Monthly Archives: March 2008

Vista Recovery

My computer was on the blitz, blink, disaster.

And after it finally died refusing to boot, I pulled out the Lenovo CD’s to re-install Vista.

Imagine my, genuine Windows ™, surprise when I discovered that I had successfully installed …

Microsoft Windows XP!

So what is Service Pack 2 for Vista why, Windows XP Service pack 3.


So I am sitting at home watching the game between SJ Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes.

And the announcers are saying that there are no defensemen in the East that can move the puck other than Zdeno Chara.

Well, what about Markov?

This guy gets no respect.

He’s got 55 points.

He’s the quarterback of the best power-play in the NHL.

He’s the lynchpin of the transition game of the best offense in the NHL..

And he’s considered worse than Zdeno Chara?

Give me a break…

Don’t Retire Patrick Roy’s Number

It’s 1995..

And Patrick Roy is getting embarrassed by the Detroit Red Wings 9-0. And he’s begging Mario Tremblay to pull him from the net.

And Mario doesn’t.

And so Patrick Roy announces that he’s done with Montreal.

And Rejean Houle trades him.

And the dark times begin …

And now we wonder if we are going to retire his number?

And he’s probably the third or fourth best goaltender that ever played for Montreal (Bill Durham may be the third). And he’s the reason we won in 1993. And he’s most of the reason we won in 1986.

But you know what, he quit on Montreal.

I don’t care about his antics. I don’t care about the fights. I don’t really care about whether he was a good human being. He was a great hockey player. And his greatness demands that we retire his number.

But I can not ever get over his quitting on Montreal.

Yeah other players held out, and were traded but they did it for the money or because things went bad between them and the team. And when they quit they always said the right things even when they were relieved to be out of town.

Only Roy demanded to be traded because he was *too* good for Montreal.

Only Roy decided that the Montreal Canadiens were not worthy of his services.

So maybe that makes him a great player, and maybe that makes him a legendary player, because he thought he was better than the Montreal Canadiens.

But you know what?

He will always be the guy that quit on Montreal. He will always be the guy that walked out on us.

And as far as I am concerned, that’s why he will never get his name on the rafters. Because he betrayed the team. And when we retire a jersey we’re making a statement about the kinds of players we want on our team, and we don’t want quitters.

So when they’ve retired Koivu’s number, and when they retire Chelios’ number and when they retire Lapointe’s number, and when they retire the number of every minor leaguer that ever wanted to play for the Montreal Canadiens and couldn’t, and when they retire the number of every kid who ever played pee-wee hockey dreaming of playing in the Montreal Forum or Bell Center, and when they honor every fan that ever bought a ticket, when they honor every mother and father who let their kids play hockey and told them about the Great Montreal Canadiens, and when they honor every attendant, journalist, fan who made being a Montreal fan so great, maybe, just maybe,  we’ll find an inconspicuous spot in the rafters for the guy that decided that he was too good for us.

But until then, he is not welcome.

What is Google?

Google presents itself as a technology company. However, in reality they are an advertiser exchange board. Vendor A creates good or service. Customer B wishes to purchase good or service. Google makes it possible for Vendor A to be found by Customer B. Vendor A is willing to pay Google some money for that service.

The problem, and here’s the nut that needs to be understood, is to create that switchboard Google has to expend vast amounts of cash to maintain its vast server farms. In effect, Google’s server farms provide the medium through which Vendor A is found by Customer B.

Why is this important?

Google makes money from trades. They don’t manufacture the content. To be the preferred location for the trades they need to invest huge amounts of capital to create the best platform for making the trades. As long as the trading exceeds the capital cost things are going well. If the trading were to drop all of a sudden, the capital costs remain and things start getting very interesting.

Let me try this differently.

Once you bring a data center online, if the trading revenue does not match the cost of running the data center, the capital cost remains. Given that trading revenue can disappear overnight, the danger is that overnight the total revenue that Google has can collapse. In that case Google would have vast operational liabilities with no  revenue stream. The net effect would be complete collapse.

