Thursday, October 29, 2009

Must-know idioms for GMAT

The following GMAT idioms list is based upon official GMAT sentence correction questions that the test-makers publicly released.

Practice these idioms using our proprietary sentence correction questions.

GMAT Idiom Book1 Question2 Answer Page3
Official Guide for GMAT Review (12th Edition)
x is more than y 12th Edition 4 686
unlike x, y 12th Edition 20 694
in contrast with x, y 12th Edition 20 694
in contrast to x, y 12th Edition 20 694
estimate to be 12th Edition 27 698
the same to x as to y 12th Edition 32 700
depends on whether x 12th Edition 34 701
so x that y 12th Edition 37 702
targeted ... at 12th Edition 40 704
rivalry between x and y 12th Edition 44 706
expended on 12th Edition 46 707
the ability ... to 12th Edition 51 710
x is to y what w is to z 12th Edition 58 714
amount of x 12th Edition 74 722
attributes x to y 12th Edition 79 724
not just because of x, but because of y 12th Edition 83 726
distinctions between x and y 12th Edition 96 733
either x or y 12th Edition 109 740
to consider x y 12th Edition 117 745
less successful than 12th Edition 123 748
so x that y 12th Edition 124 748
x is dated at z years old 12th Edition 140 756
Official Guide for GMAT Review (11th Edition)
x is more than y 11th Edition 2 662
in contrast with x, y 11th Edition 16 669
estimated to be 11th Edition 21 671
in danger of 11th Edition 27 673
seem + infinitive 11th Edition 29 674
as much as 11th Edition 30 674
to credit x with 11th Edition 31 674
as many ... as 11th Edition 37 676
between x and y 11th Edition 40 678
require x to do y 11th Edition 53 684
restrictions on x 11th Edition 54 685
not only x ... but also y 11th Edition 55 685
there is no doubt that 11th Edition 58 686
as a means to 11th Edition 60 688
attribute x to y 11th Edition 67 691
as many as 11th Edition 76 695
used x as y 11th Edition 79 696
not x, but rather y 11th Edition 87 700
order x to be y 11th Edition 92 702
just as x, so y 11th Edition 99 706
distinguish between x and y 11th Edition 107 710
both x and y 11th Edition 112 713
so x that y 11th Edition 118 716
Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review
not...but Verbal Review 4 256
the rising cost Verbal Review 8 258
range from x to y Verbal Review 9 258
except for + noun Verbal Review 13 260
between x and y Verbal Review 14 260
to mistake x for y Verbal Review 17 261
to think of x as y Verbal Review 20 262
with the aim of + (verb)ing Verbal Review 25 264
not only x ... but also y Verbal Review 46 274
prohibit x from doing y Verbal Review 48 275
more x than y Verbal Review 50 276
not only x ... but also y Verbal Review 52 277
so x that y Verbal Review 58 280
not x, but rather y Verbal Review 60 281
not only ... but also Verbal Review 66 284
in order to x Verbal Review 69 285
as x as Verbal Review 75 288
worried about Verbal Review 81 291
either x or y Verbal Review 84 292
better served by x than by y Verbal Review 89 295
ordered x to do y Verbal Review 90 295
both x and y Verbal Review 93 297
x rose almost as fast as y Verbal Review 94 297
between x and y Verbal Review 95 298
more x than y Verbal Review 98 299
x rather than y Verbal Review 99 300
isolated from Verbal Review 106 300
not only x ... but also y Verbal Review 108 304
as a result of Verbal Review 113 307

This GMAT idioms list is available in PDF format.

For those who are too cheap to buy himself or herself a copy of Manhattan GMAT "Sentence Correction GMAT Preparation Guide", here is the list of the most popular GMAT idioms that are likely already known by native speakers, and must be memorized by non-native speakers (like I am).

For those who do own a book, take a look at chapter 9, page 142. I am not sure I would be able to memorize all that, but at least I have one more useful guide to refer to.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bridgestone QR-LPD

Damn, so when would we see it introduced to ebooks market?

It seems pretty slow though. But clearly their screens are bigger than Kindle's 6" or even DX 9".

Anyway eink's fragility is bad. Pretty bad.

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Sentence Correction must-have book

There is one book that is absolutely must have for you to do well on Sentence Correction part of GMAT.

That's a "Sentence Correction GMAT Preparation Guide" by Manhattan GMAT.

They do not have any either sample GMAT questions or a bunch of tests to try yourself on. But they did their best to cover a lot of potential tricks taken by GMAT creators to find your gaps in English. I'm really surprised and really excited about going through this. I just came to Chapter 4 and I have already learned a bunch of stuff. This is so great.

However, I do miss the sample GMAT questions. The books sends me to Official Guide and this is sorta lame. Been there, done that.

