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Archive for July, 2008

Tofu ice-cream

Tried making tofu ice-cream this weekend.  I was experimenting with both store bought American made tofu made for smoothie and homemade tofu from Japanese soy milk.  The store bought tofu is a lot whiter, has a lighter texture and a chalky after taste; where the home made one from Japanese soy milk has a yellowish color and denser.

According to this paper , a higher concentration of calcium chloride solution in the tofu making process will yield more tofu mass.  So commercial process tofu will likely to have a chalkier taste.  Next time I’ll probably do 100% home made tofu, reduce the sugar and no eggs.

3.5 cups of Japanese soy milk

4 tbl spoon or nigari

1/2 cup of heavy cream

1/2 cup of sugar

2 egg yolk
Bring 3 cups of soy milk to 165 degree, stir in the nagari.  Let stand for 10 minutes, do not stir.  Strain with cheese cloth, blend in blender and return to pot with the rest of the liquid.  Beat the sugar and egg yolk in a seperate bowl.  Bring liquid to boil, and temper the egg by adding the hot liquid slowly.  Reutn the mixture to the pot, bring it to rudding consistency usign low heat.

Refrigerate overnight and follow the instruction of your ice-cream making machine.

Add comment July 26th, 2008

Our patent office

Patentlyo reported that the patent office has developed a position against patenting against processes and algorithm.  The wording was that it must “tie to a particular machine” or otherwise it is not patentable.

What the patent office refuse to accept is using a description of a general purpose machine (i.e.  a device capable of obtaining an imagine and transmitting data to a remote server), a common practice to enlarge the claim coverings.  It has to be a particular one, like a particular crisplant.

This would nullify patents like one click or buy it now.  What the patent office failed to recognized is a lot of productivity gains (or lost) we enjoyed today comes from process engineering.  The general purpose machine already exist.  It is the process that’s revolutionary.  On the other hand, I think the damaged rewarded to these patents should be limited.  If the patent is not implemented, it should be limited to 10 times the implementation cost.  If it was, 100 times actual revenue lost, or half of profit gain by the infringer.  So that way it won’t limit someone with a ability to take something to market from doing so.

Consumer will have more choices.  If the invention was not implemented, either the cost is too high or the inventor did not believe there is a market.  He will be properly paid either case if someone took it to market.  If the invention was implemented, and someone can do a better job at scaling it, the inventor is rewarded accordingly with royalty.

Setting a limit would encourage faster settlement for suits, thus speed up how some of these case get processes and put back the focus on rewarding those with ideas.

Add comment July 24th, 2008

Private detectives

You can always count on the Texans to come up with some stupid ideas.  Here’s one: http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/18/smallbusiness/texas_pc_pi_law.fsb/index.htm

If your work involve analyzing data to discover information, you’d need to have a private investigator license.  What kind of weed are they smoking?

Add comment July 23rd, 2008

iphone 3G

Saw Kit’s iphone the other day.  It was fast and has a big screen and respond to shaking (which engineer doesn’t like shaking a box and listening to it?), probably going to be more useful than my blackberry.  I figure I can get an iphone and sell the blackberry and net about $150 out and cut my phone bill by $5 every month after.  Went down to AT&T to check.  Need to wait till Sept 26 to become elegable to get it at $199…  Sept 26 it is then.

Making tofu ice-cream this weekend.  Let’s see how that turns out…

1 comment July 23rd, 2008

Amazon and NY Sales Tax

I realized a few weeks ago I was charge NY sales when ordering from Amazon.  This is definitely going to reduce my shopping at Amazon.  Realizing many cheap bastard like me are doing the same thing, Amazon is filing for appeal.  Amazon’s argument was that it doesn’t have a business presence in NY, therefore it should not be liable for collecting sales tax.  NY state is using the argument that since it’s associates have presence in NY, and the associates are part of Amazon’s business structure, it therefore has a business presence.

Associates are channels for which Amazon advertise.  That’s as of saying NY state will enforce sales tax collection on anyone who advertise in magazine that are sold in NY, or any web pages that’s viewable in NY.
I was never a fan of sales tax.  Besides its money out of my pocket, the worst part is that it is a flat tax, which means it charges everyone the exact same rate.  The lower income family will spend more of their income rather than saving them, therefore paying a higher percentage of their post tax income on yet another tax.  Sales tax is a form of income tax collected on residents of a city/state, to pay for facilities and service of that location.  I pay that god damn tax so I will see a garbage can on the street once in a while.  But the burden shouldn’t be put on companies like Amazon (I have to agree they do make an easy target).  Amazon didn’t receive any benefit from NY, why should they take that hit.

I understand the problem of the state trying to protect their own businesses.  After all the reason a lot of people buy from Amazon and not BN is that you automatically get 8.5% discount.  But that needs to cover all out of state merchants and not just those with “associates” in NY.

Now I just need to start a mailbox business outside of Holland tunnel…

Add comment July 17th, 2008


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