Identify the right IPO

When I missed the opportunity to buy some Google or VMWare shares during their Initial Public Offering, I was all bombed out since I did had chance to buy some. Now worry no more. The GigaOM has article 5 Tips To Spot A Hot (or Not) IPO by Kevin Kelleher. He relays 5 great tips to look for to identify plausible the big money making opportunity. Here's the quote of 5 tips:
  1. Pick your key stats. The first thing I
    always look at is in the financial table up high: Does the company have
    an operating profit and, if not, are the losses growing dramatically?
    Some companies go public with losses and do just fine; but more often
    they don’t. Then I check revenue growth rates. Then, a bit further
    down, I look at operating cash flow, and whether that’s growing.

  2. And finally, a rough idea of potential valuation: Often the company
    will put something like a “proposed maximum aggregate offering price”
    on its first page to estimate its registration fees. Divide that by the
    most recent 12-month revenue figure. If it’s more than 8-10 times
    revenue, that’s not great. These help give me coarse picture in a few
    minutes. Your mileage may vary.
  3. Compare new filings with old ones. The “risk
    factors”, “legal proceedings” and “management’s discussion of
    financials” are all important sections, but can go on for pages.
    Comparing the most recent S-1 filing with the original will highlight
    changes that were made in the interim - often at the request of lawyers
    or the insistence of the SEC.You’d be surprised what can come out in
    the highlighted text. I use Microsoft Word’s “compare and merge documents” command, which is kludgey but does the trick. If anyone has a better alternative, please speak up.
  4. Examine the margins.
    Once a company goes public, investors will be scrutinizing whether
    profit margins are rising or falling, so you might as well get a head
    start. There is often a table listing expenses as a percentage of
    revenue, letting you see in a few seconds whether costs are falling,
    and whether margins are rising.If margins are falling, it’s not
    necessarily bad. R&D or marketing costs might be up to plant seeds
    of revenue growth. Look in the management’s discussion to see if you
    buy the reason why. If all costs are up as a percent of revenue, that’s not good.
  5. Follow the money being raised.
    This can be found in the “use of proceeds” section. It’s like the “how
    I will change the world” speeches at beauty pageants. Normally a
    company will say the funds will go to possible acquisitions and general
    purposes like hiring and R& D. The more detail there, the better
    the chances that there’s a focused strategy in place.Recently, some
    companies have used most if not all proceeds from their IPOs to pay
    existing investors a big fat dividend. That’s not necessarily a sign of
    a bad company (VMWare did it) but if it happens with a company that has
    a lot of other red flags in its S-1, it’s a clear warning.
  6. Check out the bosses’ pay.
    Steve Jobs may draw a $1 salary and Larry and Sergey may insist on no
    salary, but they are exceptions. Top executives at companies trying to
    go public often draw between $200,000 and $350,000. Salaries above
    $500,000 - and especially $1 million - can be a warning that managers
    are only in it for the money. Look at the compensation tables in the
    S-1.Another bad sign can be insiders selling the majority of their
    pre-IPO shares, or insiders selling more aggregate shares than the
    company itself is. Still another bad sign is an eleventh-hour plan to
    issue millions of shares to board members and executives right before
    the offering. These can be harder to spot.

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Guides to startup company by Marc Andreessen

While I was reading through my google reader something popped out of no where! It was one of the Pmarca Guide to Startups from Blog.PMARCA.com by Marc Andreessen, former CEO of Opsware which had been purchased by HP for $1.6 billion in cash.

It is a great guide to people who are interested in a startup operation and what is needed to get it started. Here are list of articles that are published so far on this topic.
Additionally, there are couple articles that are being published about Big Companies and what they need to keep their niche.

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Great open source application round up!

The Mashable have done it again. It put together 480+ open source applications which contain almost everything that you would like to do or develop! You can get the full list from article OPEN SOURCE GOD: 480+ Open Source Applications. This open source list contain Accounting to Browser. Almost everything! Take a look.

Among them, most interesting and seems useful is Content Management Systems as shown in the article CMS Toolbox: 80+ Open Source Content Management Systems. Here's couple of the recommended one's.

