Friday, March 06, 2009

Media not reporting full truth about financial markets

I watched the financial news this week. Every news media outlet reported more or less the same story. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was below 6500 this morning and the subject lines are "Dow Jones industrial average drops below 7,000 for first time since 1997". This is bad but it stops short of telling the whole story.

This comparison uses a linear graph across a temporal variance. The problem is that this excludes inflation. If you inflation adjust the Dow Jones IA, you have to go back quite a few more years. For example, if the Dow was 6,304.87 on December 13, 1996 (as reported by Google Finance), and the inflation rate since 1996 averages around 2.8%, then the inflation adjusted bottom we would have to cross today would be 9,027. Whoops!! What are we at today? 6450 right now?

So what does this mean? Well, I started to do some rough calculations. Without going into all the details, I could not quite find where the inflation adjusted equivalent of today's index was specifically as I did not feel like researching the annual inflation rates to make the calculations, but I did surmise it should be around 1993-5.

The Dow in general though is only accounting for the top 30 stocks on the NYSE. To get a fuller picture, I prefer to use the S&P index. This tells a more thorough story as it is a value weighted index published since 1957 of the prices of 500 large cap common stocks actively traded in the United States.

Take a look at the graph and tell me where you find a year where the S&P index is inflation adjusted to where we are today. The graph is here.

Be vigilant - question everything including this blog post.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Why I am blocking China and who to blame

Today was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I have been getting spammed from China for years and years. I have blogged about this before and also pleaded with Chinese officials to crack down on their citizens who spam. I get approximately 100 or more spams a day from China. Most of these get stripped out by our spam filter but at least 20 get through. The one today was from or "Elva" at Sino Holdings Co., Ltd. I have asked these distinguished individuals to stop spamming me before but they just cannot stop. Well, now you can blame them for me now blocking all *.cn traffic from my servers. Yes - you heard me correctly. I have configured many of my email accounts to take all email originating from a *.cn domain and drop it to devnull (meaning it will *never* be seen by a human being).

I hate to have to take this drastic action but spammers like Sino Holdings are to blame. They think it is their right to send out millions of emails to people every day assuming we are interested in their injection molding processes. This costs us money!!! Our economy cannot stand to see another 1-3% of people's productivity wasted every day and mobile costs racked up for emails going to our phones that we don't want.

At the same time I do this, I am going to make one more plea to the Chinese government to treat these people like the criminals they are. If not, others will follow my lead and legitimate businesses in China will suffer as they will not be able to communicate with us. This is not the economic time to risk such barriers to global trade and spammers are hurting us all.

If you are in China and wish to communicate with me by email for legitimate reasons, you cannot do this with a *.cn domain name and will need to find another way. I am also contemplating doing the same with *.ru and *.kr (Russia and Korea) as a way to force legitimate businesses to petition their government to clamp down. These three countries are the "Axis of Spam" due to lax enforcement of regulations. The governments really need to re-think how this will harm their economy as I am sure that spam filters already assign higher probability to emails originating from their countries.

Sorry for doing this but I had to. If you want to retaliate against someone, try Sino Holdings at the URL above. It is their fault. I am sure Elva will be happy to take your complaints.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Adobe Cloud Computing now available!

It is official! We're live and open - Adobe LiveCycle ES running on the cloud. How cool is that? Very!

How it works:

LiveCycle ES has both a server component and a desktop workbench. Workbench is configured to talk to the server and the server knows the context of how to talk back to the workbench. In the cloud configuration, a small application called LC DX (Developer Express) sits on the same machine and intercepts all communications to localhost: and translates it to speak to the corresponding LC ES server instance in the cloud. It actually talks to a proxy on the other end so neither the server nor workbench are aware of where the other is. In fact, they both think they are talking to their counterpart at a different location so there is no complexity. Brilliant, simple and clean architecture!

The 1.1 release of Adobe LiveCycle ES Developer Express introduces support for LiveCycle ES 8.2.1 running on Microsoft Windows 2003 Server Enterprise Edition within Amazon EC2, using JBoss 4.2.0 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express. The new Windows-based virtual instances can be selected in the instance type pulldown menu of the "Start Instance" dialog. I blogged earlier about this here:

Here is the screenshot:

The Windows-based virtual instances of LiveCycle ES are configured with all of the same features as the existing RedHat Linux-based virtual images, including support for BAM, Contentspace, and PDF Generation using OpenOffice. The backup/restore behavior of the Windows-based virtual instances is identical to the behavior of the existing RedHat Linux-based instances.

The 1.1 release also contains a collection of bug fixes and usability improvements.

