Month: November 2008

How to Export Your AOL Address Book

2010-1-8 UPDATE: Good news!  According to one of our commenters, AOL has added an “Import/Export” option under the “Tools” menu when you log in at  Just log in and select Export from the Tools menu.  Then select your file type, such as CSV, and download.  Done!  Check it out and let us know how it worked for you.

2009-5-14 UPDATE: Gmail just made it super easy to switch to Gmail and import your mail, contacts, everything!  See this post on the Gmail blog and this post on TechCrunch.

(Skip down a few paragraphs to get to how to export AOL contacts.)

I hesitate to post this, as it both dates me and exposes me as someone who (still) has an AOL email address (also I rip into AOL pretty harshly).  In my defense, I’ve had (and used) many other email accounts for many years, and I registered the AOL email addresses way back in 1993, the year the Mosaic web browser came out and when:

  • computers ran at 0.01 GHz, not 3 GHz
  • there was no such thing as Internet search engines, social networks, or blogs, let alone Google, Facebook or WordPress
  • there was no broadband Internet access
  • people used pagers instead of cell phones, and
  • kids still got their p0rn from magazines (I hear)

Man, talk about the stone ages (see Wikipedia’s History of the Internet page).  It was nice, actually, but that’s another post.

Before we get into the tirade, it might be good to review the ad hominem fallacy fallacy.  Also, a disclaimer: This is just an opinion piece, and my opinion is that AOL sucks.  Your opinion may differ.

Back to AOL, which does indeed suck…


How to Use the FriendFeed Bookmarklet With the NoScript Firefox Add-on

Quick and painless troubleshooting for anyone who wants to use the NoScript Firefox Add-on and the FriendFeed bookmarklet at the same time (like I do):

  1. In Firefox, click the NoScript icon in the lower right corner of your browser.
  2. Click: Options >> Advanced >> XSS list.
  3. Add this code to the XSS list:
  4. Click the OK button.
  5. Done.

These steps should work for most/many other bookmarklets you may use, just pull the URL from the JavaScript and mimic the pattern used here.


Thanksgiving at Per’s Wine Cellar

Thanksgiving came early to Sweden, and a dozen of us celebrated at Per’s wine cellar (that’s Per with the cast on, which he had to get after our pool and game night a few weeks back.  Per’s parents belong to a club and they let us use it Saturday night – thank you!  The dinner party lasted from 7:00 Saturday night until 2:00 Sunday morning.  Good times!

Unrelated trivia: Bill Gates was the best man earlier the same day at a wedding in the church you see, which is basically across the street from our wine cellar.  Also attending the wedding, I hear, was Elton John, Ulf Ekberg (Ace of Base), and the Prince of Monaco.  Mick Jagger was a no show.  The reception was a few blocks away.  Article here.


Market Update: Good News/Bad News

Just time for a quick post before a busy afternoon of prep work for our Thanksgiving dinner party tomorrow night (we’re in Sweden, so the Saturday before the official Thanksgiving Day is when we do it).

Ok, the post got a little long when I used Fred Wilson’s tweets  (links below) to launch into some of my investment philosophy.  I like Fred a lot, and his tweets and blog, it’s just that I’ve been watching him buy Google from above $400 down into the $200s.  It’s been painful, but he will eventually catch that oh so sweet bottom!  More below.

Bonus! At the end I tagged on two great pieces by Michael Lewis, the author of Liar’s Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street.

First, some market stats:

  • Thursday: Summary and volume leaders. Look at that volume! Over 10 billion shares on the NYSE and 3 billion on the Naz. That is people saying “I can’t take the pain any longer, get me out, I don’t care about the price, just make the pain stop!” Margin calls, mutual and hedge fund redemptions, portfolio insurance (see The Anatomy of a Crash), and delta hedging by put sellers, like Warren Buffett, have forced a lot of sales, of course. Call it a perfect storm, a rare glimpse at the naked and ugly side of human emotions, greed into panic. The story never changes, just the names, faces, and dates.  Of course, great opportunities also come at times of extreme emotions.  That will be the same this time, as well.


U.S. Homeownership and Stock Market Participation Rates

Just a quick post of some interesting date from the U.S. Census Bureau. As shown on the chart above (click for larger image), the percentage of Americans who own their own homes is declining. No surprise there, but it does beg a few questions, such as:

What (and when) was the peak and how far (and how long) will the rate fall?