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A/B to increase user engagement

The question becomes 'do you want a smaller, highly engaged community, or a larger, less engaged community?' There's no easy answer here; it's more of a think-long-and-hard sort of situation that greatly depends on individual aspects of your startup.

Great blog post on using A/B testing to increase user engagement and some conclusions made.

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Russian officials know watches

Russian politicians watches 35

Yeah, Russians know watches. :) Photos of Russian officials and their watches, starts from a little bit more $1K for a piece topping with $1M for a piece. Nice.

P.S. Don't ask why economy sucks.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How to get a bunch of beta users in a few weeks

Find small blogs (10k-50k subscribers) relevant to your market and offer them 100-1000 signups with a custom-branded demo code.  The blogger likes getting an exclusive for her readers, and the readers like getting insider access to a hot new tool.  Contact a bunch of them at once, we felt lucky to have a roughly 20% hit rate.

Pretty creative, nice idea of bringing people on for beta testing your product. You know, once you release something, it's always a headache: "So what's up now?" Following this advice could give you at least a starting point.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Got Perfect Credit? You Could Be Charged For It!

Earlier this month Bank of America started notifying customers like Mullen-Kress that they will be charged a new annual fee of $29 to $99.

Oh no. Four years ago, when I came from Ukraine to US, I was surprised how many people are building their lives around their credit scores. I was, like: "What the heck? The biggest contributors to economy and stability of country are the most affected by any change in this. People who don't care, they keep not paying any attention at all. Banks are taking earners money and throw away to bring more assholes, who just don't care."

I can explain to myself while I keep paying my Bank of America's credit card's fee, which is $29 annually. It was my first one, starting from secured credit card, which I put a $100 to get $500 credit limit (which was actually the best deal I could get around), eventually morphing into more appropriate type of the card, but keeping $29 annual fee (I got it, BofA!). However, any other card that will ask for money will go straight the trash. I'll be the one who doesn't care, but I'm not going to give you any cent more for working my ass off.

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Apple patents ad-supported Mac OS

I have no freakin' idea how this will work, and how useful is it going to be, but sounds cool. I believe there is a huge part of Mac users who're mostly "netbook"-type, so interrupting anything in their world would be painful, but acceptable.

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Scalability at Facebook

Facebook has grown into one of the largest sites on the Internet today serving over 200 billion pages per month. The nature of social data makes engineering a site for this level of scale a particularly challenging proposition. In this presentation, I will discuss the aspects of social data that present challenges for scalability and will describe the the core architectural components and design principles that Facebook has used to address these challenges. In addition, I will discuss emerging technologies that offer new opportunities for building cost-effective high performance web architectures.

Jeff Rothschild (VP of Technology at Facebook) talks about scalability at Facebook. Jeff has a long history in IT and was founder of Veritas. Click on "click here for webcast" to see the recorded video from the lecture.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009


Here they are some Jokers!

Sorry for the look. :) His hair was constantly peeling off.

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Friday, October 23, 2009


This is cool stuff.

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ApacheCon Evening Meetups

ApacheCon hosts evening meetups.  If you're interested in any of these popular open source projects (NoSql, Tomcat, Lucene, Hadoop, Subversion, etc), come and join for an evening of presentations and discussion with the creators and committers working on the projects themselves.  Hosted by and located at the ApacheCon, these five special community meetings are taking taking place on the days before the ApacheCon conference in Amsterdam. 

Location of meetups is Oakland, CA.

Monday 2nd (BarCamp Apache during the day)
20:00 - 22:00  NoSqlMeetup  Room 1&2
20:00 - 22:00 Tomcat Room 6

Tuesday 3rd (BarCamp Apache during the day)
20:00 - 22:00 Lucene Room 1&2
20:00 - 22:00 OSGi/Felix Room 3
20:00 - 22:00 Traffic Server Podling Room 4

Thursday 5th
20:00 - 22:00 Content Tech 1&2
20:00 - 22:00 Web Services 3
20:00 - 22:00 SocialAndWidgetsMeetup
20:00 - 22:00 Web Crawlers Room 5
20:00 - 22:00 Hadoop Room 6
20:00 - 22:00 Subversion Room 7

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Typo hunter's on the road again

Typos happen.  Sometimes they don't bother you much.  Sometimes, the do.  Like in the books that have question and answer combos.

Like, you know, for the quantitative part of GMAT, for example.

Yes, I'm talking about the EZ basic math workbook.

It has a lot of typos.  What's worse, it has a lot of errors, too.  Like the one show above, which is page 113, question #20.  Twice 32 equals 64, but not 62.  Where the heck is editor?  Proofreader?  Anybody else?

It's not the only example, but I just wanted to show you that reviews like this (even if it's the only one), should not be ignored:

there are a lot of examples in the book that are completely wrong. The further you go in the book the worse it gets. Its like the author got exhausted by the end.

