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September 30, 2006

Search Tips (1) - Make Google Work for YOU

Have you heard anyone say, “Just Google it?? As strange as it might sound, Google – the ever-popular search engine – has been so popular in recent years, that the word “Google? has actually been recognized as a verb in recent years. While many are attracted to the site because of its simplistic features, there are many features in the site that can make your life easier.

Did you ever get frustrated when Google gives 500,000 websites for your search? Well, here’s a solution that I’ve used to filter out a lot of irrelevant site.

Google offers many different “categories? of search that you can select to only gather information that you want, based on your needs. For example, let’s say I’m doing a research for a Political Science course, and the professor is strict about the use of “scholarly articles.? Going through every website and checking to see if it is indeed “scholarly? can be a daunting task (I’ve been there!). What do you do about it?

  1. Go to Google Website (
  2. Click on “More? (which is above the search bar towards the right end). Five categories – Books, Froogle, Groups, Scholar, Even More – will appear.
  3. Click on “Scholar?
  4. This will take you to the Google Scholar Website. It should look something like this:

    Google Scholar

    *Alternatively, you could simply click here to go to Google Scholar!

  5. Type in what you want in the search box, and your search will only bring up scholarly articles.
  6. The results will not only show the titles of the articles, but also show the following useful information:

Google Scholar is just one of the many features you can use to make your search easier and enjoyable. For example, when searching for IT News, simply go to Google News. The great thing about this site is that the article line up in the order of relevance or date. This feature, effectively, allows you to browse through a multitude of newspapers in a click of a mouse. For example, if you want the latest on the HP Scandal, Google News will bring up the most recent articles from sources including USA Today, ABC News, and local newspapers.

Life just gets that much easier with the rise of information technology. Enjoy Googling!

Posted by willmoon at 11:07 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2006

Blog 2 - Is Sony Leading The Next Digital Revolution?

Sony, the Japanese based electronics giant, announced on Tuesday Sep. 26, that it will launch a new electronic book store on the Internet. (Click here to read the article) Accompanying the online book store will be the Sony Reader, which is a device that will enable people to view these online books. Starting October 1st, people will be able to download books from various publishers, such as HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. This is just a glimpse of what the device will look like:

The Sony Reader

Figure 1: The Sony Reader will be about half the size of a paperback book and have 10MB of built-in memory--enough for 20 books.

For starters, the book store will hold 10,000 different books that will sell at a discount of 25% from the original paper versions. The new visual display device mimics the quality of paper, according to reviewers. However, its price of $350 might deter many customers from buying the device in the first place. Just based on the price, this device will be more attractive to heavy book readers or organizations (i.e. public library, schools, companies) that require the use of many materials. Unless the price drops, it will not target the mainstream Americans. Another disadvantage of the new device is the fact it does not have a backlight feature. Much like a regular book, the new device requires an external light source for reading in the dark.

At the same time, the lack of backlight enables the device to have longer battery life, according to Sony. Moreover, several RSS feeds will be available through the new device. However, Sony will block most RSS feeds and blogs, only Sony authorized services will be allowed. This feature gives Sony an aspect of monopolistic domination, yet could also limit the growth of the market.

The new service by Sony is still expensive and might not be the most efficient substitute for books. However, if the new device does enable people to see text in a resolution that resembles paper, we predict that this is the beginning of a new revolution. When more companies enter this emerging market and drive down the prices, this product might reach every home.

Translate these features into the world of economics:

  1. Macroeconomic growth. Those of us who didn’t fall asleep in Econ 102 – Introduction to Macroeconomics – will know that the increase in Technology will allows for more efficient use of labor, capital, and natural resources. In this case, ebook will allow for a more efficient distribution of books. A key concept to grasp here is that book is not your everyday product. It’s something that has the power to educate people through the distribution of information.
  2. Positive Externalities: Conservation of trees via not printing for books will benefit the economy directly and indirectly. The decrease in demand for lumber will drive down the price of lumber. This will decrease the marginal cost of production for many firms (i.e. furniture makers, etc), which will benefit the consumers through lower cost. This will also help avoid the deforestation in many parts of the world, which has been linked with all sorts of problems – destruction of ozone layers, flooding, and pollution to name a few.
  3. Real Income Increase: Cost of books can essentially be slashed by at least 25% using this new technology. When these devices do get caught on to the mainstream, this means real money savings for millions of people. This, in fact, is an increase in the real income that people can spend.

This new technology could end the elimination of rain forests in places like South and Central America. This new technology could inspire a child in Louisiana to pursue higher education. But most importantly, this is truly another layer in the freedom and accessibility of information. Imagine a person in Iran or Zanzibar with an instant access to possibly every book out there.

Posted by orshotan at 11:47 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2006

Blog 1 - Is Facebook Worth $1 Billion?

It seems that Yahoo is on a fast track to acquiring Facebook, one of the largest networking sites out there. Reports from both The New York Times (click here to read the article) and CNN MONEY (click here to read the article) project that the buyout could entail Yahoo coughing up currency to the tune of about $1 billion. Is Facebook – a social-networking site that does $50 million a year – worth a billion dollars for Yahoo?

When accountants value a company that is being acquired, they make sure to keep in mind that a company’s “goodwill? and “intangible assets? are big portions of the acquisition price. In the case of Facebook, Yahoo should not focus on the $50~$100 million advertising revenue it can bring in. After all, it should take about 30 years for Facebook’s $50 million in annual revenue to yield $1 billion dollars, when discounting for future cash flows. It is the intangibles that Yahoo needs to focus on, when doing the cost-benefit analysis. I have a couple of suggestions:

In addition to these factors, Yahoo should also consider the unique nature of social net-working sites that could generate “extra? benefits. As Richard Dorfman, managing director of Richard Alan Inc., suggests, “What's beautiful about Facebook is that it's a great place to advertise because it generates the equivalent of online word of mouth.? When factoring in such an opportunity with other unique benefits – demographics, growth potential, and the market – and Yahoo seems to have a pretty good deal. If Yahoo has a billion dollars worth of coin to spare, and not have a brilliant $1 billion dollar project plan under its belt, I suggest that Facebook is a pretty good investment.

Posted by willmoon at 04:09 PM | Comments (0)


This blog will be written by the following distinguished students in Group 53, section 2, of Professor Moore's BIT 200 class:

William Moon, section 2
Or Shotan, section 2
Mark Wien, section 2

Posted by willmoon at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2006

HTML test

Title goes here

Body goes here

Headings are cool!


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September 06, 2006




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