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Deja Vu  

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  • Stocks give up gains as ECB rejects Greek paper as acceptable collateral [View news story]
    Sound and fury for fooling the German voter. At this moment, trucks are at the loading dock of the ECB loading the pallets of cash for Greeks to sit around drinking coffee for all their life.
    Feb 4, 2015. 06:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Checkmate For Greece? [View article]
    I have a friend from Greece who is a full tenured university professor at a large 100,000 student US university. His wife and kids spend the majority of the year in Greece. I asked him how he affords the air fares and a second home in Greece. He replied "She & the kids make more money sitting at home in Greece than I do working here in the US." His wife is getting her fathers pension, forgot to tell the Greek government she is married etc etc

    Wiping out Greek debt just means they will restart issuing bonds that have the implicit and post Draghi "whatever it takes" explicit guarantee of European taxpayers in other countries. No austerity has been done in Greece at all. The government has just grabbed even more from the few who work. Greece is just the example of a whole two generations of Europeans who think they don't have to work and expect government checks as their birthright.

    Of course Obama will support such a system since he wants the US to wind up just like Greece with the majority of the population on welfare and terrified that the welfare checks might be taken away and voting for whomever promises to continue and expand the welfare.
    Feb 3, 2015. 09:21 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Germany, ECB take tough line against Greece [View news story]
    Greeks to Germany "Your threats are not wearing any clothes"
    Feb 2, 2015. 08:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Home And The Mobile Supply Chain [View article]
    This article was interesting inasmuch as it talked about solutions to the very challenges I've mentioned...
    Jan 31, 2015. 11:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Home And The Mobile Supply Chain [View article]

    Briefly, I have a decade of experience with SCADA systems, the original IoT.

    I'm struggling to see the daily value of many of the use cases. Also, I think the complication of actually running a home based IoT is understated. To deliver value, there would have to be rules implemented to actually turn stuff off and on, analyse some of the "events" & trends, deal with failures and recovery, allow for intuitive modification of the rules by a layman with little or no desire to learn.

    I have a second home that I'm monitoring with the usual (thermostat, video, motion sensors, lights, doors, etc etc). I thought I would save myself a couple of thousand $ in install fees and ongoing monitoring charges from the cable company and tried to install it all myself.

    Given that I've worked hands on with RTU's, sensors, actuators, HMI's and whatnot, I thought it would be a breeze. It took me months of monthly visits to get everything right, everything talking to each other, upgrading firmware, etc. Even then, when one component failed (the wifi router), I had to reprogram everything from the DDNS to the forwarding ports to the static IP's with a new router. It took days to get everything working again. Everytime I walked away, a couple of days later something would stop communicating.

    I just can't see the average homeowner doing this sort of stuff with all the allegedly "plug and play" components. The sheer number of usernames, passwords and settings I have to record is stupendous. And this is just for monitoring w/o actuators.

    And given the hacking issues and average homeowner's lack of security awareness, any such network will be happily hacked by some botnet from Russia or the teenager down the street who wants to peek.

    I find the IR blaster on my Samsung phone to be much more useful in controlling lights, fans and my immediate vicinity than the wifi enabled IoT junk.

    The facile answer is "Everything will be made super simple and super secure by one vendor who will supply an integrated solution that is completely plug and play, secure and turnkey".

    Alas, if it is to be useful, it must be flexible, and if it is to be simple, it must be inflexible.
    Jan 31, 2015. 09:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shake Shack indicated for $34-$36 open [View news story]
    put in for 1000 shares from honor among thieves any more it seems...:-)
    Jan 30, 2015. 10:54 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Winning The Profit Battle, Losing The Smartphone War [View article]

    Exellent article. One thing I wish to add

    Previously the US carriers

    - Bundled the phone subsidies into the plan with a 24 month period
    - Made the consumer pay back the implicit subsidy even if they did not get a new phone
    - Did not lower the plan cost for buying an Android phone instead of an Apple Phone

    So the consumer

    - Usually bought a new phone along with a 24 month plan regardless of whether they wanted a new phone
    - Did not see any cost savings from buying an Android phone
    - Usually needed a new phone because of advances in screen size, resolution, processing power, data speeds etc

    Now the US carriers

    - Have unbundled the plan and the phone subsidy
    - The plan stands on its own w/ no term
    - the handset cost is spread out over a 24 month installment plan with the balance due immediately if the consumer terminates the plan

