Entouch and Clear QAM

The second HD experiment... Figured I should do a cheap test before forking over a substantial chunk of change for an HDTV with QAM tuning capabilities. Grabbed a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 off Ebay and plugged the coax cable into the antenna connection. Worked exactly as I had hoped. In addition to getting all of the regular broadcast channels, I was able to pick up CNBC, Discovery, Cartoon, and TV Land, among other channels. Too bad BeyondTV doesn't yet have built-in QAM support for the Hauppauge card. This is, nonetheless, a pleasant discovery.

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RATM summer tour?

By chance I'm looking for Rage news this evening and happen to notice today's announcement that they will be one of the headlining acts at Lollapalooza in August. All of a sudden I'm pricing a weekend trip to Chicago ($500+ each unless I book reward tickets).

Then I see this:

Tom Morello Goes Full ‘Stache For Anti-Flag; Also, Rage Against The Machine Touring This Summer

Rage is touring Europe from June to mid-July followed by a month-long break before their final dates in England. Throw in Chicago smack in the middle (8/1-8/3), and things are looking promising.

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Turbotax market share

Typically around tax time, there are some good deals to be found on Turbotax, but not this year. Only discounts for other software that I don't want. Looks like Intuit isn't even trying to compete with Taxcut. In fact, the discounted price for Turbotax Online offered to Vanguard clients was increased recently from $19.45 to $32.45.

I finally tried TT online this year, and while the convenience of e-filing is a plus, I am finding a fault that is tough to overlook: I cannot import .TXF files. For versions of Quicken 2005 and later, this is not a big deal as the direct import into Turbotax works fine, but I am still using the 2001 Basic version. Fortunately, one is not charged for the online version until the return is printed or filed. I would prefer to preview my entire return before filing/paying, but I can certainly understand that this makes little sense for the vendor. One could simply copy the preview numbers to paper and submit manually without ever paying for the software. Given such a high quality product, I will gladly spend $38 for the desktop version.


Union busting

On the topic of Dole Food, this is old news, but troubling to me nonetheless. Dole essentially made this an issue of cost containment. I've referred to a similar incident involving Walmart years ago when meat packers attempted to organize in Canada.


Colombia Flower Industry Faces Shocks [WaPo 2006/10/18]

Dole's plant closure at Splendor-Corzo: A response to economic hardship or part of an anti-union campaign?

Fairness in Flowers