Friday, June 26, 2009

GE Calls For More Exports from the US

On the way to work this Friday morning I was listening to NPR. They broadcasted an interview conducted by host Renee Montagne with General Electric's CEO Jeffrey Immelt. Mr. Immelt spoke at an economic forum in Montreal earlier in June. He is asking for the United States to increase its exports, especially in areas where there has been or there is a lot of potential for success. That's great, I agree with him, but he also states that American companies and products have to be competitive in the countries they are being sold in. He often used China as an example.

[caption id="attachment_470" align="alignright" width="216" caption="GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt"]GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt[/caption]

I'm all for "Made in America". There are American made products that can be competitive in China, but we have to remember that Chinese workers work for very little, long hours, and under conditions that will not be allowed in America. These and number of other factors, like unions, cost of living, health care, taxes, etc. are affecting the cost of manufacturing these "competitive" products for the Chinese market. Because of the labor laws, or lack there of, and inexpensive manufacturing cost so many products are made in China and so many American jobs are outsourced to that country and its serfs! What makes a big difference in why the more expensive American made products/exports will sell and succeed in foreign and overseas markets is quality. American made products are better made, they last longer, they perform better and they are more desired (when they can be afforded).

Immelt stated that GE makes large, commercial products in the United Stats, but only after working with the unions and negotiating costs. That's nice, but just like in the video gaming industry, micro transactions make developers and publishers a lot of money. How does this apply here? Well, for starters small electronics products, like radios, clocks, TVs and so forth, need to be made in the US. All of this products sell in large numbers in the US, manufacturing them in this country will stimulate the job market. Stimulating the job market will in turn stimulates consumers wallets and bank accounts, which in turn will stimulate their spending. Yes, products might cost little bit more, but people can be proud when they buy them that they are made in the US, or that they were part of the designing, manufacturing or distribution processes. When consumers' wallets and bank accounts are stimulated in the right way then their spending will stimulate the economy.

So Mr. Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, I like what you are saying, but I also know that you are saying it for your company's or employer's benefit. After all you did state in the interview that GE conducts very large operations outside the US. But hear this, to stimulate the economy we need to stimulate the US resident's wallets and bank accounts. The only way to do this is to stimulate the job market by returning outsourced jobs to the US and reopening factories. The "start up" costs will be high, but then again, all of these operations should have never been moved to other countries, like China, India and the Middle East, in the first place. When we did this, we  helped grow and stimulated other countries' economies, while flushing ours down the drain. There are still number of companies in the United States who are still outsourcing or planing to outsource American citizens' livelihood.

Return American jobs if you want to restore the US economy. Proper stimulation is needed to achieve proper culmination. People need to be be guaranteed a paycheck, not stimulated, because just like an orgasm a stimulus is short lived.

NPW logo

If you would like to read a synapses and listen to the interview please go to: GE Calls For More Exports To Aid Economy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

XBox 360 no video, only audio

[caption id="attachment_469" align="alignright" width="150" caption="xbox 360, logo, controller"]xbox 360, logo, controller[/caption]

Over the weekend I had some lack of video from my XBox360. Nothing that some heat couldn’t fix. Apparently most problems with the Xbox360 are fixed by that which kills PCs – heat.

I have an XBox360, which is one of those that was born with bugs and "genetic" issue - meaning an early version - one from the early ones, made before the red ring of death became evident  and all the various versions started to come out. Luckily, I don't abuse and rarely spend massive amount of hours playing it, thus I don't have very many problem with it! Other than the occasional screen flicker and the constant refusal of the DVD-Rom tray to actually stay closed after attempting to close it. Apparently the DVD drive gets a bad taste from DVD discs and refuses to work with them. HAHA. My solution for the latter is to place my thumb on the drive tray and prevent it from coming back out, then pushing the open/close button again!!

This past weekend I experienced something new - the XBox booted fine and there was audio, but no video. The digital TV detected an active video source, but there was no picture. At first I was going to disassemble the XBox to look for problem myself, because the warranty had expired a long time ago. But then I decided to wait for Monday and call Microsoft and possibly sent it back.

After researching the problem in the global knowledge fix and repair database, i.e. the Internet, I was able to determined that 1) it might not be worth the money spend to sent it in for repair, and 2) the issue could be related to the heat sync on the video chip. Something about the x-clamp (see x-clamp fix video at the end of the post). A problem which is most commonly fixed by wrapping the Xbox in a towel causing it to overheat. I again considered taking it apart and performing the x-clam fix, because I wasn't willing to wrap the XBox in something to cause it to overheat and possibly cause heat damage to other components. Before proceeding, I simply opted out to just turn it on and let it run heat up. I've noticed how hot it can get! About 20 minutes later I came back to check on it. I turned the XBox off and back on. Voila, there was video again! Problem fixed.

Now if that darn DVD-drive tray could stay closed, it would be great.