1) a question will ask you about blue ribbons but will calculate due to green ribbons.
2) some of the combinatorics questions have missing combinations that the question is asking about.

I can go on and on ...

The book is very easy and has bunch of errors. Work with it at your own risk.

BTW to put some weight behind my words: I have already taken GMAT and got above 700. 

Take care.

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Seiko Izul

One of the greatest watches you can see. Very rare, I should say. Rather big, I think something around 50 mm. The bad thing is that they are probably Japanese only versions and if found, will retail for not less then $8,000. But definitely an eye-stopper.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shopping for watches movements

So I have entered into an alliance with Sea-Gull of China and Soprod of Switzerland, and will be offering their movements. Unless we offer a special Vintage piece, we will NOT be offering ANY ETA based watches. This is not saying I am limiting the range to these companies; other options are still being investigated.

While movement choice, as both technically and price driven, it is more, an ethical choice.

Great post about making a movements choice by Orange Watch Company (ORANGE). What problems do small watches manufacturers face from the very first steps of watchmaking.

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EZ Basic Math

Okay, I've got 200 more sample questions and 2 parts left from the EZ basic math workbook.

Listen. Get it if your math is really bad. I mean, you really suck. Or you feel like you suck. Otherwise, you don't need it. It sucks to be able to solve all samples. I'm not the brightest guy, but it's too easy even for me.

So I'm planning to take a pause with math and get back to Sentence Correction.

And only after it I'm going to spend more time with EZ advanced math workbook. I hope it would be way more interesting, because I found myself doing pretty well with The Quest for 700: Weekly GMAT Challenge posted every Wednesday on with answer following Thursday. Otherwise, screw the Amazon's reviews for EZ books, because they're wrong. Anyway I don't like the format of EZ books. I'd prefer to stay closer to GMAT format, because, well, you know... this is for GMAT. Why is it titled so, huh?

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Must read books and resources

Books/Blogs for Startups

Must Read Books
Strategy Books for Startups
New Product Introduction Methodologies
“Marketing as Strategy” Books
“War as Strategy” Books
Marketing Communications Books
Startup Nuts & Bolts
Product Design
Culture/Human Resources
Venture Capital
Must Read Blogs

One of the best lists of books and resources from Silicon Valley legend Steve Blank.

The only thing that could be better is to accompany this list with the list from the Lean Startup Circle discussion here:

For my personal taste, I'm really interested in the Clara Shih's "The Facebook Era":

I didn't read it yet, but heard a lot of very positive thoughts about. I'm planning to add it to my reading list shortly.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Google releases API for A/B and multivariate testing

Google Website Optimizer, a powerful tool that allows website owners to split traffic and test the effectiveness and conversion rates for an array of variables, has traditionally required a lot of back-and-forth between any given site and the Website Optimizer interface.

Google releases an API and is allowing site owners to conduct multivariate and A/B testing from their own platform. I'm not sure how well does it compare to Mixpanel or similar products, but I'm planning to find some time for it.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rails in a Nutshell

Rails in a Nutshell

This is the draft of upcoming O'Reilly book. Feel free to read and comment. :)

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Эфир с Женей Чичваркиным

Каждую неделю, по пятницам, Русская Служба Новостей приглашает в эфир Евгения Чичваркина.  Это конечно не "серия откровенний от бизнесмена в ссылке", но послушать не помешает. 

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Monday, October 19, 2009

My progress with EZ basic math

While I didn't spend a decent time with the book, the results so far so good. Out of almost 200 questions, I've yellow-marked 4 or 5 solutions, even scoring the 100% correct answers. Those solutions were a little bit easier way comparing to what I chose.

This is quite a nice number to see, however, I was expecting for something more challenging. It's easy to be a smart guy when you're facing very basic problems, isn't it? :) I'm starting to think that getting a basic math workbook was not so good idea. I should start from advanced one. However, I'm not going to drop out now, and I'm going to complete it.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009


Будьте осторожны!

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I need your vote!!

My little kid is excited to become the next Gap Model.  I have submitted his entry to the Gap Casting Call, the search of the next baby faces.

I really need your votes. Please, support my kid!  

It will take just a few minutes of your time, but will be super helpful to my ego. :)

It's just a few clicks, but can shape my son's life in a very different way. And finally, this can be just a lot of fun.  :)

Thank you!

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Friday, October 16, 2009

New edition of 4-Hour Workweek

Tim Ferris is about to release his new edition of so popular The 4-Hour Workweek.

It's available for pre-order on Amazon already. He claims to add a lot of exclusive content there, so the cost of less then $15 is nothing comparing to what you'll learn from it.

If you didn't read it, go for it faster.

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EZ Basic Math for GMAT

Well, I'm pissed of.  

