Chris R's Weblog
Visit Rory Blyth's blog. He worked at Microsoft and now he's a writer

Daily link December 14th, 2007

I’m still working on the fifo data piping implementation

I’m trying to make the FIFO and TCP data exchange against the C++ code work so that I can easily change the API without it effecting the code behind. I should wrap this up by the end of the day.

UPDATE: I’m actually also writing a PHP extension to interface both the named pipe and the TCP connection. What some would call a driver. At any rate, I hadn’t written a PHP extension in 3-4 years, so it is a nice revisitation.

Daily link December 14th, 2007

It’s not just Quebec, it’s all of Canada

Yeah, everything I talked about in previous posts applies to the entire country minus Albera. It’s NOT just Quebec. Only the language changes here. In Quebec we are also shielded from the Monarchy to some degree. For instance in Quebec our road signs don’t have pictures of knights, dragons and crowns on them.

Other than that it’s pretty much like Ontario in my opinion having been in the 2 provinces extensively. Sure there is some different culture here, but the economics are exactly the same. Alberta is far different, but they are an anomaly.

These are actually the best provinces because PEI is far worse. FAR worse X 10000.

While Alberta is a pretty sweet spot in Canada, there is some hell to pay for living there. Here are 2 of their PSAs. Think about why you would even need such strong PSAs against random acts of domestic violence unless it was a REAL bad problem there.

So with that said. I am trying to find an even better side job than the one I got by creating a nice new shiny resume! The job I was offered is great, but I’ll at least try to get a better one closer to where I am going to live.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention Ralph Klein, Alberta’s long time Premier. He was a drunk, and verbally abused and spat on homeless people for fun.

The hockey factor and maple syrup just can’t nullify this much grief.

Daily link December 14th, 2007

Canada economics 101

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So this menu got me thinking. What is the Canadian business model? Take the same exact stuff that they sell in the USA and tack 20-40% on it. Since the currencies are at par, or worth the same amount, it comes out to about 20-40%. Then tax that with an extra 15%. Then tax the living snot out of the employees there with unreasonable fuel taxes, and other unreasonable contributions to the govt.

McDonalds here does not import their ingredients from the US, they actually pay cheaper prices from local producers. So that’s not the reason it’s more expensive. It’s more expensive because the people here will tolerate just about anything as far as economic abuse.

Getting back to BeerCo and the failed model.

Programmers in the US average about $67,000 as per payscale. The ones in the bay area in California make far more than that for instance, but lets take the average to be fair.

So to have been conservative, BCS would have had to markup the US rate by about 25%, meaning about $83,750 per coder per year. Because of the non-volatility of the dollar in a calm period last year, I threw caution to the wind and I actually marked DOWN the US rate by about 30%. That was extremely stupid because the Canadian dollar proved to be extremely unstable.

BUT, If I had played by traditional Canadian economics of marking all US rates up by 20-40% and then taxing it by another 15% there would not have been any takers.

The only people that buy the marked up services here are desperate Canadians themselves. No US citizens come up to Canada to enjoy our bad prices. It would be nice if they did, but reality dictates that they know better than the average Canadian than to pay those prices.

That being said, right now there is no BeerCo USA, like McDonalds USA to set up a “BeerCo Canada” which will sell programming services to Candians, not Americans, at 20-40% more and appease the socialist government. Normally they come into Canada with huge budget and long term goals, not business survival goals where you HAVE to make money to stay open.

That being said this is a sh1thole for business. I hope I can get some of those fancy California chairs in my new apartment. I hope Andrea and I can go apartment shopping in March! Actually I doubt that won’t happen. ;)

By the way, you could continue to charge less and take on the economic abuse, but then you would live a diminished life, and I don’t wanna.

Daily link December 13th, 2007

My Dentist made $110 in 30 minutes!

Wow, now I know I am in the wrong profession!

It turns out I probably need at least 1 $1200 root canal. My furthest back tooth on the bottom may not be savable. I still have to get a 2nd opinion on it from a specialist.

The govt doesn’t pay for any of this. It could end up costing thousands of dollars as if I needed that right now.

So from this disaster which I previously mentioned, I learned not to sell services too cheaply. I know now that no business big or small in Canada can ever compete internationally. I know never to try to succeed in Canada in international markets w/o having a base company in the US or abroad. I have learned my lesson thoroughly.

I filled up the Corolla from 1/3 full tank, it cost $41.56 which is about $42 US Dollars for 2/3 of a tank of gas in a little Corolla. I have to drive about 30 minutes to and back from work every day. The gas is about $5 per gallon. The Queen is the head of state. Some one please kill me. Oh wait, I’m actually leaving. OK, I will stick with it for a few more months. BTW, It’s like $2 cheaper a gallon in San Francisco. That’s in USD which is worth slightly less than Canadian money. They have some of the highest gas prices in the US.

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The McD’s above is actually one of the cheaper ones. Don’t forget the 15% tax. Prime minister Harper needs somebody to wipe his ass for him.

