Diagramly

Diagram.ly is a free online version of Visio, for creating flowcharts, mind maps and other diagrams. Nice stuff.

April 27, 2011 |  Category: Technology
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Pot’s Carbon Footprint

It’s a delicious irony that the pot smoking, long haired, maggot infested hippies who worry overmuch about man made climate change themselves hold much of the blame.

According to the Department of Energy:

The analysis performed in this study finds that indoor Cannabis production results in energy expenditures of $5 billion each year, with electricity use equivalent to that of 2 million average U.S. homes. This corresponds to 1% of national electricity consumption or 2% of that in households. The yearly greenhouse-gas pollution (carbon dioxide, CO2 ) from the electricity plus associated transportation fuels equals that of 3 million cars. Energy costs constitute a quarter of wholesale value.

And California is by far the worst offender!

This stuff is just too good to make up.

via Freakonomics.

April 25, 2011 |  Category: Politics
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Free Ebook Tools For Authors

April 23, 2011 |  Category: Technology
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Amazon Deals On Electronics

Amazon has a page with new deals on electronics

April 20, 2011 |  Category: Bargains
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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QuiBids Auction Site Review

QuiBids dot Com is an auction site with a very interesting (and somewhat sinister) business model. It dangles in front of participants the possibility of winning high end consumer products for as little as one cent. The “trick” is that participants must pay for the right to bid.

Here’s how it works. QuiBids starts the bidding for each of its offered items at one cent, and an auction time of fifteen hours. As each person bids, the price increases by one cent. Further, if the auction has less than 20 seconds remaining, the clock is reset to 20 seconds.

Each bid costs the participant sixty cents. Bids are purchased in packs before the auction begins. Participants need to make sure they buy enough bids to ensure they don’t run out before the auction ends.

QuiBids actually has a pretty good selection of products, including some high end golf items. As I write this, there’s a set of Cleveland irons at $1.14 (and climbing), TaylorMade Burner 2.0 irons at $7.48 and a Callaway Razr Hawk driver at $7.92.

To win, you just have to be the last person to place a bid.

And therein lies the rub. Watch the bids coming to a close, and you’ll notice how, as the clock ticks down to ten seconds … eight seconds … someone else puts in a bid and the 20 second clock starts anew. To stay in the auction, you must then rebid at a cost of sixty cents. And then someone else jumps in, the clock resets, and you must bid again.

All of that clicking means that a participant will very quickly become fairly heavily invested in bidding on a product. Then, once you’re into a product for forty or fifty bids, you practically have to keep bidding to protect your investment.

Thus, while the deals generally look good at first glance, the savvy buyer must figure into the item cost the cost of the bids.

For QuiBids, this system is a license to print money. Here’s an example. At this moment, the Razr Hawk Driver is up to $9. Since each bid increases the starting price by one cent, that’s 900 bids. Nine hundred bids at sixty cents each means that—if the action were to end now—QuiBids would collect $825 for a driver that’s currently selling for around $300 at big box golf stires..

Of course, the flip side is that someone would get a $300 driver for $9.

But there’s a flip side to that, too. There are a bunch of people who placed a pile of sixty cent bids but have nothing to show.

While there are no refunds for bids on lost items, QuiBids does have an out. You can always purchase the item you bid on at retail, minus the cost of the bids. QuiBids lists the Razr Hawk driver at $399. If you had used a hundred dollars worth of bids, you could purchase the driver for $299.

Its a tricky system, but there’s the potential of scoring a big ticket item for peanuts. And there’s also the advantage of knowing that—unlike Ebay—the item is sold by the auction site, without a third party being involved.

As with all of these sorts of sites, the key to winning at QuiBids is to play during off hours (you’ll have to find out what those are by watching for a while). The person who jumps in at the last minute with just a single bid is the real winner on this type of site.

The key to getting a good deal is to be sure to factor the cost of the bids into the final cost of the item.

April 1, 2011 |  Category: Random Nonsense
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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the front nine

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