First of all, this title sucks.  How do you imaging me telling a friend about this book when it has some many words inside?  Do they all make sense?  Doubt so.

I've read so many positives reviews about EZ books for GMAT.  Speaking about this specific book it was like 7 five-stars and 1 one-star.  None of the did mention that the basic book is so freakin' basic.

I've went through almost a hundred of questions so far, and none of them are challenging.  They are basic.  But I'll keep going.  Hopefully, this book will undercover some hidden gem and it will make me happier about the twenty I spent.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mint's chronology

If you guys want to learn more about the early days at Mint. Check out
these posts:

Timeline: - 2005

Timeline: - 2006

Timeline: - Spring 2007

Timeline: - Summer 2007

These are written by the second engineer/third employee at A
lot of insight.

Nice chronology of building Mint by early employee.

P.S. Too much Mint for today. Despite the fact that I was really impressed by Aaron speaking at Founders Insitute, he already received a fair amount of discussions. :)

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Product development @

The bottom line is you're right: we don't really practice agile
development nor CD.  We tend to follow a more traditional (waterfall)
dev cycle, with patch releases roughly every 1-2 weeks and major
releases every 2 months.  Additionally, we rarely do usability

Val Agostino, the product manager from the so discussed and recently acquired, is sharing the insights of the product development that they followed at

I would not lie and I was surprised that they are not incorporating "trending" methodologies there, but tend to do something similar to classic "waterfall".

It's not hard to come up with dozen of reasons why they're doing so, but what is more important is that classic approach really does work for them.

And, Val, thanks for sharing!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sentence Correction freaks me out

Out of 113 question I'm scoring barely 60% correctly. This is a total crash. I'm wasted.

Is it supposed to be that tough? I guess it's not tough for the most of natives, but what about not-native ones, like me? I don't have an academic experience in US.

While my math score is running high 80% - low 90%, and both Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning sections don't fall down the high 70% (what does, frankly speaking, suck too), Sentence Correction is a disaster.

I do have the 4th edition of Kaplan's Sentence Correction already. I heard a lot of positives about this book and hopefully it's suitable for non-native speakers, like I am. I'll do my best to spend the most quality time on it, to make sure I can improve my score and get to at least 80%'s. I'll let you know how it works out.

Okay, now I'm planning to get back to EZ solutions set of two math workbooks. While I think it's getting easier to me, I still want to make sure that I can get a solid 90%'s percentage on sample questions, so these two books might help me.

The rest is Sentence Correction one (ouch!) and that's it. I'm planning to run a few full-time sample tests and schedule a date.

See you soon.

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Fighter brand

I found this at Harvard Business Review - October 2009 (Page: 86).

Without any doubts I should say you should give yourself a break and read this article on rebranding and repositioning your product. This article features the great set of cases that you can learn from, as well as the best conclusions made.

Should You Launch a Figher Brand? October 2009

It's not the most straightforward strategy and frankly is a tough decision, so take your time, but then act fast. Because, as it was said, ..."the god of war hates those who hesitate".

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Anybody tried such experiment

Please look at this page of Harvard Business Review - October 2009

I found this at Harvard Business Review - October 2009 (Page: 36). I thought you would enjoy reading this, too.

While I can't say I disagree that quick but effective nap time helps a lot to restart and get you back on track, I have doubts about how well could it be used on the job.  How many people would start taking naps and would keep beyond the reasonable time for that?  Do you need to make clear that your nap is limited to 30 minutes?  When you put limits on napping allowed wouldn't it mean that you can take 30 minutes off (not necessary for napping) and do what you wanna do legally?  Would the naps be that effective when you falling asleep with a ring in your head that you can't go beyond the 30 minutes limit?  Etcetera.

Personally, I don't like to take naps.  I mean, sometimes I feel that I need to, but I never do.  It just feels a little bit uncomfortable for me.  This might be just a mindset though.  However, naps really differ.  Sometimes you wake up full of energy and ready to fight, sometimes you wake up with a feeling that the rest of the day is screwed up totally now.  Who knows.

Click the thumbnail or 
 to go to the issue. Paste this link into a browser:⊂_id=B9WZdhXHjlA93

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

JIRA for $10

Our best tools are just $10 per product. Perfect for startups and small teams.

Atlassian is breaking the news and giving away licenses to their products (including JIRA and Confluence) for $10 each.

$10 buys you 10 users. Forever. 10 users is the great cap for the most startups I know. Even if I'd be asked what is the best users cap, I would say 5 or 7. They give you 10.

The only downside that this is the price for downloadable versions. Unfortunately, we don't deploy much nowadays, as we prefer hosted solutions. Having a lot of headache with building something useful, we would prefer not to have this headache with "running" something useful. :)

Give us hosted solution for under $10/year and we are sold. Forever.

