesel
WSDOT is back four years after a failed biodiesel test. This time they are comparing Soy versus Canola biodiesel. Since the tanks are single lined and sit below the water, the fuel is very cold (the Puget Sound is 42 degrees). They also didn't use an anti-algae syde last time. They are this time. I am completely confident that the Imperium Renewables Canola will kick ass on the midwest soy (which is actually mostly animal fat now). Go Canola!
IPO pipeline for alternative energy empty
You can thank the Board or Directors of Imperium Renewables for that (don't blame me). And they will blame the high veg oil prices, although there is still a positive margin to be made. Morningstar notes that there have been some successes including Gushan, Clean Energy Fuels and Cosan. I expect there to be more before the end of the year.
April 7, 2008
Finally broke down and ordered by Drobo from NewEgg today. Filled it with Samsung SATA 750gig drives instead of 1TB drives because the 750G are $.17 per gig and the 1TB are $.249 per gig. With Drobo utilizing all the storage correctly, it is not a problem to mix and match drives. Just buy the cheapest per gig driveyou can. That typically is the one just smaller than the largest on the market. Today that is the 750g. Go Drobo!
April 3, 2008
The Fed just saved our ass w/o taxpayer dollars
It is insulting how the Democrats on Capital Hill and the MSM are distoring the heroic efforts that the Fed has made to save the world wide financial system, especially their skillful engineering of the orderly liquidation of Bear Stearns. I have been surprised to find the most cogent analysis of the situation over at Red State. Basically it comes down to this, the FED using their OWN MONEY (not taxpayer money), engineered the continued co-party liquidation of Bear Stearns, the lack of which would have stalled the entire world economy, caused domino bankruptcies around the world and made the Great Depression look like a playdate. No taxpayer money went to "fatcat" Wall Street types. In fact, those "fat cat" shareholders of Bear Sterns lost billions of shareholder value overnight.
Do not let your Democratic Senator or Congressman tell you that now it "is time to bail out mainstreet" by having the Federal Government pay off bad mortgages. If the Government were to apply what the FED did to Bear Sterns to Main Street, they would seize your sub-prime house and give it to your neighbor for pennies on the dollar. Under no circumstances should you believe that politicians will come up with a thoughtful well crafted economic policy that actually does any good. What they will do is try to buy votes. Do not fall for it. Call your congressman and stop the insanity.