Another social language learning site *updated*

I have been using iKnow extensively to improve my Japanese for my classes. Today I found out about another site called Live Mocha that offers social language learning. They offer Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Italian, French, English, German, Russian, Hindi, Icelandic, Portuguese, and Japanese. Its another great resource for language learners. So many great sites are coming up online, its so hard to keep up.

Update: I found another site called italki that offers social language learning but mostly focused on finding people who can help you learn a langauge versus actually giving you tools to learn. Its a nice site, very similar to Live Mocha.

Highest position in the world

This is not a political or business position. Its really the highest position in the world and its occupied by Babu. Look at the picture.

How to deal with downturns in economy if you are a startup

Sequoia Capital held a meeting a few days ago with all of its portfolio companies, telling them how to adjust to current economic conditions. Somebody leaked the slides from the meeting (see link below). Very interesting. You have to get to slide 37 for anything resembling a hopeful message ( and’ s successful growth during the downturn of the early 2000’s).
Check here for the slides

I also embedded the slides here:

Netsquared meetup – this is about Real Playing Games *warning* long post

Today I went to the Net Squared meetup in San Francisco. It was a great event and I learned quite a bit from it. Its sad that I did not have time to write about my SF New Tech Meetup yet, and now I have to write about this new experience. I will go back to my old post about the SF New Tech Meetup and update it soon. I promise.

There is a good reason why this post is so long, its because I was playing a game. A game you ask? What kind … what do you mean? Well its about this lady called Jane McGonigal . She is a game designer (theorist) who comes with really interesting ideas and concepts. Check her latest project Superstruct. Here are videos that introduce the concepts behind Superstruct, the year is 2019 and humanity has to deal with many different problems.

The final threat video:

Super threat #1 – Quarantine:

Super threat #2 – Ravenous:

Super threat #3 – Power Struggle:

Super threat #4 – Outlaw Planet

Super threat #5 – Generation Exile

I have to continue writing this post. But I have to go to sleep … more to come.

When is it a good time to invest?

They say when there is blood on the streets buy property!! The US economy state now is nothing less than blood on the streets. People are losing money left and right and financial institutions are closing doors. The big question is when is it a good time to invest?

Financial gurus always advise to buy low and sell high. Well the stocks are low now but are they going to get lower???

Companies like Google and Apple are now valued at $338.11 and $89.79. Yahoo is at $13.76. And there are talks about a merger between Yahoo and AOL here. If you buy Yahoo now and they merge, then you will make some money for sure. It might take a while though.

Ah …. I wish I knew more about stocks and investing. I should invest the time to learn. If you have any good suggestions, let me know.

Take Two Still independent

Looks like Take Two will not be part of EA after all. According to this Gamasutra article, Take two will remain independent. The success of Grand Theft Auto IV infused a lot of cash to Take Two that made it sustain a strong negotiating position with EA. However, looking at Take Two’s stock today, they are valued at $15.16. EA’s offer was to buy them for $25.74/share.

Take-Two CEO Ben Feder says:

Our strong cash position – with no debt and an undrawn $140 million credit facility – gives us the financial flexibility to continue to do what we do best: innovate and create the great games that our customers have come to expect.

Say what you want Ben, your stock value is more than $10 less per share.

I’m losing money by saving it … huh

You might ask … what a funny title. But that’s the truth. Due to the downturn in the US economy right now, the I’m actually losing money by putting money in my 401K account. Although I have a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, mid cap, large cap stocks, fortune 500, and international stocks, I am still losing money. Had I kept the money to myself, I would have been better off. Off course, you say that it will get better but its just really annoying to see your money getting wasted like that.

The value of the US dollar is horrible compared to most foreign currencies and on top of that, real state prices are not going down that much in the bay area. You would expect with all these economic problems, the house prices would go down significantly. That is not the case in San Francisco at least. Especially in the newly developed high rises, a 1 bedroom apartment sells for a minimum of $600,000. A nice spacious 3 bedrooms apartment costs you around $1.4 million. And that’s if its on a low floor. Add a couple of hundred thousands as you go higher in the building because of the “better views”.