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Free Blackberry

Here is how you can get a free Blackberry (after $50 mail-in rebate). However, it looks like it's for new lines only. Or whatever. You can give it a try yourself. :)

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Giveaways thru Twitter

It seems that different drawings, giveaways and just ad campaigns are getting high on Twitter nowadays.  

So I thought that it's an appropriate time for the product performing the full-cycle of running a giveaway on Twitter, giving the owner full set of tools to monitor activity, choosing the winner, publishing the results; as well as providing an entrant's with some analytics on the competition they are entering into, as well as some statistical calculations (according to different giveaways run though the product) on how many tweets do you need to post, what's the typical profile of the winner, etc.  

This product doesn't need top be an academic innovation though.  It should be:

  1. Easy for businesses to use.  (It should NOT be free.  Charge for it!)
  2. Fun, Fun, Fun for entrants.  Stimulate.  Advertise.  Entertain. (Do you see an extra value for #1 already here?)

That's it folks.  Anyone?

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URL shortening gets wild

Does the world really need another URL shortener? Apparently, the U.S. government thinks so. It just launched as a link shortening service for government employees. It shortens links from any .gov, .mil, or site.

Oh no, don't tell me there was somebody who said: "Well, you know, we think that we need to do something in this space, and it looks like the URL shortening is the best thing to apply those several millions from the budget"... And three or four years later, here we go, the!

And the usage statistics is so cool too: has shortened 247 URLs that have been clicked 14010 times.

It looks like you missed a couple of zero's and K's, didn't you? Because the site takes more then 17 seconds to open on my sorta fast Internet.

The best of luck though. The US gov't is really going for IT nowadays, and this at least is cool.

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Обратно в 90-ые?

В Днепропетровске на углу Харьковской и Гопнер, в районе ночного клуба «Лабиринт» прогремел взрыв.
Из наших источников стало известно, что 13 октября, утром в центре Днепропетровска был взорван близкий к группе «Приват» топ-менеджер Вячеслав Брагинский.

Я в шоке. Ладно там Пашу Лазаренко склоняли по все нехочу (типа, он один такой :), так видно слова закончились, начали опять стрелять и взрывать. Делаем ставки, когда беспределить начнут.

Но, если это не случайность (я думаю в это никто не верит), оформлено со стараниям. Креативно. Газовые трубы, пожарники и прочая мишура. На фоне взрыва целого дома на Победе, эта ситуация может казаться "мелкой неприятностью".

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Monday, October 12, 2009

That's a nice how-to for Yahoo Pipes

Yahoo Pipes is many things, but the one important to this article is its ability to allow you to create a mashup of RSS feeds with filters and restrictions. The beauty of Yahoo Pipes is that it was developed to allow the average business user to create rich applications without any programming experience. I have spent countless hours on Yahoo Pipes developing “pipes”. It truly is an amazing tool.

Yahoo! Pipes is a pretty old product, however, I still believe it's an interesting one and you can find dozen of implementation cases right away and from the top of your head.

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Angel investors reply back

Any entrepreneur can apply for a hearing to Maverick Angels or Keiretsu Forum, they said, and those who are chosen to move forward get weeks of free coaching and mentorship on their pitches before they’re asked to pay. Also, entrepreneurs don’t have to pay — they can drop out if they want.

Who said we need free coaching and mentorship? We're here for money AND smart people. I don't know any good startup that is looking ONLY for money. Heck, no! The successful investment is a combination of ENOUGH money taken from the RIGHT people who can CONTRIBUTE and who know their shit. Pardon my French.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cheap vs Frugal

Since I could remember, my parents have been frugal. And not frugal like you maybe used to, but they’re down right cheap. So cheap that my mom doesn’t like my dad eating at Taco Bell because it’s expensive.

There are no doubts Neil is talented and successful entrepreneur. He also readily shares his experience with people around, what makes him even better person.

However, I can't agree on his point on "being cheap". Being cheap vs. being frugal is actually two different things. You can't make heavy money without living the money. Cheap people are poor and live unhappy lives.

Spend money to make money. If you can't go over few grands in your spending, how can you develop a world-domination plan if you have no idea how to operate big buck? (You know, I'm not talking literally, but still keep it close.)

The last point I'd like to mention is a tip left in comments to Neil's post (which are rather interesting, too):

..."Best things in live are not expensive. French are so go in extracting the best for live without expending too much(I’m spanish). In Caribbean a friend said: You go to eat to the places when french flags(the yachts have national flags) are, never go to the american flag sites, american people go to expensive sites and don’t care, they just care about being alone. It’s the same in Europe, french people know the best places of everywhere."

People, don't be cheap. Learn to live life and be easy on spending money. However, frugality is an essential skill you need to master. Spending money without being adequate about that is plain stupid.

