Wednesday, September 30, 2009
So I saw this article on slashdot.org today about how these peeps went to a Homeland Security conference, that demoed a $1M make someone seasick flashlight named the DAZZLER... They then decided to make a $250 DIY home made version called the BEDAZZLER.... check out the BeDazzler Open Source Non-Lethal weapon here.
They should TOTALLY mount these onto their weapons so that when the enemy tries to Target them, the enemy will just start projectile vomiting. So it would go something like this....
(bad guy thinking to himself) there goes that dude, i'm going to shoot him, aim....
(bad guy projectile vomiting after trying to target the dude) blarrgadsffgsdfsgh
This is interesting because they released the 'source code', the schematics, and the pcb files....
This makes me wonder when someone is going to make a DIY $1000 Solid State Death Ray.
New York magazine did a piece on "The Rising Power of Financial Blog ZeroHedge" run by the shadowy figure with the Tag of Tyler Durden.
It is a good read so you should check the article on NYMAG here.
Here is a link to TrueSlang on the NYMag article of Zero Hedge.
Here is Zero Hedges response to the NYMag Hagan Article
Excerpts from the NYMAG article:
Such is their power today that the Treasury and Federal Reserve both circulate “blog watch” e-mails, which are sent to the White House every day. (Speaking of the current popular financial blogs like zerohedge and seekingalpha.)
Last spring, in a far corner of the Internet, an unknown blogger began to piece together a conspiracy theory: The investment bank Goldman Sachs was using sophisticated, high-speed computers to siphon hundreds of millions of dollars in illegitimate trading profits from the New York Stock Exchange, invisibly undercutting the market and sidestepping the regulatory reach of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Only a few loyal readers paid attention to the blog called Zero Hedge, a no-frills site full of arcane analysis decipherable only by finance professionals. But when a former Goldman Sachs computer programmer was arrested for allegedly stealing software codes used for the firm’s electronic trading arm, and a federal prosecutor was quoted saying the codes could be used to “manipulate markets in unfair ways,” the once-obscure blog ignited a chain reaction. While on a golf outing, an editor at the New York Times learned from a friend who worked on Wall Street that the Zero Hedge allegation was the talk of the industry, and an assignment ensued. On July 24, the Times published a front-page article on so-called high-frequency trading and its potential abuses, which in turn prompted Chuck Schumer, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, to draft a letter to the SEC that same day. Twelve days later, the SEC signaled that it was considering a ban on the very computerized trading that Zero Hedge had attacked.
Excerpts from True/Slant:
One of the things that inevitably happens when someone like Zero Hedge causes as much damage as he has to very wealthy and connected people is that the media will start looking at who he is. In ZH’s case that’s among other things because he’s a great story, a kind of cyber-Zorro: beyond even his amazing ability to rock the mighty Goldman Sachs from a hitherto unknown blog site, his (formerly) mysterious identity made him an even better feature subject.
But when you shine a light on Zero Hedge, you’re taking the light off the people he’s focusing on. That’s the primary problem with this kind of activity, and one of the reasons you often see this tactic employed against an uncomfortable news-breaker. I’m not saying that was Hagan’s intention — in fact I don’t think it was — but this kind of story can immediately have the effect of shifting the geography of the conversation, from Goldman’s backyard to Zero Hedge’s. I’d expect that from other quarters, but coming from Hagan I’m a little confused by it.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Here is his response to my Post on The Toxic Mexican Asset Class Technical Indicator
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The next thing someone pointed out was that... somehow the Bean Burritos were MORE EXPENSIVE than the chicken burritos...
Ok so if you are not familiar with inTrade, it is a prediction market where you can bet for or against certain events occuring. For instance you could have bet that Barak Obama would win or lose the presidential campaign. The pricing system is worked out the same way the stock market is.... which is to say it's basically ebay. You have the current going bid price (the current willingness to pay for buyers) and the ask price (the current willingness to pay for sellers). If you BUY and the event happens you get paid out, if it doesn't you have to pay out. The details can be found here at How Intrade Works.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Yes he just said that.
Btw something I noticed when I saw this was how the female reporter flashed a massive FEAR expression for about half a second. When they slow it down you can see it clearly.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
From the article:
Lashmore's company, Nanocomp Technologies, is the first in the world to make sheets of carbon nanotubes -- microscopic tubes stronger than steel but lighter than plastic. The Pentagon has financed much of the Concord, N.H., firm's work; stakes include the $500 million U.S. market for body and vehicle armor, which is currently dominated by DuPont's Kevlar.