As I told them the current employees of BeerCo software can come work for the new company in the USA any time once we start selling SEO. Hey Art, Naeem, I’m counting on you guys. Chris from SAG too. Andrea, you better get me an apt! Jesus. I have to think about this while I program. My accounting is done. DONE.

Daily link December 13th, 2007

I put on my robe and accounting hat

This is how it works out

We’re down to roughly 12k income per month from 16k, though sometimes it varies. The following expenses were 1/4 higher at the 16k earnings, so they were not compensated for at the higher earnings. It actually lost us more money to make 4k more per month gross. The less money we make the more we earn.

- 6k in taxes monthly

-7.5k in salaries, roughly

- 1k for commerical rent and business internet

- 500$ for office expenses

- 500$ for equipment costs

- 100$ for phone services

———————————————

So basically in general expenses we lose 3.6k per month, not counting gas. Then you have yearly fees like insurance, and postage, and gas and other transportation fees. Equipment and other rental fees. Travel expenses for clients ect… These expenses are several tens of thousands of dollars. Consider that the iMac we have is well over $2000 alone.

This year Quickbooks says we lost well over $30,000 dollars. I actually have tons of other expenses to enter, so we actually lost way more money than that(I would take a stab at $50,000 at least). So we won’t be paying company income tax because there is no net, only a huge gaping loss. That being said our payroll taxes are still insane.

On top of this we pay nearly $5 a gallon for gas and $8 for a combo meal with the 15% tax. I am going to go out on a photoshoot to collect visual evidence of the sh1ttiness, and will come back here and post them before I go to the dentist.

BTW, when I reboot in the USA, the employees will be kept to a minimum, and the business plan is to collect SEO, which is basically automated with some human support, but that’s FAQ reading stuff that doesn’t pay much. I’ve seen how bad an il thought out business plan in a socialist country with insane taxes can destroy capital, and I’ve adapted this way:

A. Move business away from said insane socialist country

B. Hire low cost employees to do easy jobs that make users feel better

C. Automate the rest and collect(SEO)

I feel that this new business plan is going to be gold. I guess you have to fail a little before you can succeed. This was my first monumental failure.

I actually want to wrap up BeerCo Canada as quickly as possible and move on.

Step A is the most important step.

Oh and BeerCo Canada is officially in the deadpool now!

The back breaking communist tax system really does work well for innovation. I think this venture is proof of that. So something was gotten from this.

OK, I have to go mail $6000+ dollars to govt of Canada and the province of Quebec now, then after I get back from the dentist I am going to take the gas and McD pics. Next month I am going to start putting our physical assets in online classifieds and run the office down to just the desks the coders need to use and the computers. I may even replace some of them with cheaper computers as time winds down to June. This is the exit version of optimization.

UPDATE: I also want to say why I’m not upset at all about this. I saw this company more as a school project with real money rather than something I really poured anything into. I mean I poured a lot into the search engine, but I’m taking that with me. So with that said, I pretty much ran this in the 3rd person. I’m not really sad. A company is resources and revenue, minus expenses. It’s that simple. When the govt is so oppressive that the tax burden is half your expenses you fail, unless you have a US backer propping you up with slave labor, which is what the other businesses here do. Or unless you are govt funded commy style like Celine or Lucas.

You can only do with the numbers that are there. So it’s only money, and programmers in SF, in California make 6 figures. I am not too worried about it :) I have a little bit of experience! ;)

USA++

Daily link December 13th, 2007

New Jackass movie to be offered free online

As reported by TC @ JackassWorld:

The latest installment in the Jackass Movie franchise, “Jackass 2.5″is to be released exclusively first online and will be free to view. The move by Paramount pictures is being hailed as “the first studio-backed feature film to have its premiere online.”

Daily link December 12th, 2007

I am going to the dentist tomorrow

I have the worst gum pain between my 3rd and 4rth right lower front tooth.

No, the govt will NOT pay for my dental bill. They don’t pay for any dental work unless you are on welfare.

If you need to see a specialist of any kind it’s 4 months wait even with a family doctor. I have a light flat foot condition so I will need to get new inserts before I leave to go to San Francisco. That should be at least a 4 month wait just to see the doctor, then who knows if I will actually get them before I leave.

Right now I am going to take a lot of aspirin.

Daily link December 12th, 2007

progress

The file socket crap is done. I’m wrapping up testing on the TCP, and that’s pretty much it. There’s still a lot of code left to write.

I almost want to reclaim my contributions like Ricky and Julien did in the trailer park boys episode where they furnished a bunch of foil wrapped trailers by going to a govt of Canada service location and stealing the furniture then selling/using it. That would be justice and justice unfortunately is illegal here. Getting the hell away and transferring a crap load of IP isn’t.

citing:

complete with furnishings stolen from a local motel and a government building. Half of the furniture is wrecked, because they used a garbage truck to steal the furniture, and Trevor accidentally switched on the compactor. Despite the fact that Cyrus breaks up the event, J-Roc takes the rap for the boys by claiming responsibility and getting arrested, allowing them to get away with forty dollars after paying off Tyrone and the prostitutes their share of the money (it is then suggested they spend this on food).