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Интервью с Женей Чичваркиным

Без сомнения Женя талантливый человек, коммерсант, ныне "скромный британский безработный" ;)

Для тех кому интересны события окружающие его, вот свежее интервью с ним.



Воздержусь давать оценку, однако в том бизнесе которым он занимался не существует "черного" и "белого". Делайте выводы сами.

Как сказал Женя "врать нельзя, недоговаривать можно".

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Correct answer is...

Question is

The right answer is...

The TV mount.

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Guess what is this ad for?

Try your best.


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Friday, October 9, 2009

How to Brew

There are many good books on homebrewing currently available, so why did I write one you ask? The answer is: a matter of perspective. When I began learning how to brew my own beer several years ago, I read every book I could find; books often published 15 years apart. It was evident to me that the state of the art had matured a bit. Where one book would recommend using baking yeast and covering the fermenting beer with a towel, a later book would insist on brewing yeast and perhaps an airlock. So, I felt that another point of view, laying out the hows and whys of the brewing processes, might help more new brewers get a better start.

You can enjoy the great book on home-brewing online, the first edition, on the site of the author, John Palmer.

At the same time, I've downloaded the latest, third edition, into my Kindle and going to spend a few hours tomorrow morning with this book, getting into insights of beer brewing.

Have fun!

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Free pitch

a) There is no circumstance where an angel investing group should charge a startup to pitch
b) We’ve launched an investigation into these groups and need any information you have
c) If you would spread the word about this issue by discussing it with angel investors and startups we would appreciate it
d) We are demanding that angel groups waive all fees starting today
e) We are going to crush any group that doesn’t comply with our demands
f) There is no negotiation
g) Angel forums upset by this email: Jason doesn’t care what you think of him and could care less if you email his investors, his mother or the Principal of the Internet to complain about his bad behavior (plus these folks get emails all the time and are used to it).

A class act from Jason again.

And, yes, I personally was approached by few shady guys trying to convince me to pay the "pitching fee", and no, I never paid and not planning to pay it ever. This is just not fair. One commitment (money) should be at least exchanged to another commitment, while it's given away for free.

# Posted via web from opportunity__cost

Posterous enables labels on Blogger?

Wow, I just sent a post through Posterous and was so surprised to see labels on the post in my Blogger account. It looks Posterous finally enabled tags pass-through to Blogger labels. It already worked for Twitter and Delicious though.

Good job!

# Posted via web from opportunity__cost

Eau de OMEGA

Omega has its own smell now... I would love to try that. However, 50 EUR for 50 ml sounds a little bit expensive. And it looks like it's not available in US, yet.

# Posted via web from opportunity__cost

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Done with Critical Reasoning

Okay, done with the last 42 questions, too. Score is very modest, it's in the low 80%.

The next one is Sentence Correction part of 113 questions. I am planning to complete this in two days, but more likely, it'll take three. :)

After this the quantitive once again, getting back to essays and verbal, and then full-throttle into full-size sample exams.

# Posted via email from opportunity__cost

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Scrubyt in the house

Okay, I figured out the problem with Scrubyt.  And guess what, it was a bad gem.  You know, I'm starting to hate all this stuff already.  I don't want to mess with gem package versions, and it looks like I'm getting into this too often nowadays.  

Whatever, lets go through the problem.

Here is my code:

  1 require 'rubygems'
  2 require 'scrubyt'
  4 google_data = Scrubyt::Extractor.define do
  5   fetch          ''
  6   fill_textfield 'q', 'ruby'
  7   submit
  9   result 'Ruby Programming Language'
 10 end
 12 google_data.to_xml.write($stdout, 1)
 13 Scrubyt::ResultDumper.print_statistics(google_data)

I was running mechanize-0.9.3 (I think it was the most recent one).  The problem was solved with uninstalling 0.9.3, and getting 0.8.5:

white@iwhite:~> sudo gem install mechanize -v=0.8.5 
Successfully installed mechanize-0.8.5
1 gem installed

And now lets try the code:

white@iwhite:~> ruby s.rb
    <result>Ruby Programming Language</result>
    <result>Download Ruby</result>
    <result>Ruby - The Inspirational Weight Loss Journey on the Style Network ...</result>
    <result>Ruby (programming language) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</result>
    <result>Ruby - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</result>
    <result>Ruby on Rails</result>
    <result>Ruby&amp;#39;s Diner -</result>
    <result>Ruby Central</result>
    <result>Ruby Annotation</result>
    <result>[ Documenting the Ruby  Language]</result>
    <result>Blog posts about ruby</result>
/Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/activesupport-2.3.4/lib/active_support/dependencies.rb:440:in `load_missing_constant': uninitialized constant Scrubyt::ResultDumper (NameError)
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/activesupport-2.3.4/lib/active_support/dependencies.rb:80:in `const_missing'
        from s.rb:13

Wow, it works.

