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Messages - rcjordan

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Hardware & Technology / Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« on: December 12, 2011, 09:40:46 PM »
As it turns out, my thoughts on the Touchpad and WebOS have been collected in quick interview and are now being emailed directly to a VP there.   I'll let you guys know when I turn down Meg Whitman's offer to join HP in order to reboot the brand, hhh!

Whitman: HP WebOS Tablets Still a Possibility

HP dumped the refurbished Touchpads on their Ebay store this weekend.  Price for the 16GB model was $99. 32GB was $149.  According to the tech news, the resulting feeding frenzy caused Ebay's servers to bog down.  This was **EBAY**   ...not some little podunk website.

HP TouchPad fire-sale sells out in minutes, cripples eBay

Hardware & Technology / Re: Nook Tablet vs Kindle FIre
« on: December 12, 2011, 09:13:58 PM »
OK, I've had an hour or so on the Nook. I have some complaints but, overall, it's a good browsing machine.

You do not have to enter any credit card info in order to register the machine and begin browsing. You DO need a credit card on file if you want to buy apps.

The browser can be accessed fairly easily from the launch page.

Web pages load pretty quickly. I didn't notice any long lags on any of the news sites I visited.

Bummer: Sites recognize it and switch to their "mobile" format.

It seems to do flash and videos OK elsewhere, but Hulu wouldn't run.

All but about 1g of storage is pre-allocated to Barnes & Noble purchased content.  ...However, this thing has an sd card slot, so add your own space.

Once you've had a 10 inch tablet, a 7 inch screen is simply too small for decent reading.

The Kindle Fire, OTOH, is having some problems.
"A few of their many complaints: there is no external volume control. The off switch is easy to hit by accident. Web pages take a long time to load. There is no privacy on the device; a spouse or child who picks it up will instantly know everything you have been doing. The touch screen is frequently hesitant and sometimes downright balky."

From the git-go, my #1 concern with Amazon was that they are TOO good at selling.  Since this was for someone who cannot manage even small amounts of money, I definitely did not want Amazon getting its claws into the credit cards.  Apparently, others are finding that buying an Amazon sales kiosk disguised as a tablet does cause some problems.

Amazon's Kindle Fire lets kids charge up a storm

Hardware & Technology / Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« on: December 09, 2011, 07:07:36 PM »

Water Cooler / Re: Euro Debt Crisis
« on: December 09, 2011, 01:09:39 PM »
>Personally, I'm in a straddle position; 50% cash, 20% tax-free municipal bonds (NC supposedly has low risk of default), and 30% equities.

>Straddle = too scared to get in, too greedy to get out.

I called a meeting with the financial advisor for a couple of hours yesterday to discuss how the EU financial drama was going to knee-cap the US stock market for the next year.  The scenario I outlined says that though the US is showing signs of an upturn the cascade of problems with the PIIGS is going to take a year to smear enough lipstick on it to make it look even nominally resolved.  During that time, the market will be (emotionally-driven) boom or bust with every news update out of Europe sending it off on a tangent.  Overall, there isn't much chance of a structurally sound, sustainable plan coming out of this mess in the short term but there IS a big risk of taking a substantial hit.  The advisor didn't disagee.  He's cutting the equities by roughly a third for the next year or so.

Water Cooler / Re: Sporting Clays: Anyone have advice?
« on: December 06, 2011, 06:35:20 PM »
I'd go 12ga, just for the price of the shells. When you get really good, switch to a .22 to make it more sporting. Seriously, I had a friend in high school who could hit them easily with a rifle.

Traffic / You Say It, Xbox (Bing) Finds It
« on: December 06, 2011, 06:28:37 PM »
Move over, Siri.  New game....

"find content on Xbox 360 using voice recognition powered by Kinect and Bing."

Traffic / Maybe you're better off not knowing
« on: November 10, 2011, 12:21:22 AM »
"some time ago, we added a Facebook “like” button to all of our pages. Most people don’t know this, but in exchange for doing so, Facebook provides detailed demographic information to site owners, using the profile details of people who didn’t log out of their site and happen to stop by our site. (Seems legit to us.) Our visits and pageviews are pretty awesome, but we’ve been stabbing in the dark – now, for the first time ever, we could analyze the demographics of our site and better serve you, the user.

This is absolutely true: the key demographic for Rum & Monkey is 14-year-old Indonesian teenage girls.

“No way,” we said.

As it turned out: way.


Water Cooler / Re: Euro Debt Crisis
« on: November 09, 2011, 08:59:08 PM »
>Italy fundamentally insolvent

Roubini pretty much nailed it, January 2006:

"I would argue that Italy has done little and is experiencing “stagdeflation”, a combination of stagnation and deflation. Indeed, as shown by Daniel Gros Italian labor costs have increased by 20% relative to those of Germany since EMU while Italy’s trade market shares have fallen by 20% relative to Germany. Similar competitiveness problems are faced by Greece, Portugal and Spain.

