Friday, October 28, 2011

Finally some blame on the borrowers

Mary Meeker On #OccupyWallStreet: “People Deserve To Be A Little Angry.” | TechCrunch:

This is the first time that I have seen someone publicly blame the borrowers for accepting poor mortgage terms at sizes they were not able to afford.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

So what are qualifications for a protester

Occupy Wall Street kitchen slowdown targets squatters -

This is sounding more like a frat party.

NCAA, cut the student athlete BS and pay the kids

NBA's top draft pick heads back to class - CBS News: "Only 25 percent of the NBA's 450 players have received their college degree."

Maybe the Bull's

Iverson wants last shot at NBA - NBA - Yahoo! Sports:

I know it's a big risk to their chemistry, but their current offence is basically give the ball to D Rose and let him create, which is what AI does so well. If AI is willing to settle for 15 maniacal minutes per game, he could increase Rose's productivity by providing some rest. Also, both could play together on the floor because Rose has the height and strength to guard most 2 guards. Finally, if AI is willing to be 2nd fiddle to anyone, the reigning MVP is likely it. AI might even be able to start, as the 2 is the one spot on the bulls that is not locked up by a top notch player, 3=Deng, 4=Boozer, and 5=Noah.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Very cool tech

Crazy Nokia Kinetic Concept Does The Twist | TechCrunch:

This would likely be a fun gaming control also.

An easy promise to make

Wal-Mart to Close New York Apparel Office - Bloomberg: "The company will try to find jobs for all the displaced employees in Bentonville, Tovar said. He didn’t say how many are expected to make the move."

How many people are going to be moving from Manhattan to Bentonville? Uh, zero.

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Even with Jobs gone Apple is still a sack of dicks and we are almost borg

Man gets smartphone dock built into prosthetic arm - Telegraph: "Trevor contacted Apple to try and get hold of a blank iPhone casing to test it out, but he said the communications giant refused to co-operate."

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Class warfare/popularism anyone

These were the top two articles on google news. Obama is clearly trying to excite is base for the campaign.

Obama moves to ease student loan burdens - 44 - The Washington Post:
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

When will dictators strike hiding in a hole from their list of tricks?

Gaddafi killed as Libya's revolt claims hometown | Reuters: "An anti-Gaddafi fighter said Gaddafi had been found hiding in a hole in the ground and had said "Don't shoot, don't shoot" to the men who grabbed him."

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lawsuits about anything--NBA Edition

Memphis May Sue NBA Over Lost Games - Businessweek:

How about suing the players too. Are you able sue a musician for cancelling a scheduled concert?

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Go GMU--the preeminent Econ/Basketball factory

Now we need to have a field in sports statistics. GMU econ is know for being unique, so why not. Bring back John Charles Bradbury (my classmate) to teach sabermetrics etc. (No he did not endorse this statement, but he's a good and bright guy.)

Hewitt ratchets up expectations at George Mason - NCAA Basketball - Sporting News:

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gotta see

Sandwich Envy « Not Me

I think food I cook tastes better for two reasons:
1. Less sanitation fear.
2. The desire for it to be good because it is my creation.

That I tailor what I cook to my tastes likely helps the match between what I want and what I get. Plus I use better ingredients than most restaurants I can afford.

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Cloud file sync becoming a commodity

Both dropbox and sugarsync do about the same things. But sugarsync is newer, cheaper, and impacts ones current workflow less because it does not require putting all folders to be synced in a single dropbox folder. Just tag what you want. They raised $26.5 million in capital. Is dropbox still worth a $billion? NOT!!! Bitcasa is about to leapfrog these two.

Sync Files Across PC, Mac and Mobile Phone: Remote File Access and Perform Backup - SugarSync:

Watch this

Rational Irrationality: Top Ten Unlikely Occupy Wall Street Supporters : The New Yorker

How many of these people other than Alec Baldwin would actually agree with the giving the protesters specifically what they are asking for policy wise? Any self serving guilty party is going to try to deflect anger by making a superficial, non-committal sound bite making it appear that they agree with the mob. Let some other CEO be the lightning rod. What public figures say in public often means little about what they actually think.

Rational Irrationality: Top Ten Unlikely Occupy Wall Street Supporters : The New Yorker:

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupy this site, not Wall Street

Yes, if you want a job, then here is a good place to start.

Web Design Community Treehouse Raises $600K From Reid Hoffman, Kevin Rose, And Others | TechCrunch:

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We be borg

Definitely watch this. Coolest tech I've seen in a while. I'm guessing this will eventually be available on a headband, included in eyeglasses, or as a chain pendant.

