Monthly Archives: May 2009

include_HTML gets an update

I just updated include_HTML to version 0.3.  This is basically a bug-fix release; it turned out that the solution I worked out to resolve compatibility issues with WordPress 2.7 was causing problems when trying to access URLs containing special symbols.  I also added a little extra functionality; now you can include absolute local URLs starting with a forward slash; handy if the inclusion runs on the same server as the including instance of WordPress.  Users are urged to upgrade.

Bonds for Microsoft

From Business Week:

Bonds for Microsoft

Cash is king these days—so much so that even debt haters are willing to take out loans to get more of it. On May 12, Microsoft sold bonds for the first time in its cash-rich history, adding $3.75 billion to its already impressive stash of $25 billion. Rumors of potential acquisition targets soon followed—not just Yahoo! (YHOO) but also business software rival SAP (SAP). So far, CEO Steve Ballmer is denying he’s got any mega-deals in the works.

Funny as it is, I’ve been assigning my students a problem involving bond issuance by Microsoft since 2002 or so…

An ethanol glut?

From Business Week:

BW ethanol

Lobbying for a Better Blend

The ethanol industry is about to hit a wall—the “blend wall.” U.S. biofuel factories now have the capacity to make about 12 billion gallons of ethanol a year, and the U.S. market can’t use much more than that. That’s because annual U.S. gasoline consumption is about 137 billion gallons, and gas isn’t allowed to contain more than 10% ethanol, a blend called E10. If every drop of gas actually met that limit, the ethanol market would be 13.7 billion gallons. But for logistical reasons, a portion of the gas sold will never contain any ethanol.

The looming blend wall is making it harder to get new ethanol plants financed, so corn growers and ethanol producers are lobbying to increase the blend to allow up to 15% ethanol (E15). Opposing them: a coalition of oil producers, food companies, and green groups, which complained to the Environmental Protection Agency that raising the quotient may lead to higher food prices and other woes. In April, the EPA agreed to review the issue.