Joomla - popular, award-winning CMS that will help you build powerful online applications.

XOOPS - extensible, easy to use; ideal tool for developing small to large dynamic community websites, blogs, portals and much more.

Drupal - equipped with a powerful blend of features, rich set of modules, very popular.


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Conversion Tools round up for Video, Music, Images, PDF and MORE!

While you are finding your resources on internet, you'll find that there are so many media format that many people uses. However, they are not always using most popular and most common formats which will trouble you when you try to port those media files onto your portable media center devices like iPod, Zune, SmartPhone, and PDA. Most of the tools that you will find will cost you money and most of the time, they are not up to par on what they promises.

Codswallop have put together 101 list of tools that you can use to convert anything that you will find online. Mega tools which does most conversions from one tool is quoted below and full list can be found in the article Conversion Central: 101 Tools to Convert Video, Music, Images, PDF and More.

Mega Tools

There are lots of specialized tools out there, but sometimes you just need one good tool to get the job done. These mega tools are great for general conversions.

  1. Zamzar:
    Zamzar does all sorts of conversions, ranging from documents and images to music and video. In addition to its versatility, this tool boasts the ability to do all of your conversions without downloading software.
  2. SUPER:
    This aptly-named tool offers a simple and efficient way to convert any multimedia file to any format you need. You won’t need to download any additional codecs or deal with any time or function limitations.
  3. CZ Document Converter: CZ Document Converter is a powerful batch document converter. It supports every popular document file you may need, including PDF, HTML, DOC, XLS, and WPS.
  4. Media Convert: This tool is another great all-around converter. It can take files from your computer or a webserver and convert them into pretty much any format. The tool is web based and full of versatility.
  5. Image Converter Plus: Image Converter Plus can professionally convert graphic files, photos, drafts, finance documents, and any image format. It supports more than 120 graphics formats and more than 800 dialects of these formats. You can convert files in a batch while also altering and enhancing images.
  6. Quad-Lock Unit Converter: The Quad-Lock Unit Converter does conversions for more than 650 units. With this all-inclusive library, you're sure to find what you're looking for.

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Free Stock Image for your Web developments

For those of who want to develop their own web page and for your unique design, you are going to need all those wonderful pictures, most of which you find online are copy write protected or will cost you money. Laura Milligan have gathered 100 (Legal) Sources for Free Stock Images for everyone to share and most importantly FREE and LEGAL! You can find the full 100 list from her site but for the most popular pick, they are quoted below:

Most Popular

These resources are some of the most popular free stock image sites on the Web and with good reason. If you’re looking for some mainstream images, these are the first place to try.

  1. FreeFoto:
    FreeFoto.com claims to be “the largest collection of free photographs on the Internet.” They’re available for offline projects as well, as long as you’re not using them to make a profit.
  2. KAVEWALL: Look for images and textures in unique categories like tattoo, smoke, and food.
  3. Digital Dreamer: Free, royalty-free stock images can be found here.
  4. Free Photos Bank: This features a handful of the newest photos in their directory, so check back often.
  5. Free Digital Photos: Find gorgeous, easy-to-download photographs in categories like animals, celebrations, home & garden, and lots more.
  6. PD Photo: Browse through the categories and subcategories in this site’s database, most of which depict the urban and rural landscapes of the United States.
  7. Visipix: Search over a million photographs and fine art pieces.
  8. Cepolina: On cepolina, you can choose to save photos in up to five different formats.
  9. DexHaus: A wide array of beautiful images are found on this well-organized site.
  10. FreeStockImages.net: Chances are you’ll find whatever it is you’re looking for on this terrific site.
  11. TurboPhoto: TurboPhoto has 10 categories keep the high res photos easy to find.
  12. Yotophoto: An immensely popular site, Yotophoto is worth checking out.
  13. Stockvault: Search by photo subject or by the newest and most popular photos on Stockvault.
  14. Dreamstime: While most of the photos on this site cost a fee (some as low as $0.26/image), Dreamstime provides a few free stock photos.
  15. Open Stock Photography: This site offers over one million images for you to download and use however you want.