CMU Researchers Turn Any Surface Into A Touchscreen | TechCrunch:

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Getting off the grid is getting a lot toughter

And the grid is becoming much more insidious. Might a Facebook Identity become mandatory for much of life as it is required to use some services such at

Facebook is going to become an Orwellian nightmare.

Are Facebook ID Cards In Our Future? | TechCrunch:

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Friday, October 14, 2011

MJ has staying power, wow!

Adidas Faces Basketball Hit As NBA Dispute Drags On | Fox News: ""I can't imagine the lockout will impact Jordan sales in any way at all," said Powell, referring to the Nike brand based around former Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan that makes some $1 billion in sales annually."

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Beware of clergy

Bishop charged with not alerting police on porn - US news - Crime & courts -

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

No More Servants - Megan McArdle - Business - The Atlantic

A key point is that the average unemployed person is precisely the type a wealthy person does not want to monitor in their home. In addition, the idea of people "knowing their place" is likely dead, surely among gen X and later. Who wants an uppity entitled servant? The best servant is not noticed but just makes your life easier. While in India I was amazed at the number of servants. One person I met while getting dressed would just sit down for his shoes to be placed, hold out his wrist for the watch, and his other hand for his sunglasses. No please; not thank you. Most Americans I think are not comfortable with this degree of inequality in a relationship. Most of us thank people who help us, even if it is within their job description. But, thanking constantly reduces the time savings of a servant doing simple tasks such as handing one their sunglasses.

No More Servants - Megan McArdle - Business - The Atlantic:

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Thank god the police are solving important problems

Sex party raided at Mummers club in Philadelphia - The York Daily Record:

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Finally something concrete and many objectives are shockingly sane. The implementation of many would be near impossible, but despite my negative appraisal of the protesters I must admit this list could be a lot worse.

1. On reinstating Glase -Steagall: I'm not an expert, but the division between investment banking and and commercial banks might impose risk limits and less moral hazard.

2. I agree that white collar criminals get off way to easy. Caught with a rock crack and spend years; caught bilking millions and get a suspended sentence.

3. Limiting corporate money in elections is also complicated with the First Amendment inconvenience. I also wish to do away with crony capitalism, but am not sure limiting election funding is the way. Maybe a daily sweetheart deal that is widely distributed and always embarrassing. Light might disinfect.

4. Soak the rich: I think many of the unintended consequences are true: less money to invest, lower rates of investment, lower motivation to work hard, bitterness of those who might work hard, etc.

5. Revamp SEC: How? Fire everyone? No longer support the public sector union? Pay private sector wages? Eliminate regulatory capture? Dream on. I wish they could do better, but...

6. Limitting Lobbyest's influence. Great, but good luck.

7. Lobbyists' revolving door: I'm in favor of elimination, but how?

8. Corporate person status: I'm not an expert, but I find this unlikely to be a major problem I think big business would be almost unfeasible without limited liability of shareholders and managers. I'm also pretty sure we want big businesses.

PROPOSED LIST OF DEMANDS (please help edit/add so this can be submitted for consideration to those maintaining the official list) | Forum:

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Cultural relativism anyone?

Emily Dugan: 'Bridenapping' - a growing hidden crime - Life & Style - NZ Herald News: "Among the Tzeltal community in Chiapas, southern Mexico, women are routinely kidnapped for marriage. Often this is by men who have failed to find a mate. It is customary for such men to go out and capture a woman with the help of their friends, take her to the mountains, rape her, and hold her there.

Once the girl's father's anger is believed to have subsided, the kidnapper will come down from the mountains with his prize and "buy" her with traditional gifts of rum."

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Occupy Haight St.

I suggest a counter protest, Occupy Haight St., where business people show up in suits and network. The kicker is that they will close their businesses for the day so that all their employees don't get paid.

In reality, I don't think this is a good idea. Business owners (or at least bright ones) try to foster an esprit de corps within the firm (think Southwest Airlines)and alienating associates with such a ploy would be costly to owners. But isn't this the object lesson, that the protesters can do so because they have so little responsibly and so little on the line. The entrepreneurs who make the country work and provide most productive jobs can't take time off to lounge around pretending to do something. I wish the protesters would just try to have a bake sale and see the opposition and bureaucratic hassle.

Wall Street protests to target NYC millionaires -

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Discover card cutting fees

I'm confused, but I like it.