To consider these questions, I hopped over to this page at U.S. Census Bureau website,  downloaded this spreadsheet and quickly crunched a few numbers in this spreadsheet.

What I found was that…


Photo Dump: Pool Night, Dalsland, Stockholm, Kiel

Everything is posted in chronological order:

  • Berlin and Web 2.0 Expo: See pics here: business and personal.
  • Pool Night: Boys night out, organized by Magnus. I came in second place in the pool tournament. After that was dinner, then video and sport games competition. Good times, but three of of us injured our hands during “how hard can you punch” game. Par punched so hard he fractured a bone.
  • Dalsland: Susanne, Birgitta, Roy and I to visit family (Arvid and Agnes). We love visiting them, even if the whole “moose” thing is a big scam here in Sweden (just kidding).  The group pic you see if at their guest cabin.  Arvid and Agnes came to “our place” for dinner Saturday night and we had lunch at their home on the farm Sunday.
  • Stockholm: BuzzPal business.  Susanne came to keep me company and meet our friend Anne. They went to a Lebanese restaurant Saturday night and I was at the Thai place you see pictured (good food, good meeting).  Sunday was breakfast with Anne, then drive back to Gothenburg.
  • Kiel (Germany): Susanne, Ulrika, Johan, and I.  You leave on the boat in the evening and arrive in the morning. Dinner and party in between. When in Kiel, if you’re coming from Sweden, you stock up on alcohol because it is MUCH cheaper in Germany than in Sweden.  We bought a LOT (see pic).  After dropping off the alcohol on the boat, we went strolling around town, stopping here and there to eat, drink (coffee), and shop (the girls, anyway).  Then back to the boat for the overnight trip home.  Good times.  And, if you buy enough booze, you almost make money on the trip.  We didn’t buy THAT much, but I did turn 50 SEK into 300 SEK at the roulette wheel (in two minutes). In the morning, we saw some seals as the boat docked in Gothenburg.
  • (more…)

Berlin and Web 2.0 Expo

These are our “personal” Berlin pics. The “business” pics are here: Web 2.0 Expo Berlin Photo Story.

The upscale restaurant you see is the Aigner, which is on the ground floor of the Sofitel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt, one of Berlin’s most modern hotels (we didn’t stay there, we stayed here). Here’s Frommer’s Aigner Restaurant review.

Susanne and I liked the place so much we went there twice, and that’s after getting recommendations and checking out at least a dozen other restaurants. Super nice people, amazing service, and fantastic food.  Aigner gets our top rating, especially considering the price, which was quite reasonable.  See their website for more info and some of their recipes.

We had the liver dumpling soup and the creamy parsley-root soup to start, then split a Weiner Schnitzel for the main course (so we could save room for a chocolate soufflé desert). Everything was incredible. Our second visit we had the Tafelspitz and the veal dumplings. Both also incredible.


Barack Obama Wins, We Win! Acceptance Speech Video and Transcript

(Note: the screenshot above is from this morning. Since then, the Obama margin has increased. See The New York Times interactive election map and Big Board for the latest. You can toggle the map to any of the past four presidential elections. There are also links to speeches, polls, and more.)

My hope in USA is restored; we are not scared anymore. Fear, bullying and “me, me, me” loses. Courage, cooperation, and “we, we, we” wins. Thank you is all I can say. Thank you, Barack Obama. Thank you, world! Be the change!

Video of Obama’s acceptance speech:

Did it bring tears to your eyes the way it did mine?
Yes, we can! That message is global; it’s for all of us.

Here is my uncut reaction video and below is the transcript of Obama’s speech. Here is how Washington DC votedUpdate: Fast forward to my January 2009 blog post: Gearing up for Obama-Rama-Palooza in DC.

Update: See the comments at the bottom of this post.  So far…


The Investment Cycle – Where Are We Now?

Seems like a good time to take a look at the investment cycle and consider where we might be, which IMHO is somewhere between fear and capitulation.

Regarding stocks, right now we’re on day five of a rally attempt.  Today is also election day in the U.S.  Anything could happen.  By the end of the week I expect the market will either: (a) follow through to the upside with a huge gain, or (b) fail. It could, of course, also just mark time, but that seems least likely, IMHO.

Regarding real estate, I am 100% out, after selling my last piece of USA real estate the day before the worst week in modern stock market history a few weeks ago.  I am looking to buy back in 2009 or 2010, depending on where we are living and the relevant investment factors.