Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Passport Photo Ripoff

I am miffed by the rip-off they call passport photos in places like walgreens.
You get your picture taken by a plain digital camera and then get charged like 8 bucks to get TWO prints..

For most people this is ok when they do like one passport photo probably there whole life. BUt if you have a family of say 5 , that is 40 $ .

Well to some extend I can understand the costing , pricing , employee wages what really gets on my nerve is that if you need just plain extra copies , you still pay 8$ for every additional two , Now that does not make any economic sense . There is not extra labour involved.

And this photo gets printed on a 4*6 photograph with 6 copies on it , they cut out 2 and dispose off 4 into trash ..

So time to get back with technology in this age of smart and savvy spending.
Check out this post by someone who got this whole expense down to 2 bucks setup ( if you alredy have a digital camera ) and less than $1 per 6 copies..

Got to love this great service which lets you resize photos the way you want to passport photo sizes

Monday, July 27, 2009

10 Pillar test of a Free Economy

These principles are a guiding light towards a free economy.

I have copied this from an internationally accepted working paper developed by The American Economic Foundation

1. Nothing in our material world can come from nowhere or go nowhere, nor can it be free: everything in our economic life has a source, a destination, and a cost that must be paid.

Simply put, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything has a cost regardless of promises from politicians.

2. Government is never a source of goods. Everything produced is produced by the people, and everything that government gives to the people, it must first take from the people.

Recently, 25 percent of Americans who were asked in a survey how the government pays for its programs said it was because the US "has its own money." Those people need to be familiar with this Pillar. The bailouts we have seen by many countries will have cost plenty and will have a profound impact on our economy.

3. The only valuable money that government has to spend is that money taxed or borrowed out of the people's earnings. When government decides to spend more than it has thus received, that extra unearned money is created out of thin air, through the banks, and, when spent, takes on value only by reducing the value of all money, savings, and insurance.

Much of the new spending we have seen and is being financed by fiat money (essentially counterfeit) and will result in rampant inflation. Other parts of the spending will be paid for by future generations. Finally, some will be paid by foreign governments who invest in such debt

4. In our modern exchange economy, all payroll and employment come from customers, and the only worthwhile job security is customer security; if there are no customers, there can be no payroll and no jobs.

Labor unions have long tried to create an economic world that is detached from reality. If labor wants job security, they must accommodate customers. There is no other way to assure long term job stability.

5. Customer security can be achieved by the worker only when he cooperates with management in doing the things that win and hold customers. Job security, therefore, is a partnership problem that can be solved only in a spirit of understanding and cooperation.

Unions often want an adversarial relationship with business, but job security can only come if the two are partners pursuing customers together.

6. Because wages are the principal cost of everything, widespread wage increases, without corresponding increase in production, simply increase the cost of everybody's living.

An example of this is minimum wage. When it goes up, so do prices, and if the job isn't worth the wage, it will be lost. This solves the mystery as to why minimum wage increases are both rare and devastating. For eg My parents chose not to harvest some of our coconut crop as it is not economicallyt feasible to pay someone to harvest and sell it at a loss.

7. The greatest good for the greatest number means, in its material sense, the greatest goods for the greatest number which, in turn, means the greatest productivity per worker.

Production is the best way to keep an economy strong, and those who participate in it growing financially. The best way to encourage productivity is for a government to keep the costs of production as low as possible. This is done through a stable money supply, low taxes, and few regulations.

8. All productivity is based on three factors: 1) natural resources (NR), whose form, place and condition are changed by the expenditure of 2) human energy (HE) (both muscular and mental), with the aid of 3) tools (T).

This is straight forward enough. These three factors make up the totality of the economy. As a formula, this is seen at NR + HE x T = Man's Material Welfare.

9. Tools are the only one of these three factors that man can increase without limit, and tools come into being in a free society only when there is a reward for the temporary self-denial that people must practice in order to channel part of their earnings away from purchases that produce immediate comfort and pleasure, and into new tools of production. Proper payment for the use of tools is essential to their creation.

Tools are the only one of these that can increase without limit. An example of this is agriculture, which was the dominant industry in the late 1700s and early 1800s, with the majority of our population working in that area. Today, the number who work in it are in the single digits and the abundance of food could not be greater. Tools are what have changed everything.

10. The productivity of the tools — that is, the efficiency of the human energy applied in connection with their use — has always been highest in a competitive society in which the economic decisions are made by millions of progress-seeking individuals, rather than in a state-planned society in which those decisions are made by a handful of all-powerful people, regardless of how well-meaning, unselfish, sincere and intelligent those people may be.

The genius of the many individuals when it comes to economic prosperity is always greater than the few or even the majority that would impose its view of "fairness" on the economy. This is the "invisible hand" that Adam Smith spoke of so eloquently in his The Wealth of Nations.

These Pillars are factual, logical, and without a political agenda. They provide excellent benchmarks on what works in the economic system. Pass this tool on to others who are trying to figure out the headlines and let freedom ring!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Real time Terrain generation , depth sensing camera

Surface computing is becoming more and more mainstream .. Surface appsa have been rolling out . The At& T store in atlanta , An hotel in Dubai . Casinos in vegas.

This one is Andy Wilson showing off real time terrain generation / XNA .

Monday, April 06, 2009

I am in love with TED . Dont mis understand me . I am talking about TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an invitation-only event where the world's leading thinkers and doers gather to find inspiration.

I dont know if you have watched some of the latest ted news , I am blown away by vemost but one thing that caught my fancy is the BumpTop . A collegue of mine was gracious enought to send me an invite and I am hooked on this thing . It does take a little it of time to get used to the new paradigm and I am resisting the urge on certain times to go back to the standard feel I have with held that .

You can watch the bumptop video here .

I played around with some photos on the bumptop of Adithi and here is what I got .


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Rediscovering Shuttle

My recent not so good blood work has me taken up my old passion for sports , esp Shuttle . First and foremost shuttle is not a very popular sport in the US . I went to Academy , went to couple of sport store and none of them carry the feathers that we all love to play with , feathers are more nice as they give you more initial top speed and then a good drag allowing for more nicer shots that you can play and master like cuts and back hands.
I found a few good stuff online and got them ordered . I already lost a few pounds and according to Mrs Lee who is my family doctor within a year I could get back to maybe just a pill . WE south asians as a race has got addicted to rice. Cutting down rice is the important lesson that I learned in these last 3 weeks and also the amount of love and support that I am getting from my friends :-)

Love you all .

I wanted to write this post on shuttle but got sidetracked ,oh well will do that the next post

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Great Video

Happened to see this video on Rediff iShare, It brought a smile to my face. Check it out here