We are pleased to inform you that, effective 11/06/11 we will no longer charge a Foreign Currency Fee on any international purchases made with your Discover® card. Additionally, we will no longer charge a Research Fee for any copies of billing statements or receipts that you request.

I wonder if the body parts not for sale crowd will shut this down. I hope not.

#IswabbedforAmit Offers Up 20K To Find A Bone Marrow Donor For Startup Founder Amit Gupta | TechCrunch:

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Cut the dude a break on his wedding night

Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell's wedding details - Celebrity Circuit - CBS News: "Guests reportedly partied into the early hours of the morning. The Daily Mail reports that the reception sparked noise complaints from McCartney's neighbors, and that noise control officers came to the house around 1:30 a.m. to ask revelers to turn down the volume. They did, but the party continued, with Moss and Wood reportedly being the last guests to leave at 3 a.m."

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Also funny...
According to reports, McCartney's youngest daughter, 7-year-old Beatrice, served as the flower girl, while his brother was the best man. His daughter, fashion designer Stella McCartney, designed Shevell's ivory, knee-length wedding dress, along with her father's navy suit for the big day.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Google Reader (1000+): "But Steve Jobs was not a celebrity — at least not in the traditional sense. Sure, he was famous, but he did not seek fame. Nor did he need it. The main goal of his career was not to sell his image. He was the head of a company

Everything Jobs did was choreographed, including his celebrity. Apple products were pushed with massive ad campaigns and media events. Jobs manufactured his celebrity as much as The Donald or Ken Fisher have. That MG still believes that any of Jobs celebrity is accidental shocks me and is discrediting. Either Jobs is a master or he isn't, but if he is, it spans both tech and media. I think he is both.

Design Competition Yields Bikes Of The Future | TechCrunch

Until most people can't afford cars bike of no sort will be the preferred form of transportation. I don't own a car and don't want to. I ride a $135 Walmart bike or a Xootr or public transit almost everywhere. I'm weird. I know this. But most males who can afford cars will not forgo them for the sake that it would cost them mojo and dates. Fortunately I have a bizarre form or mojo that work and the Ferd. But, even so, prior to buying an expensive bike I would buy a car. Think of buying groceries, clothes, etc. I'm pretty agile and still completing all this without a car is a pain, which is why I rented on this weekend. bike people should realize that these bike dreams are pipe dreams.

Design Competition Yields Bikes Of The Future | TechCrunch:

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No big deal

AP: NBA won't talk without 50-50 revenue split – "Each BRI percentage point is worth about $40 million dollars, so the sides are some $120 million apart in the first year of a deal, with the union proposing 53% and the league seeking the 50-50 split."

To the extent that you own an NBA team the $4 mil a year shouldn't be such a big deal . In addition, the stars should realize that their happiness should not swing on whether they make $12-14 a year prior to endorsements. The average players career is about 5 years, so it's unfortunate that some who have surely worked hard to get to the NBA might have 20 of their career eliminated.

I wish the owners would accept that buying and owning an NBA franchise these days is a very expensive hobby and ploy for publicity, not a business in the conventional sense that one owns it to earn an economic return on investment.

In short, the people in power, the stars and the owners, have the least (happiness wise) at stake and should grow up and agree on the 50/50 focal point for 20 years. I hope they take care of the players who make dumb choices and blow their cash, just because I (somewhat irrationally) hate to see the players struggle in later life. The mail point is to come to an agreement that allows all decision makers to remain rich and allow the game we love to proceed at the highest level.

If not for Plato, Thales, Pythagoras, etc...

Would Greece have been part of the EU?

It was a basketcase then as now. I think they are living on charity for those who graced the shores millennia ago.

Slovakia unsettles Europe’s rescue plan - The Washington Post:

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

I'm not the only one...

Steve Jobs Was Not God: "Steve Jobs was great at what he did. There's no need to further fellate the man's memory. He made good computers, he made good phones, he made good music players. He sold them well. He got obscenely rich. He enabled an entire generation of techie design fetishists to walk around with more attractive gadgets. He did not meaningfully reduce poverty, or make life-saving scientific discoveries, or end wars or heal the sick or befriend the friendless. Which is fine—most of us don't. But most of us don't provoke such cult-like lachrymosity when we pass on. When even the journalists tasked with covering you and your company are reduced to pie-eyed fans apologizing for discomforting your insanely powerful multibillion-dollar corporation in some minor way, some perspective has been lost."

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Very insightful Jobs...

Jobs: “Focus Is About Saying, No” | TechCrunch:

No, I don't have multiple personalities. I respect Jobs for his strengths and focus is surely one of them. They have very few products, but for their target market they are great. Anyone who questions that success is willfully self blinded.

