Friday, June 30, 2006

Estate Planning

Tara is trying to grow her estate, a prize feature of which are the two robot dogs. She has some money saved from babysitting jobs and is eyeing the AiBos on eBay. They start the auction with some token amount, but the market will easily bear over $600 for one of these puppies. They've become collectors' items of a sort, but are also about to be superseded by more advanced models of robopet, some of them likewise by Sony.

I launched into my spiel about long term investing in a field such as robotics. Acquiring a lot of personal property may not be the best strategy, as schools may provide access to well equipped computer labs in exchange for relevant teaching skills (including within middle school aged peer groups).

Instead of staring at out-of-reach toys on eBay, learn some Python. Show girls your age that girls your age do that sort of thing. Use the summer to geek out a bit. Then parley those skills into experiences with robot dogs of the future, maybe through Saturday Academy, some of which robopets will likely have Python bindings.

Like I said, a longer term investment plan than just saving coins and cashing in on a personal copy, to be resold on eBay, over and over.

And I practice what I preach, in that I'm not trying to personally own the bizmos either, even though I'm in the market for some "try before we buy" rental experiences (camper vans == primitive simulators). The school has a fleet. Teachers share them. The robot dogs inside some of them: mostly they're owned by the school as well, but may follow particular students around, more than the motorvehicles.

A bug in FireFox? I'll be typing along, writing a post, then hit an apostrophe, but get a Find box appearing in response. I doubt it's the keyboard's fault. I always Google when I enounter these little hell holes (in the bigger ones, there's likely no way to reach Google, like in Lost). Ah, OK, I see it's an unfixed bug in Mozilla dating back several years. Oh and look, the problem has just gone away (but only for the moment I'll bet).

From my post to Math Forum this morning: "I like this recent Supreme Court joke: 'just one congressional district in Texas must be redrawn' (assuming it's a tiling and neighboring states are off limits)".