Tue, 21 Dec 2004

Yahoo Money Manager No More

Yahoo is shutting down their Money Manager.

We regret to notify you that we are closing Yahoo! Money Manager, effective February 1, 2005, and your account will be automatically cancelled at this time. This closure means that we will no longer offer the following tools: Expense Manager, Net Worth, Finance Planner, and Account Access for banking, credit card, investment, and loan accounts.

It sounds like they're basically gutting Yahoo Finance if they're removing the ability to access investment accounts. I guess most banks offer similar services now, but Yahoo has always been good at keep a nice, simple interface.

I wonder if Google is working on something in this area.

business | Comments | Permanent Link

Blockbuster Could Use Better Developers

How many stars does Napoleon Dynamite get?

Hmm, the Enhanced Widescreen Letterbox DVD version must be much better.

Update (Fri, 24 Dec 2004): I received Napoleon Dynamite from Blockbuster. The sleeve that DVD came said that it was disc "1 of null".

tech | Comments | Permanent Link

Fri, 17 Dec 2004

restartd, a Process Monitor-and-Restart Daemon

Restartd is a daemon for checking your running and not
running processes. It reads the /proc directory in every n
secs and does a POSIX regexp on the process names. You can
execute a script/program if the process is not or it is running.

In general, I don't like automated systems that restart processes. If a process dies unexpectedly, there is a problem that needs to be addressed by a human. Automatically restarting processes that randomly die makes it too easy to ignore the underlying problem.

In the case of clamd, the ClamAV daemon, I have acquiesced because I cannot figure out why it dies randomly every month or two, and have installed restartd. The best thing about restartd is it's simplicity. It reads /proc/*/cmdline every n seconds and compares each command with the list of processes defined in it's config file. I have it configured to monitor clamd, spamd, and our in-house Exim log-to-database utility, exidblog, and to call the appropriate init script to restart a process if it's not running.

The current version of restartd in Debian Sarge (and Sid), 0.1.a-3, is a bit buggy in that it will fail to restart services if it is started from an interactive session once the session is closed. Based on suggestions and code by Glen Turner, I've patched restartd to redirect stdin/stdout/stderr to /dev/null, change the working directory to /, and disassociate from the controlling terminal. I've made the patched Debian package available for download.

tech | Comments | Permanent Link

Thu, 09 Dec 2004

Ending Social Security

Hans F. Sennholz has an interesting proposal for ending Social Security. The basic ideas are:

The holiday season is a good time to think about the 15.3% of your income that the government has taken from you to gift to others.

culture | Comments | Permanent Link

Thu, 02 Dec 2004

Smith Barney is Silly

After Apple's recent run up to almost $70 a share (over 10% since I sold half my shares 10 days ago), Smith Barney downgrades AAPL to hold, advises selling, and at the same time, increases their 12-month target to $75.

"Despite the fact that we are raising our target multiple on calendar 2006 operating earnings this morning from 26 times to 29 times, we cannot justify more than a $75 fair value in 12 months. And while this suggests another 10% upside from current levels, we can no longer recommend that medium- to long-term investors place new money into the shares," the brokerage wrote.

The downgrade occured today when the stock opened at 66.13. A 13% increase within 12 months seems like a good investment. So what should investors do, Smith Barney? Hold, sell, or buy this undervalued stock?

business | Comments | Permanent Link

The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else. - Frederic Bastiat