Bunch of glass half empty MFrs

We Are the 99 Percent:

Watch this video and then decide who is really hurting. I've spent 7.5 months in a variety of cities in India so can tell you this is neither unusual nor extreme for the country. Nobody who has visited can in good faith feel sorry for themselves in the USA.

Obesity - Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia

Obesity - Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia:

Kinda funny advantages:
  • You can eat people.
  • You'll never get old!!! Morbidly obese people always die young.
  • You can sit around and shed tears about your severe weight problem while you make sure those last few sticks of butter in the fridge--- ARE YOURS!
  • When you die, you will have 35-40 men carrying your coffin...LIKE A KING.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oh, and Job's daughter...

I don't know why, but I find the deification upon death to be annoying, maybe because it requires turning a blind eye to so much of a person.

Steve Jobs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Jobs married Laurene Powell, on March 18, 1991. Presiding over the wedding was the Zen Buddhist monk Kobun Chino Otogawa.[92] The couple have a son and two daughters.[93] Jobs also has a daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs (born 1978), from his relationship with Bay Area painter Chrisann Brennan.[94] She briefly raised their daughter on welfare when Jobs denied paternity by claiming he was sterile; he later acknowledged Lisa as his daughter.[94]"

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Steve Jobs - RIP

This is worth the read

This is worth noting. Steve was a great CEO, but not particularly generous. Few have also mentioned "kindness" as one of his strong suits.

Hesseldahl of BusinessWeek magazine noted that "Jobs isn't widely known for his association with philanthropic causes", compared to Bill Gates' efforts.[90] After resuming control of Apple in 1997, Jobs eliminated all corporate philanthropy programs.[91]"

He made a lot of people happy and made a lot of money. Sorry to see him gone, though I was not a fan of Apple products because is am an anti-control freak.

Now we know what protesters want

See the comments for some examples of inconsistency.

One of my favorites is a guaranteed living wage regardless of work status and open borders so everyone can live where they want. Might most people maintain residence in NYC or SF (of course cost of living must be considered in the living wage) but vacation in Thailand or Paraguay most of the year, thereby living large? I would.

This is unlikely a stable equilibrium though as more people learn how I'm living they will copy and soon nobody will be willing to brew my beer, cook my food, or massage my feet. But, it might be a good few months until the good news (LOL) or our new lifestyle reaches the most remote or emigration restricting regions of Earth where my welfare check will still motivate others to cater to me. Next stops Myanmar and North Korea.

Proposed List Of Demands For Occupy Wall St Movement! | Forum:

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I will buy it if I see it.

Google, Dogfish Head Team Up For Worldly Beer | WebProNews:

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Monday, October 3, 2011

What are you for? Any solutions available? I know. Learn to code. Facebook is hiring.

Anti-Wall Street Protesters Reach ‘Prime Time' With Arrests - BusinessWeek: "Another challenge facing demonstrators is their lack of a focused agenda, Meyer said. As events began in Manhattan, organizers aimed to get Obama to establish a commission to end “the influence money has over our representatives in Washington,” according to the Web site of Vancouver-based Adbusters.

On the ground, protesters have been less unified, with demands that ranged from increasing taxes on Wall Street and the wealthy to ending global warming."

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The Weekend Interview with Harold Hamm: How North Dakota Became Saudi Arabia -

I think Hamm has confused what is causing the higher stable price. He says it is lower market share by the Saudis. Might is rather be less supply relative to demand. I think that the Saudis still have the capacity to impact oil prices significantly because of the low short term demand elasticity. But, Hamm is likely pretty bright so I might be wrong.

The Weekend Interview with Harold Hamm: How North Dakota Became Saudi Arabia - "One reason for the renaissance has been OPEC's erosion of market power. "For nearly 50 years in this country nobody looked for oil here and drilling was in steady decline. Every time the domestic industry picked itself up, the Saudis would open the taps and drown us with cheap oil," he recalls. "They had unlimited production capacity, and company after company would go bust."

Enlarge Image

Zina Saunders
Today OPEC's market share is falling and no longer dictates the world price. This is huge, Mr. Hamm says. "Finally we have an opportunity to go out and explore for oil and drill without fear of price collapse." When OPEC was at its peak in the 1990s, the U.S. imported about two-thirds of its oil. Now we import less than half of it, and about 40% of what we do import comes from Mexico and Canada. That's why Mr. Hamm thinks North America can achieve oil independence."

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