I actually hope people did this for real, and or that it’s based on a real event. They deserve it.

UPDATE:

If anybody reads through and wants to carry this out, please wait until July 1rst 2008 so they can use other people’s money to buy more(not mine). I’ll be gone and the business transfered at that time. Thanks! But seriously Next summer, after I leave, you should. I’ll be cheering for you somewhere.

UPDATE2: I can’t believe these people have control of our money. Holy sh1t. It’s not even funny. $5 a gallon for $2 a gallon gas. 15% over on everything you buy. Fsking 50% income tax and double sided employee tax. This is pure hell. If you go and steal from them back they’ll just take your own money and buy more. Jesus. Fscking. Christ.

I want this nightmare to be over so bad.

UPDATE3: I understand the roll of govt in society but this is just total garbage. It’s beyond garbage, and the taxes are beyond sane. This is such garbage. I watched the parliament on cable here and the MPs are so fscking dumb it’s unreal. I can’t take it anymore. I took it for such a long time but the possibility of getting out of this place is driving me mad. That soon all notions of the Queen of hearts, the mad harper and the fscking bunny rabbit general could all dissipate is too tempting. I want out of Canada’s wonderland.

Daily link December 12th, 2007

Victor Lucas isn’t my kid

He’s not my kid and I don’t want to pay his child support anymore. His mom and dad should pay for his show.

For those of you that don’t know we the tax payers in Canada pay for Victor’s show, electric playground, whether we want to or not. Victor sits around and plays video games then reviews them on cable. We pay for him to do this, because our govt here in Canada is severely mentally retarded.

We also paid a large amount of money through BDC to fund Nitix. A debian Linux server distro, not in competition with our Dark Energy DESKTOP suite, that pretty much went no where. The entire distro is free Debian Linux, that you can download from any number of mirrors, barring 7 small packages that were last updated in July of last year(6 months - no updates). What a swank investment that was on behalf of the Canadian people. Oh wait, I’m being sarcastic.

Where are your tax dollars going? Well, now you know. Mine aren’t going there any more starting July 1rst when I get the fsck out of this place.

I actually used to hate VC, but I think they will be the savior of this search engine in this particular case. Even semi-knowledgeable VCs from the bay area are better than unknowledgeable govt of Canada representatives. Does the cold freeze brain function? It may. I dunno.

I don’t expect them to do pointer math or algorithm calculations, but at least they shouldn’t be retarded about it, and they totally are. At least in America, I can sleep knowing that people are trying to be responsible.

“Let’s give money to teh video game guy. teeehee, clap, clap…. My badge says CANADA! teehee.”

NOT WITH MY MONEY YOU DON’T B1TCHES!

Daily link December 12th, 2007

I’m getting the question, why is phase 2 going to cost so much?

Phase 2, the phase when the server leaves the social search and goes into full web index search mode, codenamed “shangri la” will cost a lot because.

A. Yes, I’ve written all the code so far but I am not a robot

B. I am not a marketer

C. I am not a graphic designer

D. We have mailing lists with millions of people who opted in on our sites, but I am not up on doing mailings. I suck at them.

E. We have to spend X amount of money to get webmasters from popular sites to use our search bar for their website no matter what.

F. We have to start coding the rest of the Google suite. Analytics, reader, maps, ect…. We have to buy map data…, our new venture partner Art can probably do the flash but you know what I mean. Even he is not a robot.

G. We need some serious hardware to store a 10 Billion page index in full text mode in memory so it’s hot and ready to go. (Think about the progress bar on your Xblox or Playstation when it says “loading”)

So there you have it. As one man army as I am, I can’t take on Google codewise by myself. Each Googler is like 10X smarter than a Microsoftie. Multiply that by 15,000 and divide me, one, by it. That’s the success rate chance unless we have series B, that’s B, not A, funding. Our VC adviser is our best chance of that.

UPDATE: No doubt nobody would invest in a Canadian Web 3.0 company, but we’ll be out of Canada soon and I’ll have incorporated in California by late March. So please keep this in mind if you are a VC looking through. We’ll probably have passed through any seed funding by August or September. I had talked about 50k just to get through Phase 1 in private beta to RTM(plus money I will invest left over from the liquidation here in Canada). I can hardly handle that solo, but I’ll probably make it.

My biggest problem so far has been being in Canada and dealing with the mis-fortunate Canadian environment. With that out of the way it should be clear sailing because we have the know how, part of the money and the desire to carry this out.

It’s like walking with a big ball and chain. Once somebody cuts it, we’ll be able to fly.


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Chris R. works at BeerCoSoftware.com (title: President of Development and Sales). This is Chris's work blog.

Disclaimer: BCS will not let personal views of any employee, including Chris, regarding any software product, company, standards or otherwise get in the way of any company that hires it to provide a solution. Companies pay BCS and BCS provides solutions regardless of the views of any employee. That’s part of being professional, and BCS is a professional software company.

Everything here is Chris's personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else on this blog.

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