Studio711

Geek

CrashPlan Service Changes

I’ve been an enthusiastic CrashPlan cloud backup user for well over 6 years. The small fee that I paid for their service saved me a ton of time trying to hack together my own solution. Unfortunately, yesterday I got an email saying that they are going to stop offering CrashPlan Home and focus on the business market. The transition plan sounds very smooth and they’ll continue honoring all of the time that I’ve prepaid for, but of course it means that I need to start thinking about what to do when my service runs out in a little over a year.

There are a few options to consider:

  1. CrashPlan is officially recommending Carbonite (who was a competitor until CrashPlan exited the home market). Their service is $60/year which is very similar to CrashPlan. The only downside is that I have to re-upload my ~4TB of data. That’s not horrible except that Comcast silently added a 1TB/month cap to my plan.
  2. Stick with CrashPlan and use their Small Business offering. While they are offering existing users a nice discount for the first 12 months, eventually it will cost me $120/year. It’s roughly double what I was paying, but maybe it’s still worth it since I don’t have to change anything.
  3. Go back to rolling my own solution. It’s not too hard to encrypt the data myself and then upload it to Azure blob storage. This would be kind of fun to piece together but it’s not going to be cheaper than Carbonite or Crash Plan Small Business. They set their prices for the amount of data a normal human uses and clearly I’m not that.

Thankfully I don’t have to make this decision any time soon. My contract runs through Oct 2018. However, if you’re thinking about starting to use cloud backup (and I recommend it!), you should be looking at providers like Carbonite or Mozy.

Revenue Per Employee

Microsoft recently announced quarterly results and they were very good. I started thinking about how much the revenue has increased over the years and how many more employees there are. How has the revenue per employee changed?

Some quick searching revealed that this is a pretty common metric to track when investing, but I couldn’t find good, free data going back far enough to satisfy me. So I pulled the data together myself. This is NOT very reliable or accurate! Specifically, many of the employee count numbers were estimated from a chart image. Don’t make any investment decisions from this chart. That being said… it’s interesting to see that when you factor in inflation, Microsoft gets roughly the same amount of revenue per employee every year. Toss in a bunch of new employees and print more money. It’s a pretty good setup!


How does this stack up against other companies? Credit to zerohedge.com for the chart below:

This Visual Capitalist infographic shows revenue per employee for various sectors and companies you probably recognize.

I wonder what would happen if you walked into HR with these numbers in hand to talk about your salary? Good luck with that.

25 Free Throws A Day

This summer I challenged myself to shoot 25 free throws a day. It’s a good excuse to get outside, enjoy the longer days, chat with neighbors, and I also wanted to see how good I could get if I did it every day. Well of course I haven’t actually done it every day, but I’ve come pretty close. And of course I tracked all the data in a spreadsheet…

I’ve tracked 700 shots this summer and the biggest change I’ve noticed is that I’m more consistent than I was in the beginning. For example, my first four scores were 16, 9, 17 and 8. Now I hover much closer to 17 with a couple really good rounds mixed in. My record is 22 and I feel like it will be a long time before I beat that, but I’ll keep going and see what happens. The trend is going up, but if you take out those first four rounds, the slope of the line is still positive but much shallower.I don’t have data for this, but it feels like I usually get better as the round of 25 goes on. So would my average go up if I did more in each round? I might mess with the experiment a little bit too and change to either “how many shots does it take to make 25” or just “how many did I make out of 50”.

Mentally I’ve been comparing this to trap shooting. Both use rounds of 25 and both have a big mental factor once you learn the basic physical skills. At this point, I’d say that free throw shooting is harder than trap shooting which seems crazy to me thinking about the physics of it. But the number of free throws shot over my life is dramatically higher than the number of clay birds I’ve broken and yet, my trap shooting scores are generally better than my free throw scores. I also believe that if you look at professional trap shooters, they have higher success percentages than professional basketball players shooting free throws.

Maybe I think too much about going outside to enjoy the sunshine…

Average Beer Ratings

I was talking to Luke recently and was surprised to find out that in his over 500 beers, he has never rated one 5 stars. That got me thinking about how we all use the rating scale. Here are some stats…

Row Labels Average Standard Deviation Max Min
Ben 2.91 1.03 5 0
Dad 3.54 0.70 5 0
Logan 3.22 0.80 5 1
Luke 3.18 0.78 4.5 0
Grand Total 3.24 0.87 5 0

The standard deviation column gives a bit of a feel for how much each user uses the full spread of ratings available to them, but it’s still a bit hard to visualize. So I took all of the ratings and rounded them down so that there were only 6 buckets (0-5). Then I calculated what percentage of each user’s ratings were in each bucket. So effectively, the histogram below is normalized across all users so we can compare apples to apples (e.g. I rate 39% of my beers a 3 and Luke rates 61% of his beers a 3.)

 

Obviously everybody has their own system for how they use the available ratings, but it does look like they are all close to a normal distribution centered around 3 which makes sense. I think I’ve written this before, but here’s how I personally use the ratings:

  1. 0 – Yuck. I’d pour it out if you handed it to me. (e.g. Bud Light Lime)
  2. 1 – I’d politely decline or hand it back if you offered me this.
  3. 2 – Sure, I’ll drink this but I wouldn’t pay for it.
  4. 3 – An average beer. I don’t have a problem paying for this but I don’t seek it out.
  5. 4 – This is a really good beer. If I see it in the grocery store, I’ll probably buy it.
  6. 5 – Epic beer. Buy it whenever you see it!

And since that’s how I do it, it’s obviously the right way to do it.

Does Bacon Make You Rich?

A lunch question ended up posing the question in the title. We were talking about which countries ate bacon and which ones didn’t. Then we had a hunch that the US and European countries near the top of the list so you could probably make a clickbait news story about how countries that eat more bacon make more money.

When we got back to our desks, Durmus had actually run the numbers. Unfortunately there’s only a 0.43 coefficient of correlation between per capita bacon consumption and per capita GDP. It was worth a shot though. And I had no idea that the Chinese ate more bacon than Americans! Step up your game people!

Country Weight per Capita (lbs) GDP per Capita
China 90.1 $15,400
Montenegro 88.6 $17,000
Taiwan 87.5 $47,800
Korea, South 81.4 $37,900
Serbia 81.4 $14,200
Belarus 73.8 $17,500
United States 64.3 $57,300
Vietnam 56.3 $6,400
Norway 55.4 $69,300
Canada 55 $46,200
Australia 54.4 $48,800
Singapore 50.5 $87,100
Chile 49.5 $24,000
New Zealand 49.2 $37,100
Russia 46.7 $26,100
Japan 44.6 $38,900
Bahamas, The 40.7 $24,600
Uruguay 40.2 $21,600
Mexico 39.4 $18,900
Ukraine 34.7 $8,200
Philippines 33.7 $7,700
Panama 32.5 $22,800
Ecuador 31.5 $11,000
Brazil 31.2 $15,200
Cuba 26.6 $11,600
Macedonia 26.3 $14,500
Argentina 24.9 $20,200
Dominican Republic 21 $15,900
Angola 18.3 $6,800
Colombia 17.2 $14,200
Croatia 16.8 $22,400
Bosnia and Herzegovina 13.7 $11,000
Kazakhstan 12 $25,700
Guatemala 11.5 $7,900
South Africa 10.8 $13,200
Armenia 10.8 $8,900
Honduras 10.1 $5,300
Venezuela 9.8 $15,100
Haiti 9.2 $1,800