Archive for the 'business' Category

Baking up Business

on Thursday, February 28th, 2008 ... ob: academic + business + food + geek

Pay AttentionMy school program is at its peak for the planned year, tapering after two more weeks. 18 hours a week in a commercial kitchen + spanish, business, and safety. The kitchen time is hands on and invaluable as a broad industry overview, but I find myself enjoying the business coursework more than anticipated. I look forward to applying these skills in the wild oh so soon. Here’s the most successful recipe yet, simply delicious.

Easy Focaccia w/ Olives

1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups AP flour
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1 (0.25 oz) package instant yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water (110 F)
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. rosemary
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

Mix flours and salt and make a well in center. Sprinkle sugar and yeast into well. Carefully pour warm water into well and let stand until yeast begins to act. Add 2 Tbsp of oil into well and stir, beginining in center and gradually widening.

Turn out on floured surface and knead until just smooth, keep soft. Pour 1/2 tsp. of oil into clean bowl and add dough, turning once to coat with oil. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Punch down and gently fold in most olives. Press or roll dough out to 1/2 inch thickness onto parchment covered baking sheet. Cover with remaining oil and sprinkle with olives, rosemary, cheese. Proof in unheated oven above pan of hot water until doubled, 20 to 25 minutes.

Bake at 375 for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned on top.

Adapted from Jack Dickson’s recipe at

And for the geeks // Answering last month’s, how to publishing recipes? Using a recipe microformat of course! Still under development, but also includes a list of existing formats for consideration.

Loan me a comment and Prosper

on Thursday, February 9th, 2006 ... ob: business + geek + meta + society

I’m fairly excited about peer to peer loan ideas emerging. Launched this past Sunday Feb 5th, the basic idea behind Prosper, Inc., at, I expect will eventually be huge business. Individuals may share the risk of funding their peers’ loans of up to $25,000, in chunks as low as $50 per person. Of course you may also ask for a loan from your peers and allow them to bid on the ability and rate at which to lend you money. CEO of Prosper is Chris Larson, the cofounder, in 1996, of the successful E-Loan, now owned by the Puerto Rican banking group Popular, Inc.

I’ll be watching the discussion forums to guage initial activity, currently very low. I expect and hope that some mad ideas will be funded well below market interest rates. Best yet, $2,700 for ‘
Wardrobe for work
‘, already fully funded at 8% by 11 different lenders. What a fascinating new tool.

See also — writeup on the Prosper launch at TechCrunch, the more established ( from London ), individual to small buisness in developing economies at, the group fundraising focus at, the sourceforge/pgp attempt at Ripple, and the article on free banking at wikipedia.

I installed wordpress 2.0.1! My first upgrade since 1.5, the improvements are immediate. After removing the 15,000+ spam comments which had accumulated, new spam appears to be effectively blocked (~100 in 24 hours) thanks to the newly implemented akismet. Their stats currently claim that 82% of all comments are spam!

As a result, I’ve re-styled and re-enabled all comments on the blog! They should work great and be spam-free … for now!

Froogle, NCR, and Amazon Wishlists and Registries

on Sunday, December 26th, 2004 ... ob: business

Back in January, I mentioned the potential of a universal gift registry as proposed by NCR (nyse: ncr), Google has picked up the ball and provided a net-wide wishlist based on their froogle product search. It was rather buggy when setting my wishlist up, but I expect they’ll have it worked out by next christmas ;). Now to implement this effectively as a registry, similar to amazon’s, and the rest is history. NCR’s stock, by the way, has nearly doubled since January… who listened and wants to buy me a terabyte with the profits? ;)

Universal Gift Registry…

on Friday, January 23rd, 2004 ... ob: business + geek


Reason for attention: Universal gift registry… a small part of their biz, but nonetheless the only folks I can find who are attempting it so far.

The most notable point taken from Nicola Harper, the REI head designer, at last nights human computer interaction group sig was the overwhelming requests for a competent gift registry from a bunch of users who claim the current systems (for most companies) are absolutely horrible. REI, Amazon, Crate and Barrel, Macy’s, etc. have all been working on their own independent registries/wishlists online, but the market is open for a registry service independent of a single retailer. NCR has installed 400 kiosks and something called the Federated Gift Registry Alliance directly connected with hitting 425 department stores in 33 states including Bloomingdale’s, The Bon Macy’s, Burdines, Goldsmith’s, Lazarus, and Rich’s. While impressive, this is the tip of a potential green iceberg which could and should include a wider variety of options not to mention wedding independant wishlists similar to Amazon’s successful(?) wishlist structure.

Unfortunately(?), NCR has just hit a new 52-week high around $40 and has some analysts worried about overvaluation.

Wouldn’t go for the stock on this note alone — but anyone want to run a startup ;).