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mysql server password reset in windows

Thanks to codewizard from p2p community forum, reseting password of your mysql server is a breeze. Saved my server once already. =)

The source can be found here.

The procedure under Windows:
Log on to your system as Administrator.
Stop the MySQL server if it is running. For a server that is running as a Windows service, go to the Services manager:

Start Menu -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services
Then find the MySQL service in the list, and stop it. If your server is not running as a service, you may need to use the Task Manager to force it to stop.

Open a console window to get to the DOS command prompt:

Start Menu -> Run -> cmd

We are assuming that you installed MySQL to `C:\mysql'. If you installed MySQL to another location, adjust the following commands accordingly. At the DOS command prompt, execute this command:

C:\> C:\mysql\bin\mysqld-nt --skip-grant-tables

This starts the server in a special mode that does not check the grant tables to control access.

Keeping the first console window open, open a second console window and execute the following commands (type each on a single line):

C:\> C:\mysql\bin\mysqladmin -u root flush-privileges password "newpwd"

C:\> C:\mysql\bin\mysqladmin -u root -p shutdown

Replace ``newpwd'' with the actual root password that you want to use.

The second command will prompt you to enter the new password for access. Enter the password that you assigned in the first command.
Stop the MySQL server, then restart it in normal mode again. If you run the server as a service, start it from the Windows Services window. If you start the server manually, use whatever command you normally use.

You should now be able to connect using the new password.


Use Xbox as media center with Xbox softmod with XBMC

I have softmodded my classic Xbox in different scheme then what is presented here but this works great as well. This does cost you some money purchasing the related game and action replay kit, however, this is the simplest way to modding your Xbox classic without hassle of installing mod chip. When I modded my Xbox, I used security bypassing scheme from the Xbox hard-drive access. Too bad it was while ago and I lots the link to them.

This material is presented from Lifehacker site with article Transform Your Classic Xbox into a Killer Media Center. Quoted items are as shown below:

Gather the materials

The softmod takes advantage of a game exploit using a saved game you'll
download and move onto your Xbox, so it requires a few specific items.


Here's what you'll need:

  • A classic Xbox (duh)—Those of you without an Xbox
    but interested in building a media center on the cheap, you could
    easily score on on eBay for under $100.

  • An original (not a copy) of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell game.—(Not
    the Pandora's Tomorrow or Chaos Theory versions.) Other games work,
    like Mech Assault and 007: Agent Under Fire, but I used Splinter Cell
    (the Platinum Hits edition) so that's the only one I can vouch for. (I
    had the game already, but there are a ton for sale at Amazon, many for under 10 bucks.)

  • The Action Replay kit—Action Replay is a USB interface
    to an Xbox memory card that lets you load pre-saved, unlocked games and
    cheats onto the card. You see where this is going. I snagged one on Amazon for about $40.

  • A home network router with a free Ethernet port and a network cable. Chances are you've already got one of these. Plug one end of the cable into your router, and the other into your Xbox.

Install the softmod and Xbox Media Center

Once you've got the materials together, you're most of the way there. Onto the modding.

  1. Determine the location of the softmod installer and XBMC downloads.
    Never in my online life have I had to go through such a rigamarole to
    get ahold of files. These Xbox hackers are careful people: in short,
    you have to log onto an IRC channel, issue a command to query the FTP
    server location, and get temporary login details in order to acquire
    the files (the equivalent of finding hidden door and using a secret
    knock). So, using your favorite IRC client (I went with the Chatzilla Firefox extension), type:

    /server irc.efnet.net

    Once connected to EFNet, type:

    /j #xbins


    /msg xbins !list

    You will receive a private message with 2 sets of FTP login details. One is for the softmod installer, the other is for XBMC.