    So for the US consumer now

    - The phone cost is presented directly as cost of phone/24 installments
    - Savings accrue from not buying new phones. This can be $30/month based on $700/24 installments to $35/month based on $850/24 installments
    - Monthly savings for a family of 4 can be $120-$140 if the family chooses not to buy new phones

    The effect of this is to

    - Provide a incentive to lengthen phone upgrade times
    - Favor cheaper Android handsets since now the cost flows to the consumer. Previously the consumer paid the same regardless of whether the consumer bought an Android or an Apple handset
    - Will provide a incentive for the first time to the average consumer to shift away from Apple

    For my part, when my installments are paid off for my Galaxy Note 3, my family plan bill will drop nearly $120 per month from $250+ right now to $130+. Now that I have an incentive to not buy a new handset, I'll be using my Note 3 till it can no longer handle the load. Which given the oomph it has under the hood, will be a long time.
    Jan 28, 2015. 11:00 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Moody's: Syriza election "credit negative" for Greece [View news story]
    Another round of German Greek WWF complete with body slams for the benefit of the German public and then the money trucks will come rolling in.

    All Greeks will be drafted by the nearest coffee house for a 10 year term to sit on the sidewalk drinking coffee and complain about the Germans who are paying for the coffee.
    Jan 27, 2015. 08:02 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Microsoft Profit Stung By Sluggish Windows [View article]
    "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones."

    Epitaph for the fired Ballmer & Windows 8. Looks like Windows 8's disaster is living on at Microsoft.
    Jan 27, 2015. 07:59 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Taxi Medallions Are Safe Because Uber Will Implode [View article]

    I frequently used to take cabs in Chicago. I assure you that I, who am nearly 6'4" and 240 lbs, feared for my life on more than one occasion.
    Jan 26, 2015. 03:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Greece slumps, but rest of Europe shrugs it off [View news story]
    The German political/bureaucratic elites have no backbone and the Greek population down to the last 44 year old woman getting her fathers pension, knows it.
    Jan 26, 2015. 01:55 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Taxi Medallions Are Safe Because Uber Will Implode [View article]
    Insurance cover may lacking in the current model. If it comes to that, why don't you think Uber drivers may go get commercial driver insurance rather than the whole model collapsing? Additional insurance may just be an added cost rather than a fatal flaw in the model.

    Secondly, why is it only catastrophic if a Uber driver does a crime? Do regular taxi cab operators not commit crimes? Do they have a stronger verification model? If they do and push came to shove, why can't Uber adopt the same verification model? Do taxi cab companies have patents on background verification?

    Your article uses rather simplistic logic - Uber is not doing X or Y, therefore Uber will never do X or Y. ergo Uber will collapse.

    Has it occurred to you that Uber has proven to be a very flexible company doing whatever it needs to survive in the face of immense hostility from entrenched interests? Their philosophy seems to be "we will not do one inch more than we need to". If they need to provide better insurance or better background verification or they have to close down what do you think they will do? Provide them or shut down?
    Jan 26, 2015. 12:17 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: European Markets Face Syriza Victory [View article]
    Most likely outcome of Greek elections is a wink wink agreement with Germany. Greeks will howl loudly about austerity and do no real austerity. Germans will deliver stern lectures and send trucks of money via the ECB to finance the whole Greek population to sit around drinking coffee.

    When a kid in school, we learned to howl loudly when a bigger kid twisted your arm. The whole idea was to give satisfaction to the bigger kid *before* it began to hurt so that the kid would then let your arm go.

    And the can will be kicked further down the road until the ECB's balance sheet can grow no more.

    The real end game will be when the Chinese tire of sending goods for worthless fiat money & remove the Yuan peg to the US$ and thereby the indirectly to the euro. The Yuan will soar, Chinese good will get expensive. Both US and Europe will see soaring inflation like Venezuela and the era of easy money will come a crashing end.
    Jan 26, 2015. 10:07 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reuters: Boeing unions seek conditions on $8.7B in tax credits [View news story]
    Boeing Boeing a right to work state...
    Jan 21, 2015. 10:32 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Netflix beats by $0.27, revenue in-line [View news story]
    In line revs + higher than expected subscriber growth = lower ARPU despite what Hastings claims about having increased prices.

    Might also be unpaid trial users.
    Jan 21, 2015. 08:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment