Mortgage Bailouts Are a Really Bad Idea

Exhibit A for why the Federal government should NOT bail out individuals defaulting on mortgages:

In the second quarter of 2007, 83 percent of Freddie Mac-owned loans that were refinanced resulted in new mortgages with loan amounts that were at least five percent higher than the original mortgage balances, according to Freddie Mac’s quarterly refinance review. The revised share for the first quarter of 2007 was also 83 percent.

People taking money out of their homes for purposes other than buying a home are not the victims of predatory lending that many Democrats are portraying them to be.

More on this topic (What's this?)
Affordable housing to cost $625K
How I Shopped for My Mortgage
Prepaying Your Mortgage
Read more on Mortgage, Freddie Mac, Sino Land CO at Wikinvest

Tuesday Book Giveaway

I missed posting the book giveaway last night (ironically because the author of today’s book was over to the house for dinner).

My good friend Kevin McDonald is one of the authors of a seminal reference book on SAP’s Business Information Warehouse. Kevin knows about as much about this product as anyone as he was on the original product team before leaving SAP to start his own consulting business focused on it. If you are interested in SAP’s data warehouse product offerings, this is for you.

Lastly, Mukund Mohan suggested that I provide my top 3 takeaways from the book I gave away last week, it’s a good suggestion. Maxwell’s book is about talent alone not being enough to succeed in a career, it’s one ingredient that contributes to but doesn’t define success. Hard work, focus, and failing at things that push us are all equally important. Lastly, putting aside one’s ego and continually learning through life will result in success.

As always, first person to comment gets it and sorry, no international shipments.

“Mastering the SAP Business Information Warehouse” (Kevin McDonald, Andreas Wilmsmeier, David C. Dixon)

Mailplane, a Better Gmail Experience

I really like Mailplane for accessing my Gmail account. This is a great example of how someone can take advantage of the services nature of current generation applications to provide a better user experience than what the vendor themselves makes available. Take a look at the recent features added to the application:

No need to open iPhoto, iTunes, or iMovie to send attachments: There is a brand-new iMedia browser right inside Mailplane. Open it and then drag and drop photos, movies, or music to your message.

Insert email addresses directly from your Mac address book into your TO, CC, BCC, or message field. It works much like the text snippets panel:

There is a new "Format" menu to make text bold (Cmd-B), italic (Cmd-I), or underlined (Cmd-U). Quickly access colors (Cmd-Option-C), too. And finally center (Cmd-|), left align (Cmd-{), or right align (Cmd-}) paragraphs.

New to Gmail? Need to create a new Gmail account? Like to try Google Apps? Just press the "Create new Gmail account" in either the Authentication window or Accounts preferences.

Download window: There is a new button to clean the list of finished and cancelled downloads.

Press (Cmd-Shift-F) to directly attach a file. The command is located in the "Mail->Insert" menu. Both the dock menu and notifier menu contain a new "Send message with file…" items.

One could argue that these are the kind of features that are possible with a POP mail client, but that misses the point. Mailplane isn’t delivering a new mail client, it’s packaging the existing gmail app with new features and a dedicated browser UI to supercharge Gmail, not replace it. If Google updates Gmail’s existing UI you will see the update immediately in Mailplane, and still benefit from the Mailplane provided features. Fast forward to Apollo and Silverlight and we should see some amazing applications as a result of the capabilities those frameworks provide.

Makeover hacks is something I wrote about a few months ago, and SAP’s Project Muse is what originally inspired me to think about alternative user interfaces delivered by third parties. I really think this is going to be an emerging area as 1) the technology permits it, 2) the number of areas for new apps is few, and 3) there are few apps that can’t benefit from a UI makeover.

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Hot Hot Hot

We had a pretty mild summer round these parts but things were cooking over the weekend, and because the air is so dry it just sucks every bit of moisture out of you. There’s really nothing like getting into your car, with a black interior mind you, when it’s 104 degrees out.