  2. Download and extract the softmod installer and XBMC.
    Whether it's FileZilla, FireFTP, SmartFTP or Transmit, use your
    favorite FTP client to hit up the first file location you got from
    xbins and download the softmod archive, which is located at:

    /XBOX/Console Based Applications/exploits/Packages/Softmod Installer Deluxe/Softmod.Installer.Deluxe.v2.0.Xbox-Hq.rar

    Then, disconnect and login to the second FTP server to grab the XBMC archive, XBMC-2.0.1-FINAL-FAT-T3CH.rar. Using your favorite RAR extractor (I recommend 7-Zip), extract the files to your PC.

  3. Move the saved game exploit onto a memory card with Action Replay.
    Now, break out the Action Replay software that comes on CD in the
    package and install it on your PC. Plug in the USB cable and the 8MB
    memory card that came with it. From your Softmod.Installer.Deluxe.v2.0.Xbox-Hq folder, drag and drop two files into the "PC Database" column of the Action Replay software: the one named SID.Splinter.Cell.v2.0.NTSC.Xbox-Hq.zip, and the one named SID.Splinter.Cell.v2.0.Xbox-Hq.zip.
    (Note: If you're in the US, you'll need the NTSC version of the first
    file; UK folks, go with the PAL version.) That will add a
    "LINUX_Profile" saved game to the Splinter Cell folder, as well as a
    "Linux Installer" folder. Drag and drop the Linux Installer to the
    Memory Card column, as shown (click to enlarge):


  4. Transfer the Linux Installer to your Xbox hard drive.
    Pop the memory card out of the Action Replay kit and plug it into one
    of your Xbox's controllers. Make sure the disc tray is empty and start
    up the 'box. Go into the Memory area and drill down to the controller's
    memory card. When you see the Linux installer saved game, hit the right
    button pad once to select the game, then select "Copy" from the menu to
    copy it to the Xbox's hard drive, as shown.


    Shut down your Xbox and head back to your computer. Repeat the same
    process with the Splinter Cell LINUX_Profile: copy it to your Memory
    Card (you'll have to delete the Linux Installer first, the card isn't
    big enough to accomodate both), then plug the card into the Xbox
    controller, boot up the 'box and copy the saved game to your Xbox's
    hard drive. Turn off the Xbox. Now the magic happens.

  5. Use the Splinter Cell exploit. Insert the Splinter
    Cell game disk into your Xbox, and start the game. When it comes time
    to choose the profile, underneath your regular aliases, you'll see a
    new one named "Linux":


    Select Linux and then select "Check points" (not "Levels"). After a few seconds, Your Xbox will display an UnleashX intro screen and control panel. This is the Linux-based Xbox dashboard, which will look like this:


    Before we hit that magical menu item—Install Softmod—do two things
    first. Hit up the "Create MS Backup" item first, and when that's
    complete, hit the "Create Mod Backup." (Better safe than sorry.)

    Finally, the moment you've been waiting for: select the "Install
    Softmod" menu item. Don't turn off your Xbox during the process, and
    when the status bar completes and disappears, you're all good.

    Now choose "Install UnleashX" from the menu to replace the standard
    Microsoft dashboard with UnleashX permanently. Restart your Xbox and
    pat yourself on the back. UnleashX will boot up instead of the
    Microsoft dashboard, and it's got all sorts of goodies in store for you:


    Using only the UnleashX dashboard and its default apps, you can
    watch DVDs using your controller, and under Applications, you can rip
    DVDs to your Xbox's hard drive. But what we're really interested in is
    its FTP server.

  6. Configure the Xbox's network settings and start the FTP server.
    The first order of business is to get your Xbox talking to your PC so
    you can start transferring files. First make sure your Xbox is plugged
    into your working, online home network router. Then, using the soft pad
    to navigate UnleashX menus and the green A button to select items, go
    to System > Settings > Network. There make sure Enable is set to
    Yes, Type set to DHCP and FTP Server is set to Yes, as shown:


    Note: These are the most common network settings, but yours may differ depending on your home network.

    Restart your Xbox to save your settings. When you boot back up into
    UnleashX, you should see your Xbox's new IP address appear on the lower
    right hand corner of the screen. Take note of it.