Well, we do have an error with ResultDumper, but that's on the easy side and can be ignored.  ResultDumper was indeed dropped, should be rewritten and back in the future.  But it's not a big deal though.

I know also that some people were able to tweak the line 4  of the code:

  4 google_data = Scrubyt::Extractor.define :agent => :firefox do

and the requests would be made through Firefox, but it didn't work for me:

white@iwhite:~> ruby s.rb 
/Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/firewatir-1.6.2/lib/firewatir/firefox.rb:271:in `set_defaults': Unable to connect to machine : on port 9997. Make sure that JSSh is properly installed and Firefox is running with '-jssh' option (Watir::Exception::UnableToStartJSShException)
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/firewatir-1.6.2/lib/firewatir/firefox.rb:161:in `initialize'
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/navigation/agents/firewatir.rb:17:in `new'
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/navigation/agents/firewatir.rb:17:in `included'
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/navigation/agents/firewatir.rb:16:in `module_eval'
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/navigation/agents/firewatir.rb:16:in `included'
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/shared/extractor.rb:20:in `include'
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/shared/extractor.rb:20:in `define'
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/shared/extractor.rb:19:in `class_eval'
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/shared/extractor.rb:19:in `define'
        from s.rb:4

But this is a different and I actually never tried to hunt it down.  But I think it's an easy fix anyways. :)

Have fun!

# Posted via email from opportunity__cost

Critical Reasoning on GMAT

I've went through the 40 questions today in CR.  My results are still rather poor and I'm staying within 80% range.  I understand that this is not the right measurement as this score doesn't really correlates to an actual GMAT score, but whatever.

I do see some pattern though.  I am often have a "bad" set of questions.  Typically, it's within 10 questions.  I can score it as bad 30% correct.  However, for the rest of 30 questions I can make barely two or three mistakes only.  Do you think this is my bad on paying attention or something else?

On the other note, how do you prefer to study?  I found myself not so happy on studying seated near the table, or on the sofa.  But I like to lay on the bed with all stuff, I feel less pressure.  However, I'm fine to spend a lot of time seated with laptop and it doesn't bother me that much at all.

Of course I'm missing so much the Herman Miller' Aeron chair.  I wanted it and once was almost there to buy it, but something scared me off (or I just spent money on something else).  Now I'm just thinking about it, but don't come closer.  But I'm planning to get that one for my home office, sooner or later.  It's not that expensive in the end.

# Posted via email from opportunity__cost

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Stickered BMW

1 BMW 7series + 200 Stickers = Ultimate Social Experiment

I am Allen Hartwig (@allenhartwig). My BMW 7series is my pride and joy, my prized possession, my baby -- and I am about to completely deface it. Why? I want to run a little experiment. As a digital strategist for Pondry, I am a big believer in the digital world and social media. What I want to do is prove its power with my own test, and yes, at the expense of my precious BMW.

So what am I doing? Allowing 200 brands to slap their sticker on the body of my 745i. It brings a tear to my eye just saying it. But I will sacrifice my car to prove that companies can effectively get in front of thousands of consumers at very little cost.

If you are a brand that wants to play along, download the media kit — It starts at just $5. If you are just someone that wants to watch me destroy my beautiful car, follow along on Twitter (@brandmybmw).

Sounds a little bit like one, and seems not a new idea either, but from the other side, it doesn't need to be an innovation, but it's all about media coverage and sales.

# Posted via web from opportunity__cost

The Power of Unwitting Workers

I found this at Harvard Business Review - October 2009 (Page: 26). I thought you should enjoy this page. I really liked it.

"The Power of Unwitting Workers" by Gardiner Morse.

# Posted via email from opportunity__cost

No more RC, time for CR

I'm done with the Reading Comprehension part of the "thin purple" GMAT book, now it's time for 82 Critical Reasoning questions.

So far I was keeping from 70 to 80% success rate on the RC questions. I don't know how good is that and how well does it convert to a real score. Probably it doesn't convert at all, but I still need at least some way to measure things and keep a track.

I should say I'm improving a little bit, as far as I remember as low as 50%+ rate at the very beginning (well, it depends on the size of the set, etc), but I feel a little bit more confident with some of those things.

I am probably doing okay with timing. I didn't time myself before, but it looks like I'm staying with the reasonable range. How many of you had a problem of missing clocks on GMAT? I'm trying to understand if this is an issue at all.

I'm forcing myself to do at least 40 questions daily. Sometimes it's tough, sometimes I can do 60 or two sets of 40. However, it doesn't seem to me that it's worth doing 60 at the same time, rather then doing the full exam (all 5 sections) instead. But I'll get there soon.