The LiveCycle Express Networking Application (client) has been updated to include a TCP port forwarding rule for Remote Desktop connections to the new Windows-based virtual instances. With the networking application connected to the instance, Remote Desktop connections can be made to "localhost:3390".

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

How to work with Adobe

Thanks for reaching out to the Adobe Flash Platform team.

As an evangelist, I spend a lot of time trying to connect people outside the company to the right program inside of Adobe. This is often a win-win scenario. As outsiders, however, it can be daunting to find the right program. This blog post is an attempt to aggregate some of the more important resources for external people to work with at Adobe. I will add more as they become available or people can ping me to add them (just use the comment form to add more).

We want to ensure you have what you need to get started with Adobe! Good luck!

This document outlines the key programs and activities you can leverage from Adobe to be successful with our platform.

Click here to learn more about the Adobe Flash Platform:


Customer Success Program:
The Adobe Customer Success Program (CSP) works with innovators and business leaders to highlight how organizations use and benefit from Adobe solutions.

Adobe Site of the Day:
Developers can submit applications to be included in the Adobe Site of the Day. This submission allows us to use it in other marketing areas, like the Edge newsletter. aggregates Flex news from a number of sources, and allows community members to contribute their own content as well. Learn more:

The Solution Partner Program:
The Adobe Partner Program is designed for companies that provide solution-based sales, system integration, services, or extended products based on Adobe technology.

Adobe Marketplace:
Adobe Marketplace is a place where developers can publish their AIR applications for users to download. Learn more:

Community blogs:
Add your feed to the Adobe blog aggregator to make sure the community at-large is receiving the latest news on your offerings. Additionally find active community members including Adobe evangelists who may be interested in learning more. Learn more:


Adobe Labs:
Labs provides developers with the opportunity to experience and evaluate new and emerging innovations, technologies, and products from Adobe. Learn more:

Adobe Pre-release Program: and currently open prerelease opportunities are listed here -

The goal of a Pre-release Program at Adobe is to solicit early feedback on new features and bugs in order to produce a unique and a bug free product that can deliver maximum results.

Also: The Solution Partner Program (


The Adobe Developer Connection:
The ADC serves as the central resource for information on Adobe developer technologies, providing tutorials, samples, and documentation to guide and instruct developers. Learn more:

Adobe Enterprise Developer Program:
Provides developers, architects & forms designers with support, software and tools to build and deploy enterprise solutions built on a SOA, leveraging Adobe technologies.

Adobe Support Programs:
Flex, Flash and AIR support programs for developers and enterprises include technical help and information on planning, workflow and deployment. Learn more:

Adobe Forums:
Adobe Online Forums are for the Adobe community's peer-to-peer discussions of both Adobe and formerly Macromedia products.

Adobe User Groups:
Adobe Developer User Groups provide a forum of support and technology to web professionals at all levels. Whether you're a designer, a seasoned developer, or are just starting out, Adobe User Groups strengthen community, increase networking, unveil the latest technology innovations, and reveal the techniques that turn novices into experts and experts into gurus.

Adobe Training and Certification:
Whether you want to improve your skills, projects or resume, Adobe training and certification programs and resources can help you achieve your goals.

Flex in a Week Video Training Series:
A week-long, video based online training program for developers. This self-paced program is free and is intended to help developers accelerate their Flex learning.

Also: Solution Partner Program (, Community Blogs (


Partner Finder:
Use the Partner Finder to locate an Adobe Solution Partner to help extend the value of your Adobe technology investment and drive your business with tailored solutions.

The Solution Partner Program:
The Adobe Partner Program is designed for companies that provide solution-based sales, system integration, services, or extended products based on Adobe technology.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Learn Flex in One Week!

Learn Flex in a week by going through this video training course! Learned Flex already? Use these materials to go out and teach Flex! Everything is licensed with CREATIVE COMMONS licensing (see bottom of page).

To maximize your learning, Adobe recommends that you view the videos and complete the exercises in the order that they are listed. If you run into problems and have questions, you can ask a question on the Flex in a Week forum or ping me via dnickull at adobe dot com.

Note: Before starting the training, please ensure that you have installed Flex Builder. You can either use the free trial version or buy Flex Builder to go through the training.

You can now download and watch Flex in a Week videos in an offline mode. Here are the instructions.

  1. Install Adobe Media Player.
  2. Click "My Favorites" menu at the top.
  3. Click "Add RSS Feed" at the bottom.
  4. Paste

Day 1: Flex basics

Day 2: Component development

Day 3: Putting it all together

Day 4: Adding visual appeal

Day 5: Architecture and advanced topics

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.