Thursday, April 26, 2007

Eating Oracle's Dessert

I was reading the article titled, MySQL hits $50 million revenue, plans IPO on and I came across this excellent bit (emphasis mine):
While MySQL was borne [sic] of the Web, it's posing an increasing threat to existing database powers. In competitive bids, MySQL most often goes up against Oracle and Microsoft, Mickos said. But the company isn't trying to directly attack Oracle's core business; instead, it's angling to head the rival off in growth markets.

"We're not trying to eat Oracle's lunch. We're trying to eat their dessert," Mickos said. "We love to compete with them and win customers from them. At the same time, we don't want to fall into this David-vs.-Goliath strategy where everyone says 'Go, MySQL, go! Go kill Oracle!' There's an old Chinese (proverb): if you focus on one competitor, ultimately you become like them, and we don't want to do that."
I think it's an interesting metaphor; if you're attempting to head off a competitor's growth by snagging new markets from them, that's called "eating their dessert."

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Nuclear Power: Salvation or Disaster?

I just stumbled across the very interesting Wilson Quarterly from the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, and I have really enjoyed reading the debate in last Autumn's issue about nuclear power. Max Schulz says that Nuclear is the Future, while Brice Smith and Arjun Makhijani argue that Nuclear Is Not the Way. Both sides make excellent points, but since I happen to also believe that we are nearing Peak Oil, something that neither side considers in their arguments, I think expanding nuclear power may be worth the risks.

Oh, and I saw a great quote on The Oil Drum when I was retrieving the Peak Oil link:

“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”

—H. G. Wells, 1904

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Roasting Coffee in a Popcorn Pumper

So I roasted my own coffee on the weekend, using my old Popcorn Pumper air popper, and using the instructions I found on Sweet Maria's.

The bit at the end with me swirling the beans in a metal collander is the cooling process for the beans. It comes after the "before and after pictures" because it was from the second batch I roasted...

I used green beans from JJ Bean, a Proctor Silex Popcorn Pumper, a metal collander, and a glass jar to store the roasted beans. I found that a batch took me around 8 or 9 minutes.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, April 02, 2007

Vancouver: Best English-Speaking City

One of the meanings for "Qole" (my Internet Name) is "Quality of Life Enjoyment/Enhancement." Well, it looks like I live in a place well suited for enjoying a high quality of life.

Looking at the Mercer 2007 World-wide quality of living survey, it is startling to realize that Vancouver is the most livable English-speaking city in the world. And if you want an English-speaking city with a comparable quality of life, you're going to have to go to Aukland, New Zealand or Sydney, Australia. Either that, or learn to speak German!

Even more startling is the fact that there are no other North American cities in the top 10, and the United States doesn't even enter the rankings until Honolulu, in lowly 27th place! San Francisco comes right behind Honolulu, and it is the first city in the continental USA on the list.

Another surprising thing is that Vancouver's close American neighbour, Seattle, was kicked to the curb, coming in at 49th place, just barely making the top 50. Portland, Oregon did a bit better, in 46th place. Note that both cities have slid down in the rankings since last year.

Labels: , , , ,