So I saw this crazy article on BoingBoing about 3d holograms you can touch.... You guys can guess where this is will end up going LOL. I thought it was pretty awesome they've come this far.
By using ultrasonic waves, the scientists have developed software that creates pressure when a user's hand "touches" a hologram that is projected.
In order to track a user's hand, the researchers use control sticks from Nintendo's popular Wii gaming system that are mounted above the hologram display area.
The technology has so far been tested with relatively simple objects, although the researchers have more practical plans, including virtual switches at hospitals, for example, and other places where contamination by touch is an issue.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Thanks to my sister Caroline for pointing this one out LOL.... TROGDORRRRRRRR
Thus of course I had to cut a video of this 1 armed snake with the Trogdor song. Don't hate on how nothing is timed right or makes sense, i did this a really late in about 10 minutes after beers.
Here is a REAL LIFE TROGDOR without Wings. Apparently they found a 1 armed snake in China..
For The original reference to Trogdor check this... StrongBad's Trogdor!!!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Image from unpluggd.com
So I saw this totally insane video from Japan.... on the website unpluggd.com. Check out the super crazy Japanese IPod item everyone totally needs. It can turn a milk carton, a coke can, a 2 liter bottle, a door, etc... into a speaker
Here is a video linked from the site. It's in japanese but you'll totally get it once they start showing you how to use it. Enjoy
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
I cranked this out in about 5 minutes, because I thought it would be too funny. Too bad fair use doesn't really apply as easily when you sell stuff...
I found this on TheGuruInvestor.com.
This was interesting because the first guy talks about our cognitive handicap in seeing patterns (Taleb talks about this quite a bit in the black swan) I did find it funny when he mentions that when we see two events in an upward or downward direction we cannot help but predict a trend. So perhaps our ability to subconsciously discern patterns is working against us. For instance our ability to predict the trajectory of a ball thrown in the air is a consequence of some form of pattern/prediction mechanism going on. This same desire to see patterns may strongly drive other behaviors that this auto-prediction ability is not suited for.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I find this interesting because when I first learned about the concept of VAR, I was a bit troubled about the theoretical basis. The bread and butter of VAR is mean-variance. The region of interest in VAR is also the region that is the least well behaved (the tails). In light of heavy tails, it seems awkward to use mean-variance methods to set multi std deviation confidence intervals.
From the article:
This Thursday September the 10th marks a historic development for both Washington and the financial markets. The US Congress' Committee on Science and Technology will hold a hearing on the responsibility of mathematical model Value at Risk for the credit crisis. As HuffPost readers know full well, I have long blamed VaR for the mayhem (remember: VaR allowed banks to build the toxic leverage that sunk them and the world). To my knowledge this is the first time that a financial theory is put on the spot like that, the inevitable consequence of having endured a theory-caused meltdown of biblical proportions.
My friend Nassim Taleb has been invited as expert witness by the Committee. That's a wise choice. Taleb has not only been a real derivatives trader for decades, but crucially has been warning about VaR's potential for destruction for at least 15 years. As I told HuffPost readers not long ago, he alone predicted what has just happened, including the term "bail out". Frankly, it was only a matter of time before VaR killed us.
I generated these 3d renderings to show the artful illusion that Oversized Sunglasses can generate. My friend Ian M. came up with this theory over lunch that those Oversized Sunglasses can be damn deceptive. So I took up his thought and ran this imaging. The only difference is eye size and spacing. Sun Tzu would be proud of Oversized Sunglasses. LOL. Simplicity at it's best.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
A few years ago I read an article by Wired Magazine that outlined the ridiculously awesome story of how Canada and the CIA rescued six American diplomats who were stranded in Iran during the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran.
This REAL LIFE plotline involves the overthrow of Bavarian firedrill action, and of course Canadians...
Check this totally awesome story here (You need to scroll down a little bit to get to the article)
Here is the wikipedia entry on the so called "Canadian Caper"
Excerpt from the Wired article
To build his cover, Mendez put $10,000 into his briefcase and flew to Los Angeles. He called his friend John Chambers, the veteran makeup artist who had won a 1969 Academy Award for Planet of the Apes and also happened to be one of Mendez's longtime CIA collaborators. Chambers brought in a special effects colleague, Bob Sidell. They all met in mid-January and Mendez briefed the pair on the situation and his scheme. Chambers and Sidell thought about the hostages they were seeing each night on television and quickly declared they were in.
Mendez knew they had to plan the ruse down to the last detail. "If anyone checks," he said, "we need that foundation to be there." If they were exposed, it could embarrass the government, compromise the agency, and imperil their lives and the lives of the hostages in the embassy. The militants had said from the beginning that any attempted rescue would lead to executions.