Few more books on math, basically to take care of the hardest ones, one on Sentence Correction (ouch!) and one on writing skills. After this I have a bunch of sample tests to work on and I'll probably schedule a time for exam. I'm trying not to make any assumptions on the timing, as it's likely I'll screw my plans and will feel bad of doing this. Besides, according to my previous test experience, as soon as I have a date on the table, I'm really all into prep. And I didn't screw too many of my exams before. (Well, just a few. :)

Whatever, bear with me and we'll see where this is all heading to.

# Posted via email from opportunity__cost

HP Envy 13

You know what they say about knock offs; they're never quite as good as the original. But HP's Envy 13, which is clearly a rip of the 13-inch MacBook Pro (everything down to packaging screams Apple), comes pretty darn close.

Are you Mac wannabe, but something stops you from running Mac OS? Not a problem. Here it is, the HP Envy 13.

# Posted via web from opportunity__cost

Friday, October 2, 2009

How many questions to solve?

While doing my GMAT preparation, I'm wondering how many questions should I solve every time?

My typical set ranges about 40 question, but I feel that this is not enough. From the other side, having other things to do, I can't do more then 40 questions and then go through answers at once. And if I'm going through answers later on, I already don't remember my reasoning for choosing a different answer.

In addition to my (almost) daily question sets, I'm spending about an hour-hour and a half of reading, usually something that can improve my English skills.

Do you have any thoughts on this to share? Thanks.

# Posted via email from opportunity__cost

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Problem with Scrubyt

Well, working on one of the projects, I came over the Scrubyt.  It wasn't something very new to me, as we played with mashups for a while at Atomkeep and Everytalks.  But I really loved the execution piece.  It's simple.  It's Ruby.  It's Web scrapping bundle of tools. 

Well, only theoretically though.  It never worked for me.

I've tried to run the sample code:

white@iwhite:~> cat scr.rb 
require 'rubygems'
require 'scrubyt'

google_data = Scrubyt::Extractor.define do

   #Perform the action(s)
   fetch ''
   fill_textfield 'q', 'ruby'

   #Construct the wrapper
   link "Ruby Programming Language" do
      url "href", :type => :attribute

   next_page "Next", :limit => 2

puts google_data.to_xml

And, guess what, it doesn't run.

white@iwhite:~> ruby scr.rb 
/Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/navigation/agents/mechanize.rb:178:in `fill_textfield': undefined method `[]=' for nil:NilClass (NoMethodError)
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/navigation/navigation_actions.rb:27:in `eval'
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/navigation/agents/mechanize.rb:178:in `fill_textfield'
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/navigation/navigation_actions.rb:27:in `fill_textfield'
        from scr.rb:8
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/shared/extractor.rb:75:in `instance_eval'
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/shared/extractor.rb:75:in `initialize'
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/shared/extractor.rb:32:in `new'
        from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/scrubyt-0.4.06/lib/scrubyt/core/shared/extractor.rb:32:in `define'
        from scr.rb:4

I've found several error reports similar to this one, but none was answered and even discussed.  Any ideas?

P.S. Well, yes, I tried different codes, but while it eats up the fetch, it never works with submit.

# Posted via email from opportunity__cost

One more way to free PDUs

Podcasts have emerged as a valuable tool for project management related education. They are a simple method of delivering pm-based thought and education to the project management community at-large. This is especially true for those practitioners among us to whom geography or scheduling is a roadblock.

This is why it has been possible for you as a PMP® to claim Category 2-SDL PDUs for listening to project management related podcasts. This has been in effect since 2006.

One more relatively easy way to free PDUs. However, you need to make sure you don't have anything else in this category.

# Posted via web from opportunity__cost

Keep up with PDUs

You now have the requirement of 60 PDUs staring you right in the face. You may not think this is a big deal because you have three long years ahead of before your certification expires. But, before you know it a year has passed and you find yourself 20 PDUs behind!

Few easy ideas to keep up with PDUs (remember, you need them to keep your PMP status).

# Posted via web from opportunity__cost

Weekly quest for 700

Now, we turn our attention to the actual integer in question, 710. This is a power of 7, so we need to look for any pattern in the last two digits of the powers of 7. (We can assume that there must be such a pattern; otherwise, this question would not be realistically solvable on the GMAT.)

71 = 7

72 = 49

73 = 49 × 7 = 343. Note that we only need to pay attention to the last 2 digits (43), so we will write …43.

74 = …43 × 7 = …01.

75 = …01 × 7 = …07.

At this point, we see that the cycle is starting to repeat.

Well, I'm probably dumb (although I tend to believe I'm not), but how without trying 7^6 we can assume that there is some pattern here? I'm not sure that seeing at least one matching number should be supposed to be a pattern already. Other than that, good question to me knowledge base, I didn't make it right.

# Posted via web from opportunity__cost