Gros correctly also points out that the divergence in GDP growth rates has been lessened by the housing bubbles in countries like Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Greece as low short rates and low long rates (driven by a global bond market conundrum) have caused unsustainable asset bubbles. The current loss of competitiveness of Spain is hidden by the housing bubble but, once this bubble burst, these problems will seriously emerge.

And unfortunately, the lack of serious economic reforms in Italy implies that there is a growing risk that Italy may end up like Argentina. This is not a foregone conclusion but, if Italy does not reform, an exit from EMU within 5 years is not totally unlikely. Indeed, like Argentina, Italy faces a growing competitiveness loss given an increasingly overvalued currency and the risk of falling exports and growing current account deficit. The growth slowdown will make the public deficit and debt worse and potentially unsustainable over time. And if a devaluation cannot be used to reduce real wages, the real exchange rate overvaluation will be undone via a slow and painful process of wage and price deflation. But such deflation will keep real rates high and exacerbate the growth and fiscal crisis. Without necessary reforms, eventually this vicious circle of stagdeflation would force Italy to exit EMU, return to the Lira and default on its Euro debts. Some argue that Italy or other EMU laggards would not exit EMU because a  sharp devaluation of the new Lira  – needed to regain the lost competitiveness – would make the real value Euro debt much higher and unsustainable for the  government, the private sector and households. But look at what happened to Argentina: it devalued and given the balance sheet effects of the depreciation on their US debts it was forced to pesify its dollar debts. Similarly, Italy would be forced to liralize its Euro debts. If Italy were to exit EMU this effective default on domestic and external – public and private – Euro debt obligation would become unavoidable. And a sovereign nation is able to follow such policies – EMU exit, return to national currency and effective default on Euro debt – regardless of any legal or formal constraints that the EMU treaty imposes in terms of no exit clauses. This is not science fiction as Argentina was forced to do the same.

What would be the systemic effect of such Italian exit from EMU? They would be extremely severe on EU capital markets as Italy would default on some of its external debt – the part of its Euro debts held by non-residents. The contagion effects to other EU capital markets and banks would be severe.  And the no bailout rule of the ECB would become effectively threatened as the ECB would be forced to monetize both liquidity and solvency induced runs to avoid a systemic effect on EU financial markets.

In conclusion, my view is that EMU can work and has worked for the Eurozone countries that have reformed and are reforming.  But, unless Italy and other Eurozone laggards change their policies to pursue serious economic reforms that restore competitiveness and growth, they will eventually be forced to exit EMU. This would be a disaster but a disaster that may become unavoidable unless policies change. And I am currently pessimistic about the chances that such changes may occur given the policy makers and policies currently in place in countries like Italy.”

Water Cooler / Re: If you couldn't be an Internet junkie...
« on: November 08, 2011, 01:15:44 AM »
great question but, damn, i'm drawing a blank  ...which is sort of unsettling.  I've been thinking of getting into money management.

Hardware & Technology / Nook Tablet vs Kindle FIre
« on: November 07, 2011, 06:52:01 PM »
Reviews are saying that B&N definitely outdid the Fire with their new release.  I just pre-ordered one which I plan to set up and then give to a handicapped family member who needs some access to the web for infotainment.  More info once it arrives, but the specs look decent.

Traffic / Re: Is Apple's Siri on the iPhone4s a threat to Google?
« on: November 06, 2011, 01:36:27 AM »

Having grown up in a good-sized IBM tab shop, I'm sure I have a case or two of 5081's lying about if you really need them.  Just pay the freight.

Traffic / Re: Is Apple's Siri on the iPhone4s a threat to Google?
« on: November 05, 2011, 05:03:08 PM »
> have my doubts

As did I  ...until the app just sort of cost me $140 in impulse buying during our *first* trial run at home.

This app is truly creepy.  Louise used an email address not associated with facebook so it wouldn't broadcast what she's watching through the social networks.  Still, this app seems invasive enough that l have minor concerns that the servers will poll cookies and lock in on her facebook profile.

Traffic / Re: Is Apple's Siri on the iPhone4s a threat to Google?
« on: November 03, 2011, 05:07:50 PM »
"But rather than just sharing what you're watching, which is what the current iPhone app does, users can now receive content specific to those programs. And it's not just news.
Viewers watching a football game, for example, can tap IntoNow to dig out specific information about the teams playing and up-to-the-minute statistics about the players. Tap IntoNow into a Family Guy episode, for example, and you'll get a screen that brings up the Twitter feeds of the shows creators."

Another article said that the app could serve up targeted ads along with the peripheral content.

>want one of those

In high school, I built a mortar that fired beer cans a few hundred feet. Does that count?

"7-pound projectile to a speed of 2.4 km/s or 5400 mph. However, rumor has it that velocities of up to 3.5 km/s have been achieved. In comparison, projectiles fired from an M16 rifle top out at 0.9 km/s."

Here's a small pumpkin traveling at about one-tenth the speed of a rail gun projectile and dinging up a car just a little bit:

Hey! It's about that time of year. I wonder if they've hit mach 1 yet?

Big10 took 2nd last year

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