In just four days, Mendez, Chambers, and Sidell created a fake Hollywood production company. They designed business cards and concocted identities for the six members of the location-scouting party, including all their former credits. The production company's offices would be set up in a suite at Sunset Gower Studios on what was formerly the Columbia lot, in a space vacated by Michael Douglas after he finished The China Syndrome.
All they needed now was a film — and Chambers had the perfect script. Months before, he had received a call from a would-be producer named Barry Geller. Geller had purchased the rights to Roger Zelazny's science fiction novel, Lord of Light, written his own treatment, raised a few million dollars in starting capital from wealthy investors, and hired Jack Kirby, the famous comic book artist who cocreated X-Men, to do concept drawings. Along the way, Geller imagined a Colorado theme park based on Kirby's set designs that would be called Science Fiction Land; it would include a 300-foot-tall Ferris wheel, voice-operated mag-lev cars, a "planetary control room" staffed by robots, and a heated dome almost twice as tall as the Empire State Building. Geller had announced his grand plan in November at a press conference attended by Jack Kirby, former football star and prospective cast member Rosey Grier, and several people dressed like visitors from the future. Shortly thereafter, Geller's second-in-command was arrested for embezzling production funds, and the Lord of Light film project evaporated.
I have heard that George Clooney was working on a project called the "Escape from Tehran" that mimics this epic tale.
Monday, September 7, 2009
So I came across this article about a circus that stars lion's and tiger's riding horses at a Circus in china All I have to say is wow.... that's pretty ridiculous.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
So I saw this on google news today and almost died laughing... Apparently the new hotness on wallstreet is going to be the SECURITIZATION of Life Insurance policies
Basically you buy a life insurance policy from someone who is ill or elderly for $400k-$1M. You keep making their payments, you hope they die early, and then you cash out. The idea is that if you can make a better prediction than the life insurance company, (the prediction factors into the premium that the life insurance company calculates), then you can possibly cash out if you think they are under charging for the life insurance premium.
From the article:
After the mortgage business imploded last year, Wall Street investment banks began searching for another big idea to make money. They think they may have found one.
The bankers plan to buy “life settlements,” life insurance policies that ill and elderly people sell for cash — $400,000 for a $1 million policy, say, depending on the life expectancy of the insured person. Then they plan to “securitize” these policies, in Wall Street jargon, by packaging hundreds or thousands together into bonds. They will then resell those bonds to investors, like big pension funds, who will receive the payouts when people with the insurance die. The earlier the policyholder dies, the bigger the return — though if people live longer than expected, investors could get poor returns or even lose money.
This concept should remind you of the securitization of mortgages that brought the world to its knees recently.
However, from what I understand life expectancy tends to be more well behaved than distributions based on information (such as the stock market). Well except for people hiring assassins and starting pandemics to make $$$.
Enjoy... maybe in 10 years.. we will see the Hindenburg Omen AGAIN
When I blogged about this Market Crash prediction from seekingalpha.com back in early July, I didn't think it would actually be right... Next time i see a Hindenburg Omen I'm totally moving my 401k to bonds for 6 months and buying a ton of puts on the S&P500.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Remember guys, hotness is the mind killer.
From the article:
The research shows men who spend even a few minutes in the company of an attractive woman perform less well in tests designed to measure brain function than those who chat to someone they do not find attractive.
Researchers who carried out the study, published in the Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology, think the reason may be that men use up so much of their brain function or 'cognitive resources' trying to impress beautiful women, they have little left for other tasks.
John Nash's character in A Beautiful Mind handles the hotness factor beautifully. Check the Nash Equilibrium Bar Scene here (this is actually completely wrong in describing the Nash Equilibrium, but the scene is still great)
This scene was shown to me for the first time in one of my MBA Marketing for Economic Feasibility classes during a discussion of Game Theory. The instructor guy (who was really cool) also brought up the game theory argument of "Go Ugly Early" as a strategic approach. LOL
My favorite litany against fear. I originally heard this when I was a kid watching the David Lynch's film version of Frank Herbert's Dune. It's a great mantra to think about before you go on stage to give a speech or when you have to chat up strangers.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I thought this was pretty funny, considering the massive difference in opinion. I particularly liked Samuelson's take when he says something to the effect of... "people compare it to the great depression, but the Wallstreet shenanigans this time are much worse.... fiendish Frankenstein monsters of financial engineering had been created, alot of them at MIT some of them by people like me.."