  7. Install XBMC on your Xbox. Back at your PC, fire
    up your favorite FTP client and log into your Xbox. The server location
    will be the IP address shown on the UnleashX screen, and your username
    and password will be in the Xbox's network Settings (xbox/xbox, by
    default.) Navigate to /E/Apps/ folder. Back on your local machine, extract the XBMC archive you downloaded, and from the XBMC-2.0.1-FINAL-FAT-T3CH folder you unrar'ed, grab the entire XBMC subfolder and FTP it to the Xbox's /E/Apps/.


    Restart your Xbox. When it's up, navigate to the Applications
    section, and you'll see Xbox Media Center listed. Select it to launch.


Revel in how much you rule

From here you get treated to XBMC's beautiful and (mostly) intuitive
interface for navigating your Videos, Music, and Pictures.


To access your media library, you can either move files onto the
Xbox hard drive itself (which has its size limits), or browse and play
media on a shared drive on your network. Using Windows
built-in sharing (or Mac OS X's Windows Sharing), you can use XBMC's
SMB (Samba) support to play videos that you record with your PC's
capture card in the den or download via BitTorrent from the Mac in the
bedroom. As you'll see, XBMC is very configurable and full of useful

Check out a quick screenshot tour of XBMC goodness below:

My XBMC has only been online for a few hours so I've only scratched the surface here.

References and thanks

This has to be the zillionth Xbox softmod tutorial that's ever been
posted online, and I have to thank all the forum users and prior
tutorial writers for providing the information I needed to get the job
done. However, the two best references that finally got me off my duff
and really held my hand through the process include:

  • Modding the Xbox in 10 minutes [Techfreaks]—great, thorough howto that only lacked information on using ActionReplay.

  • XBMC Wiki—the comprehensive resource for working your XBMC. I'm still pawing through this wiki customizing my new media center.

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Business related blogs for business oriented people

The Unusual Business Ideas That Work put together a 10 Business Blogs You Should Be Reading. If you believe you have ultimate entrepreneur mind I guess you do not need what other people thinks. However, if you still would like to see how minds of some other business people think and act, these would provide you good reading every day. Quote from the blog is listed below:

1. JohnChow.com

Look, John Chow is a marketing fiend. He is genious about promoting his blog and making money from it. This August alone he made over seventeen grand from the blog. And it's not even his major revenue source.

2. Madconomist.com

Madconomist isn't really a business blog. In fact, it's a collection of weird stories that gives you amazing insight into the weird world of economics. It's the only blog that explains why the price of fossilized walrus penis has fallen by 50%, how women are hardwired to prefer pink or learn 237 reasons for sex.

3. Big Damn Blog

John Carlton is one of the world's best direct mail copywriters. He is known as the best marketer of golf-related stuff and the co-author of Operation Moneysuck concept.

4. The Gary Halbert Letter

Unfortunatelly Gary has died earlier this year. However, his newsletter archive is still online. I suggest you read first newsletters first (scroll down). It's one of the most insightful and enjoyable business blogs you'll ever get to read (if you don't know who Gary Halbert is or rather was - just google his name).

5. Uncommon Business Blog

This blog collects stories of unusual businesses. Some are pretty wacky. Every day there is a new post.

6. Duct Tape Marketing

John Jantsch's Duct Tape Marketing has excellent podcast section that features folks like Seth Godin or Scott Ginsberg, as well as some new lesser known marketers.

7. John Jeese's Blog

Hey, it's the third John I recommend you read. What's that about Johns and internet marketing?

8. Bob Bly's Blog

Robert Bly is a copywriter as well. I like his no-nonsense-show-me-the-money approach to creating killer sales pitches and web copy. Oh, and his rants on brands and branding are awesome.

9. Domain Name Blog

This one is fairly new, but I like reading about domain names as a business and this is a great source for such information.

10. Niche Geek

Another great blog that specifically targets niche businesses. Some great articles are "The Psychology of the $14,000 Handbag", "Why You Are A Fool If You Believe In Coming Web 2.0 Crash" and "Is Hef really having a better time at the Playboy Mansion than you are at home?"

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