Friday, October 16, 2009

Combating Real Estate FUD

I was listening to a Diggnation podcast the other day and the acronym FUD came up during the show. I don't recall in what context, but it stymied Kevin Rose, one of two hosts, for awhile for a definition of FUD. I believe he was stalling so he could google it, but I'm just guessing. ;)

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) is a tactic of rhetoric and fallacy used in sales, marketing, public relations, politics and propaganda. FUD is generally a strategic attempt to influence public perception by disseminating negative information designed to undermine the credibility of their beliefs.[1]

Normally, if I'm not quite certain about a term or acronym I will then look it up on Wikipedia. Now I was very sure of FUD having been in IT for years, but curiosity was too much for me so I browsed the term anyway over on Wikipedia.

After reading the initial definition, I scrolled down to read more about the derivation of FUD and was suddenly taken back by what I then saw.

Real Estate Agents. In response to a growing number of homeowners forgoing the use of real estate agent services during the sale of their homes, National and Regional real estate boards have adopted a strategy of fear, uncertainty and doubt. Ads reinforce consumers anxiety over legal paperwork, and suggest that consumers are weak, intellectually lazy and fearful. That consumers can't possibly learn; and that it would be much safer to leave the process to a real estate agent. [1]

It all made sense now. The tweets. The facebook updates. The ads. Everything.

I see these fud-like sales tactics streamed across sites where once only located in newspapers or park benches. So instead of offering a one-off opinion, what is the action item then to curb fud selling or marketing?

This is where I am with this issue, simply asking questions. I forsee a case study for researching this issue with a published online white paper. Time to get to work...


1. Wikipedia

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Inkscaping Biz Cards

[caption id="attachment_231" align="alignright" width="275" caption="GR8C Biz Card created with Inkscape"]GR8C Biz Card created with Inkscape[/caption]

For my upcoming trip to Icann Seoul, I needed a new set of business cards for networking purposes. One of the tools I've been using to create business brochureware for many years now is Inkscape. It's an open source vector application which practically mirrors the functionality and features of Adobe's Illustrator, but not the $599 cost to purchase.

Here's how I created the card:

  1. Create a new document.

  2. Under File > Document Properties > Set Units to 'in' or inches

  3. Change Page Orientation to 'Landscape'.

  4. Choose 'Custom Size'.

  5. The width of a business card is 3.5 inches.

  6. The height is 2 inches.

  7. I'll leave the design part up to you, but I used 'Bank Gothic' font at 48pt size for the logo and 10pt for rest of text. I added a Medium style to my name and title while using Light for the rest.

  8. I recommend using the grid feature for spacing in addition to the 'always snap' choice under File > Document Properties > Snap.

  9. The most important step is saving your file in .eps format. An encapsulated format packages the font styles, font sizes, font faces, and colors so your printer will have all of the needed information to print your job.

  10. --Corey

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sony Touch over Amazon Kindle

After weeks of research, I recently ordered the Sony eBook Reader Touch Edition instead of the rival Amazon Kindle. Here is a list of reasons why I did in no particular order.

  1. The Touch displays multiple formats: PDF, Word, and EPUB.

  2. After I created an account with Sony's ebook store, I now have access to Google Books, a public domain project by Google to scan and organize the world's books online.

  3. My local library partnered with a service called Overdrive which allows me to check out and download books right to my mac and ebook reader.

  4. I am not a big reader of fictional books so a wireless connection to download books on demand was nonessential.

  5. The nonfictional books I do read are mostly pdfs which I couldn't upload to the Kindle, but can upload to the Touch.

  6. Since I'm an enormous fan and member of the docbook working group, creating my own epub books using the docbook language along with the stylesheets will make it fun to publish my own books to read.

  7. I didn't see the need for a physical keyboard.

  8. The color white makes machines look cheap.

  9. I own the following Sony products: HDTV, PS3, PS2, PSP, HD handycam, and noise canceling headphones.

  10. Sony Memory Stick Pro Duos work interchangeably with all of my devices plus the Touch Reader.

  11. Black looks kewl.

[caption id="attachment_140" align="alignright" width="215" caption="Sony eBook Reader Touch"]Sony eBook Reader Touch[/caption]

I expect to receive my Touch Reader this coming week or early the following week via Walmart's Store-to-Store delivery. In addition, I ordered a reader cover to protect the screen and exterior body.

BTW, I am not sponsored by Sony nor did I receive a free reader from Sony for this blog post. In addition, I have an Amazon account, order producs/books from Amazon, and have an Amazon Web Services account with ec2 machines.

-- Corey

Friday, October 9, 2009

Foward thinking to Remetal 0.4

As I finish work on 0.3 of the Real Estate Meta Language, I can't help to look forward to release 0.4. The obvious element which needs a bit of attending to is the <location> element. So here's my thought for this.

For <location>, Remetal will reuse the <Location> compound element offered by Google's Keyhole Markup Language (KML). <Location> is the parent element to following elements as such:

[sourcecode language="xml"]

With this and a bit of xsl transformation, could this element inclusion lead to mapping apps reusing remetal listings? Hopefully is my first thought. I'll let the developers decide what to do and resist tainting. ;)

One of the main principles of the Internet is to "reuse" protocols which already exist, but in this case Remetal will simply reuse an element which already exists thanks to KML.

Feel free to leave comments.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Remetal 0.3 Upcoming Release

It's been awhile since I've updated Real Estate Meta Language, Remetal, but that's changed. I'm currently adding children elements to the following elements:

  • kitchen

  • livingroom

  • office

  • garage

Here's an example for the pool element:

[sourcecode language="xml"]





I hope to have the DTD and schemas refactored and published by this sunday evening. I'll have an announcement for the release soon after.


Service Assembly Composition

Deploying an Enterprise Application Intergration (EAI) project entails building a zipped file called a service assembly (sa). SA's are comprised of service units (su) which offer specific functions of your eai project such as messaging, web services, transformation, etc.

Below is project diagram visually depicting an eai project I am currently working, one of many of course. :)
[caption id="attachment_96" align="aligncenter" width="632" caption="ESB JBI Service Assembly Project"]ESB JBI Service Assembly Project[/caption]


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Servicemix-file Message Flow Diagram

For the last few weeks, I've been head down in ESB concepts and programming. Below is a diagram I created using The diagram depicts the message flow of a file within a directory which is then passed to the "bus". It's routed through servicemix service engines (eip, http, camel, saxon) and then finally written to an "out" directory on the file system.

[caption id="attachment_90" align="aligncenter" width="632" caption="Servicemix-file messaging flow diagram"]Servicemix-file messaging flow diagram[/caption]