That of course is an absurdly negative belief, but it is interesting to observe that Google’s vast resources are being deployed into vast capital expenses,and that the vast resources are dependent on trading and that if the trading were to stop, then the capital expenses would remain creating all sorts of interesting pressure on their bottom line.

Is Ovechkin et al feasting on weaker Eastern teams?

I happen to listen to the Puck Podcast on a fairly regular basis. They are one of the podcasts that I listen to when I am exercising.

This past winter, I got out of shape and as result fell behind…

Anyway, so I am listening to the January podcast, and Doug says that maybe the reason Alex the Great has that many goals (as does Kovalchuk) is because the defense in the west is better and they play a lot of games against weaker Eastern teams. He then proceeds to rattle off the names of the great defenders that play in the west, guys like Niedermayer, Pronger and Lidstrom.

And just recently, Ron Wilson of the Sharks, remarked that there are no top ranked defensemen in the Eastern Conference after Brian Campbell arrived in San Jose.  As a fan of Mr. Markov, I would think that Mr. Wilson is mistaken, but after Markov, I would be hard pressed to name a top-rated defenseman in Eastern Conference.

Personally I think that Doug was wrong, because he discounted the fact that although the West may have better defensemen, the East has better goaltending.

One of the implications of Doug’s statement would be that the Ducks Getzlaf’s 23 goals are more valuable than Ovechkin’s 60 because they are against superior defense.

But facts and numbers are always more interesting than statements.

So I decided to see how many goals did Ovechkin score vs the West and vs the East.

Ovechkin has scored 60 goals, and has 7 goals in 6 games against the West.

What about Kovalchuk?

Kovalchuk had  3 goals in 6 games against the West.

All this shows is that great players will score regardless of who is defending them. And both Ovechkin and Kovalchuk are great players.

Habs 8 – Bruins 0

After 15 years of futility it is fun to watch Montreal thoroughly dominate someone.

The Bruins are not a bad team, it’s just their style of play is uniquely unsuited to the Montreal Canadiens. Essentially they rely on a physical game that prevents many chances. That style works well if you are dealing with a team that does not have precision passing like Montreal. That style would also work well if the Bruins goaltending is good.

The latest game was proof. The Bruins were able to stay in the game because of their excellent goaltending. The Habs had the kinds of chances they typically get against Boston, but this time Thomas was on the ball.

I do not expect the Bruins to lose another eight to the Canadiens, but it would be fun…

Dirty, Dirty Ducks

I thought the rumors of how dirty the Anaheim Ducks are, was just sour grapes.

But wow.

With little over 90 seconds left in the game, the Ducks’ Kunitz assaults Cheechoo. Koonitz went elbow first to Jonathan’s head.

The only point of that assault was to injure. You don’t go with your elbow and stick at neck level because you want to check someone. You carry the stick and elbow at that level because you want to maul your opponent.


And the money kept rolling in…

This is an interesting story about how Google’s AdSense program was perverted by folks who understood the nature of arbitrage.

The real gem of the story is the following:

In 2003, Google made another huge leap forward on the advertising side, with the launch of its AdSense program. Essentially, this application allowed people to put keyword-targeted ad links, served by Google, on their own websites, with them and Google splitting revenue tied to the volume of user click-throughs. As its popularity grew, a cottage industry began to develop called “search arbitrage.” Essentially, search arbitrage involves an individual or company buying Internet traffic through the acquisition of keywords from Google, then sending viewers who click on the ad links to a site (“landing page” in Google terminology) that appears to have content, but is actually just full of online advertising linked to the original search term. Anyone clicking an ad link there makes money for the keyword holder. For example, a company might bid for the Google rights to the phrase “small town car sales” and send traffic to a website it controls, filled with more car advertisements, called “” The keyword cost only 20ยข, while a click on the advertising on the website might yield $1.50 return. According to Niki Scevak, an analyst at Jupiter Research in New York, the majority of those initially involved in search arbitrage were small players. “These were guys running search arbitrage out of their basements, making maybe $20,000 a month,” he says.

Essentially you buy “cheap” words, and populate the web page with expensive words and make a killing on the difference!

And this is legal…