Thursday, December 27, 2007

Where have all the adults gone?

The sub prime bailout being discussed is disappointing on many levels. After reading articles off-line and online I've come up with my own categorization process. With regard to the defaulting borrowers there are 3 buckets.

1. The Shim-shamed - These are borrowers who had mortgage brokers et all falsify documents or outright lie to people to make the loan (purchase) happen.

2. The Speculators - These are borrowers who borrowed with the goal of making money on flips. Some used no-doc loans etc to buy homes to fix-up and sell quickly. Which works in rising markets, but "when the musics over turnout the lights. " The Doors

3. The Over-extenders - These are borrowers who bought as much as they could assuming some other positive economic shock (raise, etc) would occur that allowed them to re balance their finances. Or they weren't expecting a negative economic shock such as losing a job.

I think I've got the borrowers covered with these three segments. Now for the lenders.

I found a great article today on which had a link out to a graphical explanation of how the CDOs worked. It's a great visual that let's you go step by step. Take the time and follow the flow of the money and the securitized mortgages, you'll be shocked.

Reminds me of Enron.

The United States needs to re-examine it's priorities and citizens need to step-up and be adults. Take ownership for your mistakes (translation: don't expect the government to always come to the rescue if you're in category 2 or 3) and take care of yourself (translation: save for retirement).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Technology and the Trucker on

Great to see the company that makes those truck all-in-one units actually up and running.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

My First Facebook Beacon Encounter

I read an article about Vans offering fully customizable slip-ons the other day during my daily commute. This lead me to visit the Vans site where I noticed their limited edition Iron Maiden slip-ons. Since Iron Maiden was one of my first favorite bands I had to pick up a pair.

These will be perfect for my Las Vegas Festivus trip.

I stopped by to buy them and after the checkout I was asked whether I want to share my purchase on my Facebook page. From my perspective it was clear to me what they were asking me to do. Cool - I opted-in.

Here's what happened to my page. Nothing too scary from my perspective.

screen shot of facebook beacon for zappos

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Loving the Roomba 570

I know this is my third Roomba post, but every week that goes by makes me value my Roomba even more. Mine is set to clean three times a week(MWF) at 11am.

It might not clean as well as a Dyson upright vacuum, but it does keep up with the dirt and dust. What I would like to see them do is figure out how to make the lighthouses smaller. Right now they are a bit obtrusive. Maybe something that's slim and sticks to your baseboard with Velcro.

The only disappointment so far is that the side brush has had two tines break off. I'll be contacting customer service about that.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Is this AdWords ad OK?

If you're reading this blog you know I'm an Internet ad guy. How does this translate into my surfing habits? I watch out for ads and explore ones that seem interesting.

Using my Gmail account I came across a sponsored link - "
Free Oreo Cakesters - - Get a Free Sample of Oreo Cakesters Soft Snack Cake in 2 Flavors!"

I clicked on it immediately to find out what this was all about. For some reason it struck me as odd that Nabisco would be giving away a free sample of Oreo Cakesters via AdWords.

You'll notice in the ad text is refers to . Which if you visit you'll also notice is owned and operated by Kraft Foods.

Instead you end up on which is a co-registration path. I'm not sure that the cute Oreo characters would like to force an interested consumer through a gauntlet of offers.

Or maybe they don't want their brothers and sisters boxed up, shipped, and eaten by a hungry Internet surfer?

I read the Google AdWords Advertising Policies page and had trouble finding something that explicitly made this use not OK. I must be missing something.

Waiting for the Wii

This morning as I headed into the city for work a call came through from a co-worker. He was waiting in line for a Wii at the Nintendo store in the middle of Rockefeller Center. It was around 7am, which was early until he told me he was in line on 6th Avenue.

I had waited in line during the summer and had no problem getting a Wii standing in line starting around 8am.

I told him I'd stop by and say hello as I walked past the store and followed the line, it was amazing. Grandmothers, mothers, fathers, kids, urban holiday arbitragers, and a few people who were could have been mistaken for homeless or they were very well equipped for outdoor urban living.

Why am I blogging about this? Because I read an interesting article on regarding Nintendo and their assumed strategy regarding the Wii. Lessons can be drawn from those faddish Tamagotchi toys. Check out the article if you subscribe.

Update: I just got the call, he missed one by about 100 people.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Social Networking for Stoners

Reading Rolling Stone magazine on my way into work this morning I came across an article that had a few different MySpace/Facebook-esqe social networking sites featured.

The one that stuck out the most was Potspace, "the largest online marijuana community for weed smokers." The site is something else.

It never ceases to amaze me what people will do online.

3D Printing At Home - WSJ

This is one of the more interesting home projects I've seen in a while.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sending Email Late Night

Being a subscriber to I came across a blog post on The Juggle. It's a blog dedicated to work and family balance. This post touched on the impact and interpretation of sending emails after traditional work hours.

There is some interesting context provided by Google employees as well as other executives.

What struck me about this email is that it brings back my 360 feedback sessions with my direct and second level direct reports. I was guilty of sending emails at all times as well as being online at all times.

While I'd like to report that I don't send late night emails any more, I still do. I have explained to my directs and second level directs that they don't need to respond in the same time frame. Although I think the precedent I'm setting is still problematic. "Do as I say, not as I do."

Of course sometimes there are emergencies as my role is in advertising operations and the Internet advertising runs 24x7. In these cases I might drop a SMS message to a report's cell phone to check email asap.

I'm also starting to leverage the delayed send feature in Outlook that allows you to set the delivery time.

Re-opting Out

Since my wife and I purchased a new home and moved we found ourselves increasingly inundated with credit related offers. We had much success in the past opting out of the credit bureau's database marketing services. Our junk mail was reduce by over 80%!

This time we could use a website to re-opt-out. The last time we opted out we both had to call a 800 number maintained by the credit bureaus.

If you dislike junk mail, dislike the wasted trees in all that paper then visit the website and opt-out.