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I’m Still Alive

Just a quick note to say that yes, I am here and am still alive. This week and next have midterm exams in them. Needless to say, that has been taking a considerable amount of time. Tonight was an internal/external analysis of Netflix, using Porter’s 5 Forces & Value Chain frameworks, PEST analysis, resource & capabilities, rent generating potential, and a host of other tools. Next Tuesday night will be a financial analysis and loan structuring for what I think is a barber shop chain (but I’m not entirely sure).
In other news, I finished the Run The Reagan Half Marathon in 2 hours and 19 minutes (and 2 seconds for those of you keeping up with the minutiae). It was great fun and I feel really good about myself at this point. I’m not sure what the next event is, but I’m planning on a duathlon, triathlon, and a marathon this year. That may be a bit ambitious, but I should be graduating with my MBA in August, so I’ll have to find something to fill in some of that spare time.
And as a parting public service announcement, someone arrived at my site by googling “famous atlanta georgia rappers”. I am not sure why they were reffered to my site (although now that I’m blogging it, I’m sure the traffic will increase tremendously). Anyway, as a public service, I thought I would re-route you to this site, which I think has some related contact information to aid you in your search based on the latest news reports.

IE7 Beta 2

It seems Microsoft took the hint from the rave reviews of Firefox and has stolen some of its best features. I’m happily using beta 2 (download beta 2 here) on my development machine at work. So far, here are the features I like:

  • Automatic print scaling. No more words that trail off the edge of your printouts!
  • Preference to delete Temporary Internet Files each time the browser is closed.
  • Simplified UI. Tabbed browsing.
  • Favorites for URLs and feeds. I really like the UI handling of favorites. The feed reader isn’t as slick as standalone feed readers (feeddemonis my current fave), but it really is everything I need to keep up with my favorite authors. Haven’t seen a way to import an OPML file yet, but I’m sure it’s probably at least in the works (this is beta software, you know?).
  • Anti-phishing add-in that can be configured to check every page you visit against a database or allow you to manually check. The automatic check is kind of a PITA since it slows down the loading of the page. Not that I need a filter anyway – hopefully this will help the large community of naive internet users out there.

Thus far, my only snag has been in launching the browser from Notes 6.5.x (haven’t tried other versions). In my location doc, I had the “Internet Browser” preference set to “Microsoft Internet Explorer”. This worked fine when I was running IE6. With IE7, I had to say “Other” and point it to the iexplore.exe under “c:program filesinternet explorer”.

Advertising Brilliance

It’s hard to make out the “GM” in the logo at the top of the building in this picture (the Cadillac symbol is unmistakable), but how many times over the last 2 weeks have you seen this image for free on tv? Ok, calling it advertising brilliance might be far fetched, but through this image GM has put their logo out there countless times as being associated with the Super Bowl in Detroit without any incremental cost per impression.
Sure, the stadium the game is being played in is called “Ford Field”, but I have yet to see the logo or anything else that alludes to Ford Motor Company. I have had GM ingrained in my head as being related to this Super Bowl thanks to the repeated appearance of this image.

Super Bowl Commericials – A Missed Opportunity

Thus far, I haven’t seen a commercial worth spending the $2.5 million to air. I think the biggest loser so far is GlaxoSmithLine – the maker of Geritol vitamins. They should have sponsored the Rolling Stones halftime show. Or better yet, the Rascal scooter people. I guess that just makes too much sense, though.
The show isn’t bad, but I’m more impressed with the amount of work that it took to get that stage, lighting, and effects set up in 6 minutes, and then removed from the field after the show in another 6 minutes. I even caught a glimpse of a timer next to one of the audio monitors on stage that is used to keep track of the Stones’ 12 minute allotment. A lot of planning and money went into these 12 minutes.
Alright, let’s get back to the game between these two teams that I don’t give a rat’s ass about.

What’s Your Google Exposure?

Google posted results yesterday that were deeply disappointing to Wall Street. At the close of after-market trading, Google was down over 11%. Many individuals may brush this off as no big deal – but many mutual funds have invested heavily in the search giant to prop up an otherwise less than stellar portfolio.

One of my mutuals has a heavy exposure, holding somewhere around 4,000,000 shares (I think that’s the number, but I won’t name its name in case I’m wrong). I guess I will find out after the closing bell today when the net asset values of all my mutuals are marked to market just how exposed to this one company I am.

Note that I am prepared for this and I think I have isolated it to one mutual fund. But I’m willing to be that others that take a backseat when managing their portfolios (IRAs, 401ks, savings, etc) won’t be so lucky.